Air Force

Andersen airman receives Bronze Medal
On Aug. 11 Sgt. Ruben M. Vazquez of 36th Medical Operations Squadron was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious service as an independent duty medical technician and military advisor in Iraq from Nov. 13 2005 through May 27 2006.

In Iraq Sgt. Vazquez was assigned to a 12-man military transition team. The MTT’s mission was to teach the Iraqis their specialty help them set up their own medical care for the Iraqi citizens and troubleshoot events for them so they would be able to stand up on their own and take over their own battle space.


Coast Guard

Coast Guard Sector Guam holds home porting ceremony
On Aug. 1 the Coast Guard Sector Guam held a change of homeport ceremony for the Coast Guard Cutters Assateague and Washington. During the ceremony Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara commander of the 14th Coast Guard District and Pacific Area Deputy Commander for East Asia – Pacific Engagement welcomed the two cutters the crews and their families to their new home on Guam.

All of the cutters are multi-mission platforms and provide a myriad of services including saving lives and property during search and rescue; working with marine safety personnel to develop effective plans for major oil spills and assisting in the deployment of oil spill response equipment should the need arise; enforcing federal laws to protect the long term viability of tuna and other important commercial fisheries; enforcing federal immigration law; and working with the U.S. Navy to ensure a proper readiness posture that guarantees the security of an increasingly strategic U.S. port.



TRUEX held on Guam
According to an Aug. 3 release a detachment of Marines and sailors from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Special Operations Training Group III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Okinawa began a training exercise called “Training in an Urban Environment ” on Aug. 7. The Exercise will continue through Aug. 25. TRUEX is part of a routine six-month training cycle for the 31st MEU in preparation for an operations or contingencies in the Western Pacific. It is standard training for all MEUs and was not in response to any real or perceived threat in the region.

TRUEX has been conducted in various cities since 1985 and offers MEUs a realistic urban setting not available at Marine Corps bases. It prepares units for a variety of missions they may be called to respond to in overseas urban locations. All aspects of the training were coordinated with federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Marines conduct explosive training
On Aug. 13 Marines and sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted explosive breaching in a pre-designated village. The training was intended for the 31st MEU’s Maritime Special Purpose Force who are participating in Training in an Urban Exercise. The III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Special Operations Training Group was on hand to provide instruction and evaluate the training.

The training was coordinated with local and federal law enforcement officials.

Conducting urbanized training such as TRUEX prepares Marines and sailors to protect the nation’s interests while supporting the global war on terrorism.


HSC-25 Detachment 1 returns to Guam
Helicopter Sea Squadron 25 Detachment 1 returned to Guam on July 30 after completing a six-month deployment to the Horn of Africa. While deployed on board the USNS Niagara Falls the detachment served as the primary logistics platform for coalition ships conducting anti-piracy patrols under Operation Foresail. The detachment also provided direct support to coalition ships participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Northern Arabian Gulf off the coasts of Iraq and Kuwait.

As part of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing U.S. Pacific Fleet HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed vertical replenishment squadron providing deployed ships a rapid safe and versatile means of re-supplying diminishing stores. HSC-25 also provides 24-hour search-and-rescue assistance for Guam and the NMI.

MSS-7 conducts training exercises
Mobile Security Squadron 7 conducted routine training on Aug. 4 and 9 from 6 a.m. through 6 p.m.  Participants in the exercise used small boats to simulate combat operations around the inner and outer Apra Harbor area. No live ammunition was used during the exercise.


New VA office opens in Asan
Gov. Felix P. Camacho officially opened the new Guam Veterans Affairs Office in Asan on Aug. 7. The building was offered to the Guam Veterans Affairs Office through a memorandum of understanding with the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority for five years free of charge. The new facility was renovated through a $150 000 appropriation to the Guam Veterans Affairs Office and is in line with the administration’s initiative to improve the services provided to veterans who contribute more than $15 million to Guam’s economy.

The Guam Veterans Affairs Office also is working on community outreach services that allow staff members to make home visits and inform more veterans who are homebound about the services available to them. MBJ