In the Military
Pilot rejects Clinton account of landing
Retired Col. William "Goose" Changose was the pilot of the C-17 Globemaster cargo jet that flew Hillary Clinton, former first lady and now senator and presidential hopeful, from Ramsted Air Base in Germany to Tuzla in Bosnia in March 1996.
Changose said in an interview on the Rusty Humphries Show on Wednesday that, contrary to Clinton's claims early last week, he did not undertake any kind of "evasive" maneuver on the approach to Tuzla, and that the only reason the descent was a little steeper than normal was because there were hills around.
Changose retired from the Air Force two years ago after serving as commander of Hickam Air Force Base.
Changose, quoted by Newsday and other newspapers, said: "I remember that in 'Apocalypse Now' they sat on their flak jacket. Nobody under my watch has ever directed somebody to sit on their flak jacket. No evasive maneuver. The commander of Air Base Eagle, he had that place -- and not only weren't there bullets flying around, there was no bumblebee flying around. It was really impressive. He had -- he had tanks pointing all the way around the perimeter, he had ground troops everyplace. He had helicopters in the air, making sure that nobody -- you know, for any ground movement. You know, if there had been sniper fire going on, first of all, we wouldn't have landed. Number two, we wouldn't have let her outside the plane."
During an Iraq speech on Monday, Clinton said: "I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead, we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."
Clinton also claimed that some passengers in the C-17 cargo plane were ordered to sit on bulletproof vests.
Later in the week Clinton conceded that her account of dodging "sniper fire" during a tour in the Balkans was a "mistake."
Brig. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, will be the next commanding general of U.S. Army Japan/9th Theater Support Command. He will replace Maj. Gen. Elbert N. Perkins. His replacement at Fort Shafter will be Brig. Gen. John E. Seward, currently the deputy commanding general for operations at U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/U.S. Army Forces Strategic Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
Wiercinski, a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, was named deputy commanding general U.S. Army Pacific on Jan. 2. Prior to that, he was the 25th Division's deputy commanding general for support from July 2005 to June 2006. He deployed to Iraq and served as deputy commanding general for support for Multi-National DivisionNorth from July 2006 to December 2007.
Brig. Gen. John Peabody, who has served as the commanding general of U.S. Army Engineer Division, Pacific Division since July 2006, has been assigned to head the Great Lakes and Ohio River division in Cincinnati.
The Army in the Pacific now has five civilian aides to the secretary of the Army who live in the islands. The two new unpaid advisers are Peter Apo, an authority on Hawaiian culture and a former state representative who will represent west Oahu and Kauai; and Allen Hoe, an attorney and a former state judge, who will represent east Oahu and Lanai, Maui and Kahoolawe. They will join Paula Z. Helfrich, who represents the Big Island, William W. "Bill" Paty Jr., and Christina Kemmer, who both represent the Pacific region.
"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