U.S. Marines bring hope to a poor African nation

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Sunday, May 9, 2004
U.S. Marines bring hope to a poor African nation – French Foreign Legion joins Marines
By P.T. Brent

Djibouti, Horn of Africa; A Jeep bus careens wildly around a corner and the side mirror whacks the head of a local man; he drops, apparently dead. Djiboutians take little notice. Life is cheap is this lawless land. Continue reading

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The Sound of Freedom

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The Sound of Freedom
Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 6/25/2004 7:55:02 AM

The Marine choppers, air force C 5’s C 17’s and C 130’s were taking off last night when I recorded this report. The sounds are deafening from a tent alongside the runways at Baghdad International Airport temporary airbase of the “CPA. The” people at the Coalition Provisional Authority military call it “BIAP” (bee – op). As one Marine, a Texan once said: “be happy, that is the sound of freedom you are hearing.” Continue reading

The Japanese Alamo

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The Japanese Alamo
Combat Notebook: Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 7/2/2004 9:00:33 AM

Iwo Jima – Marine and Navy pilots, 59 years ago, called it “a charred pork chop.” From the sky in a Marine Corsair this sulfuric volcanic island is dramatically different from what was experienced by Marine infantry on these black coral beaches. The 3rd, 4th, & 5th Marine Divisions encountered horrific casualties when attacking this now legendary rock. A miniscule island comprised of only seven and one half square miles, it was smaller than Santa Monica, California. A task force of 495 ships gathered, more than our current Navy now has in totality, assembled off shore awaiting orders to “land the landing force.” Continue reading

The Grey Ghost

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The Grey Ghost
Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 9/24/2004 12:49:21 AM

“We have done so much with so little, for so long; we now feel we can do everything with nothing.” Ref: USMC’s tight budget (Col. J.R. Bates, USMC)
While Corporate America is jetting from one mega deal to the next board meeting, The U.S. Marines have adopted the Corporate Jet into the war on terrorism. Considerably a leaner & meaner model, the Marines have taken a tornado damaged G4 and for a third the cost of the new executive version converted it into a working member of the Corps’ air power. This G4 based in Hawaii has none of the luxurious amenities of its counterparts. Marines have pallets of supplies and gear aboard and communication systems for war fighting. No luxuries, they even bring their own personal water and chow. The pace aboard is 24/7 and would wear out the toughest of Fortune Five Hundred executives. They land in far off climes and exit with helmets, flak jackets, and weapons at the ready. All this capability is at a fraction of the cost of a Corporate G4 model. The Grey Ghost bears little resemblance to the famous civil war general John Mosley. Continue reading

Beans, Bullets and Bandages and the Red Ball Express

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Beans, Bullets and Bandages and the Red Ball Express
Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 9/17/2004 9:24:25 AM

In WWII the army was re-supplied by the “Red Ball Express” a euphemism for a transportation convoy company that kept the troops supplied with the essentials to life in combat, such as beans, bullets and bandages. Continue reading

Interview with U.S. Marine General Jerry McAbee

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Interview with U.S. Marine General Jerry McAbee
Combat Notebook: Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 5/28/2004 11:38:04 AM

“For those who have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know”
A few words written by an anonymous Marine, taken from a now famous combat ration box in Vietnam …. and now echoed by the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan fighting a global war on terrorism. We are visiting the Marines arriving in AFG theater (Marine Expeditionary Unit) comprised of a fleet of Navy ships, aircraft, and a battalion over 1,000 U.S. Marines. Continue reading

Atrocities Incredulous

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Atrocities Incredulous
Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 8/13/2004 12:01:14 AM

One Navy Corpsman said he cannot understand the coalition forces standard of: “Shock and Awe.” He stated that since we were kids the good guys always gave the other guys a chance to drop their guns and raise their hands. Why … why this display of might in Baghdad? All over the world a minority, albeit vocal group, are creating discord over “Bush’s war.” Perhaps they have a point. Clearly, in retrospect the Vietnam protestors were on target with their cry of an unjust war. Continue reading

Our Texas Air Force

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Our Texas Air Force
Combat Notebook: Dispatches from the War on Terrorism
By P. T. Brent, 5/21/2004 1:39:22 AM

Ground control to U.S. Air Force Hercules C 130

Sir: Condition Red … the field is under attack again

Ground control: Advise taxi to bunker and evacuate the aircraft.

tex-air-forceCaptain: Request 14 right for take off

Tower: alfa, bravo, delta and fox trot sectors all under fire.

Co Pilot…. Sir, tracer rounds at delta end of field Continue reading