Preparedness Notes for Monday – January 21, 2019

Good news!  The greatly-expanded SurvivalBlog 2005-2018 Archive Waterproof USB stick is now available for ordering. Since there is so much more bonus material in this year’s edition, we had to switch to offering a 16 GB stick!  If sales made last year are any gauge, we can expect the limited production run of this year’s archive to sell out in just a couple of months.  Order yours today.

As a former Army SIGINT officer, this article caught my attention: President Trump pays tribute to Americans killed in Syrian suicide bombing as their bodies arrive back in US.  I really doubt that the unit attacked was on a “routine patrol” in Syria, as was publicized by the Pentagon. For OPSEC reasons, I will refrain from posting any conjecture on their unit, mission, RSTA mission equipment, or vehicles. Please take a few minutes to read the article.

Down in the depths of this article were these details:  “On Friday, three of the four Americans slain were identified. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jonathan R. Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, of upstate New York and Defense Department civilian Scott A. Wirtz of St. Louis, Missouri were all named as victims of the suicide blast.”

Tactical SIGINT collectors and analysts are not always “In the rear, with the beer, where there is no fear.”  In fact they are often out Beyond The Wire, in harm’s way.

My sincere condolences to the families of these fallen.

Please pray for the safety of both the military and civilian contract SIGINTers of the US Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA), US Army INSCOM, US Naval Network Warfare Command (NETWARCOM), and the Twenty-Fifth Air Force (25 AF)–aka US Air Force Intelligence Agency–who are forward deployed. Tactical SIGINT/DF troops are often the “first in, and last out”, in overseas counterinsurgency campaigns such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

On this day in 1968, the siege of Khe Sanh began, as NVA regulars surrounded the USMC hilltop airfield near the Laotian border. Fearing a repeat of the French Army’s 1953 Dien Bien Phu debacle, the Pentagon assigned maximum round-the-clock air power to the region, including B-52 bomber strikes, to break the siege. According to the Infogalatic wiki this was “‘the most concentrated application of aerial firepower in the history of warfare’. On an average day 350 tactical fighter-bombers, 60 B-52s, and 30 light observation or reconnaissance aircraft operated in the skies near Khe Sanh.” It was reported that more than 100,000 tons of bombs were dropped in the area during the siege.

American casualties during the siege were 274 killed and 2,541 wounded. ARVN casualties were 229 killed and 436 wounded. The NVA took massive casualties, before withdrawing. MACV’s report estimated 5,550 NVA killed and more 8,000 wounded. (Only 1,602 NVA bodies were counted, but the NVA was famous for recovering the bodies of their KIAs, partially for propaganda reasons, to “deny body count.”) Khe Sanh was finally relieved by American and ARVN ground forces on April 6, 1968.

Today we feature another product review by SurvivalBlog’s staff Field Gear Editor, Pat Cascio.


  1. Can anybody tell me why we have troops in Syria? Afghanistan? Iraq? Africa? If I recall we never declared war in any of those places and it seems none of them has anything to do with national security. What’s the buzz man?

      1. And, don’t forget, this is all about regime change in Iran. A country we have never declared war on either. Then there is the ongoing coup d’etat and regime change operation within the good ol’ USA. Part and parcel of the same NSA/CIA/FBI world domination scheme.

  2. “Pipelines in Syria, raw material resources in Afghanistan, oil from Iraq, resources/development in Africa in addition to keeping an eye on China.”

    I’m not buying any of that. The only raw material we’re getting out of Afghanistan is the opium that’s funding the CIA. We got all the oil we need pumped from our own resources, who cares about Syria’s pipeline and we don’t need any oil from Iraq, especially considering the number of precious lives we have lost over there.. Africa is and always has been a lost cause due to tribalism…figures we’d get involved in that unsolvable mess.
    What gives us the right to meddle in all these places? How would we react if any of these countries sent armed troops into our country to manage our resources? I’m 61 years old and have seen enough of this type of US foreign policy. I used to be on board with it but It’s become obvious none of our meddling ever works out the way it was originally planned, it always seems to turn into some sort of major debacle where our troops get all shot up. And for what? I don’t see where any of our involvement in these places is worth the men and women we have lost. We have gained nothing and lost much.

    We’re 20 trillion in debt, it’s time to take care of our own problems at home.

    1. Brooksy, Amen brother.

      I’m a Vietnam vet. 67 years old. We fought in Korea to stop the spread of Communism. The same for Vietnam. How did that work out for any of us. We are way to close to being a Communist country ourselves. Seems to me they actually won.

      “I used to be on board with it but It’s become obvious none of our meddling ever works out the way it was originally planned” Here is where we may differ. I believe the MIC (military industrial complex) has gotten exactly what they wanted, it worked out the way they planned. That goes for the elites in our country as well.

      “We’re 20 trillion in debt, it’s time to take care of our own problems at home.” Truth be known, we should hit 22 trillion in debt sometime before mid February. The elites in this country don’t see this as a problem.

      The problem the elites see is “us”. We are a problem, we keep complaining about the waste, the loss of American lives and the devastation we (they) inflict on countries around the world. Why are we in all these countries, greater power for the elites and massive government contracts for the MIC. Why do we send our young men and women to die in countries most people couldn’t find on a map, greater power for the elites and massive government contracts for the MIC.

      The power the elites seek is power over us. We are the deplorables, after all. The elites are incensed that we complain about their actions. How dare we criticize them. Who the hell do we think we are. We are supposed to be grateful that they allow us to serve them. We should kiss the ground they walk on. Just listen to them. Listen to Willard (Mitt) Romney and Sandy from Westchester (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) they sound the same, because they are the same, rich elitists.

      I love my country, but I hate my government.

      I may be deplorable, but they are just despicable.

      1. Charles, the US participated in the Korean War to prevent the North from incorporating the South into the DPRK, and were successful. South Korea is a functioning democracy and a major economic success for its people. I doubt you would be willing to turn the South over to the North today, right?

        We participated in the Vietnam war to prevent the North from incorporating the South into the Peoples Republic of Vietnam, and were unsuccessful after the Democrats withheld all funding for support to the South. After the fall of Saigon, the anticipated Domino Effect took place, with Cambodia and Laos falling to Communists and Thailand coming under attack. Again, I doubt you believe Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are better today than they would have been had the South won.

        I agree that the Democrats are actually Democratic Socialists, and that the farthest left of them are Communists. We have to work hard to keep them from subverting the US.

        Today we are engaged in what will likely be the longest struggle of all, the fight between Islam and the West. Its been going on for a thousand years, and will likely continue until one or the other is vanquished.

        America, with all its faults is a million times better than living under Islam.

        1. Interesting how we all look at these types of things. I really don’t care if NK takes SK, not my problem. SK needs to gun up and take care of their own problems. Vietnam, Cambodia , Laos, I don’t care if they are communist or not, not my problem. They have every right to be what ever they want. Our government is so dysfunctional we can never properly fight a war anymore so there is every reason to stay out of other countries problems, all we do is make a mess then leave.

          Islam? There are solutions but they are brutal. Congress needs to declare war (for once) and then all out war needs to be waged. If the government doesn’t have the courage for that then they at least need to close up our borders to Muslims and boot out any that reside here. I know, very insensitive, but if we don’t like being blown up all the time on our own soil then we need to take unpopular measures to insure some relative form of security.

    2. Brooksy, you hit the nail on the head. Undeclared war with Iran has been an obsession for neocons since the shah was chased out. Indeed, our country supported that thug Saddam in his war with Iran in the 80s.


      Carry on

  3. @ Brooksy, you are buying it, literally, if you drive a car or use electricity. Who cares about Syria pipelines? All the world powers and state governments that benefit from pipelines. What gives us the right to meddle in all these places? The War on Terror.

    The latter part of your reply is understandable. In your first reply you stated that none of this has to do with national security. In a way, perhaps. But, this is about state security first, and your national right to consume products that support globalization. In this way, national security becomes a story about corporate profit masked as nationalism.

    1. Well there’s the difference, I’m an isolationist, not a globalist. It’s all about the military industrial state we live in that Ike warned us about in the 50’s. I used to be a big ol flag waver but I have steadily lost confidence in our government over the last 30 years, they don’t have our best interests in mind any more.

      1. Again, I’m with you. I’m an isolationist the same as Thomas Jefferson was an isolationist. “Peace, commerce, honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none”. The first part is global commerce, trade. The second part is just common sense. The entire fiasco in the middle east and Africa is a European problem, they started it all before WW1, made it worse during WW1, and we have been trying to clean up their messes ever since. It’s not our fight, it’s never our fight, and never should be our fight. Let them fix their own catastrophes.

    2. I am reminded of the bumper sticker: “What’s our oil doing under their sand?”, Muddykid. The more “Made in China” stuff we buy, the more we support globalism.

      Carry on

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