Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Philippine Army Fights Islamic Extremists

The Philippine military says troops backed by aircraft have captured a jungle camp belonging to an extremist band allied with the Islamic State group and killed several militants in the country' south. Regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said an army general raised the Philippine flag Monday 24 April 2017 in the camp of the Maute armed group near Piagapo town in Lanao del Sur province a few hours after troops occupied the rebel base.



Herrera said at least three bodies of militants were recovered by troops in the camp, which had tents, bunkers and trenches, although intelligence indicated as many as 36 militants were killed in three days of intense fighting. Three soldiers were wounded. Troops found homemade bombs, grenades, combat uniforms and passports of suspected Indonesian militants in the camp.

Abu Sayyaf, is the most violent jihadist groups in the southern Philippines. Its name means "bearer of the sword" and it is notorious for kidnapping for ransom, and for attacks on civilians and the army. While Abu Sayyaf was part of the Moro National Liberation Front, but left in 1991 because Abu Sayyaf became radicalized with Islamist doctrine as it's founder, Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani - an Islamic preacher, fought in the Soviet-Afghan war where became acquainted with al-Qai'da founder Osama Bin Laden and been inspired by him. Al-Qai'da provided Abu Sayyaf with funding and training when it was initially set up.

While Abu Sayyaf also split into factions in 2006 or 2007, factions remain not fully opposed to each other. The group is though to have an estimated 400 members and, since 2014, several of its factions have declared their allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group. There has been a recent phenomenon around the waters surrounding the Philippines with Islamic extremist pirates replicating the Somalian pirate operational routine disrupting shipping and conducting kidnappings for ransom.

Abu Sayyaf has long had ties to prominent Indonesian Islamic militant groups like Mujahidin Indonesia Timur and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). Several JI members involved in the Bali bombings found shelter with Abu Sayyaf after fleeing Indonesia. There is also evidence it has links to jihadist groups in the Middle East. Recently the body of a Moroccan bomb expert, Mohammad Khattab, was discovered following a battle between the group and the Philippine army.

In 2002, fighting Abu Sayyaf became a mission of the American military's Operation Enduring Freedom and part of the Global War on Terrorism. Several hundred United States soldiers are also stationed in the area to mainly train local forces in counter terror and counter guerrilla operations, but, as a status of forces agreement and under Philippine law, they are not allowed to engage in direct combat.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Europe's Rising Islam-Based Political Parties

These past several months, eyes across the world have been trained on a growing far-right movement sweeping Europe and America – from the neo-Nazi groups in Germany and the United States to the increasing popularity of France's National Front. But another, far less noticed but sometimes equally-radical movement is also emerging across Europe: the rise of pro-Islam political parties, some with foreign support from the Muslim world. And the trend shows no sign of stopping.

Holland's Denk ("Think") party, established and led by two Turkish immigrants, is among the most significant. Denk won three seats in the Dutch parliament last month, becoming the country's "fastest- growing" new party, according to Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. Its platform: replace ideas of integration with "mutual acceptance" – a charming but antiquated idea in a culture where one group accepts gay marriage and the other is taught that homosexuals should be shoved off of tall buildings; an "acceptance monitor" to measure the extent to which such "mutual acceptance" has succeeded; and the establishment of a dedicated "anti-racism" police force.

While not the first of such Islamic parties in European politics, Denk's March 15 win makes it an inspiration to others. Existing parties now see a new chance for success, while political aspirants across Europe are making plans to start similar parties of their own.

Hence, while the focus in next week's French elections will be on Marine le Pen's National Front, many European Muslims will also be watching the Equality and Justice Party (PEJ), led by French-Turk Sacir Çolak. Like Denk, the party claims to be a voice for the downtrodden, aimed at fighting "inequalities and injustices," according to a report by the Turkish Anadolu news agency. But also like Denk, it has been accused of representing not the political interests of French citizens, but those of Turkey's president – a man who has spoken out against assimilation and integration and called on European Turks to reject Western values.

The PEJ is not alone in France: The French Union of Muslim Democrats (UDMF), founded in 2012, made headlines when it entered the 2015 electoral race. Its platform seems more moderate than many of its fellow Muslim parties across Europe: founder Nagib Azergui has insisted in interviews that he respects the secular foundation of the French republic, and advocates philosophy and civic education classes that would help mitigate against the recruitment efforts of Muslim extremists.

The party does, however, seek to establish sharia-compliant banks and calls for Turkey to become a member of the European Union. Further, it seeks to re-install the right of Muslim girls to wear headscarves in public schools, a move that could be seen as a gesture towards re-introducing religion into the secular sphere.

Austria, too, has seen a rise in Islamic political parties, such as the New Movement for the Future (NBZ), founded, like Denk and the PEJ, by Turkish immigrants. Unlike the others, however, NBZ has made little effort to hide its loyalty to Turkey. Following the failed 2016 Turkish coup, for instance, its leader, Adnan Dinçer, called on Austria to respect Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's clampdown on the country and the mass arrests that followed. It is worth noting, however, that Austria's far right has been particularly virulent in its anti-Islam activity, calling for Islam itself to be banned from the country. Such motions inevitably bring forth counter-movements from the targeted groups, and it was, just those actions which mobilized Dinçer to form the NBZ.

But it was Denk's success, above all, that inspired Lebanese-Belgian activist Dyab Abou Jahjah to establish his newest political effort: a party (to date, unnamed) aimed at "Making Brussels Great Again, a la Bernie Sanders," according to an interview in Belgian newspaper de Morgen.

This would be a third attempt for Jahjah, who first came into the public eye in 2002 as the founder of the Brussels-based Arab-European League, a pan-European political group that aimed to create what he called a Europe-wide "sharocracy" – a sharia-based democracy. In 2003, the AEL further organized a political party, RESIST, to run in the Brussels elections: it received a mere 10,000 votes. Now, Jahjah, who also runs an activist group called Movement X, hopes to run again in Brussels' 2018 elections. While his party has yet to declare a platform, his anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian and anti-European rants on Facebook and elsewhere give an indication of his plans. So, too, did a recent blog post in which he wrote: "we must defeat the forces of supremacy, the forces of sustained privileges, and the forces of the status-quo. We must defeat them in every possible arena."

But he, too, is not alone: days after Denk's win, fellow Belgian Ahmet Koç announced his own initiative, the details of which have also still to be determined. However, some things are easy enough to predict on the basis of his past: the Turkish-Belgian politician was thrown out of Belgium's socialist party in 2016 for supporting Erdogan's efforts to censor Europeans who insult him publicly, and calling for Belgian Turks to rise up against the "traitors" of the 2016 coup.

Both Koç and Jahjah will have to reckon with the ISLAM party, which has already established itself in the Brussels area. Founded in 2012, ISLAM – which poses as an acronym for "Integrité, Solidarité, Liberté, Authenticité, Moralité" is unapologetically religious. Leaders pride themselves on following the Quran, not party politics. With divisions already in place in the Brussels districts of Anderlecht, Molenbeek (the center of Belgian radicalism) and Luik, the party now plans to expand throughout the Brussels region. (U) So far, none of the existing parties has had a great deal of success – and the emerging parties have yet to make their platforms known, let alone acquire active supporters. But as Denk founder Tunahan Kuzu proudly announced after the March elections, a new voice has now gained power in a European government. But what that voice ultimately will be, and the strength of its commitment to secular and democratic values, remains yet to be seen.

Article from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, published 21 April 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

2017 Jerry P. Rainey Scholarship

The Jerry P. Rainey Scholarship Fund focuses on assisting qualifying students who display outstanding potential in their chosen major. Academic excellence, community involvement, and personal character are the primary considerations weighted for selecting a recipient.

Eligibility Requirements:

a. Must reside in the greater El Paso, Texas - Las Cruces, New Mexico area.

b. Must be enrolled in an accredited university, college or technical school.

c. Must have completed at least 24 credit hours of college coursework.

d. Must have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

e. Must have contributed or are contributing to the local community.

f. Must not have previously been awarded the Jerry P. Rainey Scholarship.

Application Process. Submit an application packet no earlier than 15 May 2017 and no later than 15 June 2017. Send the completed application packet to the contact information listed on instructions you receive with the application packet form below. The application packet will include:

~ a completed application form;
~ proof of GPA through the Spring 2017 Semester;
~ proof of completion of at least 24 credit hours of college coursework;
~ written or typed essay, 500 words or less, describing contributions to the community and life goals;
~ and, reference letters from two members of the community other than family members.

Chapter IX will award three (3) scholarships of $1000 each on or before August 19th, 2017. 

Fill out the form below (name and e-mail) and click on 'continue' to request a scholarship application and packet. After you click on Continue, you will prompted to edit or confirm your name and e-mail address, once you verify that it is correct hit the 'Confirm' button in order to complete the scholarship application request process.   You will receive a packet through your e-mail within 24 hours.  Again, Application Packets must be returned no earlier than May 15th, 2017 and no later than June 15th, 2017. 



Create Form with Online Donation - Privacy

Friday, April 14, 2017

Commando Psychology

This was forwarded to the Chapter attributing the following as a quote from a book titled "Term Limits" by Vince Flynn. Although we refer to ourselves as "Green Berets" or "Special Forces soldiers", others just think of us with the generic and in-correct term "Commando". Ask yourself how many times you have heard on the television or radio that "so and so, some celebrity" died and you think out loud "So? who gives a rat's ass?" then someone in hearing distance will ask you "You don't like so and so? He/She was a famous person!" So you have to clarify: "He/she represented values diametrically opposed to mine. The world is better off with that oxygen stealing scum bag pushing up daisies."

The men we recruit to become Special Forces COMMANDOS are a unique breed. Dr. Mcfarland, would you please give our guests the psychological profile of the average commando." The doctor started to speak with clinical neutrality.

"The typical COMMANDO is a man with an above average to high IQ who is extremely fit. He is a man who on the surface seems hard, callous, and emotionally indifferent. In truth, he is an extremely emotional and compassionate person. He is often obsessed with winning. He hates to lose, but is rarely willing to cheat or lie to win. He holds himself to a very high standard of honor and integrity and despises people who lie and lack character. He would, without thought or hesitation, give his life to save the life of a fellow commando. His biggest fear is that he will have wasted his life by not pushing himself hard enough."

"He despises people who live their lives unjustly. He dislikes politicians and bureaucrats and displays an open animosity towards them. He is trained to kill in a lethal and efficient manner and, over time, comes to accept it as a just and reasonable way to solve a problem. If you can convince him that a person is bad enough, he will pull the trigger with a clear conscience. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but for the most part this is the norm."

General Heaney let his arm drop down on the table. "I have been involved in the Special Forces for over thirty years, and I couldn't begin to count how many times I've heard one of my fellow commandos say that they would love to kill this Congressman or that Senator. You see, we are not only taught how to kill, but for our own sanity, we are taught to look at killing as a justifiable action in a world where there are good and bad people, where the bad people are not supposed to win. "Think for a minute about what we ask a commando to do. We send them to do some very ugly things, and we tell them they are doing it to protect the United States of America. As commandos, we rationalize that we are ridding the world of a bad person, that we are protecting America."

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Green Beret KIA in Afghanistan - RIP Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar

Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, of 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, was killed in action Saturday 8 April 2017, while fighting Islamic State elements in Nangarhar Province, Eastern Afghanistan. De Alencar was 37 years old and from Edgewood, Maryland. The 7th Special Forces Group's home station is Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

De Alencar recently joined Special Forces as a weapons sergeant after completing the Qualification Course in September 2016, according to Army Special Operations Command. He joined the Army in 2009 and had served previously as an infantryman, including deployments to Iraq. His awards and decorations included the Ranger Tab, Special Forces Tab, the Purple Heart, Six Army Commendation Medals, Combat Infantryman Badge and Expert Infantryman Badge.

The soldier was a 1998 graduate of Joppatowne High School in Joppa, Maryland. He and his wife Natasha had five children, according to a Facebook page for the high school’s alumni. Several alumni on the page offered condolences to De Alencar’s family and some of them noted he had long sought to join Special Forces. De Alencar came from a military family, according to Army Special Operations Command. He was born in a military hospital in Germany where his father was stationed. He later lived in Texas before moving to Maryland.

De Alencar was the first American killed in action in Afghanistan in 2017. Ten U.S. service members were killed in hostile situations in Afghanistan in 2016, according to the website icasualties.org, which tracks those numbers. Since U.S. troops first invaded Afghanistan in 2001, 2,217 American have been killed there and some 20,000 more have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon.

“On behalf of all of U.S. Force -Afghanistan, I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our fallen comrade,” Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said Saturday in a statement. “We will always remember our fallen comrades and commit ourselves to deliver on their sacrifice.”

American forces in Afghanistan are primarily charged with advising and assisting Afghan security forces as part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, but the U.S. military also conducts counterterrorism combat operations against groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida under its unilateral Freedom’s Sentinel operation. Pentagon officials have said destroying the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan is among the top goals for the United States in the country for 2017. The United States and Afghan special forces are battling ISIS in the small portion of Nangarhar Province that the terrorist group still controls. Pentagon officials said ISIS is confined to only a few district centers and has lost nearly half its fighters in Afghanistan in the last year.

Article from Stars and Stripes

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Guest Chaplain Article: A 5 Letter Word - TRUST

A 5 Letter Word: TRUST

Thinking back over my years in Special Forces/Special Operations I was reminded that probably the most important word and the most important unspoken factor in the life of a Special Forces Operator was TRUST.

Every time I exited a perfectly good aircraft while in fright/flight I trusted my life to as unknown parachute rigger (not to mention the pilot of the aircraft) and thought nothing about it.

When mountain climbing I put my trust in my pitons, my rope, and whoever was belaying me. When walking through the jungle or an IED seeded desert I put my trust in whoever was walking point.

When fast roping in Panama I put my trust both in the rope and the anchor point in the chopper. When scuba diving we trust both in the equipment and that whoever filled our tanks put in the right stuff. When deployed we trust our wife to be faithful just as she expects the same of us.

When inserting into the badlands we trust that the intel folks have provided good intel and that we won’t be greeted by a hot LZ. When running for your life you TRUST that when you get to the extraction point someone friendly will be there. On and On. Almost everything we do in SF/SO is built on Trust.

With all this in mind I’m amazed at how few in the SF community place their trust in Jesus Christ, the Creator of the universe, and whose death on a Roman cross for us gave us the opportunity to become children of God for eternity. Most of us in S.F. are do-it-yourselfers. Sounds great when you’re young and bullet proof but age and sobriety wake us up to the reality that we’re all eventually dying and that someday we’ll stand beyond the grave before a just and loving God to give an after-action report on the life He gave us here on Earth.

King Solomon, the wisest man of his day, gave us all good advice when he wrote, “TRUST in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding but in ALL of your ways acknowledge Him...”

Isn’t it time we get beyond putting our trust in ourselves with all of our shortcomings, or “in the great Jumpmaster in the sky” to putting our present and our future into the hands of the Living God, Jesus Christ? That’s my plan. How about you?

Vahan Sipantzi
Chaplain (Col) USA Ret.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Book Excerpt Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe

As President George W. Bush's top speech writer, Marc Thiessen ( The Kelly File on FOX ) was provided unique access to the CIA program used in interrogating top Al Qaeda terrorists, including the mastermind of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM). Now, his riveting new book, Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe (Regnery), has been published. Here is an excerpt from Courting Disaster:

"Just before dawn on March 1, 2003, two dozen heavily armed Pakistani tactical assault forces move in and surround a safe house in Rawalpindi. A few hours earlier they had received a text message from an informant inside the house. It read: "I am with KSM." Bursting in, they find the disheveled mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in his bedroom. He is taken into custody. In the safe house, they find a treasure trove of computers, documents, cell phones and other valuable "pocket litter." Once in custody, KSM is defiant. He refuses to answer questions, informing his captors that he will tell them everything when he gets to America and sees his lawyer. But KSM is not taken to America to see a lawyer Instead he is taken to a secret CIA "black site" in an undisclosed location.

Upon arrival, KSM finds himself in the complete control of Americans. He does not know where he is, how long he will be there, or what his fate will be. Despite his circumstances, KSM still refuses to talk. He spews contempt at his interrogators, telling them Americans are weak, lack resilience and are unable to do what is necessary to prevent the terrorists from succeeding in their goals. He has trained to resist interrogation. When he is asked for information about future attacks, he tells his questioners scornfully: "Soon, you will know."

It becomes clear he will not reveal the information using traditional interrogation techniques. So he undergoes a series of "enhanced interrogation techniques" approved for use only on the most high-value detainees. The techniques include water boarding. He begins telling his CIA de-briefers about active al Qaeda plots to launch attacks against the United States and other Western targets. He holds classes for CIA officials, using a chalkboard to draw a picture of al Qaeda's operating structure, financing, communications, and logistics. He identifies al Qaeda travel routes and safe havens and helps intelligence officers make sense of documents and computer records seized in terrorist raids. He identifies voices in intercepted telephone calls, and helps officials understand the meaning of coded terrorist communications. He provides information that helps our intelligence community capture other high-ranking terrorists.

KSM's questioning, and that of other captured terrorists, produces more than 6,000 intelligence reports, which are shared across the intelligence community, as well as with our allies across the world. In one of these reports, KSM describes in detail the revisions he made to his failed 1994-1995 plan known as the "Bojinka plot" to blow up a dozen airplanes carrying some 4,000 passengers over the Pacific Ocean. Years later, an observant CIA officer notices the activities of a cell being followed by British authorities appear to match KSM's description of his plans for a Bojinka-style attack. In an operation that involves unprecedented intelligence cooperation between our countries, British officials proceed to unravel the plot.

On the night of Aug. 9, 2006, they launch a series of raids in a northeast London suburb that lead to the arrest of two dozen al Qaeda terrorist suspects. They find a USB thumb-drive in the pocket of one of the men with security details for Heathrow airport, and information on seven Trans-Atlantic flights that were scheduled to take off within hours of each other:

* United Airlines Flight 931 to San Francisco departing at 2:15 PM
* Air Canada Flight 849 to Toronto departing at 3:00 PM
* Air Canada Flight 865 to Montreal departing at 3:15 PM
* United Airlines Flight 959 to Chicago departing at 3:40 PM
* United Airlines Flight 925 to Washington departing at 4:20 PM
* American Airlines Flight 131 to New York departing at 4:35 PM
* American Airlines Flight 91 to Chicago departing at 4:50 PM

They seize bomb-making equipment and hydrogen peroxide to make liquid explosives. And they find the chilling martyrdom videos the suicide bombers had prepared.

Today, if you asked an average person on the street what they know about the 2006 airlines plot, most would not be able to tell you much. Few Americans are aware of the fact al Qaeda had planned to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with an attack of similar scope and magnitude. And still fewer realize the terrorists' true intentions in this plot were uncovered thanks to critical information obtained through the interrogation of the man who conceived it: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

This is only one of the many attacks stopped with the help of the CIA interrogation program established by the Bush Administration in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In addition to helping break up these specific terrorist cells and plots, CIA questioning provided our intelligence community with an unparalleled body of information about al Qaeda.

Until the program was temporarily suspended in 2006, intelligence officials say, well over half of the information our government had about al Qaeda-how it operates, how it moves money, how it communicates, how it recruits operatives, how it picks targets, how it plans and carries out attacks-came from the interrogation of terrorists in CIA custody.

Former CIA Director George Tenet has declared: "I know this program has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than what the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."

Former CIA Director Mike Hayden has said: "The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work." Even Barack Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, has acknowledged: "High-value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country."

Leon Panetta, Obama's CIA Director, has said: "Important information was gathered from these detainees. It provided information that was acted upon."

John Brennan, Obama's Homeland Security Advisor, when asked in an interview if enhanced-interrogation techniques were necessary to keep America safe, replied: "Would the U. S. be handicapped if the CIA was not, in fact, able to carry out these types of detention and debriefing activities, I would say yes."

On Jan. 22, 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13491, closing the CIA program and directing that, henceforth, all interrogations by U. S. personnel must follow the techniques contained in the Army Field Manual. The morning of the announcement, Mike Hayden was still in his post as CIA Director. He called White House Counsel Greg Craig and told him bluntly: "You didn't ask, but this is the CIA officially non-concurring." The president went ahead anyway, overruling the objections of the agency.

A few months later, on April 16, 2009, President Obama ordered the release of four Justice Department memos that described in detail the techniques used to interrogate KSM and other high-value terrorists. This time, not just Hayden (who was now retired) but five CIA directors - including Obama's own director, Leon Panetta objected. George Tenet called to urge against the memos' release. So did Porter Goss. So did John Deutch. Hayden says: "You had CIA directors in a continuous unbroken stream to 1995 calling saying, 'Don't do this.'" In addition to objections from the men who led the agency for a collective 14 years, the President also heard objections from the agency's covert field operatives. A few weeks earlier, Panetta had arranged for the eight top officials of the Clandestine Service to meet with the President. It was highly unusual for these clandestine officers to visit the Oval Office, and they used the opportunity to warn the President that releasing the memos would put agency operatives at risk. The President reportedly listened respectfully, and then ignored their advice. With these actions, Barack Obama arguably did more damage to America 's national security in his first 100 days of office than any President in American history.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

U.S. Special Operations Forces Deployed To 70% Of The World's Countries In 2016

On Jan. 29, U.S. Special Operations Command launched a raid in Yemen targeting 38-year-old Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. This was the first high-profile special forces operation of Trump's presidency and it resulted in the deaths of at least 14 Al Qaeda fighters, over 20 civilians and Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens. Three other Americans were reportedly wounded while an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft was destroyed after a hard landing. It emerged in recent days that al-Rimi survived the raid, and he released an audio message on Sunday taunting the president.

Raids like the one in Yemen are nothing new; U.S. special operations troops have been embroiled in constant battle since 9/11 from the back alleys of North Africa to the mountains of Afghanistan. However, the majority of their missions around the globe are related to training local troops to fight, mainly so Americans don't have to. Iraqi special operations units such as the Golden Brigade which led the assault on Mosul learned their trade from their U.S. counterparts. American Green Berets have also trained soldiers in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on how to counter Russian proxy warfare, should Moscow conduct similar operations to those seen in the Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.



American special forces deployed to 138 nations last year -- 70 percent of the world's countries. That's according to data from U.S. Special Operations Command published by TomDispatch. While the official data did not acknowledge military action on the ground in Somalia, Syria and Yemen, there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary and those three nations were included in the overview. Some 55.29 percent of the deployments were in the Middle East, a 35 percent drop since 2006. During the same timeframe, deployments of elite troops to Africa skyrocketed 1,600 percent.

Article from Forbes.com

Monday, March 27, 2017

Chaplain’s Corner - February 2017

Asking for God’s help when in the middle of a tough situation:

We are in the middle of evil political situations all around us, and some of us are on the verge of being overwhelmed with despair. In response, I thought I would share with you what King David wrote in his Psalm 86:1-13, which is recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible.

“Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put me trust in you.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer; Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you because you answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
Teach me your way, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.”

I hope this has given you some comfort. May God bless you with His peace, love, and protection.

Chaplain John Szilvasy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Green Beret Wife Honored With "Patriot" Award - Forms "Steel Mag" Group

A recognized and widely-esteemed leader in the Special Forces community and Executive Director of the Green Beret Foundation, Jennifer Paquette, was recently honored by the United States Special Operations Command for her tireless work in support of Special Operations Forces and more specifcally -- the Special Forces "Green Berets". Ms. Paquette received USSOCOM's "Patriot" award March 2, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. She was recognized for her service to the SOF Community that spans well over a decade.

The prestigious award, established in 2007, is the highest honor USSOCOM gives to civilians and is designed to recognize "those individuals who go above and beyond to support Special Operators and their families". Paquette has had the honor of supporting hundreds of Green Berets and their families and raised millions of dollars in support of the Green Beret Foundation - a non-profit which promises to "answer the call of Green Berets and their families so that they can succeed in their next mission".

"I recognize and am honored and humbled that I have been afforded the opportunity to support this elite unit and their families. For a female to be leading an organization that supports an all male unit, is a big deal to me. The fact that a fraternal brotherhood that has been underground for decades allows me to hold a trusted position does not go unnoticed by me. Also there would be no reason to honor me with an award if it weren't the work of the Green Berets and SOF at large," Said Paquette.

Jen has many career achievements over her 25 year career but creating the Steel Mags sorority, a program under the GBF, is one she is particularly proud of. "I have found my people-girls that are cut from the same cloth being tenacious, steadfast, loyal, dependable for the Special Forces Regiment and their families and local communities. They are just as intelligent and driven by purpose as their Green Berets. These women are my family. I may have founded the sorority but these women have built it and gave legs to the vision," Paquette says.

Paquette identified a need for this special sorority after her husband SSG (R) Roland Paquette, a Green Beret medic, was traumatically injured by an IED blast while serving with 3rd Special Forces supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. "Jen is a very tenacious, loyal and driven person. She doesn't take no for an answer and does not shy away from a challenge even when others say 'Don't do it. You will fail'. When I enlisted, she enlisted with me. We are a team." Says Roland. Roland has since successfully transitioned from military service as a combat medic to a business owner of Med Training Group and an emergency room Physician Assistant.

Realizing that US Army Special Forces have been in the longest hot war in American history, Jen knew that our Green Beret marriages were maturing and children were growing up dealing with the effects of war. Her line of thinking is if we can attempt to keep the ladies and kids supported and as healthy as possible, our Green Berets can focus on the mission at hand whether that mission is being deployed, dealing with an injury or transitioning to civilian life. "Let's share the burden," she believes.

The Steel Mags started with a small group out of Ft. Bragg, NC. They have since grown to be a national group and have been mobilized throughout the country supporting each other, their local communities and teaching even civilian young girls and ladies the philosophies of the Spartan female force of the sorority. Green Berets are particularly known for their high-deployment rates and consistent high-risk missions; they have the highest per-capita casualty rate of any unit in the US military. Given the intensity of the service and sacrifice, Jen's creation of Steel Mags appears to address an intense "need" in an empathic and vital fashion.

Uniquely positioned to understand and provide essential support to the SOF community, Paquette has a long history of service; she is on the Board of Advisors for the National Special Forces Green Beret Memorial Project near Ft. Bragg, NC. She has been active with JINSA, AIPAC, and Catholic Charities. She was selected for the 2012 Outstanding Young San Antonian award. Jen is also an Honorary Member of the Special Forces Association.

As Executive Director of the GBF, she manages critical aspects of day- to-day operations and handles strategic business development at the Foundation including strategic planning, fundraising, building and maintaining donor and investor relationships, coordination of services with USSOCOM Care Coalition, USASFC, USASOC and delivering those services to Green Berets and their families.

Green Beret Foundation Chairman of the Board Ret. Maj. Gen. Simeon Trombitas expressed enthusiasm for Jennifer's service to the Special Forces community. "Jen is an incredible asset to the Special Forces community. Her commitment has been incredible in times of great stress. Our Green Berets are much better off for having her support. Her efforts come at a critical time of need for Green Berets --- because Special Forces global deployment rates are not expected to slow down anytime soon," he said.

Ms. Paquette earned her B.S. in Business Administration majoring in Supply Chain Management from Arizona State University and her Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Not-for-Profits and Public Policy from St. Mary's University. She is a member of Business Executives for National Security, the San Antonio Downtown Rotary Club, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and an associate member to the OSS Society. "Strong Females. Strong Societies" says Paquette.

The above article came from the SF Brothers Facebook site.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Vietnam War Commemoration Ceremony, 29 March 2017

A Vietnam War Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony will be held at 3 pm, Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at the ROSTRUM Area of the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.

The event will include: the Presentation of the Colors, National Anthem, Moment of Silence, Remarks, Placing of Wreaths and the sounding of TAPS. The event is to pay respect and honor the service of the 2,709,918 WHO SERVED, 75,000 severely disabled, and the families & friends, who supported them all!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Request for Info - SSG James Hughes, KIA RVN 1966


The Chapter received this request through the SFA Chapter IX website. Thought maybe some of the older Vietnam era guys may read this and may have known SSG Hughes or know somebody who did.

My name is Richard Bonham. I am researching Staff Sergeant James Edward Hughes, he was assigned in 1965 to Detachment A-502 whose mission was the security of the 5th Special Forces Group Headquarters and the Nha Trang air base. When he was killed in action on 13th March 1966, he was part of Detachment A-302 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), III Corps, Mike Force, while engaging the enemy during Operation Silver City, five miles north of Camp A-312, Xom Cat, Long Khanh Province, South Vietnam.

Do anyone have any additional information on SSgt Hughes? I am doing research for a book and would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you, Dick Bonham, rbonham@ptd.net

Friday, March 17, 2017

Chapter Meeting Notes_ 18 February 2017

SFA Membership: Life membership is still a good deal at $440 (current Member) $475 (Not current). It is $320 for members age 65 and over. Annual renewal is $40, New Member dues are $50. Reinstatement is $45 for Annual Members who did not pay in January are now late.

2017 1st Group Reunion, El Paso: Ike Camacho – Chair. Committee – Gus, Chuy, Duke, Steve, Leo, Jerry and Bill. Dates are 5-10 June 2017. This will be the 3rd time we hosted the 1st Group. The Chase Suites has rooms for $69, registration is $120 until 15 May, then it will be $140 (Hospitality Room only $50). Banquet will be at the Marriott. Billy Waugh will attend. Committee meets 2nd Saturday’s at noon at the VFW.

2017 SFA National Convention, Fayetteville, NC: The HQ Hotel rooms are already filled. http://www.2017sfaconference.com The Holiday Inn across the street seems to be the best bet. Many of the 2018 Committee will attend to promote our convention.

2018 SFA Convention – El Paso: Chair, Brian Kanof; Committee Bill, China Boy, Roy, Steve, Joe Kerwin JR, Catherine from the city and lots more. Dates are set for 12-17 June, 2018. Convention Theme is “Mexican American Green Beret’s”. It will be a 5-night conference with events beginning on Wednesday. SFA 80 and the 82nd Airborne chapter will assist. Brian asked the members to start seeking $5K sponsorships now. Committee is meeting before the general meetings at 12 noon. All committee Sub-Chairmen will be selected by March meeting. Honorary Members and Associate Members may be Sub Chairs and Assistant’s, volunteer now. The Camino Real Hotel is doing a makeover (to be re-named Paso Del Norte Hotel) and will be finished about the time of the reunion. We are looking at that as a HQ Hotel.

SF Room at the VFW: Chair Tom Brady, Committee Leo, Brian, Chuck and Al. Plaques and contents will be decided by the committee.

Announcements for the Good of the Order: Tom Melgares presented certificates for those members who wee key to the success for the food drive.



John McLaughlin Memorial Golf Tournament: Scheduled at Fort Bliss for 9 September. Committee members are Gus, Al, Ike, Leo.

US Border Patrol SOG Expo: Our major fundraiser is scheduled for 2-4 May, 2017 (Dinner at VFW 2nd 1800; Expo 3rd; Range Day 4th).

Pack 58 Pinewood Derby Track: Pack 58 sent a request for SFA 9 to buy them a new track for $1700. Chapter voted to authorize $500 but directed Bill and Steve to find out more information. A meeting with the Cubmaster determined that the old track, which SFA 9 purchased about 6 years ago, just needs repairs. He will get back to us with the repair quotes.

Bataan Death March – Waterpoint 7,  19 March, White Sands:  SFA 80 needs us to assist with workers from 0900-1500, at Mile Marker 17 on HWY 70. After the event Mike Burleson will host a stand down party at his house, 8936 Lisa Lane, Las Cruces NM. SFA 9 Member Tony Beltran should be in town to participate in the trek as he always does. USASMA SF students are competing in the Military Heavy category. Chapter 9 is sponsoring their team and paying the $680 entry and shirt fee.

Jerry Rainey Scholarship: Greg Brown is Chairman again. Applications are being accepted – need transcripts thru current semester – Mid June deadline; policy was updated at the meeting. The Chapter voted to put 10% of SOG Expo profits into Jerry Rainey Scholarship fund.

VFW Elections: Pete Peral is running for Commander. Elections are April.

Chapter member Sam Morgan is running again for City Representative of District 4 whicvh is Northeast El Paso where a larger percentage of active dity and retired militarty live. Sam requests support from the Chapter. His website is http://www.sammorgan.org/ where you can donate, view volunteer information or find voting information.
 
 
 
 
President's Message:
 
Guys, sweet and short. We have a BUNCH of STUFF going on. Support as much as you can.
 
Pete Peral, President SFA Chapter IX  

Monday, March 13, 2017

RIP Joe Kerwin

Longtime Chapter IX member Command Sergeant Major (retired) Joseph R. Kerwin passed away on March 6th.

Born in Pharr, Texas in 1928, Joe accrued over 30 years of military service, initially joining the Navy at age 17 in 1944.  After World War II he returned home to McAllen Texas then joined the Army, as an Infantryman in 1952 during the Korean War.  He subsequently served with the 325th ABN Inf. Regt. 82nd Airborne Division (US); 503rd ABN Regt, 11th Airborne Division (US and Europe 1954-59); HQ 18th Airborne Corps (US); and, 5th Regimental Combat Team (INF) (Korea). 

He became a Green Beret in 1960 with Special Forces assignments including 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (1961); 8th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Latin America 1962-66); 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (Vietnam 1966-67); and, MACSOG (Special Operations Group) (Vietnam) 1971-72.  Joe retired with over 500 jumps.

Joe earned a Master of Arts Degree with Webster University, Saint Louis, Missouri, worked for the US Government and local law enforcement for a combined 11 years and became a Licensed Private Investigator for 5 years.  Noteable, Joe served as a counselor for Vietnam Veterans.  

His Awards and Decorations include: Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal w/ “V” device for Valor, Bronze Star, Air Medal w/ “V” Device for Valor, ARCOM w/ “V” Device for Valor, Purple Heart, Vietnamese Medal of Honor, Two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses, Joint Service Commendation Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Civic Action Medal 1st Class, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Three US Presidential Citations, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citation, Master Parachutist Badge, National Defense Service Medal w/olc, Korean service medal, Good conduct Medal 9th awd, as well as Parachutist badges from Ecuador, Venezuela and Vietnam.

JCSM (ret) Joe Kerwin was preceded in death by his loving wife and devoted wife Maria and parents Joseph and Isabel Kerwin.  He is survived by his daughter Leticia Sanders (Danny), sons Joseph R. Kerwin, Jr., and Jesse Kerwin (Iris).  Not to mention six grandchildren and many great grandchildren.   

Viewing will be at Sunset Funeral Home on Tuesday March 14th from 0930-1100 Thurs then burial with Full Military Honors, following the viewing, at Fort Bliss National Cemetery.  

Please see the on-line obituary and memorial page.  

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Green Berets Hunt for Wanted Warlord Joseph Kony


In the Central African Republic — The helicopter settles in the elephant grass, rotor wash flattening the six-foot-tall fronds. The first man on the ground is Travis, a brawny Green Beret with a solemn demeanor. He scans the treeline, carbine at the ready, and the rest of the soldiers follow. Three Ugandan troops lead the way as a trio of Americans disperse through the column, weapons at the ready. On its surface, this is a simple mission. U.S. Army Special Forces, or Green Berets, have been ordered to "apprehend or remove" one of the world's most notorious warlords from the battlefield, along with his top commanders.

Joseph Kony built an army of child soldiers indoctrinated in his personality cult, robbing central Africa of a generation. The self-proclaimed Christian prophet is accused of crimes including murder, rape, kidnapping and torture by the International Criminal Court. The U.S. considers the elusive Kony a "specially designated global terrorist" and has offered up to $5 million for information leading to his capture.

The area of operations is the size of California, with about 80 military personnel and several dozen support personnel tasked with finding around 150 fighters with Kony's Lord's Resistance Army, operating across portions of four countries in some of the world's most inaccessible terrain. "You're looking for a needle in about a million haystacks," said Lt. Col. Cecil Marson, who commanded the operation's headquarters in Uganda until last spring. "You have to be judicious with your resources, but very aggressive."

Patrols can last days. They are hard: physically, mentally and tactically demanding. In most areas, the vegetation is thick. The only way forward is behind hooked machetes swung by the Ugandan point men. Even with a path cut through the grass and trees, the man in front disappears after only a few yards. With extreme temperatures and oppressive humidity, heat exhaustion is a concern. So are wild animals. Crocodiles, hyenas, big cats, troupes of aggressive primates and venomous snakes all stalk these wilds. There are swarms of bees and disease-carrying insects. Long, needle-like thorns rip apart clothing and pierce flesh, and poisonous plants abound.

The list of dangers is long, even without the possibility of encountering armed fighters. But that is the goal of this patrol: to find the lingering remnants of the LRA. President Barack Obama deployed forces here in October 2011 but the U.S. had been involved clandestinely in the LRA war since at least 2008. The LRA has never attacked American citizens or interests and many in the U.S. military want this mission to end. They may get their wish.

As the Trump administration shifts its focus to counterterrorism, the Green Berets' mission to find Kony may be axed as early as this month with the warlord still at large. Dubbed Operation Observant Compass, America is a relative newcomer to this fight. Uganda is not. The Ugandan People's Defense Force (UPDF), has been fighting the LRA for almost 30 years. At the height of its power, the LRA counted as many as 3,000 fighters among its ranks. It preyed upon villages of northern Uganda, kidnapping young boys and forcing them to commit atrocities against their neighbors and families.


But in recent years, the LRA splintered into small groups, its members traversing the long borders between Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan to escape their pursuers. Uganda is wearying of the LRA fight. Last year, officials announced they were ready to pull their forces out of the hunt. Col. Richard Otto has been battling Kony's forces with the UPDF for 20 years. One of his toughest challenges is simply getting his troops from point A to point B. "Out here, the roads exist only on a map," Otto said. American involvement has meant increased mobility and better intelligence.

The cooperation between U.S. special forces and the UPDF has led to notable successes. In January 2015, Green Berets were present after Dominic Ongwen, one of Kony's senior commanders, turned himself in. Ongwen had been wanted for war crimes, including his role in the massacre of 345 civilians in northern DRC in 2009. He is currently facing trial by the ICC. The counter-LRA mission relies on the Americans. But without the Ugandans, it ends. "We are conscious that our withdrawal may take the situation back to square one," Otto said. Still, he believes the fight against the LRA is almost over. "There is light at the end of the tunnel."

The Defectors. "I want to send a message to Ocan to come home. I came home with your children. You never had a chance to see your child, she is called [name withheld], you should come home and see your daughter." Messages like this, recorded by a former LRA member, echo across savannah and tropical forests via FM and shortwave radio. The broadcasts are supported through the work of American aid groups like Invisible Children.

In 2012, Invisible Children became the face of American activism in fighting Kony and rehabilitating LRA-affected communities with the release of a video known as "Kony 2012." The video has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube. Some researchers took issue with what they called a loose adherence to facts in the mini-documentary, but Kony 2012's impact in raising public awareness of the LRA is difficult to overstate. "Kony 2012 was a very big thing, but attention died afterwards," said Camille Marie-Regnault, a field worker for Invisible Children interviewed at the group's headquarters in Obo, Central African Republic.

Other American organizations also took an active role in the hunt for Kony. One was Bridgeway Foundation, run by a Texas philanthropist named Shannon Sedgwick Davis. It paid mercenaries to train African Union soldiers searching for Kony. "To be clear, the objective of our work was never a manhunt for Kony, we set out to protect civilians who were being abducted and massacred," Davis told NBC News.

Invisible Children has two main roles. The first is maintaining the network of HF radio transmitters that provide an "early warning system" for tracking LRA attacks and movements. The second is running a program to encourage defections from the group and rehabilitating former fighters and escaped abductees, so that they can rejoin their families and reintegrate into society. "We are still working to convince people they can defect, and to convince people they can come out," Marie-Regnault added.

There have been notable defections, including several bodyguards. In October, the LRA's "chief intelligence officer" walked for four days from Sudan into CAR, where he was handed over to the UPDF with U.S. special forces present. Abducted in 2003 at the age of 19, Peter Kidega Okello told the Ugandan Radio Network that he decided to escape after reading a leaflet printed by Invisible Children. He has since been repatriated to Uganda and reunited with his family.

The hunt for Kony remains a pet project in Washington's halls of power. Activists and former military personnel describe routine high-level interest in the project, with members of Congress and the National Security Council sometimes seeking almost-daily updates about its status. The Defense Department's Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for Observant Compass was $22.959 million. In reality the operation relies on additional resources and funding from the Overseas Contingency Operations budget, a $59 billion slush fund used to pay for worldwide military activities, as well as national intelligence resources and State Department funds. U.S. military commanders have publicly stated its annual price tag to be closer to $100 million. "The U.S., America, we are not at war in Africa — our partners are at war in Africa," Lt. Col. Matt Maybouer, the commander of the mission said during a recent NBC News visit. "U.S. soldiers are not engaged in direct combat."

The Fight. The helicopter lifts off, and the patrol moves away from the landing zone, directed by the hand gestures of Ricky, the team sergeant. The Green Beret's team was one of three conducting a zone reconnaissance: a coordinated search for recent LRA activity. When they find it, teams pick up the trail like bloodhounds, tracking the fighters for days across miles of uninhabited wilderness until they make contact. "Based on historic patterns of movement, we've identified key locations — such as river crossings and campsites — where we can expect to find signs of movement by the LRA," Ricky said. (NBC News agreed to identify the men only by their first names, in exchange for a firsthand look at this operation.)

Most current knowledge about the LRA comes from the accounts of former members and abductees. Defectors often describe the terrain in terms of natural features — many are children from distant villages with limited knowledge of local geography. Their accounts contain locations such as "the camp near the bee's nest in the hollow tree trunk," or "the river crossing near the old pile of bones," according to a U.S. intelligence officer with direct knowledge of the operation.

Matching these generic terrain-feature descriptions to specific GPS markers enabled U.S. Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) to build a map of the world, as seen through the eyes of an LRA child soldier. The result enabled the Green Berets to anticipate LRA movements. Commanders have used this knowledge to carry out operations that have sharply reduced the remnants of the LRA.

Maybouer, the commander of the mission, said that since Observant Compass began in 2011 the group's hideouts have fallen from 2,000-3,000 to around 125-150. The remaining fighters are divided into groups, each led by a subcommander. At least one of these operates in Garamba National Park, a vast wilderness in northeastern DRC on the border with South Sudan.



That LRA subgroup is hunting elephants. They sell elephant tusks on the black market in exchange for cash, to buy weapons and supplies. A mature elephant tusk sells for as much as $70,000. The LRA takes the tusks northwest, around 500 miles by foot or pack animal across uninhabited corridors of CAR and South Sudan, to Kafia Kingi. There, an illicit market in ivory — among other things — thrives.

Kony is still thought to be hiding in Kafia Kingi, known as "K2" by the U.S. military, moving into uninhabited parts of CAR when pursuit comes too close. In K2, seasonal markets buy and sell the spoils of poaching, funneling them to international smugglers. Much of it ends up on the black market in Asia. The fight to end this trade is intertwined with the fight against the LRA. In August, the U.S. and its allies began an operation in Garamba aimed at pushing the LRA out of the park. "The presence of the U.S. military may be acting as a deterrent against poaching activity," Leon Lamprecht, an operations director for international NGO African Parks, which manages the 1,900 square-mile Garamba. While African Parks does not have a partnership with SOCAFRICA, "we do know that the LRA, as well as other armed poachers' groups, were sufficiently destabilized that only two old elephant carcasses were observed since August 1," Lamprecht said.

The Legacy. Central Africa is an unstable region. CAR is in the lingering stages of a complex insurgency. South Sudan is on the midst of a civil war, while DRC is recovering from years of internal strife. SOCAFRICA has carefully expanded its network of cooperation and access to local military infrastructure — such as forward bases and airfields — and capabilities as part of the counter-LRA mission. Although focused on finding Kony and his cohorts, American military officers are concerned about the potential for radical Islamist groups to take advantage of the chaos.

Several of the soldiers involved in Observant Compass mentioned Séléka, a rebel coalition made up of mostly Muslim members, that fought against the government of CAR during a civil war that started in 2012. In Obo there are virtually no local military or police forces, only a small contingent of Moroccan peacekeepers operating under the United Nations. The presence of the UPDF and the U.S. military has created an island of stability. As a result, refugees have flocked to the area.

Residents of Obo praised the presence of the Americans. "Things have been getting better here since they arrived," said Anidje Michelina, a resident of Obo who runs a local cafe. "I want the LRA to leave this place. Thanks to the American forces, there is peace in this town. We used to sleep in the bush, but now we are sleeping in our houses."

If the UPDF or the Americans leave, aid workers fear the security will evaporate. "Obo sits at the crossroads between these areas of instability. I think this area post-LRA represents a really key opportunity for stability on this part of the continent," said Invisible Children's Sean Poole. He would like to see American involvement regardless of the eventual fate of the LRA mission.

Commanders of Africa Command, or AFRICOM, have publicly questioned whether the mission is worth the expense. In testimony before Congress in March, outgoing AFRICOM commander Gen. David M. Rodriguez bemoaned its cost. In November, AFRICOM's current commander, Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, told Stars & Stripes: "We are at a point in time where we need to transition that mission." What Waldhauser meant by "transition" is not immediately clear. Under the Obama administration, the mission was reauthorized each year for 12 months at a time. In October, during the waning days of his presidency, Obama opted to renew the mission for only six months, in order to give the incoming administration flexibility in deciding its future.

"I imagine Observant Compass would be quietly wound down and renamed," said Joseph Trevithick, a fellow at GlobalSecurity.org and a freelance journalist who has written extensively about AFRICOM. "In March there may be some temporary re-authorization, or they will already have an endgame that would allow AFRICOM to broaden the scope and replace the existing mission with one of regional counterterrorism." "The prospects for the reauthorization of this mission by President Trump are difficult to discern," he said. "This mission has always been driven by the White House and the State Department. The Department of Defense is less enthusiastic about this mission."

The White House has not publicly commented on the mission. As much of the National Security Council remains unstaffed, it is unclear whether the administration has an official position on the matter. Despite reassurances that the LRA has been more or less defeated, capturing Kony is key. Whether or not the U.S. is able to find Kony, his days may be numbered. Okello, the LRA intelligence chief, told Ugandan media the warlord suffers from severe stomach ulcers. "If we don't catch Kony," one U.S. military officer said, "stomach ulcers will." But reports about his ill health have surfaced before, and after 30 years, Kony is still at large.

Article from NBC News