36th Air Base Wing re-named
A re-designation ceremony was held April 12 at Andersen Air Force Base. The ceremony re-designated the 36th Air Base Wing as the 36th Wing to better reflect the growing mission on Guam.
The re-designation was officiated by Maj. Gen. Edward Rice 13th Air Force Commander.
An April 13 press release from Andersen said “The re-designation as the 36th Wing reflects the importance of Andersen and Guam in the Pacific region and is indicative of the permanent presence Andersen’s current and future missions hold. Andersen provides a U.S.–based lethal war fighting platform for the employment deployment reception and throughput of air and space forces in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The ceremony included the unfurling of the new 36th Wing flag in front of group formations local government and civic leaders as well as Department of Defense employees.
36th Wing bans alcohol consumption for 72 hours
The 36th Wing banned airmen from consuming alcohol for a 72-hour period. The ban is part of the “Find the Fun” campaign. The ban began April 21 at 6 a.m. and ended April 24 at 6 a.m. The ban asked Air Force members to abstain. There was no established penalty for an airman not complying. Airmen found to be in violation of the ban would have been dealt with on a case by case basis. The ban did not apply to spouses family members civilian employees or tenant units. They were however encouraged to participate.
Col. Stephen Wolborsky vice commander of the 36th Wing told the Journal “We are taking a bold but positive and proactive step. While we ultimately want to reduce alcohol-related incidents as an outcome we have two broader goals for these 72 hours.”
Those goals consisted of reflection upon the importance of being mission ready 24 hours a day and encouraging airmen to participate in activities which don’t involve alcohol. No personnel were found to be in violation.
Coast Guard to trade one boat for two
Capt. William R. Marhoffer commander Coast Guard Sector Guam told the Journal “This summer we are having a net increase of one larger patrol boat. We will be losing the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island. It will be leaving Guam in early August going to Hawaii. In its place we are receiving two Island class patrol boats.
“That will amount to a 100% increase in our patrol boat capabilities here on the island. It will give us significantly more response capability and flexibility for patrolling the waters.” The two boats from Hawaii the Coast Guard Cutter Washington and the Coast Guard Cutter Assateague will be arriving July.
National Guard Soldiers return from Afghanistan
More than 40 members of the Guam Army National Guard’s 1224th Engineer Detachment returned April 5 after being deployed for more than 15 months. The soldiers served 12 months in Afghanistan performing engineering construction and repair and electrical power projects to improve the quality of life for coalition forces and the Afghani people.
A “Welcome Home Heroes” ceremony was held for the soldiers on April 6 at the National Guard’s Readiness Center.
National Guard holds change of leadership ceremony
A change of command ceremony was held April 1 at the Parade Field at the National Guard’s Readiness Center. At the ceremony Lt. Col. George L. Charfauros Jr. took command of the 1st Battalion 294th Infantry (Light) from Lt. Col. Arnold R. Marcus. Marcus has been Battalion Commander since April 2004.
The battalion is the largest unit in the Guam Army National Guard with almost 500 soldiers and more than 300 of those soldiers deployed. The battalion will begin its third rotation in the Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in June. Members of the battalion have also been deployed to Kuwait Afghanistan and Iraq; participated in relief efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as well in the Balikatan Exercises in the Philippines; Yudh Abhyas in India and Keris Strike in Malaysia.
Three carriers to participate in exercises this summer
Three carriers will be participating in military exercises in Guam’s water in June. The Air Force and Marine Corps are also scheduled to take part in the exercises. The exercises were designed to help troops hone their skills and test how well the carriers the Air Force and Marines share information.
Helicopter squadron returns from deployment
After an eight-month deployment Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 Detachment 6 returned to Guam April 20 according to an April 18 release. During its deployment the detachment was aboard the USS Essex and participated in exercises and operations in Japan the Philippines and the Republic of Korea. Consisting of 31 personnel and two MH-60S helicopters the detachment completed more than 375 sorties and 750 flight hours. Its primary mission was search and rescue but it also supported 30 ships with vertical replenishment cargo movement and passenger traffic. The detachment also supported the USS Essex and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in responding to the Leyte landslide. MBJ