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27th Light Infantry, NYS Army National Guard

Elements of the New York and the Vermont National Guard face lengthy and hazardous tours in overseas war zones for the first time since World War II.

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Photo/Audio Diary
An Iraq Diary
Maj. Eric Olsen is chaplain to a battalion of the New York Army National Guard stationed in the Sunni Triangle north of Baghdad. His thirty-part audio diary begins in 2004. He and his family live in Saranac Lake.
Major Eric Olsen <br />Army champlain
Major Eric Olsen
Army champlain

Iraq Diary, pt. 11: Firing Back at an Elusive Enemy

Over the last four months, New York's National Guard soldiers serving in Iraq have faced deadly rocket and mortar strikes. The attacks have tapered off in recent weeks, in part because of a campaign to hit back at insurgents. As our Iraq audio diary series continues, Army Chaplain Major Eric Olsen spends a night with a mortar crew hunting enemy attackers on the perimeter of an Army base north of Bagdad called Camp Orion.  Go to full article
A-10 Warthog at low altitude

Military Flyovers: From Controversy to Collaboration

In the 1980s, low-level military flights elicited passionate reactions and often rancorous debate. It got so bad then-Governor Mario Cuomo created a joint citizen-military committee to resolve the problems. A toll-free hotline (800-228-3567) was set up for complaints and is still in operation today. Now the military is preparing a new plan for using North Country airspace. But this time, the dialogue with citizens on the ground is far more civil than in years past. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Remote detonation of explosive device

Iraq Diary, pt. 10: Defusing Deadly Attacks

Two National Guard soldiers from northern New York were injured last week when a number of mortar rounds hit camp Anaconda, north of Bagdad. Anaconda is a major supply hub for New York's National Guard units serving in Iraq. The area has come under regular attack from rockets, mortars and improvised explosive devices -- known as "IEDs". Iraq is filled with weapons, some left over from Saddam Hussein's regime or supplied on the black market. This week, as part of his audio diary series, Army chaplain Eric Olsen spends a day with the unit assigned to find and destroy enemy munitions around Anaconda. Major Olsen is a National Guard soldier from Saranac Lake.

NOTE: This audio diary was recorded in late May, before last week's deadly attack. The series is produced by Brian Mann.  Go to full article

North Country Guardsmen Wounded In Iraq

National guard soldiers from Plattsburgh and Chazy Lake were injured Wednesday in Iraq, when a rocket struck an Army base north of Bagdad. One of the soldiers has been...  Go to full article

Army Base That Supports NY Reservists Hit

A deadly rocket attack hit an Army base on Wednesday that provides logistical support to New York reservists serving in Iraq. Three soldiers died at the base known as...  Go to full article
On the road near Baghdad

Iraq Diary, pt 9: NY Guard Faces Roadside Attacks

For National Guard soldiers stationed in Iraq, the most dangerous assignment can be driving the country's roads. Car bombs, ambushes, and improvised explosive devices--also...  Go to full article

Vermont Soldier Dies in Iraq

Another Vermont National guarsdman has died in Iraq. A New York soldier was injured in the same land mine explosion. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, pt. 8: MREs, Calls Homes & Daily Attacks

Next month, the Bush administration says it will establish a sovereign government in Iraq. Despite the transition, U.S. troops are likely to remain in the country for along...  Go to full article

In the First Person: A Rocket Attack in Iraq

Almost every day, we hear another report of a rocket attack on U.S. soldiers in Iraq. This morning we hear a first-hand account of a near-miss from Corporal Bill Putnam, a...  Go to full article
Joint US/ICDC patrol

Iraq Diary, Pt. 7: A Conversation With Captain Insetta, 2nd 108th

National guard troops from northern New York are helping to train Iraqi police and the country's new civil defence force. The process hasn't gone smoothly. The new force...  Go to full article

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