In the Military
No decision on carrier, Fallon tells Akaka
Sen. Daniel Akaka says he is "disappointed that the Navy has not yet determined the location" of an aircraft carrier that the Pentagon wants to reassign somewhere in the Pacific, possibly Pearl Harbor.
He said he "will continue to urge the Navy to finalize their plan for forward basing."
Akaka made the statements after a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing Tuesday when Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, was asked about the Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review, which states the Navy will "adjust its force posture to provide at least six operationally available and sustainable carriers and 60 percent of its submarines in the Pacific."
Akaka is the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support.
According a statement from Akaka's office, Fallon told the Hawaii senator that although the Navy is taking steps to increase the carriers, no decision has been made.
"For years, I have said that basing an aircraft carrier in Hawaii, co-located with our nuclear capable shipyard, will prove to be the best option from an economic and quality of life standpoint, in addition to its strategic benefits," Akaka said.
The nuclear attack submarine USS Honolulu will be honored for two decades of service on April 15 before deploying on its last western Pacific mission.
After the mission, the sub will be deactivated and taken to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash.
The Honolulu was commissioned in 1985 and arrived at Pearl Harbor a year later. It has completed nine western Pacific deployments.
Last month another Pearl Harbor sub, the USS Pasadena, commanded by Cmdr. John Heatherington, acted as an enemy sub to prepare USS Peleliu Expeditionary Strike Group 3 for its operations.
Similar service was provided in January by another Pearl Harbor sub, the USS Asheville, during training for the Peleliu off southern California.
Similar exercises will be held this week while the USS Lincoln carrier strike group stops here on its way to a western Pacific deployment. Adm. Gary Roughead, commander of the Pacific Fleet, has made anti-submarine warfare his priority.
The Army Reserve has established a new drill sergeant company at the U.S. Army Reserve Center at Fort Shafter Flats. The unit, E Company of the 2nd Battalion, 413th Infantry, is a part of the 104th Division in Vancouver, Wash. The division is one of six training divisions in the United States. The unit is composed of 16 soldiers, including 12 drill sergeants. Thomas Gouveia, a unit spokesman, said E Company provides drill sergeants for other Army Reserve units in the Pacific.
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard's annual apprentice job fair will be held at the Marine Education Training Center on Sand Island on March 25.
The job fair is being held with Honolulu Community College for its 2007 apprentice career experience program class. The program prepares students for more than 20 shipyard jobs, ranging from welder to electronics mechanic.
More than 3,000 applicants are expected to vie for 100 apprenticeship openings. Last year more than 4,036 people applied, said Shipyard Personnel Management Specialist Suzette Koyanagi. "Out of that, 140 of them were accepted."
Entry-level apprentices can earn about $34,000 a year, while those who climb the career ladder can earn nearly $150,000 a year.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or naturalized, high school graduates (or GED equivalent), and be at least 18 years old by Jan. 8, 2007. Applications must be submitted at https://acep.hawaii.navy.mil. Applications will be available March 25 and must be submitted by midnight April 9.
"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at email@example.com