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SECDEF Announces Stationing of Aegis Ships at Rota, Spain

Statement made Oct. 5 by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta on stationing Aegis ships at Rota, Spain:

Special Forces team takes top honors at international sniper competition

The world's top sniper duo hails from Fort Bragg, N.C.

Master Sgt. Kevin Owens and Sgt. 1st Class Terry Gower of B Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), emerged from a field of 32 teams to capture the top spot in the 2011 International Sniper Competition. Fort Bragg wound up placing three teams in the top five at the 11th annual event, which began here Sept. 27 and wrapped up Friday.

The field included entries from Ireland, Spain, Canada, Germany, the Air Force, Marine Corps and Army National Guard. There were state police tandems from Florida and California.

CBR Defense Milestone Achieved

The Navy's initiative to protect 128 warships with a new Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) defense capability reached a significant milestone, a Navy CBR Defense official announced Oct. 5.

The installation of the Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS) aboard USS Ross (DDG 71) in September makes it the 50th ship in the fleet upgraded with near real-time biological warfare agent detection, warning, identification and sample isolation capabilities.

Engineers train on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles

They weigh roughly 20 tons each and measure more than 13 feet tall -- but last week was the first time many Soldiers in 63rd Engineer Company (Horizontal) had encountered a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle.

Training on MRAPs began Sept. 23 and will last through Oct. 14. The training is part of the final weeks of preparation for the unit, which is slated to deploy to Afghanistan later this year.

Makin Island ARG Ships Support 11th MEU Counter-Piracy Training

Ships assigned to the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) served as the key platform for counter-piracy training conducted Oct. 1 by the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit during a certification exercise (CERTEX) off the coast of Southern California.

Led by Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five (PHIBRON 5), the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) were the launching platforms for air and surface assets that allowed a Marine maritime raid force to re-take a simulated pirated vessel.

Joint Strike Fighter F-35B Lightning II

Video by Navy Visual News Service

Missouri Guardsmen help recover crashed Navy helicopter

Missouri National Guard Soldiers helped recover a Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter that crashed at the Jefferson City airport as it was taking off after refueling.

The airport was holding a public event, Oct. 2, when the accident occurred. The Missouri National Guard had a Kiowa OH-58 helicopter display set up and local emergency responders were already on site at the time of the accident. There were no fatalities.

5/10 goes hot, supports 3/3 before deployment

“Fire mission!”

At the moment the call was made, Marines dropped what they were doing and jumped into their positions without need of further order. Soon radios started to roar with voices and the gun line with fire.

Battery S, an artillery unit with 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, provided fire support from the Lava Training Area, for 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment’s Enhanced Mojave Viper rotation, Sept. 19 to 23, 2011.

“This supports everyone,” said Cpl. Carl M. Hunt, the number three cannonier for Gun 4 with Sierra Battery. “This is a combined operation.”

USS Carr, Embarked Coast Guard Law Enforcement Team Rescue Stranded Mariner

The crew of USS Carr (FFG 52) and members of an embarked U.S. Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team (TACLET) rescued a stranded mariner Oct. 3 off the coast of the Florida Keys.

Carr's bridge team spotted the man in distress through their binoculars before dispatching a rescue team.

The Canadian man had been adrift for three days after his vessel experienced a loss of electricity and propulsion. He was without a working radio or signaling device.