31 January 2010

Current Events: Team Rubicon - The Final Update

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TR Operations Cease in Haiti
Team Rubicon operations have ceased inside the nation of Haiti. The leadership within Rubicon has come to the conclusion that Team Rubicon has completed its mission of bridging the gap between the earthquake and large aid agency response.

As of 1900 hours local, TR2 began travelling back to the US, with a small contingent of volunteers remaining behind to continue working at CDTI Hospital (under no affiliation with Team Rubicon).

Organizations such as the UN and Red Cross have finally reached full speed in their logistics and medical employment; as such, Team Rubicon can no longer operate within the scope of its mission in Haiti. Food and water are being delivered, acute and traumatic injuries have been treated and hospitalized, and operating rooms are working at capacity. The continued employment of small, self-sustaining Team Rubicon elements is no longer a cost effective solution; our dollars spent per life saved will now exceed large NGOs for the first time since the earthquake.

Now that operations have ceased, Team Rubicon has much to do. We have determined to continue developing and perfecting our model of deploying small, rapid-response, autonomous medical teams into afflicted areas.

We want to do this the right way. As a result, we are going to grow slowly, without sacrificing our vision or our mission; and we hope that you will follow and support us on our journey. We want you, our donors and supporters, to feel like you have a vested interest in how we respond to disasters. We believe that running this organization with transparency will give you greater satisfaction as you support us with your hard earned money during future disasters.

Here is what you can expect from us in the coming weeks:

An OpEd published in a major US newspaper explaining our methodology and our results.
A case study submitted to Washington Think-Tanks with the aim of influencing large NGOs to adopt some of our concepts.
A thorough After Action Report, detailing what we did from start to finish, what went right, what went wrong, what we learned and how we are going to improve. We will publish this AAR on our website, and we will circulate it in a newsletter to you via email.
A professionally produced YouTube trailer from Third Story Films, and later, a full documentary. TSF and Team Rubicon have entered into a contractual agreement, whereby TSF will produce a documentary at no cost to TR, utilizing film shot by the team in Haiti. A revenue sharing agreement has been reached, and all revenue will be used to further develop Team Rubicon for future operations.
An organizational flow chart, detailing how we plan to develop, equip and staff Rubicon teams on both the East and West Coasts.
Additionally, as the new President of Team Rubicon, I feel a fiduciary obligation to offer you the following. Our donors pledged and donated their hard earned money to Team Rubicon to support our operation in Haiti. Many of you donated, thinking that it was just going to be myself, Jeff Lang, William McNulty and Craig Parello, and then watched in amazement as this organization grew beyond expectations. Because we have raised more money than we have used in Haiti, I would like to offer you the portion of your unused money back, in case you would like to redirect to an agency still working in Haiti. We feel that it is important for you to know that we will never waste nor misappropriate your money, and this is how we'll prove it (ever heard of an NGO, or the government for that matter, returning a budget surplus??). The details of how we will do this will be sent in a newsletter this week, and it will be optional.
That said, please know that we plan to grow. Haiti has been a learning ground from Day One, and we know that we are on to something. We WILL be among the first NGOs with boots on the ground in future disasters; and we will arrive better equipped, better trained and more experienced.

However, the one area we appear to have an NGO monopoly on, is that we will employ teams led by individuals who are intelligent, decisive and PRONE TO ACTION.

I hope you decide to continue following and supporting us on our journey as we seek to shift the paradigm in disaster response.

I will leave you with this, "If a disaster struck your city on a scale such as Port au Prince, who would you want to come save you in the initial 24 hours?"

-Jake Wood
President, Team Rubicon

30 January 2010

CAP: OPS-Quals Shut Down on 1 February, 2010

Operations-Qualifications v.2 Upgrade

The launch of Operations-Qualifications v.2 is scheduled for Tuesday, 2 February, 2010. The upgrade will consist of many new user-friendly features that will assist members on tracking their qualifications. Our thanks and appreciation go out to all who assisted with preliminary testing. In order to ensure enough time for the release, we will shut down OPS-Quals at 12:01am 1 February 2010. At that time no other operations in the systems will be possible. We recommend that you printout FRO Reports preceding February 1st. This will provide units a reference copy for qualified pilots in Ops-Quals. Please plan accordingly.

Notable new features include:

Look and feel updated with a more responsive user interface. Less screen refreshes.
Every member will have access to any member's information. If they do not have permissions to edit the information, it will be read-only.
You do not have to download the font for the 101 Card barcode to show.
You can now uploaded ES and Pilot documents.
If you hover over any item in OPS Quals it will provide you with information (i.e. who validated/approved it, date it was validated/approved, etc.).
Real-time FRO Support Report.

Thanks for your cooperation, CAP IT

29 January 2010

Aero: Review of the iPAD as an Electronic Flight Bag

From NeptunusLex.com

Electronic Flight Bag
The grotesquely named Apple iPad has great potential as an electronic flight bag, and may well end up a category killer for legacy equipment.

There are pdf applications for Amazon.com’s Kindle that allow assiduous aviators to download airport diagrams, departure procedures, arrivals and approach plates, but from everything I’ve heard the navigation is klunky, and the Kindle has a tendency to go dim on you, just when you’re over the middle marker.

Apple’s iPhone already has a couple of cool features just waiting to be ported over. On my phone I have Aero Weather, Flight Plan (with DUATS), AOPA’s Airports and Foreflight, as well as the well-intentioned but ultimately unusable WingX, which – theoretically – combines all of the other features with GPS terrain avoidance.

Which would almost be enough to get me flying at night again, if it weren’t for the fact that GPS service is sketchy and the CA mountains so very unyielding.

All of them are pretty good for different applications on the ground, but not quite the thing for dependable use in flight: The iPhone’s screen is too small for the presbyopic among us, it’s rather slippery when you’ve got one hand on the yoke (or stick) and the other on the throttle and the battery saver puts you in a do-loop when you least expect it.

Garmin’s top-of-the-line handheld/bolt-on is the GPSMAP 696 model, with weather, moving maps, approach procedures and terrain avoidance – but it retails for nearly $3000, while the iPad starts at $500. Which is, oh – wait: A whole lot less.

There’s no technical reason why the iPad – I really hate that name – can’t do all the tasks of an EFB while providing GPS tracking, live weather updates and terrain avoidance. Once you’ve landed on your cross country, you can email home, browse the web, read a book or work on your presentation. Which, just try that with your MX20.

Build it, developers. We will come.

Aero: F22ski

Russia unveils top secret new fighter
(AFP) – 10 hours ago
MOSCOW — Russia on Friday unveiled a new fighter aircraft touted as a rival of the US F-22 stealth jet and developed amid the highest secrecy as part of a plan to modernize the armed forces.

The fifth generation fighter, manufactured by the Sukhoi company and known as the PAK FA, made a maiden flight of just over 45 minutes at the firm's home base of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Far East region.

"The flight lasted 47 minutes during which all the aircraft's systems were tested. It was successful," Sukhoi spokeswoman Olga Kayukova told AFP. "This is the first time it has been unveiled."

Pictures broadcast on state television showed the fighter jet -- which has been kept closely under wraps for years -- flying at altitude and then landing on a snow-surrounded runway.

"The aircraft performed well in all stages of the flight programme. It is easy and comfortable to pilot," said Sergei Bogdan, the pilot for the flight, in comments published on the Sukhoi website.

The new jet has the capability of carrying out long flights above the speed of sound as well as simultaneously attacking different targets.
Russia is currently embarking on a major programme to re-equip its military, not least the air force which is still using largely Soviet-era equipment and suffers from frequent crashes.

The new fighter, which has been in development since the 1990s, is due to enter the armed forces in 2015, Russian news agencies said.
The first flight of the PAK FA (Prospective Aviation System of Frontline Aviation) is being seen in Russia as a major boost for the military after the project was hit by repeated delays over the last years.

"There is no doubt that the plane is needed," the ex-commander of the Russian air force, Anatoly Kornukov, told the Interfax news agency.
"Our Su-27 and MiG-29 planes are good but have aged. They are 20 or more years old and it's time to have something as a replacement," he said.
He said the new plane could easily stand comparison with the US F-22, also a fifth generation stealth fighter.

"It's going to be no worse than an F-22. I've been in an F-22 and I know."
Russia's campaign to modernize its military has been marred by repeated setbacks with new equipment, above all a string of failed tests of its new Bulava sea-based intercontinental nuclear-capable missile.

28 January 2010

Cadet: Audie Murphy

65 Years ago:

Jan. 26, 1945: U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Audie L. Murphy’s B Company, 15th Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division is positioned on the outskirts of Holtzwihr, France, when suddenly the company is attacked by six tanks and at least 250 snow-white camouflaged German infantrymen – members of the elite 2nd Gebirgsjaeger (Mountain Hunter) Division.

Murphy, the ranking officer (previous fighting had decimated the officer ranks), immediately orders his men to fall back. He remains forward on the command post telephone directing artillery fire against the enemy. When an officer on the other line asks how close the advancing enemy is to Murphy’s position. Murphy replies, “If you just hold the phone a minute, I’ll let you talk to one of the ba*&%$#s.”

According to his subsequent citation for the Medal of Honor, “With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2nd Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer [the tank destroyer located behind Murphy which had just taken a direct hit], which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver.”
The fighting continues for at least an hour. Murphy is wounded. At one point the Germans close to within 10 yards of his position. When his ammunition is exhausted, Murphy leaps off the tank destroyer (the vehicle explodes shortly thereafter), limps and crawls back to his company, organizes a counterattack, and drives the remaining enemy from the field.

For his actions, Murphy is awarded the Medal of Honor. That and previous decorations make him one of the most-decorated American soldiers in history (He is widely recognized as “the most decorated American soldier of World War II.”).

Murphy becomes a post-war Hollywood film star, and is killed in a plane crash in 1971.

A list of Murphy's decorations:
Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star with First Oak Leaf Cluster
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with "V" Device and First Oak Leaf Cluster
Purple Heart with Second Oak Leaf Cluster
U.S. Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal
Good Conduct Medal
Presidential Unit Citation with First Oak Leaf Cluster
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with One Silver Star, Four Bronze Service Stars (representing nine campaigns) and one Bronze Arrowhead (representing assault landing at Sicily and Southern France)
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Combat Infantry Badge
Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar
Expert Badge with Bayonet Bar
French Fourragere in Colors of the Croix de Guerre
French Legion of Honor, Grade of Chevalier
French Croix de Guerre With Silver Star
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
Medal of Liberated France
Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 Palm

Current Events: SF in Yemen

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon is assigning more special forces personnel to Yemen as part of a broad push to speed the training of the country's counterterror forces in the wake of the failed Christmas Day attack on a crowded U.S. airliner.

Military officials familiar with the matter said the U.S. will begin rotating the same groups of special forces personnel through Yemen and keeping some of the elite troops there for longer tours, changes designed to help the American trainers develop closer relationships with their Yemeni counterparts.

The officials declined to specify how many new troops will be arriving in Yemen, but said it would be a significant increase above the roughly 200 special forces personnel who are currently in Yemen at any one time.

"The numbers are definitely going to grow," said one military official familiar with the emerging plan, which is expected to be formally approved within weeks. "This will be a much more robust effort pretty much across the board."

The moves come as the U.S. steps up its military and financial assistance to Yemen, the stronghold of the Al Qaeda affiliate that claimed responsibility for the attempted Christmas Day bombing. The sole suspect in the attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is currently in U.S. custody awaiting trial.

The Obama administration plans to increase its counterterrorism support to the government of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh from $70 million in 2009 to roughly $190 million this year, and the U.S. and U.K. have agreed to jointly fund a new counterterrorism police force inside Yemen. More here...

27 January 2010

Current Events: AFPak Marine Report

From Major Pain:

Making a Difference in Afghanistan

1) Are we making a difference? We have been in country for some time now. We have seen the area go from bad to good in weeks. Local nationals defending what is theirs against an intimidating enemy, which is a huge step for the evolution in the area. To have a local populace stand against an armed enemy and defend what is theirs is a key step in victory as it was in Iraq. The enemy is getting desperate and now with a visible surge in effect, many enemy are wondering what to do next.

Your Marines are relentlessly hunting down the enemy and defeating them where they thought they owned the area. Continuous actions by your Marines pressure the enemy to the point to where they get scared and make mistakes. When they make one mistake, they don’t get a second chance. The enemy is savvy, but not real skillful. They resort to guerrilla tactics and desperate measures that use civilians as their protection. Real brave.

Know that your Marines are courageous and wicked smart. Brave and disciplined to the point they take abuse in order to save the innocent. Many will never know how your young Marines have sacrificed to save the innocent and with a flip of a switch, unleashed holy he$% onto the enemy when required. A force unmatched, a force to be reckoned with. I am very proud of every one of them, as they make a difference.


It’s been a very busy couple of weeks around our neck of the woods. Bad guys getting froggy, temperatures dropping, and ill tempered mice massing in large groups! …It’s all good, no worries.

Your Marines are doing great things around the area. With continued operations that pin the enemy back into unmaneuverable positions we continue our progress forward. Many people ask me, “Are we really making a difference here?” Being the second go around for me here, I can tell you it’s 100% better than the first time I was here. In a more closer look to the area, I can tell you that local leaders have and continue to make great gains in their local economic and life support structures throughout their region.

When you have local civilians begin to inform you of IED emplacements and continue to stand up against the enemy threat, when you have people that want to make their area better without intimidation and, although scared, continue to work with Coalition Forces, those are signs of progress in the area. Not how many Marines are in a square foot but more so of what those Marines do and how they carry out their actions that defines progress. Yes, there is progress in Afghanistan and your Marines are leading the way.

Mail is arriving, however, I did just now get a letter sent before Thanksgiving. Its hit & miss at times. All of you out there please know, because of the austere conditions, limited computer networks, our fighting position, email and even slow snail mail isn’t available much of the time. We have received your care packages and I want to send out a HUGE thank you for all of you that have sent packages and letters of support. You don’t know how much that helps. We don’t have a PX, our chow hall is a burnt out building so we don’t have the “luxuries” of many large bases. Mail gets to us when it “gets to us” .

We are maximizing and validating the techniques, tactics and procedures of the concept of “light infantry fighting”….and it’s working very well!

Aero: "We just lost the moon."

The Orlando Sentenel reports bad times ahead for NASA.

NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its bigger brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon.

There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no Constellation program at all.

In their place, according to White House insiders, agency officials, industry executives and congressional sources familiar with Obama's long-awaited plans for the space agency, NASA will look at developing a new "heavy-lift" rocket that one day will take humans and robots to explore beyond low Earth orbit. But that day will be years — possibly even a decade or more — away. More here....

Aero: E4 Commemorates 34 years of service

1/26/2010 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AFNS) -- To say there have been a lot of changes in the past 35 years would be a bit of an understatement.

To give a frame of reference, gas was roughly 50 cents a gallon, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who currently own six Super Bowl trophies, had yet to win their first, and the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States was in full swing.

However, there is one thing that has not changed and that's the E-4 sitting on continuous alert, ready to respond to any crisis at a moment's notice.

The E-4 is a militarized version of the Boeing 747-200 and serves as the National Airborne Operations Center for the president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was delivered to the Air Force for operational use in December 1974 and assumed alert status from the EC-135J 35 years ago this month. Since then, the aircraft and her Nightwatch team have been continuously ready, serving "hot" alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"The E-4B is the most technologically advanced airborne system in the world," said Lt. Col. David Gaskill, 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron commander, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the aircraft. "From the front to (the) back of the jet, we've got some of the brightest and most professional Airmen in the Air Force."

Originally known as the National Emergency Airborne Command Post, the E-4's mission during the late 1970s and 1980s was to provide the president a safe location to conduct wartime operations in the event of a nuclear attack, earning the jet the dubious moniker, "the doomsday plane."

Current Events: Team Rubicon, Haiti

ABOVE: Jamal - 2 days under the rubble. A tap-tap (taxi that you tap the side to make stop) and a delivery of donated meds. Go here to help with donations....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A note from TL Gary Cagle

We will be sending updates three or four times daily from our mission sites. Patient base is changing...more follow up at the locations we have been to before. Have locations of several (4 or 5) camps/sites on the edge of the city that NO medical care has reached yet. More on that as the intel firms up in the morning. A more detailed SITREP will be sent in the morning. More here...

26 January 2010

Current Events: Team Rubicon Update


Snagged from EPM Monthly. EPM's executive editor Mark Plaster, MD, arrived in Haiti on January 24th to assist in the relief effort. This is his account.

January 25: Getting to Work in Port-au-Prince
“When we got off the plane, Port-au-Prince was almost completely black. There is almost no light here. We unloaded the aircraft ourselves and it was just a giant scramble getting all the bags off. We had bags in seats and the inside of the aircraft was total chaos. It was shocking that we got all our gear off. We were met by a team Rubicon leader named Jake Wood, a 6' 5" ex-marine sniper who was now a medic. On his own, Jake had decided to come down to Haiti and help out. He’d grabbed a couple friends – some people he didn't even know – grabbed some sleeping bags and flew to Santo Domingo, DR. They rented a car and just drove in to Port-au-Prince. They made a connection with a Jesuit Mission and just camped out in the mission yard and started seeing patients as fast as they could. They were cutting off limbs in the field . . . it was pretty chaotic when they first arrived.

25 January 2010

CT NAT GUARD: Going to Haiti

The Connecticut National Guard is sending 33 airmen to Haiti to support the earthquake relief effort.

The airmen, who have expertise in a variety of logistics support operations, are part of the 103rd Airlift Wing. They will assist with lodging, planning, food service, civil engineering and other logistical support disciplines as relief efforts continue, according to the Guard.

Eleven airmen have left for Port-Au-Prince already. The remaining 22 will leave in the coming days.

"These members of the Connecticut National Guard jumped at the opportunity to provide support for this critical operation. We are hopeful that their efforts will help to ease the burden on the people who are suffering as a result of this devastating tragedy," said Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, commander of the Connecticut National Guard, in a statement. More here...

CAP: 29 Palms Find

The Civil Air Patrol found a missing plane and the two men inside (01/19/10) After an intense search from the skies and on the ground, a Civil Air Patrol Ground Search And Rescue Team reached the site of an aircraft crash in the Joshua Tree National Park late Monday night.

Crews found the two people who were trapped in a Cesna 172M aircraft. They were taken via helicopter to Desert Regional Medical Center with injuries sustained in the crash.

The plane left from Roy Williams Airport in Joshua Tree and was due into Palm Springs International Aiport Monday, FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer confirms to KPSP.

The owner of Roy Williams Airport, Park Richardson, tells KPSP that the two men in the plane were flight instructor Wayne Henry of Twentynine Palms and his student Rocky Harvey of Joshua Tree.

"The reason they are alive is probably because of the expertise of the instructor," Richardson tells KPSP.

Richardson says Henry is a "top-notch" instructor and has been working out of the Roy Williams Airport for 22 years. Henry has more than 18,000 hours of flight experience, according to Richardson.

Rescuers say when they found the small plane, it was upside down and in snow. The victims were stabilized at the scene until Riverside County Fire could be airlifted to the scene to get them out.

The heavy rain did not help in the search either.

Before the passengers were found, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) told KPSP Local 2 News "Weather is creating a challenge for the aircraft as the ground is obscured as the flight crew maintains a safe altitude for terrain clearance."

Lt. Matt Scherzi with CAP said, "It's our job is to save lives. We're there to save lives."

The plane, built in 1973, is registered to a woman out of Joshua Tree, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.

KPSP Local 2 will continue to follow this developing story and will provide updates as the become available.

Current Events: Historical Perspectives

Current History:
Iraq's Chemical Ali executed for four death sentences. This closes the book one more page on Saddam's atrocities. The Iraqi courts sentenced Saddam-era enforcer Ali Hassan al-Masjid to four separate death sentences for crimes against humanity and genocide. He had commissioned chemical attacks against the Kurdish residents of Halabja using mustard gas and nerve agents. Five thousand people died in what would have ordinarily been classed an unlawful use of weapons of mass destruction. More here...

Slightly Older History: The Invasion of Italy
Jan. 22, 1944: Allied forces, including the U.S. VI Corps under the command of Maj. Gen. John P. Lucas (of Lt. Gen. Mark Clark’s Fifth Army), begin a series of landings along a stretch of western Italian coastline in the Anzio-Nettuno area. Codenamed Operation Shingle, the Allies achieve complete surprise against -- and encounter little initial resistance from -- the Germans. But the landings kick off what will become one of the most grueling campaigns of World War II. More here...

Current Events: Team Rubicon Update

The new Command Operations Center. Solar powered, satellite communication, and wifi enabled. Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Cadets, remember that challenge where you have to take two board and cross a water hazard? The test is aimed at getting it done in life and death circumstances.

24 January 2010

Current Events: Haiti, the Forgotten Valley

Brother Jim's reflections for 23 Jan 2010

How much can one person take? Today after one week here we are still seeing seriously wounded people who have yet to see a doctor. We are seeing tent cities that have 1000’s of people living in a crowded space with no water, food, or sanitary conditions. On one level life continues, but on another level it will never be the same. 10 minutes ago I translated for a young boy who barely spoke. His head was soft as a rotten pumpkin, and his leg was infected. His grandfather brought him to the Jesuit compound because he knew there were doctors here. No one else in his family could take him because they are all dead. Today was the first day the grandfather found his grandson, and today was the first time the boy saw a doctor.

Current Events: Team Rubicon Update

The sand table plan.

Current Events: Team Rubicon Update

Sunday 24 January, 2010

More Team Rubicon members are moving in, but the much needed supplies are still stuck at the airport.

Current Events: Haiti totally lawless or totally peaceful?

Strategic Briefer and author, Tom Barnett brings to the front the natural human capacity to over emphasize a bad situation for newsworthiness.

January 24, 2010
Comment upgrade: More Haiti data
A couple of days ago, I cited two WAPO pieces that suggested Haiti was dissolving into lawlessness (not uncommon after a major disaster--looting, vigilantism and score-settling all tend to pop up to some degree after a System Perturbation of this magnitude).

To counter this impression, reader Shane Deichman relays an email from Eric Rasmussen, CEO of inSTEDD, an IT-focused group that works to improve post-disaster management. The electronic missive presents an on-the-ground perspective highly at odds with WAPO's reporting (and my post's too-enthusiastic amplification). I'm almost certain I know Eric from a past life (he was Navy for a long time), because his name is quite familiar.

Anyway, here's what Eric wrote in a broadcast email:

I've just returned from driving all over PaP. We stopped and talked. We were in the national park, the palace grounds, up in Delmas, and around the airport. The place is calm, sad, and massively under-resourced. That is no surprise - we're ramping up - but there is an important issue skewing the response a little.

In more than two hours of assessment, I saw two SAR teams and one water truck. I was in the hardest hit areas. No food aid visible. One water truck. The rumor is that security - a force protection requirement - is impeding aid delivery.

If there are security concerns I'm not sure what is driving them. There are isolated incidents, but Port au Prince is a city of more than 1.2 million. Delmas has more than 400,000. There is going to be crime, stupid people, angry people, but they're isolated. This is an impressively controlled crowd and they are TRYING to be well-behaved so that aid will flow. There are more than 20,000 in the Palace Park alone. They fully recognize the risk if they tolerate violence.

My driver offered to wrap every medical worker in 5 Haitians to make sure they'd feel safe.

I saw untreated open fractures. Obvious head trauma. Obvious psych trauma. Major avulsions. No medical surveys evident on the street. Hospital clearly overloaded. I have photographs.

Can we please ensure that we avoid looking like we're hiding from poor, weak, injured people who need help? The perceived security posture is getting quite a bit of play in the community and may not serve anyone well. The transcript below is locally discussed. As it happens I know Chris Elias, CEO of PATH, and he hires good people. I suspect the interview content is accurate.


What is the exact truth? Both descriptions may hold, depending on exact location and time (the doc's impressions are based on a two-hour tour), but Rasmussen's experienced eye suggests that WAPO's reporting was too extrapolating. Still, note that the pivot on his logic is a "rumor," so you don't want to replace one bad extrapolation with another (as simpler reasons for slow aid-flow are easily imagined). You just want to balance your perceptions suitably until better, more compelling data accumulates.

Remember, we live in a MSM world where the election of one senator from MA is described as an "earthquake" creating "chaos" within Congress! So hyperbole tends to rule, and my mistake was in passing it on too uncritically.

23 January 2010

USAF: Moving fast

The USAF is working under a requirement to land, unload, re-load and get out in 2 hours or less.

By Paul F. Bove, Air Force Public Affairs Agency
U.S. Air Force Colonel John Romero, chief of Air Mobility Division for the 612th Air Operations Center at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, A.Z.; Lieutenant Colonel Brad Graff, 601st Air Operations Center, Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida; and Major Dave Smith, U.S. Air Force were on the DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable on 21 January to discuss how Airmen are managing the flow of aircraft into Haiti. With the recent boom of humanitarian flights going into and out of the Port au Prince Airport, missions have increased to approximately 140 per day (at an airport capable of handling approximately 50 per day). More here at the Air force's blog Air Force Live.

Current Events: Team Rubicon Update

Team Rubicon leader, Jake Wood, issues the Warning Order for Day 6. The teams will split up when departing the Jesuit Mission.

Saturday: Doc Monica (neural surgeon) and Doc Griz tend to a serious scalp laceration on a young boy.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

CTWG: Groton Cadet Profiled

Alexis Wojtcuk Stays Fit Walking “Laps” at Backus Hospital

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010
Alexis Wojtcuk, 15, is a Jr. Volunteer in the Escort Service at Backus Hospital, Norwich. “What I like best about what I do is the fact that I am helping people,” says Lexie.

Story & photo
by Maren Schober, TheResident.com

“I think I have just the volunteer you are looking for,” states Mary Rahaim, Director of Volunteers at Backus Hospital in Norwich. “Her name is Alexis Wojtcuk and she comes here every Friday for the whole day. She does anything that is needed to be done.”

I am immediately impressed by Lexie, as she likes to be called. For a high school sophomore at the age of 15, she is very focused on what she wants to do in life.

“I have always wanted to do something in the medical field,” Lexie informs me. “At Backus Hospital, I am getting plenty of opportunity to learn about this occupation and I know I definitely want to pursue a career in this field.”

“I am a Jr. Volunteer in the Escort Service,” Lexie continues. “I run all kinds of errands in the hospital and I literally walk laps from one end of the hospital to the other end. This gives me plenty of exercise! There are also lots of healthy choices for break and lunch in the cafeteria.”

Lexie explains specifically about her errands at Backus Hospital. “I discharge patients, going to their rooms and wheeling them to the exit of the hospital. One time I was discharging a patient who was so enthusiastic about leaving that he literally jumped out of the wheelchair at the front exit shouting for joy!”

“I also make patient medical charts and transport records from one department to another. Some days it is very tiring work and some days like today it is totally rewarding. I am learning to be patient because a lot of times patients don’t feel well or they are in pain,” said Lexie. “What I like best about what I do is the fact that I am helping people.”

Lexie has another strong interest. “Both my parents and my older sister are involved with the Civil Air Patrol,” shares Lexie, “so I learned about CAP at a very young age. My mother told me you had to be 12-years-old to join and for some reason I remembered that. This became a strong hope and dream inside me. On the day of my twelfth birthday, I got dressed up and went to breakfast.”

“‘Why are you all dressed up?’ asked my mother. ‘Because I am 12-years-old now and today I am joining the Civil Air Patrol’ This was a great surprise to my mother. ‘You are?!’ she asked astounded.”

Lexie loves her community service work in the Civil Air Patrol. “I am a Cadet Chief Master Sergeant,” explains Lexie, “and a member of the Ground Team. “It is very strange. Although I am afraid of heights, I love flying and being in an airplane. It does not bother me. I take flying lessons and learn how to respond in different kinds of emergency rescue.”

Lexie is a hard working volunteer in our community. I know she will go after the dreams of her heart and find joy and purpose in life.

Current Events: Haiti - Team Rubicon Update

Update: Team Rubicon Internal Medicine Dr Maurecio Consalter helps set up Forward Area Surgical Teams (FAST). Security elements led by Jake Wood, Clay Hunt and William McNulty, will insert FAST teams into refugee camps in the next hour. "We are going to do field trauma, surgeries, debride wounds...if there is a natural delivery we will do it, and we are going to triage tertiary care to CDTI Hospital" says Consalter.

For more information or to do donate to Team Rubicon go HERE.

22 January 2010

Current Events: Haiti - Team Rubicon

Doc Mark, with Mobile Team Alpha, removes a cast to find a badly infected wound.
Former Army medic Zak Beck reinforces a previously used cast with Dermafill pens and duct tape.
Success! Pediatric femur fracture - ID'd in the field by Team Alpha; delivered to CDTI by Rubicon assets; leg set and casted here by our Docs; and ready to return home with mom (taxi fare and a little extra for the family, thanks to your contributions). :-)

Starting like - now! Always Vigilant will cover the activities of Team Rubicon as it works its tail off in Haiti for no other purpose than love of our fellow man. This is the type of Mission CAP was created for. http://blog.teamrubiconhaiti.org/

Team Rubicon is a self-financed and self-deployed group of former Marines, soldiers and health care professionals currently providing emergency relief in Haiti.

"The Rubicon was a small stream that separated Gaul (France) and ancient Rome. On January 11th, Caesar crossed the Rubicon, and it marked the point of no return. This Sunday, January 17th, our 4 man team will cross the Artibonite River, separating the Dominican Republic and Haiti, carrying crucial medicine and supplies to the people of Haiti. Once across, we will be irrevocably committed to our task."

Here is how bad it gets: Anyone know a Brigadier or Higher??

From McNultyRe: "If you could get anything you needed/wanted today, What would it be?? There are calculated risks that we accept, but people have gone 9 days with limited food and water. I've seen two food trucks attacked. They are getting desperate and we carry food and water with us. I want a high level POC at the airport who can get me supplies and transpo. Not some rear echelon major who is going to threaten to take my medical supplies and tell me I'm her problem because I'm wearing a uniform. I need one person who can get me transpo for 500k worth external fixeters that are flying in from Chicago via FedEx tomorrow. Dr Ivankov's hospital donated them and I'm tasked with figuring out how to get them to the Jrs and hospital. I really need a go-to person...brigade commander or above. "

This is real life and real death. Additional dispatches to follow... Should the feeling overwhelm, the place to donate is at the above URL.

We are now in direct contact with Team Rubicon, however, you can also follow these dispaches at Blackfive.net.

19 January 2010

CTWG: Meriden, Local Youth Take to the Skies in the Civil Air Patrol

Meriden, CT. December 30, 2009

Six area teens experienced the thrill of aviation, through orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol at Meriden Markham Municipal Airport during their holiday break. The cadets who flew for almost four hours in the Civil Air Patrol's sophisticated Cessna 172 enjoyed every second of it.

One of the cadets was heard to say “it was so cool. I was a little nervous at first, but then I was able to relax”.

The hour-long flights in a single-engine Cessna aircraft introduced the cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers and more.

The cadets’ day began by helping to pre-flight their aircraft. Working with their pilot, they taxied their aircraft to Meriden’s runway 36, gave it full throttle and took off with a slight cross-wind, climbing to a 3,000 foot altitude. While aloft, the cadets handled the controls, during the non-critical stages of the flight.

The cadets noted, “It was very choppy up there”. And, “I thought that it would be much harder to fly, but it wasn’t”.

Once they reached their assigned altitude, the cadets turned east and navigated to fly over the Civil Air Patrol headquarters in Middletown. They then flew south following the Connecticut River.

Pilots involved with the flights were Major Leonard Schindler and Senior Members Roger Malagutti and Constance Castillo. They volunteered their time while the Civil Air Patrol provided the aircraft and fuel, at no cost to the cadets or the pilots. It was exciting for the pilots to see the thrill on the cadets’ faces once they finished their first flight. A rewarding experience for everyone involved.

The area youth participating in the orientation flights were Jonathan Blythe, Paul Corda, Eric Llaser, Francis Moua, Yosh Pant, and Franklyn Torres.

The pilot of the aircraft for the day was Major Leonard Schindler.

16 January 2010

Aero: Going Home

Ah that warm fuzzy feeling when you are finally getting home...

15 January 2010

Current Events: Haiti Perspective

The full impact of the Haiti disaster comes home in a comment left by Blackfive on Blackfive.net (perhaps the most prominent Millblog today).

"A colleague of mine lost her husband and 2 of 3 young daughters. She had to leave 2 daughters in the rubble to save the life of the third child, a toddler. She didn't want to leave her daughters and Husband in the rubble, but she had to in order that her third child might have a chance at life. How do you maintain sanity after a "gut-wrenching" decision like that."

CTWG: Hoax Email Circulating

To all CTWG members:

A "Nigerian Scam" hoax email recently went out from a private CAP emailing list signed by a PA member "Lt Col L. Utting."

It starts;

"Hi, I really don't mean to inconvenience you right now but I
made a quick trip to the United Kingdom and I lost a bag which
contains my passport and credit cards...."

Please ignore this email as it is a hoax.


11 January 2010

USAF: Pedro

Read on...

When the Pedro crews see injuries, they rush out to the helicopters like Batman and Robin heading to the Batmobile. Really, you’ve got to get out of the way or they will knock you down. Within a few minutes the rotors are spinning but the Pedros actually have not yet been tasked to go.

10 January 2010

CAP: Narrow Band FM Frequencies

All Personnel, Northeast Region, CAP:

By direction, Commander, NER, effective 1 January 2010 the new “narrow band FM” frequencies are mandatory.

Within the next few days the respective wing Directors of Communications will be requested to distribute information sheets within their wings listing the primary channels to be used in each wing. Keep a copy of this information for your guidance.

Any questions should be directed through your chain of command.