WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama called decisions to send troops to Iraq and Afghanistan “the most important, most sobering” he makes, and said in a Pentagon Channel interview his biggest responsibility to the troops is to ensure he “gets it right.”
WASHINGTON - An early childhood literacy organization has secured more than $1 million in Defense Department funding to expand its military initiative on military bases across the country.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s decision to redeploy all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by the end of August next year emerged from a process that included input from military commanders and senior defense leaders, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said.
WASHINGTON - As President Barack Obama set a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, he praised the military troops and families who have volunteered to “bear the heaviest burden.”
WASHINGTON - U.S. combat troops will redeploy from Iraq by August 2010, leaving about 35,000 to 50,000 American forces there to attend to Iraqi troop and police training, counterterrorism and other duties, President Barack Obama told servicemembers at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
BAGHDAD - Members of the “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group volunteers are transitioning into jobs and educational programs that will be under Iraqi control by April.
BASRA, Iraq - Hundreds of people celebrated the dedication of a new six-court regional justice courthouse slated to become the highest court in Iraq’s Basra province.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget proposal includes a 2.9 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemembers.
WASHINGTON - An initiative aimed at boosting capacity among Central and South American security forces will get put to the test when 18 countries come together for a national security exercise in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon Channel is giving troops a chance to get to know their favorite entertainers a little better with a new video podcast called “Command Performance.”
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - A reporter with some experience in rough travels finds out just how hard it can be to get around in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Coalition and Afghan forces detained eight militants and seized enemy weapons stockpiles in recent operations.
WASHINGTON - Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Korey Ketola has for a second time secured the Navy's award for the most patrols on the submarine he calls "fantastic."
WASHINGTON - Young military children who thought the first day of school was imminent may not have to worry about reading, writing and arithmetic until next year because of a change in entrance age requirements.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - A reconstruction team is bringing hope to Afghan villagers who face harsh conditions.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Coalition reconstruction teams are planning road construction to open eastern Afghanistan to trade, education and healthcare.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget gives the Defense Department nearly $664 billion, an amount Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he’s confident will be enough to sustain the department’s programs.
WASHINGTON - Despite dangers U.S. convoys face in delivering supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan by way of Pakistan, military operations there aren’t susceptible to those threats.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama continued his efforts to fill key Defense Department posts, announcing plans to nominate two more people and to have three others continue to serve in their current posts.
WASHINGTON - News media may photograph the flag-draped caskets of fallen U.S. troops returning home if their families agree.
WASHINGTON - U.S. missile defense is prepared to defend against North Korean threats.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Johnathan Holsey is the first amputee accepted by the Warrant Officer School for his courage and perseverence. He's also scheduled to be a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show."
WASHINGTON - Afghan and coalition forces killed one militant and detained 10 suspected militants in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Khowst provinces.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers detained suspected criminals, averted a bomb attack and seized a mortar cache in Iraq over the past three days, military officials reported.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Coalition forces are outfitting the Afghan National Army by providing hundreds of weapons and dozens of up-armored Humvees through the NATO Force Modernization Project.
BAGHDAD - Army Spc. Bobby Gladney has two small children at home, but re-enlisted in the Mississippi National Guard so he could serve again with his unit in Iraq.
TIKRIT, Iraq - The border with Iran in Iraq's Diyala province is safer thanks to a U.S. Army border transition team.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - The Paktia Provincial Reconstruction Team works to separate Afghans from the insurgency that attempts to undermine coalition efforts and the development of a central government.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Navy sailors aboard the Trident strategic missile submarine USS Maryland prepared to start “angles and dangles.”
WASHINGTON - U.S. and Iraqi forces focus on training as they work together to lay the groundwork for a more secure and self-sufficient Iraq.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - A security force keeps the provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan’s Paktia province safe as it helps to rebuild communities.
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called for collegial discussions among Defense Department leaders to make tough choices about programs and procurement as the defense portion of the fiscal 2010 federal budget takes shape.
WASHINGTON - Projects resulting from the $7.4 billion Defense Department portion of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package will soon be visible.
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - A Utah Army National Guard member won a second-place medal in the world championship bobsled competition.
WASHINGTON - Afghan forces, aided by coalition troops, killed 10 militants and detained six suspected insurgent fighters.
CAMP SMITH, Hawaii - Military intelligence professionals from Asia-Pacific nations gathered to combat terrorism in the region.
TALLIL AIR BASE, Iraq - A father-and-son team is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ rebuilding efforts in Iraq.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has vowed to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps, raise military pay and deliver better care to veterans.
HAMMOND, La. - Louisiana National Guard members serving in Iraq had some traditional Fat Tuesday fun when a support group from their home state sent the Mardi Gras revelry to them.
WASHINGTON - Servicemembers are more practical about their retirement needs than their civilian counterparts, according to a newly released survey.
WASHINGTON - Military musicians normally would struggle to have their voices heard in the cutthroat music industry, but a fellow veteran has given them a chance to get their music released and in the hands of fans worldwide.
WASHINGTON - Acquiring land for U.S. military training is fraught with human and fiscal obstacles.
WASHINGTON - U.S. forces are helping Afghans tough out severe winter weather, providing donated supplies to residents.
WASHINGTON - Thousands of Iraqis are benefiting from U.S. donations of wheelchairs and school supplies.
WASHINGTON - More than 100 servicemembers joined the Run4Chance team at the 28th Annual Los Alamitos 5K “Race on the Base” in California to honor a fallen hero.
WASHINGTON - The VH-71 helicopter being developed as the next-generation presidential helicopter could get the ax before it ever takes flight.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama announced that he will nominate Ashton Carter to be the next undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.
WASHINGTON - Soldiers from the Afghan National Army, aided by coalition forces, killed 16 militants in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Marine Corps Cpl. Kimberly Crawford knows how to make the most of changing situations.
WASHINGTON - Troops nearing retirement eligibility may be able to tap into the transferability benefits provided in the new Post-9/11 GI Bill, even if they’re unable to serve four more years of duty due to service policies.
FORT BELVOIR, Va. - As 17,000 soldiers and Marines prepare to deploy to Afghanisan, logisticians are planning shipments of critical supplies.
WASHINGTON - The detention facilities at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, meet all standards of humane treatment and are in compliance the Geneva Conventions.
WASHINGTON - Violent attacks in Iraq are at their lowest levels since August 2003, a U.S. commander in Iraq said.
WASHINGTON - Combat veterans identified as “catastrophically wounded” now go through an expedited disability evaluation process that lasts about 100 days to begin receiving benefits.
WASHINGTON - Ending the military’s so-called “stop-loss” program is a priority for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
BAGHDAD - U.S. soldiers hosted a bazaar to sell Iraqi women's handiwork to help their businesses and families.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi security forces discovered improvised explosive devices and arrested four suspected criminals in Baghdad.
WASHINGTON - A brigade commander in Baghdad reported record-low violence as Iraqi security forces assume ever-increasing responsibilities.
WASHINGTON - In ongoing humanitarian operations, Iraqi and coalition forces recently celebrated the opening of a medical clinic and three schools.
WASHINGTON - At the heart of filmmaker Jake Rademacher’s documentary “Brothers at War” are the kind of open-ended questions many civilians have about what U.S. servicemembers do and why.
AT SEA ABOARD USS VELLA GULF - Turkey and Singapore have committed forces to join a naval coalition dedicated to conducting counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A member of the Navy Supply Corps came away from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with an appreciation for his guides' logistical skills.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi security forces reported arresting a suspected criminal and discovering munitions during a patrol in southern Baghdad’s Rashid district.
KABUL, Afghanistan - An investigation into a coalition air strike in Afghanistan’s Heart province has confirmed that 13 noncombatants and three enemy fighters were killed.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - A tour of the Traumatic Brain Injury Warrior Resiliency and Recovery Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., made a favorable impression on the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - The construction of a new Soldier and Family Assistance Center at Fort Campbell, Ky., underscores the nation’s commitment to those who sacrifice so much, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
MADISON, Wisc., - Citizens of Wisconsin sent the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team off to Iraq with tears and smiles in the Wisconsin National Guard’s largest operational deployment since World War II.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - U.S. forces were among some 200 guests as the governor of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province hosted a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from the country.
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military fielded its 10,000th mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle in Iraq, just 22 months after it was introduced into the theater of operations.
TALLIL AIR BASE, Iraq - Maj. Robert Kirkpatrick, an Army reservist deployed in Iraq, works to collect and deliver toys to local children.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi and U.S. forces found four explosive devices in Baghdad on Feb. 17, military officials reported.
WASHINGTON - Recent operations in Afghanistan left up to 18 militants dead and another one captured, and one of the operations has triggered an investigation into allegations of civilian casualties.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama emphasized in Canada the importance of strong bilateral cooperation to confront global challenges, calling the situation in Afghanistan among the most pressing.
KRAKOW, Poland - NATO nations are coming through with military and civilian commitments to Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said at the end of the NATO defense ministers meeting.
WASHINGTON - Key meetings helped to pave the way for the Iraqi navy to assume security responsibility for an offshore oil platform and for the Iraqi government to manage its foreign military sales program effectively.
WASHINGTON - Afghan contractors turned out in great numbers for events that showed them how to get more work and how to bid on a power plant project.
WASHINGTON - Kyrgyzstan has given the United States six months to leave Manas Air Base, but discussions continue for a longer U.S. presence there.
NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE KING’S BAY, Ga. - The U.S. Navy has started the process to find a 21st-century successor to the Trident strategic missile submarine.
WASHINGTON - Virtual humans, autonomous robots and self-healing armor are just a few research areas that may provide unprecedented advantages over U.S. adversaries.
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. - Prioritization and “incredible attention to detail” have restored “nuclear surety” in the Air Force, the general in charge of the service’s nuclear program said.
SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. - The nation’s top military officer expressed concern about troops and their families “toughing it out” with frequent deployments and little time together between those deployments during a town-hall meeting on Scott Air Force Base, Ill.
NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE KING’S BAY, Ga. - The Navy’s top leaders and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were among senior officials who paid tribute to the crew of the USS Wyoming Trident strategic missile submarine during a ceremony at King's Bay, Ga.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department is helping troops and their families develop “good financial stewardship."
HILTON HEAD, S.C. - “One team, one fight” is the mantra for local, state and federal leaders preparing for a 2009 hurricane season that forecasters say could include nine major storms.
WASHINGTON - The Army’s Stryker armored vehicle is about to take its first crack at the resurgent Taliban and terrorist strongholds in Afghanistan.
KRAKOW, Poland - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he is encouraged by discussions with NATO allies on the way forward in Afghanistan.
KRAKOW, Poland - A NATO ballistic missile defense system wouldn’t be needed if Iran didn’t pose a threat, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said.
WASHINGTON - With U.S. operations in Iraq shifting from providing security to ensuring Iraqi sovereignty, troops there are stepping up their training of Iraqi forces.
WASHINGTON - Kyrgyzstan’s parliament has voted to close Manas Air Base, a key logistics hub for the U.S. military, but a senior Pentagon official said the base closure would not affect operations in Afghanistan.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Members of a provincial reconstruction team are working hard to double villagers' access to medical care in Paktia province.
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - A quick, three-step process has enabled troops on Camp Liberty, Iraq, to do their part in improving the local environment.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - U.S. Army legal personnel are promoting legal awareness throughout Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan - An international medical training program offers Afghans opportunities to improve their health care.
WASHINGTON - A Colorado-based group is connecting deployed troops with volunteers eager to “adopt” them.
TAJI AIR BASE, Iraq - Aided by U.S. Air Force aircrews, Iraqi air force members reached a milestone in their quest toward self-sufficiency in night-vision operations.
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq - Two Vietnam War veterans are back in the Army -- this time in Iraq.
NAVAL SUBMARINE BASE KING’S BAY, Ga. - The officers and enlisted members who serve aboard the U.S. Navy’s Trident submarines are elite among sailors because of their specialized training and skills.
WASHINGTON - The commander of NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan said the insertion of 17,000 more troops will provide enough manpower to sustain security through the summer.
MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told airmen on Minot Air Force Base, N.D., that he was pleased to see the Air Force had made progress in its nuclear weapons program.
KRAKOW, Poland - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich signed a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation between their two countries’ special operations forces.
ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT - NATO defense leaders are meeting in Krakow, Poland, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and prepare for April’s NATO summit meeting.
WASHINGTON - The Coast Guard is actively engaged in implementing the president’s counter-piracy action plan.
WASHINGTON - Improving a school, issuing small business grants and providing vocational training were just a few of the civil and economic enhancements U.S. forces recently completed in southern Iraq.
WASHINGTON - The opening of a seven-mile road in eastern Afghanistan’s Konar province is affording critical transportation for residents and allowing coalition forces to transfer some security operations to the Afghanistan government.
WASHINGTON - American and Iraqi forces have discovered Iranian weapons in Iraq that were manufactured as recently as last year, a U.S. military official said.
WASHINGTON - The American alliance with Japan is the cornerstone of security in Asia, Hillary Rodham Clinton said during her first trip as secretary of state.
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - A rash of suicide bombings by women in Iraq in 2008 led officials to create a program to empower Iraqi women by fostering equality and ensuring their basic human rights are met.
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. - In an instant, Air Force Senior Airman Alex Eudy went from battling the enemies of Afghanistan to battling for his life.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - U.S. Cavalry scouts and Afghan soldiers conduct dangerous missions along unpaved roads in northeastern Konar province.
WASHINGTON - The 2009 Newman’s Own Award competition, which offers grants for improving the quality of life for active-duty, reserve or National Guard families, is underway.
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has ordered a Marine expeditionary brigade and an Army Stryker brigade combat team -- totaling 12,000 soldiers and Marines -- to Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with his Iraqi counterpart to discuss mutual interests and concerns regarding stability in Iraq.
WASHINGTON - More troops will be needed to adapt to U.S. Army Europe’s evolving missions, the top Army officer in Europe said.
WASHINGTON - Although police in Iraq’s Salahuddin province still require U.S. military support to professionalize, equip and train their officers, they are leading the counterinsurgency effort.
WASHINGTON - A more stable Iraq could counter negative trends in the region from the Middle East to southern Asia, but political ties and the rising influence of Iran complicate the situation.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi and U.S. forces thwarted a convoy attack, detained suspected criminals and seized weapons.
WASHINGTON - Coalition and Afghan forces have killed 16 insurgents in western Afghanistan, including at least three Taliban commanders.
WASHINGTON - The 16 suspected pirates captured recently in the Gulf of Aden by American military ships could face separate prosecutions in countries other than Kenya.
WASHINGTON - Department of Defense Education Activity students are among the 3,000 U.S. high school students chosen as candidates for the 2009 Presidential Scholars Program.
BAGHDAD - The transfer of the “Sons of Iraq” civilian security group to Iraqi government control and the transition into new employment and education activities is moving ahead according to plan.
BAGHDAD - Three officers from the Iraqi army’s training directorate traveled to the United States for discussions on military ethics training and character development.
WASHINGTON - Arizona Army and Air National Guardsmen enjoyed an opportunity to score against National Basketball Association greats Shaquille O’Neal and David Robinson during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend.
BASRA, Iraq - U.S. instructors are training Iraqi sailors how to operate a new, modern boat during a course in Umm Qasr, a port city in southern Iraq.
CAMP ECHO, Iraq - When some people reach a certain stage in life, they may decide to set their dreams aside. But one grandmother of three decided to make her dream come true -- a quarter of a century later.
MONS, Belgium - NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe stressed the need for international cooperation and partnership to members of the alliance’s Parliamentary Assembly.
WASHINGTON - While Africa has made some gains in recent years, the global financial crisis threatens all that progress and more, the director of national intelligence said.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Afghan leaders and members of the Paktia Provincial Reconstruction Team traveled to a remote village to help convince villagers to reject the Taliban.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered an improvised explosive device while conducting daytime operations in the Mansour district of northwestern Baghdad.
WASHINGTON - Afghan and coalition forces killed two Taliban leaders and detained a suspected weapons facilitator during operations, military officials reported.
WASHINGTON - Russia’s perceived strengths and its policies, tensions in Eurasia, Caucasus and Central Asia, and instability in the Balkans all pose challenges to U.S. interests in Europe.
WASHINGTON - U.S. intelligence planners predict the 21st century will be the time for the rise of Asia, the director of national intelligence said.
WASHINGTON - Afghan National Army commandos and coalition forces captured a suspected weapons facilitator in the Anar Dara district of Afghanistan’s Farah province, military officials reported.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi security forces and U.S. soldiers detained three suspected criminals and discovered a roadside bomb while conducting operations in southern Baghdad’s Rashid district, military officials reported.
WASHINGTON - The global economic crisis colors all other threats confronting the United States, the new director of national intelligence said.
WASHINGTON - U.S. troops treated a badly burned Afghan girl and a provincial reconstruction team helped train Afghan soldiers and prison guards in recent examples of efforts to make an immediate and a long-term difference in Afghanistan.
PHOENIX - The managing director of the Men’s USA Basketball National Team signed an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve statement of support.
WASHINGTON - Sixteen suspected pirates captured by American ships are aboard the USNS Lewis and Clark pending decisions on their future transfer.
WASHINGTON - Senior defense leaders are taking a serious and critical look at the president’s fiscal 2010 defense budget request.
WASHINGTON - Seven National Guard and reserve units received recognition for their support of families of deployed troops.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers mentored Afghan contractors to ensure the construction of a new school will last through the harsh climate for years to come.
WASHINGTON - A multiagency center tracks and monitors ice movements to support national interests throughout the world.
WASHINGTON - Afghan commandos liberated three Taliban hostages, detained six armed militants and destroyed a roadside bomb in recent operations.
WASHINGTON - Nearly 100,000 veterans, family members or friends of veterans have reached out for help by calling the Department of Veterans Affairs suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.
WASHINGTON - A deck of cards will help American troops traveling to Egypt for the Bright Star military exercise recognize and respect Egyptian heritage.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military boasts dominant nuclear and conventional capabilities, but must improve its capacity to fight irregular wars, NATO's supreme allied commander for transformation said.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - American Forces Press Service reporter Fred W. Baker III writes about his experiences in Afghanistan, where he is embedded with a provincial reconstruction team and an infantry unit.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi and U.S. forces foiled a bomb attack and seized stockpiles of weapons, military officials reported.
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany - Since it stood up as the air component for U.S. Africa Command on Oct. 1, members of U.S. Air Forces Africa have been building a program aimed at bolstering air safety and security on the continent.
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Soldiers serving with Company A, 27th Brigade Support Battalion, may not be with their loved ones for Valentine’s Day, but they’ve figured out the next best option.
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq - How soon after a traumatic accident would you put yourself back in the same circumstances that nearly ended your life? For one fearless jumpmaster, the answer is “right away.”
WASHINGTON - As Iraq becomes increasingly self-sufficient, U.S. forces remain on hand to offer training and guidance aimed at building relationships and a better future for the nation.
ARLINGTON, Va. - Many people know Abraham Lincoln as the 16th American president or the man who brought an end to slavery. But not many know of his military service.
WASHINGTON - The collision of two communication satellites has left a debris pattern that may affect future space operations.
PIGGOTT, Ark. - Generators from the Arkansas Air National Guard have enabled the school district to resume classes after an 11-day break.
WASHINGTON - Despite challenges in recruiting 17- to 24-year-olds, Army leaders said the service is on track to meet recruiting goals this year, and will not lower standards to do so.
WASHINGTON - U.S. Pacific Command remains vigilant toward the Chinese military while also working toward building a cooperative relationship.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a Mississippi National Guard unit are clearing the way to a safer and more self-sufficient Iraq -- one at sea and the other on land.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - The engineering staff on the provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan's Paktia province oversees nearly $100 million worth of projects.
WASHINGTON - Actor Kevin Bacon joined military and government officials to watch the premiere of “Taking Chance." Bacon stars in the HBO made-for-TV movie about Marine Lt. Col. Michael R. Strobl.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi security forces arrested wanted criminals and, aided by U.S. soldiers, seized several weapons caches.
WASHINGTON - American forces operating in the Gulf of Aden have foiled another instance of piracy and captured nine suspects.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma National Guard members are helping the residents of Lone Grove, Oklahoma, who are recovering after a tornado devastated their town.
WASHINGTON - Just like any other federal employee, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III started his day in-processing through personnel and taking the oath of office.
WASHINGTON - A new career field makes room for 1,600 full-time electronic warfare professionals for the active-duty Army, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard, a senior officer said.
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - Soldiers with National Guard "agribusiness teams" take up plows instead of weapons for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Whether it’s roasting marshmallows around a campfire or fishing in a creek, a Colorado troop-support group is promising a retreat full of fun and relaxation for 80 military families.
CAMP ECHO, Iraq - The fact that Navy Lt. Jonathan Kehoe runs a mile in just over 10 minutes isn't that impressive -- except he does it in a 75-pound bomb suit.
WASHINGTON - When he thinks about the future and evolution of the U.S. military, characteristics of special operations forces comes to mind, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - American Forces Press Service reporter Fred W. Baker III writes about his experiences in Afghanistan, where he is embedding with a provincial reconstruction team and an infantry unit.
ARLINGTON, Va. - The Army National Guard missed its recruiting goal for January, but it remains slightly over its congressionally mandated end strength of 358,200.
WASHINGTON - The individual knowledge and skills U.S. special operators bring to the table are the keys to success against persistent conflicts enduring around the globe.
WASHINGTON - Mileage was made on several fronts in Iraq, with U.S. and Iraqi forces teaming up to get a train rolling again and working to improve the quality of life for Baghdad children.
WASHINGTON - The Air Force has reinstated its Good Conduct Medal for exemplary service by enlisted airmen.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department's premier language school in Monterey, Calif., has launched several new initiatives designed to foster language and cultural outreach.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Army Sgt. Cameron E. Stroeh’s easy smile and relaxed attitude combine to make for an image that sharply contrasts with what most would expect in a wounded warrior.
WASHINGTON - A nonprofit organization and officials from four Veterans Affairs hospitals joined forces to plan four free “Valentines for Veterans” concerts to show appreciation to veterans and their families.
WASHINGTON - The terrorist suicide attacks in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul and the possibility that North Korea soon will conduct another ballistic missile test topped a briefing to Pentagon reporters.
AT SEA ABOARD USS VELLA GULF - The crew of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf apprehended seven pirates in the Gulf of Aden after responding to a distress call from a nearby merchant vessel.
WASHINGTON - About 55,000 members of U.S. Special Operations Command are providing humanitarian aid and training soldiers and police in more than 60 countries, according to their commander Navy Adm. Eric Olson.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi officials re-opened Iraq's main fish market, revitalizing one of the country's biggest industries.
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - An Air National Guard officer has made it into the Air Force Safety Hall of Fame for a revolutionary approach to safety management.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - To maintain a presence in southern Afghanistan, 1st Infantry Division soldiers secured desert land to build Combat Outpost Terminator and had an 11-foot barrier up within two days.
WASHINGTON - When discussing an increased troop commitment in Afghanistan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff cautions that it won’t be a carbon copy of the troop surge that proved so successful in Iraq.
WASHINGTON - U.S. forces are stretched, but they are resilient, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said.
WASHINGTON - For the second consecutive year, the high school culinary arts team from Camp Lejeune, N.C., dubbed the "Ice Cream Team," placed first in the Carolina ProStart Student Invitational.
OTTAWA - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff heard firsthand accounts about the mission in Afghanistan from Canadian soldiers who recently returned from deployments there, including two amputees who have elected to stay on duty.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. National Security Council and NATO must break out of their Cold War designs and adapt to 21st century challenges, National Security Advisor James L. Jones said.
WASHINGTON - Discussions within the administration about the fiscal 2010 defense budget have been cordial and productive, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, but department leaders are prepared to make tough choices.
OTTAWA - Weak governance, particularly in light of upcoming elections, poses the most immediate and pressing challenge in Afghanistan, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
WASHINGTON - Though U.S. special operations forces are working with local and regional governments to reduce and prevent instability on a global scale, very few actually are engaged in direct combat, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command said.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi and U.S. forces are improving the quality of life in Iraq, in some cases, one village at a time.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARDEZ, Afghanistan - Members of the U.S.-led provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan's Paktika province have found themselves in "the center of gravity" on the war on terror, the team's leader said.
WASHINGTON - All active duty U.S. military services and reserve components met or exceeded their January recruiting needs, Defense Department officials reported.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi and U.S. soldiers detained 12 suspected criminals during recent operations in Baghdad.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq - Historically in Iraqi culture, police and judges didn’t work with each other to solve cases. That is beginning to change in Iraq’s Wasit province.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Mina Wali, an Afghan-American woman who lived in the United States for 28 years, returned to Afghanistan to help bring a brighter future to its people.
PRISTINA, Kosovo - The National Guard's support of NATO peacekeeping operations in southeastern Europe is making an important contribution to Kosovo citizens, the National Guard Bureau's chief said.
WASHINGTON - White House officials asked for a list of Defense Department programs that could be part of the $800 billion stimulus bill now under Senate consideration, defense officials said.
WASHINGTON - A Cleveland State University professor has launched a program to help veterans move more easily into academic life.
WASHINGTON - A Web-based self-nomination system officers can use to have their war zone or other experiences evaluated for joint-service qualification has proven to be highly successful.
BAGHDAD - Army Spc. Giselle King is among a small group of soldiers dedicated to ensuring Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers can talk to one another when it counts.
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - A diverse group of soldiers in Iraq helps to ensure aviation crews are ready to conduct show-of-force, reconnaissance and presence patrols throughout Multinational Division Center.
WASHINGTON - During his first news conference on prime-time television, President Barack Obama said the most sobering moment of his nascent presidency has been signing letters to families of fallen troops.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized the importance of de-stigmatizing mental-health care for returning war veterans today as he cut the ribbon on a newly renovated facility designed to improve that care.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - The top U.S. military officer said he doesn't expect the United States to deploy more than about 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, emphasizing the need for the State Department and other U.S. agencies to do their part as well.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - As the military begins to shift its focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, it can't lose focus on supporting troops and their families, most importantly by increasing the “dwell time” at home stations between deployments, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
WASHINGTON - It was pouring liquid sunshine as the Fisher House Foundation and the Veterans Affairs Department prepared to dedicate the 43rd Fisher House in Brentwood, Calif.
WASHINGTON - The security situation in Iraq’s Wasit province is stable, but still brittle, the commander of American troops in the area said.
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - The development of international military-to-military relationships built through the National Guard’s State Partnership Program will become vitally important in preventing future world calamities.
ARLINGTON, Va. - Army National Guard leaders have embraced the yearlong celebration honoring the Army’s noncommissioned officer corps.
BASRA, Iraq - Iraqi officials and coalition partners laid the first batch of cement for a new bridge crossing the Shatt Al Arab River that Iraqis hope will bring economic development to the local Basra area and throughout the country.
ALBU HASSAN, Iraq - While Iraqi soldiers provided security, U.S. soldiers of A Company, 9th Engineer Battalion, performed much-needed maintenance on an Iraqi road outside Albu Hassan.
WASHINGTON - The Coast Guard’s acquisition directorate has marked a number of positive milestones in delivering new assets and capabilities to the field, the Coast Guard’s senior acquisitions official said.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE GARRY OWEN, Iraq - Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team conducted mortar-familiarization training for troops from the 10th Iraqi Army Division's 38th Brigade.
MONS, Belgium - NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe returned from the 45th Munich Security Conference, encouraged by Afghanistan discussions.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Soldiers at Forward Operating Base Blessing in northeastern Afghanistan are finding it easier to keep in touch with family and friends back home thanks to improvements at the morale, welfare and recreation facility.
BAGHDAD - Army Sgt. Patrick Chambers, a motor pool mechanic, is enhancing his skills by volunteering with the brigade's personal security detachment.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi and coalition forces discovered several explosive devices throughout Baghdad.
WASHINGTON - In his address to the 45th Munich Security Conference in Germany, Vice President Joseph R. Biden said allied cooperation and teamwork is vital to meet mutual economic and security challenges.
PRINCETON, N.J. - Navy Adm. Mike Mullen gave a quick view of the world from his perspective as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during a public lecture at Princeton University.
MIAMI - The nation’s senior military officer emphasized the importance of Latin America to U.S. security interests.
WASHINGTON - Charges against an accused terrorist being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were dismissed by the judge who oversees the military commissions system.
WASHINGTON - Though some of them contain peanut butter, the 660,000 packaged military meals the Defense Logistics Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency are shipping to Kentucky and Arkansas storm victims are safe, officials said.
WASHINGTON - With April 15 looming, the Defense Department is on call to take the sting out of tax return preparation for servicemembers.
PRINCETON, N.J. - Investing in servicemembers and keeping them “whole” is a critical defense expenditure, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told members of the Princeton University ROTC.
WASHINGTON - The projected unit cost of the next-generation U.S. Navy destroyer is much lower than the figures being cited in some news reports, a senior Defense Department official said.
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces and members of the U.S. Agency for International Development are continuing their efforts to make Iraq self-sufficient.
WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden will urge stronger allied cooperation to confront mutual security and economic challenges during a security policy conference in Germany.
WASHINGTON - U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested a murder suspect and seized several illegal weapons stockpiles, military officials reported.
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed seven militants and detained 12 suspects during operations designed to disrupt a roadside-bomb cell in Afghanistan’s Zabol province.
CAMP STRIKER, Iraq - Retired Army Col. (Dr.) Lionel M. Nelson has closed his private practice and returned to military service in Iraq.
WASHINGTON - Sixteen million new toys were distributed to 7.6 million children over the Christmas holiday through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
MANAMA, Bahrain - The U.S. Navy is providing humanitarian assistance to the Ukranian ship Faina and its crew following the ship's release by Somali pirates.
PRINCETON, N.J. - All portions of the U.S. government have a role in dealing with any instability that results from the world’s financial crisis, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
WASHINGTON - About 100 high school students spent a day considering information technology as a possible profession while they shadowed IT professionals in the Pentagon.
WASHINGTON - The Army reservist grandson of a Buffalo Soldier joined the Army chief of staff to rededicate a statue honoring the soldiers of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, all-black units made up of former slaves, freedmen and black Civil War soldiers.
SUFFOLK, Va. - A new laboratory being built at U.S. Joint Forces Command’s Joint Warfighting Center in Suffolk, Va., will enable analysts and warfighters alike to “step into” 3-D data fields like those that bombard them during real-life missions.
WASHINGTON - U.S. soldiers started renovations on a high school and transferred a police station to Iraqi leaders, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and 20 partners turned over a renovated prison.
WASHINGTON - Pirates released the Ukrainian ship Faina, which they had held for ransom along with its 21-member crew and cargo since hijacking the vessel off the coast of Somalia in September.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky National Guard troops are delivering record numbers of meals and bottled water as part of the relief effort supporting citizens affected by last week's ice storm.
BAGHDAD - A charity group has teamed up with Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers to hand out wheelchairs, funded entirely through donations, to Iraqis in need.
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - Air Force Staff Sgt. Andrew Jones donated one of his kidneys to a co-worker who was in renal failture. Jones' selfless act prevented years of painful dialysis.
FORT BELVOIR, Va. - The Defense Logistics Agency hired 91 college students with disabilities under the federal government’s Workforce Recruitment Program in 2008, more than any other federal agency.
WASHINGTON - A troop-support group that provides clothing specially adapted for wounded troops recovering in military hospitals, will roll out a new line of garments later this year.
WASHINGTON - As the nation enters its eighth year of war, the military’s highest-ranking officer says he is concerned about the health of the armed forces. He wants to ensure the country takes care of its men and women in uniform.
WASHINGTON - Army Maj. Gen. David Blackledge is doing his part to reduce the social stigma attached to seeking mental health treatment for war-related stress, partly by telling his own story of treatment.
WASHINGTON - A relatively good security environment and hopes for more U.S. troops on the way are laying conditions for more development and economic opportunity in eastern Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - Coalition troops in Afghanistan teamed up with Afghan soldiers to provide supplies to villagers and collect munitions in a rewards program.
WASHINGTON - The top concerns for National Guard's top leaders are having enough equipment for domestic response, supporting mobilized warriors and families, and forging international partnerships.
WASHINGTON - In the quickly changing atmosphere of Iraq, U.S. troops increasingly are focused on preparing Iraqis to take control of their country. That change was evident in recent days.
WASHINGTON - The United States hopes to continue operations at Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, but would use other means to support troops in Afghanistan if the Kyrgyz government goes through with plans to close it, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said.
WASHINGTON - The Multinational Corps Iraq commander said Iraq's government and its security forces deserve praise for overseeing the successful and mostly violence-free provincial elections Jan. 31.
BASRA, Iraq - Iraqi technicians and generator operators improved their skills while completing a four-day course which also focused on safety.
WASHINGTON - Being deployed to Afghanistan as part of a provincial reconstruction team is the experience of a lifetime for an intelligence officer with a passion for Middle Eastern culture.
SELAH, Iraq - U.S. soldiers, provincial reconstruction team members and farmers met to outline the way ahead for the Central Euphrates Farmers Market.
BOISE, Idaho - About 200 soldiers and airmen from the Idaho National Guard are preparing for the 2009 Special Olympics Winter World Games in Boise, Idaho.
WASHINGTON - Accountable and properly overseen contracting procedures that safeguard taxpayer dollars are critical to supporting the war efforts and warfighters in Iraq and Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON - More U.S. troops are needed in Afghanistan to confront insurgent violence and to establish “a baseline of security” there, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has selected a Navy four-star admiral to lead an assessment of operations at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a senior Defense Department official said.
WASHINGTON - Iran’s launch of a low-orbit satellite “is clearly a concern of ours” because it could lead to the development of a ballistic missile system, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.
WASHINGTON - Described by his staff as a renaissance man who embraces the arts and technology, the commander of U.S. Southern Command relies on leadership principles and communication practices he calls the most important tools in his arsenal.
GROVE CITY, Pa. - In a speech aimed at American youth, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, encouraged the college-aged generation to help shape their country’s future.
WASHINGTON - The Defense Department Education Activity is asking parents and students to share their thoughts about what works and what doesn’t in its schools through a customer-satisfaction survey.
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - Deployed soldiers are learning about financial management through the "Financial Peace University" program offered on Camp Victory, Iraq.
BAGHDAD - Coalition officials in Iraq have started to release detainees in accordance with the security agreement that took effect Jan. 1.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq - Army Col. Ted Martin leads a group of soldiers and civilians in Iraq known as the “Underground Model-building Crew.”
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - An Air Force physician assistant is surprising himself as he makes a difference in Afghanistan, coordinating projects that affect almost 500,000 people.
WASHINGTON - Pentagon and NATO officials are weighing options to act against Afghanistan’s poppy-producing industry in light of evidence indicating that associated illegal drug sales help to fund terrorist operations, a senior Defense Department spokesman said.
WASHINGTON - The reserve components today are an integral part of American military might, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Reserve Officers Association.
WASHINGTON - A Military Health System Web site continues to help returning troops and families adjust after a deployment ends.
WASHINGTON - As the Defense Department's need for new military space technology grows, the Operationally Responsive Space office is developing technologies within months instead of years.
WASHINGTON - An Army Reserve human capital strategy called the Employer Partnership Initiative is delivering staffing solutions and incentives to businesses that employ Army Reserve soldiers.
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - As the Iraqi security forces continue to improve their ability to protect Iraq’s people, a strong judicial branch that can help bring criminals to justice becomes increasingly important.
WASHINGTON - More than 100 Afghans and Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team members attended the ceremony of the new $180,000 Bakshi Khiel Bridge in the province.
WASHINGTON - Iraqi police and soldiers in Basra performed well during the Jan. 31 provincial elections, a senior British officer posted in Iraq said.
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. - When Steven Childers decided he wanted to join the Air Force to follow in his father’s footsteps, he knew some changes were in order because he was significantly overweight.
CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - The Indiana National Guard has provided 100 Humvees to the Kentucky National Guard to aid in relief efforts after a crippling winter storm.
WASHINGTON - Throughout Iraq, Iraqi security forces, backed up by U.S. and coalition troops, helped ensure safety as Iraqi citizens voted during provincial elections.
ARLINGTON, Va. - A long-anticipated upgrade to the modular airborne firefighting system used to battle wildfires has been approved for use.
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan National Police and coalition forces rescued a man held against his will and detained his captors in Afghanistan’s Khowst province.
WASHINGTON - The Post-9/11 Veterans Education Bill, a new educational assistance program administered by the Veterans Affairs Department, will be available to qualified individuals Aug. 1.
ARLINGTON, Va. - The National Guard is helping residents of three states recover from a major ice storm that stretched from the Ozarks through Appalachia.
INDIANAPOLIS - Members of the Patriot Guard Riders participated in homecoming ceremonies for Indiana National Guard units in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS - The Hoosier State welcomed home its National Guardsmen who have deployed around the globe during a tribute at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
FORT MYER, Va. - For the third year, the National Football League and the USO of Metropolitan Washington teamed up to sponsor a Super Bowl party for Washington-based troops and their families.
WASHINGTON - Deployed troops watching the Super Bowl game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals were greeted with messages from their new commander in chief and top Defense Department officials.
WASHINGTON - Coalition forces killed two militants and detained nine suspects during operations in Afghanistan, military officials said.
WASHINGTON - Coalition and Iraqi forces detained three suspects and uncovered weapons caches during operations in Iraq, military officials said.
WASHINGTON - Senior military officials congratulated the Iraqi people for holding provincial elections, praising the Iraqi and U.S. forces that helped make the elections safe.
WASHINGTON - The senior U.S. military officer focused on Latin America is visiting Guatemala to bolster the solid U.S.-Guatemalan partnership and underscore the growing importance of international and interagency cooperation.
Soldiers Maximize Physical Fitness