Because of an excess of spambot activity, I have blocked new registrations. I hate taking such drastic measures, but I don't have time to clean up all the false registrations that result from whatever attack list I landed on. I will likely revise this in the future once I've upgraded some of my code, but until then, please email me if you would like a user account. Most days, you'll get a login within a few daylight hours. Please let me know:
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The WatchCat spent a year in Russia and the Middle East in preparation for a government career. Unfortunately she got in a little too deep, and health problems sabotaged her career before it began. The future? Now there's an open question. She gets her paws in the action whenever possible, with or without a paycheck. WatchCat keeps busy supporting the troops, recruiting pararescue candidates, yelling at traitors and helping people navigate the grey areas on international everything.
A close family member is active duty US military, but due to OPSEC (and the general need for family peace), WatchCat is unable to write about that person's activities. She makes the most of the opportunities that God gives her, knowing that she should be dead by now.
And yes, she is married & is going to stay married. Smacks upside the head are delivered as needed to those who don't understand this.
Any Amazon.com shopping you do via these links will help keep WatchCat in cream & ammo:
Pararescuemen and an Army Special Forces personnel carry a mock earthquake survivor in need of medical treatment to a helicopter as part of a combat search and rescue exercise during Angel Thunder 2010 in Southern Arizona April 19. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Jerilyn Quintanilla)
Pararescuemen participating in an Angel Thunder combat search and rescue mission at the Barry M. Goldwater range in the Sonoran Desert outside Davis-Monthan Air Force Base carry the volunteer survivor to the HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)
A U.S. Air Force HH-60 with the 210th Rescue Squadron (RQS, Alaska Air National Guard (ANG), Kulis ANG Base, Anchorage, Alaska, drops off pararescuemen from the 210 RQS, and the 103 RQS, New York ANG, Long Island, N.Y., during Angel Thunder 10 in the desert surrounding Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Ariz., April 15, 2010. Angel Thunder 10, an Air Combat Command (ACC) sponsored exercise, will be the largest personnel recovery/CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) exercise to date, combining DoD (Department of Defense) and non-DoD assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)
I think I'm going to stop apologizing for lags between posts, largely because the only way my schedule will lighten up is if I fail.
So far, so good. I've done some KATN in the latter part of the week, which was particularly gratifying in light of the earlier mayhem. Having to switch a large component of your academic plan while you've got a family member in the hospital is not exactly conducive to study, but I actually got complemented on my improvement.
And I went to the range Friday night and, courtesy of a friend, got to shoot 100 rds of .45 cal with the Kimber. I still had some inconsistencies but I performed much better than in the past. Did some very nice & tight groups, and when shooting from down on one knee, angle was good and I was hitting center mass. Both left hand and right hand were good. And to top it off, my friend is now hooked, so I have a new shooting buddy who's already interested in buying her own weapon.
Current task: learning to like beer. Call it professional development.
There's been a lot of bad news lately in my extended circle. My friends are ok; their friends are not. The situations are heartbreaking; I'm finding few words. I remembered the departed this morning in church; it was all I could do.
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Equipping the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter for a
shuttle launch is a long process complete with hundreds of pounds of gear to be
loaded and stowed on board. All of the medical gear would be used in case of an
emergency where an astronaut had to bail out of the shuttle either over the ocean or
land. The Reservists here provide support for all shuttle and rocket launches. Not
only are the crews of the helos the eyes and ears of the shuttle launches, but the
HC-130P/N Hercules planes are also used as backup for mid-air refueling and another
platform for live-saving measures. All reservists here are combat search and rescue
trained and are ready at a moment's notice to provide assistance as needed. (U.S.
Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Rob Grande)
Members of the 103rd Rescue Squadron's Pararescuemen and Chief Rescue Officers take
part in the Bataan Memorial Death March on March 21, 2010 at White Sands Missile
Range, N.M. The 103rd took part in the two different competitions, the Guard Heavy
division and the individual category. Five members took part in the group activity
and in order for them to win they all had to cross the finish line within 20 seconds
of one another. The 103rd took 1st place in the Guard Heavy division and 7th place
in the individual category. Photos provided by http://Brightroom.com
Pararescuemen from the California Air National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing prepare to
jump from the rear door of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules April 1, 2010,
approximately 1,400 miles southwest of San Diego. The Coast Guard and Air National
Guard personnel worked together to rescue an injured 57-year-old sailor by dropping
four pararescuemen, an inflatable boat and other rescue and survival equipment near
his sailing vessel . (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Petty Officer 3rd Class Henry G.
Sorry about the delays...I'm swamped and so are my sources! But I did pass my midterm, just 1 point short of an "A." In celebration, enjoy some PJ Pics...
Pararescuemen from the 129th Rescue Wing transfer a patient to a container vessel
April 2, 2010. The Eleventh Coast Guard District Rescue Coordination Center used
their Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue system to divert a Liberian
registered merchant vessel, the CAP PALMERSTON, enroute to Ensenada, Mexico, to
rendezvous with the sailing vessel and pick-up the PJs and their patient. The AMVER
program is sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard and is a voluntary global ship
reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for
assistance to persons in distress at sea. Following the transfer of the patient and
PJs from the small sailboat to the CAP PALMERSTON, the ship set course to San Diego.
The patient and PJs were picked up by 129th rescue crews April 4, 2010. (Photo
courtesy of the CAP PALMERSTON crew.)
A 129th Rescue Wing HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter crew hoists a pararescueman
and an MC-130P Combat Shadow orbits the area during a rescue mission 650 miles off
the coast of Baja, Mexico, April 4, 2010. The 129th sent two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue
helicopters and one MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, accompanied by one Marine Corps
KC-130J Super Hercules tanker from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, to pick up
Michael Kalahar, a 56-year-old sailor from Port Angeles, Wash., who suffered
life-threatening head and neck injuries aboard his sailing vessel WIND CHILD. The
129th rescue aircraft also recovered a four-man pararescue team, also based with the
129th. (Photo courtesy of Maj. Mathewe Wenthe)
I've met a number of people recently who aren't doing what they want to be doing in life.
So what's up with that?? ;)
I'm coming to the conclusion that there are two ways to be happy with your life: do the thing that's in your heart, or put your heart into what you do.
Some of these people I've met... you can just see them heading for a brick wall. They're good people, trying to act honorably, but they lack conviction. I was on a PJ-hopeful forum earlier today, and I have to say that a lot of guys want the glory but don't want to BE a PJ bad enough.
I'm saying all this fully aware of my own weaknesses in this area. I'm definitely running up against some natural timidity that most of you probably wouldn't believe. I learned early to be careful to avoid mistakes, to not show weakness, to let others take first opportunity, and to always let the experts do their job rather than try to do it for them.
Thus I'm a difficult person to train, because I get too focused on not screwing up. And the current training plays with one of the biggest chink in my armor, the fear of hurting someone in my care.
So I'm really, really going to need to find a way to get the necessary practice. And of course my hospital-based friends are all in other states. I'm this close to buying a plane ticket...
It's been a long road but finally the day has come. Tucson's 306th will soon announce amended PT requirements for females interested in showing up at selection day. In general, running requirements will be tighter, approximately 3 miles in 18 minutes since they will need to consistently outrun the male PJs, sit-ups will be doubled to encourage abdominal strength, and more emphasis will be placed upon the photo and interview. The decision to admit females was made to promote the under-cover capabilities of rescue units in countries where a male and a female together excites less suspicion than two males. (No Afghanistan jokes please.)
Please click the "read more" for IMPORTANT INFO pertaining to the dissemination of this information.
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
- Air Force Reserve Chief Master Sgt. Lazaro Ibarra, helicopter flight
engineer, 920th Rescue Wing here, hands a hoisting cable to Master Sgt. Josiah
Blanton, an Air Force Reserve Pararescueman (PJ) from the 304th Rescue Squadron
base at Portland, Ore.
The 304th RQS is a geographically separated unit (GSU) of the 920th RQW - they
fall unter the 920th's jurisdiction but are stationed on the West Coast. For
the PJs and helicopter crews, training together becomes important to keep
camaraderie between the different crews and the different terrain is essential
for real-world rescue scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Leslie
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - Chief Master Sgt. Lazaro
Ibarra (left) helicopter flight engineer, 301st Rescue Squadron here, hoists
Capt. Niul Manske, combat rescue officer, and Staff Sgt. Carl Jensen, both
pararescumen from the 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland, Ore., from the Banana
River into this HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter during water-rescue training near
Patrick Air Force Base. The two-man hoists are a small part of the overall
training for the PJs. The 304th RQS is a geographically separated unit of the
920th RQW. The Portland PJs normally specialize in snow-capped mountain rescues
whereas here the mountain men are getting a dose of warm salty air. All of
these men are Air Force Reservists with the 920th Rescue Wing. (U.S. Air Force
photo/Staff Sgt. Leslie Kraushaar)
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
- Air Force Reserve Tech. Sgt. Peter Pavenski, HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter
aerial gunner, 920th Rescue Wing here, throws the rope ladder to the awaiting
pararescuemen below so they can climb into the hovering helicopter during a
water training scenario being conducted in the Banana
River near Patrick Air Force Base.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Leslie Kraushaar)
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.
- Master Sgt. Josiah Blanton, a reserve Pararescueman (PJ) from the 304th
Rescue Squadron, Portland, Ore.,
lends a hand to Staff Sgt. Carl Jensen, also a reserve PJ from the 304th RQS,
while he climbs up a rope ladder from the brackish Banana
River water into the hovering
HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. The reserve PJs traveled from Portland,
which is a geographically seperated unit (GSU) of the 920th REscue Wing here to
train with the wing's helicopters and crew. this type of training not only
helps the helicopter crews hone their rescue skills, but the PJs from the west
coast gain confidence working with each other in different environments to
become the most skilled rescue specialists in the world. (U.S. Air Force
photo/Staff Sgt. Leslie Kraushaar)
A Pararescueman from the 212th Rescue Squadron jumps from a C-17 Globemaster III
over Katchemak Bay , Alaska , Feb. 10, 2010. The Pararescueman was participating in
an exercise that involved Pacific Air Force and Air Mobility Command C-17's
exploring capabilities in large formations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matt
"Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you." -Sirach 4:28
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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" -Isaiah 6:8
As many of you are aware, the PJCountry blog disappeared in November 2008.
I'm doing my best to help the pararescue community by sharing PJ-related news and events on my blog. The following information may be helpful:
You will find answers to many questions at pararescue.com and specialtactics.com
If you're ready to become a PJ, you'll need to decide between Active Duty and Reserve. This will determine who will handle your official recruitment. Visit Contacts and POCs to find the appropriate person or email me.
304th Pararescue Team (Reserve) (Oregon)
If you're on the west coast near Oregon and are considering being a PJ/CRO on the Portland Pararescue Team (commitment of 4 years beyond training), contact TSgt Stanley Iakopo at stanley.iakopo AT us.af.mil or email me.
I have no official role with pararescue or other SpecOps but I know enough to get you connected to the right people. Email to CAT at THEWATCHCAT dot NET
Jubilate Agno, Fragment B
[For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]
by Christopher Smart
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant
For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he's a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in
For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.