The War of Varus: Judea Rises Against Rome in 4 BC

King Herod I. served Rome as a willing proxy ruler over Judea, alienating his Jewish subjects by supporting pagan temples, observance of Roman holidays, and sponsorship of arena games in Jerusalem. The last straw for the pious Jewish opposition was erection of a huge gilded eagle – the symbol of Roman power – above the gates to the Temple District.

When Herod died in 4 BC, Jerusalem and all Judea erupted. Pious Jews, would be Messiahs, and terrorists alike rose up, all hoping to restore Judea’s liberty. Publius Quintilius Varus, Rome’s governor in Syria, was tasked with suppressing the revolts and restoring order — Rome’s order — in the land.

Varus led three complete legions and numerous Arab auxiliaries into Judea and marched on Jerusalem, systematically and brutally suppressing all opposition, with little regard for the fate of innocents. Jewish-Roman historian Josephus termed the War of Varus one of the greatest catastrophes to ever befall the Jewish people.

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January 19, 2011 at 1:08 am

Shooter-detection ‘Boomerangs’ helping i

Tools help warfighters test water for chemical, biological hazards

TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. — Employees here are fabricating and populating more than 1,700 kits that will enable warfighters throughout the world to test water samples.

In August, Tobyhanna employees began fabricating components to be included in detection enhancement kits, which will provide military personnel with the tools to test a water sample for radiation, and chemical and biological hazards.

Tobyhanna personnel fabricate a variety of pieces for the kits, including cables and other components. Included in the kits are purchased commercial items and government-furnished equipment (GFE) from the customer, such as radiac meters and detectors, and check sources, which are used to ensure the radiac equipment is working correctly.

Soldiers and seamen will use a heater to evaporate a water sample, leaving behind a residue that is used for testing.

Over the summer, depot personnel accomplished a limited rate of production (LRP). Personnel from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., (the customer) provided employees in the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Directorate’s Tank Thermal/Common Modules Branch with enough components to populate 100 kits each for the Army and Navy.

Russ Burnett, logistics management specialist, said the LRP was used to introduce the kits into the field, and that the same personnel will populate 1,058 kits for the Army and 645 for the Navy. He works in the Production Management Directorate’s Manufacturing Systems and Support Branch.

“Since it is new workload, engineers had to determine the materials needed, and the hours and machines required to fabricate items,” explained Stacey Taylor, production controller in the branch.

Personnel in the sheet metal fabrication branch are using a Strippit Computer Numerically Controlled punch press to produce parts for the probe stand. The machine allows them to produce 50 pieces per sheet of material.

Next, machinists in the machining branch engrave identifiable information into each piece. The machine allows personnel to etch eight pieces at one time.

Zigmund Pieszala, branch chief, noted that because of the irregular shape of the components specific engraving is required. Branch personnel will use the HAAS VF-11 computer numerically controlled milling center, which is outfitted with a table that holds the parts in place using a vacuum.

“This machine is also equipped with specialized accessory programs that will allow the machine to engrave the needed lettering to proper style and specifications very quickly,” Pieszala added.

The items are blasted and finished by Systems Integration and Support Directorate employees in the Component Refinishing, and Finishing and Etching branches to ensure a smooth and durable product.

Burnett said they hope to begin populating and delivering kits before the end of the year, and plan on producing 100 kits each month, depending on the availability of GFE.

“This is slightly different workload than the large systems Tobyhanna is used to working on,” Burnett noted, describing the kit as a “small, standalone, self-sufficient end item being used in the field.”

Taylor added that depot employees are “directly touching” the warfighter by supplying these kits to them.

Tobyhanna is currently the only installation working on this program.

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department’s largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna’s missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.About 5,600 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Caprioli

December 21, 2009 at 3:17 am

Find military and patriotic images on te

Fighting IED Attacks With SCARE Technology:
Find military and patriotic images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. The Military Chest — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed gifts. Worldwide delivery available.
 “University of Maryland researchers have developed and successfully tested new computer software and computational techniques to analyze patterns of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan or other locations and predict the locations of weapons caches that are used by insurgents to support those attacks.”

December 21, 2009 at 3:08 am

The Navy officially accepted delivery of

Navy Accepts Delivery of Future USS Independence
The Navy officially accepted delivery of the future USS Independence (LCS 2) Dec. 18 during a short ceremony in Mobile, Ala. Independence is the second littoral combat ship delivered to the Navy, and the first LCS of the General Dynamics variant. LCS is a new breed of U.S. Navy warship with versatile warfighting capabilities, capable of open-ocean operation, but optimized for littoral, or coastal, missions.

“Today marks a critical milestone in the life of the LCS 2,” said Rear Adm. James Murdoch, the LCS program manager in the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “The Navy and our industry partners have worked diligently to deliver a much-needed capability.”

Prior to delivery, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) conducted Acceptance Trials aboard LCS 2 on Nov. 13-19, and found the ship’s propulsion plant, sea-keeping and self-defense performance to be “commendable,” and recommended that the chief of naval operations authorize delivery of the ship following the correction or waiver of cited material deficiencies.

Between now and sail away in February 2010, the contractor will correct most of the trial cards received during trials. Any remaining cards will be corrected during scheduled post-delivery maintenance availabilities including the post-shakedown availability scheduled for completion in 2011.

Delivery is the last shipbuilding milestone before commissioning, scheduled for Jan. 16 in Mobile, Ala.

The LCS class is designed from the keel up to deliver efficient capability, capacity, and flexibility to the warfighter. Independence, a high-speed aluminum trimaran, is designed to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft. The 417-foot Independence will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. These mission packages focus on three mission areas: mine counter measures, surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.

PEO Ships is responsible for the development and acquisition of U.S. Navy surface ships and has delivered eight major surface ships to the fleet since the beginning of 2009. PEO Ships is working in conjunction with its industry partners to achieve steady production for all programs to increase production efficiencies and leverage cost savings. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets ¯ while balancing affordability and capability ¯ is key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy and building the Navy’s 313-ship force structure. PEO Ships is committed to delivering quality ships at an affordable price.

December 19, 2009 at 2:49 am

Museum opens exhibit dedicated to ‘Warrior Airmen’

Find  exciting military and patriotic images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing for adults and kids, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, decorative keepsake boxes, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

A new exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force now gives visitors a chance to see not only the service’s past, but also its present and future.

Called “Warrior Airmen,” the new exhibit highlights how today’s Airmen are contributing to the war on terrorism, both in the air and on the ground.

The exhibit includes more than 400 artifacts, three dioramas with fully dressed and equipped mannequins, an audiovisual presentation on a 15-foot wide screen, and compelling firsthand accounts

“The Air Force has always been an adaptive service,” said Dick Anderegg, the director of Air Force history and museums. “This exhibit is a testament to this adaptability and serves as an opportunity for future generations to see what we already know our Airmen are capable of.”

The exhibit, which opened to the public Jan. 12, is divided into three sections, each highlighting a way the Air Force is supporting efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The first section, “Battlefield Airmen,” is dedicated to Air Force special operations forces such as pararescuemen, tactical air controllers and combat weather personnel. The section opens with an immersive video recreation of the battle for Takur Ghar, where several Air Force pararescuemen were either killed or wounded while attempting to rescue a Navy SEAL who had fallen out of his helicopter when it was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

The next section, “Expeditionary Combat Airmen,” highlights other ground operations Airmen perform on a daily basis in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. These Airmen include security forces personnel, convoy operators and explosive ordnance disposal teams.

The final section, “In the Air,” demonstrates how pilots and aircrews continue to perform important missions in the air, providing close-air support, flying rescue aircraft and dropping bombs on target.

“The Air Force is truly engaged in the war on terrorism,” said Jeff Duford, the museum’s research historian. “But not many people realize how many Airmen are working on the ground. This exhibit will hopefully educate a lot of people on this fact.”

All of the uniforms, items and photos in the exhibit were donated by Airmen who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan. For them, this exhibit is a way to honor all Airmen and keep the memory of their sacrifices alive.

“This place, this exhibit, defines legacy and heritage,” said Senior Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez, a pararescueman who donated several items he used and wore while in Afghanistan. “Our legacy now lives on for our sons and daughters.”

The exhibit also includes several firsts at the museum. There are several digital touch screens that allow visitors to interact with the displays and the donated items include numerous special operations “tools of the trade.”

The exhibit itself is also an original at the museum. It is not a monument to the past, but to the present and future of Air Force operations.

“The past is static and never changes,” said retired Maj. Gen. Charles D. Metcalf, the museum’s director. “This exhibit is a contemporary one, though. It will change and grow with the mission as long as the mission continues.”

The “Warrior Airmen” exhibit is a permanent display at the museum and will be open year-round.

“More than 1 million people will see this exhibit each year and our hope is that they will better appreciate the courageous sacrifices of today’s Airmen and gain a better understanding of how they make a difference in the world,” Mr. Duford said.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking are free.

Matthew Bates (AFNS)

January 17, 2009 at 7:38 am

All (Virtual) Roads Lead to Rome

Find  exciting military and patriotic images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing for adults and kids, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, decorative keepsake boxes, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

One million Latin-speaking citizens, 7,000 authentic buildings re-created by historians using very old books, all the glorious monuments in 3D — Google-Earth now offers the opportunity to visit ancient Rome (AD 320) in (virtual) person. Puts a whole new spin on that old question “where do you want to go today?”

January 15, 2009 at 3:34 am

Fly Girls of World War II: WASP exhibit opens in Arlington

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The Fly Girls of World War II traveling exhibit began its national tour at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Nov. 14 here.

The exhibit, which is dedicated to the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, features a history of the WASP.

The exhibit includes the “WASP Film Strip,” an “Above and Beyond” tribute, a 26-foot WASP Timeline, WASP standups, uniformed mannequins and hundreds of photos. Also featured is a special tribute to the 38 WASPs who lost their lives in service to the United States, WASP memorabilia, a celebration of their final battle for recognition, and a mosaic featuring the face of each WASP.

During the grand opening ceremony, each WASP in attendance took a minute to introduce herself and share a few thoughts and words, which brought laughter, tears and smiles to fellow WASPs, family members, retired and current servicemembers who gathered in the packed exhibit hall.

“Everybody remarks about how courageous we were … but, we just had a great time. It was fun! We hope the young women who are coming out now will have as much fun as we had,” said Doris Brinker Tanner, a WASP official.  

One thousand seventy-four women earned their wings during the WASP program, which began in 1942 and continued through 1944. They flew every type of aircraft the U.S. Army Air Forces had while logging more than 60 million miles. The pilots were assigned to Air Transport Command, where they ferried aircraft from production plants to bases around the country. Others flew personnel transports and performed target towing duties while some test piloted experimental aircraft. Their safety record was even better than their male counterparts. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a bill making the WASP part of the Air Force.

“With this exhibit here on hallowed ground, visited by millions of people every year, we are finally telling your story in grand, grand fashion,” said Maj. Nicole Malachowski, the first woman pilot on the Air Force Thunderbirds team. “Your service to our nation during a time of war is the stuff that legends are made of. And, I think that the legacy you leave me with is that, when you have dedication, commitment and a desire to serve you can overcome tremendous obstacles. Your service to our nation in a critical time of history, actually to the entire free world, is remarkable not because you are women, but it’s remarkable in its very own right.

“You didn’t fly and serve your country because you are women, but because you had to overcome some attitudes and restrictions of the time, you managed to serve our country in spite of being women,” said the major who currently serves as a White House Fellow. “You had a dream and you followed that dream and it’s your legacy that inspired my own dream.”

Each WASP, while proudly wearing her service uniform, wandered through the exhibit while chatting with old friends and sharing stories with current servicemembers and guests. Friends and family members proudly snapped pictures.

“I’m so proud of her,” said Janice Holton of Grand Rapids, Mich., when chatting about her mother, Jane Baessler Doyle, who served as a WASP from 1943 to 1944. “For her day, she and the women paved the way for other women to do a lot more in the military.”

“It’s great to see some of the old friends today and the way they put together the exhibit,” Ms. Doyle said. While glancing at her own photos in the exhibit, she said, “It’s nostalgic. It brings back the good old days.”

This is the first major exhibit about the WASP at the Women’s Memorial. It is scheduled to remain on display at the Women’s Memorial through November 2009, before continuing its nationwide tour. 

April Lapetoda (AFNS)

November 24, 2008 at 3:49 am 1 comment

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