Sunday, November 30, 2014

SEALs: Defending America on the Sea, Air, and Land -- Part 8

Dear Reader,

Last week, we talked about the vehicles/crafts SEALs use to carry out their missions.  Today, we’re going to learn a bit about some of the weapons they employ.

The weapon of choice for SEALs operating from a water environment is the Heckler and Koch 9mm MP-5A5 Sub-machine gun.  SEALs choose this weapon when in close quarter combat conditions. 

The Navy SEAL sniper rifle is Model 700 Remington.300 Winchester Magnum.  With its 10X Leupold day-scope, it is one of three sniper rifles favored by SEALS, the others being the M-14 with a Sniper kit and a McMillen 50 caliber SASR bolt action rifle.
The limpet mine is part of the SEAL combat swimmer standard equipment.  Attached to a vessel’s hull underwater and set to go off at a precise time after the swimmer is a safe distance away, this mine is a high explosive used for disabling and destroying surface vessels.

Can you imagine the skill and knowledge it takes to employ the above weapons?  SEALs possess not only great physical prowess but also have a high degree of mental acuity and ability to make split-second decisions.  Everything I learn about this special breed of warrior only reinforces my respect and admiration for them.

May the Lord bless you and the United States of America,


Sunday, November 23, 2014

SEALs: Defending America on the Sea, Air, and Land -- Part 7

One of the great things about SEALs is all the cool gadgets and vehicles they use in their missions.

The River Patrol Boat (PBR) is a heavily armed boat designed for high speed patrol and the insertion and extraction of SEAL teams.  The craft includes both single and twin .50 caliber machine gun mounts, 40-mm grenade launchers, and other small arms.

The Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) is a high buoyancy, extreme weather craft, also used for the insertion and extraction of SEALS.  Constructed of glass-reinforced plastic with an inflatable tube gunwale made of hypalon neoprene and nylon-reinforced fabric, the RHIB has the ability to operate in light-loaded condition in winds of 45 knots. 

The Combat Rubber Raiding Craft are used for clandestine surface insertion and extraction of amphibious forces.  SEALs use this craft to help their brothers-in-arms in the US Marine Corps to land and recover reconnaissance squads.

One more:  The Mini-Armored Troop Carrier (MATC) is a 36 foot all aluminum hull craft that is deployed for high-speed patrol, interdiction, and combat assault mission.  With its large well area, the MATC can transport combat-ready troops.  The MATC’s propulsion system has an internal jet pump.

These are but a few of the tools SEALs employ to get the job done.  As remarkable as these crafts are, they do not compare to the men who risk their lives with every mission, who put love of country and honor above all else. 

May the Lord bless you and the United States of America,


Sunday, November 16, 2014

SEALs: Defending America on the Sea, Air, and Land -- Part 6

We’re back to learning more about the SEALs.

One of the things that most intrigued me in my research  is the vast variety of skills SEAL trainees learn. 

One such skill involves a pair of  prospective SEALS exchanging SCUBA (Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus)  equipment underwater in the Combat Training Tank at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado. 

This exercise gives the trainees an extra measure of security in the water and with their equipment.  By simulating an emergency situation in which two divers musts survive from one man’s breathing apparatus, the students learn to depend on each other.

Teamwork is vital to SEAL training and operations.  Though trained to make lightning-quick decisions on their own and to use their instincts, SEALS work as teams and as buddies.

Another skill trainees must master is to swim with their hands and feet  bound.  Imitating a capture situation, the students learn to survive in the water in the most extreme circumstances.

Are you impressed yet with what these courageous warriors can do?  If so, drop by next week for more of their exploits.  If not, drop by anyway and come prepared to be impressed.

May the Lord bless you and the United States of America,


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Veteran's Day

Dear Readers,

We’re going to depart from learning about the SEALs today to talk about Veterans Day.  Originally known as Armistice Day, the name was officially changed to Veterans’ Day  on June 1, 1954.   November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars, including World War II and the Korean War.

World War I, known at the time as “The Great War,”  officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.

However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept to celebrate the end of all wars was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:
“Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed".

World War I was thought to be the end of world wars.  With the advent of World War II and the Korean War, veterans and others petitioned to have the day include a day to honor veterans of all conflicts in which America participated.

Over the years, there was some confusion over which day Veterans Day would be celebrated; however, the purpose of this sacred day will always be a celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and to sacrifice.

May the Lord bless you and the United States of America,


Sunday, November 2, 2014

SEALs: Defending America on the Sea, Air, and Land -- Part 5

Dear Readers,

It seems I can’t pull myself away from writing about SEALs.  I actually met an honest-to-goodness SEAL who came to our writers’ group and talked about his exploits.

To my surprise, he wasn’t a big man.  He probably stood no taller than 5’8” and weighed less than 150 pounds.  He was wiry, had a keen sense of humor, and didn’t mind using words like “kill.”

The other attendees and I were captivated with him and his stories.  One lady who wrote romantic suspense  asked him what was the most efficient way to kill someone.  He said that if you didn’t mind some blood and gore, that running the person over the car was quick, easy, and efficient.

Wow!   I’d imagined something much more exotic, something with stealth and secrecy, but this warrior got right to the point.

Okay.  Enough of my stories.  Let’s get to some down-and-dirty facts about SEALS:

Fact:  President John F. Kennedy, on January 1, 1962, officially signed documents that led to the establishment of SEAL Teams One and Two in the Pacific and Atlantic fleets, respectively.  Personnel from the UDTs composed both groups. 

Fact:  The SEAL Teams were essential for operations in the Vietnam War.    They were the most highly decorated units assigned to duty in that conflict.

Fact:  Twenty years later, in 1983, the four remaining UDTS were officially un-established and reorganized into SEAL teams. 

I hope you enjoy learning more about SEALS as much as I have in researching them. 

May the Lord bless you and the United States of America,