Monday, May 31, 2010

Maj. Gen. Mohammad Dawran

Commander of the Afghan National Army Air Corps Maj. Gen. Mohammad Dawran salutes as he and U.S. Air Force Gen. Stephen Lorenz, commander of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), arrive at AETC headquarters on Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, May 21, 2010. (DoD photo by Rich McFadden, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Pistol familiarization course

Sailors from the Guatemalan navy special forces participate in a pistol familiarization course taught by U.S. Sailors from Naval Special Warfare Command at a pistol range on Base Naval Del Pacifico in San Jose, Guatemala, May 18, 2010. The training is part of a five-week joint combined exchange training exercise to build military capacity through a partnership with the Guatemalan military. (DoD photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy/Released)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Runs for concealment

U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Mykel Thaete, of the Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry West, Detachment Hawaii, runs for concealment after popping an M18 green smoke hand grenade at Kahuku Training Area in Hawaii on May 19, 2010. Thaete participated as opposition force in an attack and defend field exercise as part of School of Infantry West's Infantry Squad Leader Course. DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Jody Lee Smith, U.S. Marine Corps. (Released)

Small boat terrorist attack.....?

U.S. Navy personnel use special effects to simulate a small boat terrorist attack during Citadel Protect (CP) 2010 in Norfolk, Va., May 18, 2010. CP is part of regular training designed to assess the Navy's capability to protect waterborne assets against vessel-borne and other improvised explosive device (IED) threats in ports. The event is coordinated between U.S. Fleet Forces and Commander, Navy Installations Command. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristin L. Grover, U.S. Navy/Released)

Airmen load medical supplies

 U.S. Airmen load medical supplies, hygiene kits and water onto a C-130 Hercules aircraft on Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan May 21, 2010, in support of flood relief efforts for Tajikistan. The region has requested international aid following the flash floods and mudslides that have devastated the area and caused more than 40 deaths. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Quinton Russ, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Make the final priming cap connections to the detonation cords

 U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Bryon Bebout, left, and Royal Thai Navy Staff Sgt. Utorn Saengow make the final priming cap connections to the detonation cords of explosives that will simulate ship’s gunfire during an amphibious landing in Thailand May 20, 2010. The landing is the premier event of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2010. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness (DoD photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Michael Ard, U.S. Navy/Released)

Mortar round

U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Morris shoots a mortar round from a 120 mm mortar tube during a training and certification test at a combat outpost in Afghanistan May 18, 2010. 

(DoD photo by Sgt. Derec Pierson, U.S. Army/Released)

Monday, May 24, 2010

During a reconnaissance mission

U.S. Soldiers secure a perimeter in Sarde Sofla, Afghanistan, May 7, 2010, during a reconnaissance mission. The Soldiers are assigned to Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Joselito Aribuabo, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Practicing close quarters combat skills

Brazilian marines with Marine Corps Special Operations Battalion (Tonelero) practice close quarters combat skills during training with U.S. Navy SEALs as part of a joint combined exchange training exercise in Brazil May 10, 2010. The bilateral training, conducted by the SEALs as well as U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, marks the first time the U.S. has engaged with the battalion in more than 25 years and is intended to strengthen ties between the two nations. (DoD photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Kathryn Whittenberger, U.S. Navy/Released)

Nose wheel

U.S. Airmen with the 81st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron prepare to set a tow bar to the nose wheel of an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft to push the aircraft into a parked position at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, May 11, 2010. (DoD photo by Senior Airman Nancy Hooks, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Submarine rescue chamber

U.S. Sailors with Deep Submergence Unit deploy a submarine rescue chamber from the Military Sealift Command fleet ocean tug USNS Sioux (T-ATF 171) May 14, 2010, off the coast of San Diego, Calif. 

(DoD photo by Lt. Cmdr. Joe Bell, U.S. Navy/Released)

Ground-fighting techniques

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Geormon Elder coaches a member of the Jamaican Defense Force on ground-fighting techniques as he practices on U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Edan Valkner in Port Antonio, Jamaica, May 17, 2010. The Marines are embarked aboard High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV) 2 in support of Southern Partnership Station 2010, which is a deployment of specialty platforms to the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility with the goal of information sharing with navies, coast guards and civilian services in the region. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kim Williams, U.S. Navy/Released)

A fuels specialist

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Anthony Melendez, a fuels specialist from the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron, prepares to fill a fuel truck at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia May 10, 2010. (DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Michelle Larche, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Interlocking tubing

Louisiana National Guard engineers fold interlocking tubing for a shoreline protection system in the southwest pass of the Mississippi River delta near Venice, La., May 18, 2010. U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Tarell J. Bilbo   Read full story

Fold interlocking tubing

Louisiana National Guard soldiers fold interlocking tubing for a shoreline protection system in the southwest pass of the Mississippi River delta near Venice, La., May 18, 2010. 

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Toby M. Valadie 

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Use of robotic equipment

 U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Daniel Burgess, an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technician, explains to Royal Thai EOD marines the use of robotic equipment during bilateral training at Camp Samaesan, Thailand, May 14, 2010. The training is being conducted as part of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2010. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and to enhance force readiness. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Colby W. Brown, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

The correct way to hold a pistol

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard Strous, a member of the Panjshir Embedded Tactical Training Team and a medic assigned to the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, teaches the correct way to hold a pistol during an advanced police tactics class for Afghan police officers in the Panjshir province of Afghanistan May 12, 2010. (DoD photo by Sgt. John Young, U.S. Army/Released)

Forces Kill, Detain Militants, Seize Weapons, Drugs

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases
WASHINGTON : Afghan and international forces killed or captured numerous enemy fighters and seized illegal stockpiles of drugs and weapons in recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.
-- An Afghan-international security force detained two suspected militants in Kandahar province last night at a compound that reportedly belongs to a man believed to be responsible for facilitating suicide-bomb attacks in Kandahar City.

-- In Helmand province's Nad-e Ali district yesterday, a combined security patrol found a shotgun, two rifles, a pistol, small-arms ammunition and a bag of bomb-making materials, and another combined patrol found a 300 pounds of marijuana seed, 15 pounds of poppy seed, 10 pounds of hashish, 100 pounds of ammonium nitrate and a small container of an unknown white substance. Ammonium nitrate is a banned fertilizer that can be used to make explosives.

-- A local civilian informed a combined patrol of insurgent fighters' whereabouts in Helmand's Musa Qalah district yesterday. International forces cordoned off the area while Afghan soldiers went inside the compound to investigate. The soldiers found 264 pounds of opium, two assault rifles and 500 rounds of ammunition. Five people were detained.
-- An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected insurgents during the night of May 15 in Zabul province's Qalat district.
-- In Helmand's Now Zad district May 15, an Afghan-international patrol found five 155mm artillery rounds and 70 pounds of opium.
-- A combined patrol in Helmand's Nad-e Ali district found four 82 mm rounds and three rocket-propelled grenades, May 15.
-- Also on May 15, a combined Afghan-international patrol found three mines and three rocket-propelled grenades in Uruzgan province's Tarin Kot district.

-- In the Baghlan-e Jedid district of Baghlan province the night of May 14, an Afghan-international force killed several militants and captured several others as they searched for a Taliban leader. The security force went to a compound in a rural area after intelligence information indicated insurgent activity. At the compound, the Afghan members of the assault force called for the insurgents to surrender, but they refused and engaged the security force. After the combined force returned fire and killed several militants, other insurgents surrendered and were detained. Two of the militants, including a woman who tried to engage the assault force with an automatic rifle, were wounded and were taken to a nearby hospital. The search team found automatic rifles, grenades and tactical communications equipment at the compound.

-- In Kandahar province on the night of May 14, a combined force operating in the Kandahar district detained several suspected insurgents for questioning.
-- In Logar province's Baraki Barak district the same night, a combined force searching for a Taliban bombing-cell commander detained a few suspected insurgents for questioning. (Issued on:
 May 17, 2010)
Related Sites: NATO International Security Assistance Force 

Iraqis Help U.S. Troops Recover Helicopter

Compiled from U.S. Forces Iraq News Releases
WASHINGTON :  A team of Iraqi police and U.S. forces secured and recovered a disabled U.S. helicopter today after it was forced to make a precautionary landing May 15.
The team secured the landing site and repaired the aircraft before U.S. pilots flew it back to Tallil Air Base.
"We would like to thank our Iraqi partners for their outstanding assistance," said Army Col. James Rainey, commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade at Contingency Operating Base Adder. "The quick response from the 6th Emergency Response Unit was instrumental in the success of the recovery operation."
The aircraft was conducting its daily mission when it made a precautionary landing because of a mechanical problem, officials said. No one was injured during the landing. The incident was not combat-related and is under investigation, officials added.
In other news from Iraq, Iraqi forces killed a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member during a combined operation northeast of Tikrit yesterday.
Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors stopped the man's vehicle to arrest him for his alleged facilitation role in vehicle-bomb attacks on civilians in Kirkuk. He was shot and killed when he drew a pistol as the security team approached.
In Mosul yesterday, Iraqi forces arrested two suspected associates of an al-Qaida in Iraq operative linked to terrorist attacks against Iraqi civilians, security forces and coalition forces during a combined operation with U.S. advisors. (Issued on : May 17, 2010)
Related Sites: U.S. Forces Iraq 

Commander Discusses NATO Contributions in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON :  The NATO allies are in Afghanistan for the long haul and have made both significant progress and significant commitments to the effort there, the alliance's supreme allied commander for Europe said here today.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force will have roughly 98,000 U.S. troops and about 43,000 allied troops by fall, Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis told the Defense Writers Group. NATO's troop contribution in Afghanistan is "significant," he said.
Casualty figures, the admiral said, show that NATO has stepped up. About 1,100 U.S. servicemembers have been killed in Afghanistan, and the other coalition members have lost 650.
"Per capita, Estonia has suffered the most," Stavridis said, "followed by Denmark, Great Britain, Canada and the United States."
With Mongolia, Montenegro and South Korea joining the coalition, 47 nations are now working together in Afghanistan, Stavridis noted. "The allies are in this in a substantial way," he said. "Could they do more? Yes."
Though the allied contribution is substantial, he said, the coalition needs more people to train the Afghan security forces.
Success in Afghanistan will come, Stavridis said, when the Afghan army and police can take over the security mission. About 5,200 more trainers are needed in Afghanistan. Roughly 3,600 are on the ground now. NATO's share of the overall training mission is 1,600.
"Right now, I've got on the ground or committed 1,150" trainers, the admiral said. "So, I need 450 [more]."
The training mission in Afghanistan, Stavridis said, is his highest priority. As he works with NATO nations' defense chiefs to fill the shortfall, he added, U.S. soldiers will step in to bridge the training gap. The admiral thanked those soldiers for serving a 90-day tour, saying there is no more important job in Afghanistan today.
The Afghan security forces are making progress, and their contributions must be factored into any plan moving forward in the country, Stavridis said. Afghanistan has about 200,000 soldiers and police today, and that number will grow to around 250,000 in the fall, he said. The forces are growing in size and capabilities, he added, while the desertion rate has gone down. And improvements in pay – both the amount and how it makes it to the soldiers and police – have been a factor in recruiting and retention.
Stavridis said four factors will be essential to coalition success in Afghanistan. First among these, he said, is strategic communication.
"It's effectively explaining what we're doing and why we're doing it in the capitals of the alliance and in Afghanistan," he explained.
The second is the civil-military balance. Civilian aid is just as important as military force in this new world, he said. Mark Sedwill, the senior NATO civilian representative in Afghanistan, is getting the civilian effort working in tandem with the military effort, the admiral said.
Third is protecting the people of Afghanistan. Stavridis echoed the sentiment expressed by ISAF Commander Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, who has said, "We will not kill our way out of this."
"We have got to make protecting the Afghan people the center of gravity," Stavridis said. "We've made some progress in that, but every incident [of civilian casualties] hurts us."
Finally, the admiral said, training the Afghan security forces is crucial to success.
Stavridis said that while much remains to be done, Afghanistan has seen overall progress, and the alliance has made a difference.
"Afghanistan is often called the graveyard of empires," he said. "But we're not an empire, and the coalition has no desire to stay in the country any longer than necessary." (Issued on :May 17, 2010)
Biographies: Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis Related Sites: NATO NATO International Security Assistance Force 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Close-quarters combat techniques

Members of the Jamaican Defense Force practice hand-to-hand and close-quarters combat techniques with U.S. Marines embarked aboard High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift during a Marine martial arts exchange in Jamaica May 11, 2010. The ship is deployed in support of Southern Partnership Station 2010, which is geared towards information sharing among navies, coast guards and civilian services throughout the U.S. Southern Command area of responsibility. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kim Williams, U.S. Navy/Released)

Providing security for a helicopter

U.S. Army 1st Sgt. James Herrington, first sergeant with the Parwan Provincial Reconstruction Team, provides security for a helicopter transporting Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Arnold Fields as it departs a vegetable dehydration and packaging plant in the Parwan province of Afghanistan on May 10, 2010. The Special Inspector visited the area to assess the plant and meet with the province’s governor. DoD photo by Senior Airman Jim Araos, U.S. Air Force. (Released)


U.S. Army Pvt. Jacob Dunn fires a 155 mm round from a Howitzer during a support fire mission at Forward Operating Base Boris, Afghanistan, May 1, 2010. Dunn is a cannoneer with 2nd Platoon, Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment. (DoD photo by Sgt. Derec Pierson, U.S. Army/Released)

Conducting the training

U.S. Marines board a CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter on Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., May 5, 2010, prior to conducting training in night operations. The Marines, who are assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, are conducting the training as a part of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course. (DoD photo by Cpl. Tyler W. Hill, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

With MMG

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. John Garganera, a mechanic with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), mans an M240G medium machine gun mounted on the loading ramp of an MV-22 Osprey aircraft while preparing to land at Forward Operating Base Lashkar Gah in Helmand, Afghanistan, May 3, 2010. (DoD photo by Sgt. Jeffrey D. Anderson, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Carries the torch

Army Sgt. Robert Price carries the torch for the first Warrior Games into the Olympic Training Center at Colorado Springs, Colo., during the games' opening ceremony May 10, 2010. Price lost his right leg below the knee to a roadside bomb in Iraq but remains on active duty, serving as a cadre member at the warrior transition battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.       (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Doug Sample) 

Spirit and Target

Air Force Staff Sgt. Richard Pollock II plays basketball at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 10, 2010. Pollock is a member of the Air Force team participating in the inaugural Warrior Games. 

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios 

Conducting a dismounted patrol

U.S. Soldiers conduct a dismounted patrol through a creek in the village of Babus in the Pol-e’Alam district of Afghanistan May 7, 2010. (DoD photo by Spc. De'Yonte Mosley, U.S. Army/Released)

President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai shakes hands with U.S

President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai shakes hands with U.S. Airmen at the Staff Sgt. Heath N. Craig Joint Theater Hospital on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 8, 2010. Karzai is visiting the facility before leaving on a trip to the United States to meet with President Barack Obama. During the visit, Karzai met with wounded Afghan and U.S. service members and spoke with personnel stationed at the hospital. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt, U.S. Army/Released)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

To maintain regional stability in the Asian-Pacific

 U.S. Airmen from the 14th Fighter Squadron and 14th Maintenance Unit board an aircraft bound for South Korea May 5, 2010, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The Airmen are deploying to South Korea in an effort to maintain regional stability in the Asian-Pacific theater and promote stronger relations with U.S. allies. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training

U.S. Marines with the landing force participating in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Brunei 2010 share military operations on urban terrain techniques with Royal Bruneian Landing Force members at Rimba Air Base, Brunei, May 4, 2010. CARAT is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and to enhance force readiness. (DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Kowshon Ye, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Friday, May 07, 2010

During a mission

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft prepares to take on fuel from a KC-10 Extender aircraft during a mission over the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility April 24, 2010. The KC-10 is from the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, which supports operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa. 

(DoD photo by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol, U.S. Air Force/Released)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Joint Terminal Attack Control Operations

U.S. Airmen provide over watch and call in air support in Jaghato, Afghanistan, May 1, 2010. The Airmen are assigned to Joint Terminal Attack Control Operations on Contingency Operating Post Jaghato. (DoD photo by Spc. De'Yonte Mosley, U.S. Army/Released)

Basra Operations

Iraqi soldiers conduct room clearing and joint cordon and search training at the Basra Operations Center in Basra, Iraq, April 28, 2010. The training is provided by U.S. Soldiers with a military transition team at the center. (DoD photo by Spc. Christopher Wellner, U.S. Army/Released)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Soldiers during an operation

U.S. Army Sgt. Colin Unverzagt, an explosive ordnance disposal technician, provides security after exiting a CH-47 Chinook helicopter with other Soldiers during an operation in the Khost province of Afghanistan April 23, 2010. The operation is being conducted to reintroduce a coalition presence, facilitate Afghan National Security Forces clearance of the Shembowat Valley and conduct key leader engagements with village elders in the province. The Soldiers are from Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). (DoD photo by Sgt. Jeffrey Alexander, U.S. Army/Released)

Modular Airborne Firefighting System

A C-130 Hercules aircraft equipped with a Modular Airborne Firefighting System (MAFFS) drops water over an area in South Carolina April 28, 2010. The drop is part of annual MAFFS training and certification, which is taking place in Greenville, S.C., from April 26 to April 30. The aircraft is from the 146th Airlift Wing out of Port Hueneme, Calif. (DoD photo by Airman 1st Class Nicholas Carzis, U.S. Air Force/Released)