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In the military: Navy unsure how much it will cost to fix minisub


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POSTED: Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Navy says it won't know until late summer "the full extent of repairs" required to fix the ASDS (Advanced SEAL Delivery System) minisub damaged by fire Nov. 9 at Pearl Harbor.

Cmdr. Greg Geisen, spokesman for the Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, said the minisub "suffered a battery fire on Nov. 9, 2008, that significantly damaged the vessel." He said that "recent studies have reconfirmed the need" for the black, cigar-shaped, 65-foot minisub. The Navy will spend up to $15 million for engineering support and materials, such as steel and electronics components, needed for the repairs.

The minisub was scheduled to deploy on its first mission aboard the guided missile sub USS Michigan in November. The 60-ton minisub was undergoing routine maintenance at Pearl Harbor's 22-acre SEAL facility on Waipio Peninsula when Navy personnel noticed sparks and flames near some of the battery compartments.

Waialua resident Beverly Schippmann, who normally works at Hickam Air Force Base Exchange, has volunteered for her second six-month deployment to Afghanistan to work in a contingency base store. She went to Kuwait in 2004. There are 12 Hawaii Army & Air Force Exchange Service workers overseas.

Last month, 26 civilians who voluntarily left the islands were honored with the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal in a ceremony at the Schofield Barracks Post Exchange. The medal recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of Department of Defense civilians in support of troops and operations to combat terrorism.

To date, more than 4,000 civilian workers have deployed to sell items and necessities in 85 locations in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. They work in more than 225 fast-food restaurants on the bases and in stores, providing items such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, snacks, beverages, entertainment items, electronics, magazines, DVDs and even small appliances.

The U.S. Pacific Command has established a presence on several social networking sites. It started in October 2008 with the creation of its official presence on Facebook, which was followed in December by the launch of the official PACOM blog (us-pacific-command.blogspot.com). A presence was established on Flickr and YouTube in January. The Pacific Command's Flickr photo collection shows B-52 bombers flying in formation with Japanese fighter jets during exercises off Guam. Its Facebook page features news articles about international drills in Thailand and support of scientific research activities of the National Science Foundation in Antarctica.

MOVING UP

Hickam Air Force Base

» Brig. Gen. David L. Commons, mobilization assistant to the commander of Pacific Air Forces, has been nominated to the grade of major general.

» Col. Pamela K. Milligan, mobilization assistant to the director for operations at Headquarters U.S. Pacific Command, has been nominated to the grade of brigadier general.

Pearl Harbor

» Cmdr. Andrew St. John has assumed command of the nuclear submarine USS Pasadena, relieving Cmdr. Douglas Perry.