Ranger News

The Ranger News Blog presents current news within the Ranger community; members and the public viewing our website can add comments.

  • 05/31/2010 3:50 PM | Anonymous

    Memorial wreaths lay at the base of the Special Forces Memorial Statue, or “Bronze Bruce” at the conclusion of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command and Special Forces Association Memorial Day Ceremony. The ceremony honored 18 SF Soldier killed in action and more than 90 association members who died this past year. (Photo by SFC Jason Baker, USASFC Public Affairs)

    FORTBRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, May 31, 2010) – Wives and children, gray-haired retirees and Soldiers in uniform, all gathered at the Army Special Operations Forces Memorial Plaza for a common purpose on Memorial Day, to remember and pay honor to the men who have earned the “Green Beret” and gave their lives in service to the United States.

    This year’s Special Forces Association Memorial Day Ceremony, hosted by the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne), honored 18 Special Forces Soldiers killed in combat and more than 90 SF Association members who died this past year.

    “Our older generation is dissipating fast, we had almost 100 last year,” commented Ronnie McCan, President of the Special Forces Association before the start of the ceremony. “We do this to make sure we honor all those who have served, from the Vietnam War to the Cold War and our Soldiers lost in the current wars.”

    Though a Memorial Day ceremony typically focuses on the Service Members who have sacrificed their lives, Maj. Gen. Michael S. Repass devoted his time and words to the recognition of the survivors, specifically the Special Forces’ Gold Star Wives.

    “It has been a tough year for the men in the Green Beret.” said Repass. “I won’t try to top the words that were spoke earlier this past week at the USASOC Memorial, rather I would like to talk about those who have lived in the shadows of the gallant men who are found on (the USASOC Memorial Wall). Perhaps by honoring those who live in the shadows, we might best honor the operators who have departed our ranks.”

    Major Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander, USASFC(A) and Ronnie McCan, national president, the Special Forces Association lay a memorial wreath at the base of the Special Forces Memorial Statue, or “Bronze Bruce” at the conclusion of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command and Special Forces Association Memorial Day Ceremony. The ceremony honored 18 SF Soldier killed in action and more than 90 association members who died this past year. (Photo by SFC Jason Baker, USASFC Public Affairs)

    He started by describing the communities he visited during the 25 funerals he personally attended while serving as the commander of USASFC.

    “In every case in these small towns we have learned how truly extraordinary these operators were in their early lives,” said Repass. “These men were the best, the first, the strongest, the fastest, the most adventurous and yes, the craziest. They were successful before they ever joined our ranks. You can only conclude that their small town upbringing, tight communities, and families that supported the Soldier were responsible for much of their success once they became a Special Forces operator.”

    “We like to think of them as brave and heroic, and so be it,” he said. “The real people I find both brave and heroic are the spouses left behind. They confront dark days every day and somehow they keep it together and move forward.”

    With grief visible upon his face, Repass held back emotion enough to recount the walk from the Fort Myer Chapel to plot 60 where Emily Tinsley’s husband, Capt. John Tinsley, was to be interred.

    “I explained to her that her husband would be interred at section 60, which is also known as the place where America’s valor rests,” said Repass. “I told her I was hugely impressed at her strength and poise at Arlington. In typical SF wife style, she told me that John would be disappointed with her if she was weak. All I can think is, John must be proud.”

    McCan also used his comments to break from tradition by focusing not on the sorrow and grief of the day but on the celebration of the sacrifice given by those in combat to maintain the liberty of this country and ultimately the world, living up to the Special Forces motto, “De Opresso Liber.”

    After the comments by Repass and McCan both came forward and ceremonially placed a memorial wreath at the base of the Special Forces Memorial Statue, nicknamed “Bronze Bruce.” A final role call was read and a bell rang to recognize each name.

    The ceremony concluded with the traditional three-round volley and the playing of Taps. After the ceremony those in attendance gathered together and took pictures at the various memorials at the plaza and shared memories of their service and those they lost.

    Major Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander, USASFC(A) speaks to the audience attending the SF Memorial Day Ceremony. The ceremony honored 18 SF Soldier killed in action and more than 90 association members who died this past year. (Photo by SFC Jason Baker, USASFC Public Affairs)

    Major Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander, USASFC(A) speaks to the audience attending the SF Memorial Day Ceremony. The ceremony honored 18 SF Soldier killed in action and more than 90 association members who died this past year. (Photo by SFC Jason Baker, USASFC Public Affairs)

    Mr. Ronnie McCan, national president of the Special Forces Association, speaks to the audience attending the SF Memorial Day Ceremony. The ceremony honored 18 SF Soldier killed in action and more than 90 association members who died this past year. (Photo by SFC Jason Baker, USASFC Public Affairs)


  • 05/30/2010 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    FORT BENNING, GA (USASOC News Service, May 30, 2010) – A U.S. Army Ranger assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment died as a result of complications due to a spontaneous brain aneurysm on May 29.

    Staff Sgt. Pedro Brandao Lacerda, a Ranger Assessment and Selection Program (RASP) instructor with the Regimental Special Troops Battalion (RSTB) at Fort Benning was leading a squad size element of RASP students through physical training on May 28 when he collapsed.  He was taken immediately to Martin Army Community Hospital, placed on life support and transferred to Columbus Regional Medical Center, where he later died.

    Lacerda was born Aug. 11, 1979, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 2005 from Knoxville, Tenn. He completed One Station Unit Training, Basic Airborne Training, the Ranger Indoctrination Program at Fort Benning and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. There he served as an assistant machine gunner, machine gunner, squad automatic weapon gunner, gun team leader and team leader. In October 2008, Lacerda moved to RSTB to serve as an instructor for new Rangers to the 75th Ranger Regiment.

    He has deployed three times in support of the Global War on Terror; twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

    “Staff Sgt. Lacerda was loved by all and considered the most lethal man in the Regiment with his hands. As an instructor in our Ranger Assessment and Selection Program, he was instrumental in developing Rangers,” said Col. Michael E. Kurilla, Commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. “He was instrumental in the 75th Ranger Regiment’s and Army’s Combatives program. His contributions and legacy to the 75th Ranger Regiment will live on in the hundreds of Rangers he trained.”

    Lacerda was part of the first U.S. Army team to compete in the Pan American Jiu Jitsu Championships in Irvine, Calif., last month where he won his first-round match.  Prior to joining the Army, Lacerda competed in the games and won the gold in 1998, 1999 and 2002. He also captured the welterweight title at the 2009 All-Army Combatives Championship on Fort Benning and was instrumental to the development of the 75th Ranger Regiment and Army combatives programs.

    “Staff Sergeant Lacerda was a hard core Ranger and an All – Army combatives champion, yet also was the nicest guy you ever met,” said Lt. Col. Brian Eifler, Regimental Special Troops Battalion Commander, 75th Ranger Regiment. “We are all going to miss him.”
    Lacerda’s military education includes the Basic Airborne Course, Ranger Indoctrination Training, the U.S. Army Ranger Course, Warrior Leader Course and CombativesundefinedLevels 1, 2 and 3.

    Lacerda’s awards and decorations include the Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist’s Badge. He has also been awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan campaign Medal with combat star, Iraq Campaign Medal with combat star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.  He will be posthumously awarded with the Army Meritorious Service Medal.

    Lacerda, a native of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is survived by his wife Marina B. Lacerda, his children Yasmin and Pepe, his father Pedro Lacerda, his brother Marcelo Lacerda and his sister Tatina Lacerda; all of Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

  • 05/28/2010 7:33 AM | Anonymous

    Lisandra Metzger is comforted by a soldier as he points out the name of her son, Sgt. 1st Class David Metzger, on the USASOC memorial Thursday on Fort Bragg. David Metzger died in October while deployed to Afghanistan.

    Click on the following links to read the full news story; view the video and view photos published by the Fayetteville Observer on Friday May 28, 2010.





    News Story:

    Etched in eternity: USASOC unveils new memorial wall


    Special Operations soldiers remembered

    Be patient; this video takes a few moments to load.

    Slide Show:

    View more photos from the ceremony

  • 05/27/2010 1:01 PM | Anonymous

    FORT BRAGG, N.C. (USASOC News Service, May 27, 2010) – Families and friends of 40 fallen Army Special Operations Soldiers gathered together with members, both past and present, of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at the unit’s Memorial Plaza at Fort Bragg, N.C., May 27 to remember the sacrifice of their loved ones.

    The Fallen Special Operations Soldier’s Memorial Ceremony, which is held every year by USASOC around Memorial Day, is a time for the Soldiers of the command to honor the memory of those comrades lost in the past year. During this year’s ceremony, 35 new names of fallen heroes were added to the Memorial Wall with their families and friends in attendance to share the honor.

     “I would like to extend a very special welcome to our Gold Star Families,” said Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland, USASOC commanding general. “These are our fellow citizens, our neighbors, many of whom are veterans of service to our great nation themselves. They have provided to our nation that most precious of sacrifices: their sons, their husbands, their brothers and fathers. These are the very men who have brought us together here today. You honor us with your presence.”

    The names of Fallen Special Operations Soldiers dating back to the Korean War have been recorded on the USASOC Memorial Wall since 1994. This year, the wall underwent a reconstruction, and was dedicated in the ceremony as the Fallen Special Operations Soldier’s Memorial Wall.

    “We undertook a collective effort with our friends this year to build a new wall, an edifice which we felt would be more fitting to remember and honor our great warriors, knowing that in no way can we fully do justice to their ultimate sacrifices,” Mulholland said.

    Mulholland thanked and highlighted the efforts of many people instrumental in the development and construction of the wall, saying “throughout this project, what was foremost in the minds of all those people who participated was the sacrifice of our fallen heroes. That is what motivated everyone to make this a reality.”

    Such projects do not fall from trees, he said, but rather are enabled by great American patriots who invest in these visions to make them real.

    “To all these great men and women, and all those who have helped make this wall a reality, I thank you,” he said. “We will never lose sight of the fact that this is but a mechanism to recognize the real reason we are here today, that is honor these great Soldiers.”

    Once the wall was unveiled, each major subordinate operational unit’s commanding officer and command sergeant major placed a wreath at the base of the memorial. Then, as the names of 35 fallen Special Operations Soldiers who died in the past year, as well as five from previous years, were read off by each unit’s command sergeant major, silence took the crowd and only the lone ring of a bell could be heard.

    With the country being at war for nearly 10 years, longer than the Revolution which gave birth to the nation, Army Special Operations has been at the forefront of combat, nation-building and a wide variety of other missions in more than 50 countries around the world.

    “Today we stop to honor a very special group of Army Special Operations Soldiers: those who sacrificed all for their fellow man,” Mulholland said. “These are men who had choices. They were extraordinarily talented and intelligent men who could have done anything they wanted to do.”

    When a nation is fighting a war for more than nine years, “don’t stay in this kind of formation unless you have a passion for it, and these were passionate men,” he said. “These are men who loved what they did and knew they were making a difference in the most dangerous missions around the world on behalf of all of us. They, of their own volition, their own desire, took on our toughest challenges in the toughest locations on behalf of this great country.”

    Mulholland closed with the reading of the inscriptions which are etched into the wall.

    “I think they speak perfectly to its purpose and together say all that needs to be said,” Mulholland said. “One is from John, which reads, ‘Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ No other words could possibly make it clear the ultimate purpose behind the sacrifice made by our fallen heroes: their love for their fellow man, and their love for their country.”

    Below is the main inscription located on the front of the wall, as well as the names of the 35 fallen Special Operations Soldiers added to the memorial this year:

    “Welcome Kinsman, Comrade, Friend. Recorded here on this humble Wall are the names of our fallen Heroes. They were and always will be cherished Soldiers of Army Special Operations, our comrades in arms. Know that they eagerly sought and accepted our Nation’s most difficult missions against our most dangerous enemies. Know that they willingly endured hardship and danger, and at the end, sacrificed all for us. With solemn pride, know that in doing so they proved true to their oath to the Constitution and duty to the Citizens of the United States of America. To them, their example and their memory we humbly dedicate this Memorial.”

    Operation Iraqi Freedom

    • Cpl. Ryan C. McGhee of Fredericksburg, Va., 75th Rgr Regt., Fort Benning, Ga.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Duane A. Thornsbury of Clinton, Md., 10th SFG (A), Fort Carson, Colo.

    Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan)

    • Staff Sgt. Keith R. Bishop of Medford, N.Y., 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Bradley S. Bohle of Baltimore, Md., 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Staff Sgt. Rusty H. Christian of Greenville, Tenn., 1st SFG (A), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
    • Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson of Fairbanks, Alaska, 75th Rgr Regt., Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
    • Staff Sgt. Jason S. Dahlke of Jacksonville, Fla., 75th Rgr Regt., Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.
    • Spc. Marc P. Decoteau of Waterville Valley, N.H, 4th POG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Granado III of Longview, Texas, 20th SFG (A), Jackson, Miss.
    • Pfc. Eric W. Hario of Monroe, Mich., 75th Rgr Regt., Hunter Army Air Field, Ga.
    • Sgt. Josue E. Hernandez Chavez of Las Vegas, Nev., 160th SOAR (A), Savannah, Ga.
    • Cpl. Michael D. Jankiewicz of Ramsey, N.J., 75th Rgr Regt., Fort Benning, Ga.
    • Cpl. Benjamin S. Kopp of Minneapolis, Minn., 75th Rgr Regt., Fort Benning, Ga.
    • Staff Sgt. Andrew T. Lobosco of Somerville, N.J., 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Capt. Ronald G. Luce Jr. of Julian, Calif., 20th SFG (A), Jackson, Miss.
    • Chief Warrant Officer 3 Niall D. Lyons of Spokane, Wash., 160th SOAR (A), Savannah, Ga.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Shawn P. McCloskey of Peachtree, Ga., 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Staff Sgt. Shawn H. McNabb of Terrell, Texas, 160th SOAR (A), Savannah, Ga.
    • Sgt. 1st Class David E. Metzger of San Diego, Calif., 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Staff Sgt. Joshua M. Mills of El Paso, Texas, 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael P. Montgomery of Redmond, Wash., 160th SOAR (A), Savannah, Ga.
    • Sgt. Nickolas A. Mueller of Little Chute, Wis., 160th SOAR (A), Savannah, Ga.
    • Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino of Boston, Mass., 20th SFG (A), Glen Arm, Md.
    • Cpl. Nicholas R. Roush of Middleville, Mich., 4th POG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C
    • Sgt. Roberto D. Sanchez of Ocala, Fla., 75th Rgr Regt., Hunter AAF, Ga.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Severin W. Summers III of Lafayette, La., 20th SFG (A), Jackson, Miss.
    • Capt. David J. Thompson of Pinehurst, N.C, 3rd SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C
    • Capt. John Tinsley of Tallahassee, Fla., 7th SFG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Douglas M. Vose III of Roseburg, Ore., 10th SFG (A), Stuttgart, Germany
    • Sgt. 1st Class William B. Woods Jr. of Chesapeake, Va., 20th SFG (A), Glen Arm, Md.

    Operation Enduring Freedom (Philippines)

    • Staff Sgt. Jack M. Martin III of Bethany, Okla., 1st SFG (A), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Christopher D. Shaw of Natchez, Miss., 1st SFG (A), Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

    Operation Enduring Freedom (Other)

    • Sgt. 1st Class David J. Hartman of Merced, Calif., 95th CAB (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Sgt. 1st Class Matthew S. Sluss-Tiller of Ashland, Ky., 95th CAB (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
    • Staff Sgt. Mark A. Stets Jr. of California, 4th POG (A), Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • 05/25/2010 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    Joseph A. Andrzejewski, Major (Retired), U.S. Army Special Forces, died unexpectedly on May 21, 2010 at the age of 54. Resident of Marlton, NJ. Husband of 24 years to Gillian. Beloved father of Dylan. Brother of Donna Brazinski. Son of the late Vincent and Phyllis Andrzejewski. He is also survived by his uncle Frank and aunt Mary Jane Forlin.

    In 1977 he earned his BA from Kings College. He received his MPA from Troy State University in 1988. Joseph's military career began when he completed ROTC and was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army. He would go on to graduate from Ranger School as well as the elite Special Forces.

    A few of his innumerable military accomplishments and positions held over nearly two decades of service include: Chief, Military Freefall Branch and Combat Development Officer, JFK Special Warfare Center; Commander, Special Forces Operational Detachment, Berlin, Germany; Field Office Chief, Special Projects Support Activity (SPSA) Fort Bragg, NC; R&D Officer and Section Chief, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment; and Program Manager, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

    Relatives and friends are invited to the viewing on Thursday May 27th from 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM at the Bradley Funeral Home, Rt. 73 & Evesham Rd., Marlton, NJ. Funeral Service will be 2:00 PM at the funeral home on Thursday. Interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joseph's memory to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or any veteran organization of your choice.

  • 05/23/2010 7:30 PM | Anonymous

    Army Times (Sunday May 23, 2010 9:06:45 EDT) A recent change to Defense Department policy authorizes eligible relatives of deceased service members round-trip travel and transportation allowances to a memorial event that occurs at a location other than the burial site.

    The policy change, directed by the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, took effect May 11, and will be included in an upcoming revision of Army Regulation 600-20 (Command Policy).

    Army policy already requires commanders to conduct a unit memorial event for all deceased soldiers, to include those who commit suicide.

    As part of the Army Family Covenant, commanders also are required to inform family members about any memorial event that is conducted by the unit in a combat theater.

    The new policy further requires commanders to invite, at government expense, surviving family members to one memorial event that is conducted at the home station within two years of the soldier’s death.

    Family members will not be invited to events conducted in a combat theater, such as Afghanistan or Iraq, or in any other deployed location.

    Qualifying memorial event locations are limited to the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, U.S. territories, and the last permanent duty station or home station of the deceased soldier.

    While commanders may invite family members to additional memorial events, only one event qualifies for government-funded travel.

    Authorized allowances include travel to and from the memorial service location, plus two days of per diem at the memorial site.

    Units also will provide any required “in-and-around” local transportation, and assistance in making travel and hotel arrangements, escorts as needed, and assistance in filing reimbursement claims.

    Family members eligible for the special allowance include surviving spouse; deceased member’s children, regardless of age; parents; brothers and sisters, and any other person, including a former stepparent, who has stood in “loco parentis” to the deceased member at any time for a continuous period of at least five years before the member became age 21.

    Commanders with questions about the new policy should contact their supporting Army casualty assistance center.

  • 05/23/2010 7:00 PM | Anonymous

    For the fourth time since 9/11, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Headquarters cased its colors to fight overseas under the new leadership of Maj. Gen. John Campbell.

    “We’ve invested our blood and sweat” in the fight, Campbell told a crowd gathered outside McAuliffe Hall on post Wednesday morning.

    The colors casing ceremony symbolizes the movement of the division to a new theater of operation.

    The headquarters battalion came home from Afghanistan in June 2009 but was ordered to return a couple of months early. Around 1,200 troops are deploying with the headquarters battalion.

    Campbell, who became commander of Fort Campbell in July 2009 after succeeding Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Schloesser, told the crowd this is the most “critical year” for involvement in Afghanistan.

    “The Afghans believe more of what they see than what they hear,” Campbell said.

    He said the mission in Afghanistan was to protect the Afghan population, enable security, bolster the government and support socio-economic development.

    Campbell later elaborated on the mission objectives in Afghanistan. He said after meeting with Gen. Stanley McCrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who both visited Fort Campbell on Friday, it was apparent the mission had changed.

    “Any plan, after the first shot is fired, is going to change,” Campbell said. “... We can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing for nine years.”

    Campbell said a major focus for the 101st troops is training the local police force. While the Afghan Army has shown improvements, “the police have got to come up quite a bit,” Campbell said.

    Campbell pointed out that U.S. armed forces are up for the job not just of fighting a war but for helping a struggling country become self-sufficient.

    “We’re a disciplined force, but we also know how to treat people with dignity and respect,” Campbell said.

    About 20,000 Fort Campbell soldiers are heading to Afghanistan as part of a planned troop “surge.” The deployments started in January, and are expected to conclude this fall.

    Five 101st soldiers, all from the 3rd Brigade, have died in Afghanistan since January.

    Also Wednesday, an Honor Eagle ceremony was held to introduce the incoming acting senior commander of Fort Campbell, Col. Dominic J. Caraccilo. He will take Campbell’s place in overseeing post operations while Campbell is on his year-long deployment.

    Caraccilo has been at Fort Campbell since 2004 and has been deployed for 54 months since 2001. Most recently he has served as the executive officer for the United States Forces-Iraq Commander Gen. Raymond Odierno in Baghdad. He also was the commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Campbell from 2006 to 2009.

    “I’m indeed happy to be wearing the Screaming Eagle patch again,” Caraccilo said.

  • 05/23/2010 6:30 PM | Anonymous

    The nascent command charged with operating the nation’s military computer networks is now a reality, the Pentagon has confirmed.

    U.S. Cyber Command, a subordinate unit of U.S. Strategic Command, was launched Friday afternoon at Fort Meade, Md., in a status officials called an initial operating capability. The command is expected to be fully operational by October, according to Air Force Lt. Col. Rene White.

    Army GEN Keith Alexander, recently confirmed to lead the command, now officially steps into those shoes after receiving his fourth star Friday in a low-key ceremony at Fort Meade just prior to the command’s activation, the Pentagon said. Alexander will continue to direct the super-secret National Security Agency, which is co-located with Cyber Command at Fort Meade.

    Defense Secretary Robert Gates directed the creation of Cyber Command in June 2009 in response to the already significant and growing digital threat from what the command identifies as “foreign actors, terrorists, criminal groups and individual hackers” posed to its information networks, which officials say are probed thousands of times daily.

    Cyber Command will “direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and prepare to, when directed, conduct full-spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure U.S./allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries,” according to a fact sheet released Friday by the Pentagon.

    Concerns were raised during Alexander’s Apr. 15 Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing over whether Cyber Command’s operations will impinge upon efforts to protect civilian networks, which are the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. Alexander sought to tamp down those concerns.

    “This command is not about efforts to militarize cyberspace,” Alexander said. “Rather, it is about safeguarding the integrity of our military’s critical information systems.”

    Senators also questioned the close association Cyber Command and the NSA will enjoy, the degree of transparency the powerful tandem will display and the potential for infringement upon the civil liberties of everyday Americans. Alexander said there will be “significant synergy” between the two but that both will have distinct missions. He agreed that “transparency is important” and said, “We have to show what we’re doing to ensure that we comport, comply with the laws.

    “NSA’s own mission and authorities will not change as a result of the creation of this command,” Alexander said. “And while cyberspace is a dynamic, rapidly evolving environment, what will never change will be an unwavering dedication by both Cyber Command and the National Security Agency to the protection of civil liberties and privacy of American citizens.”

    “This is not an expansion of DoD’s mission,” the Pentagon added in a press release. “It is in keeping with the department’s mission to protect and defend U.S. national security and protect the lives of men and women in uniform.”

    The Defense Department operates about 15,000 networks and currently has about 90,000 personnel dedicated to working on those networks, according to officials.


  • 05/21/2010 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Fort Benning, Georgia (Friday May 21, 2010) The Ranger Tab was awarded to 174 graduates of Ranger Class 6-10 today.

    To recognize outstanding achievement during the Ranger Course, the following awards were presented:

    RALPH PUCKETT AWARD (Officer Honor Graduate) - 2LT Erik Rekedal

    GLENN M. HALL AWARD (Enlisted Honor Graduate) – SFC Edward Novak

    COLONEL Robert A. “Tex” Turner Officer Leadership Award - 2LT Aaron Tomasini

    SGM Robert Spenser Enlisted Leadership Award – PFC Tanner Howbert

    Ranger Training Brigade TACs:

    SSG Erik Correa, 4th BN

    CPT Christian Drennen, 5th BN

    SSG Brian Thibodeau, 6th BN

    Click here to see the complete class 6-10 roster.

  • 05/20/2010 6:11 PM | Anonymous

    Army Times (Thursday May 20, 2010) A suicide bomb attack in Kabul on Tuesday killed five American soldiers, the highest number killed in a single attack in seven months.

    A colonel and two lieutenant colonels were among those killed in the attack, marking the first time during the Afghanistan war that three officers of those ranks were killed in a single incident.

    Early on Tuesday, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device after targeting a convey traveling down Kabul’s Darulaman Road.


    The Defense Department on Wednesday identified the soldiers.

    Col. John M. McHugh, 46, of New Jersey, assigned to the Army Battle Command Training Program, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

    Lt. Col. Paul R. Bartz, 43, of Waterloo, Wis., assigned to Headquarters, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

    Lt. Col. Thomas P. Belkofer, 44, of Perrysburg, Ohio, assigned to Headquarters, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), Fort Drum, N.Y.

    Staff Sgt. Richard J. Tieman, 28, of Waynesboro, Pa., assigned to Special Troops Battalion, V Corps, Heidelberg, Germany.

    Spc. Joshua A. Tomlinson, 24, of Dubberly, La., assigned to Special Troops Battalion, V Corps, Heidelberg, Germany.

    The attack also killed Canadian Col. Geoff Parker and more than a dozen Afghan civilians.

    Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told The Associated Press the bomber was a man from Kabul and that the vehicle was packed with 1,650 pounds of explosives.

    A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said commanders thought the attack was indiscriminate and not part of a larger Taliban strategy targeting senior leaders.

    “We don’t have any information that they were targeting the specific group,” Air Force Master Sgt. Jeff Loftin told Army Times.

    McHugh had been in Kabul for a few days, traveling with Bartz and Belkofer. They were conducting a site survey in advance of the division headquarters deployment. The headquarters is scheduled to go to Afghanistan in the fall.

    Tieman and Tomlinson were traveling with the convoy.

    The incident was quickly condemned by ISAF and NATO leaders.

    “This sort of desperate brutality and aggression reminds us of the pessimism of an enemy who seeks to kill the innocent and to stop the progress necessary for a better Afghanistan,” said ISAF spokesman Brig. Gen. Josef Blotz in a statement.

    In addition to the loss of life, the blast damaged five ISAF vehicles and more than a dozen civilian vehicles.

    The last attack of this magnitude was an IED attack on a Stryker in the Arghandab Valley on Oct. 27 which killed seven soldiers with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

    October was the deadliest month of the U.S.-led occupation of Afghanistan, claiming 56 service-members’ lives; 48 of them were soldiers. So far in May, 18 service members have been killed in Afghanistan.


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