Thunderbirds and air show for Guam
Andersen Air Force Base will host the “Airpower: Where Freedom Begins” airshow on Sept. 12. The last air show was scheduled shortly after 9/11 and waspostponed. The Thunderbirds will give an exhibition at the show. The aerial demonstrationteam has not performed in Guam since 1994. About 20 000 people are expected toattend to see various static displays such as the A-10 Warthogs B-52s KC-135tankers and a Mig-15. The Navy will also have an F18 in attendance. Other aircraftsuch as a C-5 or a C17 may be on display. The Air Force Band of the Pacific willplay and there will be demonstrations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’ssnake dog team and Andersen security force’s working dog team. Gates opento the public at 9 a.m. and the show is scheduled to end at 4 p.m. when theThunderbirds conclude their show. The show is due to begin at 2:30 p.m.


Air Force commits $24 million to Andersen runway
The Air Force has allocated $24 million to repair the North runway at Andersen Air Force Base. The funding allocated through the Air Force operation and maintenance account is intended to address severe weathering to the runway sections of which are 30 to 40 years old. The repair work will also prevent water pooling on the runway surface.

The runway will be resurfaced and debris will be removed to meet the requirements of high performance aircraft such as B-52 and B-2 bombers according to an Aug. 31 release from the office of Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress.

She said “This repair work is another indication of the renewed military interest in Guam. When you look at this project together with the $20.7 million to upgrade Fena Reservoir in the 2005 budget and other construction work planned by COMNAVMAR it puts Guam’s future in a very positive light.”

Major Kris Meyle public affairs officer with the 36th Air Expeditionary Wing at Andersen said the runway repairs had been planned as a measure of the war on terrorism and had been necessary. “Regardless of whether we get more aircraft ” she said “The repairs will help us support the operations we have now and anything we have in the future.”

Pacific air chiefs to meet in Guam
For the first time Pacific Air Chiefs will gather on Guam.

The U.S. Air Force 36th Air Expeditionary Wing at Andersen Air Force Base will be the site of the Pacific Air Chiefs Conference from Sept. 20 to 23. Gen. Paul V. Hester the new Pacific Air Force commander will host the conference.

Readiness inspection set for Andersen for December
Andersen Air Force Base will undergo an operational readiness inspection in the first week of December. The Air Force and its bases are inspected annually.


The Armed Forces Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce will host a Downtown Fair on Oct. 2 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Outrigger Guam Resort.
The chamber will host military personnel and families of Submarine Squadron 15 and U.S. Coast Guard Marianas Section who have recently arrived in Guam. The previous fair was held in November 2003.



Secretary of Navy and Coast Guard commander to visit Guam
The USCGC Sequoia arrived to homeport in Guam Sept. 2.

The cutter will be commissioned Oct. 15 in the presence of Gordon England U.S. Secretary of the Navy Adm. Thomas Collins commander of the Coast Guard and Mrs. Dorothy “Dotty” England the vessel’s sponsor.

Capt. Kevin M. Wensing special assistant for public affairs to the secretary told the Journal “The secretary is scheduled to attend the Navy Birthday Ball in Guam and will speak to sailors marines and civilian Navy staff during the visit to Guam which is part of a visit to the Pacific and West Coast.”

The secretary and Mrs. England will be in Guam from Oct. 14 to 16 and will visit Hawaii on their way to Guam.

The U.S. Coast Guard Marianas Section which now falls under the Department of Homeland Security will be reorganized from Oct. 1. The Marine Safety Office and the Marianas Section of the Coast Guard will be integrated into one command to form Sector Guam one of 40 nationwide sectors. The Sequoia is the 15th of 16 new Juniper Class buoy tenders to be launched for the department. The Coast Guard will increase by about 50 personnel in Guam over the next three to four years.

Launched Aug. 23 2003 the Sequoia will arrive in Apra Harbor after completing the longest maiden voyage in Coast Guard history — more than 15 000 miles from Marinette Wis. According to an Aug. 31 release from the Coast Guard the six officers and 34 crewmembers spent a year training and preparing the ship for duty. The ship is equipped with an oil spill recovery system and the latest navigation communication and security systems.

The Coast Guard cutter replaced the 60 year-old USCGC Sassafras which was decommissioned on Oct. 30 2003 and turned over to the Nigerian Navy as the Nigerian Navy Ship Obula.

Stranded car carrier to finally leave Guam
The M/V Ajman 2 left Guam Sept. 2 after The Britoil 44 arrived Aug. 31 to tow the stranded car carrier to Indonesia.

The vessel owned by Marwar Shipping and Trading of the United Arab Emirates had been at a Navy mooring in outer Apra Harbor since Aug. 24 following a chain of events after it became stranded at the Port of Guam.

The vessel on its way to Monando Indonesia to be scrapped entered the harbor on Aug. 21 to shelter from Typhoon Chaba and to obtain fuel and provisions. The Ajman 2 caused “significant damage” to its mooring at Pier 5 at the Port Authority of Guam and after being removed dragged anchor and went aground on the reef near Family Beach on Aug. 25.

Chief Petty Officer Steven Carlton of the U.S. Coast Guard and member of the unified command said the cost of the operation is as yet undetermined. Initial expenses were totalled at about $680 000.

The Coast Guard used the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund — an emergency fund established by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 — to prevent release of 42 300 gallons of fuel the Ajman 2 was carrying.

A unified command comprised of the U.S. Coast Guard assisted by the Guam Environmental Protection Agency Unitek Environmental the Port Authority of Guam the Coast Guard’s prime contractor — Titan Maritime Inc. Cabras Marine Corp. and the Guam Shipyard worked to free the 384-foot North Korean flagged vessel and prevent damage to the environment.

The immediate concern was the potential for hull damage and fuel leaks. The Coast Guard assessed damage to the ship’s hull propulsion and control systems.

On Aug. 28 nearly all of the fuel and water on the vessel was pumped off the ship onto a Guam Shipyard barge a release from the unified command said. The vessel was left with enough fuel to run generators for up to seven days.


Thai Navy visits Guam for missile exercise
The U.S. Navy and the Royal Thai Navy held joint missile training in Guam’s waters from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5.

The event was the first air-to-surface missile shoot from an aircraft to a surface target for the Thai Navy.

In coordination with U.S. Navy Task Force 72 and Naval Forces Marianas the Thai Navy loaded an AGM-84 Harpoon on a Fokker 27 and launched it to a chosen target in military training area W-517 about 100 miles to the south of Guam.

Rear Adm. Kenneth Deutsch commander of the Patrol and Reconnaissance Force of the Seventh Fleet in Yokosuka Japan attended. The eight flag officers in attendance included Adm. Chumpol Pachusanon Royal Thai Navy Commander in Chief and Adm. Vichai Yuwanangoon Royal Navy Commander in Chief Royal Thai Navy Fleet. About 90 Thai sailors attended.

An Aug. 30 release from Naval Forces Marianas said the event would be conducted “in a safe environmentally friendly and professional environment ” and “showcases the many levels of military cooperation that exist between the Royal Thai Navy and the U.S. Navy.”

About 20 joint U.S.-Thai training exercises are held each year including the world’s largest multi-national exercise Cobra Gold involving 22 000 U.S. and Thai troops.

An opening ceremony for the exercises was held on Aug. 30 in the hanger of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five at Andersen Air Force Base.

The Armed Forces Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception at the Outrigger Guam Resort on Aug. 3 for Thai officers and crew.

Change of Command held for Warfare Unit 1
Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 held a change of command ceremony on Aug. 20 at Sierra Wharf in Apra Harbor. Capt. David T. Pittlekow was relieved as commanding officer by Capt. Charles “Chaz” M. Herron. Herron was formerly chief of staff to the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 2 in Virginia.

Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 is under the operational control of the commander of the Seventh Fleet and Special Operations Command in the Pacific. The unit “commands coordinates executes Pacific theater Naval special warfare operations and participates in more than 30 joint and fleet exercise annually ” according to the Public Affairs Office of Naval Forces Marianas.

Cable Lt. Cmdr. wins award for maintenance
Lt. Cmdr. Nonito Blas Jr. a production management assistant for the USS Frank Cable repair department was selected July 28 as the winner of the Levering Smith Award for submarine support achievement.

The award is presented annually to U.S. Navy sailors officers or enlisted personnel “who contribute to the enhancement of the spirit or courageous efforts of the submarine force ” according to a July 28 release from the Frank Cable.

The Naval Submarine League an organization for submariners and submarine advocates selects winners and presents more than 100 performance-based awards annually. Adm. Thomas Fargo commander of the U.S. Pacific Command presented the award to Blas.

Blas has been with the Navy for 21 years and a Frank Cable crewmember for more than 18 months the release said. His duties include coordination of repairs abroad submarines and surface ships that receive service from the submarine tender. He “led the Frank Cable in completing more than 130 000 man-hours of maintenance including remote fly-away team repairs.”

Vincennes visits Saipan
The USS Vincennes visited Saipan in the second half of August. The Saipan Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception for officers and crew members on Aug. 20 at the Dai Ichi Hotel jointly sponsored by the Dai Ichi the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and the office of the governor. MBJ