Lead Photos

December 2011

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U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta places his coin on a U.S. service member’s grave in Tripoli, Libya, Dec. 17, 2011. Panetta visited the western cemetery where U.S. Marines and sailors killed in the 1800s are buried. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo



As seen through a night vision lens, U.S. soldiers patrol an area of the Shorbak Desert in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 11, 2011. The soldiers are assigned to 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Phil Kernisan



Robert D. Ward, right, shakes hands with Terry Mitchell, audiovisual division chief for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, during Ward's retirement celebration at the Pentagon, Dec. 28, 2011. Ward served as an official photographer to defense secretaries and deputy secretaries since 1974. DOD photo by Glenn Fawcett



A coalition Special Operation Forces soldier engages anti-Afghan forces during a fire fight in the Gelan district of Ghazni province, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2011. The soldiers were advisors to the Afghan commandos during a Afghan-led clearing operation to disrupt local insurgent safe havens and supply lines. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael S. Creech



U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cody Passaro, Airman 1st Class Jordan Deangelis, and Staff Sgt. Nathan Hollander inspect the wing of an F-16C Fighting Falcon at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Dec. 25, 2011. Passaro, Deangelis, and Hollander, all New Jersey Air National Guardsmen, are assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht



An MH-60 Jay Hawk helicopter hoists Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd class Darren Hicks while conducting rescue swimmer training in the James River near Portsmouth, Va., Dec. 28, 2011. The Jay Hawk crew is assigned to Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and train regularly in swimmer deployments and water recoveries. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd class David Weydert



U.S. Army Spc. Kimberly Nicholls mans her M240 Bravo machine gun during sunset while flying over Logar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 8, 2011. Nicholls is a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter crew chief assigned to Company B, 2-82 Task Force Corsair, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. Nicholls helps escort passengers from Forward Operating Base Salerno to Kabul International Airport. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Austin Berner



U.S. Marine Sgt. Matt Garst speaks with a local man about irrigation during a security patrol near a canal in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Dec. 12, 2011, from which they previously helped rescue nine Afghans. Garst is squad leader assigned to 2nd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder

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