At Your Service
For and about Hawaii's military

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, July 29, 2001


Calendar and Deployments
For Your Benefit

More than 400,000 rockets, projectiles, bombs, mortars, ton
containers and mines were safely destroyed in
30 years at Johnston Atoll.

Army shuts chemical
weapons facility on
Johnston Atoll

Maj. Gen. Craig Whelden, deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, last week closed the U.S. Army Chemical Activity, Pacific, on Johnston Atoll, located 825 miles southwest of Hawaii.

The ceremony ended 30 years of safely storing, securing, transporting and accounting for chemical weapons on the remote island.

"This is a significant achievement for the Army after having successfully and safely destroyed thousands of chemical munitions built up during the Cold War years," Whelden said. "It shows the versatility of the Army and illustrates our ability to not just prosecute war, but also to preserve and enhance peace."

From 1971, when chemical weapons were transported from Okinawa to Johnston Island, until November when the last chemical weapon was destroyed, USACAP performed its mission without a single serious incident, said Lt. Col. John Esce, USACAP executive officer.

USACAP supported the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System facility on Johnston since it was built in 1990.

These two units combined efforts to safely destroy more than 400,000 rockets, projectiles, bombs, mortars, ton containers and mines, JACADS Project Manager Gary McCloskey said.

Senate names new isle military commanders

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Maj. Gen. James L. Campbell as a lieutenant general and assignment as commanding general of the U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter.

He is currently serving as the commanding general of 10th Mountain Division (Light) and Fort Drum in New York.

There was no official word when he would assume command at Fort Shafter.

Also confirmed was the promotion of Naval Reserve Rear Adm. James Beebe, a 1971 Leilehua High School graduate. Beebe, 47, is commanding officer of U.S. Pacific Fleet Detachment 420.

In his civilian capacity, Beebe is the deputy director for ship maintenance/business and financial manager for the Pacific Fleet. He is a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Pentagon also announced that Army Reserve Col. Dawn R. Horn, manager of a Kailua real estate company, has been nominated to the grade of brigadier general. Horn is currently serving as the deputy commander of 70th Regional Support Command at Fort Lawton, Wash.

Marine Corps uniforms inspire own Web site

The U.S. Marine Corps decision to have their own distinctive look on the battlefield even inspired its own Web site. was born out of the Combat Utility Uniform Project.

More than 23,000 Marines were surveyed on uniform issues such as trouser blousing, boot gaiters, chafing points, Velcro closures, zip-off sleeves, utility pockets, patches on the seat of the trousers, and the use of permanent-press fabrics.

The "new cammies" is based on a computer-generated images off woodland and desert. The new uniforms have a computer-generated pixel pattern instead of the splotches of green, brown and black of the standard battle garb worn by all the services.

They also have padding at the knees and elbows, pockets in the upper sleeves and angled breast pockets instead of straight. They come in green woodland and tan desert patterns.

Marine Corps uniform shops will begin carrying it in December. Uniforms are priced at $56 a set. Recruits will be issued them early next year.

Sssshhh: Russia says new sub is world's quietest

A Russian nuclear submarine that claims to be the world's quietest has put to sea 10 years after her keel was laid in a Soviet naval shipyard.

The Gepard, the newest vessel in Russia's Northern Fleet and means "cheetah" in Russian, slipped from its berth in the Sevmash shipyard near Archangel to begin sea trials in the Barents Sea.

Designers of the 350-foot boat, an Akula II-class submarine, claim that she cannot be detected from more than 7 miles away, even with the U.S. Navy's most sophisticated listening devices.

This would make her quieter than her U.S. counterpart, the Los Angeles-class submarine, which it also beats for speed, firepower and maximum diving depth.

The Gepard is considered to be a triumph of espionage rather than engineering. It uses technology stolen by KGB moles in the U.S. Navy during the 1980s and propellers made with steel-milling technology sold illegally to the Soviet Union by Japan's Toshiba giant.

In The Military was compiled by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached at 294-4075.


Aug. 7: Schofield Barracks Celebrates National Night Out 2001. Schofield Barracks Main Exchange. 5 p.m. Military Police and Schofield officials support anti-crime and drug program. McGruff the Crime Dog, DARE van, federal fire department, emergency ordnance disposal teams, and bicycle registration booths will be present. The public is invited.

Aug. 11: Military Intelligence Service banquet. Hawaii Convention Center. 10:30 a.m. Tickets $35. Contact Bob Honke 373-4146 or James Tanabe 677-4785.

Aug. 12: Club 100 picnic. By DAV facility at Keehi Lagoon Park. For more information, call Ann Kabasawa at 734-0841.

Aug. 16: "Uncommon Courage," a film on Military Intelligence Service. Hawaii Public Television. 8 p.m.


National Guard,
Reserve members eligible
for limited VA benefits

Question: I have been serving with the Hawaii National Guard and understand that there are some Veterans Affairs benefits I might be able to take advantage of. What are they?

Answer: To participate in the Montgomery GI Bill, you must have a six-year obligation to serve. If you are an officer, you must agree to serve an additional six years.

Additionally, you must have completed your initial active duty for training and be serving in a drilling selected reserve (or National Guard) unit and remain in good standing. The benefit is 36 months of educational assistance and must be used within 10 years.

Besides classroom study, the GI Bill assists with training in approved apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs, approved flight school training, correspondence school, work study program and tutorial assistance. To be eligible for the VA's loan guaranty certificate of eligibility, a selected reserve or National Guard member must have completed six years of service, or less than six years if discharged for a service- connected disability. The benefit is a certificate that states the VA will guaranty a home loan secured through a bank, savings and loan, or mortgage company.

To be eligible for burial at veterans cemeteries and a marker or headstone, Reserve or Guard members must be entitled to retirement pay as a result of creditable non-regular service, or would have been entitled to retired pay but died before reaching the age of retirement. A burial flag is provided if at least one enlistment has been completed.

The VA may pay compensation for chronic injuries incurred during inactive duty for training. It may also pay compensation for chronic diseases incurred during longer periods of active duty for training.

As for medical care, the VA may provide necessary care for disabilities found by the VA to be service connected for disability compensation purposes.

For more information concerning Selected Reserve or National Guard VA benefits, call 433-1000.

If you have questions about your benefits as a veteran, call Fred Ballard at the Veterans Affairs at 433-0049 or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747

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