Optimism Trumps Fear #10
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!
This blog has been running for just over 4 months and providing the CENTCOM Wrap-ups for just greater than half that time, or two months. In this very short amount of time, there have been many folks that have helped to make all this happen. I want to especially thank SPC Claude Flowers from CENTCOM who has been very helpful, supportive, and a responsive (to a blogger of all people!). It has been great corresponding over the past two months and I look forward to continuing the relationship!
The list for this last week is really short. The greatest news is that there are no setbacks and no corrections! You couldn't ask for a greater end to a spectacularly positive change in both theaters: Afghanistan and Iraq. While all this has been going on, the US Military has been handling flood and tsunami relief, a huge earthquake in Pakistan, and an increase in tension in Korea and China. Once again, the greatest volunteer military in the world shows what it's all about: helping people in need and protecting us all from terrorists while providing hope and support from which freedom will grow.
First up there are two stories that show you just how hard the US Air Force is working to help people in need. One is now buried beneath the fold and the other is very recent, so, you know the drill.
The story that no longer hits "the big time" in the media these days it the continued support being provided to Pakistan after the earthquake. US CENTAF reports that over the last week 3 C-130s flew more than 41,000 pounds of food and water, medicine, construction materials, and aircraft parts. In total, to date, the US Air Force has delivered north of 10 million pounds of aid using 54 C-130s, 45 C-17s, and 53 other civilian/private/corporate aircraft that have been contracted to help. This is humanitarian relief for the long haul, and it just keeps going!
When it comes to the humanitarian side, and you need to get someone way across the world for much needed assistance, and it has to happen now, well, call the US Air Force (ok, it's not that easy). In the case of a family in dire need of a life saving procedure for their daughter born with spina bifida, there was an amazing series of events that made it all happen. While some Gainesville Georgia National Guardsmen of the 1st Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Brigade BCT were searching a house, the grandmother of a baby girl asked the soldiers for help. As the story unfolded in front of these soldiers, they realized that this little girl had a slim chance for survival unless she received treatment - somewhere with advanced facilities. Members of the guard unit contacted their congressional representatives, were able to get a doctor in Atlanta to help for free, get free airfare to Atlanta (the portion that was not on a C-130), and a non-profit in Atlanta that will pick up all the other expenses. AND, Charles Glatz, consul for the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait got clearance for these folks to fly over Kuwait without needing visas and such (yeah, I know, FLT LVL says ya don't really touch the ground, who needs a visa!?). Here's to the crew from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, 738th Expeditionary Air Squadron, that were to have a day off yet turned right around and fired up their C-130 to get the baby and her family on their way!
Another great story coming out of Tikrit, Iraq, is the capture of 23 suspected terrorists in three separate raids in two days. And you might say, "But, hey, the teams capturing these terrorists weren't Americans but were Iraqis!" That's very true. And the US Military has been working very hard to get the Iraqi Army trained and ready to protect themselves! This is what we need to do to get freedom to pervade the country of Iraq. What is even better is if you read the article, locals turned the terrorists in to the Iraqi Army - so, they went in and scooped 'em up! Hats off to soldiers from Iraq's 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 5th Army Division and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division! They netted a Ba'ath Party leader who was behind many attacks. They also scooped up terrorists believed to be responsible for IED and small arms attacks. The best quote from the whole story,
"None of the Soldiers involved in the two days of operations were injured as they continued to remove those responsible for acts of terrorism and violence against the civilians and security forces in the area."Uh-huh, it gets better and better. Just stay on the positive and keep the pressure on. Yes, there are setbacks and sometimes bad people get lucky. But to win a conflict of this magnitude requires fortitude, perseverance, and hope - OK, mix that in with a little bit of Blackhawks and A-10s for good measure!
So, for the last CENTCOM wrap-up of 2005, here we go!
The GOOD = 12
Combined Raids Result in 23 Captures -- 12/31/2005
Weapons Seized, two Suspects Detained -- 12/31/2005
Air Force Evacuates Baby Noor From Iraq -- 12/31/2005
ISF Rescues Kidnapping Victim, Arrests Three -- 12/30/2005
US CENTAF Provides Pakistan Aid -- 12/30/2005
Coalition Forces Transfer of Authority -- 12/30/2005
Iraqi Security Forces Take Charge Against Terrorism -- 12/30/2005
Afghan Interior Ministry Selecting General Officers -- 12/30/2005
Teamwork Clearing Ramadi Streets -- 12/29/2005
First Battle Space Transition in Nineveh Province -- 12/29/2005
Citizens of Paktika Province Welcome New Road -- 12/29/2005
Joint Statement by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. George Casey -- 12/27/2005
The SETBACKS = 0!!!
None, and what a way to end the YEAR of 2005!!!
The CORRECTIONS = 0!
None here too, Wooo-Hooo!
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