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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

AL TAQADDUM, Iraq (Sept. 27, 2007) – Lance Cpl. Michael Atem’s current deployment to Iraq isn’t his first time in a war zone. In fact, he may have more experience with the ravages of war than most of the U.S. military’s senior leaders. He grew up in a village near Bor, Sudan, but was forced to flee when fighting separated him from family when he was eight. After years as a refugee in Ethiopia and Kenya, he now works with the Travel Management Office, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward).

Photo by: Sgt. Wayne Edmiston, 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Read the story associated with this photo

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Operation Rock Reaper Clears al-Qaida Strongholds West of Baquba

From Multi-National Force-Iraq:

Soldiers from Company B and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division negotiate their way through a wall during clearing operation Rock Reaper in Hadid, Iraq, just west of Baqubah. The Soldiers clearing the town had to negotiate their way though deep canals and over high walls to reach their objectives. Photo by Pfc. Kirby Rider, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

HADID — A dim blue light pierced the darkness as someone yelled “one-minute out”, but the voice was drowned out by noise from the rotating blades of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

The helicopter, carrying Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, approached its landing zone near the town of Hadid, 65 miles northwest of Baghdad.

As the light went out, the Soldiers braced themselves for a hard landing. Threats of anti-aircraft guns hidden in the palm groves surrounding the landing zone forced the helicopter pilots to land faster than they normally prefer to land.

Once the helicopter was on the ground, the Soldiers immediately dismounted and the helicopter began its return trip to pick up more Soldiers.

In a single,silent motion after the dust in the air settled, the Soldiers stood up from where they were lying in the field and began moving toward their first objective; securing a palm grove just outside the town.

“It was a tough mission. Bayonet Company had the main effort of the assault,” said Capt. Duane Bailey, commander of Company B, 1-38th Inf. “We cleared the town and really focused on target houses, looking for al-Qaida operatives.”

The Soldiers had already begun clearing the palm groves by the time the sun appeared over the horizon. They looked for improvised explosive devices (IED) and weapon caches. By the time the sun was completely in the sky, the Bayonet Co. Soldiers were ready to assault their first target house, looking for a man accused of placing IEDs on the nearby roadways.

After the Soldiers completed a thorough search of the house, they determined the man was not there and no weapons were found. The Soldiers were given five minutes to rest before moving to the next house down the road where they searched for another man wanted for placing IEDs.

The Soldiers were greeted kindly by local citizens as they went from house-to-house through the village of Hadid. The men of the houses constantly offered to make chai tea and cook flat bread for the Soldiers who found refuge from the heat in their living rooms and on their patios.

After a short break, the Soldiers continued with their mission of capturing wanted individuals and removing weapons from the town.

“It was nice to be greeted so nicely; the children are friendly and everyone is smiling and waving,” said Sgt. Johnny Walker, a team leader in Bayonet Co.

The Soldiers continued moving from house-to-house looking for weapons, contraband and IED making materials, only taking breaks if they finished clearing their room before their counterparts.

Toward the end of the day, the Soldiers returned to a central meeting location to give their detainees to the military police (MP) officials. The MPs verified the identities of the detainees and transported them to a secure holding area on Forward Operating Base Warhorse.

After the detainees were dropped off, an informant from the town offered to help the Soldiers find wanted men who used fake identification cards and to find weapons that may have been missed.

The Soldiers went house-to-house again with the informant, who pointed out the men that were wanted. The informant also gave information on a possible weapons cache.

After the informant was done giving information, the Soldiers took the newly captured detainees to the MPs for identity verification and transportation to FOB Warhorse.

While the detainees were being processed, the Soldiers started looking for a place to sleep. Some of the Soldiers found refuge in a nearby house while others slept outside in Stryker vehicles and wood lines keeping watch for their fellow team members.

After a short rest, the sun started looming over the horizon and the Soldiers packed up their gear to load it onto the Strykers that were parked in front of their sleeping areas.

Once their gear was loaded, the Soldiers linked up with Iraqi Army Soldiers, who helped the exhausted Soldiers clear the remaining part of Hadid.

On the second day of the mission, an al-Qaida in Iraq training camp was found. While searching the camp, Company B Soldiers found two suicide vests that were completely made and ready be put on, grid coordinates of Iraqi police stations in the area, grid coordinates of Coalition force bases and combat outposts in the area, 18 large-caliber mortar shells filled with explosives and three fire extinguishers filled with explosives.

The Soldiers also found five potential car bombs in the town of Hadid and took in a total of 13 detainees.

“The mission was a huge success, several IEDs were taken off of the roadways and there were no casualties on the Iraqi side and on our side,” Bailey said. “The mission will be a bigger success when the Iraqi police force and the Iraqi Army can setup fighting positions to keep the town secure.”

(Story by Pfc. Kirby Rider, 2nd Infantry Division)

In Other Recent Developments Here:
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER — Two extremists were detained after members of Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment observed the men acting suspiciously near Jisr Diyala on a road frequently used by Coalition forces, Dec. 26.

BAGHDAD — Coalition forces captured a suspected Special Groups leader during operations to disrupt criminal element networks in the Al-Husayniyah area.

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POWER PLANT VISIT - U.S. Army soldiers attached to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment meet with the manager of a power plant in Mosul, Iraq, Dec. 27, 2007. The soldiers are assessing how they can assist with bringing the plant to operational capability. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kieran Cuddihy

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In Today's News - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Quote of the Day
"A hero is simply someone
who rises above his own human weaknesses,
for an hour, a day, a year,
to do something stirring."
--Betty Deramus

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Military's Use of Unmanned Aircraft Soars in Iraq
Suicide bomber kills 30 at Baghdad funeral
Concerned Local Citizens Deliver Weapons Cache to Battery Commander
Governance Center Opens in Arab Jabour
Coalition Forces, Iraqi Children Enjoy Day of Fun
Aviation Brigade reaches flight-hour milestone (Baghdad)

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan-Led Force Arrests Suspected Taliban Leaders in Series of Khowst Province Raids

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Olmert hints Jerusalem division is inevitable
Israeli embassy evacuated in Australian capital

Fallen Heroes
Soldier dies from non-combat-related injury (Qayyarah)

Other Military News
U.S. Navy Sailors Found Dead in Ghana Hotel Room

Religion of Peace??
Flip-Flop on Cause of Death
Pakistan: Jan. 8 Elections 'Impossible' - PHOTOS

Politics / Government
Senate Hopeful Goes to Great Heights for Attention
The Family Factor - Candidates' kin in tow on the trail
Romney Expects Gold or Silver in Iowa
Clinton No Football Widow On New Year's Day
More needed to help stabilize U.S. housing: W.House
Obama buoyed in Iowa; urges supporters to vote
Huckabee defends his handling of anti-Romney ad
Romney says Bush mismanaged Iraq war
Clinton holds lead as Romney slips in Iowa
Huckabee opts for Leno on caucus eve
Poll: Nation tired of Iowa-NH first
Candidates urge voter turnout in Iowa
Arrest said made for Putin plot rumour

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Pursuit Suspect Jumps Off Bridge; Police Dog in Tow (Scumbag)
Single Bullet Fired Into Colo. Home Kills Woman, Girl
FBI Dusts Off Famous Case of D.B. Cooper Skyjacking
Man Gropes Sleeping Female on Flight; Plane Grounded
Police: Man Set Fire That Killed Pregnant Daughter
Atlanta Coeds to Investigate Chandra Levy Murder (Good for them)
Beauty Queen Charged With Kidnapping Ex - PHOTOS
One last case to solve for detective on "The Wire"
Public defender builds injection case

Adventures in Political Correctness
Woman Forced to Leave Bus After Reading Bible Aloud (Hmmm...wonder what they would have done if it was the Koran...)

U.N. News
U.N. envoy expects Kosovo solution in first quarter (Right...the U.N.'s going to get something done...)

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Odds Increase of Martian Asteroid Impact
Mylan gets FDA OK for generic of Colazal
Broadcasters get leeway on digital TV switch
Vonage and Nortel settle patent dispute
"Swish-and-spit" test screens for cancer
Politics and graft undermine African health care
Whites more likely to get ER narcotics

Mother Nature
Brothers Injured in Tiger Attack Stay Quiet
New Year's snowstorm hits Mich. hard

University of P.U.
Men Shot With .357 as They Traced It for Tattoo Pattern (Darwinism at work)
Man, 75, hurt while riding pet buffalo (And again I say, "Darwinism")
Tainted Vodka Kills 11 Celebrating New Year in Mongolia
Bullet Holes Drain Dry N.C. Town's Water Supply
Woman in burning truck keeps driving

Other News of Note
Mob Torches Kenyan Church - PHOTOS (Graphic Images)
African Union boss headed to Kenya for crisis talks - Video

Fox News
Paris Hilton Gets Cozy With Kevin Federline
Pop Tarts: Beyonce Bares All
Pop Tarts: Pam Anderson Leaves Kids in Hotel to Party

Thailand mourns death of revered king's sister
Philippine plane overshoots runway, no injuries
South Africa confirms graft trial for Zuma
Jokes in short supply as talk show hosts return
Beatles for sale: rappers, brands turn to Fab Four
PHH ends proposed merger with GE, Blackstone
Buffett may not testify in General Re trial-filing
Profit projections slide for fourth quarter
Codelco hopes for end soon to port workers strike
Weak Wall St bonuses may crimp some luxury spending
Existing home sales edge up from record low
Wachovia may face new mortgage write-downs
Shares hurt by tax selling may rebound in 2008
Oil slips but sees biggest annual gain this decade
Gold rebounds in thin trade, eyes dollar and PMI data
Temple-Inland shares up after tax ruling
Top performing major currencies in 2007
Banks and financials dominate December trading
Commodities seen strong in 2008
Losses on last day of '07 but big gains for year
Wachovia may face new write-downs
Full coverage: Subprime fallout

AP World News
Tom Bosley still going strong at age 80
USC trounces Illinois 49-17 in Rose Bowl
Michigan helps Carr end career as winner
'Without a Trace' star Sanchez engaged
Texas Tech tops Virginia in Gator Bowl
Temple routs Hogs 38-7 in Cotton Bowl
Tennessee tops Wisconsin in Outback Bowl
Thousands cheer giant Rose Parade floats
Revelers celebrate New Year's across US
Sprinter Gatlin banned until May 2010
Jazz end Trail Blazers winning streak

CENTCOM: News Releases

2007 -- The Year in Review - photos
U.S. Joint Forces Command, IBM sign new cooperative research and development agreement
More about CRADAs
Ribbon cut for new SOCJFCOM headquarters - podcast

Multi-National Force-Iraq
Coalition capture 3 extremists (Doura)
Explosives found, hostage rescued during joint Saydiyah operation
Coalition forces target foreign terrorist facilitators, 21 suspects detained (Kirkuk, Sammara, Mosul
Cavalry unit thwarts extremists’ plan (Jisr Diyala)

Petraeus Notes Progress, Rekindled Hope in Iraq
Al Qaeda Actions Contradict Osama Bin Laden's Claims - Video

Troops to Get 3 Percent Pay Raise
Cyber-Threat Intelligence Team Defends Digital Battlefield in Europe

Coalition Captures Insurgent Leader

Marine Corps Foundation Offers Scholarships for Good Students

Team Helps Troops Battle Combat Stress
Soldiers, Afghans Celebrate School Opening

Airman Saves Lives

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

Today in History
0069 - Roman Lower Rhine army proclaims its commander, Vitellius, emperor
0533 - John II begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1235 - Emperor Joseph II orders Jews of Galicia Austria to adopt family names
1492 - Spain recaptures Granada from the Moors (Granada Day)
1570 - Tsar Ivan the Terrible march to Novgorod begins
1602 - Spanish forces in Ireland surrender to the English at Kinsdale
1757 - British troops occupy Calcutta India
1776 - 1st revolutionary flag displayed; Austria ends interrogation torture
1788 - Georgia is 4th state to ratify US constitution
1800 - Free black community of Philadelphia PA petitions Congress to abolish slavery
1811 - US Senator Thomas Pickering is 1st senator censured (revealed confidential documents communicated by the President of the US)
1831 - Liberator, abolitionist newspaper, begins publishing in Boston
1839 - 1st photo of the Moon (French photographer Louis Daguerre)
1842 - 1st US wire suspension bridge for general traffic opens in Pennsylvania
1861 - Colonel Charles Stone is put in charge of organizing DC militia; SC seizes inactive Fort Johnson in Charleston Harbor
1863 - Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone's River) ends
1871 - King Amadeus I of Spain inaugurated at 25
1885 - General Wolseley receives last distress signal of General Gordon in Khartoum
1890 - Alice Sanger becomes 1st female White House staffer; Record 19'2" alligator shot in Louisiana by E.A. McIlhenny
1893 - 1st US commemoratives & 1st US stamp to picture a woman issued
1896 - Battle at Doornkop, South Africa (Boers beat Dr Jamesons troops)
1903 - President T. Roosevelt shuts down post office in Indianola MI, for refusing to accept its appointed postmistress because she was black
1905 - Elara, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Perrine; Japanese troops capture Port Arthur
1910 - 1st junior high schools in US open in Berkeley CA
1919 - Anti-British uprising in Ireland; Lithuania gains independence
1920 - 10,000 US union & socialist organizers arrested (Palmer Raids)
1923 - Ku Klux Klan surprise attack on black residential area Rosewood FL, 8 killed (compensation awarded in 1995)
1925 - Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region established (now in Tadzhik SSR)
1929 - US & Canada agree to preserve Niagara Falls
1933 - US troops leave Nicaragua
1934 - 1st state liquor stores open, in Pennsylvania
1935 - Bruno R. Hauptmann trial begins for kidnap-murder of Lindbergh baby
1936 - 1st electron tube to enable night vision described, St Louis MO
1938 - Book publisher Simon and Schuster founded
1942 - 28 nations, at war with Axis, pledge no separate peace; German troops in Bardia surrender; Japanese troops occupy Manila, in the Philippines
1944 - 1st use of helicopters during warfare (British Atlantic patrol)
1945 - Allied air raid on Neurenberg; Radio Orange ends cooperation at Liese-Aktion
1947 - Mahatma Gandhi begins march for peace in East-Bengali
1956 - Poujadists/communists win French parliamentary elections
1959 - USSR launches Mechta (Luna 1) for 1st lunar fly-by, 1st solar orbit; Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista flees
1960 - Senator John F Kennedy, announces his candidacy for President; John Reynolds sets age of solar system at 4,950,000,000 years
1964 - Ayub Khan elected President of Pakistan; Failed assassination attempt on President Nkrumah of Ghana
1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr., begins a drive to register black voters; Obverse design of all Canadian coins is changed to depict the Queen with a slightly more mature look
1966 - 1st Jewish child born in Spain since 1492 expulsion
1968 - Christiaan Barnard performs 2nd heart transplant
1970 - US population is 205,052,174
1971 - A barrier collapses at Ibrox Park football ground at end of a soccer match in Glasgow Scotland, killing 66
1972 - Mariner 9 begins mapping Mars
1974 - 55 MPH speed limit imposed by Richard Nixon; Worst fire in Argentine history destroys 1.2 million acres
1975 - US Department of Interior designates grizzly bear a threatened species
1978 - Bülent Ecevit forms government in Turkey
1979 - Sid Vicious' trial for murder of girlfriend Nancy Spingen begins
1983 - Garry Trudeau takes a 20-month break from writing "Doonesbury"
1984 - Riot in Tunis kills over 100; Wilson Goode, sworn-in as Philadelphia's 1st black mayor
1987 - Troops of Chad President Habré conquer Fada oasis
1988 - Oil storage tank spills 3.8 million gallons, Pennsylvania; Mulroney & Reagan sign Canada-US free trade agreement
1994 - Battles between army & rebellious Indians in South Mexico, kill 57
1995 - Bus crashes in Luzon Philippines, 29 killed; Most distant galaxy yet discovered found by scientists using Keck telescope in Hawaii (estimated 15 billion light years away)
1998 - Autopsy of Chris Farley shows he overdosed of opiates & cocaine

1642 - Mehmed IV, sultan (Turkey)
1647 - Nathaniel Bacon, leader of Bacon's Rebellion, Virginia (1676)
1699 - Osman III, sultan (Turkey)
1727 - James Wolfe, commanded British Army (captured Québec)
1835 - Charles Russell Lowell, Jr., Brigadier General (Union volunteers)
1861 - Helen Herron Taft, First Lady (1909-13)
1873 - Anton Pannekoek, Dutch astronomer/marxist theorist (Communist Tactics)
1880 - Louis Breguet, French aviation pioneer
1895 - Count Folke Bernadotte, statesman (Red Cross, UN)
1899 - Paul-Henri Spaak, Premier/Secretary-General of NATO (1957-61)
1913 - Ernest Sidey, British air marshal; Juanita E. Jackson Mitchell, US head (NAACP)
1920 - Penelope Jessel, politcal activist; Peter Harrison Swan, bomber pilot/stockbroker
1927 - Richard Belmont Ray (Representative-GA)
1928 - Dan Rostenkowski (Representative-IL, -94), House Ways & Means Committee chair
1928 - Vaughn Beals, CEO (Harley Davidson motorcycle)
1931 - Toshiki Kaifu, premier of Japan (1989-91)

1763 - John Casteret Earl Granville, English premier, dies at 72
1861 - Frederik Willem IV King of Prussia (1840-61)/Germany (1849-61), dies at 65
1863 - Roger Weightman Hanson, Confederate Brigadier General, dies in battle at 35
1904 - James Longstreet, Confederate General, dies at 82
1921 - Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, German chancellor/PM (Prussia); referred to the international treaty guaranteeing Belgian neutrality as "a scrap of paper", dies at 64
1923 - Sam Carter, Black resident of Rosewood FL, lynched by KKK
1945 - Betram Home Ramsay, English Admiral/Commander Naval Forces (Normandy), dies at 61
1955 - José Antonio Remon, President of Panamá (1952-55), assassinated
1960 - Friedrich Adler, Austria social-democrat, assasinated PM Stürgkh, dies in Zürich at 80
1990 - Alan Hale, Jr., actor (Skipper Jonas Grumby-Gilligan's Island), dies of cancer at 71
1994 - Caesar Romero actor (Joker-Batman), dies at 86; Dixy Lee Ray, chairwoman (US Atomic Energy Commission), dies at 79
1995 - Mohammed Siyad Barre, President of Somalia (1969-91); Siad Barre, General/President of Somalia (1969-91), dies at 84

Reported Missing in Action
MacLaughlin, Donald C., USN (MD); A4C disappeared while on combat mission

Menges, George Bruce, USAF (OH); O1F shot down - remains returned August, 1980

Brooks, Nicholas G., USN (NY); A6A shot down (w/Fryar); remains returned February, 1982

Fryar, Bruce C., USN (NJ); A6A shot down (w/Brooks)

Lindstrom, Ronnie G., USAF (MN); F4D shot down (w/West)

West, John T., USAF (MD); F4D shot down (w/Lindstrom)

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