Keep Your Helmet On!

Be A Part of a Tribute to Fallen Heroes - Help Build the Fallen Soldiers' Bike
Help support the families of our deployed Heroes - Visit Soldiers' Angels' Operation Outreach
Help Our Heroes Help Others - Click Here to visit SOS: KIDS
Nominate your Hero for IWT's "Hero of the Month" - click here for details!
Search Iraq War Today only

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Oct. 21, 2006) - Sailors assigned to Beach Master Unit One (BMU-1) participate in training exercises designed to simulate real world scenarios. More than 400 Sailors came together for a Naval Beach Group field exercise aimed at improving the overall combat readiness and preparing them for possible deployments to Iraq and other areas around the world in support of the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Daniel A. Barker

Where Am I?

Yep, I'm on the road again - this time in a state that since September 11, 2001, has seen nearly 75% of its National Guard heroes deployed to support efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am in the city that boasts these two monuments:

My present location is also the home of the 363rd Personnel Services Detachment, the third personnel services unit from this city to deploy to Kuwait.

So...Where Am I??

Winner this month gets their choice of the America's Heroes calendar, or a Support the Troops T-Shirt, both of which go to support Freedom is Not Free.

Be the first with the correct answer either by email or in the comments section of this post, and get your choice!

UPDATE: We have a winner!! Angela, a Soldiers' Angel extraordinaire, correctly guessed that I am in Lansing, Michigan! Nicely done, Angela - I'll let you know when your T-Shirt is on the way!

I've updated the edited picture above - for more information on this month's clues:

National Guard unit from Lansing departs today for tour of duty (From June, 2006 - story on the 363rd Personnel Services Detachment)

Michigan Army National Guard - 63rd Brigade (Troop Command)

History of the Michigan National Guard

History of the First Michigan Sharpshooters

First Michigan Sharpshooters Monument

Michigan Capitol Memorial

Also check out the Michigan Vietnam Memorial

Ladies, How About This Calendar?!?

Click the photo to find out more about how to order,
and to find out about the great cause that sales of this calendar are supporting.

More at Fox News

H/T to Billy Budd

by Sgt. 1st Class Dexter D. Clouden
October 24, 2006
Soldiers from the 561st Military Police Company patrol the rugged and desolate Nijrab region of Afghanistan. US Army photo.

Agha Jon School Reopens After Taliban Torching

Shafa Mohammad, Tulam Ahkmad, Mirza Mohammad and Shaifulla stand behind their desk Oct 17 at Agha Jon school, located in the Gelan District of Ghazni Province. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Pintagro

Children as young as 7 and men as old as 25 will learn mathematics,
science, history and geography as well as Islamic subjects at the new facility.

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Pintagro
Task Force Spartan public affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Afghanistan, Oct. 24, 2006 —Officials from the Gelan District of Ghazni Province, Afghan National Policemen and key Coalition leaders joined around 300 enthusiastic children, elders and area villagers for the reopening of a school in the town of Agha Jon, Oct 17.

The school reopening came about seven months after Taliban militants set fire to the building and terrorized students, parents and teachers.

Mir Ahmad, the Gelan District sub-governor, addressed elders, townsmen, teachers and students in the courtyard of the school.

“Islam is about knowledge,” Ahmad said. “Islam isn’t about destroying schools and preventing teachers from teaching. It isn’t true Islam the enemy is protecting. Islam is a religion of peace.”

Army Lt. Col. Frank Sturek, the commander of Task Force Warrior and a key figure in regional security, economic development and education, attended the school opening alongside other leading project participants. Sturek’s soldiers labored alongside members of Task Force Vigilant Archer, a subordinate organization whose members played the leading Coalition role in the project.

“This marks the beginning of a new day for Gelan and a bright new future for the children of Gelan,” Sturek said, adding that the establishment of security and infrastructure in the district will permit additional funding and additional regional construction projects.

“I congratulate you on your courage,” the native of Aberdeen, Md., continued. “I congratulate you on starting school today. You’ll receive 100-percent support from the Coalition forces and the Afghan National Security Forces to make this school a success.”

American soldiers and Afghan policemen distributed backpacks and patriotic stickers to young students after the speaking program.

School officials said around 1,400 boys and young men will attend classes at the refurbished facility. Children as young as 7 and men as old as 25 will learn Pashtun, mathematics, science, history and geography as well as Islamic subjects at the new facility. Around 25 teachers will conduct morning sessions for teenagers and young men and afternoon classes for younger children during the spring, summer and fall. Most Afghan schools close during the winter months.

Army Maj. Rob Fugere, the commander of Task Force Vigilant Archer, described the school opening as an important step in regional development and a victory for the people of the district over militants who frequently intimidated them in the past.

“Every time they get a school up and running, the Taliban comes in and burns down the school and threatens the teachers,” Fugere said. “But since we’ve been here conducting patrols and maintaining a presence, the Taliban have fled and the people have been able to live their lives normally without fear. Part of that is being able to send their kids to school.”

“The true way for Afghanistan to advance is to educate its youth,” the Grand Forks, N.D., native added. “This is an important step in that direction.”

Young and old ceremony participants alike expressed enthusiasm for the new facility.

“Our children will get education,” said Abdul Hamid, a village elder from Afgha Jon. “We will have educated people in our district serving their families and the community.”

“It’s a nice building,” he added. “We’ve got a nice new building.”

Najibullah, a student at the Agha Jon school, located in the Gelan District of Ghazni Province, takes a turn at the blackboard, Oct 17. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael Pintagro

From DefendAmerica

Family reunion caps boating rescue for rescuers
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Floating alone in the open water of the Atlantic Ocean for more than 24 hours with nothing more than an orange life vest left Clinton Daughtry nothing but time to think about his life, a life which the 27-year-old now credits to the 920th Rescue Wing.

Austin Officials Aim to Help Iraqi Public Services

Three representatives from police and fire departments in Austin, Texas, meet with Iraqi emergency services officials to discuss ways to better improve existing Iraqi emergency medical systems at the Adnan Palace in central Baghdad, Oct. 18. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jason Dangel

Fire, police officials strive to create emergency system similar to 911.

By Spc. Jason Dangel
4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division

BAGHDAD, Oct. 24, 2006 — Three representatives from police and fire departments in Austin, Texas, met with Iraqi emergency services officials, Oct. 18, to discuss ways to better improve existing Iraqi emergency medical systems. The meeting was held at the Adnan Palace in central Baghdad.

David Carter, Austin Police Special Operations; Charles Johnson, Austin Special Weapons and Tactics Unit; and George Bratmore, assistant chief, Austin Fire Department, working with Multi-National Division – Baghdad, hope to establish a new and reliable Iraqi emergency service system over the course of the next year.

The group from Austin said they aim to eventually establish a system that will enable police, fire and medical units to work together during emergencies, said Bratmore, during a presentation to Iraqi officials.

"In many cases, when something happens that requires the fire department’s service, medical units and police units are also required to be on the scene," the fire chief explained.

"When all the services respond on a particular incident, it gives us the ability to contain the situation quickly, and it ensures that the effect of the emergency doesn't spread and cause more problems," Bratmore said.

During an emergency in the United States, it is common to see police cars, fire trucks and medical vehicles on the site at the same time. Additionally all three services can be contacted using one phone number, 911, said Carter.

Currently, the Iraqi police, fire and medical services do not work jointly in day-to-day operations. All three services must be contacted individually in order for them to respond to an accident or incident.

The new concept introduced to the Iraqi public services officials also aims to create an emergency system similar to the 911 system.

Carter said he and his team hope to initiate new ideas to institute a new Iraqi Joint Department of Public Safety, but said the process will take time.

"The way the Iraqi public services are run today can't be changed over night," he said. "This is going to take time, and it is up to the Iraqi government to recognize whether or not this kind of system will work for them.

"We want to help the best way we can, and at the same time use this as a learning experience to maybe help improve our own system back in the United States."

-- From DefendAmerica

RIVER CROSSING — U.S. Marines with Support Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, cross a river outside Camp Al Taqaddum, Iraq, Oct. 4, 2006. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher A. Baldwin

In Today's News - Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quote of the Day
"We believe that liberty is the design of nature;
we believe that liberty is the direction of history.
We believe that human fulfillment and excellence come
in the responsible exercise of liberty.
And we believe that freedom --
the freedom we prize -- is not for us alone,
it is the right and the capacity of all mankind."

-- George W. Bush

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Army: No Sign of Missing U.S. Soldier in Baghdad - VIDEO
'Masked Men Grabbed'U.S. Soldier in Baghdad - VIDEO
Missing soldier kidnapped on family visit
U.S. Lays Out Timeline for Iraqis to Calm Violence
U.S. says Iraq agrees on timeline to peace
Gen. Pace optimistic about Iraq progress
U.S. says more GIs may be needed in Iraq

Homeland Security / War on Terror
More 9/11 remains found at ground zero

Mid-East Ceasefire / Hamas Rising / Israel at War
Kidnapped AP Photographer Released in Gaza

Immigration / Border Control
Egyptian Man, Ex-Wife Get Jail for Enslaving Girl

Worldwide Wackos
Reports: Chavez to End U.N. Bid, Back Bolivia
Weapons tests reduce food aid, U.N. says
Ahmadinejad Opposes Plan to Fingerprint Americans
West wants Iran technology sales banned

Politics / Government
Hastert, Reynolds Grilled on Foley
Hastert urges quick action on Foley
Bush Touts 'It's the Economy' Theme in Florida
Iraq doubts fuel Democratic hopes in Virginia
Democrats have edge ahead of midterm
Potential problems loom in election voting
Michael J. Fox plunges into election

News from My Neck of the Woods
Big Dig Consulting Firm Ordered to Stop Inspecting

Amnesia Sufferer Reunited With Fiancee, Family
Eyelash transplants set to sweep nip tuck world
Upset U.S. dad pulls gun on son's football coach
Ape scolded for pulling fire alarm
Tenn. fire chief charged with arson

Other News of Note
Immigrants Plan to Share $55M Lottery Winnings

Fox News
Cult Leader Executed for 5 Killings
Sniper Suspect: 'Better Catch Me Before I Kill Again'
Report: College Tuition Fees Rise, Not Financial Aid
Report: Suspect in Alabama Cop Shooting Arrested
World's Fastest Texter Loses to Voice Recognition
California Man Charged With Raping Women Met on Millionaires Site
Record Number of 'Jackos' Invade Boston

Reuters: Top News
Racial gaps in U.S. health care seen in studies
Ethiopia's "Lucy" to be exhibited in United States
Microsoft to start Vista coupon plan for PC buyers
Sony says may lose some battery business on recall
Stubborn sellers could harm housing sector
Exercise helps smokers quit, study concludes
IVF experts advise limits on embryo transfers
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes set wedding date
Rapper Foxy Brown sentenced to 3 years probation
U.S. tech stocks fall on Texas Instruments outlook - Video
Amazon shares rise, CheckFree drops
Ford shares bounce
Countrywide cuts 2,500 jobs
Netflix shares jump as analysts raise targets
Beyond the beaten path
Friendly Fed words for bonds?
Amazon profit beats expectations
Microsoft to defer $1.5 billion in sales to third quarter
Ex-Comverse CFO pleads guilty in stock options case
Lockheed, Northrop profits rise, shares mixed
Strong Lucent Q4 results lift Alcatel spirits

AP World News
Drug raid yields Los Alamos documents
AP: Whites on top of Katrina insurance
Scientists test dissolving heart stent
Authorities: 'Deputy Shaq' participated
Madonna blames media for adopt firestorm
NFL owners approve international games
Study finds flu shots are safe for kids
Judge says rapper can't be interviewed
Players, owners to announce labor deal
Dow sets new high, but stocks end mixed
Experts: Ban won't stop online gambling
Google unveils tools for search engines
Heather Mills McCartney sues newspapers
Marine Pilots Stay Sharp for Next War
Casey Gives Iraqis One Year
Joint Common Missile Isn't Dead Yet
Op-ed: Thinkers Versus Doers
Blog: Aussie Singer "Digs" the Troops
Safer Five Years After 9-11?
Escalade on Steroids Salutes Heroes

CENTCOM: News Releases










Urban warfare experiment draws many players
USJFCOM, USTRANSCOM commanders sign joint vision statement
Command's experiment bringing focus to urban challenges
USJFCOM exhibits Joint Force Projection ACTD - podcast

Department of Defense
Khalilzad: Success Can Be Achieved - Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Outlaw Pursues Flight in Skies Over Iraq - Story
Navy Leader Talks with Sailors in Afghanistan - Story

Electricity Levels in Baghdad at All Time Lows
172nd Soldiers Deliver 75 Generators to Schools
Brigade Nets 45 Re-enlistments in October
Civilian Leaders Encouraged to Support Troops
Joint Patrols Knock on Doors in Neighborhood

Warriors Share Dinner, Conversation with Locals

Horn of Africa Troops Work to Stem Terrorism

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 Marine 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
1415 - At the Battle of Agincourt, the Welsh longbow defeats the armored knight.
1671 - Giovanni Cassini discovers Iapetus, a satellite of Saturn.
1760 - George III ascends the British throne.
1764 - John Adams marries Abigail Smith - their marriage lasts 54 years.
1812 - The U.S. frigate United States captures the British vessel Macedonian.
1854 - The Light Brigade makes its charges (Battle of Balaklava-Crimean War)
1870 - Postcards are first used in the U.S.
1900 - The British annex Transvaal.
1903 - The Senate begins investigating the Teapot Dome scandals of the Harding administration.
1915 - Attorney James L. Curtis is named minister of Liberia.
1918 - The Canadian steamship Princess Sophia hits a reef off Alaska, killing 398.
1924 - The "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip makes its first appearance.
1929 - Former Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall is convicted of accepting a $100,000 bribe.
1930 - The first scheduled transcontinental air service begins.
1935 - Hurricane-produced floods kill 2,000 in Haiti.
1944 - The Japanese navy is defeated at the battle of Leyte Gulf.
1945 - The Japanese surrender Taiwan to General Chiang Kai-shek.
1951 - Peace talks aimed at ending the Korean War resume in Panmunjom.
1960 - In NYC, the first electronic wrist watch is placed on sale.
1962 - Uganda becomes the 110th member of the U.N.; Stevenson demands that Soviet ambassador Zorin give an answer regarding Cuban missle bases, saying that "I am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over."
1971 - Roy Disney dedicates Walt Disney World; The U.N. General Assembly admits China, and expels Taiwan.
1975 - The U.S.S.R.'s Venera-10 lands on Venus.
1978 - The Israeli Cabinet approves, "in principle," a draft compromise peace.
1983 - The U.S. invades Grenada.
1985 - The Kosmos-1700 communications satellite is placed in geostationary orbit.
1986 - The International Red Cross is ousted from South Africa.
1990 - The NY Daily News goes on strike (through March, 1991).

- Baron Grenville, British PM (1806-07)
1825 - Johann Strauss (the younger), composer (Waltz King)
1838 - Georges Bizet, composer (Carmen)
1869 - John Heisman, pioneering football coach/trophy namesake
1877 - Henry Norris Russell, astronomer (Hertzsprung-Russell diagram)
1909 - Philleo Nash, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (1961-67)
1935 - Russell "Rusty" L. Schweickart, astronaut (Apollo 9)
1967 - Julia Roberts, actress (Mystic Pizza, Pretty Woman)

1400 - Geofrey Chaucer, author
1892 - Caroline Harrison, Preident Benjamin Harrison's wife
1986 - Forrest Tucker, actor (O'Rourke-F Troop, Dusty Trail)
1987 - Cecil Brown, news correspondant (CBS)

Reported Missing in Action
Green, Robert B., USAF (TX); C47 shot down

Levan, Alvin L., USN (PA); suffered a seizure and fell overboard from PCF-87, Killed, body not recovered

Horinek, Ramon A., USAF (KS); F105D shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Kromenhoek, Jeffrey M., USN (IA); A4E shot down, presumed KIA

Smith, Richard Eugene, USAF (MS); F105D shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Thompson, Benjamin A., US Army (AL); swept away in current while crossing a river, Killed, body not recovered

Also listed in the POW/MIA database for today are the names of more than 80 civilians, lost when the Glomar Java Sea, a civilian oil-drilling vessel, went down in a typhoon. (There is evidence to suggest the Glomar Java Sea was attacked prior to the typhoon, and that some survivors were captured and held by the Vietnamese).