Military matters: Fort Riley soldiers killed in Iraq
Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:
Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division
(DoD press release) DoD Identifies Two Army Casualties: The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 24 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle. They were assigned to 1st Brigade Transition Team, and attached to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. Killed were: Sgt. 1st Class Robert E. Dunham, 36, of Baltimore, Maryland; Staff Sgt. Russell K. Shoemaker, 31, of Sweet Springs, Missouri.
(AP) Fort Riley soldiers honored: Rain fell softly Monday as hundreds from this military community gathered at the post cemetery to honor the sacrifices of soldiers throughout the nation's history. As the death toll of Fort Riley soldiers fighting in Iraq hit 102, the commanding general said the aggregate total pales in comparison to the pain felt by those who knew and loved the soldiers. "The numbers don't mean anything," said Maj. Gen. Carter Ham. "The only number that means anything is one - that's one family."
(Manhattan Mercury) Post moving ahead with cemetery:Construction on the new State Vetersns' Cemetery at Fort Riley could begin as early as October, according to officials with the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs. A formal groundbreaking ceremony for the cemetery, which will be developed on 90 acres of land on the eastern edge of Fort Riley, will take place on Veterans Day (Sunday, Nov. 11). "The creation of the veterans cemetery at Fort Riley is the culmination of a lot of hard work by veterans, local residents, legislators and KCVA," Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said in a prepared statement. "It will allow us to honor the memory of the men and women who bravely served our state and nation."
(Blackanthem Military News) Joint Organization Trains Troops to Defeat IEDs: The Joint IED Defeat Organization, known as JIEDDO, is attacking the IED threat using a balance of intelligence, training and technology. Originally formed as the Army's IED Task Force, the group has transformed into a combined joint service, interagency, multi-national program designed to leverage all available resources and technologies in a coordinated campaign to defeat the IED threat, according to the organization's mission statement. ... JIEDDO hosted an IED Defeat Seminar last week at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin. The four-day seminar was designed to identify gaps in counter-IED training as well as make participants aware of training JIEDDO now provides for units heading to Iraq and Afghanistan. ... Opening a two-hour panel discussion, Army Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., deputy commanding general, Combined Arms Training Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, likened the IED fight to a game of chess. "For every move we make, the enemy makes three," said Ramirez, a Houston native. "Multi-National Corp Iraq told me the enemy changes Techniques, Tactics and Procedures (TTP) every two to three weeks." Ramirez, who served as deputy chief of staff for U.S. Central Command before being stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, echoed Cone's thoughts on information sharing. "You can't rely on the last time you were there," he stressed to the audience. "If you haven't been to theater in the last four months-you're not up to date. Our biggest task is staying current and relevant."