Friday, September 7, 2007

The Tactics Training Update

I have not put the effort into this that is required. Maybe it is the college work load, but it's more likely just some Mr. Lazybones. Someone needs to kicked me out of my rack earlier in the morning, and then keep my from wasting valuable time exploring Internet chat rooms, reading worthless news, or reviewing one blog to many.

Furthermore, I have not played a single chess game in over three weeks. How is one to improve if they don't seek competition? There is no excuse...

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Six men, in battle dress uniform and camouflage painted faces, silently stalked prey on a moonless October night in the inky blackness of a tropical rain forest. A special Law Enforcement patrol, we consisted of four Naval Security personnel, a Navy Seal acting as advisor and guide, plus myself as Petty Officer-in-Charge/Watch Commander. Our ingress started from the Pan-American Highway, just 500 yards from the western boundary of the Arraijan tank farm, and we moved south along a barely visible trail. The jungle, with its stench of rotting vegetation, extreme darkness, and a bounty of strange and dangerous animals, felt less than welcoming.

I had planned this special operation for weeks, and in response to the rash of thefts by the local Panamanian toughs. They seemed invisible to every means of detection, and very good at relieving Uncle Sam of his property. The only remaining option to stop the thievery was to meet them on their own terrain, but at the time and place of our choosing. Naturally, the ambush site was a good position, selected a week prior during a reconnaissance, it offered excellent concealment, and it provided the best ground for arrest/detention. A paid informant provided ample intelligence of who, what, where, how and when. Of course, the team’s morale was high, and we all felt John Wayne-like due to the power of the badge...not to mention the model 1911A1 .45 caliber automatics we carried.

After hour’s worth of patiently waiting, while enduring the feeding frenzy of thousands of biting insects, my Navy Seal advisor/guide told me in a low firm voice of authority.

“Don’t fucking move!” He commanded.

Just as he had done so, I felt the heft of an object on my left leg, and slowly it slithered to my right. My inside voice screamed…Oh, my god, what is it?

“Fer-de-lance…don’t even breathe.” He said.

Powerless, I laid on the jungle floor as a deadly poisonous viper of six feet in length moved slowly across my legs in a surprise.