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Monday, August 14, 2006


I've been trying to figure out what to say about the Israel-Lebanon ceasefire, but now I don't have to - this Cox & Forkum cartoon pretty much does it for me:

click to see a larger image, at the Cox and Forkum website

Two 4ID Battalions moved under 101st Airborne Division’s control after a reassigning of provinces

Spc. Lee Elder
133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BALAD, Iraq (August 10, 2006) -- Two battalions based at Fort Carson, Colo., are being moved from the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

As of Aug. 9, both 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, and 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry, now fall under the operational control of 3rd Brigade which is headquartered at Contingency Operating Base Speicher in Tikrit. Leaders in 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, also known as “Task Force Pacesetter” said the move will have little impact on their day-to-day operations.

"It's a pretty transparent move," said Capt. John Sacksteder, who serves as Task Force Pacesetter’s adjutant.

Sacksteder, who hails from Fostoria, Ohio, said his task force would still route its awards, evaluations, casualty reports and rest and relaxation leaves through its former parent unit. He predicted the move would not impact his office at all.

The operational channels also don’t foresee too much of a change to their daily routine.

"It doesn't impact us very much at all operationally," said Master Sgt. Todd Venema, who serves as Task Force Pacesetter’s operations sergeant. "They have not task organized us under anything other than what we’re currently operating under. Our mission still remains the same, just the formatting has changed.”

Venema said most of the changes would mostly be clerical.

Our office uses different formats now to file daily reports. It also has different times when conference calls are conducted with its new higher headquarters, Venema explained.

"It's been a very minimal change for us," Venema said. "It's very cosmetic."

The change was made to the battalions as part of a realignment of U.S. forces in northern Iraq. So far, the transition has gone well.

"They are trying to break everything into province alignment," Venema said.

The battalions have both been under the 3rd HBCT since they began preparations to deploy here last year. Both are currently scheduled to leave Iraq this fall.

"You never want to lose your parent unit," Venema said. "You grow up with your parent unit and you adapt to them. You know most of the people that are in 3rd Brigade, 4th ID, because they have been with us since 2003 when we first deployed here.”

The 3rd HBCT deployed to this area during OIF I. It returned in December of last year.

Task Force Pacesetter is headquartered at Logistical Support Area Anaconda and has units at Forward Operating Bases Normandy, Warhorse and Paliwoda. The 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry is headquartered at FOB Paliwoda and has its Company D at FOB O’Ryan.


Photos of 3-29 operations

1st Lt. Sean Craig, native of Chicago, platoon leader, Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Band of Brothers, swims a 15-meter distance in his interceptor body armor system during a drown proofing class at the pool in Logistical Support Area Anaconda near Balad, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

Sgt. Justin Folts, native of Billings, Mont., treatment NCO, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Task Force Band of Brothers, shows Staff Sgt. Derrick Gwin, native of Thomasville, Ala., gunnery sergeant, Battery B, 3rd Bn., 29th FA, how to breathe using a oxygen tank during a drown proofing class at the pool in Logistical Support Area Anaconda near Balad, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Paul J. Harris, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office)

BALAD, Iraq (Aug. 4, 2006) -- Spc. Brian Koerner applies an IV to a mock patient during medical training. Koerner, a medic from Mesquite, Texas, is a member of the Task Force Pacesetter's medical platoon. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

No. 217 BALAD, Iraq (Aug. 4, 2006) -- Spc. Kyle Climo stitches up a simulated patient's wound under the watchful eye of Capt. Paul Ruchalski Jr., his physician's assistant. Climo, a medic from Binghamton, N.Y., is a member of the Task Force Pacesetter's medical platoon. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)


Photos of 1-8 operations

JABOURI PENINSULA, Iraq (March 30, 2006) -- Spc. Dustyn Mitchell, a team leader with Company A, 1-8 Combined Arms Battalion, uncovers a rocket that had been buried in an orchard on the Jabouri Peninsula. Soldiers from Company A, 1-8 CAB made these finds during Operation Cowpens. They serve with 3rd Heavy Brigade Heavy Team, 4th Infantry Division. Mitchell hails from San Diego. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

JABOURI PENINSULA, Iraq (March 30, 2006) -- Soldiers from Company A, 1-8 Combined Arms Battalion, and the Iraqi army uncover a barrel that had been buried in an orchard on the Jabouri Peninsula. They serve with 3rd Heavy Brigade Heavy Team, 4th Infantry Division. The barrels were used by insurgents to hide weapons. (Photo by Spc. Lee Elder, 133d Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Bailey
August 14, 2006
Soldiers from the 542nd Medical Company fly a UH-60A Black Hawk helicopter to a medical evacuation point during a mission near Tal Afar, Iraq.

Soldiers Giving to Soldiers

CENTCOM Press Release

Release Date: 8/14/2006

Release Number: 06-08-01P

Description: KABUL, Afghanistan – Service members at Camp Eggers regularly receive care packages in the mail filled with everything from snacks to personal hygiene products.

Recently, Army Sgt. Melissa A. Ross, 315th Engineer Company, began a project to help get care packages to American troops deployed to forward operating bases in Afghanistan.
“I wanted to help after hearing of Soldiers in FOBs who do not have access to an exchange or get their mail as often,” said Ross.

Word about the project is beginning to spread around Camp Eggers, and Ross is receiving items from camp service members. She and others from the 315th separate the donated items and make up new boxes for the goodies. The boxes are then handed over to service members going to the FOBs where they are then distributed.

“We put a letter in each box so the Soldiers getting them know that they are coming from other Soldiers in the country,” said Ross. “Boxes have been able to reach approximately 15 to 20 different FOBs.”

If you would like to donate items or know of any FOBs with American troops in need, contact Ross at 070-913-3066 or email at

“I wanted to give them a little bit of comfort,” Ross said. “Coming from a Soldier and a Soldier receiving it, I think that is priceless.”

For more information please contact:

IRAQ VISIT –Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace poses with fellow Marines after giving a speech in Fallujah, Iraq, Aug. 13, 2006. Pace is in Iraq to meet with U.S. military commanders and visit the troops. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen.

Story - More Photos

In Today's News - Monday, August 14, 2006

Quote of the Day
"In the future, what would prevent a booby-trapped car
causing a nuclear explosion in Washington
or a germ or a chemical one?"

-- Saddam Hussein,
from 1995 tapes, aired by ABC news,
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006

News of Note
Israel at War

Cease-Fire Takes Hold in Middle East
Thousands flood back to their homes after attacks stop
Fast Facts: U.N. Resolution
Airstrikes Ahead of Cease-Fire
Lebanese Warned of Return Home
Ahmadinejad: U.S. Responsible
Palestinians Kill Israeli 'Collaborator'
US Mideast clout may be casualty of war
Refugees head back to south Lebanon
Full coverage: news, videos, blog posts (from Reuters)
Israel to keep pursuing Hizbollah leaders: Olmert - Video
UN peacekeepers meet Israel, Lebanon army officials - Video
Lebanese pessimistic on peace with Israel
6 guerrillas killed after cease-fire
Israel novelist Grossman's son is killed
Lebanon Offers an Army That All of its Sects can Accept

Operation Iraqi Freedom
62 Dead in Baghdad Blasts
Carroll Tells of Hostage Ordeal
Iraqis angered at blasts that killed 57
U.S.: Gas leak to blame for Iraq blasts
Bigger U.S. Force may Stabilize Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan police kill 11 Taliban

Homeland Security / War on Terror
All 11 Missing Egyptian Students Now in Custody
Britain Lowers Terror Level
N.Y. Bound Flight Aborted
DHS Lowers Threat Level
U.S. Intel Eyes Al Qaeda
U.K. Air Travel Slows
Dozens killed in Sri Lanka blast - Video
Four foreign oil workers kidnapped in Nigeria - Video

Other Military News
Rails target veterans to plug labor gaps
Sickened Vets Cite Depleted Uranium

Immigration / Border Control
Watching and Waiting Along the Border

Worldwide Wackos
New Photos of Fidel Castro
All 11 Missing Egyptian Students Now in Custody
Leader of Strike to Oust Hugo Chavez Escapes From Jail
Report: N. Korea leader finally appears

Politics / Government
Three major crises face Bush
Defense, foreign crises top Bush agenda

Mother Nature
Typhoon death toll hits 255 in China
Philippine volcano spews hot gas, debris
Calif. wildfire damages power substation
4 die in Idaho wildfire helicopter crash
2 dead, 1 missing after river rescue

New York "charm school" helps men perfect the pick-up
Border cops nab cheese smuggler
Boy George tries to sweep the streets of New York
Surviving teen describes ID mix-up

Fox News
Teen Boot Camp Cadet Who Died in Miami Refused Food
PepsiCo Names New CEO
Pluto Could Get Boot From Solar System
Survey: Gas Hits $3.03 a Gallon
SUNY Albany President Dies While Swimming in S.C.
Is Higher Education Worth It?
Video: Jenna's Dilemma: A Journey to College

Reuters: Top News
Mugabe warns against unrest
Casual gaming taking places of daily activities
Microsoft to sell game making tools
Pakistani villagers fall prey to kidney trade
Gates says female AIDS protection key
New guidelines help sort out HIV drug maze
Shatner hopes new game will revive "Trek"
Ford shares rise
Cisco shares rise after report
Stocks rise after Mideast truce
Whole Foods shares rise
NovaGold urges investors to spurn Barrick bid
Market tunes out Boston Sci buy signal

AP World News
Fox plans movies, TV shows for download
China bans 'Simpsons' from prime-time TV
Redskins' Portis sidelined by injury
Oil prices fall more than $1 a barrel
Lawyer: Clarett struck after cooperating
Microsoft to sell software tools for games
Religion-related fraud getting worse
L.A. buses collide, injuring 11
Chicago saying au revoir to foie gras
Organic farmers hit by worker shortage
Female General Looks Back on Her Climb
Military at Odds on Intel Methods

CENTCOM: News Releases

Training team supports exercise in Kyrgyz Republic
See photos from RC 06
Media Roundtable for Multinational Experiment Four - photos
Command surgeon, wife participate in week-long bicycle ride across Iowa
Command begins contract pre-solicitation process
USJFCOM Army Staff Sergeant receives Senior Military Member of the Quarter Award

Department of Defense
Free World Will Win War on Terror - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Training Academy Gets New Motorcycles - Story
Operation Combs Al-Doura Neighborhood - Story
Helping Iraqi Youth ‘Best Part of My Job’ - Story

Combat Zone Ingenuity Protects Marines
Infantry Soldiers Root Out Insurgents
Water Treatment Plant Receives Upgrade
Iraqis Improve Defenses with Border Forts
Iraqi Soldiers Finish Personnel Course
Power Production Team Critical to Iraq Mission

Coalition Teams Treat Afghan Patients
Meeting Clairifies Reconstruction Team's Role
Munitions, Weapons Airmen Secure Bombs
Air Force Specialists Keep Planes in Flight

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report (PDF)
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: War on Terror
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Officials Identify Army Casualty - Story

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar


Today in History
410 - Alaric sacks Rome.
1756 - French troops capture Fort Oswego, NY.
1765 - Mass colonists challenge British rule by planting an Elm (Liberty Tree)
1813 - The British warship Pelican attacks and captures the U.S. war brigantine Argus
1842 - The Seminole War ends; Indians are removed from Florida to Oklahoma.
1846 - Henry David Thoreau is jailed for tax resistance.
1848 - The Oregon Territory is created.
1862 - President Abraham Lincoln receives the first group of blacks to confer with a U.S. president
1893 - France issues its first driving licenses, included a required test.
1900 - International forces (including U.S. Marines) enter Beijing to put down the Boxer Rebellion (it was aimed at ridding China of foreigners).
1912 - 2,500 U.S. marines invade Nicaragua, remaining until 1925.
1917 - China declares war on Germany and Austria.
1935 - The Social Security Act becomes law.
1945 - V-J Day; Japan surrenders unconditionally, ending WWII.
1947 - India gains independence within the British Commonwealth; Pakistan gains independence from Britain.
1962 - NASA civilian test pilot Joseph A. Walker takes the X-15 to 60,000 m; A U.S. postal truck in Plymouth, MA, is robbed of more than $1.5 million.
1966 - The first U.S. lunar orbiter begins circling the Moon.
1969 - British troops intervene in Northern Ireland.
1971 - Bahrain proclaims its independence after more than 100 years of British rule; in Northern Ireland, the British begin internment without trial.
1973 - The U.S. bombs Cambodia.
1974 - Congress authorizes U.S. citizens to own gold.

1774 - Meriwether Lewis, Captain, Lewis and Clark Expedition
1941 - David Crosby, musician (Crosby, Stills & Nash-Southern Cross)
1943 - Jon A. McBride, Captain USN/astronaut (STS 41G)
1952 - Mark C. Lee, Major USAF/astronaut (STS-30, sk:47)
1965 - Lynette Falls, Miss NJ / America (1991)

1936 - Rainey Bethea, hanged at the last public execution in the U.S.
1951 - William Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher
1988 - Enzo Ferrari, Italian sportscar manufacturer (Ferrari
1991 - Douglas Kiker, newscaster (NBC-TV)

Reported Missing in Action
Brodak, John W., USAF (MO); F105D shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive as of 1998

Eaton, Curtis Abbot, USAF (RI); F105 shot down, KIA, body not recovered

Franklin, Charles E., USAF (OH); F105 shot down, KIA, remains returned July, 1988, ID'd October, 1988