By Alex Junes-Ward
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Tom Mullikin, recently appointed chairman of the South Carolina Floodwater Commission (SCFC), was honored by Col. Bill Connor, senior representative of U.S. ARMY NORTH for the Palmetto State, who recognized Mullikin’s service to the state of South Carolina while in command of the S.C. State Guard from which he retired Dec. 1, 2018.
Connor, the emergency preparedness liaison officer (EPLO) for South Carolina, presented Mullikin with a plaque following a series of meetings at the State Emergency Operations Center, Feb. 8.
A portion of the plaque reads, “For exemplary leadership while in command of the South Carolina State Guard, 2014-2018.”
By Bill Connor
The South Carolina Floodwater Commission may well prove to be one of the more important legacy-defining efforts of Gov. Henry McMaster’s administration. After all, what’s more important than developing and putting into action plans aimed at alleviating and mitigating disastrous flood impacts to South Carolina: A state which has experienced not one, but four catastrophic and frankly unprecedented flooding events from hurricanes and other tropical storms in less than four years. That four-year span began in late 2015 with the 1,000-year flood event from Hurricane Joaquin which killed 19 people. Property losses to the state from Joaquin were estimated at $1.5-billion. Hurricane Matthew followed in 2016. Irma in 2017. Florence in 2018.
The Governor’s commission, established last Oct. and chaired by global energy and environmental expert Tom Mullikin, was not only necessary, but brilliant. The S.C. Floodwater Commission is easily the most unique gubernatorially created body of its kind, nationwide. As Gov. McMaster said in his State of the State address, “There’s not another one.”
Ten task forces (aka subcommittees) comprise the Commission, everything from a Grid Security Task Force – chaired by Maj. Gen. Bob Livingston, the soon-retiring adjutant general of S.C. – to Smart River and Dam Security, Artificial Reef Systems, Economic Development, Federal Funding, Stakeholder Engagement, Landscape Beautification and Protection, Living Shoreline, and Infrastructure and Shoreline Armoring Task Forces.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Tom Mullikin has been nominated and unanimously selected for induction into the SOUTH CAROLINA BLACK BELT HALL OF FAME (SCBBHOF), the premier group of the most accomplished martial arts fighters either from or with strong connections to the Palmetto State.
“Tom Mullikin was an easy choice for us,” said Col. Steve Vitali, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), a 2017 inductee whose older brother Keith – also an SCBBHOF member – was ranked one of the ‘10 best fighters of all time,’ according to BLACK BELT magazine. “There are a lot of truly great fighters in South Carolina, but only a select few have thus far met the exacting standards of the Hall of Fame. Tom is one of those select few.”
According to Vitali, “Being a great fighter is not enough. Any fighter considered for the Hall of Fame must possess the requisite martial arts skills, and those skills must also be accompanied by extraordinary recognizable service to the state of South Carolina or the nation. That service may or may not be related to martial arts.”
Today’s post is in honor of Cpl. Nathan B. Carse, who was killed by an improvised explosive device on this day in 2011 in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. The 32-year-old native of Harrod, Ohio was the son of a Green Beret and was assigned to 2d Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade.
1862: A day after 10,000 soldiers under the command of Brig. Gen. Ambrose Burnside, supported by a flotilla of Union gunships, land at Roanoke Island (N.C.), the Confederates surrender the island’s four forts and two batteries. Federal forces now control a strategically significant section of the Atlantic coast, and coupled with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory at Fort Henry in Tennessee two days ago, Northerners finally have something to cheer about.
1910: William D. Boyce incorporates the Boy Scouts of America. Countless boys will cut their teeth as young adventurers in Boyce’s scouting program before joining the military. When sub commander Eugene Fluckey – one of nine Medal of Honor recipients to earn the Boy Scouts’ top distinction of Eagle Scout — assembled a landing party to go ashore and destroy a Japanese train, he wanted former Boy Scouts to do the job, since they would most likely have the skills to find their way there and back.
11 of the 12 humans to set foot on the moon were Boy Scout alumni; and Neil Armstrong — the first — was an Eagle Scout.
Today’s post is in honor of Spc. Allen D. Kokesh Jr. who was died on this day in 2006 from wounds sustained by an improvised explosive device attack on his vehicle in Baghdad. The 21-year-old from Yankton, S.D. was assigned to the South Dakota Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 147th Field Artillery.
1943: The submarine USS Growler (SS-215) spots the supply ship Hayasaki and begins a nighttime battle. The Japanese ship turns to ram the sub and rakes Growler‘s bridge with machine gun fire, wounding the skipper, Commander Howard W. Gilmore.
Unable to get off the bridge, Gilmore orders the crew to “Take her down!” — sacrificing his life to save his men. For his actions, Gilmore is awarded the Medal of Honor – the first of seven sub commanders to earn the nation’s top award for valor during World War II.
Meanwhile, the Imperial Japanese Navy completes Operation “Xe” – the evacuation of nearly 1,800 remaining troops from Guadalcanal. After six months of brutal fighting, nearly 15,000 Americans killed or wounded, and over 600 aircraft and dozens of ships lost, the island is now completely in American hands.
1965: Sappers cut their way through the defensive wires surrounding Camp Holloway in Pleiku, opening the way for 300 Viet Cong guerrillas to attack the helicopter base near Pleiku. Simultaneously, the VC attacks other nearby targets, killing eight Americans and wounding over 100, while destroying and damaging dozens of helicopters and planes. Pres. Lyndon Johnson orders a retaliatory strike, and 49 aircraft from the carriers USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS Hancock (CV-19) hit military targets along the de-militarized zone and in North Vietnam.
During the Cold War, U.S. aircraft designers produced some absolutely incredible warplanes. Looking back from an era of stealth technology and fifth-generation jets, some of these aircraft may seem primitive and a few are remembered for their flaws, but make no mistake: these machines were truly cutting edge in their day. Not only our freedom and security, but that of the rest of the world, depended on holding the edge over the communists. Because had it not been for a constant output of highly advanced and steadily improving fighters, attack planes, and interceptors, we might not have deterred a possible third world war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Below are just some of these amazing platforms that kept the Cold War cold.
By the time the United States Air Force became a standalone service in 1947, the dawning of the jet age was rapidly making our stockpiles of piston-engine aircraft left over from World War II obsolete. Republic Aviation produced over 15,000 P-47s from 1941-1945, and made constant improvements to the aircraft. By the time the United States invaded Normandy, the rugged fighter-bomber could either escort heavy bombers into Europe or devastate Axis ground targets with its eight M2 .50-cal. machineguns and 2,500 pounds of bombs. It was re-designated the F-47 in 1948 and would be retired from active duty Air Force service in 1949.
Today’s post is in honor of Capt. Lucius L. Heiskell, who was lost in a helicopter crash on this day in 1967 in North Vietnam. The 27-year-old Naval Academy graduate (Class of 1962) from Memphis, Tenn. was a forward air control pilot with the Air Force’s 23rd Tactical Air Support Squadron. Also listed as missing were Maj. Patrick H. Wood, Capt. Richard A. Kibbey, and Staff Sgt. Donald J. Hall of the 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron’s Detachment 5. Wood’s and Hall’s remains were identified in 2017 and Kibbey’s in 2018. The story of Heiskell’s attempted rescue follows.
1787: Representatives of the French and U.S. governments sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance in Paris. France now recognizes the United States as an independent nation and provides much-needed military aid.
1802: Congress authorizes President Thomas Jefferson to arm U.S. ships to defend against Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean.
1832: Marines and sailors aboard the USS Potomac (the first of five so-named ships) attack pirates from the village of Quallah Batoo, Sumatra (present-day Indonesia) following the massacre of a U.S. merchant vessel in February 1831.
1862: In northwestern Tennessee, a Union Naval flotilla commanded by Flag Officer (a temporary rank which soon is replaced by the grade of Commodore) Andrew H. Foote and a force commanded by Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant converge upon Fort Henry. The plan is for Foote’s warships and Grant’s troops to attack simultaneously, but heavy rains and water from the swollen Tennessee River force the Confederates to surrender the flooding fort to Foote before Grant can arrive. The capture of the poorly engineered Fort Henry is the first major Union victory of the Civil War.