Names Top Stories of 2011

WASHINGTON — Amer­i­can Forces Press Ser­vice pub­lished near­ly 2,500 arti­cles in 2011, cov­er­ing top­ics rang­ing from the end of the Iraq mis­sion to defense bud­get pres­sures and troop con­cerns over retire­ment ben­e­fits.

The top 10 sto­ries most viewed on this year are:

10. “U.S. Kills bin Laden in Intel­li­gence-dri­ven Oper­a­tion,” post­ed May 2, focus­es on Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s remarks to the nation the day after an Amer­i­can coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence and coun­tert­er­ror­ism team killed al-Qai­da leader Osama bin Laden in Abbot­tabad, Pakistan.

9. “Offi­cials Urge Pre­cau­tions at Yoko­su­ka, Atsu­gi,” post­ed March 15, relayed offi­cials’ warn­ings to per­son­nel in and around Fleet Activ­i­ties Yoko­su­ka and Naval Air Facil­i­ty Atsu­gi in Japan to lim­it out­door activ­i­ties due to the detec­tion of low lev­els of radioac­tiv­i­ty released from the Fukushi­ma Dai-Ichi nuclear pow­er plant. The plant was dam­aged in a mas­sive earth­quake and sub­se­quent tsuna­mi that struck Japan on March 11.

8. “Shut­down Could Affect Young Troops Most, Gates Says,” post­ed April 7, cov­ered then-Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates’ response to a soldier’s ques­tion at Camp Lib­er­ty in Iraq about troop pay dur­ing a pos­si­ble gov­ern­ment shut­down, lat­er avert­ed. Gates told the troops while pay­checks might be delayed, all ser­vice mem­bers would receive full pay for the shut­down period. 

7. “Mey­er Induct­ed Into Pen­ta­gon Hall of Heroes,” post­ed Sept. 16, detailed the Pen­ta­gon cer­e­mo­ny dur­ing which Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta induct­ed Marine Corps Medal of Hon­or recip­i­ent Sgt. Dako­ta L. Mey­er into the Pen­ta­gon Hall of Heroes. Mey­er was the first liv­ing Marine to receive the medal for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.

6. “Coali­tion Launch­es ‘Oper­a­tion Odyssey Dawn,’ ” post­ed March 19, announced the begin­ning of coali­tion oper­a­tions enforc­ing U.N. Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1973 and pro­tect­ing the Libyan peo­ple from the country’s ruler. Offi­cials said the mil­i­tary coalition’s goal was to pre­vent fur­ther attacks by regime forces on Libyan cit­i­zens, and to degrade the abil­i­ty of Moam­mar Gadhafi’s regime to resist a no-fly zone being implemented. 

5. “Panet­ta: Any Retire­ment Changes Won’t Affect Serv­ing Mil­i­tary,” post­ed Aug. 19, relayed Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panetta’s assur­ances that any changes to the mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem would not affect those now serv­ing. “Peo­ple who have come into the ser­vice, who have put their lives on the line, who have been deployed to the war zones, who fought for this coun­try, who have been promised cer­tain ben­e­fits for that — I’m not going to break faith with what’s been promised to them,” Panet­ta said.

4. “Lead­ers Offer Con­do­lences in Wake of Heli­copter Crash,” post­ed Aug. 6, relayed Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panetta’s state­ments fol­low­ing the crash of a CH-47 Chi­nook in Afghanistan, dur­ing which 38 U.S. and Afghan ser­vice mem­bers were killed. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the fam­i­lies and loved ones of the Amer­i­cans who were lost ear­li­er today in Afghanistan,” the pres­i­dent said. “Their deaths are a reminder of the extra­or­di­nary sac­ri­fices made by the men and women of our mil­i­tary and their fam­i­lies, includ­ing all who have served in Afghanistan.” 

3. “No Changes to Mil­i­tary Retire­ment Any Time Soon, Offi­cials Say,” post­ed Aug. 15, reit­er­at­ed senior offi­cials’ assur­ances to serv­ing troops that any future changes to the mil­i­tary retire­ment sys­tem would not affect those cur­rent­ly serving.

2. “Tri­care Pro­motes Mail-Order Phar­ma­cy Option,” post­ed Oct. 8, relayed Tri­care offi­cials’ advice to ben­e­fi­cia­ries, espe­cial­ly those tak­ing long-term med­ica­tions, to get their pre­scrip­tions deliv­ered to their doorsteps. Increased usage of the health care system’s home deliv­ery option, offi­cials said, is a win-win sit­u­a­tion that saves patients, as well as the gov­ern­ment, money.

1. “Battaglia Joins Thou­sands for ‘Wreaths Across Amer­i­ca’,” post­ed Dec. 11, recount­ed Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in “Wreaths Across Amer­i­ca,” a pro­gram now in its 20th year, at Arling­ton Nation­al Ceme­tery. Battaglia, senior enlist­ed advi­sor to Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mar­tin E. Dempsey, joined thou­sands of vol­un­teers at nation­al ceme­ter­ies plac­ing 100,000 hol­i­day wreaths on vet­er­ans’ graves. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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