In the Military
For and about Hawaii's servicemen and women

By Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit

Pacific Air Forces
to cut 747 positions

Next year, 574 military and 173 civilian positions will be cut from the Pacific Air Forces, which has its headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base.

By 2009, a total of 908 military and 193 civilian jobs will be cut at PACAF as the Air Force realigns 13,000 active-duty and civilian positions.

No specific PACAF jobs have been named yet, said 1st Lt. David Faggard, Hickam spokesman. "The bottom line is that we're not sure yet what bases or career fields this realignment will come from in the command. We are committed to keeping the number of those who will be impacted by this as low as possible while not jeopardizing the mission."

Brig. Gen. W.P. "Bear" Ard, director of Air Force manpower and organization at the Pentagon, said the Air Force was looking to create a work force that is better prepared to meet future challenges and missions.

"This restructuring of manpower positions isn't an attempt to reduce our overall end strength," he said. "Rather, it's an effort to shape our work force to meet our future steady state."

Maj. Gen. Joseph Peterson, a 1968 Saint Louis School graduate, was promoted Wednesday to his current two-star rank. He is serving as the commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas. He has a master's degree in business administration from Chaminade University.

The USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier battle group with its seven-ship flotilla -- including the Pearl Harbor-based destroyers USS Fletcher and Paul Hamilton, frigate USS Reuben James and nuclear submarine USS Honolulu -- has been ordered to remain at sea for perhaps three more months and be prepared to steam to the Persian Gulf on short notice.

The Lincoln recently completed a six-month tour in the region and last week left Australia on its way home. It will now remain in the western Pacific in preparation for a possible war with Iraq. The Pearl Harbor warships left the islands in August. The Navy has been ordered to keep two aircraft carriers and two Marine amphibious assault groups ready to be sent to the Gulf on 96-hour notice.

Last week, the Pentagon decided to send the entire 3rd Division, based at Fort Stewart, Ga., to Kuwait. One of the divisions' three combat brigades has been training in Kuwait since September. The deployment of the 3rd Division with more than 15,000 soldiers will be the largest single ground deployment since the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The 3rd Division specializes in desert warfare.

U.S. Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), both armed services veterans, said they would ask the House to consider legislation to reinstitute the draft, perhaps as early as this week, at the start of the 108th Congress. The United States has not drafted troops since 1973. However, a defense analyst for the Heritage Foundation he said it takes a year before a conscript is combat-ready, and the Iraqi war would be over before they could even serve.

Moving Up

Kaneohe Bay: Col. Joseph Medina, commanding officer, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, has been nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general.

"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at

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