Snipers in Afghanistan Get New Rifle

Snipers in Afghanistan Get New Rifle

Army News Service | Matthew Leary | April 23, 2007

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan (Army News Service, April 23, 2007) – Soldiers from Task Force Fury are the first in a combat zone to receive a new sniper rifle, the XM110 semi-automatic sniper system.

The new rifle has several new features, the most prominent being an improved rate of fire.

“It’s semi-automatic, so it allows for rapid re-engagement of targets,” said Staff Sgt. Jason R. Terry, a sniper instructor with the U.S. Army Sniper School.

Older rifles such as the M24 Sniper Weapon System are bolt-action weapons that require the user to manually feed another round into the chamber after each shot. The automatic firing capabilities of the SASS will decrease lag time in between shots, Staff Sgt. Terry said.

A metal tube that fits over the barrel of the rifle also significantly reduces the signature blast and eliminates the small cloud of dust that rises off the ground from the gases emitted through the barrel.

This advancement will make locating snipers in the field, even after they have fired a shot, difficult for enemy forces, said Staff Sgt. Terry.

The new weapons came with three days of training, both in the classroom and on the range, by Staff Sgt. Terry and other experts.

“We learned to maintain and operate the weapon, what we can fix ourselves and what we can’t,” said Pfc. Joel D. Dulashanti, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne Division’s Troop C, 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

Mr. Kyle P. Gleason, an equipment specialist with Tank Automotive and Armorist Command, handled the maintenance portion of the class.

“I teach them the basics,” he said. “Here’s your rifle, here’s what it can do and here’s how you take care of it.”

Mr. Gleason taught Soldier how to determine the level of maintenance the weapon needs and who is capable of providing it. He also cautioned Soldiers about particularly fragile parts of the weapon, which only manufacturers can repair.

Soldiers appreciated the hands-on training, which they said helped them better understand their new equipment.

“I think it’s a pretty simple gun to maintain and operate,” said Spc. Aaron J. Fillmore, an infantryman with Troop C, 4-73rd Cav. “It was good to get the familiarization with the weapon.”

(Spc. Matthew Leary writes for the Task Force Fury Public Affairs Office.)

Sound Off…What do you think? Join the discussion.


New articles from Fred Thompson:

New articles from Fred Thompson:

Charles Landers was kind enough to bring these new articles to our attention.

“Getting On Line: Crisis management in the age of IM” 4-25-07

“For The Defense: Federalism’ n’ me” 4-23-07

For more Fred Thompson commentary visit

Fred Watch Update:

May 3 – Tonight Show with Jay Leno
May 4 – Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Orange County, CA
May 19 – National Restaurant Association, Chicago, IL
June 2 – Virginia GOP Annual Gala, Richmond, VA

There are quite a few great pro-Fred blogs out there and we hope to list them all on the site very soon. In the meantime, check out these two from our new friends in Colorado and Virginia:

Coloradoans For Thompson

Virginians For Fred Thompson

If you will be near Cookeville, Tennessee this weekend (April 28), stop by for info and directions to a petition signing and rally. Congressman Zach Wamp and Radio Host Steve Gill are headlining the event. Fred isn’t scheduled to attend, but they do expect several hundred participants, great weather and plenty of fun for all.

Best wishes,

Reuben Watkins

Corporal Rock Blasts Reid Again: “What Does He Know About Us Losing, Besides What He Wants To Believe?”

Corporal Rock Blasts Reid Again: “What Does He Know About Us

Losing, Besides What He Wants To Believe?”

During the process of verifying his identity, the New York Post had an email exchange with now-iconic Corporal Tyler Rock. Rock cc’d me on the exchange. Here is a key excerpt.

Corporal Tyler Rock and his squadmates of “2/2 Martyr Makers”

“the truth is that we have done much more for the people in iraq than is posted to the people. ramadi was a terrible place in the beginning of this deployment (september). now the police in ramadi are doing patrols everyday and coming back with many, many IED’s and other explosive ordinance. the civilians are coming to us and telling us where the insurgents are. that should scream to the people back home that the iraqi’s want our help. they dont want insurgents in the area. all the insurgents are, are thugs and gangs. just in larger scale and more weapons. they terrorize the people to get what they want and the people are fed up with it. we dont “just blow things up”. we care about the people here. we want these people to live as free as we do back home. thats why we are here. if we didnt care then why would we be working so hard to rebuild what is destroyed. we give them water. we give them food. and we respect their way of living.with the other topic. my opinion is what i already stated in the email to pat. i am a marine in iraq that isnt getting the support from a senator that should support his fellow americans. when was the last time he was here. what does he know about us “losing” besides what he wants to believe. the truth is that we are pushing al qaeda out and we are pushing the insurgency out. we are here to support a nation.”

Corporal Rock is currently out on a several day ambush, and will not be able to write back to those who have emailed him. I will have some further dispatches from past exchanges in the hours ahead.

China Poisoning US Food Supply

America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating if ingredients imported from China and used in recalled pet food were spiked intentionally with an industrial chemical to boost their apparent protein content.

If so, is this a case of greed–or bio-terrorism? The FDA won’t comment. Officials concede, however, that contaminated foods from China are becoming a growing problem as the Communist Party-ruled country plays a greater part in the global food chain, thanks to globalization. In China, chemical use is high and regulations are lax, or routinely violated (corruption is rampant). The FDA has the authority to inspect imports for contaminants that are in violation of US law; but the agency only has the resources to physically check a small fraction of them.

To make matters worse, China’s retail sales arm–the brutal, Main Street-busting behemoth known as Wal-Mart–plans to grow so-called organic food in China. Organic food … from a country plagued by toxic industrial pollution that taints the water and soil in which the crops are grown. Wonderful.

Back to the FDA. The agency’s food sleuths are still awaiting visas that would allow them to visit the Chinese factories where the vegetable protein ingredients were produced. While they’re waiting, they could check out the video below to get a feel for what ordinary Americans think about China’s newest threat to US national security.

Sarko vs. Sego: May the Immigrant Win

Sarko vs. Sego: May the Immigrant Win

A quote from Paul Belien in The Washington Times, 25 April 2007

Miss Royal has the best cards to win on May 6 because her anti-capitalism appeals to the voters of Francois Bayrou, […] and because her anti-Americanism appeals to Jean-Marie Le Pen, […] Two weeks ago, Mr. Le Pen surprised many of his former supporters by saying that the children of the Muslim North African immigrants are “as French as can be.” At the same time he denounced Mr. Sarkozy for not being French enough because he “comes from an immigrant background.” This may seem a paradox, but not to the French. Immigrants with a North African background are considered to belong to the broad French culture, while those with a Hungarian background do not. […]

Traditionally, French foreign policy is aimed at counterbalancing America’s global power by allying a French-led Europe with North Africa, thereby creating a power basis around the Mediterranean Sea which is dominated by a French-Arab culture. […] Mr. Sarkozy jeopardized this grand strategy when, as French interior minister in 2005, he reacted so strongly against the rioting Islamist “youths” in the French suburbs that he became a symbol of resistance against the Islamization of Europe’s urban neighborhoods. “Sarko” talked tougher than he acted. Nevertheless, he became a hate figure for Muslims, who were not used to being opposed. If “Sarko” becomes president of France, the strategy to ally Europe and North Africa against America will suffer a setback. Firstly, because he is seen as a friend of America and secondly, because French Muslims regard him as an enemy.

Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq.

Mentors to Mass Murderers

Mentors to Mass Murderers

By Steven Zak

Students in classrooms were taking exams. Others were registering for classes for the coming semester. Still others enjoyed snacks or meals, alone or in the company of friends. Just an ordinary day on an ordinary university campus. But something wasn’t ordinary. On this day, there was a monster about.

July 31, 2002, the monster left a bomb packed with bolts, screws and nails in a bag on a table in the crowded cafeteria of the Frank Sinatra International Student Center of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. When the bomb exploded, its contents shattered glass, smashed wooden chairs, and ripped through bodies, ultimately leaving 9 dead and 85 injured. The dead included 4 Israelis and 5 Americans. Their names were David Ladowski, Levina Shapira, Maria Bennett, Benjamin Blutstein, Dina Carter, Janis Ruth Coulter, David Gritz, Daphna Spruch, and Revital Barashi.
April 16, 2007, on another campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, another monster lurked. Armed with two pistols and deadly intent, he first entered a coed dormitory on the campus of Virginia Tech University and shot and killed two people. Later, he entered an engineering building and killed 30 more and wounded still more.
The motives of the two monsters no doubt differed as did other details of their crimes. The first, an employee of the Hebrew University, also acted at the behest of Hamas, terrorists supported by Iran and now the duly elected “Palestinian” “government.” The second, a brooding student majoring in English, acted alone and had some grievance with “rich kids” and “debauchery.”
This does not make the two crimes or those responsible fundamentally different.
Mass murders all differ in their particulars. And motive isn’t even an element — part of the definition — of the crime. The key element is intent. And the intent of abovementioned two murderers was similar — to bring about mass deaths and mayhem against innocents. The results of such intent were, in both cases, similar: scores dead, injured, distraught, anguished, traumatized. 
But while the crime of April 16 feels real, the one of July 31 may seem distant and abstract. Not for reasons of time — one event recent, the other nearly five years ago. But because similar events in places like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and Madrid and London and Bali and Moscow are reported virtually every day. You read about them in your morning paper. Mass murder has become a daily fact of life.
Some have denied that the phenomenon of mass murder, at least in the United States, is any different now than ever before. They’ve pointed out, for instance, that as far back as 1927, an anti-tax zealot dynamited a schoolhouse in Michigan, murdering 40 children and several adults. Yes, monsters have always lived among us and always will. But 1927 is a long way back to dig for an example.
Consider, by contrast, the ordinariness of mass murders against Israelis, and in particular, a few of many murderous events surrounding the Hebrew University massacre of July 31.
Just weeks earlier on May 7, a mass murderer detonated a bomb in a crowded game club in Rishon Lezion, southeast of Tel-Aviv, killing 16 people and wounding 55 more.
Two days later on May 19, a mass murderer detonated a bomb in a market in Netanya, killing 3 people and injuring 59 others.
Three days later, May 22, a murderer detonated himself in the Rothschild Street pedestrian mall of Rishon Lezion, killing 2 people and wounding 40.
May 27, a murderer blew himself up near an ice cream parlor outside a shopping mall in Petah Tikva, killing a grandmother and her infant granddaughter and injuring 37 others.
June 18, a mass murderer detonated a bomb on an Egged Bus traveling from Gilo to the center of Jerusalem, killing 19 people and injuring 74 others.
The next day, June 19, a mass murderer blew himself up at a bus stop and popular hitchhiking post in northern Jerusalem, killing 7 people and injuring 50 more.
Four days following the Hebrew University massacre, August 4, yet another mass murderer detonated a bomb on an Egged bus traveling from Haifa to Safed in northern Israel, killing 9 people and wounding 50 others.
These acts of mass murder, along with at least a dozen and a half others, all occurred in a single summer.
Many in the United States and elsewhere view such relentless acts of mass murder as somewhat of an abstraction — as if universities and malls and ice cream parlors in Israel are different, alien and, after all, in the center of that age-old “conflict.”
But when it happens here in the USA, so close, in a place so ordinary, reality can’t be denied.
And so TV reports of the multiple murders in Virginia were, understandably, nonstop. Newspapers would soon trumpet headlines like BLOODBATH, underscoring the horrific reality of what had occurred, on an ordinary campus, here at home. 
We ought to solemnly remember the victims of the massacre in Virginia. But remember, too, who tirelessly sets the example that makes such slaughter so easily imagined as to — who knows — one day become almost unremarkable .