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Iraqi Air Force marks 3 major milestones

TIKRIT — The Iraqi Air Force celebrated the arrival of four training aircraft, the groundbreaking of a new air traffic control tower and the receipt of facilities from U.S. forces for use as an air college here, Dec. 16. The Iraqi Minister of Defense, Abd Al-Qadir Al-Mufriji, was joined by Iraqi Staff Lt. Gen. Anwar Hamad Amen Ahmed, IqAF commander, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq commander, and a host of other senior Iraqi and U.S.

The Center for Army Lessons Learned publishes Agribusiness Development Teams Handbook

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas has just released CALL publication 10-10, Agribusiness Development Teams (ADT) in Afghanistan Handbook. This handbook is a product of the National Guard Agribusiness Development Team Coordination Office with input from current and previously deployed Agriculture Development Teams (ADTs). Agriculture accounts for 45 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product and is the main source of income for the Afghan economy. Over 80 percent of the Afghan population is involved in farming, herding, or both.

AFRCC Airmen aid in Arizona search for 55 stranded people

Airmen at the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center aided local and state first responders while searching for several missing individuals who were stranded near Flagstaff, Ariz.. Last week's winter storm dumped several inches of snow, trapping 55 individuals who were hunting or looking for the perfect Christmas tree in the area.

HIMARS Shoots High For Award

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is a repeat award winner. This precision strike weapons system, assigned to fire brigades supporting brigade combat teams, is the only two-time recipient of the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics award. The award recognizes government and industry teams providing war fighters with exceptional operational capability through PBL agreements. "This is the second time our team has been rewarded for a really good job of supplying fielded capabilities," said Col.

Iran Test Fires Improved Long-Range Missile

Iran has test-fired what it claims is an improved version of its Sejil 2 medium-range missile, Wednesday, amid ongoing tension with the West over its nuclear program.   State television showed video of the Sejil 2 missile launch Wednesday, calling the test a success. The Sejil 2 has a range of about 2,000 kilometers, making it capable of hitting Israel and U.S.

Pakistan Battles Militants, Political Scandal in 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has made Pakistan a key part of his new strategy in Afghanistan.  But as the U.S.

IJC Operational Update, Dec. 16: Taliban Commanders Detained in Wardak, Kandahar; Afghans Attend Writing Seminar; ISAF Casualties

An Afghan-international security force detained two Taliban commanders and another suspected militant in Wardak province today. These commanders are involved with IED activity and responsible for several attacks in the area. The joint force searched compounds near the village of Bhardokheyl where intelligence sources reported militant activity. The militants were detained without incident. In another operation, security forces detained a Taliban commander and a few other militants in western Kandahar province today.

Iraqis Target Terrorists in Baghdad

Iraqi security forces arrested two suspected terrorists today during a combined security operation targeting the Kataib Hezbollah terrorist network in northeastern Baghdad.  Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched for a suspected leader of a cell believed to conduct rocket attacks on security forces and military installations in and around Baghdad. They searched two buildings for the warranted terrorist leader and questioned several people at the scene.

Traumatic stress response team helps Fort Hood victims

An Air Force medical team trained in helping people recover from traumatic events returned from Fort Hood, Texas, after responding to the Nov. 5 shootings, which left 13 people dead and dozens injured. The Traumatic Stress Response team, led by Maj. Sheila Beville, a 59th Mental Health Squadron social worker from Wilford Hall Medical Center, deployed to Fort Hood, Nov. 8 through Dec. 2.

Improved magazine increases weapons reliability

The Army has begun fielding a new 5.56mm 30-round "improved magazine" that delivers a significant increase in reliability for M-16 and M-4 weapons. Bolstering the already high reliability ratings of the M-16 and M-4, the improved magazine reduces the risk of magazine-related stoppages by more than 50 percent compared to the older magazine variants, according to officials at Program Executive Office Soldier. Identified by a tan-colored follower, more than 500,000 of the improved magazines have been fielded to units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States. "With the improved magazine

Coast Guard prepares for 2009-2010 icebreaking season

The Ninth Coast Guard District is preparing for the 2009-2010 icebreaking season in the Great Lakes. Coast Guard icebreaking operations are designed to facilitate the movement of commercial vessels to meet the reasonable demands of commerce on the Great Lakes and to assist the U.S.

West African Summit Postponed Until January

The Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, has postponed a summit that was scheduled for Nigeria next week. The group's current chairman, Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua, has been hospitalized in Saudi Arabia since late November. An ECOWAS spokesman announced Tuesday that the summit of heads of state has been moved to January 18.

Blast Kills 27 in Pakistan

Pakistani officials say the death toll from a suicide car bombing Tuesday in the central town of Dera Ghazi Khan has risen to at least 27.  Investigators say dozens of people have been injured in the blast, with some victims possibly trapped under rubble. The explosion occurred in a busy market near the home of a provincial government adviser Zulfikar Khosa.   Officials say several buildings - including the adviser's home - were heavily damaged.  However, no one was in the home when the attack occurred, and authorities are uncertain if the adviser was the target. The attack is the lat

Congo Minister Warns Ex-Rebels Against Fomenting Trouble

A Democratic Republic of Congo cabinet minister has warned armed groups of stiff punishment if they join forces with the rebel Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDRL) to fight government against troops. Information minister Lambert Mende said former rebels who join the FDLR to destabilize the country undermine the deal that shields them from criminal prosecution. “Those people who enjoyed the amnesty must be careful because the law of amnesty says that whoever will go with those terrorist will destroy all judicial effects of the amnesty.