Palestinians are flying ‘fire balloons’ into Israeli territory, report says

Palestinian protestors are sending flaming helium balloons into Israeli territory during the “March of Return” protests in Gaza, following similar stories last month of burning “incendiary kites” being flown and injuring protestors.

The tactic has resulted in thousands of acres of valuable farm land and nature preserves being burned, the Times of Israel reported.

The helium balloons outfitted with flaming material attached to a long string have been used for at least the last month and a half, but the tactic has more recently picked up traction. Approximately 4,300 acres of land have already been burned as a result of more than 250 fires during the last two months from both balloons and kites.

For now, the Israeli military says that it has yet to come up with a way to combat the threat of the flaming objects. Originally, a pilot program utilizing drones to shoot down the objects was in practice, but ultimately deemed a failure, Israel’s Kan TV said. Instead, Israel must resort to preparedness and a rapid response when fires do break out.

The biggest problem, authorities said, is that the fires have destroyed valuable farm land along with more than half of Isreal’s nature reserves. Farmers are tasked with digging out borders surrounding the fires in order to starve the flames out and save some of the land, and around 2,470 acres of parks and natural reserves have also been destroyed just in the last few weeks.

On Saturday, some 74 acres of the Carmia nature reserve burned in one of the largest individual fires since the start of the protests. The damage claimed one-third of the park’s total land area, and Israel’s Hadashot news reported that the blaze was likely started by a fire balloon.

Approximately 620 acres of Jewish National Fund forests have also burned, according to a spokesperson for the organization.

The fires will likely cost Israel millions of dollars in damages, with the Tax Authority estimating that the farmland alone will need more than $1.4 million to recover. The money will be paid out from the government’s fund for damage caused by terrorist activity.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also announced that the government would withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority to cover the costs. The decision was met with some criticism by analysts who pointed out that the PA does not control the Gaza Strip, and punishing the PA for Hamas’ actions would likely encourage Hamas to continue with its fire-enduing tactics rather than stopping them.

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Sailor wins again at Japan’s grueling Iron Dog competition, which Navy says is like CrossFit for handlers and canines

A Yokosuka master-at-arms has won U.S. Forces Japan’s Iron Dog competition for the second year in a row.

Petty Officer 1st Class Ashly Lester and her dog, Ttibor, recently competed against 17 other working-dog teams from across all services in the U.S. military and Japan Self-Defense Forces, the Navy announced Friday.

The service described the May 17 challenge at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo as a series of “grueling tasks that to outsiders may seem more akin to a CrossFit competition or Ironman race.”

Canine competitors sniffed for explosive odors over three floors of a tower, extracted suspects from cars and ignored distractions like gunfire to complete handlers’ commands. Handlers completed physical tasks, including dragging 200-pound mannequins 50 meters and carrying their more than 80-pound dogs up eight flights of stairs.

The handlers’ veterinary skills were also tested through pretend situations such as helping a dog with an open chest wound or one that’s in shock. Lester said these skills translate directly to the battlefield.

“We are trained in basic veterinary skills so that if we were down range on a mission and something goes wrong, we’re not just sitting there asking ‘What do I do?’” she said. “We can at least do something [to help] until we can get the dog emergency care.”

Though it was the second year in a row that Lester took home the win, it was the first year for young Ttibor to compete. Lester used a different dog last year, but said she was impressed by how well the 2-year-old brown and blonde dog performed.

“He was doing things he hadn’t done before and he was doing them fluidly,” she said. “I was just so happy with him.”

Master-at-Arms Master Chief James Meares, who manages the military working dog program at U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., commended Lester, according to the Navy statement.

“Lester took the right ingredients for success: hard work, patience, perseverance and the fighting spirit of the Navy,” he said. “I know this achievement will inspire those around her.”

Lester said competitions such as Iron Dog pushes handlers and their dogs toward excellence.

“I know every rate says this about the Navy, that they have the best job, but I really love this job,” she said. “I think most of us that are in this program have the personality where we want to compete and we want our dog to be the best. And that’s just a good group of people to be around because you’re always pushing one another in some facet to be better.”

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© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Sub Base marks 76th anniversary of Navy’s victory over Japanese fleet at Battle of Midway

The mission of the submarines, including the one J. Deen Brown was on, was to form a semi-circle southwest of Midway to ensure that Japanese transport ships loaded with thousands of soldiers and equipment couldn’t reach and invade the island.

In recent years, Brown, 95, of Oakdale, has been the sole Battle of Midway veteran at the Naval Submarine Base’s annual commemoration of the event. Navy officials and a small crowd on Monday marked the 76th anniversary of the three-day battle, recognized as the turning point of World War II in the Pacific

“I feel sometimes like maybe I’m being a little spoiled. But it is an honor and I do appreciate very much the attention and consideration I’ve received,” said Brown, who turns 96 on Friday.

The battle, which started at 4:30 a.m. on June 4, 1942, happened six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After Pearl Harbor, Japanese commander Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto wanted to lure what remained of the American fleet to Midway and destroy it, then invade and use the island as a base for attacking Hawaii.

“Our nation and Navy’s response was just as forthright,” said Capt. Paul Whitescarver, commanding officer of the base, explaining that on June 4, 1942, U.S. aircraft flying from three aircraft carriers – USS Enterprise, USS Hornet, and USS Yorktown – attacked and sunk four Japanese carriers, which had attacked Pearl Harbor.

“By June 6, 1942, Admiral Yamamoto and his Japanese forces were forced to withdraw,” Whitescarver said.

The battle was not the most challenging for submarines – that would come later in the war – but Brown and the rest of the crew assigned to the USS Trout (SS 202) had to frantically prepare the submarine to head to Midway. The submarine only had two working engines because it had been damaged two months earlier while supporting the Doolittle Raid, the first U.S. air raid to strike the Japanese home islands.

“We didn’t anticipate having to go to Midway,” Brown said. “It came as a very, very quick surprise.”

The submarine was getting ready to receive a radar system, cutting edge technology at the time, and had to repair the other disassembled engines while underway to Midway in rough seas with “a rolling and tossing ship,” Brown said.

Midway laid the foundation for the ultimate end of the war, Whitescarver said, noting that D-Day, when Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, two years after the Midway battle, was a “cornerstone to that end” and marks its 74th anniversary on Wednesday.

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© 2018 The Day (New London, Conn.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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After Years Of Searching The Jungle They Finally Find The ‘Holy Grail’ Of WWII Relics

They thought he was crazy. But restaurant tycoon David Tallichet knew there was something he was missing in the jungle. As an innovator in the restaurant scene, a man who has injected culture and different tastes in the food he serves, Tallichet has built a legacy that will long outlive him. However, the discovery he made in the jungle had nothing to do with his success as a career restaurateur.

Yet his discovery has both historic significance and is simply interesting. But when he ventured out into the middle of nowhere in the jungle, he ended up raising ghosts from the grave.

Tallichet made his fortune in the food industry when he founded a Polynesian-themed restaurant chain in California. But his success began when he learned discipline as part of the military. He was deployed during World War Ii and was a co-pilot on a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. In the sky, as in the kitchen, Tallichet was a force to be reckoned with.

Even as he carved out his fortune in the restaurant business, he still maintained his passion for plains and aviation. He started to grow an aircraft collection when he made a lot of money. He even specialized in military plane replicas. His plains were hired for movies like “Pearl Harbor.”

Despite his success, Tallichet wanted more. He took a team to Papa New Guinea to trek through the jungle. He was eager to find more out of life. One of the most underdeveloped places in the world, Papa New Guinea has a fearsome jungle that is not kind to visitors. With the jungle thwarting his every move, Tallichet and his team had to force themselves through the landscape and into the swamp.

Despite having years of survival skills among the team, no one was prepared for the surprise in the middle of the jungle.

Tallichet was brought to tears when he saw the thing among the greenery. He was immediately brought back to 1942 when World War II was at its peak. U.S. Army Air Corps Captain Fred Eaton and Henry Maynard Harlow were hired for a secret and heroic mission. They were to fly from Australia up against the Japanese coast. When things took a bad turn at the Japanese Fortress at Rabaul in New Britain, they were left with few options.

The plane started to fall from the sky and landed in the middle of the Papa New Guinea jungle. The team of nine had little resources and a lot of strife to contend with.

The team simply abandoned the shot-up U.S. B-17E bomber. For six weeks, they trekked through the jungle. They battle malaria and heatstroke.

Meanwhile, the “swamp ghost” ship stayed put for decades. At least until Tallichet used his money to find it. Check out the video below to see more pictures of his incredible discovery.

When Tallichet and his team found it, they quickly called in an airlift and resurrected the “swamp ghost.” They broke a wing, but eventually got it out of the jungle. Now the bomber is officially retired.

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Ross Ramsey: Lupe Valdez is a longtime cop. Why didn’t she lead the school safety conversation?

How is it that the quietest voice in Texas politics during the past two weeks belongs to a candidate with a career in law enforcement and the military? Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff and the Democratic nominee for governor, was slow to bring her experience to the debate over how to respond to the mass shooting two weeks ago at Santa Fe High School. She promised to make some proposals “in the coming days” and did that Friday morning in a newspaper op-ed article.

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Analysis: Lupe Valdez is a longtime cop. Why didn’t she lead the school safety conversation?

How is it that the quietest voice in Texas politics during the last two weeks belongs to a candidate with a career in law enforcement and the military? Lupe Valdez, the former Dallas County sheriff and the Democratic nominee for governor, has yet to bring her experience to the debate over how to respond to the mass shooting two weeks ago at Santa Fe High School. She’s promised to make some proposals “in the coming days.”

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James Corbett: Non-governmental organizations or NGOs are the Deep State’s geopolitical Trojan horses (VIDEO)

The Trojan horse was the earliest recorded military psyop. That psyop continues to be deployed on unsuspecting populations and it is just as useful as ever, but today’s tricksters have donned the mantle of philanthropy, and their Trojan horses are not wooden statues but non-governmental organizations offering “aid” to foreign nations. In today’s edition of The Corbett Report, we’ll learn about how NGOs are the deep state’s Trojan horses.

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Reigniting The Meaning Of Citizenship Through National Service

It’s been a long time since a common rite of passage among our nation’s men was to put on a uniform and defend your nation, community, and family. Yet at a time of increasing hyperpolarization in our country, as well as the deteriorating state of our nation’s youth in mind, body, and soul, national military service may be an idea worth considering once again.

National service has been ever-present in our country’s history. From militias in the Revolutionary War era to the wartime drafts in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, to peacetime drafts through various parts of our nation’s past.

The legacy from those eras of conscription still remain in the form of the Selective Service system, which many of us remember being notified that we needed to register for upon reaching age 18.

The Selective Service system also has been the subject of debate in recent years, as many persons have considered whether women should register for it as well – such as during the 2016 Presidential election when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton called for such.

Among other republics and democracies in the world national service is relatively common, from the nations of Europe to Africa, from the Middle East to Asia to South America. Conscription began falling out of favor since the end of the Cold War, as the general state of worry over military conflict faded.

Yet in recent years conscription has made a comeback. French President Macron has been trying to reintroduce military conscription in order to “foster patriotism and heal social divisions.” Norway recently expanded its military conscription in 2016 to include women, as Sweden has now re-introduced conscription as well.

Perhaps the most noted military conscription program is that of Israel, which requires all men and women to serve about two years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), with few exceptions. While brought about by military necessity, it has also cultivated an Israeli citizenry that has the character, grit, and sense of duty to keep their nation thriving.

It used to be that way in America, as serving in the military was a relatively common experience. In 1980, veterans totaled 18% of adults in the United States. In contrast, by 2016 that number had fallen to 7%.

At a time when our nation is reeling from divisions along seemingly every line possible, it is worth considering a common and shared experience as national service to reconnect our country together. The benefits are very clear in other nations, as despite often no overt military conflict conscription still provides a variety of security and social benefits to the country.

Undoubtedly the implementation of a conscription program, not seen in our nation for almost half a century, would be difficult initially. Not only have the times and culture changed, but so has the very nature of our armed forces.

Our military nowadays is an extremely high-tech organization and finding how to best utilize the massive manpower from our almost 330 million person nation would require careful delineation.

Furthermore, many of our nation’s youth, estimated currently at 71% of those between the ages of 17 and 24, are grossly unfit for military service. Creating a new conscript category and integrating them usefully into the nation’s military would be challenging, but given how seemingly every other nation is able to do it effectively we undoubtedly can find a way to as well.

The idea of national service would undoubtedly require a significant period of pilot programs and testing. The idea has been proposed frequently in the national discourse throughout the years and particularly during the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. It is a big, nation-changing policy that certainly, if it gets further traction and consideration, would be a serious national debate.

National service is a very realistic program that could do a lot in solving many of our nation’s otherwise seemingly unsolvable problems, as well as reigniting reflection on the meaning of citizenry in a republic.

I think it is worth considering at our present time, as, although it seems a big change, nonetheless could revive our American spirit and heal our nation in an extraordinary way.

 

The post Reigniting The Meaning Of Citizenship Through National Service appeared first on The American Spectator.

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The U.S. Should Move Troops From Germany to Poland

Poland is willing to spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion to entice the U.S. to build a permanent military base there, according to a Defense Ministry proposal . The plan offers a strong incentive for the U.S. to consider moving at least some of its forces from Germany, especially since the current deployment makes little military sense.

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