Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"TRAIN TRAINING"

Reminiscing here . . . an earlier time, a simpler time, before the whole world went insane and everything went to shit . . . SL

"So, what kind of training did you do?"


"Train training"


"Yes, we train - train all the time, but what kind of training did you do?"


"Training on trains!"

"Yes, if its not raining we're not training, and it rains while you train. What I'm asking is what did you DO while you were training?"


"Trains training! We did trains training! We got on the trains, and we went on down the line!"


"OK - now we're getting somewhere. You did L.I.N.E.S. training, in the rain! That's good training!"


< SIGH > . . . you just can't tell some people . . .

No animals were harmed during the production of this blogpost, and please be aware that the train is moving at about 50 mph during all of the above "action shots" . . . "These are trained professionals . . . do NOT try this at home!!!"

This post is dedicated to Karate Karl, the best damn Sergeant-Major who ever served in United States Army Special Forces . . .
STORMBRINGER SENDS

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WHAT IS STORMBRINGER?

I've been on the road a LOT, at least 50% of the past two-and-a-half years, to all the garden spots: Nigeria, Ethiopia, Dem. Rep. of the Congo, Pakistan, El Salvador (OK that wasn't so bad), Israel (THAT was a fun trip!), Bangladesh, South Africa, South Sudan, Kenya, Mali and East Timor. Work has interfered with writing, which is my main thing - or at least, I wish I could make it my main thing. Time for a realignment of the aiming stakes. If you're a new visitor to Blog STORMBRINGER, this is what it's all about. If you have seen it before, consider this refresher training. Cheers, and thank you for your support! -S.L.


STORMBRINGER is a military blog, primarily dedicated to honoring heroes of the great US / UK / ANZAC / CANADA / ISRAEL Alliance in this conflict forced upon us by the Evildoers of Islamic Fundamentalism. Themes include reports on international security, great battles and notable events of military history, the greatness of Ancient Greece and Rome (and how the civilization of Ancient Rome still exists and prevails), the story of United States Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) and of course from time to time bits of my personal philosophy; inspired by Aristotle, Cicero, Atilla the Hun, John Locke, Benjamin Franklin, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, Ayn Rand and Rush Limbaugh, to name a few.

An essential ingredient of my personal philosophy - a.k.a. The Philosophy of STORMBRINGERISM - is what Ayn Rand refers to as laizee-faire capitalism. The phrase laissez-faire (pronounced: lah-zay-fair) is French and literally means "let do", but it broadly implies "let it be", or "leave it alone." In economics, laissez-faire describes an environment in which transactions between private parties are free from state intervention, including restrictive regulations, taxes, tariffs and enforced monopolies.


Also from Ayn Rand, I embrace the concept of Human Exceptionalism; the belief that human beings have special status in nature based on their unique capacities. This belief is the grounding for some naturalistic concepts of human rights. Taking it a step further, Rush Limbaugh describes the philosophy of American Exceptionalism: the theory that the United States is qualitatively different from other nations. This stems from our emergence from a revolution, and the uniquely American ideology, based on liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, populism and laissez-faire. This observation is traced to Alexis de Tocqueville, the first writer to describe the United States as "exceptional."

STORMBRINGERISM is also about the Cult of the 1911 and the individuals right to self-defense - up to and including lethal force - is a justifiable defense in a court of law:

Pistol US M1911 .45ACP



But, you say, how does this include the Great Alliance; our worthy allies the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel?

Simple: the American experience would not have been if the foundations of Democracy had not been laid in Britain, and before that in Ancient Rome, and before that Ancient Greece. In that, the UK is the Mother Country - has been and always will be - and by default this makes Canada, Australia and New Zealand our brothers and sisters.

But . . . but . . . what about tiny (yet MIGHTY) Israel?

Israel is the oldest country, and at the same time the youngest. The ancient Egyptian Empire and civilization has come and gone . . .


Nobody speaks in hieroglyphics anymore.


. . . and the people who built the pyramids are not the same folks who live in Egypt today. Likewise Babylon . . .


Nobody speaks in cuneiform anymore.


. . . it is gone, ground into the dust, even less of it left than in Egypt. There is still a Syria, but the ancient Assyrian Empire is dead and gone and it's people flung far and wide across the globe in diaspora.

Of these ancient kingdoms and empires of the Old Testament, only Israel remains, the smallest - yet most powerful - of all the countries of the Middle East.


The oldest country in the Middle East is also the only modern democracy in the Middle East.


Modern Israel exists because of Britain and the United States - if it was up to the rest of Europe and the Middle East there wouldn't even be anybody left to occupy a State of Israel. The Islamists - al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Mullah-led theocracy of Iran - view Israel as a Western foothold in their territory, much like the Crusader Kingdoms a thousand years ago. They - the radicals who have hijacked Islam - consider it only a question of time until they drive the Israelis into the sea and get that land back.

As such, Israel is with us, or like the Israeli girls say:

"Don't worry America - ISRAEL IS BEHIND YOU ! ! !"


"VISIT ISRAEL BEFORE ISRAEL VISITS YOU."



Speaking of babes, when I first signed up, SOLDIER Magazine always had a bikini babe featured on the back cover. Along the way they started rationing the cheesecake until sometime toward the end of my first tour I picked up a copy of SOLDIER and flipped to the back page. Staring back at me was a sergeant; all cami'd up and in full battle rattle - talk about taking a hard dose of reality. Well every now and then some imagery may appear on STORMBRINGER that is a throwback to an earlier, simpler time when it was okay for a warrior to tape a pinup girl in his wall locker, or depict one on the nose of his mighty war machine:



People send me all kinds of stuff to post in STORMBRINGER and I appreciate all the support I get. Most of the material sent is political, Tea Party/Make America Great Again-themed stuff - which is great, although I usually tend to wave off politics because it's done elsewhere, and I don't have time enough to dedicate the energy & creative juices to do it right.


STORMBRINGER SENDS











Tuesday, July 18, 2017

BIRKENBEINER

When I reported into 1st/10th Special Forces Group at Panzer Kaserne, Germany, one of the first things I saw was this painting hanging on the wall in Headquarters. I came to learn what it meant, what it signified, and over the course of many winters in the Alps I came to appreciate . .
. SL



In Norway around the year 1200, rival groups shared the identical but opposite goal of controlling the entire country. In 1202, when King Sverre died, he had managed to acquire most of Norway, but in Østerdalen, the group known as 'Baglers' were still very powerful. Sverre's death meant some decrease in the power of the Birkebeins (literally, the rebels were so poor they made their shoes of birch bark). His successor, King Haakon Sverresson, died only two years later, leaving his son Haakon Haakonsson as the ultimate target for the Baglers to get rid of the pretender to the throne. In 1206, the Birkebeiners set off on a dangerous journey through treacherous mountains and forests, taking the now two-year-old Haakon Haakonsson to safety in Trondheim. Norwegian history credits the Birkebeiners' bravery with preserving the life of the boy who later became King Haakon Haakonsson IV, who ended the civil wars in 1240 and forever changed Northern Europe's history through his reign. The events surrounding the journey are dramatized in The Last King:


Norway is ravaged by civil war, and the prince Haakon Haakonsson is born in secrecy. A boy half the kingdom is out to kill, and whom two men have to protect with their own lives. The Last King is the story of the escape which changed the history of Norway forever.

STORMBRINGER SENDS

Monday, July 17, 2017

THE FATEFUL DAY

Odds a Green Beret would survive his secret mission deep into Cambodia and Laos observing and engaging the North Vietnamese along the Ho Chi Minh Trail were remote at best.

Chet Zaborowski, now 69 and a retired special education teacher, calls it his “defining moment in life.”

“Our actions saved hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers’ lives, because we were a thorn in the North Vietnamese side. By us interdicting along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, causing them problems, they did not have free rein to come across into South Vietnam and attack wherever they wanted,” Zaborowski, who volunteered for service in Vietnam in January 1970, said.

He served a one-year tour from April 1970 to 1971 as the team medic with the 5th Special Forces Green Berets, MACVSOG, Military Assistance Command Vietnam Special Operations Group and was stationed in Kontum in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in the tri-border area, where Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam meet.

“It was a secret part of the U.S. Army, where our missions and orders were given to us, not by the president of the United States, but were given to us by the CIA, without the knowledge of the president. If he did not know that combat troops were actually in Laos and Cambodia, where we were actually not supposed to be, he couldn’t be held accountable. They called it ‘plausible deniability,’ ” he said.

Top secret classified documents were recently declassified and, as a result, Sgt. Zaborowski and his fellow team member, Sgt. Clyde Conkin, received a Bronze Star with “V” device for Valor at the Special Operations Association Reunion held Oct. 25, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had both been recommended for Silver Stars.

Their team leader, Sgt. Edward C. Ziobron, was nominated for the Medal of Honor. Ziobron never received that medal, but on Feb. 11, 2005, in Fort Myers, Virginia, he was recognized for heroism and bravery, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross, our nation’s second-highest honor.

Honorees Wounded

All three were wounded. Ziobron’s right Achilles tendon was severed by machine gun fire, Zaborowski said, and Conkin was injured when a piece of metal fragment entered his skull and slid along his brain, exiting the back of his head.

“Had it been a bullet, he would have probably died,” Zaborowski said. “I couldn’t stop the blood. At that time, the mound of dirt we were hiding behind exploded. The NVA (North Vietnamese Army) were throwing tear gas in our direction. So, I put on my gas mask, and I helped Clyde put on his gas mask. The pressure of the bandages and the gas mask were enough to help stop the bleeding.”

Zaborowski was wounded in the shoulder by shrapnel from a B-40 rocket while he was treating Conkin. He also treated the Montagnards, the indigenous people who the Green Berets trained to fight with them.

The Fateful Day

Zaborowski and Ziobron sitting on the side of the Huey helicopter that took them deep into Laos that fateful November day in 1970.

Zaborowski relayed details of his team’s engagement of the NVA while looking for POW camps, base camps and caches of weapons and supplies. From Nov. 26 to 29, 1970, his team engaged the NVA seven times.

On the third day of his mission, his Hatchet Force (platoon) of five Green Berets and 30 Montagnards ran into a battalion size (600 soldiers) NVA base camp. After a two-hour firefight, having inflicted hundreds of NVA casualties and suffering 90 percent casualties (seven killed, 25 wounded) themselves, contact was finally broken. Extraction or resupply was impossible at that time, he said, and being critically low on ammunition they spent the next 16 hours escaping and evading the NVA, until they could be extracted the following day.

“We went into the villages, trained the men to come on the compounds with us and propagate, fight the war. The males of those Montagnards would not come in and fight because they were afraid that if I go fight with you today, tonight the Viet Cong will come over and take my wife and kids. So, we brought the entire families on. That’s what made up our A-sites, which were special forces compounds all along the Laotian and Cambodian borders in South Vietnam. The Montagnards were really good fighters.

“We were 35 people. We ran into a battalion size force of 600 North Vietnamese soldiers. You’re outnumbered 17 to one and you’re in the enemy’s backyard. How do you survive? You survive based on your training, how we all worked together and on how well we can fight and communicate.

“The guy who was on the radio, Ed Ziobron, was wounded and in great excruciating pain, but was still able to communicate our pinpoint position in the jungle to air assets above, so they could come in and hit the enemy.”

Read the rest of it HERE

Respect & Honor

STORMBRINGER SENDS