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Around the Force

  • Anniversary of chaplains’ deaths remembered

    By ASHLEY ROWLAND
    Stars and Stripes
    After the torpedo hit, they worked on the ship’s darkened deck, passing out life jackets, comforting troops, and helping some into life boats. When the ship’s supply of life jackets ran out, they gave away the ones they were wearing.
    The four chaplains were last seen praying together on the ship’s slanting deck, arms linked, as the USAT Dorchester quickly slid into the frigid waters off the coast of Greenland.

  • Army looking for upgrades, replacement for aging ‘flawed’ M-4s

    By DAN BLOTTENBERGER
    Stars and Stripes
    The Army is searching for a replacement for its M-4 carbine, one of its primary weapons in Afghanistan.
    In a draft solicitation, the Army’s research and development arm is asking weapons manufacturers to try to produce a carbine rifle that can outperform the M-4, which has been part of the Army inventory since the mid-1990s.
    “Is there something better than the M-4 out there? Let’s go find out,” said Brig. Gen. Peter Fuller, head of PEO Soldier, during a media roundtable last week.

  • 150-year-old ‘slavery map’ based on eighth census

    NOAA Communications
    It isn’t often that a map visually displays a moral issue facing a divided nation and then affects a President’s response.
    Yet nearly 150 years ago, the U.S. Coast Survey—NOAA’s predecessor organization—produced such a map that, according to historians, President Abraham Lincoln used to coordinate military operations with his emancipation policies.

  • Surface 2.0 debuts at Aberdeen

    By CLAIRE HEININGER
    PEO C3T MilTech Solutions Office
    Microsoft’s latest touch-screen technology made its military debut Jan. 25, at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., as the Army’s leading multitouch researchers and developers used the Surface 2.0 during a quarterly working group meeting.
    The Surface 2.0, which was introduced in January, uses a smaller, flat-screen computer with a new detection method that replaces its bulkier predecessor that relied on a camera and projector, officials said.

  • Army aviation seeking new helicopter by 2025

    By KARL HAWKINS
    USAG Redstone
    While most of the focus in today’s Army is on the war fighter and how best to support current military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a leader in military aviation is calling for some of that focus to shift to the equipment needs of the future.
    In the Army’s aviation arena, that future focus should aim on a new rotary wing platform, said Maj. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield, Army Aviation branch chief and commander of the Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.

  • Learning new language may prolong brain health

    By LAURAN NEERGAARD
    AP Medical Writer
    Mastering a second language can pump up your brain in ways that seem to delay getting Alzheimer’s disease later on, scientists said Friday.
    Never learned to habla or parlez? While the new research focuses mostly on the truly long-term bilingual, scientists say even people who tackle a new language later in life stand to gain.
    The more proficient you become, the better, but “every little bit helps,” said Ellen Bialystok, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto.

  • Doctor testing effects of acupuncture on Soldiers

    By SETH ROBBINS
    Stars and Stripes
    For the first time, doctors are testing acupuncture to treat injured troops in transit from Ramstein to the States.
    The service members are part of a study, looking at whether battlefield acupuncture—a procedure that involves placing tiny needles into troops’ ears—can be effectively used to control pain during an air evacuation.

  • Learning new language may prolong brain health

    By LAURAN NEERGAARD
    AP Medical Writer
    Mastering a second language can pump up your brain in ways that seem to delay getting Alzheimer’s disease later on, scientists said Friday.
    Never learned to habla or parlez? While the new research focuses mostly on the truly long-term bilingual, scientists say even people who tackle a new language later in life stand to gain.
    The more proficient you become, the better, but “every little bit helps,” said Ellen Bialystok, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto.

  • M1A1 tanks go to Iraqi 9th Armored Division

    By SGT. CHAD MENEGAY
    196th MPAD
    Soldiers with Company C, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division-Center, worked with Iraqi Army 9th Armored Division soldiers during M1A1 Abrams tank drivers training Jan. 15-16 at Camp Taji, Iraq.
    “We focus on driving M1A1s to drive Iraq forward into the future and for the betterment of the people of Iraq,” said Iraq Army Jundi Anwar Hakim Khidher Al-Janabi, a tank commander with the 9th Armored Division, out of Camp Taji.

  • Drawdowns in combat areas may highlight stress for Guardsmen

    By J.D. LEIPOLD
    Army News Service
    The Army’s vice chief of staff said with the drawdown in Iraq and eventually in Afghanistan, the country could expect to see an increase in the number of Soldiers suffering from depression, anxiety, Traumatic Brain Injury and post-traumatic stress.