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Archive for the ‘good works’ Category

Source: CJTF-HOA and CentCom.

by MC1 Mary Popejoy
CJTF-HOA
.

DJIBOUTI, Horn of Africa (Jan. 09, 2008) — Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa personnel took time out of their busy schedules to donate school supplies and clothing to Horsed Private School of English, Jan. 7. The 35 boxes of supplies were sent by Living Waters Foursquare Church in Mooresville, N.C., to Army Staff Sgt. Rex Hipp, 1132nd Engineering Detachment well drilling team. Hipp is a member of the church’s congregation who is currently wrapping up a one-year deployment in Djibouti.

The boxes were filled with backpacks, books, pencils, paper, shoes and clothes. “The 75 church members raised $1,500 so they could buy school supplies and clothing that would benefit the children of Djibouti,” Hipp said. Having his church make such a thoughtful gesture allows the 1132nd well drillers to make one last impact before they return to Mooresville this month.

“For the past year, when we’ve drilled and repaired wells we’ve given out flip flops and school supplies to villages near some of our well sites as another way to help the Djibouti people,” Hipp said. “Now that we’re wrapping up our deployment, it was nice to coordinate with the CJTF-HOA Chaplain’s office and the school director to donate items that will improve the students’ quality of life in a big way,” Hipp said.

Marine Sgt. Derico Cooper, CJ-6 Tactical Networking, was on hand to deliver the supplies and see firsthand just how grateful the school staff was for the gifts. “Their standard of living and educational facilities are far different than what we have in the states, so anything we can do to help them out is greatly appreciated,” Cooper said.

Hassan Mahamed, a teacher at Horsed Private School of English, said he appreciates donations from American friends. “We appreciate everything the U.S. military does for us, because a lot of the families cannot afford to buy these items, which prevents students from having the proper items for school,” Mahamed said. “It’s nice to know that their friends stateside wanted to do something nice for our students here.”

Wayne George, chief religious programs specialist, CJTF-HOA Religious Ministries Department, said donations like these represent the true spirit of America and what it truly means to do something nice for people they’ll never meet. “I have observed thousands of charitable items donated by caring Americans who expect nothing in return,” George said. “They have done it in silence without expectations of recognition because it’s not about the cost, but the smiles it will bring to the faces of the children half a world away.”

Army Staff Sgt. Lisa Dumire, 1133rd Engineering Detachment well drilling team operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge, receives a box from Hassan Mahamed, Horsed Private School of English teacher, while unloading boxes of school supplies that were donated by Living Waters Foursquare Church in Mooresville, N.C. The congregation of Living Waters sent the boxes to Army Staff Sgt. Rex Hipp, 1132nd Engineering Detachment well drilling team, who is a member of their congregation.
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So the Democrats say they want to see more visible effort on Iraqi government and her people before they will pay our men and women for the work we sent them there to do? Well, check this out:

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – The number of Iraqi-led reconciliation efforts swelled over the past two weeks across Multi-National Division – Center as local Iraqi leaders seek to capitalize on an improved security situation by developing the institutions that will enable long-term stability.

With Coalition Forces and Iraqi Concerned Local Citizens working increasingly in tandem with the Iraqi Police and Army to solidify security relationships, a window has opened for local leadership to push forward business development and infrastructure repair and forge political relationships across sects and neighborhoods.

On Nov. 26, Khalif Haloos of the Sadr al Yusifiyah Nahia Governance Council hosted more than 500 sheiks from Sunni, Shi’a and Kurdish tribes. Also in attendance were Coalition Forces from the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), who were the invited guests of the Iraqis who organized the meeting. Security for this meeting, the largest of several important reconciliation gatherings in MND-C in recent days, was provided by the Iraqi Security Forces.

“This meeting was an example of Sunnis and Shias working together,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, commander of 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div (AASLT). “The ISF took the lead in providing security for the meeting, and we had representation from all the key players in that area. That dynamic, coming from the local level, could be an example for the national government.”

The sheiks discussed reconciliation issues, from the return of displaced families, to a pact that would allow Iraqis of all sects to travel freely through the sheiks’ territory without fear of sectarian reprisal. They also discussed restraining Iranian influence, suppressing the remaining insurgents in their territory, and ways to integrate their activities with Iraq’s central government.

On Nov. 27 [2007] at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, leaders of the Iraqi Army and Police met with elected officials and Coalition commanders to discuss security cooperation and coordination in Babil province.

Col. Michael Garret, commander of the outgoing 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, used the occasion to say goodbye to the Iraqi leaders with whom he had worked for more than a year. Working to build on those relationships now is Col. Thomas James, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

Although it’s early in James’ deployment, his brigade has seen many examples of local leaders taking steps to improve their community through Sunni and Shia cooperation, specifically from the Sunni sheik and the police chief in Musayyib. Both will tell you that they are Iraqis first, not Sunni or Shia, and only want what’s good for their country and citizens, James said.

Another meeting was held Dec. 1 on the other side of MND-C at Forward Operating Base Hammer, east of Baghdad. Iraqi civic and tribal leaders in attendance offered frank assessments of their needs and asked U.S. and Iraqi officials for continued support with stabilization efforts.

Col. Wayne Grigsby, commander of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said after the meeting, “I’ve spent 35 months of my life in Iraq, and this is the best I’ve ever seen it.” He noted, however, that there remain opportunities to synchronize U.S. and Iraqi efforts.

Part of that direction involves parlaying improved security and cooperation among the different parties to build a stepped-up reconstruction program. Similar to the reconciliation conferences that took place, the reconstruction effort is manifesting itself across MND-C as community development projects.

On Nov. 28, the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, 3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div. opened a new medical clinic in Narwhan after the project was approved by Iraq’s Ministry of Health. As a signal of its commitment to the initiative, the ministry hired three doctors to work at the facility, two of whom are female.

The following day, the 1-10th FA conducted a school bag and bottled-water drop in Sabah Nisan. School children there received 180 school bags and 3,500 cases of water, distributed by the Concerned Local Citizens.

On Nov. 26, the Al-Wehda Nahia council celebrated with Iraqi and Coalition Forces the completion of a well system in al Sadiq. The system includes water pumps, storage tanks, a generator and quarters for a caretaker. The project was a joint effort by local Iraqis and Coalition Forces.

Finally, on Nov. 28, Iraqis celebrated the graduation of a class of small businessmen from an entrepreneur training program in the Mada’in Qada. The program helps develop business skills and planning among local business owners and then provides them with micro-grants to revitalize their businesses. As part of the program, U.S. military and civilian officials assess the proposals of the Iraqi graduates and award grants of up to $10,000 to eligible candidates.

Now I want you to go to your phones and dial toll free at 1-866-340-9281, and tell the Democrats to PAY OUR MEN AND WOMEN! They wanted evidence? Here it is. To continue to ignore this fact, is to ignore any and all facts they with which they disagree politically. This is outrageous, and it should not be allowed to stand. Write about it, talk about it on the radio programs, do whatever you can. Our men and women did not ask to be deployed by the same people who are now refusing to pay them so that they can make political points back home. They really, REALLY, need to stop. Thank you.

Source: CentCom News Release.

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    Source: US CentCom.

    24 Sept 07
    By Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente
    CJTF-HOA Public Affairs
    .

    NAGAD, Djibouti – Marines assigned to 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion and Heavy Marine Helicopter 464 out of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, participated in a community relations project by painting a schoolhouse in Nagad Sept. 20. Reaching out to villages is a supplemental mission for the 3rd LAAD, the security force of Camp Lemonier.

    “Our purpose here is to build relationships in the area as well as maintain and enhance security of the base,” said Marine Capt. Christopher F. Crim, 3rd LAAD Battery B commanding officer. “Marines have a long history of working with locals to accomplish the mission. We will help the local villages help themselves, provide security for the base and assist the Djiboutian police and military to maintain stability in the local area.”

    Daoud Zeid Hassan, Arta School Region supervisor, stopped by the schoolhouse while the Marines were there. Hassan supervises seven primary schools and one secondary school.

    “There is a strong friendship with the Marines,” said Hassan. “They help us a great deal with the schools. We feel they help where we can’t finish.”

    The Marines visit the schools frequently to see what assistance they can provide, whether it’s painting walls or building additions.

    “It’s great to be able to conduct goodwill missions, like painting the Nagad School, and to build friendships with the villagers and leaders in the local area,” Crim said.

    The Marines of 3rd LAAD replaced the 6th Provisional Security Company Sept. 16 and are working to see what assistance the villages require.

    “We are currently in the process of identifying the needs of the villages near Camp Lemonier,” said Crim. “Then we will make an assessment in coordination with other agencies on the camp to develop a plan of action.”

    The efforts of the Marines are also appreciated by those who benefit most directly.

    “Americans are very good,” said Daoud Omar Gousieh, a Nagad native. “They have been here for seven years, and they always give.”

    The mission of more than 250 Marines assigned to 3rd LAAD is to provide perimeter and external security for Camp Lemonier in support of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa mission to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interest in order to prevail against extremism.

    Photo – Marine Gunnery Sgt. Rongalett D. Green and Marine Cpl. Vincent C. Girardi help a Nagad child paint the schoolhouse for 150 children. Green is the administrative chief and coordinator for the Horn of Africa Marine Corps Coordination Element. Green is deployed from Quantico, Va., and her father lives in Sacramento, Calif. Girardi is a guard for the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente.

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    Source: US CentCom.

    18 Sept 2007
    By Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp
    1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
    .

    FALAHAT, Iraq – Soldiers from “Dagger” Troop D, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division joined with members of the brigade’s Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team and Company A, 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion to assist local tribal sheiks and villagers with several construction projects, Sept. 16.

    Working side by side, villagers and Soldiers moved construction supplies to include wheel barrows, shovels and wood among other building materials from a truck provided by Dagger Troop that transported the materials to a site where a store is being built. Additionally, the troops delivered a brand new generator to be used once the store is completed.

    Dagger Troop coordinated the effort that will donate the store to a local family that has no source of income due to the sole breadwinner being disabled. Building supplies delivered to the site will also be used to build a house for a Falahat family, currently living in a mud hut, and to repair a second house in the village that was damaged during an insurgent attack nearly five months ago.

    “We’re glad to see that security has improved enough to where we can begin reconstruction here and it’s especially important to do this during Ramadan because it ties in well with the Islamic principle of Zakarat which means charity,” said Capt. Martin Wohlgemuth, Dagger Troop commander and a native of Anchorage, Alaska. “All of the families we’re helping are poor so it makes this just that much more special.”

    “It’s helping us to build better collaboration and improve our relations with the locals here,” said 1st Lt. Mike Blake, a platoon leader in Dagger Troop and a native of Baltimore. “We’ve gotten to know the people extremely well and they trust us. During events like this, the whole community comes together to help each other and they treat us just like we’re part of their community.”

    A few days prior to this particular event, Soldiers from Dagger Troop had already transported 4,000 bricks and 26 tons of mortar to the building site.

    A local Iraqi contractor is providing the labor and overseeing the building projects.

    The Ironhorse EPRT paid for the building supplies with quick reaction funds from the U.S. State Department which are funds the department sets aside for non-profit organizations, businesses and for special construction projects such as those in Falahat.

    “It’s all about facilitating Iraqi efforts to promote accelerated social and economic development,” said Maj. David Parker, an EPRT transition officer and a native of Savannah, Ga., explaining the purpose of the funds.

    “This is a great opportunity to help them rebuild their own country and see them take pride in ownership,” said Maj. Jesse Larson, Ironhorse EPRT civil affairs officer, who hails from Kansas City, Kan. “Eventually as the security situation continues improving, the Iraqi government will step up and be taking over these types of projects.”

    After all the supplies had been delivered to the site, the Iraqi contractor began working with laborers, who he hired to work on the project, to create a foundation for the store. They dug trenches in which to emplace bricks for the walls of the structure and set several of the bricks in place.

    According to Wohlgemuth, it should only take about five to seven days for the contractor to complete the store with the construction and repairs on the two houses to be completed over a period of several weeks.

    Recent successful reconciliation efforts in the area have helped to accelerate projects in the village and Soldiers said they have been amazed by the village’s transformation.

    “There’s been a very dramatic change, it’s been four months since we’ve had a major attack, and we used to be attacked nearly everyday,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lien, an acting platoon sergeant in Dagger Troop who hails from Whitewater, Wis. “We’ve worked closely with local tribal sheiks and the (Iraqi security volunteers) to kick out insurgents and the difference has been like night and day.”

    “It’s pretty fantastic to see that the people here are showing their support for reconciliation efforts in the area, and this has been an incredible success when you compare it with how things were before,” said Pfc. Warren Griffen, a Dagger troop forward observer and a native of Rochester, N.Y.

    So far, the combined efforts of Dagger troops working with the Iraqi security volunteers have led to the finding of many improvised explosive devices, weapons caches and the detaining of several Al Qaeda in Iraq fighters greatly improving the security situation, said Blake.

    Future projects for the village, said Wohlgemuth include the refurbishing of schools, the fixing of water lines and the pursuit of more projects, similar to the construction effort, that will put the villagers back to work.

    Photo – Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lien, left, an acting platoon sergeant, and Staff Sgt. Kevin Sartor, center, a forward observer, both from Dagger Troop, 1st Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regt., offload building supplies with the help of a local Iraqi man in Falahat, Iraq, Sept. 16, as part of a humanitarian effort to rebuild the socio-economic infrastructure of the village. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jon Cupp.

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    I posted these yesterday, which means I am late to the gate. I still have about 10-15 more articles to post. I would, however, like you take a look at these in the time being:

    Troops in Afghanistan Hold 9/11 Memorial Ceremony.
    Combat engineers put skills to test.
    Americans mentor Afghans training Afghans.

    It takes me a while because I read each article I receive from CentCom. A friend of mine, Red Hunter, gave me another cool site to check out for some more good war coverage.

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    Sept 07
    By Spc. Ben Hutto
    3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

    FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Amid various media reports of water shortages in Baghdad, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Heavy) continues to help the residents of the Mada’in Qada find short- and long-term solutions to insurgent-created water distribution problems. Soldiers from the Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Heavy), performed an assessment of the Al Bawi pump station, outside Salman Pak, Sept. 4, 2007.

    Holland, Ohio, native Lt. Col. Todd R. Ratliff, 42, Brigade Special Troops Battalion commander, inspected the building, the pumps and the generators at the facility. “This was an assessment to verify information we were getting from the Qada Council,” he explained.

    The Mada’in Qada Council is working to rebuild the pump station damaged in an attack by Sunni insurgents, March 17, 2007. The insurgents targeted the station in an attempt to deny irrigation and drinking water to the Shia population in the towns of Nahrwan, Wahida and Jisr Diyala.

    Maj. James Carlisle, 42, from Palm Beach, Fla., chief of Civil Military Operations, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said he is pleased with the progress of the station. “The Iraqi government continues to install more pumps and increase water capacity,” he said. “The progress we see exceeds Coalition forces’ expectations.”

    At the station, workers are trying to overcome power issues that prevent the station from running effectively, explained one of the site workers through an interpreter. The station has five generators. Only two of them are currently working. “The power grid is not reliable,” said Ratliff. “They need a new electrical system out there. You could see wires hanging everywhere.”

    Ratliff sees some signs of progress. “They are doing okay with what they have,” he said. “What we will do now is go back and review what we have and see what we can do to help.”

    Photo – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Todd R. Ratliff, 42, commander Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Heavy), 3rd Infantry Division, talks with workers at the Al Bawi pump station, outside Salman Pak, Sept 4, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ben Hutto.

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    23 Aug 07
    by Master Sgt. Dwayne Gordon
    407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
    .

    ALI BASE, Iraq (AFPN) – Approximately 80 Iraqis from the city of An Nasiriyah interacted for the first time with Airmen and Soldiers at the Ziggurat historical monument Aug. 21 at Ali Base.

    It has been more than 10 years since any Iraqi native has been allowed to visit the Ziggurat of Ur, which is the most dominant landmark on Ali Base, because during the reign of Suddam Hussein the installation was used by the Iraqi army.

    The Ziggurat was constructed more than 4,000 years ago by worshipers of the moon god Nanna living near the ancient city of Ur. Rising more than 70 feet above the ground, it is one of the best preserved structures of its type in the world. The life of the Ziggurat is closely tied with the city of Ur itself. Passages in the Bible’s Book of Genesis describe Ur as the starting point of the migration westward to Palestine for the family of Abraham around 1,900 B.C. Ali Base is said to exist alongside the ancient city of Ur.

    After processing through base security, two bus loads of Iraqi families arrived at the Ziggurat greeted by more than 100 Airmen and Soldiers. The families were then led to the top of the Ziggurat where, Sheik Mohammad, the spiritual leader of the group, gathered the families together and while holding the Iraqi flag, they began to sing an Iraqi song. After the song, Sheik Mohammad spoke to the American servicemembers about how long it has been since any Iraqi was able to visit the site and how they respect anyone who respects them and their historical sites.

    “Events like this help the Iraqi people have a positive outlook on Americans,” said Airman 1st Class Robin Lumm, a 407th Expeditionary Communications Squadron small-computer technician who helped coordinated the event. She is deployed here from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and a member of the 407th Air Expeditionary Group First Four organization who took on the task of planning and coordinating the visit by the Iraqi families.

    With orphaned children from Ur making up most of the visiting group, the First Four organization decided to donate items for the children. Items such as stuffed animals, toys, soccer balls, school supplies and candy were collected, and after down from the Ziggurat the children were led to a tent filled with the donations. Each child was able to come away with a few items.

    “Events like this improve relations between us and the Iraqi people,” said Staff Sgt. Tracey Cowan, a 407th AEG information manager deployed here from Moody AFB, Ga.

    Afterward, an impromptu game of soccer was started with teams mixed with American servicemembers and Iraqi children.

    “The initial idea came from an Iraqi contractor who works on the installation,” said Senior Master Sgt. Gary Hillman, the 407 Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron first sergeant. “He contacted security forces to see if a visit would be possible. He said he receives a lot of questions from the kids in the city about the American troops and thought it would be great if they could see and interact with them.”

    To cool off from the heat, the visit ended with a water fight as Iraqi children doused their American hosts, and then it quickly turned into a battle — a different kind of battle than the one being fought throughout the country, as this was a friendly battle between new friends.

    Photo – Airmen, Soldiers and local Iraqi citizens play soccer during an Aug. 21 visit by 80 Iraqi citizens to the historical Ziggurat located on Ali Air Base, Iraq. The Ali AB First Four Council sponsored the visit. This is the first time in more than 10 years that Iraqi civilians have been allowed to step on the grounds of the historical site, which was built in the ancient city of Ur and includes the house of the biblical prophet Abraham. U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Robert W. Valenca.

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    21 Aug 07
    by Staff Sgt. Les Waters
    376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
    .

    MANAS AIR BASE, Kyrgyzstan (AFPN) – Members of the 376th Expeditionary Medical Group recently saw their efforts come to fruition during a hand-over ceremony of humanitarian medical equipment from the United States to three hospitals in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, as part of Operation Provide Hope.

    The largest single U.S.-assistance project for Kyrgyzstan since its independence, Operation Provide Hope is a humanitarian medical program coordinated by the State Department and supported by the Department of Defense and private donors.

    This summer, the 376th EMDG worked closely with the State Department to inventory, inspect, install and train on millions of dollars of medical equipment to improve medical capability in three local hospitals. Bishkek City Hospital No. 4 (Center for Scientific Research), Bishkek City Hospital No. 1 and the National Center of Oncology were selected by the State Department to receive the equipment.

    “It was a great pleasure to work with the U.S. Department of State and support the Operation Provide Hope hospital upgrade mission to the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Col. David Hocking, 376th EMDG commander.

    The hope is that the upgraded equipment will translate into enhanced medical care for patients.

    “It was like you are taking a good thing and making it better,” said Maj. Stephanie Gardner, 376th EMDG nurse anesthetist. “The care that is given in the hospitals is excellent, and the hope is that the equipment will make things easier to provide even better care. I feel like I helped them to ease the workload so they can concentrate on continuing to give excellent care.”

    The ceremony was held at the National Center of Oncology, one of the locations Major Gardner helped install equipment and train people. “I had a hand in training the medical staff and setting up … I guess I felt like a proud parent because the equipment was all set up and the hospital looked really nice,” said Major Gardner. Part of the training the base medical staff provided included reviewing and highlighting equipment-operating manuals for translation, as well as assisting at all the locations that received equipment. It is training that is ongoing.

    “We will continue to provide assistance and on-going training as much as the mission permits,” said Maj. Melissa Rokey, 376th EMDG administrator and project officer for this operation. “This ongoing assistance will hopefully further develop the relationship between our staff and the local hospital staff. This relationship is extremely important in many ways, to include our continual awareness of their ability to help support us in case of any contingency. It is our hope that we can continue giving something back to the community and their medical staff.”

    Colonel Hocking said that the assistance translates on a larger scale the relationship between the two countries. “The critical support provided by our team ensured the overall success of this operation and demonstrated to the Kyrgyz people we’re a deeply compassionate nation as well,” Colonel Hocking said.

    It was a team effort beyond the medical group. None of this would have been possible without the C-17 Globemaster IIIs bringing in the pallets and then maintainers and logistics Airman unloading it onto other vehicles. Security forces also arranged base entry for vehicles to take the equipment downtown.

    “I can’t tell you how proud I am of the efforts … from unpacking boxes, to installing the equipment, to training, our team performed flawlessly and still never missed a beat in our primary mission at Manas AB,” said Colonel Hocking. Humanitarian assistance through Operation Provide Hope totals approximately $42.3 million over the past three years. The project was coordinated with the government of Kyrgyzstan, including the executive administration of the prime minister and the Ministry of Health.

    Photo – Maj. Stephanie Gardner provides training to Chinara Djanaera, an operating nurse from the National Center of Oncology, following the hand-over ceremony of humanitarian medial equipment from the 376th Expeditonary Medical Group to three hospitals in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Col. David Hocking, 376th EMDG commander, and two other nurses observe the training. The National Center of Oncology was one of three hospitals to receive the medical equipment. Major Gardner is a nurse anesthetist with the 376th EMDG. U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Les Waters.

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    21 Aug 07
    By Staff Sgt. Kenya Shiloh
    Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Public Affairs
    .

    DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti – Members of the 350th Civil Affairs Command Special Functions Team donated eight pallets of excess medical supplies valued at $800,000 to the Pelltia Hospital in Djibouti, July 25.

    Items such as pajamas, oxygen masks, sheets, gauze bandages, knee braces, surgical instruments and humidifiers were flown in from warehouses in Qatar and Bahrain to be delivered to the hospital. From there, the supplies will be dispersed to hospitals and clinics throughout the region.

    “The pallets are excess medical property and if we don’t accept it, it’s literally just buried in the sand and it all goes to waste,” said Army Lt. Col. Alana Conley, 350th medical team chief. “Basically every clinic and hospital in Djibouti and throughout the Horn of Africa can use medical supplies. Items that are usually expendable to us, they’re reusing. The supplies will be used to improve patient care overall.”

    Dr. Christian Oman Glele, acting chief of staff was on-hand to accept the property once it was offloaded from the trucks with the help of people in the local community. “Thank you a lot for the medical supplies,” said Glele. “Offloading the material is a big job, but now patients have access to good equipment which is very beneficial for the hospital.”

    Other civil affairs teams throughout the Horn of Africa also received medical supplies to distribute to hospitals and clinics in their respective countries. “Everywhere we’ve been, every hospital and clinic we’ve looked at, didn’t have enough supplies,” said Air Force Maj. Pauline Lucas, 350th public health officer. “Some hospitals even rewash bandages. We know that with this property, we could do more for them. We went to look at their supply warehouse and it was bare. When we looked at it, we were like wow, we have all these excess items; we can fulfill their need.”

    In the future, the 350th Civil Affairs Command Special Functions Team plans to send first aid shelter kits to field hospitals in Garrissa and Bal Bala, Kenya, as well as clinics throughout Tanzania and Djibouti. Dr. Madian Said, the Pelltia Hospital’s chief of staff who also runs medical caravans throughout the country, will use some of the first aid shelter kits to help fight cholera outbreaks in the region.

    Photo – U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jeffrey Swain, and Air Force Maj. Pauline Lucas, 350th Civil Affairs Command Special Functions Team, offload medical supplies at the Pelltia Hospital in Djibouti with the help of local residents. More than eight pallets of supplies and equipment valued at $800,000 were donated to the hospital, July 25. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kenya Shiloh.

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    13 Aug 07
    By Multi-National Division – Baghdad
    Public Affairs Office
    .

    CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Multi-National Division – Baghdad soldiers rescued a 2-year-old Iraqi boy from a dry well in which he fell Aug. 9.

    Soldiers with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division responded to the pleas for assistance from the father of a boy who had fallen into a dry well near the family’s residence.

    The company commander, Capt. David Powell of Newport Beach, Calif., was about to begin a scheduled security patrol when the boy’s father approached the gate of his Coalition outpost on foot. Using an interpreter, Powell quickly assessed the situation and sent the patrol to assist with the recovery of the child.

    The father directed the soldiers to the location of the well and Powell used his flashlight to find the child at the bottom. “I could see that the baby had fallen some 25 feet and was lying at the bottom of the well,” Powell said. “He appeared to be breathing, but would not answer to our calls.”

    Using a back hoe from the outpost, the patrol began a slow and meticulous process of digging a parallel shaft to the dry well, then tunneling to the well horizontally, being careful not to cause the well to cave in. “The back hoe made quick work of the rescue shaft just to the south of the well. Then the real digging began,” said Powell. Because of the instability of soil, a fear of a cave-in and desire to not risk any of his soldiers, Powell selected himself and Staff Sgt. Raul Torres, a native of San Venito, Texas, to dig the horizontal shaft to the well.

    Using an entrenching tool, a flat-head screwdriver, rebar and other primitive farming tools, Powell and Torres went to work. After several hours of digging, a faint crying was heard from the boy. “He sounded scared, but OK,” said Powell. “I don’t think I have ever heard a more beautiful sound.”

    After five hours of digging the horizontal shaft reached the well. The well was basin shaped at the bottom, making the boy very difficult to locate. After several attempts to reach for the boy, Powell was able to pull the boy to safety.

    Coalition medics on the scene quickly assessed the boy, finding no serious injuries. The child was then returned to his mother and father, who were thankful for the assistance. The patrol then filled in the hole they dug, and returned to their outpost.

    The following day, Powell visited the family’s residence with a medic to ensure the child was not having any medical issues from the fall. The medic determined the child was in perfect health. “In my 18 years in the Army,” Powell said, “this is, by far, the greatest thing I have ever done.”

    Photo – Capt. David Powell from Newport Beach, Calif., holds the 2-year-old Iraqi boy the day after he rescued him. The boy fell into a dry well Aug. 9. U.S. Army photo.

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    10 Aug 07
    by 1st Lt. Shannon Collins
    332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
    .

    BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) – Approximately 150 base volunteers and 380 Airmen with the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group moved patients and equipment as they closed the doors on the old Air Force Theater Hospital and opened the doors to their pre-engineered facility here Aug. 3.

    Starting at 4 a.m., Airmen in each tent tunnel section began moving patients and equipment. Throughout the past two months, a transition team, along with the help of volunteers, set up the upgraded facility. They pre-positioned as much equipment and supplies as they could to make the transition easier for the patients and medical staff.

    Thousands of patients, ranging from American military members to Iraqi freedom fighters and civilians, have been treated at the hospital — the last Air Force military Level 3 trauma tent hospital in the theater. The staff performs more than 2,000 surgical procedures a month.

    “We have an outstanding survivability rate, reaching 98 percent, unheard of in prior conflicts,” said Col. (Dr.) Brian Masterson, 332nd EMDG commander. “The new facility helps to enhance that capability and helps improve the survivability and minimization of the consequences of war. Inside the new facility lies the most sophisticated lifesaving technology you’ll find anywhere in the world.”

    About 250 contractors worked during the day and about 150 at night to upgrade the pre-engineered facility within seven months. The existing building had been about 4,265 square feet and was the original Iraqi Air Force Academy Hospital.

    The tent hospital was originally set up by the U.S. Army when the U.S. military came to Balad in 2003. In September 2004, the Air Force assumed the trauma center mission. In December 2005, the Air Force opened the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility co-located with the newly remodeled, pre-engineered facility.

    The 332nd MDG’s tent hospital was about 63,105 square feet and a labyrinth of more than 30 tents. The new facility is approximately 97,000 square feet. Though there was some sentimental attachment to the tents, the upgrade gives the hospital and its staff of about 379 servicemembers several advantages.

    The new facility has up to 20 intensive care units, 40 beds and eight operating tables. Better environmental controls, better power production and distribution systems,
    conditioned power, indoor plumbing, all medical services in one area, safety and space are just some of the many advantages of the new facility, said Lt. Col. Michael Glass, 332nd EMDG logistics flight commander.

    The previous tent hospital had very little insulation, and the environmental control units could only reduce the temperature by 20 degrees less than the ambient temperature outside, said Colonel Glass. During the summer months, the temperature reaches 120 degrees on a regular basis.

    “When these systems were operating at full capacity, they tripped the breakers, causing temporary but frequent power outages,” he said. “When the power went out, the tents heated up very fast. The new hospital has hundreds of AC units to provide very controlled temperatures, and it should stay around 75 to 80 degrees year round.”

    The new facility has cleaner power systems and power conditioning systems, meaning less wear and tear on the most expensive medical equipment.

    One of the biggest advantages is space. The new facility has double the number of trauma bays and six isolation beds for potential infectious patients, beds they did not have in the tents. The operating rooms and patient rooms are also bigger and better, said the colonel.

    Maj. Vik (Dr.) Bebarta, 332nd EMDG emergency medicine chief and flight commander for the emergency department, and his team of 24 are looking forward to the benefits of the new facility.

    “The controlled climate, limited dust and better lighting will allow us to provide even better care to our injured Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines,” said the major, on his second deployment to the tent hospital.

    “Working in the tents for eight months was a unique experience,” he said. “The intimate ‘soft wall’ setting created a tropism for cohesiveness, communication, passion, urgency, efficiency and patient-focused critical medical care. I hope that ethos carries over to the new setting.”

    During the day of the move, the emergency department Airmen set up a department in each hospital and worked on patients in both facilities until the transition was complete. The emergency department staff evaluates about 750 patients a month, and 625 are admitted. About 65 percent of the patients are traumatic injuries, most of which are combat-related.

    “We act as the entry point for all critically ill patients at the (Air Force Theater Hospital),” the major said. “We assess, resuscitate and stabilize all traumatic and medically ill patients. Our primary mission integrates with all facets of the hospital.”

    Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jim Keeney is the chief of orthopedic surgery and a regular member of the operating room staff. He said the tent environment posed a few challenges.

    “During the summer months, temperatures inside the tents would reach peaks over 100 degrees,” he said. “The operating rooms were in portable units with a ceiling height of approximately seven feet. Bars and light fixtures suspended from the ceiling made frequent contact with surgeon heads. The general size of the rooms made positioning of equipment tight. This was particularly the case during surges in patient-care activity, when we typically had two surgeries being performed within the same room simultaneously.”

    In the new facility, the operating rooms are significantly larger, providing better ability to move equipment and ease the process of performing procedures, the colonel said. Climate control is better regulated throughout the building as well.

    During an average month, the 332nd EMDG teams admit approximately 625 patients, requiring more than 700 trips to the operating room for an average of 3.5 surgical procedures per patient. The success of the AFTH trauma system is reflected in a 98 percent survivorship of U.S. military members evacuated to definitive care. The survival of wounds during past conflicts was less than 80 percent, said the colonel.

    From patient wards to the emergency department to the operating rooms, the pre-engineered facility offers a variety of improvements to make combat patient care even better. Whether staff members work in tents or a pre-engineered facility, they find their deployment highly satisfying, said Colonel Keeney.

    “This is certainly the best professional deployment for Air Force surgeons with an interest in trauma,” he said.

    Though Aug. 3 was a very long day for the volunteers and medical staff, the move was considered a success, said Colonel Keeney.

    “From the perspective of a surgeon, the best thing about the move was the fact that it was coordinated well enough to fully maintain our ability to provide trauma care without a hitch during the transition process,” he said.

    Senior Airman Scott Hatch, a 332nd Expeditionary Medical Support Squadron biomedical equipment technician, was part of the transition team that helped upgrade the former Iraqi Air Force Academy Hospital.

    “The new facility is amazing,” said Airman Hatch. “It’s easy to forget sometimes that it’s an expeditionary project. Seeing the new facility near the tent hospital is like a night and day difference. The new facility will make a wonderful gift to the Iraqi people when our mission here is accomplished.”

    Photo – Maj. Julie Zwies and Capt. Kathy Betts inventory equipment at the new Air Force Theater Hospital at Balad Air Base, Iraq, Aug. 3. Starting at 4 a.m., about 150 base volunteers and 380 332nd EMDG Airmen moved patients and equipment to the newly upgraded, pre-engineered facility. Major Zwies and Captain Betts are assigned to the 332nd Medical Group lab flight. Photo 1st Lt. Shannon Collins.

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    If you are not familiar with the area, then allow to fill you in a little. Do you remember all those floods we read about and saw on TV a few years back? Well, many of those people were trapped, because bridges that were built there did not take into consideration the levels of the flood waters. Even with the bridges, they could not pass to higher grounds.

    Please remember, I am not sure if this is where the floods occurred. I am just using this as a frame of referrence and a theory. Why? I’m so glad you asked!

    Currently, the surface of the road is two meters above the river bed, but during floods the water level rises to nearly four meters high. The new box culvert bridge will accommodate for the flood water levels.

    To fix this issue, the Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 will construct a box culvert bridge approximately 20 meters long and five meters wide. The project will consist of backfilling, compacting, reinforcing and re-grading the portion of the road near the culvert that is damaged. On the entrance and exit sides to the new box culvert bridge, the road will be reinforced for approximately five meters to ensure stability of the entire structure. The Seabees will also re-build the Walela Bridge so local villagers have another avenue to travel as well. [Continue reading.]

    The Civil Affairs (CA), which is an arm of the CJTF-HOA (Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa), has taken this under their wing. Please read this artice to find out how far they have come and how far they have yet to go. Thank you.

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    It would appear that even after September 11, 2001, some people still do not understand that this is an ideologic war most of all. After all, who is doing most of the bombing of innocents and most of the blaming? I AM TALKING ABOUT THIS CENTURY. Good God.

    Maybe I should let someone else speak for a moment.

    How many more terror plots will we unravel before one slips through the net and is carried out again domestically? N.Y. City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said after the announcement of the arrests on Face the Nation, “Al Qaida is a philosophy now..it’s a movement.” Well, that is a good first step away from denial. It has only taken six years to get that baby step. But it is not Al Qaeda only. I pray it will not take another 6 years for Americans to comprehend that the philosophical problem is political Islam. The President’s lack of clarity and leadership in naming the ideology of our enemy, the inconsistency of Islamism with American pluralism, and the primary responsibility of Muslims not only to counter terror but to defeat political Islam will continue to give American Islamists the cover they need to grow under his watch with the stamp of approval of the Bush administration. Until we are willing to unravel the ideology which facilitates and apologizes for terror, we are ‘stuck in the mud.’

    On June 2, 2007, right after the announcement of the JFK Plot arrests, U.S. Attorney, Roslynn Mauskopf read a statement stating,

      “the defendants are charged with conspiring to bomb one of the busiest airports in the United States, located in the one of the most densely populated areas in the northeast…had the plot been carried out, it could have resulted in unfathomable damage, deaths, and destruction.”

    This last time the Islamists were driven by a hate for the Kennedy name, but it derives from the same hate for America which is a common manifestation of global Islamism. In the daily practice of medicine, it would be malpractice to have a disease smolder with such a predictable recurrence of acutely possibly fatal exacerbations over a prolonged period of time while a physician only treated the symptoms and ignored the primary cause—political Islam. That is, except in the case of the terminal hospice patient. An unending series of plots across the globe against liberal democracies is our long war against an ideology. That ideology is not terror. It is political Islam.

    Would you believe him if he were a Christian? A Jew? How about a Hindu?

    Mr. President, as a devout Muslim, I can tell you that the only way the United States can make progress in this war is to have your administration give anti-Islamist Muslims acknowledgement for the centrality of their ideas in this war of ideologies. We can defeat political Islam only if we engage it and marginalize Islamists while positively engaging spiritual Islam. It is time for the administration to set the parameters defining the ideology we are fighting and be critical of organizations which facilitate it. The words of encouragement and admonition to Muslim organizations to lead the charge against radicalism are too vague. The reality is that the priorities, ideologies, and minority politics of the current agenda of the Islamic organizations the administration has courted and which attended last Wednesday’s press conference are far from being on the right page in this conflict.

    Yes, he is a Muslim who has been speaking out against these Islamists for years, but who has heard him? Who will give him the time of day? The press?

    The informants and so many others have stepped up in connection with other foiled plots despite the pressures against them from Islamists and the MSM. MSM often feed into conspiracy theories about informants, by legitimizing the victimization of Muslims for being “coerced” as informants. The Denver Post made just such a claim as recently as May 18, 2007. Their report claimed that, “Arab-Americans and Muslims are concerned about FBI efforts to recruit them as informants and other tactics designed to prevent terrorism.” This story was, to no one’s surprise, picked up and widely distributed by the Islamist organizations, e.g. CAIR.

    And you wonder why CAIR is prevelant with only 1700 members? America had better wake up to real and true threat that we are all facing. If you would like to read his entire article, you will find it here. You may also reach him at his site: American Islamic Forum for Democracy. If you keep up with his writings and read his site often, you may learn a lot more than what the establiment is telling you.

    Before I end this post, I just want England and Scotland to know that I have not forgotten them, and they are in my prayers. I am gathering ‘news’ to try to determine what is really happening over there. I thank God, my Lord in Christ, that everyone is okay…this time. America, WAKE UP!

    Hat tip: Thank you, Mr. Jasser.

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    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.

    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.
    […]
    “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.” [Continue reading.]

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

    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!

    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. [Continue reading.]

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

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