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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Why Do Troop-Trashers Tick Me Off?

Well, for the answer to that question, a picture is worth a thousand words.

This one's probably worth tens of thousands - check out the picture on the front page of the October 6, 2006 European edition of Stars and Stripes - just click here.

Probably preaching to the choir, I know, but it's just gotta be said - our Heroes are truly amazing.

H/T to Linda of Soldiers' Angels' Letter Writing Team

Civilians run as recruits at Boot Camp Challenge
By Pfc. Charlie Chavez
MCRD San DiegoThousands of motivated civilians and service members participated in Marine Corps recruit training for a day, at the depot’s fifth annual Boot Camp Challenge, Oct. 7. ...
Full Story

Female Search Teams Aid Battalion’s Mission

Spc. Linda Green, ammunition specialist, Company A, 704th Support Battalion, talks a group of Iraqi children into taking a photo. Combat units use soldiers like Green to respect Iraqi culture and limit male contact with Iraqi females. U.S. Army photo courtesy of 704th Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

Six soldiers assist in cordon and search operations during Operation Together Forward

By 1st Lt. Amanda Leggett
704th Support Battalion
4th Brigade Combat Team
4th Infantry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq, Oct. 16, 2006 — A group of soldiers sat down on a Saturday afternoon, casually exchanging stories from a mission recently completed in the residential neighborhoods of Baghdad.

Although the tales of their exploits sound typical of any group of soldiers fighting on the front lines, there is something remarkably different about these six soldiers – they are females.

Trained in military occupational skills ranging from petroleum supply to radiology specialists, the six women comprise the three female search teams the 704th Support Battalion provides to support the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

The combat units of the 101st Airborne Division and 1st Armored Division, currently working with the 4th BCT in central and southern Baghdad are supported by the female soldiers, who assist in cordon and search operations – and especially to interact with local Iraqi women.

“We were helpful because it made (the Iraqi women) feel more comfortable,” said Spc. Felicia Allen, small-arms towed artillery repair specialist, Company B, 704th Support Battalion.

The female soldiers played an important role because they could search Iraqi women without violating the cultural rules that limit contact between unmarried men and women, said Sgt. Jacqueline Paprzycki, special electronic device repair noncommissioned officer, Company B.

Paprzycki, from Graceville, Fla., explained that in most of the houses searched, the Iraqi women were moved to a separate room as soon as the male soldiers arrived to clear the house.

On average, the Iraqi men, women and children seemed surprised to see female soldiers, and they generally respond positively to the women in uniform. However, the patent disparity between the two cultures’ treatment of women led to some interesting situations for the soldiers on the female search teams.

Spc. Sylvia Beach, radiology specialist, Company C, 704th Support Battalion, recounted, “One older man in a house we searched got mad at me when I gave him an order to sit down because I was a female.”

In light of the cultural differences, several of the female soldiers think that their presence set a positive example for the Iraqi women.

“I feel like we gave them hope to see a female in uniform,” said Spc. Linda Green, ammunition specialist, Company A, 704th Support, Battalion.

Most of the soldiers from the female search teams also gained a new perspective of the 4th Brigade Combat Team’s mission in Baghdad from their experiences during Operation Together Forward.

“Before I came out here, I didn’t have much of an opinion of why we were here,” said Green, a native of Detroit. “But when you go out of the (forward operating base) and see how these people live day-to-day – houses made of mud, trash in the front yard, little electricity – I was impressed with how our military is working to help them.”

Although aspects of the mission were challenging, such as 16-hour days walking from house-to-house, all the women agree they enjoy being a part of the search teams.

“I felt like we made a difference,” said Sgt. Cynthia Pratt, petroleum supply noncommissioned officer, Company B. “We were out there with the (front-line soldiers). Anything they did, we did. The soldiers from all the units took care of us and made us feel like part of the team from day one. I was proud to be an American – especially seeing the freedoms we have as females.”

AMC declares C-130J operational
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Air Mobility Command officials declared Initial Operational Capability for the C-130J, the Air Force's premier intratheater airlifter.The October declaration is the result of an extensive effort by the total force team to meet specific IOC criteria. More

Personal Security Detachment: Not Your Everyday Job

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Moody, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, visits with soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division, while Staff Sgt. Bradley Hoy, command personal security detachment team leader, pulls security during a mission in southern Baghdad. Photo by Spc. Jason Dangel, USA

By Spc. Jason Dangel, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PROSPERITY, Iraq, Oct. 16, 2006 – In the early morning hours, a soldier awakens as a stern voice blaring over his internal communications radio instructs the leader to rally his men and be ready to move into southern Baghdad in less than 30 minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, 14 combat-ready soldiers line up their armored vehicles with their weapons ready and mounted atop their steel turrets. The soldiers stand ready to greet the brigade commander before leaving the safe haven of a small forward operating base on the edge of the International Zone.

This is the life of the soldiers who make up the command Personal Security Detachment teams of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, in Baghdad.

The two 14-man teams provide safe and timely transportation for the brigade command team: Col. Michael Beech and Command Sgt. Maj. John Moody. The task requires a state of readiness 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“I couldn’t do what I do without them,” said Moody, who has more than 27 years of service. "They do a good job and take their job seriously. They take personal responsibility for taking me where we need to be, and when I get out of the vehicle, they are like those guys who take care of the president – Secret Service.”

There isn't a day when the two teams made up of infantrymen, cavalry scouts, tankers and military police don't see the highways of the bustling Iraqi city, either out on patrol with units from the 4th Brigade Combat Team or taking the command group to meetings and ceremonies throughout central and southern Baghdad.

About four months before deploying in December 2005, the soldiers who make up the current command PSD teams were selected for the security job they would be tasked to complete, said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Cardona, the PSD’s noncommissioned officer in charge.

Most of the soldiers, he added, were young and inexperienced when they showed up for their first day of duty. Unsure of how well the assortment of young soldiers would work together, Cardona said, he sent both teams through two weeks of initial training.

"From the day the PSD was created, it was kind of thrown together," said Cardona, a 15-year Army veteran from Alice, Texas. "All the soldiers came from different units and backgrounds, so the training gave me early assessments on what they needed to improve on as a cohesive security unit."

The majority of the standardized training included a two-week course that encompassed convoy escort procedures, protection tactics for principal dignitaries, and security procedures when moving the command staff through a combat zone, Cardona said.

After the training, Cardona identified two team leaders for the two PSD teams: Staff Sgt. Bradley Hoy, an infantryman from Llano, Texas, and Sgt. Jeffrey Rogers, a military policeman from Buffalo, N.Y.

Both veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Hoy and Rogers took comfortably to the leadership positions they were asked to fill and worked hard to ensure their soldiers were trained and ready for their mission in the Iraqi capital, explained Cardona.

"They both stepped up into an unfamiliar position and have done a great job leading their soldiers," Cardona said.

After four months of training that included a three-week mission rehearsal exercise at Fort Hood, Texas, the two teams deployed with the rest of the brigade to Camp Buerhing, Kuwait, in late November 2005. To date, the teams have completed more than 550 successful missions.

Down time is hard to come by for the PSD soldiers, who are constantly working to improve and upgrade the vehicles that carry the 4th BCT's command personnel. Aside from the constant string of daily missions tasked to the two autonomous teams, the soldiers can be found in the motor pool working on their Humvees when they’re not traveling through the streets of Baghdad.

"There is definitely a lot of time spent in the motor pool," said Spc. Alex Faiivae, a native of Woodridge, Va., who serves as a gunner for the commander’s team. "We have installed just about everything in terms of armor upgrades that is available. We have to have the highest amount of protection, because we carry around the colonel and sergeant major – and they have to be safe."

Most of the soldiers are in the motor pool so often they even have their own coveralls, Faiivae said.

Though the PSD soldiers have such a busy schedule that sleep sometimes is a low priority, that doesn't discourage the personal security troopers. Morale always remains high among the teams’ soldiers, said Sgt. Gregory Thomson, a team leader on Moody's PSD.

"The way our young soldiers have grown into what they are today is amazing," said Thomson, a native of Oglesby, Ill. "When they are asked to do something, they get it done, and they are always focused on their mission. They have all grown into some great soldiers.”

(Army Spc. Jason Dangel is assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team public affairs, 4th Infantry Division.)

Related Sites:
4th Infantry Division

Army Staff Sgt. Bradley Hoy, command personal security detachment team leader, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, leads a three-vehicle convoy carrying Command Sgt. Maj. John Moody, 4th BCT, through the Doura neighborhood in southern Baghdad. Hoy and his team travel the streets of Baghdad daily and have completed more than 550 successful missions while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo by Spc. Jason Dangel, USA

Army Col. Michael Beech, commander, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, makes assessments while Sgt. Jeffrey Rogers, command personal security detachment team leader, pulls security during a mission with a platoon from the 2nd Battalion, 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. Photo by Staff Sgt. Brent Williams, USA

Army Sgt. Fernando Rodriquez, command personal security detachment team leader, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, pulls security during a mission with the brigade command sergeant major in the Doura neighborhood in southern Baghdad. Photo by Spc. Jason Dangel, USA

GETTING SUPPLIES — Afghan boys roll their wheelbarrows away after receiving donated goods from U.S. servicemembers during a humanitarian civic aid mission on the outskirts of Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Oct. 10, 2006. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Army Cpl. Bertha Flores

In Today's News - Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Quote of the Day
"Self trust is the essence of heroism."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Bush Pledges Support for Iraqi PM
91 die in sectarian violence in Iraq
Bush pledges to keep U.S. troops in Iraq
Saddam: Iraq Liberation is at Hand

Operation Enduring Freedom
British Troops Withdraw from Afghan District
NATO says air strike kills senior Taliban fighter - Video
Kidnapped reporter in Afghanistan says he is ok

Homeland Security / War on Terror
N.Y. Lawyer Gets 28 Months for Helping Terrorist
U.S. allies impede Guantanamo releases: report
Bush to sign law authorizing harsh interrogation
Stone film sets sights on Osama bin Laden
Web could be terror training camp: Chertoff
Bush honors Muslims aiding in terror war

Mid-East Ceasefire / Hamas Rising / Israel at War
Indictment drafted for Israeli president: media - Video
Israel wants Lebanon talks but not Syria

Worldwide Wackos
North Korea Calls Sanctions a Declaration of War
Regime threatens to deal 'merciless blows'
Fears of second test - Video
One stop not on Rice's trip: Pyongyang
FACTBOX-U.N. sanctions imposed
Rice: World united against North Korea
Rice Calls for Isolating N. Korea - Video
EU set to back limited Iran sanctions

Politics / Government
Weldon Questions Timing of FBI Raid
Second U.S. lawmaker faces misconduct allegations
Reid to reimburse campaign for donations
Warner takes issue with McGavick remarks

U.N. News
Venezuela Trails in Race for Security Council Seat

Mother Nature
Torrential Rains Flood Southeast Texas, Kill 4
Strong quake off Papua New Guinea, local tsunami alert
Hawaii quake blamed on volcanic stress
Electricity fixed in Hawaii after quake
States to lower greenhouse gas emissions

'Sex Diet' Claims Lust Can Make You Lean
Poor monk has nothing but his eight ATM cards..
Croatia tempts tourists with cheap dental care

Other News of Note
U.S. Population Reaches Milestone
Iowan Charged With Murdering Parents, 3 Sisters Waives Extradition
Police Find Jeep of Family Murdered in Florida
Vt. Police Rule Student's Death a Homicide
U.S., Russian scientists discover new element
Paisley, Adams set for first direct N.Irish talks

Fox News
Dow Closes at Another Record, Eyes 12,000
Stocks to Watch: Intel and Johnson & Johnson
Scarlett Johansson Record Deal in the Works

Reuters: Top News
Two dead, up to 60 hurt in Rome metro crash
S.Lanka says committed to talks with Tiger rebels - Video
Turk PM in hospital after fainting during Ramadan
NASA studies Mars water in hope of mission
Sony to recall own batteries
Reuters opens virtual news bureau in Second Life
Pampered U.S. pets dress up for Halloween
Virtual economies attract real-world tax attention
Americans piled up Tamiflu on bird flu fear: report
Vitamin D may help slow breast cancer -study
Madonna's adoption child arrives in Britain
Oil rises past $60 as OPEC cut looms, winter nears - Video
Dow at record on economy and Exxon - Video
Gold hits 2-week high, still shy of $600
European stocks slip back after winning streak
Euro steady after mixed data, dollar awaits PPI
Laughing with Elmo
Shrinking the budget deficit
Wal-Mart to buy Chinese chain for $1 billion: source
BA invites Boeing, Airbus tenders for new planes
HP wins defense contracts worth up to $440 million
S.Korea raids Citigroup office in Lone Star probe
Millennium says won't up bid for AnorMED
Merck's cervical cancer vaccine on sale in Europe
UnitedHealth CEO falls
Altera CFO leaves as options review ends

AP World News
Ship, vessel crash on Mississippi River
Radar helps locate meteorite in Kansas
Rapper Fabolous shot in NYC parking garage
Bears rally to edge Cards, stay unbeaten
Bindi Irwin to star in wildlife series
Willis gets Hollywood Walk of Fame star
Piniella coming to Wrigley, manage Cubs
UnitedHealth shares down as CEO departs
Man pleads guilty to murder, kidnapping
Macha fired as Oakland's manager
McGraw bucks conservative country image
Denmark an example after transfat ban
Anthrax Vaccinations to Resume

CENTCOM: News Releases

















USJFCOM exhibits Joint Force Projection ACTD - podcast
Top DoD readiness officials tour command
Joint Systems Baseline Assessment 2006 comes to successful close - podcast
More about the Joint Systems Integration Command
USJFCOM commander discusses reserve force issues - podcast

Department of Defense
Afghan, Coalition Forces Destroy Terrorist Compound in Ghazi - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Farmers’ Crops Thrive Thanks to U.S. Guidance - Story
Leaders' Infantry Training Reinforces Combat Skills - Story

'IED Hunters' Work to Clear, Safeguard Roadways
Renovated Schools Set Standard in Kirkuk Area
CSI: National Forensics Academy Opens in Baghdad
Civil Affairs Soldiers Distribute Supplies to School
Saab al Bour Opens Refurbished Primary School
Soldiers Patrol the Liquid Highways of Iraq

Army Interpreter Pays for Mosque Supplies
Task Force Grizzly Soldiers Eliminate Insurgents
Afghan NCOs Complete Drill Sergeant Course


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


National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1492 - Columbus sights the isle of San Salvador (Watling Island, Bahamas).
1691 - A new royal charter for Massachusetts includes Maine and Plymouth.
1777 - British General John Burgoyne surrenders at Saratoga, NY.
1781 - Cornwallis is defeated at Yorktown.
1829 - The Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay Canal are formally opened.
1855 - The Bessemer steelmaking process is patented.
1871 - President Grant suspends the writ of habeas corpus.
1894 - The Ohio National Guard kills 3 lynchers while rescuing a Black man.
1918 - Yugoslavia proclaims itself a republic.
1919 - The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is created.
1931 - Al Capone is convicted of tax evasion, and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
1933 - Albert Einstein arrives in the U.S., a refugee from Nazi Germany.
1941 - The USS Kearney, a destroyer, is torpedoed and damaged off Iceland.
1945 - Juan Peron becomes dictator of Argentina.
1956 - England's first large scale nuclear power station opens.
1957 - Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visit the White House.
1961 - NASA civilian pilot Joseph A. Walker takes the X-15 to 33,100 m.
1967 - Pilot Pete Knight reaches 85 km in the X-15.
1969 - Soyuz-7 returns to Earth.
1973 - Arab states begin a 5-mo oil embargo against the U.S. and the Netherlands.
1975 - The first Space Shuttle main engine test takes place at National Space Tech Labs, MS.
1977 - West German commandos storm a hijacked Lufthansa jet in Mogadishu, Somalia freeing all 86 hostages and killing 3 of the 4 hijackers.
1978 - President Carter signs a bill restoring citizenship to Jefferson Davis.
1979 - Mother Teresa of India is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1986 - U.S. Senate approved an immigration bill prohibiting the hiring of illegal aliens and offered amnesty to illegals who entered the country prior to 1982.
1988 - Lyndon LaRouche pleads innocent to fraud and conspiracy.
1989 - An earthquake in San Francisco (6.9) forces cancellation of the third game of the 86th World Series, and kills 67.

1817 - Samuel Ringgold Ward, minister/abolitionist/author
1835 - Alexandrine-Pieternella-Françoise Tinn‚ explorer of the White Nile
1848 - William "Candy" Cummings, creater of the curve ball
1859 - William "Buck" Ewing, hall of fame catcher (NY Giants, Cin Reds)
1912 - John Paul I, 263rd Roman Catholic pope (1978)
1915 - Arthur Miller, playwright (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible)
1926 - Karl G. Henize, astronaut (STS 51F)
1930 - Jimmy Breslin, columnist (NY Post, News, Newsday)
1933 - William A. Anders, Major General, USAF/astronaut (Apollo 8)
1956 - Mae C. Jemison, M.D./astronaut (Sked:STS 47)

1806 - Jean Jacques Dessalines, Emperor of Haiti
1887 - Gustav Kirchoff, discoverer of the laws of spectroscopy
1910 - Julia Ward Howe, composer (Battle Hymn of the Republic
1990 - Ralph Abernathy, civil rights leader
1991 - Tennessee Ernie Ford, country singer (16 Tons)

Reported Missing in Action
Gaither, Ralph E., USN (FL); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Knutson), released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Halyburton, Porter A., USN (NC); F4B shot down (w/Olmstead), released by DRV February 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Knutson, Rodney A., USN (MT); F4B shot down (w/Gaither); released by DRV February, 1973 alive and well as of 1998

Mayer, Roderick L., USN (ID); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Wheat); likely KIA in ejection

Olmstead, Stanley E., USN (OK); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Halyburton); likely KIA in crash

Wheat, David R., USN (MN); F4B shot down (RIO, w/Mayer); released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Commander - alive and well as of 1998

Andrews, Anthony C., USAF (CA); F105 shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - left service after return to work for major U.S. airline - alive as of 1998

Cadwell, Anthony B., US Army (MT); drowned, body not recovered

Fitzgerald, Paul L., Jr., US Army (GA); disappeared after fighting while on search and destroy mission

Fortner, Frederick J., USNR (CA); A4E crashed during mission (pilot), remains returned March, 1989

Hargrove, Olin, Jr., US Army (AL); disappeared after fighting while on search and destroy mission

Odell, Donald E., USAF (MI); F105D shot down (w/Sullivan); released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Sullivan, Dwight E., USAF (IA); F105D shot down (w/Odell); released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Mason, James P., US Army (IL); passenger in OH6A that crashed, Killed, body not recovered

Wangchom, Nophadon, (Thailand?); released September, 1974

Graham, Alan U., USAF (AL); F111A shot down (w/Hockridge); remains returned by SRV September, 1977

Hockridge, James A., USAF (NY); F111A shot down (w/Graham); remains returned by SRV September, 1977