News Archives For March 2009

Combat Outpost Serves as Front Line
Blackanthem Military NewsA platoon of U.S. soldiers busy themselves fortifying a fighting position, stringing concertina wire, aiming mortars, and filling lots and lots of sand bags. “Apache” is housed in an abandoned former district agricultural building. more

President’s Plan for Afghan Security
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama’s decision to send 4,000 extra U.S. military trainers to Afghanistan to mentor that country’s soldiers and police signals the United States’ commitment to bolster security there, a senior U.S. military officer said today. more

Amputee Completes Deployment
Blackanthem Military NewsWhat sets Air Force Maj. Alan Brown apart from other airmen in the gym at Camp Cunningham here isn't his workout routine. It's his right leg. "When people see me in shorts at the gym, there's definitely a pattern, they glance at my eyes, look down at my leg..." more

Circus Helps Ship Care Packages
Blackanthem Military News Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus recently presented a $12,636 check to American Recreational Military Services to help the troop-support group ship care packages overseas to deployed servicemembers. more

Vets Bring Encouragement
Blackanthem Military NewsSomeone who has lived with a disability for more years than he cares to count knows exactly what newly disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going through. Jake Hipps, 54, served as a Marine Corps lance corporal during the Vietnam War era... more

Contractors Discuss Time in Captivity
Blackanthem Military NewsThree American contractors who survived five and a half years in a Colombian jungle likened their captivity to being on the “planet of the apes,” said one of the three contractors held by the terrorist organization known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. more

New Afghan-Pakistan Strategy
Blackanthem Military News President Barack Obama said today his new strategy for what he calls “America’s war” is intended to zero in on the heart of the matter at hand in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama unveiled his new Afghanistan-Pakistan policy review March 27. more

New Afghan Approach to Succeed
Blackanthem Military NewsThe president’s new strategy for Afghanistan is more likely to succeed because it is a more comprehensive approach. In an interview, Gates said the new strategy deals with Afghanistan and Pakistan as two nations suffering... more

Veterans Affairs Honors Women
Blackanthem Military News The women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion were honored for their morale-boosting efforts during World War II in a ceremony at the Department of Veterans Affairs here yesterday. more

Employers Support Army Reservists
Blackanthem Military NewsColorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. signed on to the Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative at a March 20 ceremony here that also drew 11 private-sector employers. The governor is the first to commit all state agencies to working with the Army Reserve to fill critical shortages. more

Vietnam Vet Unveils New Project
Blackanthem Military NewsThirty years ago, an infantry corporal named Jan Scruggs boldly set out to build a national memorial. Since then, as a result of his determination, millions of people have found comfort and closure at the Vietnam Memorial known as The Wall. more

Soldiers Honored for Bravery
Blackanthem Military NewsIn the early morning hours of July 13, 2008, Soldiers from Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment were not thinking about medals as they fought off roughly 200 insurgents attacking their vehicle patrol base in Afghanistan. more

More Support for Combat Veterans
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama promised during an online town hall meeting today to ensure returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan receive the benefits and support they deserve. But Obama emphasized that “government alone can’t do it” in supporting the country’s veterans. more

Troops Deliver Aid to Baghdad
Blackanthem Military News Iraq soldiers of the 11th Iraqi Army Division and members of the 11th U.S. Military Transition Team delivered much-needed medical supplies to the residents of northeastern Baghdad’s al-Shaab community March 19. more

‘Lady’ Sniffs Out Explosives
Blackanthem Military NewsShe takes a few steps forward and then glances over her shoulder. A few feet up the road she stops and lies down on the ground, a sign of possible danger. The 2-year-old German shepherd and Netzley have been working together for six months... more

Iraq Violence Continues to Ebb
Blackanthem Military NewsWASHINGTON (American Forces Press Service0 – The amount of insurgent- and crime-related violence in Iraq continues to drop as security improves, a senior U.S. military officer told reporters at a Baghdad news conference today. more

Women’s History Month Event
Blackanthem Military NewsThe recipients were awarded the 2009 Foreign Language and Science, Engineering and Math Role Model Award on March 19 at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at the gates of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. more

Troops Prevent Attacks
Blackanthem Military NewsWhen an improvised explosive device is detected, most people run and take cover, but a team of servicemembers head straight to the site to start the crime-scene investigation. The airmen, soldiers and sailors of the weapons intelligence team provide counter IED intelligence... more

Judge Exchanges Gavel for Gun
Blackanthem Military NewsArmy Reserve Lt. Col. Jeff Wallace has traded his judge’s gavel for a 9 mm pistol to take on his first deployment here. In Iraq, Wallace is the command judge advocate for the 304th Sustainment Brigade. As a civilian, he serves as a circuit court judge for the state of Oregon. more

Brain Therapies for Injured Troops
Blackanthem Military NewsInnovative therapies that have assisted previously comatose patients regain consciousness may be incorporated on a greater scale to treat troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries, a brain injury expert said here today. more

Ceremony Honors Fallen Military
Blackanthem Military NewsBeneath the rows of simple white headstones evenly spaced beneath a dull and cloudy mid-March sky, the stories of those who rest at Arlington National Cemetery here today are anything but ordinary. more

Mail Addressed to Servicemembers
Blackanthem Military NewsA recent increase in mail addressed to “Any Servicemember” has prompted the Military Postal Service Agency to remind the general public not to send mail or care packages addressed in such a manner. more

Combat Medic Strengthens Skills
Blackanthem Military NewsCombat medics serve double-duty when deployed overseas. They must not only be ready at a moment’s notice to provide lifesaving medical care, but they also have to be prepared to battle alongside their comrades. more

Afghanistan Mission Critical
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama called his decision to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan the toughest so far in his presidency, but said last night the mission there is critical to protecting the United States and its interests. more

Projects Support Security Efforts
Blackanthem Military NewsMyriad construction programs under way in Afghanistan are helping to improve security and provide a better future for the people of that war-torn country, the chief of the U.S. military engineering effort there said here today. more

Influx of U.S. Troops in Afghanistan
Blackanthem Military NewsAn increased U.S. presence in the region will spur NATO-led pressure on insurgents and improve efforts to counter narcotics and makeshift bombings, Netherlands Army Maj. Gen. Mart de Kruif, commander of the ISAF’s Regional Command South in Afghanistan, said. more

Sergeant Earns Silver Star
Blackanthem Military NewsBAMBERG, Germany -- Staff Sgt. Lincoln V. Dockery said he didn't even see the grenade that sent shrapnel into his right forearm while charging insurgent fighters in Afghanistan's Korengal valley, Nov. 16, 2007. more

Troops’ Platelet Donations Save Lives
Blackanthem Military NewsWith the assistance of the Army’s 440th Blood Support Detachment at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital, servicemembers are providing life to trauma patients by donating the most perishable of blood’s three main components: blood platelets. more

Operation Iraqi Freedom
Blackanthem Military NewsProspects for the Iraqi people “get better every day,” with the Iraqis now solving their problems “politically, and not with guns,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday as Operation Iraqi Freedom marks its sixth anniversary. more

Veterans and Military Family Job Fair
Blackanthem Military NewsThe G.I. Go Fund will join forces with New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez and the city of Newark to host its first Veterans and Military Family Job Fair on March 21 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. more

Programs to Combat Suicides
Blackanthem Military NewsOne servicemember suicide “is too many,” and each military service now has programs designed to combat the problem, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates told reporters at a Pentagon news conference today. more

Army’s Involuntary Extensions Plan
Blackanthem Military NewsGates has called on the services to eliminate their dependence on the controversial program that allows the involuntary extension of servicemembers’ active duty past the scheduled end of their term of service. more

Keys to Cutting Suicide Rate
Blackanthem Military NewsEnding a policy that excused citizen-soldiers from monthly drills for 90 days after deployment helped the Army National Guard better take care of its troops, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel said. more

Sexual Assault Statistics
Blackanthem Military NewsKey components of the annual analysis include a finding that indicates a rise in the number of incidents reported in fiscal 2008 and details of department-led initiatives aimed at preventing sexual assault and increasing the accountability of offenders. more

‘Enormous Progress’ Made in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsAlthough “enormous progress” in security has been made in Iraq, Press Secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters, these gains “are still fragile,” particularly in and around the northern Iraqi cities of Kirkuk and Mosul. more

Caring for Veterans
Blackanthem Military NewsCaring for veterans is a responsibility and duty for all Americans, and the employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs are those who are charged with repaying "that debt of honor," President Barack Obama said... more

'Sex Signals' Training
Blackanthem Military NewsThe "Sex Signals" players visited Camp Victory, Iraq, March 11, to discuss dating, sex and acquaintance rape with servicemembers. The program intertwines humor with education to communicate with younger crowds. more

Teacher Answers Call to Serve
Blackanthem Military NewsFlynn moved to the United States from her native Sydney, Australia, when she was 23. She was a teacher with bachelor’s degrees in social science and early childhood education, and she’s married to a U.S. Marine master sergeant. more

Military Child Care Takes Top Spots
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Defense Department’s stateside military child care system took first place in the categories of quality oversight and standards for a second time as part of a national child care advocacy group’s report, a senior official said here today. more

Moving Troops to Iraq’s Rural Areas
Blackanthem Military NewsAs U.S. forces move from Iraq’s urban areas in accordance with the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement, they’ll be better positioned to target insurgents where they operate, the deputy commander of Multinational Division Baghdad said yesterday. more

Reunion Training Helps Reconnect
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Army created Battlemind to help soldiers and families adapt to the changes and difficulties that come with redeployment. While the current training here was for spouses, soldiers receive the training immediately before deployments and after redeployments. more

Military Teens Policy Making
Blackanthem Military NewsLike adolescents around the world, U.S. military dependents in Europe crave more independence. They want to explore and study in the countries surrounding their base, learn to drive cars and have more flexible accommodations. more

Emigrants Become U.S. Citizens
Blackanthem Military NewsThe two soldiers -- one a Christian from the south, the other a Muslim from the north -- have nothing against each other, despite the past which tore their homeland of Sudan apart in more than 20 years of civil war. more

Troops Receive Sweet Treats
Blackanthem Military NewsThe group’s first Girl Scout cookie drive was in 2004. Five years later, the group continues to partner with Gwen Lawrence and her Brownie Troop 61 to collect cookies for “Operation: Taste of Home.” more

First Lady Visits Fort Bragg
Blackanthem Military NewsIn her first solo trip as first lady, Michelle Obama visited one of the U.S. military’s busiest communities today and stressed the importance of reaching out to support soldiers and their families. more

Growing threat of Ballistic Missiles
Blackanthem Military NewsThe growing threat of ballistic missile proliferation around the world is a concern not only of military leaders but also of President Obama's administration, said the new director of the Missile Defense Agency. more

Ideas to Confront New Threats
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama used the dedication of a hall on one of the nation’s oldest military installations today to talk about the new threats confronting America. Obama dedicated Abraham Lincoln Hall, a new building on the campus of the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair. more

Soldier Sees Vast Changes in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsAn Army Ranger and veteran of operations Just Cause in 1989 and Iraqi Freedom in 2004, 44-year-old Army Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Ross has seen a lot more than many of his fellow soldiers in his 22-year Army career. more

Ceremony Honors Fallen Medics
Blackanthem Military NewsBeneath the rows of simple white headstones evenly spaced beneath a dull and cloudy mid-March sky, the stories of those who rest at Arlington National Cemetery here today are anything but ordinary. more

Iraq Takes ‘Huge Strides’
Blackanthem Military NewsBuilding a nation takes time, and progress shouldn’t be measured through Western standards, a senior coalition commander said, referring to Iraq’s future defense capabilities. A significant challenge for the Iraqi government, along with most other nations, is the world recession. more

U.S. Won’t Allow Taliban Resurgence
Blackanthem Military NewsAs the United States reviews its strategy in Afghanistan, one thing is certain: The United States won’t let the Taliban threaten the Afghan government and re-establish safe havens there, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said. more

First Rebuilt Humvee - ‘Wheel Depot’
Blackanthem Military NewsThe first M1114 Humvee to be completely rebuilt at the Taji National Maintenance Depot here rolled out of the Main Wheel Assembly and Disassembly facility last week, marking a significant milestone for the facility dubbed the “Wheel Depot.” more

All-Female Marine Team Mission
Blackanthem Military News Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment -- the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Afghanistan -- now have a special group of people to help them complete their mission in Afghanistan. more

Reconciliation With Taliban
Blackanthem Military NewsThough reconciliation with the Taliban is worth exploring, decisions in that regard should be left to Afghanistan’s people and government, Vice President Joe Biden said today in Brussels, Belgium. more

February Recruiting Statistics
Blackanthem Military NewsDefense Department officials today announced across-the-board recruiting and retention successes in February, with every service meeting or exceeding its active-duty, reserve and National Guard goals. more

Ways to Boost Care at Iraqi Hospital
Blackanthem Military NewsIraqi doctors from the Karama Hospital in Kut, Iraq, discussed surgery procedures, techniques and some health care challenges they face with members of the 848th Forward Surgical Team last week. more

Troops in Iraq Focus on Schools
Blackanthem Military NewsU.S. forces in Iraq increasingly are putting down weapons to build schools in their changing role there. Some of Diwaniya’s brightest female students between 13 and 15 years old participated in their new school’s opening Feb. 26. more

Events Indicate Progress in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsWith provincial elections in Iraq complete and the U.S.-Iraq security agreement in place, the way ahead in Iraq continues to be more clearly defined as each day passes, a U.S. commander in Iraq said. more

Former Hostages Receive Medal
Blackanthem Military NewsThree U.S. defense contractors held captive for more than five years by Colombian narcoterrorists will receive the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart award this week at the U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami. more

Suicide Prevention Task Force
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Army has created a suicide prevention task force as part of its month-long “stand-down” to address suicides among soldiers. In keeping with the complexity of the problem, the task force will have members from a range of staff sections and functional areas. more

Sexual Assault Prevention Campaign
Blackanthem Military NewsJust as the armed forces paved the way for integration more than 60 years ago, the Defense Department is working to prevent sexual assault, not only in the military, but also throughout the nation, the department’s top prevention expert said here today. more

The Hidden Stomach Muscle
Blackanthem Military NewsEveryone can identify with the 6 pack abs look, but few enjoy doing sit-ups. With this article, I will teach you how to get your stomach flat with less sit-ups. There is a muscle called the Transverse Abdominus that acts as a stabilizer to your entire middle section. more

Suicide Prevention Program
Blackanthem Military NewsMore than a 140 Soldiers took their lives last year making 2008 the worst in the Army's history for preventable suicides. And, so far in 2009 the Army has confirmed seven suicides along with 19 other deaths which are presently under investigation. more

Soldiers, Dogs Help Each Other
Blackanthem Military NewsSoldiers take classes in animal behavior and practice training dogs twice a week at the Humane Society. The dogs get training that makes them more adoptable and some much-needed attention. more

Iraq Brings Brothers Closer
Blackanthem Military NewsArmy Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Greene and his brother, Robert Greene, a database administrator for Science Applications International Corp. and retired soldier, have been able to spend time together while in country. more

Iraqis Blend Intelligence With Law
Blackanthem Military News Iraq’s internal intelligence community is gradually making the transition from wartime to peacetime operations, a senior U.S. advisor told Defense Department bloggers and online journalists. more

Amputee Soldier Completes Course
Blackanthem Military NewsIn November, Fairfax -- a Special Forces intelligence noncommissioned officer assigned to Headquarters Support Company, 3rd Special Forces Group -- became the first amputee soldier to complete the Army’s Jumpmaster Course here. more

Troops Earn U.S. Citizenship in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsDuring the 13th U.S. naturalization ceremony conducted for servicemembers in Iraq, 251 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines from 65 different countries became American citizens in the rotunda of the Al Faw Palace here yesterday. more

Dream of Becoming U.S. Citizen
Blackanthem Military NewsA flood of memories and emotion rushed through the mind of the executive officer for the 1st Cavalry Division’s Headquarters Service Company, Division Special Troops Battalion, as she reflected on the sacrifices it took to achieve her dream of becoming an American citizen. more

Troops Provide Opportunities
Blackanthem Military NewsU.S. forces in Iraq are contributing to the health and welfare of Iraqis through events such as medical outreaches and business and job fairs. Two soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team are proving that even small-scale efforts go a long way. more

Army at Full Strength
Blackanthem Military NewsThe Army National Guard is over strength and the Air National Guard has met its target end strength for the first time since 2002. But recruiting and retention success mean some programs that have improved recruitment are being reduced. more

First Lady Advocates for Women
Blackanthem Military NewsFirst lady Michelle Obama received a tip from a retired female Air Force general today: Keep modeling herself after her World War II-era predecessor, Eleanor Roosevelt. Retired Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught drew a comparison between Obama and her first lady forebear. more

Success is Key in Afghanistan
Blackanthem Military NewsDetermining a timetable for withdrawing U.S. and NATO forces from Afghanistan right now is “impossible,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today. The road to sovereignty in Afghanistan requires short-term goals with a means to measure success for the way forward, Gates said. more

Protect Recruiting Incentives
Blackanthem Military NewsAs the Defense Department and military services look for ways to pare recruiting and retention programs, Gilroy urged the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel subcommittee to resist wholesale cuts that would have a negative long-term impact. more

Soldiers Stay Active to Fight Stress
Blackanthem Military NewsDeployment is never easy, especially a 15-month deployment in which soldiers face the possibility of missing the same holiday twice away from their loved ones. This has been the reality for soldiers ... more

‘Christmas in May’ Awaits Troops
Blackanthem Military NewsTroops serving overseas will get a little bit of “Christmas in May,” thanks to a troop-support group called 'A Soldier’s Wish List' that is collecting gifts and snacks to be mailed to them on Armed Forces Day, May 16. more

Soldiers Open Orphanage, Schools
Blackanthem Military NewsU.S. soldiers are making a difference in the lives of Iraqis, as evidenced recently by the opening of a senior center and orphanage, a new school and school renovations, and a refurbished joint security station. more

Upcoming Deployments
Blackanthem Military NewsNearly 9,000 soldiers from an Army division headquarters and two Army brigade combat teams have been identified to deploy as part of the Defense Department’s regularly scheduled rotation of forces to those combat theaters. more

New Transition Force Role in Iraq
Blackanthem Military NewsThe U.S. military will conduct “a very different mission” in Iraq after combat troops withdraw in August 2010, with troops slated to remain there through 2011 serving primarily as trainers and advisors, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” more

Obama Cites to ‘Get It Right’
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama called decisions to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan “the most important, most sobering” he makes, and said in a Pentagon Channel interview aired today his biggest responsibility to the troops is to ensure he “gets it right.” more

Iraq Drawdown Decision Process
Blackanthem Military NewsPresident Barack Obama’s decision to redeploy all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by the end of August next year emerged from a process that included input from military commanders and senior defense leaders. more

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