Sunday, October 29, 2006

First Ever Military Valour Decorations.

Sergeant Patrick Tower, Sergeant Michael Thomas Victor Denine, Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, Private Jason Lamont
General Rick Hillier, the Chief of the Defence Staff, introduced today four Canadian soldiers who have been awarded Military Valour Decorations. The following honoured soldiers will be introduced to the media:

Sergeant Patrick Tower, of Victoria, British Columbia – The Star of Military Valour;
Sergeant Michael Thomas Victor Denine, of Edmonton, Alberta – Medal of Military Valour;
Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, of Morrisburg, Ontario (great town!) – Medal of Military Valour; and Private Jason Lamont, of Greenwood, Nova Scotia – Medal of Military Valour.

The Military Valour Decorations were created in 1993 so today is a historic moment in Canadian military history. Military Valour Decorations are national honours awarded to recognize acts of valour, self-sacrifice, gallantry and devotion to duty in combat in the presence of the enemy. They consist of the Victoria Cross, the Star of Military Valour and the Medal of Military Valour. Below is a snippet from
the CBC story:

"Incredible soldiers. Canadians have heard me go on endlessly about what treasures they have in uniform and what credentials they are in fact for Canada internationally." The Star of Military Valour is going to Sgt. Patrick Tower, who is based in Edmonton and is originally from Victoria. On Aug. 3, Tower led a platoon medic and another soldier across 150 metres of open terrain and under heavy enemy fire to help wounded comrades. After learning the acting platoon commander had been killed, he assumed command and successfully got his troops out under continuous fire from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. "People use the terms hero and things like that. When I think of the 3rd of August and what happened that day — that's the worst day of my life," said Tower, 34. "We lost four guys in my platoon that day, and one of them was my best friend and to use the term hero, that's what I would use to describe them."

Sgt. Michael Thomas Denine of Edmonton exposed himself to enemy fire on May 17 after the main cannon and machine gun on his light armoured vehicle malfunctioned. Denine moved to the machine gun on top of the vehicle and laid down a steady stream of fire, forcing the enemy to withdraw. "I was pretty scared but I wanted to get it done. I knew what I had to do," Denine recalled. "Anybody in my platoon in that car that day, if they were in the same position they would have done the same thing."

On May 24, Master Cpl. Collin Ryan Fitzgerald of Morrisburg, Ont., and based at CFB Shilo in Manitoba, repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire by entering and re-entering a burning platoon vehicle and successfully driving it off a roadway, permitting remaining vehicles trapped in the enemy zone to break free. The final medal will go to Pte. Jason Lamont of Greenwood, N.S., who is also based in Edmonton. He is being recognized for his actions July 13, when members of a reconnaissance platoon were cut off during a firefight. The medic sprinted through open terrain to administer first aid to a wounded soldier.

+ 70 terrorists killed in Afghanistan +++ Foreign militants turn attention from Iraq to fight in Afghanistan +++ Egypt moves 5,000 troops near Gaza border +++ Gunmen opened fire on a convoy of Iraqi Sunni pilgrims bound for the holy city of Mecca on Sunday, killing at least one person meanwhile U.S. and Iraqi forces killed about 17 terrorists in a battle north of Baghdad

"Sadly, in asymmetric warfare, when you're battling an insurgency, typically the insurgents do not play by the same rules that we would like to play by," U.S. Gen. James L. Jones said.

+ Canadian spies worked on the ground this year in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan and are increasingly taking part in operations abroad, the director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has revealed.

23 September 2006 the US Navy christened Freedom, the first littoral combat ship (LCS) during a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corp
On 23 September 2006 the US Navy christened Freedom, the first littoral combat ship (LCS) during a ceremony at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, Wis. The nation’s first Littoral Combat Ship, Freedom (LCS 1) – the inaugural ship in an entirely new class of U.S. Navy surface warships. A fast, agile, and high-technology surface combatant, Freedom will act as a platform for launch and recovery of manned and unmanned vehicles. Its modular design will support interchangeable mission packages, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, or surface warfare missions on an as-needed basis. The LCS will be able to swap out mission packages pierside in a matter of hours, adapting as the tactical situation demands. These ships will also feature advanced networking capability to share tactical information with other Navy aircraft, ships, submarines and joint units. Freedom is the first of two LCS seaframes being produced. Freedom is an innovative combatant designed to operate quickly in shallow water environments to counter challenging threats in coastal regions, specifically mines, submarines and fast surface craft. The LCS is capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Read more (more pics too).

Lt. Michael McCave consoles a widow with four children in Kirkuk, Iraq
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael McCave consoles a widow with four children in Kirkuk, Iraq. McCave is from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

In cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Phantom Works soon will begin ground testing of its X-48B Blended Wing Body (BWB)
EDWARDS, Calif., Oct. 27, 2006 -- In cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Phantom Works soon will begin ground testing of its X-48B Blended Wing Body (BWB) concept in preparation for flight testing early next year. Read more.

Photo: Engineers have installed a small-scale blended wing body prototype in an historic wind tunnel that once hosted some of America's greatest aviation pioneers, including Orville Wright, Howard Hughes and Charles Lindbergh. Designated the X-48B by the U.S. Air Force, the prototype was developed by Boeing Phantom Works. It is being tested in the Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
NASA's X-48B site.

+
A New Playground for Terrorists: "Counter-terrorism authorities are concerned with the growing ability and skills of terrorists to spread their propaganda through the conversion of the Internet into a globally efficient recruitment tool. It is all the more worrying since the second-generation of Jihadis are able to indoctrinate, train and take actions through the help of the Internet alone."
+
The Islamic Movements' Achievements in Nine Arab Countries' Parliaments: "In light of Hamas' victory in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections and the establishment of a terrorist government, and in light of the prominent achievements of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 2005 elections to the People's Assembly in Egypt, it is interesting to examine the Islamic Movements' achievements in other Arab countries."

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