Californians asked to stop charging EVs

American Motor Club

Just one week after announcing its plans to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035, the North American state of California has asked its residents to stop charging their electric vehicles as the electrical grid can’t handle the increased load.

Multiple news sources in the US say that energy providers are asking residents to avoid charging their vehicles due to power grid strain caused by the increased energy demand amid the state’s heatwave. Temperatures in California are said to be reaching around 40 degrees Celsius, not unusual in California, but meaning air conditioning use has ramped up dramatically, causing acute power shortages, and leaving residents without enough juice to charge their electric cars.

“Today, most people charge their electric cars when they come home in the evening when electricity demand is typically at its peak,” said Cornell University’s College of Engineering speaking with “If left unmanaged, the power demanded from many electric vehicles charging simultaneously in the evening will amplify existing peak loads, potentially outstripping the grid’s current capacity to meet demand.”

At this point, it almost seems ironic that nations around the world are increasing the push for EVs without considering the need for ramping up energy production and installing more of the necessary infrastructure to charge them. On top of that, banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by the mid-2030s will only compound the issue further if nothing is done to support the increasing uptake in EVs.

Europe too is currently undergoing an energy crisis and is seeing power prices reportedly shattering records as the continent heads into winter. It’s likely Europe will face the same charging dilemma to stay warm.


The Stupid One!

A Vietnam POW story that is very well done by Ward Carrol.

This video runs for 15 minutes and is well worth watching

T-Rex Sniper

A Ukrainian soldier with a massive Snipex “T-Rex” anti-material rifle. Built by XADO-Holding Limited located in Kharkiv, Ukraine, the T-Rex is a bolt-action rifle chambered for the Russian 14.5x114mm round. As a precision rifle, the barrel is free-floating and the rifle has an adjustable cheek rest, bipod (which can be moved up and down slides on the barrel to suit the firer), and an adjustable rear monopod in the bottom of the stock for additional stability. For mounting optics, a Picatinny rail is fitted to the top of the weapon. To reduce the recoil, the T-Rex has a multi-baffle muzzle brake and a recoil isolator in the stock. The T-Rex is a bullpup design despite being bolt-action with the bolt carrier group situated behind the trigger. In order to keep the weight down, the cheek rest, butt plate, and carry handle are made from polymer material. Despite this, the T-Rex is a hefty 55 pounds with a length of 5.9 feet. It was accepted into Ukrainian Armed Forces service in 2020.

For a sight, this rifleman has the Snipex Galaxy G50 6-24×56 long range scope mounted on the Picatinny rail. It allows for elevation adjustment in 1 mil intervals down to a more precise 0.1 mil integral while the windage adjustment is done solely in 0.1 mil increments. Total elevation adjustment range is 50 mils with 12 mils being the maximum windage adjustment range. The scope has a weight of 4.7 pounds.

The soldier has also equipped his T-Rex with the Snipex SN-RS 14.5-01 suppressor. In addition to hiding the muzzle flash, the suppressor reduces the shot noise by at least 32 decibels. However, it adds 1.6 feet to the length of the T-Rex and adds 15 pounds to the weapon. In total, as configured here, the weapon is 7.5 feet long and weighs 74.7 pounds.

The effective range of the T-Rex is up to 1.2 miles with a maximum range of 4.3 miles.


Russia Has the Largest and Fastest Supersonic Bomber on Earth

The Tu-160 is no new bomber, for sure. But Moscow still keeps flying the planes and promises upgrades and even new versions of the bomber in the years to come. The Tu-160 has even been flown as part of the savage assault on Ukraine: 

While Russia operates several different bomber models in active service, the Tu-160 sticks out as one of its most visually distinctive and capable. Known alternatively as the Blackjack by its NATO designation or the White Swan (Belyi Lebed’) by its Russian nickname, the Tu-160 is one of the most modern bombers in Russian service. Given its relatively young age and substantial upgrade potential, the Tu-160 will almost certainly remain in Russian service for years to come.

What is the White Swan Capable of?

Much of the distinctive shape of Russia’s Tu-160 is formed by its swept-back variable-geometry wings and its long, lean fuselage, which ends in an upturned point in the front of the aircraft. Four engines are spread across the aircraft’s wings, which in the most modern versions of the Blackjack are NK-32-02 engines. These powerful engines propel the White Swan with 55,000 pounds of thrust, giving the aircraft a max speed of Mach 2 with a range of 7,500 miles, making as many experts claim the largest and fastest supersonic bomber today.

With such capabilities, the Tu-160 can be equipped with 12 Kh-55MS cruise missiles or 24 Kh-15 air-launched ballistic missiles. Given the nuclear capability of Kh-55MS missiles, the Tu-160’s armament made it a critical part of the Soviet Union and Russia’s nuclear triads from the beginning of its existence.

Spanish spy and double agent

This is a portrait of Spanish spy and double agent, Juan Pujol Garcia in his uniform as a lieutenant in the Spanish Republic Army.

Up until the breakout of World War II, Pujol was pretty much a failure in all aspects of his life. He had failed at being a student, soldier, businessman and cinema magnate. Not to mention, his marriage was falling apart.

When the war broke out, Pujol approached the British three different times to work for them. When they turned him away, he approached the Nazis, and they accepted him (giving him the codename Arabel). Once he earned credentials working as a Nazi spy, he approached the Allies again, this time getting a job as a double agent (codenamed Garbo).

He began to feed the Nazis a combination of misinformation that was true but useless. Any high-value information always got to the Nazis just a little too late. He even started a spy network consisting of 27 sub-agents. However, in reality, none of them existed. They were completely made up. Nevertheless, he submitted expense reports for them and the Nazis paid their salaries.

At one point, Pujol had to explain why some high-value information got to the Nazis late. He told them that one of his spies had died and even managed to get the Nazis to pay a pension to the imaginary spy’s imaginary wife for her loss. Not only did his false information get the Nazis to waste millions of dollars, but he was also instrumental in convincing the Nazis that the attacks on D-Day were just a diversion, and the real attack was yet to come, keeping vital resources away from the front lines.

Pujol is one of the only people to ever get an Iron Cross from the Nazis (which required Hitler’s personal authorization, since he wasn’t a soldier) and an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from King George VI

After the war, Pujol feared that he would be hunted by surviving Nazis. In 1949, with the help of MI5, Pujol travelled to Angola where he faked his own death from malaria. He then moved to Lagunillas, Venezuela, where he set up a small bookstore and gift shop, living in anonymity until his death in 1988.

Solomon Islands exempts Australia from AUKUS naval ship ban

HMAS Armidale sails into the Port of Honiara in 2021. The Solomon Islands has suspended entry to foreign vessels after criticism for denying port to US and UK ships. Picture: Getty

By Justin Vallejo

The Solomon Islands lifted a ban on Aussie naval ships entering their waters, ahead of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s trip to Australia.

The island nation blocked all foreign naval vessels from its ports after coming under scrutiny for denying entry to ships from the United States and the United Kingdom.

But on Monday Mr Sogavare told his own parliament that Australian, New Zealand and Fijian military vessels deployed as part of the Solomon Islands International Assistance Force would be allowed to dock at the island ­nation’s ports, according to The Australian.

Foreign military vessels responding to distress calls would also be exempt, he added.

Mr Sogavare is visiting Australia at the invitation of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

US officials and analysts last week raised concerns the denial of entry to two AUKUS partners signalled a further move toward China following leaks that Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare signed a secret security agreement with Xi Jinping’s Communist Party.

US Coast Guard vessel Oliver Henry and the British navy patrol boat HMS Spey were both refused entry in the past week while taking part in Operation Island Chief, which patrols for illegal fishing around Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Mr Sogavare said entry to all foreign vessels would be blocked from entering the Solomon Islands pending an overhaul of its approval processes.

Former US State Department official Charles Edel, the Australia chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said in an interview that indications suggest Mr Sogavare is increasingly looking to move the Solomon Islands further away from Australia and closer to China.

“Given the larger context of Solomon Islands Prime Minister Sogavare’s recent signing of a secretive security agreement with China, his acceptance of a bid from Huawei to build cell towers in the Solomon Islands and his increasing reluctance to co-operate with the US and Australia, this decision reflects a concerning trend,” he said.

Mr Sogavare cast the concern over his government’s refusal to welcome the US and UK naval vessels as “misinformation”, saying in a statement the refusal was the fault of the US Coast Guard Cutter Oliver Henry not sending its request to his office in time.

“Unfortunately, by the time the approval was communicated on the evening of 20th August 2022, the Ship’s captain had decided to leave our waters,” Sogavare said at a ceremony to welcome the US Hospital Ship, USNS Mercy.

He added that the British High Command, meanwhile, notified the Prime Minister’s Office that the HMAS Spey withdrew its application to enter the country following the delay in approval, demonstrating the need for a review of its processes.

“To this end, we have requested our partners to give us time to review and put in place our new processes before sending further requests for military vessels to enter the country,” Mr Sogavare said.

Photo: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang holds a welcoming ceremony for Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Picture: Getty Images

“Once the new mechanism is in place, we will inform you all. We anticipate the new process to be smoother and timelier.”

The US’s National Security Council spokesman, John Kirby, said that the White House was “disappointed” by the “regrettable” decision of the Solomon Islands to refuse entry to his ships, noting that the Oliver Henry was ultimately diverted to Papua New Guinea.

“Clearly we’ve seen the Chinese try to bully and coerce nations throughout the Indo-Pacific to do their bidding and to serve what they believe their selfish national security interests are rather than the broader interests of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Mr Kirby said.



Vale 39819 David ‘Stretch’ Cullinan -RAEME

Very saddened to report the sudden passing after complications following a heart attack of our RAEME brother, David (Stretch) Cullinan on 3 September 2022

Dave was held in high esteem for his devotion to duty, skills, wit and dry humour. He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

Condolences and thoughts to Sue, Ryan, Fiona and all the family.

Funeral details will be posted later.

RIP Dave. Stand down mate, your job is done.

Dave was a 23rd Intake Apprentice Vehicle Mechanic

Arte et Marte

Rest in Peace 

Barry Shipway (Welfare Rep)

161 Battery Royal New Zealand Artillery in Vietnam War – 1965

On July 16 1965 161 Battery, stationed at Bien Hoa air base near Saigon, opened fire on a Viet Cong position in support of 1RAR, Australian Army who were both attached to the American 173rd Airborne Brigade. Just over one year later on 18 August 1966, 161 Bty, 16 Field Regiment, RNZA part of the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat, South Vietnam would be firing in support of D Company, 6RAR in The Battle of Long Tan alongside Australian artillery – 103 Bty & 105 Bty Royal Australian Army and 2/35th Howitzer Battalion, US Army. The Forward (Artillery) Observers attached to D Coy, 6RAR were Capt Morrie Stanley, Bdr Willie Walker and Bdr Murray Broomhall all from 161 Bty, RNZA. They controlled the 24 guns in support of themselves and the rest of D Coy for more than 3.5 hours in the rubber plantation called Long Tan, firing 6-8 rounds per minute (2 above the intense rate) almost non-stop. 105 Australians and 3 New Zealanders (D Coy, 6RAR) fought and defeated 2,500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers. 18 Australians and more than 500+ VC and NVA were killed. Between June 1964 and December 1972 more than 3000 New Zealand military personnel served in South Vietnam. At its peak in 1968 the New Zealand force numbered 543. Thirty-seven men died while on active service and 187 were wounded. This was the first war that New Zealand did not fight alongside Great Britain who did not participate in the Vietnam conflict, instead they supported the forces of the USA and Australia in Vietnam.


RAAF Base Darwin Air Show Open Day – Pitch Black 2022

The exercise is a biennial three week multi-national large force employment exercise conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal. The exercise will host up to 2500 personnel and up to 100 aircraft from around the globe including participants from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, US and UK. Significantly, Germany, Japan, and the Republic of Korea will be participating fully for the first time.

Vale 2781319 Llewellyn (Lew) CONSERDYNE

I have received notification of the passing of 2781319 Llewellyn (Lew) CONSERDYNE

Sadly, we have lost another valuable servant of the Corps and Country
581 Sig Tp South Vietnam 26 Apr 1966 – 12 May 1967


Llewellyn Conserdyne, one of the original members of 581 Sig Tp (145 Sig Sqn) has passed away after a long illness aged 77 years.
Llew was a 1st intake National Serviceman serving half of his service time in SVN. As a Linesman Field, he and 3 others were tasked with laying line firstly for 1ALSG Vung Tau circuits then at 1ATF Sig Sqn (103) through “the weeds” unprotected at Nui Dat. His group happened to be present there when the base was mortared prior to the Long Tan battle.
He leaves his wife Margaret, 2 sons and a daughter and several grandchildren.
His funeral will be conducted at the George Hartnett Chapel 21 Anzac Ave Redcliffe at 10 am on Wednesday 7th Sept.

Followed by a wake at the Redcliffe RSL.

May He Rest in Peace.

Adam West