In The News

WP-ORG status update:

The most recent System Status updates are as follows:

* SFTP is in trial status. Contact feedback@west-point.org if you wish to update your personal, class web page (current class webmasters only), Society or Parent Club website.
* User admin pages (email routing) may now be changed, but at this time, only by WP-ORG employees. If you wish a change in your email routing, please contact: feedback@west-point.org
* Eulogy pages are now being generated. Please be patient as we catch up with class member deaths.

For a full status report, please CLICK HERE

WP-ORG: Rangers Lead The Way! Go Army Beat Navy!

Thank you for your support over the years.  We are nearing the close of our semi-annual fund drive and need a final push to get across the finish line.

I’m writing this email as I watch the Army / Air Force game.  During the game, the television announcer asked both superintendents about life at the Academies.  Each of the generals defaulted to how great these kids are at the two institutions.  It’s true – these kids are some of our nation’s best.

The transformational process at West Point is awesome.  It starts with 17-18 year old kids and four years later spits out combat ready officers.  The plethora of real leadership opportunities at West Point is difficult to replicate.  It permeates the daily life of every cadet.  Through forced leadership experiences, the cadets emulate the leadership qualities they respect, and they hone their individual leadership style.  I don’t know of any other college environment that offers this leadership crucible.  It is truly unique to the service academies.

I am proud of attending and graduating from West Point.  I have returned for each of my reunions and look forward to my 25-year reunion in 2021.  I am proud of my time serving our country in the US Army.  And I am proud of the job that our small team has done getting WP-ORG back up and running.  It was impressive to watch from the sidelines.  We still have work to do, and we won’t stop until the job is finished.

WP-ORG exists to support whatever online needs exist in the greater West Point community.  WP-ORG has nurtured this online community for over 20 years and continues to provide services to this amazing group of people.
Help us close out this fund drive by donating through the links below.
Thanks,
Cameron Price
USMA ’96 – For Freedom We Risk


Donation page linking to all payment methods (credit card, check or PayPal):
http://www.west-point.org/donate

         By credit card:
https://secure.west-point.org/donate/

         By check, please indicate class year and affiliation:
         WP-ORG
         23802 Oscar Road
         Spicewood TX 78669

         By PayPal::
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=GXGCWRKX48UHY
**After entering Donation Amount, login to PayPal account. On next
screen, please click on “Add special instructions to the seller”; enter
class year and affiliation, and comment if you wish.

Fund Drive Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group, etc.:
https://secure.west-point.org/donate/report/

WP-ORG Budget April 19, 2019 – September 19, 2019:
http://www.west-point.org/budget

WP-ORG Budgets, FD8 – FD45:
http://www.west-point.org/service/fd45/program/BudgetPlotFD8-FD45.JPG

What is WP-ORG & Why Donate?:
http://www.west-point.org/why_donate/

WP-ORG Member Information Privacy Policy:
http://www.west-point.org/privacy-statement/

IRS Letter Confirming WP-ORG 501(c)(3) Status:
http://www.west-point.org/publications/501SUMMARY.PDF

Capt. Lindsay Heisler receives 2019 Nininger Award for actions in Afghanistan

WEST POINT, N.Y. — In Capt. Lindsay Gordon Heisler’s mind she was just doing her job.

From the moment she began training as an Apache pilot following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 2012 it had been ingrained in her that her job was to keep the ground forces safe.

Flying 500 to 1,000 feet above the forces operating on the ground, she and her copilot were in constant contact with the friendly forces as they “watched their six” for enemy combatants.

After deploying to Afghanistan in April 2015 as a first lieutenant for nine months, the operation schedule had become routine. Most nights out of the week were spent on missions protecting helicopters infiltrating ground forces and then watching over the Soldiers as they executed their objective.

Eight months in, an enemy contact or two a night was not out of the ordinary so when their mission on Dec. 5, 2015 required her and her copilot to clear out an enemy fighting position it was just another mission on a long deployment.

When a few hours later, with the Chinook helicopters inbound to pick up the ground force, they were forced to engage with a second enemy fighting position it was still like countless other missions they had flown in the proceeding months.

Then, seconds before the Chinooks touched down to pickup the Soldiers on the ground, the world erupted with enemy fire coming from every direction. Surrounded by mountains on three sides and the desert across the border into Pakistan on the fourth, Heisler and the second Apache flying that night along with the Chinooks and the Rangers on the ground were suddenly under attack from what they would later learn were eight different enemy positions.

“None of the pilots who are there had seen anything like it before,” Heisler said. “I picture like Star Wars where you picture laser beams. It looks like that under your night vision goggles. It really accentuates any light you see so there are tracers of enemy fire everywhere.”

There was no time to think. While communicating with the forces on the ground and the other helicopters in the air Heisler and her copilot, Warrant Officer 2 David Woodward, sprang into action and began fighting back. They placed themselves between the ground force and the incoming fire and worked to keep the enemies’ heads down long enough for the Chinooks to land, pickup the Rangers and takeoff.

Anywhere they heard shots coming from they engaged. That was their job. To make sure the ground force got out safely and made it home alive.

“I don’t remember thinking a lot,” Heisler said. “We were just pulling the trigger because that’s what we knew we had to do to make sure that they got out of there.”

READ MORE…

Al-Baghdadi kill: How the daring military operation went down

The suicide of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was preceded by a largescale U.S. Special Operations forces raid on a compound in northern Syria’s Idlib Province, where the terrorist leader was thought to be hiding.

In an address to the nation on Sunday, President Trump said that planning for the raid on al-Baghdadi’s compound began two weeks ago when the U.S. gained unspecified intelligence on al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts.

Unlike the raid in Pakistan in 2011 that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, which was carried out by a small team of U.S. Navy Seals, the raid on al-Baghdadi’s compound was a relatively large assault by U.S. forces with a reported eight military helicopters landing in the Barisha area north of Idlib city — a few kilometers from the Turkish border.

READ MORE…

7-hour gunfight, 100-foot cliff and now this second Medal of Honor: Green Beret talks about Battle of Shok Valley

The Green Berets woke up at 2 a.m. on April 6, 2008, to take an early look at the target area.

Cold, snow-capped and perched at more than 10,000 feet, the objective wasn’t ideal. But intelligence said a high-value target aligned with the Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin insurgent group was up there.

By the time they were hovering over Nuristan province’s Shok Valley in CH-47 Chinook helicopters, it was clear that Operational Detachment Alpha 3336 wasn’t going to be landing.

“It was just a little more treacherous than we thought,” said Master Sgt. Matthew O. Williams, the ODA’s weapons sergeant who will receive the Medal of Honor on Wednesday for his actions during the 2008 mission.

The jagged terrain and sheer cliffs were too steep for the Chinooks, so ODA 3336 and their Afghan National Army Commandos jumped into a fast-moving, waist-deep river running through the target.

“The helicopters could not land,” said Lt. Col. Kyle Walton, the ODA commander. “We had to jump, sometimes into the river, sometimes into jagged rocks about 10-12 feet off the back end of the helicopter — and that was at the beginning of the mission.”

READ MORE…

WP-ORG FD 46: Understanding. Patience. Generosity.

Our fund drive is in its fourth week (http://www.west-point.org/donate). Each of the previous three fund drive notes explained the ransomware attack from the programming side of WP-ORG, and the difficulties encountered. I saw it exclusively from the user side. The moment things stopped working, the office phone started ringing, my private messages ramped up, calls and texts to my cell phone started to flow, and even a secondary email address of mine lit up.  Our users were trying to get answers. Classes couldn’t communicate, email addresses did not work, and WP-ORG completely ceased to exist for everyone except the programmers, who smartly detected small signs of life, and put WP-ORG on life support. The patience of our users was astounding.  I expected to be the messenger everyone wanted to kill. The response was far different than my expectations. Understanding. Patience. Generosity. These were the responses I received to giving out terrible news, and very little in the way of information. For the most part, all I could offer was a “we’re doing all we can”, knowing that if I sent messages to those who were busy rebuilding, I took them away from important work that required every ounce of their attention.

Many of our class list moderators gathered up all of the email addresses they could from their own address lists, and started privately notifying their class members, which saved me a great deal of typing and talking. Many of them stayed in touch with me as the days went by, if only to ask “any new news?”, so that they could update their classmates.  Never in my life have I been so glad that every email I have sent through the years, had the office phone and my cell phone number on them. This was one effective way that our users had to contact us.  While our programmers were scrambling and spending sleepless nights recovering WP-ORG, I was, in essence, sitting at a front desk in an empty building, answering largely unanswerable questions. To make matters worse, I was scheduled for surgery a few weeks into our outage, and knowing my phone was in nearly non-stop use, when I went into surgery, I handed my cell phone to my daughter (USMA 2002), briefed her to the best of my ability, and asked her to do what she could to help answer our users. I can not thank our moderators enough for the work they did keeping their classmates updated until we could get the lists back, and for the kindness extended to this bearer of bad news.

Here are a few facts you may find interesting: Our servers are in Austin TX. The day we were attacked, twenty-three Texas towns were struck by a “coordinated” ransomware attack. The attack instigated a statewide disaster-style response that included the National Guard and a wide F.B.I. inquiry. I found through research, that a new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 14 seconds, and by 2021, that will likely change to every 11 seconds. According to a new study from Sophos, the average cost per ransomware attack to businesses last year was approximately $133,000.

WP-ORG’s recovery still has a way to go. Sadly, among a few other things, our eulogy entry tools are still down.  Old eulogies (going back some 24 years) are up and working, but we are unable to create new eulogy pages at this time. Our security has changed so much that a great deal of the programming needs to be re-written in order for that tool to work. Classes have noticed that they have received no notices of created eulogy pages for their deceased classmates from WP-ORG. I have saved over 2 months of death notices from the WPAOG and from our moderators who have sent them to us, and as soon as we have the ability, those will all be entered and ready for use. The eulogy pages are the heart and backbone of this organization and are as important to us, as they are to you.

Our bi-annual fund drive came right on the heels of our coming back from the brink of death. Our resources are stretched thin, and it could not be delayed. As you know, our budget is frugal, and designed to only take us as far as the next fund drive. We are at a low percentage of donors as compared to past years. We need you now, more than we have ever needed you. Please consider rewarding the tireless work of a small organization to recover from this attack, in order to keep WP-ORG serving you. We all got a terrible view into what it would look like if WP-ORG ceased to exist.  Please consider even a small donation to make it even better than it ever was.
http://www.west-point.org/donate

As always, with heartfelt thanks to each of you,
Dian Welle
WP-ORG, Inc.
208-263-8063(office)
661-917-2441(cell)

Donation page linking to all payment methods (credit card, check or PayPal):
http://www.west-point.org/donate

        By check, please indicate class year and affiliation:
        WP-ORG
        23802 Oscar Road
        Spicewood TX 78669

  By PayPal::
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=GXGCWRKX48UHY
**After entering Donation Amount, login to PayPal account. On next screen, please click on “Add special instructions to the seller”; enter class year and affiliation, and comment if you wish.

Fund Drive Donation Report, sorted by WP-ORG member group, etc.:
https://secure.west-point.org/donate/report/

WP-ORG Budget April 19, 2019 – September 19, 2019:
http://www.west-point.org/budget

WP-ORG Budgets, FD8 – FD45:
http://www.west-point.org/service/fd45/program/BudgetPlotFD8-FD45.JPG

What is WP-ORG & Why Donate?:
http://www.west-point.org/why_donate/

WP-ORG Member Information Privacy Policy:
http://www.west-point.org/privacy-statement/

IRS Letter Confirming WP-ORG 501(c)(3) Status:
http://www.west-point.org/publications/501SUMMARY.PDF

This device could help soldiers see through walls in the urban fight

Since the dawn of urban warfare, one of the most terrifying aspects of the fight has been not knowing what’s on the other side of the wall a soldier is facing.

The Army recently awarded a prize to a company that has developed a “wall-penetrating radar” that is designed to help soldiers and first responders see through those walls to identify people and potential threats.

Lumineye, Inc. has fielded their equipment to first responders from firefighters to police and search and rescue teams.

While it’s mostly been used in civilian applications, the Army and Marine Corps are preparing for urban combat scenarios that could see soldiers and Marines facing cluttered battlefields and maze-like obstacles of buildings to search.

Earlier this year, the Army was about halfway finished with training all of its infantry brigade combat teams in the basics of subterranean warfare.

Earlier this year, the Army was about halfway finished with training all of its infantry brigade combat teams in the basics of subterranean warfare.

The Marine Corps launched a years-long experimentation effort known as Project Metropolis 2.0, with a recent squad-focused training event that put new urban-capable tech into the unit for testing.

READ MORE…

CDT Kade Kurita,USMA 2021, Found Dead.

From the West Point Academy Facebook page – 10/22/19

Cadet Kade Kurita

It is with great sadness that Cadet Kade Kurita, 20, from Gardena, California, was found dead Wednesday October 22, at 9:47pm at West Point.

“We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita’s family and friends” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent U.S. Military Academy.

Kurita was unaccounted for since Friday, Oct. 18, at approximately 5:30 p.m. when he failed to report for a scheduled military skills competition.

The West Point Military Police, New York State police, Coast Guard, CSX railroad police, local police, and the 23rd Military Police Company from Fort Drum, N.Y. assisted in an extensive search over the last four days.

“I would like to thank the N.Y. State police and the 23rd MP Company along with partners,” said Lt. Gen. Williams. “They exhibited exceptional professionalism as demonstrated by their tremendous efforts in searching for Cadet Kurita.”

West Point Cadet Missing

West Point Public Affairs – October 21, 2019

WEST POINT, N.Y. – A U.S. Military Academy cadet, member of the Class of 2021, is being reported as unaccounted for despite extensive search efforts by military, federal, state, and local agencies.

A M4 rifle is also missing. The cadet is not believed to have any magazines or ammunition.

There is no indication the cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself.

The cadet was last seen on Friday, Oct. 18, at approximately 5:30 p.m. on the grounds of West Point. The Cadet was scheduled to participate in the academy’s military skills competition this past weekend.

West Point is operating under normal conditions with an increased force protection status. The installation has increased military police patrols at sporting events and across the academy as a precautionary measure and to assist in safely locating the missing cadet.

The chain of command discovered the cadet missing when he failed to report for the initial road march for the military skills competition.

Cadets immediately started to search for their teammate.

After initial efforts were unsuccessful in locating the cadet, military police began a search of the installation at approximately 1 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 19 and continued throughout the day.

The New York State Police and Orange County Sheriff’s Department were notified.

“I want to thank the local and state law enforcement agencies and emergency services for their tireless support,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, 60th Superintendent U.S. Military Academy. “We will continue to search with all means possible, on and off West Point. Safely locating the cadet remains our focus and number one priority.”

Keller Army Community Hospital and local hospital emergency rooms were contacted to confirm the cadet has not received medical treatment.

West Point personnel searched through academic and athletic facilities and cadet barracks with negative results.

Military police continued searching and at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 20, the Coast Guard was notified and began searching the shoreline producing negative results.

New York State Police provided their helicopter to conduct an aerial sweep with the Forward-Looking Infrared Radar at 11:25 a.m.

NYSP provided K-9 and drone support.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Point Military Police at 845-938-3333.

The situation is still developing and West Point will release further information as it becomes available.

About West Point

The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to www.westpoint.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT

845-938-2006
mediarelations@westpoint.edu

West Point says a cadet and a rifle are missing

(CNN)A West Point cadet is missing along with an M4 rifle, the military academy said after military, federal, state and local agencies conducted extensive searches to locate the man.

Authorities don’t believe the cadet has any magazines or ammunition or poses a threat to the public. He may be a danger to himself, the military academy said in a statement.
The academy will be operating normally with “an increased force protection status,” the statement said, including more police presence at sporting events and across the academy.
The cadet, a member of the class of 2021, was last seen on Friday around 5:30 p.m. on West Point grounds. When he didn’t show up for a military skills competition, his teammates began looking for him immediately, the academy said.

READ MORE…