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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Serving through the season: Senior Airman Jose Reyes
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AFPN) -- Senior Airman Jose Reyes knows all about spending the holidays with a large family. As the youngest of nine brothers and sisters growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., he did it and now he's doing it with a new family. More

New Feature at IWT - Hero of the Month

Just in time for the holidays, I've decided to start something new here at IWT. Actually, I'm resurrecting an old idea that didn't get much response.

I'd like to start naming a Hero of the Month - here's how it works:

Nominations will be taken from IWT readers - you can email them to me here. Your submission should include a picture (if available), and a description of why you believe they should be selected. Those eligible for nomination include:

  • Deployed Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, or Marines

  • Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, or Marines serving stateside

  • Military veterans

  • Military spouses / family members

  • Those who go above and beyond to support our Heroes

  • Selection will be determined by reader vote, or, in the event of a tie / insufficient number of votes, at my discretion.

    Those selected as the Hero of the Month will receive:

  • A blog post in their honor (NOTE: Last name, rank, unit, and specific location of any deployed Hero will be edited, including photoshopping pictures, unless I am specifically told that such detail is OK to post)

  • If a deployed Hero, a care package and letter, and submission to Soldiers' Angels for adoption if not already an adoptee, and if requested

  • If stateside / a veteran / a civilian, a care package sent in their name to a Hero in harm's way.

  • Care packages will be generously provided by Patti of Soldiers' Angels - thank you, Patti!

    Depending on how many nominations come in before the end of the month, I'll begin with a Hero of the month for January - deadline for submissions is December 31st.

    Don't delay - submit your nomination today!

    172nd Reflagged
    Photo by SRTV
    December 19, 2006
    The 172nd SBCT gets reflagged and becomes 1st SBCT 25th ID.

    Iraqi Army Assumes Control of Patrol Base Razor

    By U.S. Army Sgt. Tony White
    5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    SAMARRA, Iraq, Dec. 19, 2006 — Local Iraqi army forces assumed control of Patrol Base Razor from Coalition Forces on Dec. 15.

    The 4th Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army, took responsibility for the patrol base from the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The transfer of authority indicates the readiness of the Iraqi army to take the lead in the Samarra area, said Maj. Brian Flood, 2-505th PIR executive officer.

    "It's a positive step in the right direction
    for the long-term security for this part of Iraq."

    Maj. Brian Flood

    “It allows them to show they are capable of providing security for the citizens of Samarra and its surrounding villages, Flood said. “It's a positive step in the right direction for the long-term security for this part of Iraq,” he continued. “The Iraqi army is the future and is the security answer here.”

    According to Flood, the Iraqi army will use the patrol base very much in the same fashion as the Coalition Forces.

    “(The Iraqi army) will use it to secure the bridge leading into Samarra and as a forward operating position to secure and patrol the (surrounding) towns,” Flood said.

    Strategically located outside Samarra, Razor has been a key installation since its establishment in early 2004 because it guards the only land bridge into Samarra from the west.

    “The 4th Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Iraqi Army is quite frankly one of the better Iraqi companies we have worked with,” Flood said.

    “When we took over with our RIP/TOA (relief in place/transfer of authority) process they came with a great reputation.

    They have been operating around Patrol Base Razor, partnered with the company (in charge of the patrol base) for quite some time. I think this is a positive step and I think they are going to do a good job.”

    BUILDING SUPPORT — Staff Sgt. Erik Decker, civil affairs noncommissioned officer, Civil Affairs Team A, from CA Team C, 489th CA Battalion, talks with an Iraqi Policeman Dec. 5, near Camp Rustamiyah. The team was on a mission to meet with a local committee trying to improve its local government and improve local infrastructure. U.S. Army photo

    In Today's News - Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    Quote of the Day
    "Of all the properties which belong to honorable men,
    not one is so highly prized as that of character."

    -- Henry Clay

    News of Note
    Operation Iraqi Freedom
    Gates Makes First Visit to Iraq as Pentagon Chief
    Bush says U.S. not winning war in Iraq
    Report: Ex-Iraqi Official Flees Jail After Death Threat
    Iraq troop buildup idea worries generals
    Iraq executes 13 convicted criminals

    Operation Enduring Freedom
    NATO says 50 Taliban killed in Afghan offensive

    Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
    WTC tower steel rises at ground zero
    Al-Zawahiri Condemns Palestinian Elections (and calls for a Holy War...)
    Rival Palestinian forces withdraw from Gaza streets - Video

    Other Military News
    Top U.S. Mideast general to retire: report
    US Considers Navy Buildup in Mideast
    Bush to Increase Size of Military

    Worldwide Wackos
    N.Korea nuclear talks to continue through Friday - Video
    Envoy urges details in Korean nuke talks
    Blair urges bold action against "extremism" in Iran

    Moonbat Watch
    Joy's Hitler Remark? 'No Comment' - VIDEO
    Official Reaction To Behar's Comments on Rumsfeld Is Tepid; Others See Her As 'Jerk'
    Holocaust Denier Freed
    White House-Nazis Comparisons

    Politics / Government
    FBI investigates N.Y. Senate leader
    Laura Bush: Skin cancer 'no big deal'
    Cheney to be defense witness in CIA case

    U.N. News
    Annan: Iran intervention would be unwise (Just can't go away, can he?)

    Science / Nature
    Rescuers Fear Survival Unlikely for Missing Hikers
    Search for missing climbers scaled back
    Mount St. Helens Erupts, Spewing Steam, Ash Into Washington State Sky
    Space shuttle crew begins trip home
    Floods hit south Malaysia, 30,000 flee homes
    Wash. residents hope power returns

    News from My Neck of the Woods
    Northeast so warm they're making snow

    Mom Faces More Time for Renting Kid to Molestor
    Officials: Fake Docs Perform Female Exams
    Injured man wins damages for sex overdrive

    Other News of Note
    Russia says Libyan verdict on medics is cruel - Video

    Fox News
    FDA Seeks Sterner Pain Reliever Warnings
    L.A. Natal Unit Reopens After Bacteria Outbreak
    Stocks to Watch: Nike and Darden Restaurants

    Reuters: Top News
    Police question two over prostitutes' murders
    U.S. wants prominent warnings on pain relievers
    YouTube to meet Japan media on copyright protest
    Sharp starts blue laser diode production
    Fabled Friday lunch thrives in hard-hit New Orleans
    Arab-American writer is ambassador for Middle East
    Vitamin D may cut multiple sclerosis risk, study finds
    Sudoku anyone? Limber brain keeps seniors sharp
    Cast of "Grey's Anatomy" tops entertainer list
    McConaughey leads "Marshall" mishap
    Stocks rally on Thai turnaround, euro strong - Video
    Oil steady over $63 as U.S. stock draw forecast
    Futures point higher on M&A action
    Euro rides high, hits fresh peak vs. yen
    Gold holds above $620 on softer U.S. dollar
    Buyout bash to spill into 2007
    Don't bet yet on BOJ sitting tight in Jan
    Ericsson paying steep price for Redback: analysts
    Home loan demand slumps as refinancing plunges
    Pepsi Bottling forecasts 2007 earnings below Wall St.
    Harrah's accepts $17.1 billion private equity bid
    Housebuilder Wimpey flags continuing U.S. concerns
    Arcelor Mittal buys Mexico's Sicartsa for $1.44 bln

    AP World News
    Eminem divorces wife for second time
    Harrah's development plans questioned
    The Answer: Iverson traded to Nuggets
    Delta files stand-alone Chapter 11 plan
    U.S. regulators revoke steel tariffs
    Duff drops restraining order request
    Former AA chief Don Carty named Dell CFO
    Trump to Miss USA: 'You're not fired!'
    Obituaries in the news
    Pa. to award licenses for slot machines
    Miss. capital eyed as museum home
    Accused drug kingpin faces new charges
    Op-ed: Were the French Right?
    SpouseBUZZ: Socks as ID Tags
    DT: Green Zone Jail Break
    Complete Info on Military Bases
    Ace the ASVAB
    Find "Your People"
    Gear in the News: MV-22 Osprey

    CENTCOM: News Releases









    USJFCOM’s new super computer to enhance joint experimentation, training - podcast
    Command surgeon hosts joint task force medical seminar - podcast

    Department of Defense
    Conference Aims to Quell Division - Story
    Stability & Security in Iraq Report (pdf)
    For Top News Visit DefenseLink

    Chief of Chaplains Brings Support to Region - Story
    Iraqis Graduate from Police Academy in Kirkuk - Story
    U.S. Soldiers Lay Training Foundation for Iraqis - Story
    Iraqi National Police, Cavalry Calm Tensions - Story
    Iraqis Donate Clothing to Displaced Sunni Muslims - Story

    Cooks Hone Skills, Prepare Hot Meals for Troops
    Soldiers Create System to Handle Holiday Mail
    'Ironhorse' Troops Serve as Escorts
    Fallen Engineer Missed Not Forgotten
    Power Transfer Over Multinational Corps Iraq
    Baghdad Counts on Local Improvements
    Iraqi Police Return Home

    Buccaneers Return from Afghanistan Tour
    Patrol Trucks to Increase Security in Afghanistan
    Flight Surgeons Certify Afghan Army Aviators
    Military Policemen Prepare for Return to States
    Afghan Farming Communities to Receive Tractors

    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 Casualties - 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

    South Korea


    ** If you're deployed, and want to see your location's weather listed here, please email me! **

    Today in History
    0069 - General Vespasianus occupies Rome
    1046 - Synod of Sutri: German king Henry III removes Popes Gregory VI, Benedictus IX & Silvester III & names Bishop Siutger, Pope Clemens II
    1192 - Richard the Lionheart captured in Vienna
    1585 - English fleet & earl Robert Dudley van Leicester reach Vlissingen
    1606 - Virginia Company settlers leave London to establish Jamestown, VA
    1626 - Emperor Ferdinand II/Transylvanian monarch Gábor Betlen signs Peace of Pressburg
    1661 - Corporation Act enforced in England
    1669 - 1st jury trial in Delaware; Marcus Jacobson condemned for insurrection & sentenced to flogging, branding & slavery
    1688 - Prince Willem III's troops pull into London
    1694 - Frederik van Brandenburg flees Schweiben
    1699 - Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed - from Sept 1 to Jan 1
    1745 - Bonnie Prince Charlie's army meets de Esk
    1780 - England declares war on Netherlands
    1803 - Louisiana Purchase formally transferred from France to US for $27 million
    1820 - Missouri imposes a $1 bachelor tax on unmarried men between 21 & 50
    1830 - England, France, Prussia, Austria & Russia recognize Belgium
    1850 - Hawaiian post office established
    1860 - South Carolina votes 169-0 for Ordinance of Secession, 1st state to secede
    1861 - Battle of Dranesville VA
    1862 - Battle of Holly Spring, MS; Battle of Kelly's Ford, VA; Confederate Brigadier-General Nathan Bedford Forrest occupies Trenton, KY; Vicksburg campaign
    1864 - Battle of Fort Fisher, NC
    1879 - Tom Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park
    1880 - Battle at Bronker's Spruit, Transvaal: Farmers beat Britten
    1883 - International cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls
    1892 - Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse NY
    1893 - 1st state anti-lynching statute approved, in Georgia
    1900 - Giacobini discovers a comet (will be 1st comet visited by spacecraft)
    1906 - Venezuela (under Vice-President Gomez) attacks Dutch fleet
    1907 - Explosion at Yolande, AL, coal mine kills 91
    1915 - Russian troops overrun Qom, Persia
    1917 - Russian secret police in Czechoslovakia forms under Felix Dzerzjinski
    1919 - US House of Representatives restricts immigration
    1920 - Bob Hope becomes an American citizen
    1922 - 14 republics form Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR); Polish parliament selects Stanislaw Wojcieckowski as president
    1924 - Adolf Hitler freed from jail early
    1928 - 1st international dogsled mail leaves Minot ME for Montréal, Québec
    1933 - Bolivia & Paraguay sign weapon cease fire
    1938 - Vladimir K Zworykin (Pennsylvania) receives patent on the Iconoscope TV system
    1941 - Free France under Admiral Muselier occupies St-Pierre et Miquélon; Japanese troops lands on Mindanao
    1942 - 1st Japanese bombing of Calcutta
    1944 - Battle of Bastogne, Nazis surround 101st Airborne (NUTS!)
    1945 - Rationing of auto tires ends in US
    1956 - Military coup under colonel Simbolon in Sumatra; Montgomery, AL, removes race-based seat assignments on its buses
    1957 - Elvis Presley given draft notice to join US Army for National Service
    1960 - Auschwitz-commandant Richard Bär arrested in German Federal Republic
    1963 - Berlin Wall opens for 1st time to West Berliners; Massemba-Debate elected President of Congo-Brazzaville; Trial against 21 camp guards of Auschwitz begins
    1964 - Levi Eshkol forms Israeli government
    1966 - Brussels: Nuclear Planning Group established
    1967 - 474,300 US soldiers in Vietnam
    1970 - Edward Gierek succeeds Wladyslaw Gomulka as Poland's party leader
    1971 - Pakistan President Yahya Khan resigns
    1973 - Dutch Antillean government of Evertsz forms
    1974 - Ethiopia becomes socialist one-party state
    1976 - Israel's PM Yitzhak Rabin resigns
    1977 - 1st Space walk made by G Grechko from Salyut
    1978 - H.R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House chief of staff released from jail
    1980 - USSR formally announces death of Alexei Kosygin
    1983 - El Salvador adopts constitution
    1985 - Howard Cosell retires from television sports after 20 years with ABC; Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is 1st)
    1987 - Worst peacetime shipping disaster, Dona Paz ferry sinks after collision with oil tanker Vector; 1,749 confirmed deaths (probably closer to 3,000)
    1988 - Animal rights terrorists fire-bomb Harrod's department store in London; Premier Ranasinghe Premadasa elected President of Sri Lanka
    1989 - US troops invade Panamá & oust Manuel Noriega, but don't catch him
    1990 - Pentagon warns Saddam Hussein that US air power is ready to attack on 1/15; Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze resigns
    1991 - Paul Keating installed as premier of Australia
    1992 - Slobodan Milosevic re-elected President of Serbia
    1995 - American Flight 965 crashes in Colombia, 159 die, 5 survive
    1999 - Portugal returns Macau to China

    1720 - Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie/Young Pretender)
    1805 - Thomas Graham, father of colloid chemistry
    1807 - Richard Lucian Page, Confederate Brigadier-General
    1808 - Thomas Tinsley Craven, Union Navy Commander
    1813 - Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, Governor-IA/US Secretary of Interior (1881-82)
    1819 - John Geary, 1st San Francisco postmaster, 1st mayor (May 1, 1850)
    1825 - Romeyn Beck Ayres, Union Brevet Major General
    1833 - Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, convicted of giving medical aid to John Wilkes Booth
    1841 - Ferdinand-Èdouard Buisson, French educator (Nobel Peace Prize 1927)
    1865 - Maude Gonne, Irish nationalist (Irish Joan of Arc)
    1868 - Harvey S. Firestone, industrialist
    1876 - Walter S. Adams, US astronomer/director of Mount Wilson (1923-46)
    1884 - Marius H.L.W. "Max" Blokzijl, Dutch Nazi collaborator/traitor
    1894 - Sir Robert Menzies, Australian PM (1939-41, 1949-66)
    1901 - Robert Van de Graaff, US physicist (Mobility of Gaseous Ions)
    1902 - Max Lerner, columnist (New York Post); Sidney Hook, anticommunist philosopher (Paradoxes of Freedom); George, English prince/earl of St. Andrews
    1906 - Dick White head of British secret service (MI-5/MI-6)
    1924 - Errol John, actor (PT-109, Assault on a Queen)
    1925 - Datuk Seri Mahathir bin Mohamad, premier of Malaysia (1981-2003)
    1929 - Milan Panic, premier of little Yugoslavia
    1932 - John Hillerman, actor (Higgins-Magnum PI)
    1933 - Gordon Getty
    1946 - Uri Geller, psychic (bends forks)

    0069 - Aulus Vitellius, Roman commandant of Rhine & 7th emperor, murdered
    0910 - Alfonso III, Great king of Asturias
    1073 - Domingo Spanish, monastery founder/abbot/saint
    1355 - Stefanus IX, Uros IV, Dusan king (1331-46)/Serbia (1346-55), dies
    1679 - Johan Maurits, count of Nassau-Siegen, dies at 75
    1749 - Pakubuwono II, susuhunan of Mataram Java
    1812 - Sacagawea, Shoshone interpreter for Lewis & Clark (or April 9, 1884)
    1876 - Hannah Omish, at 12 is youngest ever hanged in US
    1929 - Emile Loubet, French premier (1892)/President (1899-1906), dies at 90
    1936 - Baron De Borchgrave, Belgian ambassador, murdered in Madrid
    1937 - Erich Ludendorff, German general (WWI), dies at 72
    1939 - Hans Langsdorff, German captain (Graaf Spee), commits suicide
    1944 - Abbas Hilmi II, viceroy of Egypt (1892-1914), dies at 70
    1968 - John Steinbeck, author (Grapes of Wrath, Nobel 1962), dies in New York at 66
    1973 - Bobby Darin, singer (Mack the Knife), dies of heart failure at 37; Luis Carrero Blanco, PM of Spain (1973), assassinated by ETA
    1976 - Richard J. Daley, Chicago mayor, dies at 74
    1988 - Max Robinson, 1st Black network (ABC) TV anchor, dies of AIDS at 49
    1991 - Sam Rabin, Speaker of the House, dies at 88
    1993 - W. Edwards Deming, US economist (helped Japan after WWII), dies at 93
    1994 - Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State (1961-69), dies at 85
    1996 - Amata Kabua, President of Marshall Islands (1979-96); Carl Sagan, scientist (Contact), dies at 62
    1997 - Vincent Ciccone, inventor (Blow-Pops candy), dies at 81

    Reported Missing in Action
    Hudson, Henry M., Civilian; rescued

    Jeffrey, Robert D., USAF (CA); F4C shot down (w/Mims), released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

    Johnson, Guy D., USN (WA); RA5C shot down (w/Nordahl) - remains returned March, 1977

    Jones, Edwin D.; rescued

    Mims, George I., Jr., USAF (SC); F4C shot down (w/Jeffrey)

    Nordahl, Lee E., USN (MT); RA5C shot down (w/Johnson), presumed KIA

    Pitchford, John J., USAF (MS); F100F shot down (w/Trier), released by DRV (injured) February, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive as of 1998

    Trier, Robert Douglas, USAF (TN); F100F shot down (w/Pitchford); KIA resisting capture - remains returend October, 1982

    Wax, David J., USAF (MA); C130E shot down, remains ID'd August, 1993

    Lucas, Larry F., US Army (WV); OV1A shot down, KIA, body not recovered

    Lum, David Anthony, USAF (HI); F4C shot down, KIA, body not recovered

    Craner, Robert R., USAF (NY); F100F shot down, released March,1973 - deceased October, 1980

    Gruthers, Guy D., USAF (FL); F100F shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive as of 1998

    Bouchard, Michael L., USN (MT): A6A shot down

    Kent, Robert Duane, USMC (TX); F4B shot down (w/Morin)

    Morin, Richard Girard, USMC (MA); F4B shot down (w/Kent)

    Long, Carl Edwin, USMC (TX); OV10A shot down, KIA, body not recovered

    The following USAF personnel reported MIA when their B52D was shot down:
    Arcuri, William Y. (FL); released by DRV February, 1973 (injured) - alive and well as of 1998

    Geloneck, Terry M. (AL); released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Lt. Colonel - alive as of 1998

    Granger, Paul L. (CA); released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

    Klomann, Thomas J. (IL); released by DRV February, 1973 (injured) - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

    Lerner, Irwin S. (CT); believed KIA

    Madden, Roy, Jr., (CA); released by DRV February, 1973 (injured) - retired as a TSgt - deceased as of 1997

    Martini, Michael R., (CA); released by DRV February, 1973 - alive as of 1996

    McLaughlin, Arthur V., Jr., (MA); possibly KIA

    Paul, Craig A., (OH); remains returned by SRV September, 1977

    Perry, Randolph A., Jr., (MT); possibly KIA

    Spencer, Warren R., (CA); remains returned by SRV September, 1977

    Stuart, John F., (IN);

    Also reported MIA in 1972
    Wieland, Carl T., USN (FL); A7C shot down, released March, 1973 - deceased - murdered in 1987