Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey hosted 21 foreign defense chiefs and other officials at JB Andrews, Md., on Tuesday, in an effort to coordinate military and diplomatic efforts against ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama, who also addressed the meeting, said that despite the lack of quick fixes some important successes have already occurred, including preventing ISIS from taking Irbil, the humanitarian drops at Mt. Sinjar in Iraq, and retaking the Mosul Dam. Obama said the US is concerned about fighting in Iraq’s Anbar Province and near the Syrian border town of Kobani, where ISIS militants have trapped Kurdish fighters against the Turkish border on three sides, but he said airstrikes will continue in both these areas. Participating military officials attended the meeting from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Other US officials at the meeting included US Central Command chief Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of US Special Operations Command Army Gen. Joseph Votel, and Navy Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe, the director for the Joint Staff’s strategic plans and policy office.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.