Airmen assigned to the 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at JB Balad, Iraq, and others at Camp Victory have stepped up to bridge communications gaps that ground convoys face when they move troops around Iraq as part of the drawdown of US forces there. “This is a life-saving capability for our soldiers,” said Maj. John Thien, a planner with the airlift unit. These airmen are providing a C-130-based airborne communications system that ensures that the convoys have uninterrupted radio contact with their home stations when they travel through remote areas of Iraq where they might otherwise be temporarily cut off from communications. “This becomes extremely critical, especially in cases of emergency or attack,” said Capt. Adam Abercrombie, Air Forces Central liaison officer to US Forces-Iraq. (Camp Victory report by SSgt. Sanjay Allen)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.