In the Military
Officer job cuts could hit Hickam
Up to 70 Hickam Air Force Base junior officers are at risk of being forced out of uniform next year by the involuntary downsizing designed to reduce its officer corps by 3,900.
Throughout the Pacific, 460 junior officers face being cut after the Air Force last year announced it had an excess of 16,600 people. The target for the Air Force cuts are lieutenants in fields such as communications.
Besides the 70 officers at Hickam, another 20 on Guam could lose their jobs.
U.S. House and Senate conferees are considering legislation authored by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye that would allow American Samoans to qualify for senior ROTC scholarships at the University of Hawaii and other U.S. colleges and universities. Current law only grants U.S. citizens eligibility to receive these scholarships.
Inouye's amendment is part of the Senate's version of the 2006 Defense Authorization Bill that passed on Tuesday.
The USS George Washington will be the first nuclear aircraft carrier to be stationed in Japan, replacing the conventionally powered USS Kitty Hawk when it retires in 2008. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot on Friday quoted a senior defense official who said the Washington will be relocated from its current berth at Norfolk Naval Station. Also placed on the retirement list in 2006 is the Navy's other conventionally powered aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy, based in Mayport Naval Station in Florida.
The Pentagon is undertaking the Quadrennial Defense Review, which is expected to be completed by February, and will include realignment of naval forces, including possible reassignment of aircraft carriers in the Pacific. Two mentioned homeports include Guam and Pearl Harbor because of growing concern with the Pacific region and China.
Legislation pending before President Bush would raise the compensation veterans receive by 4.1 percent. If approved, the measure would take effect Dec. 1 and would increase the rates of veterans' disability compensation, additional compensation for dependents, the clothing allowance for certain disabled adult children of veterans, and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children.
U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, praised the bill's passage: "The COLA is critical in helping veterans and their families to deal with increasing costs. Veterans deserve no less and it is the least Congress can do for them."
» Camp Smith: Army Brig. Gen. David P. Fridovich, commander of Special Operations Command Pacific, has been selected for promotion to major general.
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"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 firstname.lastname@example.org