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Japan, U.S. Naval Ships Complete Dynamic Koa Kai Training

Hawaii-based Destroyer Squadron 31 completed a week of dynamic training as ships returned to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Nov. 17-18, from the latest Koa Kai exercise in Hawaiian waters.

It was the first time U.S. Navy ships were joined by a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) surface ship for a Koa Kai exercise. The JMSDF helicopter destroyer JS Kurama (DDH 144) participated in the exercise that began Nov. 10.

U.S., Canadian defense leaders call F-35 crucial

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AFNS) -- Calling it crucial to the defense of North America, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Canadian Defense Minister Peter G. MacKay emphasized that both nations are committed to developing the F-35 joint strike fighter.

At a news conference here in conjunction with the Halifax International Security Forum, the defense leaders said budget pressures should not stand in the way of fielding the next-generation fighter jet.

Panetta said he's seen media reports that the U.S. is not committed to the joint strike fighter.

Forward observers train for close air support missions

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Forward observers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, participated in the Joint Fires Observer training course Nov. 7 through Nov. 9 here. The course curriculum covered calls for fire and field artillery aspects and key points regarding close air support on the battlefield, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Scott Downey.

INTREPID FAMILIES WORK IN CONGRESS TO PASS REPATRIATION LEGISLATION

The descendants of 13 US Navy heroes buried on "the shores of Tripoli" returned home from Washington satisfied with the results of two days of back-to-back meetings on Capitol Hill working closely with Senate staff and veterans service organizations to bring their forebears home.

Green Berets Honor President Kennedy in Ceremony

Video by 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)

Japan, US conduct bilateral casualty evacuation rehearsals

COMBINED ARMS TRAINING CENTER, Camp Fuji, Japan — Marines and corpsmen conducted bilateral casualty evacuation rehearsals with members of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force here Nov. 9.

The rehearsals were conducted by the Marines and corpsmen of 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, during Artillery Relocation Training Program 11-3 at the North Fuji Maneuver Area.

Keel Laid for First DDG 1000 Destroyer

The U.S. Navy laid the keel for its first Zumwalt-class destroyer (DDG 1000), Nov. 17, at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine.

While keel laying was once traditionally the formal recognition of the start of the ship's construction, today's advanced modular shipbuilding allows fabrication of the ship to begin months before. However, the keel laying continues to symbolically recognize the joining of the ship's components and the ceremonial beginning of the ship.

Combat engineers tunnel into leveled buildings to save lives

Responding to a simulated improvised nuclear device in downtown Phoenix as part of the 2011 Arizona Statewide Vigilant Guard exercise, about 60 combat engineers from the 235th Engineer Company (Sapper), 579th Engineer Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, California Army National Guard, out of Petaluma, Calif., picked up their ropes and jackhammers and dug into the destroyed city, Nov. 4-5.

SEALs Celebrate 50 Years of Service

The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony and Muster XXVI aboard Fort Pierce, Fla., Nov. 12-13.

The two-day event honored SEALs past and present. The Muster featured several events including a 5k run, U.S. Navy Leap Frogs jump, a memorial ceremony in honor of Veterans Day and a live capabilities demonstration conducted by East Coast-based Navy SEALs featuring military working dogs and a demolitions demonstration.