A pararescue legend hangs it up:

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. –Over the course of his thirty-year career, he was decorated nine times for actions that saved dozens –if not hundreds– on and off the battlefield.

He was a major command pararescueman of the year, an Air Force Pitsenbarger Award recipient valor under fire, and AF pararescue senior NCO of the year, and the AF Lance P. Sijan senior NCO of the year.

Following his long career, Chief Master Sgt. Davide Keaton, superintendent of the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, wore his maroon beret for the last time, Jan. 12, 2017, surrounded by a hundred teammates, former commanders, friends and family.

“It’s not just retiring a Special Tactics Chief,” said Col. Michael Flatten, vice commander of the 24th Special Operations Wing and the retirement ceremony officiant. “It’s retiring a close friend, a brother in arms, one of my heroes…and one of the best men Special Tactics has ever produced.”

(Air Force)

The Chief was awarded the 2008 Pitsenbarger award for battlefield heroism:

Tech. Sgt. Davide Keaton, 24th Special Tactics Squadron, is personally responsible for saving the lives of five people during a shootout against Taliban fighters.

The five lives he saved, however, were not those of his coalition teammates–they were those of three Afghan children and two Afghan women who were used as human shields by the enemy.

The day of this particular mission started out no differently than others he experienced during his deployment, for which he was the sole pararescueman with an elite special operations team.

…Training would be put into action when his team was attacked with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Once under attack, Sergeant Keaton risked his own life, moving 150 meters to reach a victim–a 7-year-old Afghan boy shot in the pelvis.

Sergeant Keaton used his own body to shield the boy from gunfire while tending to his wounds and then moved him to cover 30 meters away.

After stabilizing the first victim, Sergeant Keaton again braved the barrage of gunfire to find other victims.

His second patient, an 8-year-old boy, also had multiple gunshot wounds. After treating the bleeding and stabilizing the boy’s spine, he carried the child to the casualty collection point.

When he got there, his third victim, an 11-year-old girl, was there in need of treatment.

After stabilizing his second and third victims, Sergeant Keaton exposed himself to gunfire, not once, but two more times to aid two Afghan women, one with a severe abdominal wound and who was near death.

Follow me on Twitter as I live-Tweet historic events:

Do that shit somewhere else, dumbass:

Donald Trump traveled to CIA headquarters Saturday to offer reassurance to the workforce after he spent weeks criticizing American intelligence, but his unscripted, self-referential remarks before a wall of stars memorializing fallen officers are drawing criticism, including a pointed denunciation from the agency’s recently departed director.

“Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” Nick Shapiro, a former aide to John Brennan at CIA, told NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell.

Olivier Doulier/Pool/Getty Images

Brennan, Shapiro said, believes Trump “should be ashamed of himself.”

Trump was greeted with cheers by the CIA officers who volunteered to be there to greet him on a Saturday.

But the wall of 117 stars in the CIA lobby is a revered place, and presidents who have spoken there tend to do so carefully and with a close attention to their subject — usually the sacrifices of the CIA officers and their families.

Sure, why not?

Defense Secretary James Mattis‘ Senate confirmation hearing dealt with not only the large challenges of Vladimir Putin and the Islamic State, but also one of the smallest items in the U.S. arsenal.

The issue: It has taken the Army an agonizing decade to write the requirements, evaluate the candidates and pick a successor to the 30-year-old Beretta M9 pistol.

Sen. Joni Ernst, Iowa Republican, vented directly to Mr. Mattis, asking how such a simple system could bedevil the Army procurement apparatus. Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, Arizona Republican, had become so frustrated at one point that he issued a special report on the unneeded complexity of buying a sidearm.

The Army now asserts that the next-generation sidearm is not a problem Mr. Mattis will have to tackle.
Army headquarters at the Pentagon, on the eve of Donald Trump’s succession to the presidency, proudly announced that small arms maker Sig Sauer won the competition to make the Modular Handgun System.

This is very sad:

A 23-year-oldNortheast Baltimore man who served in the Marines was shot and killed Sunday evening in Brooklyn, the latest in a wave of recent violence in the South Baltimore neighborhood.

Andrew Zachary was killed around 5 p.m Sunday while walking home from a store, police said. Investigators believe he may have gotten into an argument, but a motive is unknown.

Baltimore’s former planning director and mayoral candidate Otis Rolley confirmed Zachary was his nephew and said the family is reeling.

“My heart is just broken,” Rolley said, struggling to hold back tears. “He’s not a statistic. He’s a person. He was a father and a husband, and a nephew, and a son, and a grandson.”

Prison and transition or freedom and status quo?

The Army says former Pvt. Chelsea Manning will lose her military healthcare benefits following President Obama’s commutation of her prison sentence.

“If Pvt. Manning is discharged with a dishonorable discharge, she will lose her entitlement to benefits, including gender-transition care at medical treatment facilities,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told USA Today Wednesday.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Smith said Manning’s dishonorable discharge was included in the terms of the 35-year prison sentence imposed on her in 2013.

Manning would also be barred from benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs under that status, Smith added.

The Army has been providing Manning with treatment for gender dysphoria, USA Today said, including hormone treatments.

This dude gave zero fucks about your driving regulations:

TEANECK, N.J. – Transit police say they’ve arrested a New Jersey man who avoided paying tolls nearly 900 times and owes more than $56,000 in unpaid tolls and fees.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police say an officer stopped Alesandel Rodriguez’s car Friday morning after it failed to post a payment in an EZ-Pass lane on the George Washington Bridge.

Authorities say the car was missing front and rear license plates, and a temporary New York tag inside the vehicle had expired.

Further investigation found the Teaneck man’s EZ-Pass accounts were revoked, showing 888 violations and about $56,240 in outstanding tolls and fees. Authorities also learned there was a warrant for his arrest.

What is going on with these recruiters?!

NEW YORK — Prosecutors say a U.S. Army recruiter was arrested on child pornography charges after police tied him to 800 explicit images of children, including infants.

The Daily News of New York reports Andrew Gutterman was charged Thursday with promoting sexual performance of a child. He was released on his own recognizance. Prosecutors say they linked his Dropbox account with images of pornography and the crimes were thought to have occurred between May 24 and June 26.

Police started an investigation after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the news reported.

The Army didn’t immediately return a request for comment. Gutterman didn’t respond to a call seeking comment.

This should be interesting:

As you head south on Fort Benning, Georgia’s Sightseeing Road, you’ll pass El Zapata’s Mexican restaurant before moving uphill, where you’ll come across a long fence that obscures the view of prying eyes. Although the simple chain link fence, woven with strips of brown material, may intrigue some passersby, the men of the 75th Ranger Regiment call it home. Now, for the first in history, a female Ranger will join them.

At the tail end of 2016, three female soldiers started a RASP 2 class — the Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, for NCOs in the rank of staff sergeant and above as well as all officers who wish to be leaders in the 75th Ranger Regiment — and two made it to the final board. According to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s public affairs office, one of these women was officially selected and earned the right to wear the coveted Ranger scroll and distinctive tan beret at the course’s conclusion in December. That would make the 75th Ranger Regiment the first special operations unit to have a female soldier graduate their selection course.

Yesssssssssssss:

The hoverbike demo represented a bright spot on a gray winter day this month at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

Rising into the cold air above a snow-speckled field, the full-sized electric quadcopter prototype has the capacity to haul up to 300 pounds. It had come a long way since the tiny proof-of-concept that took flight three years ago. Back then, when U.S. Army leaders first started looking into a hoverbike that could resupply soldiers, the UK-based company Malloy Aeronautics caught their eye.

The company’s aim is for their hoverbikes to autonomously deliver aid, people, and equipment. Led by Aussie Chris Malloy, they made headlines in 2014 with a small-scale flying motorcycle with four rotors that could carry a robot. One of the biggest advantages to the design was that it flew like a helicopter, but without the risk of rotor strike because the propellers are protected.

I wonder how common this is:

The Army has a new enemy: Romance scammers who impersonate soldiers and rob people looking for love online.

It’s a story as old as the internet itself: Boy meets girl, girl falls for boy, boy asks girl to wire him thousands of dollars and then vanishes off the face of the earth forever. Well, at least that’s the experience many people have had since the rise of internet dating and the online scams that have followed. By far one of the most successful schemes involves American service members. Well, not real ones. But people pretending to be them.

The process is pretty simple. A scammer — usually from West Africa — poses as a deployed American soldier in search of love. Make no mistake about it, these guys are professionals. Well before stalking their victims, they meticulously meld online images of real soldiers with fake names and personalities. They even create social media accounts and other various online footprints to ensure their aliases are as realistic and attractive as possible. After being matched with an interested party, these con artists slowly reel in their prey with affectionate messages of passion and desire. Once the target is hooked and believes he or she is in a real, full-fledged relationship with an American service member, the scammers goes in for the kill, asking for thousands of dollars at a time to help address a personal crisis or material need.

But we do pay for…ah, never mind:

Does this lead to divorce?

CHESTNUT HILL (WPVI) — Police are investigating a home invasion and sexual assault in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill section early Saturday morning.

The incident happened around 4 a.m. in the unit block of East Chestnut Hill Avenue.

According to investigators, the man burst into the bedroom of a husband and wife.

Police tell us the suspect held the gun to the husband’s head and forced his wife to perform sexual acts.

Detectives say this continued on until at one point the suspect put the gun down and the wife grabbed it and tried to shoot the suspect, but the gun never fired.

It was at the moment detectives say the suspect fled.

At least they admitted it:

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A Nigerian Air Force fighter jet on a mission against Boko Haram extremists mistakenly bombed a refugee camp Tuesday, killing more than 100 refugees and wounding aid workers, a Borno state official said. A Red Cross worker said 20 volunteers with the aid group had been killed.

The state government official, who was helping to coordinate the evacuation of wounded from the remote area by helicopters, spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Military commander Maj. Gen. Lucky Irabor confirmed the accidental bombardment in northeast Rann, near the border with Cameroon.

This is believed to be the first time Nigeria’s military has admitted to making such a mistake.

LOL “community-relations advisor”:

A British police watchdog is investigating an incident last Saturday in Bristol in which an officer fired a stun gun at a black man who has served as a community-relations adviser for local law enforcement.

Judah Adunbi, 63, was incapacitated after a confrontation with two officers who apparently mistook him for someone wanted by police. In fact, Adunbi has volunteered as a member of an independent advisory group for Avon and Somerset police, a panel established to improve relations between police and the local communities of color.

Always use a spotter, people:

A man who died after a kinky sex game went wrong was found by his partner when she got home from work.

An inquest heard Jan Zajac’s school teacher partner Katie Duckworth originally thought he was messing around before realising the tragic truth.

Mr. Zajac was discovered hanged naked apart from a latex gas mask with his hands handcuffed in front of him at his home in Southgate Avenue, Bridgwater, Somerset.

The coroner concluded that doctor’s son, Mr. Zajac, aged 39, originally from Slovakia, had intended to “suffocate himself to heighten his sexual arousal “ but did not mean to take his own life.

Miss Duckworth described how the couple met through an online dating site when they both lived and worked in London.

Miss Duckworth told how she came across a rucksack in their house containing a gas mask and underwear, which Mr. Zajac confirmed he had used in sex games in the past, although he agreed to get rid of the items. 

@BKactual