Afghanistan no longer bigger threat to U.S.

Freedom New Mexico Most of the chatter in Washington is still about domestic issues and how the Obama administration is doing now that the bloom is starting to fade. Will the Senate approve the cap-and-trade bill? How many Republicans will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Will further nationalization of health care be passed at […]

Air Force confirms Cannon Predator drone crash

Freedom New Mexico The Air Force is confirming an MQ-1 Predator drone assigned to Cannon Air Force Base crashed earlier this month in eastern Afghanistan. The Cannon unmanned aircraft crashed May 7, according to the Air Force, which also confirmed it was the second drone in the last two weeks to crash in Afghanistan. Other […]

Obama strategy for Afghanistan poorly planned

Freedom New Mexico The Obama administration has announced it may have to turn to military personnel, mainly reservists with relevant civilian skills, to fill hundreds of posts that had been intended for civilian experts. The Obama strategy for Afghanistan announced last month included a dramatic increase in “nation-building” efforts that would include, as President Obama […]

Adding troops in Afghanistan not necessary

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama told congressional leaders Thursday that the “era of the blank check is over” in Afghanistan. But the plan he laid out Friday looks very much like a blank check for an increased military and civilian presence in Afghanistan that is unlikely to be successful or to end any time […]

Flags fly at half-staff for former Cannon airman

Staff and wire reports Flags are at half-staff around the state in honor of a former Cannon Air Force Base airman killed March 15 in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Timothy Bowles, 24, was killed when an improvised explosive device destroyed his vehicle while he was on a four-vehicle patrol checking a local school. Funeral services were […]

Former Cannon airman killed in Afghanistan

Freedom New Mexico An airman previously assigned to Cannon Air Force Base was killed Sunday in Afghanistan by an improvised explosive device while on patrol. Staff Sgt. Timothy Bowles, 24, was a fire truck mechanic assigned to the 3rd Logistics Readiness Squadron. The patrol Bowles was with was checking on a local school when his […]

Report: Cannon plane crashes in Afghanistan

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Freedom New Mexico An Air Force Special Operations MQ-1 Predator assigned to Cannon Air Force Base crashed Sunday in Afghanistan, according to an Air Force Times report. The unmanned plane, assigned to the 3rd Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., was lost over southern Afghanistan about 11:35 a.m. local time. The cause […]

Caring Campaign

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By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer A group of Eastern New Mexico University employees are reaching out to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan — especially those who have ties to the university. The offices of academic affairs and academic services have started a care package campaign to let the troops know they haven’t been […]

Afghan stability will take more than occupation force

The U.S. plan to send an additional 3,200 Marines into southern Afghanistan at least reflects a dawning understanding that the struggle to neutralize jihadism and jihadists may be going on more directly in Afghanistan and Pakistan than in Iraq — and the struggle is not going especially well. Just in the last few days a […]

Defense bill sets aside $9 million for Cannon

Staff and wire reports WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday passed a defense policy bill that would offer more help to troops returning from combat and set conditions on contractors and pricey weapons programs. The bill will make approximately $9 million available to Cannon Air Force Base and also sets funding for the Waste Isolation […]

Military plot twists show bureaucracy’s problems

Freedom Newspapers Military officials are getting a much-deserved scolding for their dishonest efforts to spin some tragic events in Afghanistan and Iraq into heroic military endeavors as a means to gin up public support for these wars. The congressional testimony from relatives of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the former Arizona Cardinals defensive back, was particularly disturbing. […]

Navy’s role in terror war changing

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Lt. Joseph “Max” Ernest is a Navy Reserve intelligence officer with 11 years of law enforcement experience and two as a counterterrorism analyst for a defense contractor. Yet last April, when Ernest mobilized to Iraq as an individual augmentee or “IA,” the Army made him a logistics officer to Iraq’s […]

Clovis soldier killed in Afghanistan fighting

By Sharna Johnson: Freedom Newspapers The Clovis soldier killed Sunday in Afghanistan was helping to rebuild communities in the war-torn country, his father said. Sgt. Robert Paul Kassin, 29, died near Larzab in Afghanistan’s Zabul province, Army officials said. He was killed when his platoon was attacked by small-arms fire while on patrol, according to […]

Comparing the training ground to the battle ground

Freedom Newspapers When the congressional delegation announced last week Air Force Special Operations Command had selected Cannon as the home for expansion, one of the factors named for the choice was the similarity in terrain between eastern New Mexico and the Middle East, specifically Iraq and Afghanistan. Special Ops will begin the transition to the […]

Flags to be half-staff

Staff and wire reports SANTA FE — Gov. Bill Richardson today issued an executive order directing that flags in New Mexico be flown at half-staff to honor U.S. Army Pfc. Damian Garza. Garza was killed Aug. 4 when his vehicle crashed into a river near Jalalabad, Afghanistan. “Our heartfelt sorrow and gratitude go out to […]

Ranger killed in war

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Staff and wire reports Jaime Garza said his son wanted to be in the military since he was youngster growing up in Portales watching planes take off from Cannon Air Force Base. Army Pfc. Damian Garza, 19, of Odessa, Texas, died Thursday in Afghanistan after his vehicle slid off the road into a river near […]

Army Ranger from Odessa killed in Afghanistan

Freedom Newspapers Jaime Garza said his son wanted to be in the military since he was youngster growing up in Portales watching planes take off from Cannon Air Force Base. Army Pfc. Damian Garza, 19, of Odessa, Texas, died Thursday in Afghanistan after his vehicle slid off the road into a river near Jalalabad. It […]

Military provides help for soldiers severely injured in Iraq

By Tom Philpott: PNT columnist Service members and veterans severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan have inspired two new initiatives to help them and their families through difficult times. The first is a call center, with its title and phone number hard to memorize but worth the effort: The Military Severely Injured Joint Support Operations […]