Friday, June 30, 2006

Mistress Turns In Chinese Navy Official For Loose Morals

A top Chinese navy commander was dismissed and stripped of his seat in the national legislature Thursday after his mistress turned him in. The official Xinhua news agency said that Wang Shouye was a Vice Admiral in the Navy of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, and a deputy in the National People's Congress. The agency said an unmarried young woman turned the 62-year-old in to authorities after saying she had been in an "improper relationship" with him for a long time.Following an investigation the army, in January of this year, ordered disciplinary measures against Wang for his "loose morals" and for abusing his powers by asking for and taking bribes. As a civil engineer Wang was in charge of camp construction before being named deputy commander of the navy in 2001. In his March 29 letter of resignation Wang said: "Because of my involvement in economic crimes, I had been stripped from the post of deputy navy commander and thus no longer (have) the qualification of being a deputy to NPC. Please take me off the position." Xinhua also reported that two other NPC deputies had their membership canceled because of illegal business operations, during the six-day meeting of the NPC.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Japan Ship Returns Amid North Korea Fears

Japan has ordered a destroyer with advanced radar to return early from multinational war games in the Pacific Ocean over concerns about a possible North Korean missile launch, a news report said Thursday. The destroyer is being recalled from exercises with ships from the U.S. and other allies in waters off Hawaii, amid concerns that North Korea may soon test-fire a long-range Taepodong-2 missile, Kyodo News agency said in a Washington-datelined story. The destroyer Kirishima is equipped with the Aegis radar system, which can track enemy missiles and guide outgoing weapons.The Kyodo report cited unidentified Japanese and U.S. government officials. Japanese Defense Agency officials were not immediately available to comment on the report.
JMSDF Kirishima DDG 174
North Korea shocked Japan in 1998 when it showed that it could hit Tokyo by launching a missile that flew over northern Japan and into the Pacific Ocean. The missile test prompted Japan to accelerate work with Washington on a joint missile defense system. Intelligence reports in recent weeks have said that North Korean may be fueling a Taepodong-2 missile at a launch pad on its northeastern coast. A U.S. government estimate puts the range of the Taepodong-2 missile at up to 7,500 miles, making it capable of reaching the United States. Japanese Defense Minister Fukushiro Nukaga said Wednesday that Japan has already dispatched Aegis-equipped warships and reconnaissance planes to monitor the situation, and is coordinating intelligence gathering with the United States. The Kirishima destroyer was in Hawaii along with ships from Australia, Britain, Canada, Chile, Peru, South Korea and the United States for Rim of the Pacific exercises running through late July. Kyodo said it was scheduled to depart from Hawaii later Wednesday local time — or Thursday in Japan.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Container ship runs aground near East London

East London port authorities and salvagers were locked in a desperate battle to free a container ship which had run aground on a sandbank in the harbour and was lodged just 50m off the rocky breakwater. The drama began late on Monday as the SAF Marine Agulhas, a 23 000-ton dead weight container vessel, was leaving for Durban, when the ship suddenly lost power. Heavy winds and crashing swell swept it towards the treacherous wall of dolosse next to the harbour entrance. They threatened serious damage to the hull. Fortunately, the huge vessel bumped on to a sandbar, where it came to rest - a stone's throw from disaster. On Monday night, Terry Taylor, East London's National Ports Authority spokesperson, described the situation as "delicate"."There is nothing much we can do," he said last night. "The tug was attempting to assist her but they are making slow progress." He said a salvage team had attempted to tow the vessel out to sea and out of danger, but an outgoing tide had stymied them. Taylor said they had battled through the night to fasten a tow line to the ship and had eventually begun towing the stricken vessel. But, to their dismay, the cable had ripped free. "Our pilot boat tried on numerous occasions to re-attach the line, but huge swell and sea conditions prohibited it from getting close enough to shoot a cable across the bow," he said. He said early this morning: "We're re-assessing at first light. A salvage team is also on its way up from Cape Town to help." The salvage tug, the Smit Amandla, has been dispatched from False Bay to assist in the operation. Taylor said a helicopter would be used to try to drop tow lines on to the ship. Two lines would be attached to two tugs, with a third back-up line held by the pilot boat. The trio would attempt again to tow the ship off at the next high tide, aided by the ship's own engines. Taylor said they had not been alerted to any possible hazardous material on board. The 22 crew members are still on board.

Army Basic Training: Not Your Father's Boot Camp

In a Pentagon briefing, Gen. William S. Wallace, commander of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, spoke with reporters about the command’s campaign plan and how basic training has evolved over the last four years. “Our campaign plan has two big deals from my perspective,” said Wallace, who led V Corps into Baghdad in 2003. “First of all, the campaign plan recognizes that the center of gravity within TRADOC is our ability to learn and adapt in support of our operational forces. It also recognizes that the centerpiece of our adaptation is our people.” Changing civilians into Soldiers is what TRADOC does as the architect of the Army, and that involves changing with the times. Gone are the days when recruits arrived at basic training to learn just the fundamentals of weaponry, how to fight from a foxhole, how to march in parade formations and a mere three days in the field. In those days prior to 2003, TRADOC gave recruits nut-and-bolt basics, then sent the new Soldiers to their units where the real training started.“Once upon a time we had this notion in the Army that when there wasn’t a war going on we in the training base would teach about 65-70 percent of the skills associated with being a Soldier. The rest of the burden was then placed on the operational Army,” Wallace said. “We now recognize that with the pace the operational Army is moving today, we need to produce new Soldiers who are capable upon arrival at their first unit to make immediate contributions because they’re being asked and expected too,” he said. To achieve “Soldier” status, recruits now spend 21 days in the field during basic training. The training focus has changed dramatically from what was primarily a standards, discipline and soldierization process to one of intensive combat skills.Recruits now undergo weapons immersion, through which they receive their weapon three days after arrival and keep it throughout training. “They carry it to the dining facility, clear it before entering and do functions checks throughout the day,” Wallace added. “Instead of locking the weapon up in an arms room at night, they put it in a weapons rack in the barracks.” Weapons qualification training has changed as well. “We’ve increased advanced rifle marksmanship training beyond just basic qualification with a weapon. We’re teaching folks close-quarters marksmanship, reflex firing and muzzle awareness,” Wallace pointed out. “They’re learning how to do this, not from a foxhole because that is not how Soldiers fight today. Instead, the training is from alongside vehicles, in urban situations while wearing full battle-rattle to include body armor. “The way a Soldier’s weapon seats into his shoulder with body armor on is completely different from a foxhole position, so weapons training is now from the kneeling, unsupported position, which is very difficult because there’s nothing to rest the butt stock and your front hand on,” he said.A major part of weapons immersion training involves a convoy operations live-fire to push Soldiers into the mindset that they may have to engage the enemy from a moving vehicle. How to maintain weapons orientation, distribute fire, maintain a reasonable volume of fire, dismount from a vehicle, and assault an objective are all being taught in basic and advanced individual training. Wallace said the weapons immersion program has created Soldiers who are qualifying with their weapons quicker than in the past. Weapons maintenance problems have also decreased because Soldiers better understand their weapons and how to manipulate them. “When you ask 100 young people how many of them have fired a weapon, you might get eight or 10 raised hands. They aren’t familiar with weapons, which is good from a societal perspective but that’s not necessarily a good thing from a military perspective,” he said. “So we’ve got to teach them how to use their weapons and how to be comfortable with them, and that involves immersion.” Basic and advanced individual training also involve counter-insurgency instruction and surroundings awareness, particularly as it applies to IEDs on convoy operations. “Over time, you teach Soldiers to be extremely suspicious and very aware of their environment; so they’re always thinking about what’s different, what’s new, what’s going on around them that they haven’t seen before, then reporting it up the chain of command,” he said. Though basic training has become much tougher, Wallace said it hasn’t deterred people from joining the Army. “We’ve found our recruits to be extraordinarily motivated,” he said. “They’ll tell you the toughness is why they came into the Army; they’re expecting a challenge and appreciate the fact that we’re giving them one."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Navy Fighter Jets Collide

Two Navy fighter jets collided over a military base, killing one pilot and injuring another, authorities said. The F18-C Hornet jets from Lemoore Naval Air Station were practicing dogfighting maneuvers at about 11:15 a.m. Monday when they crashed above Fort Hunter Liggett, a remote Army Reserve base 150 miles south of San Francisco, said a Navy spokesman.The pilots were using the airspace above Hunter Liggett's 165,000-acre training range at the time, said Mark Hamelin, the base's site manager. One pilot ejected and was in good condition. He was en route to Lemoore by late afternoon. The cause of the crash, which sparked several small fires, is under investigation.

Realistic Scenario Accentuate Naval War Games

Next month the multinational coalition "Blue" forces will try to enforce United Nations sanctions to prevent country "Orange" from overtaking country "Green." "Blue" forces include the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Australia, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Peru, the United Kingdom and Japan. It is part of the scenario driving this summer's Rim of the Pacific naval war games -- the 20th since 1971 -- which begin today and run through July 28. The games will involve 35 warships, six submarines, 160 aircraft and 19,000 personnel. The centerpiece of the U.S. armada will be the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln -- among 19 U.S. warships, three submarines, 140 aircraft and 11,500 service members participating in the war games. It is one of the largest RIMPAC war games in recent years, and the Lingle administration estimates it will mean a $29.9 million economic boost to Hawaii's tourism industry.Lt. Rob Lyon, 3rd Fleet spokesman, said the scenario involving fictitious Pacific countries "Green" and "Orange" is "to add realism to the exercise. These are not real countries, but it helps us since this is the type of environment that we may have to operate in the future." In the current scenario, countries "Orange" and "Green" used to be one country. But in 1991, during the "velvet revolution," "Green" separated from "Orange." Since then, using terrorist tactics, "Orange" has tried to destabilize the political situation in "Green" so it can take it over. "Green" is considered a liberal democracy without a military. Lyon said the United Nations has ordered that "Orange" withdraw its terrorists from "Green." The U.N. also has authorized the "Blue" coalition forces -- the RIMPAC navies -- to maintain open waterways around the two countries and prevent "Orange" from sending arms and troops into "Green."Helicopter assault landings at various Oahu military installations as well as an amphibious beach landing at Bellows Air Force Station will be part of the "Blue" forces' attempts to enforce the U.N. sanctions against "Orange." Before the "free play" naval war games between "Orange" and "Green" begin on July 17, the U.S. and Pacific Rim naval forces will spend 10 days in waters off Oahu and Kauai in numerous exercises including live missile firings, torpedo firings, gunnery exercises, air defense, surface warfare, undersea warfare, maritime boardings, mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations. Lyon said because the Japanese Constitution allows its forces only to train with U.S. ships, the four Japanese destroyers and one diesel submarine will be deployed north of Oahu for their training operations. "The rest of the multinational forces will be in the south," Lyon said. During the training phase, naval surface and air weapons will be used to sink the amphibious assault ship USS Belleau Wood, ammunition ship USS Mauna Kea, combat stores ship USNS Mars and a sludge removal barge.This also is the first time the U.S. and Pacific Rim nations will be operating under a noise permit issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that restricts where warships can use sonar, to prevent possible harm to marine mammals. The Navy said these rules only apply to this summer's naval games. The ships also have been given orders that require them to lower the power of their sonar when they come in contact with whales, dolphins and porpoises.
Star 1,000 personnel
Star 2 surface ships, 1 submarine, 3 aircraft
Star Dive Team and Infantry Company

Star 1,150 personnel
Star 3 surface ships, 9 aircraft
Star Clearance Diver Team

Star 250 personnel
Star 1 surface ship

Star 1,250 personnel
Star 4 surface ships, 1 submarine, 8 aircraft

Star 650 personnel
Star 2 surface ships, 1 submarine, 1 aircraft

Star 250 personnel
Star 1 surface ship

Star 25 personnel
Star Mine Countermeasures Dive Team

Star 11,500 personnel
Star 1 nuclear aircraft carrier and embarked air wing, 18 surface ships, 3 submarines, 140-plus aircraft
Star Dive/bomb disposal teams

Air Force
Star 350 personnel
Star Kenney HQ Combined Air Ops Center
Star B-1/B-52 Missions
Star Radar plane and tanker support

Star 50 personnel
Star Pohakuloa Training Area

Marine Corps
Star 1,850 personnel
Star 1 Air-Ground Task Force (Infantry, Armor, Engineer, Artillery)
Star 8 CH-53 helicopters

National Guard
Star 300 personnel
Star Hawaii Air National Guard: 8 F-15As
Star 6 F-16Cs from the Colorado Air National Guard

Coast Guard
Star 100 personnel
Star 1 cutter, boarding teams, helicopters

Star Ecuador
Star India
Star Malaysia
Star Singapore

Star Thursday- next Monday: Briefings at Pearl Harbor
Star July 5-6: Ships leave Pearl Harbor and begin live-fire exercises. Three ships -- USS Belleau Wood, USS Mauna Kea, USNS Mars -- and a barge will be sunk by surface and air weapons.
Star July 17: Tactical free play involving countries "Orange" and "Green."
Star July 28: End of RIMPAC

Monday, June 26, 2006

Coast Guard medivacs Sick Woman From Cruise Ship

A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew air lifted a 36-year-old woman in medical distress off the Cruise Ship Carnival Victory approximately 150 nautical miles east of Cape Cod. The Carnival Victory was enroute New York City from Halifax, Nova Scotia when the Coast Guard was notified about the woman experiencing severe abdominal distress.
Carnival Victory
The helicopter arrived on scene at 11:00 a.m., hoisted the woman and landed at Logan International Airport at 12:58 p.m. A waiting ambulance transferred the woman to Mass General Hospital. Her current condition is unknown.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Navy Ship To Be Christened For Indian Guide

Descendants of the Indian woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark across the West will be in San Diego tonight for the christening of a Navy ship bearing her name. The USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) will carry a crew of 172. The 41-thousand-ton ship is in the Military Sealift Command's Naval Fleet Auxiliary.The Indian woman accompanied explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark through the West from 1804 to 1806. She spent part of her life in Wyoming and some believe she's buried there. She has been recognized before with a gold dollar coin and a collector's stamp. Two ships operated by the United States Navy have been named Sacagawea.

* The first USS Sacagawea, was a tugboat, launched in 1942; acceptance by the Navy was cancelled on 1 March 1942, and Sacagawea was retained by the Maritime Commission.

* The second, USS Sacagawea, was a tugboat, acquired by the Navy and renamed on 1 September 1942, and struck in 1945.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Navy Finds Data On Thousands Of Sailors On Web Site

Navy officials discovered this week that personal information on nearly 28,000 sailors and family members was compromised when it appeared on a Web site, fueling more concerns about the security of sensitive information belonging to federal employees. Five spreadsheet files of data -- including names, birth dates and Social Security numbers of sailors and their relatives -- were found exposed on a Web site Thursday night during routine internal sweeps of the Internet for sensitive material, said Lt. Justin Cole, a spokesman for the chief of naval personnel. He said the material was removed from the Web site within two hours. "It was information you don't want on a public Web site," Cole said. "But there was no indication it was being used for illegal purposes." The potential security breach is one of several losses of important personal data reported in Washington in recent weeks, part of an unusual string of thefts and Internet hacks that have compromised information belonging to millions of federal workers. Five other agencies and the D.C. government have reported similar problems since the beginning of May.The largest breach occurred May 9, when a Department of Veterans Affairs laptop computer and external hard drive were stolen from an Aspen Hill home, a theft that officials said included personal information on up to 26.5 million retirees and active-duty personnel. There was no indication the thief was targeting the information. Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office said it removed from its Web site archival records with names and Social Security numbers on fewer than 1,000 government workers. Earlier this week, the Agriculture Department reported that data on as many as 26,000 employees had been compromised by a hacker. A laptop containing data on 13,000 D.C. workers and retirees was stolen last week. The Energy Department said that similar data for 1,500 employees may have been accessed by a hacker in September, and Internal Revenue Service officials said a laptop containing names, Social Security numbers and fingerprints of 291 employees and applications was misplaced in May. In the Navy case, officials are unsure how the information ended up on an insecure Web site, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is looking into whether the person who posted it was supposed to have access to the data. Cole said it is possible the information was posted inadvertently. The Navy plans to contact the people affected and urge them to closely monitor bank and credit card accounts for fraudulent activity. Congress is considering a measure that would pay for credit monitoring for those affected by the VA data loss. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) called yesterday for the Defense Department to provide immediate free credit monitoring for sailors who may have been affected by the Internet posting.In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Markey said the incident "raises serious questions about the nature and adequacy of privacy protections afforded to active duty military personnel, their families, and military veterans." Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), chairman of the Government Reform Committee, applauded the Navy's speedy response to get the information removed from public view. Cole said sailors may contact the Navy Personnel Command call center to determine whether their names were on the compromised list: 866-827-5672.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Successful Missile Intercept Defense Test

A US warship successfully shot down a target missile warhead over the Pacific in a test of a sea-based missile defense system, the US military said. A Japanese destroyer performed surveillance and tracking exercises during the test, marking the first time any US ally has taken part in a US missile defense intercept test, the US Missile Defense Agency said. The test came amid a confrontation with North Korea over its preparations to launch a long-range missile. The sea-based system tested off Hawaii is designed to counter only short or medium range missiles, but the cruisers and destroyers that took part are capable of tracking long-range missiles as well. The mock warhead was launched over the Pacific atop a medium range missile and destroyed in a direct hit six minutes later with an SM-3 missile fired by the Aegis cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67), the agency said.
USS Shiloh (CG 67)
"The missile successfully intercepted the target warhead outside the earths atmosphere more than 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean and 250 miles northwest of Kauai," the agency said in a statement. "We are continuing to see great success with the very challenging technology of hit-to-kill, a technology that is used for all of our missile defense ground- and sea-based interceptor missiles," Lieutenant General Trey Obering, the agency chief, said in the statement. He said it was the seventh successful intercept using the sea-based missile defense system out of eight tries. The test came as the United States said Thursday that North Korea would have to pay a "cost" if it launched a long range missile. The US has said that North Korea is preparing to launch a multi-stage Taepodong-2 ballistic missile with a range of up to 6,700 kilometers (4,200 miles). US reports have said a launch was imminent. US defense officials said the United States was ready to use its missile defense system if necessary against any threatening launch.A North Korean missile test "would be a provocation and a dangerous action which would have to have some consequences." He told lawmakers "there would be a reaction, and it would be a mistake for North Korea to do it." South Korea's Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said in Seoul that he did not believe a missile operation was imminent, but North Korea has received new warnings against making a launch. Missile Defense Agency officials have said the missile interceptor test was long-planned and had nothing to do with North Korea's long-range missile launch plans. But the agency's statement highlighted the role of the Japanese Aegis destroyer. "This event marked the first time that an allied military unit participated in a US Aegis missile defense intercept test," it said. It said the Japanese destroyer and a US Navy Aegis destroyer performed surveillance and tracking exercises during the test. "This data can also be used to provide targeting information for other missile defense systems, including the ground-based long-range interceptor missiles now deployed in Alaska and California to protect all 50 states from a limited ballistic missile attack," the agency said.A third Aegis destroyer used in the test linked up with a land-based missile defense radar to evaluate the ship's ability to receive and use target cueing data from missile defense command centers. The mock warhead separated from the three-stage target missile. The direct hit marked only the second time a separating warhead has been successfully intercepted by a missile fired from an Aegis cruiser. The cruisers use their modified Spy-1 radars and a shipboard battle management system to detect, track and target the warheads in space. The SM-3 Block IA interceptor missile fired in Thursday's test is slated for deployment in the US Navy and had never been used before in an intercept test.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sick Seaman Winched To Safety

The Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter winched a sick seaman off a trawler near Westport this morning. Life Flight, who coordinates medical advice for sick and injured people at sea, was contacted by the Maritime Operations Centre at around 4 this morning regarding a sick seaman off of the South Island's West Coast. After discussions with an ICU Consultant at Wellington Hospital it was decided that the man needed to be evacuated from the ship because he could be suffering from appendicitis. The Christchurch based Westpac Rescue Helicopter was unable to respond due to the weather on the South Island and the Nelson Rescue Helicopter was unavailable to perform the winch job so the Wellington based Westpac Rescue Helicopter was asked to respond.The helicopter, with a Wellington Free Ambulance paramedic onboard, left Wellington at 8 am this morning and arrived at Westport at about 9:35 am. "It was a challenging flight due to the weather" says Westpac Rescue pilot Harry Stevenson. "We had to work our way around some showers and thunderstorms but the flight went OK". Once arriving at Westport the crew landed, geared up for the winch rescue and then flew about 3 miles off the coast to where the ship was waiting. The ship the sick man was on was a 50 metre long Indonesian fishing trawler. Conditions at the scene were rough, with winds of 40 - 50 knots (74 - 92 k/ph) and sea swells of 4 - 5 metres. "The ship couldn't make it past the Westport sandbar and conditions were too rough for a boat transfer" says Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman Dave Greenberg. "Once we arrived overhead we winched our paramedic down and then after a quick medical check the paramedic and patient were both winched back into the helicopter". Once onboard the patient, a 28 year old Indonesian man, was flown to the Greymouth Hospital Emergency Department, arriving at about 10:25 am. The man has been admitted to Greymouth Hospital and is said to be comfortable.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

U.S. Military Recruiting Statistics

The Department of Defense has announced its recruiting and retention statistics by the active and reserve components for the month of May. Active duty recruiting. All services exceeded their recruiting goals in April. The Navy’s recruiting goal was 2,622 and it enlisted 2,622 (100 percent). The Marine Corps’ goal was 1,899 and it recruited 1,991 (105 percent). The Air Force goal was 2,744 and it recruited 2,759 (100 percent). The Army's goal was 5,400 and it recruited 5,806 (108 percent).Active duty retention. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps continue to enjoy excellent reenlistment rates, meeting or exceeding all objectives. Active Army has reenlisted 52,190 Soldiers toward a YTD glidepath mission of 46,224. Reserve forces recruiting. Accession data includes: Recruiting + Active to Reserve Transitions + IRR to Unit Transfers. Five of six Reserve components met or exceeded their accession goals for May 2006.

* Army National Guard: Goal: 6,420 Recruited: 6,738 (105 percent)
* Army Reserves: Goal: 3,783 Recruited: 3,835 (101 percent)
* Air National Guard: Goal: 720 Recruited: 812 (113 percent)
* Air Force Reserves: Goal: 599 Recruited: 599 (100 percent)
* Navy Reserves: Goal: 1,052 Recruited: 955 (91 percent)
* Marine Corps Reserves: Goal: 1,008 Recruited: 1,010 (100 percent)

Reserve forces retention. Losses in all Reserve components are within acceptable limits. Enlisted attrition through April 2006 is generally lower than the same period reported last year and in the base year of FY 2000, with the exception of the USNR which is experiencing higher than normal attrition.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Longest Serving Guardsman Retires After 40 Years

Coast Guard Sector Miami is scheduled to hold a retirement ceremony for Coast Guard Master Chief Petty Officer Roger "Buck" Ward at 10 a.m. Friday at the Miami Beach Coast Guard Base. No one else serving in the Coast Guard today has an earlier enlistment than Ward. Ward enlisted Jan. 31, 1966. Ward trained and prepared crews assigned to Miami based patrol boats deploying to serve in Iraq. Ward served aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Minnetonka which patrolled the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict. During his last assignment at Marine Corps Camp Lejeune, N.C., Ward was instrumental in the "start-up" or commissioning of the Coast Guard's Special Mission Training Center where Coast Guard, Navy and Marine Corps boat crews trained in coastal warfare tactics. During his tenure the Training Center staff grew from six to 100.
Master Chief Petty Officer Roger "Buck" Ward
The former Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones and former Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thomas Collins named the Coast Guard barracks at Camp Lejeune after him in a 2002 ceremony. As the last active duty member who sailed on 255-foot Owasco class cutters, Ward is a service icon and was the keynote speaker at the 255 reunion in Las Vegas, Nev., during the summer of 2005. Forty years of active duty and reserve service culminated in his nomination for the 2006 Munro Inspirational Leadership Award.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Navy Confirms Location Of Missing Submarine

For 60 years, Nancy Kenney wondered what happened to her father. The submarine that William Mabin was in disappeared while he and his crewmates were on a mission to attack a Japanese convoy in the last months of World War II. Now, the Navy says a wreck found at the bottom of the Gulf of Thailand appears to be the sub, the USS Lagarto. ''I have never in my life, unequivocally, felt such a high,'' said Kenney, who was 2 years old when her father and the submarine did not return from their mission in May 1945. ''We can just feel a sense of relief and a sense of peace in knowing what happened and where they are,'' said Kenney, of Lake Leelanau, Mich. Navy divers completed a six-day survey of the wreckage site. They took photos and video of the 311-foot, 9-inch submarine for further analysis by naval archeologists.
USS Lagarto (SS 371)
The divers found twin 5-inch gun mounts on the forward and rear parts of the ship - a feature believed to be unique to the Lagarto. They also saw the word ''Manitowoc'' displayed on the submarine's propeller, providing a connection to the Manitowoc, Wis., shipyard that built the Lagarto in the 1940s. Eighty-six sailors died when the Lagarto sank in May 1945. The Japanese minelayer Hatsutaka reported dropping depth charges and sinking a U.S. sub in the area. The Navy sent its divers to examine the ship to provide the sailors' families with some answers after a British professional shipwreck diver last year found what looked like the Lagarto, said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet Submarine Force. ''It was important to bring a sense of closure to these families and it was important to do it in a way that would honor our fellow submariners,'' Davis said. The Navy wouldn't do anything with the ship even if it conclusively determined it was the Lagarto, considering the sea to be a proper final resting place for ''our people who are killed in action,'' he said. The wreckage site more than 100 miles off the eastern coast of Thailand is also likely to go undisturbed. U.S. laws and international agreements already protect sunken U.S. warships from looters or others who would disturb the site.Since Kenney was just a toddler when her father went to war, she has no conscious memories of their life in LaGrange, Ill. But she said news of the Navy's dive ''was the most important piece'' of a puzzle about her father that she's been trying to put together for six decades. The children of the Lagarto sailors feel closer to their fathers now more than ever, she said. ''We feel like we've found our fathers,'' Kenney said.
Japanese Minelayer Hatsutaka

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Man Threatens To Blow Up Ship

AN Australian union official has blasted the Federal Government over security in the shipping industry after a foreign seaman threatened to blow up a cargo ship near Melbourne. Thai national Allan Yordan has been sentenced to six months' jail after stabbing a colleague and attacking another crewman with a hammer in the early hours on Thursday aboard the POS Auckland, which was docked at North Shore, Geelong. Mr Yordan then locked himself in the ship's engine room and told the crew he would ignite fuel, which would have been disastrous. The ship at the time was loaded with 33,000 tonnes of the fertilizer, Urea. Mr Yordan was taken into police custody and pleaded guilty to stabbing one colleague and striking another with a hammer.
POS Auckland
Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said today the Howard government had ignored warnings by the union about the "imminent security threat posed through the lack of any oversight of the issuing of the coastal permits". "This has all the elements for a major catastrophe and yet has not even registered on the Government's radar," Mr Crumlin said. "What is (John) Howard doing about protecting our critical maritime infrastructure and how can he continue to trade off the security of our ports while he presides over the demise of the Australian shipping industry?" The Captain told International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) inspectors the ship was operating under a single-voyage permit issued by the Australian government. The ship was discharging the massive volume of fertiliser before sailing to Bell Bay in Tasmania, via Portland on Victoria's southwest coast. In a statement, the union said the Hong Kong vessel was from the Philippines and crewed by Thai and Filipino nationals. The ship works the Australian coast, replacing Australian shipping and security-checked Australian crews.

Sailor 'Bit By The Bug'

John Santa of Bridgeport has been looking forward to being out on the water again. This time it's a big trip. His 42-foot "Galadriel" is among the 270-boat fleet taking part in the 100th Newport-Bermuda Race that started Friday. "I'm bit by the bug," said the 63-year old retired president of Santa Energy Services, Bridgeport. "It's refreshing to be out there in this crazy world." The captain of the 11-man crew has taken part in the 635-mile biennial race twice before from Newport, R.I., and done well. His crew is comprised of his son, Devin, as navigator and tactician, and Devin's wife, Beth, who is in charge of bow operation and is the ship's doctor. Both 33, they live in Stratford.In his first time out in 2002, Santa finished first among 17 boats in its class. The second time in 2004 saw him third among 19 others. Competition in this race, attracting boats from around the world, is a little stiffer with 25 boats to worry about. There's also the pesky Gulf Stream that runs right through the course, forcing you to carefully calculate while moving sideways. So even though you might be going south, you're actually going southeast. "We've been watching the Gulf Stream for two months," Santa said. "So we can anticipate what might happen. The winds look bad, too. It's about a four-day trip, but this could take five or six days." Not much sleep is expected with round-the-clock shifts of six hours on and four hours off. Santa is a member of four yacht clubs (New York, Black Rock and Fayerweather in Bridgeport and Pequot in the Southport section of Fairfield). He is teaming up with with two other Pequot boats in a shot for the team trophy. They are 43-foot "Emily," owned by Edwin Gaynor of Fairfield, a veteran of 20 Bermuda races, and 46-foot "Tabasco," owned by John Levinson of Westport, who has done one. Other Pequot boats racing to Bermuda include: Hewitt Gaynor, Fairfield, Edwin's son, "Mireille," 40 feet; William Hubbard, Fairfield, "Lively Lady II," 37 feet; and William Douglas, Stamford, "Goombay Smash," 45 feet.CEDAR POINT TO BERMUDA — Gary Grant and Steve Fisk, both of Cedar Point Yacht Club, Westport, will be sailing "Alibi," a 40-foot J120 in the Bermuda race's double-handed division. That means the Westport residents will be the only two on the boat working in shifts of two hours on, two hours off, with help from autopilot. They've gone double-handed before, winning the Round Block Island Race on Memorial Day Weekend. Further kudos came with the Gerold Abels Trophy for best performance by a double-handed boat and the Harvey Conover Memorial Overall Trophy as the yacht "that has won her class and in the judgment of the flag officers and race committee had had the best performance overall," according to a statement from race officials. Another Cedar Point boat is "Fat City Too," a 39-foot J130. Co-owners are Carl Sherter, Southbury, and brothers Dave and Tom Etter of Hartford, all in the race. John McArthur of Stratford is also in the crew.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ship Seized Was Heading To Iraq

Military equipment on a ship that was seized at Derince Port in Kocaeli, Turkey, was on its way to Iraq, Turkish news reported. The British-flagged ship Scan Bothnia was reportedly at Derince Port to dispatch some transformers to be shipped to Jordan.
Scan Bothnia
The Coast Guard and Izmit Customs Officials who investigated the ship on June 10 said the ship contained six armed military vehicles and heavy machine guns designed for the vehicles. Turkey reported that Turkish Coast Inspectors discovered that the equipment belonged to the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Navy Develops Jet-Zipping Combat Ship

Sailor, these are not your father's warships. The first of a new breed of Navy ship - faster and easier to maneuver - is expected to launch later this year to meet threats including modern-day pirates and terrorists who turn speedboats into suicide weapons. The Littoral Combat Ship is powered by steerable water jets, so it doesn't need propellers or rudders. It's designed to go more than 50 mph; traditional destroyers have had the same top speed - about 35 mph - since World War II. The Littoral Combat Ship has a shallow draft, and its water jets let the ship zoom close to shore without getting stuck and to turn on a dime, allowing it to chase smaller boats. The name itself is taken from the coastal "littoral" waters in which the ship will operate. The ship will be more lightly armored than bigger ships, but its speed will give it a tactical advantage in combat, said Rear Adm. Charles Hamilton, program executive officer for ships, who's overseeing the project from Washington, D.C.The Navy envisions several of the ships working together on missions using unmanned vehicles, helicopters and other weapons, he said. A Littoral Combat Ship will have a core crew of only 40 sailors and berthing for up to 75, compared with 330 sailors aboard a destroyer. The new warship was conceived six years ago and fast-tracked after the USS Cole bombing and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The first of the new ships will be delivered in roughly half the 10 to 15 years it takes under traditional shipbuilding programs. "That's a miracle in Navy terms," said Jay Korman, naval analyst at Washington consultants DFI Corporate Services. Two versions are under construction. Lockheed Martin Corp. is leading the team building LCS-1, with partners Marinette Marine Corp. in Wisconsin and Bollinger Shipyards Inc. in Louisiana. The Freedom ship due to launch this fall in Marinette, Wis., resembles a traditional frigate or destroyer but features a sleek, semiplaning hull, meaning the bow lifts at top speed, reducing resistance and making it faster. The other Littoral Combat Ship version by team leader Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., resembles a futuristic catamaran. The aluminum "trimaran" Independence being built by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., is loosely based on fast ferries developed in Australia.Lockheed Martin's version is 378 feet long, while General Dynamics' trimaran is 418 feet. By comparison, the typical Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is 510 feet long and the Zumwalt "stealth" destroyer being developed will be about 600 feet. The Navy plans to build 55 of one or both models of the Littoral Combat Ship to beef up a fleet that critics say was neglected even before the Iraq war. From nearly 600 ships in the 1980s, the fleet has dwindled to 289, a number the Navy wants to raise soon to 313. Instead of lengthy research and development, the Navy encouraged contractors to use off-the-shelf technologies from the private sector, much like the Army did as it rushed its Stryker vehicles into service in urban warfare in Iraq. The Navy also asked for ships that can be easily reconfigured for different missions. The resulting designs feature removable "mission packages" that allow the ships to operate either for anti-submarine missions, mine removal or traditional surface warfare, said Lt. Tamara Lawrence, a Navy spokeswoman at the Pentagon. Tests show the mission packages can be swapped out in 24 hours. And when those mission modules become outdated, the Navy can replace them instead of building new ships, Hamilton said. At about $350 million, a Littoral Combat Ship costs roughly a third as much as a destroyer, he said. While there's support for the faster craft, shipbuilders don't want the Navy to neglect bigger, multimission ships that project U.S. sea power around the world, said Cynthia Brown, president of the American Shipbuilding Association in Washington. The six shipyards that build the Navy's largest ships - aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines - have lost 24,000 jobs since 1991, she said. Hamilton said the small shipyards were able to respond quickly to the Navy's needs on the Littoral Combat Ship and said the new warships could have a positive effect of bringing pressure to bear on the bigger, traditional shipyards like Bath Iron Works. Though Bath traditionally has built larger ships for the Navy, there's a lot of excitement about the Littoral Combat Ship, said Mike Keenan, president of the local machinists union in Bath. Bath Iron Works could eventually build some of the ships. "All in all, this could be a lucrative program where there could be a lot of work for a lot of shipbuilders," Keenan said.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Man Water-Skis Behind Cruise Liner

A German man water-skied behind a cruise liner to win a bet. German man Dirk Gion water-skied behind a cruise liner to win a bet. The stunt was recorded by a German TV show after a viewer wrote in disputing an earlier claim on the show that it would be theoretically possible to water-ski behind an ocean-going cruise ship. Reporter Dirk Gion, 40, took up the challenge "to prove it could be done". He was brought up to the correct velocity by a speedboat and then switched over to a line pulled by the 575 foot cruiser MS Deutschland. Mr Gion managed to stay afloat behind the vessel as it travelled at 17 knots for over five minutes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

United States Army Celebrates 231st Birthday

Cake-cutting ceremonies, balls, special concerts and Soldier appreciation days will take place throughout the Army and around the world this week in honor of the Army’s 231st birthday. This year’s theme is “Call to Duty – Boots on the Ground.” “To all of our Soldiers around the world, our thoughts are with you and your families on this 231st Army Birthday. We are humbled by your sacrifices and awed by your achievements,” said Secretary of the Army Dr. Francis J. Harvey. The celebration kicked off June 10 with the Army Birthday Ball in Washington, D.C.’s Hilton. Sponsored by the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2, on behalf of the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army, the ball featured performances by the USO Liberty Belles, the Jazz Ambassadors, the Volunteers, the Soldiers’ Chorus and Army Soldier Show Alumni.Celebrations will continue 8 a.m. June 14 at Arlington National Cemetery. Army senior leadership will pay tribute to the nation's fallen heroes by placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A cake-cutting ceremony will take place 11 a.m. in the Pentagon courtyard, following a 10:30 performance by the U.S. Army Chorale. Josh Gracin, country music singer known for being an American Idol finalist, will continue the event with a noon performance. Interactive displays will be available in the courtyard from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Program Executive Office will showcase the Land Warrior, body armor, and other modern equipment and concepts. The Natick Soldier Center will showcase the Future Force Warrior and Future Concept Warrior. In the event of inclement weather, the Pentagon ceremony, performances and displays will move to the Concourse. A second cake-cutting ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.A Twilight Tattoo will culminate the day’s celebrations at 7 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Twilight Tattoo is an hour-long sunset military pageant featuring Soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) to include: the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team, the U.S. Army Band Blues Jazz Ensemble, and the U.S. Army Chorale. A Senate and House cake-cutting ceremony will take place 11 a.m. June 15. Army officials will recognize the heroic contributions of Army units toward the Global War on Terror by announcing the award of campaign participation credit to eligible Army units that served and/or are serving in the theater of operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Three new streamers will be awarded to qualifying units: one for service in Afghanistan, one for service in Iraq and one for service in other geographic regions outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, such as Kuwait, Qatar or the Horn of Africa. Army birthday celebrations will conclude with a Headquarters, Department of Army Birthday Run 7:30 a.m. June 16 at Fort Myer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chinese Sailor Swept Off Oil Tanker

A Chinese seaman is feared dead after he was lost overboard from an oil tanker near the entrance to Wellington Harbour in stormy conditions. The man was swept overboard about 4pm yesterday while securing a ladder on the Formosa 13, which was heading to Timaru in swells of up to four metres. "I understand he was pulling a rope to secure the pilot's ladder," Wellington harbourmaster Mike Pryce said. His chances of survival were not good. "There's a southerly, it's cold, he had no lifejacket ... " Mr Pryce said.Two helicopters and three boats, including the police and pilot launches, searched for the man in heavy swells till about 6.45pm, when the attempt was abandoned. Police officers also went aboard the tanker, which stayed outside Wellington Harbour with the pilot still on board, to speak to its crew. If the man is confirmed dead, it is understood that it would be the first death of a crew member swept overboard in Wellington Harbour since 1970, when three sailors were swept off the frigate Waikato as it escorted the royal yacht Britannia in heavy seas and 60-knot (110km/h) winds. Two of the sailors were rescued by the ship's helicopter, but the third, Artificer David Lindsay, drowned.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Captain Held Over Fatal Collision

The Captain of a Panamanian-registered cargo carrier was arrested early Sunday after his vessel collided with a Japanese fishing boat, killing its Captain, off Oita Prefecture the previous day, coast guard officials said. The 46-year-old Chinese Captain, Li Lin, was arrested on charges of professional negligence resulting in death.
Belle Nautica
The officials said Li is suspected of letting the 17,979-ton Belle Nautica operate without an adequate watch early Saturday, causing the vessel to collide with the 4.9-ton trawler Jusho Maru at around 4:30 a.m. about 7 km east of Kunisaki. Shigenobu Hanasaki, 70, who was operating the one-man trawler, was found in the badly damaged boat later and taken to a Kunisaki hospital. He died shortly afterward. Nobody on the Belle Nautica was injured.

US Coast Guard Ship In China ForJoint Training

A US Coast Guard cutter with 168 crew arrived in eastern China at the weekend for what US authorities called a "historic" visit aimed at improving international cooperation in maritime law enforcement. The Honolulu-based USCGC Rush (WHEC 723), which will remain in the Chinese port of Qingdao until Thursday, is "the first major cutter to visit China since World War II," according to a statement released by the US Coast Guard on Sunday.
Chinese military personnel board US Coast Guard's cutter Rush
"During this historic port call, Rush will engage in professional law enforcement exchanges with the China Ministry of Public Security Border Control Department," the statement said. A formal welcoming ceremony for the 110-metre USCGC Rush was held in Qingdao on Sunday, a spokesman for the US embassy in Beijing told reporters. "We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with our fellow maritime safety and security professionals on issues of mutual importance," said the cutter's commanding officer, Captain Dana Ware. The Coast Guard said the training exercises, to include the demonstration of techniques for boarding and searching suspect vessels, would "enhance international collaboration and cooperation between foreign coast guards".
USCGC Rush (WHEC 723)
The exercises come within the framework of the North Pacific Coast Guard Forum set up in 1999, which brings together coast guards from Canada, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States. Late last month, China and South Korea opted not to participate in six-nation anti-smuggling drills in Japanese waters, with diplomats in Beijing saying China was concerned about upsetting its ally North Korea. The USCGC SEQUOIA (WLB-215), a smaller cutter, visited China at that time.
Washington, which has called on China to be more transparent with respect to military spending, has said it wants to deepen military cooperation with Beijing in order to reduce the risk of a future confrontation.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

South Korean Navy Launches New Submarine

Korea launched a stealthier and more powerful submarine on Friday. The 214 class Sohn Won-il was launched from Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan in what experts say is a major step from Korea’s existing subs in terms of operational capability and power. While the sub is not quite up to the level of the large nuclear submarines of China, Russia and the U.S., among diesel and electricity-propelled craft, the Sohn Won-il is as powerful as they come and extends the potential scope of operations for the South Korean Navy to the Philippines and the island of Hainan, China. A nuclear-powered submarine can theoretically stay below the surface for months at a time, but older conventional submarines -- the 209-type, North Korea’s Romio-class submarines, and the Oyashio-class and Harushio class submarines of Japan -- must surface at least once a day to replenish the air supply.
The Sohn Won-il, The nation's first 1,800-ton class submarine equipped with advanced missile systems
When the vessel makes these runs, it is vulnerable to being spotted by aircraft or showing up on enemy radar. But 214 class submarines can go without snorkeling for two or three weeks, thanks to an Air Independent Propulsion System (AIPS) which works, as the name suggests, without air. That is why they are appraised as having six times stronger fighting power than the old 209s. Korea has become the first country to launch an AIPS submarine in Northeast Asia. Japan, a submarine powerhouse, is in the middle of building a 3,000-ton class submarine, the 16SS, which is larger than the 214s and equipped with AIPS. It will be ready by around 2008. Elsewhere, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Italy and Russia either have or are developing AIPS subs. The Shon Won-il accommodates a crew of 40. To operate underwater for a long time, they need to be very patient, staying cooped-up in a confined space 65.3 m long and 6.3 m wide. The 214 comes with a whopping W350 billion (US$350 million) price tag, and the Navy plans to acquire nine of them by around 2020. The launch was attended by President Roh Moo-hyun, Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Lee Sang-hee and other top brass.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Fuel Tanker Collides With Ship in English Channel

A tanker carrying diesel fuel collided with another ship in the English Channel Friday but there was no immediate report of any spillage, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said. The incident was reported at 1015 GMT about 25 miles south of Beachy Head, southeast of London, the agency said.
The Shakhdag
The Maltese-registerd tanker Shakhdag, carrying 48,500 tons of fuel oil, collided with the MV Willy, which was unloaded, the agency said. The Shakhdag, with 21 people on board, suffered minor damage to the stern but carried on to its desination -- Portland in southwest England.
MV Willy
The Willy, with 13 people on board, suffered some damage. The Coastguard said a helicopter carrying a marine surveyor was dispatched to investigate.

Friday, June 09, 2006

USS Cole Heads For The Middle East

USS Cole is headed back to the Persian Gulf. The guided missile destroyer left Naval Station Norfolk for the ship's first trip back to the area where terrorists attacked in 2000. Sailors and their families were buzzing with word of the killing of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Lieutenant Bill Coons summed it up. "Makes me a hell of a lot safer." His wife Debbie was no longer fearful about his deployment. "I'm one-hundred-percent confident he'll come back safe and everything will be great." Commanding Officer Bradley Roberson couldn't tell us if the ship will go to Aden Harbor. He said the mission may have changed overnight with the hilling of Al-Zarqawi. "Last night's news has changed the world a little bit today. So every day we wake up and look forward to seeing what the new day gives us."
USS Cole DDG 67
When thinking of USS Cole's history there are many tears of sadness. 17 sailors died and dozens more were injured in the attack at 11:18 am on October 12, 2000. IC3 Joseph Jacobs is proud to carry on the mission those sailors started. "We honor those 17 people that passed on our ship every day. We're ready to go back out there and show you can't get us down." BM1 Derrick Pearson hoped to retire after this deployment. He asked to be assigned to USS Cole for his final journey. "The bombing that took place five years ago, going on and seeing the people who died on there made me feel proud to take orders to the Cole." While he's off to the Persian Gulf his son is fighting with the Army in Afghanistan. The memories of those 17 heroes on his ship hits close to home. " I really makes me feel sad. But I know they died for a good cause and I'm carrying on their mission." A mission that may change overnight or tomorrow but that will no doubt honor the first sailors killed in the War on Terrorism.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cruise Ship Refloated Off Bermuda

A cruise ship that was stuck on a sandbar off Bermuda was refloated at high tide Wednesday night about 10 hours after it ran aground, officials said. The roughly 34,000-ton Norwegian Crown cruise ship was freed from the sandbar at about 6:30 p.m., the Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line said in a statement. No one was injured when the ship ran aground Wednesday morning. Initial inspection of the cruise liner, which sailed from Philadelphia on Sunday, indicated that the vessel was not damaged when it hit the sandbar as a pilot ship navigated it to a dock, officials said.
The Norwegian Crown
A full damage assessment was being conducted by a team of divers Wednesday. The ship was expected to return to Philadelphia on June 11 as scheduled, the cruise line company said. The Norwegian Crown was carrying more than 1,100 passengers, who were ferried to shore shortly after the ship ran aground at about 9 a.m. Norwegian Cruise Line was working with local authorities to determine what caused the grounding.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Wounded Warriors Can Continue Serving

The Army is opening doors for severely wounded Soldiers, allowing them to continue serving. Representatives from 23 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command agencies offered more than 400 military and defense department jobs to men and women missing limbs and suffering from other injuries at a Wounded Warrior Job Fair at Walter Reed Army Medical Center June. 2. "We want them to know that they are wanted for continuous service in uniform or as a civilian," said Lt. Gen. Robert Van Antwerp, commanding general of the U.S. Army Accessions Command and deputy commanding general of Initial Military Training, Fort Monroe, Va. "We're giving people who want to serve the opportunity to continue to serve." More than 300 service members wounded in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom participated in the job fair while awaiting the final results of medical boards and surgical procedures.
Army Spc. Brandon Wooldridge of the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry, reveals his prosthetic left leg
Injuries ranging from fractures, broken bones and amputations to nerve damage have left many Soldiers concerned about what future career opportunities are available to them. The chance to transition to the civilian sector and still contribute to the Army appealed to some. "There are a lot worse things out there than the military," said Sgt. 1st Class Denis Viau, platoon sergeant, 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division Striker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Lewis, Wash., whose right leg was amputated as a result of injuries he sustained from an IED in Iraq. "I think everybody should take this opportunity, even if they are not staying in the military."
"I joined the military because I wanted a change of career, and I believe in what we were doing and I wanted to do my part," said Sgt. Nathan Potts, a medic with 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga. "If I can find something that can facilitate me in a different field, I would like to stay; but if not, then I'll go back to being a high school science teacher and football coach." Potts lost his right leg to amputation above the knee, also from injuries sustained from an IED in Iraq.
Amputee Sgt. James "Eddie" Wright, using a wooden knife, practices on Sgt. Shane Franklin
Senior enlisted advisors from Human Resources Command and installation command sergeants major from around the Army attended the job fair to help Soldiers get an assignment preference or move to another career field. "We are offering supply positions, wheel-vehicle mechanics, food service and management skills for those who want to change (jobs), and we may even adjust the position so that it will fit with the environment," said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Aubain, command sergeant major, U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, Va. The job fair resulted from a new program called CARES ~Civilian Army Recruitment of Exceptional Soldiers~. TRADOC is the second major Army command to incorporate the program, which is primarily geared toward service members who have received a 30-percent or higher disability due to injuries sustained in the Global War on Terrorism. Additional job fairs will be held June 21 at WRAMC, Aug. 9 at Fort Gordon, Ga., and Sept. 19 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

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