COVER STORYU.S. troops work to quickly train Afghan forces ahead of electionThe Kabul police force is hiring thousands of new recruits ahead of presidential elections in late August, and American mentors are working urgently with Afghan National Police colonels to quickly train them. • Story

Children, troops bond during Good Neighbor English Camp in S. KoreaMore than 30 children from 12 schools in the Camp Casey area attended the camp, along with a comparable number of soldiers. The camp is one of the Area I programs aimed at enhancing relations between the U.S. military and the local Korean community. • Story

Anatomy of an airstrikeFrontline soldiers say they depend on aircraft like the A-10s — and in particular on their ability to deliver battle-changing airstrikes within minutes. But those airstrikes have come under fire since highly publicized attacks on two villages in Farah province on May 4 killed dozens of Afghan civilians. • Story

Retiring a symbol: Unserviceable flags burned at Misawa ceremonyVolunteers follow the strict guidance of U.S. Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, in retiring American flags that have become "no longer a fitting emblem for display." And the preferred method of destruction might be a surprise to some: The flags are burned. • Story

U.S., Iraqi soldiers work to fix supply chainIn the years that the U.S. military has worked to train Iraqi troops to secure their own country, they’ve also handed over millions of supplies in vehicles, weapons, computers, radios, uniforms, boots. At the same time, American commanders have pushed the Iraqis to take this equipment, and their own money, to establish an independent supply chain. It’s a daunting task. • Story and photo gallery

Khadamiyah shrine protected by ex-Mahdi Army fightersSoldier, philanthropist, gangster, terrorist — Saad Abadi is apparently any or all of the above. He has rarely been seen since an abortive attempt to arrest him in November. But this shadowy figure and the ex-militiamen loyal to him hold the key to protecting one of Baghdad’s most important religious symbols and, perhaps, the fragile sectarian peace holding across the country. • 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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