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February 09, 2005 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-02-09

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 9, 2005 - 5

" No survivors found in
last week's plane crash

U.S. experts will
investigate to determine
the cause of the crash
that killed all 104
people on Afghan plane
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - All
104 people aboard an Afghan air-
liner that hit a snow-covered moun-
tain last week are dead, authorities
said yesterday.
NATO and Afghan soldiers man-
aged to inspect the crash site, 20
miles east of the capital, on Mon-
day, finding human remains among
the scattered wreckage and deep
snow, but no signs of life.
"The troops found that no one
was left alive from the crash," said
a statement from an Afghan gov-
ernment commission investigating
the disaster, offering condolences
to the victims' families. "Now the
search and rescue operation is com-
plete, the recovery operation has
First new fatigues in
20 years will help troops
blend in to a variety of
environments - forest,
desert and city
Army soldiers are being issued new
fatigues with easy-to-use Velcro open-
ings and a redesigned camouflage pat-
tern that can help conceal them as they
move rapidly from desert to forest to
city in places like Baghdad.
"It might give you the extra second
you need, save your life maybe," Sgt.
Marcio Soares said yesterday after try-
ing on the new all-in-one camouflage
uniform that is the first major redesign
in Army fatigues since 1983.
Soares's unit, the Georgia National
Guard's 48th Infantry Brigade, is the
first to be issued the new fatigues
as part of a $3.4 billion Army-wide
makeover being phased in over the
next three years.
The uniform will replace the
standard forest camouflage and the
desert camouflage now used by U.S.
troops in Iraq.
Twenty-two changes were made to
the uniforms, most notably the new
camouflage pattern.
Instead of bold jigsaw swatches of
colors, the new camouflage pattern
uses muted shades of desert brown,
urban gray and foliage green broken
into one-centimeter segments. Black
was eliminated completely because it
catches the eye too easily.
The resulting camouflage conceals
soldiers in forest, desert or urban
battlegrounds, said Sgt. 1st Class Jeff
Myhre, the uniform's lead designer.
"In Baghdad, you can go from the
desert to vegetation to the city in 10
minutes," Myhre said. "What we real-
ized very quickly is there's no camou-
flage that's the 100 percent solution for
any environment."
Other changes were prompted by
complaints from soldiers in the field.

Jacket and pocket buttons, which can
snag on nets and other gear, have been
replaced with zippers and Velcro.
Pockets at the jacket's waistline
were moved to the shoulders, where
soldiers can reach them while wearing
body armor. And the uniforms have a
looser fit, with more room to wear lay-
ers underneath.
Rank, unit and name patches attach
with Velcro rather than being sewn
on. Infrared-reflecting squares on
the shoulders make friendly troops
easier to identify while using night-
vision goggles.
"The only problem I have with the
uniform is, once the soldiers put it
on, they don't want to take it off,"
said Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheav-
er, commander of the 48th Infantry
Brigade, which has 4,000 reservists
training at Fort Stewart to go off to
Iraq in May.
The Army started developing the
uniform two years ago and field-tested
prototypes in Iraq. The final version

started to investigate the cause of
the crash."
The Boeing 737 operated by
Kam Air, Afghanistan's first post-
Taliban private airline, vanished
from radar screens Thursday after
it approached Kabul airport in a
blizzard from the western city of
Herat. There were 96 passengers
and eight crew on board, most of
them Afghans, but also including
nine Turks, six Americans, four
Russians and three Italians.
Afghan authorities say the cause
of the crash remains a mystery and
they are calling in U.S. experts to
help investigate. The aircraft's flight
recorder has yet to be found.
NATO helicopters spotted part of
the wreckage on Saturday, but freez-
ing fog, low clouds and up to 8 feet
of snow have limited their visits to
the scene to just a few hours so far.
The commission said yester-
day that the plane hit near an old
military lookout dating back to the
Soviet occupation of the 1980s and

that the site was mined.
Relentless snowfall kept gov-
ernment troops from scaling the
11,000-foot Chaperi Mountain anew
yesterday, and it grounded NATO
helicopters poised to ferry medics
and investigators from Kabul air-
Officials say it could take weeks
to collect the bodies, fueling the
frustration of relatives worried
about the fate of the remains.
At a checkpoint about three miles
from the foot of the mountain, about
40 people peered through the gloom
at the invisible mountain, and
harangued the Kabul police chief
to let them go and search for them-
selves. Gen. Baba Jan eventually
allowed two vehicles through, with
an escort of police cars and German
armored vehicles.
"If they cannot do it, they should
announce it and the people of Kabul
will help us. Thousands of volunteers
will come," said Noora Jan, whose
27-year-old son was on board.

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