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Pirates Seize Greek-Owned Ship off Yemen

A Kenyan maritime official says pirates have hijacked a Greek-owned bulk carrier in the Gulf of Aden, near Yemen. Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Assistance Program says Red Sea Spirit was taken Thursday, but news of the seizure only emerged Saturday. Somali pirates have continued to defy foreign navies patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa and are holding at least 13 vessels and more than 200 crew.

IJC Operational Update, Nov. 23: Norwegian Home Guard commander visits IJC; Update on ISAF Casualties

The Norwegian Home Guard commander visited the ISAF Joint Command at the North Kabul International Airport military compound Nov. 22.
Major Gen. Bernt Iver Ferdinand Brovold was the guest of Maj. Gen. Jacques Lechevallier, IJC deputy commander. During his brief visit to IJC, the Norwegian general was briefed on the different types of threats Afghan people face and the IJC counterinsurgency strategy.

Marines Eat, Sleep, Operate Out of Afghan National Police Compound

Almost like clockwork, as soon as the Marines with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment's Police Mentoring Team rise from their cots, shave any overnight facial stubble and brush their teeth, Lali, an 8-year-old Afghan boy from Hazar Geft, enters the Afghan national police compound and waits. The PMT Marines eat, sleep and operate out of the ANP compound in Garmsir, Afghanistan. Lali stands by, greeting the groggy Marines with a "good morning," and waits for any tasks the Marines have for him. "One day he just walked in, and we started talking to him," said Cpl. Frank D.

NATO’s new training mission for Afghanistan is activated in Kabul

Less than nine months after NATO’s Heads of State and Government announced the establishment of the NATO Training Mission for Afghanistan (NTM-A), at the Alliance’s Summit meeting in Strasbourg-Kehl, the NATO Flag was raised today at Camp Eggers in Kabul marking the start of NATO’s mission to enhance training and mentoring of the Afghan National Security Forces.

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.

EU Selects New President

The European Union has chosen its first full-time president - Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy. Leaders of the 27-member bloc also chose a woman for the second top job - British commissioner Catherine Ashton, who will be the EU's new foreign policy chief At a press conference in Brussels, the European Union's President-elect Herman Van Rompuy offered a unifying message in English, Flemish and French -  vowing to listen and take into account all the diverse views of the 27-member block. "Europe must be in every member state's advantage," said  Herman Van Rompuy.

Ethiopia Convicts 27 in Coup Plot

An Ethiopian court has convicted 27 people accused of conspiring to create public havoc in an attempt to bring down Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's government.  Some of the defendants could face the death penalty. A three-judge panel handed down guilty verdicts for 27 of the 46 defendants in the so-called Ginbot Seven case.  Thirteen others who are not in custody had earlier been convicted in absentia.  The remaining six were acquitted. Those convicted include several current and retired army officers, including two generals, along with senior opposition political figures.  They were charg

IJC Operational Update, Nov. 20: ISAF condemns IED attack; Joint Forces Kill, Detain Suspected Militants in three provinces; ISAF Casualties

At approximately 9 a.m. today, an IED detonated in downtown Farah in western Afghanistan. Initial reports indicate seven Afghans were killed and more than 35 were injured. No ISAF service members were in the area at the time.
"This was a malicious attack that killed and injured innocent Afghans. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families of those killed and sympathies for those injured this morning," said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, IJC spokesperson.