Air Force public affairs manpower reduced
Program Budget Decision 720 is forcing many cuts throughout the Air Force to include the office of public affairs for Andersen Air Force Base.  Along with the public affairs reduction the Air Force has issued a mandate that all base publications including the Pacific Edge resume operation online. The Pacific Edge is scheduled to make it’s Internet debut on Feb. 23rd.

Tankers arrive at Andersen to promote continuity
Eighty-three active-duty airmen from Grand Forks Air Force Base N.D. and MacDill Air Force Base Fla. Dec. 30 formed the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron with a trip to Andersen Air Force Base. They will be providing needed fuel for customers such as the bombers in the area as well as other agencies in need.   The move is designed to facilitate continuity as the typically shorter cycles have hampered familiarity with ongoing operations.

Counter-Sea exercise completed
Andersen Air Force Base airmen showcased the B-52 Stratofortress bomber with a five-day counter-sea exercise which was concluded on Jan. 15. The bomber is capable of accurately placing naval mines while flying at 1 000 feet above the sea. The 23rd Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed from Minot Air Force Base N.D. dropped 100 inert mines into the Pacific Ocean over the Marianas Trench. 

The maintenance of the mission aircraft was a key factor for the success of the exercise and each assigned B-52 took flight on schedule without any significant mechanical write up.

Army National Guard

Guam Army National Guard award ceremony
On Jan. 27 at the Guam Army National Guard’s Barrigada Complex a Guam Army National Guard award ceremony was held in honor of Team Alpha and Bravo companies who received a Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Soldiers will be awarded for their services while they were deployed to the Horn of Africa. This event marks the first time the Guam Army National Guard units will receive this award. A “Team Delta Send-off Ceremony” followed the ceremony. Team Delta is the fourth rotation of Guam Army National Guard soldiers scheduled to deploy to the Horn of Africa. They are scheduled to deploy Jan. 10 while Team Charlie is scheduled to return this May.

Guam awarded military growth study grant
On Jan. 23 Guam was awarded a $218 000 grant to conduct studies on the growth of the military the anticipated challenges the island faces and to possibly offer solutions to overcome such challenges.

The government of Guam was also informed that the necessary equipment to enhance the government of Guam’s teleconferencing capabilities will be provided and/or funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. This grant named The Phase 1 grant will expire in July with Phase 2 expected shortly afterward.

Veterans affairs office performs clean-up maintenance at cemetery
Family members were asked to remove flowers and other ornamental items from the graves of their lost loved ones on Jan. 12 to make way for a project to maintain and clean the Veteran’s Cemetery in Piti.

Bordallo assigned to two subcommittees
Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress; was assigned to both the Subcommittee on Readiness and the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces on Jan. 11. The Subcommittee on Readiness handles the military construction budget family housing and base closures and realignments.  The subcommittee also has jurisdiction over military readiness and maintenance and logistics programs including most operations and maintenance issues for the military services.

The readiness subcommittee is involved with the military construction budget including authorized projects regarding the relocation of Marines to Guam. The Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee are responsible for Navy and Marine Corps programs including the Pacific region and to our bases on Guam.

Penn visits Guam to discuss military build up
Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress; B.J. Penn assistant secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment and Marine Corps Major Gen. David F. Bice met Jan. 9 to continue discussions on the Navy’s leadership in planning for military development on Guam. The meeting included discussion on plans for the upcoming relocation of some 8 000 Marines to Guam from Okinawa Japan.

Bice is the executive director of the Joint Guam Program Office. Bice was appointed to his position in January to head the preparation and facilitation of operational support requirements development program and budget issues construction supervision and government and business coordination for the relocation of military forces to Guam.

Penn accompanied by William Anderson assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations Environment and Logistics and Bice met with military leaders government of Guam officials and members of the island’s business community from Jan. 17 through Jan. 20.

Saipan’s government and business leaders also met with Penn and Maj. General Bice on Jan. 20.

On Jan. 22 Maj. General Bice and Penn both visited with the Camacho cabinet and several senators at the Guam Army National Guard’s Readiness Center in Barrigada.

On Jan. 31 Admiral Joe Leidig commander of U.S. Naval forces Marianas led a meeting with attendees including the 29th Guam Legislature Maj. General Bice Brig. General Douglas Owens commander of 36th Wing Andersen Air Force and Speaker Mark Forbes senator in the 29th Guam Legislature. The meeting discussed the future military build-up. MBJ