“Inside the DoD”: Dec. 21, 2012

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For the past several weeks, more than 10,000 Marines have been displaying their amphibious assault capabilities and sharpening their other skill sets during Exercise Steel Knight, in Camp Pendleton, Calif. The Marines are using this exercise as they transition from fighting in Afghanistan back to the essential roles of the Marine Corps.

In the wake of Typhoon Pablo, which struck the Philippines on December 4, the Department of Defense has been providing humanitarian support.

Personnel and aircraft with III Marine Expeditionary Force have been transporting supplies from Marine Corps Station Futenma in Okinawa to affected areas in the Philippines, including Manila to Davao International Airport in Mindanao, the region most affected by the typhoon.

Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta was travelling the past few weeks, with stops in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Turkey. While in Kuwait, and then also in Afghanistan, Secretary Panetta spent time with troops and thanked them for their service and sacrifice. Panetta also met with ISAF Commander, Gen. John Allen, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. While on his way to Turkey to meet with top officials, Panetta signed an order that will deploy 400 U.S. personnel to Turkey to support the deployment that NATO agreed to recently of Patriot missile capability there.

Finally, a few holiday greetings from President Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, his wife Deannie and their grandsons.

Happy holidays everyone and please stay safe!

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