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Thursday, September 27, 2007

HEADING OUT — U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Orlando Phillips, of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 1, gives instruction to Seabees as they get ready to leave Gulfport. Miss., Sept. 24, 2007. The unit will deploy to several locations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Micronesia to provide responsive military construction support to U.S. military operations. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chad Runge

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Pushing the bad guys out

from Multi-National Force Iraq:

East of Ramadi, an Iraqi Policeman marches through a field in Abu Bali during a sweep for insurgents in clearance missions.
Photo taken by U.S. Army Spc. Ricardo Branch 1st BCT Public Affairs.

Thursday, 27 September 2007
BAGHDAD — A year ago the area to the east of Ramadi was a haven for insurgents who attacked the city. These days much has changed in the surrounding rural lands of the east.

The once violent lands of the east are patrolled and guarded by the Abu-Bali Iraqi Police (IP) and Soldiers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. Their latest mission was a joint operation, which gathered intelligence and pushed insurgents further from the city of Ramadi and its outlying towns.

“Today, we did routine clearance missions east of Ramadi,” said 1st Lt. Cory Sharbo, a platoon leader with Co. A, 3-69 Armor. “Normally we work alongside the IP, but today we’re only here to supervise.”

Sharbo, 25, from Pittsburgh, Pa., said that the area they patrol is much different than what people at home would normally expect when they think of Iraq.

“Everyone always thinks that it’s all desert,” Sharbo said. “Lots of the Soldiers look at this area we’re in with an almost Vietnam-style terrain with canals, tall grass and sweltering heat.”

During the operation, IPs scoured the surrounding countryside of Abu Waitha and began walking through neighborhoods greeting locals and asking if they needed any assistance. While they were meeting the locals, the IPs asked about terrorist activity in the area.

Sharbo said the mission was important because it served as a show of force for the IPs.

“Since we came into this area, the IP have shown lots of improvement,” he said. “They are more organized, able to do handle the different tasks required of a policeman and now handle detainees real well – they are running the show here.”

Although there is often much work associated with the IP, the Soldiers said, they don’t have much work left in order for the IP to be self-sufficient.

“Part of our duty here, outside of combat operations, is to make sure the IPs are getting paid, they are receiving fuel, and they are receiving equipment,” Sharbo said. “Right now we’re helping supply them, but it’s not a permanent thing. We are still setting them up to sustain themselves and when we leave we’re going to make sure they can support themselves.”
Although the mission failed to turn up any insurgents, the IP and Coalition forces considered their work that evening a success.

“The mission today helped a lot to cement the local support for the police and Coalition force efforts here,” Sharbo said. “The insurgents closed off all the business here and people were prisoners in their own homes. Now people can come and go as they please.”

For the Soldiers working in Abu Bali, serving with the Iraqi Security Forces and seeing the effects of their combined efforts on the people is a good feeling.

“Most of the success here is from the Iraqi Police,” said Spc. Dustin Dunckel, an infantryman with Co. A, 3-69 Armor. “They are from this area, and know the people and the land. By us building up a strong police force here, we’ve established a confidence among the IPs and the people.”

The missions the troops conduct with the Iraqi Security Forces are a far cry from the combat the troops experienced less than six months ago.

“When we first got here there were lots of improvised explosive devices, sniper and mortar fire here,” said the 26-year-old, Lansing, Mich., native. Dunckel added, “Working with the Iraqi Security Forces and patrolling the area has made this place safer now. The groups here are proud and stern Iraqis who I can trust to do their job well.”

(Story by U.S. Army Spc. Ricardo Branch, 1st BCT Public Affairs)

In other recent developments here:
Coalition airpower supported Coalition ground forces in Iraq and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan in the following operations Tuesday, according to Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials here.

Task Force Marne AH-64 Apache helicopters responded to an improvised explosive device strike Monday, killing the four extremist militants responsible.

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Marine Gen. Peter Pace embraces 1st Lt. Andrew Kinard following Pace's final news conference as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Kinard, who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device in Iraq, works at the Pentagon. Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen - More photos

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In Today's News - Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quote of the Day
"The battle is not to the strong alone;
it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave."

-- Patrick Henry

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric meets Sunni leader Video
Report: Saddam Sought Exile, $1 Billion Before War
Roots of Iraq weapon probes date to 2004

Operation Enduring Freedom
U.S. fire scatters crowd after Afghan bomb: witness

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Israeli missile kills Gaza militant: medics

Troops on Trial
Blackwater under spotlight over Fallujah incident
Soldier tells of shooting unarmed Iraqi

Other Military News
Gates expects to approve Army expansion

Worldwide Wackos
FOX News Poll: U.S. Should Take Tougher Line With Iran
Russia's Lavrov rejects sanctions on Iran for now
Iran's leader courts Latin American leftists

Homegrown Moonbats
D.C. Judge Issues Bench Warrant for Cindy Sheehan
UK government in court over Gore environment film

Politics / Government
Dems Pull Back on Iraq Withdrawal at N.H. Debate
Va. Gov. Accepts Resignation of Controversial Appointe
Top 4 GOP Contenders Skipping Minority-Focused Debate
Senate Links Hate Crime Legislation to War Bill
Democrat Edwards into MySpace, MTV campaigning
Obama team insists he still can catch Clinton
Africa climate change woes aired at Clinton summit
Kosovo independence could destabilize world: Serbia
Ukraine leader embraces ex-PM, urges "orange" vote
U.S. unions look to election for resurgence
Rice urges nations to find cleaner fuels
Bush signs bill boosting aid to students
Court won't declare chimp a person
Obama camp plays down wife's comment

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Tragic Discovery - Agonizing end to search for missing sales rep - VIDEO
California Police Find Guns, Cocaine Among Toys at Los Angeles Day-Care Center
Newborn Found with Pacifier Taped in Mouth, Nursery Shutdown
Cheerleading Academy Owner Arrested in Sex Probe
Nevada Authorities Find One Girl From Sex Tape, Younger Girl Remains in Danger
Texas Hunt for Man Seen With Student Before Her Burning
Prosecutor drops appeal in Louisiana race case
Jury blames murders on mob defendants
Jena 6 defendant released on bail

Adventures in Political Correctness
Protesting the Pledge
Democratic Candidates Say They're OK With Second-Grade Teacher Reading Gay Prince Fairy Tale
Catholic Group Urges Boycott of Miller Brewing Co. Over San Francisco Fair Sponsorship

U.N. News
U.S. insists it supports U.N. on climate - Video

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Confess on the Web to ease guilty feelings
Google looking at privacy protections for users
Radio burst from space mystifies astronomers
NASA asteroid probe launched from Florida - Video

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Brain-Eating Amoeba - FAST FACTS: Brain-Eating Amoeba Naegleria Fowleri (Holy crap!)
Three drinks a day ups breast cancer risk: study
Human parasite genome reveals long past
Wine grape genes mapped
Poll finds Medicare hotline callers frustrated
Study ties certain cancers, divorce rate
Scientists cull DNA from extinct mammoth
NASA rover reaches first stop in crater

Mother Nature
Tropical Storm Lorenzo Forms Off Mexico's Coast

Man Sues after Stolen Neckbone Implanted in Neck
Russian Woman's 12th Baby Weighs a Massive 17 Pounds
'Meteorite' Crash Breeds Mass Hysteria
Lover to die for kiss-and-kill pill
Witchdoctor caught at poll tribunal
Two-headed turtle goes on display in Pa.

Other News of Note
Myanmar Security Forces Open Fire on Protesters, Killing 9
U.S. Freezes Myanmar Officials' Assets - PHOTOS - VIDEO

Fox News
New Home Sales Hit Slowest Pace in 7 Years
Jobless Claims Make Surprise Fall
Pop Tarts: More Racy Vanessa Hudgens Photos Emerge

Reuters: Top News
Not a "Halo" fan? Other games beckon
Oprah earns four times more than other TV stars
Coppola comeback at Rome film festival
Oil jumps 3 percent on supply worries
Sallie shares rise on deal hope
Wall Street edges up with energy shares - Video
Analyst sees strong Micron results
How to think about bonds now
Dollar slides but intervention unlikely
FTSE ends up on Northern Rock bid talk, U.S. data
Banks' crisis skills to be laid bare by results
Wyeth names Poussot CEO, boosts buybacks
KB Home sales plunge as housing market worsens
Home sales fall, job market resilient - Video
Starbucks, Pepsi take bottled coffee overseas

AP World News
Computer with script stolen from Coppola
Cardinals, Tigers to sit out playoffs
D-backs end skid with win over Pirates
'South Park' creators back new series
Vivica A. Fox pleads not guilty to DUI
Stocks rise after mixed economic data
New-home sales tumble to 7-year low
Gere kiss causes problem for actress

CENTCOM: News Releases

Nominee to be the next USJFCOM commander testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee - podcast
President nominates Marine general as new commander
USJFCOM, partners complete Bold Quest 07, begin data analysis
Command profiles modeling and simulation usage at MODSIM World Conference and Expo 2007

Multi-National Force-Iraq
Operation Blore Heath III
Defenders conduct first-ever cooperative medical engagement
Granger Smith brings a ‘piece of home’ to Soldiers in Baquba
Sunni Insurgents murder Iraqi police lieutenant and wife in Adhamiyah
Nine local nationals killed, investigation underway
National Police, MND-B forces respond to mosque attack in southern Baghdad
Joint Statement by Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and General David H. Petraeus on U.S. Embassy and Mult
Explosives removed from streets of Jamia

Gates Likely to Approve Accelerated Plus-up
Gates Discusses NATO's Unfulfilled Commitments
Bush to Ask for Additional $42 Billion for War
War Budget Request Reflects Recommendations
Leaders Urge Congressional Support to Meet Demands

Chilton Outlines Plans to Protect Cyberspace
Ward Vows to Build on U.S. Efforts in Africa
Roughead Cites Navy Action Plan at Hearing
Mattis Highlights Joint Forces, NATO Issues
Senate Considers Defense Leader Nominations

Admiral Details Tenets for Maritime Strategy
Military-Diplomatic Efforts Critical in Pacific
Plan Calls for Changes to Mental Health Care

Soldiers Clear Former Insurgent Stronghold
Concerned Citizens Provide Tips on 'Bad Guys'
Coalition Forces Detain 21 Suspects
Citizens Turn to Iraqi Forces for Security

Gates Praises Retiring Pace; Chairman Thanks Troops
Farewell to the Chairman - Special Report

Task Force Guardian Applauds Fallujah Volunteers' Efforts
Playground Ensures Kids' Safety
Soldiers Destroy Weapons
New Iraqi Brigade Stands Up
Insurgent Hold Weakens

Recycling Project Creates Jobs
Air Force Leader Visits Qalat
Forces Earn Public’s Trust
De-Mining Efforts Continue

Joint Staff Communications Mainstay Retires After 27 Years
NCO's Artistic Talent Shines
Marines Take Citizenship Oath
Soldier Uses Welding Skills

Schoolchildren to Chat With Soldiers in Iraq Via Video Link
Actor Visits Wounded Troops
Foundation Helps Families
Troops' Families Enjoy Fun Day

BLOGGERS' ROUNDTABLE with Army Lt. Col. Ken Adgie
Al Qaeda in Iraq Losing, Thanks to Concerned Citizens - Story

Forces Detain 21 in Central Iraq - Story

Soldiers, Iraqis Uncover Weapons in Orchard - Story
Citizens Receive Honors for Volunteer Work - Story
Stryker Soldiers Strike Back Against Insurgents - Story
Soldiers, Local Leaders Create Playground - Story

Sunni, Shiites Make Up New Iraqi Brigade
Iraqis Take over Basrah Railroad Station
Nasiriyah–Shatra Transmission Line Opens
Courthouse Project Reaches Halfway Mark

Airfield Recycling Project Creates Jobs
Air Force Leader Visits Reconstruction Team
New Multi-Ethnic Afghan Police Force Grows

Marines Paint School, Foster Good Will
National Guard Leader Visits Well Drilling Sites

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

National Hurricane Center

Today in History
1290 - An earthquake in China reportedly kills 100,000.
1777 - At the Battle of Germantown, Washington is defeated by the British.
1779 - John Adams negotiates Revolutionary War peace terms with Britain.
1787 - The U.S. Constitution is submitted to the states for ratification.
1821 - Mexico declares its independence.
1825 - Railroad transportation is born with the first track opening in England.
1854 - The Steamship Arctic sinks with 300 people aboard.
1863 - Jo Shelby's cavalry sees action at Moffat's Station, AK.
1910 - In France, the a twin-engined airplane is tested for the first time.
1919 - The Democratic National Committee votes to admit women.
1923 - Lou Gehrig hits his first home run.
1928 - The U.S. recognizes Nationalist China.
1938 - The ocean liner Queen Elizabeth is launched at Glasgow.
1939 - Warsaw, Poland, surrenders to the Germans after 19 days of resistance.
1940 - Black leaders protest discrimination in the U.S. armed forces.
1941 - The freighter Patrick Henry, the first WWII liberty ship, is launched.
1953 - A typhoon destroys 1/3 of Nagoya, Japan.
1954 - In Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD, the integration of public schools begins.
1959 - Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev concludes his U.S. visit; typhoon Vera hits the Japanese island of Honshu, killing nearly 5,000.
1961 - Sierre Leone becomes the 100th member of the U.N.
1962 - The U.S. sells Hawk anti-aircraft missiles to Israel.
1963 - At 10:59 AM, the census clock records a U.S. population of 190,000,000.
1964 - The Warren Commission releases its findings; it states that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
1973 - Soyuz 12 carries two cosmonauts into Earth orbit for a two-day trip.
1979 - The creation of the Department of Education receives final approval.
1985 - Hurricane Gloria's 130 MPH winds hit the Atlantic coast.
1988 - Lab tests reportedly prove that the Shroud of Turin can not be Christ's burial cloth.
1990 - The deposed emir of Kuwait addresses the U.N. General Assembly; the Senate Judiciary committee approves Souter's Supreme Court nomination.
1991 - President George H.W. Bush decides to end the full-time B-52 bomber alert.

1601 - King Louis XIII of France (1610-43)
1657 - Sophia, regent of Russia (1682-89)
1722 - Samuel Adams, American revolutionary/Lt. Gov-MA (1789-94)
1783 - Agust¡n I de Iturbide, emperor of Mexico (1822-23)
1817 - Hiram R., Revels, first African-American U.S. Senator
1840 - Alfred Thayer Mahan, U.S. Naval officer (Influence of Sea Power)
1896 - George H. Bender, (Rep/Sen-OH)
1896 - Sam Ervin (Sen-NC), Watergate committee chairman
1918 - Sir Martin Ryle, radio astronomer, astronomer royal (1972-82)
1919 - Charles H. Percy (Sen-IL)
1952 - Dumitru Prunariu, first Romanian space traveler (Soyuz-40)

- Milburn Apt - reaches 3370 kph in X-2 rocket plane, but dies in crash
1962 - Francisco Brochado da Rocha, PM of Brazil (1962)
1984 - John Facenda, sportscaster (NFL Action)
1988 - William V. Shannon, US ambassador to Ireland (1977-81)

Reported Missing in Action
Hall, George R., USAF (MS); RF101 shot down (pilot), released by DRV February, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Spilman, Dyke A., USAF (NJ); RF4C shot down (systems operator, w/Stine)

Stine, Joseph M., USAF (PA); RF4C shot down (pilot, w/Spilman)

Smith, William A., Jr., US Army (MI); UH1H shot down (aircraft commander)

Fisher, David John, Australian Special Air Forces (AUS); fell from rope during extraction

Huntley, John N., US Army (ME); UH1H shot down (door gunner), KIA, body not recovered

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