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Archive for February, 2009

US Naval Forces Central Command.

USS MONTEREY, At Sea (Feb. 26, 2008) – The Danish flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16) successfully deterred an attempted pirate attack on the Chinese M/V Yandanghai at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Absalon closed on the coordinates given by the Chinese ship following their distress call and spotted a skiff matching the description given by the captain of the motor vessel. A Danish boarding team then boarded the suspected skiff, finding several weapons, including a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), four AK-47 assault rifles, two grenades and a knife. The weapons were cataloged and confiscated.

The suspected pirates were unable to board the vessel due to evasive measures taken by the ship’s crew who engaged their fire hoses to keep the suspected pirates a safe distance from the ship.

According to Yandanhai’s captain, two of the motorvessel’s crew sustained minor injuries during the attack.

CTF 151 is a multinational task force that conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment.

The Danish flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16), right, the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) transit the Gulf of Aden. Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national task force conducting counter-piracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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US Naval Forces Central Command.

USS MONTEREY, At Sea (Feb. 26, 2008) – The Danish flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16) successfully deterred an attempted pirate attack on the Chinese M/V Yandanghai at approximately 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

GULF OF ADEN (Feb. 20, 2009) The Dutch flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16), right, the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) transit the Gulf of Aden. Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national task force conducting counter-piracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)

GULF OF ADEN (Feb. 20, 2009) The Dutch flexible support ship HDMS Absalon (L 16), right, the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Mahan (DDG 72) transit the Gulf of Aden. Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national task force conducting counter-piracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)

Absalon closed on the coordinates given by the Chinese ship following their distress call and spotted a skiff matching the description given by the captain of the motor vessel. A Danish boarding team then boarded the suspected skiff, finding several weapons, including a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), four AK-47 assault rifles, two grenades and a knife. The weapons were cataloged and confiscated.

The suspected pirates were unable to board the vessel due to evasive measures taken by the ship’s crew who engaged their fire hoses to keep the suspected pirates a safe distance from the ship. According to Yandanhai’s captain, two of the motorvessel’s crew sustained minor injuries during the attack.

CTF 151 is a multinational task force that conducts counter-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and was established to create a lawful maritime order and develop security in the maritime environment.

Source: CENTCOM.

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MNFI.

FOB ISKAN, Iraq – Soldiers, Iraqi Police and power plant workers gathered to transfer authority of Forward Operating Base Iskan from Coalition forces to the Ministry of Electricity during a ceremony here Feb. 22. The ceremony officially turned over the responsibilities of the FOB to the Ministry of Electricity and signified that the Iraqi government has the capability to secure the Musayyib Thermal Power Plant.

Al Abd Al-Ameer Al-Yasseri, the General Director of Operations at the Ministerial Presidency and Lt. Col. Steven Miska, commander, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, both spoke about what it meant to transfer the responsibility for FOB Iskan over to Iraqi officials. “This transfer of authority reinforces the Iraqi government’s independence and demonstrates the capabilities of the Iraqis,” said Miska.

Lt. Col Mary Morehouse, Deputy Director of Personnel, Logistics and Resource Management for Multi-National Force – Iraq, and Al-Yasseri, signed the official paperwork transferring the authority of FOB Iskan over to the Ministry of Electricity.“The Iraqis have come to a point where they can stabilize security on and around the FOB ” said Capt. Bradley Kinser, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander, 1st Bn., 2nd Inf. Reg. The Musayyib Thermal Power Plant is located on FOB Iskan. The power plant provides power to the majority of Babil Province and 25 percent of the electricity to Baghdad.

Security for the plant will be one of the major responsibilities for the Ministry of Electricity. The last attack by ant-Iraqi forces on the FOB happened around late October 2008, when a mortar attack occurred and left many Iraqis without electricity. The power plant had stopped generating electricity in 2003 due to anti-Iraqi forces’ activities.

Coaltion forces maintained the security on the FOB, while the Iraqis fixed and continued to work in the power plant. Approximately 1,600 employees work at the power plant.

Lt. Col. Mary Morehouse, deputy director of Personnel, Logistics and Resource Management for Multi-National Force – Iraq, and Ali Abd Al-Ameer Al-Yasseri, general director of operations, Ministerial Presidency, prepare to sign the official paperwork transferring the authority of Forward Operating Base Iskan to the ministry of electricity during a ceremony, Feb. 22. The ministry of electricity will be in charge of maintaining security for the Musayyib Thermal Power Plant and its 1,600 employees located on the FOB.

Source: CENTCOM.

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by Beth Reece
Defense Logistics Agency

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (Feb. 24, 2009) – As 17,000 soldiers and Marines ordered to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama prepare to deploy this spring and summer, logisticians already are orchestrating the shipment of critical supplies such as food and lumber. The Defense Logistics Agency here has been working with U.S. Central Command’s Deployment Distribution Operations Center in Kuwait since January to support the troop increase requested last year by U.S. Forces Afghanistan Commander Gen. David D. McKiernan, Navy Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich, director of DLA’s Logistics Operations and Readiness Directorate, said.

The operations center merges experts from U.S. Transportation Command, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Army Materiel Command, DLA and service components. Together, they plan the most efficient and timely movement of supplies to troops. “We’re planning for increased demands of food subsistence, building supplies, spare parts and packaged petroleum products in Afghanistan,” Heinrich said. “All of our supply centers are deeply involved with the CDDOC and working closely with DLA support teams in Kuwait.” Defense Supply Center Philadelphia is partnering with the operations center to ensure collapsible housing units are sent where needed.

“The [distribution center in Kuwait] is playing a role in metering the flow — some by air, some by ship — and getting them to where they need to be to meet warfighters’ requirements,” Heinrich said. “The fact that they’re doing that and have visibility, and we know who to talk to there, has been very beneficial to DLA.

Heinrich, who headed the operations center during a voluntary five-month deployment last year, said the arrangement is working because the right people are working together in the right ways. “Our response to warfighters is greater because DLA and its strategic partners have put boots on the ground over there, which allows us to fuse our information and be persistent,” he said.

The operations center is the first of its kind to be used in wartime, Heinrich said. It was established in 2004 at Centcom’s request, with the goal of achieving shorter delivery times and lower costs.

The admiral said he believes the center already has made big improvements. The center lets DLA members see how the supplies they procure are actually sent to customers, he said, which challenges them to evaluate agency processes and occasionally make adjustments that speed delivery.

For example, he said, small changes at the Defense Distribution Depot Kuwait, Southwest Asia, shortened the time it takes to prepare pallets for shipment.

“DDKS produces about 60 pallets each day for air delivery, and when you send a pallet via air, there’s an expectation that it’s going to get there fast,” Heinrich said. Pallets built at the depot were being weighed and measured on the airfield, then offered for bid to commercial carriers.

“But the CDDOC started looking at the process and asked, ‘What if we did all this at DDKS?’” he said. “‘Can we improve the process?’”

Two months later, the depot had installed the Air Mobility Command’s Global Air Transportation Execution System, which gives visibility of pallets awaiting shipment.

“So we were able to report those air pallets as soon as they were built at DDKS to the people who offer them to commercial carriers,” Heinrich said. “What took about seven and a half days now takes about two days.”

Partnerships generated at the center are being used now as the depot assumes management of a formerly Navy-owned warehouse in Bahrain.

“Today, when folks in Bahrain requisition material from Kuwait, we fly it at a cost of about $1.98 a pound,” he said. “Now that we have a warehouse in Bahrain, we can fill it with material from Kuwait and, working with Transcom, we can truck it, and it will only cost us about 10 cents a pound.”

The center also has improved end-to-end distribution by increasing cargo visibility and maximizing airlift assets. And by initiating the use of “pure pallets,” which contain items for one customer only, the center eliminated the need to break down and repackage cargo for specific users in theater.

“The CDDOC plays an important role in synchronizing operations right there on the ground,” Heinrich said.

“The future for CDDOC is limitless, and I feel lucky to have been a part of its beginning,” he added. “It’s made me a better logistician and a stronger member of the DLA team.”

Source: CENTCOM.

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This lady is not only beautiful, she has been gifted by God with a very sweet and tender voice. Please listen to her sing. When I first heard her, I knew I had to share her with you. I hope this edifies you today. 😉

This song is so true. I pray these words for every Servicemember who is in the line of fire and those who are not. Also, I would like to extend my prayer to those who’ve served before and never received the proper recognized. I remember you. I thank you for your service. Welcome home.

Remember – He is always there for you. All you have to do is reach out and ask for His Guidance, Love, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Help, and whatever is your need. He is always Faithful. God bless you, and have a very blessed day.

Tip o’ the hat: David L. Brown aka Blade Runner.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, The Conservative Underground, Smart Girl Politics and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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by John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (Feb. 23, 2009) – Violent attacks in Iraq are at their lowest levels since August 2003, a U.S. commander in Iraq said Sunday. Army Maj. Gen. David Perkins, director for strategic effects with Multi-National Force – Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad the downtick in violence marks a 90-percent decrease since the surge of U.S. troops began in 2007.

Perkins added that on Feb. 20, no Iraqi civilians were killed or even targeted in attacks. “This is a very significant event, and we are seeing more and more days like that throughout Iraq,” he said.

Contributing to the improved security are the growing Iraqi security forces, which have increased the size of their ranks from 463,000 last year to 618,000 now – a 25-percent boost. “It’s not only an increase in the size and numbers, but the capability such as planning, orchestrating these very complicated operations, and then leading throughout the country of Iraq,” Perkins said.

He added that Iraqi forces led and planned security for the countrywide provincial elections last month, in which some 7 million Iraqis participated in balloting that featured 14,000 registered candidates. “On election day this year, there were no attacks which resulted in any disruption to any of the voting that went on,” Perkins said. “This is in comparison to the last national election period in 2005, where we had hundreds of attacks on election day, with 44 deaths.”

Election results are being widely accepted by victors and vanquished alike, he said. “If you take a look at emerging democracies, historically, it is generally the second election that is sometimes more difficult than the first election,” the general said. “By the time the second election comes, those who may have to lose power or give up power are not necessarily as excited about doing that.”

“But the fact that we’ve had this second election and a very large number of people participating, both as candidates and as voters,” he continued, “shows the enthusiasm that Iraqis have for the democratic process here in Iraq.”

The downturn in violence comes as U.S. forces begin transferring a greater share of power to Iraqi forces in keeping with the status-of-forces agreement that became effective Jan. 1. The agreement between Washington and Baghdad stipulates that American combat forces pull back from cities and villages to major bases by June 30.

“There is no doubt that we will be out of the cities by June, and we are working this day by day,” Perkins said. “And you can see many of these facilities we have already transferred, as well as the upcoming ones, are part of this plan to move out of the cities.”

An Iraqi policeman enteres an abandoned building in the Saha section of Baghdad earlier this month. Vast improvements among Iraqi Security Forces are among the reasons violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since 2003.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ The Conservative Underground, Smart Girl Politics and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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Is Your Faith Curious?

I heard a very intriguing sermon this morning, and I was wondering if I was the only one who was curious about those questions sometimes mistaken for doubt. Remember as a child how everything was brand new and it had to be explored? Do we do this with something that is so fascinating and wondrous we cannot even describe it sometimes, yet do we examine it with the same enthusiasm? Gosh, I wish I did. I must confess, I do not. After this sermon, I think I just may start!

This is such a question, I think it would be a good idea to leave it up to discussion. I know I could use all the help you can offer. Thanks. 😉

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Today is an open trackback at Rosemary’s Thoughts. You are all welcome to add this URL to your post, trackback to me, and I shall add your name as a contributor. This means you can post whatever you like (tasteful and edifying) here. You don’t have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a blessed day.

Cross-posted @ The Conservative Underground, SmartGirlPolitics and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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