Thursday, December 31, 2009

Laptops for Wounded Warriors Project Expands | Marinka Peschmann

"Upon learning that this journalist is Canadian, the young, handsome warrior’s eyes brightly lit up and he told me how Canadians saved his life, then described how during the critical life and death hour, called the “golden hour,” after the deadly IED blast, he was aided by Canadian forces in Afghanistan, “I want to thank the Canadians who saved my life,” he said. Canada has been one of the few allies who have fought with Americans to defeat the terrorists and extremists in Afghanistan."

Laptops for Wounded Warriors Project Expands Marinka Peschmann:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Officer blinded in Iraq graduates MCCC

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Dec 24, 2009 13:15:38 EST

Capt. Ivan Castro lost his eyesight in Iraq to a spray of hot shrapnel from an 82mm mortar round that landed five feet from his position on a rooftop.
It’s been a long three years since that Sept. 2, 2006 attack, which killed two of his soldiers, and Castro never thought he’d survive his wounds.
But on Dec. 15, Castro, a 21-year veteran of the Army, graduated from the Maneuver Captains Career Course at Fort Benning, Ga., and will soon report to his new assignment as operations officer in Special Forces Recruiting Battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C., according to an Army news release.
When Castro was an enlisted soldier, he was assigned to 7th Special Forces Group.
At the time of the mortar attack southwest of Baghdad, Castro, a first lieutenant at the time, was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and was a sniper reconnaissance platoon leader.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

U.S.-Iraqi partnership halts smuggling across Syrian border

"CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE UBAYDI, Iraq (Dec. 14, 2009) -- Since U.S. advise and assist forces began partnering with Iraqi border patrols along the Syrian border in mid-November, instances of smugglers circumventing port-of-entry stations have all but ceased, according to several sources within the Department of Border Enforcement.

To prevent arms smuggling prior to the 2010 Iraqi national elections, Soldiers with Company D, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division (Advise and Assist Brigade), began partnered operations and training with border security forces of the 15th Iraqi Brigade, DBE.

Attempts to smuggle contraband across the border berms have been greatly reduced since the Americans showed up, according to Staff Brig. Gen. Dhamin, commander of 15th Brigade."

More ...U.S.-Iraqi partnership halts smuggling across Syrian border:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Troops in Anbar Prepare for Iraqi Election

"As U.S. troops in western Iraq help to prepare for national elections in January, an American commander in the former insurgent hotbed of Anbar province said any potential uptick in violence is unlikely to derail the balloting.

For the past two weeks, some of the 5,000 troops of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade, under the command of Army Col. Mark Stammer, have been working alongside Iraqi counterparts in Anbar to secure positions and checkpoints for the election."

“Iraqi security forces are well under way for their preparations,” Stammer told Pentagon reporters. “We don't anticipate any real spikes in violence that could derail the elections in Anbar province at this time.”Referring to a recent spate of terrorist attacks in the province, including the slaying this week of a Sunni politician and 12 other men in what appears to be a strike by al-Qaida in Iraq, Stammer attributed the violence to separate groups sharing a desire to disrupt the election process.“These [are] disparate groups coming together for short-term common interests to achieve some measure of success in derailing the elections,” he said. “They have not been able to accomplish this to date, nor do I anticipate them being able to accomplish that.”

more... US Dept of Defense - Troops in Anbar Prepare for Iraqi Election:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The uneasy ride of Canada's tankers in Afghanistan

"The dust, the dirt, the attacks, the roadside bombs just part of a day's work for Edmontonbased Lord Strathcona's Horse as they go about their duties"
By Ryan Cormier, Edmonton JournalNovember 8, 2009

In the land of guns that is Afghanistan, members of the Edmonton-based Lord Strathcona's Horse have the biggest ones around.
For six sweltering months, the 82 Edmontonbased soldiers of C Squadron operated the only tanks in southern Afghanistan. On bomb-littered roads absent of any traffic rules, the Strathcona's drove their 70-tonne machines on nearly 250 missions.
Their tanks were damaged with hidden bombs numerous times, with three major incidents, severely injuring two soldiers, but they suffered no casualties during the entire tour."

more... The uneasy ride of Canada's tankers in Afghanistan:

Monday, October 26, 2009

On a sad day for Iraq, things are quiet at CKV

"By Mike Francis, The Oregonian
October 25, 2009, 9:23PM
CKV holds about a thousand people, including members of other branches and contractors. But about 120 Oregonians are running the place, which, as you can see from the picture below, ain't exactly paradise. But their goal is to be the unit that sees it closed down and returned to the Iraqis ... assuming the political and military process works the way it is supposed to. With the explosions in Baghdad yesterday and the uncertainty about the January elections, that's a big If."

more... On a sad day for Iraq, things are quiet at CKV Oregon at War -

Friday, October 23, 2009

State Officials Show Appreciation

Flags from more than 30 U.S. states are displayed during a ceremony, Oct. 20, at Forward Operating Base Hammer, located outside eastern Baghdad. Government officials from each state donated the flags to members of Company C, 82nd Brigade Support Battalion 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in appreciation for their service to the country.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

'Advise and Assist' Brigade Helps Bridge Project

'Advise and Assist' Brigade Helps Bridge Project:
"Army divers come out of the Euphrates River after a two-hour dive to locate debris in the path of the new Saqlawiya bridge being built north of Taqaddum, Iraq, Oct. 5, 2009. The 'umbilical cord' on shore includes the air supply and communications for the divers, who are assigned to the 86th Engineer Dive Team."

SAQLAWIYA, Iraq (Oct. 14, 2009) -- On a floating bridge beside the stump of a modern concrete highway span under construction here, two middle-aged men talk through an interpreter about the job before them.One is Najee Hamed, shift supervisor for the Iraqi police who are manning traffic control points and providing security for the bridge and new construction. A large, heavyset man, Hamed is a former first sergeant of an Iraq army artillery battery who was wounded by rocket fire in the Iraq-Iran War.The other is U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Scott Thomas, a paratrooper on his fifth deployment, whose family's military service dates back to the U.S. Revolution. Thomas, with the 82nd Airborne Division's 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, is providing security for an Army dive team that is removing debris from a destroyed bridge so that Iraqi contractors may finish a new bridge project.The 504th was the first infantry regiment in the Army to be designated airborne; now it is part of the newest tool in the Army's arsenal developed for this kind of mission: the advise-and-assist brigade. More

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

U.S. lays out pace of Iraq pullout

"Baghdad - By the end of October, American troop strength in Iraq will be 120,000, a decrease of 23,000 since January, the top U.S. military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, said Monday. The next big reduction will not come until well after the national elections in January, he added."
Lanza referred repeatedly to a “responsible drawdown.” It was his first full-scale news conference since May, when he addressed reporters in advance of Iraqi security forces' taking the lead in security operations on June 30.
”I really think the elections will be a point of departure by which we look at an assessment of true drawdown and really start moving our numbers from, let's say, somewhere between 120,000 and 110,000 by the election, and then getting at that 50,000 by August 2010,” he said Monday.
The United States has pledged to remove all combat troops from Iraq by next August, leaving 50,000 troops to advise and support the Iraqis.
Already, the first so-called advise and assist brigade, devoted exclusively
to training Iraqi troops, has arrived in Anbar Province, he said. That is the
1st Brigade of the army's 82nd Airborne Division. It will eventually be joined
by five more such brigades once American combat troops are gone.

full story... - U.S. lays out pace of Iraq pullout:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Facebook | Videos from 82nd Airborne: Division Song

Facebook Videos from 82nd Airborne: Division Song: "Allen Larson, Barry Hinkle, Barry Simpson, Bill Eberle, Blake Hicks, Brady Sexton, Brent A. Bradley, Dale Simpson, David Meyer, Fiona Peden, Howard Tanner, Jim Ochoa, John Mills, Lee Daugherty, M.P. Ranger, Mark Bednarz, Mark Christianson, Michele Hall Reid, Reinaldo A. Rios, Ronaldo V. Zulueta, Shelley Loop Stockton, Ted Lupica"

Laid to rest, 59 years later

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fort Bragg soldier helps lightning strike victims

Friday, September 25, 2009

Over the Top Baghdad style

"Soldiers from the Iraqi army and 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, take time between missions for some real international relations and partnership at Forward Operating Base Rashid in eastern Baghdad July 21. The Red Devils, based out of Fort Bragg, N.C., went undefeated, but the Iraqis demanded a rematch. (U.S. Army photo by Maj. Sean Ryan, 2nd IBCT, 2nd Inf. Div. PAO)"
Over the Top Baghdad style on Flickr - Photo Sharing!:

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Security for Western Iraq Base Shifts to Army

Story by Gunnery Sgt. Katesha WashingtonDate: 09.17.2009Posted: 09.17.2009 11:46

"CAMP AL TAQADDUM, Iraq - Since the beginning of April 2009, a detachment of Marines from 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, have kept U.S. forces and civilian contractors aboard Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, safe and secure."
Recently, the Marines handed that responsibility over to the paratroopers of 1st Bn., 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, during a transfer of authority ceremony held aboard the base. The transfer is part of the U.S. military's plan to draw down its forces and reduce its footprint in Iraq, especially in the once-volatile region of Al Anbar province.

Soldiers who previously served in Al Anbar realize the major security gains achieved within the past three years and appreciate the current state of security at the base and its surrounding region. Particularly, the battalion's top soldier, Army Lt. Col. Xavier T. Brunson, commanding officer of 1st Bn., 504th PIR, who served in an area near Baghdad from January 2007 to March 2008,is amazed to see the positive changes made since 2007.

more... Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Karmah Initiative bears first fruit with school, diwan

"KARMAH, Iraq (Sept. 14, 2009) -- The opening of the first of two dozen new and refurbished schools and a new meeting place were celebrated Sept. 9, in an area northwest of Baghdad thought by many to be lost to poverty and violence.

A group of influential sheikhs, government and Iraqi Security Force officials joined U.S. Marine and Army leadership for the opening ceremony.

The Karmah School for Girls was opened along with a diwan for the sheikh council and city council of Karmah, both part of a larger civil affairs initiative in the Karmah region, said a spokesperson for the projects."

Karmah Initiative bears first fruit with school, diwan:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paratroopers Begin Replacing Marines in Al Anbar

"Story by Spc. Michael MacLeod
Date: 09.10.2009
Posted: 09.10.2009 01:57

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq – On the road between Ramadi and Fallujah lies the sediment of six years of violent conflict. The concussive forces of war, insurgency and terrorist brutality have turned much of the mason block construction into what must surely be the dictionary description following the word rubble. If this to block and mortar, what then to the lives of the Anbaris who lived here?

It is Sunday morning, Sept. 6. A man runs hose water over his shiny green sedan. A shopkeeper props open the doors with jugs of juice. Barefoot children play in the dusty streets and hold their hands to block the sun as they wave for candy from Soldiers rolling past in armored vehicles. They are used to seeing Marines here.The MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, roll on and pass arid graveyards where impromptu headstones are barely distinguishable from the desert rocks. There are many such graveyards.

Back on the hardball, the vehicles pass a new construction site, and then another and another, then a construction yard full of new block and bags of mortar. Within one of the MRAPS, a paratrooper wearing an 82nd Airborne Division patch and an eagle for his rank says two words that seem prophetic to the moment: "New construction," he says.

Army Col. Mark Stammer, commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, and Marine Col. Matthew Lopez, commander of Regimental Combat Team 6, are traveling to Camp Al Taqaddum, where 1st BCT's storied 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, will be ceded authority to operate in east Al Anbar province by 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.The battalion of paratroopers is part of the first unit to deploy to Iraq as a fully-developed advisory-and-assistance brigade assigned the mission of security-force assistance to help Iraqis maintain security and stability, and ultimately, economic prosperity.The ceremony will mark the beginning of the end of five-and-a-half years of Marine Corps presence in Al Anbar province, and a continuation of the drawdown of U.S. combat forces in a free Iraq."

The Red Devils are not just part of the "next" U.S. combat troops to occupy Al
Anbar province, but in all likelihood, the last, with the last big milestone
being the second Iraqi national elections in January 2010."We are here in a very
exciting period of history," says Brunson. "We've got an awesome responsibility
to support the institutions that are going to continue the democratic process.
Our greatest export is a little bit of hope, and a whole bunch of training."

Ful;l article... Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System:

Monday, September 07, 2009

Remote Iraqi Residents Get Clean Water

"BAGHDAD -U.S. Paratroopers put their time and energy into learning how to set up and operate a solar-powered water filtration system at Forward Operating Base Hammer, Iraq.
In an effort to provide a better quality of life for the citizens of Iraq's Ma'dain region, Paratroopers assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division- Baghdad implemented a self-powered, energy efficient water filtration system to provide the area's residents clean, adequate drinking water. However, for this system to be effective, regional leaders need to be shown how it works."

Remote Iraqi Residents Get Clean Water:

Paratroopers With 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division

"Pvt. Anthony Perakis, Pvt. Jamie Haskett, Staff Sgt. Michael McDevitt, and Sgt. Deny Caballero of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, take turns carrying a large rock while ruck-marching for morning physical fitness training Sept. 3 at Camp Ramadi, Iraq.
The brigade, which will relieve 18,000 Marines over the next few months, is the
first to arrive in Iraq as a fully-developed advise-and-assist brigade assigned
the mission of security-force assistance."

DVIDS Images: Paratroopers With 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Newly Arrived at Camp Ramadi, Iraq, Train for Fitness:

Fort Bragg Paratroopers Train in Fictitious Iraqi Town

"FORT POLK, La. - Early morning in the combat outpost was like that hour before sun up on a Louisiana frog pond, with rumbling, bullfrog snores and socks stinking like pond muck from days of bathing in boot dust and sweat. Carried on the morning dew, the smell of 40 grimy infantrymen racked out in a room too small for morning vapors best described as weaponized funk."

Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System:

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Devil Brigade sharpens their soldier skills at Al Asad

U.S. Department of Defense - Photo Essay:

"U.S. Army paratroopers interpret the results of zeroing fire on a rifle range at Al Asad, Iraq, Aug. 24, 2009.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael J. MacLeod"

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Two units’ Afghanistan deployments extended

"ARLINGTON, Va. – Two units’ deployments in Afghanistan have been extended, the Defense Department announced Thursday night.
The 82nd Airborne Division Headquarters will spend about 50 extra days in Afghanistan, and the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade will be extended for about two weeks, a Defense Department news release said.
“The process will be managed to avoid stop-loss for personnel,” the news release said."

Two units’ Afghanistan deployments extended Stars and Stripes:

Monday, August 10, 2009

1st PLT. B CO 1/504 PIR, 82nd AIRBORNE REUNIONS: 2nd Annual 1st PLT. B Co 1/504 PIR Reunion

"Well, the 2nd Annual 1st PLT, B Co 1/504 PIR, 82nd Airborne Reunion was a BLAST! It was held on the beautiful Norris Lake in Andersonville, Tennessee on August 7 thru August 9, 2009. We stayed at Sequoyah Marina."
1st PLT. B CO 1/504 PIR, 82nd AIRBORNE REUNIONS: 2nd Annual 1st PLT. B Co 1/504 PIR Reunion:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Brigade presented award for safety brigade in Army

Presented the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army Award for Excellence in Safety for having the best brigade safety program in the Army for fiscal year 2008 and the Director of the Army Safety Composite Risk Management Award for reducing accidents over 50 percent for the same period by Forces Command Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Carey, Command Sgt. Maj. LaMarquis Knowles of 1BCT hands the award to brigade safety officer and former Paratrooper, Dale Wagner. Also pictured is the division’s Deputy Safety Director, Angel Serrano.
Add Image
82 Airborne -1BCT

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Telling the Fort Bragg story

"Digital life downrange:
Preparing online activities for deployment

by Spc. Michael J. MacLeod
1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. PAO
Welcome to -

Do as I do is how the best Army noncommissioned officers roll, any scuffed-up private will tell you. Prepare as I prepare, says Staff Sgt. Wavell Williams, a three-time veteran and data systems integrator who often counsels paratroopers on how to carry on their online lives downrange."

Soldiers don’t need to buy a $3,500 satellite dish system as Williams is doing to gain Web access for himself and 70 fellow paratroopers of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division for their upcoming deployment to Iraq. But, the sergeant pointed out, prior planning prevents painful surprises downrange.Before deployment, online banking, bill-paying and Internet communications tools should be set up and understood by Soldiers and those with whom they share financial responsibilities, such as spouses and other Family members, said Williams.“A spouse needs to know Web site addresses, usernames, passwords, account numbers — make sure you set that up before leaving, because you get downrange and, God forbid, you are not able to get on the phone and you have bills coming due back here, the creditors don’t care,” he said.Web mail, instant messenger and voice-over-IP accounts should be established and tested, especially on the home computer, said Williams.

Welcome to - Telling the Fort Bragg story:

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Paratroopers Own Night in Air Assault Mission

"BAGHDAD – The heavy beating of rotor blades pierces the quiet of the night in farmland east of Baghdad and a dust cloud kicks up, almost concealing the two huge helicopters dimly outlined under the moonlight. Almost as soon as the helicopters touch the ground, ramps drop and dozens of American Soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and federal police storm out into the night and immediately snap into defensive positions.

The two CH-47 Chinooks take off and disappear almost as quickly as they arrived. Left in the darkness in a farmer's field, with its plowed rows sharp and hardened from the desert heat, the paratroopers move out toward their objectives along a series of dirt roads. But it's the Iraqis who are in front. It is their mission, and the paratroopers stand by watching and advising their counterparts.

"I can work with their lieutenants on troop-leading movements," said
Rohrer, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich. "I've got PFCs [privates first class]
running right beside Iraqi PFCs teaching marksmanship."

Close behind the Iraqis are the paratroopers, who stop at intervals to give advice or a critique of the Iraqis' performance. Capt. Andrew Decker, an intelligence officer assigned to the 9th Iraqi Army Military Transition Team, confers with Iraqi Army Lt. Col. Fathil Hassan Al-Dulimay to offer advice on the Iraqi movements."

read full article... Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System:

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Panther Brigade Sharpens IA Skills

Spc. Cesar Lopez, of Miami, Fl. gives pointers to an Iraqi Army Soldier appling a pressure dressing on a simulated wound during a training exercise in the midst of a sandstorm, at Combat Outpost Carver Iraq, located in Salman Pak, a suburb of southeastern Baghdad. Lopez is a combat medic assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Jared Gehmann, 3rd BCT PAO, 82nd Abn. Div., MND-B

An Iraqi Soldier rushes his comrade to safety using the "buddy carry" technique as U.S. Paratroopers look on during a simulated combat exercise in the midst of a sandstorm, at Combat Outpost Carver, Iraq, located in the Salman Pak suburb of southeastern Baghdad. The Paratroopers are assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad.

A U.S. Paratrooper assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, instructs an Iraqi Soldier on how to guard the rear of a squad formation during a training exercise in the midst of a sandstorm at Combat Outpost Carver, Iraq, located in the Salman Pak suburb of southeastern Baghdad. The week-long academy advises and mentors Iraqi Security Forces on their combat abilities in order to prepare them handle situation in a combat environment.

Panther Brigade Sharpens IA Skills: "BAGHDAD - After five long days of intense training and battling a pair of fierce sandstorms, more than 20 Iraqi Army Soldiers can now say they are graduates of Combat Outpost Carver's 'Cold Steel Training Academy.'"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

RFI - US' Gates in Iraq: 'Nobody's the boss or the occupier'

RFI - US' Gates in Iraq: 'Nobody's the boss or the occupier'

"Nobody's the boss or the occupier," said Gates, describing the relationship between the two countries on the ground. At Tallil Military Base, the US advisors are considered a litmus test for US forces as they shift from combat to advisory roles.

In September, the1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division will arrive in the country as the first brigade trained to only advise, not to go to the front lines.

The Obama administration is closely watching the progress of Tallil as part of the draw down of US forces in the country that begins in 2010. The swiftness of the draw down-- and ultimately, the US withdrawal in 2011- depends also on general elections throughout Iraq slated for January and the progress in resolving ongoing sectarian violence.

"We're saying to all the parties involved that they have this window of opportunity that they need to seize between now and the end of 2011," a senior US official told reporters before Gates touched down in Tallil.

Gates met with US and Iraqi commanders on Tuesday and plans to meet with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. He plans on visiting the Kurdish region of the country as well.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, eight police guards died in a deadly bank heist on Tuesday as armed robbers took at least 2.7 million euros. The money had reportedly been earmarked for salaries for policemen who work in the interior ministry.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Bragg GIs 1st to Field Grenade Launcher

"FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The barrels were hot in the Army's charter fielding of the new M-320 grenade launcher at Range 23 here, as paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division fired the weapons for the first time.
Paratroopers of soon-to-deploy 1st Brigade Combat Team received familiarization training on the shorter-but-heavier advanced grenade launcher from a half-dozen civilian and Army trainers."
Staff Sgt. Robert Eaton, a squad leader with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and was involved with clearing virtually every village and town from the Kuwaiti Border to Baghdad. He used the Vietnam-era M-203 grenade launcher in combat and said he was impressed with its successor.
"I wanted to find out how quickly I could fire the M-320, get behind cover, reload, re-acquire a target at a different distance, and then engage," said Eaton. "I fired three shots in just under 30 seconds," he said, well pleased.

Bragg GIs 1st to Field Grenade Launcher:

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Looking for an Alternative to Twitter? Canadian Military considers its own version of Facebook and Twitter

"Thursday, July 9, 2009, 11:07 PM - News Stories, Twitter
As you can see by recent news I’ve posted here on, the U.S. Military has been getting on board with social media in recent months, but now the National Post is reporting the Canadian Military itself is considering building their own version of Facebook and Twitter to help its soldiers communicate.

(National Post) Facebook status: Reporting for duty, sir.

The Canadian military is considering developing its own version of social-networking applications such as Facebook and Twitter to help soldiers communicate and improve teamwork in the increasingly networked environment of modern warfare." More... : The World's Largest Index of Military Blogs (Milblogs):

Friday, July 03, 2009

Soldier killed, 5 injured in roadside bomb blast

"A Canadian soldier travelling in a convoy carrying the senior commander in Kandahar province was killed Friday when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.
Cpl. Nicholas Bulger, 30, was a member of 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, based in Edmonton."

..."Canadians expected an uptick in hostilities as the U.S. surge began, Frayer said. "For the most part the U.S. military has reported been meeting very little resistance... But this is keeping in line with the usual Taliban tactics of laying low during a push and then returning."Bulger is the third Canadian death in Afghanistan in less than a month. He leaves behind a wife named Rebeka and two daughters."

..."The Lakefield Herald also states that Bulger started basic military training in November of 2000 in Saint Jean, Quebec, underwent trades training for the infantry in Wainwright, Alberta, and then in 2001 became the rifleman and armoured vehicle driver for the First Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton. He took a break from the forces and returned in January 2008.The death of Bulger brings to 121 the total number of Canadian soldiers have died as part of the Afghan mission since it began in 2002. " Soldier killed, 5 injured in roadside bomb blast:

Sunday, June 21, 2009 Seeks National Unity of Residential Military Flag Flying

"CARSON CITY, Nev., June 18 -- announced today its support of a measure introduced in Congress that would allow service flags to be flown by home owners without restriction. To get the word out and to encourage support, has launched a Web site: that explains how people may write to their representatives to support this new bill."
U.S. Representative, John Boccieri, recently introduced this bill that would ban neighborhood or homeowners' associations from restricting the flying of service flags.The proposed bill, H.R. 2546, was the result of one of Boccieri's constituents who was asked by her condominium association to remove her service flag which she was displaying in honor of her son who was killed; the association indicated that it was a breach of contract. Service flags are official Defense Department banners for families who have family members serving in the military during periods of hostility. The blue star on the flag represents a service member in active duty and signifies hope and pride. A gold star represents a service member killed in action, or who died in service, and stands for sacrifice for the cause of liberty. This bill is similar to the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 which prohibits a condominium or homeowners' association from preventing residents from displaying the American flag on or around their homes. It extends these same privileges to the service is urging people to contact their representatives in the bill's support; they have already sent more than 30,000 e-mails to their current customers."Since we began making the service flag in 2001, I have heard from many families around the country about problems they've had with their homeowners' association rules," David M. Smith, president of says. "So, the incident that prompted the bill is not an isolated one." Seeks National Unity of Residential Military Flag Flying - Opinion and Commentary News from Send2Press Newswire Jun 18, 2009:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reservists help get wheelchairs to needy Iraqi children

Members of the 185th Air Mobility Wing begin loading four crates of children's wheelchairs onto a C-130 Hercules June 11, in Sioux City, Iowa. A C-130 aircrew from Air Force Reserve Command's 302nd Airlift Wing, Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., transported the wheelchairs to Andrews AFB, Md., where a larger cargo plane transported the wheelchairs to Baghdad, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Brian McReynolds)
"by Senior Airman Stephen J. Collier
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

6/18/2009 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) -- After a brief stop in America's Heartland, an Air Force Reserve C-130 Hercules aircrew from here took another step in a long journey for a special load of cargo headed for Iraq.

On June 11, reservists from the 302nd Airlift Wing flew to Sioux City, Iowa, where they received four pallets of children's wheelchairs. The 115 wheelchairs, donated by Hope Haven International Ministries of Rock Valley, Iowa, will be handed out to children in the Baghdad area by Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C."

Reservists help get wheelchairs to needy Iraqi children:

Sunday, June 07, 2009


"JSS LOYALTY, Iraq - Joint Security Station Loyalty, formerly known as Forward Operating Base Loyalty, has undergone some restructuring recently.

To make room for the Iraqi National Police, many of the support facilities had to be relocated. During this time of transition, finance Soldiers have been participating in R&R Leave. This has certainly put some strain on the operation. However, Loyalty Finance was still able to achieve record numbers despite being understaffed.

The post-exchange has occupied what used to be the old theater. This theater was hit by a mortar attack in early 2008. The move into the remodeled building took only two weeks. With the help of Soldiers and civilians, the transition was quite smooth. The Chaplain's office and the chapel have followed the PX to the old theater. The Loyalty Finance Office has also joined forces with the Postal Office and now occupies what used to be the postal supply room. The new office is more spacious than the old one and easier to clean. Thanks to the new office being either an old bathroom or a kitchen, no one is certain which, the floors and walls are all tile, and very easy to wipe down. A credit to the finance Soldiers is that the entire office was broken down, moved, and reassembled in one day. Business was closed during the move."


Combining Training, Increasing Muscle Memory

Combining Training, Increasing Muscle Memory: "FORT HOOD, Texas - Deploying Colorado Guardsmen continued building upon their foundation of Close Quarter Combat training at Fort Hood, Texas, May 21, 2009.

The Soldiers, who are assigned to 1st Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 157th Field Artillery, Colorado Army National Guard, 115th Fires Brigade, incorporated their medic platoon in the training to help simulate how to treat a casualty while also trying to clear a room or a house.

Using a basic floor plan outlined on the ground, known as a "glass house," the Soldiers, in small teams, practiced clearing rooms and hallways. At the discretion of the 1st platoon sergeant and the medic platoon sergeant, they would call out to the team a scenario such as, "Third man was hit. Lower leg injury."With that, the Soldiers determined a security plan and performed buddy aid."

Artillery, 115th Fires Brigade moves quickly into the "glass house" to
clear a room during Close Quarter Combat training May 21 at Fort Hood, Texas.
The "glass house" is a floor plan outlined on the ground where Soldiers practice
clearing rooms and hallways. The training provided here by the 120th Infantry
Brigade ensures the115th Fires Brigade redeploys safely after their year-long
deployment to Iraq and Kuwait. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Liesl Marelli)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Soldiers leave Iraqi cities for sweltering tents

"CAMP CARVER, Iraq (AP) — The U.S. military is expanding some rural bases and building others to house thousands of troops displaced by a June deadline to withdraw from Iraq's major cities.
With continual power outages pushing temperatures well above 100 degrees, that can't come soon enough for some soldiers living in sweltering tents at Camp Carver in the small town of Madain, about 15 miles southeast of the capital.
'Can't wait,' said Spc. Oscar Garza, 20, of Port Lavaca, Texas, as he carted his bed frame to newly constructed plywood houses with air conditioners elsewhere on the U.S. base.

Kyser said his unit has moved several times, including most recently from
Baghdad to Madain, since the soldiers deployed with the 82nd Airborne from Fort
Bragg, N.C."

The Associated Press: Soldiers leave Iraqi cities for sweltering tents:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Military Appreciation Day, Coca Cola 600 NASCAR Race

"1,500 U.S. Soldiers, Airmen and National Guard troops stand in formation lining the track of the the Lowes Motor Speedway as they are honored for their service to the nation during the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR pre-race military appreciation show in Concord, N.C. on May 24, 2009. (U.S. Army photo by Trish Harris, USASOC News Service)"
090524-01 Army Special Operations Soldiers participate in Military Appreciation Day, CocaCola 600 NASCAR Race:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pink Boxers

Army Specialist Zachary Boyd - Yahoo! News Photos: "Soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take defensive positions at firebase Restrepo after receiving fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province on Monday May 11, 2009. Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, TX, far left was wearing 'I love NY' boxer shorts after rushing from his sleeping quarters to join his fellow platoon members. From far right is Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, LA and Jordan Custer of Spokan, WA, center.(AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)"
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday praised an Army soldier in eastern Afghanistan who drew media attention this month after rushing to defend his post from attack while wearing pink boxer shorts and flip-flops.In fact, Gates said he wants to meet the soldier and shake his hand the next time he visits Afghanistan ."Any soldier who goes into battle against the Taliban in pink boxers and flip-flops has a special kind of courage," Gates said in remarks prepared for a speech in New York ."I can only wonder about the impact on the Taliban. Just imagine seeing that: a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his cross-hairs. What an incredible innovation in psychological warfare," he said.Army Specialist Zachary Boyd, 19, of Fort Worth, Texas , rushed from his sleeping quarters on May 11 to join fellow platoon members at a base in Afghanistan 's Kunar Province after the unit came under fire from Taliban positions.A news photographer was on hand to record the image of Boyd standing at a makeshift rampart in helmet, body armor, red T-shirt and boxers emblazoned with the message: "I love NY."When the image wound up on the front page of the New York Times, Boyd told his parents he might lose his job if President Barack Obama saw him out of uniform."I can assure you that Specialist Boyd's job is very safe indeed," Gates said in the speech.The U.S. defense chief was scheduled to deliver the speech at New York 's annual Salute to Freedom dinner in Manhattan .

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lakota proves worth as airborne platform

"A Fort Polk Soldier jumps from a Lakota LUH 72A helicopter during high altitude, low open airborne operations April 8 while another Soldier prepares to jump. The event marked the first time a Lakota was used in airborne operations on Fort Polk and just the third time Army wide"

Story...Lakota proves worth as airborne platform - Fort Polk, LA - Fort Polk Guardian:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paratroopers reenlist under famed Baghdad landmark

"Eighty-two Paratroopers assigned to the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division -Baghdad recite the oath of reenlistment April 23 during a ceremony at the Cross Sabers in Baghdad. The ceremony marked the squadron's accomplishment of meeting its retention goals for the year. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. James Selesnick, 982nd Combat Camera Co. (Airborne), attached to the 3rd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., MND-B)"
Story...Paratroopers reenlist under famed Baghdad landmark:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fort Bragg soldier killed in Iraq

"The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Cpl. Brad A. Davis, 21, of Garfield Heights, Ohio, died April 22 near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. He was assigned to the 82nd Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at (910) 432-0661."

DefenseLink News Release: DoD Identifies Army Casualty:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Soldiers Call for Army to Drop Berets

"SEOUL — They’re hot, sweaty and do nothing to keep the sun out of your eyes during a long formation.
Those are just a few of the reasons the Army should stop making soldiers wear wool berets outdoors, a group of delegates said Friday at the 8th Army’s annual Army Family Action Plan conference.
'Everyone is affected by the beret,' said Sgt. Brad Stuckey, spokesman for a group that studied family-support issues. 'This is an issue that your average soldier feels very strongly about.'"
Soldiers Call for Army to Drop Berets:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Billings soldier returns home

"A Billings solider says Iraqis are becoming more independent and he senses they will soon be able to maintain peace without U.S. troops.
Private First Class Chas Hagan returned to Billings Wednesday night after having been in Baghdad since December, where he serves as a paratrooper and truck driver with the 82nd Airborne."

Montana's News Station - Fair. Accurate. To the Point. -Billings soldier returns home:

Monday, April 06, 2009

Brigade of 82nd Airborne Division get Afghan order

"A brigade of the North Carolina-based 82nd Airborne Division that had been ordered to Iraq instead will be sent to Afghanistan as part of a mission to train that country's forces, the military said Friday.
The Department of Defense said 3,300 paratroopers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team at Fort Bragg will deploy in the spring and through the summer. The announcement said 700 other members of the military also will be deployed.
The troops will be assigned 'to the ongoing training and mentoring mission in Afghanistan,' the Pentagon statement said.
The 82nd brigade had been scheduled to deploy to Iraq this summer and currently is at the military's Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La., preparing for deployment."

Brigade of 82nd Airborne Division get Afghan order Associated Press Times Leader:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Team Wendy

"ZAP™ Military Upgrade Kits
Team Wendy ZAP™ systems are the current original issue pad system for the US Army's Advanced Combat Helmet (ACH) and the USMC's Marine Lightweight Helmet (MLW). ZAP™ systems have been issued to more than 1,000,000 Military Troops and counting. Independent testing has proven that the best protection lies with Team Wendy helmet pads!"

Team Wendy:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Canada's military may need year-long break after Afghan mission: army chief

"OTTAWA — The military may need a one-year break from operations in July 2011, when the Afghanistan mission winds down, says the head of Canada's army.
Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie told the Senate defence committee Monday the military has been strained by the mission that began seven years ago and it needs time to regroup.
'In the mid-term, and beginning in July 2011, we will have to explore the possibility of taking a short operational break, that is well-organized and synchronized, of at least one year,' he said."

A break may be needed, Leslie said, because the military is suffering from shortages of personnel - particularly experienced senior officers - as well as equipment. But some equipment apparently isn't even being used.
There are 40 Leopard 2 battle tanks sitting unused in a Montreal warehouse, and another 40 stored somewhere in Europe, awaiting the federal government to hire a firm to refurbish them, Leslie said.

The Canadian Press: Canada's military may need year-long break after Afghan mission: army chief:

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Jawa Report: Inbox: "Brothers At War" Is A Must See

"'This is a documentary that celebrates the courage and integrity of the American Soldier and the American military family. It is also a film about a man's love and respect for his two brothers and his dedication to telling their story. A great film that I am proud to be a part of,' said Gary Sinise, Actor, Presidential Citizens Medal Recipient, Executive Producer of 'Brothers at War.'"

The Jawa Report: Inbox: "Brothers At War" Is A Must See:

Monday, March 02, 2009

82nd announces return to Afghanistan for year

By Henry CuninghamMilitary editor

"The 82nd Airborne Division headquarters has received orders to deploy to Afghanistan this spring, the Pentagon announced Monday.
“We’ve anticipated the announcement of this deployment, obviously,” said Maj. Gen. Mike Scaparrotti, commander of the division at Fort Bragg. “It was in the planning, and so we’ve been doing some very specific training.”
About 800 soldiers will deploy for about a year, division officials said.
The division headquarters will replace the 101st Airborne Division headquarters in Regional Command East in Bagram as part of a normal rotation of forces, 82nd officials said. The 101st is from Fort Campbell, Ky."

The 82nd Airborne Division headquarters includes Division Special Troops Battalion and will form the core of the Combined Joint Task Force 82.

On Dec. 22, the Pentagon said about 2,800 Fort Bragg aviation soldiers will
deploy to Afghanistan in late spring, several months earlier than expected. The
aviation brigade will be based in Regional Command South, which has headquarters
in Kandahar and is commanded by a Dutch major general.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team returned from its 15-month deployment to Afghanistan in April.

About 3,500 paratroopers from the division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team are deployed to Baghdad through the end of the year.

The 1st Brigade Combat Team returned from a 14-month deployment in Iraq in July.

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team returned one year ago from its 15-month deployment to Iraq. Beginning in the summer, the brigade will spend a year as the Army element of the Global Response Force, which is prepared to respond on short notice to emergencies worldwide. The brigade is conducting exercises to regain its capability to parachute into hostile areas.

Military editor Henry Cuningham can be reached at or 486-3585. - Current Article Page:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gates to take comprehensive approach to end 'Stop-Loss'

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 23, 2009 - Ending the military's so-called 'stop-loss' program is a priority for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, a senior official said here today.

The stop-loss program is the involuntary extension of active duty beyond a servicemember's expiration of term of service, or ETS.

The program is in place to make sure units deploy with all positions filled. Servicemembers with an ETS or retirement date that would occur while a unit is deployed can be 'stop-lossed' - or extended - until the end of the deployment."
Gates to take comprehensive approach to end 'Stop-Loss':

Sadr City School Supplies

Students of the Al Aqbas Elementary school smile and wave during a group picture outside in the school's courtyard school Feb. 9 in the Sadr City district of eastern Baghdad. Children and Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Division, attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, took the picture to thank the various organizations back in the U.S. who donated the supplies to them. See more at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

U.S. commanders favor slower Iraq pullout

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. military planners have drawn up three options to allow President Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq, with senior commanders favoring the slowest of the three, officials said on Saturday.
The timelines under discussion are 16 months, proposed by Obama as a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, 19 months and 23 months, the officials said."

U.S. commanders favor slower Iraq pullout:
U.S. soldiers stand at attention during a handover ceremony of Al-Awad Joint security station from the U.S. military forces to Iraqi security forces north of Baghdad February 4, 2009.(Saad Shalash/Reuters)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ordinary Heroes

"Ordinary Heroes: Six Stars in the Window is the compelling, true story of one family, six brothers, and a world at war. Read the printed book or use the onscreen version of the book where photos come to life as videos. Watch events unfold and listen to eye witness accounts from people who were there. This is history as you’ve never experienced it before!"


82nd Airborne All-American Chorus to perform at Apple Fesival

"The 26-man chorus is comprised of active duty, combat veteran soldiers of the 82 Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg NC��- Internationally known, they have made appearances at international events since their inception in 1968. The 82nd Airborne All-American Army Chorus appeared at this year’s Super Bowl in Tampa, the Daytona 500, and at the Royal Palace in Baghdad."

Jackson County Times-Journal - Jackson, OH > Archives > News > 82nd Airborne All-American Chorus to perform at Apple Fesival:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aspen man's vodka venture supports veterans |

Aspen man's vodka venture supports veterans "ASPEN — If you’ve tried to buy vodka in the Roaring Fork Valley in the last month, you might have noticed a local newcomer on the top shelf, between the Gray Goose and the Ketel One.

The black-and-gray bottle of Jokä vodka comes looped with dog tags featuring the soldiers’ creed — and a label that touts it as the “Spirit of Aspen.”

“It’s selling,” said Roger Carlson, manager of the Grog Shop. He explained that Jokä is even more likely to sell when people realize the proceeds support veterans."

“It seems word is getting around that there’s a crazy guy out there that knocks on doors … and tries to sell vodka for the benefit of veterans,” said Joe Nedlin, the energetic Aspenite behind the new vodka. Of late, Nedlin has been searching for a product to raise money for veterans in the same way Paul Newman’s salad dressings have garnered millions for charities.He’s tried golf clubs, golf accessories and beauty products — all sold under the label Aspen Black Diamond. But he said even though the golf clubs are featured at places like the Aspen Club, he’s found they’re hard to sell. Ditto for beauty products. His vodka, on the other hand, appears to be taking off.

The vodka, said Nedlin, is made by Bend Distillers, in Bend, Ore., using a recipe he helped design. For sweetness, it’s made only from corn. And it’s filtered five times through charcoal and crushed lava. The name comes from his own nickname when Nedlin was in the Army Reserves — “The Joker.”Nedlin said the slogan “Spirit of Aspen,” is both a pun on the word “spirit” and a nod to Aspen’s passion for philanthropy.“People of Aspen have such a spirit about them,” he said. “How can you beat people like this?”Jokä vodka sells for between $25 and $28 a bottle, a price Nedlin said puts it at the low end of top-shelf vodkas. In the first month, he’s sold 720 bottles to local restaurants and bars — including the St. Regis Hotel in Aspen and Sneaky’s Tavern in Snowmass — and nearly every liquor store in the valley.

According to Nedlin, $3 of every sale goes to veterans, meaning he’s raised over $2,000 in the first month of the project.“I’m not asking you to give money, to make a donation,” he said. “I’m saying [that] I’ve got a great vodka and if you’re so inclined to buy vodka, buy Jokä.”Though Nedlin has created his own 501(c)3 nonprofit, Charity Assistance Advisors, he won’t be distributing the money himself. Instead, the money will be distributed by the Grand Junction chapter of Blue Star Mothers, an organization of women with children serving in the military.Chapter president Wendy Hoffman affirmed the needs of veterans by noting that nationwide, one in three homeless people are veterans.

In Grand Junction, she said, that number is even higher.According to Hoffman, the money from the vodka sales will be distributed both to individual veterans and to organizations that serve veterans.Right now, Nedlin — the sole sales man for the vodka — is keeping both sales and donations in Colorado.“That’s all my car will travel,” he jokes.But both he and Hoffman say that some day, it would be nice to take the brand and the partnership with the Blue Star mothers nationwide.

But Hoffman cautions that it might take some effort to convince other chapters that it’s a good partnership. Even in Grand Junction, she said, a few woman have raised concerns about supporting veterans through the sale of vodka.“With 7,000 members out there, a lot more will be concerned about the fact that it’s vodka,” Hoffman said.Nedlin acknowledged the concern, but said for him, everything is out weighed by the great need among U.S. veterans.

“I wouldn’t sell anything if people would put their hands in their pockets and just donate,” Nedlin said. In the meantime, he’s going to keep selling vodka for veterans.“I’m 67 years old, how many more years do I have?” he said. “I have to make every day mean something.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Berthoud Fallen Soldier Honored in Iraq

Wednesday, Jan 21st, 2009
By Staff Sgt. Alex Licea3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, IRAQ -- A Multi-National Division – Baghdad Paratrooper, who was killed in eastern Baghdad, was honored for his ultimate sacrifice during a memorial ceremony at Forward Operating Base Jan. 16, 2009.
Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer, a 24-year-old infantryman from Loveland, Colo., was assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He was killed in action when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle during a combat patrol Jan. 10 in the New Baghdad District of eastern Baghdad.

More...Berthoud Fallen Soldier Honored in Iraq

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

"The Department of Defense today announced the opening of a 24-hour outreach center to provide information and referrals to military service members, veterans, their families and others with questions about psychological health and traumatic brain injury.

The new center, which is operated by the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE), can be contacted around the clock, 365 days a year, by phone at 866-966-1020 and by e-mail at
“We’re providing 24/7 support to assist callers with questions regarding psychological health and traumatic brain injury,” said Brig. Gen. Loree K. Sutton, M.D., director of DCoE. “Getting the best possible information and tools, hassle-free, will empower and strengthen warriors and their families to successfully manage what can be confusing and disturbing circumstances.” "

Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury: