In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, October 31, 2004

See also: For Your Benefit

Navy tests
new uniform

The digital pattern with a predominantly gray color is one of four concept uniforms the Navy plans to test this winter.

Sixty sailors of the Navy's newest destroyer, USS Chung-Hoon, will be able to offer feedback on a proposed new work uniform.

A new Navy working uniform is being designed to take the place of utilities, wash khaki, coveralls, woodland green, aviation green, winter working blue and tropical working uniforms, according to a Navy statement. It is designed to last up to 18 months, compared to the current wear life of six months for the working uniform.

The Navy said the multiple colors on the uniform -- navy blue, deck gray, haze gray and black -- are common in the maritime working environment, making them a more practical choice. The Pearl Harbor sailors will get the new uniform before the end of the year. Another 60 sailors from the Chung-Hoon will serve as backup.

During the test period, the options include:

» Woodland vs. digital pattern
» Blue vs. gray as the uniform's predominant color
» Tapered blouse vs. standard-style blouse
» Rounded vs. pointed collar
» Performance T-shirt vs. cotton undershirt
» Pleated vs. non-pleated trousers
» Elastic vs. adjustable waistband
» Button vs. zipper trousers
» No-polish suede vs. polished leather boots
» Eight-point vs. round-top cover
» Pocket locations and design

The Navy also plans to test a blue parka that will ultimately match the design pattern of the final working uniform. The parka will be designed for wear in various weather conditions, including sub-freezing temperatures, wind and heavy rain.

The Navy would be the last military service to convert to a new combat uniform and no-polish boots. The first was the Marine Corps.

Lt. Justin Kimura, a native of Hilo, has assumed command of the 110-foot Coast Guard cutter Kiska. Kimura, a Waiakea High School graduate, was a search-and-rescue mission coordinator for Coast Guard District 14 in Honolulu since July 2002. Kimura's previous assignments include tours aboard the cutter Steadfast, homeported in Astoria, Ore., and the cutter Dorado, homeported in Crescent City, Calif. The Kiska is used primarily for law enforcement, but also regularly performs search-and-rescue, port security and defense readiness operations.

Cmdr. Kimo Lee, a 1982 Kamehameha School graduate, was among the 7,600 sailors in the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, which left for the Persian Gulf on Oct. 13. The group, consisting of the carrier and 12 other ships, will be away for up to six months. Lee, an EA-6B Prowler jet pilot, is the executive officer for VAQ-130, which is normally stationed on Whidbey Island in Washington. His mother, Moana Keaulana- Dyball, still lives in Waimanalo, where he was raised. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1986.

Retired Marine Lt. Gen. H.C. "Hank" Stackpole, who is now head of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, will be the keynote speaker at the 54th annual Veterans Day ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 11 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

At the Battleship USS Missouri Memorial, the guest speakers that day include William Paty, a World War II veteran who parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and is now civilian aide to the secretary of the Army; and Lt. Gen. John Brown, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific. The Missouri Veterans Day ceremony will begin at 4:45 p.m. on the decks of the battleship, which is now a floating museum berthed at Ford Island.

Moving up

Schofield Barracks: Brig. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., who is a 25th Infantry Division assistant division commander, has been nominated for major general.

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 gkakesako@starbulletin.com.



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