Air Force hardware moved in face of typhoon
When Typhoon Nock-ten headed for Guam eventually bring the island relatively little stormy weather on Oct. 20 B-52s and KC-135 air refueling tankers stationed at Andersen Air Force Base headed off-island to avoid the storm. Between six to ten B-52s are stationed at Andersen at any one time and between three and five air refueling tankers. The B-52s headed for Elmendorf just outside of Anchorage Ala. and the air tankers left for Utah. Air refueling tankers at Andersen are on a rotational deployment of two weeks to a month with the most recent rotation arriving from the Alabama Air National Guard in mid-October. The B-52s were expected to return to Andersen on Oct. 28.


Saipan Chamber hosts Frank Cable reception
The Armed Forces Committee of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce sponsored a reception for personnel and families of the USS Frank Cable. Sponsors of the reception at the Aqua Resort Club on Oct. 2 included the Coca-Cola Beverage Co. and Subway Corp. Gov. Juan N. Babauta presented Capt. Paul J. Bushong with a commemorative plaque. The submarine tender visited Saipan from Oct. 1 to 4.

Guam Chamber hosts downtown fair
The Armed Forces Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce hosted a Downtown Fair on Oct. 16 at the Outrigger Guam Resort for newly arrived personnel and families of Submarine Squadron 15 and the U.S. Coast Guard Marianas. Members of the chamber showcased products and services. The fair attracted more than 300 attendees from the squadron the Coast Guard and other areas of the military. The Armed Forces Committee of the Chamber will hold its quarterly meeting on Nov. 12.


Readiness Center dedicated
The Brig. General Tomas R. Santos Guam Army National Guard Readiness Center was dedicated on Oct. 8 in the presence of a number of island dignitaries.

Santos was a member of the 5th Guam Congress and a senator in the 8th and 11th Guam Legislatures. He enlisted in the Guam Militia in 1925 and rose to the rank of lieutetnant colonel serving as executive officer of the militia. Santos was appointed honorary brigadier general on July 21 1981 as the Guam Militia ended and the Guam National Guard was chartered. He passed away on Jan. 12 1988.

The Guam Army National Guard was the last of the states and territories to obtain a readiness center. Construction began on Phase I of the Readiness Center in March 2000 and a ribbon cutting was held in July 2001. The 45 500-square-foot building was constructed by Dillingham Construction Pacific Basin Ltd. funded by a federal appropriation of $8.2 million. Two other phases will complete the complex. The Guam National Guard has approximately 1 100 personnel on Guam.

Guam Guard hosts Red Ribbon anti-drug events
The Guam National Guard Counterdrug Program in support of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration organized a number of Red Ribbon Week Activities between Oct. 22 and 30. These included a Red Ribbon Wave at the ITC intersection in Tamuning on Oct. 22 door decoration and poster contests a 5K Drug Free Run/Walk on Oct. 30 and a display and entertainment at the Micronesia Mall on Oct. 30.


USNS Shasta visits Palau
Carrying a crew of 55 officers and 125 sailors the USNS Shasta paid a port visit to Koror from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8.

Secretary of Navy visits Guam; Sequoia dedicated
Gordon R. England U.S. secretary of the Navy arrived on Guam Oct. 14. He was accompanied on the trip by Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress. England breakfasted with Bordallo and about 30 invited guests on Oct. 15 before attending the commissioning of the USCG Cutter Sequoia at Naval Base Guam. Dorothy “Dotty” England the secretary’s wife is the sponsor of the cutter. Also attending the ceremony were Rear Adm. Charles D. Wurster commander of Coast Guard District 14; Dennis McCloskey president of Manitowoc Marine Group which built the Sequoia; and a number of island dignitaries.

Lt. Commander Matthew T. Meilstrup is the former commander of the USCGC Sassafras the previous Coast Guard cutter on Guam. He heads a crew of seven officers and 43 crewmembers. The crew includes nine members from Micronesia — from Guam the Northern Mariana Islands and Palau.

The Sequoia is 225 feet in length and powered by two 3100 horesepower Diesel Caterpillars with a maximum operating speed of 16 knots. The vessel carriers a 20-ton hydraulic crane an advanced oil-skimming system and advanced computer navigation environmental protection and remote monitoring systems. Missions include defense law enforcement search and rescue and marine environmental protection.

The secretary met with media after the ceremony and reaffirmed Guam’s strategic importance. He said the island was still a candidate for increased military presence but that no final decision would be made or announced until after the study of U.S. global positioning of forces and the Base Realignment Commission study were completed.

England and other off-island VIPs attended the Navy’s 229th Birthday Ball at the Holiday Inn Resort Guam at the invitation of Rear Adm. Arthur J. Johnson commander of Naval Forces Marianas. About 940 guests attended the ball. MBJ