Welcome Home USS Santa Fe…!

August 16, 2017
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Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

A U.S. Sailor receives an embrace from his sweetheart at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug. 15, 2017, upon returning from a deployment aboard the attack submarine USS Santa Fe. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Hinton

South Dakota Airmen Team Up With South Korean, Japanese Counterparts

August 9, 2017

170808-O-ZZ999-0002DoD News, Defense Media Activity

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2017 — Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers under the command of Pacific Air Forces joined their counterparts from the South Korean and Japanese air forces Aug. 7 in sequenced bilateral missions.

This serves as the first mission for the crews and aircraft recently deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, in support of U.S. Pacific Command‘s continuous bomber presence missions, officials said.

After taking off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the B-1s — assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron — flew to Japanese airspace, where they were joined by Japanese F-2 fighter jets. The B-1s then flew over the Korean Peninsula, where they were joined by South Korean KF-16 fighters. The B-1s then performed a pass over the Pilsung Range before leaving South Korean airspace and returning to Guam.

Enhancing Combined Capabilities, Skills

Throughout the mission, which lasted about 10 hours, the aircrews practiced intercept and formation training, Pacific Air Forces officials said, enabling them to enhance their combined capabilities and tactical skills while also strengthening the long-standing military-to-military relationships in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

Ellsworth B-1s were last deployed to Guam in August 2016, when they took over continuous-bomber-presence operations from the B-52 Stratofortress bomber squadrons from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

“How we train is how we fight, and the more we interface with our allies, the better prepared we are to fight tonight,” a 37th EBS B-1 pilot said. “The B-1 is a long-range bomber that is well-suited for the maritime domain and can meet the unique challenges of the Pacific.” The pilot is not identified by name for security considerations.

Commitment to Stability, Security

Aircrews, maintenance and support personnel will continue generating B-1 bomber sorties to demonstrate the continuing U.S. commitment to stability and security in the region, providing commanders with a strategic power-projection platform and fulfilling the need for aircraft that are mission-ready at any time, an important part of national defense during a time of high regional tension, Pacific Air Forces officials said.

“While at home station, my crews are constantly refining their tactics and techniques so that we can better integrate with our counterparts from other nations,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, 37th EBS commander. “As demonstrated today, our air forces stand combat-ready to deliver air power when called upon.”

The United States has maintained a regular bomber presence in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region since 2004. The Aug. 7 mission demonstrated the U.S. commitment to regional allies, increased readiness and exercised the right under international law “to fly legally in the place and time of our choosing,” officials said.

Photo: Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers assigned to the 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, prepare to take off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, for a 10-hour mission, flying in the vicinity of Kyushu, Japan, the East China Sea, and the Korean Peninsula, Aug. 7, 2017. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger

Happy Birthday to America’s Coast Guard!

August 4, 2017

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On Aug. 4, 1790, the U.S. Coast Guard was created.

Semper Paratus “Always Ready” !

Military.com

The Coast Guard celebrates its 227th birthday in August this year. The Coast Guard is one of America’s five armed forces and traces its founding to Aug. 4, 1790, when the first Congress authorized the construction of 10 vessels to enforce tariff and trade laws, prevent smuggling, and protect the collection of federal revenue. Responsibilities added over the years included humanitarian duties such as aiding mariners in distress.

The service received its present name in 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service merged with the U.S. Life-Saving Service to form a single maritime service dedicated to the safety of life at sea and enforcing the nation’s maritime laws.

The Coast Guard is a multi-mission, maritime, military service and the smallest of the five Armed Services. Its mission is to protect the public, the environment and U.S. economic interests in the nation’s waterways, along the coast, on international waters, or in any maritime region as required to support national security.

Freedom Is Not Free…

July 19, 2017

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America Asked To Lead Bastille Day Parade!

July 13, 2017

French and U.S. service members rehearse for the Military Parade on Bastille DayYellow Ribbon America Breaking News! 

U.S. European Command News

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017: A historic first, nearly 200 American service members will lead the military parade on Bastille Day, July 14, the famous Champs-Elysées in Paris in commemoration of the U.S. entry into World War I.

The annual French holiday marks the storming of the Bastille in Paris in 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution.

Bastille Day Parade Tradition

The French government traditionally invites a country of honor to lead the parade, which is linked to a historical event and highlights a symbolic gesture of friendship.

“France stood with us during the American Revolution and that strategic partnership endures today,” said Army Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. European Command. “On behalf of the 60,000 service members standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the French to ensure Europe is whole, free and at peace, we are honored to lead the Bastille Day Parade and help celebrate the French independence.”

President Donald J. Trump, French President Emmanuel and many more dignitaries are scheduled to attend the event while more than 3,765 people participate in the parade. On July 6, 1880, the French Parliament passed an act declaring July 14 a national holiday to mark the storming of the Bastille. As part of nationwide celebrations, a traditional military parade is held.

Flyovers Slated

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and an F-22 are slated to conduct flyovers. The U.S. served as the country of honor and led the parade for the first time ever, according to the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

The United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917.

“During the centennial of America’s entry into World War I, we commemorate America’s sons and daughters who defended peace — many of them descendants of European immigrants who came to America seeking freedom, and a better life,” Scaparrotti said. “Amidst the horrors of war, over 4 million Americans served in World War I and more than 100,000 Americans made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Photo: The U.S. formation marching in the military parade on Bastille Day in Paris, France, July 14, 2017, is reviewed as part of the final rehearsal in Satory, France, July 12, 2017. This year, the U.S. will lead the parade as the country of honor in commemoration of the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I – as well as the long-standing partnership between France and the U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officer Michael McNabb

Almost 200 U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen assigned to units in Europe and the 1st Infantry Division based at Fort Riley, Kansas, march from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde during a July 12 rehearsal for the military parade on Bastille Day to be held in Paris, July 14, 2017. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Petty Officier Michael McNabb

July 12, 2017

Fueling fighters

Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

By Terri Moon Cronk

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2017 — The global coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has offered its congratulations to Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the Iraqi security forces on their historic victory against an evil enemy, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told Pentagon reporters today.

Iraq declared Mosul’s liberation yesterday, Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend said Townsend, in a teleconferenced briefing from Baghdad.

“The Iraqis prevailed in the most extended and brutal combat I have ever witnessed, while making extraordinary efforts to safeguard civilian lives, even at the cost of their own,” he said. “The list of martyrs is painfully long.”

ISIS Lost Largest ‘Capital’

The OIR commander noted when ISIS lost Mosul, it lost its capital in Iraq and the largest population center they held anywhere in the world.

“Iraqi militia forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, and the global coalition also deserve a share of the credit for their sacrifices to achieve this hard-won victory,” Townsend said.

But Iraq’s victory does not eliminate the presence of ISIS, he cautioned, adding that tough fighting against the rogue terrorists remains.

“There are still pockets of resistance in Mosul, hold-outs, and hidden [improvised explosive devices] that will take weeks to clear, as well as remaining ISIS enclaves [in places such as] western Anbar,” Townsend said.

Additionally, humanitarian and stabilization efforts are desperately needed to ease the suffering of Mosul citizens and start the city on the road to recovery, he said. “Though the Moslawis have suffered greatly, the east side is already springing back to life less than six months after its liberation. And Moslawis have already started to return to their neighborhoods in the west.”

But still, he added, the loss of one of ISIS’ twin capitals and a jewel of their so-called caliphate is a decisive blow to ISIS and certainly something for the Iraqis to celebrate.

“They can also celebrate the remarkable turnaround their security forces have made in the course of the past three years,” the general said. 

Raqqa Liberation Closer

Turning to Syria, the Syrian Democratic Force began its assault to liberate Raqqa on June 5, and 37 days later, they have completely surrounded the city and made good progress on both their eastern and western axes of attack, Townsend

The SDF breached into the ancient citadel of Old Raqqa in the central part of the city, he said.

“We should not forget that ISIS has had more than three years to prepare the defense of Raqqa,” Townsend said. “While SDF operations are off to a good start, resistance has been stiffening, and we know this is not going to be an easy fight. We said that about Mosul, but many seem to be surprised when it turned out to be true.” 

ISIS Leader Status Unknown

With varying reports on the whereabouts of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the general said he is confirm or deny where he is or whether he is alive or dead. “Let me just say for the record, my fervent hope is it is the latter,” he added. 

With the battle against ISIS not over, the terrorist group remains a threat, and an evil enemy that will resort to any lengths to maintain its hold on territory it claims as their caliphate, the general said.

“But make no mistake, it is a losing cause,” Townsend said of the organization. “Our partners in the international coalition against ISIS will stand side-by-side against ISIS until they’re defeated in both Iraq and Syria.”

Picture: An U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in an undisclosed location, July 6, 2017. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride 

Exercise Red Flag 17-3 Commences in Nevada

July 11, 2017

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Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Andrew Sarver, 99th Air Base Wing

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev., July 11, 2017 — Red Flag 17-3, a three-week air-to-air combat joint training exercise, commenced here yesterday, Air Force officials said.

Officials said Red Flag consists of a variety of attack, fighter and bomber aircraft, reconnaissance aircraft, electronic warfare aircraft, airlift support, search-and-rescue aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and ground-based command and control, space and cyber forces.

The exercise concludes July 28.

Base leadership reminds southern Nevada residents they may notice increased military aircraft activity during the exercise.

Aircraft will depart here twice daily to participate in combat training missions on the Nevada Test and Training Range north of Las Vegas in one of the Air Force’s largest joint exercises.

Joint Warfighting Exercise

“For Red Flag, we bring in our joint warfighters with their capabilities and their equipment,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Mark Sadler, 414th Combat Training Squadron commander. “We come together and fight as a team. And, we get to learn from each other as we do that.”

U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II fighter jets will participate alongside the Air Force’s F-35A’s for the first time in Red Flag history.

 “We get to learn in a realistic training environment as we continue to progress down the road with this platform and other fifth-generation or fourth-generation aircraft,” Sadler said.

Having two F-35 units at Red Flag provides a team-building opportunity, he said.

‘We’re Not Going to War Alone’

“We’re not going to go to war alone,” Sadler said. “The more we can do joint exercises like Red Flag — where we get everybody together and learn from each other — the more we can better use each other’s tactics, techniques and procedures to successfully go after whatever the problem set is.”

More than 2,500 joint warfighters will participate in Red Flag 17-3, officials said.

“Red Flag gives our joint warfighters the opportunity to promote their readiness through innovation,” Sadler said. “They may have to go outside their comfort zone and take risks with their innovation. But at the end of the day if they see positive, successful outcomes toward the objectives, then that’s immediate positive feedback on readiness we’re looking for here at Red Flag.”

Picture: U.S. Marines with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 “Wake Island Avengers,” 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, wait for pilots to walk to three F-35B Lightning IIs on the first day of Exercise Red Flag 17-3 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., July 10, 2017. Red Flag 17-3 is a realistic combat training exercise involving the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. This iteration of the exercise is the first to feature both the Air Force’s F-35A Lightning II and the Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II, which is capable of short takeoff vertical landing. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lillian Stephens

☆ Happy Independence Day America!

July 3, 2017

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IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

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USS Alaska (SSBN 732) Marks 100th patrol!

June 21, 2017

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Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

KINGS BAY, Ga. (June 15, 2017) Sailors assigned to the ballistic-missile submarine USS Alaska (SSBN 732) assemble topside to commemorate the submarine’s 100th patrol following a medical evacuation exercise with a U.S. Coast Guard HH-65 “Dolphin” helicopter. (U.S Coast Guard photo/Released)

President Gives Mattis Authority to Set U.S. Troop Strength in Afghanistan

June 20, 2017

Obama hands over presidency to Trump at 58th Presidential Inauguration

Yellow Ribbon America News Desk:

By Jim Garamone

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 — President Donald J. Trump has delegated authority to manage the number of U.S. troops sent to Afghanistan to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

The secretary spoke about this delegation in his opening statement during a budget hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee this morning.

The American military effort in Afghanistan must be viewed as part of a larger regional context in South Asia,” Mattis told the senators. “Our primary national interest and the international interest in Afghanistan is ensuring it does not become an ungoverned space from which attacks can be launched against the United States, other nations or the Afghan people,” he said.

Partnered Operations, Training Afghan Forces

To meet this national interest, U.S. forces are conducting partnered counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan, while other U.S. forces are working with NATO’s Resolute Support mission to train Afghan security forces to shoulder their country’s security mission.

“At noon yesterday, President Trump delegated to me the authority to manage troop numbers in Afghanistan,” Mattis said. “The delegation of this authority – consistent with the authority President Trump granted me two months ago for Iraq and Syria – does not, at this time, change the troop numbers for Afghanistan.”

Interagency Partners

Mattis promised to work with interagency partners to define the way ahead. “I will set the U.S. military commitment, consistent with the commander in chief’s strategic direction and the foreign policy as dictated by Secretary of State [Rex] Tillerson,” he said.

The fight in Afghanistan remains important, the secretary said, noting that Afghanistan was the staging ground for the al-Qaida terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I would say that the reason we have not been attacked over many years from where the 9/11 attack originated is heavily due to the sacrifices that we have made over years as we have kept the enemy on the back foot,” Mattis said. “It’s hard for them to conduct external operations out of that former stronghold when they are just trying to hang onto their own lives and avoid us.”

Part of the reason for a resurgence of violence in Afghanistan was that international support was reduced too soon, he said. “We pulled out our forces, at a time … when the violence was lower,” he said. “But we pulled them out on a timeline, rather than consistent with the maturation of the government and the security forces.”

U.S. and coalition forces are working the support mission, and Afghan forces will receive the air support that was in short supply, the secretary said.

About 13,000 U.S and coalition troops are currently in Afghanistan.