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Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Command Post

A military blog by Howard Altman

From Afghanistan to the Alafia, Command Post Tampa is your local military news source.

Centcom international coalition pitched on importance of anti-IS effort by Obama

Tribune staff

Aside from being briefed by Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. Central Command, on plans to hit Sunni insurgent group Islamic State targets in Syria, President Barack Obama spent about 20 minutes Wednesday with in a private meeting with Centcom’s international coalition leaders at MacDill Air Force Base.

The meeting highlighted the importance of the coalition as Obama, who has yet to approve the plans he heard at Centcom, seeks to build a broad international consensus for efforts against IS.

During the 20-minute, coalition-only session, Obama “expressed his gratitude to the members of the coalition and highlighted the importance of the coalition for the ongoing effort of countering the ISIL,” Danish Brig. Gen. Frank Lissner, the coalition chairman, told me in an email.

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Visit of federal labor agency to St. Pete VA office reminder of war’s lasting effects

By Howard Altman

Back in the spring, Iraq was in the rearview mirror and U.S. Central Command, headquartered here in Tampa at MacDill Air Force Base, was largely focused on winding down the war in Afghanistan, which is supposed to end by December.

It’s not like the folks at Centcom were only focused on Afghanistan. Not with 19 other nations to think about, a gnarly nest of dysfunction and despotism, sectarian violence and never-ending bloodshed from Pakistan to Yemen to Egypt that includes countries, like Lebanon and Jordan, feeling the direct effect of the horrific Syrian revolution. And the Gulf states. And the K-stans. And of course, Iran, always vying for supremacy in the Islamic world and a constant thorn for U.S. ambitions.

But now with Iraq and Syria sucking up so much oxygen, the Centcom acronym has become the subject of even more intense worldwide attention. If for no other reason than the near-daily bomb-o-grams, fired off by Centcom’s public affairs shop via email and social media, detailing the latest pieces of often-American hardware you paid for that have been blown up in Iraq by American munitions you also paid for.

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So far, nearly 1,000 aerial refueling flights in mission over Iraq

Published:   |   Updated: September 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM
Tribune staff

Yesterday, two crews from the 91st Air Refueling Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base returned from somewhere in the Middle East after a tour refueling aircraft that were dropping bombs and humanitarian aid in Iraq in the fight against the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State.

While the glory may seem to go to the folks dropping the ordnance and packages, much of that would be impossible without mid-air gas from crews like the ones from MacDill, which are part of the 6th Air Mobility Wing.

How big a role have they played?

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Helping those in need is vital part of military DNA


If it weren’t for Air Force Tech. Sgt. Lewis Collins, Walter Padron might not have been able to go on a family cruise to the Caribbean for his granddaughter’s 15th birthday.

Around 4 p.m. July 10, Collins, the working-dog kennel master with the 6th Security Forces Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, was returning from a doctor’s appointment when he saw a man on a bicycle hit by a 1995 green Toyota sedan at Spruce Street and MacDill Avenue.

Collins stopped his car and jumped out. Trained in first aid, he was prepared to help.

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