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New York begins Vigilant Guard exercise

  The New York National Guard along with local officials from Erie County and the cities of Tonawanda, Buffalo and Niagara Falls joined with other state, regional and federal officials to formally announce the launch of the largest emergency response exercise to have ever been conducted in Western New York. "Vigilant Guard is an opportunity for military and civilian professionals to train together and prepare for a potential catastrophe we all naturally hope will never happen," said Brig. Gen.

Enhanced Combat Skills course preps Marines for Afghanistan

"Possible IED, possible IED." The patrol halts as Marines locate a possible threat to the mission, an improvised explosive device. Part of being a Marine is to be ready for any situation, whether it's overseas or back home. Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepared themselves for future deployments to Afghanistan by taking the week-long Enhanced Combat Skills Course at Camp Pendleton, Oct.

Little Rock officials lead joint force training effort at exercise

POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS)  -- Members of the 19th Airlift Wing from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., took the lead at the Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 10-01 held here Oct. 25 through 29.  The purpose of the JFEX is to re-establish forcible entry capability through airpower by combining Army and Air Force training needs, said Col. Dave Kasberg, the 19th Operations Group commander and JFEX air mission commander. "It's an integrated, joint focus with a common intel scenario," he said.

New system allows vehicle GPS to track location while in flight

Soldiers with 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery (HIMARS), drove their High Mobility Artillery Rocket System out the rear of an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Pope Air Force Base, N.C., Oct. 22, with a new advancement that will get them into the fight faster. The 'Hot Panel' program allows the HIMARS to link into an aircraft's GPS and track itself in the air, anywhere in the world.

DESRON 50 Expands Maritime Security Mission

In the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR), the men and women of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 50 play a vital role in providing maritime security by protecting sea lanes, conducting naval presence missions and ensuring freedom of navigation throughout the Arabian Gulf. Although previously focusing on similar missions in the North Arabian Gulf, DESRON 50 has expanded its focus to include the mission of Combined Task Group 152.1, supporting Combined Task Force (CTF) 152 in working with coalition and regional partners to ensure maritime security throughout the Arabian Gulf. "Our new taski

Goodbye old friend: Huey retires after 30 years of service

The year was 1971. That year, President Richard Nixon began reducing the U.S. troop presence in Vietnam from more than 250,000 to 196,700. Walt Disney World opened in Orlando. Boxer Joe Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali at Madison Square Garden, the voting age changed from 21 to 18 and Jim Morrison of The Doors was found dead.

New York Arrives in Big Apple

The future USS New York (LPD 21) arrived in the Big Apple Nov. 2, to hundreds of cheering New Yorkers lined up along the waterfront near the World Financial Center. The ship left its homeport of Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Oct. 29 to make the voyage to its namesake state for a ten-day long celebration and a commissioning ceremony scheduled Nov. 7. The ship's Sailors, embarked Marines and naval Reservists manned the rails in full dress uniform at 6 a.m. for the historical transit down the Hudson River.

Air Guard readies for C-27J fleet

For the first time, Air National Guard aircrews will be the sole operators of a new aircraft straight off the assembly line. The C-27J Spartan, the latest propeller-driven airlifter, is an "extremely rugged" aircraft, designed for austere environments, said Air Force officials. It is about half the size of a C-130 Hercules and has 3.5 cargo pallet positions. "It is the first time in U.S. Air Force history where the service acquired a new airframe solely owned, operated and maintained by the Air National Guard," said Lt. Col.

Search, Rescue Mission Suspended

The Coast Guard suspended the search and rescue mission for the second pilot of the downed Navy T-34C Turbomentor training aircraft Nov. 1 at about 7 p.m. Coast Guard crews found the body of Lt. Bret Travis Miller at approximately 4:40 p.m. Oct.

Essex Departs for Annual Exercise 21G

The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) departed Sasebo, Japan, Nov. 1 for a scheduled deployment. Essex's deployment comes at the end of a successful two-month ship's restricted availability (SRA) and will feature Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 21G, conducted annually with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) to enhance interoperability between the U.S. and Japanese navies. "The crew and contractors did an outstanding job getting the ship ready to get back underway," said Capt. Troy Hart, Essex's commanding officer.

1st Tanks rolls through largest Steel Knight

First Tank Battalion, along with other units from 1st Marine Division, completed Steel Knight, a Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force level exercise, at the Combat Center Oct. 26.

Army always seeking improvements to combat uniform

Nothing says pride like a Soldier in uniform. Today's Soldier has much to be proud of in the current Army Combat Uniform (ACU). As Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston said, the ACU was designed by Soldiers, for Soldiers. Developed with functionality in mind, many design aspects of the uniform lend themselves to low maintenance, such as the 50/50 cotton/nylon wrinkle-free fabric and the shine-free boots.

Cannonball, large gun found at Fort Monroe

FORT MONROE, Va. – A team of environmental and unexploded ordnance experts here unearthed an 11-foot-long cannon and a 10-inch cannonball on Oct. 21. The find was part of a four-month munitions probe in preparation for the installation’s closure in September 2011. Buried vertically, with the uppermost edge about two inches below ground level, the cannon is believed to be a four-and-a-half-inch ordnance rifle, pattern 1861 (produced until 1865), according to Paul Morando, director of the Casemate Museum on post.

The Center for Army Lessons Learned Publishes Snipers Handbook

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas has just released CALL Leader's Handbook No. 10-01, Commanders' Guide to Snipers Handbook. This publication will prompt and assist in maneuver company, battalion, and brigade commanders in making the best use of a special group of infantry and armor Soldiers we call "snipers." Trained in the U.S.