Corpsmen Treat Girls Injured by Land Mine
By Sgt. Joe Lindsay, Task Force Lava Public Affairs, US Marine Corps
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition corpsmen rushed to the assistance of two girls, 8 and 10, who were injured when a Soviet-era land mine exploded near here March 31.
The incident occurred when one of the girls picked up the device – one of millions that litter the Afghan countryside – and began playing with it.
“The landmine that injured these girls is called a ‘toe-popper,’” explained Navy Lt. Aric Aghayan, battalion surgeon for the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment, deployed to eastern Afghanistan from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii .
“The reason it is called a ‘toe-popper’ is because if you step on one, it will blow off your toes. It is designed to maim its victims. It is very small and doesn’t look menacing, but it brings damage and destruction,” he said.
Two corpsmen – Seamen Michael Ewing and Charles Mark – ran more than a mile to help the girls, and were the first on the scene.
USS Oak Hill Aids Vessel off Coast of Somalia
By Ensign Dave Nobles and Journalist 2nd Class Daniel Gay, Oak Hill Public Affairs, US Navy
ABOARD USS OAK HILL (LSD 51), At Sea – USS Oak Hill (LSD 51) provided assistance to a distressed vessel approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia March 30, while conducting maritime security operations (MSO) in the area.
The crew of Motor Vessel Bhakti Sagar contacted Oak Hill via radio, asking for assistance. As part of MSO, coalition forces have a longstanding tradition of helping mariners in distress providing medical assistance, engineering assistance, and search and rescue. The motor vessel’s crew said they needed food, water and fuel.
“I was surprised to hear them call me over the radio,” said Ensign Andrew Wilcox, the officer of the deck at the time the U.S. ship received the distress call. Shortly after dawn Oak Hill sent a Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) team to the motor vessel to assess how Oak Hill could help.
“The crew was scared at first, but after they saw we were there to help them they calmed down,” said Operations Specialist Seaman Nicholas Cheramie, VBSS boarding team member.
What We’ve Gained in Three Years in Iraq
By Donald H. Rumsfeld
Some have described the situation in Iraq as a tightening noose, noting that “time is not on our side” and that “morale is down.” Others have described a “very dangerous” turn of events and are “extremely concerned.”
Who are they that have expressed these concerns? In fact, these are the exact words of terrorists discussing Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his associates — who are describing their own situation and must be watching with fear the progress that Iraq has made over the past three years.
The terrorists seem to recognize that they are losing in Iraq. I believe that history will show that to be the case.
Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.
Airmen Volunteers Improve Medical Facilities in Kyrgyzstan
By Staff Sgt. Lara Gale, 376th AEW Public Affairs, US Air Force
MANAS AIR BASE, Kyrgyzstan — Volunteers from the Manas Air Base Outreach Society are working to improve the lives of current and future patients in two Bishkek medical facilities.
Last week, volunteers visited patients in a children’s heart ward and a burn unit in different medical centers in Bishkek, where they delivered donated medical supplies, linen, toys and treats for the children.
At each site, they also met with doctors to make arrangements for helping improve the facility’s capabilities for the long term; at the heart ward paying for a doctor’s advanced training, and at the burn ward working toward creating an in-house rehabilitation training program and improving medical equipment.
The burn ward is located in Bishkek’s trauma center, a large medical complex with wards for severely wounded or ill patients. The entire center has just one physical therapist, who is rarely able to visit the burn ward, said Maj. tephania Timothy, a surgeon with the 376th Expeditionary Medical Group here and leader of the burn ward MABOS group.
Afghanistan National Army’s Central Movement Agency Conducts Inaugural Operations
By Tech. Sgt. Mario Saenz, US Air Force
Office of Security Cooperation – Afghanistan Defense Reform Directorate
KABUL , Afghanistan – The Afghan National Army’s Central Movement Agency conducted their inaugural movement operations recently, delivering meals-ready-to-eat to forward operating units. This was their first self-sustained undertaking after several training deliveries in the Kabul area. This event highlights the progress the CMA has made toward total self-sufficient capability.
The CMA currently consists of 90 ANA troops and 33 new vehicles, and will mature to 890 people and 627 vehicles organized into four transportation companies. It will serve as the ANA’s national transportation system and stand ready to provide vital military transportation services for the ANA across Afghanistan.
The training sessions covered basic preventive maintenance checks and services, driver responsibilities, vehicle-specific operation and safety. All CMA vehicle operators attended each class. CMA training also included professional military topics, such as mentoring junior officers, command level decision making, and the important NCO roles and responsibilities required for mission accomplishment.