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Secretary Issues Holiday Season Message

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today issued a holiday season message giving thanks to the military men and women who put their lives on the line every day.  "This time of year calls on Americans to reflect on and give thanks for the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy. Of course, we can only do so because of those who put their lives on the line every day: the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who bear repeated deployments, hardships, and danger – without fail and without complaint. "Many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Nellis Airmen work behind the scenes to ensure exercise success

Every year, Airmen here support the largest air mobility exercise in the United States. This Mobility Air Forces Exercise, or MAFEX, is essential in making sure both Soldiers and Airmen are prepared to coordinate jointly during overseas contingencies. The MAFEX is part of the U.S. Air Force Weapon School curriculum designed to culminate months of training that the students have received and challenge them to plan and execute a joint forcible entry airborne assault operation, integrating assets from across the world.

Marines prepare Georgian Soldiers for deployment to Afghanistan

About half a kilometer away from two companies of Georgian Soldiers lies the objective—an old, run-down air traffic control tower. A cluster of off-white, weathered and tattered buildings, removed of all doors and windows, are the skeletal remains of Vasiani Air Base, a Russian-era military base about 15 miles east of Tbilisi that has been abandoned and unmaintained since the early 1990s.

USS Rentz Assists Mariners in Distress

USS Rentz (FFG 46) responded to a distress call Nov. 20 from Motor Vessel Adnan Wahd, which was taking on water while at sea in the Central Arabian Gulf. M/V Adnan Wahd reported a hole in its hull and that the crew could not bring the flooding under control.

Essex Completes Successful ANNUALEX

The forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Okinawa Nov. 18 to offload the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) after successfully completing Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 21G. Essex Sailors and Combat Cargo Marines moved approximately 75 vehicles and 300 pieces of MEU cargo, as well as dozens of aircraft assigned to the 31st MEU's Aviation Combat Element (ACE), marking the end of the 21st edition of the exercise, which is designed to enhance naval interoperability between the U.S.

Erie Co. sharpens its claws at Range 109

Third Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion’s newest company, Co. E, known among its own ranks as ‘Erie,’ took part in training Nov. 17 which was new to some, but all too familiar to the rest of the LAR world at the Combat Center’s Range 109 Nov.

The company completed tables one and two of qualification with their 25 mm Bushmaster chain gun, the primary weapon used by LAV crewmen when in their vehicles, said 1st Lt. Aryn Vastola, the executive officer of the company.

Pentagon launches review of Fort Hood shooting

WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2009) -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced the Defense Department will conduct a broad review of the Nov. 5 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting that left 13 dead and dozens injured. Former Army Secretary Togo West and retired Navy Adm. Vernon Clark, former chief of naval operations, will head the initial 45-day review, which will inform a follow-on investigation expected to last four to six months. "The shootings at Fort Hood raise a number of troubling questions that demand complete but prompt answers," Gates said during a Pentagon briefing.

USS Chosin Rescues Three Yemeni Fishermen in the Gulf of Aden

USS Chosin (CG 65), the Combined Task Force (CTF) 151 flagship, rescued three stranded Yemeni fishermen in the Gulf of Aden Nov. 17. According to the fishermen, they were left stranded in the water after 12 suspected pirates hijacked their vessel. The fishermen also said that the pirates gave them an ultimatum to either jump overboard with only a wooden plank as a flotation device or be killed. After surviving for three days with only a few bottles of water, a passing merchant vessel spotted them in the water.

Combat Assault Battalion provides one-of-a-kind support

Combat Assault Battalion's motto says it all, "Sui Generis," which is Latin for one of a kind. CAB, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, is the only battalion-sized combat assault unit in the Marine Corps. The battalion provides 3rd MarDiv with engineers, amphibious assault vehicle support and light armored reconnaissance vehicle support as well as motor transport, heavy equipment, communications and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense Marines. "CAB provides the engineers, LARs and AAVs for the entire division," said Lt. Col.