Monday, November 5, 2012

R.I.P. - Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne, Spc. Ryan P. Jayne, Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz

DOD Identifies Army Casualties

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            They died of wounds suffered Nov. 3, when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device in Paktia province, Afghanistan.

            Killed were:

            Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne, 29, of Port Henry, N.Y.; 

            Spc. Ryan P. Jayne, 22, of Campbell, N.Y.; and

            Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz, 27, of Alden, N.Y.

            They were assigned to the 178th Engineer Battalion, 412th Theater Engineer Command, Oswego, N.Y.

            For more information media may contact the 412th Theater Engineer Command at 601-613-2272.

Spc. Ryan P. Jayne
from theeveningtribune:
By John Anderson
Posted Nov 05, 2012 @ 09:50 AM

CORNING — The Daily Reporter has received the following release from the Department of Defense today, announcing the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
They died of wounds suffered Nov. 3, when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device in Paktia province, Afghanistan.

Killed were:
            Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne, 29, of Port Henry, N.Y.;
            Spc. Ryan P. Jayne, 22, of Campbell, N.Y.; and
            Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz, 27, of Alden, N.Y.

They were assigned to the 178th Engineer Battalion, 412th Theater Engineer Command, Oswego, N.Y.
 Jayne's father, Paul, said the family is flying out of the Corning Regional Airport on Tuesday to Dover, Del., today and will return Tuesday. They expect Ryan to be flown in to Corning on Wednesday ro Thursday.
Funeral arrangements are being set.
Paul Jayne told the Daily Reporter Sunday, "His mother and I should not have to bury our oldest child ... There is no more honorable, dignified way to go than serving your country."
from pressrepublican:

Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne
PORT HENRY — Port Henry resident Dain Venne was killed in Afghanistan Saturday while serving with the U.S. Army Reserve.

Venne, 29, was on patrol when a roadside bomb exploded, according to preliminary reports.

Two other soldiers died with Venne when the bomb went off.

His parents are Brian and Laura (Harris) Venne of Port Henry. His father is a longtime Moriah town justice. Laura is a teacher at Moriah Central School.

Dain Venne was with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division headquartered at Fort Drum, but reported to the Canton-Oswego U.S. Army Reserve Training Center. He had served one tour in Iraq and the current one in Afghanistan.

The family was notified Saturday afternoon, according to friends.

Venne was a graduate of Moriah Central School and was a student at St. Lawrence University in Canton when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. He enlisted in the U.S. Army soon after, friends said, in an effort to serve his country in a time of need.
Spc. Brett E. Gornewicz

Governor Cuomo Directs Flags to Half-Staff

Albany, NY (November 5, 2012)

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff on Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 in honor of three United States Army Reserve Soldiers from New York who died in Paktiya Province, Afghanistan on November 3.
Specialist Brett E. Gornewicz from Alden, Specialist Ryan P. Jayne from Campbell, and Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne, from Port Henry, died of wounds sustained when their humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device.
The three men were assigned to the 444th Engineer Company which is headquartered in Oswego. The unit is an element of the 178th Engineer Battalion of the 412th Theater Engineer Command.
"Along with all New Yorkers, I mourn the deaths of Specialist Gornewicz, Specialist Jayne and Staff Sgt. Venne," Governor Cuomo said. "These young men were all volunteers who lived and worked in our communities and gave their lives for our great country. We extend our condolences to their friends, their families, and their fellow Soldiers."
Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state's service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

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Somali pirates free Seychelles fishermen after year's captivity

English: Map showing the extent of Somali pira...
English: Map showing the extent of Somali pirate attacks on shipping vessels between 2005 and 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
MOGADISHU/VICTORIA (Reuters) - Somali pirates have released two Seychellois hostages they had in captivity for a year, officials from both countries said.

The two fishermen were hijacked last November in their boat, the Aride, some 65 miles west of Mahe in Seychelles and taken to the Somali port of Hobyo, a base for many pirates, before being moved inland to the central town of Adado, where they were held.

"The Office of the President has confirmed that - following extensive efforts by President James Michel - Rolly Tambara and Marc Songoire have been freed in Somalia, where they had been held hostage for the past year," the Seychelles president's office said in a statement.

"The two Seychellois fishermen are now in a safe area and arrangements are being made to convey them to Seychelles by the speediest means."

A pirate known as Mohamed from Adado said late on Saturday the captors had been given a $3 million ransom, but this could not be independently verified.

Somalia, which is only now getting a functioning government after two decades of chaos and civil war, is next to the Gulf of Aden's busy shipping lanes. Poverty and lawlessness have in recent years lured many young men into piracy, where ransom payments for crew and ships can yield millions of dollars.

An international naval flotilla in the region has stepped up pre-emptive action against the pirates, including strikes on bases on the Somali coast. Shipping firms are increasingly deploying armed guards and other measures such as heightened watches and razor wire to improve security on vessels.

"The two men ... have now been flown out after negotiation with the Somali and Seychelles government," Ahmed Salad, commissioner of Adado District in central Somalia, told Reuters on Sunday.

By Mohamed Ahmed and George Thande

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Clashes among Afghan & Pakistani Taliban, 4 killed

According local authorities in eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan, armed clashes among the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban militants left at least four people dead in this province.

Provincial governor Mosa Khan Akbarzada confirming the report said the incident took place following verbal clashes among the Pakistan and Taliban fighters.

Mr. Akbarzada further added at least four people including two Pakistani Taliban and two Afghan Taliban militants were killed in Andar district in this province.

This comes as an Afghan Taliban leader was killed following clashes with the Pakistani Taliban militants in Quetta city of Pakistan recently.

In the meantime local authorities in western Farah province of Afghanistan announced at least 37 Taliban militants were killed or detained during special military operations by Afghan commandos.

A spokesman for the Afgan special forces Nastu Nasiri said the operations were conducted by Afghan and coalition security forces in Gulistan district on Sunday.

He said Afghan commandos and coalition security forces killed 7 Taliban militants and arrested 30 others during the operations without suffering any casualties and seized several weapons, ammunitions and explosives during the operations.

Gulistan distict is bordering southern Helmand province of Afghanistan and majority of the Taliban militants have reportedly fled to Helmand province as a result of the military operation.

Taliban militants group yet to comment regarding the reports.

By Sajad - Mon Nov 05, 3:28 pm

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Five bomb blasts hit Bahrain capital, two killed

Police officials work at a bomb site in capital of Manama, Bahrain, November 5, 2012 –Reuters Photo
DUBAI: Five bombs exploded in the heart of the Bahraini capital Manama on Monday, killing two people, officials said, in rare attacks targeting civilians during the 21-month-old uprising against the kingdom’s US-backed rulers.

The blasts, one outside a cinema, could be a sign that radical elements of the opposition are escalating violence.

They took place days after the government said it had banned all rallies and opposition gatherings to ensure public safety.

The victims were Asian street cleaners and one died after kicking a device which then blew up, said the Interior Ministry.

It said the bombs were home-made and described the blasts as “terrorist acts” – its term for attacks by opposition activists.

Police have been targeted by explosions several times this year, as the government has stepped up efforts to quell the uprising that has simmered since democracy protests broke out in early 2011.

But bombs targeting civilians are rare in the Gulf nation, where the Sunni Muslim Khalifa dynasty rules over a majority Shi’ite population. The kingdom hosts the US Fifth Fleet, which patrols oil shipping lanes in the Gulf region.

The explosions on Monday took place between 4.30 am and 9.30 am (0130 and 0630 GMT) in the Qudaibiya and Adliya districts of Manama, the BNA agency said, citing a police official. It described the explosives as “locally made bombs”. A third Asian worker was wounded, it said.

Washington has called on Manama to begin dialogue on democratic reforms with the opposition but criticism has been offset by its support for a country that plays a key role in U.S. efforts to challenge Iranian influence in the region.

The United States and Gulf allies fear Iran’s nuclear energy programme is a front for developing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Iran, a Shi’ite power, also denies accusations from Manama of fomenting the unrest in Bahrain.

Thirty-five people were killed in Bahrain during protests in February and March 2011 and the two months of martial law that followed.

But almost daily clashes have continued since between protesters and riot police in Shia districts.

Activists and rights groups say nearly 50 civilians have been killed in clashes with police since the end of martial law in June last year, while the authorities say two policemen have died including one killed by a bomb attack last month.

Opposition politician Matar Matar of Shi’ite party Wefaq said he doubted opposition activists were behind Monday’s attacks, noting that leading Shi’ite clerics had called on followers to avoid escalating the conflict with the government.

He suggested the police or military may have been responsible, or a rogue unit.

“This incident is strange – why would anyone target workers?” he said. “I’m worried that police and military are losing control of their units or it is (preparation) before declaring martial law.”

The rallies ban announced last week was condemned by Amnesty International as a violation of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

from DAWN

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Haqqani commander killed in drone strike

PUL-I-ALAM (PAN): A Haqqani network commander was killed in an ISAF drone strike in the Baraki Barak district of central Logar province, an official said on Monday.

Mullah Ghafar, the slain commander, was involved in roadside bomb attack in Logar and Maidan Wardak provinces, the Baraki Barak district chief said.

Mohammad Rahim Amin told Pajhwok Afghan News civilians were not harmed during the overnight raid on a house in Lamroz area.

In the Khan Tepa area of the district, three militants were killed in a clash sparked by an attack on a police check-post, Amin said. One attacker was detained in wounded condition.

from Pajhwok
by Abdul Maqsud Azizi on Nov 5, 2012 - 14:54

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Nov. 05., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban senior leader in Kandahar province today.

The arrested leader commanded all Taliban fighters within Kandahar city and eastern Panjwa’i districts. He directed attacks against Afghan and coalition forces while coordinating the movement of supplies, weapons and improvised explosive device making-materials throughout Kandahar province to support the Taliban insurgency.

The security force also detained two suspected insurgents as a result of the operation.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


Afghan and coalition security forces seized 1,270 kilograms (2,800 pounds) of opium and 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of heroin following a brief firefight in southern Helmand province in which one insurgent was killed and another was detained Saturday. The vehicle and drugs were destroyed on site.


Afghan Police members of Provincial Response Company Ghazni, enabled by coalition forces, seized a cache of explosives and IED making materials in Ghazni Province yesterday. The seized items included three 40mm rocket-propelled grenades, one antitank mine and one IED with detonation cord ready to use. All materials were destroyed on location.

An Afghan and coalition force detained three suspected insurgents during a security operation in search of a Haqqani leader in Khost province today. The leader is believed to be responsible for multiple attacks throughout southern Khost province as well as IED emplacement. During the operation, the security force also seized an assault rifle and numerous grenades.

Afghan and coalition forces killed two insurgents engaged in threatening activity during separate operations in Kunar and Logar provinces Sunday.

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Nov. 05., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed five insurgents, detained two, located a weapons cache and cleared two improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Nov. 4.

Ghazni province
Afghan National Army soldiers and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Ab Band district.

Khowst province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained an insurgent during an engagement in Bak district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Nangarhar province
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an IED in Bati Kot district.

Paktika province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces killed five insurgents and detained one during an engagement in Giyan district. The detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

Parwan province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces discovered a weapons cache in Bagram district. The cache contained 16 mortars and four rockets.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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Update on the DoD and National Guard Response to Hurricane Sandy

November 04, 2012

Update on the DoD and National Guard Response to Hurricane Sandy

            The Department of Defense continues to flow forces, capabilities, and logistical supplies to the New York/New Jersey region in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to Hurricane Sandy.  The department continues to focus on following priorities:  unwatering; power generation; and the distribution of fuel to first responder vehicles, emergency vehicles, and to the citizens of New Jersey and New York.

            Here’s today’s update on DoD’s response to Hurricane Sandy (as of noon EST):

            DoD Operations:

            -  To date, U.S Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) has delivered 117 power restoration vehicles and 244 technical personnel from March Air Force Base, Calif., and Phoenix, Ariz., to Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.  An additional 11 flights are scheduled for today from various locations in Washington and Texas to Stewart Air National Guard Base (ANGB), N.Y.

            -  Today, two C-130 aircraft will deliver FEMA blankets from Little Rock, Ark., to Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.

            21 USTRANSCOM aircraft are currently on alert in support of Hurricane Sandy relief operations.

            -  The secretary of defense approved FEMA’s request for DoD to provide 100 Engineering Teams (with high-capacity pumps and personnel) to support FEMA operations.

            -  Yesterday, the secretary of defense approved U.S. Northern Command's (USNORTHCOM) requests for the following:

            -  Additional Forces:  Forward Support CompaNew York, and Theater Gateway (Human Resources / Movement Support) Team.  (Total: 130 personnel) -- 24 hour Prepare to Deploy Order (PTDO) Status:  Sustainment Brigade; Headquarters and Headquarters CompaNew York Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB); Headquarters and Headquarters CompaNew York Movement Control Battalion; Transportation Palletized Load System (PLS) CompaNew York; Inland Cargo Transfer CompaNew York (ICTC); Maintenance CompaNew York; Signal CompaNew York; four Movement Control Teams; three Theater Gateway Teams; (Human Resources / Movement Support) (Total: 1,020 personnel).

            -  The 172nd Preventive Health team (from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.), the 227th Preventive Health Team (from Ft. Bragg, N.C.), and the 43rd Veterinary Team (from Ft. Hood, Texas) are expected to arrive at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. (JBMDL), today.

            -  The 6th Medical Logistics Movement Center (MLMC), from Ft. Detrick, Md., received is preparing to deploy to JBMDL arriving today.

            -  The Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU), the USS Wasp, the USS San Antonio, and the USS Carter Hall and 26th MEU, is off Breezy Point and is ready to respond if requested.  The ARG/MEU is capable of providing the following support: air support, basic engineering support, commodities distribution support, limited surface mobility support, medical services, and preventive medicine support.

                        -  Assets include: six SH-60Ss, three MH-53Es, six CH-53Es, six UH-1N/Ys and two Landing Craft Utility (LCU).

            -  2nd Marine Logistics Group (MLG) Detachment is in Ft. Hamilton, N.Y., and prepared to support recovery operations if requested.

            -  The Training Ship (TS) Empire State is in New York and in use with 266 first responders being berthed and fed; TS Kennedy is enroute and scheduled to arrive tomorrow; Ready Reserve Fleet Vessel SS Wright is enroute to arrive today, Nov. 4.

            -  Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).  The agency has approximately 230 trucks with approximately 1.6 million gallons of fuel capacity operating in the affected area.  DLA has access to approximately 24 million gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.

                        -  DLA has coordinated with a contractor to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in assessing damage and determine requirements to restore port operations.

            Food, Health, and Comfort Items: 

            -  1.5 million meals have been delivered to FEMA facilities in West Virginia (750,000 went to Charleston and 750,000 to Martinsburg).  Providing 500,000 meals to Bennett Field, Brooklyn, N.Y., and 500,000 meals to JBMDL by today.

            -  1.3 million meals are at vendors and ready for delivery, and 1 million meals are on schedule for New York City by tomorrow.

            -  DLA delivered 1,000 cots/1,000 blankets to Ft. Hamilton, N.Y., for the National Guard. 3,000 cots were delivered to JBMDL, and 150,000 emergency blankets are being delivered to New York City.

            -  500,000 meals to Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, N.Y., are expected to arrive today.

            -  500,000 meals to Lakehurst N.J., are expected to arrive today.

            -  1 million Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) to Ft. Hamilton, N.Y., are expected to arrive today.


             DLA is executing the purchase of 12 million gallons of gasoline, 12 million gallons of diesel.  230 fuel trucks are on contract to support of fuel distribution.

            -  On Nov. 3, the New York National Guard dispensed 20,954 gallons at three retail distribution gas stations at armories in New York (Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island).

            -  Approximately 287,000 gallons of motor gas and 170,000 of diesel fuel (primarily for generators) were moved into the area yesterday, Nov. 3.

            -  DLA is also filling a 300,000 gallon FEMA order for points of distribution in Egg Harbor, West Orange, and Freehold, N.J.; 200,000 gallons to support three New York/New Jersey airfields, and 80K gallons to FEMA in support of Verizon.

            -  DLA delivered 30,000 gallons of gasoline and 30,000 gallons of diesel to the New York/New Jersey Armories in Vineland, West Orange, and Freehold, N.J.  DLA has set up fuel points of distribution in Bayonne, and Mille Airpark, N.J., to support FEMA.

            -  A DLA vendor has 440,000 gallons of fuel available with 200,000 gallons enroute and 100,000 gallons of gasoline on order for JBMDL.


            -  107 pumps (1500 GPM and up) delivered to JBMDL yesterday, Nov. 3.

            -  Pumps #1 and #2 of the four high capacity 68,000 GPM at Craven Point, N.J., are being re-positioned to Joint Base Lakehurst. Pumps #3 and #4 are enroute to Lakehurst today, Nov. 4.

            -  Five submersible pumps moved in support of Navy Salvage.


            -  51 Generators (500-2000KW) are at or in transit to JBMDL.

            Army Corps of Engineers (USACE):

            -  USACE has over 400 personnel supporting Hurricane Sandy response operations.  Priority Missions include: unwatering, temporary emergency power, restoration of ports, and debris cleanup.  USACE has created and deployed USACE-FWD-NY and USACE-FWD-NJ with two senior leaders in support of relief efforts. Yesterday, the chief of engineers toured the Hoboken Ferry Terminal along with Mayor Dawn Zimmer and FEMA officials in New Jersey.  Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is expected to meet with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today.

            Task Force Ports

            -  Hoboken Terminal.  Power is on via the terminal’s backup generator at the ferry passenger terminal and can support 4,000-7,000 passengers per day.  Fuel supply is being monitored, approximately 2-3 days of supply on hand with a fuel source identified.  USACE is working on three courses of action to increase the passenger capacity to 20,000 per day.  USACE is moving two large generators to the site to support operations, one to backup the terminal’s backup generator and the second to supply power to the New Jersey Transit rail operation.  Both are expected to be on site by Nov. 5.

            -  Liberty State Park Ferry, N.J.  USACE has been asked to assess the port for suitable docking facilities to support Hoboken Ferry operations.

            -  International Tank Terminal, N.J.  Assessment is complete.  USACE has prepared a generator package currently staged at Ft. Belvoir, Va.; awaiting orders to move.

            Task Force Unwatering

            -  53rd Street Tunnel and Rockaway Waste Water Treatment Plant: completed by New York City authorities.

            -  Currently pumping at:  South Ferry Station; Battery Exchange Tunnel; Passaic Valley Waste Water Treatment Plant; World Trade Center; Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and Montague Tunnel.

            -  Mobilization in progress: Queens Midtown Tunnel; PATH Train (Jersey City-World Trade Center); and 14th Street Tunnel.

            -  USACE has 91 additional pumps with varying capacities staged or available via contractor staged and ready for deployment as needed.

            -  Task Force Power: USACE is continuing to support emergency power restoration efforts.

            -  Received 68 validated requests and installed 64 generators with an additional 15-40 more deployments projected in the next 24 hours.

            -  335 generators are staged at forward locations.

            -  Expecting generator support mission assignments to support polling locations.

            -  Assumed responsibility for management of a New York generator yard, (200 generators at Citi Field) and 45 generators (at the Incident Support Bases).

            -  USACE has begun planning for generator redeployments in anticipation of power being restored at current deployment sites.

            -  Task Force Debris. USACE has stood up the task force to begin processing debris removal mission assignments.  There are SME team leaders, SMEs and/or PRTs located at four locations in New York/New Jersey with 16 personnel assigned.  This total is expected to increase to 80 in the next 24-48 hours.

            National Guard Operations:

            -  The National Guard continues significant response and recovery efforts. National Guard leadership has been assured at state level that state police in New York and New Jersey will provide all security at retail fuel distribution points.

            -  Over 7,600 National Guard personnel are assisting in response and recovery efforts across region affected by Sandy.

            -  New York National Guard:  Over 3,500 Guard personnel and 604 vehicles are supporting relief efforts. New York National Guard is conducting high-water evacuations and transportation out of the five boroughs and continues supporting power restoration, traffic control, debris removal, wellness checks, and food/water distribution.  They are the designated water and petroleum distribution for all supported state agencies.  They have five military police companies conducting presence patrols, traffic control points, and augmentation of local law enforcement agencies.  The New York National Guard 2nd CST has deployed their Unified Command Suite and providing communications support to the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management. 

            -  800 plus National Guard members and 200 plus more vehicles expected to arrive at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, N.Y., no later than tomorrow.

            -  New Jersey National Guard:  2,029 National Guard personnel on duty.  Assisting New Jersey State Police and Fire Department with rescues, security, and evacuations.  Conducting debris clearance/removal, high water vehicle operations, shelter support, food and water distribution, and power generation.  New Jersey National Guard is still conducting aerial support missions including FEMA damage assessments.  Five New Jersey armories were identified by FEMA as fuel distribution sites; the state of New Jersey has requested that only West Orange and Freehold be used for operations.

            -  There are also 10 heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks arriving from Pennsylvania, with 40-50 personnel that will be integrated into the overall refueling effort.  They also requested a Joint Incident Site Communication Capability from Pennsylvania National Guard to enhance their interoperability in communicating with civilian first responders.

            -  Delaware National Guard:  120 personnel are moving to New York today to assist with recovery efforts.

            -  Connecticut National Guard:  634 National Guard personnel on duty.  Connecticut National Guard personnel are conducting route clearance, high wheel transport, aviation, power generation, and security missions as part of recovery efforts.

            -  West Virginia National Guard:  607 National Guard personnel are conducting community assessments, medical evacuation, and debris removal.  West Virginia National Guard aviation is conducting route reconnaissance in isolated, snowbound areas of the state.
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