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Friday, February 26, 2010

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 156-10 February 26, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sgt. William C. Spencer, 40, of Tacoma, Wash., died Feb. 25th at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany, of wounds sustained Feb. 20th while supporting combat operations at Combat Outpost Marez, Iraq. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 146th Field Artillery Regiment, Olympia, Wash.
For more information, media may contact the Washington National Guard public affairs office at 253-512-8481.



No. 155-10 February 26, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Cpl. Daniel T. O'Leary, 23, of Youngsville, N.C., died Feb. 23rd in Fallujah, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over. He was assigned to the 307th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
For more information, media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661, or 910-432-0662.

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photo for the Day - February 25, 2010

* Photo for the Day * U.S. Marines, bottom, with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment talk with a British soldier near Marjah, Afghanistan, Feb. 21, 2010. U.S. and British military forces are working together to clear Marjah of Taliban forces.
DoD photo by Cpl. Albert F. Hunt, U.S. Marine Corps

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

No. 150-10 February 25, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sgt. Marcos Gorra, 22, of North Bergen, N.J., died Feb. 21st at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
For more information the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910- 432-0661, or 910-432-0662.

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Ground Updates: Afghanistan/Pakistan - February 24, 2010

On Ground Updates
Afghanistan/Pakistan
Petraeus: New Afghan campaign will be tough
Originally posted Feb. 22, 2010
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Army 2nd Lt. Jesse Underwood engages enemy forces during Operation Moshtarak in Badula Qulp, Afghanistan
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With U.S. forces entering the second week of a 12- to 18-month campaign in Afghanistan, the general in charge of U.S. forces in the region acknowledged yesterday that the way ahead will be tough.
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“I have repeatedly said that these types of efforts are hard, and they’re hard all the time,” Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
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Likening operations in Afghanistan to the surge in Iraq, the general pointed out that when U.S. forces go on the offensive to take away Taliban safe havens, they will see definite resistance.
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Petraeus said the past year has been spent putting things in place for a “comprehensive civil military campaign,” putting in the best leaders, helping to develop concepts, giving counterinsurgency guidance and starting to filter an additional 30,000 forces into the country.
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“So the inputs we think now are about right, and now we’re starting to see the first of the output, and the Marja operation is the initial salvo, the initial operation in that overall campaign,” he said.
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Early results have included taking down high-value targets, such as Taliban shadow governors, Petraeus said.
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“We are there for a very, very important reason and we can’t forget that,” Petraeus emphasized. “We are in Afghanistan to ensure that it cannot once again be a sanctuary for the kind of attacks that were carried out on 9/11, which were planned initially in Kandahar, first training done in eastern Afghanistan before the attackers moved to Hamburg and then on to U.S. flight schools.”
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When asked if al-Qaida still poses a threat to the United States, Petraeus pointed out that the terrorist organization is a “flexible, adaptable” enemy whose threat, although diminished within the 20 countries making up the Central Command area, is one that requires constant vigilance.
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“It is a network, and it takes a network to keep the pressure on a network, and that is, indeed, what we are endeavoring to do,” Petraeus said.
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Although he wouldn’t get into the details on the intelligence operations surrounding the recent capture of Afghanistan’s No. 2 Taliban commander, Abdul Baradar, Petraeus said Pakistan leaders have done “very impressive” work over the past several months leading up to this event.
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“They saw this as the most pressing existential threat to their country, and they supported the Pakistan army and frontier corps as it went into Swat in the Malikan division of the northwest frontier province, and then expanded this operation in to the federally administered tribal areas,” Petraeus said. “They know they can’t just clear and leave. They have to clear, hold, build and, over time, transition to the local security forces. That’s indeed, what they are endeavoring to do. They are carrying out this fight.”
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On the topic of potentially revising the law that prohibits homosexuals from serving openly in the military, Petraeus said he’s sure there’s a very sound and good process at work on that issue.
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During Feb. 2 testimony before the Senate, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced the creation of a review to be headed by Army Gen. Carter F. Ham and the Defense Department’s general counsel, Jeh C. Johnson.
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“It will provide a rigorous analysis of the views of the force on the possible change,” Petraeus said. “It will suggest the policies that could be used to implement a change, if it does come to that, so that it could be as uneventful as it was, say, in the U.K. or the Israeli militaries or, indeed, in our own CIA and FBI.”
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The general said that he’ll be ready to provide his input on the topic when he testifies before Congress with other combatant commanders in a few weeks.
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“I think that it’s very important that these issues be handled and discussed and addressed by this review that will be so important in forming decisions as we move forward,” Petraeus said. “I think it is hugely important that we have the answers from the questions that they’ll be asking in a very methodical way – something we’ve not done before because of the emotion and the sensitivity of this issue.”


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Taken from news article on CENTCOM website - Written by Carmen L. Gleason, American Forces Press Service
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AubreyJ............

Photo for the Day - February 24, 2009

* Photo for the Day * Afghan Firefight
Pvt. John Stafinski fires his M249 SAW at insurgents in Kunar province. Stafinski, a native of Seville, Ohio, and his unit engaged in a three-hour gun battle with insurgent fighters in Kunar's Waterpur Valley, on November 3rd of last year. Stafinski is an infantryman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, based out of Fort Carson, Colo.
Photo from CENTCOM

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

No. 146-10 February 23, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Feb. 21st in Qayyarah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter had a hard landing. The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Squadron, 230th Cavalry Regiment, Louisville, Tenn.

Killed were:
Capt. Marcus R. Alford, 28, of Knoxville, Tenn
Chief Warrant Officer Billie J. Grinder, 25, of Gallatin, Tenn

For more information, the media may contact the Tennessee National Guard public affairs office at 615-313-0662.


No. 145-10 February 23, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. JR Salvacion, 27, of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, died Feb. 21st at Senjaray, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
For more information media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office at 719- 526-7525; after hours 719-526-5500.

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

No. 142-10 February 23, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Eric L. Ward, 19, of Redmond, Wash., died Feb. 21st while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office a to 910-451-7200. For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 141-10 February 23, 2010 February 23, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Matthias N. Hanson, 20, of Buffalo, Ky., died Feb. 21st while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Taking a Moment to Honor our Fallen Heroes

Today... I would like to
Take a Moment to Honor our Fallen HeroesSince that tragic day on 9-11-2001… many of our bravest have given their all while fighting for this great country of ours. Please take a moment to thank them, in your own way, for all they have done and were willing to do for you -- me and this great country of ours. May God bless each and every one of these fallen Heroes, all of those who have been wounded, all of their families, friends, loved ones and their comrades in arms who were at their side.
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Never forget those that protect us -- Each and every day...
Here at home and overseas.
AubreyJ.........
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Note: Many have gave their all in Afghanistn these last few days... Please take time to read their names above/below this post...

DoD Identifies Navy, Marine, Army Casualties

No. 136-10 February 16, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Eckard, 30, of Hickory, N.C., died Feb. 20th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 135-10 February 16, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Adam D. Peak, 25, of Florence, Ky., died Feb. 21st while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.



No. 134-10 February 22, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Cpl. Gregory S. Stultz, 22, of Brazil, Ind., died Feb. 19th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Okinawa, Japan.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the III Marine Expeditionary Force/Marine Corps Bases Japan public affairs office at 011-81-611-745-0790 or e-mail them at okinawapao@usmc.mil.


No. 133-10 February 22, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Joshua H. Birchfield, 24, of Westville, Ind., died Feb. 19th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, Calif.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-725-8766.


No. 130-10 February 20, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sgt. Jeremy R. McQueary, 27, of Columbus, Ind., died Feb. 18th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 129-10 February 19, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Kielin T. Dunn, 19, of Chesapeake, Va., died Feb. 18th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 128-10 February 19, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Larry M. Johnson, 19, of Scranton, Pa., died Feb. 18th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 127-10 February 19, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Kyle J. Coutu, 20, of Providence, R.I., died Feb. 18th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 126-10 February 19, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Charles A. Williams, 29, of Fair Oaks, Calif., died Feb. 7th at Camp Nathan Smith, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained while supporting combat operations. He was assigned to the 97th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, Fort Riley, Kan.
For more information the media may contact the Fort Riley public affairs office at 785- 240-1893, 785- 239-3033/3410, or after hours at 785- 210-8867.


No. 123-10 February 19, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Eric D. Currier, 21, of Londonderry, N.H., died Feb. 17th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 120-10 February 18, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Alejandro J. Yazzie, 23, of Rock Point, Ariz., died Feb. 16th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at 760-725-8766.


No. 119-10 February 18, 2010
DoD Identifies Army Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device Feb. 13th in Zhari province, Afghanistan. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.

Killed were:
Staff Sgt. John A. Reiners, 24
, of Lakeland, Fla
Sgt. Jeremiah T. Wittman, 26, of Darby, Mont
Spc. Bobby J. Pagan, 23, of Austin, Texas

For more information media may contact the Fort Carson public affairs office at 719- 526-7525; after hours 719-526-5500.


No. 117-10 February 18, 2010
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a sailor who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Petty Officer 1st Class Sean L. Caughman, 43, of Fort Worth, Texas, died Feb. 16th, while supporting operations in Kuwait. Caughman was assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Twenty-Two.
For further information related to this release, contact Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs at 757-462-4316 x252.


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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Update on Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 Mission - February 20&21, 2010

Note: Post moved on top from original post date - Scroll below for latest post and updates
Space Shuttle Endeavour undocks from International Space Station -
Crew Prepares for Sunday Landing
Origina post date: Saturday, February 20, 2010

A view of Space Shuttle Endeavour from the International Space Station shortly after undocking.
Photo Credit: NASA TV

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Space Shuttle Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station at 6:54pm CST after a visit totaling nine days, 19 hours and 48 minutes.
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Endeavour delivered the final addition to the U.S. segment, the Tranquility node, along with the cupola, an observatory module that will be used for scientific observations of Earth and celestial bodies, and as a robotics control room. The station is now 98 percent complete by volume, 90 percent by mass.
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After undocking, shuttle Pilot Terry Virts moved the shuttle to 400 feet ahead of the station, and then flew a full circle around it while camera-wielding shuttle crew members and cameras in Endeavour’s payload bay focused on documenting the state of the station with Tranquility and the cupola.
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After the fly-around, Virts executed two burns of Endeavour’s jets to maneuver the shuttle behind the station and leave the area. Later, Endeavour crew members began the late inspection of its thermal protection system using the Orbiter Boom Sensor System. Commander George Zamka, Mission Specialists Kathryn Hire, Stephen Robinson, and Nicholas Patrick and Virts worked in shifts to examine the reinforced carbon-carbon panels and heat shield tiles on the starboard wing, nose cap and port wing.
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Tomorrow is to be the last full day of orbital activities for the STS-130 crew and will focus on landing preparations. Zamka, Virts and Robinson will check out Endeavour’s flight control systems and steering jets to make sure they’re ready for re-entry.
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The crew's bedtime is 6:14am as it adjusts for scheduled entry on Sunday. The wakeup call is set for 2:14pm. The JSC Newsroom will close at 5am and reopen at 3pm. The next status will be issued after the crew awakens, or earlier if events warrant.

Endeavour’s First landing attempt will be at 9:16pm CST Sunday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, weather permitting.
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Post update: 9:30pm EST
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THEY'RE COMING HOME!!!
Landing tonight will be at 10:20pm EST
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Space Shuttle Endeavour fired its engines at 9:14pm EST for the deorbit burn. The STS-130 crew is now headed home for a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. at 10:20pm
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Keep up to date/watch landing live at links below....

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Read Latest News/Updates
at NASA.gov
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Watch Landing/Mission Live
at NASA TV
ENJOY!!!
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Touchdown!!!
Welcome HOME...
And a job well done!!!!!!
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Info/image taken from the NASA.gov website

Saturday, February 20, 2010

29- AubreyJ’s Energy Update Report - February 20, 2010

AubreyJ’s Latest Energy Update Report
Latest from Mr. T. Boone Pickens
Saturday, February 20, 2010
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Image credit: Chesapeake Energy Corporation
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Army,
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Washington, DC might have been hit with a record snowstorm last week but it’s not stopping us! We’ve had some great accomplishments I want to tell you about. More people are taking notice of our need to get off foreign oil and onto our own resources.
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Last week the Western Governors' Association (WGA)—a non-partisan organization of 22 governors representing 19 U.S. states and 3 U.S. Territories—called upon Congress to make it a priority to pass legislation that would include incentives for the development and use of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) and NGV infrastructure.
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In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed by WGA's chairman and vice chairman, Govs. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) and C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID), they wrote:
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“In addition to providing critical support for job growth in America, further development of NGVs and NGV infrastructure will help reduce our national trade deficit and dependence on oil from unstable and unfriendly regimes. Like members of Congress, we are concerned about how the staggering trade deficits impact America’s economic growth and prosperity, and a large portion of our nation’s trade deficit is attributable directly to the importation of oil. Every day the United States spends billions of dollars overseas in the form of oil payments that could be spent here, in America, employing our citizens and boosting the health of our economy. America's continued dependence on foreign oil represents a clear threat to our economic health and security.”
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I couldn’t agree more. We need to act now.
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If you haven’t already signed the Energy Independence NOW petition, I encourage you to click here and sign it as soon as possible. Share it with your friends and family. Let’s keep sending the message to Congress over and over and over again until they finally hear us and pass legislation to end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.
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I’ll be back in Washington next week to keep up the fight and will report back to you then. Thank you for staying with me. We’re going to get this done.
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-- Boone

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P.S. Please share this email [post] with your friends and family...
(And again... Sign the Petition HERE)
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Pickens Plan TV Spot - January 2010
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This video posted on YouTube by pickensplan
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Mr. Pickens... Keep up the GREAT work you’re do for all of us!
AubreyJ.........

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Drill Baby -- DRILL!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Apology Accepted! Tiger Woods Gives Heartfelt Apology

Apology Accepted!
Tiger Woods Gives Heartfelt Apology
Friday, February 19, 2010
. US Army file photo by Tim Hipps
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Golf Great Tiger Woods gave a heartfelt apology late this Friday morning to everyone in the world to see and for those who would listen. And from what I saw and heard... apology accepted!
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Tiger gave his remarks in front of a small group of friends, colleagues and close associates at the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tiger discussed his past and his future, and he deeply apologized, to ALL, for his behavior and mistakes.
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On Tiger Woods official website... his staff wrote this prior to his remarks... While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between him and his wife, he also recognizes that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that's what he's going to [did] discuss.
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* Transcript: Tiger's public statement
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Note: I’ll update this post later in the day when video pops up on the web
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Nothing but the best of luck to you and yours, Tiger...
Get this behind you and back to playing some GREAT Golf.
AubreyJ.........

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Iran: On Ground Updates - February 18, 2010

Iran: On Ground Updates
New IAEA Report says Iran Pursuing Secret Research Projects that could help in Development of Nuclear Warheads
Thursday, February 18, 2010
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DOE file photo
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* The New York Times brings us the follow report this afternoon, (and I must say one that is of NO surprise to me,) and their troubling report starts off like this... The United Nation’s nuclear inspectors declared for the first time on Thursday that extensive information they have collected raised concerns about “past or current undisclosed activities” by Iran’s military to develop a nuclear weapon. The unusually strongly worded conclusion seems certain to accelerate Iran’s confrontation with much of the rest of the world... Their comments were contained in a report to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the first accounting under the agency’s new head, Yukiya Amano...
Read the full report at link below...
I.A.E.A. Suspects Iranian Nuclear Weapons Activity

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* The Washington Post reports this troubling news out of the IAEA this way... Iran appears to have recently pursued secret research projects that could help it develop nuclear warheads, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said Thursday, casting fresh doubt on Iranian claims that its nuclear intentions are peaceful... The International Atomic Energy Agency also confirmed that Iran has increased the enrichment level of some of its uranium, bringing the Islamic republic a step closer to being able to make weapons-grade nuclear fuel... In a strongly worded report, the IAEA challenged Iran to explain purchases of sensitive technology as well as secret tests of high-precision detonators and missile reentry systems -- experiments closely associated with atomic warheads. Although much of the research took place nearly a decade ago, the report said some tests "seem to have continued beyond 2004."...
Read this report in full at link below...
IAEA says secret Iranian research could be aimed at nuclear weapons

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Now... wasn’t it just a few years back when a (Faulty) Intelligence Report came out saying Iran had pretty much halted ALL its programs into building Nuclear Weapons back in, I believe it said, 2003? And with this report we all raised cane at the time saying NO DANG WAY...

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I, like so many others, do SO remember how this faulty Intelligence Report tied President Bush’s hands at the time and kept him from getting more support from the world community to deal with all of this Iranian mess too.
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So... there is really no surprise today, from this new IAEA report, that Iran is actually pursuing these Secret Nuclear Weapon Research Projects.
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But look... there is some good news out of this report today and that good news is that we finally have a new man in charge at the IAEA who will call it as it is... and not cover up for any country.
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Where have you been Mr. Yukiya Amano!!!?
And Welcome........
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AubreyJ.........

Single Engine Plane Crashes Into (IRS) Office Building - No Accident!

Single Engine Plane Crashes Into (IRS) Office Building, In Austin, TX
Gutting It With Fire
Accident, Deliberate - Looking Like the Latter
Thursday, February 18, 2010
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A small single-engine plane crashed into a seven-story office building in Austin, Texas, around 10 a.m. local time Thursday... An NTSB official told Fox News that they are investigating this as an intentional act, and said it appears the pilot set his own house on fire and then got in his plane and flew it into the building
. An NTSB spokesman, however, told FoxNews.com that "we can't confirm any of that."... An IRS office is located inside the building, NTSB told Fox News...
Read more on this developing story HERE

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Watch LIVE feed from Fox News
HERE

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Watch SLIDESHOW
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* Right after it happened *
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Plane crashes into the Echelon Building in Northwest Austin
This News Video posted on YouTube by Austin News kxan.com

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* More on Plane Crash *
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News/Videos/Slides at MyFoxAustin.com
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More on this story when the dust settles and more up to date info comes in
AubreyJ.........

Photo for the Day - February 18, 2010

* Photo for the Day * From Flight Day 10
Astronaut Nicholas Patrick participates in the mission's third and final spacewalk as construction and maintenance continue on the International Space Station... During the spacewalk, Patrick and astronaut Robert Behnken completed all of their planned tasks, removing insulation blankets and launch restraint bolts from each of the Cupola's seven windows.
Image credit: NASA
February 17, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AFGHANISTAN: Special Report - Operation Moshtarak

Special Report
Operation Enduring Freedom
* AFGHANISTAN *

- Operation Moshtarak -
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Operation Moshtarak extends Afghan government influence in Helmand
UK Ministry of Defence
Wednesday
, February 17, 2010
. About photo: Troops hold a 'shura' with villagers and elders in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan, during Operation Moshtarak
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The key objectives of Operation Moshtarak, driving out the insurgents and extending the influence of the Afghan Government, are being achieved, despite mine and IED levels higher than anticipated.
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Speaking to the media via satellite link from Helmand, British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, commander of ISAF Regional Command (South) in Afghanistan, and Lindy Cameron, head of the Multi-National Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Helmand, have said that the deliverance of governance and reconstruction is already beginning in areas such as shuras (community meetings), reconciliation and "cash for work" programs.
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The objectives of Operation Moshtarak are to improve security and freedom of movement within the main population areas of central Helmand. Carter said the operation is "at the end of the beginning," but a significant number of improvised explosive devices would require meticulous and thorough clearing that would take some time to conclude.
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By securing the key population centers and economic arteries in southern Afghanistan, it is planned that Afghan security forces and their ISAF partners will pave the way for greater economic development and growth of governance.
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Immediate stabilization activities, led by the PRT, will follow on in areas as soon as possible after the clearing phase of the operation.
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On the initial clearance phase, Carter said it had gone better than expected and that all 11 objectives were taken in the first few hours of the operation, which happened on a pitch black night with no accidents.
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In the key area of Marjah, he said approximately two-thirds had now been cleared and that the rest would take several more days.
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He said a shura had taken place between the Afghan Government and local leaders in the Nad 'Ali district on Feb. 11, ahead of the clearing phase of the operation, to inform them what would happen... and that when the Government enforced its control over Nad 'Ali it would result in betterment and the deliverance of the services they would expect.
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From that shura other "sub-shuras" were arranged in areas such as reintegration, and one to act as a reference group to help and advise the Governor and Deputy Governor of Helmand on the reconstruction phase.
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On reintegration, Carter used as an example an Afghan insurgent who had been taken back to his village by the Afghan Government and assurances received from his family in return for his release.
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Looking forward to the hold stage of the operation, Carter said 1,000 Afghan Gendarmerie (formerly known as the Afghan National Civil Order Police) had been moved to the region and would remain there for four months while 1,000 new Afghan National Police officers a month were being trained.
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Moving to the reconstruction and stabilization phase of the operation, Lindy Cameron of the PRT said the next phase was to assess damage to buildings and services but more importantly to set up political outreach to discover what kind of services local people wanted the Afghan Government to supply.
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However, Cameron said that in northern Nad 'Ali they have found so far that the infrastructure has not been badly damaged and the local population is relatively well off, so is not as dependent on compensation or seeking as much in the way of short-term "cash for work" programs.
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As a result the reconstruction plan in northern Nad 'Ali will be altered in co-operation with the local population.
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Carter said four ISAF/Afghan National Army servicemen had died so far during the operation, and 35 had been wounded.

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Read past articles from CENTCOM below:
> Clearing phase continues in Operation Moshtarak
> Initial key objectives of Operation Moshtarak achieved
> Clearing operations begin in central Helmand

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Taken from a News Article posted on the CENTCOM.mil website

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties

No. 116-10 February 17, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lance Cpl. Noah M. Pier, 25, of Charlotte, N.C., died February 16th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the Marine Corps Base Hawaii public affairs office at 808-257-8838.


No. 112-10 February 16, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Jason H. Estopinal, 21, of Dallas, Ga., died February 15th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.


No. 111-10 February 16, 2010
DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
Cpl. Jacob H. Turbett, 21, of Canton, Mich., died February 13th while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the II Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office at 910-451-7200.

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U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)

Photo for the Day - February 17, 2010

* Photo for the Day *
- Scoping the Area -
Corporal Jason Ducote, a fireteam leader with 3rd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment uses the scope of his rifle to check out suspicious activity while Pfc. Jacob Cooper, an assaultman also with 3rd Platoon, provides security on the outskirts of Marja, Helmand province, Afghanistan, February 14th.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Tommy Bellegarde

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update on Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 Mission - February 16, 2010

Mission Update:

Third and Final STS-130 Spacewalk Tonight

Kick-off Time Around 9:09pm EST

Original Post Date:
Tuesday
, February 16, 2010
4:26pm EST
. About today’s photo: Mission Specialist Robert Behnken participates in the mission's second spacewalk lasting five-hour, 54-minutes. Behnken and Mission Specialist Nicholas Patrick connected two ammonia coolant loops, installed thermal covers around the ammonia hoses, outfitted the Earth-facing port on the Tranquility node for the relocation of Cupola, and installed handrails and a vent valve on the new module.
Image credit: NASA / Taken 2-14-10

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The Crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour awoke at 4:15pm EST to the song “Window on the World” by Jimmy Buffett, played for Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire.

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The mission’s third and final spacewalk is today. Spacewalkers Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick will complete the work on the Tranquility node and the cupola’s exterior, including removing covers and launch locks. Inside, Expedition 22 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi will move a robotics workstation, which has served as a backup inside the Destiny laboratory, into the cupola.

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Crews Busy with Robotics and Hardware Relocation

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With a port swap of the International Space Station’s new cupola and Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 completed today, astronauts continued outfitting the new Tranquility module and its observation deck and prepared for a third spacewalk.

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The pressurized mating adapter was moved early in the crew’s day from its temporary position atop the Harmony node to the outboard end of Tranquility, where the cupola had been launched. Mission Specialists Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick operated the station’s Canadarm2 for the move, while station Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi dealt with latches and bolts, connecting the port to its new home at 9:28pm EST.

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Patrick and Behnken will hook up heater and data cables between the relocated adapter and Tranquility during the spacewalk that begins Tuesday evening. Today, the spacewalkers reviewed plans for the final planned spacewalk with Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson, the intravehicular officer, along with Space Shuttle Endeavour Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts and station Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer.

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The 6.5-hour spacewalk is scheduled to begin at 9:09pm. The spacewalkers will open the second of two ammonia loops to allow its coolant to flow through Tranquility and disconnect temporary power cables. They will remove insulation from the cupola’s seven windows and then release bolts that held the covers in place during launch, enabling astronauts to open the shutters from inside.

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All Info/Images taken from the NASA.gov website
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Read Latest News/Updates
at NASA.gov
....
Watch Mission Live at NASA TV
HERE
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POST UPDATE:
Wednesday morning
3:12am EST
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* Spacewalk Complete *
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Behnken and Patrick Conclude Third Spacewalk
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Image above: The Cupola's window shutters open for the first time just before the end of the third STS-130 spacewalk.
Image credit: NASA TV
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Spacewalkers Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick completed a 5-hour, 48-minute spacewalk at 3:03am EST. The pair finished all their scheduled tasks.
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This was the last of three STS-130 spacewalks, the 233rd conducted by U.S. astronauts, the sixth for Behnken and the third for Patrick. It was the 140th in support of International Space Station assembly and maintenance, totaling 873 hours, 16 minutes.
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A Mission Status Briefing will air at 5:30am with STS-130 Lead Space Station Flight Director Bob Dempsey and STS-130 Lead Spacewalk Officer Art Thomason.
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Job well done and what a show it was tonight!
AubreyJ.........

Monday, February 15, 2010

Top Taliban Military Commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Captured

Secret Joint Pakistani, American Intelligence Operation Capture Top Taliban Military Commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar
Monday evening - 9:10am CST
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The New York Times had been sitting on this story for a few days but they finally got the go-ahead from our military today to print and here it is. Their report starts off like this... The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials... The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks... Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials...
Read the full report at link below...
Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander
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Post Update:
Tuesday
, February 16, 2010
.

> EuroNews.net has the following World News Text/Video Report posted up on their website this morning...
Click it out HERE
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* TimesOnline has the following report posted up on their website this afternoon and it starts off like this... Regarded as brilliant and charismatic, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was the second most powerful figure in the Afghanistan Taleban... The military commander who is said to have developed the Taleban tactic of planting "flowers" - improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - along roadsides has been described by terrorism experts as even more cunning and dangerous than Taleban supreme leader (his old friend) Mullah Omar... Mullah Baradar has been credited for rebuilding the Taleban into an effective fighting force and has been running the group’s daily affairs for many years, since Mullah Omar was forced to take a less active role in the organization due to his failing health... Besides heading up Taleban military operations and running its budgets, he also ran the group’s leadership council, known as the Quetta Shura, named because its leaders have been thought to be hiding near Quetta, the capital of Pakistan’s western province of Baluchistan. A photograph of him has yet to surface... [Worry yourself not though... We’ll get a mug shot of Mullah Baradar murdering ass, soon enough!]
Read the rest of this informative report at link below...
Profile: Mullal Baradar - father of the roadside IED
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* The Christian Science Monitor has this lengthy take on things... Pakistan announced the arrest of the most senior Afghanistan Taliban commander since 2001, Taliban number 2 Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. With growing intelligence cooperation between the US and Pakistan, could Osama bin Laden be next? ....
Read the rest at link below...
After Taliban Baradar arrest, does Bin Laden matter?
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Taliban Leader Captured In Karachi, Pakistan

About today’s News Video:
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the top military commander of the Afghan Taliban has been arrested in Karachi by a joint team of the CIA and Pakistan's ISI. The Taliban however, has denied the reports.
This video posted on YouTube by newsxlive
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Much more on this story to come...
AubreyJ.........

Update on Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-130 Mission - February 15, 2010

Mission Update:
Original Post Date:
Monday
, February 15, 2010
5:10pm EST
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* Photo for the Day *
Image above: The cupola, attached to the International Space Station's robotic arm, is relocated to the Earth-facing port of Tranquility.
Image credit: NASA TV

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Astronauts Move Cupola
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The International Space Station’s new viewport is facing the Earth now, ready to provide a panoramic view of the planet below and approaching cargo ships. Relocation of the cupola from the Tranquility node’s forward port to its new location was completed at 1:31am EST.
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Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire and Pilot Terry Virts moved the cupola, operating the station’s Canadarm2 from controls in the U.S. laboratory, Destiny. Station Commander Jeff Williams operated the latches and bolts that released the cupola from its launch location and then secured it to its new home.
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There was a minor delay in releasing the cupola. The bolts attaching it to its launch position on Tranquility had been torqued in Earth’s gravity and were a little tighter than expected. Flight controllers slightly increased the torque to release the bolts, resolving the problem. The cupola’s attachment to the Earth-facing port went smoothly.
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Outfitting of the cupola, including preparations for filling water lines and for installation of a robotics workstation there, continued. Crew members are expected to get their first look out the cupola windows after Tuesday’s third and final scheduled spacewalk of Endeavour’s stay at the station.
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Endeavour’s spacewalkers, Mission Specialists Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick, spent about an hour and a half early in their day preparing for that excursion. Part of those preparations involved resizing another spacesuit for Behnken. The suit he wore on the first two spacewalks had some communications dropouts.
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Above Info/Image taken from the NASA.gov website

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Read Latest News/Updates
at NASA.gov
....
Watch Mission Live at NASA TV
HERE
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I’ll update this post later this evening when I find out just when Tuesday’s 3rd and final spacewalk kicks off -- So be sure to check BACK!!!
AubreyJ.........