COVER STORYU.S. ships integral part of a naval coalition trying to combat piracy in the Gulf of AdenThe USS Boxer isn’t facing off against an enemy navy. It’s looking for small groups of men in far less impressive skiffs who are armed only with a few AKs and perhaps a rocket-propelled grenade or two. Those men are pirates, and they’ve cost the shipping industry money out of proportion to their small boats and weak weapons. • Story• Related stories:Law of the seasLaw of the land•Photo gallery 1•Photo gallery 2

Ramstein seminar gives professionals tips to help troubled childrenAs if the moving weren’t bad enough, children of servicemembers face problems unimaginable to most kids their age: a parent gone for long stretches, or worse, the possibility that parent will be killed or injured. • Story

USMC: Ban on sleeve tattoos, meant to help Marines land civilian jobs, is workingFor one former Marine, being a “young hard-charger” wasn’t enough to get a job as a police officer. “He had sleeve tattoos, and they told him, ‘no way, no how,’ ” said Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, who served with the former Marine in the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. • Story

Afghans have a tough day learning at the firing rangeOver the past couple of years, the U.S. government has been updating the Afghan army’s stocks of AK-47s and other Soviet-era weaponry with M-16 rifles and other American armament. But basic marksmanship training for many Afghan army units has been spotty. • Story

Revitalizing Bakwa’s bazaar a symbol of the many challenges facing MarinesSeven years ago, the bazaar in this barren and desolate corner of southwestern Afghanistan’s Farah province was a bustling hub of economic activity, serving as the primary trading center for a district of about 120,000 people. But that was before the Taliban came. • Story

BRAT camp gets youths to put down the video games and enjoy the outdoorsDespite its acronym, Ramstein Air Base's BRAT camp is not a train-ing mecca for tantrum-throwing youngsters. • Story

Spouse CallsA weekly column in Stripes' Scene magazine by Terri Barnes, a military wife and mother of three who lives and writes in Germany. • This week's column • Terri Barnes' blog

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