Tuesday, April 18, 2017


ELVERUM, Norway — An explosion just a few feet away rocks the unmarked station wagon as it travels along a dirt road in the Norwegian woodland.

Immediately, two soldiers jump from their front seats and run for cover behind the carcass of an old, rusty tank. Firing their weapons at targets along the snow-covered hillside, they call for support from the rest of their unit.

This firefight is just a drill, but the soldiers taking part are battling to break down one of the final barriers to women serving in the armed forces. They are training to become part of Norway's Jegertroppen or "Hunter Troops" — the world's first all-female military special forces unit.

More than a year after the U.S. Department of Defense repealed a longtime ban on women serving in ground combat assignments, relatively few have been trained or assigned to these jobs in the U.S. military.

Norway has moved a lot faster to break down military gender barriers. Its parliament introduced legislation in the 1980s that opened up all military roles to women. Last year, Norway became the first NATO country to introduce female conscription.

PHOTOS: World's First Female Special Forces Unit

But the introduction of the all-female special forces unit in 2014 raised the profile of women in the Norwegian military the most.

The unit was started after Norway's Armed Forces' Special Command saw an increased need for female special operations soldiers — particularly in places like Afghanistan where male troops were forbidden from communicating with women. The exclusion of half the population was having a detrimental impact on intelligence gathering and building community relations.

"When [Norway] deployed to Afghanistan we saw that we needed female soldiers. Both as female advisers for the Afghan special police unit that we mentored, but also when we did an arrest," said Col. Frode Kristofferson, the commander of Norway's special forces. "We needed female soldiers to take care of the women and children in the buildings that we searched."

So they created the all-female unit specifically designed to train them.

"One of the advantages that we see with an all-female unit is that we can have a tailored program and a tailored selection for the female operators," Kristofferson said, adding that at the end of the one-year program the female soldiers are just as capable as their male counterparts.

One of the unit's members, 22-year-old Tonje, said the unit is proof that women can do the same job as men, even in the male-dominated world of the military.

"We're carrying the same weight in the backpack as the boys," said Tonje, who did not provide her full name due to the unit's rules. "We do the same tasks."

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Love those Norsky Valkyrie Shieldmaiden Vikings

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Come Down to Florida To Mix It Up With Your Green Amphibious Comrades

Come Down to Florida To Mix It Up With Your Green Amphibious Comrades

Draining the Swamp = Green Amphibious Monster 

Enormous Green Amphibious Monster Gator on my sidewalk in Sarasota, Florida. He was at least 12 feet long and 300 lbs.

I wrestled him. It was a tough and fierce battle, but I closed with and captured him and finally got him back to the swamp where he belonged.

Eat your heart out, Jim Nesci coldbloodedcreatures.com

OK, OK, so maybe he was not quite 12 feet long. But I still bravely confronted him and drove him back to the swamp.

From One Green Amphibious Marine Monster to Another.

Semper Amphibious Gator

Craig Hullinger Marine

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kaboom !!!

US Forces dropped a very large bomb on ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan from a C-130 a few days ago. 


The Marines dropped a similar bomb in Vietnam from a C-130 in 1970. The Air Support Radar Team on top of Hill 327 controlled the mission.  

We listened to the count down - 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Standby, Standby, Mark Mark.  We ran outside the van before the end of the countdown to watch the show.

The C-130 moved into a steep climb, then a parachute deployed and pulled the very large bomb out of the 130. The bomb swung wildly, then fell to the jungle below, with an enormous explosion.

         KABOOM !!

The drop was an effort to create an instant Landing Zone by blowing the trees out of the way. But the word came back that the trees were in such disarray the effort failed - there were too many fallen trees in the way for an effective LZ.