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U.S. Army South first responders return from Haiti

Hours after the earthquake struck Haiti, members of U.S.

USS Nassau ARG/24th MEU Depart Haiti

The USS Nassau Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) departed Haiti Feb. 7, continuing on its originally scheduled deployment to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). The Nassau ARG includes ships from Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8: the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48). The three ships and nearly 2,000 Sailors departed Virginia Jan.

Terror Attacks Continue to Traumatize Somalis

In recent years, the rise of the militant al-Shabab group in Somalia, an al-Qaida ally fighting to implement its ultraconservative version of Islam in the Horn of Africa, has been accompanied by suicide and roadside bombings that have horrified Somalis, even those long accustomed to violence. In the Somali capita of Mogadishu, the threat of terrorism has not only altered the city's landscape in some areas, it has changed how the few Somalis still remaining in Mogadishu think and behave.    Just a few years ago, streets in the capital were so congested at times, drivers used to have to bu

Yanukovych Claims Win in Ukraine; Tymoshenko Won't Concede

Nearly complete election results show Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych winning a narrow victory in Sunday's run-off presidential election. With almost all the ballots counted, Mr. Yanukovych has more than 48 percent of the vote compared to about 46 percent for his opponent, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.   However, Ms. Tymoshenko is refusing to concede defeat and may launch a legal challenge to the election results.  Ms. Tymoshenko accused pro-Yanukovych forces of ballot-box stuffing in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. For his part, Mr.

Pakistan Army Recaptures NW Militant Stronghold

Pakistan's army says its forces have recaptured a key Taliban stronghold in a region near the Afghan border. A year ago, Pakistani forces had declared the group of villages called Damadola free of militants following a 2008 offensive.  But officials say Taliban and al-Qaida militants recently returned to defend the strategically-located stronghold north of Khar, the main town in the Bajaur tribal agency. Pakistan's military says its troops and a tribal militia, backed by warplanes and helicopter gunships, killed some 60 militants in the new offensive.  The military's account has not been

Three Separate Weapons Caches Discovered

An ANSF-led patrol found a large weapons cache after receiving a tip from a local resident in Wazah Khwah district, Paktika province yesterday [6 February]. The cache contained 54 artillery rounds, four mortar rounds and 18 fuses. The munitions were brought to a nearby forward operating base and are pending disposal by an explosive ordnance disposal team. A joint ANSF-ISAF patrol discovered more than 20 mortar rounds in Garm Ser district, Helmand province yesterday.

Feb. 7 airpower summary

Coalition airpower integrated with ground forces in Iraq and International Security Assistance Force troops in Afghanistan during operations Feb. 7, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here. Air Operations in Afghanistan: Close-Air Support Mazar-E-Sharif Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews provided armed overwatch for friendly forces and a helicopter medical-evacuation mission. The aircrews conducted a show of force, with flares launched, to deter anti-Afghan forces activity.

USS Freedom Readies for Maiden Deployment

USS Freedom (LCS 1), the Navy's first littoral combat ship, is underway off the coast of Florida for final training and certification prior to its maiden deployment to the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) region. Counter-illicit trafficking (CIT), damage control, and systems training began soon after Freedom's arrival at Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on Jan. 25. "This training is extremely important for Freedom and will help us prepare for the CIT mission we expect to perform while in the 4th Fleet area of operations," said Lt. Cmdr.