Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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September 9, 2014 at 7:50am

Tuesday Morning Joe: ISIS in US, Homeland Security vs Ebola, US military brain drain, atmospheric CO2 at high ...

An Afghan National Police-Provincial Response Company member readies a coffee pot before other PRC members enter a simulated room during a training session at Forward Operating Base Kutschbach, Afghanistan. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.9.14 >>>

President Obama will go on the offensive against the Islamic State group with a broader counterterror mission than he previously has been willing to embrace.

Degrading, defeating and destroying the Islamic State.

A longtime CIA operative in the Middle East - whose sources are probably as good as you can get - says "I have been told with no uncertainty there are ISIS sleeper-cells in this country."

Helped by the United States and Iran, Kurdish forces and Shi'ite militia are finally beating back Islamic State militants. But the aftermath illustrates the unintended consequences of the U.S. air campaign against Islamic State.

Iran has detained three foreigners suspected of trying to join ISIS forces in neighboring Iraq.

A spokesman for Steven Sotloff's family told CNN the journalist was captured by "so-called moderate rebels" in Syria then sold to ISIS

U.S. and China discuss avoiding military incidents.

U.S. officials believe Russia may have tested a ground-launched cruise missile in violation of the 1987 Soviet-American treaty.

Not Good: A federal investigation has found that Homeland Security is totally "ill-prepared" for something like the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic - or something worse, such as a global Ebola outbreak.

By The Numbers: U.S. military brain drain.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald launches 100-day VA reform plan.

U.S. House could vote this week to avert government shutdown.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he plans to forge ahead with bureaucratic Pentagon reform initiatives despite the uptick of global threats and military activities in recent months.

"Aurora Monsoon" was the first-ever platoon-level bilateral exchange between soldiers of the U.S. Army and the Bangladesh army at the Rajendrapur Cantonment Area near Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Steadfast Javelin II was a large-scale, joint, multinational exercise held on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, which included aircrew from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

DARPA released a video of what its engineers have in mind for its next generation armored vehicle.

Taxpayers cover Coast Guard private-party patrols.

The U.S. Air Force is bringing back its "Aim High" advertising slogan after a 15-year hiatus with the launch of the "I am an American Airman" recruiting campaign Sept. 8.

All eyes in the tech world are turning to Cupertino, California, today as Apple makes its biggest product announcements of the year.

One For The Record Books: Maibam Itomba Meitei has spent 14 years perfecting his record - the most consecutive pinky pullups!

Bad trip: This man pulls out of his garage and straight into a tornado.

Atmospheric CO2 increases have hit a 30-year high.

List: Top earning authors of 2014.

Finally: The size of dinosaurs compared to airplanes, visualized.

Dagnabbit kids!

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford

September 8, 2014 at 1:29pm

Rising Thunder Stresses Partnership: Japanese and JBLM soldiers train at Yakima

Japanese soldier work fast to reload a 155 mm howitzer during a training exercise. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The back blast from the howitzer instantly raised the fine dry desert dust. 

A 155 mm shell sliced through the warm morning air toward a target miles away - sort of like the way the first sip of a cold beer feels as it goes down on a hot day.

As silence returned and the dust began to slowly settle, seven soldiers assigned to the 12th Brigade, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), hurried to reload the big gun.

A minute later, the cannon spoke again.

"It's great to be out here in support of Rising Thunder," commented Capt. Edward Mader, a 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division spokesperson.

"We're here to work with the Japanese in this bilateral training. They are very good soldiers."

>>>  Japanese soldier work fast to reload a 155 mm howitzer during a training exercise. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Rising Thunder is a multi-echelon combined training exercise being conducted for the 21st time at the Yakima Training Center. (YTC).

"The focus of this exercise is to train combined arms in conjunction with maneuver and firepower," pointed out Col. Takashi Goto, a JGSDF commander, in a press release.

The 12th Brigade is one of six active brigades comprising the JCSDF. Approximately 300 Japanese soldiers are engaged in the two-and-a-half-weeks of training at YTC.

"We will perform comprehensive combat power with combined arms units and train bilaterally between Japan and the US to enhance interoperability."

>>> A Mitsubishi built Type 10 Main Battle Tank of the 12th Brigade, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, maneuvers at the Yakima Training Center during Operation Rising Thunder. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Training began Sept. 2 and will conclude on the 22nd.

Working with the Japanese are approximately 450 soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

The brigade's part is to facilitate urban assault operations, sniper training and supporting fire training.

"We're pleased to be a part of such an important event," said Lt. Col. Jeff Bryson, 4th Battalion's commander.

"The focus of this year's training is interoperability."

>>> A Japanese soldier rests for a moment during an urban building clearing exercise.Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Off in the distance two Mitsubishi built Type 10 main battle tanks rumbled into positions and opened fire on targets in the distance as JGSDF soldiers engaged in a live fire urban assault exercise.

As the Army readjusts both domestically in terms of a reduction in troops while at the same time realigns its focus on Asia and the Pacific, interoperability is another work for partnership.

>>> Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commander, I Corps, greets an officer of the 12th Brigade, Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, during Operation Rising Thunder, an annual training exercise between American and Japanese forces. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The stability of the Asian-Pacific region is of interest to both Japan and America.

To meet future challenges, the two country's military forces must bilaterally confront logistics support issues while simultaneously increasing combat power.

"This is about a partnership with America," said Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commander, I Corps, as he toured several training sites and talked to JGSDF and American soldiers.

Joining Lanza on the visit last Saturday morning to YTC were Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commander, 7th Infantry Division and Maj. Gen. James Boozer, commander, United States Army Japan and I Corps (Forward).

"The training and the building of partnerships being built and the interoperability being practiced are great," said Boozer.

SEE ALSO

I Corps on point in the Pacific

September 6, 2014 at 1:30pm

Armed Forces help Seattle Seahawks kick off the 2014-15 NFL Season

Washington National Guard receives high-fives before unveiling the Seattle Seahawks' new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl banner. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seattle Seahawks are World Champions, and now, in part with the military's help, have the banners up in CenturyLink Field to prove it.

The team made the military an integral part of its NFL Kickoff celebration Thursday as members from each branch took part in the National Anthem and the Super Bowl banner presentation as well as reenlistment and promotion ceremonies.

"The Seahawks and our fans recognize the essential role and amazing service provided by America's military personnel," said Seattle Seahawks Community Relations Vice President Mike Flood. "We're proud to feature service members from all branches as we display the World Championship banner and begin the 2014 NFL season."

The amount of inquiries for support has increased significantly with the Seahawks' super success. However, the organization continues to involve the military throughout the year - even in one of the most popular games of the entire NFL season. In fact, support is increasing.

"That effort will continue every year because it's our opportunity and duty to give back," Flood said. "Our coaches, players and staff have a year-round dedication to partnering (with) service members and supportive causes."

>>> U.S. Navy member LCDR Jay Hyler shows off the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Championship Ring before his on-field promotion ceremony before the NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ballesteros is all smiles during his re-enlistment ceremony on the field of the Seattle Seahawks during their military pre-game celebration Thursday. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Flood and Seahawks Fan Development Assistant Director Armando Mejia lead the critical relationship between the Seahawks organization and the military. They work with bases throughout the Pacific Northwest to create new ideas every year, such as the 80-feet high Super Bowl banner, which was held by members of the Washington National Guard during the Seahawks NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4.

"It was really neat to see them unfold the Super Bowl banner in rehearsal, and it sent the message that we finally did it," said Spc. Josh Medford, JFHQ, 2-146 Artillery, Washington National Guard, prior to the game. "I've got a pretty critical role in the presentation, as I'm the one who grabs the flag by the top and walks it all the way down to the bottom."

>>> Fireworks burst into the sky as 50 members of the Washington National Guard hold a brand new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy banner during the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl celebration. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>>Pop sensation Ariana Grande joins members of every service branch to sing the National Anthem before the Seattle Seahawks took on the Green Bay Packers. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Along with an on-the-field presence of the military this season, the Seahawks are also implementing a #SeahawksSalute campaign, which will feature photos of deployed service members demonstrating their "12th Man" spirit.

>>> Various members of military branches hold up a camouflage "12s" Flag during various military pre-game ceremonies. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seahawks organization is using the popularity of social media to enhance its connection between "12s" and the team, to include the military.

"One of our most recent programs is the Seahawks adopted military unit," Flood explained. "The Army was our first, in 2012, then the Air Force was last year, and now the Coast Guard will carry the football and "12 Flag" for 2014."

The selected unit participates in special team events and carries the "12 Flag" to locales worldwide throughout the season.

During the summer, the Seahawks made it a priority to bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the "Heroes of 12 Tour" to bases across Washington state, to include last year's adopted unit at the 446thAirlift Wing.

"We made it a point to begin the Lombardi Trophy tour at military bases to demonstrate our appreciation for the selfless service they give to America," Flood said. "It was a pleasure for us to see the smiles of thousands of service members at every base on the trophy visit."

A large part of the #SeahawksSalute program success relies on servicemembers.

Medford said the Seahawks Salute is both important and fun. Thursday's game was Medford's first Seahawks event, but he's done similar salute ceremonies for both the Sounders and Mariners.

A variety of military involved events took place throughout the NFL Kickoff game.

"During our break ... we actually got a chance to watch Pharrell during his rehearsal," said Medford.  "He actually came right over and gave us high-fives and posed in several pictures for us."

Entertainment wasn't the only thing taking place on the field before the big game, however.

Now Navy Lt. Comdr. Jay Hyler was promoted directly on the field before the game and even had the honor of having his daughter pin on his new rank.

"It was such an honor to have my daughter alongside of me while I get promoted," Hyler said. "It's her first game ever, and she even got to try on a Super Bowl Ring.  How amazing is that?"

Along with Hyler's promotion, Army Capt. Paul Ballesteros re-enlisted during the pregame ceremonies.

"This is my home state, so it means a lot to me to re-enlist indefinitely," said Ballesteros, who has been a Seahawks fan since wearing a Steve Largent jersey when he was only 5 years old.

"I feel great about this event," he added. "This shows me that the Seahawks work well with the Army by providing amazing opportunities for a homegrown soldier such as myself to do something like this."

It's hard to forget one's first-ever NFL game.  It will be especially hard for Tech Sgt. Matt McKenna, who's stationed on the McChord side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

It was his first Seahawks game, and he found himself standing only a few feet from pop sensation Ariana Grande while she performed the National Anthem.

McKenna recently received a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his ground combat heroics in Afghanistan in 2012.

"It's incredibly humbling to receive this honor," he said of being awarded the medals. "It's really recognition of the team's work and combined efforts with the Army on one pretty tough day."

Stories such as McKenna's show the importance of supporting, showcasing and allowing the military to be a part of every Seattle Seahawks home game.

"We may not be able to touch everyone through Seahawks programs, but we will do our best to honor those who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy," Flood said.  "We remain committed to dozens of programs that strive to help military personnel, veterans and their families."

September 6, 2014 at 12:13pm

7th Infantry Division names new headquarters in honor of Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison during ceremony

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison gives a speech at the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Inf. Div.'s new headquarters named in his honor. Harrison is known not only for his military exploits, but his role in the community. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

Friday marked the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Harrison Hall is named after retired Lt. Gen. William Harrison. Harrison is well known in both the military and local communities. After leaving the service he became an influential community leader and politician, being elected the first mayor of Lakewood after its incorporation.

"We honor his contributions not only for the military but for the community," said Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, the commander of the 7th Infantry Division as he addressed the audience.

Harrison was born in Pembroke, Kentucky on July 2 1933. He joined the Army in 1954 and was a career officer. His career took him around the world. He served in West Germany, Iran and Vietnam. While in Korea he led two companies of the 7th Infantry Division, and would later be the divisions' commanding general. In the U.S. he served in several staff positions at installations around the country, including I Corps at Fort Lewis. He retired from the Army in 1991.

>>> Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, speaks during the dedication of the Division's new headquarters, Harrison Hall. Harrison Hall is named for Lt. Gen. (ret) William Harrison, who was the ceremony's guest of honor. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After leaving the military, he had several posts in government and the private sector, serving as an advisor to the governor of California. He eventually co-chaired the Lakewood incorporation effort and was elected to the city's first city council in September 1995. He was elected the city's first mayor one month later.

Since then, he's been an instructor at Pierce College and currently sits on the Pierce College Foundation board. He also serves on the boards of the Lakewood YMCA, USO Puget Sound Area, the Pierce County Mental Health Oversight Board and countless other organizations.

>>> Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general of I Corps, speaks at the dedication of the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, commanding general of I Corps, thanked him for his service and ongoing support of the military, mentioning to the audience that Harrison has attended nearly every ceremony they've had.

When it was his turn to speak, Harrison was helped to the podium by his son, Lanza and Ferrell. The old soldier spoke softly into the microphone as he reflected on his service in uniform, and beyond. He specifically addressed those soldiers who were preparing to leave the service. "There truly is life after the Army," he told the crowd.

>>> Canadian Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne shakes hands with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William Harrison after the dedication of Harrison Hall, the 7th Infantry Division's new headquarters named in his honor. Photo credit: Kevin Knodell

After the ceremony, attendees came up to shake hands and chat with Harrison. One of them was Brig. Gen. Carl Turenne, the Canadian army officer serving as the deputy commander of I Corps.

"It's an honor to be part of this team," he told The Ranger after chatting with Harrison.

Turenne said Harrison's career and his contributions to the military and his community sets an example to soldiers everywhere. "You want to emulate a guy like Lt. Gen. Harrison," Turenne said.

September 5, 2014 at 7:34am

Friday Morning Joe: Ukraine Russia cease fire, Allies vs ISIS, Omar Khalid Khorasani, asteroid on its way ...

Petty Officer 2nd Class Douglas Knapp, from Renton, Wash., tosses a training coffee pot during an Army Warrior training course. Original photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Wayman

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.5.14 >>>

Ukraine and pro-Russia separatists meeting in Minsk agreed today on a conditional cease-fire only hours after NATO approved plans Friday for a new rapid response force to counter future Russian aggression in the region.

The Obama administration accelerated efforts today to build an international coalition to combat the Islamic State, winning pledges of support from nine allies but leaving questions about the extent of possible expanded military force.

Britain has pledged to commit 1,000 troops to a new NATO spearhead force expected to be announced by alliance leaders on the second day of the summit, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Secretary of State John Kerry: ISIS a long, must-win fight.

Democratic lawmakers are beginning to describe the Obama administration strategy for fighting the Islamic State, a plan Republicans say is nonexistent.

Islamic State, fighting to redraw the map of the Middle East, has been coaching Egypt's most dangerous militant group, complicating efforts to stabilize the biggest Arab nation.

Drones and the context of the conflict with ISIS.

A founding member of the Pakistani Taliban, Omar Khalid Khorasani is an uncompromisingly brutal jihadist with a rapidly rising profile.

A Massachusetts man could be running social media for the ISIS, according to multiple reports.

The friendly fire incident that killed five American soldiers and one Afghan soldier in June was caused by failures from the "key members" of the ground team who called in an airstrike from a B-1B Lancer.

U.S. commandos who tried to save Ambassador Chris Stevens and another Americans during the 2012 Benghazi attack write in a new book that the CIA station chief held up the rescue attempt.

How does the warfighter launch a grenade at the enemy and ensure that it hits the target if the enemy is defiladed, or concealed, behind natural or artificial obstacles? Use Small Arms Grenade Munitions, or SAGM.

The Navy officially accepted delivery of the USS North Dakota, signalling the arrival of a new high-tech fast attack submarine equipped with improved missile tubes, computers, electronics and sonar technology.

Veterans: The new "in-state tuition" protection that Congress approved last month won't take effect for another year.

Close call: Keep your helmet nearby! A newly discovered asteroid will zip by Earth  on Sunday.

Ja Rule is getting his own TV show. Follow The Rules is a docu-comedy series on MTV that follows Ja and his large family - a "modern day reality rap star version of Bill Cosby's role from The Cosby Show."

NBC is developing a live comedy from Chris Moynihan, Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner. Hospitality will take place in a downtown hotel and air live every week with live commercials.

The creators of The Good Wife sold a pilot to CBS titled Brain Dead, which is described as "The Strain meets The West Wing." We have no idea what that could possibly mean.

Sneaky Rabbit: When the going gets tough, sometimes you gotta break the rules. Or something like that.

No, Human, No! Husky throws a tantrum when playtime is over.

Girls Gone Wild: Robert Downey Jr. went to South Korea. Then this happened.

Meet Chica the DogSpider

LINK: Original photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Walter Wayman

September 4, 2014 at 11:45am

Army Surgeon General suspends Brig. Gen. John M. Cho, commander of Western Regional Medical Command at JBLM

This just in from Sharon D. Ayala, director, Directorate of Communication and Executive Services, Western Regional Medical Command ...

Western Regional Medical Command, Fort Lewis, Wash.: Lieutenant General Patricia Horoho, The Army Surgeon General and U.S. Army Medical Command Commander, suspended Brig. Gen. John M. Cho, the Commanding General, Western Regional Medical Command (WRMC), located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., effective Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 pending the outcome of an inquiry centered on the command climate of the organization. Lt. Gen. Horoho will assign an interim commander of the WRMC for the duration of the suspension. The Army remains committed to ensuring we have the right leaders in place to lead our organizations which provide high quality medical care to our Soldiers, their Families, and our Retirees.

September 4, 2014 at 9:15am

Cool Desk Job: 5-20th Infantry Regiment virtually prepares for anything at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

5-20th Infantry Regiment soldiers work the VBS2, an interactive simulated training software that uses video game graphics to simulate real world environments and training objectives. Photo credit: Sgt. James Bunn

"Enemy troops in the open, three o'clock," a soldier calls out. The gunner scans for the target and in less than a second identifies and engages the enemy combatants.

This was the scenario for soldiers with 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team as they conducted Virtual Battlespace 2 training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 28.

The unit organized the training to familiarize soldiers with different terrain, weapons and vehicle procedures before an upcoming live-fire exercise next month at Yakima Training Center.

"The soldiers are getting used to the equipment," said 2nd Lt. John Howell, a platoon leader with 5-20th Inf. Bn. "They're going over fire commands today and learning to work together."

The VBS2 is an interactive simulated training software that uses video game graphics to simulate real world environments and training objectives. Since its introduction in 2007, the system has helped better prepare soldiers and units for deployments and saved the Army millions of dollars according to Jeffery T. Du, a VBS2 facilitator.

This training saves the Army money by allowing units to go through scenarios based on the terrain they will experience at the upcoming exercise without stressing vehicles, equipment or using live ammunition, said Du. The soldiers will be more efficient when they go to the range because they have practiced multiple times in the simulator.

Through an advanced program editing system, VBS2 instructors can tailor training to the needs of individual units based on mission requirements, create realistic battlefield situations and allow Soldiers to operate simulated land, sea, and air vehicles.

"This training allows for a diverse amount of situations that we can encounter with the Stryker," said Spc. Ryan Sweeney, a fire team leader with 5-20th Inf. Bn.

Soldiers focused on marksmanship with mounted weapons, calling for indirect fire, identifying targets and maneuvering through various fighting positions in a simulated Stryker combat vehicle.

The scalable VBS2 system is able to train small teams in urban tactics, entire combat teams in combined arms operations or even squad and platoon offensive, defensive, and patrolling operations.

Leaders can use VBS2 to assist them in developing the organizational skills required to execute successful missions. Soldiers can use the system to learn and validate the unit's tactics, techniques and procedures before any exercise.

 "We have a lot of new soldiers and this is an easy way for them to get a baseline of how to operate in a fire team and build good habits early," said Sweeney.

Although it's a simulation and not the real world, the VBS2 system provides diverse training opportunities for the soldiers of the 5-20th Inf. Bn. and the skills necessary as a modern fighting force said Du.

"I like that we are diversifying our training techniques to match all fronts," said Sweeney. "This system is a good way for us to build up our new training strategies to meet the battlefield of tomorrow." 

Sgt. James J. Bunn is with the 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

September 4, 2014 at 7:39am

Thursday Morning Joe: ISIS defector speaks, Al Qaeda craves attention, National Guard shortfall, ice bucket fails ...

The U.S. Army NATO Brigade’s Allied Forces South Battalion throws practice coffee pots during familiarization training at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Grafenwoehr, Germany. Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Wollaston

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.4.2014 >>>

A senior White House official today signaled the United States is already gathering support from countries in the Middle East for a united front against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The family of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded by Islamic State militants, said he was "a gentle soul", and challenged the group's leader to a debate on the peaceful teachings of the Muslim holy book, the Koran

In the cities and towns across the desert plains of northeast Syria, the ultra-hardline al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State has insinuated itself into nearly every aspect of daily life.

ISIS Defector: ISIS plans to take over the Arab world and then "go to other countries."

David Cameron says that in going after ISIS inside Syria, the West does not need an invitation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, insisting that Assad's government is not legitimate.

A roiling national debate over how to deal with the radical Islamic State and other global hot spots has prompted a sudden shift in Republican politics, putting a halt to the anti-interventionist mood that had been gaining credence in the party.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro accused Sen. John McCain and Israel of conspiring to create the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Even Terrorist Groups Crave Attention: Al Qaeda opens new front in India.

Ukraine's President announced progress on a ceasefire agreement yesterday with Russia, but U.S. President Barack Obama is skeptical and even Moscow downplayed it.

Russia's foreign minister said any future efforts by Ukraine to join NATO would "derail" peace talks to solve the crisis in Ukraine.

In 2013, 57 Army Reserve Soldiers decided the only way out of their particular situation was to take their own life. That year was the most deadly since 2009.

Training for tens of thousands of Army National Guard soldiers will be canceled this month as the reserve component hits a $101 million shortfall in the final weeks of this fiscal year.

The Pentagon is pushing its strategy to develop new technologies and capabilities alongside allies to drive down costs and foster innovation, the assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering said on Wednesday.

Budget: The Army is spending far too little to equip its soldiers.

The adversary is looking to exploit vulnerabilities in Army computer systems, said the chief of the Army's Cyberspace and Information Operations Division.

A Pentagon advisory panel on wounded servicemembers is recommending that the Defense Department scrap the disability evaluation system it rolled out across the military just three years ago.

Government Shutdown: The U.S. Senate's embattled top Republican is predicting Congress will pass a funding measure that the president would not veto.

The Pentagon will expand its use of prototyping as the U.S. Defense Department's budget tightens, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday.

The Defense Department has agreed to reconsider the bad-paper discharges for thousands of Vietnam-era veterans who may have suffered from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder but were kicked out of the military in the era before that became a diagnosable condition.

Dangerous Bag: A ball girl at the U.S. Open shows she has the skills to track down whatever crosses her court.

In Overdrive: This is what you get when you put a pug in a ball pit for the first time.

Headbanging: Metal in inappropriate places.

Oh No: Hollywood will make a CHiPs movie.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! hit the streets of Hollywood asking a multiple guys whether they'd looked up the nude photos.

You knew it was coming ... failed ice bucket challenges ...

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class John Wollaston

September 2, 2014 at 12:46pm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier wins FORSCOM NCO of the Year

From left, Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, FORSCOM NCO of the Year; Cpl. Zachary E. Bandli, Staff Sgt. Luke R. Klein and Spc. Cole Spoon. Photo courtesy of Facebook

A reconnaissance team leader from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and a signal support systems specialist from Fort Carson, Colo., were named U.S. Army Forces Command Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year, at a banquet Aug. 28, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Six NCOs and six soldiers, representing the First Army, I Corps, III Corps, XVIII Airborne Corps, the 32nd Air and Missile Defense Command, National Training Center, and Joint Readiness Training Center, competed over four days to earn the title of FORSCOM NCO/Soldier of the Year.

Staff Sgt. Peter Kacapyr, an infantryman and reconnaissance team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, from JBLM, was named 2014 FORSCOM NCO of the Year.

Cpl. Zachery E. Bandli, a signal support systems specialist and retransmission operator assigned to 534th Signal Company, 43rd Special Troops Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colo., was named 2014 FORSCOM Soldier of the Year.

Competing alongside FORSCOM competitors were 4 NCOs and 3 Soldiers from the Continental U.S. Army Service Component Command. Staff Sgt. Luke R. Klein, an internment/resettlement NCO with the 339th Military Police Company, 525th MP Battalion, 302nd MP Brigade, currently serving as Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, was named CONUS ASCC NCO of the Year.

Spc. Cole Spoon, a microwave systems operator/installer and a network controller for the Southwest Asia Cyber Center, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, was named CONUS ASCC Soldier of the Year.

All four winners will compete later this year at the Department of the Army NCO/Soldier of the Year competition.

September 2, 2014 at 7:58am

Tuesday Morning Joe: U.S. airstrikes report, Army's next mission, military hospitals too small, stop saying "awesome" ...

4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division's Spouses' Spur Ride participants throw coffee pots at Fort Hood, Texas. Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim

GRAB A COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 9.2.2014 >>>

An airstrike by U.S. military forces struck an area where leaders of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked militants were meeting.

Six militants killed during U.S. strike in Somalia.

President Obama sent a letter to Congress on Monday notifying them that over the weekend he authorized U.S. military airstrikes and humanitarian assistance to break the month-long siege of the town of Amirli in northern Iraq.

Why a strategy to fight ISIS in Syria will take time.

U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit crashed at sea in the Central Command area of operations.

Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have been planning for months to release the findings of their investigation on the CIA's Bush-era interrogation program this fall. But with little more than 60 days until the midterm elections, a release of the report could leave Democrats vulnerable to attack from Republicans and other critics who say its details about U.S. intelligence gathering might jeopardize national security.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia of "direct and undisguised aggression" as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. 

With NATO leaders expected to endorse a rapid-reaction force of 4,000 troops for Eastern Europe this week, a senior Russian military official said Moscow would revise its military doctrine to account for "changing military dangers and military threats."

The Real Ukraine Crisis Is Coming: The "day after" dilemma.

NATO will declare "mission accomplished" this week as it winds down more than a decade of operations in Afghanistan but departing combat troops look likely to leave behind political turmoil and an emboldened insurgency.

The Army's Next Mission: Stability is the best offense.

An Air Force strategy stuck in the future.

Q & A with Gen. Paul Selva, head of U.S. Transportation Command, who is responsible for getting military equipment back to the United States from Afghanistan.

NATO leaders heading to Wales this week will discuss how to best enhance the NATO Response Force.

Many of the hospitals run by the armed forces are so small and the trickle of patients so thin that doctors and nurses say their ability to properly treat serious illnesses is compromised.

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, known as TRADOC, transforms civilians into soldiers and provides them the pathway into the noble profession of soldiers, past and present.

Stonehenge, at one point, had been a full circle.

How decaf coffee is made.

Guardians of the Galaxy has become the biggest box office hit of the year.

How Empire Records became the unlikely film of a generation.

Video: The story behind the classic doc Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

Finally: A very difficult quiz about Saturday Night Live.

This is why everything we call awesome is not really awesome.

LINK: Original photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim

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Humayun Kabir said:

Really nice album. I have already purchased Vedder's Album. Listening to the song of this album,...

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AndrewPehrson said:

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Shimul Kabir said:

Vedder's album is really nice. I have heard attentively

about Eddie Vedder’s "Ukulele Songs" available today - and I don’t hold a candle to that shit

marble exporters in India said:

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