Battleland

A Final Salute for (Insert Nickname Here)

There’s going to be plenty of Petraeus pageantry and partying all around Pentagon property Wednesday. That’s because Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is hosting a no-holds barred retirement ceremony for Army General David Petraeus after 37 years in uniform. “I’ve been privileged to command organizations that …

U.S. Troops, Wired for War

Fascinating peek into the electronic lives of U.S. troops in Afghanistan by TIME’s John Wendle:

The men who started out in 2001 as Generation Kill have transformed into Generation iPod. As technology has become miniaturized and more portable, U.S. soldiers have increasingly taken laptops, terabytes of movies and video-game systems

U.S. Afghan Toll Reaches New High

Here’s an eye-opener: the number of U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan in August — 61 so far, according to the independent iCasualties.org — is more than the total who died in the first three years of the war: 59.

In fact, the deaths of 30 U.S. troops — including 17 Navy SEALs — shot down in their CH-47 Chinook …

Baby-Killing Python Slated to Help Train Army Rangers

Do you find this unsettling?

A python that killed a 2-year-old Florida girl in 2009 will now be used in training at Eglin Air Force Base. The 8-foot, 6-inch python, named Gypsy, has lived at the Camp Rudder snake house since shortly after the incident. The albino Burmese python now will be used in swamp training at ranger camp…

It seems

Chomp! Let’s Take a Big Bite Out of the Army! Chomp! Chomp!

The last time something so dangerous came from the sea was when Jaws hit screens across America in the summer of 1975. This time, the looming menace from the littorals are Navy advocates who see no problem slashing the Army in the coming budget battles and using some of the savings to keep a sleek and powerful 300-ship U.S. Navy …

This Could Be Big…

Not sure if we can take any more good news on the al Qaeda death front — even with a grain of salt — but reports out of Aden say that Naser Abdel-Karim Wahishi, the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has been killed by the Yemeni military. Wahishi once served as a top aide to the late Osama bin Laden.

“Hop Gun”

Proud Navy pilots around the world are grimacing at this picture of one of their prized, but wounded, F-18 warbirds hitching a recent ride. Air Force loadmasters packed the dewinged Super Hornet into the cavernous belly of their C-5 cargo plane for a nearly 8,000-mile hop from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to San Diego. The plane’s brakes …

Competition Is For Sissies

The Pentagon is always praising competition. So it’s a disconcerting piece that Sharon Weinberger has just posted on the Center for Public Integrity’s website:

While the Pentagon says its overall level of competition has remained steady over the past 10 years, publicly available data shows that Defense Department dollars flowing into

A Less-American Way of War?

We have written about how the war against Libya was waged differently than such multilateral campaigns of the past. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen even told Battleland that the “balance shift[ed] a bit” in the Libyan campaign. “We have been used to the fact that the U.S. should be in the very front line, and absolutely be …

National Guard to the Rescue!

Watch a pair of what appear to be New Jersey National Guard trucks on Sunday, gloriously plowing through Hurricane Irene’s waters in Manville, N.J., some 30 miles southwest of New York City. It’s impressive, at least until they cross under a railroad bridge that is the photographer’s perch. Then he crosses to the other side to see …

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