In the Military
Bednarek to lead Army training
The Pentagon last week announced several leadership changes involving general officers assigned to Schofield Barracks and the U.S. Pacific Command.
Brig. Gen. John M. Bednarek, assistant division commander for operations at the 25th Infantry Division (Light), will become the next commanding general of the U.S. Army Training Center and Fort Jackson, S.C.
Two new general officers have been assigned to the 25th Division as deputy commanding generals. They are: Brig. Gen. Robert B. Brown, from the U.S. Pacific Command, Camp Smith; and Brig. Gen. James C. Nixon, director of operations at the Center for Special Operations, at the U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.
Brig. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, currently 25th Division deputy commanding general for support, will move to Fort Shafter to become the next deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific.
STAR-BULLETIN / 2001
The USS Missouri sits at Battleship Row next to Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. U.S. Rep. Abercrombie wants to reduce its rent.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie wants the Navy to reduce the rent the Navy charges nonprofit groups that operate memorials, like the USS Missouri Memorial Association and the Bowfin Submarine Museum, at Pearl Harbor. The USS Missouri now pays more than $207,000 a year.
Under federal law, Abercrombie said, the military may charge "fair market value" rent to nonprofits that lease military property to display war memorials. But those payments may be reduced if the secretary of a military department determines that "a public interest will be served as a result of the lease" and the fair market value of the lease is unobtainable, or not compatible with a public benefit.
Abercrombie said the Missouri Memorial Association has leased property at Pier Foxtrot-5 on Ford Island and paid more than $1.5 million in rent since the original lease was signed in June 1998. The lease was renewed twice for three-year periods with a third renewal coming up this year or in 2008. The lease fee was increased 12 percent in 2005 to adjust the charge to "fair market" rent. Its monthly rent comes to $17,300.
The nonprofit Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association operates the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park on Navy land and will have to renew its lease in 2011. The Bowfin's lease payment is only $1 a year, but it was set before the federal law allowing lease payments was established.
The USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma memorials are not affected because they fall under the National Park Service.
"The USS Missouri Memorial Association needs financial support, as it depends primarily on admission fees and donations to welcome 400,000 visitors annually on the battleship," said Abercrombie. "The Battleship Missouri Memorial is of no cost to the federal government and is free of charge for special military events such as re-enlistments. Yet, the association pays while maintaining the battleship in accordance with Navy material standards, including high-cost repairs to preserve the hull."
U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell of Arizona wants the Navy to name a future aircraft carrier the USS Arizona to honor the 1,177 crew members who were killed when the battleship that bore the name sank after being bombed by Japanese fighters on Dec. 7, 1941.
The Scottsdale Tribune reported that Mitchell made his request on Thursday in a letter to Navy Secretary Donald Winter. The second Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier will be built in 2012, with an expected launch in 2018.
» Hickam Air Force Base: Col. Bruce A. Litchfield, director of logistics at Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces, has been selected for promotion to brigadier general.
"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