Showing posts with label Taliban militants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Taliban militants. Show all posts

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Two American soldiers were killed overnight

Two American Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Attack: Official
NBC News

KABUL, Afghanistan — Two American soldiers were killed overnight when their convoy came under enemy attack near Bagram Airbase near Kabul in Afghanistan, a U.S. official told NBC News on Saturday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier, NATO coalition spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Justin Hadley said a roadside bomb had killed two foreign soldiers traveling in convoy near the largest U.S. military base in that country late on Friday. "It is coalition policy to defer the identity and nationality of the service members to the national authorities," Hadley said.

The bomb detonated while vehicles passed a road leading up to Bagram Airfield, local police chief Gen. Zaman Mamozai. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a Twitter message.
see more here
UPDATE Department of Defense
Release No: NR-617-14
December 14, 2014
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died Dec. 12, in Parwan Province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the enemy attacked their vehicle with an improvised explosive device. These soldiers were assigned to 3rd Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

Killed were:
Sgt. 1st Class Ramon S. Morris, 37, of New York, New York; and
Spc. Wyatt J. Martin, 22, of Mesa, Arizona.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Taliban says it suspends talks on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Taliban says it suspends talks on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl
The Associated Press
Published: February 23, 2014
50 minutes ago

ISLAMABAD — Afghanistan's Taliban said Sunday they had suspended "mediation" with the United States to exchange captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, halting - at least temporarily - what was considered the best chance yet of securing the 27-year-old soldier's freedom since his capture in 2009.

In a terse Pashto language statement emailed to The Associated Press, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid blamed the "current complex political situation in the country" for the suspension.

A U.S. official with knowledge of the talks said the cause of the suspension was not the result of any issue between the United States and Taliban. He declined to elaborate and spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
read more here

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Taliban Suicide Bomber Ends Life of Teacher in Afghanistan

Chicago native killed in Afghanistan blast
American University employee remembered for fearlessness, passion
Chicago Tribune
By Jonathan Bullington, Tribune reporter
January 19, 2014

She knew the risks, but Lexie Kamerman's family and friends said the Chicago native would not be deterred from her goal: helping young women in Afghanistan improve their lives through education.

"That's the wonderful thing about her. She had a sense of fearlessness," said friend Sherrille Lamb. "She was so focused on helping those young ladies that no matter what the circumstances around her might bring, that's what she was there for."

Less than a year after she took a job at the American University of Afghanistan, Kamerman was among 21 people who died Friday when a Taliban suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a restaurant in the capital, Kabul.

"She was an amazing young woman — smart, strong, beautiful, funny, stubborn and kind," her family said in an emailed statement. "As you could probably guess, her death is a shock to us all and we can't imagine a moment going forward when she won't be desperately missed."
read more here

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Even the Taliban mocks the US Congress

We have troops still fighting a war but it seems members of congress are more afraid of the Tea Party folks than the Taliban. How low can they go when war fighters are still risking their lives?
Taliban mocks U.S. over shutdown
David Jackson
October 10, 2013

The U.S. government shutdown is drawing a fair amount of criticism overseas -- including from the Taliban.

The militants who are fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan issued a statement Wednesday saying that American politicians have "paralyzed" their institutions and are "sucking the blood of their own people."

The statement pointed out that even the Statue of Liberty is closed.

"The American people should realize that their politicians play with their destinies as well as the destinies of other oppressed nations for the sake of their personal vested interests," the Taliban said.
read more here

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Taliban offer trade for US Soldier held captive

Bowe Bergdahl Trade: Taliban Offer To Hand Over Captive U.S. Soldier For 5 Senior Operatives
Huffington Post

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan Taliban are ready to free a U.S. soldier held captive since 2009 in exchange for five of their senior operatives imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay as a conciliatory gesture, a senior spokesman for the group said Thursday.

The offer came as an Afghan government spokesman said President Hamid Karzai is now willing to join planned peace talks with the Taliban – provided that the Taliban flag and nameplate are removed from the militant group's newly opened political office in Doha, the capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. Karzai also wants a formal letter from the United States supporting the Afghan government.

The only known American soldier held captive from the Afghan war is U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, 27, of Hailey, Idaho. He disappeared from his base in southeastern Afghanistan on June 30, 2009, and is believed held in Pakistan.

In an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press from his Doha office, Taliban spokesman Shaheen Suhail said on Thursday that Bergdahl "is, as far as I know, in good condition."
read more here

Friday, June 14, 2013

Ex-Navy SEAL details his brush with death

Surviving Afghanistan: Ex-Navy SEAL details his brush with death
Enid News and Eagle
By Robert Barron
Staff Writer
June 13, 2013

ENID, Okla. — Marcus Luttrell’s story is one of those you don’t hear much about.

But he is an American hero, a member of SEAL Team 10 and the sole survivor of an ambush that resulted in the deaths of the rest of his team, and left him severely wounded on the lonely plains of Afghanistan.

Luttrell, speaking at an Edward Jones customer appreciation night event, told the audience Thursday at Enid Event Center he and his twin brother both wanted to be Navy SEALs from the time they were young. They began training with a “crazy” ex-serviceman at age 14 to become part of the elite force. Luttrell talked of how difficult the training had been, but how they became mentally and physically stronger.

Luttrell is author of the book “Lone Survivor,” which details his experiences in Afghanistan.

In late-June 2005, Luttrell and the other members of his SEAL team set out as part of Operation Redwing to kill a notorious al-Qaida leader holed up in a heavily armed Taliban stronghold.
read more here

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hours-long gunbattle with NATO security forces at Kabul Airport

Kabul Airport Attack: Gunfire, Explosions Reported
Huffington Post
Posted: 06/09/2013

(From AP)KABUL, Afghanistan — At least five heavily armed insurgents were engaged in an hours-long gunbattle with security forces on the perimeter of Afghanistan's main airport Monday after they tried to attack NATO's airport headquarters with rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles and at least one large bomb, the army and police said.

The airport was closed to all civilian air traffic because of the attack, an airport official said. It was unclear if the attack had damaged facilities inside the airport itself.

Kabul police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub Salangi said at least two insurgents had been killed so far. There were no casualties among police or civilians, he added.
read more here

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan Green on Blue attack

Taliban kill four Nato soldiers in Afghanistan
Three US troops shot dead while Italian dies in bomb attack on armoured convoy
Staff and agencies
The Guardian
Saturday 8 June 2013

Four Nato soldiers have been killed in two separate Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

Three US soldiers were killed in Paktika when a man in an Afghan army uniform turned his weapon on them, according to a spokeswoman for Afghanistan's Nato-led force.

In western Afghanistan, an attacker threw explosives into an armoured vehicle, killing an Italian soldier and wounding three others.

The Italian defence ministry said the attack in Farah province came as the soldiers were returning to their base from training Afghan security forces.
read more here

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Five US soldiers killed in Afghanistan bomb blast

Five US soldiers killed in Afghanistan bomb blast
Deaths – thought to have occurred in Kandahar province – take number of US troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 32
Associated Press in Kabul
Saturday 4 May 2013

Five US service members were killed on Saturday by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, the latest deadly attack against international troops since the Taliban announced the start of their spring offensive this week.

The coalition did not disclose the location of the blast, but Javeed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province, said the coalition patrol hit the roadside bomb in Maiwand district of the province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban.

Captain Luca Carniel, a public affairs official for the US-led coalition in Kabul, confirmed that all five were Americans. With the deaths, 47 members of the coalition have been killed so far this year including 32 Americans.
read more here

Monday, April 29, 2013

Afghanistan Cargo Plane Crash Kills 7 Crew Members With Florida Ties

Afghanistan Cargo Plane Crash Kills 7 Crew Members
Posted: 04/29/2013

KABUL, April 29 (Reuters) - Seven crew members of a U.S.-run cargo plane were killed on Monday when their plane crashed shortly after take off from Bagram air base near the Afghan capital Kabul, the cargo operator told Reuters.

The Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility for the crash, but NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said there were no reports of insurgent activity in or around the base, which is one of the largest in the country and located about 40 km (25 miles) north of Kabul.

"We did lose all seven crew members," a spokeswoman for National Air Cargo told Reuters by telephone from Florida, where the company is located. The nationalities of the crew members were not immediately clear.
read more here

Monday, February 18, 2013

1st Lt. Alejo Thompson's killer killed by NATO

NATO kills insurgent behind US soldier's death
Miami Herald

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan soldier-turned-insurgent who was feted by the Taliban for killing an American soldier during an insider attack in eastern Afghanistan last year has been killed in a raid, the U.S.-led international coalition said on Monday.

NATO identified the insurgent as Mahmood and said that he and an accomplice, identified only as Rashid, died in last Wednesday's operation in eastern Kunar province's Ghaziabad district. No other details were provided.

Mahmood is thought responsible for the May 11 killing of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Alejo Thompson, who died during an insider attack on a base in Kunar. The attack also wounded two American soldiers. Mahmood, in his early 20's and who went only by one name later fled. Thompson, 30, a father of two, was from Yuma, Arizona. He was based at Ford Carson, Colorado.
read more here

Monday, February 11, 2013

Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha

Remarks by the President in Presentation of the
Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha
East Room

1:40 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. And on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House.

Every day at the White House we receive thousands of letters from folks all across America. And at night, upstairs in my study, I read a few. About three years ago, I received a letter from a mom in West Virginia. Her son, Stephan, a Specialist in the Army, just 21 years old, had given his life in Afghanistan. She had received the condolence letter that I’d sent to her family, as I send to every family of the fallen. And she wrote me back. “Mr. President,” she said, “you wrote me a letter telling me that my son was a hero. I just wanted you to know what kind of hero he was.”

“My son was a great soldier,” she wrote. “As far back as I can remember, Stephan wanted to serve his country.” She spoke of how he “loved his brothers in B Troop.” How he “would do anything for them.” And of the brave actions that would cost Stephan his life, she wrote, “His sacrifice was driven by pure love.”

Today, we are honored to be joined by Stephan’s mother Vanessa and his father Larry. Please stand, Vanessa and Larry. (Applause.) We're joined by the families of the seven other patriots who also gave their lives that day. Can we please have them stand so we can acknowledge them as well. (Applause.) We're joined by members of Bravo Troop whose courage that day was driven by pure love. And we gather to present the Medal of Honor to one of these soldiers -- Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha.

Clint, this is our nation’s highest military decoration. It reflects the gratitude of our entire country. So we’re joined by members of Congress; leaders from across our Armed Forces, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marty Dempsey, Army Secretary John McHugh, and Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno. We are especially honored to be joined by Clint’s 4th Infantry Division -- “Iron Horse” -- soldiers, and members of the Medal of Honor Society, who today welcome you into their ranks.

Now, despite all this attention, you may already have a sense that Clint is a pretty humble guy. We just spent some time together in the Oval Office. He grew up in Lake City, California -- population less than a hundred. We welcome his family, including mom and dad, Tish and Gary. Clint -- I hope he doesn’t mind if I share that Clint was actually born at home. These days, Clint works in the oilfields of North Dakota. He is a man of faith, and after more than a decade in uniform, he says the thing he looks forward to the most is just being a husband and a father.

In fact, this is not even the biggest event for Clint this week, because tomorrow, he and his wife Tammy will celebrate their 13th wedding anniversary. Clint and Tammy, this is probably not the kind of intimate anniversary you planned. (Laughter.) But we’re so glad that you’re here, along with your three beautiful children -- Dessi, Gwen and Colin. Colin is not as shy as Clint. (Laughter.) He was in the Oval Office, and he was racing around pretty good. (Laughter.) And sampled a number of the apples before he found the one that was just right. (Laughter.)

Now, to truly understand the extraordinary actions for which Clint is being honored, you need to understand the almost unbelievable conditions under which he and B Troop served. This was a time, in 2009, when many of our troops still served in small, rugged outposts, even as our commanders were shifting their focus to larger towns and cities.

So Combat Outpost Keating was a collection of buildings of concrete and plywood with trenches and sandbags. Of all the outposts in Afghanistan, Keating was among the most remote. It sat at the bottom of a steep valley, surrounded by mountains -- terrain that a later investigation said gave “ideal” cover for insurgents to attack. COP Keating, the investigation found, was “tactically indefensible.” But that’s what these soldiers were asked to do -- defend the indefensible.

The attack came in the morning, just as the sun rose. Some of our guys were standing guard; most, like Clint, were still sleeping. The explosions shook them out of their beds and sent them rushing for their weapons. And soon, the awful odds became clear: These 53 Americans were surrounded by more than 300 Taliban fighters.

What happened next has been described as one of the most intense battles of the entire war in Afghanistan. The attackers had the advantage -- the high ground, the mountains above. And they were unleashing everything they had -- rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns, mortars; snipers taking aim. To those Americans down below, the fire was coming in from every single direction. They’d never seen anything like it.

With gunfire impacting all around him, Clint raced to one of the barracks and grabbed a machine gun. He took aim at one of the enemy machine teams and took it out. A rocket-propelled grenade exploded, sending shrapnel into his hip, his arm, and his neck. But he kept fighting, disregarding his own wounds, and tending to an injured comrade instead.

Then, over the radio, came words no soldier ever wants to hear -- “enemy in the wire.” The Taliban had penetrated the camp. They were taking over buildings. The combat was close; at times, as close as 10 feet. When Clint took aim at three of them, they never took another step.

But still, the enemy advanced. So the Americans pulled back, to buildings that were easier to defend, to make one last stand. One of them was later compared to the Alamo -- one of them later compared it to the Alamo. Keating, it seemed, was going to be overrun. And that’s when Clint Romesha decided to retake that camp.

Clint gathered up his guys, and they began to fight their way back. Storming one building, then another. Pushing the enemy back. Having to actually shoot up -- at the enemy in the mountains above. By now, most of the camp was on fire. Amid the flames and smoke, Clint stood in a doorway, calling in airstrikes that shook the earth all around them.

Over the radio, they heard comrades who were pinned down in a Humvee. So Clint and his team unloaded everything they had into the enemy positions. And with that cover, three wounded Americans made their escape -- including a grievously injured Stephan Mace.

But more Americans, their bodies, were still out there. And Clint Romesha lives the Soldier’s Creed -- “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” So he and his team started charging, as enemy fire poured down. And they kept charging -- 50 meters; 80 meters -- ultimately, a 100-meter run through a hail of bullets. They reached their fallen friends and they brought them home.

Throughout history, the question has often been asked, why? Why do those in uniform take such extraordinary risks? And what compels them to such courage? You ask Clint and any of these soldiers who are here today, and they’ll tell you. Yes, they fight for their country, and they fight for our freedom. Yes, they fight to come home to their families. But most of all, they fight for each other, to keep each other safe and to have each other's backs.

When I called Clint to tell him that he would receive this medal, he said he was honored, but he also said, it wasn't just me out there, it was a team effort. And so today we also honor this American team, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice -- Private First Class Kevin Thomson, who would have turned 26 years old today; Sergeant Michael Scusa; Sergeant Joshua Kirk; Sergeant Christopher Griffin; Staff Sergeant Justin Gallegos; Staff Sergeant Vernon Martin; Sergeant Joshua Hardt; and Specialist Stephan Mace.

Each of these patriots gave their lives looking out for each other. In a battle that raged all day, that brand of selflessness was displayed again and again and again -- soldiers exposing themselves to enemy fire to pull a comrade to safety, tending to each other’s wounds, performing “buddy transfusions” -- giving each other their own blood.

And if you seek a measure of that day, you need to look no further than the medals and ribbons that grace their chests -- for their sustained heroism, 37 Army Commendation Medals; for their wounds, 27 Purple Hearts; for their valor, 18 Bronze Stars; for their gallantry, 9 Silver Stars.

These men were outnumbered, outgunned and almost overrun. Looking back, one of them said, “I’m surprised any of us made it out.” But they are here today. And I would ask these soldiers -- this band of brothers -- to stand and accept the gratitude of our entire nation. (Applause.)

There were many lessons from COP Keating. One of them is that our troops should never, ever, be put in a position where they have to defend the indefensible. But that’s what these soldiers did -- for each other, in sacrifice driven by pure love. And because they did, eight grieving families were at least able to welcome their soldiers home one last time. And more than 40 American soldiers are alive today to carry on, to keep alive the memory of their fallen brothers, to help make sure that this country that we love so much remains strong and free.

What was it that turned the tide that day? How was it that so few Americans prevailed against so many? As we prepare for the reading of the citation, I leave you with the words of Clint himself, because they say something about our Army and they say something about America; they say something about our spirit, which will never be broken: “We weren't going to be beat that day,” Clint said. “You're not going to back down in the face of adversity like that. We were just going to win, plain and simple.”

God bless you, Clint Romesha, and all of your team. God bless all who serve. And God bless the United States of America.

With that, I’d like the citation to be read.

MILITARY AIDE: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3rd, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Section Leader with Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy at Combat Outpost Keating, Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3rd, 2009.

On that morning, Staff Sergeant Romesha and his comrades awakened to an attack by an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of the complex, employing concentrated fire from recoilless rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small-arms fire. Staff Sergeant Romesha moved uncovered under intense enemy fire to conduct a reconnaissance of the battlefield and seek reinforcements from the barracks before returning to action with the support of an assistant gunner.

Staff Sergeant Romesha took out an enemy machine gun team, and, while engaging a second, the generator he was using for cover was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, inflicting him with shrapnel wounds. Undeterred by his injuries, Staff Sergeant Romesha continued to fight, and upon the arrival of another soldier to aid him and the assistant gunner, he again rushed through the exposed avenue to assemble additional soldiers.

Staff Sergeant Romesha then mobilized a five-man team and returned to the fight equipped with a sniper rifle. With complete disregard for his own safety, Staff Sergeant Romesha continually exposed himself to heavy enemy fire, as he moved confidently about the battlefield engaging and destroying multiple enemy targets, including three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s perimeter.

While orchestrating a successful plan to secure and reinforce key points of the battlefield, Staff Sergeant Romesha maintained radio communication with the tactical operations center. As the enemy forces attacked with even greater ferocity, unleashing a barrage of rocket-propelled grenades and recoilless rifle rounds, Staff Sergeant Romesha identified the point of attack and directed air support to destroy over 30 enemy fighters.

After receiving reports that seriously injured soldiers were at a distant battle position, Staff Sergeant Romesha and his team provided covering fire to allow the injured Soldiers to safely reach the aid station. Upon receipt of orders to proceed to the next objective, his team pushed forward 100 meters under overwhelming enemy fire to recover and prevent the enemy fighters from taking the bodies of their fallen comrades.

Staff Sergeant Romesha’s heroic actions throughout the day-long battle were critical in suppressing an enemy that had far greater numbers. His extraordinary efforts gave Bravo Troop the opportunity to regroup, reorganize and prepare for the counterattack that allowed the Troop to account for its personnel and secure Combat Outpost Keating.

Staff Sergeant Romesha’s discipline and extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty reflect great credit upon himself, Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.

(The Medal of Honor is awarded.) (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, everybody. Most of all, thank you for Clint and the entire team for their extraordinary service and devotion to our country.

We're going to have an opportunity to celebrate and there’s going to be a wonderful reception -- I hear the food around here is pretty good. (Laughter.) I know the band is good. And Colin really needs to get down. (Laughter.)

So, enjoy, everybody. Give our newest recipient of the Medal of Honor a big round of applause once again. (Applause.)

END 2:10 P.M. EST
Staff Sgt. Clint Romesha to receive Medal of Honor

Monday, January 28, 2013

Soldier famous for YouTube video of Taliban firefight

I don't mind admitting when I'm wrong but in this case I am doing it when no one knew I was. When this video first came out, I watched it a few times and there was something about it that didn't look right to me. I can't explain it, but it seemed fake. After reading the interview, now I know I was wrong.
Soldier famous for YouTube video of Taliban firefight interviewed
Stars and Stripes
Published: January 27, 2013

The formerly anonymous soldier made famous on YouTube for scrambling away from Taliban gunfire on an Afghanistan hillside reflected on the incident viewed at least 23 million times in a recent interview with The Washington Post.

The harrowing helmet cam footage, with bullets landing to each side of Pfc. Ted Daniels as he tries to find cover, perhaps is the most popular online video from what is known as the most filmed war in history.

For Daniels, a former cop in Maryland and Pennsylvania who enlisted at age 37, the drama of that firefight didn’t end when he was injured and eventually sent stateside.
read more here

Thursday, December 13, 2012

US military uniforms for sale in Afghanistan

US uniforms, like those used in insider attacks, still found in Kabul shops
Stars and Stripes
Published: December 13, 2012

KABUL — When a shopkeeper at a Kabul market was asked if he had any U.S. military uniforms for sale, he answered, “Which unit?”

In the wake of yet another attack on a major coalition military installation by insurgents in American military uniforms, such uniforms can still be found with ease in the capital.

Within five minutes of the request for a uniform at the Kabul market known as the “Bush Bazaar” — which is named after the former U.S. president and specializes in stolen military goods — an Army combat uniform shirt and pants was brought out. The price tag was $50.
read more here

Monday, December 10, 2012

Navy SEAL killed in rescue of American doctor in Afghanistan

UPDATE from CNN Navy identifies SEAL killed in Afghanistan rescue
By CNN Staff
December 10, 2012
The Defense Department identifies the SEAL slain in the rescue effort
Dr. Dilip Joseph was among three abducted while returning from a rural clinic, officials say
Two local Afghan leaders say smugglers were responsible; ISAF blames the Taliban

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The U.S. Defense Department on Monday identified the SEAL killed during a successful raid to free a captive doctor in Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, died Saturday during the effort to free Dr. Dilip Joseph, the Navy said. NATO commanders believed Joseph was in imminent danger from his captors when the raid took place.
Navy SEAL killed in rescue of American doctor in Afghanistan
By Jim Miklaszewski
NBC News
December 9, 2012

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed early Sunday in the rescue of an American doctor who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, defense officials tell NBC News.

The Navy SEAL was wounded in the rescue operation and later died, according to a senior defense official.

The rescue operation was launched when coalition forces reported that Dr. Dilip Joseph was in imminent danger. Joseph, who worked with the non-profit Morning Star Development of Colorado Springs, was kidnapped Wednesday along with two Afghan staff members -- one is part of the medical team, the other part of the support team. Joseph has been the non-profit’s medical adviser for three years.
read more here

Sunday, October 14, 2012

'IED Whisperer' a lifesaver in Afghanistan

This is a great example of how our soldiers are there trying to save lives but the Taliban are there to take lives, no matter who gets killed.

'IED Whisperer' a lifesaver in Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Kelly Rogne, who serves with a battalion from Joint Base Lewis McChord, is known as the "IED whisperer" for his ability to find the makeshift bombs that have extracted such a deadly toll in Afghanistan.
By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter
Saturday, October 13, 2012

On a September patrol in Afghanistan's Panjwai District, Staff Sgt. Kelly Rogne of Colville uses a metal detector to search for improvised explosive devices.

BABINEK, Afghanistan — Staff Sgt. Kelly Rogne walked down a dusty village road, rhythmically swinging a metal detector that resembled an oversized hockey stick.

He led a column of more than 20 soldiers past deep-green fields of marijuana that surround this village in Panjwai district, traditional homeland of the Taliban.

To defend this turf, Taliban fighters have seeded Babinek and other areas with dense concentrations of bombs, creating one of the most perilous patrol grounds U.S. soldiers have encountered during more than 11 years of war in Afghanistan.

Rogne, 36, from Colville, Stevens County, has displayed an uncanny ability to find these improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He uses technology, tracking skills and intuition honed by careful study of past bomb placements.

Some call Rogne the "IED Whisperer."

On an early September patrol out of Combat Outpost Mushan, Rogne located 29 IEDs through the course of a painstaking, eight-hour movement across less than a kilometer of road, an accomplishment relayed through the chain of command to Pentagon generals.

Staff Sgt. Caleb Duncan, of Vancouver, Wash., recalls one child, a triple amputee, who was brought to battalion soldiers for medical care.

Duncan said it was one of the worst things he has seen in this war. "You don't have to speak to put out the message: 'Look, the Americans didn't do this, the Taliban did.' " read more here

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Afghan war enters 12th year

38 minutes ago
Afghan war enters 12th year
The Associated Press
Published: October 7, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — Nobody wants a repeat of the bloody ethnic fighting that followed the Soviet exit from Afghanistan in the 1990s — least of all 32-year-old Wahidullah who was crippled by a bullet that pierced his spine during the civil war.

Yet as the Afghan war began its 12th year on Sunday, fears loom that the country will again fracture along ethnic lines once international combat forces leave by the end of 2014.

"It was a very bad situation," said Wahidullah, who was a teenager when he was wounded in the 1992-1996 civil war. "All these streets around here were full of bullet shells, burned tanks and vehicles," he added, squinting into a setting sun that cast a golden glow on the bombed-out Darulaman Palace still standing in west Kabul not far from where he was wounded.

"People could not find bread or water, but rockets were everywhere," said Wahidullah, who now hobbles around on red-handled crutches.

The dilapidated palace is a reminder of the horror of the civil war when rival factions — who had joined forces against Soviet fighters before they left in early 1989 — turned their guns on each other. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed.

Fed up with the bloodletting, the Afghan people longed for someone — anyone — who would restore peace and order. The Taliban did so.

But once in power, they imposed harsh Islamic laws that repressed women and they publicly executed, stoned and lashed people for alleged crimes and sexual misconduct. The Taliban also gave sanctuary to al-Qaida in the run-up to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. When the Taliban refused to give up the al-Qaida leaders who orchestrated 9/11, the U.S. invaded on Oct. 7, 2001.
read more here

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fort Carson soldier's helmet cam captures firefight in Afghanistan

Helmet-camera video of Afghan firefight is from Fort Carson soldier
POSTED: 10/06/2012
By Kieran Nicholson
The Denver Post

A video recording of a firefight in Afghanistan posted online by a Fort Carson soldier has gone viral, logging nearly 20 million views since it was uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 26.

Pfc. Ted Daniels, who was wounded in the 25-minute exchange of gunfire in Kunar province April 25, recorded the battle using a helmet-mounted camera. He serves with the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry, the "Mountain Warriors." He received the Purple Heart, according to Maj. Christopher D. Thomas, a public-affairs officer for the brigade.

Daniels was the only soldier wounded during the exchange. He was able to rejoin his unit and return to the forward operating base. He was treated for his wounds and returned to duty.

Daniels is now stateside. He could not be reached for comment.

The firefight started when two or three insurgents opened fire on a U.S. patrol.
read more here

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slain Marine commander’s actions called heroic

Slain Marine commander’s actions called heroic
The Washington Post
Published: September 23, 2012

Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible was heading home to video chat with his wife after dinner when the first blasts rang out. The pops in the distance on Sept. 14 at Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan were harbingers of the most audacious Taliban attack on a major NATO base in the decade-long war.

Like most folks in the sprawling remote desert camp, Raible, 40, a Marine fighter pilot, faced two choices: seek cover or run toward the sound of gunfire.

“The difference between me and some people is that when they hear gunfire, they run. When I hear gunfire, I run to it,” the squadron commander had often told his Marines half in jest, recalled Maj. Greer Chambless, who was with Raible on the night of the attack.

That evening Raible did just that. Armed only with a handgun, he embarked on a course that cost him his life and probably averted even more devastating losses, witnesses and comrades said.
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Camp Pendleton Marine to receive Silver Star

Camp Pendleton Marine to receive Silver Star
A Camp Pendleton Marine will be awarded the Silver Star for saving the life of a critically wounded Marine in Afghanistan by fending off a mass group of Taliban fighters so a medical helicopter could land and safely evacuate him.
Seattle Times
The Associated Press

A Camp Pendleton Marine will be awarded the Silver Star for saving the life of a critically wounded Marine in Afghanistan by fending off a mass group of Taliban fighters so a medical helicopter could land and safely evacuate him.

Master Sgt. David Jarvis of Bremerton, Wash., will receive the military's third-highest award for valor in combat during a ceremony at the base Wednesday.
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