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US Army Scouts conduct joint operations, training with Iraqi Commandos

The citizens of Iraq took a more independent role in securing their country with the signing of the Security Agreement, June 30. In support of this goal, U.S. Scouts are conducting joint operations and training with Iraqi Army Commandos. The Scout platoon, from Headquarters & Headquarters Co., 4th Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, is developing the 38th Iraqi Army Brigade Commando leadership through instruction on how to be more effective trainers for their Jundee (Soldiers). This will help the Iraqis to continue quality training after the drawdown of U.S.

Soldiers Meet With Leaders in Remote Afghan Province

Over mountainous terrain, a pair of UH-47 Chinook helicopters glided through the cold air to the remote village of Shaykh Ali in Afghanistan's Parwan province Dec. 19, carrying nearly 45 Task Force Cyclone team members. Their mission: to speak with district leaders, police and villagers about how to better serve and contribute to the local people. The group unloaded off the helicopters swiftly in the snow-covered fields to meet Afghan National Police officers.

JSOTF-P brightens spirits at Social Development Center

Twenty members of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines spent a special holiday evening visiting children at the Social Development Center in Zamboanga City Dec. 23. "It made me feel really good to give my time and spent time with the kids. I was excited about it and could tell they were excited to see us," said U.S. Navy Aerographer's Mate 1st Class (AW/SW) Christopher Cross. Founded in 1994, the center serves as a residential facility for children who are abandoned, neglected, orphaned, or abused.

Purple Heart recipients remembered over holiday season

The Wounded Warrior Regiment recently sent approximately 7,000 Christmas ornaments to Marine veterans across the United States who received the Purple Heart following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.   “We wanted to ensure every Marine who has been wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11 received a token of our gratitude,” said Capt.

Suicide Bomber Strikes Peshawar in Pakistan

A suicide bomb attack has rocked the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least five people and wounding more than 20 others. Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber walked up to a security checkpoint Thursday and detonated his explosives after he was stopped by police.

Medvedev: Russia to Develop New Nuclear Missiles

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says his country will develop a new generation of nuclear weaponry, even as it works toward a new strategic arms treaty with the United States. Mr. Medvedev spoke Wednesday in Moscow, in a wide-ranging interview with the editors of three state-controlled television channels. He said new missile technology will be developed in full accordance with any new arms agreements reached with Washington. The current Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty expired earlier this month, and senior U.S.

IJC Operational Update, Dec. 24: Militants Detained in Helmand, Kandahar, Khowst; Caches Discovered; ISAF Casualties

An Afghan-international security force detained several suspected militants in Helmand while searching for a Taliban commander linked to a murder and intimidation campaign. The joint security force went to a compound north of the village of Ser Banader in the Garmsir district after intelligence experts confirmed militant activity in the area. When the joint force approached the compound they came under hostile fire.

Soldiers Work Toward Iraqi Province’s Future

The soldiers of “A” Company, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, are leading the way in the “advise and assist” mission of the 1st Armored Division’s 4th Brigade. 

Chairman Sends Holiday Message to Troops, Families

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2009 – Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today issued the following holiday message:  As America celebrates this holiday season, our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen are serving around the world. Families and friends at home can enjoy the holidays in peace thanks to your sacrifice. In the midst of glad tidings, we honor your service and that of your families who serve along with you. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with our wounded warriors, their families, and the families of the fallen.

EOD: Volunteering for danger

When Staff Sgt. Kenneth Guinn decided on an Air Force career field, he didn't want to be indoors behind a computer. With that criteria narrowing the scope, he decided to volunteer for what he calls the best job in the Air Force: explosive ordnance disposal, a volunteer-only career field. "I really enjoy it; I wouldn't have it any other way," said Sergeant Guinn, who has been a part of the 37th Civil Engineer Squadron's EOD unit since June 2005. Sergeant Guinn followed his family's lineage into the Air Force.

Wasp Returns Home Wrapping up Southern Partnership Station-Amphib 2009

The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and her crew of approximately 1,100 Sailors returned home Dec. 22 from nearly three months deployed to U.S. Southern Command area of focus, wrapping up Southern Partnership Station (SPS) -Amphib 2009. Wasp deployed Oct. 4 from Naval Station Norfolk. Working alongside Mayport-based Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 40 and Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SCMAGTF) they worked to build interoperability and cooperation between U.S.

Father Nguyen Van Ly

Prisoner of conscience Father Nguyen Van Ly was returned to prison from hospital on 11 December: he had not fully recovered from a stroke. He is partially paralyzed on one side. The prison authorities are not providing him with adequate medical care, and his health is in danger. On 11 December Father Nguyen Van Ly was moved back to Ba Sao prison from Prison Hospital 198, administered by the Ministry of Public Security in Ha Noi, where he had been recovering from a stroke he suffered on 14 November.

LE CONG DINH COULD FACE DEATH PENALTY

LE CONG DINH COULD FACE DEATH PENALTY
Human rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh has been charged with attempting to overthrow the state. For this, he could face the death penalty.

Thailand Set to Repatriate Lao Hmong Despite Concerns of Political Persecution

Thai military authorities say they will send about 4,000 Hmong living in a Thai refugee camp back to Laos by the end of the year, despite concerns they may face political persecution. A military spokesman on Wednesday confirmed to VOA that Thailand will repatriate the Hmong within about a week. They have been living at the Huay Nam Khao camp in Thailand's northern Petchabun province. Many of the Hmong at the camp fear persecution by Lao authorities if they are sent back and are believed to want political asylum. Thailand says they will be repatriated on a voluntary basis, but has n