Saturday, June 30, 2007

I'm not ignoring you!

I am still putting a few last minute touches on the my new site, which is keeping me up quite late. Therefore I fall asleep without my consent! (I found the macaroni salad in my hand when I woke up, lol.) Then I get to bring all the posts from 2004 on over here. Oh boy, am I looking forward to that! NOT! lol. Well, better get going. You are all still in my prayers. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Iraq: Railroad, Marine and Adm. Fallon

This time I have a trio for you. This was supposed to be posted Wednesday, but I have been so busy. I apologize for that. This railroad is something else. If you want to increase commerce and bring a country together, build a railroad!
Renovated Iraqi Railway Station Provides Critical Link.

By A. Al Bahrani
American Forces Press Service

"The Iraq railroad system provides efficient reliable transportation and many people rely on the railroad for traveling. It is also critical for trade and commerce from the deep-water marine port and business centers in southern Iraq to the population centers in northern Iraq," stated Edison. [Continue reading.]
DefenseLink News and Veteran News.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if the only fights you heard were the bartering over prices? Yes, that day will come. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

In this next article is about my kinda gal. She is the first one in her immediate family to serve, and she did not want to be just anybody. No, she wanted to go for the gusto!
American Indian Marine represents family, heritage in Corps.

26 Jun 07
By Sgt. Anthony Guas
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD).

AL ASAD, Iraq - It is estimated that more than 12,000 Native Americans served in the United States military in World War I. There are more than 190,000 Native American military veterans; as the years continue to compile, so do the numbers of Native Americans in the military.
[...]
Sixkiller began her journey with the Marine Corps when she enrolled in the delayed entry program Sept. 29, 2005.

“I wanted to be one of the first in my immediate family to join one of the services,” said Sixkiller. “I picked the Marine Corps because I had to join the best." [Continue reading.]
She may not be from my tribe, but she's representing. Yeah!

This is an article about the visit that Admiral Fallon took to Iraq to check out the progress of the refineries and the insurgencies.
Fallon Visits Bayji Oil Refinery.

25 Jun 07
By Sgt. Joshua R. Ford
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

BAYJI, Iraq - Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other Iraqi and coalition leaders, June 11, 2007, at the Bayji Oil Refinery to discuss the future of the refinery.

Fallon expressed his concern with getting the Bayji Oil Refinery running at its maximum potential, which included proposed methods for the protection of the oil pipelines that run to other cities and neighboring countries. [Continue reading.]
It may be so that many people are claiming that we went there for oil, but I'd like to see how they were getting around without that crude! BTW, we did not go there for oil, but that's a given. If there happens to be oil in a place where we have to attack, we are obliged to make sure those fields are protected. Have a great day! Dig This Story

Sarkozy pushes for help in Darfur, NOW

Source: Meeting Seeks to Find Plan for Darfur, by www.CommonDreams.org.

It is about time someone else besides President Bush started pushing Bashir in Sudan and the EU to allow the AU-UN peacekeepers to take control. If something doesn't happen soon, we will have another Rwanda, if we don't already. Boy, I'll bet the Left would be just thrilled with that. They could blame Bush for it! Ah, but where are THEY? [Hello? Hello? (Kennedy on the Senate floor.)]
PARIS, France (AP) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy pushed fast international action toward speeding up deployment of troops in Darfur, as key world players met Monday to try to consolidate efforts and resources for the ravaged Sudanese region.

Sudan was not invited to the one-day Paris conference, organized by a new French government that has made the four-year conflict in Darfur a top priority. The meetings come after Sudan agreed -- under international pressure -- to allow the deployment of a joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in the region. [Continue reading.]
I shall be praying for the people in Darfur. I hope whoever reads this, if you still that you are not the be all to end all, would pray with me for these people. I will also be praying that the al Qaida will be found and killed! Have a great day.

Finally, 3 convicted of war crimes in Sierra Leone

Source: SeattlePI.NWSource.com. (Had to change the link because CNN moved.)

I have been waiting for many years to hear this news, and they still have not convicted Charles Taylor, ex-President of Liberia. Does anyone remember how long it took for them convict Milosevic? That's right. They never did. He died after 4 years - at least - of waiting for them to convict him or let him go. (And they have a problem with Gitmo? HA!)
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) -- A U.N.-backed court trying those accused of bearing greatest responsibility for the brutality of Sierra Leone's civil war issued its first verdicts Wednesday, convicting three former leaders of a junta that had terrorized the country during a brief reign.

The court found the three defendants guilty of 11 of 14 charges, including terrorism, using child soldiers, enslavement, rape and murder. [Continue reading.]
The crimes they were NOT convicted of were the crimes against the children. There were no sexually charged crimes that these scums were convicted of for having committed.

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm very glad these terrorists were FINALLY convicted. This lets the other people know that when you enslave children and force them to take up arms, you will be found guilty of war crimes. (Except in the Middle East, I suppose.) This trial has set that precedent. On the other hand, if you only rape these children, then what? That doesn't matter? That is very disheartening.

Charles Taylor's trial began in the ICC (International Criminal Court) a month ago. I guess we have at least 10 years before we get a verdict out of there. That is, if he lives that long...

Australia is transforming their naval forces to stay on top

I love Australia, and the Aussies are some of the most wonderful people. One thing I can tell you, they are quite independent. Just like we are. Wouldn't it be great if, even though it's for their own interest, they became the super-power in the Asian hemisphere? Yeah, baby!
CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Australia will build an A$11 billion ($9 billion) fleet of advanced destroyers and amphibious warships, Prime Minister John Howard said, underscoring the country's plan to remain a key Asian military power.

The purchases would transform Australia's navy into one of the most powerful in the Asia region, with two amphibious carriers able to land more than 2,000 troops, 16 attack and transport helicopters and up to 23 Abrams tanks. [Continue reading.]
So, you see that the only country who has stood shoulder to shoulder with us throughout our country's history is finally taking steps to move forward. Welcome! My only question: What took ya'll so long? (lol)

Indo-Pak arms race

This does not look good, and the place talking about it is CNN [link no longer good]. They were talking of peace a while back, and they still may be. This is not going to help that. No, not at all. Especially since OBL may live in Pakistan.

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Report warns of nuclear arms race by Pakistan, India.

Source: CNN.
June 21, 2007.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Satellite images show that Pakistan is building a nuclear reactor that can produce weapons-grade plutonium, an American watchdog group said Thursday, warning that it could contribute to an atomic arms race with archrival India.

A picture taken June 3 shows work progressing rapidly on the reactor at the Khushab nuclear site, 100 miles southwest of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, the Institute of Science for International Security said.

The development of the reactor and other nuclear-related activities "imply" that Pakistan has decided to "increase significantly its production of plutonium for nuclear weapons," the Washington-based institute said in a report analyzing the images.

A senior official at the Pakistan Atomic Energy Authority said the country was "extending our infrastructure," but declined to address the details of the report.

"We are a declared nuclear state and we are pursuing our nuclear program for peaceful purposes," said the official, who asked that he not be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject. "We are doing it for our national interests."

Pakistan has stated repeatedly that it will develop its secretive nuclear program and maintain an atomic arsenal to deter India, its more powerful neighbor, despite past leaks of sensitive technology to countries including Iran.

The report, co-authored by former U.N. inspector David Albright, said Pakistan may have decided to produce more plutonium for lighter warheads for cruise missiles, or to upgrade weapons aimed at Indian cities.

Most Pakistani nuclear weapons use highly enriched uranium, it noted.

Albright said the work on the reactor shows that the country is trying to improve its nuclear capabilities with a "new generation" of plutonium-based weapons.

Plutonium-based weapons pack more explosive power into smaller, lighter packages than those made with uranium, which Pakistan has been using for years, according to Albright.

"The work on these reactors reflects a Pakistani decision to create a new generation of nuclear weapons. By going plutonium ... we have to interpret that as an attempt to make smaller, more powerful weapons that are going to be more destructive in India," Albright said in a telephone interview.

The Pakistani official declined to comment on what Pakistan might do with extra plutonium.

The report said that, with India also trying to expand its ability to enrich uranium, Pakistan's activities "should be viewed as a sign of an accelerated nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan."

It also accused the U.S. government of soft-pedaling the risk to avoid endangering Islamabad's cooperation against terrorism and a proposed nuclear pact with New Delhi.

"The bottom line for us is that the U.S. isn't doing enough to stop these countries from expanding their nuclear arsenals. They're turning a blind eye," said Albright.

The institute said it used commercially available satellite imagery to conclude that Pakistan was building a third nuclear reactor at Khushab.

A first reactor entered service in 1998, and a second one begun between 2000 and 2002 was still under construction earlier this month, it said in the report. The third and newest reactor has sprung up rapidly just a few hundred yards away, it said.

The images also purportedly show work progressing on a plutonium reprocessing facility at Chashma, 50 miles to the west.

A report by the same institute about the second reactor at Khushab saying it could eventually produce enough fissile material for 50 atomic bombs a year prompted the U.S. government last July to urge Pakistan not to expand its nuclear weapons program.

Pakistan conducted its only nuclear tests in May 1998 after Indian tests earlier that month. India detonated its first nuclear bomb in 1974.

The two countries came close to open conflict in 2002, fueling fear of the world's first nuclear exchange, after terrorists attacked India's Parliament. New Delhi accused Islamabad-backed militants of carrying out the attack, but Pakistan denied the claims. Both countries have since embarked on a stop-start peace process.

In February 2004, Abdul Qadeer Khan, considered to be the father of Pakistan's atomic program, confessed to giving nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf pardoned Khan and U.S. officials regularly praise Islamabad's role in helping prevent nuclear smuggling.

Originally posted @ Love America First-2 because CNN has a bad habit of moving their links. Apparently I was correct to do this.
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Let us hope this does not heat up again.

HOA: Medics educate and Seabees complete project

For some reason, the Horn of Africa has gotten my heart. I can see it has gotten the hearts of many of our military men and women as well. They are doing such a fantastic job over there.

In this first article, the medical personnel are taking classes so that they can help those people who live in isolated areas. They just don't want them to die if they could prevent it.

HOA Expeditionary Medical Force Educates to Save Lives.

26 Jun 07
by MC2(SW) Sunday Williams
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office.

CAMP LEMONIER, DJIBOUTI - In deployed locations, corpsmen and medics can’t be everywhere. It’s important for all service members to become Combat Life Savers so they can be trained in how to save a life in a remote location. The first few minutes of a traumatic injury are crucial to the victim’s survival, which is why it’s important to know at least basic life saving skills.

Navy Lt. Jeremiah Ingemunsun, Expeditionary Medical Forces, or EMF, helps service members do just that with the Combat Life Saver course, or CLS, he teaches once a month on Camp Lemonier.

Ingemunsun recently completed his fifth CLS course this month. The three-day class had 25 students from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

Ingemunsun explained that the class provides support for military medics and corpsmen and gives victims a better chance of survival.

“It is just no longer plausible for the medics and corpsmen to provide all the initial care in the modern battle field,” said Ingemunsun. “They are limited and can not help everyone at one time. The more service members that get the proper training, the more people that can be saved.”

Navy Personnel Specialist Chief Petty Officer Margaret Greer took the class in May and said before taking the class she was not comfortable with her lifesaving skills.

“I am really glad I took the class because it has helped me relax a lot,” said Greer. “In the event there is a situation where I am OK and others are not, I want to be able to help whenever I can, and now I feel that I am able to.”

Tech. Sgt. Christopher Winder participated in the June class and explained that he learned a lot that he can teach others in the future.

“I am an instructor [back at home station] who teaches Self Aid Buddy Care.” said Winder. “It is our version of the CLS course, but it is only one day and not as extensive. I got a lot of really good information from this course that I can implement into our course. It was great.”

Ingemunsun agreed the course gives important information and the opportunity to get hands-on training.

“The hands on is the most important part of the training,” said Ingemunsun. “This is where the student can really learn and experience the training, especially with IVs.”

The course also consists of nine lectures and how to dress wounds, prepare splints, administer IVs to each other, and learn how to treat heat-related injuries, which is especially important in Africa.

With such an important task of saving lives, the lieutenant has his best instructors helping him teach the course.

“I have to say that without my instructors, the students would not get the close instruction that hands-on training has to offer,” said Ingemunsun. “They allow for more hands-on time, and at the end of each course, the instructors get great evaluations from the students.”

By the end of the course, he said students need to be able to assess a casualty, identify and immediately treat all life-threatening injuries, and successfully start an IV, which they only have two attempts to accomplish. However, successfully passing the course is not what’s most important to Ingemunsun.

“I want everyone who participates in this course to be successful and for the students to take with them the confidence and skills to save lives, not only on the battle field but in all areas.”

Photo - Hospital Corpsmen 3rd Class DeAnna Yaklich instructs Tech. Sgt. Carla Heuler as she inserts and IV needle and catheter into Tech. Sgt. Christopher Winder’s arm during the June Combat Life Saver course. The course teaches important life saving skills to service members that would not typically be trained medically. By the end of the three day course service members can dress wounds, prepare splints, administer IVs to each other, and treat heat-related injuries, which is especially important in Africa. This course gives more people the knowledge to assist in the first few minutes of a traumatic injury thus bettering the victim’s chance of survival. Photo by MC2 (SW) Sunday Williams.

These people are certainly impressive, if not to you, to me. The deserve our Honor. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the Armed Services.

Source: CENTCOM. (Broken link)
Cross-posted from DoD Daily News-2.

This next article is a sweet one. When I think of Seabees, I do not think of them doing anything on land. I know. They are not fish, but I just don't. Wait until you read this!

Seabees trade in their hammers for chainsaws to complete project.

24 Jun 07
by US Navy MC1 Mary Popejoy
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs.

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti – Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 spent the better part of June 13 cutting down trees at the Djibouti Hospital to make room for a community relations project that will include gazeboes that will improve the quality of life of the community.

The Djiboutians originally started removing the trees, but were unable to complete the project because they didn’t have the right tools. The director of the Djibouti Hospital asked Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s Charlie Company, 486th Civil Affairs Battalion for assistance. They in turn coordinated with the Seabees to get manpower and tools.

With chainsaws in hand and the right safety equipment to execute the job, the Seabees got to work on a very important project.

“These trees provide a great deal of shade, but they’re also home to a lot of black crows that make a lot of noise and inconvenience those who sit under the trees throughout the day,” said Army Maj. Kent Glover, Team 14-Alpha officer in charge. “By cutting down these trees, we’ll reduce the amount of crows in the area, which in turn will make the site more enjoyable when we build the gazeboes.”

This particular Seabee project is improving the quality of life of the Djibouti people and strengthening the bond the U.S. military has with the community.

“It’s good to volunteer and do projects like this because it improves an area that is used a lot and it shows them the U.S. military is doing good things and we want to be friends,” said Builder 2nd Class Matt Richnavsky, crew leader.

Glover agrees that even taking down trees has helped build a special bond with the local community.

“When we first started coming out here, they were hesitant to talk with us,” said the major. “But after a few visits they warmed up to us, and now it feels like we’ve known them our entire lives, which makes doing this project even more special. We’re doing this for friends who appreciate it, and that makes us feel good.”

Photo - Builder Construction Apprentice Jeffrey Olmstead works diligently to get the tree to go from being vertical to horizontal during tree excavation June 13 at the Djibouti Hospital. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mary Popejoy.

These guys are outstanding in my book, and they should outstanding your book as well!

Source: CENTCOM. (Broken Link)
Cross-posted from DoD Daily News-2.

Afghan: One mission at a time and a new dam

I know many people think the only thing Marines, Army persons, Navy personnel, the National Guard, the Air Force crew and the such are only capable of killing. Trash things and kill people. That's all there is to it, right? Hold on! Not so fast here. Here are two articles that could at least pierce your hearts, if only you would read them.

The first article is aboout changing the lives of these destitute people, one mission at a time.

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Changing lives one mission at a time.
24 Jun 07
By Air Force Staff Sgt. Craig Seals
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The C-130 is one of many different types of aircraft stationed here, but could easily be called one of the most versatile. The members of the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron put that versatility to the test every day. The three primary missions of the C-130s here are airdrop, air-land and aeromedical evacuation.

"Our airdrop missions can be anything from dropping pamphlets to the locals to humanitarian drops such as water, blankets, food and firewood in the winter, ammunition and troop re-supplies," said Senior Airman Patrick Keefe, 774th EAS loadmaster. "Air-land missions consist of troop movements or hauling cargo."

The multitude of missions doesn't limit the aircrew to only one mission type per flight though. Most of the time, their missions are any combination of the three. An aeromedical evacuation mission might be coupled with 15 Soldiers needing to get to a forward operating base while making a stop somewhere else to drop off a palette of supplies.

It's this type of versatility that makes the C-130 one of the most valuable aircraft in the theater. But not all of these missions are as easy as they seem. "Each mission has a different type of danger, which means that each of us have to be on our A-game each and every day," said Air Force Capt.

John Malley, 774th EAS pilot. "It also depends on where we are going. If we know an area is hot, we know that there is that much more possibility we could get engaged."

Danger aside, the crews have a special sense of pride knowing the supplies and service they bring to the fight.

"I'm proud to be an American and happy to fight the good fight," said Malley. "We're [going to] win this thing and it's only a matter of time.

I'm hoping that every airdrop, air-land and aeromedical evacuation mission contributes positively to our efforts here in Afghanistan."

However, that sense of pride is evident in more than just the C-130 crews. "With hauling cargo and personnel all over this country, I have been able to see the improvements this country has made," said Keefe. "The people have a feeling of importance now, which was evident in a recent election when they voted a woman in as minister of education. Things like this never would have happened under the Taliban."

Seeing a change for the better in the local people and the faces of the servicemembers they transport puts things in perspective for the crew.

"The most fulfilling part of my job is knowing that we're helping get wounded Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines out of harm's way and getting them to locations where they can get the medical attention they need," said Malley. "And getting those troops on the frontlines what they need when they need it, that's worth it."

Photo - Senior Airman Patrick Keefe (far right), 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron loadmaster, directs a forklift carrying passenger luggage into the cargo area of a C-130 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Keefe is deployed from Wyoming's Air National Guard, Cheyenne, Wyo. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Craig Seals.

Source: Bagram Air Base.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.
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They are being modest. They also provide food to people who are so idolated that they cannot feed themselves. These people are just trying to stay alive after years and years of war.

The next article is about the necessity of water and the huge impact dams and irrigation will have not only on their crops but also on their economy. Just take one paragraph:

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Reconstruction Team Launches Dam Project.
24 Jun 07
By U.S. Navy Ensign Christopher Weis.

KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Through a $1.5 million project launched earlier this year, the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Khost is finding that providing water for drinking and irrigation can be an effective weapon against terrorism. U.S. Navy Cmdr. David Adams, who took over command of the 120-member joint team in April, said that by providing the funding and oversight necessary to empower local governments throughout Khost to decide where and how diversion dams will be built, the Provincial Reconstruction Team helps connect the people to their government -- which is the key to defeating the insurgency.

In a country held back by more than 30 years of war, ineffective water use has made life even more difficult in this already-barren country. Managing water is life or death for farmers like Haji Mazdigar Gul, 56, who explained that without a diversion dam, flooding often causes him to lose his fields, jeopardizing his family’s survival. His village of Koza Bokhana is one of 30 that will benefit from dams, which will redirect water from rivers to the fields of more than 80,000 farmers and families.

Villagers throughout Khost testify to the diversion dams’ ability to bring economic prosperity to the largely agricultural region. In roughly three weeks, the first of these dams will reach completion, helping local Afghans to better control flooding, irrigate their fields, grow crops and feed their families.

“We appreciate America. We are poor people and they are helping us,” said Khost farmer Mumin Khan, 70, speaking through a Provincial Reconstruction Team Khost translator. “They are the only ones helping us rebuild our country. We love the Americans because they send their sons far away from home to help us.”

“Each of the diversion dams, which take roughly six weeks to complete, has the capacity to irrigate 45,000 jerubs, or roughly. 25,000 acres of land,” said Khost Provincial Director of Irrigation Abdulmer Khan Lama

With a relatively peaceful May tempered by al-Qaeda threats of increased violence in Afghanistan, security for the projects is a top priority.

“We have not seen any problems with security for these projects because the people would not accept attacks on dams that go to the core of their livelihood,” Adams said.

While coalition forces have constructed other diversion dams, water retention walls and aqueducts in the border region, the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s efforts are by far the largest in Khost to date, according to the governor, Arsal Jamal. Although the 30 dams will impact one in 10 “Khosties” directly and many more indirectly, Adams said additional funding would be required to meet all of the region’s irrigation needs.

The local governments are involved in every step of the process. They select the building sites based on need, design the dams, monitor quality and ensure the safety of workers, Adams said. The villagers also take ownership of the projects by completing initial excavation and closely monitoring the project to assure the highest quality.

Adams explained that more dams is a top request he receives from villagers throughout the province. The diversion dams project furthers the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s mission.

The diversion dams project furthers the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s mission by “enabling security, promoting good governance and facilitating reconstruction, development and economic growth,” Adams said. These efforts allow the team to make life better for the people of Khost and help transform what was once a hotbed of terrorist activity to a more prosperous region that will no longer tolerate terrorists.

“Sept. 11 started here,” Adams said. “Only by strengthening the government and reconstructing Afghanistan can we ensure that the conditions for another 9/11 will never again take root here in Khost.

Photo - U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dave Adams, 2nd from left, the governor of Khost and the provincial Director of Irrigation offer a prayer before the cornerstone is laid in the Matun district of Khost, Afghanistan, May 8, 2007. The dam will provide irrigation and drinking water for nine villages in the area. U.S. Navy photo.

Source: www.NAVY.mil.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.
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This is a very good thing they are doing, and they are not doing it alone. The Afghan people are actually working side-by-side with them. They are all great and while we empower them, we also are helping ourselves here at home. Read and find out why. I am very proud of you guys and gals! :)

Source: Bagram Air Base and www.Navy.mil.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Iraq: Arrowhead 'Ripper' and 2 Compassionate Soldiers

These are two great articles. First, we have the ISF (Iraq Security Forces) working along side the Coalition Forces (CF) to put pressure on any al Qaida still left in the neighborhood.

Arrowhead Ripper’ Continues to Pressure al Qaeda.
24 Jun 07
By Multi-National Division – North
Public Affairs Office

BAQOUBA, Iraq - Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) teamed with Task Force Lightning units, Thursday, to clear Baqouba and surrounding areas as Operation Arrowhead Ripper continued.

“We are shoulder-to-shoulder with Iraqi Security Forces in this fight,” said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, deputy commanding general, operations, and commander of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. “Specifically the 5th Iraqi Army Division led by Maj. Gen. Saleem Kariem Ali Alotbei, along with the provincial director of police, Maj. Gen. Ganim, have provided the Iraqi security forces to the fight.

The weeks ahead are absolutely key in not only holding and retaining the ground that is cleared in partnership with Coalition Forces (CF), but also in building trust and confidence with the citizens of Diyala.”

In support of the operation, attack helicopters from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Squadron, 82nd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion provided assistance to Iraqi and Coalition ground forces, killing at least 13 al-Qaida operatives and destroying an al Qaeda compound during the second day of the operation.

“Over the last three days, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade has provided Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition infantry brigade combat teams, attack, scout and transportation helicopters. These assets give Coalition and Iraqi ground forces the added support they need to eliminate or contain al Qaeda during operation Arrowhead Ripper in Baqouba,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Baker, deputy commanding officer, 25th CAB.

In a separate engagement, CF soldiers discovered an empty school complex rigged with explosives in Baqouba, the capital city of Diyala province, Thursday, during Operation Arrowhead Ripper.

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment discovered the booby-trapped school complex. An investigation of the area determined the school and surrounding buildings had been abandoned.

CF had to destroy the school due to risk to the community. CF were unable to disable the explosives because of instability. Ground forces effectively coordinated a precisions guided munitions strike and successfully destroyed the school-borne IED.

There were no civilian injuries or deaths as a result of this action.

“Jointly with ISF, and the citizens of Baqouba, we are beginning to root out al- Qaida operatives and safely neutralize their traps,” said Bednarek.

As Arrowhead Ripper continued through June 21, at least 51 al Qaeda operatives have been killed, with 20 al Qaeda operatives detained, seven weapons caches discovered, 21 improvised explosive devices destroyed and nine booby-trapped structures destroyed.

Photo - A Stryker soldier with Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, pulls security during the clearing of a village in the outskirts of Baqouba, Iraq, as part of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, June 19. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Antonieta Rico.

Source: Asymmetric Military.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

There is also a picture that comes with both of these articles. Well, all of them today, actually. Wait until you read how many AQ they killed! :)

This next article is very moving. Two soldiers who were only doing their job turned the mind of one man (who could in turn change the minds of others) when they took notice of the needs of his son.

Two Compassionate Soldiers Give Iraqi Child Hope.
25 Jun 07
By Spc. Mike Alberts
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.

KIRKUK, Iraq - The nine-year old boy would most certainly lose his leg. Given the prohibitive cost of medical care and his family’s lack of resources, amputation and a life of pain and dependence seemed inevitable. The Iraqi boy’s father was resigned to that conclusion. Then two soldiers got involved and hope arrived along with them.

Campbell, of Athens, Ga., is a team leader with 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The infantryman is on his third combat deployment, currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq. At 26 years old, Campbell’s a seasoned combat veteran who turned a chance encounter into a crusade to help.

Campbell’s unit works to train and mentor Iraqi police in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. During a routine patrol at an Iraqi police station, his unit spotted what appeared to be someone conducting surveillance on the platoon’s activities. They investigated and found a boy with a severely injured leg.

“During the search of a house I noticed a little boy,” said Campbell. “His leg was all bent up and it looked like he had a pipe wrapped to it,” he continued. “My immediate instinct was to rewrap it and change the splint for him because it looked uncomfortable. When I removed the wrap, I noticed that the pipe was actually a metal bar that was screwed into the lower part of the boy’s leg below the knee. What concerned me most though was the obvious infection.”

Campbell learned that the family was at a wedding some months ago when at least two bullets from celebratory gunfire impacted the young boy’s leg below the knee and exited the bottom of his foot. For a variety of reasons, local doctors simply screwed an exterior metal brace into the young boy’s bone at four locations.

“I cleaned the leg the best I could, gave the family extra field dressings, iodine, alcohol and instructions on how to take care of the infection,” said Campbell who would meet with the family on more than two dozen future occasions to check on the boy’s status.

“The family appeared to be doing everything correctly, but the leg seemed more infected each time I saw him. I knew we had assets in the brigade that could provide more help,” he said.

Campbell went to brigade civil affairs.

“Based on what Sgt. Campbell told me and from what I saw of the photos and X-rays my biggest concern was that the infection was systemic, which could be a life-threatening situation,” said Capt. Geoffrey Dutton, a civil affairs officer with the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 3IBCT. “This child had no antibiotics, no pain killers and no aftercare other than what Sgt. Campbell was providing.”

Dutton, a reserve officer from Aiken, S.C., is also a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Augusta, Ga., Veterans Administration prior to being called up to serve in Iraq. The 21-year Army veteran and father of three served in medical units during the majority of his military career and recently switched career fields to civil affairs. Dutton explained his role.

“As civil affairs, we interact with the local populace on a day to day basis,” he said. “Among other things, we compile information about local communities’ ethnic and religious make-up, as well as their economic and social needs to enable the brigade to identify and coordinate assistance projects.”

Locating assistance for the boy presented challenges, but Dutton welcomed the opportunity to help. Based on his medical experience, he understood the urgency of the situation and quickly explored possibilities.

“As civil affairs we are all about developing relationships. I have only been here for a couple months, but I spoke with several people and eventually got contact information for a non-governmental organization (NGO). They agreed to help,” he said.

Dutton put the boy’s family and the NGO into contact. Since then, arrangements have been made to transport the child together with other children with extraordinary medical needs to doctors and experts in locations beyond Kirkuk.

Dutton identified the obvious tactical impact in rendering aid to the local population in terms of affecting public perception of coalition forces and their mission here in Iraq. However, both he and Campbell were quick to explain that they helped the boy simply because it’s what soldiers do.

“A large segment of the American public thinks its military just breaks and destroys things,” said Dutton. “I’ve consistently seen that it’s our compassion that separates us. Sgt. Campbell and his efforts here represent that and show what’s best about the American soldier.”

Campbell downplayed his role.

“Of course, we’re here to capture bad guys, but it’s also our job to help the people,” said Campbell. “It’s not about me. It’s about Americans. This is what American people are all about, and I’m going to help everyone I can, because that’s what an American soldier is about.”

As for the boy’s father, he’s no longer resigned to the inevitable. As importantly, his distrust of coalition forces has been replaced by gratitude.

“Sgt. Campbell and the others were always by me and always helped me,” said the boy’s father through an interpreter. “They came to my house to treat and clean the leg and help when no one else would,” he said. “This is all to get my son help. For that, I’m grateful.”

Photo - U.S. Army Sgt. Donald R. Campbell (center), team leader, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives a medical update from the father of a young child as he hands Campbell a recent X-ray of the boy’s injured leg, at a police station in Kirkuk, Iraq, June 14, 2007. Campbell and Capt. Geoffrey Dutton found the boy in a house search and arranged for him to receive critical medical help to save his limb. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Mike Alberts.Campbell, of Athens, Ga., is a team leader with 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The infantryman is on his third combat deployment, currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq. At 26 years old, Campbell’s a seasoned combat veteran who turned a chance encounter into a crusade to help.

Campbell’s unit works to train and mentor Iraqi police in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. During a routine patrol at an Iraqi police station, his unit spotted what appeared to be someone conducting surveillance on the platoon’s activities. They investigated and found a boy with a severely injured leg.

“During the search of a house I noticed a little boy,” said Campbell. “His leg was all bent up and it looked like he had a pipe wrapped to it,” he continued. “My immediate instinct was to rewrap it and change the splint for him because it looked uncomfortable. When I removed the wrap, I noticed that the pipe was actually a metal bar that was screwed into the lower part of the boy’s leg below the knee. What concerned me most though was the obvious infection.”

Campbell learned that the family was at a wedding some months ago when at least two bullets from celebratory gunfire impacted the young boy’s leg below the knee and exited the bottom of his foot. For a variety of reasons, local doctors simply screwed an exterior metal brace into the young boy’s bone at four locations.

“I cleaned the leg the best I could, gave the family extra field dressings, iodine, alcohol and instructions on how to take care of the infection,” said Campbell who would meet with the family on more than two dozen future occasions to check on the boy’s status.

“The family appeared to be doing everything correctly, but the leg seemed more infected each time I saw him. I knew we had assets in the brigade that could provide more help,” he said.

Campbell went to brigade civil affairs.

“Based on what Sgt. Campbell told me and from what I saw of the photos and X-rays my biggest concern was that the infection was systemic, which could be a life-threatening situation,” said Capt. Geoffrey Dutton, a civil affairs officer with the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 3IBCT. “This child had no antibiotics, no pain killers and no aftercare other than what Sgt. Campbell was providing.”

Dutton, a reserve officer from Aiken, S.C., is also a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Augusta, Ga., Veterans Administration prior to being called up to serve in Iraq. The 21-year Army veteran and father of three served in medical units during the majority of his military career and recently switched career fields to civil affairs. Dutton explained his role.

“As civil affairs, we interact with the local populace on a day to day basis,” he said. “Among other things, we compile information about local communities’ ethnic and religious make-up, as well as their economic and social needs to enable the brigade to identify and coordinate assistance projects.”

Locating assistance for the boy presented challenges, but Dutton welcomed the opportunity to help. Based on his medical experience, he understood the urgency of the situation and quickly explored possibilities.

“As civil affairs we are all about developing relationships. I have only been here for a couple months, but I spoke with several people and eventually got contact information for a non-governmental organization (NGO). They agreed to help,” he said.

Dutton put the boy’s family and the NGO into contact. Since then, arrangements have been made to transport the child together with other children with extraordinary medical needs to doctors and experts in locations beyond Kirkuk.

Dutton identified the obvious tactical impact in rendering aid to the local population in terms of affecting public perception of coalition forces and their mission here in Iraq. However, both he and Campbell were quick to explain that they helped the boy simply because it’s what soldiers do.

“A large segment of the American public thinks its military just breaks and destroys things,” said Dutton. “I’ve consistently seen that it’s our compassion that separates us. Sgt. Campbell and his efforts here represent that and show what’s best about the American soldier.”

Campbell downplayed his role.

“Of course, we’re here to capture bad guys, but it’s also our job to help the people,” said Campbell. “It’s not about me. It’s about Americans. This is what American people are all about, and I’m going to help everyone I can, because that’s what an American soldier is about.”

As for the boy’s father, he’s no longer resigned to the inevitable. As importantly, his distrust of coalition forces has been replaced by gratitude.

“Sgt. Campbell and the others were always by me and always helped me,” said the boy’s father through an interpreter. “They came to my house to treat and clean the leg and help when no one else would,” he said. “This is all to get my son help. For that, I’m grateful.”

Photo - U.S. Army Sgt. Donald R. Campbell (center), team leader, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives a medical update from the father of a young child as he hands Campbell a recent X-ray of the boy’s injured leg, at a police station in Kirkuk, Iraq, June 14, 2007. Campbell and Capt. Geoffrey Dutton found the boy in a house search and arranged for him to receive critical medical help to save his limb. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Mike Alberts.

These guys are very special. It makes me so proud to be an American. Thank you for your service, stay safe, and God bless you.

Source: Defend America.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

Be back tonight

It is now 3:32 px, and I really must get some sleeps. I'll talk to ya'll taler!

Now comes the work

I am going to move everything I've written over to this site manually. I am going to start with My Newz 'n Ideas. This is my very first site, and I have over 2000 posts. Ayiiyai! Oh well. Sometimes we have just have buck-up and do it. After I am finished with that, I shall return with my next site. Which one? God only knows! lol.

I've decided to go ahead and publish this so you'll know what in the world is taking me so long to publish anything. Right now I am on July 20, 2004!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Woe is me!

It is almost 5pm, and I am just waking up. It may have something to do with the fact that I did not go to sleep until after noon! I was working on trying to duplicate this template with one that had my 'Rosemary's Thoughts' as its URL. You would not believe how HARD that is to do!

Why would I want to do that, anyway? To make it easier for you guys. If you would like to find me, either bookmark me, add me to your sidebar so you don't have to remember the URL or google me. lol. I have to go back now and erase my registration for the other site in Feed.Feedburner! Oivay!

Oh, by the time I got to my email, I had 117 messages! Wow! If I haven't gotten back to you yet, please do not despair. It takes a while to go through them. I have some DoD Daily News work to do yet (but you can catch it first at DoD Daily News-2). I also have some religious posts that need updating, and I also have some news for Knickerbocker News. But enough about my 'to do's'. lol.

Have a good day everyone, and don't forget to let your senators hear your voices on this amnesty bill! There is another cloture vote in the morning, June 28, 2007. We MUST kill this bill. The number is NOT TOLL FREE 1-866-340-9281. It is 1-202-224-3121 or 1-202-225-3121. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Speak their language

So, they want illegal aliens to move ahead of all the people waiting for years to come here, but they did it the proper way, eh? Do you feel as though there is nothing you can do? Do not fret!

I want to hear those phones a'ringing! Go get 'em, guys. We'll bring them to their knees. When they come with hands out this time, you know exactly what to do. Hand them the name of this bill, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, in the size of a check!

Hat tip: Bryan from HotAir.

Basrah Railroad Station Vital to a Growing Region and Economy

By A. Al Bahrani
Gulf Region South District

BASRAH, Iraq - The rehabilitation of the Basrah Railway Station is one of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Gulf Region South (GRS) District efforts to build and develop the basic services and strategic infrastructure for Iraq.

"The $480,000 project provides a critical link for the country of Iraq and it ties the southern portion of the country with the northern portion," said GRS Chief of Engineering and Construction Thomas Eidson.

"The Iraq railroad system provides efficient reliable transportation and many people rely on the railroad for traveling. It is also critical for trade and commerce from the deep-water marine port and business centers in southern Iraq to the population centers in northern Iraq," stated Edison.

Stanley Dowdy, Basrah Area Office Resident Engineer, said "The railroad station was unusable without renovation. The platforms for getting on and off the trains and the walkways were all torn up or removed and the building structure itself was damaged and unsafe. This project installed all new platforms and walkways as well as renovating portions of the interior and the exterior façade.

"These improvements will greatly facilitate enhanced operations at this site," he added. "We applaud the Iraqi team with whom we have closely worked in making this challenge become a reality."

"The Corps’ mission for this project consists of performing onsite evaluations and rehabilitation work of seven railway stations throughout the Basrah Province. The goal of the project is to repair the stations and make them safe and efficient once again," said Dowdy.

"Now, as reconstruction is gaining momentum, the need for a transportation network to provide for efficient movement of essential products such as construction materials, equipment, merchandise, fuel and other supplies is essential for Iraq," said Hadi Mashkor, the directorate general for Basrah Railroad Station.

"The Ministry of Transportation is responsible for the railway sector in Iraq," said Mashkor. "Iraq has a network of 2,603 km and the main railway routes are Um-Qasr/Basrah - Baghdad, Baghdad –Husaiba (Syrian border), and the remaining branches to Kirkuk and Akashat," said Mashkor.

According to Mashkor, rebuilding the rail industry in Basrah is very important to Iraq’s economy. Basrah is one of the oldest cities in Iraq and it is in the heart of the petroleum industry and directly impacts the Iraqi economy.

"Being able to transport goods and services is vital to a growing region and economy. The railroad system will continue to grow in serving the Iraqi people," said Eidson.

Photo - The $480,000 Basrah Railroad Station project by the Gulf Region South provided for several areas to be renovated to include the new main entrance to the station. USACE photo by Al Bahrani.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Source: CENTCOM has updated their sourcing and in their process, they inadvertantly lost this one. Thank you for your understanding.

'A Chance' says PM Olmert

I just got through with a conference with Miri Eisin, Foreign Press Spokeswoman for Israeli PM Ehud Olmert' office, and I have more question than answers, I'm sorry to say. I could not hear the questions being asked of her after her initial press conference, so it may just be a misunderstanding.

There was a meeting yesterday with President Mubarak, PM Abbas, King (or President) Abdullah from Jordan and PM Olmert in the efforts of taking an opportunity out of this madness (the civil war in the Gaza Strip) and turning it into a chance to move forward with the 2 state solution. She kept repeating that PM Olmert, she and the others were not going to allow the terrorists to define them, but that the moderates were going to take control and define themselves and their destiny.

They were going to move forward-cautiously of course-with diplomacy. It is going to be a process with a vision of peace at the end of the rainbow. What happened in Gaza was horrific, but this opens the door to opportunity and they are going to walk through it.

There are three main articles that came up. They are:
1. Abbas fired Hamas' elected officials from the government, and now Abbas is working with an emergency government.

2. There will be 250 Arab prisoners, some will be Fatah, released from Israels prisons. The criteria for their release will be that they must not have blood on their hands and they must admit that Israel is NOT the cause of the suffering for the Arabs in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. They had brought it on by themselves by their own actions, their own choices, their own doing (or lack thereof).

3. Abbas has said to the Arabic world, in Arabic (very important because they sometimes say one thing in English and another in Arabic) that he renounced the violence of Hamas, he believed in a 2 state solution living side by side with Israel in peace, and he recognizes Israel. (I'm not sure of the last one. I can hardly read my notes!)
She also talked about the atmosphere produced so the talks could move forward. She stated that it would be a good idea to widen the scope of the dialogue. They are going to meet again next month, since the new emergency government is only around 10 days old.

Then the questions started. I could not hear the questions, but I could hear the answers. Maybe that is where the confusion comes. The first answer was indeed unique. For the first time, there were no, "Yes, BUT's" in their conversation.

Then she said they would give access to the West Bank! This way they could have freedom of movement. (Do you know who else could have freedom of movement, dear?) They also recognize the emergency government as the ruling government. (How long have we been called occupiers, although the government is in Iraq is elected?) However, access and free movement are very important to human beings. (I just pray it is not a mistake.)

There shall never be a compromise with terrorists such as Hamas and others. As to the money that has been held back due to the Hamas government, that shall be released just as soon as they can both agree on a way that is best for the people's humanitarian needs. There are dozens of truckloads per day being delivered everyday, but the Left press will not write about this. (It bothers me that facts are not disclosed, no matter what the situation.) Also, they both want to make sure the money goes to the moderates and not to the terrorists.

Later in the questioning period, they declared there would not be any benchmarks, ultimatums, or the such. This is what people looking in from the outside do not understand. You cannot do such a thing, especially with a government that is only 10 days old!

At the meeting yesterday, Mubarrak said that what Hamas did was create 'a coup'. Abbas agreed, basically, because he said the same thing at a later date. Abbas also declared it was totally unacceptable. However, it is too soon to expect any elections in the West Bank.

There were questions about trust (many questions). The answer was rather usual. Trust must be built, even if it is with your enemies of old. What alternative is there? (Fight back?)

Iran was mentioned, Syria was mentioned, Russia was mentioned, and I have no answers for you. My fault. I was writing as fast as I could! I did happen to catch one comment. Israel has an economy that surpasses that of the EU! I wish I knew those numbers. Now that's something new I could really sink my teeth into.

Let us pray for Israel and her neighbors countrymen and women. (Notice I did not say governments?) Pray for peace, understanding, forgiveness and readiness.Let us also pray that Israel realizes that the more the give, the more the Arabs will consider this weakness. I know most of the Israelis have hearts of peace, and they want the war to stop. Sometimes you have to have take other paths, sometimes you don't. Let us pray this is one of those times you don't, but if it is? Let us pray they have the chutzpah! (Yes, I am an Israel supporter. You can't even sue me! Hahaha.)

H/t: Israel Project.

Iraq: Railroad, Marine and Adm. Fallon

This time I have a trio for you. This was supposed to be posted Wednesday, but I have been so busy. I apologize for that. This railroad is something else. If you want to increase commerce and bring a country together, build a railroad!
"The Iraq railroad system provides efficient reliable transportation and many people rely on the railroad for traveling. It is also critical for trade and commerce from the deep-water marine port and business centers in southern Iraq to the population centers in northern Iraq," stated Edison. [Continue reading.]
Wouldn't it be fantastic if the only fights you heard were the bartering over the prices? Yes, that day will come. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

In this next article is about my kinda gal. She is the first one in her immediate family to serve, and she did not want to be just anybody. No, she wanted to go for the gusto!
AL ASAD, Iraq - It is estimated that more than 12,000 Native Americans served in the United States military in World War I. There are more than 190,000 Native American military veterans; as the years continue to compile, so do the numbers of Native Americans in the military.
[...]
Sixkiller began her journey with the Marine Corps when she enrolled in the delayed entry program Sept. 29, 2005.

“I wanted to be one of the first in my immediate family to join one of the services,” said Sixkiller. “I picked the Marine Corps because I had to join the best." [Continue reading.]
She may not be from my tribe, but she's representing. Yeah!

This is an article about the visit that Admiral Fallon took to Iraq to check out the progress of the refineries and the insurgencies.
BAYJI, Iraq - Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other Iraqi and coalition leaders, June 11, 2007, at the Bayji Oil Refinery to discuss the future of the refinery.

Fallon expressed his concern with getting the Bayji Oil Refinery running at its maximum potential, which included proposed methods for the protection of the oil pipelines that run to other cities and neighboring countries. [Continue reading.]
It may be so that many people are claiming that we went there for oil, but I'd like to see how they were getting around without that crude! BTW, we did not go there for oil, but that's a given. If there happens to be oil in a place where we have to attack, we are obliged to make sure those fields are protected. Have a great day!

U.S., Iraqi Troops Rescue Malnourished Boys From Baghdad Orphanage

Jun 21, 2007
BY American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, June 20, 2007 – U.S. and Iraqi army forces found an orphanage housing 24 severely malnourished and abused boys in Baghdad’s Fajr neighborhood June 10, military officials reported today. The 24 boys, ranging in age from 3 to 15, were found naked in a darkened room without any windows. Many of the children were tied to their beds and were too weak to stand, officials said.

In a nearby locked room, the soldiers discovered food and clothing that could have been used to aid the children. Three women claiming to be the caretakers, and two men -- the orphanage director and a guard -- were on the site when the soldiers arrived.

The Iraqi soldiers notified members of the Fajr Neighborhood Advisory Council and escorted them to the orphanage to assist the boys. Paratroopers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, and a 492nd Civil Affairs Team also arrived at the orphanage with medics to treat the malnourished boys.

“The council members were crying at the sight of the starving boys,” said Navy Lt. James Cook, a civil affairs officer. The neighborhood council arranged for three ambulances to take the boys to the Iskan Hospital for care.

“We’re very grateful that this story unfolded the way that it did -- that none of these 24 boys lost their lives. This is a story of partnership, courageous action and compassion overcoming deplorable negligence,” said Army Brig. Gen. Vincent Brooks, Multinational Division Baghdad’s deputy commanding general.

“The role of the Iraqi soldiers and the community council was a key to this action being taken to save these young boys,” Brooks said. “We’re very fortunate to have the kind of soldiers we have who are willing to take action, even at personal risk, to save the lives of others. These soldiers in a literal and figurative sense are the best chance for Iraq, just as they were for these boys.”

(From a Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

Army Staff Sgt. Kyle Richey cares for one of 24 starving boys in the back of an Iraqi army ambulance. Civic leaders escorted the abused and malnourished boys, found by U.S. and Iraqi soldiers in a Baghdad orphanage, to the Iskan Hospital for medical treatment. Photo by Lt. James Cook, USN.

Source(s): www.DefenseLink.mil.
******************************

This is a miracle and a travesty. When they found these 24 boys aged 3-15, some of them were chained to their beds, there appeared to be no food because they clearly looked malnourished, yet in the next room (which was locked), there was plenty of food.

They also found the administrator and others who were supposed to be in charge of this orphanage. Some of the Iraqi Army troops went to get the correct people from town to help these boys, since most of them cannot even walk.

Allow me one question to the anti-Bush, pro-commie crowd: Would you have preferred we left the boys there to die? They are not the only children we have found. Do you remember the hundreds of children we released from Saddam's prisons? Civil rights my arse. You ought to be ashamed, but you would need an ounce of decency in you for that...

Aeromedical Teams Provide Care, Comfort

News from CentCom:

Aeromedical Teams Provide Care, Comfort.

21 Jun 07
By Staff Sgt. Cassandra Locke
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs.

SOUTHWEST ASIA — The 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron has not only made it possible for a speedier recovery by picking up injured and sick servicemembers, but is providing the care and comfort needed to put their patients at ease.

Each time a crew from the 379th flies on a mission to care for patients, they are humbled by those injured in theater.

"It's a privilege to honor and care for those men and women fighting this war and having the opportunity to tell them thank you," said Capt. Reah Downs, a 379th flight nurse deployed from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and a native of Bethany, Conn.

"This is the best job the Air Force has to offer," she added. As a flight nurse, Downs is responsible for supervising the medical technicians and making sure that the patients receive the care they need.

A team consisting of two flight nurses and three medical technicians, from the 379th, was on alert at their dormitories' while undergoing crew rest needed for an intra-theater mission in Iraq.

Upon alert, the crew secured their weapons, attended an intelligence briefing and then loaded more than 760 pounds of equipment; to include, cardiac monitors, defibrillators, intubation devices, and litters. Focused, they quickly and efficiently unloaded the equipment and supplies using patient litters, tested the equipment and meticulously organized the remaining supplies.

A Critical Care Air Transport Team accompanied the crew to help transport the more critical patients. The CCAT team is comprised of a doctor, critical care nurse and a respiratory technician all specialized in providing care to those patients with more severe injuries. Fortunately, during this mission only one battlefield patient needed CCATT level of care.

The 379th EAES flies on intra-theater missions three days a week and lands at various Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facilities within the area of operation. The CASFs are facilities located on the tarmac that hold the injured patients waiting to be evacuated. These missions are flown throughout the area to pick up those who can receive care within the area of operations versus being transported back to the states.

The crew began their mission at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and flew to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, where they transferred servicemembers from flightline ambulance onto the aircraft.

"My job is to make sure we bring our troops back home safely," said Senior Airman Mickisha Gordon, 379th EAES medical technician who is deployed from Pope Air Force Base. Gordon, a native of West Palm Beach, Fla., is responsible for assisting the flight nurses with patient care.

After picking the patients up at Al Asad, they went to Balad Air Base, Iraq, and dropped the patients off to receive care at their medical facility, while more patients were picked up to be sent to another base in Southwest Asia for further care.

"We provide the best quality medical care to wounded servicemembers while being transported from the AOR to a facility that provides more definitive treatment," said Staff Sgt. Christine Hill, 379th EAES medical technician deployed from Kadena Air Base, Japan and a native of Raliegh, N.C. Patients are typically delivered to Balad or Southwest Asia for care.

The wounded warriors expressed their appreciation for the 379th EAES coming to pick them up and providing the care they need.

"Air Force medics have taken such great care of me," said Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Pickering, 2nd Battalion, 7th infantry Regiment, who was being medically evacuated from Al Asad to a base in Southwest Asia. "They've made me feel comfortable throughout the process of my recovery."

The sergeant who is deployed from Fort Stewart, Ga., and a native of Miami Fla., said he is grateful for the Air Force aeromedical crew for assisting in his recovery so he can go back to Iraq with his fellow soldiers.

"I can't wait to get back with my guys," he said. "I appreciate all of the time, attention and care these airmen have given me," said Pickering.

The squadron is on a four-month cycle here and is considered "enablers", which means it deploys for four months, goes back to home station for four months and then returns to the area of operations for four months on a rotational basis. Since May, the 379th has moved more than 65 litter, 210 ambulatory, for a total of 266 patients and flown on more than 30 missions - providing care and returning warriors to the fight.

The Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard comprise about 87 percent of all aeromedical assets worldwide. They deploy for four months and then return home to civilian jobs. The active-duty aeromedical squadrons consists of 13 percent of the total number deployed and consists of the following units: 43rd AES at Pope Air Force Base; 86th AES at Ramstein Air Base, Germany; 18th AES at Kadena Air Base; and 375th AES, at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Photo - Capt. Rhea Downs cares for a wounded servicemember June 13 at Balad Air Base, Iraq. Downs is deployed from Pope Air Force Base, N.C., and is assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cassandra Locke.

Source: CENTCOM.
Cross-posted from DoD Daily News-2.

This is a mixture of emotions article, from heart-wretching to proud to grateful. It is heart-wretching for me to hear about even one of our men in pain, let alone murdered. But this is war, and I have to deal with it.

It makes me so proud when I hear stories about our injured men who, to them, the only problem is when can they have their 'gear' back and join their team! Gratitude comes from the knowledge that they are doing this for you and me. Maybe not directly, maybe we'll never meet face to face, maybe...but wow. They know this as well. I am truly humbled.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

So, ya wanna burn the American flag and get rid of my God?

Next time, anger someone who won't fight back.

H/t: Wizbang.

Update: Blackfive has a great post explaining about the Vikings who were not afraid of the Muslims either. Go check it out.

Fallon Visits Bayji Oil Refinery

25 Jun 07
Sgt. Joshua R. Ford
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

BAYJI, Iraq - Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, 25th Infantry Division commander, and other Iraqi and coalition leaders, June 11, 2007, at the Bayji Oil Refinery to discuss the future of the refinery.

Fallon expressed his concern with getting the Bayji Oil Refinery running at its maximum potential, which included proposed methods for the protection of the oil pipelines that run to other cities and neighboring countries.

During the meeting, a representative from the Army Corps of Engineers introduced a $16 million plan to re-design traffic flow throughout the refinery, making tankers and fuel trucks less vulnerable to insurgents extorting resources.

The plan also includes surveillance and lighting equipment in heavy traffic areas to increase security in the refinery.

The discussions went beyond the Bayji Oil Refinery’s problems and shifted to fixing other refineries in Iraq to maximize fuel efficiency in other provinces throughout the country.

The refinery in Haditha seemed to be one of Fallon’s main concerns. He wanted to know what the Ministry of Oil and the Bayji Oil Refinery could do to help the Anbar province see some of the same positive changes that Salah ad Din has seen with the Bayji Oil Refinery.

Bayji Oil Refinery representatives said that money is not the primary issue when it comes to repairing some of the problems at the oil refineries in Iraq. Contracting is the issue. It is hard for the Ministry of Oil to find contractors who will work on the different problems each refinery is experiencing.

Since the paratroopers with 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, have been working with the Bayji Oil Refinery, they have seen decreased prices of black market fuel throughout Salah ad Din province, a gas station inspection plan that makes sure various gas stations are accounting for the fuel they receive, and better fuel availability to the local population.

“We’ve done some polling throughout the area, and people of Iraq are actually getting drastically increased amounts of fuel now compared to what they were getting, say, four or five months ago,” said Capt. Kwenton Kuhlman, overseer of the Bayji Oil Refinery and Company B commander, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

“I think (Fallon) left with a positive assessment that those things (discussed) are possible and that we are working towards the way ahead on those issues,” said Kuhlman.

Photo - Adm. William Fallon, commander of U.S. Central Command, is greeted by Iraqi leaders, June 11, 2007, upon his arrival to the Bayji oil refinery in Bayji, Iraq.

SCOTUS rules, Right drools, Left moos

It's the only word that I could think of that rhymes, okay? Now let's move forward. The SCOTUS may have to go back and look at the way they ruled on the McCain/Feingold Incumbant Protection Act-er-Campaing Finance Reform Act.

They have ruled today on FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life (No. 06-969) and McCain v. Wisconsin Right to Life (No. 06-970). The outcome was finally correct. Most normal people may breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, the court has decided that it cannot take away our free speech rights. Especially during a campaign!

If you would like to read any of the decisions, you will find them here:
You can read the ACLJ amicus brief here.
You can read the Supreme Court decision here.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice specializes in constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C.
There is another case that was disclosed today. Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation (U.S. No. 06-157). This one is about some athiets trying stop the use Faith Based programs. You can read more here. You may also find related sources here:
ACLJ Pleased Supreme Court Loosens Limits on Election Advertising.

Reuters - Supreme Court: Taxpayers Can't Sue on Faith-Based Plan.

CNS News - Supreme Court Says No to Challenge of Federal Faith-Based Initiative.

ACLJ Represents Members of Congress in Asking Supreme Court to Uphold Constitutionality of Child Porn Law.

ChurchReport.com - A Supreme Court Vacancy Looming?

Full Issue Brief.
I am getting so fed up with the ignorance of the American people. THERE IS NO SEPERATE OF CHURCH AND STATE. Read your constitution if you don't believe me. Show me where you find those words! Besides, if it were so, why did they have prayers and Church inside the Congress? HMM? Oh, you did not know this? See, that's what I'm talking about. I am not saying people are stupid. I wouldn't do that. I am saying you are ignorant to the facts of history.

(Probably for the same reason I was/am. I was bored to tears by the teachers I got stuck with! But now we have no excuse. We are older.) After Psalm 96, read the 5th paragraph. You will find that our FIRST President and our FIRST congress recognized God Almighty. If, as they are trying to say now, we are to have no contact with our Maker, I dare say, how are we supposed to live? Like animals? I WILL NOT!

I'm quite sure there are many more souces (just look in our governmental archives), but I really must get going. I have much work to do over at DoD Daily News-2, DoD Daily News and Rosemary's Thoughts. I've decided to consolidate everything I write over at Rosemary's Thoughts. Plus, I am going to writing over there by myself and for myself. Since it's new, I can spill my guts and no one will notice. lol. Everyone have a nice day.

PS. Even the Left should be grateful, even though this ruling did not go their way. This ruling did go the way of Free Speech. At least for THAT we can agree.

Aviation Battalion Reaches 20,000 Flight Hours

21 Jun 07
By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert
1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs.

CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Unmanned aerial vehicle teams from 1st Air Cavalry Brigade (ACB) have amassed 20,000 flight hours in the skies over Baghdad.

The crews, assigned or attached to the 615th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) “Cold Steel,” 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division, surpassed the deployment total of the unit that previously had the mission in Multinational Division-Baghdad, according to Capt. Joshua Chase, executive officer for Company E, 615th ASB – the unit that conducts the UAV mission for MND-B.

Soldiers from Co. E’s headquarters section track the flight hours and perform administrative duties for attached aerial vehicle operators. The unit has had only five accidents in 20,000 flight hours that resulted in total loss of a UAV, compared to 14 for the previous unit in about 16,000 flight hours, Chase said.

In all five cases, the accidents were caused by mechanical failure in which the vehicles had reached the expected end of their use cycle, said Staff Sgt. Jaime Gomez, Production Control noncommissioned officer in charge for Co. E and a native of El Paso, Texas.

“We pride ourselves on our safety record,” Gomez said. “On the maintenance side, if we fail, that reflects on our section.”

“The success rate as far as safety is the biggest compliment to how we do business,” Chase said. “We are rewriting the book as far as how this system should operate.”

The maintenance crew keeps the UAVs fit to fly – and also has been successful in keeping them in the air.

The Production Control section conducts scheduled maintenance on the UAVs at different levels of flight hours including external inspections at 12 and 24 hours and replacing the engine at 236 hours, according to Gomez.

“I think that since we have aviation experience that comes into play,” Gomez said. “It helps a lot that we are skillful in a lot of what we have to work around to ensure that the (UAVs) don’t have a lot of down time.”

The operators keep up a steady pace of launching and recovering the UAVs and performing pre- and post flight checks, said Sgt. Joshua Chambers, an air vehicle operator from 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, who calls Tucson, Ariz., home.

“You’ve got to continue to improve or you’re not doing your part,” Chambers said. “We have shown that we are progressing. I think we’ve raised the measuring stick for the unit that follows us.”

While they have reached an impressive milestone, the Soldiers from Co. E aren’t focusing too much on what they have accomplished in the past, but instead on the mission in front of them.

“It’s amazing, but I didn’t really think much about how many hours we had flown,” said Sgt. Jon Rodningen, a maintainer from 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division and native of Omaha, Neb. “I just try to take care of the birds that are flying today.”

Photo - U.S. Army Sgt. Jon Rodningen, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) maintainer for Company E, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducts a preflight inspection of a UAV, June 18, 2007, at Taji, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert.

Source: Defend America.
******************************

Boy, I'll tell ya. If these guys ever stop being competitive, I think it shall be my duty to drop dead! lol. What is the competiton? You'll just have to read the article to find out! Needless to say, these guys are awesome.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

Iraqi, Coalition forces move forward despite attacks

News from CentCom:

******************************
21 Jun 07
by Spc. Carl N. Hudson
Combined Press Information Center.

BAGHDAD – The Fardh Al-Qanoon spokesman and a Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman held a press conference at the Combined Press Information Center Wednesday. Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Qassim Atta Al-Moussawi, Fardh Al-Qanoon spokesman, and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark Fox, a Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, discussed the progress of Fardh Al-Qanoon.

“Our military operations are still ongoing in many places in Baghdad to pursue the terrorists,” said Al-Moussawi. “Terrorist attacks will not make us stop our operations in Baghdad, and we’ll move forward with steady steps.”

Al-Moussawi addressed the progress made by the Iraqi Army in the past week.

“We’ve killed 32 terrorists, detained 170 others, freed five kidnapped (victims), defused eight improvised explosive devices and 17 car bombs, found 2,000 different kinds of weapons and seized eight tons of TNT,” said Al-Moussawi.

With the Iraqi Army in the lead, Iraqi locals continue to provide information in response to attacks made by terrorists.

Fox also explained the ongoing security efforts.

“All of the additional requested forces for the ‘surge’ are now in place and are simultaneously conducting coordinated core-level offensive operations throughout Iraq,” said Fox. “Coalition forces are strong and focused and are concentrating our effort and might against the extremists, taking the fight to where they are, going after the terrorists to deny them sanctuary and taking back neighborhoods in order to build a secure future for the Iraqi people.”

“Iraqi and Coalition forces are conducting carefully planned and executed operations, demonstrating their resolve to deny terrorists safe havens,” he said. “We’ll continue to pursue these terrorists wherever they go by attacking their networks and damaging their ability to wage horrific and calculated violence against the citizens of Iraq.”

Al-Moussawi and Fox also expressed their sympathies to the killed and injured from the al-Khalani mosque bombing in Rusafa, Iraq.

“We share the outrage of the Iraqi people against this despicable attack,” said Fox.

“We face a summer of hard fighting,” he said. “I’m confident there’s good prospects for continued progress in the months ahead and that can be matched by progress in the political and economic areas here in Iraq giving us hope for the way ahead.”

(U.S. Army story by Spc. Carl N. Hudson, Combined Press Information Center)

In other developments throughout Iraq:

Task Force Lightning Soldiers continued offensive operations in and around the capital of Diyala province Wednesday, maintaining the pressure on al-Qaida operatives in the area.

In an attempt to rescue severely injured Iraqi police forces, Iraqi Security Forces battled extremists,killed more than three, and detained 45 in An-Nasiriyah, Southern Iraq, Monday and Tuesday.

Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Qassim Atta Al-Moussawi (right), Fardh Al-Qanoon spokesman, and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mark Fox, a Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, discuss the progress of Fardh Al-Qanoon at the Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad Wednesday. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Emily J. Greene, Combined Press Information Center.
******************************

All 30,000 troops are finally in place, and the Iraqi Army (IA) is working well with them. Sometimes the IA would take the lead in the missions, while at other times the MNF-I would take the lead.

This was a conference to let the people know that no matter what they were hearing in the press, they were indeed working hand in hand. Literally! It's a good report. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Source: MNF-I.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Subject: JUST SUPPOSE...

This was passed along to me by Gregg from Pundit Review. I think it is as hilarious as it is eerily scary. Have fun.
JUST SUPPOSE that at every ball game, graduation, prom, etc, someone who has had enough of stupid, anti historical court decisions had the guts to start reciting the Lord's Prayer loudly, and others joined in, then more, until hundreds participated.

And just suppose this spread all over our land until this became standard practice in hundreds of schools, then thousands, then tens of thousands.

Just what would local school boards do? Expel half the student body? (They need their jobs and federal funding far too much to do that.) What would a Federal district court do? Order hundreds of nonviolent, decent minors jailed? Or thousands?

Just what would the Supreme Court do about it - issue more edicts?

What if millions decided the Supreme Court was out of its league and said, "So what?"

Just suppose hundreds of brave school board members, local judges, prosecutors, and others, each in their own area of authority, refused to intervene, realizing that we have already tried it the other way, and the result was a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah of immorality and senseless violence.

Just suppose this then spread next into classroom after classroom, And either a brave student or a brave teacher started the Lord's Prayer (or Psalm 100, or a Bible reading, etc.) each morning, until hundreds of thousands stood up and did their part and stopped cowering before the destructive, God-hating secular attitudes of the pagan minority who parrot the media line.

Just suppose every God-fearing Christian participated peacefully, nonviolently, but firmly and continually. Where would they get enough jails to hold us all? How would they prosecute hundreds of thousands?

It is far more than the government can do to even stop the flow of illegal drugs, despite their best efforts, and overcrowded jails.

What if hundreds of thousands stood up to the tyranny of the minority and demanded their freedom of religion back? They can't build enough jails or courts to begin to deal with such a movement.

During the Civil Rights battles of the 60's, some of the black people decided they had had enough and stood up to the system. A few dozen here, a few hundred there, and eventually the whole country heard, and repented, and changed. Racial repression was an evil whose time was over.

But now, there is another battle and the stakes are even higher. The future of all children, white, black, and otherwise, is at stake. No other country on earth allows a tiny minority of impractical anti-religious bigots to censor their people's right to free religious expression. Even Russian public schools show videos of the life and teachings of Jesus now.

We tend to get exactly the kind of government we deserve.

If you make a time line or a graph, you will see that the exponential increase in public school violence, pregnancy, and foul language all started at exactly the time the Supreme Court threw prayer and Bible reading out of the schools. We told God we didn't need Him, and the results speak for themselves.

Just suppose hundreds of Christians passed this message on to all their friends, leaders and contacts.

Just suppose hundreds of churches, organizations and ministries passed this message on to their constituencies with a request to reprint, repost and repeat it wherever possible.

Just suppose you are a lighthouse. Once upon a time the Church was the moral conscience and spiritual lighthouse of the nation. Now, most congregations are impotent, pusillanimous minor-league social welfare agencies or mutual comfort societies with no impact on the world around their little enclave.

Just suppose you don't know what you should do.

Just suppose that you take action, pass this on, or just simply read it and YOU DO NOTHING.
Ah, that is the question, isn't it?

Daily Quote 6/18-22/2007

Monday, June 18, 2007.
"In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections."
--John Adams (Inaugural Address, March 1797); Reference: Inaugural Addresses of the residents of the United States.

Tue. 6/19/07.
"The state governments have a full superintendence and control over the immense mass of local interests of their respective states, which connect themselves with the feelings, the affections, the municipal institutions, and the internal arrangements of the whole population. They possess, too, the immediate administration of justice in all cases, civil and criminal, which concern the property, personal rights, and peaceful pursuits of their own citizens."
--Joseph Story (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833); Reference: Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 191.

Wed. 6/20/07.
"Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament & its best Security." [emphasis added, mine.]
--Samuel Adams (letter to Thomas Wells, 22 November 1780); Reference: The Writing of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, ed., vol. 4 (225).

Thu. 6/21/07.
"In our progress toward political happiness my station is new; and if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which. may not hereafter be drawn into precedent."
--George Washington (letter to Catherine MacAulay, 9 January 1790); Reference: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (537).

Fri. 6/22/07.
"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments."
--Benjamin Rush (On the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic, 1806); Reference: Original Intent, Barton (153); original Essays, Literary, Moral and Philosohpical, Rush (8).

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