Service & Sacrifice: Confronting Threats
A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave US troops and military families around the world.
Russia is threatening to take “countermeasures” after Finland officially joined NATO this week, adding even more tension to a continent where 100,000 US military forces are already stationed.
Despite the rhetoric, the immediate impact on US troops might prove to be minimal, according to this piece in Task & Purpose.
“It is unlikely that the US military would need to send troops to Finland to deter against an Russian attack after Finland joins NATO, said Evelyn Farkas who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 2012 to 2015,” Jeff Schogol reports. “In fact, Farkas said she does not expect that the US military will make any changes to where its forces are deployed in Europe any time soon.”
The news comes as the Pentagon plans for a huge military training exercise that will take place all around Europe starting later this month.
“Approximately 9,000 US troops and about 17,000 troops from 26 allied and partner nations will participate and portions of the exercise will stretch across ten different European countries,” Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said earlier this week.
“The exercise is designed to demonstrate the US military’s ability to rapidly deploy combat-credible troops and equipment to assure allies, deter those who would threaten the peace of Europe and defend the continent from aggression,” a Pentagon press release added.
Please pray for all US military forces deployed in Europe, as well as their families here at home.
Flight data recorders from both HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters involved in the crash have been recovered. They are currently being analyzed by military investigators seeking a cause for the deadly crash.
— 101st Airborne Div. (@101stAASLTDIV) April 4, 2023
Meanwhile, the remains of all nine fallen heroes have been transferred to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Here are their names:
- Warrant Officer 1 Jeffery Barnes, 33, Milton, Florida
- Sgt. Emilie Marie Eve Bolanos, 23, Austin, Texas
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Zachary Esparza, 36, of Jackson, Missouri
- Sgt. Isaacjohn Gayo, 27, Los Angeles, California
- Staff Sgt. Joshua C. Gore, 25, Morehead City, North Carolina
- Warrant Officer 1 Aaron Healy, 32, Cape Coral, Florida
- Staff Sgt. Taylor Mitchell, 30, Mountain Brook, Alabama
- Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rusten Smith, 32, Rolla, Missouri
- Sgt. David Solinas Jr., 23, Oradell, New Jersey
Please continue to pray for the families and friends of these nine departed warriors. We will never forget the ultimate sacrifice these heroes made for our country.
The US military killed a senior ISIS leader in a Monday strike in northwest Syria, according to US Central Command.
“Khalid ‘Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri was responsible for planning ISIS attacks into Europe and developed the leadership structure for ISIS,” CENTCOM said in the press release embedded below.
CENTCOM forces conducted a unilateral strike in Syria killing an ISIS senior leader responsible for planning attacks into Europe. pic.twitter.com/hwVjqdUTee
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) April 4, 2023
“ISIS continues to represent a threat to the region and beyond,” said US Army Gen. Erik Kurilla. “Though degraded, the group remains able to conduct operations within the region with a desire to strike beyond the Middle East.”
The US military currently has about 900 troops in Syria and another 2,500 in neighboring Iraq. As attacks by ISIS and Iranian-backed militias continue in both countries, please say a prayer for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform.
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The prayers of many military families were answered this week when a group of soldiers safely returned to Massachusetts from their nine-month deployment to the Middle East.
Welcome home, heroes! We are so grateful for the sacrifices you and your families made over the past nine months. Happy Easter!
Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise Men, Brothers Forever, 8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.