At Your Service
For and about Hawaii's military

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, December 23, 2001

See also: For Your Benefit

Outrigger makes donation so
isle military can stay in touch

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has donated nearly 4,000 phone cards, valued at $10,000, to the military so service personnel deployed overseas can call home.

Accepting the holiday gift phone cards this week from Outrigger President David Carey were the senior ranking officers from the U.S. Navy, Marines, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard based in Hawaii. They included: Adm. Robert T. Conway, commander of Navy Region Hawaii/Naval Surface; Brig. Gen. Jerry C. McAbee, commanding general of Marine Corps Base Hawaii; Col. Albert Riggle, commander of the 15th AB Wing at Hickam Air Force Base; Adm. Ralph D. Utley, commander of the 14th Coast Guard District; Maj. Gen. James M. Dubik, commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division (Light); and Rear Adm. John Padgett, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Each card is valid for 30 minutes of long distance service, including international overseas phone calls.

"Right now, thousands of men and women are sacrificing time away from their families and putting themselves in harm's way to protect our freedom," said David Carey. "These phone cards are one small way to say thank you for that sacrifice and at the same time bring a smile to their face by making it a little easier to call a loved one over the holidays."

The $329 billion defense authorization bill contains the largest pay raise in a generation for the active force -- at least 5 percent for everyone, and up to 10 percent for some senior enlisted members and junior officers.

It also includes a new round of base closings beginning in 2005, two years later than President Bush recommended.

Other provisions include:

>> Authorization for a plan to let some service members transfer up to 18 months of unused benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill to members of their immediate families. The GI Bill covers service members' college costs.

>> An agreement to spend $178 million to begin converting four Trident ballistic missile submarines into underwater "arsenal ships" that would be armed with more than 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles, which carry conventional warheads. The administration had proposed funds for just two conversions. Northrop Grumman/Newport News Shipbuilding may get a share of the work.

>> Cancellation of a much-disputed plan to permit residents of Vieques to decide whether the Navy can continue to use a 900-acre bombing range at the eastern end of their island, part of Puerto Rico. Use of the range has been restricted to inert weapons for more than 18 months as part of a deal between former President Bill Clinton and Puerto Rican authorities.

Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

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