The Front Lines

Army focus: conventional war or counterinsurgency?

Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began the U.S. Army has been relearning how to conduct counterinsurgency and stability operations while also trying to maintain conventional war-fighting capabilities. Last month 900 students in Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff College ...

Veteran finally to undergo back surgery

On Tuesday, nearly three years after he was injured in an explosion during the war on terror, Army veteran Gary Connellis will undergo back surgery. It has been a long, painful wait for someone with a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis. And those are just the ...

Commanding the delivery of ‘bullets and beans’

The U.S. Army is streamlining the way it manages the delivery of “bullets and beans” to its troops and Brig. Gen. Gregory Couch, of Olathe, is at the forefront of the process.Couch is the commander of the Army Reserves’ 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), based in Pennsylvania. The ...

Leadership tips from former Green Beret

Think outside the box. Take some risks. Surround yourself with quality people who you trust."Leaders change the shape and focus of the world they live in."Those were a few tidbits offered during a talk last week by Mark Johnson, a Eudora man who is a former Green Beret and U.S. Army consultant. ...

Disabled veteran about to be evicted

Gary Connellis and his family are about to be evicted from their Leavenworth apartment.In [a couple][1] of Front Line [blogs this summer][2], Connellis' problems obtaining disability benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were outlined.Connellis suffered numerous injuries in 2006 ...

Obtaining Purple Heart list is Mission Impossible

I called the Pentagon Tuesday. I had a simple request.I wanted the names of Kansans from all military branches who received Purple Heart medals during the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was hoping for more than just the names. I also wanted hometowns, military rank, military unit, and ...

Reporter trains with Army’s border transition team

Army Specialist Jason Neuhaus enjoys being one of the bad guys.At Fort Riley, Neuhaus, of Herrington, is one of the OPFORs, short for "opposing force." He plays the role of an enemy sniper who hides in buildings that other soldiers enter and search.Earlier this week he was at an isolated mock ...

Older reporter soldiers on

I've never served in the military, but by the end of this week, I should have a better understanding of how the U.S. Army does things.I'm one of 10 journalists from around the country participating in the first annual Military Journalist Experience, organized by [Kansas University's William ...

Lawrence man still working on Army’s tanks

The last time [we visited with Darrell Hunsaker][1], he was home visiting his parents in Lawrence while on leave from the U.S. Army. He had been in Iraq for nearly a year and would have to return when his leave was over. That was in November and December 2004.Darrell and his father, Sam ...

A light at the end of the tunnel

Gary Connellis finally got some good news from a physician with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It means his wife and 7-year-old daughter are much closer to getting medical insurance coverage.Since December 2007 Connellis, who was injured two years ago in a bomb blast during the war on ...

Ex-soldier deals with post military problems

The Army was going to be a second career for Gary Connellis.Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., he followed his father's footsteps and joined the New York City Police Department. He spent 17 years there.Connellis, 39, who now lives in Leavenworth, lost some friends in the 2001 attack on the ...

Joint Chiefs chairman confronts Army challenges at Fort Riley

More coverage of Admiral Mike Mullen's visit to Army bases in Kansas:[The Washington Post:][1] "FORT RILEY, Kan., Oct. 24 -- The United States' exit from Iraq and Afghanistan depends on stepping up U.S. advising of those nations' security forces, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint ...

Joint Chiefs chairman visits Kansas

Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting Kansas this week - Fort Leavenworth on Tuesday (after a stop at Fort Sill, Okla.) and Fort Riley today.The Fort Leavenworth visit wasn't necessarily easy.[The Washington Post reports:][1] "Also Tuesday, Mullen visited ...

Fort Riley practices for disaster

Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division[(49abcnews.com][1] It's a scary scenario, a terrorist attack at Fort Riley. But it's a reality check for these soldiers and hospital crews to see if they can handle it. Soldiers hurt, screaming. It's the ...

Kansas Air National Guard expands at Wichita

Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Kansas National Guard[(KAKE TV) Intel Center at McConnell Doubling in Size:][1] The Kansas Air National Guard at McConnell Air Force base is landing more jobs. The McConnell Air National Guard Intelligence Squadron is expected to roughly ...

ESPN profiles connection between Fort Riley, K-State football

Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division**ESPN video: K-State football trains with Fort Riley troops** [(AP) Immigrants Play Countrymen in Exercises:][1] Army veteran Lee Anderson is putting his military skills to use -- as an actor. But you ...

New York Times profiles Iraq debates at Fort Leavenworth

The New York Times [spent some of its precious Sunday front-page real estate][1] on a story about Fort Leavenworth, and how students at the Command and General Staff College are debating the decisions that resulted in the ongoing Iraq War.Some excerpts:"As the war grinds through its fifth year, ...

Blackwater, private military contractors under Fort Leavenworth scrutiny

With all the recent discussion about Blackwater and other private military contractors in Iraq, a two-year-old paper on the topic from Fort Leavenworth's [Combat Studies Institute][1] is receiving renewed attention in the blogosphere.The paper, ["Public War, Private Fight? The United States and ...

Kansas-based officers play key roles in Army debate

The Army is in the midst of an "intense debate" over a force-wide reorganization that would put a new premium on training foreign military units to fight their own battles against terrorist threats. And officers at both Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley are playing key roles in that debate.[The ...

Looking at reducing Iraqi casualties

Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Fort Leavenworth[(Boston Globe) Pentagon is pressed on killings of Iraqis:][1] Of 500 claims for compensation filed by Iraqi families and released after an ACLU court action, 133 were allegedly killed for driving too close to a convoy, ...