Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

$ 70 Billion Needed For Next 6 Months of War

January 13, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has outlined a $69.7 billion estimate of funds needed for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the spring through September, a sum he calls a “personal assessment” that includes $23 billion for new weapons but does not account for costs associated with a likely increase of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

In a Dec. 31 letter to the leaders of the four congressional defense committees, Gates said the estimate — which would bring total fiscal year 2009 war costs to $135.6 billion — “would fund operations through the remainder of the fiscal year; replace combat losses, worn-out or stressed equipment; and replenish supplies.”

Gates characterized the figure as a “personal estimate” and not the position of the Bush administration or the incoming Obama administration. “As such, I fully expect that the new administration will conduct a fresh review of these matters and provide an updated and more authoritative proposal” once in place, he writes.
Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

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12 things soldiers can expect in the new year

January 8, 2009
Naval Calendar 2009
Naval Calendar 2009

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From a new commander in chief to a revamped method of PT, soldiers will see a slew of changes in 2009. Some might make Army life tougher. Some might make it easier. But there’s no doubt it’s a packed agenda as the Army’s active and reserve forces shift gears in Iraq and face likely increased action in Afghanistan, along with keeping up with the day-to-day demands of running the service and meeting the needs of families on the home front. Army Times highlights the 12 most important developments, from pay to deployments.

Charleston Airlifters Deploy

January 7, 2009
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Aviation Calendar 2009

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More than 140 Airmen from the 16th Airlift Squadron and the 437th Operations Support Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia from Charleston AFB Dec. 29 as part of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

For this deployment, the entire squadron is deploying to a single base where they will fly and manage missions in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. The 16 AS will take control of the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron from the 15th Airlift Squadron based out of Charleston AFB, who will be returning home next month.

“I am excited,” said Maj. Todd McCoy, 437th Operations Group assistant director of operations. “We have trained for almost a year and are now ready to go out and do the mission.”

The 16 AS will be transporting service members and supplies in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. They will also fly aeromedical evacuation missions.

This deployment marks the eighth time an entire C-17 squadron will deploy for an operation.

For some Airmen, this will be their first time deploying and leaving loved ones behind. Over the past ninety days they had a pre-deployment checklist to complete and a cluster of classes to take in order to prepare for their deployment.

“I feel well prepared,” said Airman 1st Class Thomas Farmer, 437th Operations Support Squadron. “The classes package the information really well.”
Positive reinforcement throughout the squadron has brought high morale to Airmen getting ready to deploy.

“It is almost overwhelming how supportive people have been from the First Sergeant to the spouses,” said Airman Farmer. “Now we can all get on that plane together and do our job.”

Ian Hochlaender

Gates Pledges “Active” Role as Obama Defense Secretary

December 13, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday that he had no intention of being a “caretaker” at the Pentagon and that he agreed with what he termed President-elect Barack Obama’s “responsible drawdown” plan for American combat troops from Iraq.

The defense secretary did not explicitly endorse Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months.

Instead, Mr. Gates said he supported the broad outlines of Mr. Obama’s Iraq strategy and gave indications that he and the president-elect could reach common ground on troop withdrawals over the next year.

Read the full article at NYT

Obama’s National Security Advisor Speaks Up on Afghanistan

December 13, 2008
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James Jones, President-elect Barack Obama’s new national security adviser, said a U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan will work only if other changes take hold there, including a strengthening of the judiciary and national police force, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ quoted the retired Marine Corps general as saying that Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge to move as many as 10,000 U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan must mesh with a concentrated international effort to bolster government and eradicate the vast heroin trade.

“You can always put more troops into Afghanistan,” he said. “But if that’s all you do, you will just be prolonging the problem.”

Military Preps for Afghanistan “Surge”

December 12, 2008
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Aviation Calendar 2009

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President-elect Obama has called Afghanistan the central front in the war on terror. As the government conducts three strategy reviews of the conflict there, unanswered questions remain — such as whether to negotiate with the Taliban and how Afghan troops might be called on to defend their country.

But even without the answers to those questions, the buildup in U.S. forces is already under way. At least 20,000 more American troops are expected to be sent to Afghanistan in 2009. Read the full NPR Report

“Former” Russian Spies Attack DoD Computer Networks

December 12, 2008
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Military Aviation Calendar

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The recent cyber attack on the U.S. military’s classified computer network has been traced to a front company run by several former Russian KGB or Federal Security Service spies, FOX News has learned. 

The attack led the Pentagon to ban the use of external hardware devices, such as flash drives, because that’s how the “worm” got into the classified military network. 

FOX News has learned the intrusion was discovered by the U.S. military in Afghanistan — and that the attack came through the local Internet service provider that the Afghans (under U.S. supervision) contracted out to a front company run by former Russian spies. 

Read the complete article

John McCain Foresees Afghanistan Surge Success

December 9, 2008
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Naval Calendar 2009

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“Here in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan we’re at a tough place, but we have confidence that working with our allies here, working with the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the new effort and the new resources that will be brought in we can conclude these fights as successfully as we’re progressing in Iraq,” US Senator John S. McCain said while touring war-torn Afghanistan. Read the complete article.

Pentagon Eyes Cut in MQ-9 Reaper UCAV Purchase

November 30, 2008
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Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Senior Pentagon officials are eyeing cuts to an Air Force-proposed increase of MQ-9 Reaper purchases by 34 aircraft, one-third the total buy, in fiscal year 2010, a decision DOD believes will not impact the service’s plans to stand up 50 combat air patrols over Iraq and Afghanistan by 2011, Inside the Air Force has learned.

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DOD Finishing $80 Billion War Spending Request; $50 Billion for New Hardware

November 26, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

 

The Defense Department is finalizing a war-cost spending request worth approximately $80 billion to pay for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through next October, reports Inside Defense. The latest emergency supplemental proposal, which includes nearly $50 billion for new military hardware, could be sent to Congress as soon as next week.

“It’s almost ready,” said a Pentagon official of the second fiscal year 2009 supplemental spending request.

Added to the $66 billion “bridge” appropriation allocated by Congress to cover war costs through next spring, the approximately $80 billion request in the works would bring the total FY-09 Pentagon price tag for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to nearly $150 billion. Read the full Report (paid subscription required)