New civic action team at Camp Katuu
On Oct. 14 a 14-member unit from the U.S. Air Force took command as the new Civic Action Team stationed at Camp Katuu in Airai. The unit is led by Capt. Kristen Bakotic.

Government officials and guests who attended the turnover were Vice President Elias Camsek Chin; Minister of Finance Elbuchel Sadang; and U.S. Ambassador to Palau Deborah Kingsland..


CNMI soldiers killed in Iraq
Two soldiers from Saipan Derence Jack and Wilgene Lieto were killed in a roadside bombing Sept. 30 in Iraq.

Jack and Lieto were part of the U.S. Army Reserve members called to active duty August 2004. Both soldiers were members of Company E 100th Battalion 442nd Infantry headquartered on Guam. Their battalion is known as the “Go for Broke Battalion”. The Go for Broke Battalion includes members from Guam Saipan Hawaii and American Samoa.


USS Buffalo assigned to Guam
The USS Buffalo a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine will be assigned to Guam and will arrive April 2007. The submarine will join two other submarines stationed on Guam the USS City of Corpus Christi and the USS Houston. The USS Buffalo will be replacing the USS San Francisco which was reassigned to Bremerton Wash. after it struck an underwater mount on Jan. 8.

The Buffalo was home-ported in Pearl Harbor since 1984. The submarine was the Navy’s 25th Los Angeles class submarine when commissioned in May 1982. Los Angeles class attack submarines are recognized for stealth speed endurance and flexibility. The Buffalo like other Los Angeles class submarines is powered by a safe reliable and powerful nuclear reactor. The average size of a Los Angeles class submarine’s crew is 130 personnel with about 17 officers.

USS Niagara Falls grounded in Palau
On Oct. 27 the USS Niagara Falls ran aground while departing Malakal Harbor. There were no injuries or indication of leakage from the ship. Tugboats helped the USS Niagara Falls free itself.

According to Journal sources the vessel entered the Guam Shipyard Oct. 31 so that Navy divers could inspect its hull.

The USS Niagara Falls is a combat logistics force ship specifically designed to deliver large quantities of frozen chilled and dry provisions ship’s store resale items technical repair parts and general use consumables to fleet task.

Naval Reserve Center Opens on Guam
On Oct. 15 U.S. Naval Forces Marianas hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open a new Naval Reserve Center. Located on Naval Base Guam the center and its staff support the fleet with ready and fully-integrated units equipment and individuals throughout the full range of operations from peace to war.

The Naval Reserve Center Staff carry out numerous duties including drilling Reservists and helping them integrate into the fleet mission and provide relevance. According to the U.S. Naval Forces Marianas the center is the first of its kind for the Pacific region providing support for all reservists west of Hawaii.

The center’s commanding officer is Lt. Cmdr. Lance Moritz.

U.S. nuclear warship to be stationed in Japan
The U.S. Navy announced Oct. 27 that for the first time a U.S. nuclear-powered warship will be based in Japan. The announcement came after Japan had dropped its opposition to hosting a nuclear powered warship in its territory.

The nuclear-powered carrier is set to replace the diesel-powered USS Kitty Hawk stationed in Yokosuka. It has not yet been decided which carrier will be stationed in Japan but it is set to arrive in 2008 at which time the USS Kitty Hawk will return to the United States to be decommissioned.

Local officials south of Tokyo near the city of Yokosuka home of the U.S. Seventh Fleet and also where the nuclear-powered carrier will be based immediately opposed the plan.

The average size of an aircraft carrier’s crew is approximately 5 000 members.

Marines Coming to Guam
On Oct. 29 the Department of Defense announced that Guam would be receiving the bulk of 7 000 Marines relocated from Okinawa. The removal of 7 000 Marines from Okinawa is part of a major overhaul of American troops and bases in Japan under a U.S. global plan to make its military more flexible. The Marines will be transferred to Guam and other areas within six years. The Marines are members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force which took part in the liberation of Guam from the Japanese Imperial Army on July 21 1944.

On Nov. 3 Bordallo met with Lt. Gen. John F. Goodman commander of U.S. Marine Corps forces in the Pacific to discuss the Marine move to Guam. MBJ