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American Forces Press Service

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.

General cites reasons for pregnancy provision in Iraq

An Army general in Iraq is going beyond the typical protocol to ensure every able-bodied Soldier in his unit stays fit to fight, even if it means punishing troops for engaging in sexual activities while deployed. Through the Multinational Division North command's General Order No. 1, Maj. Gen. Anthony A.

Iraqis Target Terrorists in Baghdad

Iraqi security forces arrested two suspected terrorists today during a combined security operation targeting the Kataib Hezbollah terrorist network in northeastern Baghdad.  Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched for a suspected leader of a cell believed to conduct rocket attacks on security forces and military installations in and around Baghdad. They searched two buildings for the warranted terrorist leader and questioned several people at the scene.

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.

U.S. Soldiers, Iraqi Sailors Secure Shores

Iraqi security forces are constantly stepping up their role in the protection of Iraq, from the heart of the country out to the borders, where the Iraqi coast border guard can be found at work with U.S.

Air Weapons Team Trains Ground-force Leaders

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq, Dec. 3, 2009 – The adage “Send in the cavalry” once referred to soldiers on horseback, riding to the aid of embattled comrades. Today, that same call for backup can be made a lot quicker and with much more devastating effect through the Army’s joint operations.

Department Focuses on F-35 Costs, Fair Tanker Competition

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2009 – Pentagon officials are working to halt spiraling costs in the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter aircraft program, while ensuring competition for a new refueling tanker remains fair to all contenders, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here yesterday.  Lynn told the Aerospace and Defense Conference he’s concerned about both “cost and schedule challenges” associated with the next-generation fighter aircraft that Defense Secretary Robert M.

‘First-strike Ration’ Aims for Better Nutrition

Several military organizations are working together to provide soldiers with healthy, good-tasting, sustainable and nutritionally sound combat rations.   “We’re charged with a fairly awesome task, and that is to fuel the Defense Department's most flexible and adaptable weapons platform, and that of course is the individual warfighter," said Gerry Darsch, director of the Defense Department’s Combat Feeding Program at the Massachusetts-based Natick Soldier Systems Center. He spoke during a Nov.

Secretary Issues Holiday Season Message

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today issued a holiday season message giving thanks to the military men and women who put their lives on the line every day.  "This time of year calls on Americans to reflect on and give thanks for the freedoms and prosperity we enjoy. Of course, we can only do so because of those who put their lives on the line every day: the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who bear repeated deployments, hardships, and danger – without fail and without complaint. "Many have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Pentagon launches review of Fort Hood shooting

WASHINGTON (Nov. 19, 2009) -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced the Defense Department will conduct a broad review of the Nov. 5 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting that left 13 dead and dozens injured. Former Army Secretary Togo West and retired Navy Adm. Vernon Clark, former chief of naval operations, will head the initial 45-day review, which will inform a follow-on investigation expected to last four to six months. "The shootings at Fort Hood raise a number of troubling questions that demand complete but prompt answers," Gates said during a Pentagon briefing.

Foiled Pirate Attack Encourages Defense Officials

Defense Department officials are pleased with the Maersk Alabama's successful defense against suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. Four suspected pirates in a skiff used small-arms weapons in an attempt to board the U.S.-flagged ship, but were unsuccessful. The ship's security team responded with evasive maneuvers, acoustic devices and small-arms fire, which deterred the attack without assistance from U.S.

Iraqis seek out, arrest 11 criminal suspects

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) arrested 11 terrorism suspects in operations over the last two days, military officials reported.  Iraqi forces and U.S.

Sailors, Soldiers on Nimitz Work to Avoid Civilian Casualties

Two Soldiers working deep inside aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) serve as liaisons between the aviators of Carrier Air Wing 11 and coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan. Army Maj. Johnnie Gallegos and Army Sgt. 1st Class Percy Patterson joined Nimitz Carrier Strike Group as ground liaison officers when Nimitz entered the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Operations. Their work directly supports a tactical directive issued in July by Army Gen. Stanley A.

Iraqi airmen score bull's eye with Hellfire missile

For the first time since the re-formation of the Iraqi air force, an Iraqi pilot fired a missile from an aircraft Nov. 4, at a target on a bombing range near Al Asad Air Base, Iraq.  A three-man Iraqi aircrew from Squadron 3 fired an AGM-114 Hellfire missile from an AC-208 Caravan, officials at Multinational Force Security Transition Command Iraq announced in a Nov. 10 press release. The event marked a milestone for the Iraqi military as they become increasingly responsible for their own security.

Hasan Charged with 13 Counts of Murder

Military prosecutors have charged Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan with 13 counts of premeditated murder in the Nov. 5 attack at Fort Hood, Texas.  The charges fall under Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the case will be heard in the military system. “These are initial charges, and additional charges may be preferred in the future, subject to the ongoing criminal investigation,” said Chris Grey, spokesman for U.S.