Chad Garland

Marines award BAE $200 million to build new amphibious combat vehicle

Fleet Marines are set to get a more reliable, faster and better protected amphibious fighting vehicle starting in late 2020 as the Corps begins replacing its decades-old amphibious assault vehicle.

Coalition troops in Afghanistan get training on spicy new weapons

Nearly three dozen troops have been trained on a new weapon that looks and feels like a standard-issue carbine but fires nonlethal rounds that explode on impact and release a cloud of irritating pepper powder, military officials said Tuesday.

Peace marchers arrive in Kabul as Taliban restarts anti-government offensives

Dozens of men who marched hundreds of miles across Afghanistan arrived in Kabul with demands for an end to decades of conflict on Monday, shortly after the Taliban ended its brief cease-fire.

Taliban sends fighters back to trenches in Afghanistan after 3-day cease-fire

The Taliban ordered their fighters back to the trenches Sunday hours after a suicide car bombing spoiled a holiday cease-fire.

Afghan president orders cease-fire extension even as suicide attack mars holiday truce

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ordered an indefinite extension to a government cease-fire with the Taliban late Saturday, even as a blast in eastern Afghanistan cast a pall over a countrywide celebration of the Eid al-Fitr holiday and historic dual cease-fires.

Dual cease-fires met with hugs between Taliban and Afghan soldiers

The first day of the Eid holiday in eastern Afghanistan brought a strange sight — presumed Taliban fighters walking up to Afghan soldiers at checkpoints and taking selfies with them.

Soldiers celebrate Army’s birthday with 'All American' feast in Kabul

The dining facility at NATO’s Resolute Support helped celebrate the Army’s 243rd birthday Thursday by dishing up an “all-American lunch” of prime rib, crab legs, baked potatoes, shrimp scampi and a massive sheet cake.

Taliban keep fighting as Kabul government’s cease-fire begins

Despite the eight-day truce announced by the Afghan government, the Taliban has remained on the offensive, mounting attacks in northern Afghanistan a day after the Kabul government’s pause in combat operations against the group began.

Attacks in Afghanistan kill dozens day before cease-fire with Taliban

A suicide bomber on foot detonated his explosives near a van full of government employees on Monday, killing at least 12 people ahead of an anticipated Taliban cease-fire.

Taliban splinter group declares open-ended truce with Kabul

The splinter group, led by Mullah Mohammad Rasul, said late Saturday its stand-down would begin immediately and last until an unspecified future date.

Leaked inquiry: Australian special operators committed war crimes in Afghanistan

Elite Australian troops committed “unsanctioned and illegal” violence in Afghanistan with a “disregard for human life,” special operations soldiers told a secret military inquiry, an Australian newspaper reported Friday.

Not your typical hipster coffee joint: Guardsmen deployed to Iraq open a spot for lattes and more

A group of Oregon National Guard soldiers transformed a second-hand espresso machine at Iraq’s Camp Taji Military Complex into their own coffee shop. Funds collected in a donation jar are used for projects to boost morale and promote unit cohesion.

Afghan president, US forces commit to weeklong unilateral cease-fire with Taliban

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday announced a weeklong cease-fire with the Taliban beginning next week, lasting through the end of Ramadan and into one of the holiest periods of the year for Muslims.

Kabul approves UAE’s offer of troops for NATO mission

Afghan officials have approved the United Arab Emirates’ offer to contribute troops to NATO’s Resolute Support mission to advise and train Afghanistan’s security forces, a move that could bring an Islamic ally into the fight against extremism.

Kabul’s Emergency Center war hospital busier than it’s been since 2001

The Emergency Surgical Center for War Victims, or Emergency Center, in Kabul reported 421 admissions in May, compared with 384 in the same month last year, when a massive truck bomb went off a few blocks from the medical facility on the last day of the month.


US-style military uniforms like those used in Kabul attack are freely sold in Afghan markets

At the Kabul market known as “Bush Bazaar,” shops sell military goods of suspect origins — everything from what U.S. troops wear on their backs to what they put in their bellies, and more. Many of the goods may have been pilfered from military supply shipments.

Suicide bomber kills 7 at religious meeting that had condemned suicide attacks

The bomber detonated his explosives at about 11:20 a.m., at the entrance of a large hall where a religious body known as the Afghan Ulema Council was meeting.

RV rib shack conceals hidden culinary treasure in Heidelberg

Tempted by online reviews promising “the best ribs in Germany,” two Stars and Stripes reporters recently trekked to Heidelberg to visit Hakim’s Imbiss and Steak House.

Gunmen dressed as US soldiers attack Afghan Interior Ministry

It’s not clear who carried out the attack — one of at least three that occurred in Afghanistan on Wednesday — that targeted the Interior Ministry’s compound a few hundred yards from Kabul’s airport and a coalition air base where Americans and their allies train Afghan forces.

Memorial Day in Afghanistan pays tribute to American war dead

A field of lights and a display of names and photos projected on a blast wall here Monday night paid tribute to the more than 2,400 Americans who’ve died as part of the United States’ nearly 17-year war in Afghanistan.

Fort Bragg-based soldier dies in Kosovo

The staff sergeant died Thursday from a noncombat-related incident at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, the Pentagon said Friday.

Probe: ‘No criminality’ in incident of soldier shooting into Afghan truck caught on video

An American servicemember seen in an online video shooting into a moving truck in Afghanistan acted in accordance with military rules, an investigation has found.

A soldier wants custody of the baby his wife told him died at birth. She tried to give the newborn away, police say.

Sgt. Steven Garcia, who is stationed in South Korea, was told that his wife, Marina Garcia, had given birth to a daughter in Arizona who died during childbirth. But police say she tried to give the newborn away. Though he’s not the baby’s biological father, he plans to fight for custody.

Afghan forces, US airpower repel Taliban attack on provincial capital

The Taliban retreated from the capital of western Farah province Tuesday after launching a pre-dawn assault on the city that killed and wounded several Afghan troops, with U.S. airpower supporting government forces.

10 dead in attack on Afghan government building in Jalalabad

Taliban claims to have downed Afghan military helicopter in other incident, but government says its forces destroyed it after mechanical failure.

At least 6 wounded as blasts targeting 2 police stations rock Afghan capital

At least two police officers were killed and more than six people were wounded in a series of blasts that rocked the capital Wednesday afternoon, including multiple bombings in a neighborhood near the international zone where the U.S. Embassy and NATO mission are located.

Air Force slashes computer-based training requirements

The Air Force is eliminating mandatory computer-based training on all but three courses and giving commanders wide discretion in how they conduct most ancillary training, the service’s top leaders said in a new memo.

UN says Afghan air raid in April killed 30 children

Afghan defense officials initially said the attack targeted about 30 Taliban leaders who were taking part in a military parade. They said the strike was on a Taliban training camp, with foreign fighters from across the border in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan among the dead.

Failed suicide bombing targets Kabul blood drive

Kabul police foiled an attempted attack on civilians gathered for a blood collection drive in a park about a mile from the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters, officials said Monday.

ROTC instructors help rescue motorist pinned in flaming wreck on freeway

“We talk about our deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, but never in a million years would you ever expect to be called upon to do something in Los Angeles,” said Lt. Col. Shannon Stambersky, the head of UCLA’s Army ROTC program.

Airman intervenes after Reddit post, saves life of suicidal Air Force member

An Office of Special Investigations rookie on Reddit noticed a subtle cry for help among Reddit posts. Then he and another airman made 25 calls to get in touch with the supervisor of the airman who made the posting.

Land component command deactivates as counter-ISIS fight in Iraq shifts

The combined joint forces command responsible for land operations in Iraq deactivated Monday in Baghdad, signaling the end of major combat operations against the Islamic State in that country.

National Devil Dog Day celebrates cake, not Corps

Every dog will have its day, and Friday belongs to the Devil Dog.

From bugs to bombs, little-known Seabee unit protects US embassies from threats

As embassies became more fortress-like, the Seabees’ focus expanded from interior walls out to compound perimeters, and from watching construction projects for bug-planting to maintaining systems that monitor for signs of potential violence.


ISIS fighters display less-than-stellar leapfrogging, martial arts skills in seized videos

Islamic State propaganda videos seized by the U.S. appear to show masked militants training inside a mosque in northwestern Afghanistan, doing pushups, playing leapfrog and bunny hopping.

Army leaders cut some mandatory training and other 'burdensome' requirements

The changes were greeted cautiously by soldiers and veterans on the online forum Reddit, where some users identifying themselves as soldiers mentioned forging training certificates in the past.

Army recruiter’s group text that revealed phone numbers leads to mass confusion, warning

The Army has warned recruiters about using texts or social media to contact potential recruits after a mass text sent to high school parents near Indianapolis disclosed hundreds of personal cell phone numbers.

New Marine amphibious vehicle on schedule and under budget

Development costs for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle are now an estimated $60 million below original projections of $810.5 million, a Government Accountability Office report found, though it warned of continued potential for cost overruns or delays.

Chemical weapons incident planned as part of US-Jordan exercise, days after Syria strike

U.S. officials said the eighth annual iteration of the exercise is not directly related to U.S., British and French missile strikes, which targeted Syria in response to a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian city of Douma that killed dozens on April 7.

Report: Army Corps of Engineers mismanaged $60 million Afghan power project

A $60 million power project overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan couldn’t be powered up for fear it would put Afghan lives at risk, and shoddy work could leave the system structurally unstable, a government watchdog found.

Pentagon identifies American soldier killed in Syria explosion

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jonathan J. Dunbar of Austin, Texas and U.K. Sgt. Matt Tonroe died Friday after an improvised explosive device detonated near a patrol in Manbij, Syria.

'Just painful': Pentagon mulls an overhaul of mandatory training policies

Military leaders have said they’re overwhelmed by unnecessary training requirements, but seasoned officers in Afghanistan said they see signs of a turnaround as the Pentagon looks to streamline military policies.

US, Afghan special operations target ISIS foreign fighters in northwest Afghanistan

About one in 10 Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan are foreign fighters, the top U.S. general in the country said Thursday, in a statement touting recent U.S. and Afghan operations targeting the group.

Military doctors busy treating Iraqi forces as ISIS continues fight

A U.S.-led medical task force in Iraq has treated hundreds of patients over the past five months, including about 300 wounded Iraqi security personnel, as coalition forces have shifted from offensive operations to holding ground retaken from the Islamic State.

7 US troops killed in Iraq helicopter crash identified

The U.S. military has said the incident is under investigation and identified the seven servicemembers on Saturday evening.

‘Better than any care package’: unique program delivers blood to military hospitals

A one-of-its-kind military program lets servicemembers far from the battlefields help their wounded comrades by forward-deploying their own blood.

Soldier who died at Landstuhl is identified

Sgt. 1st Class Maitland Deweever Wilson, a cargo specialist, had been supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Numbers on US counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan don't add up

Data the Pentagon issued last year to spotlight the success of operations against militant groups in Afghanistan were inaccurate, raising questions about the real progress of the secretive counterterrorism campaign being conducted by the U.S. and Afghan military.

New York soldier killed in fire rescue honored with 2 valor awards

Pfc. Emmanuel Mensah is credited with saving four lives in the massive apartment fire in the Bronx on Dec. 28, the city’s deadliest in a quarter of century. He entered the burning building at least four times before being overcome by smoke.

Army identifies soldier killed in noncombat incident in Baghdad

Sgt. Christina Marie Schoenecker, 26, of Arlington, Kan., died in a noncombat incident Monday in Iraq while supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State campaign.

Iran-backed militias obtained 9 US-made Abrams tanks in Iraq, report says

During the chaotic battle with the Islamic State, Iran-backed militias got their hands on M1A1 Abrams tanks the United States originally provided to the Iraqi army, a Pentagon watchdog has found.


Bagram hospital braces for more casualties as US intensifies Afghan War

The Craig Joint Theater Hospital here has had what officials believe to be a record success rate at keeping casualties alive — many of them Afghans wounded in operations with U.S. forces — which officials said helps boost battlefield confidence.

Servicemember killed in Iraq identified as Scottish soldier

A servicemember who died in an apparent noncombat incident Wednesday while supporting the anti-Islamic State coalition has been identified as a Scottish soldier.

Anti-ISIS coalition servicemember dies in apparent noncombat incident

A servicemember supporting the coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria died Wednesday in what the military said appears to be a noncombat incident.


Snow brings respite to besieged Kabul

Snow dusted Kabul and other areas white Monday morning for the first time since mid-December, providing a small bright spot as the capital tries to recover from a series of terrorist bombings.

ISIS kills at least 11 Afghan soldiers in latest Kabul attack

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn assault, the third attack in the capital city in a little more than a week.

Casualty figures rise in Kabul, along with tensions, in suicide bombing’s wake

The city has become one of the deadliest in the country for civilians, though in the past it has been a refuge for Afghans fleeing conflict elsewhere.

Surveillance surge puts more Reapers at Afghan airfield than any other

The drones arrived recently to augment efforts to target the Taliban, which controls or contests more territory now than since its regime was toppled in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

Attack on Save the Children charity in Jalalabad kills 5, injures more than 2 dozen

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack Wednesday on the international charity Save the Children, which left at least five victims dead and more than two dozen wounded after a gunbattle that lasted nearly 10 hours.

A-10s join effort to target Taliban drug factories in Afghanistan

The $19 million aircraft, beloved by ground troops and so far spared from Air Force efforts to ground them for budgetary reasons, will also support counterterrorism efforts.

Standoff in Kabul hotel ends with Taliban attackers killed

Afghanistan's Interior Ministry said at least four Afghans and 14 foreigners were killed in an attack at a popular luxury hotel in Kabul that ended Sunday, after about 16 hours.

Attackers storm hotel in Kabul

At least two gunmen who stormed Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday are dead, officials said in the hours after the attack began on the city’s west side. At least one American was trapped in the besieged hotel, which was also on fire.

Afghan province awards Trump bravery medal after tough talk on Pakistan

Hundreds of Afghans in Logar province pitched in to recognize President Donald Trump with a gold medal for bravery after his administration suspended aid to Pakistan.

Marines train Afghan forces to take aggressive stance in deadly Helmand province

The Marine task force was the main force behind NATO’s Resolute Support mission, an effort to build up Afghan security forces in restive Helmand province, last year, and will continue to be so in 2018.

Four-party talks with Taliban in Turkey could ‘pave the way’ to Afghanistan peace deal

It’s not the first time the parties have tried to broker a peace settlement, but previous attempts have not been fruitful.

American wounded after being lured into an ambush in Afghanistan

An American servicemember and his Afghan interpreter were wounded Thursday in eastern Afghanistan after being lured into a meeting with an insurgent group posing as local militia, a U.S. military official said.

Pentagon's top enlisted is avid about hand-to-hand combat, including fighting ISIS with shovels

Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell issued the warnings to the Islamic State on Facebook and Twitter this week, telling them they have two options — surrender or die.

At the Pizza Hut at Bagram Air Field, you're the boss

When “weather” left me stranded on Bagram for a few days, I figured I’d see how servicemembers eat when they’re not being served by contractors in hair nets and white paper hats.

US soldier who died in Iraq leaves behind 'love of his life,' 3-year-old daughter

Spc. Javion Shavonte of Fort Mill, S.C., died Monday in Al Anbar province in a noncombat incident, the Pentagon said.

Servicemember dies in noncombat incident in southwest Asia

A servicemember died Monday in a noncombat incident in southwest Asia, according to the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State. Neither the servicemember nor the specific location of the death were identified.

Nangarhar is the deadliest Afghan province for US forces in the past year

There’s no more dangerous spot for U.S. troops than Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, where seven Americans were killed in combat last year, more than in any other single place Americans were deployed in support of overseas operations.

Combat operations boost Afghan tactical cooperation

A series of intense combat operations in Helmand province have given the Afghan army and air force a chance to improve their joint tactics, especially in coordinating close air support to ground troops.

Bagram Wi-Fi overhaul will give airmen better ‘FaceTime’ with family

The Air Force hopes to boost morale and performance here by improving Wi-Fi access to make it easier for servicemembers to stay in touch with stateside family.

Army identifies Green Beret killed in Afghanistan on New Year’s Day

Mihail Golin, 34, of Fort Lee, N.J., was a Special Forces weapons sergeant assigned to Fort Carson, Colo.-based B Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group. He was killed in a New Year’s Day firefight in eastern Afghanistan.

Afghans praise Trump’s hard line on Pakistan

Afghans welcomed President Donald Trump’s accusation on Twitter that Pakistan offers only “lies & deceit” in return for U.S. aid, saying that the statement builds on what some see as positive momentum in America’s 16-year struggle to defeat the Taliban.

US servicemember killed in fighting in eastern Afghanistan

The slain servicemember, the first U.S. combat fatality this year, was not identified. The Pentagon does not release the names of deceased servicemembers until next of kin have been notified.