Relocation ceremony announced
General Paul V. Hester Commander Pacific Air Forces on May 3 will be present at a military ceremony recognizing the relocation of the Thirteenth Air Force Squadron. The ceremony is scheduled to take place at Hangar One on Andersen Air Force Base Guam.
Guam National Guard
Guam Air National Guard squadron returns
Nine members of the Guam Air National Guard’s 254th Services Flight Squadron returned to Guam April 26. The squadron supported the Aerospace Expeditionary Force 3 & 4 in Southwest Asia. For 120 days they assisted in providing food lodging recreation fitness and mortuary services to thousands of U.S. and coalition forces deployed to the region.
411th Engineer Combat Battalion return home
Forty soldiers of the 411th returned to Guam via Honolulu Hawaii after a 14-month-long deployment to Iraq. The battalion left Guam on January 3 2004. A total of 99 soldiers were deployed. During their deployment the battalion became the “9-11 Engineer Battalion” for the 1st Calvary Division. The tour included a 24/7-work schedule with over 600 convoy operations. Only one of the 600 soldiers in the battalion was seriously wounded.
Chief of Naval operations to visit Guam
The chief of Naval operations is to visit Guam from May 6 to 8. While here he is due to tour Naval installations including the Guam Shipyard.
Helicopter squadron redesignated
On April 21 the Navy held a redesignation ceremony to rename the Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 5 to the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25. According to a press release from the U.S. Naval Forces Marianas the command is the only “forward-deployed vertical replenishment squadron” in the Navy. The command will continue to provide forward-deployed logistic capability and naval special warfare support for the U.S. Pacific Fleet and 24-hour search and rescue assistance for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. “It will later support mine countermeasures and combat search-and-rescue missions ” the release said. The redesignation also includes a new call sign for the command — “Island Knights”. The command includes 500 active duty personnel and 14 of the Navy’s newest helicopters the MH-60S Knighthawks.
NMI announces live fire exercises at Farallon de Mendenilla
The Emergency Management Office the Office of the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Naval Forces Marianas announced that the U.S. military would be conducting live-fire and bird-survey training exercises on the island of Farallon de Mendenilla. The training began on April 4 and continued through April 26. Due to the danger NMI Gov. Juan N. Babauta advised the public to stay clear of the island during the dates and times released by the agencies.
NMI Guam Coast Guard participate in cooperative exercise
On April 5 the Coast Guard Sector Guam Guam Homeland Security NMI Emergency Management Office the Commonwealth Ports Authority the Port Authority of Guam and other local and federal agencies conducted an exercise dubbed “Operation Internal Look”. The command post exercise helped to test Guam and the NMI’s maritime security plans by “looking” at the ports’ ability to identify threats and to attain and or sustain increased maritime security levels. The multi-jurisdictional incident command system was tested in preparation for exercise Top Official 4 scheduled to take place in May 2007. The exercise was staged in compliance with Maritime Security Transportation Act requirements. The exercise included a simulated crisis incident involving terrorists pirating two ships with the intent to disrupt port operations. The simulation also involved a subsequent mass rescue off-shore. According to the Coast Guard “Exercise controllers facilitated a debrief immediately after the exercise and valuable recommendations from federal/local and maritime industry partners stressed improvements in incident command procedures communications local resources and rules of engagement.” The Coast Guard Guam Homeland Security and the NMI Emergency Management Office plan to increase similar exercises in preparation for 2007.
Navy detonates unexploded ordnance
The Department of Public Safety the Emergency Management Office the Office of the Governor of the NMI and the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team announced the detonation of unexploded ordnance. The team was on Tinian on April 15 to detonate World War II unexploded ordnance at the Tinian Pina Quarry Pit. NMI Gov. Juan N. Babauta urged the public to stay at least 1.5 miles away from the area during the time of the detonation. MBJ