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Friday, February 02, 2007

Company Operates From Combat Outpost

Photo by 2nd Lt. Mike Daschel
Spc. Robert Thompson provides security from the rooftop of the Ghazaliya combat outpost compound

Living in the neighborhood has advantages

February 1, 2007
By 2nd Lt. Mike Daschel,
2-12 PAO, 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Div.

BAGHDAD, Iraq – For two weeks now Company C of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment has been based at their combat outpost in central Ghazaliya. The outpost, staffed by as many as a hundred soldiers, is shared with the Iraqi Army and is used as part of a new strategy in fighting the insurgency in Baghdad.

The outpost’s construction, which was planned well before a new strategy of living in the neighborhoods was announced, is the first of its kind in Baghdad.

Combat Outpost: Casino, as it is officially known, is surrounded by concrete barriers and includes six houses. Half of the houses belong to the Iraqi Army and the other half to U.S. forces. A large field is also enclosed within the perimeter of barriers to eventually park vehicles in.

Soldiers sleep in crowded rooms with no heating, and have no running sewage system, but outhouses they built and service themselves. In addition to combat patrols, soldiers travel to Camp Liberty daily to conduct their own logistical missions such as refueling and supplying food.

“It’s all right,” commented Spc. Gabriel Thornberry, a soldier stationed at the outpost. “It would be better if we had electricity that didn’t fry you every time you plug something in.” The electricity is produced by generators at the outpost and the electrical components inside were rewired during the construction.

Being based in Ghazaliya has seen its share of success stories. Just days after moving in, Corporal Peter Callahan, a medic, saved the life of a four-year-old girl who was brought in by her family with a pulse below forty beats per minute.

During a patrol in Ghazaliya, Spc. John Laweryson, who was driving a humvee, spotted suspicious looking vehicle. One of the men inside was acting strangely. “I thought either he was wounded, or trying to hide something,” Spc. Laweryson said.

He explained that after the vehicle turned around, trying to slip away from the American patrol, they were blocked off by the soldiers with nowhere to go. The men in the car scattered away by foot. “They dispersed into a building.”

When the vehicle was searched, a kidnapping victim who was in the trunk of the car with his hands bound together was rescued. He was taken to the outpost, and after two days there, his father arrived to take him home in a very emotional reunion.

The combat outpost is a work in progress, waiting for more materials to finish the construction completely. But it is fully operational. Security is provided by soldiers from the rooftop throughout the day, and the majority of the soldiers of company C spend their time there, conducting logistical operations and combat patrols.

Photo by 2nd Lt. Mike Daschel
Sgt. Lee Sparks, a mechanic from Company F, 2-12 Cavalry, works to repair a generator at the combat outpost

Photo by 2nd Lt. Mike Daschel
The highest rooftop at the combat outpost provides a good view of the surrounding neighborhood of Ghazaliya in western Baghdad

Photo by 2nd Lt. Mike Daschel
Military vehicles are staged around the entry control point to the Ghazaliya combat outpost. Soldiers operate in them throughout the day to provide security and overwatch of the roads leading into the compound
Official File Photo (Aug. 14, 2006) - USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). U.S. Navy photo

John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Arrives in 7th Fleet
USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Carrier Strike Group (JCSSG) entered the U.S. 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility (AOR) Jan. 31, as part of a deployment to promote peace, regional cooperation and stability.While Stennis and the rest of the strike group, led by Rear Adm. Kevin Quinn, is scheduled to transit from 7th Fleet to U.S. Central Command to provide support for coalition forces operating there, JCSSG remains ready to respond to any mission in any theatre of operation. FULL STORY

Hope and Brutality in Anbar

The Captain's Journal takes a look today at the complicated battlefront that is Al Anbar province:

Anbar is a province where there is hope, but this hope seems a dim prospect when torture houses are still in existence. Anbar is still a restive place, with corruption a way of life, the Syrian border still porous, suicide bombers still crossing into Iraq, and Mujahideen fighters still active in the cities.
Learn a little more about this complex and dangerous place, and what is being done to secure it - Read the rest.

VISITING BAQUBAH — U.S. Army Col. David Sutherland, center, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, tours an Iraqi army compound in Baqubah, Iraq, Jan. 31, 2007. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stacy L. Pearsall

In Today's News - Friday, February 2, 2007

Quote of the Day
"On Gobbler's Knob I see no shadow today.
I predict that early spring is on the way."

-- Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
General on the Hot Seat
Senate panel grills Casey on Iraq war management
EXCLUSIVE: Iraqi Generals Eyed in Deadly Attack on GIs
Dozens Killed in Iraq Market Blasts
Troop Surge Numbers Could Double
Casey: Only half of troop boost needed
What's Really Happening in Iraq?

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Poll: U.S. Worried Over Islamic Terror Threat
Quartet tackles how to revive Mideast peace
Olmert defends handling of Lebanon war at inquiry
Group begins 'terror-free' oil sales

Troops on Trial
Recruiters in Hot Seat Over 'Cheer' Sex Case

Supporting Our Heroes Blog: Support A Soldier

Other Military News Podcast: Black History Month and the Military
Navy 'Rail Gun' Moves Forward
VA Asked to Explain Marine Suicide

Religion of Peace??
Muslim rebels storm Philippine jail; 46 escape
Government blames Mogadishu attack on Islamists
Saudi police seize armed man entering Mecca mosque

Worldwide Wackos
U.S. says Oregon man sought missile parts for Iran
Iran president vows to push nuke program

Politics / Government
Blair Target in UK Money-for-Honors Probe
Caucus Chairman: I Didn't Call Rep. a 'Whore'
San Fran Mayor Admits Affair, Apologizes
Cheney's Daughter: Baby Is 'Not a Prop'
Poll: Voters OK With 'President Giuliani'
Study: China Harvests Prisoner Body Parts (But we're the evil country...Why is this news, anyway - this information's been out there for a long time.)
Senate Passes Minimum Wage Bill
Rep. Sanchez Steps Down From Congressional Hispanic Caucus After Interview Causes Firestorm
Senate edges closer to confronting Bush
Bush intelligence pick stresses domestic security

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Frozen Hot Dog (horrible - Police rescue a Chihuahua put in a freezer during a burglary)
Cops Nabs Fugitive Vegas Priest
Did One Victim Help Nab the Other? - PHOTO ESSAY
Police Investigate Shocking Photos Apparently Taken During Shawn Hornbeck's Captivity
Charges Against Michael Devlin (
Arizona Parents Told to Be On the Lookout for Window Snatcher Sex Fiend
Man Guilty of Torturing Ex With Blow Torch
Woman: Cops Ignored Pleas for Help at Arrest, Baby Died Next Day
Mother Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Letting 3 Children Drown
2 Milwaukee schools punished after brawl
Woman sues TV bounty hunter over injury

U.N. News
U.N.'s climate warning
Serbs and Albanians await U.N. plan for Kosovo

Science / Medicine / Nature
Report: Warming 'Very Likely' Man-Made
Storm Ices Over Southeast - PHOTO ESSAY
Hospital Allegedly Taped Babies' Mouths Shut
New Down's test eliminates miscarriage risk
Scientists craft embryonic stem cell ethics rules

News from My Neck of the Woods
Boston Suspects Quiet Over 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' Bomb Scare Ad Fiasco - VIDEO
Did Boston ad stunt really backfire on Turner?
2 men released from jail in hoax case

Oddly Enough
Advertising: using the hard shell on consumers

Fox News
Pop Tarts: Report: Lindsay Lohan Wants 'McDonald's and Sex'
Florida Women Claims She Found Razor Blade in McDonald's Breakfast

Reuters: Top News
Experts check into rash of child flu deaths
At least 37 killed in west Congo violence
Nintendo video games winners with fans and critics
Dancing video game helps kids avoid weight gain
Actor saved in filming accident: it's a wrap
Miss USA hints at childhood abuse
Final Harry Potter book to be released on July 21
Dow at record high rises after results
Comcast profit triples, spending raises concerns
Oil falls on signs of ample US supplies
VeriSign stock rises more than 8 pct after upgrade
Dell's return no quick fix
Monster uncertain on earnings
Amazon quarterly profit tops forecasts
Wal-Mart launches new environmental initiative
Toyota takes early sales lead with No. 2 US spot
Airline Partners says will not raise Qantas offer
McNerney move meant little for Boeing, 3M shares
Comcast profit triples, spending raises concerns

AP World News
Sex issues may signal other health risks
Eagles coach's sons under investigation
Whitney wants to speed up her divorce
Exxon Mobil posts record annual profit
James Brown partner takes case to court
Britney, K-Fed to continue joint custody
Sienna Miller 'can't wait' to have kids
Tiger off to slow start in Dubai
Altering virus coats may halt flu spread
2006 personal savings fall to 74-yr. low
'Super Tonio' causes sensation in Cancun
Nationals, Kearns agree on $17.5M deal
D.A. won't seek death in Katrina case
Kobe gives Celtics fans reason to cheer
DT: V-22 Ready for Prime Time?
Op-ed: Demogougery Posing
Advisors: Working Out Underway
Ace the ASVAB and Get Your Choice

CENTCOM: News Releases

USJFCOM sends second rotation to support CENTCOM - podcast
USJFCOM begins Integrated Battle Command Experiment Series - podcast
USJFCOM, others evaluate individual augmentee process - podcast

Department of Defense
Coalition Forces Detain Terrorists - Story
Stability & Security in Iraq Report (pdf)
For Top News Visit DefenseLink

U.S. Soldiers Work With Iraqis To Stop Corruption - Story
Soldiers Travel Iraq's Most Dangerous Routes - Story
Sergeants Show Iraqis How to Run the 'Yard' - Story
Civic Action Team Supports District Doctors - Story

Former Small-town Doc Treats Troops in Iraq
Rugged Terrain No Challenge for Riggers
'Instincts Over Feelings' Neutralize Enemy
Army Destroys Insurgent Stronghold in Diyala
Iraqi, Coalition Soldiers Destroy Training Site
Iraqi Village Builds Women’s Center
Vehicle Mechanics Keep Coalition Forces Moving
Engineers Improve Iraq Through Construction

Female Medics Earn Respect from Afghan Army


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
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

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

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

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

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Baler Radar Site Catanduanes Radar Site Manila

South Korea
Cheju Upper/Radar Chonju Chunchon Inch'on Kunsan Masan Mokp'o
Osan Pusan Seoul Suwon Taegu Taejon Tonghae Radar Site Ulsan Yosu

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

Today in History
0962 - Pope John XII crowns German King Otto I the Great Emperor
1032 - Koenraad II succeeds Rudolf III as king of Bourgundy
1119 - Guido di Borgogna elected Pope Callistus II
1141 - Battle at Lincoln - King Stephen captured
1461 - 2nd battle of St Alban's-Lancastrians defeat Yorkists
1536 - Pedro de Mendoza finds the Argentine city of Buenos Aires
1550 - English Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, freed
1732 - King Frederik Willem I moves Lutherans towards East-Prussia
1742 - British Walpole government resigns
1802 - 1st leopard exhibited in US, Boston (admission 25¢)
1811 - Russian settlers establish Fort Ross trading post, north of San Francisco
1848 - 1st shipload of Chinese arrive in San Francisco; Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends Mexican War; US acquires Texas, California, New Mexico & Arizona for $15 million
1852 - 1st British public men's toilet opens (Fleet St London)
1863 - Samuel Clemens becomes Mark Twain for 1st time
1864 - Cruise of CSS Florida
1869 - James Oliver invents the removable tempered steel plow blade
1878 - Greece declares war on Turkey
1882 - Knights of Columbus forms in New Haven, CT
1892 - Bottle cap with cork seal patented by William Painter (Baltimore)
1894 - US warship Kearsarge wrecked on Roncador Reef, near Solomon Island
1901 - Female Army Nurse Corps established as a permanent organization
1912 - Frederick R. Law parachutes from Statue of Liberty (stunt for Pathe)
1913 - NYC's Grand Central Terminal opens
1919 - Monarchist riot in Portugal
1920 - Estonia declares its Independence from Russia (Dorpat Peace); France occupies (German) Memel territory; Tarto/Dorpat peace treaty USSR recognizes Estonian independence
1923 - Ethyl gasoline 1st marketed, Dayton, OH; US signs friendship treaty with Central American countries
1931 - 1st use of a rocket to deliver mail (Austria)
1932 - Geneva disarmament conference begins with 60 countries
1932 - Al Capone sent to prison (Atlanta GA)
1933 - 2 days after becoming chancellor, Adolf Hitler dissolves Parliament; Göring bans communist meetings/demonstrations in Germany
1934 - Dutch Roman Catholic Bishops warn against fascism/Nazism
1935 - Lie detector 1st used in court (Portage, WI)
1942 - "Los Angeles Times" urges security measures against Japanese-Americans; US auto factories switch from commercial to war production
1943 - Battle of Stalingrad ends with final surrender of the German army - turning point of WWII
1944 - 4th US Marine Division conquerors Roi, Marshall Islands; Allied troops 1st set foot on Japanese territory; Baseball meets in New York NY to discuss postwar action
1945 - Escape attempt at Mauthausen concentration camp
1948 - President Truman urges congress to adopt a civil rights program
1950 - 1st broadcast of "What's My Line" on CBS-TV
1954 - President Eisenhower reports detonation of 1st H-bomb (done in 1952)
1955 - 1st Presidential news conference on network TV-Eisenhower on ABC
1957 - UN adopts a resolution calling for Israeli troops to leave Egypt
1958 - Syria joins Egypt in United Arab Republic
1962 - 8 of 9 planets align for 1st time in 400 years
1964 - GI Joe debuts as a popular American toy
1967 - Bolivia adopts its constitution
1968 - Springer Publishers in West Berlin, bombed
1971 - Idi Amin ousts Milton Obote to become dictator of Uganda
1973 - James R. Schlesinger becomes director of the CIA (until July); Richath Helms, ends term as 8th director of CIA
1975 - Army offensive against rebels in Eritrea, Ethiopia
1977 - Radio Shack officially begins creating the TRS-80 computer; Burn up of Salyut 4 Space Station (USSR)
1980 - FBI releases details of Abscam, a sting operation that targeted 31 elected & public officials for bribes for political favors
1982 - "Late Night with David Letterman" premieres on NBC; Government troops & Muslim fundamentalists battle in Hamah, Syria
1984 - Lebanese army fight in Beirut
1986 - Dalai Lama meets Pope John Paul II in India; Oscar Arias Sanchez elected President of Costa Rica
1987 - Philippines adopts constitution
1990 - South Africa's President F[rederik] W[illem] de Klerk promises to free Nelson Mandela & legalizes African National Congress & 60 other political organizations
1991 - US postage is raised from 25¢ to 29¢
1992 - IRS & Willie Nelson settle on $9 million tax bill (of $16.7 million)
1995 - US space shuttle Discovery launched
1998 - Philippine DC-9 crashes, apparently killing all 104 on board

1649 - Benedict XIII [Pierfrancesco Orsini], 245th pope (1724-30)
1754 - Charles-Maurice, Duke of Talleyrand-Périgord, French bishop/premier (1815)
1780 - Johannes van den Bosch, Governor-General (Netherlands East Indies)
1803 - Albert Sidney Johnston, Confederate General
1813 - József Eötvös, Hungarian Minister of Education (1848)
1815 - Nathaniel Collins McLean, Union Brigadier General
1827 - Abner Monroe Perrin, Confederate Brigadier General
1861 - Solomon R. Guggenheim, philanthropist (died aboard the Titanic)
1861 - Mehmed VI Vahideddin, last sultan of Ottoman Empire (1918-22)
1873 - Freiherr Konstantin von Neurath, German Secretary of State (1932-38)
1873 - Johan P. Earl van Limburg Stirum, Dutch diplomat
1884 - Julis Deutsch, Austrian politician/General Spanish Republican Army
1890 - Jean J.M. de Lattre de Tassigny, French General (Indo-China)
1891 - Antonio Segni, premier/president (Italy)
1905 - Ayn Rand, writer (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead)
1920 - Dr. An Wang, founder (Wang Labs, Wang Computers)
1927 - Richard Ray (Representative-GA)
1928 - Luigi Ciriaco De Mita, PM of Italy (1988-89)
1931 - Andreas "Andries" van Agt, Dutch premier (CDA, 1977-82)
1942 - Graham Nash rocker (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
1947 - Mary Farrah Leni Fawcett, actress (Charlie's Angels, Burning Bed)
1948 - Jessica Savitch Kennett Square PA, news anchor (NBC)
1953 - James Mndaweni South African worker's union leader/president (NACTU)

1032 - Rudolf III, last independent king of Bourgundy, dies
1435 - Johanna II, lawless Queen of Naples (1414-35), dies at 61
1769 - Clement XIII [Carlo Rezzonico], Pope (1758-69), dies at 75
1804 - Caesar Rodney, US judge (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 62
1828 - Frederik Sigismund, Earl of Bylandt / Vice-Admiral, dies at 78
1907 - Dmitri I. Mendelejev, Russian chemist (Periodic Table), dies at 72
1909 - Adolf Stoecker, German anti-semite/prime minister, dies at 73
1931 - Theodor Batthynyi, Hungarian contra-revolutionary, dies at 71
1979 - Sid Vicious [John Simon Ritchie], bassist (Sex Pistols), dies of a heroin overdose at 31
1980 - William H. Stein US biochemist (Nobel 1972), dies at 68
1981 - Donald W. Douglas, US aircraft pioneer/builder, dies at 88; Jan Donner, Dutch chairman of High Council, dies at 89
1988 - G. Mennen Williams, Supreme Court Justice, dies at 76 in Detroit
1992 - Bert Parks [Jacobson], TV host (Miss America Pageant), dies at 77
1995 - Alexis d'Anjou de Bourbon-Condé French prince/Russian, dies at 47

Reported Missing in Action
Hertz, Gustav G., Civilian; KIC June, 1967

The following US Army personnel reported MIA when their UH1H was shot down:
Adkins, Charles L., (OH); passenger

Burnham, Donald D. (AL); pilot

Patton, Kenneth J., (PA); crewchief

Pringle, Joe H. (WV); passenger (ID found at crash site)

Puggi, Joseph D. (NJ); passenger

Also reported MIA this day in 1968:
Ragsdale, Thomas; remains recovered July, 1969