Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Coast Guard.

This is coolbert:

"This is not the Coast Guard your father knew" - - Bert.

The Chicago Tribune today has an extensive article concerning the live-fire exercises the Coast Guard is going to conduct in the Great Lakes.

Live-fire zones have been established in each of the five Great lakes [Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario]

Coast guards men will be firing at targets using the M240 machinegun. Machineguns mounted on vessels that are involved in Homeland Security.

[firing at floating targets from cutters and small boats.]

This is of utmost importance. The role of the Coast Guard is not what it used to be. Was once only a search and rescue element of the U.S. military. Is not anymore. You have to be, if a member of the Coast Guard, be able to confront a whole host of hostile situations. Drug dealers, terrorists, etc.

[this type of live-fire sounds to me more like "familiarization" rather than qualification!!]

And unarmed and toothless Coast Guard cannot confront drug dealers and terrorists!! The modern Coast Guardsmen receives weapons training way beyond what they use to have. Including the firing of the M240 machinegun.

People living in areas contiguous to the five Great Lakes seem to be rather upset about the live-fire exercises. Objections are centered around:

* It will disturb the fish and fishermen.

* Civilian shipping and boaters will pass NEAR the live-fire exercises.

* It will add lead to the bottom of the lakes, creating further pollution.

* People have not been adequately warned or informed about this.

Please, give me a break on all this. Especially with regard to the pollution. Those five Great Lakes have been so polluted for such a long time, that a few full-metal-jacket [FMJ] military-style bullets are not going to cause a problem. That should be the least of their worries. A lead core bullet with a copper jacket is not going to be a problem.

So seriously has this live-fire exercise been taken that a change to the treaty with Canada from the War of 1812 was actually required for the shooting to go forward!!

[that treaty at the time of 1812 was signed of course between the British Empire and the United States, NOT Canada. Canada now shares four of the five Great Lakes with the U.S. Only Lake Michigan is totally within the boundaries of the U.S. Each nation, the U.S. and Canada, are only allowed on the Great Lakes a maximum of four wooden vessels with an eighteen pounder aboard. Eighteen pounder being a cannon firing a projectile weighing eighteen pounds.]

The exercises will be held one or twice a year, each time lasting only one or two days each time. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK OF THE PUBLIC FOR HAVING MILITARY PREPAREDNESS!!??

Of course not.

Another indication of how the U.S. public seems to be still in the dark regarding the war we are fighting, and will be fighting, for a long time to come.

[during World War Two [WW2], the army had an anti-aircraft battery at Ft. Sheridan. At the end of the war, all the ammo from this battery was uncerimoniously dumped into the lake, without a care. The amount of ammo to be fired in this set of live-fire exercises is SMALL to what is ALREADY in the lake!!]

[the Great Lakes Naval Training Station has a rifle range, used by the Marines, that faces toward Lake Michingan. Our Army unit fired for "familiarization" on this range and no one made a squawk!!]



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