Sunday, December 18, 2011

Drone Watches Last U.S. Convoy Leave Iraq

A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator provides over-watch as the last convoys cross the border out of Iraq at 11:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). U.S. Air Forces Central Command provided more than 14 Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft to ensure safe passage for more than 125 vehicles filled with Soldiers and Airmen as they make the historic trek across the border. This transition is not only an end to the war, but also the beginning of a new phase in the U.S.'s relationship with Iraq.

Grenade attack wounds 20 in Afghanistan

English: A view of Khost, Afghanistan in April...Image via Wikipedia
At least 20 people were wounded when a man threw grenades at a police vehicle in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, an official said.

Grenade attacks are relatively uncommon in Afghanistan but it was the second time in less than 48 hours that police have been targeted in such a way.

The attacker threw at least two grenades at a police pick-up truck in a crowded market in Khost city before fleeing the area, Khost provincial police spokesman Mir Akbar Mangal told AFP.

"Twenty people, including several police, were wounded in the attack. No one has been killed," he said. Police are hunting the attacker.

Khost province borders the Pakistan tribal areas and is a stronghold of the Haqqani militant group, which has links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban has said it was behind a grenade attack on a police station in Kabul on Friday night.

Police said nobody was injured after a man lobbed at least one grenade at a district police station in the west of the capital.

The insurgents, who have been fighting NATO-led foreign troops and Afghan government forces for a decade, use roadside and suicide bombs more than grenades.

The United Nations said the number of civilians killed in violence in Afghanistan rose by 15 per cent in the first six months of this year to 1,462, with insurgents blamed for 80 per cent of the killings.
There are about 140,000 international troops, mainly from the United States, in Afghanistan helping government forces combat the insurgency.
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Dec. 18., 2011. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during a routine patrol yesterday in Reg-e Khan district, Helmand province.

The cache consisted of 2,500 pounds (1,134 kg) of marijuana, 30 pounds (13.6 kg) of poppy seeds and 75 pounds (34 kg) of marijuana seeds.

All of the drugs were destroyed on-site without incident.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a drug cache during a patrol in Zharay district, Kandahar province, today. The cache consisted of approximately 500 pounds (227 kg) of hashish. Security forces destroyed the cache on-site without incident.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a munitions cache during a patrol in Lashkar Gah district, Helmand province, today. The cache consisted of 10 anti-personnel mines, 11 electrical boxes used as detonation devices and approximately 45 yards (40 meters) of detonation cord. Security forces destroyed the munitions on-site without incident.

In Zharay district, Kandahar province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered two weapons caches during a patrol yesterday. The two caches combined consisted of two 155 mm rounds, one 107 mm round, one anti-personnel mine, two 88 mm rounds, 12 pressure plate detonation devices and various improvised explosive device-making components. The security force destroyed all munitions on location.

A combined Afghan and coalition security force discovered a weapons cache during a patrol in Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, yesterday. The cache consisted of four emplaced improvised explosive devices, one rocket propelled grenade warhead with two boosters, multiple radios, one large jug of explosive material and various assortments of wire and small-arms ammunition. The security force confiscated all materials for destruction at a later date.

Santa's "Reaper"

A Christmas hat is placed on a MQ-9 Reaper at the 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, Dec. 16, 2011. The MQ-1 and MQ-9 were both dressed for a group photo embracing the holiday spirit.

Photo by Senior Airman Corey Hook

hi-res available without watermark, just leave a comment if you needed

Afghan soldiers take the lead in Operation Aggressor Tora

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan -- A combined Afghan and coalition security force decreased insurgents’ ability to carry out attacks in the Panjwa’i district, Kandahar province, during a two-week operation called; Operation Aggressor Tora.

Afghan National Army Soldiers from 2nd Kandak, 1st Brigade, 205th Afghan National Army Corps lead the entire operation and were supported by Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

The first Afghan Army-led operation in southern Kandahar Province, Aggressor Tora, resulted in the capture of a large number of weapons, commonly used by insurgents to attack Afghan and coalition forces.

Afghan Army forces discovered three house-born improvised explosive devices, eleven IED’s, 50lbs of homemade explosives and one hand grenade; while also destroying a Taliban fighting position.

U.S. commanders, who maintained an advisory role during the operation, praised the Afghan National Army for their success in the operation and the local villagers for their continued support for Afghan National Security Forces throughout the district.

1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs
Story by Sgt. Thomas Duval

Russia Seizes Iranian Bound Isotopes

The danger classification sign of radioactive ...Image via Wikipedia

Russian authorities say they have seized radioactive material at a Moscow airport from the luggage of a passenger traveling to Iran.
The Customs Service issued a statement Friday, saying the radioactive isotope Sodium 22 was seized at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport some time ago from an Iranian citizen.
The agency said the discovery involved 18 pieces of radioactive metal that triggered airport sensors.
Officials said the isotope produced by particle accelerators can be used for medical or research purposes.
It was not immediately clear if there was any connection to Iran's controversial nuclear program, but officials say an investigation is under way.
The passenger's name was not disclosed.
Iran's ISNA news agency Friday quoted an official at the Iranian embassy in Moscow as denying that radioactive materials were seized from the luggage of an Iranian passenger. He said that about a month ago, a misunderstanding arose in connection with a student who was carrying some materials for dentistry uses.
Russia built Iran's first nuclear power station and has delivered nuclear fuel for the reactor.
Western nations accuse Iran of pursuing nuclear technology in order to make nuclear weapons — a charge Tehran denies.

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Salem family welcomes rescue dog from Afghanistan

an awesome story, they'll got a nice, peaceful Xmas

Learn more about Puppy Rescue Mission

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Salem, Ore. family has grown by one after a different kind of rescue mission.
Friday night, the Wardle family picked up “Lucy” at the Portland Airport. Lucy is a rescue dog from Afghanistan, saved by the grassroots group “Puppy Rescue Mission.”

“The dogs will go on missions,” said Tessa Wardle. “They alert these soldiers when people are coming. They’re amazing.”

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers depend on Afghan dogs like Lucy to act as sentinels and companions in a war zone. Many of the dogs are killed by explosives or gunfire.

Tessa’s husband, James Wardle, is a U.S. combat engineer stationed in the mountains of Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. He helped rescue Lucy and is looking forward to seeing her when he returns home soon.

“To be able to bring that animal home and let them know ‘you’re free.’ Not only am I out of that place, but you’re out too and we’re out together. That’s a huge thing,” said Tessa Wardle.

Learn more about Puppy Rescue Mission

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