Air Force

Ceremony held to commemorate end of Vietnam War
On Dec. 16 Network 56 an organization for staff and technical sergeants sponsored the Linebacker II commemoration ceremony at the Arc Light Memorial Park at Andersen Air Force Base.

A commemoration ceremony was held Dec. 16 at Andersen Air Force Base for Linebacker II the campaign that ended the Vietnam War (See story below). Col. Michael Boera (left) commander of the 36 Air Expeditionary Wing at Andersen; and Charles Mcmanus a retired B-52 pilot who participated in the Linebacker II operation; laid a wreath at the base of a memorial at the ceremony.

The ceremony commemorated the 33rd anniversary of the famed Linebacker II campaign that led to the end of the 11-year Vietnam War. Between Dec. 18 and 29 1972 Andersen Air Force Base launched 729 flying missions against 34 targets in Northern Vietnam. Fifteen aircraft and 33 service members did not return from the missions. Linebacker II resulted in the renewal of the Paris Peace Talks and on Jan. 28 1973 the signing of the cease fire agreement with the government of North Vietnam was signed.

200 personnel arrive at Andersen for latest bomber rotation
On Dec. 28 more than 200 airmen from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base S.D. began arriving at Andersen Air Force Base as part of a 120-day Air and Space Expeditionary Force rotation. The airmen from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron replaced the 36th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from Ellsworth Air Force Base who have been on Guam since August.

According to a Dec. 28 release from the public affairs office at Andersen the deployment is part of U.S. Pacific Command-directed continuous bomber rotations. Its objective is to adjust its force posture to enhance regional security and underscore the U.S. commitment to the Western pacific. The presence of the bombers offers the Pacific Command commander short-notice global strike and strategic engagement capabilities that otherwise would not exist in this region.

The rotation also increases training opportunities for crews and integrates B-1 bomber operations into Pacific Command’s joint coalition exercises from forward operating bases such as Andersen Air Force Base according to the release.

Plourde praises Andersen readiness
Col. Gerald “Jerry” P. Plourde commander of the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron told the Journal “We are happy to be here and they (the people of Guam) can rest assured. We are prepared to carry out our mission.”

On Dec. 28 he arrived on Guam with more than 200 airmen from Ellsworth Air Force Base S.D. to replace the 36th Expeditionary Bomb Squadon.

Plourde said the mission on Guam is to ensure the security of the Pacific region by carrying out any mission given by headquarters.

“This isn’t the first time that I have been here. I was here three years ago with the 7th Bomb Wing.” He said “The base is a lot more prepared for the expeditionary bomb group as opposed to three years ago. I have already seen a lot of improvements out on the flight line and on the base.”

During down time Plourde and his men plan to undertake something to benefit the community. He also said members of the squadron are interested in touring Guam diving and hiking.


USS Ronald Reagan deploys to western Pacific
According to the U.S. Navy on Jan. 4 the USS Ronald Reagan departed San Diego on a deployment to conduct naval operations in support of the global war on terrorism as well as national and theater cooperative security commitments in the western Pacific. This is the maiden deployment for the Navy’s newest Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The USS Ronald Reagan is part of the Ronald Reagan Strike group. The group is comprised of CVW-14 Destroyer Squadron the USS Ronald Reagan the guided-missile cruisers USS Lake Champlain the guided-missile destroyers USS McCampbell and USS Decatur the fast-combat support ship the USS Rainier and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit 11 Det. 15.

DZSP 21 awarded $42 877 072
According to a release from the U.S. Department of Defense dated Dec. 30 DZSP 21 LLZ has been awarded $42 877 072 for base operations support services on Guam for the Commander Naval Forces Marianas. The work to be performed provides for base services including general management and administration services; command and staff; public safety; port operations; ordnance; galley; facilities management; sustainment restoration/modernization; facilities services; utilities; base support vehicles and equipment and environmental.

Work will be performed at various installations on Guam and should be completed by December 2006.

Guam Army National Guard

House approves defense authorization and spending bills for fiscal 2006
On Dec. 19 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1815 the national Defense Authorization Act and H.R. 2863 the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for fiscal 2006. Both bills include provisions for Guam that were requested by Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress.

H.R. 1815 authorizes military construction projects on Guam formalizing the commitment of $89.5 million in funding allocated in the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. Among the construction funded is a facility for the Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Guam Army National Guard. The new facility will grant the CST the administrative training and equipment space the need to execute their mission.

H.R. 2863 a $4 03.5 billion bill includes funding for improvements to a Helix House in Japan which is essential to U.S. submarine communications in the Pacific. The bill also includes the allocation of $364 million for Global Hawk procurement in 2006.

Both bills are awaiting approval by the Senate after which they will be sent to the President who is expected to sign them into law.


Guam soldier loses life in Iraq
On Dec 20 Army Spc. Richard Junior D. Naputi of Talofofo lost his life in Taji Iraq. Naputi was on active duty in Iraq and died in combat. He was killed when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV. He was taken to a medical facility but died of his injuries. Naputi was assigned to the 1st Battalion 15th Infantry Regiment 3rd Brigade 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Benning Ga.

U.S. Veterans

Veterans receive update on clinic
On Dec. 11 officials from the Honolulu Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs updated Guam’s veterans on the progress of the planning for the future construction of the new veteran’s community-based outpatient clinic at U.S. Naval Hospital. The update was provided at a town hall meeting hosted by Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress.

Construction on the new clinic is scheduled to begin in September. The clinic’s opening is scheduled for November 2007. At 5 000 square feet the new clinic will be twice the size of the current one. The new clinic will house seven treatment rooms and will be situated outside Naval Hospital’s perimeter fence to allow easy access for veterans. Sherlock Smith and Adams Inc. have been hired by the Navy to construct the clinic. Sherlock Smith and Adams are also responsible for the construction of the new Navy clinic and hospital as well as the Dental/Medical Clinic at Andersen Air Force Base.

The Guam Veteran’s clinic is a joint venture between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. MBJ