Todd Palin Wins $40K for Armed Services YMCA Alaska on Stars Earn Stripes Finale

 

Trig Speaks For First Time

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Sunday Tweeted this interview, in which her husband Todd referenced Trig speaking for the first time. Before we get to Todd’s elimination rounds and final mission, here is the extract of that interview in which Trig’s first words are referenced:

Zap2it: How is your son, 4-year-old Trig, doing?

Todd Palin: He’s doing good. When we were filming, he said his first words. He told his older brother to quit picking on him, or something like that. And when J.W. went back to New York on one of the dark days, he said his name, so that was pretty exciting.

First Elimination Round

The first portion of the video featuring Todd Palin begins at 3:30 and ends at 7:00 and involves a surprise elimination round in which the five remaining celebrities had to take out four targets using the SCAR-16. Palin easily eliminated all four targets and advanced to the the next mission. Contestant Nick Lachey was eliminated in this round.

JW Cortes briefs and peps Palin on the first elimination round.

Palin hits his first target with the SCAR-16…

…the second…

…and the third…

Palin prepares his final shot…

Palin hits the final target…

The portion of the video featuring Palin begins at 28:00 and ends at 44:38. It includes the first mission, which is Operation Lifelock and the elimination round that resulted from it.

Operation Lifelock

The mission was to retrieve a hard drive that had fallen into an enemy’s hands. The squad first had to knock out a cell tower by chaining it to the back of the pickup truck and yanking it down. The truck was then to drive into the enemy village where the contestants were to shoot out five radio and communication arrays using the FNS™-9 9mm pistol. It was here that Palin required multiple corrective shots, but he ultimately downed all the arrays. He then went to the center of the village and took out two cars using two shots each from the MGL-140 Grenade Launcher. The squad then had to enter the building where the enemy held the hard drive in a locked cage, open the chain with a bolt cutter, retrieve the drive, then scale a wall and run to the truck to extract them from the town.

Palin hits his first target with the FNS™-9…

…the second one…

…adjusting to take out the third target…

…and the fourth…

Palin doesn’t retreat. He reloads…

…on to the fifth target…

Palin takes aim for the sixth target.

Palin readies the MGL-140 to take out the first car…

The second grenade turns the car into a huge fireball…

Palin readies the launcher for the next car…

…turning it into another huge fireball…

Palin and the squad run to the next objective…

…the squad is on the way to retrieve the hard drive…

Palin is the last to scale the wall after the hard drive is retrieved…

Mission Accomplished.

The Elimination Shoot House

Both Palin and contestant Picabo Street ended up in the elimination round, because their mission took five seconds longer than the first team. On a real battlefield, five seconds is more than enough time to kill or get killed. Both Palin and Street required corrective follow-up shots from their pistols when taking out the radio arrays. Palin required two shots with the MGL-140 grenade launcher for each car and his teammates struggled with the bolt cutter to break the chain and lock on the enemy cage. All these factors robbed them of precious time.

As with prior elimination rounds, Palin and Street had to first take out four targets with the pistol in the shoot house, then take out four targets with the SCAR-16, then shoot out a link the size of a quarter with the Barrett MRAD to drop the box of explosives. Street said that being on Stars Earn Stripes “was an experience you can’t buy anywhere.” At 37:48 in the video, Palin said, “We’re here for the cause. We’re here to hang out with these guys. Like Picabo said, you can’t go to any retail store and pick out – you know – eight ops and say, ‘hey come hang out for a couple of weeks with me please?'”

At 38:50 in the video, Street reiterates her discomfort with going against Palin in the Shoot House. “I was very nervous thinking about having to go in and shoot against Todd Palin. I was like, ‘how am I going to beat this guy? He’s an absolute monster!’ So, fast! He rises to the occasion. He doesn’t seem to get rattled with the pressure. That would actually be my worst nightmare.”

Palin kicks the door into the shoot house. Street had already kicked hers in.

Palin hits his first target with the FNS™-9…

Palin hits his second target…

…and lines up for his third.

Palin had hit his last target with the pistol, but Street was ahead of him now on the rifle range. Here he takes out his fifth target.

Palin prepares to take out his sixth target.

…and his seventh.

The .338 Lapua Magnum bullet is in flight out of the barrel of Palin’s MRAD, but it’s too late…Street hit her target just a few seconds before. Notice the shape of the muzzle blast as it passed through the muzzle brake.

Farewell, and Thank You

“I’m very happy to bring some money back home to Alaska for Armed Services YMCA of Alaska. It’s been a great experience. I mean the military ops and the celebrity contestants – I mean it’s just a perfect group of people. All competitors taking time time out of their busy lives to shed light on the men and women who keep us safe and save lives. Hanging out with these guys has been awesome,” Palin said.

“Of course, Sarah, and your son serving overseas will be very proud,” Samantha Harris said.

Gen. Clark praised Palin’s performance and told him, “tell Sarah I said ‘hello.'”

“My son, who’s in Afghanistan right now – he’ll be proud, knowing that I got to hang out with some of his idols, like Chris Kyle, Navy Seal and at the end of the day, it’s priceless,” Palin said.

MGL-140

The MGL-140 is a six-shot 40mm semi-automatic grenade launcher manufactured by Milkor USA. The MGL-140 and the newer MGL32 are designed for lethal (high explosive, incendiary, etc.) and less-lethal applications such as peace-keeping and crowd control. The MGL-140 can fire all six of its grenades in three seconds. Its forearm is a quad M-1913 Picatinny rail and the weapon includes a top rail for sight mounting.

FNS™-9

Manufactured by FN Herstal, the FNS™-9 is a 9 Parabellum semi-automatic pistol that is neither double-action, nor single, but instead uses a pre-loaded striker mechanism. FN Herstal says, “the pre-loaded striker mechanism of the pistol means that energy has been pre-loaded partially. This ensures a short and light trigger pull identical for all shots allowing fast and accurate shooting.” It has a 17-round magazine.

Concluding Thoughts

On these missions, just as in real life things can go downhill alarmingly fast. All it took was five seconds to change everything. Palin was the quintessential Rambo. He rappelled, ran through mud, scaled walls, and fired several different assault rifles, sniper rifles and heavy machine guns with ease. His nemesis turned out to be the 9mm pistol. Debates about 9mm versus the 101-year-old M-1911 (with updates along the way, but John Moses Browning’s invention is in fact 101 years old) have been raging for decades among firearms writers, reviewers, and those with military and law enforcement experience. Both types of pistols have their partisans – kind of like politics. Could Palin have done better had he been given an M-1911? I think so without a doubt. Pistols are a matter of personal preference and some pistols are just not good matches for some shooters, as I think this was the case here. Of course, in the military or a law enforcement agency, you’re stuck with what you’re issued. As a civilian, Palin certainly now has more than enough experience with this pistol to decide if he even wants to bother with it moving forward, or if something else is better suited to him.

What if he had the SCAR-16 on Operation Lifelock, and Cortes had the FNS™-9? Why were Cortes and Palin issued weapons they were each respectively weak with for this mission? Cortes after all was the pistolero of the team, and Palin the rifleman. These are all interesting – and academic questions.

The bottom line is no human being is invincible. As it turned out, Street was able to defeat her worst nightmare in the shoot house, only to be defeated herself later by someone she probably did not expect to face. Contestant Eve Torres won the final. Sometimes, life works like that.

Palin won – yes won – $40,000 for Armed Services YMCA. He formed friendships that will last the rest of his life. He brought the Palin name to the mass market in a positive non-political way.

In those ways, and more Palin won. Todd Palin is someone you would want on your side if you had to go to war; he never retreats. He always reloads.

Editor and Publisher, US for Palin; LAN Infrastructure PM; IFR PPL; fishing, shooting.

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