Ep 17.0 – US drone warfare

Drones are quickly becoming a crucial part of many US military and government toolboxes in order to deal with specialized situations.  This morning, I saw that the FAA granted a special exemption to allow drones to help fight massive forest fires happening in Idaho. Police departments are using drones for building searches and crisis situations at a minimum.  And our military uses drones for a wide variety of functions, not the least of which is to be used as an instrument of assassination.

Something important to remember here is that not all drones are armed.  One surveillance drone, Global Hawk, surveillance drone, has a 150 ft wingspan and is half the size of a 747.  It can fly at much higher altitudes and can fly longer than most armed drones. The kinds of intelligence it gathers are certainly magnitudes of order above armed drones or small surveillance drones.  Do we believe it’s acceptable to share this kind of intelligence with our foreign partners? Should the info a Global Hawk gets from surveilling Yemen be given to the SA government for us in their proxy war against the Houthti’s?  Should surveillance of Syria and Palestine be given to Israel? These are important questions in this discussion.

Danny and I bring you our breakdown of drone warfare.  We’ll be taking a break for the next few weeks from the podcast to attend the About Face – Veterans Against the War convention and create some new content to share with you.  See you soon!!

00:35 – President Trump’s remarks in Helsinki

15:04 – The Air Force replacing older generation Predator / Reaper control stations

24:26 – US drone warfare

The Islamic State Is Pioneering a New Type of Drone Warfare – Ben Sullivan – Vice

What The Intercept Found in “The Drone Papers”—And What I Found In Them – Quinta Juricec – LawFare

Navy contracts Raytheon for LOCUST prototype – Brooke Baitinger – UPI

Army to Buy Raytheon’s Coyote Expendable UAS for Drone-Killing Mission – Oriana Pawlyk – Military.com

Recommendations and Report of the Stimson Task Force on US Drone Policy – The Stimson Center


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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 16.5 – US military recruiting tactics and a far right Supreme Court

It’s been sixteen years since I sat in a recruiter’s office.  I remember visiting there many times (even after I was signed up to join) and asked all kinds of questions.  What was basic training like? How was the food? Did they like their non-recruiter MOS? Did I have to make that MANY trips to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station – Super boring)?  I heard a lot about Army values, doing PT (physical training) until you puke, being yelled at by drill sergeants, and a tid bit about deployments, but looking back on my six years in service, the recruiters shared very little real information.  I didn’t hear about deaths in training accidents, moving heavy equipment by hand from one place to another OVER AND OVER AND OVER, blowing out your knees from heavy running, getting odd diseases that are both rare and debilitating, and sharing an 80 sq ft room with another guy who seems to have soap aversion issues.

Recruiters are the car salesmen of the US military and by their very nature, they water down much of the downsides in what they’re selling.  But when a teenager is trying to decide whether to enlist or a parent is asking questions about their child’s future, should this be one of those times to have some actual ‘truth in advertising?’     

00:37 – Danny’s breakdown of ‘12 Strong’

10:21 – Tactics and methods of US military recruiters

30:41 – Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for US Supreme Court

Should we end military recruiting as a matter of child protection and public health – Amy Hagopian / Kathy Barker – American Journal of Public Health


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 15.5 – Interview with Keagan Miller, former Navy – NSA intel analyst – Part 2

We bring you part 2 of our sitdown with Keagan Miller.  Keagan is a former CTT (Cryptologic Technical Technician) who served in the Navy from 2009-13. He worked at NSA Georgia in support of 5th fleet and intelligence agency operations in North Africa and Middle East such as the Libya mission in 2011, the anti-piracy mission in Somalia, as well as other intelligence support given to operations in Yemen and Syria. Since getting out of the military he has been working with homeless veterans in the non profit and at the county level as a Case manager for Supportive Housing programs.

 


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

Soundcloud – Fortress On A Hill

FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 14.5 – Syria in pieces and Reality Winner

We’ve got one exceptionally LONG episodes of headlines for you.  Danny and I discuss a bunch of new developments in Syria, Google’s choice to not renew their contract to Project Maven, and discussion about Reality Winner and the Intercept.  Enjoy!!!

15:51 – The US / Turkey reach agreement over Syrian town

26:52 – New interim VA director Peter O’Rourke – updates on VA Mission Act

35:37 – The US is pushing NATO to get more troops / weapons ready in order to deter Russia

43:41 – US bombing in Raqqa, Syria may have violated international law

52:32 – Partisan battle for tactical nuclear weapons begins in the Senate

1:01:56 – Google chooses not to renew contract for Project Maven

1:05:36 – No more foreign bases

1:12:56 – Reality Winner and the Intercept  

Association of Veterans Affairs Psychological Leaders – Breakdown of VA Mission Act

U.S. AIRSTRIKES VIOLATED INTERNATIONAL LAW IN “WAR OF ANNIHILATION” IN RAQQA, SYRIA, SAYS AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Murtaza Hussain – The Intercept

SYRIA: “WAR OF ANNIHILATION”: DEVASTATING TOLL ON CIVILIANS, RAQQA – SYRIA – Amnesty International

THE U.S. SHOULD NOT BUILD MORE FOREIGN BASES – Akhilesh (Akhi) Pillalamarri – Defense Priorities

GOOGLE WON’T RENEW ITS DRONE AI CONTRACT, BUT IT MAY STILL SIGN FUTURE MILITARY AI CONTRACTS – Lee Fang – The Intercept

US senators grapple with new sub-launched nuke – Joe Gould – Marine Corps Times

U.S. pushes NATO to ready more forces to deter Russian threat – Robin Emmott and Idrees Ali – Reuters


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 14.0 – Interview with Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch – Part 2

Danny and I are very excited to bring you the second half of our sit down with Tom Engelhardt, editor-in-chief and founder of TomDispatch, where he brings us amazing long form journalism from a huge group of writers about our national security apparatus and especially America’s endless addiction to militarism.  Please go and pick up Tom’s new book, “A Nation Unmade By War“, an amazing collection of essays on how the US has been forever altered by almost two decades in endless war.  Enjoy!!!

00:40 – Sitdown with Tom Engelhardt – Part 2


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 13.5 – Interview with Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch – Part 1

Danny and I are very excited to bring you the first half of our sit down with Tom Engelhardt, editor-in-chief and founder of TomDispatch, where he brings us amazing long form journalism from a huge group of writers about our national security apparatus and especially America’s endless addiction to militarism.  Here, we discuss Tom’s new book, “A Nation Unmade By War“, along with his journey in creating TomDispatch, being a lifelong New Yorker who was NYC on 9/11, and how people like Donald Rumsfeld used the events of 9/11 to start and maintain the Global War on Terror.  Enjoy!!!

00:40 – Sitdown with Tom Engelhardt – Part 1


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh and Will Ahrens!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you both so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 12.5 – Military intelligence indeed! – the intelligence community

America has many three letter agencies that perform a variety of tasks.  Law enforcement, tax collection, firearms investigations, customs and border security, and so forth.  Today, Danny and I discuss our intelligence community, and when we say ‘intelligence community, we mean the SEVENTEEN intelligence agencies that perform intelligence missions of all sorts.  Somehow, we have seventeen of them.  But what does the public know about their ongoing mission?  How does their presence on college campuses and film sets impact the views of the military for the average American?  What role has torture played in the intelligence community and how does it affect the intelligence we receive, seventeen years after 9/11?  With this is mind, Danny and I present our breakdown of the intelligence community.  Enjoy!!!

00:40 – The intelligence community

Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military – Propublica

SPY UNIVERSITY: HOW INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES RECRUIT THEIR NEXT GENERATION – Radio WhoWhatWhy – Interview with Daniel Golden

The most militarized universities in America – Vice News

ClandesTime 032 – Iron Man and The Rocketeer

Covert operations: How the CIA works with Hollywood – The Listening Post – Al-Jazeera

As “Black Hawk Down” Director Ridley Scott Is Nominated for An Oscar, An Actor in the Film speaks Out Against Its Pro-War Message – Democracy Now

The Killing of Osama bin Laden – Seymour M. Hersh – London Review of Books


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

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Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL

Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 12.0 – Veterans ‘under pressure’ – Blast pressure, water contamination, and Afghanistan

I’ve fired around a half dozen belt fed weapons systems during my time in service; some bigger and louder than others, and all of them a kick ass way to spend an afternoon.  Well, that is until you realize the effects of firing them over a longer period of time. It’s not just loud noise or dangerous, hot metal. I remember spending an entire day working as a lane safety for a .50 cal machine gun range.  I stood less than three feet from a firing heavy machine gun all day, burning my hands as I changed the barrels when they became too hot despite using a specially designed heat mitten. At a certain point of temperature, it doesn’t matter anymore.  Glove or not, you’re getting burned. I remember I set a hot barrel a bit too close to the side of my foot while it was cooling and the damn barrel burned my foot through my boot.

This is part and parcel the Army’s (and I’m assuming the Marine Corps as well) main area of training.  We’d spent hundred of hours a year on a variety of ranges and not just when we were the ones firing.  It takes dozens of people to run most ranges, so in the lovely mist that is Fort Lewis in the winter and spring, your entire platoon would be spend whole days at the range, near these loud and dangerous devices.  But what if that was enough to hurt you? I was already told as long as we had proper eye and ear protection, we were golden. The truth is much darker.

00:45 – Blast pressure report on heavy use of crew served weapons

11:40 – Afghanistan update from recent SIGAR report

22:32 – Water contamination at 126 DOD sites

In Vets, Even Mild Case of TBI Linked to Increased Risk of Dementia – Karen Kaplan – Los Angeles Times

Gunners Using Shoulder-Borne Heavy Weapons at Risk for Brain Damage – Stars and Stripes – Wyatt Olson

Update to last week’s post on suicide and combat guilt – Matthew Hoh

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) quarterly report to Congress – 4-30-18

DoD: At least 126 bases report water contaminants linked to cancer, birth defects – Military Times – Tara Copp

Ranks of Notorious Hate Group Include Active-Duty Military – Propublica


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, and Gage Counts!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 11.5 – Africa on fire and too many military brats

As a prolific news junkie, there are some stories that I’m tired of reading about and the Niger investigation has become one of those stories.  Not because the news about Niger is especially horrible or specifically newsworthy, or because we’re seeing more and more expansion by AFRICOM into new corners of Africa; obviously, both those things are true.  My frustration with this is because of the fallout people connected to this news must live through.

The families of these soldiers deserve to fully understand how their loved ones died and what reason the US government says is the prevailing rationality for these soldiers to be in Africa at all.  But the lies and subterfuge continue, most recently in attempting to largely lay the blame of the ambush on the soldiers who died. And I expect more from our military leadership; I shouldn’t, but I do.  These men died being told they were serving their country, but all I see here is lies and propaganda.

Here, Danny and I break down recent headlines out of Africa and discusses the immense number of military members who have family that served.  You wouldn’t think that would be a problem, but for diversity of thought and experience, it’s really important.

00:50 – Danger pay for areas in AFRICOM, new base in Somalia and updates on the Niger ambush

18:06 – Vice chief comments on the US military becoming a caste onto itself through multi generation service

DoD approves danger pay for Niger, Mali, Cameroon – Tara Copp – Military Times

EXCLUSIVE: MASSIVE MILITARY BASE BUILDUP SUGGESTS THE U.S. SHADOW WAR IN SOMALIA IS ONLY GETTING BIGGER – Christina Goldbaum – Vice News

Military Leaders Sent Them On A Hasty, Ill-Planned Mission — And Are Now Blaming Them – Paul Szoldra – Task and Purpose


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, Gage Counts, and Bashir!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

Ep 11.0 – ‘Bad paper’ discharges with Tyson Manker

Being honorably discharged from the military is the reality most veterans face.  They receive all benefits from their time in service and help from the VA with healthcare and other significant issues.  To me, it’s always been a given.  I served my country and for that, I receive these services. But what if you had to leave the military and receive NONE of those benefits?  This would make sense if someone was court martialed or committed a high offense in some way during their service, but how about someone who doesn’t? Would it make sense to give a lifetime of punishment to a person who commits a minor offense and yet loses all access to assistance from the VA and otherwise?

Here is my interview with Tyson Manker, Marine Corps combat veteran who participated in the invasion of Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and following his deployment, he smoked weed in an attempt to deal with PTSD symptoms that he didn’t even recognize yet.  In return, he was chaptered from the USMC and received a less than honorable discharge. Here is his story.

Underserved – Swords to Plowshares

Fairness for Veterans Act of 2016

Hagel Memo

Advocates: Fairness for Veterans Act is only 1 step in fight against ‘bad paper’ discharges – Nikki Wentling – Stars and Stripes


Enjoy the show?!  Please leave us a review right here.

Got news to share about our military or veterans?! Or just need to cuss at us for a bit?! Contact us direct by email at fortressonahill@gmail.com

Leave us a voicemail at 860-598-0570.  We might even play it on the podcast!!!

Not a contributor on Patreon? You’re missing out on amazing bonus content! Sign up to be one of our contributors today! – www.patreon.com/fortressonahill

A special thanks to our honorary producers Matthew Hoh, Will Ahrens, Ron Unger, Gage Counts, and Bashir!!  Without you guys, we couldn’t continue our work.  Thank you all so much!!!

Facebook – Fortress On A Hill

Twitter – Fortress On A Hill

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FOH is hosted, written, and produced by Chris ‘Henri’ Henrikson and Danny Sjursen

Cover and website art designed by Brian K. Wyatt Jr. of B-EZ Graphix Multimedia Marketing Agency in Tallehassee, FL
Music provided royalty free by Bensound.com

Note: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts alone, expressed in an unofficial capacity, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.