Posted May 17th, 2013 by USNavySeals
Holding one’s breath in water isn’t necessarily the greatest skill, but a Navy SEAL can definitely benefit from acquiring it.
Renowned freediver Kirk Krack as been tapped by Navy SEALs divers to teach them how to hold their breath under water, especially in emergency situations. Krack says he teaches the SEALs and professional surfers the skill of “emergency breath hold”, wherein the person is not in the best situation or the longest time to prepare to be underwater.
According to News Talk 650 CKOM, Krack is an avid advocate of freediving, or underwater diving without a breathing apparatus. He has worked with world record holders in the field of freediving, and is also training athletes that need special breathing exercises. He was also instrumental in David Blaine’s successful attempt at escaping from being bound inside a water tank.
While he grew up using a scuba gear since he started in the field at age 13, he was more drawn into the natural aspects of diving into another world. He likens scuba diving to a road trip through the woods complete with equipment, but he is more inclined to the ruggedness of diving with minimal diving gear, much like hiking through a forest.
The physical thrill of diving also made Krack love the sport more. He shares how the heart rate drops to about half of the normal speed when a person dives, because the body will try to save oxygen. Blood vessels also act differently underwater, thereby posing a risk of unconsciousness or even brain damage. Therefore, he urges people interested in diving to tag a companion along, and prepare the body before diving.
Posted May 16th, 2013 by US Navy SEALs
A military judge on Monday announced that Army Sgt. John Russell is guilty of deliberately killing five U.S. troops at a military counseling clinic at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq on March 11, 2009.
Russell was on his third tour of duty in Iraq when the shootings took place. The case marked the worst incident of violence committed by an American troop to fellow soldiers during the Iraq war. On May 2012, prosecutors sought death penalty despite arguments that capital punishment is not appropriate given the soldier’s mental health condition. The 48-year-old service member later agreed to plead guilty of the murders.
Early this week, Col. David L. Conn, the military judge, delivered a guilty verdict after a weeklong court martial that concluded Saturday. The judge rejected the defense’s plea to consider severe depression and post-combat stress as the reasons that prompted Russell to aim an M-16 rifle at the five unsuspecting American troops who were at the Camp Liberty counseling clinic, the Los Angeles Times reports.
During the court martial prosecutors presented evidence that Russell was depressed and having sleep problems prior to the shootings. However, prosecutors said Army psychiatrists had repeatedly tried to help the Army sergeant, who was apparently angry when officials refused to grant him a mental disability discharge from the service.
The verdict announcement was immediately followed by a sentencing hearing which is expected to last much of the week. A judge will determine whether Russell should be given life sentence with or without the possibility of parole.
Posted May 15th, 2013 by US Navy SEALs
A Navy SEAL who was part of the Team 6 that killed Osama bin Laden auctioned a prized tactical accessory to raise money for the Special Operations Forces and their families.
Emerson CQC-7 folding knife, created by Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives, is up for bidding at 24fundraiser.com. The Navy SEAL who owns the knife is Mark Owen, a former DEVGRU mission member who authored the controversial “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden.”
Famed weapons expert Ernest Emerson told The Daily Caller that the auctioned item is a real Emerson knife. “I placed the knife into his hands,” he said. “He is known to me. … [The knife] is real, and it is his knife that was carried on the mission.”
The Emerson knife was in Owen’s possession for more than eight years and carried it on the bin Laden mission. In his auction message, he said: “I’m donating the knife because the owner of Combat Flip flops is a friend and when he told me about this auction and all the good that the money raised was going to go towards, I wanted to help in anyway that I could. Giving back to our community is very important to me and if donating this knife to charity helps with that process then I’m more than happy to do it!”
The auction ends May 15 at 8 p.m. EDT.
Posted May 15th, 2013 by USNavySeals
We only see these things in movies, but now the US Navy has made Hollywood dreams come to life.
May 14 marked the launch of an unmanned aircraft for the first time in the history of aviation. The US Navy released into the air the stealth drone X-47B off the USS George HW Bush aircraft carrier at the coast of Virginia. The flying drone was programmed with aerial maneuvers before landing safely in Maryland, according to Reuters.
The release of X-47B stealth drone is a significant step towards strengthening the US fleet by employing cutting-edge technology. According to Rear Admiral Ted Branch, the historic event serves as a take-off point “between naval aviation as we’ve known it and the future of naval aviation”. And with a range higher than the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the breakthrough jet serves as the US Military’s response to threats by other countries like China and Iran.
Center for Strategic and International Studies defense analyst Anthony Cordesman recognizes the impact of the new stealth drone. Because the X-47B is “essentially a really long-range stealth system”, drones like this could boost the ability of the Navy to launch long-range strikes without fear of pilot safety.
X-47B will be subjected to a series of tests, including a successful landing on the aircraft carrier using the jet’s tailhook. Further modifications and prototypes are geared towards using an unmanned jet for actual operations.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch is fearful about the military’s gradual reliance on what the group calls “killer robots”, and has expressed concern on the negative impact of reducing human intervention in warfare.
Posted May 15th, 2013 by USNavySeals
Jessica Buchanan shares with CBS News how she underwent a harrowing ordeal for 93 days until the SEALs showed up to rescue her.
In 2011, humanitarian aid worker Jessica Buchanan and Danish co-worker Poul Thisted landed in Somalia to help children live a better life amidst the violence-stricken place. On the 25th of October, she and Thisted were abducted by armed Somali while inside her Land Cruiser.
After changing vehicles a number of times, they were commanded to march into the desert, get down on their knees, and sleep. She felt a short sigh of relief, as she was expecting to be either shot in the head or raped by the abductors. By morning, the captors were already communicating with the hostage negotiating team and demanded $45 million for their release.
In the last call to the hostage negotiator, Buchanan said she was sick with urinary tract infection and was fearing for her life. This critical phone conversation led to the movements of FBI, military and President Barack Obama to try and save Buchanan and Thisted. A SEAL Team Six rescue was set up on a night of the new moon.
On the night of her rescue, she heard a slew of gunfire and felt many hands touching her. Then she heard one of the SEALs say “Jessica, we’re with the American military. We’re here to take you home, and you’re safe.” At first, she felt confused but later started to feel a deep sense of relief and pride. “I have never in my life been so proud and so very happy to be an American,” she said.
Buchanan shares all the details of her capture and rescue in her book “Impossible Odds”, released this week.
Posted May 14th, 2013 by USNavySeals
A fortified cyber security backbone is as important as strategic nuclear operations.
Chief of naval operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert shared with Reuters the importance of cyber security in maintaining military strength. The US Navy considers the significance of cyber security because of the system’s function in coordinating fleets and deployment of personnel.
Military equipment currently relies heavily on various systems of computer networks and satellites. Greenert sees the need to understand computer networks and how to use them for maximum advantage.
However, there lies the vulnerability of the defense system; a false network link or a power grid interruption can spell the difference between winning and losing the battle.
While the US has enjoyed power in land, sea and air warfare in the past, the Navy stresses the risk of being too complacent. “In the cyber domain, a lot of people – civilian hackers, anybody – can get into this,” says Greenert.
Just last week, the Pentagon accused China of snooping into the US defense computer networks to benefit the Chinese defense backbone and government leaders. The report stated the gravity of this concern, since the skill level needed to infiltrate the cyber defenses are just the same as hacking and attacking the computer network. China dismissed the report and threw the issue back at the US, saying that the US “is the real ‘hacking empire’ and has an extensive espionage network”.
Other countries with strong military forces are following suit in cyber security fortification. Greenert said Russia has a very advanced cyber capability, while Iran and North Korea are emerging.