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Makin Island Completes First CSSQT, Harrier and AAV Ops

Sailors and Marines aboard the Navy's newest Amphibious Assault Ship returned to port Dec.

C-27J training operations center opens

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Air Force, Army and community officials celebrated the opening of a new cargo plane schoolhouse Dec.

Japan-U.S. Military Exercise Improves Readiness

CAMP HIGASHI-CHITOSE, Japan-On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty, U.S. and Japanese forces have successfully concluded a major exercise here on Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Yama Sakura, an annual joint and combined full-spectrum training exercise, this year involved 1,500 U.S. service members and 3,500 members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. Its focus was the refinement of bilateral planning, coordination, and interoperability. "This exercise proves the strength of the long-standing relationship between the U.S.

Loss for Government As BOI Finds LtCol Chessani Not Guilty of Misconduct

Late last Friday afternoon (Eastern Standard Time), after three hours of deliberation, the military Board of Inquiry ruled LtCol Chessani was not guilty of misconduct and should not be demoted.  Nevertheless, the Board’s ruling produced a mixed result.  It ruled Chessani must now retire because he displayed “substandard performance” by failing to conduct a more detailed investigation of the civilians killed as a result of the house clearing actions of four Marines after they were ambushed in Haditha, Iraq on N

UN Reports Rise in Opium Cultivation in Burma

United Nations officials say opium cultivation in Burma rose for the third straight year as ethnic rebel groups sell drugs to buy arms. The increase reverses past successes in cutting opium cultivation in Southeast Asia.   The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime - UNODC - said Monday that opium poppy cultivation in Burma rose more than 10 percent in 2009 - the third successive year of growth.   The agency's latest report covering Thailand, Laos and Burma says the area poppies are cultivated on around 31,700 hectares.

ECOWAS Leader Calls for Intervention Force in Guinea

The head of West Africa's regional alliance says foreign troops should be sent to Guinea to establish security, following the shooting of the country's military leader.  Talks to resolve Guinea's political crisis resumed Sunday in Burkina Faso. The secretary general of the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, says Guinea needs a regional intervention force to prevent further violence. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said the preventative deployment of such a force would ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance and establish a safe environment for the Guinean people.

Man Attacks Italian PM, Breaks Nose and Teeth

Police in Italy say a man with a history of mental problems hit Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the face with a statue Sunday. Mr. Berlusconi was taken to a hospital with a broken nose, two broken teeth, and a cut lip. Italy's ANSA news agency said the prime minister told reporters that he was fine after emergency treatment. But doctors say they want to keep him in the hospital overnight for observation. Mr. Berlusconi was signing autographs and shaking hands after a rally in Milan Sunday. His attacker moved close enough to throw a small statue at the prime minister's face.

IJC Operational Update, Dec. 14: Militants Detained in Khowst, Kandahar

An Afghan-international security force detained a Haqqani weapons facilitator and a small group of other militants in Khowst province today. The facilitator is responsible for the supply and distribution of weapons to several militant elements in the area. The joint force searched a compound near the village of Paru Kheyl in the Sabari District where intelligence sources reported the facilitator to be located.

Iraqis Arrest 4 Terrorism Suspects

Iraqi soldiers and police arrested four terrorism suspects in two operations yesterday, military officials reported.  Iraqi soldiers arrested a suspect yesterday during an operation in northeastern Baghdad targeting the Promised Day Brigade terrorist network. The soldiers and U.S. advisors searched a home for a suspected leader of the group believed to be responsible for attacking security forces in the Baghdad region.

Rolling Stoned - Soldier Gets Rocked by Stone Throwing Afghan Crowd

"Sticks and stones may break my bones" is an old adage that has new meaning for Sgt. Kathryn Burke, 402nd Brigade Support Battalion, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Burke was manning the gunner's hatch of a Mine Resistant Armor Protected vehicle in a resupply convoy bound for Forward Operating Base Frontenac when she gained her new insight. After a few convoy briefs and a few cigarettes, Burke climbed into the MRAP and took up her place in the hatch as gunner for the first time.

Carl Vinson Air Department Works to Certify Flight Deck

Air Department Sailors aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) are working toward carrier flight deck certification during the December underway period. The flight deck certification is a two-day process to conduct flight deck drills demonstrating Air Department can safely handle all emergency situations such as an aircraft fire or crashes on the landing area. The first day consists of day launching, day recovery and taxi drills during the night. Day two of the flight deck certification is day and night launch and recovery of the squadron aircrafts.

Live-fire demo showcases future weapons

The Small Arms Branch of the Soldier Requirements Division rolled out more than 30 weapon systems - including pistols, rifles, sniper weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers - for a special live-fire demonstration Tuesday at Red Cloud Range. The weapons, including new sniper technology, weapons upgrades and an air burst rifle prototype, represent 60 percent of the Army's small arms strategy, said Lt. Col. Thomas Henthorn, chief of the small arms branch. The demonstration was to familiarize Maj. Gen.

A Christmas Message from LtCol Oliver North

Dear Proud American, “I immediately reached down – up, really, since I was upside down – for my legs.  I could tell they were gone.”
An American Hero, 25-year-old Lt Dan, recalls what happened to him in August, when an IED blew up under him, in Kandahar province, near the

Turkey Tense as Court Considers Kurd Party's Fate

The future of Turkey's main Kurdish party hangs in the balance as the country's constitutional court deliberates whether to shut down the Democratic Society Party.  The government has accused the party of supporting terrorism. Turkey's highest court this week began final deliberations on a case seeking to shut down the main Kurdish party on charges of backing the militant Kurdistan Workers Party, a charge the Democratic Society Party has denied. DTP leader Ahmet Turk condemned the case. "Unfortunately this is such a wrong reasoning," he said.  "We are face-to-face with such a wrong lo