07 March 2008

Members of the Duraiya Sons of Iraq group provide security along the Salman Pak to al Lej, Iraq, road, near Checkpoint 600, during the reopening ceremony. The road and checkpoint were closed to the public after a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb there, killing seven Iraqi national policemen last May.
Pic: SFC Sean Riley

Sheiks and civic leaders from Dura'iya and Salman Pak, Iraq, gather prior to the reopening of Checkpoint 600 and the road to Salman Pak to al Lej.
Pic: SFC Sean Riley

Soldiers from Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, attached to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, inspect a vehicle for anything suspicious in Yarmuk, Iraq.
Pic: SPC Sharhonda Mccoy

Brig. Gen. Aamir, commander of the 1st Brigade, 1st National Police Division, Lt. Col. Razzak, the Salman Pak chief of police, Sheiks Ali Hussein and Karin, Sons of Iraq leaders from Salman Pak and Dura'iya, Iraq, respectively, speak to Iraqi media about the importance of the opening of the Salman Pak to al Lej road, prior to cutting the ribbon.
Pic: SFC Sean Riley

CPL Kristina Andersen, a military police Soldier with the 401st Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, and native of Orlando, Fla., helps an Iraqi policeman disassemble an SA-58 rifle during Day 2 of the two week on the job training at the Jamia IP Station. The training consisted of weapons familiarization, how to clear the SA-58, how to assemble and disassemble the SA-58 and how to do a functions check on the weapon.
Pic: SGT Daniel Blottenberger

29 February 2008

SPC Charlie Aguayo, a mechanic with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 720th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, native of Waxahachie, Texas, repairs a compressor in the 720th MP Bn. motor pool on Camp Striker. Mechanics from the brigade are an invaluable resource supporting the brigade's mission as they keep the unit's fleet of vehicles and equipment in top-notch shape while continuously exceeding operational readiness standard.
Pic: SGT Daniel Blottenberger

11 February 2008

Joint force service members who volunteered their time to help with the United Service Organizations grand opening event pose in front of the first USO in Iraq. The grand opening event was attended by Army Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of Multi-National Force-Iraq, as well as the USO Board of Governors.
Pic: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

Airman 1st Class Jason Kahawaiolaa, 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintainer, uses a pneumatic grinder to fabricate a metal repair plate for an F-16 Fighting Falcon. Structural maintainers can repair fighters and return them operational status in less than a day. Airman Kahawaiolaa is deployed from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
Pic: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

Airman 1st Class Christopher Hunter, one of the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and heavy equipment flight's Dirt Boyz, spreads concrete with a modified rake on the flightline. Spreading out the concrete helps to prevent waste and over flow onto the existing pad. Airman Hunter is deployed from Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany.
Pic: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

SSG Lee Sinclair, one of the 332nd Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pavement and heavy equipment flight's Dirt Boyz, smoothes out the edge of a concrete pad on the flightline. The pad will take 28 days to dry before F-16 Fighting Falcons will be able to park on it. SSG Sinclair is deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan.
Pic: Senior Airman Julianne Showalter

30 January 2008

Two Iraqi men stand by and watch as U.S. Army Soldiers, from Alpha Company, 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to Baker Company Commander, 1-15 Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, write down a shop owner's information before giving him a application for a $2,500 micro grant to help him re-established his shop in Al Ja'ara, Iraq.
Pic: SGT Timothy Kingston

1LT Nick Piergallini, center, a native of Easton, Pa., who serves as a platoon leader with 1st Platoon, Company D, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, currently attached to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-68 AR, and CPT Enardo Collazo, right, a Salinas, Puerto Rico, native, who is the commander of HHC, 1-68 AR, discuss the day's mission with Sheik Emad Abdul-Settar Muhammad, the senior sheik for the village of Fahama, in the street outside his home. Silver Lion Soldiers escorted a truck filled with empty propane tanks from the villages of Fahama and Gumayrah to the nearby town of Boob Al Sham to exchange for full tanks.
Pic: PFC April Campbell

23 January 2008

SSG Roberson, from C Company, 492nd Civil Affairs Battalion, surveys the Al-Ghazaly Electrical Service Station which provides power to the 143 residents of Muhallah, Iraq, in east Baghdad, Iraq, during an area patrol. Routine patrols and checkups on utility stations such as this help provide consistently reliable services to Iraqis.
Pic: SPC Nicholas Hernandez

The second aircraft of the medical evacuation flight sits in a field as seen through the windshield of the first aircraft during a mission to rescue Soldiers injured in an attack.
PIc: SFC Thomas Mills

Soldier from the 789th Ordnance Company prepares a cache of 120 mm mortars for a controlled detonation near Jisr Diyala, Iraq.
Pic: SGT Natalie Rostek

11 January 2008

SFC Michael Bright, 2nd platoon, 224th Engineers, Oregon Army National Guard platoon sergeant, discusses the details of culvert construction and repair with an unarmored Hyex, one of the many engineer duties his unit conducts in Iraq, Pic: 1LT Stephen Bomar

A retired teacher and lifetime beekeeper shows citizens of Diyala his honey products at the Diyala Honey Festival in Baqubah, Iraq.
Pic: 1LT Stephen Bomar

An RQ7B Shadow 200 is launched into the skies over the Multi-national Division Baghdad operational area at the Camp Taji, Iraq, launch and recovery site. Shadows are the primary type of unmanned aerial vehicles used at the brigade level in the Baghdad area of operations.
PIc: PFC April Campbell

SPC Mark Parrish, left, an unmanned aerial systems mechanic, and SSG Terry Rust, maintenance noncommissioned officer in charge, both with the 4th Infantry Division's UAS Platoon, Company A, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, attached to Company G, Task Force 12, prepare an RQ7B Shadow 200 to be launched at the launch and recovery site at Camp Taji, Iraq. (
Pic: PFC April Campbell

From left) LTC John Chadbourne, PFC Heidi Gregory, SPC Ernesto Garcia and CSM Harry Jeffries pose in front of the newly-painted sign in front of the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion headquarters at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq.

PFC Gregory signs her name on the newly-painted sign in front of the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion headquarters at Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq. Heidi Gregory was one of two Soldiers who worked nights to complete the sign.

An Iraqi army soldier breaks through concrete as part of a demonstration of martial arts skills at the 87th anniversary of the Iraqi army during a cereremony at the 2nd Brigade, 8th Iraqi Army Division’s base in Hillah.
Pic: PFC Amanda Mcbride

29 December 2007

Pfc. Kevin Smith of Los Angeles, with 2nd Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), talks with Iraqi children at their home in Iskandariyah, Iraq.
Pic: SGT James Hunter

Policemen with the Iraqi national police display collected munitions after a tip led to the discovery of an old cache near the city of Tameem, Iraq. The INP delivered the unusable, but still deadly, cache to the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, to be catalogued and destroyed.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Bridget Ellison, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, carries a box of school supplies into a Baghdad elementary school. Ellison and others from the command distributed school supplies, toys and candy to Iraqi schoolchildren.

Pic: SSG Christopher Frost

Kirkurk police academy recruits march in platoons numbering around 50 to various stations where they will conduct two hours of calisthenics daily.
Pic SSG Margaret Nelson

After talking to a local tribal sheik about reopening a bridge, Soldiers from Company A, 2nd ‘Lancer’ Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and Headquarters Company, 2nd “Stallion” Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment walk past a bridge during a patrol. Pictured in the foreground are Co. A infantrymen, Irving, Texas native Cpl. Allen Doggett (center) and Spc. Juan Ramirez (right) of Shafter, Calif.
Pic: SSG Jon Cupp

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Robert Sanders and his fellow Marines prepare to greet some of the local people in Sin Adh Dhibban, Iraq. Sanders spent much of his upbringing in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, learning the language and ways of the Arabic people. He now uses that knowledge while on missions with Battery K, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment.
Pic: Cpl. Thomas J. Griffith)

13 December 2007

With the sun already set over Camp Liberty, Iraq, SSG James Ausmann, platoon sergeant and native of Pulaski, Va., with Headquarters Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, attached to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), reads a letter from his wife prior to moving out to Joint Security Station Adil Mall.
Pic: SGT James Hunter

Country music star and former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler shares the stage with PVT Andrea Mixon, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga., during Kellie’s hit “Red High Heels”. Pickler visited Forward Operating Base Kalsu, to help boost Soldier morale by singing six of her songs.
Pic: SGT Kevin Stabinsky

SPC James Turpin of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division searches a shelf for possible hidden contraband during an intel-driven raid located in Mosul, Iraq.
Pic: Airman 1st Class Christopher Hubenthal

An Iraqi boy in southern Baghdad's Doura Market takes time to talk with 1st Lt. Eric Fiedler, a team leader with Company A, 450th Civil Affairs Battalion from Washington, D.C. The company operates in southern Baghdad attached to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, which deployed to Iraq from Fort Riley, Kan.
Pic: PFC Nathaniel Smith

After dining, a tribal sheik (right) pauses to count his prayer beads while looking around at the gathering of his fellow sheiks during a reconciliation meeting in Assiriyah, Iraq.
Pic: SSG Jon Cupp

Mushen Nasser, mayor of the Mada’in Qada, cuts the ribbon during a ceremony to open the new health clinic in Wahida, Iraq. Council members and village sheiks applaud the opening.
Pic: SGT Natalie Rostek

Capt. Aaron Wilson, from Watertown, N.Y., 203rd Brigade Support Battalion surgeon, checks a baby’s chest for wheezing during a free medical operation in Wahida, Iraq. Pic: SGT Natalie Rostek

Capt. Se Young Um, from El Paso, Texas, a pediatrician in the 203rd Brigade Support Battalion, checks a baby from head to toe during a free medical operation in Wahida, Iraq.
Pic: SGT Natalie Rostek

SSG Sean Sanders, from Philadelphia, 489th Civil Affairs Battalion, currently attached to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, hands shampoo to citizens of Wahida, Iraq, after a free medical operation.
Pic: SGT Natalie Rostek

A computer instructor (left) teaches boys ages 11 to early teens how to use a computer during a computer literacy course at the community center in Assiriyah, Iraq.

U.S. Army Soldiers attached to the 2nd Division Military Transition Team, patrol the streets of Mosul, Iraq. The U.S. Soldiers of the 2nd Division MiTT team work side by side with the Iraqi army, assisting and advising them on the fight against the insurgency.
Pic: SPC Kieran Cuddihy

01 December 2007

Soldier from the 1BCT, 101st ABN DIV (AA) takes a defensive kneeling position while conducting night security patrol.

Pic: SFC Kevin Doheny

Soldier from the 1BCT, 101st ABN DIV (AA)
on night security enters a room searching for suspect terrorists.

Pic: SFC SFC Kevin Doheny

SP4 Lee, 1BCT, 101st ABN DIV (AA)

Pic: SFC Kevin Doheny

28 November 2007

Terrorists Target Army Base — in Arizona

By Sara A. Carter - Washington Times.

Fort Huachuca, the nation's largest intelligence-training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.

Fort officials changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high-powered weapons to attack the Arizona Army base, according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Times.

"A portion of the operatives were in the United States, with the remainder not yet in the United States," according to one of the documents, an FBI advisory that was distributed to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, Customs and Border Protection and the Justice Department, among several other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. "The Afghanis and Iraqis shaved their beards so as not to appear to be Middle Easterners."

According to the FBI advisory, each Middle Easterner paid Mexican drug lords $20,000 "or the equivalent in weapons" for the cartel's assistance in smuggling them and their weapons through tunnels along the border into the U.S. The weapons would be sent through tunnels that supposedly ended in Arizona and New Mexico, but the Islamist terrorists would be smuggled through Laredo, Texas, and reclaim the weapons later.

A number of the Afghans and Iraqis are already in a safe house in Texas, the FBI advisory said.

Fort Huachuca, which lies about 20 miles from the Mexican border, has members of all four service branches training in intelligence and secret operations. About 12,000 persons work at the fort and many have their families on base.

Lt. Col. Matthew Garner, spokesman for Fort Huachuca, said details about the current phase of the investigation or security changes on the post "will not be disclosed."

"We are always taking precautions to ensure that soldiers, family members and civilians that work and live on Fort Huachuca are safe," Col. Garner said. "With this specific threat, we did change some aspects of our security that we did have in place."

According to the FBI report, some of the weapons associated with the plot have been smuggled through a tunnel from Mexico to the U.S.

The FBI report is based on Drug Enforcement Administration sources, including Mexican nationals with access to "sub-sources" in the drug cartels. The report's assessment is that the DEA's Mexican contacts have proven reliable in the past but the "sub-source" is of uncertain reliability.

According to the source who spoke with DEA intelligence agents, the weapons included two Milan anti-tank missiles, Soviet-made surface-to-air missiles, grenade launchers, long guns and handguns.

"FBI Comment: The surface-to-air missiles may in fact be RPGs," the advisory stated, adding that the weapons stash in Mexico could include two or three more Milan missiles.

The Milan, a French-German portable anti-tank weapon, was developed in the 1970s and widely sold to militaries around the world, including Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Insurgents in Iraq reportedly have used a Milan missile in an attack on a British tank. Iraqi guerrillas also have shot down U.S. helicopters using RPGs, or rocket-propelled grenades.

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson would not elaborate on the current investigation regarding the threat, but said that many times the initial reports are based on "raw, uncorroborated information that has not been completely vetted." He added that this report shows the extent to which all law enforcement and intelligence agencies cooperate in terror investigations.

"If nothing else, it provides a good look at the inner working of the law-enforcement and intelligence community and how they work together on a daily basis to share and deal with threat information," Mr. Bresson said. "It also demonstrates the cross-pollination that frequently exists between criminal and terrorist groups."

The connections between criminal enterprises, such as powerful drug cartels, and terrorist organizations have become a serious concern for intelligence agencies monitoring the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Based upon the information provided by the DEA handling agent, the DEA has classified the source as credible," stated a Department of Homeland Security document, regarding the possibility of an attack on Fort Huachuca. "The identity of the sub-source has been established; however, none of the information provided by the sub-source in the past has been corroborated."

The FBI advisory stated the "sub-source" for the information "is a member of the Zetas," the military arm of one of Mexico's most dangerous drug-trafficking organizations, the Gulf Cartel. The Gulf Cartel controls the movement of narcotics from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, into the U.S. along the Laredo corridor.

However, the sub-source "for this information is of unknown reliability," the FBI advisory stated.

According to the DEA, the sub-source identified Mexico's Sinaloa cartel as the drug lords who would assist the terrorists in their plot.

This led the DEA to caution the FBI that its information may be a Gulf Cartel plant to bring the U.S. military in against its main rival. The Sinaloa and Gulf cartels have fought bloody battles along the border for control of shipping routes into the U.S.

"It doesn't mean that there isn't truth to some of what this source delivered to U.S. agents," said one law-enforcement intelligence agent, on the condition of anonymity. "The cartels have no loyalty to any nation or person. It isn't surprising that for the right price they would assist terrorists, knowingly or unknowingly."

Harker Heights, Texas native COL Ricky D. Gibbs, commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., and other Dragon Brigade Soldiers show their support for the "Black Knights" of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by shouting out "Go Army Beat Navy" at Forward Operating Base Falcon in southern Baghdad.
Pic: MSG Dave Larsen

The Qayyarah Bridge on the Tigris River lost more than 100 feet of its span due to a truck bombing on Nov. 23. Iraqi and coalition force engineers repaired the span in less than three days.
Pic: Alfredo Jimenez

The Qayyarah Bridge on the Tigris River lost more than 100 feet of its span due to a truck bombing on Nov. 23. Iraqi and coalition force engineers repaired the span in less than three days.
Pic: SPC Alfredo Jimenez

Riverside, Calif., native PFC Thomas Grimm, an infantryman, points out a rooftop to Arlingtion, Texas, native PFC Daniel Dension, a medic, both with 1st Platoon, Company C, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, while patrolling at an electrical power plant in Kateib in northwest Baghdad.
Pic: SGT James Hunter

Cordova, Md., native, SPC Shane Osterman, a military policeman with the 401st Military Police Company out of Fort Hood, Texas, scans the biometric data of an Iraqi police auxiliary recruit during an IPA recruitment drive in Hateen. The recruit’s biometric data will be entered into a computer to ensure that no persons with a criminal background will be accepted. The drive, sponsored by Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, processed more than 175 recruits.
Pic: SFC Robert Timmons

Lt. Col. Todd Ratliff, from Holland, Ohio, the commander of the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, speaks during the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop change of command ceremony as Capt. Faye Cameron, from Clarksville, Tenn., the outgoing commander of the HHT, and Capt. Andrew Henning, from Charleston, S.C., the incoming commander, listen at Forward Operating Base Hammer. "Today's change of command is between two great officers," Ratliff said. "Both have a wealth of experience."
Pic: SPC Ben Hutto

Sheik Kassam, the leader of the Concerned Local Citizens group in Sabbah Nissan, passes out backpacks provided by Battery A, 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, to school children. Battery A has distributed 1,422 backpacks to the children of Sabbah Nissan since they came to the area in October.
Pic: SPC Ben Hutto

The road through Maderiyah is currently being worked on in preparation for paving. The road is being covered in dirt to provide a base for the asphalt. Once leveled off, the dirt will be layered with asphalt.
Pic: SGT Kevin Stabinsky

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