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

By Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit

Pacific Shipyards
gets Pearl Harbor job

Pacific Shipyards International has been awarded a $3.6 million contract to do maintenance work on inactive naval vessels at Pearl Harbor. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said the contract calls for 158,860 hours of maintenance work. The work is expected to be completed by September 2007.

Gov. Linda Lingle and Sheila McNeill, president-elect of the Navy League of the United States, will be guest speakers at the league's Honolulu Council annual meeting tomorrow. McNeill, of Brunswick, Ga., is the first woman to be elected president of the Navy League in its 100-year history. The event will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Coral Ballroom of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Tickets are $55 per person. For more information, call Robert Flores at 422-9404.

Two Pearl Harbor-based warships -- destroyer USS Paul Hamilton, frigate USS Reuben James and nuclear submarine USS Honolulu -- are part of the 11-ship battle group assigned to the USS Abraham Lincoln that has been ordered to the Persian Gulf region.

The Lincoln will join the three other carriers -- USS Roosevelt, USS Harry S. Truman and USS Constellation -- for a possible attack on Iraq. The nuclear attack submarine USS Columbia from Pearl Harbor also is assigned to the Constellation battle group.

The American veterans of the Pacific Iwo Jima campaign plan to hold a reunion with the Japanese officers and soldiers who opposed them on March 12 to mark the taking of the 8-square-mile island 58 years ago.

The battle for Iwo Jima, viewed as an important air base for U.S. fighters escorting long-range bombing missions to Japan, began Feb. 19, 1945. By the time the U.S. gained control of the island April 4, it reported 26,000 causalities, mostly Marines. The assault was made by the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Division.

Interested veterans, families and friends can get more information on the reunion, which will run March 6-14 and will include visits to Guam and the Marianas, by contacting the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima at 703-212-0695 or write to Military Historical Tours at 4600 Duke St., Suite 420; Alexandria, Va. 22301-2517. Cost of the trip is $3,295.

A team of Navy SEALs, nicknamed the "Leap Frogs," will leap into the Aloha Stadium Feb. 2 as part of the Pro Bowl pre-game festivities. The Pentagon officially created the Leap Frogs in 1974 as the Navy's official parachute team.

After 20 months of service, Gordon England stepped down as secretary of the Navy Jan. 23. England resigned his post after President George W. Bush nominated him to serve as the deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. England will take office pending an upcoming Senate confirmation hearing. A possible successor is Dov Zakheim, who is now the Pentagon comptroller.

The Air Force has ordered that every aircraft maintainer -- mechanics and munitions handlers -- must be wearing a black baseball cap, with squadron emblem, by Oct. 1.

"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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