U.S. Navy Seaman Apprentice Steven J. O’Conner stands lookout while the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush transits to Naval Station Norfolk, Va., Dec. 23, 2008, in preparation for the ship’s commissioning on Jan. 10, 2009.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffrey M. Richardson
JTACs keep pilots on target to minimize collateral damage
As a joint terminal attack controller with the 2nd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, Tech. Sgt. Harvey Wagenmaker is a liaison between Army ground commanders and pilots.
He’s responsible for planning, communicating and coordinating close-air support to eliminate enemy threats.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)
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CORONADO, Calif. (Dec. 16, 2008) Capt. Michael Kelly, commanding officer of Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, presents toys and a check to retired Gunnery Sgt. R. Lee Ermey to benefit the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program at Naval Air Station North Island.
Fleet Readiness Center Southwest has been supporting the Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for 49 years.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rialyn Rodrigo/Released)
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In the early morning of New Year’s Eve 2008, an F-16C Fighting Falcon sits tethered to the hot cargo pad at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Dec. 31, 2008.
The aircraft is tethered to secure it in place prior to a full afterburner engine run-up.
The Minnesota Air National Guard’s 179th Fighter Squadron carries the 332nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron designation while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Erik Gudmundson
CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti (Dec. 26, 2008) Country music recording artist Brynn Marie performs at Camp Lemonier during a holiday concert.
Marie is on a 14-concert tour, performing for service members in the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt /Released)
GULF OF OMAN (Dec. 29, 2008) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Logan Judd mans the hot tractor station as an F/A-18 Hornet assigned to the “Valions” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 15 launches from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
Theodore Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Remus Borisov/Released)
Dawn breaks over Camp Cunningham at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 13.
The camp, named after Senior Airman Jason Cunningham — a pararescuman who gave his life to rescue 10 people in Afghanistan, is home to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing consisting of about four-thousand Airmen spread throughout Afghanistan providing manpower, humanitarian aid and close-air support to coalition and Afghan forces on the ground.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Samuel Morse)(Released)
URUZGON, Afghanistan (Dec. 30, 2008) Gen. David McKiernan, left, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, participates in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the Chutu Bridge.
The Chutu Bridge and other improvements to the region’s infrastructure will provide local villagers better access to commerce and security and will allow the Afghan Nation Security Force access to areas west of the Helmand River, denying enemy safe havens.
(U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. John Gay/Released)
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael McKinney meets with Iraqis to discuss the upcoming provincial elections during a patrol in Budayr, Iraq, Dec. 23, 2008.
McKinney is assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
The soldiers patrol local areas to ensure the villagers’ needs are addressed and to provide security.
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Eric Harris
BAGHDAD, Iraq (Dec. 17, 2008) An Iraqi policeman steps over trash and mud during a walking patrol in the Rashid district of Baghdad.
Iraqi police and coalition forces are conducting foot patrols in the area to interact with Iraqi citizens.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Todd Frantom/Released)
ANBAR, Iraq (Dec. 8, 2008) A U.S. Navy customs agent, left, inspects the personal belongings of a Marine at Al Asad Air Base.
Marines are currently in a trial process of departing Iraq from Al Asad Air Base directly to the United States.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jeremy M. Giacomino/Released)
U.S soldiers detonate explosives in an Iraqi palm grove to destroy hidden booby traps, explosives and weapons in Iraq, Dec. 22, 2008.
U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Walter Pels
ANBAR, Iraq (Dec. 3, 2008) U.S. Marine Sgt. Tyler Ackermann, assigned to Headquarters Company, Regimental Combat Team 5, takes down a warning sign at the Haditha Dam in Anbar Province, Iraq.
The Marines are returning control of the Haditha Dam back to the Iraqi people.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tyler W. Hill (Released)
Col. David Lujan, 56th Operations Group deputy commander, fills out his flight log Dec. 22 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., moments after completing his 4,000th hour in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
He is the 17th pilot to reach this milestone.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Tech Sgt. Jeffrey A. Wolfe)