• Source: Army.  A flight medic checks IV fluid is flowing to a wounded Afghan soldier during a patient transfer in Kapisa province on Nov. 5, 2012.

    Newsweek: Aircrew saves 14 in 3 days in Afghan’s ‘Death Valley’

    Friday, July 5, 2013

    By Tony Dokupil and John Ryan
    The first bodies came on the first day of the operation. It was a Saturday, hot and quiet, the wind spinning eddies of sand around Forward Operating Base Joyce in eastern Afghanistan. Out of the midmorning silence came the crackle of a hand radio. “Medevac! Medevac! Medevac!” said the dispatcher, [...]

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  • Insurgent medevac

    Army Times: Dwindling but deadly enemy remains as U.S. leaves Afghanistan

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    By John Ryan
    Enemy forces in Afghanistan have shrunk by roughly 5,000 fighters and show signs of deteriorating midlevel leadership as U.S. forces take a back seat in combat operations, Army officials said.
    New estimates put enemy ranks at 20,000 fighters, a figure roughly the size of a U.S. Army division. That compares with 7,000 enemy fighters [...]

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  • U.S. and Afghan forces prepare to go on patrol in Afghanistan.  A recent spate of attacks by Afghan soldiers on NATO troops has casted doubt on Afghan forces' ability to take over combat operations there.  Credit: Army.

    The Daily Beast: Green-on-blue attacks spike as U.S. draws down in Afghanistan

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    By John Ryan
    As the US-led coalition in Afghanistan turns over greater responsibility to Afghan forces in advance of the scheduled 2014 end to the war there, American military officials have downplayed the significance of the rising number of so-called “green-on-blue” insider attacks, where uniformed Afghan defectors turn their weapons on their U.S. and NATO counterparts.
    In [...]

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  • Soldiers hand out pens to Afghan kids on Jan. 21, 2012.  Afghan forces recently apprehended three children there wielding an improvised explosive devices likely to be used against a coalition foot patrol.  Credit: Army.

    Army Times: Afghan kids found armed with bombs for foot patrols

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    By John Ryan and Joe Gould
    They were young — aged 9, 11 and 18 — with dirty faces and shabby clothes, but they carried deadly cargo as they walked shoeless along a busy Afghan road. They carried two bombs, hidden in plastic bags, each made from one-liter soda bottles full of enough potassium chlorate to [...]

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  • Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia expects to launch a new app this fall to help visitors walk the hallowed grounds.  Credit: Army.

    Army Times: Arlington cemetery to unveil new app

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    By John Ryan
    A new Army smartphone app looks to better connect Americans with soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Va.
    Set for release this fall, the software plots nearly 260,000 burial sites and urn niches on photographic maps, and will showcase photos and records of more than 300,000 individuals buried there, according to cemetery officials.
    A cutting-edge [...]

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War operations

Source: Army.  A flight medic checks IV fluid is flowing to a wounded Afghan soldier during a patient transfer in Kapisa province on Nov. 5, 2012.
Jul
5

Newsweek: Aircrew saves 14 in 3 days in Afghan’s ‘Death Valley’

By Tony Dokupil and John Ryan
The first bodies came on the first day of the operation. It was a Saturday, hot and quiet, the wind spinning eddies of sand around Forward Operating Base Joyce in eastern Afghanistan. Out of the midmorning silence came the crackle of a hand radio. “Medevac! Medevac! Medevac!” said the dispatcher, [...]

Read More
U.S. and Afghan forces prepare to go on patrol in Afghanistan.  A recent spate of attacks by Afghan soldiers on NATO troops has casted doubt on Afghan forces' ability to take over combat operations there.  Credit: Army.
Jul
24

The Daily Beast: Green-on-blue attacks spike as U.S. draws down in Afghanistan

By John Ryan
As the US-led coalition in Afghanistan turns over greater responsibility to Afghan forces in advance of the scheduled 2014 end to the war there, American military officials have downplayed the significance of the rising number of so-called “green-on-blue” insider attacks, where uniformed Afghan defectors turn their weapons on their U.S. and NATO counterparts.
In [...]

Read More
Soldiers hand out pens to Afghan kids on Jan. 21, 2012.  Afghan forces recently apprehended three children there wielding an improvised explosive devices likely to be used against a coalition foot patrol.  Credit: Army.
Jul
23

Army Times: Afghan kids found armed with bombs for foot patrols

By John Ryan and Joe Gould
They were young — aged 9, 11 and 18 — with dirty faces and shabby clothes, but they carried deadly cargo as they walked shoeless along a busy Afghan road. They carried two bombs, hidden in plastic bags, each made from one-liter soda bottles full of enough potassium chlorate to [...]

Read More
A soldier and Marine open a bag of concrete to construct a building in Djibouti May 23. Roughly 3,000 soldiers are expected to deploy to Africa in 2013.  Credit: Staff Sgt. Andrew Caya/Air Force.
Jun
9

USA Today: 3,000 soldiers to serve in Africa next year

by John Ryan
A brigade will deploy to Africa next year in a pilot program that assigns brigades on a rotational basis to regions around the globe, the Army announced in May.
Roughly 3,000 soldiers — and likely more — are expected to serve tours across the continent in 2013, training foreign militaries and aiding locals.
As part [...]

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An Army noncommissioned officer teaches marksmanship to African soldiers.  Special Forces soldiers in central Africa are supporting a manhunt for regional tyrant Joseph Kony and his band of rebels.  Credit: U.S. Army.
May
28

USA Today: SF soldiers make progress in hunt for Kony

By John Ryan
Green Berets and U.S. intelligence personnel have bolstered the manhunt in central Africa that is reportedly gaining ground on despot Joseph Kony’s rebel group, accused of abducting and conscripting children and killing more than 1,000 civilians since 2009.
Living among four African militaries in the bush, 100 U.S. special operations troops — mostly Special [...]

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Soldier profiles

President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta at the White House on Nov. 16, 2010. Credit: Leroy Council/Army.
Feb
12

With Medal of Honor, Giunta becomes face of modern-day heroism

By John Ryan
Spc. Salvatore Giunta dashed into the night of Oct. 25, 2007, under heavy fire and without cover, searching for a soldier who went missing during an ambush. He found two Taliban fighters carrying the wounded soldier away, and he shot one down while the other fled. After risking death, Giunta dropped to the ground [...]

Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett shows indicators of an improvised explosive device to African soldiers training in Kenya.  Photo credit: Defense Department.
Feb
12

IED hunter shares combat lessons at West Point

By John Ryan
Command Sgt. Maj. Todd Burnett was sitting in a mine-protected vehicle while its long robotic arm clawed the earth aside an Iraqi road — when it hooked a large drum.
As the arm raised the barrel, dirt fell to the ground, uncovering five 155mm artillery shells — which exploded with a thunderous roar.
The blast [...]

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