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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.

ISF pursue AQI and ISI in Ramadi, Tikrit and Kirkuk, arrest 5

Iraqi Security Forces arrested five suspected members of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) terrorist groups today during three joint security operations conducted in Ramadi, Tikrit and Kirkuk.  ISF and U.S.

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.

At Least 19 Reported Dead in Pakistan Blast

Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber killed at least 19 people outside a court building in Peshawar Thursday, in the latest attack to strike the northwestern city. The bombing was the sixth in less than two weeks in and around Peshawar.  Officials say the attacker blew himself up when guards were trying to search him at the court's gate. They say three policemen were among the dead.

Media Rights Groups Call for Probe Into Shooting of VOA Reporter in Puntland

International media rights groups are expressing shock and concern over reports a journalist working for VOA's Somali Service in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland may have been deliberately shot by the police.   Tuesday's shooting of reporter Mohamed Yasin Ishaq in the Puntland-administered part of Galkayo in central Somalia has sparked alarm among international media groups already distressed by deteriorating working conditions for journalists in Somalia.

Foiled Pirate Attack Encourages Defense Officials

Defense Department officials are pleased with the Maersk Alabama's successful defense against suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. Four suspected pirates in a skiff used small-arms weapons in an attempt to board the U.S.-flagged ship, but were unsuccessful. The ship's security team responded with evasive maneuvers, acoustic devices and small-arms fire, which deterred the attack without assistance from U.S.

Operational Update, Nov. 19: Afghan-International Security Forces Detain, Kill Taliban Militants in Kandahar and Ghazni Provinces

An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected militants in northern Kandahar province Wednesday while pursuing a senior Taliban commander.
The joint security force targeted two vehicles near the village of Sahabey in Ghorak district after intelligence indicated militant activity.