Archive for February, 2015
Stars and Stripes, Published: February 26, 2015
URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.stripes.com/news/pendleton-marines-train-for-large-scale-deployment-1.331728
Gen. Joseph Dunford expects all Marine units to be “physically and mentally ready” to deploy anywhere, at any time, he said in planning guidance released last month. But instead of having every platoon, company and battalion involved in constant training for everything, he has outlined broad responsibilities for each of the three Marine Expeditionary Forces. Commanders and Marines can now focus on core competencies related to specific operations they might be involved in. This rebalance will help address shortfalls in personnel, equipment and training in nondeployed units, he said.
It’s also the first exercise of its size in more than a decade. More than 1,800 Marines and sailors were involved in the training, which simulated the deployment of more than 50,000 U.S. troops. The countries in the exercise are fictional, and no one mentioned a specific threat, even though talk of “anti-access area denial” conjures images of Russia and China.
Inside the sprawling combat operations center — a maze of tents serving as the nerve center for the enormous operation — members of I Marine Expeditionary Force monitored communication lines, pored over intelligence and studied computer screens, planning an enormous battle designed to push invading troops back into their own country and restore international borders.
“We don’t know what’s coming,” said Lt. Col. Doug “Lucky” Luccio, deputy current operations officer for I MEF, as he walked through the command center, pointing out an Army Ranger, civil affairs officers, logistics Marines and intelligence troops. Marine aviation units participated from an operations center at Miramar, 32 miles south. “We have to make sure [the training scenario] is big enough,” he said, so that everyone and every process is tested.
The last time an entire MEF deployed was the march to Baghdad in 2003. Since then, the Marine Corps has deployed smaller forces to Iraq and Afghanistan and other spots around the world. Now, Luccio said, Marines must return to what they call their “core competencies,” instead of focusing solely on counterinsurgency.
Under the new guidance, the California I MEF, which encompasses virtually all of the troops stationed at Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms as well as the Marine Corps air stations in Miramar and Yuma, Ariz., is charged with maintaining proficiency in “major operations and campaigns.”
North Carolina-based II MEF will focus on maintaining proficiency for smaller unit crisis response, in the 12,000 to 20,000-troop range, while the Okinawa-based III MEF will focus on “the full range of military operations” in the Pacific, according to the guidance.
The MEF-level exercise, dubbed MEFEX, means I MEF “is well on [its] way to meeting the commandant’s intent,” said Brig. Gen. Joaquin Malavet, deputy commander of I MEF. A Marine Corps training group of about 60 service members and contractors drove the exercise, acting as the enemy and as the higher headquarters – a sort of “boss” command that pushed information down to the MEF and approved battle plans created by the MEF.
On Wednesday, the I MEF staff began a simulated air and ground attack on the occupying force, which involved not just enveloping the enemy and calling in air strikes, but also keeping the simulated troops supplied and warding off cyberattacks and attacks on the base at Camp Pendleton. The exercise built on training last year that focused on getting Marines from sea to shore, touching on another piece of Dunford’s guidance: naval integration.
Malavet said it just makes sense, because in a real-world situation, the Navy and Marine Corps work together to cover all domains — space, cyber, sea, undersea and ground.
“You have to put in place a series of training exercises that methodically gets at the kind of capabilities and refines and strengthens those capabilities for interoperability that we would need across those domains,” he said. “And the way that you bring that together is with exercises like this MEFEX.”
Athletes know there is a difference between studying game tape and getting out on the field, he said.
“This is about mental memory, muscle memory, unit cohesion,” Malavet said. “The key is to always be prepared, across the full range of military operations.”.
The training wasn’t just for Marines inside the command center. Col. James Herrera’s units were tasked with building, sustaining and protecting the expeditionary base. That included food, generators, communications, mail, sleeping quarters, restroom and shower facilities, chaplain services and base security, said Herrera, commander of I MEF Headquarters Group.
It’s a lot of work, but he said it’s critical for building relationships, improving communication and learning to get things up and running quickly.
Posted by Sarah Zagorski, Feb 27, 2015, Washington, DC
She said, “If abortion wasn’t going to heal anything, I didn’t see the point. I just knew that I had somebody inside my body. I never thought about who her biological father was. She was my kid. She was inside of me.”
Now Lianna, 35, says she has no regrets about choosing life for her child and that her daughter has helped her overcome suicidal thoughts. She said, “It was really hard, but just to see that little person telling me how happy she was that I gave her her life. When she said that — and she was only four years old when she told me: ‘Mommy thank you for giving me life’ — I realized that she was the one who gave me my life back.”
She concluded, “In my situation, two lives were saved. I saved my daughter’s life, but she saved my life. Even though [the rape] was a very hard moment, if I had to go through that [again] just to know and to love my daughter, I would go through that again. She’s always been there for me. She’s the only person who has shown me a real love. And I always will be grateful.”
Learn more about Lianna’s inspiring story in the video below!
International: As His Girlfriend Was Inside Preparing for an Abortion, Boyfriend Rushes in to Save His Baby
Posted by Shawn Carney, Feb 27, 2015, Washington, DC
URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.lifenews.com/2015/02/27/as-his-girlfriend-was-inside-preparing-for-an-abortion-boyfriend-rushes-in-to-save-his-baby/
In Birmingham, England, pro-life advocates outside abortion clinics there report three babies saved from abortions and one fascinating story of a boyfriend who rushed inside an abortion center to save his unborn child from abortion.
Very good news from England … as already the Birmingham team reports three saves so far!
One couple told prayer volunteers they had a one-year-old and were worried they couldn’t cope with another child so soon. “They were going to have an abortion,” Isabel, the local leader said, “but now they had changed their minds.”
Another young couple agreed to go to the pregnancy help center … and they decided to keep their baby.
In the third instance, a young woman was inside the facility while her boyfriend waited outside. The prayer volunteers talked to him, Isabel said, “and he decided to go back inside and get his girlfriend out … and they went off all smiles and waves. God is blessing the hard work and prayers of so many people here!”
As the campaign started, Archbishop Bernard Longley led volunteers in prayer. “He ended with a beautiful blessing which extended to all those who would come and pray there during the 40 days,” Isabel said. “God is blessing the hard work and prayers of so many people here.”
Babies are also being saved in Calgary, Canada:
Steve Karlen, our North American outreach director, helped the team in Calgary kick off their campaign.
“As is the case with many Canadian campaigns,” Steve said, “the situation in Calgary is challenging. Because of a court injunction, the vigil participants are required to stand across the street from the abortion center.”
The volunteers “were delighted to hear how the no-show rate for abortion appointment skyrockets when there are people praying in front of the building.”
This abortion facility is not clearly marked … so it isn’t always clear why there are people praying out on the sidewalks. “Nevertheless,” he said, “the campaign in Calgary knows of at least one baby saved through their efforts, which makes is all worth it for them.”
Posted By Kurt Nimmo | Infowars.com On February 27, 2015
Article reblogged from Infowars: http://www.infowars.com
URL to the Original Posting Site: http://www.infowars.com/obama-thanks-americans-for-supporting-destruction-of-the-internet/
As Ron Paul notes today the FCC is a non-elected federal government agency that has arbitrarily decided — without a vote from Congress or permission from the American people — to regulate the internet. Paul characterizes this as “the largest regulatory power grab in recent history” that will undoubtedly have serious consequences for the average internet user, including the possibility of “de facto censorship of ideas perceived as threatening to the political class – ideas like the troops should be brought home, the PATRIOT Act should be repealed, military spending and corporate welfare should be cut, and the Federal Reserve should be audited and ended.” In addition, the move will likely force online broadcasters and websites like Infowars.com and Drudge to provide “equal opportunities for political opponents.” The FCC is not shy about announcing this is what it plans to do.
Like the Golden Age of Television, the Golden Age of the Internet will be destroyed by the heavy hand of the federal government. Kennedy’s Federal Communications Commission boss, Newton Minow, was responsible not only for destroying the Golden Age of Television, but also centralizing and placing more power in the hands of the big three television networks, which resulted in “reducing the range of choices in programs” and killing off creativity, as Paul Cantor notes.
Obama and the federal government have bent over backwards to portray net neutrality as a win for the little guy. In fact, despite all the siren warnings about socialism and the FCC by Obama’s opponents, the agency is in the pocket of the telecommunications industry and always has been. Its current appointed boss, Tom Wheeler, is a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, with positions including President of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.
“The closer you look at Wheeler’s selection, the more questionable it appears. After being poorly led for more than a decade—particularly under the disastrous tenure of Michael Powell, son of Colin—a strong argument can be made that the last thing the F.C.C. needs is an industry insider with close ties to many of the companies it oversees,” John Cassidy wrote back in 2013 when the White House nominated Wheeler to head up the agency.
Net neutrality is a classic Trojan horse. It will be used not only to censor speech and marginalize opposition to the political class, but will also deliver the internet to large and forever consolidating media corporations.
URL of the Original Posting Site: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/234037-walker-i-took-on-unions-i-can-take-on-isis
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) argued his fight with unions has prepared him to be commander in chief during his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the world,” Walker said in response to a question about international terrorism.
Walker prefaced that by saying he wants “I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately we’ll send a message not only that we’ll protect American soil but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need a leader with that kind of confidence.”
The line is likely to draw attention and could prove problematic for Walker, who like the other governors likely running for president will face heightened scrutiny for his lack of foreign policy experience in a year where GOP voters are increasingly worried about problems abroad. Democrats quickly pounced on the comments.
“If Scott Walker thinks that it’s appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Mo Elleithee sent in a statement to reporters. The Democratic opposition research group American Bridge also circulated a video of Walker’s comments to the media.
Walker’s campaign moved fast to clarify his remarks.
“Governor Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country faces,” a Walker spokeswoman told The Hill via email. “He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS. What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created.”
While the line is likely to prove controversial going forward, Walker’s speech itself may have been the most warmly received of the day by the conservative crowd. The huge ballroom was packed, with hundreds of activists lining the walls after seats filled up; the governor gave the crowd what it wanted.
Walker paced the stage throughout the speech wearing the same shirtsleeves and red tie combination that he wore in the Iowa speech that launched him to the top of early presidential polls last month. And while he started off slowly Walker built momentum throughout the speech, earning multiple standing ovations and getting the loudest applause of the day when he fired back at a protestor as he talked about his push to smash Wisconsin’s unions.
Walker used much of his speech to highlight his gubernatorial record, broadening past his battles with the unions to show he’s a full-spectrum conservative.
“We were a state that had been taxed and taxed and taxed and today I’m proud to say after four years as governor we’ve reduced the burden on hardworking taxpayers by nearly $2 billion. And get this, a typical homeowner in our state is paying less than property taxes now than they were paying four years ago… How many other governors can say that?” he said to cheers.
Walker continued, interrupted time and again by bursts of applause.
“We’ve led the way with lawsuit and regulatory reform. We defunded Planned Parenthood and signed pro-life legislation. We enacted concealed carry and passed castle doctrine, and we passed the law in our state that says if you need to vote you need to vote legally, it should be easy to vote but hard to cheat. In our state we passed a law that says you need a photo ID to vote,” he said to roars.
Walker also sought to burnish his foreign policy credentials as well during the speech, though he was thin on details.
“We need a leader who will stand with Israel, and we need a leader who understands that when the prime minister and leader of our longtime ally asks to come to Congress to share his concerns about Iran we should show him and his country our respect,” he said, taking aim at President Obama’s fight with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We need to show the world that in America you have no better ally and no greater enemy.”