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Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Official - NBC Says So

Now, normally I rely on the military when looking for accurate information on what's going on in Iraq, but apparently NBC knows far better than they do.

The "Today" Show's Matt Lauer announced on Monday that NBC has decided that Iraq is now in a state of civil war.

Surprising, isn't it? I mean, NBCs always been pro-troop and supportive of our military efforts in the Middle East, haven't they?

Oh, no, that's right, they're one of the most obviously liberal, most heavily-biased MSM organizations out there.

Must-Sway TV.

Marines from the Command Element, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Camp Pendleton, Calif., pose with Jay Leno from the Tonight Show after the filming of the show's "Salute to the Armed Forces Thanksgiving Special," at NBC Studios, Burbank, Calif., Nov. 22. Photo by Staff Sgt. Sergio Jimenez, 11/22/2006

New Iraqi Air Force Returns to Sky

By Tech. Sgt. Gene Lappe
506th Air Expeditionary Group

KIRKUK REGIONAL AIR BASE, Iraq, Nov. 29, 2006 — The new Iraqi air force have returned to the sky, performing a variety of missions throughout the country, thanks to training and support from U.S. and coalition advisors.
At Kirkuk Regional Air Base, American advisors are helping Iraqi military members of Squadron 3 train for their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission.

"Our mission is to train, advise and assist the Iraqi air force unit at Kirkuk in the development and execution of all aspects of air power," said Lt. Col. Greg Zehner, senior advisor for the Coalition Air Force Military Transition Team. "This includes flight operations, aircraft maintenance, base operations support activities and basic levels of professional military education.

"We also work to develop and enhance a professional military ethic for all Iraqi air force personnel, from the youngest enlisted airman to the senior officers," he said.

The mission of Squadron 3, one of six squadrons in the Iraqi Air Force, is to perform ISR of the strategic infrastructure in northern Iraq -- flying over the oil pipelines, electrical power lines and other important facilities to monitor their condition and watch for insurgent activities.

This is accomplished with the SAMA (Zenair) CH-2000 aircraft, a single-engine, two-passenger plane.

The squadron conducts a mix of training and operational missions -- training new members, getting them certified in the aircraft, and performing the reconnaissance mission with those pilots who are fully mission-capable.

The responsibility of training and advising the Iraqi military members falls to a seven-person team.

Their areas of expertise are spread across several specialties including operations, intelligence, maintenance, communications and supply.

"Our first big obstacle was getting the aircraft," said Maj. Jean Havens, director of operations. "Since they have arrived, we are moving forward with getting the Iraqis checked out on the aircraft."

Flight training had been on hold due to the grounding of the CompAir 7SL, the unit's previous aircraft.

Havens, an instructor pilot deployed from Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., is responsible for advising her Iraqi counterparts on all aspects of the flying operations.

She said she was excited about her assignment and the opportunity to be a part of helping the Iraqi air force become a self-sufficient organization.

"The dream of any instructor is to see progress of a student," she said. "Serving as their instructor will probably be the highlight of my career."

Master Sgt. James Redmond, maintenance advisor, has the responsibility of instructing and advising the Iraqi airmen on how to keep their new aircraft flying.

"We show them what has to be done and how to use technical data and proper safety procedures," he said. "Then they develop plans and techniques that will work for them."

He said his mission is to show the Iraqis how to make their air force better and to help them grow from lessons learned in the past.

"The Iraqis are eager to learn, and they take pride in their work," Redmond said. "Once the maintenance is done, they will usually hang around and watch the launch of the aircraft they worked on."

Zehner said the most satisfying part of his mission is two-fold: "Doing our part to help the Iraqis transition to a functioning democratic government at peace within its borders and with its neighbors; and the personal relationships we have gained and expect to further develop in our daily interaction with our Iraqi counterparts."

Okinawa, Japan (Nov. 20, 2006) - Commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Seven (ESG-7) Rear Adm. Victor G. Gullory shakes the hand of incoming commander Rear Adm. Carol M. Pottenger, at a change-of-command ceremony. As the new ESG-7 commander, Pottenger becomes the first female to command a forward-deployed operational command and plans to continue to build crucial relationships among countries in Southeast Asia as her predecessor did. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark A. Rankin

Balad 'Port Dawgs' Help Limit Ground Convoys

Senior Airman Daniel Anderson operates a forklift Nov. 2 at the air terminal at Balad Air Base, Iraq. He is an air transportation journeyman, or "Port Dawg," with the 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. He is deployed from Travis Air Force Base, Calif. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alice Moore

Airlifting delivers supplies to the warfighter, while decreasing
the number of convoy missions.

By Staff Sgt. Alice Moore
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq, Nov. 29, 2006 — With each pallet pushed onto an aircraft flying out of Balad, another dangerous convoy mission is avoided and lives are potentially saved.

The "Port Dawgs" assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron Aerial Port Flight, ensure assets are delivered to forward-operating locations throughout Iraq.

"We provide the unique capability to put massive amounts of personnel and equipment on the ground in a matter of hours," said Master Sgt. Jerry Miller, air terminal operations center and freight superintendent.

"We transport the 'bullets and beans' to the fight and then provide replacement parts and people through airpower," Miller said. He is deployed from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

The port flight moves nearly 26,000 passengers and 8,000 tons of cargo per month, said Lt. Col. Zev York, the 332nd ELRS commander deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

One convoy mission involves approximately 20 vehicles and 55 soldiers. With each convoy approximately 240 tons and 80 pallets get delivered, York said.

"If we fly 1,000 tons by air, then we keep about 80 trucks and more than 200 soldiers off the road," he said.

Airlifting provides a safer means to deliver much needed supplies and people as well as the capacity to deliver more at any given time, York said.

"The more we move by air, the less we move by road," said the colonel. "Airlift provides a quicker and safer way to deliver the cargo and personnel to accomplish missions."

The flight is divided into five key areas -- ATOC, load planning, ramp services, cargo processing and special handling.

ATOC provides all command-and-control coordination for the flight. Load planning ensures all cargo scheduled for airlift meet weight and balance requirements. Ramp services ensure cargo is loaded and unloaded onto aircraft. Cargo processing handles the build up and breakdown of pallets and special handling deals with hazardous materials and human remains.

"Our finest hour comes when we are able to respectfully return the remains of those who gave all in helping Iraq transition to democracy," Miller said.

The flight is also responsible for coordinating and certifying hazardous cargo movements with other locations and ensuring safety when loading the cargo onto aircraft. Miller said the aerial port here is responsible for the building and breakdown of equipment to ensure it is ready for air travel.

In addition to the port's day-to-day responsibilities, the "Port Dawgs" recently became a part of history when they worked with the Iraqi air force during their first mission of delivering coalition cargo within the area of responsibility.

"This was pretty significant because it's actually showing the progress that is being made here," said Airman 1st Class Colton Markowski, ramp services journeyman deployed from Travis Air Force Base, Calif. "It's bringing us one step closer to achieving our goal of helping to transition this country into a more democratic nation."

The flight also recently began operating out of their new aerial port complex. The complex provides 1,388,000 square feet of concrete pavement, in which 48,000 square feet are covered in the form of the new Balad Aerial Port Control Center and Air Freight Warehouse. Construction of the facility took about 18 months.

"Everything was in sand and rocks before," Markowski said. "This new facility allows us to operate a lot smoother and more efficiently."

To best sum up the port's mission, "we basically provide anything you need to complete the mission," Markowski said.

"Our airpower is going to get you timely service and we have fun doing it," he said.

KEEPING WATCH — Polish army soldiers assigned to Multi-National Division Central - South, Camp Echo, Iraq, provide security for U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 personnel and 8th Iraqi Army Division soldiers as they search the home of a suspected insurgent, Nov. 20, 2006, in the village of Al Naimi, Iraq. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dawn M. Price

In Today's News - Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quote of the Day
"Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour,
and be in readiness for the conflict;
for it is better for us to perish in battle
than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altar."

-- Winston Churchill

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Iraq Delays Summit With U.S., Saying 3's a Crowd - VIDEO
Joint Chiefs Chairman Denies Al-Anbar Pullout Report
Iraq Study Group Reaches Agreement on New Policy
Bush, Maliki to hold crunch talks on Iraq - Video
U.S. to boost Baghdad troops: official
Powell says world should recognize Iraq at civil war
Al-Sadr loyalists spurn Iraq parliament
Pentagon Eyeing Further Iraq Deployments

Operation Enduring Freedom
An Afghan bomber's tale sheds light on motives

Homeland Security / War on Terror
Border security system posts just 1 terror case
Suspected bomb found on Ohio highway

Other Military News
We're Training Bees to Detect Bombs?

Religion of Peace??
Pope meets Orthodox leader on Turkey visit - Video

Worldwide Wackos
Iran's Ahmadinejad Pens Letter to American People
Get out of nuclear business, U.S. tells North Korea
U.S. says no cognac, jet skis for North Korea

Politics / Government
Al Qaeda Calls Pope's Visit 'Crusader Campaign'
Webb Gives Bush Cold Shoulder at Reception
Frist abandons 2008 presidential bid

In the Courts
Judge: FEMA Must Keep Paying for Katrina Housing

U.N. News
Atrocities occurring daily in Darfur: UN official

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News
Crime 101: YouSteal on YouTube

Science / Nature
NASA Gives Shuttle Discovery Go for Night Launch
Florida Man Loses Arm to Alligator During Attack
Scientists harness mysteries of the brain
Hurricane season ends quietly

Cops: Former Pastor Killed Man for Trust Fund
London Taxicabs Left With More Than Just 'Confessions'
Britney Spears Parties With Paris Hilton, Leaves Underwear at Home
Father hangs onto roof pursuing car thief
Wishing wells contain money mountain

Other News of Note
Dead Russian Spy Trail Takes Flight - VIDEO
Radiation traces found on BA planes
Study: Warhead plutonium long-lasting
Aso: Japan can possess nuclear weapons

Fox News
Conservative Jews Likely to OK Openly Gay Rabbis
Nicole Kidman Pregnant? Not Likely

Reuters: Top News
Judge OKs $4.52 bln payout to WorldCom investors
Houghton Mifflin sold to Riverdeep
Ford says 38,000 union workers accept buyouts
US Air to meet Delta, creditors Thursday: sources
Australia Oct retail sales surprisingly strong
Ex-AIG boss pitched NYTimes bid to Morgan Stanley
NZ's Tower Ltd underlying year profit up 55 percent
Home Depot, Lowe's expand holiday decor, gift items
US panel backs Pfizer drug for juvenile arthritis
Mexico orders trial of ex-president for 1968 massacre
Fiji army returns to barracks but coup fears remain
Austrian ex-kidnap woman aids handicapped children
Auto industry should speed fuel economy fixes-expert
Regal arms theater-goers with cellphone busters
Nintendo says Wii on track to meet targets
Universal AIDS tests will pay off, experts say
New Orleans population still cut by more than half
Sugar-packed diet may boost pancreatic cancer risk
Kidman knocks Roberts off high-paid actress list
Filmmaker Sofia Coppola gives birth to baby girl
Stocks jump on gains in energy sector and GDP - Video
Hot Topic up as outlook offsets sales
Synopsys jumps after results
Oil rises to 2-month high on U.S. winter fuel draw - Video
Revlon sets equity offer, refinancing credit deal
All I want for Christmas ...
A price to pay?

AP World News
7M in U.S. jails, on probation or parole
Africa faces growing obesity problem
Ford says 38,000 accepted buyout offers
No. 7 Carolina runs past No. 3 Ohio St.
Strahan verbally confronts ESPN reporter
Wiggles' lead singer to stop performing
TiVo posts narrower loss, beating views
N.H. to offer girls free cancer vaccine
Mel Gibson feels Michael Richards' pain
Study: Break from medications dangerous
Jimmie Johnson at home in Big Apple
Celine Dion cancels Las Vegas shows
Vick fined $10,000 for obscene gesture
Army Sees Rise in Soldier Debts
Op-ed: Is China Stalking Us?
Blog: Now Your Name is "Sir"
Defense Tech: Planes Against IEDs?
Kit Up! and Be Ready
Philpott: Army Signs More Dropouts
ALERT: Medicare/TRICARE Cuts Loom
Gear in the News: M-240B

CENTCOM: News Releases



Exercise preps 82nd Airborne Division staff for Afghanistan deployment
Milestone reached in development of Cross Domain Collaborative Information Environment - podcast
Liveblogging: Unified Endeavor 07-1
Omni Fusion ties Army into UR 2015 - podcast

Department of Defense
Chairman Describes Process That Leads to ‘Best Military Advice’- Story
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

Musicians Perform for Troops, Visit Wounded - Story
Training Takes Over As Medics Treat Soldiers - Story

Battle Tanks Bring the Thunder to Camp Fallujah
Marines Rescue Iraqis, Capture Terrorists
Troops in Iraq Face 'Observant, Adaptive Enemy'
Bayji Operations Round Up 'Black Jumpsuit' Cell
Iraqi Trainees Learning Urban Combat Skills
U.S. Soldiers Work to Fortify Afghan Army

U.S. Units Steadily Secure, Rebuild Afghanistan
Military Missions Change as Afghan Army Evolves
Gainey Visits Deployed Troops for Thanksgiving

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
0306 - Saint Marcellus I begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1782 - Britain signs an agreement recognizing U.S. independence.
1803 - Spain cedes her claims on the Louisiana Territory to France.
1804 - The impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase begins.
1864 - Battle of Franklin, Tennessee.
1866 - In Chicago, work begins on the first U.S. underwater highway tunnel.
1886 - In Buffalo, the first commercially successful AC electric power plant opens.
1887 - Chicago is the site of the first indoor softball game.
1907 - In Seattle, Pike Place Market is dedicated.
1924 - The first photo facsimile is transmitted across the Atlantic by radio.
1936 - London's Crystal Palace (built in 1851) is destroyed by fire.
1939 - The U.S.S.R. invades Finland over a border dispute.
1941 - The 101-year-old Nyack-Tarrytown (NY) ferry makes its last run.
1947 - Jewish settlements are attacked, one day after a U.N. decree for Israel.
1948 - Baseball's Negro National League disbands; Soviets set up a separate municipal government in East Berlin.
1949 - Chinese Communists capture Chungking.
1954 - Liz Hodges becomes the first woman known to have been struck by a meteorite (an 8 lb. one in Sylacauga, AL).
1958 - In Bath, Maine, the first guided missile destroyer is launched (USS Dewey).
1961 - The U.S.S.R. vetoes Kuwait's application for U.N. membership.
1962 - U Thant of Burma is unanimously elected to as Secretary-General of the U.N.
1964 - The U.S.S.R. launches Zond-2 towards Mars; no data is returned.
1966 - Barbados gains independence from Britain
1967 - Britain cedes the Kuria Muria islands to Oman; the People's Republic of South Yemen (Aden) gains independence from Britain.
1975 - Dahomey becomes Benin.
1979 - Ted Koppel becomes anchor of the nightly news on the Iran Hostage Crisis (ABC).
1982 - The submarine USS Thomas Edison collides with the USS Leftwich (a destroyer) in the South China Sea; both remain operational.
1983 - Radio Shack announces the Tandy Model 2000 computer (80186 chip).
1988 - A cyclone lashes Bangladesh and Eastern India; 317 are killed; for the first time in 38 years, the Soviets stop jamming Radio Liberty; the U.N. General Assembly (151-2) censures the U.S. for refusing the PLO's Arafat a visa.
1990 - Actor Burt Lancaster suffers a stroke; President George H.W. Bush proposes a U.S.-Iraq meeting to avoid war.
1991 - During a dust storm, 17 die in the pile-up of 93 cars and 11 trucks near San Francisco.

- Saint Gregory of Tours, chronicler/bishop
1466 - Andrea Doria, Genoese statesman/admiral
1554 - Philip Sidney, English poet/statesman/soldier (Arcadia)
1667 - Jonathan Swift, satirist (Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal)
1793 - Johann Lukas Schonlein, helped establish scientific medicine
1810 - Oliver Fisher Winchester, rifle maker
1817 - Theodor Mommsen Germany, historian/writer (Nobel 1902)
1835 - Samuel Clemens [Mark Twain], author (Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn)
1863 - Andres Bonifacio, leader of 1896 Philippine revolt against Spain
1874 - Sir Winston Churchill, British PM (1940-45, 1951-55, Nobel 1953)
1915 - Angier Biddle Duke, U.S. Ambassador (Spain); Henry Taube, chemist (Nobel 1983)
1924 - Shirley Chisholm (Rep-NY), first Black congresswoman/presidential candidate
1928 - Chic Hecht (Sen-NV)
1933 - Linwood C. Ivey (Mayor-Garysburg NC)
1936 - Abbie Hoffman, a.k.a. Free, Yippie/activist/author (Steal this Book)
1937 - Richard Threlkeld, newscaster (ABC-TV)

30 BC
- Cleopatra, Egyptian queen, suicide
1016 - Edmund II Ironsides, King of the Saxons (1016)
1631 - Rabbi Samuel Eliezer ben Judah ha-levi Edels
1694 - Marcello Malpighi, father of microscopic anatomy
1900 - Oscar Wilde, Irish author
1979 - Zeppo Marx, comedian
1987 - Arthur H. Dean, lawyer/advisor to FDR
1990 - Norman Cousins, editor (Saturday Review)
1996 - Tiny Tim, singer with the falsetto warble and ukulele ("Tiptoe Through the Tulips")

Reported Missing in Action
Richardson, Stephen G., USN (WA); F8E crashed, Killed, body not recovered

Kushner, Floyd H., US Army (VA); UH1H crashed, released by PRG March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

The following US Army SF personnel lost when the CH34 they were in was shot down:

Bader, Arthur E., Jr. (NJ); remains returned by SFG July, 1989 - ID'd February, 1990

Fitts, Richard A. (MA); remains returned April, 1989

La Bohn, Gary R. (MI); remains returned March, 1989 - ID'd February, 1990 (questionable)

Mein, Michael H. (NY); remains returned March, 1989 - ID'd February, 1990

Scholz, Klaus D. (TX); remains returned March, 1989 - ID'd February, 1990

Stacks, Raymond C. (TN); remains returned March, 1989 - ID'd February, 1990

Toomey, Samuel K. III (MO); remains returend March, 1989 - ID'd February, 1990

Stringer, John C. II, US Army (NY); fell into water crossing a stream