Jul 27, 2010

3rd MAW helo pilots killed in Helmand province

Staff report
Posted : Tuesday Jul 27, 2010

Two Marine helicopter pilots were killed last Thursday during combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Defense Department announced Monday.
Lt. Col. Mario D. Carazo, 41, of Springfield, Ohio, and Maj. James M. Weis, 37, of Toms River, N.J., were AH-1W Super Cobra pilots assigned to Marine Light-Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, said Maj. Jay Delarosa, a wing spokesman at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego. The squadron is part of Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and is based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Military officials have not released details about the incident or said what brought down the helicopter. “The incident occurred as they were engaging in combat,” Delarosa said.
NATO officials that day reported that two service members were killed in a helicopter crash near Lashkar Gah, Helmand’s provincial capital, and the crash was under investigation.
Carazo, who was commissioned in 1991, deployed to Iraq in 2006 and 2008, Delarosa said. His military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Weis was commissioned in 1996 and deployed to Iraq from 2005-06. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Air Medal (Individual Action), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and Presidential Unit Citation-Navy.

SOCOMGEAR 24K Gold Plated 1911 Government

Package includes:
24K GOLD PLATED 1911 Airsoft pistol
One magazine
500 PCS limited
Unique Serial Number
Non slip rubber combat grip
Matte black magazine
Collection 1911 pistol

Jul 20, 2010

MadBull Budget LiPo Battery.

MadBull Ultimate PX Lipo Battery
Retail Price: $30-40 USD
CE/ ROHS/ MSDS certified, less hazardous and real C value battery.

Click Picture to enlarge

* Made in Taiwan.
* Certified by CE/ ROHS/ MSDS
* Safety certified: Can be shipped by Air.
* Extremely safe.
* True C value not China fake C value LIPO Battery.
* High Performance and less hazardous formula.
* Special Design for Airsoft AEG, not an RC re-brand battery.

Jul 17, 2010

EMA Tactical Hit Counting Pop Up Target System

A.P. Defence Ltd. is a leading Israeli company in the field of Firearm Training Equipment. Our engineers and designers are all experts in the field of Counter-Terror/Combat Activities, as well as R&D and Production Methods. We are thus equipped to offer our customers the knowledge, expertise, and flexibility required in this special field.  Our Active Target Systems are the easiest and friendliest Hit & Time scoring target ever used by professionals. It is portable & wireless and takes less than 5 seconds to setup and start shooting!
This portable system is armored to protect the unit from damage from pistol cartridges. It is powered by a rechargeable battery that will last through a day’s worth of training and can be recharged overnight. The pop up target system is available in two models, with or without wheels.
There are three styles of targets, single area targets, two area targets with a body and a periphery, and three area targets with a head, a body and a periphery. For example, using the three area target, the range instructor can program the system to stay upright for two seconds or one hit to the head portion of the target and two hits to the body portion. This system is capable of an infinite number of hit and time combinations. Available options for the system include a three dimensional target overlay, controller for five or more units, rifle caliber armor plating and extended range remote controllers. Affordable, reliable and portable, the targets will last for 200-300 hits before replacement is necessary. Start training quickly as it sets up easily in less than five minutes.


Jul 13, 2010

Corps takes a new look at green bullet

By Dan Lamothe and Matthew Cox
Posted : Monday Jul 12, 2010

The Marine Corps intends to purchase 1.8 million rounds of the Army’s new green bullet in addition to the millions of U.S. Special Operations Command cartridges already downrange as the service looks to find the best replacement for its Cold War-era ammo.
The new environmentally friendly M855A1 Enhanced Performance Round is on the way to U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, Army officials said, with about 1 million rounds arriving soon. The updated 5.56mm round is touted as more effective than old M855 ammunition and, in some cases, 7.62mm rounds currently in use.
The new M855A1 will be used by the Army to replace the Cold War-era M855 round, which was developed in the 1970s and approved as an official NATO round in 1980. In recent years, troops have widely criticized it, saying it is ineffective against barriers such as car windshields and often travels right through unarmored insurgents, with less-than-lethal effects.
The Army plans to buy about 200 million rounds of the new ammunition over the next 12 to 15 months, Army officials said late last month. The announcement came 11 months after the service had to halt the program when the M855A1 lead-free slug failed to perform under high temperatures.
The lead-free M855A1 is more dependable than the current M855 and delivers consistent performance at all distances, Army officials said. It performed better than the current-issue 7.62mm round against hardened steel targets in testing, penetrating æ-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855, Army officials said.
“For hardened steel, it is definitely better than the 7.62mm round,” said Chris Grassano, who runs the Army’s Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems.
The Corps had planned to field the Army’s M855A1 until the program suffered a major setback in August 2009, when testing revealed that some of the bullets did not follow their trajectory or intended flight path. The bismuth-tin slug proved to be sensitive to heat, prompting Marine officials to choose the enhanced Special Operations Science and Technology round developed by U.S. Special Operations Command instead. Commonly known as SOST ammo, the bullet isn’t environmentally friendly, but it offered the Corps a better bullet after the Army’s M855A1 round failed. Marine infantrymen began using it in Afghanistan this spring.
The Army has replaced the bismuth-tin slug in its new round with a copper one, solving the bullet’s problems, Army officials said. More than 500,000 rounds have been fired in testing.
With the improvements to the lead-free round, the Corps is again considering it as a long-term replacement for the old M855 bullet, said Capt. Geraldine Carey, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command, based at Quantico, Va. The Corps already has bought 4.5 million cartridges of SOST ammo as “interim enhanced capability,” but also will receive 1.8 million rounds of the new Army bullet in July, she said. A decision to field the new M855A1 bullet will be based on how well it does in additional testing. Either way, the Corps plans to continue replacing the older M855 round.
The SOST bullet weighs 62 grains and has a lead core with a solid copper shank. It is considered a variation of Federal Cartridge Co.’s Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw round, which was developed for big-game hunting and is touted in a company news release for its ability to crush bone. It uses an open-tip match round design common with sniper ammunition, provides Marines deadlier ammunition with more stopping power, and stays on target through windshields and car doors better than conventional M855 ammo.
The new Army round also weighs 62 grains and has a 19-grain steel penetrator tip, 9 grains heavier than the tip on old M855 ammo. Seated behind the penetrator is a solid copper slug.
Unlike the old M855 round, the M855A1 is designed for use in the M4 carbine, which has a 14.5-inch barrel, compared with the M16’s 20-inch barrel. The propellant has been tailored to reduce the muzzle flash of the M4, but it also works in the M16A4 and other rifles chambered for 5.56mm ammunition.

Army: MultiCam allowed only in Afghanistan

By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jul 12, 2010

The Army put out a message to soldiers who will receive new MultiCam uniforms for Afghanistan — don’t plan on wearing your fancy new duds to the bank at lunch time.
The strict new rules that will govern the fielding and wear of the new Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern uniforms are laid out in a June 10 All Army Activities message.
“OCP is authorized for wear in Afghanistan only,” the message states. “Only U.S. Army soldiers and members of other services assigned to U.S. Army units operating in Afghanistan are authorized” to wear the new pattern.
The Army selected MultiCam as the new pattern for Afghanistan in February after it outperformed the Army Combat Uniform’s Universal Camouflage Pattern and several other popular patterns in multiple Army tests.
U.S.-based units will begin receiving MultiCam uniforms and equipment by August. Soldiers are only allowed to wear MuliCam in Afghanistan, “during travel to or from Afghanistan,” and “for unit ceremonial events just prior to deployment or just after redeployment,” the message states.
As far as pre-deployment training goes, soldiers can wear MultiCam, “but only if UCP items are not available,” the message states.
The Army plans to begin fielding to units already serving in Afghanistan by November, but only units with “120 days or more remaining in Afghanistan” will receive the new uniforms and equipment in MultiCam.
Each soldier’s clothing records will be updated during the fielding process to “ensure total accountability,” the message states. “There will be no exceptions.”
Soldiers will be allowed to keep the MultiCam Fire-Resistant ACUs, caps and other accessories when they return from deployment, but will be required to turn in their MultiCam Modular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment, Extended Cold Weather Clothing System Generation III items, body armor, and helmet covers, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings told Army Times on June 24.
Soldiers are “prohibited” from buying MultiCam uniforms and equipment from any place other than Army and Air Force Exchange Service clothing sales stores.
MultiCam, made by Crye Precision LLC, was the top performer in a computerized, photo-simulation test the Army conducted late last year. Tests included photographs taken in desert, woodland, cropland and mountain terrain settings.
The pattern features seven shades of brown, tan and green. It had already been a top performer in two previous Army studies.
One of the tests, “Photosimulation Camouflage Detection Test,” conducted by U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center from March 2007 to March 2009, showed that MultiCam and three other patterns outperformed the existing UCP.
A previous Natick study, called “Computerized Visual Camouflage Evaluation,” conducted from November 2005 to July 2006, found that “MultiCam performed significantly better than the UCP in most conditions.”
Separately, Army Special Operations Command has also tested MultiCam in different environments worldwide, including Iraq and Afghanistan, and found that it outperformed the Army’s standard pattern. Army special operations units such as Delta Force, some of the 75th Ranger Regiment and some Special Forces teams wear the MultiCam pattern instead of the UCP in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the most recent photo-simulation test, a special team spent 17 days in Afghanistan, taking more than 1,000 photographs of camouflage uniforms and equipment in desert, woodland, cropland and mountain settings between Kandahar and Bagram. Each photograph was calibrated to show the correct color despite varying daylight conditions.
The nine-man team went outside the wire nearly every day, providing their own security as they took turns modeling the test patterns for photographs.
The photos from the trip were turned into a three-phase test taken by soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Drum, N.Y.


Soldiers will be given:
• 4 sets of MultiCam fire-resistant uniforms
• 4 combat shirts and matching combat gear
• Select layers of the Gen III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System.

Wife flying tanker fills hubby’s Hornet

By Meg Jones - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP
Posted : Monday Jul 12, 2010

As reunions go, it only lasted a few minutes. But Jeff and Christine McLean were thrilled nonetheless to see each other, even though they couldn’t hug, let alone kiss.
Married in May 2009, the couple has spent most of their first year of marriage apart.
Lt. Jeff McLean flies an F/A-18 Super Hornet. Air Force Capt. Christine McLean pilots a KC-135 Stratotanker refueling plane.
After Christine McLean was deployed from England to southwest Asia in May for refueling missions in the skies over Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, she hoped she might hook up — literally — with her husband, who had been flying combat and support missions from the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower since January.
But it wasn’t until late June, on Jeff McLean’s final flight of his deployment, when he rendezvoused with air refuelers over Pakistan that he saw his wife’s plane.
Jeff McLean wrote in an e-mail to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper that he and his wife had tried to coordinate their flight schedules, but with more than 50 KC-135s taking off daily to refuel both Navy and Air Force planes, it was too difficult to connect in the air.
On his last combat flight, Jeff McLean knew his wife would be flying in the same area at the same time, but because they had never been able to meet on previous flights, he was merely hoping to hear his wife’s voice on the radio.
“After I was done with my last mission in Afghanistan, the sun was just setting, and I changed frequencies to check in with my tanker, and it was Christine!” Jeff McLean wrote.
Although it was dark and turbulent — difficult conditions for aerial refueling — Jeff McLean said it was one of the highlights of the deployment.
“After she gave me about 10,000 pounds of fuel, I flew right up next to her cockpit. She turned on the lights and waved, and I could see her, but it’s pretty dark in my jet, so I’m not sure that she ever saw me waving. ... We were able to fly together all the way out of country and back over the Arabian Sea at 500 knots, then I had to head back and land on the ship and she headed back to her base. As we broke apart, I lit my afterburner, which hopefully looked pretty cool in the dark. It was an absolutely perfect flight.”

Safer, more modern ejection seat for Talon

Staff report
Posted : Monday Jul 12, 2010

The T-38 Talon, one of the Air Force’s advanced jet trainers for nearly 50 years, is getting a new ejection seat.
“The ejection seat in the T-38 is the original one from the 1950s and ’60s,” said Rick French, T-38 program manager at Air Education and Training Command. “There were modifications over the decades, but the seats made today are much more capable.”
The new seat, called the Mk US16T, provides rapid deployment of the parachute following an ejection. It is known as a zero-zero seat, which means it will “eject at zero altitude and zero airspeed, so the aircrew can bail out on the ground,” said Rey Gutierrez, 12th Operations Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment instructor.
“When the seat clears the aircraft, explosives deploy the parachute,” French said. “It’s almost instantaneous.”
The parachute on the old ejection seat took longer to open.
An added benefit of the new ejection seat is aircrew members no longer have to carry their 45-pound parachutes to the aircraft. The parachutes are part of the new seats and are enclosed in a container called the head box, which means aircrew members only have to wear a five-pound harness that attaches to the seat.
Safety features on the new seat include the inter-seat sequencing system. It is designed to decrease the possibility of aircrew collision during ejection and burns to the aircrew because the rear seat will eject first and go to the right while the front seat will eject to the left.
Thigh and ankle restraints keep aircrew members more secure, and the adjustable seat allows for anyone between 103 and 245 pounds to fly the T-38.
“Now the seat can better accommodate smaller pilots,” French said. “The old seat accommodates 58 percent of female pilots. The new seat brings that percentage up to 87 percent.”
Other safety features include a survival kit and fittings that allow for a faster release of the parachute canopy.
The first seats were installed at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. The 66 T-38Cs based at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, are getting the seats next.
Work on aircraft at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., is expected to begin sometime in July, and the project is expected to be completed in May 2013 at Vance Air Force Base, Okla., and Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.

Study finds toxic metals in dust in Afghanistan

By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jul 12, 2010

Here’s another thing to worry about when you deploy: toxic dust.
A new Navy study suggests that dust from Afghanistan contains metals that may cause respiratory problems and brain damage.
“Afghanistan sand produces neurotoxicity … with potential adverse health effects to our soldiers,” according to a briefing of the study presented at a medical conference in June in Portland, Ore.
The Navy conducted the study in response to anecdotal concerns that the dust and dust storms common in the Middle East may be harmful. The dust samples were taken from Forward Operating Base Salerno near Khost, which was selected because of its relative isolation with no nearby industry that could skew results.
A close analysis of the Afghan dust found traces of manganese, a toxic chemical known to cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms. Other metals found in the sand include silicon, iron, magnesium, aluminum and chromium.
Those metals, if trace elements are inhaled, can travel through the bloodstream to the brain and other organs, according to the study.
The study did not include testing on any people or animals, and Navy officials emphasized that the findings are only preliminary at this point.
“There is no definitive basis to say the sand is neurotoxic to people or animals,” said Cmdr. Cappy Surette, a spokesman for Navy medicine. “It is important to note though that in a great many cases, preliminary research outcomes do not bear out the earlier findings when the investigation involves replication of exposure in the living intact mammalian animal and human research subject. That said, research will continue until a complete picture is understood.”
Other jobs involving risk of metal inhalation include welding, mining, plating and in some cases roadway construction, Surette said.

Jul 12, 2010

Hellenic Army Special Forces Colt M4 Enhanced

Colt M4 Enhanced
Colt M4 Carbine is a versatile weapon system with proven combat utility and performance providing the operator with the confidence required to accomplish any mission. Featuring a 14.5 in. (37 cm) barrel it is designed for use wherever lightness, speed of action, mobility and fire power are required. It can be comfortably carried, yet be instantly available to provide the power, accuracy and range of a 5.56mm Rifle. Proven in military operations, it stands alone as a first-line weapon system. Colt M4 Carbine is today's weapon of choice; the weapon of the 21st century soldier.

The M4 Carbine is an extremely accurate and effective weapon under all practical field applications. It is a favorite with both first line infantry operations as well as special forces, unit commanders and vehicle crews. Available with a Safe/Semi/Full Auto 3-position selector (model R0977) the M4 Carbine is today’s weapon of choice.

The M4 Carbine features a redesigned 4-position sliding butt stock allowing it to adapt to soldiers of different sizes and physical characteristics as well as various firing positions or clothing variations. Almost all mechanical components are interchangeable with those of the M16 rifle, ensuring quality, commonality of parts and reduced maintenance costs.

The M4 Carbine barrel is designed to accept the M203 Grenade Launcher which can easily be assembled to the carbine offering the user both point and area firing capabilities. Also, all US and NATO rifle grenades can be fired without any supplementary equipment.

A Hellenic SF M4 carbine firing in slow motion, semi / full auto. 

The video was recorded with Casio Exilim EX F1 camera.

Jul 9, 2010

M26 12-Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun System (MASS)

Enhances Soldier effectiveness with lethal, less-than-lethal, and door-breaching capabilities with a 12-gauge accessory shotgun attachment that provides faster transition time between the primary weapon and shotgun.

The M26 12-Gauge Modular Accessory Shotgun System (MASS) attaches quickly beneath the barrel of the M4 Modular Weapon System (MWS) and fires lethal, less-than-lethal, and door-breaching rounds. The MASS enables soldiers to transition between lethal and less-than-lethal fires and adds the capabilities of a separate shotgun without carrying a second weapon. Features include a recoil-absorbing butt-stock, box magazine, flip-up sights and an extendable standoff device for door breaching.

Jul 5, 2010

AF wants pilots to save money, fuel

By Bruce Rolfsen - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Jul 3, 2010

Pilots are hearing calls the earthbound are well familiar with: Slow down. Don’t turn on the engine until you are ready to leave. Do you really need to go there?
These are new rules for aircrews, part of the Air Force effort to use less fuel and save money.
“Trying to teach a fighter pilot or a bomber pilot to approach energy differently can almost be as challenging as trying to educate my daughters to turn the lights off and not spend so much time drying their hair,” Lt. Gen. William Rew, vice commander of Air Combat Command, told other military leaders and energy industry officials at a two-day Air Force energy forum in May.
Driving the conservation push is fuel use — 84 percent of the Air Force’s energy costs.
Before the consumption crackdown, pilots didn’t worry much about saving fuel unless the gas gauge needle was on empty and they needed to find a tanker, according to Rew.
Pilots “like to go fast and think, ‘if I go afterburner, I want to use as much as I want,’” Rew said.
Now, ACC pilots get an annual review of their fuel savings. If they don’t do well, they get a talking to.
“We’ll have a little attention adjustment or they will suffer the consequences,” said Rew, an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot and three-time wing commander.
Rew told Air Force Times that pilots aren’t restricted on fuel use during the combat phase of a training sortie. The focus is on what happens before and after planes enter the training range.
At Red Flag exercises over Nevada, for example, commanders tell the fighter pilots to cut their speed on their return to Nellis Air Force Base. Instead of 350 knots, the pilots fly at 300 knots.
Air Education and Training Command aims to start aircrew members thinking about fuel conservation while they are still earning their wings, said Lt. Col. Frank Yannuzzi, chief of the flying training branch for undergraduate flight training.
Most measures are simple, he said, such as keeping engines off during preflight preparations until they need to be turned on and not filling up fuel tanks, which make a plane heavier, unless the mission requires it.
Once the student pilot is off the ground, training takes priority over fuel conservation, Yannuzzi said.
Flight simulators are another way the Air Force can save fuel. How much a student pilot uses a simulator depends primarily on his skill level and the type of plane, said Ron Hamada of the graduate training division.
A new student pilot flying a T-6 Texan trainer needs as much time in the air as he can get, he said. A student pilot moving on to training for operational assignments, though, would use a simulator.
For example, a C-130J Hercules student pilot trains only in a simulator during the basic phase of his course and moves to a plane for the mission training phase.

Jul 2, 2010

173rd Airborne soldier recommended for MoH

By Michelle Tan - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jul 2, 2010

A soldier who served in Afghanistan could be the first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
News outlets in and around Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have reported that Staff Sgt. Sal Giunta, who is from that area, is believed to be the soldier being considered for the nation’s highest valor award. Giunta is currently stationed in Vicenza, Italy.
The recommendation has been sent from the Defense Department the White House, according to an Army source, who confirmed that Giunta is likely the nominee.
The Washington Post was the first to report the nomination, but did not reveal the soldier’s name.
A source close to the nomination said the soldier fought through a barrage of fire to repel enemy fighters in a fierce battle in late 2007 in Afghanistan’s treacherous Korengal Valley. His actions saved the lives of several other soldiers.
The White House and the Army refused to comment on the nomination. Efforts to reach Giunta and his family were unsuccessful.
Giunta’s heroic actions are chronicled in a new book titled “War,” by Sebastian Junger.
A specialist at the time, Giunta deployed with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team for its June 2007 to August 2008 tour in Afghanistan.
According to Junger’s book, late on Oct. 25, 2007, Giunta and his fellow soldiers from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, were on their way back from a major operation when they are ambushed by the enemy.
Giunta was the fourth soldier from the front; Sgt. Josh Brennan was walking point, according to “War.”
The enemy fired machine-gun and small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades from such close range that the Apache attack helicopters overhead were unable to help the soldiers on the ground.
“First Platoon is essentially inside a shooting gallery,” Junger wrote. “Within seconds, every man in the lead squad takes a bullet. Brennan goes down immediately, wounded in eight places.”
As the battle progressed, Giunta “sees two enemy fighters dragging Josh Brennan down the hillside. He empties his M4 magazine at them and starts running toward his friend,” according to the book.
“Giunta jams a new magazine into his gun and yells for a medic. Brennan is lying badly wounded in the open and Giunta grabs him by the vest and drags him behind a little bit of cover.”
Brennan doesn’t survive surgery, Junger wrote.
Giunta later talks to Junger about his actions. “I did what I did because that’s what I was trained to do,” he told Junger. “I didn’t run through fire to save a buddy – I ran through fire to see what was going on with him and maybe we could hide behind the same rock and shoot together. I didn’t run through fire to do anything heroic or brave. I did what I believe anyone would have done.”

Military recommends MoH for living recipient

By Pauline Jelinek - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Jul 1, 2010

WASHINGTON — The military has sent the White House a recommendation to award the Medal of Honor to a soldier for bravery in Afghanistan, which could make him the first living recipient since the Vietnam War.
The soldier ran through a hail of enemy fire to repel Taliban fighters in a 2007 battle, saving the lives of a half dozen other men, two U.S. officials said Wednesday. They declined to name the soldier and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is still under consideration for the honor.
There is concern, officials say, that early disclosure could place political pressure on President Barack Obama to approve the medal or could cause embarrassment for the soldier if it's not approved.
The nation's highest award for valor has been awarded only six times in the nine years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq — and all were awarded posthumously.
That small number has prompted member of Congress to ask the Pentagon to examine its policy for awarding the medal, a process that can take years and involves several reviews up the chain of command.
Officials have said it's hard to compare the number awarded since the 2001 start of the Afghanistan invasion with the hundreds awarded in World War II and Vietnam because warfare has evolved so much in recent decades.
Those earlier wars frequently involved close conflict with an organized enemy formation, for instance, while today's fighting is against non-uniformed insurgents who use remotely detonated roadside bombs, suicide bombers, sniper attacks and other tactics that avoid the risk of engaging personally with U.S. forces.

SureFire® 30th Anniversary Collector Set

SureFire® 30th Anniversary Collector Set

To commemorate our 30th anniversary, SureFire has released a limited edition collector set that includes our E1B Backup® flashlight and our original SureFire Pen. Both pieces are hard-anodized with a rugged but smooth SureFire Camo finish that features SureFire's signature red, accented with black and silver. Both the Backup and SureFire Pen are engraved with matching serial numbers and accompanied by a letter of authenticity from company founder and president, Dr. John Matthews. This is a limited run—with only 1,800 sets—that will not be repeated.

 E1B Backup®

This ultra compact dual-output flashlight was designed as a backup light for patrol officers or a primary light for plain-clothes officers, but it's also ideal for outdoor, personal defense, and everyday use. The Backup's tailcap switch activates the flashlight at either output level. Press or click for a 110-lumen high beam—more than enough light to temporarily disorient an aggressor. Release or click off, then press or click on again within two seconds for a 5-lumen long-runtime low beam that's ideal for reading a map or navigating a trail without degrading your night-adapted vision. The smooth, hard-anodized aluminum body takes it is easy on clothing and the two-way clip lets you carry the light head-up or head-down.
The SureFire™ Pen

Machined from high-strength aluminum and given an attractive Mil-Spec hard anodized finish, this eye-catching and spike-tough writing instrument writes effortlessly, but can provide a tactical advantage in case of emergency. It features a tumble-polished stainless steel tip, pocket clip, and a window-breaker tailcap—just in case. Made in the U.S., it comes with an imported Schmidt® easyFLOW ink cartridge but is fully adjustable to accept most ink cartridges between 3.875" and 4.25" long.
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