In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, April 11, 2004

See also: For Your Benefit


25th Infantry Division
to take over in Afghanistan

Soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division will officially take over operations in Afghanistan from the 10th Mountain Division on April 15. The Stars and Stripes reports the division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team will have its headquarters at Kandahar and incorporate the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry (Wolfhounds) and the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry (Cacti).

The 325th Support Battalion and the division headquarters will be based at Bagram Air Base and the aviation brigade will operate from both Bagram and Kandahar.

The Army said the Wolfhounds are in the eastern province of Paktika, divided between Forward Operating Base Orgun-E and the Firebase at Shkin. Their mission focus now relies less on combat operations, and more on promoting stability.

"Our mission in the Paktika province is to stabilize the region for the new government, and provide an opportunity for them to take off and be successful," said Maj. Lance Davis, operations officer for 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, in a news release.

The USS Jimmy Carter, the third and final Seawolf-class submarine named after a 1947 Annapolis graduate and 39th U.S. president, will be christened on June 5. The submarine's hull has been lengthened to accommodate Navy SEAL teams.

Armed Forces Information News Service has reported that depending on rank, eligible U.S. service members can exclude from federal income tax either all or some of their active duty pay - and certain other pays - earned while serving in a combat zone. The Internal Revenue Service's Armed Forces' Tax Guide for 2003 says "a combat zone is any area the president of the United States designates by executive order as an area in which the U.S. armed forces are engaging or have engaged in combat."

Current designated combat zones include Afghanistan, Iraq and other specified parts of the Persian Gulf region -- to include Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates -- and parts of the Kosovo area. Service members in several other areas specified in law as "qualified hazardous duty areas" are eligible for the same tax breaks. Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Croatia have been listed since 1995. Some service members providing direct support for military operations within a designated combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area, such as Djibouti, Africa, Turkey, Yemen, and the Philippines, are eligible for income tax exclusions.

Mike Nishimoto, a 43-year-old Honolulu Navy combat veteran from the 1991 Gulf War, was among the 325 veterans from 41 states who participated in the 18th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colo., last week. Established in 1987, the winter sports clinic is the largest event of its kind in the world. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Disabled American Veterans. The Clinic promotes rehabilitation by teaching downhill and cross-country skiing to veterans with significant physical or visual impairments. The clinic also offers a variety of adaptive activities and sports for the veterans to take part in, including scuba diving, rock climbing, sled hockey, horseback riding and self-defense (taught by the U.S. Secret Service).

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at


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