Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iraq. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Counter-ISIL Strikes Hit Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports. 

Operation Inherent Resolve - Targeted Operations Against ISIL Terrorists
Strikes in Syria
Fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six strikes in Syria:
-- Near Near Tanf, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Manbij, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL command and control node.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL storage facility, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Hit, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, a strike struck an ISIL vehicle bomb-making facility.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicle bombs and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL supply caches, two ISIL tunnel entrances and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.
Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Syria include the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shed No Tears - Honor The Fallen

Shed No Tears - Honor The Fallen

In what can only be described as an Irish Wake, I was invited to observe patriots celebrate the life of one of their ranks who, tragically, had fallen. Some of the finest men on the planet gathered that day. The best of the best! The most elite! Not because of money or power but because they possess something in short supply in the world right now - integrity - character.

It began with an admonition that this wasn't the place for tears, sadness, or remorse. There would be memorials and a funeral where all could openly weep over our fallen brother's loss - his sacrifice for America. At these very words I felt a lump in my throat as I held back the tears. I choked tears back because I felt, deep in my soul, I was standing in the midst of giants. They bare the entire country on their shoulders. This next couple of hours was a sacred time for heroes gathered to reminisce about a life lived at twice the speed of sound: a life capable of attaining 65,000-foot elevation, and of turning on a dime; every maneuver to protect our country!

Everybody there was invited to drink our patriot's drink of choice - Red Bull and vodka or to smoke a cigarette from a pack of Marlboro Reds that was sitting on the bar. All grabbed their glass and mixed their version - some didn't mix at all. But all raised those glasses high to say goodbye to an old friend. After the toast the first story had everyone roaring with laughter about the funny things pilots invent to stave off boredom when weather grounds them far away from home. Each story would remind someone of another story filled with laughter and valor and so it continued. Someone lit up a Marlboro Red took a puff and passed the cigarette around. Even those who did not smoke took a puff to see their breath and to understand that their friend, battle buddy, and brother could breathe no more. They acknowledged that he was true to them and to his contract with all of America. He did it right! He may have lived his life at Mach 2 where things happen fast but his split second decisions likely led to his own death protecting others from being in harm's way.

He was an experienced pilot. He had altitude when he radioed that the plane wasn't responding. Why didn't he eject and save his own life? We know the answer. From the stories of those that knew him well, he crashed in a remote area because he put mission first - above himself. He could not eject knowing that he would live and endanger others. He could only punch-out once he knew that others would not be hurt. By then, unfortunately, it was too late.

I would feel the tears well up inside but in honor of the courage and bravery in the room I would choke them back. Finally, I could sense that I was not alone in holding back my tears. Nobody shed a tear that day because they had walled them up using laughter as the mortar, and stories of valor as the bricks. Were they just stories? I sensed that each man in that room would have done the same thing. They were the bricks of valor. The oceans of tears created that day are safely stowed away. When the laughter gives way to the memorials, the funeral, the crumbling mortar of that wall will create a tsunami wave of tears that will attempt to wash away the grief we all feel for this tremendous loss. The bricks of valor will quickly return to their duty shoring up the fortress - building upon our fallen hero's legacy as well as the legacy of all of those since the American Revolution that carved our nation out of the wilderness.

When we read the headlines of corrupt cops or slimy politicians or journalists that spin the truth, don't despair. Know that there are those still left in this fragile world that put mission above self: those with integrity and character: those that cannot be corrupted. Men and women who will protect you from all of the evil that is in this world. They signed a contract to put their lives on the line and that contract will not be broken - for any amount of money or under any circumstances even if it means blood is spilled a single drop at a time.

Honor the fallen! Honor the Constitution of the United States of America. We are only a nation because of the tradition where men and women put their service to us, to "we the people," above their own self interest. This is America's strength. We are in their debt. Be grateful for every drop of blood that has already been spilled and stands ready to be spilled to keep us safe - to keep us moving toward "the more perfect union."