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Operation Enduring Freedom Draws to Close

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel each issued statements today marking the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan. Story | Statement

Nations to Share Info on North Korean Threats

The South Korean and Japanese defense ministries and the U.S. Defense Department have finalized a trilateral information-sharing arrangement concerning threats posed by North Korea. Story

Airman during training in South Carolina

Defense.gov Launches Year-in-Review Sites for Stories, Photos

The Defense Department launched its annual Year in Review and Year in Photos microsites on the Defense.gov home page. Story

Battaglia speaks at the 2014 Military Bowl

Battaglia Praises Military Medical System at Military Bowl Festivities

Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised military medicine during festivities for the 2014 Military Bowl. Story

Photo EssaysMore »

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Lead Photos

Photo: MVP TROPHY

Virginia Tech’s J.C. Coleman accepts the Military Bowl 2014 MVP trophy after Virginia Tech’s 33-17 victory over Cincinnati University at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., Dec. 27, 2014. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

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Special ReportsMore »

The president authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct targeted airstrikes to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq. He also authorized a humanitarian effort to save thousands of Iraqi civilians on Mount Sinjar from the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. One person has the power to teach resilience, recognize warning signs, intervene, chat, or make a call; it only takes one person or one act to save another person's life. The Department of Defense, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs, has launched the CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 150 CFC national and international campaigns raising millions of dollars each year. Defense Department employees nationwide have the opportunity to give to the DoD campaign from Sept. 1, 2014 to Dec. 15, 2014. In his memo, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel expressed his unwavering support for the campaign and strongly encouraged members of the workforce to participate in any way they can. The United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region, in light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine.Defense Department leaders and their spouses extend holiday wishes to U.S. troops and their families around the world.The Defense Department named cyberspace a new domain of warfare in 2011. Today, U.S. Cyber Command, the services, and U.S. partners and allies are working together to make that inherently collaborative, adaptable environment a suitable place for military command and control.The fiscal year 2015 defense budget request works to square priorities with resources, Defense Department officials said while calling for a 1 percent pay raise for the military.

Features

Focus on the Forces

Cookie Caper Brings Taste of Home to Forces Serving OverseasThis story contains video.

Volunteers participated in the annual Cookie Caper, providing 24,000 Christmas cookies for airmen stationed on Misawa Air Base, Japan. Video

Face of Defense

Air Force Airman Dimas Bernacchia Career Dreams Come True for Italian-Born U.S. Airman

Dimas Bernacchia, who was born in Italy, now lives his dream by serving as an American airman. Story

In The Spotlight

Priya Butler, director of operations, USO Southwest Asia USO, Friends Help Bring Christmas to U.S. Troops in Baghdad

More than 7,000 presents have been donated to service personnel deployed in Iraq by groups wanting to show their support for the troops during the holiday season. Story

Experts Scan World Horizons for Biothreats

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is working to advance its biosurveillance capabilities with a goal of increasing global health security. Story | Special

Science and Technology

Scientists Work to Improve Disease Diagnostics

Defense Department scientists are working around the world to improve disease diagnostics with many supporting the U.S. Ebola response in West Africa. Story | Special

‘Armed With Science’ Recognized Among Top 50 National Blogs

The Defense Department’s “Armed with Science” blog has been honored for the second consecutive year as one of the nation’s top 50 “must-read” information technology blogs. Story | Blog | Special

Twitter Activity

RT @DoDNews: http://t.co/FDsfQaKRCr launches 2014 year-in-review microsites. Check out DoD's work and accomplishments here: http://t.co/zsO…
#Marine fires an M777 A2 howitzer during a live-fire exercise on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. @USMC http://t.co/Cl8jfCnjJ0
RT @ResoluteSupport: Gen. Campbell:"The momentous events of 2014 reinforce our optimism … The first peaceful, democratic transition in Afgh…
RT @ResoluteSupport: Gen. Campbell:"Working together, AFG and NATO, through the Resolute Support mission, we cannot fail … Working together…
RT @ResoluteSupport: NOTICE TO OUR FOLLOWERS: Reflecting the launch of @NATO's new mission in #Afghanistan, @ISAFMedia is now officially @R
RT @USNATO: Afghanistan - International Security Assistance Force to Resolute Support Mission ceremony | Photos @ISAFmedia http://t.co/emMP…
RT @USNATO: Resolute Support -- NATO's ongoing commitment to Afghanistan | Factsheet: http://t.co/e0S7aXBzl2 http://t.co/sbDE6IN4k7
RT @USNavyEurope: Check out some great #C6F imagery highlighting daily operations in today's Status of the Fleet: http://t.co/UaXbmwUZ9L
RT @DoDNews: .@MarshallDoDNews: Battaglia Praises Military Medical System at Military Bowl Festivities, http://t.co/yVBs8SomQr http://t.co…
RT @PentagonPresSec: New US mission in Afghanistan to be called Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Focused on train, advise & assist, as well as…
RT @PentagonPresSec: In statement, #Secdef lauds "hard & heroic work" of our troops, civilians, families & partners in Afghanistan: "They m…
RT @WhiteHouse: "The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion." —President Obama #Afghanistan http://t.co/0nNd…
#Marine provides security while conducting a patrol during exercise Steel Knight 15 @USMC http://t.co/Pv4gnSBvQ4
See how U.S. soldiers support Operation United Assistance in this photo essay. http://t.co/vjyi3uMfUa http://t.co/N6rUa0uudF

Facebook Activity

The Department of Defense launched its annual Year in Review and Year in Photos special reports on its flagship website today to showcase the work and accomplishments of the department’s military and civilian workforce in 2014.

Click the link for some of the best photos from Afghanistan in 2014.

For more photos: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/1214_yip/


Air Force Airman 1st Class Johnny Lamb signals to a KC-135R Stratotanker pilot to stop on McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., Dec. 22, 2014. Lamb is assigned to the 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Victor J. Caputo

http://www.defense.gov/homepagephotos/leadphotoimage.aspx?id=100017


Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praised military medicine yesterday during festivities for the 2014 Military Bowl. Read more here, http://oak.ctx.ly/r/293e7 .



ISAF to RS Change of Mission Ceremony

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Change of Mission Ceremony from International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Resolute Support Mission was held in Kabul on 28 December 2014.ISAF was created in accordance with the Bonn Conference in December 2001 and it’s mission closes on 31 December 2014. It is now replaced with a smaller non-combat mission – Resolute Support Mission – which will provide further support for the continued development and sustainment of the Afghan security forces and institutions post-2014
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel each issued statements today marking the end of the combat mission in Afghanistan. Read more here, http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123887.

F-35 Lightning II Program Meets Aircraft Production Goal for 2014 | F-35 Lightning II
www.f35.com
The official website of the F-35 Lightning II. The Joint Strike Fighter is the next generation fighter to support the US Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, United Kingdom and defense partners in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. JaLissa Farr provides security while conducting a patrol during exercise Steel Knight 15 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 14, 2014. Farr is a motor transport operator assigned to Headquarters, Battalion Security Platoon, 1st Marine Division.

U.S. Marine Corps photograph by Lance Cpl. Adrianna R. Lincoln


Marines guide an M1A1 Abrams tank during a combined arms exercise on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 11, 2014. U.S.

Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos

For more photos: http://www.defense.gov/photoessays/photoessays.aspx#


U.S. Army Maj. Juli Fung provides a medical screening for a Honduran child during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise in the Department of Gracias a Dios, near Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras. Dec. 17, 2014. Fung is assigned to Joint Task Force-Bravo’s Medical Element, which provided medical care to more than 1,500 Honduran citizens during the two-day operation. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Tedesco



Timeline Photos
USS Donald Cook to Enter Black Sea. Read more here http://cne-cna-c6f.dodlive.mil/uss-donald-cook-to-enter-black-sea-2/
Marine Corps Cpl. Kuamutsua Xiong moves under the concealment of smoke during a combined arms exercise on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 17, 2014. Xiong is a radio operator assigned to Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos


Check out the latest issue of Airman magazine http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1o showcasing some of the best visuals of 2014 from around the Air Force.

Apple: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1r
Android: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1s
Kindle: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1u

No tablet? Click to read from your PC/Mac: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28z1v


100th year of naval photography celebration continues. All Hands salutes Navy photographers, past and present. From the photo gallery of http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28ym8 All Hands Magazine brings you the best photos submitted in 2014. Take a look at their Facebook page: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28ymg


Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr. and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald visited with wounded service members at the Center for the Intrepid.

http://www.army.mil/article/140514/


A sailor greets his family on the pier after completing a six-month deployment in Everett, Wash., Dec. 19, 2014. The sailor is assigned to the USS Rodney M. Davis, which returned from its final deployment to the Pacific and Indian oceans. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Justin A. Johndro


The guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd, left, and USS Wayne E. Meyer display their lights during Naval Base San Diego’s third annual Holiday Lights Open House in San Diego, Dec. 19, 2014. During the event, the public was invited to drive through and observe the decorated ships along the base's waterfront.
U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Amanda Chavez


"It’s worth the effort to have a happy holiday. No matter where you are, or what you’re going through." oak.ctx.ly/r/28pqt



Timeline Photos
Silent Night Deployed #3ID Soldiers gathered with the Bagram Airfield community for the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service in Afghanistan. (U.S Army Photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs) #DogFaceSoldiers #ROTM #SilentNight #ChristmasEve
Pfc. Tamiesha Scriven presses the switch during the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance tree lighting event in Monrovia, Liberia, Dec. 18, 2014. Although away from family for the holidays, Scriven and other Soldiers find ways to stay connected: http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28v27
Soldiers magazine http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28v2a wants to know how have you stayed connected with your friends and family while deployed for the holidays?
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rashene Mincy)


Happy Holidays from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his wife Lilibet! oak.ctx.ly/r/28uo1


Happy Holidays from Chuck & Lilibet Hagel

Holiday greetings for troops and families from Chuck & Lilibet Hagel.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today called service members taking part in U.S. operations around the world to wish them a Merry Christmas, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. Read more here, http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28ue6.
"Merry Christmas everybody!" —President Obama and @FLOTUS in the weekly address: http://go.wh.gov/y4DgKx
cc: The White House


Weekly Address: Happy Holidays from the President and First Lady

In this week’s address, the President and First Lady wished Americans a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and thanked our brave troops for their service.
Santa Claus and service members bow their heads in prayer during the Joint Forces Command – United Assistance holiday tree lighting event on Barclay Training Center in Monrovia, Liberia, Dec. 18, 2014. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Rashene Mincy

See more of how troops participated in #holiday events in this Defense.gov photo essay, http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28tzr #holidaymemories


Merry Christmas to all DOD personnel everywhere and your families!
Here are some favorite #HolidayMemories from some of our service members currently serving overseas. Comment down below and share your favorite holiday memory? oak.ctx.ly/r/28pqk


Holiday Memories from Deployed Heroes
Gen. Mark A. Welsh, his wife Betty and several airmen send #Holiday greetings to service members and their families. http://oak.ctx.ly/r/28aoh


Holiday Message from the Air Force Chief of Staff

A holiday message from the Air Force Chief of Staff.



British and German troops gather on a soccer pitch at ISAF Headquarters to sing "Silent Night" and play a soccer match to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce (Weihnachtsfrieden). The truce took place on the front lines of World War I when British and German forces temporarily stopped fighting to exchange seasonal greetings and share goodwill. (U.S. Army video by Col. Brian Tribus) HM Armed Forces German Army/Deutsche Bundeswehr #GoodwilltoAll

Blogs

Track Santa Claus With NORAD Website
The North American Aerospace Defense Command’s NORAD Tracks Santa website, http://www.noradsanta.org/, features a mobile version, a holiday countdown, new games and daily activities and more for children.    More
Loving My Not-So-Happy Holidays Each Year
Blogger Jessica L. Tozer shares her story about her life-long (but not intentional) tradition of having not-so-happy holidays, and why she still thinks it’s a day worth celebrating.   More

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