It was just 30 seconds into the mission to kill Osama bin Laden in
May 2011 when special operations Chinook pilot Chief Warrant Officer 5
Douglas Englen heard the call of “Black Hawk down” come over his radio.
Black Hawk 2′s pilot alerted Englen — the pilot in charge of the air operation that night — that Black Hawk-1 had just crashed inside the 9/11 mastermind’s Abbottabad compound.
His crew in Chinook-1 and another crew in Chinook-2 had been setting up
a refuel site for the two Black Hawks, about 30 miles to the north. But
his Chinook immediately went straight to the objective area, to pick up
the ground force and the aircrew. Meanwhile, the other Chinook stayed
at the refueling site.
“We just went into contingency mode,” said Englen, talking about the raid, and his life, for the first time in an exclusive interview with Military Times. “Didn’t know the severity — if it was crashed with casualties? If it crashed in civilian area? All we do is minimize our time and get there as quick as possible,” Englen said.
Read the rest here-https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/03/17/legendary-special-operations-aviator-reveals-bin-laden-mission-details-for-the-first-time/
The other day I showed some photos of pistols made by custom gunsmith Armand Swenson. Swensen was one of the most influential 1911 pistolsmiths of all time. He pioneered the genre of combat custom pistol work on the 1911. He invented the 1911 ambi safety and high visibility rear sight. He made metal checkering common along with the square trigger guard ( which isn’t so popular now) and the beveled mag well. He was the first to apply “french borders” to the slide and coined the term. The look of the modern combat/ custom-combat 1911 comes from his sense of style and ideas.
After WW2, Swenson left working for Boeing and started his own custom shop in Seattle where he built custom rifles. He set some early benchrest records using the custom rifles he made. Those rifles quickly became known for their quality, accuracy and beautiful metal work.
“One day an Air Force Colonel came into Armand’s shop with a 1911 pistol. he was a member of the Air Force pistol team and wanted Armand to look it over and see if he could make it more accurate and improve trigger pull. Swenson agreed to see what he could do with the pistol.“
In the 60s, Armand came up with the idea for a shortened government mode. It used a full sized frame with a slide 1/8 inch shorter than the Colt Commander. He named this new creation the bobcat. By the mid 60s demand for his pistols became so great, he quit his day job designing yachts and became a full time pistol smith.
Swenson designing and refined many of his innovations in the following years. His most famous being the 1911 ambi safety.
The Swenson safety came about after a visit to Gunsite shooting school. He listened to the students talk about how much better it would be if the 1911 safety could be operated with either hand. After perfecting the design, he had the parts cast and the Swenson ambi safety was born.
He also developed the squared trigger guard. In order to not weaken the frame, the trigger guard needed to be heated and forged to shape, then properly heat treated. He then checkered the front vertical face with 30 lines per inch. At the time many shooters put their left index finger in that spot,wrongly believing it helped control recoil. It doesn’t. The squared look still sticks around as a lot of people still like the aesthetic.
Armand began checkering the front strap of metal framed 1911s with 30 lpi and using satin white hard chrome plating he learned from the yacht building experience. It was so attractive and durable most of his pistols came coated this way.
All of his pistols were noted for their superb accuracy. He developed his own way of fitting the barrels and unless the custom specifically asked for it, he used the factory Colt barrel.
Like I mentioned in the earlier post, Swenson was the first to fit S&W K frame sights to the 1911. Armand milled a slot in the slide , then drilled and tapped the slide for stock screws and added shear pins sp the sight always stayed in place. He made his own custom made front sights to go with the K frame adjustable rear sight.
As you can see above this one also has the “french Borders”. Narrow lines machined into the each side of the slide . He put a matte finish on top by beating the top with a machinist file very carefully.
Swenson also developed the “shok buff” as it’s now called. First using leather then polymer. Never intending for them to be used for anything other than training. I am not a fan because they come apart. Their value is debatable.
Notable people who owned and used his pistols included Jeff Cooper, Audie Murphy, Elmer Kieth among other actors. His shop was in California so it was no surprised they sought him out. The list also includes secret service officers, SWAT officers, members of SEAL team 5 who presented him with a special award for appreciation.
Part 1 http://looserounds.com/2020/03/18/interview-with-army-green-beret-sog-1-0-jim-bolen/
Can you share any memorable missions with our readers? Jim Bolen: I will copy and paste one of my many missions that are in my book:
American Bronze Star Medal And Vietnamese award, Gallantry Cross with Palm Leaf
On 28 June 1968, my team was inserted into Cambodia for a reconnaissance mission deep behind enemy lines. Read my following military citations for a brief description of my actions. On the first day, moving through the jungle, I started noticing that every third or fourth tree had been cut off at ground level. The NVA did that so that the overhead canopy cover would not be unduly disturbed and noticeable from the air. That was the first time I had ever seen anything like that. Even my point man did not notice this. I knew that the enemy must be building something large close by. We started moving more slowly, expecting to come across an enemy compound close by. Within an hour, we spotted two large buildings under the canopy located on a high-speed trail. Both buildings were under roof, but the sides were left open. The buildings were only about 20 feet apart. We sat there and watched the compound for about an hour to make sure there wasn’t any enemy troop movement. We moved into the compound and found that one of the buildings was housing a huge cache of enemy weapons, the largest found in enemy held territory. The other building was empty. We took pictures of the weapons and moved out of the compound. During our next scheduled radio check, I reported to FAC what we had found. I requested that they support me with another team with demolitions to destroy the weapons. They contacted me and said they would start putting a team together right away. I moved out of the area for about a day in order to stay as far away from the enemy compound as possible and looked for a safe LZ to bring in the supporting team. The next day the second team was inserted and we spent that day preparing and going over where the demolitions would be placed.
On 30 June 1968, we headed back through the jungle to the enemy compound. Everyone, including our Commander at FOB 2 base camp, was worried if I could find my way back to the enemy compound without being detected. I have a good sense of direction and have always been good with maps, even the old French maps that we were using. We hit the compound dead center. To my dismay, when we got there, there was a small enemy unit cleaning the cache of weapons. I radioed back our predicament and our Commander said to abort the mission. I declined and said that we were going to try and wait the enemy out. We laid outside the compound for a couple of hours, and, sure enough, the enemy moved out. We immediately went into the enemy compound and placed our explosives. We selected certain of the enemy weapons to take back with us for intelligence purposes. (See picture of me with the captured weapons below the citations.) We moved back towards our original LZ. I had pulled the wire that was connected to the explosives along with me as we moved away from the buildings and hooked it up to the detonating device. Once my team was at a safe distance, I detonated the explosives, destroying the building and, hopefully, most of the weapons. Each team, along with the addition of the captured weapons, was border line overweight. Once we got to the LZ, I had the two recon teams with the captured enemy weapons get extracted with the first two choppers and I stayed behind by myself and waited for the third chopper.
This operation was extremely successful and important, so much so that they sent the three other Americans on the teams and me to Saigon to brief General Abrams. (See radio text message below). It was about a month later that we Americans on the two teams were alerted that the Commander of the Fifth Special Forces Group at Nah Trang was coming to give us our awards for this mission personally. We found out that the Bronze Stars that we would be receiving were for Achievement, not Valor. We were really pissed and almost decided not to accept them. His reasoning for this, the Commander of the Fifth Special Forces Group, was due to the fact that there were not shots fired by the enemy or us. So I guess that when you are behind the enemy lines and sneak into their compound while they are having lunch and blow up hundreds of weapons that were going to be used to kill Americans with about 80 pounds of C4 plastic explosives and get out unscathed, that is not considered as a valorous deed??????? We did, begrudgingly, accept the awards but, as you can see, it still bothers me to this day.
Can you tell us a little about your time in Rhodesia ?
About Rhodesia, while working as personal bodyguard for Larry Flynt, founder of “Hustler Magazine” I was getting bored. It’s hard to believe going to Hollywood VIP parties (including Hefner’s mansion), private jets, finest restaurants in the world, flying on the Concord plus unlimited expense account boring but it me it was. Larry was intense and demanding but I liked that, and we got along very well. When he heard I was leaving he offered any other job if I wanted if I would agree to stay on. He wrote me a very nice letter of recommendation (see enclosed letter).
The way I got to Rhodesia was through Bob Brown editor of Soldier of Fortune Magazine. Bob and I met through my background in the military, he is really a great guy. I told him I was getting bored and looking for something else. He said there was The World Pistol competition in Johannesburg South Africa and he was submitting a team, if I was interested, he would put me on the list for a visa as a competitor (see enclosed letter). He said from there I could go to Rhodesia where they were having trouble with communist infiltrators coming in through Mozambique. I said great lets do it. The competition starts in about six weeks. I told Larry Flynt the date I would be ending my employment, and he asked me for one last favor. He was leaving for England then France on the Concord and really wanted me to go with him, of course I agreed. I got home just in time to catch my flight to Africa.
After a very long flight myself and two other
Americans landed in Johannesburg and made it to the Johannesburger
Hotel. This is known where most of the “Mercs” say and hang out. We
spent a little time in Johannesburg and met some people that could help
us get to Rhodesia. You must remember I just got back from Cannes France
a few weeks earlier, but I could not believe how beautiful the town was
and had the finest cuisine from all over the world. Everyone dressed to
a “T” and were in shape physically, I was really impressed.
We made it to Salisbury Rhodesia and again I was impressed by to town and people. We passed out our resumes and soon got offers.
We picked up the additional gear we needed along
with the FN’s. We met our guide Samson and started our work. We were
paid 125.00 for every terrorist we captured and 1250.00 for everyone we
killed, we had no captures. We stayed there for a few months. We had to
get back to South Africa because of the limit of our visas. In
Johannesburg I spent a lot of time with an extremely sharp individual, I
was very impressed with him. He offered me a job and gave me 24 hours
to make my decision and If I decided to take his offer, I could not talk
to anyone I knew or family member for 6 years. Obviously, I wonder what
my life would be like if I took that job. I know what the job was as it
is well publicized in the worldwide news years later. Of course, it is
just another one of the things I cannot talk about.
Things worked out great for me because when arriving back in the US I met my wife now and have been together for over 42 years and have a wonderful family. There is more info in my book on Amazon if interested.
You can buy Jim’s book and read more details of his amazing life story . His book, No Guts, No Glory can be found at amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Guts-Glory-Mercenary-Businessman-All-Around/dp/1884532926/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364346996&sr=8-1&keywords=jim+bolen
In the early morning hours yesterday, this happened.
A Maryland man fatally shot by police was asleep in his bed when cops opened fire, a lawyer for his family contends.
Montgomery County police officers have said they shot Duncan Socrates
Lemp only after he “confronted” them. But Rene Sandler, who is
representing Lemp’s relatives calls the police account “completely
contrary” to eyewitness reports. Lemp’s girlfriend was injured.
“The facts as I understand them from eyewitnesses are incredibly concerning,” Sandler said.
Police went to Lemp’s home to conduct a “high risk” search after
being tipped off that Lemp had several illegal firearms. Three rifles
and two handguns were ultimately recovered.
“We believe that the body camera footage and other forensic evidence
from this event will support what Duncan’s family already knows, that he
was murdered,” Sandler said.
In a statement, police department officials said prosecutors from
nearby Howard County reviewing the “facts and circumstances of the
“An established agreement…stipulates that when an officer-involved shooting involving injury or death occurs in one county, the other county’s State’s Attorney’s Office will review the event,” they said.”- NY Post
Maryland basically sent the King’s men to execute Duncan. Despite their claims, he had no criminal record that anyone can find. He didn’t do anything other than own some guns that the sate of Maryland didn’t like, and he posted boogaloo memes on his instagram and FB accounts.
This kid was 21 years old. He had no priors. no criminal record. The swat team didnt enter the house. The lawyer going after the judge who issued the red flag warrant exposed that they shot him though his window while he was sleeping with his GF next to him. She had to watch him die. And like always the body cam footage has been lost.
The Gainesville Police Department suspected an innocent man
was involved in a burglary so naturally they requested that Google give
them all of his location data.
Google’s legal investigations support team wrote to Zachary McCoy
telling him that local police were demanding information related to his
Google account. Google replied and said it would release the data unless
McCoy went to court and tried to block the request, NBCreported.
The man then searched his case number on the Gainesville Police
Department website where he found a one-page report on the burglary of
an elderly woman’s home ten months earlier on March 29, 2009.
Unfortunately for McCoy, the crime occurred less than a mile from the
home that he shared with his two roommates.
Caleb Kenyon, McCoy’s lawyer, said he was subject of a “geofence warrant.”
A geofence warrant is essentially a virtual dragnet over crime scenes
where police request to sweep up Google location data drawn from users’
GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular connections from everyone who is
near a crime scene.
From this blanket of surveillance law enforcement then try to figure
out which phones may be tied to suspects or possible witnesses. According to journalist Tony Webster, “Law enforcement officials say it’s a promising new technique.”
“A reverse location search warrant differs from a traditional search warrant in that it doesn’t identify a suspect and establish probable cause to ask for evidence of a suspect’s crimes. Instead, it asks for information about everyone in an area at a certain time, working backwards to identify a suspect.”
McCoy used an exercise-tracking app, RunKeeper, to record his rides.
The app relied on his phone’s location services, that were then fed to
Google. He looked up his route on the day of the burglary and saw that
he had passed the victim’s house three times within an hour, part of his
frequent loops through his neighborhood.
“It was a nightmare scenario,” McCoy recalled.
“I was using an app to see how many miles I rode my bike
and now it was putting me at the scene of the crime. And I was the lead
McCoy ended up fighting back and winning, resulting in the police dropping their warrant request with the help of his lawyer.
But this isn’t the first time a blanket surveillance warrant has been used, last year in New York law enforcement used a “geofence warrant” against the Proud Boys, a group of pro-Trump rightwing extremists after they allegedly beat up four leftist protesters, believed to be associated with Antifa, outside an Upper East Side event. The four protesters refused to cooperate with police, and authorities were unable to identify them.
As part of their attempt to find their identities, prosecutors sent Google
a warrant for phone records near the conflict. However, they ended up
collecting multiple innocent people around the area under their dragnet
as well, even though they had nothing to do with the crime. Exactly like
what happened with McCoy.
And in just one year, 22 Google reverse location search warrants were issued in the state of Minnesota alone.
This type of warrant has privacy and civil liberties advocates
concerned. They’re noting that the search has constitutional issues due
to protections from unreasonable searches. However, police argue the
information alone is not enough to justify charging someone with a
crime. But in another case in Arizona, a man was mistakenly arrested and jailed for a murder he didn’t commit, which was largely based on Google data received from a geofence warrant.
“Normally we think of the judiciary as being the overseer, but as
the technology has gotten more complex, courts have had a harder and
harder time playing that role,” said Jennifer
Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil
Liberties Union about another case of using geofence surveillance. “We’re depending on companies to be the intermediary between people and the government.”