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Aircraft Ramp Opens at Camp Lemonnier

After more than nine months of work and $12 million in funding, a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules became the first aircraft to utilize a new apron at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), Dec. 22, marking the beginning of operational missions on the apron known as 'Enduring Ramp'. "Initially, Camp Lemonnier was built as an expeditionary base with expeditionary hardware," said Lt. j.g. John Woods, the air operations officer at CLDJ.

PCU New Mexico Delivered to Navy Four Months Early

The Navy took delivery of its newest attack submarine, PCU New Mexico (SSN 779), from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding (NGSB) Dec. 29, four months earlier than its contract delivery date. New Mexico is the sixth Virginia-class submarine and the third delivered by NGSB. "New Mexico performed superbly on sea trials," said Rear Adm. William Hilarides, program executive officer for submarines. "Her early delivery keeps us firmly on pace for a 60-month construction span by the end of the Block II contract." Capt.

JSOTF-P Conducts Bomb Training with the Philippine National Police

Members of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines taught more than 40 officers from the Philippine National Police techniques for identifying homemade bombs in Zamboanga del Norte province Dec. 22-23. Law enforcement in Zamboanga regularly comes across suspected IEDs and often have to investigate individuals accused of making homemade bombs, making this training imperative to perform their duties. "The purpose of the class was to teach the bomb squads what to look for when searching a property of someone who is suspected of making explosives.

New York Army National Guard Honored 10,400 Veterans at Funerals in 2009

The New York Military Forces Honor Guard rendered military honors at the funerals of more than 10,400 former Army members, mostly from the World War II generation, in 2009. However, there are still Soldiers being buried out there who don't get the honors they are entitled to because they or their families don't realize what they are owed by their country, said Donald E. Roy, the director of Honor Guard. The Honor Guard is comprised of New York Army National Guard Soldiers who perform these duties in addition to their military and civilians jobs.

NIOC Team Shapes BHR ARG Understanding of the Maritime Domain

Sailors from Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii, NIOC San Diego, and NIOC Whidbey Island are playing a crucial role in the daily operations of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility. The capacity to acquire, analyze, and apply pertinent information enables the ready group's Sailors and Marines to execute the maritime security mission and respond to disasters around the globe. "Our job is to make sure we don't get surprised," says Chief Cryptologic Technician Collection (SW/EXP) Naomi Richards, a leading member of the team.

Chaplain Corps celebrates centennial of support from its enlisted assistants

Sgt. Major Alvin Chaplin likes to compare a chaplain assistant to an entire infantry company rolled into one Soldier. "In order to get the job done, he or she has to be able to do it all -- company clerk, supply person, motor sergeant and combatant. The chaplain assistant has to set the conditions for the chaplain to succeed and the commander to execute the unit's religious programs," said Chaplin, U.S. Army Forces Command's senior chaplain assistant, Chaplin made his observation on the occasion of the Army's celebrating the centennial of the Army chaplain assistants Dec. 28.

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.

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.