In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, June 6, 2004

See also: For Your Benefit


Isle soldiers eligible
for free trips from Iraq

More than 4,000 25th Infantry Division soldiers, who deployed to Iraq in late January, are eligible to participate in the Army's contract rest-and-recuperation flights that will begin on June 15.

Soldiers who have been deployed for more than three months are eligible as long as they have their commander's approval.

The program was stopped on Feb. 1 because of the large number of soldiers being rotated into Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 4,5000 Tropic Lightning soldiers who are now in Afghanistan won't be eligible until mid-summer because they have been there since only late March.

Tropic Lightning soldiers can fly free to either Hawaii or their hometowns. The Army plans to have two R & R contracted flights out of Kuwait City on a daily basis. One will fly to Rhein/Main Air Force Base in Germany and then to Atlanta. The other will fly directly to Dallas.

Also eligible are the more than 200 Marines from Kaneohe Bay's 3rd Radio Battalion, who are with the 5th Marine Regiment near Fallujah.

When the R & R program started last year, the contract flights took the soldiers to Germany, Atlanta or Dallas at government expense. Soldiers were responsible for paying their way to final leave destinations. Congress provided additional funding late last fall to pay all travel costs to and from the leave address.

Tomorrow, the Army will rededicate a renovated $5.7 million barracks for single soldiers at Fort Shafter named after Cpl. Arthur A. Favreau, who died of wounds suffered when a 5-inch naval antiaircraft shell struck his barracks at Fort Shafter and exploded during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

Favreau, of Woonsocket, R.I., was a member of Battery E, 64th Coast Artillery Regiment (Antiaircraft) and is buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

The new head of the 7th Fleet, the Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet in Japan, says the 45-year-old conventionally powered aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk will remain in Japan through 2008.

Rear Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet, told the Stars and Stripes that no decision has been made regarding the Kitty Hawk's replacement.

Greenert will replace Vice Adm. Robert Willard, who assumed the command in July 2002.

The USS John F. Kennedy, only seven years younger than the Kitty Hawk, is the only other aircraft carrier powered by steam turbines.

Congress has approved the creation of separate campaign medals for combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, it may be up to a year before service members can pin them on because it may take that long for the Pentagon to design the campaign medals and ribbons for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and set eligibility criteria.

The campaign medals would be in addition to, not a replacement for, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

Moving up

>> At Pearl Harbor, Rear Adm. John J. Donnelly, currently commander of Submarine Group Seven in Yokosuka, Japan, will become the new Pacific Fleet deputy and chief of staff.

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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