Monday, June 24, 2019

CUBA 2.0 Russia warns build-up of US weapons near its borders risks repeat of Cuban missile crisis as Moscow warship docks in Havana

UBA 2.0
Russia warns build-up of US weapons near its borders risks repeat of Cuban missile crisis as Moscow warship docks in Havana
Neal Baker
25 Jun 2019, 0:03
Updated: 25 Jun 2019, 2:12

Neal Baker
Invalid Date,

RUSSIA has warned the US its build-up of weapons in Europe risks a repeat of the Cuban missile crisis - as a Moscow warship docked near Havana yesterday.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday that US plans to deploy missile systems near the Russian border risks a nuclear standoff on a par with the height of the Cold War.
 Russian warship the Admiral Gorshkov arrives to the port of Havana on Monday - as Moscow warns that the world is on the brink of a repeat of the Cuban missile crisisCredit: EPA
 A US patrol plane flies over a Soviet freighter during the Cuban missile crisis - when the world stood on the brink of nuclear disasterCredit: Getty

The Cuban missile crisis erupted in 1962 when the Soviet Union responded to a US missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba - just miles from the US coastline.
It sparked a tense two-week standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

The crisis was defused when Soviet ships headed for Cuba turned back in the face of a US naval blockade.

Eventually, the Soviet Union agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba in return for the US promising not to invade Cuba.

Washington secretly said it would remove the US missiles from Turkey to avoid a repeat of the near-catastrophe.

We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the Caribbean crisisSergei RyabkovRussian Deputy Foreign Minister

Russia has also been fiercely critical of President Trump's recent withdrawal from the INF arms control treaty.

Mr Ryabkov said yesterday: "If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won't just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit.

"We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the Caribbean crisis" - the Russian term for the 1962 Cuban standoff.

Brink of nuclear apocalypse: Timeline of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when the world stood on the brink of disaster

April 1961: The Soviet Union increases its support for the fledgling communist regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba

Sept 1962: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev orders the installation of nuclear missiles on Cuba - just miles from the US mainland
Oct 14: US spy planes take photographs over Cuba proving that missile sites are being constructed on the island
October 16: US President John F Kennedy convenes his senior advisers to address the crisis
Oct 18 1961: Installation of Russian medium-range SS-4 missiles on Cuba nears completion. The weapons are capable of reaching Washington DC.
Oct 22: President Kennedy addresses the nation and the world to announce a naval blockage of Cuba. In a chilling warning, Kennedy adds that the United States was ready to retaliate if any Soviet missile was launched from Cuba. All US troops worldwide are put on DEFCON 3 - a heightened state of nuclear alert
Oct 24: The USSR blinks as Soviet ships carrying military equipment to Cuba reverse course as they near the blockade. Khrushchev brands the blockade an "act of aggression"
Oct 25: CIA reports that SS-4 missiles are reader to launch from Cuba. Kennedy considers invading the island
Oct 26: The Soviets offer to dismantle the missiles if the US pledges not to invade Cuba
Oct 27: Khrushchev demands the removal of US missiles from Turkey. A US spy plane is shot down over Cuba, killing the pilot - as war looks imminent. Kennedy pledges not to invade Cuba if the Soviet missiles are scrapped
Oct 28: Khrushchev announces the withdrawal of the missiles in return for a US pledge not to invade Cuba. The dismantling of US missiles in Turkey is kept a secret
Nov 20: The US naval blockade around Cuba is lifted

Russian President Vladimir Putin made similar remarks in February.

He warned that Moscow would match any US move to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the US.

Earlier that month, the United States said it would withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia in six months.

It would do so unless Moscow ended violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact - although Russia denies any violations.

The warning came as one of the Russian navy's most advanced warships entered Havana's harbour on Monday.

It docked at the port used until this month by US cruise lines - with tourists seen taking photos of the imposing vessel.

The Admiral Gorshkov - which entered service last year - is armed with cruise missiles, air defence systems and other weapons.

The frigate is based at the Arctic port of Severomorsk and is part of Russia's Northern Fleet.

Explained: What was the Cuban missile crisis?

IN 1962, leaders of the US and Soviet Union engaged in a tense, 13-day political and military standoff over the installation of nuclear-armed Soviet missiles on Cuba.

In a famous TV address, President John Kennedy notified Americans about the presence of the nukes and explained his decision to set up a naval blockade around the island.

He made it clear the US was ready to use force to neutralise the threat to its national security. Following the news, many feared the world was on the brink of nuclear armageddon.

However, disaster was avoided when the US accepted Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s offer to remove the missiles in exchange for the US promising not to invade Cuba.

Kennedy also secretly agreed to remove US missiles from Turkey.

It's the first ship in a new class of frigates intended to replace aging Soviet-era destroyers to project power far away from Russian shores.

The ship is accompanied by the logistics vessel Elbrus, the medium sea tanker Kama and the rescue tug Nikolai Chiker, the Russian navy said.

Cuban forces stationed at the entrance to the Bay of Havana greeted it with a 21-gun salute - and the Gorshkov responded with its own salute.

Russia has not provided details about the purpose of its trip.

But the Kremlin has moved to bolster Russia's military capability amid tensions with the West following the annexation of Crimea in 2014. 

The highly advanced Admiral Gorshkov frigate docked in Havana, Cuba - just miles from the US coastlineCredit: Reuters
 Sailors on board the Russian warship gave a salute to their Cuban counterparts as they docked in Havana on MondayCredit: AFP or licensors
 A Russian S-300 air defence system launches a missile during military exercises in a remote area near Astrakhan, Russia, last weekCredit: Reuters
President John F Kennedy addressed the nation and the world to warn of Cuban missile threatCredit: Getty Images - Getty

 US spy planes photographed missile sites being erected in Cuba - sparking an international crisisCredit: Handout The Soviets ordered a massive build-up of long-range weapons on Cuba to threaten the USCredit: AP:Associated Press
 Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev meeting President Kennedy in 1961 - just a year before the Cuban crisisCredit: AP:Associated Press
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro seized power in 1959Credit: Splash News

Jerry Caught Out On A Midnite Ride With His Sweetie Pie!

Man Is Jerry Cool or What?
We'll Call Him "The Midnite Rider"

TheList 5029

The List 5029 TGB

I hope that you all have a great weekend


Today in Naval History

June 21

1898 During the Spanish-American War, the cruiser USS Charleston captures the island of Guam without resistance from Spain, because the Spanish Navy had no sufficient ammunition for defense.

1919 The German navy scuttles its own fleet at Scapa Flow. After the Nov. 11 Armistice, the surrendered German ships are divided by Allies. German officers then organize a mass destruction of the fleet that occurs on this day.

1942 PBY aircraft from (VP 24) recovers a two-man torpedo bomber crew from USS Enterprise (CV 6) 360 miles north of Midway after their plane went down June 4. The aviators are the last survivors of the Battle of Midway to be recovered.

1944 USS Newcomb (DD 586) and USS Chandler (DMS 9) sink Japanese submarine (I 185), 90 miles east-northeast of Saipan. Also on this date, USS Bluefish (SS 222) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Kanan Maru off southern approaches to Makassar Strait while USS Narwhal (SS 167) sinks Japanese powered sailboat No.2 Shinshu Maru, 12 miles southwest of Culasi.

Today in Naval History

June 22

1807 Frigate USS Chesapeake, commanded by James Barron, is stopped by British frigate HMS Leopard after killing several of her crew and take Royal Navy deserters. Barron is court-martialed for not having his ship prepared to fight.

1884 USS Thetis, USS Alert, and USS Bear, under Cmdr. Winfield S. Schley, rescue Lt. Adolphus W. Greely and six of his exploring party from Cape Sabine, where they are marooned for three years.

1898 During the Spanish-American War, the Spanish destroyer Terror joins Isabel II in an attempt to torpedo USS Saint Paul, which fires at Terror, damaging the ship.

1943 USS Monaghan (DD 354) attacks the Japanese submarine (I 7) 10 miles south of Cape Hita. (I 7) runs aground, becoming irreparably damaged, 12 miles south-southeast of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.

1963 The nuclear-powered submarines USS Tecumseh (SSBN 628), USS Daniel Boone (SSBN 629), USS Flasher (SSN 613), and USS John Calhoun (SSBN 630) are all launched in one day, emphasizing the Navys accelerated nuclear-submarine construction program.

Today in Naval History

June 23

1812 During the War of 1812, Commodore John Rodgers leads a squadron onboard USS President off New York until she battles HMS Belvidera. The first shot of the War of 1812 is fired by USS President during this engagement.

1861 During the Civil War, the Confederate Navy begins reconstruction of ex-USS Merrimack as the ironclad CSS Virginia at Gosport (Norfolk) Navy Yard, Va.

1898 During the Spanish-American War, USS Dixie fires on two Spanish gunboats at Maria Aguilar Point, Cuba.

1933 USS Macon (ZRS 5) is commissioned. Less than two years later, Macon crashes during a storm off Point Sur, Calif., ending the Navy's program of rigid airship operations.

1942 While on a routine search, a PBY rescues most of the crew of S 27 (SS 132) at Constantine Harbor, Amchitka, Aleutian Islands. The rest are brought out the next day.

1945 PB4Y 2s (VPB 118), flying from Okinawa, continue aerial mining of waters of Korean Archipelago, sowing mines in waters in channel north of Lion Do and Gantai Do, and off Ninshi Do and Chi Do.

Thanks to CHIINFO

Executive Summary:

• Today's national headlines are dominated by the fallout of Iran's actions yesterday with members of Congress debating on whether to negotiate or retaliate and the FAA prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in areas of Iran-controlled airspace.

• Several news outlets report that the U.S. was preparing to launch a retaliatory strike against Iran, but the attack was called off at the last minute.

• The U.S. Navy has released the final request for proposal for FFG(X), reports USNI News.

• USNI News also reported on how BALTOPS 2019 is focusing on high-end skills to adjust to a changing security environment.

Today in History June 21


The Peace of Breda ends the Second Anglo-Dutch War as the Dutch cede New Amsterdam to the English.


Christopher Wren begins work on rebuilding St. Paul's Cathedral in London after the Great Fire.


The French royal family is arrested in Varennes.


C. H. McCormick patents the first practical reaper.


Union and Confederate forces skirmish at the Chickahominy Creek.


In the second day of fighting, Confederate troops fail to dislodge a Union force at the Battle of LaFourche Crossing.


Britain celebrates the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.


General Douglas MacArthur offers amnesty to Filipinos rebelling against American rule.


Mulai Hafid again proclaims himself the true sultan of Morocco.


Porforio Diaz, the ex-president of Mexico, exiles himself to Paris.


Germany uses poison gas for the first time in warfare in the Argonne Forest.


Germans scuttle their own fleet at Scapa Flow, Scotland.


Baseball legend Lou Gehrig is forced to quit baseball because of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis--a disease which wastes muscles.


German General Erwin Rommel captures the port city of Tobruk in North Africa.


Japanese forces on Okinawa surrender to American troops. After 92 days


Dr. Peter Goldmark demonstrates his "long-playing" record.


A federal judge allows Little Rock, Arkansas to delay school integration.


France announces it will withdraw from the NATO fleet in the North Atlantic.


Three civil rights workers disappear in Meridian, Mississippi.


John Hinckley Jr. is found not guilty by reason of insanity for attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan.


The U.S. Senate votes against the nomination of Dr. Henry W. Foster for Surgeon General.



U.S. Constitution ratified

New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land. By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederation were apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and... read more »

New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.

By 1786, defects in the post-Revolutionary War Articles of Confederation were apparent, such as the lack of central authority over foreign and domestic commerce. Congress endorsed a plan to draft a new constitution, and on May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention convened at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. On September 17, 1787, after three months of debate moderated by convention president George Washington, the new U.S. constitution, which created a strong federal government with an intricate system of checks and balances, was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates present at the conclusion of the convention. As dictated by Article VII, the document would not become binding until it was ratified by nine of the 13 states.

Beginning on December 7, five states–Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut–ratified it in quick succession. However, other states, especially Massachusetts, opposed the document, as it failed to reserve undelegated powers to the states and lacked constitutional protection of basic political rights, such as freedom of speech, religion, and the press. In February 1788, a compromise was reached under which Massachusetts and other states would agree to ratify the document with the assurance that amendments would be immediately proposed. The Constitution was thus narrowly ratified in Massachusetts, followed by Maryland and South Carolina. On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the document, and it was subsequently agreed that government under the U.S. Constitution would begin on March 4, 1789. In June, Virginia ratified the Constitution, followed by New York in July.

On September 25, 1789, the first Congress of the United States adopted 12 amendments to the U.S. Constitution–the Bill of Rights–and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of these amendments were ratified in 1791. In November 1789, North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. Rhode Island, which opposed federal control of currency and was critical of compromise on the issue of slavery, resisted ratifying the Constitution until the U.S. government threatened to sever commercial relations with the state. On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island voted by two votes to ratify the document, and the last of the original 13 colonies joined the United States. Today the U.S. Constitution is the oldest written constitution in operation in the world.


Thanks to Dr. Rich


Ladies and Gentlemen Aviators

Today it takes only money to fly across the Atlantic, but 100 years ago it took mostly courage, and a lot of trust in untrustworthy technology. Follow this link to learn more.


Thanks to Mud

It's so clear one has to wonder how the reporter could ask such a stupid question.

This is put so well. Cannot help but wish more people could see things clearly simply said.


Trey Gowdy , a former South Carolina Congressman, responded to a question from a CNN reporter about the ban of transgenders from joining the U.S. armed forces. As Trey typically does so very well, he nailed
it rather succinctly.

Question: How can President Trump claim to represent all U.S citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, when he banned transgenders from
joining the military? Isn't that discrimination?

Trey Gowdy's Response: Nobody has a right to serve in the Military. Nobody! What makes you people think the Military is an equal opportunity employer? It is very far from it - and for good reasons - let me cite a few"

The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short. Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for
missing or additional fingers." he went on to explain: "By the way, poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth. Malnourished? Drug addiction?

Bad back? Criminal history? Low IQ? Anxiety? Phobias? Hearing damage? Six arms? Hear voices in your head? Self-identification as a Unicorn? Need a special access ramp for your wheelchair?"

"Can't run the required course in the required time? Can't do the required number of push-ups? Not really a morning person? and refuse to get out of bed before noon? All can be legitimate reasons for denial"
*"The Military has one job: Winning War. Anything else is a distraction and a liability.***Did someone just scream? That isn't Fair? War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful."

"YOU must change yourself to meet Military standards and not the other way around."

"I say again: You don't change the Military - you must change yourself. The Military is not about being fair, it is about winning. The Military doesn't need to accommodate anyone with special issues. The Military needs to Win Wars and keep our Country safe - PERIOD!


Thanks to Barrel

For those who grew up in SoCal and watched TV Cal Worthington was a car dealer who was always on TV selling his cars. Always had the large Cowboy hat and had his dog named Spot. Spot later morphed into any number of animals from big cats to elephants and many in between. To find this about him was quite a surprise

Who knew Cal Worthington was a B-17 pilot ig


Thanks to Jim

Great story about Top Gun, but sadly no mention of the pivotal role played by Cubic Corp who designed and built the associated combat training ranges around the world.

"Going to the trailer" was a cornerstone of the Topgun training where you got to debrief for real and not for the first one back to the white board. But the Topgun Instructors were very good at remembering each engagement.


Thanks to Dr. Rich

Thanks to Rick and Billy...

A long, but interesting, read ...

Libyan MiG-23 pilot remembers a memorable dogfight with U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats

See the MiG-23 Flogger pilot's narrative below my lengthy comments and recollections. Any of y'all who were involved in Libyan intercepts are welcome to chime in with comments.

For the uninitiated civilians out there, here is one January 1989 Libyan intercept audio (with some video) released by the Navy:

...And a bit more detail on the 4 January 1989 shoot-down of two MiG-23 Floggers by VF-32 Tomcats north of Tubruq, Libya.

The several times that the Floggers turned into the Tomcats for an offensive position indicated hostile intent.

Disregard the fakey synthetic video of the F-14's, which shows them almost always with wings at 20-degree angle--they would have had wings fully swept to gain speed rushing into the fight. Also, they would not have had afterburner lit all the time wasting fuel, as suggested by the video.

When my friend Guy Thomas said he was involved in MiG intercepts in North Vietnam, he was the lead SSES SIGINT watch operator and CIC liaison onboard a USN guided missile cruiser in the Gulf of Tonkin that served as the forward air defense "sentry," closest to the North Vietnamese coast, for the two carrier strike groups operating against North Vietnam. He notched up several engagements with the ship's 40 NM range TALOS SAMs, with targeting based on SIGINT correlation to airborne MiGs lifting off from known military airfields against inbound US aircraft. If I recall, the ship claimed at least 3 MiG kills, though there were no USN aircraft in the area to visually confirm the bandits splashed (the MiGs' pilots suddenly went silent and were never heard from again). This was an early original application of what later (in the late 1990s) became known in Fleet anti-air warfare as "CEC"--the Cooperative Engagement Capability (for background see ).


---------- Original Message ----------
Date: June 17, 2019 at 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: Libyan MiG-23 pilot remembers a memorable dogfight with U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcats - Aviation Geek Club

Thank you for this open-source gem. My prior knowledge of what was going on in the Libyan side came from listening to the SIGINT intercept audio of engagements (for years even after I left VF-32/CVW-1) from Burning Wind Med RC-135's and the VQ-2 EP-3E's that were always on-station in support whenever the Libyans and our boys operated near each other. I was extremely lucky to fly once with 2-2-guns tuned AIM-7F/AIM-9L missiles and a healthy AWG-9 radar on an overhead CAP above JFK CV-67 below the "Line of Death" in Aug 1978 when Soviet trainer pilots were showing off and putting the Libyans' newly-delivered MiG-25 Foxbat-B/D through their moves in zoom-climbs and dives at Mach 2+ along the coast, just 40 NM away from me. The Foxbats' velocity vectors stretched almost all the way across the screen on my scope presentation, the only opportunity I had to track supersonic contacts! I debriefed many F-14 crews in CVIC from 1978 to 1981 after encounter flights in the Gulf of Sirte. One of the Fitter-killers, the late Hank Kleemann (then in VF-41 Black Aces) was previously my Ops-O boss in VF-32 and described his engagement in detail.

First of all--with your background and with that of our colleagues on this distro--we all know that no Libyans ever "surprised" our aircraft or ships, because we already had them dead to rights on the ground from their first call to the tower, or when their AI radar flipped onto standby mode while taxiing from the flight line to the runway. By the time they would have picked up any Tomcats on GCI vectors with their radar at 45km, the Floggers and Fitters would have been locked up a long time by the AWG-9 from at least 60-70 NM separation (over 100km). In fact, on many intercepts we would hear the Libyans very quickly decide to bug out and run for base whenever their RHAW gear indicated they were locked up by an F-14 AWG-9 in forward aspect. Further, HUMINT indicated that most of the Libyan pilots expected to die in an air-to-air engagement against USN Tomcats--practically a suicide mission that they had no appetite for. There was one Libyan MiG-23 pilot in 1980 described as sporting a huge black walrus mustache who seemed particularly aggressive and disdainful of American presence off Libya, flipping off our guys as he turned for home base when aircraft joined to visual range to escort the Libyans away from the carrier. And BTW, it can be fairly stated that during most of our Gulf of Sirte ops near or below Qadhafi's "Line of Death" in the 1978 and 1980 Med deployments we were following orders from the National Command Authority to essentially "troll for Libyans," and to give them a bloody nose with fairly weapons-free Rules of Engagement if they were stoopid enough to show hostile intent.

Thus, there were few if any "dissimilar air combat maneuvers" dogfights between the LAAF and USN. The one blow-through merge-plot and subsequent turning engagement described here by the Libyan was not as glorious for him or as even-handed as he describes. While he was turning with one set of Tomcats, the other 2 F-14's in the section had him and his buddy locked up for AIM-7F snap-up shots in the heart of the envelope, and they then took turns with the 1st two Tomcats in turning around and into sweetheart shots at the Floggers' six o'clock at one NM. If missiles or guns had been fired, the Floggers would have been dead meat in seconds, as they were within Fox-1/-2/guns criteria the whole time. Our pilots reported that the latest export variant Floggers did NOT prove to be as maneuverable in slow-speed turning engagements as we had expected (or as the Libyan pilot claimed). His Flogger performed at best like a slatted F-4 Phantom, but did have an advantage in subsonic acceleration. Nearing transsonic speed, as on a dive, the Floggers visibly shook and vibrated from buffet (apparently a problem for all MiG aircraft until the more recent variants of the MiG-29 Fulcrum). The Floggers' variable-wing settings were very slow in response to pilot inputs.

The AA-2B Atoll AAM fired by a Libyan Su-22 Fitter-K in 1981--just before the two of them got their asses shot down by Hank Kleemann's Tomcats--was an absolute mistake and done in terror. Soviet fighters used only a single detent switch (unlike our double-detent circuits for greater safety), so once their master arm was on, the missiles were live all the way. The ATOLL also had a recognized tendency to cook off the rail when armed if the aircraft pulled a high-G maneuver. According to the audio in the 1981 shoot-downs, we heard the Libyan pilots report their master arm switch turned on as they went feet-wet over the Gulf (standard operating procedure for them). A little while later, the already jittery Libyan pilots panicked when their RHAW gear indicated they were locked up by the AWG-9 of the F-14's coming at them head-on. The lead Libyan made a bug-out head-for-home call to his wingman, and did what looked like a snap-roll to turn 180 degrees for the Libyan coast. As he did so, one AA-2B IR-guided ATOLL came off his rail. Fortunately, (1) the Tomcats were still well out of ATOLL range, and (2) the I-R missile "guided" upward toward the sun overhead and never threatened our aircraft. However, our SIGINT confirmed the launch....The Libyan lead hesitatingly and slowly told his GCI controller in English...."Ah, uh....I have....launched my missile..."and his voice trailed off as if in disbelief of his Oopsy, and as if he knew he was in deep sh*t. Of course, a missile launch was all the evidence that our side needed of Libyan hostile intent, and Kleemann's 2-ship saw the missile contrail a few miles away. They requested and got immediate "clear to fire." The rest is history.

I have never seen any HUMINT evidence elsewhere that the Libyans or Soviets considered the F/A-18A Hornet as substantially less capable than the F-14 in a turning engagement. Although it did not have the tight turning ability at low speed like the variable-wing-geometry F-14, the F/A-18A had a better thrust to weight than the F-14A Tomcat in an air-to-air missile ordnance configuration (but not better than the re-engined F-14D)

Muchas gracias, --Julio

On June 17, 2019 at 5:32 AM Guy Thomas wrote:

Click below to get the other side of the story

Great first-hand report of what It was like to fight AGAINST USN F-14s.

As a guy who participated in over 30 MiG engagements in Vietnam I can just imagine what the SIGINT direct support elements on BOTH sides were doing during all this.

Especially during the actual engagement when the MiG pilots were being told to disengage and they chose not to.

Very good stuff. Brought back a lot of memories from Summer and Fall of 1968 and May of 1972.


My brother was involved in the rescue, from "eyes in the sky" Buzzard


Thanks to Glen

the Lt Col Goldfein rescue...

...and not even a casual mention of those who received and triangulated on his beacon as he was descending and set up the rescue. We were Moonbeam or Bookshelf callsign that night and designated Rescue Leads. My crew! We were airborne that night. Within 5 mins of shoot down we had his position nailed down using our "suitcase interrogator". It was an encrypted device that sent difficult to detect "pings" (encrypted). We notified the Rescue Coord Center in Italy that told us rescue forces out of Brindisi, Italy could be there in 2-3 hours. Not acceptable. We used our other assigned ground rescue (Army and NATO units). Nope. Too far away.

We quickly called around on satcom and learned the USAF guys were training with the Army SpecOps in Tuzla (on the Serb border) and might be able to help. They were not on alert and had to be cold scrambled.

We called, they responded. That's that.

Funny thing? The day of the shoot down and hours before either one of us took off on our respective missions, both Goldfein, myself and the other Sq commanders attended daily Wing Commander's "stand up". Goldfein's assigned seat was two down the table from mine. The next day? He was there again. A lot had happened in 24 hours!

So...the rest of the story.

Ps. we were also involved in the Scott O'Grady and Vega 31 (mentioned in this article) rescues.

Jerry & His Passenger Taking An Evening Ride Around DC On This Warm Summer Eve!

Fwd: MOON SONGS Jack Blanchard's Column June 24, 2019


A friend asked me why there are so many "Moon" songs.
I tried to respond intelligently, which isn't easy for me.
Here are a few moon thoughts...

The moon has been a thing of mystery, romance, and squirreliness
for so many centuries,
that a couple of astronauts fooling around up there can't change that.
It's in our genetic memories, and it's a little spooky when Bela,
our neighbor's bat, flies in front of it.

They have moons at night, just when we need the light.
Coincidence? I think not.
"Moon" rhymes with: June, goon, spoon, maroon, prune, saloon, balloon, croon, spittoon, buffoon, baboon, pantaloon, Loony-Toon, macaroon, raccoon, harpoon, and Daniel Boone.
Songwriters need the moon. How would "Nothing Over Miami" sound?
Some people see a man in it. I think it's Franklin Roosevelt.

My uncle told me that it was a hole in the sky.
He would admit that the Earth is round,
but maintained that it's hollow, and we're on the inside.
With early teaching like that, how did you expect me to turn out?
He would eat only white food... like sugar, flour, rice, and so on.
He said it's whiteness was an obvious sign of purity.
He was a food racist.
You think these are uncle jokes, don't you? Unfortunately, they're true.

Even though my intellect tells me
that the moon is just a hunk of white stuff that might fall on me,
I will continue to throw it into songs.

Jack Blanchard

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan
Home Page:
Billboard Duet of the Year, Grammy and CMA Finalists
 Jack Blanchard, 2019

The Victim Told Cops His Girlfriend "Squeezed Them Until They Were Bleeding"

Since some of you have asked for it, here is the police report detailing the arrest of the 21-year-old

    Florida Woman whose boyfriend alleged that she “grabbed him by the balls and squeezed them until
    they were bleeding.”
    Katie Lee Pitchford was arrested Tuesday following a 4 AM altercation with the victim at the couple’s Indian Harbour Beach residence.

    Seen at right, Pitchford was charged with domestic battery, a misdemeanor. She also faces a probation violation charge in connection with a 2017 felony case for resisting a police officer with violence (Pitchford kicked a cop in the face, groin, and leg after she was found rummaging through a stranger’s car).

    According to the June 4 battery report, Pitchford “became enraged and struck her boyfriend with a brush” and punched him in the face.

    When cops interviewed the man, he had blood running down his face and his left eye “was starting to bruise.” The victim recounted the alleged testicle throttling, adding that Pitchford also choked him.

    While Pitchford denied to police that the duo’s dispute turned physical, she asked an officer if she “could talk to the victim because she wanted to say she was sorry.”

    Pitchford, who was booked into the Brevard County jail on $1000 bond, has been ordered by a judge to have no contact with the victim. She is scheduled for a June 25 arraignment.

Russia warns of repeat of 1962 Cuban missile crisis

Russian guided missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov enters Havana's bay, Cuba, June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The U.S. deployment of land-based missile systems near Russia’s borders could lead to a stand-off comparable to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying on Monday.

Russia has been fiercely critical of U.S. plans to deploy missile systems in eastern Europe, and of Washington’s withdrawal from the INF arms control treaty.

The Cuban missile crisis erupted in 1962 when the Soviet Union responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

The crisis was defused when Soviet ships headed for Cuba turned back in the face of a U.S. naval blockade. Eventually, the Soviet Union agreed to remove its missiles from Cuba; in return, the United States promised not to invade Cuba and, secretly, said it would remove the U.S. missiles from Turkey.

“If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won’t just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit,” RIA news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying.

“We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the Caribbean crisis,” Ryabkov said, using the standard Russian term for the Cuban missile crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made similar remarks in February, when he warned that Moscow would match any U.S. move to deploy new nuclear missiles closer to Russia by stationing its own missiles closer to the United States, deploying faster missiles or both.

Earlier that month, the United States said it would withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia in six months unless Moscow ended violations of the landmark 1987 arms control pact. Russia denies any violations.

Today's Devotional

Today's Devotionals

June 24, 2019
Second Chances
 Listen to this devotion
"But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.'" Numbers 20:12 (NIV)
My daughter Noelle and I were giddy with excitement! We were about to see one of our favorite Christian bands in concert. Amazingly, I was able to get backstage passes to meet the band before the concert. I walked up to the special guests table and gave them our names.
The lady looked skeptically at us. "Nope," she said. "I don't see your names. You have to have your names on the list to get backstage."
I quickly texted my contact to try to remedy the problem. The "Promised Land" of going backstage was rapidly closing. 
Perhaps this was a small glimpse of how Moses might have felt when he was denied access to the Promised Land. I'm sure he was far more disappointed than we were! We find Moses' sad tale in Numbers 20. The people of Israel were contending with Moses yet again, wishing they would have died as slaves in Egypt instead of trekking through the wilderness.
God specifically commanded Moses to speak to the rock to bring forth water. Instead, Moses proclaimed, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" (Numbers 20:10b), and he lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, completely ignoring God's command to speak to the rock.
Our key verse reveals the consequence of Moses' disobedience and disbelief: "But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them'" (Numbers 20:12).
It was a terrible, heartbreaking blow for Moses. There was a list of people — an entire nation — who would walk into the Promised Land. Moses was not on that guest list.
But thankfully, the story doesn't end there.
In the Gospels, we read about the Transfiguration of Jesus. Who was on that high mountain with Jesus Christ? Moses! Matthew 17:2b-3 speaks of the Transfiguration of Jesus: "His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus" (NIV).
Moses might have been denied a backstage pass to the Promised Land, but here he was in full color standing on the mountaintop with Jesus Himself. Moses represented the law, and now here he is with Jesus, the fulfillment of the law.
Moses' life on earth ended on a disappointing note in Numbers (and in the next book of the Bible, Deuteronomy), but here he stands in the New Testament as a friend of God. What a glorious second chance! There was a very short guest list at the Transfiguration … and Moses was on it.
Maybe you've felt left off a "guest list" before. Your marriage isn't as happy as your friend's. Or maybe you're single, and you wish you weren't. You've been passed over for a job promotion that you felt you deserved. You've sinned, and you're not sure how to relate to God now. Take heart. We serve a God of second chances.
By the way, my daughter Noelle and I did get a second chance to get backstage. Our names were added to the list, and we eventually got to meet one of our favorite bands after all. The hassle made that special opportunity even sweeter. Let's believe God for second chances in life and give thanks ahead of time.
Heavenly Father, thank You for second chances in life. Forgive me for my disobedience and disbelief. I don't want to harden my heart like the nation of Israel did while they were wandering through the wilderness. I believe Romans 8:28, that You are working all things together for my good. I love You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Psalm 77:20, "You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." (NIV)
Hebrews 3:7-9, "So, as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did." (NIV)
Have you ever struggled to find the words to pray? Maybe you're feeling the sting of rejection, or dealing with a troubling relationship. No matter what you're facing today, God's Word has the comfort you need. When you donate to Proverbs 31, you'll get Lysa TerKeurst's Steady Your Soul: A 21-day Prayer and Journal Learn how to calm the chaos through prayer, and overcome feeling helpless by inviting God into your situation. Click here to learn more.
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Can you relate to Moses when he struck the rock and spoke out in frustration, instead of faith? Take a moment to confess your need for a stronger faith in God, and bring your frustrations before Him.
Are you feeling left out in any area of your life? How might God be working behind the scenes to mature you and help you to grow? We'd love to hear your story!
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