U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch
The Islamic State is facing mounting pressure from the Iraqi government and American-led coalition who are ramping up attacks and forcing the militants into a multi-front fight. Iraqi forces, supported by American warplanes, are attempting to encircle the city of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, in the hope of cutting off the militants’ resupply and reinforcements. North of Baghdad, the Iraqi Army and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are trying to retake the Baiji oil refinery, which fell to the Islamic State on Oct. 16.
In Syria, the United States has dropped 50 tons of ammunition to Syrian Arab fighters, hoping they will join a larger group of Kurdish fighters in a push to take the city of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital there.
“We are doing what you always try to do to the enemy and that is force him to fight in more than one direction at the same time,” said Lt. Gen. Sean B. MacFarland, the American commander in Iraq and Syria.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.