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HIMARS battery adds long-range fire support to the battlefield

Task Force Leatherneck provides plenty of artillery support for its ground units throughout its area of operations – M777 A2 howitzers do an excellent job of providing indirect fire in most cases. However, some targets may be out of reach for cannons, or a unit may want something more accurate to support its mission; they may want to go with rockets instead.

The Marines of Romeo Battery, 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, are happy to assist with their High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, providing a different capability than the more well-known M777.

Big Red One Soldiers, Afghan forces take on enemy during Operation Tofan II

"It's probably the most dangerous mission all year," said Capt. Michael Hefti, speaking to his Soldiers before they headed off to the remote Suri Kheyl area of Waze Zadran district, Paktya province, Sept. 15.

The impending joint effort between coalition and Afghan National Security Forces to locate and destroy enemy strength, designated as Operation Tofan II would prove to be an illuminating one in many ways.

C-130Js improve Bagram's airlift, airdrop capabilities

The 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron recently filled its ranks with C-130J Hercules aircraft and aircrews as two new units ripped in to comprise the squadron.

Almost two dozen C-130Js and a full complement of aircrew and maintenance personnel split between California Air National Guard's146th Airlift Wing and Rhode Island Air National Guard's 143rd Airlift Wing replaced C-130H-model guard units from Alaska and New York.

Chinook turns 50, looks toward future

For most individuals, change can be harder with age. Not for the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter -- an aircraft originally designed and built to haul missiles that the U.S. Army no longer uses.

"To see the improvements and what we've done with this aircraft through the years gives me a lot of pride," said Maj. Gen. William "Tim" Crosby, program executive officer for Aviation. "That aircraft was designed to haul something we don't even have anymore, but it is still so valid. It is so versatile at all altitudes, with internal and external loads. It's an outstanding capability."

New optic enhances heavy machine guns

Marines from various units within III Marine Expeditionary Force trained with the first optics system specifically designed for the Mk-19 and M2 .50-caliber Browning machine gun at Range Two on Camp Hansen Sept. 14.

Army seeks to ID, treat Soldiers exposed to rabies

A Soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan died from rabies last month after contracting the disease from a feral dog while deployed.

The Army has initiated an investigation to ensure that other service members who may have been exposed to rabies are identified and receive preventive treatment, if needed.

First time deployment for some exceeds expectations in Belize

Many Marine recruiters promise young civilians the opportunity to see the world and travel to many foreign lands. For some, it is a deciding factor; for others, a pleasant bonus. For most, the first time traveling abroad is a memorable experience.

Several junior officers and enlisted Marines experienced their first visit to “any clime and place” when Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 self-deployed to Belize in Central America with ground support from Marine Wing Support Squadron 271.

Army National Guard Aviation Soldiers from New York, Maine, and Connecticut Train for Deployment

More than 400 Army National Guard Soldiers from the 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade , and other New York Army National Guard aviation elements, are training here to prepare Soldiers for a potential deployment overseas in 2012.

SOF Daily Update - 22 September, 2011

The Taliban leader who lured American forces into a battle where a CH-47 was downed was killed in an air strike.