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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.

EODMU 5, MSRON 7 Sharpen Rappelling Skills

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 hosted training with Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron (MSRON) 7 at a rappelling exercise Nov.

Army North: Americans helping Americans

Two U.S. Army North leaders peered intently Nov. 7 as members of their command's Civil Support Training Activity met with leaders of the Ohio National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, which is located near Butlerville, Ind. Although Lt. Gen. Thomas Turner, the commanding general of Army North, and Command Sgt. Maj.

Recon learns lifesaving lessons

Medical awareness was an essential element to accomplishing the mission for reconnaissance Marines of Company B, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, as they scrutinized their response to improvised explosive devices during convoy training operations at K-2 Combat Town, Nov. 12.

Bataan ARG/22nd MEU Departs 5th Fleet

The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) officially departed 5th Fleet and entered 6th Fleet's Area of Operations when the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) transited the Suez Canal and entered into the Mediterranean Sea recently. The Bataan ARG, which had been conducting maritime security operations in 5th Fleet's Area of Operations, and the 22nd MEU, which served as the theater reserve force for U.S.

Borinqueneers open doors to peace and security

"Borinqueneers" from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa opened the doors to its seventh Counter Terrorism Course for the Ugandan People's Defense Force (UDPF) at the Kasenyi Military Training center this summer. The four-month course, being taught by "Borinqueneer" Soldiers from the 1/65th Infantry Battalion of the Puerto Rico National Guard, will end this month. According to historical records, the men of the 1/65th came up with the nickname "Borinqueneer" during a long sea voyager while serving in the Korean War.

Dolphins fly to New Caledonia with Hickam C-17 crew

Airmen aboard C-17 Globemaster IIIs from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam transported dolphins from the Navy Marine Mammals Program in San Diego, Calif., to Noumea, New Caledonia, Nov. 8 to locate and dispose of more than 200 contact mines that were leftover from World War II. The active-duty and Reserve C-17 aircrew from JB Hickam helped deliver the dolphins for Lagoon Minex 2009, a humanitarian project in which U.S. forces along with French, Australian and New Zealand military will work together Nov.

Ford Keel Laid for Future Carrier, Class

A keel-laying ceremony for the Navy's first Ford-class aircraft carrier, Gerald R. Ford, (CVN 78) was held at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va. Nov. 14. The ceremony celebrated not only the building of a new class of ship, but the life of the ship's namesake, former President Gerald R. Ford. Susan Ford Bales, Ford's daughter, was the ship's sponsor. Bales' initials were welded into a metal plate that will be permanently affixed to the ship. "Ladies and gentlemen, as the ship's sponsor, and on behalf of President Gerald R. Ford," said Bales.

Multi-state task force in Kosovo accepts transfer of authority

A new U.S.-led Kosovo Forces task force, made up of Soldiers from 37 states, officially took over responsibility of Multi-National Task Force-East on Saturday, joining units from five other NATO nations, all of which are maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement in Kosovo. At a mid-day transfer-of-authority ceremony, Brig. Gen. Alan S. Dohrmann, 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of the North Dakota National Guard, and the Soldiers who make up his task force, accepted responsibility of MNTF-E from Brig. Gen. Keith D.