31st Marine Expeditionary Unit training on Guam
On Jan 23 more than 2 000 Marines and sailors from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit III Marine Expeditionary Force took part in a “training in an urban environment” exercise and a Marine expeditionary unit exercise on Guam. The exercises are scheduled to conclude Feb. 13.
|Marines with Company F 2nd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment bounce thier combat rigid reconnaissance craft off of waves near Gab Gab beach as they head towards their staging area for a boat raid Jan. 30. The raid was part of Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise an exercise being conducted by the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit on Guam. The Marines and sailors of 2nd Battalion 5th Marines are part of the MEU’s Battalion Landing Team.|
The exercises are part of a routine six-month cycle for the 31st MEU in preparation for any operations or contingencies in the Western Pacific. The exercises are standard training for all MEUs and are not in response to any real or perceived threat in the region.
The 31st MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262; MEU Service Support Group 31; and the MEU Command Element. The III MEF Special Operations Training Group will provide special skills pre-deployment training to the Marines and sailors which is integral to the 31st MEU’s preparation for certification as Special Operations Capable.
Search for missing hunter scaled back
On Jan. 6 personnel at Andersen Air Force Base and local law enforcement agencies decided to scale back the search for a hunter who had been missing since Jan. 3.
A joint force of personnel from Andersen the Guam Police Department the Guam Fire Department U.S. Coast Guard and Naval Forces Marianas had searched the jungle on Andersen since the hunter went missing.
While the search was scaled back Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Capenos of the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs office told the Journal security force members from Andersen continue to periodically check known hunting areas. Sgt. Joseph S. Carbullido public information officer for the Guam Police Department told the Journal “The Guam Police Department is still conducting an investigation and efforts are ongoing. We are doing the best we can with the resources available. We are not giving up.” GPD’s last full-scale search was held Jan. 27. Future searches will be scaled back and sporadic depending on the information reported about the hunter’s whereabouts.
B-1B accident report released
On Jan. 11 the Air Force released the accident report of a fire in a B-1B Lancer’s right main landing gear as it touched down on Andersen Air Force Base on Sept. 15 after a training mission. The aircraft was assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base S.D. Its crew was not harmed in the accident. The cost of the damage to the aircraft was more than $32 million. The accident also caused $184 000 worth of damages to the taxiway.
The fire was caused by the migration of the axle beam bushing and failure of the torque tube bushing which over time allowed the brake to press into the wheel and gouge the movement of the rim. The movement of the brake also caused the pin connecting the brake to the brake swivel to break resulting in a leak in the primary brake hydraulic system. The combination of the leaking hydraulic fluid and sparks from the wheel being gouged caused the fire.
RFP for maintenance repair and rebuilding of equipment
On Dec. 19 the Defense Commissary Agency released a pre-solicitation notice for commercial and industrial machinery and equipment except automotive and electronic repair and maintenance. The contract entails maintenance on government owned material handling equipment and other miscellaneous equipment as required by Andersen Air Force Base Guam CDC and Orote commissaries located in Guam. The business size standard is $6 million.
Supply and transportation contract awarded
GS 21 LLC of Philadelphia Pa. was awarded the $5 197 559 firm-fixed price contract for supply and transportation services at Andersen Air Force Base. Total funds have been obligated. Solicitations began June 2005 and negotiations were completed October 2005. The work is scheduled for completion by September 2006. DelGen previously held the contract.
Mangilao resident loses life in Iraq
Army Pfc. Kasper Dudkiewicz of Mangilao died in Mosul Iraq on Jan. 15 when his HMMWV was involved in a vehicle collision according to the Department of Defense website. Pfc. Dudkiewicz was assigned to the 511th Military Police Company 91st Military Police Battalion 10th Mountain Division Fort Drum N.Y. The incident is under investigation.
On Jan. 27 Gov. Felix P. Camacho ordered the government of Guam to fly all U.S. and Guam flags at half-staff in honor of Pfc. Dudkiewicz and urgedall island businesses and residents who regularly hoist flags to do the same. The flags were lowered to half-staff on Jan. 31 from sunrise to sunset.
Guam National Guard
Guard members honored for service
A Freedom Salute Ceremony was held in honor of Army National Guard members for their service in Operations Noble Eagle Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The ceremony was held Jan. 6 at the University of Guam Field House.
The 180 soldiers honored were from the units the 1st-294th Infantry Battalion’s Alpha Company deployed to the Horn of Africa; the 1st-294th Services Detachment deployed to Kuwait; the 294th Military Intelligence Detachment deployed to Iraq; the Medical Command deployed to Iraq; and the 105th Troop Command deployed to Iraq.
At the ceremony the soldiers received an encased American flag a commemorative coin a lapel insignia pin and a certificate of appreciation. This was the second ceremony recognizing their services. The first was held August 2004 recognizing soldiers who served immediately following the 9/11 attacks on America.
Airmen return from Iraq
Four members of the Guam Air National Guard’s 254th Civil Engineering Squadron returned to Guam on Jan. 23. The airmen were in Iraq supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and the on-going global war on terrorism. The airmen were deployed for over 120 days to Baghdad Iraq where they provided civil engineering support in structures utilities power production electrical and heating/ventilation/air conditioning to the deployed forces within their respective area of operations.
New cellular phone regulations implemented on naval installations
The Navy has implemented new cellular phone regulations on all of the naval installations. On April 12 2005 the new regulations were published as part of the Motor Vehicle Traffic Supervision rules in Federal Register. The new regulations state vehicle operators on Department of Defense Installations and operators of government owned vehicles shall not use cell phones unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless they are using a hands-free device.
These new regulations are in addition to the present traffic safety policies that apply to operators of privately owned or government-owned motor vehicles operation on Navy installations except tactical vehicles that are not typically used for the transport or conveyance of personnel or commercial goods.
The policies include the prohibition of wearing any portable headphones earphones or other listening devices while operating a motor vehicle. The use of cellular phones portable headphones earphones or other listening devices while jogging walking bicycling or skating on roads and streets on Navy installations is also prohibited except for use on designated bicycle and running paths and side walks. This does not prohibit the use of hearing aides nor does it negate the requirement to wear hearing protection where conditions so require.
Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Capenos of the U.S. Air Force’s 36th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs office told the Journal “The Air Force is looking into implementing similar regulations but nothing has been firmed up yet.”
MSS-7 conducts routine training
The Navy’s Mobile Security Squadron 7 conducted routine training on Feb. 1. It included the use of small boats for navigational training at Apra Harbor and the Agat Marina and a simulated site survey at Agat Memorial Park.
Chief of Naval Operations visits Guam
Admiral Michael G. Mullen member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and chief of Naval Operations for the U.S. Navy paid a routine visit to Guam Naval Activities also known as Big Navy as part of a tour of U.S. Naval stations and forward deployed assets in Japan. Mullen’s visit lasted from Jan. 19 through 20. During his visit Mullen met all hands on base met with naval officials including Rear Adm. Charles J. Leidig commander of U.S. Naval Forces Marianas took a tour of the base and a helicopter tour of the island.
Mullen also met with Gov. Felix P. Camacho. According to a Jan. 21 release from the office of the governor the two discussed current and upcoming military build-ups the movement of Marines to Guam and the island’s infrastructure.
In addition to his talk with the Admiral Camacho wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on financial and infrastructural matters relating to the movement of the Marines to Guam. In the letter Camacho stressed Guam’s support of the movement expressed support for the U.S. position that Japan supplement movement costs and offered support for increased presence from the U.S. installations in Japan as bilateral talks continue on the matter.
Wreath laying ceremony held at Asan
On Jan. 14 Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress and Congressman Michael Honda of California laid a wreath at the Memorial Wall in the Asan Bay Overlook Unit of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park. The ceremony was in commemoration of those who participated in the Pacific Theater during World War II. It was attended by official representatives of the National Park Service the U.S. Armed Services the government of Guam leaders of the greater Asian and Pacific islander community and the general public.
At the invitation of Bordallo previous Congressional delegations to Guam have taken part in wreath laying ceremonies at the Memorial wall to pay their respects. Congressman Darrell Issa of California and Congressman Lane Evans of Illinois joined Bordallo in laying a wreath in March 2005 and Congressman Richard Pombo of California chairman of the House Resources Committee and Gale Norton Secretary of the Interior laid a wreath in January 2004.
The Memorial was dedicated in 1994. It contains the names of 1 857 U.S. soldiers sailors airmen Coast Guardsmen and Marines who died in the battle to liberate Guam; 1 122 Chamorros who died as a result of the occupation; and 13 163 Chamorros who suffered personal injury were forced into labor or march and interned during the occupation. MBJ