Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Marines Patrol Base Georgetown attack (+video HD)

in this unclassified/released video by Lance Cpl. Jacob M. Lagoze show us the attack of the Marines Patrol Base Georgetown attack in Kajaki Sofla, Helmand, Afghanistan - on November 22, 2011.
1st Battalion 6th Marines Combat Camera

(First Battalion, 6th Marines is currently assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division (Forward)/Task Force Leatherneck. Task force Leatherneck serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations.)

In the 5 hours fight the patrol base got a mortar hit....around 03:25
watch the video in 1080p HD version

Marines, taking highly accurate IDF at Patrol Base Georgetown in Kajaki Sofla, Afghanistan on November 22, 2011.

The Marines suppress the enemy with squad organic weapons, TOW missiles and .50 caliber machine guns. After 5 hours the Marines take casualties and get the wounded medevac'd.

(U.S. Marine Corps motion imagery by Lance Cpl. Jacob M. Lagoze / Released)

All I Want For Christmas - HMS OCEAN (+video)

British HMS OCean will return from deployment for Christmas...

After lots of time away last year (214 days) -- planned for 7 week deployment exercise with other nations

Diverted to Libya and further operations

Back 9 Dec after 7½ months away - 225 days with 176 at sea

400 people onboard (at peak during the amphibious exercises just under 900 onboard but approx 650 during Op Ellamy)
Steamed just over 40,000 miles
Burned approx 6,000 tonnes of fuel
Operated 16 different type of aircraft off the deck

Realities of deploying:

15 babies born while the ship has been away (fathers did get home to see mum and baby)
5 people were sent home so they didn't miss their own weddings.
1 sailor whose son's third birthday is on homecoming. Family meeting ship

Ships company have missed:

Summer holidays.
Children's exam results
Children finishing school and starting university
The Padre missed his daughter's graduation.

The ship's company made a Christmas DVD when they heard they would be home for Christmas.

Drawdown Through Kuwait (+video HD)

As Soldiers leave Iraq, they stop through Kuwait to process home.
Third Army ARCENTs Redistribution Property Assistance Team Yard on Camp Virginia is the first stop.
Here they hand over equipment, material and vehicles,
This is the largest logistical movement since WWII.
Third Army/ARCENT executes this mission and still maintains operations in Afghanistan as well as taking care of Soldiers along the way.

Package of soldiers leaving Iraq going through Kuwait to process home and how Third Army/ARCENTs Redistribution Property Assistance Team Yard gets that process started.
The 183rd Cavalry, 2nd Squadron, from Virginia Beach, Va., arrive at Camp Virginia, Kuwait to unload so they can go home. They were the last convoy to leave Victory Base Complex in Iraq.
Produced by Staff Sgt. Ashleigh Torres.
Includes soundbites from Sgt. 1st Class David Parthemore, LNO, RPAT Command Cell, Lt. Col. William Korsen, commander, 183rd Cavalry, 2nd Squadron, and Lt. Col. William Cain, commander, 541st CSSC Battalion.

watch in 720p HD

Iran Says Downed Drone Was Deep in Its Airspace

TEHRAN, Iran --
The unmanned U.S. spy plane was deep inside Iran's airspace, flying over an eastern town famous for Persian carpets and saffron when it was downed by Iranian armed forces, state radio reported Wednesday.

The report said the stealth-version of the RQ-170 drone was detected by Iranian forces over the eastern town of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225 kilometers) from the border with Afghanistan.

"The U.S. smart plane was captured by Iranian anti-aircraft units somewhere in the sky over Kashmar in the east of the country," the radio said. It did not speculate as to why the drone flew over the town, which lies in an agricultural area known for the production of saffron and Persian carpets.

The radio added that Iran will "soon" broadcast video footage of the downed drone.

Iran first reported the downing on Sunday but did not say when the incident happened. At the time, the official IRNA news agency said Iran's armed forces had shot it down -- a claim later rejected by U.S. officials who said the drone crashed over the weekend but that there was no indication it had been shot down.

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Bonn conference conclusions

Conference Conclusions: International Conference on Afghanistan, December 2011

Published December 5, 2011
These conclusions were presented after the International Conference on Afghanistan held in Bonn, Germany on December 5, 2011.

Afghanistan and the International Community: From Transition to the Transformation Decade


1. We, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the International Community, met today in Bonn to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2001 Bonn Conference, which laid the foundation of the ongoing partnership between Afghanistan and the International Community, and to renew our mutual commitment to a stable, democratic and prosperous future for the Afghan people. We honour all those, from Afghanistan and abroad, who have lost their lives for this noble cause. Afghanistan expressed its sincere gratitude for the steadfast commitment, solidarity and the immense sacrifices of its international partners.

2. Afghanistan and the International Community expressed deep appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany for hosting this Conference. Germany is a longstanding friend of Afghanistan and, in particular over the past ten years, alongside other members of the International Community, has been a steadfast partner in Afghanistan's stabilization and development.

3. Ten years ago today at the Petersberg, Afghanistan charted a new path towards a sovereign, peaceful, prosperous and democratic future, and the International Community accepted the responsibility to help Afghanistan along that path. Together we have achieved substantial progress over these ten years, more than in any other period in Afghanistan's history. Never before have the Afghan people, and especially Afghan women, enjoyed comparable access to services, including education and health, or seen greater development of infrastructure across the country. Al Qaida has been disrupted, and Afghanistan's national security institutions are increasingly able to assume responsibility for a secure and independent Afghanistan.


 Read the full article here:

Soldiers Conduct 36 Hour Patrol (+video HD)

Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Delta Company, 2-2 Infantry, conducted a 36-hour patrol in villages in Khudza'i Province, Marmurwal, Andar District and Ghazni Province. Coalition forces often use patrols to secure villages and in some cases, entire districts.

In this report, Petty Officer Erick Holmes takes us on a unique patrol that pushed a group of soldiers to the limit. Sound bites from 1st Lt. Louis Christ, Platoon Leader, Delta Company, 2-2 Infantry. Hometown; Eldora, N.J. Courtesy Video

watch in HD (720p, 1080p)

Bomb Kills 19 Civilians in Helmand

At least 19 Afghan civilians died in a roadside bomb blast in southern Helmand province on Wednesday morning, local officials said.

A minibus struck a roadside bomb while driving in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, triggering an explosion that killed 19 Afghan civilians, officials said.

The vehicle was driving on a road in Helmand province's volatile Sangin district — a Taliban stronghold — when it hit the bomb, said Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Helmand government.

At least five children were among the dead, he said. Another six people were wounded and all were being treated at a NATO base. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack — a common situation when bombs kill civilians.

Insurgents use improvised explosive devices to target Afghan and foreign troops, but most of the victims are civilians.

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Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi claims Kabul suicide attack

A Pakistan-based terror group known as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi, an offshoot of the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed it executed today's suicide attack in Kabul that killed more than 50 Shia worshippers. From The Guardian, which has a partial backgrounder on the group:


A Pakistan-based terror group known as the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi, an offshoot of the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed it executed today's suicide attack in Kabul that killed more than 50 Shia worshippers. From The Guardian, which has a partial backgrounder on the group:
A spokesman for an obscure Pakistani extremist group called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi claimed responsibility in a phone call to Radio Mashaal - a Pashto language radio station. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi is a small faction based in Pakistan's tribal area and is considered an even more radical offshoot of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, (LeJ), a murderous anti-Shia group founded in 1996. Both groups act as surrogates for al-Qaida.
The Taliban was quick to distance itself from Tuesday's bombing and the Afghan Taliban has generally avoided sectarian violence. The Pakistani Taliban, however, has its roots in anti-Shia violence, and LeJ acted as the training ground for its leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.
LeJ maintained training camps in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime but has not mounted attacks in Afghanistan in recent years. It is believed to have been behind some of the most audacious attacks in Pakistan, including the September 2008 bombing of the Marriott hotel in Islamabad and the armed assault on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in March 2009.
The group also claimed responsibility for the massacre of 29 Shia pilgrims on a bus in Pakistan's Baluchistan province in September, and an attack on an Ashura procession in Karachi in 2009 which killed 30 people.
Until now, the splinter group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi was best known for kidnapping two former Pakistani spies and a British journalist in the tribal area last year.
The two former agents with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Colonel Imam and Khalid Khawaja, were abducted in North Waziristan along with the British journalist Asad Qureshi, who was making a film for Channel 4.
The kidnappers demanded a $25m (£16m) ransom for Imam, who was regarded as the godfather of the original Afghan Taliban for his undercover work in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
Pleas from the leaders of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network of militants went unheeded by the group. Imam and Khawaja were executed. Qureshi was later freed.
The Guardian narrative isn't 100 percent correct, however, as Hakeemullah Mehsud, the leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, is seen on videotape executing Colonel Imam. See LWJ reports, Hakeemullah Mehsud alive, shown on tape executing former ISI officer, and Taliban, Hakeemullah Mehsud execute Colonel Imam. Given the incestuous relationships between jihadist groups in Pakistan's tribal areas, it is likely that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi and the Taliban were both involved in Imam's murder. In fact, the so-called "Asian Tigers" claimed they kidnapped and executed Imam. The Asian Tigers were likely just a mashup of Taliban and LeJ fighters and commanders who were put together for the specific purpose of killing Imam and Khawaja, and thus giving a degree of plausible deniability to both the LeJ and the Pakistani Taliban.
While at present there is no evidence that the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi actually carried out the suicide attack in Kabul, the target - Shia worshippers - fits their profile. One thing is clear: the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi al Almi, which has never conducted an attack in Afghanistan, must have had help from the Taliban and/or the Haqqani Network in order to execute the suicide bombing. It is highly unlikely that the group would score such a devastating strike on its first try. It probably leveraged the infrastructure of the so-called Kabul Attack Network, which in itself is a network of key elements from the plethora of terror groups operating in and around the capital (al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin).

Spanish Troops to Start Afghan Withdrawal in January

Spain's Defence Minister, Carme Chacon, said on Tuesday that his nation's troops will start withdrawing from Afghanistan in January 2012.

Spain has about 1,500 troops in Afghanistan, most of them based in western Badghis province. It has lost 32 soldiers in Afghanistan since 2002.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently announced that Afghan forces will take responsibility for providing security in Badghis in the second phase of security transition.
The defence minister said that the transfer of authority to Afghanistan agreed by Karzai is good news for Spain.
Chacon confirmed that in January "the withdrawal of Spanish military forces will begin, just as we planned."

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24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Amphibious Squadron 8 conduct training off Florida coast

USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7) OFF THE COAST OF FLORIDA-Marines with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit conduct rifle movement drills during sustainment training aboard the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Dec. 6, 2011. Lance Cpl. Michael Petersheim, 12/6/2011 4:33 AM
The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Squadron 8 have sailed down the Eastern seaboard from their home stations of Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Norfolk, Va., to conduct a training exercise off the coast of Florida in preparation for their deployment scheduled for early next year.
The Marines are planned to be operating around the Mayport, Fla. area in the coming days as part of Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) – a test of the Navy-Marine Corps team’s ability to rapidly plan and execute a number of missions based off scenarios they could possibly face once deployed. 
The current scenario has the 24th MEU and PHIBRON 8 preparing for a wide variety of missions in a fictional country in the vicinity of Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville, Fla.  This training mission is similar to the type of real-world operations the 24th MEU and PHIBRON 8 participated in during their last deployment in 2010.
Approximately 2,100 Marines are participating in COMPTUEX and are currently embarked aboard the amphibious assault ships that comprise PHIBRON 8 – USS Iwo Jima, USS New York and USS Gunston Hall.  The training is scheduled through Dec. 21 and will include a number of exercises including a non-combatant evacuation of personnel; visit, board, search and seizure of maritime vessels at sea; and aviation training for the various aircraft of the 24th MEU.  The Marines will conclude the exercise with an amphibious assault and offload back at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“This training provides the 24th MEU the opportunity to exercise their abilities as a Marine Air Ground Task Force synchronizing the ground, air and logistics elements of its Battalion Landing Team, Aviation Squadron, and Combat Logistics Battalion,” said Col. Frank Donovan, commanding officer, 24th MEU.
“The missions we’re conducting with our Navy counterparts off the Florida coast are complex and the unique opportunity we have to train in Florida, in unfamiliar territory, will better prepare us for what we may face once deployed,” said Donovan.
While the 24th MEU and PHIBRON 8 are operating in the Jacksonville and Mayport areas, locals may notice increased aviation operations with MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters. Marines will be on the ground conducting their humanitarian assistance scenario in the vicinity of Naval Station Mayport later this week.
The training is meant to develop cohesion between the 24th MEU and PHIBRON 8 in conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations while operating from the sea. 
“We appreciate this opportunity to train somewhere new and appreciate the support from the Jacksonville area,” added Donovan.
The training off of Florida is planned to conclude early next week when the 24th MEU and PHIBRON 8 sail north back to the coast of North Carolina. 
Private First Class Robert Roessler, a rifleman with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, sights in on his M-16 A4 service rifle during training drills aboard the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Dec. 6, 2011.Lance Cpl. Michael Petersheim, 12/6/2011 4:29 AM

Marines with Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct a practice combat reload of their service rifles with their eyes closed, aboard the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Dec. 6, 2011. Lance Cpl. Michael Petersheim, 12/6/2011 4:40 AM

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Pearl Harbor: Lest We Forget

December 6th, 2011
The following blog post is written by MC2 Xander Gamble, of Defense Media Activity in Ft. Meade, Md., who is on assignment in Pearl Harbor to capture events commemorating the 70th Anniversary of America’s acknowledged entrance into World War II.

While in Pearl Harbor for the 70th Anniversary of the unfortunate events that occurred on Dec. 7, 1941, I had the opportunity to speak with many civilians and ask their feelings of how they felt about being here for that event. The answers that I received were as wide in variety as the people I interviewed. I even had the opportunity to talk with veterans who were here on the day the attack happened. One veteran told me he received a “free haircut” when a blast had singed his hair. The most important thing that was stressed by every one of these individuals was that, “we should never forget.”

The following are photos of those individuals I had the opportunity to talk with, including Pearl Harbor survivors and people from the USS Utah and USS Missouri memorials. To help us remember Pearl Harbor, please join us, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube, to remember this anniversary.

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Dec 7,1941: A Day that Lives in Infamy

On this day, in 1941, December 7th, 353 planes from 6 Japanese Aircraft Carriers launched a surprise attack on the United States Military, particularly the US Navy Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The surprise attack came in the middle of diplomatic negotiations between the US and Japan in Washington DC, and killed 2,402 Americans and 64 Japanese, forcing the United States into war with the Axis, including both Japan & Germany, under the dictatorship of the National Socialist Party.
The intent of neutralizing the US Navy served only to awaken the Sleeping Dragon.

Until that day, anti-war protests had prevented Roosevelt's resolve to ally the US with Britain and the Soviet Union against Germany.  Not even the slaughter of 200,000 Chinese civilians by Japanese Troops at Nanking, in December 1937, had been sufficient to turn the protestors against the Japanese.

By the end of the war, Germany would count approximately 7 Million killed (in addition to the 6 Million Jews murdered) and the Japanese nearly 3 Million.  The United States suffered 418,500 killed and the British 450,900, as well as the Canadians 45,400.  The Soviets sacrificed 23.4 Million due to their use of people, soldiers and civilians alike, in human waves.  China lost between 10 and 20 Million, mostly civilians at the hands of the Japanese.

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US hopes Pak officers will return to Afghan border liaison centers soon

Captain John F Kirby, the Acting US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, has expressed hoped that Pakistan's officers would return to border coordination centers soon.

"We are aware that Pakistan has decided to remove some of their liaison officers from some of the border coordination centers. This is certainly Pakistan's right. We hope those liaison officers can resume their duties soon in as much as their presence is designed to help us reduce the risk of another such incident occurring," The Express Tribune quoted Captain Kirby, as saying.

It was reported yesterday that Pakistan was pulling troops out of at least two of the three centres meant to coordinate military activity across its border with Afghanistan, apparently in protest against the recent NATO attack.

The move will hamper US efforts to cooperate with Pakistani forces, increasing the risk that something could go wrong again, , US military officials had said.

The recent NATO attack has soured the relationship between both countries to such a degree that Islamabad refused to attend the Bonn Conference on the future of Afghanistan.

Reports suggest that the Pakistan Foreign Office had also summoned its envoys from several world capitals in protest against the NATO attacks.

Envoys posted in Europe, Afghanistan, India and the US, among others, have been asked to give their recommendations for a strategy to counter possible NATO attacks in the future. (ANI)
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3 militants killed 27 detained in Afghan army operations

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 –
Officials in the ministry of defense of Afghanistan following a statement said, at least three militants were killed and 27 other suspects were detained by Afghan security forces following military operations across the country during the past 24 hours.

The source further added, the operations were conducted in southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces, western Herat province and eastern Paktiya province during the past 24 hours.

According to the statement, Afghan security forces seized some weapons and ammunitions including an AK-47 assault rifle and explosives from Nawa district eastern Ghazni province.

Afghan security forces also seized at least 12 improvised explosive devices including two hand grenades and motorcycle from the Panjwai district of southern Kandahar province and motorcycles used by militants from southern Helmand province.

Officials in the ministry of defense of Afghanistan also said, at least two Afghan national army soldiers were injured during the operations in Panjwai and Greshk districts of southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces.
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Dec. 07., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 7) —
 A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban facilitator during an operation in Qalat district, Zabul province, today.

The facilitator was responsible for making and employing roadside bombs.  Additionally, he armed and moved insurgents through the province and provided information on Afghan government officials for future insurgent attacks.
The security force detained seven other suspected insurgents during the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


In Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, coalition forces observed three insurgents emplacing an improvised explosives device during an operation yesterday. The force called in an explosive ordnance disposal team, which successfully found and destroyed the IED. While conducting a follow-on search of the area, coalition forces discovered 150 pounds (68 kg) of marijuana, which was destroyed at the scene. There were no reports of any harmed civilians or property during the operation.
A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered three weapons caches in Tarin Kot district, Uruzgan province, today. The caches consisted of 11 mortars, six 60 mm rounds, four 82 mm rounds, three recoilless rifles, various IED making materials and small arms ammunition. All weapons will be destroyed at a future date.
A Taliban facilitator was captured by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during a night operation in Qalat district, Zabul province, today. The Taliban facilitator was responsible for road side bomb attacks along Highway One. An additional suspected insurgent was captured during the operation.


A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a cache of IED components during a patrol in Nawaw district, Ghazni province, yesterday. The cache consisted of approximately 1,600 pounds (727 kg) of ammonium nitrate, 300 pounds (136 kg) of potassium and 200 pounds (90 kg) of aluminum powder. Security forces confiscated all materials for destruction at a later date.
A Taliban leader was captured by a combined Afghan and coalition security force during a night operation in Chamkani district, Paktiya province, today. The leader conducted roadside bomb attacks throughout the area. Seven other suspected insurgents were also detained.

R.I.P. - Sgt. Ryan D. Sharp

DOD Identifies Army Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
            Sgt. Ryan D. Sharp, 28, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, died Dec. 3, at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds suffered Nov. 21 at Kandahar province, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.
            For more information, please contact Fort Riley public affairs at 785-240-6359 or 785-307-0641 or via email at or .

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