It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and since most of you are already 12 Pabst Blue Ribbons deep, no commentary this week. I’m taking the Pats alllllllll day. -BK 

Watch for PJ August O’Neill:

WASHINGTON —  As fans don their colors Sunday to show support for their teams during Super Bowl LI, the Defense Department will also show its support.

Since 1999, the department has supported the Super Bowl in a variety of ways, including flyovers, musical performances, air drops, and distinguished guests for the coin toss.

Each year, a different service has the chance to highlight their mission. This year, it’s the 70th anniversary of the Air Force, so they will lead the way, said Christine S. Thompson, a sports outreach specialist in the office of the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs.

(Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today)

Flyover

“The Air Force turns 70 this year, and what better way to celebrate our birthday than to have the USAF Thunderbirds do the flyover for the Super Bowl?” said Katie Spencer, the sports outreach program manager for the Air Force. “Airmen have been breaking barriers since 1947 with blood, sweat, sacrifice and passion. We are overjoyed to be able to honor that legacy on such a large platform.”

She said the Thunderbirds will fly over NRG stadium in Houston during the national anthem, and then will be recognized on the field during the game. The aircraft livery includes the Air Force’s 70th anniversary logo, Spencer said. The Thunderbirds are also featured in a Daytona 500 spot that will be aired as a Super Bowl commercial during the game. And on Saturday, she said, the team will take Matt Hasselbeck, ESPN NFL analyst and former quarterback, and Eric Dickerson, NFL Hall of Famer and former running back, on a demonstration flight.

Flag Runners

Service members will lead each team as they run onto the field, with a joint service color guard and Air Force Band drummers on the sides.

”It’s such an honor to even be considered to represent not only the Air Force and pararescue, but also wounded warriors, during one of the biggest sporting events of the year. I am truly thankful, blessed and excited to run our nation’s colors onto the field for Super Bowl 51,” said Air Force Staff Sgt. August O’Neill, a pararescueman with the 342nd Training Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. O’Neill lost his left leg in 2015 due to injuries caused by an insurgent attack in 2011 in Afghanistan.

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I don’t believe one single thing the government says anymore:

The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war’s expense, manpower requirements and human toll. Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters.

Most alarming is the prospect this data has been incomplete since the war on terrorism began in October 2001. If that is the case, it would fundamentally undermine confidence in much of what the Pentagon has disclosed about its prosecution of these wars, prompt critics to call into question whether the military sought to mislead the American public, and cast doubt on the competency with which other vital data collection is being performed and publicized. Those other key metrics include American combat casualties, taxpayer expense and the military’s overall progress in degrading enemy capabilities.

Where it all began:

Former Air Force Officer will be in uniform for the Falcons:

HOUSTON — When Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Ben Garland was attending the Air Force Academy, he really wasn’t focused on pursuing a career in the NFL. Ben Garland is a former Scott Air Force Base Public Affairs Officer.

“I was thinking more so becoming an Air Force officer and being the best pilot I can be,” Garland said in Houston as his team was in the midst for preparing for Super Bowl LI.

Garland, who is 28 and from Grand Junction, Colorado, was originally signed by the Denver Broncos as a college free agent in 2010. That same year, the Broncos placed him on the reserve/military list to serve his two-year military commitment. Garland returned in 2012 and spent two years on the Broncos practice squad.

The Falcons signed him on Sept. 9, 2015. He was a member of Atlanta’s practice squad for the first 14 weeks of the 2015 season before being signed to the active roster for the final three games.

The media is in freefall (Great job by T Beckett Adams):

Hmmmm….:

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s nominee to lead the Army abruptly withdrew his name from consideration late Friday night, citing his inability to get around strict Defense Department rules concerning his family businesses.

Vincent Viola, founder of digital stock trading firm Virtu Financial and owner of the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, had been working through the confirmation process to become Army secretary since mid-December.

In a statement, Viola said he was “deeply honored” to be nominated for the post, but concluded that he would not be able to successfully navigate the confirmation process.

“I appreciate the confidence President Trump showed in me,” he said. “I offer my continued support for President Trump and his administration, and look forward to redoubling my efforts to support the Army and its veterans as private citizens.”

Sources familiar said Viola had been looking for ways to divest from his businesses — including ownership of the hockey team — to take the top civilian Army post.

He had planned to transfer ownership to other family members but turn over operations responsibilities to the team’s vice chairman, but that arrangement did not meet Pentagon requirements, according to sources.

Killer EFP drones will slaughter us all:

In a cloud of smoke and flame, the salvo of rockets streaks skyward from the battery of U.S. Army multiple rocket launchers. But as the projectiles arc through the air and descend toward the enemy positions below, each rocket spews a cloud of armed quadcopter drones. As the quadcopters unfold their rotors and begin their descent, their sensors lock on to enemy tanks. Finally, the drones land on top of the tanks before detonating.

This sounds like something that Empire would use in a Star Wars movie, but it’s actually a weapon that blurs the line between an artillery shell and a drone. And the U.S. Army wants it now.

The Army recently put out a research proposal for a rocket armed, not with high explosive, but rather with a payload of quadcopters. Each quadcopter would unfold its rotors and home in on an individual target. Each drone would also be armed with a small Explosively Formed Penetrator, a special type of warhead used in some antitank missiles and also in IEDs that insurgents used in Iraq and Syria to destroy armored vehicles.

Your sad reminder that lunatics are all around you:

U.S. Army veteran Hassan Jones, after serving tours in Kuwait and Iraq, couldn’t survive an accident that erupted into a fight on the Grand Central Parkway.

The 28-year-old Queens man died early Saturday after the fender-bender turned into a late-night fistfight. And then in a bizarre twist, a hit-and-run driver mowed Jones down — killing him.

Jones was struck and dragged several hundred feet by a passing Acura around 4:20 a.m. The driver abandoned his car and ran off, officials said.

(JEFF BACHNER/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Driver Starlyn Colon-Burgess, 19, of Queens, was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, police said…

..According to police, both cars pulled over to the side of the eastbound parkway after the collision, with the occupants climbing out to settle the beef.

One of the men from inside the Murano clocked Jones, who fell to the ground and was then run over by Colon-Burgess’ vehicle, cops said. The helpless man was dragged by the Acura until Colon-Burgess pulled over, dumped the car and ran, cops said.

Army affair leads to double murder:

The Army on Friday evening confirmed the names of two 101st Airborne Division soldiers who were killed following a domestic dispute near Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

They were Spc. Priscilla A. East, 32, and Spc. Christopher R. Hoch, 28. Hoch was posthumously promoted to sergeant.

Both soldiers were shot and killed at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Oak Grove, Kentucky.

Local authorities said the two soldiers were killed and a juvenile was injured following a domestic dispute near Fort Campbell. Kentucky State Police said in a statement that it appears Jeremy Demar, 35, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was involved in a domestic dispute with East, his estranged wife, according to the Associated Press.

Demar found East at a home in Oak Grove, where he forced his way in Thursday night and fatally shot her and Hoch.

SWEET BABY JESUS:

First military pardon request goes to Trump:

WASHINGTON – A new wrinkle was added this week in the effort to free an Army first lieutenant convicted in the killing of Afghans – a pardon request to President Donald Trump.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine combat veteran, sent a letter to Trump asking him to personally review the case and pardon 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, who was sentenced to 19 years at Fort Leavenworth for unpremeditated murder after his platoon shot to death two Afghans while on patrol in 2012. Lorance is appealing the court-martial conviction, which also included attempted murder and making a false official statement.

“This is one of those cases that stands out as a stupid decision where someone who should not be in jail is going to jail,” Hunter said. “And not just that, a platoon commander who was on the ground and in his mind made a life-and-death decision in real-time. Again, this is combat.”

You OD’d on weed and got roundhouse kicked to the ground, bro:

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man allegedly high on “wax” assaulted his mother and then got into a naked confrontation with police Monday.

Emergency crews were originally called to the 700 block of Lynn Street around 9:00 p.m. Monday on a report of a man having trouble breathing after having allegedly smoked marijuana “wax.”

When firefighters arrived, they encountered 35-year-old Earl M. Whitney. Whitney was reportedly in an agitated state and began yelling at the fire crews.

Whitney’s mother walked out of the home to try to calm her son down, leading Whitney to shove her several times in the face.

According to court documents, Whitney then “stumbled down from the front porch, with his pants around his ankles, and started yelling at them that this was his house.”

At that point, IMPD officers arrived on scene to see Whitney with no shirts and his pants around his ankles shouting profanities at the firefighters.

The officer told Whitney to stop yelling and sit down. Instead, Whitney started yelling “just Taze me! Taze me!” as he began approaching the officer while waving his arms in the air.

“At this time, I stepped forward and delivered a roundhouse kick to the outside of Whitney’s left thigh,” the officer wrote in his report. “The kick was effective and Whitney’s left leg buckled and he leaned over to his left and bent over at the waist. I rushed forward and tackled Whitney to the ground, where he landed on his stomach.”

@BKactual