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Monday, May 19, 2008

Photos Show Marine's Narrow Escape From Death in Afghanistan

From Fox News:

Dramatic photos show a Marine's narrow escape from death Sunday while facing insurgent gunfire in Afghanistan.

The Marine, part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), was exchanging gunfire with Taliban fighters near Garmser in Afghanistan's Helmand Province when a Reuters photographer captured the soldier's very close call.

A series of six photos show the Marine, wearing a T-shirt and fatigues but no combat helmet, ducking as insurgent gunfire tears through the top of a mud wall he's using for cover. Remarkably, the Marine escaped the gunfight without injury.

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View the photos here

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PERSIAN GULF (May 15, 2008) A plane captain assigned to the "Sun Kings" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116 signals to the pilot of an E-2C Hawkeye as the aircraft is prepared for a mission on aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72). Lincoln is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans

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24th MEU exploits success in Garmsir

From Marine Corps News:

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A Marine with A Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes cover in rubble that was once a house, while advancing to an enemy position in Garmsir. Photo by Cpl. Alex C. Guerra

By Staff Sgt. Robert Piper, 24th MEU

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the British forces of Task Force Helmand launched an operation to enhance security for the citizens of the Garmsir District in Southern Helmand Province April 28.

By engaging with the leaders of Garmsir to determine what is required to bring stability to their district – a district which has seen little International Security Assistance Force presence in the recent past, these forces will help facilitate long-term change and improvement.

Garmsir has long been used as a planning, staging and logistics hub by the neo-Taliban. Through capturing identified enemy strong points and defensive positions south of Task Force Helmand forward operating bases, Marines opened previously denied routes through the Garmsir District to the economically vital Helmand green zone, while simultaneously disrupting insurgent activities in the area.

“The Marines gain ground every day and secure more of the routes through the district. The support we have received from our allied partners has contributed to our many successes thus far,” said Col Peter Petronzio, commanding officer, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, International Security Assistance Force.

In contrast to recent tactics, insurgents have demonstrated a persistent and concerted effort to resist the advancement of troops and hold ground. Marines consistently encounter disorganized resistance in the form of small arms, indirect fire, and rocket propelled grenades. Despite stouter than expected resistance, Marines have succeeded in a region that was previously unsecured.

"The number of fighters that stood and fought is kind of surprising to me, but obviously they're fighting for something," Maj. Tom Clinton, executive officer, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th MEU, said. "They're flowing in; guys are going south and picking up arms. We have an opportunity to really clear them out, cripple them, so I think we're exploiting the success we're finding."

The effectiveness of the Marine’s approach is already evident on the ground.

"We have seen that they are starting to have trouble reinforcing and getting arms, said Lt Col. Kent Hayes, executive officer, 24th MEU." “Because we've seen fighters coming in from other areas, the rest of Helmand, rather than from just around Garmsir, that is telling us about the success we're having, that we are affecting and disrupting them. We are defeating the enemy when they oppose us and, when they reinforce, we're defeating them as well."

Success in the region is complex, not defined merely by defeating insurgents, but also by the manner in which you aid the people who live there.

During lulls in the fighting, Afghan citizens began bringing children to the Marines for medical treatment, including an 11 year-old boy with abdominal wounds, which his father said was inflicted by insurgents. He, as well as one baby, have been treated and returned safely to their families.

“I think the most telling aspect is that, an Afghan citizen of Garmsir had no qualms about bringing his wounded child to a newly established Marine position where Marines were heavily armed,” said Petronzio. “Here is a man who has first-hand experience of life under the Taliban. He knows that with them there is no offer of hope, no plan and no future. He knows we are here to help.”

As the fighting stabilized in areas, Marines also were able to find and meet with village leaders. In meetings with Afghan elders, the sun-aged, bearded men said that the two sides could "join together" to fight the Taliban. "When you protect us, we will be able to protect you."

As for how long this operation will last or how far south the Marines will pursue insurgents, it is to be determined.

"This is the start," said Hayes. "We started in Garmsir. As far as ending it, I will tell you that it's not time-driven. We will leave Garmsir at the time and place of our choosing."

To date, the Marines have discovered 10 caches. The caches contained variations of mines, rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and IED making materials. They also identified and control detonated 6 IEDs and discovered and destroyed several fortified enemy positions.

Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, take cover from rocket-propelled grenades and machine gun fire while trying to clear a route in Garmsir. Despite facing stouter-than-expected resistance from insurgents, Marines have made enormous gains in the district area. Photo by Staff Sgt. Robert Piper

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OPEN AIR - Former U.S. Army Special Forces member Paul McGowan drops into the opening ceremonies at the Joint Service Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., May 17, 2008. The three-day event coincides with the 60th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift. Defense Dept. photo by Fred W. Baker III

Story - Special

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In Today's News - Monday, May 19, 2008

Quote of the Day
"I think of a hero as someone who understands
the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom."
-- Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman)

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Police Chief in Southern Iraqi City Killed in Bomb Blast
U.S. Holds About 500 'Enemy Combatant' Youths in Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom
Afghan student firefighters hone skills

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Bin Laden to Muslims: Fight Israel-Led Gaza Closure
Taliban claim responsibility for Pakistan bombing
High-Ranking Female FARC Leader Surrenders to Colombian Forces

Homegrown Moonbats
Gore Compares Global Warming Fight to WWII Fascism (Are you kidding me?!?)

Politics / Government
And the Crowd Grows Wild
Record 80,000 attend Obama rally in Portland
Clinton Confident in Kentucky, Obama Sees Finish Line
California Dems Add More Superdelegates
BRIEFING BOOK: Kentucky and Oregon (pdf)
Kennedy Recovering After Seizures - PHOTOS - BIO
McCain campaign advisor quits over lobbying ties - Video
Obama eyes general election while Clinton hangs on - Video
McCain vows to fight U.S. farm subsidies, tariffs
New Watergate book says John Dean ordered break-in

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Polygamist Sect's Custody Hearings to Begin Today

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Facebook stresses independence amid Microsoft talk
Now Britons can quiz PM on YouTube

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Cell Phones May Put Unborn at Risk
British PM Backs Animal-Human Embryo Bill
Quietly, wind farms spread footprint in U.S
Strong prospects in software to spy on bank staff

Mother Nature
Sirens, Horns Wail Across China as Nation Mourns Earthquake Victims - PHOTOS
Chinese Companies Suffer Nearly $10 Billion in Damage
Quake hurts farmers' hopes
Taiwan rescuer vows not to give up
Marine Scientists Discover Millions of Starfish Inhabiting Undersea Volcano
Study: Hurricane Spike Not Caused by Global Warming
Dozens of Wildfires in Fla. Scorch Nearly 40,000 Acres
U.N. Tours Burma Cyclone Zone; 134,000 Dead, Missing
ASEAN to coordinate Myanmar aid effort - Video
G8 climate talks to discuss targets, rift remains

Australia brews beer for man's best friend

Fox News
Forecast Is Good News, Bad News
FOXBusiness: Futures Fall as MSFT Revives YHOO Bid
'Crystal Skull': It's a Hit!

Malaysia's PM in danger as Mahathir quits party
Zimbabwe opposition says army plots to kill leader
Asia stocks at 4-month high
Gold tops $900 on spec buying
Protest turns to praise for foreign firms
As homes foreclose in U.S., squatters move in
Chesney gets top country award but criticizes vote
Turkey's AK Party expects to be closed: sources
Strike stalls April auto production
Energy:Oil & the environment
NBER's Feldstein sees U.S. downturn since Dec-Jan
Lehman, Goldman, Morgan Stanley outlooks cut at Citi
New News Corp ad network to court financial sites
Market correction ongoing, significant: ECB's Trichet
UAW urges adoption of cost-cutting Axle deal
BCE buyout in trouble as banks seek new terms: NYT
Manitowoc trumps rival with $2.1 billion Enodis bid
Egypt's Sawiris in talks with U.S. firms on Weather
Green Living: Kids spur supermodel Cindy Crawford to go green
Africa's "Miami" boasts Art Deco trove
Pierce leads Boston to thrilling win over Cleveland
Penguins reach Stanley Cup final with crushing win
Arizona's Johnson blanks Detroit for win number 288
Gay and Campbell-Brown shine in Carson
Nadal gains revenge over Federer in Hamburg

Associated Press
Workers clean up La. derailment, acid spill
'Indiana Jones' debut survives Cannes critics

News Blaze
PHOTOS: ISF take control of OMS building, maintain presence near Shulla
PHOTOS:: Soldier Awarded AAM for Hard Work, Initiative
Soldiers' Angels and Patriot Guard
Iraq News
Operations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

General: Iran aiding terrorists in Iraq
New bridge links Busayefi to Hawr Rajab
Iraqis refurbish school in al-Buaytha
Basra security situation improves

Command unveils new command and control vision - podcast
Joint fires team helps Army improves force protection training
SOCJFCOM completes in-residence JSOTF training course - podcast
USJFCOM helps define new conditions for individual augmentee training

Multi-National Force - Iraq
Democracy Takes Root in Arab Jabour
Marne Soldiers Prepare Iraqi Army for Battle
Salvadoran Dignitaries Visit Cuscatlan Battalion
Al-Nassir School Refurbished by Iraqis
Three suspected al-Qaeda terrorists detained in Baghdad, Mosul
Conviction and Sentencing of the Kidnapper of Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho US-EMB
Iraqi residents turn in munitions to Iraqi Army soldiers; MND-B Soldiers eliminate threat (Baghdad)
Water treatment facility on way to recovery (Taji)
Iraqis, servicemembers connect through tennis (Bagdad)
MND-N Soldiers attacked by IED (Salah ad-Din)

Bush Promises Afghans Support


Indy Motor Speedway Salutes Recruits
Mullen to Troops: 'Your Service Matters'
Military Members Receive Service Award


U.S. Sends Relief Supplies to China
More Relief Flights Arrive in Burma


Air Show Celebrates Berlin Airlift Anniversary
Airlift Dispensed Food, Blow to Communism
‘Candy Bomber’ Sweetened Life for Berlin Kids


More than 300 Former 'Sons' Become Police Grads
Coalition Troops in Iraq Kill Terrorist, Detain 19


New York Guardsmen Train Afghan Security Forces
Forces Detain Eight Taliban Suspects in Raid


Soldier Shares Knowledge, Experience with Actors


Sinise Rocks Pentagon, Supports Troops With Song - Photos
Groups at Pentagon Event Show America’s Support
Chrysler Initiatives an ‘Investment in Freedom’

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

Today in History
- Queen Elizabeth I of England arrests Scottish queen Mary.
1585 - Spain confiscates English ships.
1588 - The Spanish Armada sets sail for Lisbon, bound for England.
1635 - France declares war on Spain
1643 - The French destroy the Spanish army at the Battle of Rocroi / Allersheim; Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut and New Harbor form the United Colonies of New England.
1848 - Mexico gives Texas to the U.S., ending the war.
1862 - The Homestead Act goes into effect, providing cheap land for settlement of the West.
1864 - Battle of Port Walthall Junction, VA; last engagement in the Spotsylvania series of battles.
1884 - The Ringling Brothers circus premieres.
1898 - The Post Office authorizes the use of postcards.
1913 - In California, the Webb Alien Land-Holding Bill passes, prohibiting the Japanese from owning land.
1923 - Communists revolt in German Ruhr cities occupied by the Allies.
1926 - The French air force bombs Damascus, Syria.
1929 - China’s General Feng Yu-Xiang of China declares war on Chiang Kai-Shek’s government.
1930 - White women win voting rights in South Africa.
1931 - The Ironclad cruiser Germany is launched in Kiel.
1939 - Churchill signs the British-Russian anti-Nazi pact.
1941 - German occupiers in Holland forbid bicycle taxis; the Nazi battleship Bismarck leaves Gdynia, Poland.
1943 - Berlin is declared free of Jews - "Judenrien"; Churchill pledges England's full support to the U.S. against Japan.
1944 - More than 200 gypsies are transported to Auschwitz from the Netherlands; the German defense line in Italy collapses.
1951 - The U.N. begins a counter-offensive in Korea.
1954 - Postmaster General Summerfield approves the CIA’s mail-opening project.
1958 - The U.S. and Canada form the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)
1960 - USAF Major Robert M. White takes the X-15 to 33,222 mph.
1964 - U.S. diplomats find at least 40 secret microphones in the Moscow embassy.
1965 - Patricia R. Harris is named the first American black female ambassador – to Luxembourg.
1967 - The U.S. bombs Hanoi; the U.S.S.R. ratifies a treaty with England and the U.S. banning nuclear weapons in space.
1971 - The U.S.S.R. launches Mars 2, the first spacecraft to crash land on Mars.
1976 - The Senate establishes a permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
1983 - NASA launches Intelsat V.
1992 - The 27th Amendment is ratified, prohibiting Congress from raising its salary.

1808 - Confederate Brigadier General Samuel Jameson Gholson
1812 - Confederate Brigadier General Felix Kirk
1815 - Union Brevet Major General John Gross Barnard
1828 - Union Brevet Major General Adin Ballou
1890 - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese leader
1915 - Pol Pot, dictator / mass murderer
1925 - Malcolm X (Little), black muslim leader
1935 - David Hartman, TV personality (Good Morning America)
1938 - James H. Bilbray (Representative-NV)
1939 - Francis R. Scobee, USAF / astronaut (STS 41C, 51L-Chal disaster)
1941 - Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., son of Jimmy Hoffa / Teamster union leader
1948 - Jean-Pierre Haignere, cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-17)

1536 - Anne Boleyn Queen of England / wife of Henry VIII, beheaded; Lord Rochford English, brother of Anna Boleyn, beheaded
1795 - Josiah Bartlett, physician / judge, signer of Declaration of Independence
1864 - Nathaniel Hawthorne, writer (Scarlet Letter)
1935 - Thomas E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), motorcycle crash
1966 - Tortoise reportedly given to Tonga's king by Captain Cook in 1773
1994 - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, former First Lady
1997 - Millie, dog of President Bush

Reported Missing in Action:
Donovan, Leroy M., US Army (CO); O1F overdue (observer, w/Harper) - presumed Killed / BNR

Harper, Richard K. , US Army (MA); OIF overdue (pilot, w/Donovan) - presumed Killed / BNR

Anderson, Gareth L., US Navy (MA); F4B shot down (RIO, w/Plumb), released by DRV March, 1973, died in a military training flight in 1974

Griffin, James Lloyd, US Navy (TN); RA5C shot down (w/Walters), DIC - remains returned March 1974

Hellbach, Harold J., USMC (LA); F8E shot down - remains returned 1997, ID'd May, 1998

Knight, Roy A., Jr., USAF (TX); A1E shot down

McDaniel, Eugene B., USN (NC); A6A shot down (backseater, w/Patterson), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive and well 1998 - founder of the American Defense Institute

Metzger, William J., USN (WI); F8C shot down (Russell shot down a short distance away), released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Patterson, James K., USN (CA); A6A shot down (pilot, w/McDaniel), probably captured with broken leg

Plumb, Joseph C., USN (KS); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Anderson), released by DRV February, 1973 - alive and well 1998

Rich, Richard, USN (CT); F4B shot down (pilot, w/Stark)

Russell, Kay, USN (TX); F8E shot down (Metzger shot down a short distance away), released by DRV March, 1973 - deceased, 1995

Stark, William R., USN (CA); F4B shot down (w/Rich), released by DRV March, 1973 - received 2 Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat V, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with Combat V, DMSM, 2 Air Medals, Navy Commendation with Combat V (2nd Award) and 2 Purple Hearts - retired as a Captain - alive and well as of 1998

Walters, Jack, Jr., USN (NC); RA5C shot down (w/Griffin), DIC - remains returned March, 1974

Davies, Joseph E., USAF (VA); F4D shot down (w/McCubbin)

McCubbin, Glenn D., USAF (KS); F4D shot down (w/Davies)

Mott, David P. , USAF (ND); OV10A shot down (w/Thomas), released by PRG March, 1973 - retired as a Colonel - alive and well as of 1998

Nichols, Aubrey A., USN (TX); A7B shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - retired as a Commnander - alive and well as of 1998

Thomas, William E., USMC (PA); OV10A shot down (w/Mott), released by PRG March, 1973 - retired as a CWO-4 - alive and well as of 1998

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