News Archives For February 2007

Pentagon Honors Medal Recipient
Retired Army Lt. Col. Bruce Crandall was admitted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes today, one day after President Bush presented him the Medal of Honor for heroism in Vietnam. more

‘Surge’ Units to be Fully Trained, Equipped
The Army and Marine Corps units that will make up the 21,500-troop surge to Iraq will meet the same standards of training as every unit that deploys and have all the equipment they need to accomplish the mission, leaders from the two services said here today. more

More Diverse Fitness Programs
If a little bit of running is good for keeping warfighters in top form, then a lot of running is better, right? “Wrong!” say officials here at the Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. more

Doctors Visit German Military Facilities
Two of the senior doctors in the United States toured Ramstein Air Base and the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany Feb. 19 to 23. more

Head of DoD Health Affairs to Step Down
After nearly six years in office, the Defense Department’s top doctor said he will miss the people of the department who make things happen for servicemembers around the world. In a long-planned decision, Dr. William Winkenwerder Jr. soon will step down as assistant secretary of defense for health affairs and move to a job in the private sector.

New Pentagon Channel Series Debut
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2007 – The Pentagon Channel tomorrow will debut a new program, “Icon,” which takes an in-depth look at iconic figures in the U.S. military and Defense Department. The first Icon program will feature retired Army Lt. Col. Bruce P. Crandall, who is receiving the Medal of Honor today at the White House for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam in November 1965. more

Missile Defenses Would Shield Against Iran
Basing missile defenses in Eastern Europe would protect the United States, deployed U.S. troops and Europe against Iran and other rogue nations, but would pose no threat to Russia’s missile deterrent, the director of the Missile Defense Agency said here today. more

Wounded Should Not Have to Battle Bureaucracy
Injured American troops should not return home to battle the bureaucracies of a broken outpatient health care system, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters at Walter Reed Army Medical Center here today. more

General Discusses Chlorine Bombs
The enemy in Iraq is adaptive, and is interested in “catastrophic attacks,” the commander of coalition ground forces in Iraq said today. Insurgents blew up a tanker filled with chlorine yesterday in southern Baghdad. The attack killed at least two people and wounded more than 30. Coalition officials in Baghdad said this could be an escalation in the insurgent attacks. more

Terrorists Breaking America’s Will
Terrorists know they can’t defeat the United States militarily, so they seek instead to break the nation’s will, Vice President Dick Cheney told the crew of the USS Kitty Hawk today.

Crash Survivors Airlifted to Germany
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, Feb. 20, 2007 – Only hours after a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan, airmen from an aeromedical evacuation control team in Southwest Asia got 11 of 14 injured survivors onboard a C-17 Globemaster III bound for Germany. more

61 Terrorists Captured, Weapons Seized
Iraqi and coalition forces captured 61 suspected terrorists, destroyed five improvised explosive devices and seized several weapons caches during operations across Iraq in the past four days. more

Baghdad Security Plan Can Work
The new security plan being implemented in Baghdad will be successful if the United States remains dedicated to the mission and Iraqis commit to resolving their differences, the U.S. commander in charge of forces in the city said today. more

Bush Outlines Strategy for Afghanistan
Success against terrorism in Afghanistan is important to U.S. security, and the administration has key areas it will be working on to improve the situation there, President Bush said here today.

North Korea Agrees to Nuclear Disarmament
North Korea has agreed to shut down nuclear operations and allow international inspectors into the country, President Bush announced today, hailing it as an important step toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

Iran Complicit in IED Attacks
The Iranian government is complicit in improvised-explosive-device attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces, Marine Gen. Peter Pace said today in Jakarta, Indonesia. However, he said, officials are unsure what level of Iranian government is part of this complicity. Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting U.S. Pacific Command areas.

Progress of U.S.-Indonesian Relations
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said he came out of meetings with Indonesian leaders today encouraged by the military-to-military progress the two countries are making. Marine Gen. Peter Pace arrived here this morning from Australia as part of a week-long trip to the region. more

Petraeus Takes Command of Multinational Force Iraq
Acknowledging the challenges ahead and pledging full effort, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus took the helm of the top U.S. command in Iraq on Feb. 10 in Baghdad. Petraeus, who was promoted to general just before the change-of-command ceremony, assumed command from Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who has led Multinational Force Iraq since July 2004. Petraeus previously commanded the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Casey is set to become the next Army chief of staff.

Gates, Pakistani President Discuss Border Issues
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan this morning at the president’s Camp Office in Rawalpindi. The main theme of their talks was how to work separately and together to improve control along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Gates said. more

NATO Must Do More in Afghanistan
The international community, represented by NATO, must increase efforts to improve security in Afghanistan and develop the Afghan government and security forces, a top military leader and a Defense Department leader said in congressional testimony today. more

Iraqis Fulfilling Their Promises
The Iraqi government is doing everything it promised to do under President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s new strategy, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here today. more

Air Still Safest Travel in Iraq
Air travel is still the safest way to transport troops and supplies in Iraq, despite the recent rash of downed helicopter incidents, a top official there said yesterday. more

Petraeus Takes Command of Force
Acknowledging the challenges ahead and pledging full effort, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus took the helm of the top U.S. command in Iraq on Feb. 10 in Baghdad. more

Partners Battle Terrorism at Border
Afghan, Pakistani and NATO forces in the International Security Assistance Force are actively thwarting terrorism along the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan through communication, coordination and cooperation. more

Military Evacuates Volunteers in Honduras
U.S. military personnel here helped medically evacuate a group of American volunteers after a bus crash near the village of Mal Pais, Honduras, Feb. 6. U.S. military personnel from Soto Cano Air Base begin treating a patient involved in a vehicle crash in a remote area of Honduras on Feb. 6. Three people died in the accident and 10 were injured.

Africa Command Geared Toward Stability
The main goal of the new U.S. command in Africa will be to develop a stable environment on the continent to promote civil society and improved quality of life for the people there, a top Defense Department official said here today. Africa, which represents 35 percent of the world’s land mass and 25 percent of the population, is growing in significance, and it is time for the U.S. to recognize its importance and consolidate efforts there, Ryan Henry, principal undersecretary of defense for policy, said in a Pentagon news conference. more

Pay Raises Included In Budget Requests
A 3-percent pay raise for servicemembers, an increase in ground forces and continued funding of the global war on terrorism are on the table now that President Bush has delivered his fiscal 2008 defense budget request and 2007 emergency supplemental request to Congress today. more

Reconstruction Moves Ahead in Afghanistan
Coalition forces conducted progress assessments in Nuristan province, and government leaders in Logar province discussed spending for future projects Feb. 3 in Afghanistan. The provincial reconstruction team engineer conducted quality assurance checks on several projects in Nuristan province. Findings include: more

Officials Explain Budget Request
The defense budget requests President Bush submitted to Congress today will “make the necessary strategic investments to modernize and recapitalize key capabilities in the armed forces,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said at a Pentagon news conference.

Blind War Veteran Enjoys View
At the Sport Rock Indoor Climbing Center here, a sign warns that climbing can cause serious injury. If Army Capt. Scott Smiley could see the cautionary sign, he would probably disregard it. “I know I’ve done more dangerous things than this,” Smiley said Feb. 2 from the base of the 50-feet-tall rock he prepared to climb. more

Four Insurgents Killed, 26 Detained in Iraq
Coalition forces killed four insurgents and detained 26 others during operations across Iraq in the past two days, military officials said. Coalition forces raided four buildings today in Karabilah, where a foreign fighter cell reportedly was operating. During the raid, three armed insurgents attempted to engage ground forces. more

Warfighter Support Tops Spending
President Bush’s fiscal 2008 budget request seeks to pump more money into the development of future capabilities that will support America’s warfighters. Strategic modernization of the force accounts for 38 percent, or $176.8 billion, of the $481.4 billion defense budget request the president submitted to Congress today. more

Teen Honors War Dead, Visits Wounded
Under wintry skies at Arlington National Cemetery today, a California teenager who has generated 2.6 million messages of gratitude to U.S. servicemembers placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. more

President Wants $235 Billion for War
In the fiscal 2008 defense budget request, submitted to Congress today, President Bush is requesting $235.1 billion to fight the global war on terror through 2008. Part of that total is a $93.4 billion emergency supplemental measure to cover the cost of operations in the war on terror for the remainder of fiscal 2007. This supplemental request is in addition to the $70 billion previously provided by Congress. more

Bush Budget Proposal Includes Pay Raise
President Bush’s defense budget request for fiscal 2008 includes a 3 percent military pay raise as well as increases for housing, health care and other quality-of-life benefits and programs. Bush’s proposed budget, submitted to Congress this morning, includes $137 billion in pay, benefits and health care for 2.1 million active- and reserve-component troops and their families. more

Florida National Guard Soldiers Respond to Tornadoes
Florida National Guard soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, will deploy from Orlando to help Central Floridians recover from Feb. 2 tornadoes that left widespread devastation in several Florida counties week and killed 19 people. In the storm’s wake, thousands have no power, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has declared a state of emergency in Lake, Sumter, Seminole and Volusia counties. Guard officials report that initially around 50 soldiers will help distribute water and ice and provide support as needed. more

Iraqis Discover Massive Weapons Cache
Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers uncovered more than 1,100 81mm high-explosive mortar rounds yesterday at a cache near Route Tampa, the main highway leading into Baghdad, officials said. Troops from 3rd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division and Troop B, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment “Wolverines,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), made the discovery during Operation Wolverine Alesia near Yusufiyah, just 10 miles southwest of the capital, officials said. more

Vice Chairman ‘Cautiously Optimistic’
he nation’s second-highest-ranking military officer said he is cautiously optimistic about the new approach to Iraq after a three-day visit there that ended yesterday. “It is clear that most of the senior officials (from the) coalition, Iraq and United States I talked with during my time in Baghdad are positive about the security plan as they see it,” said Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, during an interview aboard an Air Force C-17 aircraft. more

Soldier Honored with Silver Star
A Soldier who helped pull his wounded men from a burning vehicle and ran alone through the streets of Ramadi to get them evacuated was awarded the Silver Star Jan. 27. Two other Soldiers from the same unit, Staff Sgt. Jason P. Trumpower of Norwalk, Ohio, and Spc. Edward Reyes of Coral Springs, Fla., distinguished themselves in the same Sept. 24 incident and were awarded Bronze Stars with Valor. more

No Plans for War, But U.S. Won’t Tolerate Iran’s Interference
The United States has no plans to go to war with Iran, but it won’t tolerate Iranian activities that are endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters today during a Pentagon news conference. more

Soldier Honored with Silver Star
A Soldier who helped pull his wounded men from a burning vehicle and ran alone through the streets of Ramadi to get them evacuated was awarded the Silver Star Jan. 27. Two other Soldiers from the same unit, Staff Sgt. Jason P. Trumpower of Norwalk, Ohio, and Spc. Edward Reyes of Coral Springs, Fla., distinguished themselves in the same Sept. 24 incident and were awarded Bronze Stars with Valor. more

Army Wife Talk Radio Follows Dreams
The internet talk radio show, Army Wife Talk Radio (AWTR), hosted by Tara Crooks, will air LIVE for the first time, February 5, 2007 at 8PM (EST). Listeners can tune in at for this show for and by Army Wives. more

82nd Airborne Accepts Responsibility for Afghanistan Task Force
The 82nd Airborne Division accepted responsibility for Combined Joint Task Force 76 from the 10th Mountain Division in a transfer-of-authority ceremony here today. more

China Relationship Key to U.S. Strategy
WASHINGTON, Feb. 2, 2007 – A strong U.S.-China relationship is important in promoting peace and stability in Asia, and the United States is working to shape China’s choices positively, a top Defense Department official said here yesterday. Testifying before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Richard Lawless, deputy undersecretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, said China’s rapid military transformation has significant implications for the United States. more

Army is Not Broken
The Army faces significant challenges in the years ahead, but it is still the world’s preeminent land power and has not been overly strained by the war on terror, Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commander of Multinational Force Iraq, said here today. Casey, who has commanded in Iraq since July 2004, is President Bush’s pick to be the next Army chief of staff. Speaking at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Service Committee, Casey expressed confidence in U.S. soldiers. more

Seven Terrorists Killed in Iraq, Weapons Caches Found
Coalition forces killed seven suspected terrorists and detained 10 more, and troops discovered six weapons caches during recent operations in Iraq. In two separate operations yesterday, Multinational Division Baghdad aircraft engaged insurgents placing roadside bombs around northwestern Baghdad. The aircraft killed seven terrorists in the operations, military officials said. more

Gates Hosts Colombian Defense Minister at Pentagon
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates hosted his first Latin-American defense minister visit in his new post today when he and Colombian National Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos met to discuss ways the two countries can step up their cooperation to confront drug trafficking and terrorism. more

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