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The murderers exchanged for Bergdahl fight on for the Taliban

[...] Obama handed over five top Taliban leaders into the oversight of Qatari officials, knowing full well that the Taliban had political offices in Qatar . . .

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ANZACs and ‘human vultures’

When the men of the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade received orders to mount up and move out en-masse, battle-ready, during the night of 29th September, 1918 there was none of the usual grumbling; they hated night ‘stunts’. This night they moved with real urgency, they had no idea exactly what situation they would be riding into, all they knew with certainty was their mates from across the ditch were in trouble and they were on their way to help the Aussies out. There was absolutely no doubt every single member of the New Zealand brigade would willingly risk his own life, do whatever it took, to support their Australian brothers-in-arms; no question asked.    Read more »

The Battle of Long Tan

Editors note: Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. My father in law, Skippy, fought in that battle, firstly calling in the artillery from his observer position and then manning the guns of 161 Bty to keep the Aussies alive. Orinjamba wrote this post earlier this year and it is now reposted in honour of those who died and those heroes who helped keep the survivors alive. Lest we forget.


Few other military engagements come closer to encapsulating the ANZAC spirit than the Battle of Long Tan which took place in August of 1966.

This battle has largely been forgotten by the general public due in no small measure to the unpopular nature of the war it occurred in. But the overwhelming odds which were eventually overcome in this engagement is testament to the long history of brotherhood and cooperation New Zealand and Australian forces have developed over the years.

I will not go into great detail regarding the breakdown of this battle here for there is not the time to do it justice however for a comprehensive analysis I would recommend “The Battle of Long Tan: As Told by the Commanders” written by Robert Grandin.

In short though, Long Tan has become somewhat of a byword in military circles as a good case study in the effective coordination of infantry, armour, artillery and aviation on the modern battlefield.

Read more »

The social justice warriors have been demobbed

The US military machine, with some 1.2 million active servicemen and servicewomen, have decided that focussing on battlefield skills and training is probably a better use of their time and resources than focussing on dealing with transitioning the 0.1% transgender servicethings among them.  The Washington Times reports: Quote.

Fighting will now take precedence over dealing with transitioning transgender troops, drug abuse and other issues as the Army seeks to overhaul its training regimen to hone its soldiers’ battlefield skills.
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New planes for Defence Force to replace clapped out Orions?

It looks like the Air Force could be getting some brand new planes: Quote:

Defence Minister Ron Mark is one step closer to making the biggest defence procurements in recent years.

Mark will take his proposal to purchase up to four Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes from the United States to the Cabinet Government Administration and Expenditure Review Committee on Monday.

The planes, which would replace replace its retiring P-3 maritime patrol fleet, could cost up to US$1.4 billion (NZ$2.03 billion).This would be one of the most significant purchases, since the frigate upgrade.

However, the New Zealand Defence Force says the price is likely to be less than that.

Once the Cabinet committee had seen the proposal, it would have to go to Cabinet, before a decision on the purchase was made. There was no set date for the proposal to go to cabinet, but Mark said that was expected to happen before the end of July. End quote.

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The capture of Le Quesnoy

 

One of the more little-known actions that occurred during the Hundred Days Offensive of 1918 was the capture by New Zealand troops of the tiny French fortified village of Le Quesnoy.

The battle took place on the 4th of November, 1918 and the combatants had no idea that the ultimate end of the previous four years of bloodletting would finally be drawing near in a week’s time.

Beginning in the early hours, the New Zealand Rifle Brigade advanced from its starting position east of the town, aiming to surround it and link up on the far side. Once this had been achieved and the division proper had moved off, it was left to the Rifle Brigade to capture the village itself.

Read more »

The Battle of Long Tan

ABC
Painting of Battle of Long Tan

 

Few other military engagements come closer to encapsulating the ANZAC spirit than the Battle of Long Tan which took place in August of 1966.

This battle has largely been forgotten by the general public due in no small measure to the unpopular nature of the war it occurred in. But the overwhelming odds which were eventually overcome in this engagement is testament to the long history of brotherhood and cooperation New Zealand and Australian forces have developed over the years.

I will not go into great detail regarding the breakdown of this battle here for there is not the time to do it justice however for a comprehensive analysis I would recommend “The Battle of Long Tan: As Told by the Commanders” written by Robert Grandin.

In short though, Long Tan has become somewhat of a byword in military circles as a good case study in the effective coordination of infantry, armour, artillery and aviation on the modern battlefield.

Read more »

Monument unveiled in Fiji for RNZAF flying boat veterans

Laucala Bay veterans and current RNZAF personnel in front of the monument

Regular readers know I was born in Fiji, and where we lived at Suva Point (Statham Street) was just around the corner from the old RNZAF flying boat base.

The NZDF reports on a new monument commemorating the Kiwi servicemen and women who served at Laucala Bay:

A commemorative monument has been unveiled in Fiji to recognise the service of veterans from the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) flying boat operations, based at Laucala Bay in Suva, from 1941 to 1967.

RNZAF’s No. 5 Squadron conducted anti-submarine patrols, maritime reconnaissance and transport and air-sea rescue missions, flying Short Singapore, Consolidated Catalina and Short Sunderland aircraft.

The monument, designed and made in Fiji, was unveiled yesterday by Fiji Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and New Zealand Defence Minister Ron Mark at the University of the South Pacific, on the land that was formerly home to the RNZAF No. 5 Squadron.

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‘Medals’ Mark taking troughing far too far

This is truly weapons-grade troughing from Ron ‘Medals’ Mark:

National is accusing Defence Minister Ron Mark of misusing his position by using the Air Force as a taxi service and getting helicopter rides to his home in the Wairarapa.

Former Defence Minister and National defence spokesman Mark Mitchell says official information shows Air Force NH-90 helicopters and a B200 King Air aircraft have repeatedly been diverted to Mark’s home town, Masterton, “apparently to ferry the minister from his home to events around the country and back again.”

Mitchell said the flights were happening so often that locals were asking questions about it.  

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Four unanswered questions and one response

A few weeks ago I sent out a number of emails to a select group of politicians. They were, in no particular order: Phil Goff; Golriz Ghahraman; Julie Anne Genter; Trevor Mallard; and Grant Robertson.

In these emails, I asked some pretty basic and direct questions.

I have since received only one response.

 

To The Honourable Golriz Ghahraman I wrote:

Hi Golriz,

I just have a quick question regarding your recent attendance at the Anti-Bases protest over in Waihopai last weekend:

Did you use Crown expenses to travel to and from this event?

Thank you for your time in this matter.

 

As yet no response has been forthcoming.

Read more »