HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Feb. 19, 2012) Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 11 approach their targets at a firing range at Camp Leatherneck to check for shooting accuracy. NMCB-11 is deployed to Afghanistan supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jonathan Carmichael.
U.S. Army Spc. Bruce Cotton checks security near the village of Narizah in Afghanistan's Tani district, Feb. 10, 2012. Cotton is assigned to the 501st Infantry Division's Company B, 1st Battalion Airborne. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Epperson.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Carlos Gonzales and Sgt. Ernesto Gallegos assist pilots during a run up of a CH-47F Chinook helicopter on Camp Marmal, Afghanistan, Feb. 16, 2012. Gonzales is a flight engineer instructor and Gallegos is a crew chief. Both are assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division's Company B, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, Task Force Lobos. U.S. Air Force photo by Sgt. Felix Acevedo.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 18, 2012) Marines spend time on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the ship makes its way to Sasebo, Japan. Bonhomme Richard will replace the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) as the forward deployed amphibious assault ship. U.S. Navy photo by Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Joe Kane.
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter kicks up snow at a remote landing zone in the Shah Joy district in Afghanistan's Zabul province, Feb. 8, 2012. Helicopters provide an efficient and reliable means of transporting personnel and cargo to the country's rural areas. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon Rasmussen.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpls. Ryan Snyder and David Lambert talk while providing security from their defensive position as the sun sets during Operation Shahem Tofan Eagle Storm in the Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2012. Snyder and Lambert are assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Doxtator sees his newborn daughter for the first time during a video teleconference aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island in the Arabian Sea, Feb. 9, 2012. Doxtator is a engineman. The Makin Island and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit are supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Apprentice Ethan Tracey.
U.S. Marines fire an M777A2 Ultra Light Weight Howitzer during Exercise Cobra Gold 2012 in Thailand's Chai Badan province, Feb. 14, 2012. The Marines are assigned to Battery L, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The Marines were firing to prepare for an upcoming exercise. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Garry Welch.
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Logistics Terry Yonkers, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and State Land Commissioner Ray Powell were among many Air Force, State of New Mexico and county officials at the lease signing ceremony on Jan. 18, 2012, in Santa Fe. The lease of 11,000 acres of state land will allow Cannon Air Force Base to expand Joint Air Force Special Operations training areas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Armando Perez.
Every deployment brings new and unique challenges. As Afghan National Security Forces grow in size and capability, they will rely less on the support of coalition forces. To meet these new training requirements, security force assistance teams assigned from modified brigade combat teams will learn to mentor and advise Afghan National Security Forces at the Joint Readiness Training Center, starting this February.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta re-enlists airmen on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 17, 2012. Panetta also thanked the airmen assigned to the Global Strike Command for their service. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (Feb. 2, 2012) Two T-34 Turbomentor training aircraft are prepared for transport from Naval Air Station Corpus Christi to Del Mar College where the aircraft will be used for aviation maintenance training. U.S. Navy Photo by Richard Stewart.
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Feb. 13, 2012) Seabees assigned to the Bridge Detachment of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 133 and Marines from the 8th Engineer Support Battalion Bridge Company assemble a medium girder bridge during a joint training exercise at Camp LeJeune, N.C. The Seabees and Marines worked together for the first time during the three-day project to build the bridge over a 107-foot gap. The joint training capitalized on Bold Alligator 2012, the largest amphibious exercise in 10 years. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Scott B. Boyle
Air Force Capt. Robert Jeffrey shows Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta the cockpit of a B-52 bomber on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 17, 2012. Panetta toured several long-range bombing aircraft during his visit. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.
U.S. Army Col. Mark H. Landes, Left, and 1st Lt. Josh Kopsie kneel on the landing zone while two UH-60 Black Hawks helicopters begin to land on Command Outpost Nerkh in Afghanistan's Wardak province, Feb. 15, 2012. Landes is the commander of the 1st Armored Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Kopsie is assigned to the same unit, which is conducting a battlefield circulation of the different command outposts around Wardak province. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Austin Berner.
Air Force Lt. Col. John "Oasis" Martin gives Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta a tour of the B-1 bomber on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Feb. 17, 2012. Panetta toured several long-range bombing aircraft during his visit. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo.
HAKODATE, Japan (Feb. 14, 2012) Lt. Cmdr. Suzanne Schang, commanding officer of the mine countermeasures ship USS Patriot (MCM 7), prepares to address members of the local media and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) as Patriot arrives for a goodwill port visit. While in port, Patriot Sailors will engage with the JMSDF and experience the sights of Hakodate. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Devon Dow.
GULF OF OMAN (Feb. 9, 2012) Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class Robert Cowan checks samples of fuel received from the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE-10) during a replenishment at sea aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Momsen (DDG 92). Momsen is deployed as part of the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility and is conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Carlos M. Vazquez II.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Feb. 9, 2012) Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 3rd Class Botha Nzinga explains the propulsion control console aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) to Gabonese Ensign Luther Mouloungui as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2012. APS is an international security cooperation initiative facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique.
During Red Flag 12-2, an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 416th Flight Test Squadron rests before the backdrop of the nightlights of downtown Las Vegas. The 416th FLTS is out of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Courtesy photo by Chad Bellay.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Bradley Blankenship, a scout sniper assigned to the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, sights in an M40S rifle during scout sniper training in support of Cobra Gold 2012 at Recon Camp, Thailand, Feb. 16, 2012. Cobra Gold is a regularly scheduled joint/combined exercise designed to ensure regional peace and strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai Armed Forces to defend Thailand or respond to regional contingencies. DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Patrick McMahon, U.S. Marine Corps.
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Travion Humphrey, from Sacramento, Calif., renders a salute to an AV-8B Harrier from Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 263 during the squadron's post-deployment fly-off from the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5). Bataan is the command ship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, which is returning from a 10 1/2-month deployment, the longest for a U.S. Navy ship since the early 1970s. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Julio Rivera.
U.S. Marines and Afghan border police off-load a CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter during Operation Shahem Tofan Eagle Storm in the Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 10, 2012. The Marines are assigned to Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder.
SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2012) The amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) launches Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1635 off the coast of San Clemente Island for the beach assault phase of exercise Iron Fist 2012. The bilateral training exercise between U.S. Marines and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is designed to increase interoperability and amphibious capabilities. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jeremy L. Wood.