Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘support’ Category

Source: US Central Command.

07 November 2007
By Cpl. Billy Hall
2nd Marine Division
.

AL QA’IM, Iraq — Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

Prepared to unearth any remnants of those who intend to plant fear and insecurity in western Iraq, the Betio Bastards stand ready. With the final elements of the battalion arriving to their area of operation, the Marines and sailors of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, are primed and in place to maintain stability and bring prosperity to the region.

The infantry companies are set in motion and have started providing security and orienting themselves with the local populace. The numerous support elements of Headquarters and Support Company have also hit the ground running, providing intelligence, logistical support, communications and transportation, to name a few of their many missions.

Months of intense training have paid off in dividends, allowing the battalion to kick off their deployment without missing a beat. Lt. Col. Peter B. Baumgarten, the battalion commander, met with the mayor, leaders of the Iraqi Police and Army, and numerous sheiks, to publicly assume command of the area of operation from Lt. Col. Jason Q. Bohm, the battalion commander of Task Force 1st Bn., 4th Marines.

“I, like Colonel Bohm, look to fill the shoes of my predecessors in a way that will be very positive to the people of Al Qa’im,” Baumgarten said. “I look forward to meeting each one of you and working together in the future months to be successful.” The atmosphere was optimistic and productive as key leaders discussed several pressing issues and plans for the future, such as reopening the point of entry at the Syrian border in the town of Husaybah.

The sheiks spoke of unity amongst the many tribes within the region and setting a path of success for the rest of Iraq to follow. At the conclusion of the meeting, the local leaders and sheiks treated the Marines to a traditional Iraqi meal. In customary fashion, there were no utensils; everyone ate with their hands from large platters of rice, vegetables and goat. The meeting and luncheon helped to lay the groundwork for the battalion’s transition into their third deployment to Iraq in three years.

During the initial days of operation, the battalion’s progress has been substantial. Cooperation and coordination with the local leaders and forces are proving to be the crucial elements contributing to maintaining the security and bringing prosperity to Iraq. The Betio Bastards will continue working steadily to uproot any instability that remains.

Photo – Lt. Col. Jason Q. Bohm (right), battalion commander of Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, and Lt. Col. Peter B. Baumgarten (center), battalion commander of Task Force 3rd Bn., 2nd Marines, speak with a sheik after the meeting where Bohm publicly relinquished command of his area of operations to Baumgarten. The mayor, leaders of the Iraqi police and army, and numerous sheiks attended the meeting to discuss several pressing issues and plans for the future.

Add this post to Technorati Technorati. Add this post to Del.icio.us Del.icio.us. Digg! Digg!

Read Full Post »

Source: US CentCom.

18 Sept 07
by Marine Staff Sgt. Luis P. Valdespino Jr.
Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan Public Affairs
.

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghans lead best when in the lead and in the Basic Warrior Training Course at the Kabul Military Training Center, this responsibility falls on the shoulders of Afghan drill sergeants.

The mentors call this progress. They describe their jobs as being only temporary – the goal is for the Afghans to take charge in all facets of their army with coalition forces acting in a supporting role or as an enabler.

The Afghan national army leaders have “improved a lot on tactics and leadership,” said Army Master Sgt. Roberto Garcia, a senior mentor at KMTC. “They still have a long way to go … but they are hard workers and they work a lot of hours.”

Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan mentors assigned to BWT in the past have seen their jobs go from dominant in the training and development of ANA soldiers to more of a supporting and advisory role to ANA non-commissioned officers and officers at KMTC. The new soldiers training at KMTC are experiencing this transition first-hand.

“NCOs are ready to take on the responsibility,” said Garcia, a drill sergeant assigned to the 218th Army National Guard Regiment’s Brigade Combat Team at KMTC. “It’s sometimes hard for us to (step back), but we have to remember that we have to be patient. We just have to realize that our military has been around and developing for over 200 years. We can’t expect (for theirs to develop) in five years.”

The senior mentor to the ANA Advanced Combat Training brigade commander, Army Lt. Col. Daniel A. West, echoed Garcia’s perspective.

“We can’t implement our system here,” said West, also a member of the 218th BCT. “They don’t have the same equipment or personnel in place.”

However, the ANA has implemented a training system in which their NCOs are increasingly at the helm. Soldiers are assigned to train new recruits at BWT, the NCOs are being trained to be drill sergeants and NCOs are training BWT graduates for further responsibilities and assignments within the army.

A new class of recruits begins BWT about every two weeks at KMTC, and NCOs are taking the lead at teaching course materials.

“It was mostly officers, mixed with some NCOs (teaching the classes). That’s what I saw when I got here,” Garcia said. Now it’s mostly the NCOs teaching, with officers occasionally helping out.

During a recent live-fire training exercise of ANA soldiers at KMTC, ANA NCO instructors oversaw soldiers in their initial firing of 82 mm mortars and Russian-made SPG-9s, which fire 73 mm grenades.

The exercise was the “smoothest since I’ve been here,” said Army Master Sgt. Anthony J. Harris, a senior NCO mentor for combat arms assigned to the 218th BCT. “They are pretty self-sufficient.”

The soldiers themselves are responding to the new ANA leadership.

“They’re always excited,” said Spc. Seth R. Hungiville, a weapons specialist with the 218th BCT. “There (are) a lot of similarities in how the soldiers are very fascinated with the weapons systems just like we are when we get to fire a new weapons system.”

Photo – An Afghan national army drill sergeant demonstrates weapon functions of an AK-47 to ANA soldiers during Basic Warrior Training at Kabul Military Training Center. Coalition soldiers assigned to the 218th Brigade Combat Team at KMTC mentor Afghan national army Basic Warrior Training drill sergeants. Photo by Staff Sgt. Luis P Valdespino Jr.

Add this post to Fark Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Del.icio.us Digg!

Read Full Post »

20 Aug 07
USS Enterprise Public Affairs
.

ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE – Enterprise Carrier Strike Group commenced operations in the Persian Gulf Aug. 10, where they are currently deployed to support maritime security operations as well as Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

20 Aug 07
USS Enterprise Public Affairs

Rear Adm. Daniel P. Holloway, commander, Carrier Strike Group 12/Enterprise Strike Group, said the strike group is ready to do what it takes to accomplish the mission. “This is part of what we are out here to do,” said Holloway. “We are a nation at war and we will continue to do our part to stabilize the current situation in Iraq and eliminate terrorist threats.”

Enterprise CSG’s deployment will help reassure U.S. allies in the region of the Navy’s commitment to set conditions for security and stability for vessels operating in the Persian Gulf. Maritime security operations have a strong track record of providing security and stability in the maritime environment through coordinated operations with coalition partners that complement the security efforts of friends and allies in the region.

The presence of Enterprise CSG in the region allows the coalition to flex multi-dimensional task force capabilities and demonstrate the ability to respond to threats to maritime security. Enterprise CSG also commenced the first combat missions of their current deployment Aug. 12 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, stationed aboard USS Enterprise, conducted multiple-strike missions by providing air support to coalition ground forces.

U.S. naval and air presence in the region is the continuation of a six decade-long U.S. policy to stand by friends and allies among Gulf Cooperation Council nations and protect the free flow of commerce. These relationships support and encourage regional stability and cooperation. U.S. forces will continue to maintain this regional presence to deter destabilizing activities, while safeguarding the region’s vital links to the global economy.

The squadrons of CVW-1 include the “Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron 211; Knighthawks” of VFA-136; “Sidewinders” of VFA-86; “Thunderbolts” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251; “Dragonslayers” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 11; “Rooks” of Electronic Attack Squadron 137; “Screwtops” of VAW-123; “Maulers” of Sea Control Squadron 32; and the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40.

Photo – The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise conducts maritime operations in the Persian Gulf, Aug. 17, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Brandon Morris.

Read Full Post »

14 Aug 07
by Senior Airman Clark Staehle
379th Air Expeditionary Wing
.

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) – The Airmen with the 379th Logistics Readiness Squadron Cargo Movement Flight here serve as force multipliers by ensuring anything warfighters need gets to the proper place at the proper time. Members of the flight receive and ship supplies in and out of the base to and from anywhere in the world, mainly supporting operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom forces.

The flight plays a big role in supporting airfield operations by moving mission capable parts. These parts are for when a plane is broken down somewhere and maintainers need that part to fix it. If the part needed to fix the problem isn’t in stock or kept on base, members of the cargo movement flight ships the mission capable part with the highest priority to help get the plane airworthy as soon as possible.

“We support the war on terrorism by sustaining the mission to all of the (areas of responsibility) and beyond,” said Master Sgt. Eric Smith, the 379th LRS cargo movements section chief. “If a shipment needs to get somewhere to repair a (broken) aircraft, we get it there by the fastest means. If our warriors need supplies to keep them in the fight, we ship it to them.” The cargo movement flight, the largest in the area of responsibility, serves as a hub for other bases throughout the combat theater. The Airmen of the flight ship items that run the gamut from any aircraft part to supplies purchased by the 379th Expeditionary Contracting Squadron.

“If the military uses it, we’ll ship it, no matter how big or how small,” said Sergeant Smith, the Los Angeles native who is deployed here from Fort Dix, N.J. “(We provide) unlimited capability. We find the means of shipping cargo — if it’s through commercial or military means — and get it there. We do have our challenges so we find the best and quickest way to get it to where it needs to go to sustain the ongoing mission.”

The flight moves parts in one of two ways. The first way involves commercial shipping companies, like the companies any one might use to send a birthday present to a relative. The second way involves the military aircraft. If customs issues preclude commercial shipping, the flight works hand in hand with the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and the 8th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron to arrange airlift.

Photo – Senior Airman Nick Mendoza uses a forklift to unload a container of cargo from a pickup truck Aug. 8 in Southwest Asia. Airman Mendoza is assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Cargo Movement Flight. Airmen of the flight ship anything the military uses anywhere in the world. Photo Airman 1st Class Ashley Tyler.

Read Full Post »

14 Aug 07
By Cpl. Zachary Dyer
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD)
.

AL ASAD, Iraq – The sounds of a helicopter’s rotor blades cutting through the air overhead is fairly common aboard Al Asad. That the crew’s mission is to support the War on Terror is obvious, but what Marines in those helicopters do once they are out of sight is often unknown to the casual observer on the ground.

For the members of the “Wolfpack” of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, that mission is to transport Marines, supplies and equipment around the Al Anbar Province. “We’re tasked with assault support for (II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward)),” said Lt. Col. Roger McFadden, the Wolfpack commanding officer. “It’s in the shape of passenger, cargo and external operations. We’re also responsible for (Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel) missions. The majority of our tasking is to move cargo and personnel between the (Forward Operating Bases).”

In the three months that the Wolfpack has been in Iraq, the squadron has racked up approximately 1,600 flight hours. The Marines are also working on obtaining another impressive record – 65,000 Class Amishap free hours. “The squadron has never had a mishap in its entire history, since 1984,” explained McFadden, a Cle Elum, Wash., native. “These guys are proud of the fact that they always fly safe aircraft. It’s because of safe maintenance.”

The CH-53E “Super Stallions” the Wolfpack flies along with other heavy helicopter squadrons are some of the more maintenance heavy aircraft in the Marine Corps, not because they are old but because of their size. For every one hour spent in the air, the maintenance Marines put in 40 on the ground, according to Sgt. Maj. Brian Milton, the HMH-466 squadron sergeant major.

“If the birds don’t launch, the mission doesn’t go,” said Milton, a Murietta, Calif., native. “The Marines’ ability to fix the aircraft on a moments notice is the most important thing out here. We have a lot of dedicated Marines, and sometimes we have to tell them to go home. They’re hardworking and dedicated to what they do.”

Despite the long hours of work required to make sure the squadron accomplishes its mission, the Marines of the Wolfpack have adapted to the rigors of deployment. “They’re handling it really well,” said McFadden. “We’re 90 days into it and they are keeping up with the work and keeping aircraft available.”

Like most units in Iraq, the Marines of HMH-466 have a wide variety of experience. While some Marines are on their third or fourth, others are on their first deployment. The squadron’s strength comes from the help the more experienced Marines provide to the junior Marines. “It’s never two new Marines working out there together,” said Cpl. Billy C. Roth, a crew chief with the Wolfpack, and a Quitman, Texas, native. “It’s one experienced Marine working with a new one. We train while we work. We’re always training and always working hard.”

That is exactly what the senior leaders of HMH-466 have come to expect of their Marines – that not only are they professionals in their job, but consummate Marines as well, according to Milton. “The big thing we push upon them is this,” explained Milton. “They may not be out in the trenches, but their trench is the flightline, and they are out there supporting the mission.”

Photo – Sgt. Devin Linneman, a crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466, looks out the ‘hell hole’ of a CH-53E “Super Stallion” to ensure nothing happens to the cargo hanging below the aircraft during an external lift mission. Photo by Cpl. Zachary Dyer.

Read Full Post »

13 Aug 07
By Spc. Jennifer Fulk
Combined Press Information Center
.

KIRKUSH, Iraq – Coalition advisors gathered at the Kirkush Military Training Base, Aug. 8, 2007, to see the progress being made in the region.

Denmark Army Gen. Werner P. Kahle visited Iraqi Army Gen. Sabah, head of the Regional Support Unit at the base, located approximately 70 miles northeast of Baghdad. “Think of it (the RSU) as a distribution center,” said Navy Capt. Joe Hedges, assistance chief of staff of engineering. “We are building distribution systems to get supplies to soldiers in the front,”

“If you have an army in the field, you have to be able to support them,” said Karl Kornchuk, the RSU’s senior advisor. This area is vital to the support of the Iraqi army. It provides logistics to several Coalition and Iraqi units. The area also has a noncommissioned officer academy, in addition to the RSU, which is currently led by Coalition forces.

There are 31 buildings being erected on the compound, which include living quarters, life support buildings, a gym and a classroom. All of the buildings should be complete in four to six weeks, said Paul Hunaker, the project manager. The project also includes 12 new 50,000-gallon fuel tanks, a new ammunition storage point, and sewer system upgrades. Once completed, these projects will increase the standard of living for the Iraqi army and will better enable them to get supplies to their fellow soldiers in the field.

The other side of this important project is training programs that are under way on the base. “The Regional Maintenance Company is small, but the trends are positive,” explained Kahle. “We’ve had a 75 percent success rate on this high visibility project.” he continued, referring to an eight-week class given to Iraqi soldiers who have had some type of maintenance background. The first class began on July 23 and the second a week later. From each class, the best student will be chosen to attend an advanced course and will eventually be the instructors themselves.

“The students are very eager and enthusiastic to learn,” said Francous VanGhant, chief of the Fiafi Group that was contracted to run the class. Vehicle maintenance is important so that the supplies that come through the base can actually be sent out to the soldiers who need them most. “We have to be able to get manpower, supplies and facilities to the same point at the same time,” Hedges said. “Without one of the three, the system doesn’t work.”

However, every effort comes with challenges and the Kirkush Military Training Base is no exception. “It’s like the saying, ‘Building an airplane while you’re flying,’ we’re working on a myriad of problems on the other side,” said Kornchuk. It is also much more expensive to build in the area because contractors are forced to provide their own electricity, water and living. Providing security to convoy in all of these materials is very costly.

Another issue, albeit a much smaller one, is that asphalt is nearly impossible to obtain because the routes are unsecured, so gravel is mainly used. As in all areas of Iraq, security is a very important issue, and employing the locals is key in the security effort. “People from the surrounding area also assist in the route security effort because they know that the supplies being brought in will eventually help them as well,” said Hedges. “A visible force is the key to securing the area.”

As the senior advisor for almost a year, Kornchuk is confident in the Iraqi army’s ability to grow and eventually sustain themselves. “I’ve seen their progress, and I can quantify it,” he said.

Sabah said that he hopes the base will become one of the main sources, and the best sources, of support for the Iraqi army. While there is certain to be some obstacles in the future, Kahle is confident in the Iraqi army. “They can only improve. I am confident that within one year it will be completely operational,” he said. “It all comes down to building close relationships and moving forward together to build a truly free democracy and a wonderful place to live.”

Photo – Denmark Army Gen. Werner P. Kahle studies a pair of boots that will be worn by an Iraqi Army soldier. Kahle visited Iraqi Army Gen. Sabah, head of the Regional Support Unit in Kirkush. Photo by Spc. Jennifer Fulk.

Read Full Post »

A Letter to the People of Iraq

There is a letter being sent to the people of Iraq that I found over at Victory Caucus. This is a wonderful site, and I highly recommend you sign up and join us.

You do not have to be a conservative, liberal, republican, democrat, or whatever label they choose to ascribe upon us. Just as long as you love America and wish for her victory (hence the name, lol)

This letter is one of encouragement and to let the Iraqi people know that we know how to go around the media when it is necessary. It is necessary. Our press appears to be working for al Jazeer! So we shall carry the message ourselves. Please join us. When I signed the petition, I was only #13. I know we can do better than this! We are better than this. Thank you for all of your support for our troops and the people we are helping to help us.

Here is the petition: Online petition – A letter to the Citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iraq.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis Add this post to Fark Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Del.icio.us Dig This Story

This is the post for an open trackback. Please take a moment to sign the petition and take a look at Victory Caucus. Thank you, and have a wonderful day. 🙂

The Bullwinkle Blog: Moosetracks Open Trackback, third world county: More Envirowacko B.S, Blog @ MoreWhat.com: Open Trackback Linkfest 07/17/2007, Perri Nelson’s Website: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Woman Honor Thyself: NYPD Terror Report Open Trackback Weekend, Adam’s Blog: The Tort Reform Song Weekend Open Trackbacks and The Yankee Sailor: Weekend Open Post. Outside the Beltway, The World According to Carl, Shadowscope, Nuke’s News & Views, Blog @ MoreWhat.com With many thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

  • Stop the ACLU: Friday Free For All.
  • Linkfest participants who tracked back:

  • Blue Star Chronicles: Wear Red on Friday Blog Round-Up.
  • Church and State: My Birthday – Weekend Open Trackback.
  • Potbelly Stove: What’s up with Putin?.
  • Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker: Hurricane Dean is heading for Jamaica and growing.
  • Right Truth: Dhimmitude abounds, but there is good news.
  • Right Truth: U.S. Politics (groan).
  • Read Full Post »

    Gary Sinise, of CSI-NY, is going to perform a live concert on August 11, 2007, to raise money for the completion of the Brooklyn Wall. What is the history of the Brooklyn Wall?

    This is a wall that has been in the process of being built in honor of our fallen first responders whose lives were lost on that horrendous day, September 11, 2001. It has been in the process of being built, but like everything else, it takes money. When Gary found out about this project, he felt compelled to answer the call. That is when he thought of putting on this concert.

    Gary has been a true blue patriot all the way. He has been to see troops several times overseas, and he is from Hollywood. I wish this were not the exception. I wish we could see each other as Americans instead of Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals. Hopefully with concerts like this one we will reach that goal again. It is always good to hope.

    Gary’s band, Lt. Dan Band (of which he is co-founder), has played in several places and will be playing at this concert. You may buy your tickets here. I am going to just donate some money directly to the Brooklyn Wall. (Here is little more about the Brooklyn Wall and the reasons why they need our help.)

    Hat tip: Lynn of the Gary Sinise Fan Club and Biography.
    Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis
    Add this post to Fark Add this post to Technorati Add this post to Del.icio.us Dig This Story

    Trackposted to Perri Nelson’s Website, DeMediacratic Nation, Right Truth, Adam’s Blog, Blue Star Chronicles, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Webloggin, The Amboy Times, Leaning Straight Up, Republican National Convention Blog, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, and Pursuing Holiness, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

    Open trackback links:
    Planck’s Constant: Advice to Stanislav Shmulevich on proper way to fl So here is my advice to Stanislav: “Go back and take a photo of the Koran swimming in the toilet and call it “Holy Sh*t Mohammed” and frame it.
    Nanotechnology Today: WFU launches two nanotechnology startup companies FiberCell plans to develop the next generation of solar cells based on a novel architecture that utilizes nanotechnology and optical fibers to dramatically boost efficiency.

    Read Full Post »

    News from CentCom:

    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. [Continue reading.]

    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.

    Read Full Post »