This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

Mar 22, 2011

Greece or Bust

We arrive at the Norfolk Naval Station, Virginia today. We will try to fly Space Available on a Navy plane today to one of the following posted destinations:


Lajes, The Azores, Portugal

Ramstein, Germany

Rota, Spain

Naples, Italy

Crete, Greece

Many of the planes are also going on to the middle east but Space A passengers are not permitted to go to these destinations. Otherwise we would try for one of these more exotic locations.

We will try for Crete, Greece. I will periodically post photos and updates on this blog when I can get to the internet and if I can figure out how to post from my IPAD.

Norfolk is a former home of mine. I spent one year here when I was 18 doing a little volunteer social work in the inner city. I was also a Reserve Officer with CincLantFleet in the lat 1980's. Norfolk is an interesting town.

Mar 20, 2011

Mediterranean Sea, 

Mar 20, 2011 — U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers positioned in coalition military bases and U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD3) launched during the early hours in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn to enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, which is centered on protecting Libyan citizens from any further harm from Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi's regime, March 20, 2011.

Click to Read More:

Mar 19, 2011

Japan Devastation Report

* I don't know this gentleman, it was forwarded to me by a Marine friend.

Japan Devastation report from behind the scenes

This from the CO of Marine Corps Air Station, Futemna, Okinawa, Colonel Dale Smith.  Several forwards have been deleted.

Quick note to let you know what's happening and a sincere "thanks" for your note of's not taken for granted and appreciated greatly. We worked all weekend...(Air Station is normally limited hours onS aturday's, closed Sunday's) 24/7 now in support...our guys/gals will be fairly ragged soon.

MEF pushed 8 Phrogs and 10 or more C-130s North to Iwakuni over the weekend. A Joint Task Force (JTF) was established by USFJ... led by Army 3-star; his deputy is the Division's CG...(our guy), a 2-star select. 

Phrog (Ch-46) in a field near Iwakuni

31st MEU is inbound...MEB has moved forward as well...JTF will attempt to establish its HQ at Sendai Airport once they can get in there and clear somethings....(but a third reactor just blew, not sure how close they get just now). Devastation truly is "atomic equivalent" in nature....entire villages(cities)..gone, "everyone" within their populations (in some cases 10,000)... missing or dead. Damage isn't isolated to just Sendaiarea.... over 10 cities were taken "out"....gone, off the map, along with their people. I cannot write this without tears... it's that bad.

Helos from Oki, Korea, supporting...with as many fixed-wing as possible aswell... all branches of service. Flew all weekend myself, along with our other OSA aircraft (3 jets, 1 C-12 from Oki), Two C-12s from Iwakuni, getting people up to Yokota (Tokyo area), Iwakuni, Atsugi, etc.... Most will move forward into the disaster area when able to support what will no doubt be a very long recovery process and HADR ops. My XO is flying today... (I was scheduled to, but was pulled off the sched to support other ops). XO is flying the Generals over the latest reactor explosion area... (above what'snow becoming a nuclear cloud). USS Ronald Regan floated through the "cloud" yesterday and became contaminated to a degree. Helo's are doing the same, and have to be "decon'd" upon returning to base....rescuers and victims are becoming "exposed" to the radiation, and unfortunately for now, the end isn't in sight as to how bad the nuclear situation will get. Thanks again Horn.... I'll keep you updated when I can. Appreciate the prayers for all....(wx's been good, but rain and snow are moving into to day up there, as if the people weren't suffering enough). At times like this,all one can do is their best, and remember, God has a plan we sometimes don't understand, but have to trust, He's in control.

Semper Fi,


Mar 18, 2011

Marines Assisting Japanese Recovery

The Navy Marine Team maintains some large bases in Japan. They are assisting the Japanese government in the recovery effort.

Click to see the Video

Mar 17, 2011

No Fly Zone

The U.N. Security Council voted on Thursday to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" -- code for military action -- to protect civilians against leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

Well, now we are in one more war in the Muslim Arab World. But the new one is in Africa, not Asia. Progress, I guess?

One good deal after another.

On the positive side I just yesterday reported on plans to down size the military and the Marine Corps. Now perhaps we won't do that. With three wars going on we may need more folks, not less.

Click to read more.

A Word to the Wise!!!!

The most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.


Someone was very clever with the shoebox greeting cards. Must have been Hallmark that put this together......

This is wonderful….

Never look down on anybody, unless you're helping them up. 

Read quietly then send it back on its journey

To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to a premature  baby..

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed  the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

The origin of this letter is unknown,
But it brings good luck to everyone who passes it on.


Hold on tight to the ones you love!

Do not keep this letter.

Send it to friends & family to whom you wish good fortune

Mar 16, 2011

Marine Reduction

Marine Corps releases Force Structure Review

The future Marine Corps will be smaller, but designed to serve as a “crisis response force,” according to the newly released report by the 2010 Force Structure Review Group.
Made up of 100 officers and senior civilian officials, the group met between September and January to outline recommendations for the Corps as it shifts away from the prolonged conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The plan calls for a reduction of the active-duty force from 202,000 to 186,800. The drawdown start-time will be dictated by the fight in Afghanistan, Marine officials have said
Click to Read More:

Mar 13, 2011

Colonel Ken Elmendorf



Ken Elmendorf was an outstanding Marine. A natural leader and motivator, he was a superb commander and a fine friend. Confident and aggressive, he put his troops at ease with humorous comments. He strutted and swaggered and thoroughly enjoyed leading his Marines, who likewise enjoyed his swashbuckling style of leadership. I served as Lt Colonel Elmendorf's Executive Officer in the mid 1980's, when he Commanded Marine Wing Communication Squadron – 48 (MWCS-48). He did a terrific job leading the Squadron, which was selected as the Squadron of the Year in large part because of his efforts. 

Ken commanded the Marine Wing Communication Squadron-48 at the Glenview Naval Air Station when he was still a Lieutenant Colonel. His first drill weekend was also the change of command for the Marine Air Control Group. Each Squadron marched in review before the incoming and outgoing regular Commander of the Group. Lt Colonel Elmendorf and the troops practiced until they were perfect. But there was a problem. The active duty officers did not like the large gold bracelet that the Colonel wore on his arm. They asked me to ask him to take it off. I did so. "Oh they want me to take off my bracelet, do they?” said Ken Elmendorf. “My wife NJ gave me this bracelet. I am going to wear it. To hell with them." And wear it he did, with the bracelet sliding up and down his arm as he raised and lowered his sword in the parade, strutting in front of his Squadron and the entire Marine Group.

Lieutenant Colonel Elmendorf assumed command of the unit at a time when the Squadron was suffering from a morale and attendance problem. Colonel Elmendorf seldom raised his voice, but just expressed confidence that his officers and Staff NCO's could solve the problem. And following his direction they did.

Colonel Elmendorf was famous for his ventriloquist dummy, Elmer. The troops loved to be entertained by the irreverent dummy. Elmer was dressed in a Lance Corporal Marine Dress Blue Uniform, with a very non-Marine like long hair cut. Elmer was salty and cocky and not afraid to insult anyone. He insulted senior officers, which was not politically correct, and a bad overall career move. Lt. Colonel Elmendorf always pointed out that it was not him but rather Elmer who was the wise ass culprit. LtCol Elmendorf also called the Executive Officer (Me) of the Squadron an asshole when the XO told Elmer to get a haircut. The troops loved that.

No one pushed the Dorf around. He was surrounded by aggressive and tough Chicago Marines, but he was the Bull Marine. He could dominate people with wit and humor and just a hint of good natured menace. And he thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

Colonel Elmendorf commanded a unit exercise at Cherry Point, North Carolina. It was one of the most difficult operations ever undertaken by the Squadron, with a large Naval Task force. Everything went badly. Communications were poor, and the top leadership lost their confidence. The morning briefings were embarrassing – downcast senior officers mumbling and shuffling and hoping things would get better. Into the fray charged Dorf. His Communication Squadron was just a small part of the exercise, but he started giving aggressive, dynamic, confident briefs. He took over the entire briefing and was the only positive and upbeat force in a defeated group. "Everything is coming around", said the Colonel. "It is all working now. Everything will work and work well." His briefing was not accurate – things were terrible – but his confidence and dynamism were contagious. Everyone became more confident. Things started to work. Lt. Colonel Elmendorf's leadership and positive attitude were contagious, and the situation turned around and the exercise became a success.

Another Lt. Colonel, a pilot and commander, was bad mouthing our unit and its performance. Word got back to Elmendorf. "I am going to hunt him down and kill him" said Dorf. I did not know Ken well at that point – I thought his comments were just braggadocio. Dorf met with the officer and then reported back that he had threatened him and reported that the officer would cease to criticize us. And he did. It was not until the next year that I met the infamous Marine Officer in California. He said, "Your boss is Lt. Colonel Elemdorf? I thought he was going to kill me. He is huge guy, and he was really pissed off. I thought I would not get out of there alive". After this our unit began to call Ken Attila-Dorf, or just Dorf for short.

Dorf took care of his troops and they took care of him. He made sure they worked hard, but also made sure that they had fun on liberty. He worked hard to ensure that all members of the unit got along. And he did not let any outsiders harass his troops. He liked to refer to his twelve Marine Officers as the "Dirty Dozen". He led a number of legendary escapades that involved doing unseemly things to and on the Admirals Cannon with some of his Dirty Dozen.

Dorf did not talk much about his experiences as a Lieutenant in AMTRAKs in Vietnam where he earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star, but he did tell us a few humorous war stories. His favorite was when he survived a near miss in the field and noted to his Commanding Officer that "I could have been killed out there." Dorf reported that the Colonel dryly commented that, "Well, Lieutenant, there is a war going on, you know."

As a young Lieutenant he commanded an AMTRAC Platoon in Vietnam, and spent considerable time on patrols. Dorf was wounded when the AMTRAC (Amphibious Tractor) he was commanding was destroyed in combat.

Colonel Elmendorf had a safe, draft deferred job, but gave that up to become a Marine. He was always proud of that decision.

Dorf was proud of his sons and his beautiful wife, NJ.  He talked about them a great deal, and was very proud of all of them. He told us that his wife was a camp follower and enjoyed bringing his family to training exercises. He was also happy to take his family to Annapolis when he returned to active duty to teach at Annapolis, to give them a look at the wider world.

Colonel Elmendorf was an outstanding Marine, a great Commander and a fine friend. He is remembered and missed by all his Marine Comrades.

Semper Fi,

Colonel Craig Hullinger

On 7/6/05, NJ (Mrs. Ken) Elmendorf wrote:

Wow, what a nice gesture. I received your letter and promptly sent it to Brett, Dirk and Beth for Father's Day. Thanks loads! We have lots of memories and laughs and fully recognize your "tales" of the swarthy Marine who made life better for us all.

We can hardly believe that it is more than six years since Ken left  us......the boys have truly grown up and the grandson who was not quite six months is now six years old and coming to stay with us for a week at  "The Big E Ranch" for "camp" with another six year old named Jack.

The grandson - Grant, has his room decorated in military colors and attire, so maybe he'll grow up to be more like Grandpa. He has the personality to handle "Elmer Duff", so we're watching to see how it goes. So far he's a storyteller and jokester.

No we don't really live on a ranch, but in a house in town.....we got it in 2000 but this was my first full winter here as I hadn't sold out of Indiana until last Aug. Several years ago I had some friends visit from Indiana and they thought everyone who lived in Texas had a ranch so we
decided to oblidge's an Elmendorf thing I guess....

Anyway, we have guest rooms so you are welcome to show up anytime you come this's a great place to live or visit. We're 10 minutes from the airport.

Dirk came here to college and stayed and started a business (Rackspace Managed Hosting) with two friends, then got some investors, hired his brother Brett, began the process to go public, backed off before the dot com crash, and now they have 600 employees. I had planned to have us retire here, so looks like I got my wish......we are happy here. Dirk will be getting married next April 8th to Annie and setting up his home here.

Brett and I live in the same house, so far so good, we have a deal to give each other 6 months notice if our lives far nothing on the horizon.

I hope you and Beth are well and are enjoying the fruits of your labor  with your family.

Thanks again for sharing with us.

Semper Fi


* No corrections other than NJ never has dots......that was my 40th birthday present from Ken to go to court and become NJ no dots so computers would accept my name as they wouldn't's an Elmendorf thing.....

Dear NJ

I am glad you enjoyed the letter. Dorf was a super guy, and I always wanted to write it.

And he very much loved you and the boys.

Glad that you and your family are doing well.

Semper Fi,

Craig Hullinger

Iraq War

ONCE A MARINE: An Iraq War Tank Commander’s Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery. 

Click the photo to buy the book.
Review by: 
 Robert B. Loring
If anyone might dare to compare the toughness, courage or commitment of to­day’s modern Marines to their historical predecessors, we encourage them to read, “Once a Marine.” Medically retired Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch’s touching memoir will serve to allay any of your fears, while causing a surge of Marine Corps pride. Our trigger-pullers in the global war on terrorism are up to any historical comparison of our Corps’ extensive warrior tradition.
“Gunny Pop,” a Silver Star winner, served in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Tank commander Popaditch rode boldly into Iraq during Desert Storm astride his M60 tank nicknamed the “Bates Motel.” He and his crew destroyed three enemy tanks, five armored personnel carriers and copious Iraqi infantrymen. Between wars, then-Sergeant Pop served as a DI, having held all three coveted drill instructor billets: third, heavy and senior.

Click to Read More:

Mar 10, 2011

Silver Star

Vet earns Silver Star after 42 year wait

Former Petty Officer 2nd Class Dennis L. Noah speaks after receiving the Silver Star with Valor for his service in the Vietnam War during a ceremony at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Wednesday.

Published: April 11, 2010

A former Navy Petty Officer was awarded the Silver Star with Valor device on Wednesday, more than four decades after his heroic actions on a battlefield in Vietnam.

Marine Commandant Gen. James T. Conway, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent and other dignitaries attended the ceremony that honored Dennis L. Noah at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle.

“My time with the Marine Corps, it was the most important thing I did in my life,” said Noah. “I did what I was trained to do. You basically react. We were highly trained. We had a tremendous company commander in Col. [Gene] Bowers, Capt. Bowers, at the time.”

Noah was serving as the senior corpsman of Company H, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division during Operation Swift when the platoon came under heavy close range small arms, machine gun, and mortar fire from a numerically superior enemy and was temporarily pinned down on the night of Sept. 10, 1967.

“Without hesitation, Petty Officer Noah, with total disregard for his life, crawled among the dead and wounded Marines on the field of fire to render aid to many severely wounded Marines within 10 meters of the entrenched enemy,” Noah’s Silver Star citation reads.

Bowers, who traveled from his home in Tallahassee, Fla., to attend the ceremony, said that during the battle Noah also prioritized how the wounded were treated.

“He was 20 years old,” said Bowers. “I paid attention to him. He was trained in triage.”

Although he was wounded during the battle, Noah repeatedly crawled from one wounded Marine to another, administering medical aid while shielding each Marine from enemy fire with his own body. He remained in an exposed position for more than four hours, “dragging bodies of dead Marines in front of the wounded to give them cover,” the citation continues.

After he had used all of his medical supplies, Noah packed open wounds and fashioned tourniquets with pieces of utility uniforms.

“When one enemy soldier crawled forward and attempted to capture a wounded Marine, Petty Officer Noah shot him in the face at close range,” reads the citation.

When the rest of Company H arrived to engage the enemy, and while still under direct enemy fire and within 40 meters of impacting friendly fire, Noah and others evacuated all the wounded Marines to relative safety.

When Bowers had a chance to talk with Noah after the battle, he said he found his ‘Doc’ covered in blood.

“I didn’t know he was wounded. I asked him what went on out there. He did not elaborate. He did not tell me what he had done. All but one of the officers and most of the senior Marines were dead or wounded and evacuated on the helicopter, so I had no witnesses.”

The lack of witnesses was the major hurdle that kept Noah from being awarded the Silver Star for more than 40 years. About three years ago, the daughter of the battalion surgeon began collecting information for a book she is writing about the men’s time in Vietnam. She heard the story of Noah’s heroism from three different men and the information was enough for Bowers to request that Noah be awarded the Silver Star.

“As a corpsman, your attachment to your Marines is probably only second to your attachment to family,” Noah said. “It’s something I can’t explain.”

Pointing to a group of corpsmen from Quantico Naval Medical Clinic, Noah said, “These are our current heroes who are protecting all of us older folks. I hope the legacy of the Vietnam War is we know how to treat our troops and never treat troops like they treated us when we came back. Every time you see someone in uniform tell them thank you.”

Noah’s voice broke as he said he was humbled to receive the Silver Star.

“I accept this not just for myself, but for the guys I could not save,” he said. “We lost a lot of good Marines and I still remember them and hold them dear and hope God keeps them close. All I can say is Semper Fi.”

Military editor Julia LeDoux can be reached at 703-369-5718.

Mar 8, 2011

Lightweight Drone

Lightweight drone set for first MEU deployment

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 8, 2011 5:19:44 EST
SAN DIEGO — The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed in late February with the ScanEagle unmanned aircraft, marking the first time any MEU has taken the combat-proven drone out to sea for an operational assignment, officials said.

I was in a LAAMBn (Light Anti Aircraft Missile Battalion in 1967-78. We fired HAWK (Homing All the Way Killers) Missiles at drones. Our pilots much preferred that we fire at drones over the other alternative, which was to fire at targets towed by very nervous and unhappy pilots.

Mar 7, 2011

Marine Cruise

Here’s an exciting opportunity for the vacation traveler who wants something a little different…
L u x u r y    C r u i s e    L i n e s
Now Accepting Reservations! Additional cruise information available below.

To The Point Cruise Lines is excited to offer the ultimate adventure cruise,
along the pirate-infested coast of Somalia

Ultimate Adventure Cruise Route
Rates and Availability
Ship Name
Starting Price
Sun Splendor
Fully Booked
Grand Voyage
Reservations Available
Horizons IV
Reservations Available
Horizons III
Fully Booked
Grand Voyage II
Fully Booked
Grand Voyage III
Reservations Available
Coastal   Paradise
Reservations Available
Coastal   Paradise II
Reservations Available
Peril Princess
Fully Booked
Peril Princess II
Reservations Available

We board our luxury cruise ships in Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden near the entrance to the Red Sea ,
and disembark in Mombasa Kenya , seven adrenaline-charged days later.
Reservations start at only $5,200 per-person (double occupancy, inside room)
and $6,900 (verandah complete with bench rest).
You'll relax like never before!
That's because you are welcome to bring
your own arsenal with you.
If you don't have your own weapons, you can rent them from our onboard Master Gunsmith.

Enjoy reloading parties every afternoon,
with skeet and marksmanship competitions every night!

But the best fun of all, of course, is...

...Pirate Target Practice!
The object of our cruise is to sail up and down the Somali Coast waiting to get hijacked by pirates!

Weapons rentals:
Weapon Selection
AK-47 Light Assaultcid:DB13D60846FB44149F52747CF1F6C3C2@MikePC
Per Day
On a budget? Rent a full-auto scope-mounted AK-47 for only $9/day
with 7.62 ball ammo at $12 per 100 rounds:
M-16 Full Automaticcid:4942D4BA61BA41FDA3EEAA9F4769F274@MikePC
Per Day
Rent a full auto M-16 for only $25/day with ammo
attractively priced at $16 per 100 rounds of 5.56 armor-piercing:
Barrett M-107 50 Calibercid:33CB8454D67A448B8564F6A05E66C40D@MikePC
Per Day
Hello! Nothing gets a pirate's attention like a Barrett M-107 50-cal rifle; only $59/day with 25 rounds of armor-piercing ammo
affordably priced at only $29.95.
RPG Launchercid:2E6D2083BDA54923BE1E916F67CB588A@MikePC
Per Day
Want to make a real impact? Rent an RPG for only $175/day
with three fragmentation rounds included!
A true favorite among pirates, rent one today and show you care!

Customer Testimonials
"Six attacks in 4 days were more than I expected. I bagged three pirates, my wife nailed two,
and my 12-year old son sank two boats with the mini-gun.
This wonderful cruise was fun for the whole family"
-- Fred D., Cincinnati , OH
"Pirates 0, Passengers 32! Well worth the trip! Can't recommend it highly enough!" -- Ben L., Bethesda , MD
Twin mounted mini-guns are available for rental
at only $450.00 per 30 seconds of sustained fire!

Additional Cruise Line Services
·         Need a spotter? Our professional crew members can double as spotters for only $30/hour (spotting scope included, but gratuities are not).
·         Also included: Free complimentary night vision equipment --and throughout the night, coffee, pastries and snacks are always available on the main deck from 7pm until 6am.
·         Our deluxe package comes complete with gourmet meals and all rooms offer a mini-bar.

We guarantee you will experience at least two hijacking attempts by pirates or you'll receive an instant $1,000 refund upon arrival in Mombasa .

How can we make that guarantee? We operate at 5 knots just beyond 12 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia , thus in international waters where pirates have no rights whatever.

In fact, we make three passes through the area's most treacherous waters to ensure maximum visibility by Somali mother ships.

We repeat this for five days, making three complete passes past the entire Somali Coast ...At night, the boat is fully lit and bottle rockets are shot every five minutes, with loud disco music directionally beamed shore side to attract maximum attention.
Cabin space is limited so you need to respond quickly. Reserve your package before Aug 31st and get a great bonus--
100 rounds of free tracer ammo in the caliber of your choice! So sign up for the Ultimate Somali Coast Adventure Cruise now!

Reserve Now -and be automatically entered to win a 5 minute time slot on the Captain's own Twin Browning 50 Caliber M2HB installation!

"I haven't had this much fun since flying choppers in ' Nam . Don't worry about getting shot by pirates...
they never even got close to the ship with the crap they shoot and their lousy aim...
Come on board and bag your own clutch of genuine Somali pirates!"

-- Mike W., Savannah , GA

"Holy crap! I mean literally, I crapped myself!
This gun shook the deck like thunder, and I was laughing so hard I just had to release it.
-- Jim W., Tampa , FL