Friday, May 11, 2007

Military News: 11 May 2007

Today I have some pretty good stories. Please remember, I did not write these, but I do recommend them. Just click the title of whichever article you wish to read.

Iraqi Troops Train for Mass Casualties.
KIRKUK, Iraq, May 9, 2007 — The sound of emergency sirens streaked through the K-1 Iraqi Army Base as fire trucks and ambulances, escorted by military vehicles, rushed outside the base to respond to a simulated catastrophic event with massive casualties.

The recent massive casualty, or MASCAL, training exercise was a joint effort between the Iraqi army and medical personnel along with U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division soldiers from nearby Forward Operating Base Warrior.

Bush Asks for Time, Resources to Allow Success.
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 – The new security plan for Baghdad needs a chance to succeed, and troops serving in Iraq deserve the resources they need to make sure it does, President Bush said at the Pentagon today.

Bush spoke to reporters following a two-hour meeting with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other defense and military leaders.

The president said he considers it ironic that the Senate unanimously approved Army Gen. David H. Petraeus to serve as commander of Multinational Force Iraq after hearing details of his security plan but isn’t showing a willingness to give that plan a chance to work.

Cheney: America Will Stay on Offensive Against Terror.
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 – Al Qaeda terrorists have chosen Iraq as the central front in their worldwide campaign against freedom, so America must stay in the fight to prevent them from establishing a safe haven from which to launch more attacks, Vice President Richard B. Cheney said in Iraq today.

Al Qaeda leaders believe they can wear down the United States, force the troops out of Iraq and make the country a launching pad for new attacks in the region and abroad, Cheney said in remarks to members of the Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Tikrit. “The terrorists have stated these ambitions clearly, and this is where they’ve decided to fight,” he said. “The United States also has made a decision. As the prime target of a global war against terror, we will stay on the offensive; we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.”

Gates wants better armor quicker.
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is exploring ways to speed up the timetable for getting more Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles to troops in Iraq.

Gates told reporters during yesterday’s Pentagon news conference that he’s impressed by what he’s read about the MRAPs and the improved troop protection they offer over up-armored Humvees.

He cited an article that noted that no Marines had been killed during 300 incidents in which their MRAPs were involved in improvised-explosive-device attacks. “That certainly got my attention,” he said.

The MRAP’s raised, V-shaped underbelly deflects the force of IEDs and other blasts from below.

Commander Sees Success in Iraqi Security Forces.
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 – U.S. forces are continuing to see improvements in the abilities of the Iraqi security forces they are training, the commander of the Iraqi Assistance Group today told representatives of veterans service organizations during a conference call from Iraq.

“From the streets of Baghdad to the Iranian border, transition teams are providing high-quality advice and assistance to Iraq security force units,” said Army Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of the Iraq Assistance Group in charge of helping Iraqi military, police and border enforcement officials.

Local population key in Iraqi, Coalition forces steady progress.
BAGHDAD – The Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman and the director of Air Component Coordination Element held a press conference at the Combined Press Information Center Wednesday.

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. David Edgington, director of the Air Component Coordination Element provided an update on security operations and discussed the contribution of air support to Coalition forces.

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