Contractors: Who Needs Them?

February 09, 2013

By Robert Young Pelton The September 2008 photo shows three well-known faces—Chuck Hagel, Joe Biden and John Kerry—standing in front of a Blackhawk helicopter on a snowy mountaintop. As former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry assumes his role as Secretary of State, vice president-elect Joe Biden and current Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, have an interesting story. After the incident Kerry issued a statement. He inferred that he had been “forced down” and that three key members of the Obama government,...

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Guntopia: Opinions from SHOT Show

February 03, 2013

By Robert Young Pelton LAS VEGAS – Heavyset middle-aged men holding plastic bags loaded down with brochures crowd around the monitors at the trade show watching a silent CNN broadcast. They didn’t need sound to figure out what was going on: It was Jan. 16 and, standing on a stage flanked by schoolchildren, President Barack Obama was proposing a ban on assault-style weapons, tighter background checks and a number of other new gun control measures in the wake of the...

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MissionX: Tactical Immersion

February 03, 2013

By Will Grant At the bottom of an abandoned quarry in the Jordanian desert lies one of the premiere training facilities in the world. It’s called the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center, and it’s the brainchild of His Majesty, King Abdullah II. And when you consider the technology involved, the scale of the facility, and the comforts it provides, you might wonder if royalty isn’t somehow involved. It’s world-class all the way. “You walk two minutes out of...

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Inside the Vaults of Long Mountain Outfitters

January 25, 2013

By Will Grant For well over 30 years Dan Shea has been collecting weapons. He ETS’d out of the Army in the mid-70s and within a few years, started buying and selling guns, starting a side business from his construction company. He was good at it, and he enjoyed it. His collection and expertise grew. He secured government contracts as an armorer and trainer on foreign weapons. Now his company has what is probably the second largest private firearms collection...

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SHOT Show 2013: A Few of Our Show Favorites

January 19, 2013

By Will Grant On the heels of a nationwide debate over gun control, this year’s SHOT Show was a highly anticipated event that received extraordinary media attention. But what may come as a disappointment to headline-seekers, there was little talk of impending gun bans and magazine-capacity restrictions. To most industry manufacturers and distributors, President Obama’s gun-control measures will be just another bump in the road. Companies like Glock and Bushmaster have weathered previous such storms and didn’t expect the latest...

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More Women More Often Occupying Tactical Roles

January 13, 2013

By Will Grant In the world of all things tactical, women are an increasing presence. There are more women today in law enforcement positions than ever before. More women are taking concealed carry classes, more women are at the shooting range and more women are becoming part what’s traditionally been thought of as a male-dominated industry. And while women are getting newfound recognition, there have been organizations and associations catering to tactical women for nearly a century. The International Association...

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The Adventures of Doc White

January 11, 2013

By Will Grant Doc White has made a living doing pretty much exactly what he’s always wanted. To say that it’s been an exciting, fun adventure is somewhat of an understatement. From his time in the Navy during the Vietnam War to operating a charter dive company out of San Diego to traveling the world as a marine photographer, White’s love for the ocean, animals, and photography has taken him to the far reaches of the globe. Born in Raleigh,...

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Active Shooter Response: Lessons from Experts

January 06, 2013

By Will Grant The Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut last month has spurned national discussions on gun control, school security, and mental health. It seems that people have weighed in from every corner with their solutions on how to prevent something like this from ever happening again. The National Rifle Association has called for armed law enforcement at every school in the country. Political leaders have called for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. But most of these...

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The Joburg to Juba Juggernaut

December 31, 2012

By Will Grant Photographs courtesy Tim Freccia Delivering anything to South Sudan is not easy. Especially not five truckloads of military equipment that has to cover the breadth of equatorial Africa to get there. Even if the end user is the United Nations. But that’s exactly what a Nairobi-based expatriate from New Hampshire and his crew of five drivers are doing: running a convoy containing 14 pieces of over-sized heavy equipment 5,500 kilometers from Johannesburg, South Africa to Juba, South...

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Inside Burma’s Dirty War, Part II

December 29, 2012

by Robert Young Pelton I ask Doug, the Father of the White Monkey, why he calls his operation “Free Burma Rangers.” Like many of Doug’s decisions, it is intuitive and simple. “I made up the name when I climbed Mt. McKinley, and I had to write down a name. Kind of like the Texas Rangers or the Army Rangers.”  He started in 1997 with one local media team and now trains five-man teams from volunteers. They are trained in security,...

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Running Death Valley

December 23, 2012

By Will Grant Death Valley is the largest National Park in the United States.  It’s also the hottest (average temperature: 77 degrees Fahrenheit), the driest (average precipitation: about two inches), and the lowest (282 feet below sea level). It’s an austere desert landscape not suitable for most plants or animals, humans included. To some, the harshness of the environment presents a challenge. For a lot of those people, the only way to tackle the valley is on two feet, one...

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Inside Burma’s Dirty War, Part I

December 22, 2012

By Robert Young Pelton Kawthoolie – The distant sound of steady mortar fire didn’t seem to bother Lt Col Nerdah. Nerdah is the 41-year-old commander of the 6th Brigade and the son of the late Karen supreme commander Bo Mya. The commander had changed out of his dress uniform and was now relaxing by candlelight wearing a black t-shirt and beret. Nerdah had just concluded a busy day of peace celebrations between the DKBA (the Myanmar government-backed Buddhist faction of the...

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