In the Military
Isle-based cruiser gets visit from Rice
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited the Pearl Harbor-based guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal on Thursday during the ship's port visit to Sydney.
Port Royal commanding officer Capt. David Matawitz and USS Reuben James commanding officer Cmdr. Logan Jones greeted Rice and Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer as they visited the ship. The Reuben James, also homeported at Pearl Harbor, is also in Sydney for a port visit, according to a Navy news release.
U.S. NAVY PHOTO
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ate lunch with USS Port Royal sailors during a special visit to the ship on March 16. The visit came before high-level security talks with Australia and Japan began yesterday. Port Royal was in Sydney for a regularly scheduled port visit.
"This group of wonderful young men and women who represent the best of America ... are defending freedom around the world," Rice told more than 150 Port Royal and Reuben James sailors, according to the Navy.
Port Royal deployed from Pearl Harbor Feb. 27 as part of Expeditionary Strike Group 3.
Thursday's flood-relief mission to Kauai by "The Spirit of Hawaii -- Ke Aloha," Hickam Air Force Base's first C-17 Globemaster cargo jet, was the fourth mission for the new Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard team. Hickam's first mission was to the Philippines last month to support the mudslide disaster-relief effort, followed by a routine mission to Australia to move supplies, said 1st Lt. Craig Savage, Hickam spokesman.
The third mission left Thursday for Vietnam to support the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command's mission to repatriate human remains. Last Tuesday, the unit composed of members of Hawaii Air National Guard's 204th Airlift Squadron, which is led by Lt. Col. Scott Kimsey, and the active Air Force's 535th Airlift Squadron, commanded by Lt. Col. Chris Davis, received their third C-17 Globemaster.
The units will receive their fourth Globemaster on April 8, with the eighth and final cargo jet expected to arrive at the end of July.
The Hawaii Air Guard and Air Force units have been training together since last fall at a new $190 million operations and maintenance facility at Hickam. The Air Force also plans to spend another $18 million to build a 4,250-foot runway at Kona Airport to practice combat landings, like the aircraft has been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan.
» Capt. Macpin Julation will assume command of the Army's Honolulu Recruiting Company, relieving Maj. Christopher Cutler.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org