In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit


Pearl Harbor yard accepts
Matson ship for repairs

The Matson container ship SS Matsonia has been in the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard since June 23 undergoing emergency repairs to its shaft. It had to be towed to the islands when it ran into trouble 700 miles off Oahu.

Leighton Tseu, Matson's regional port engineer, said: "We were in a tight bind. To have the military, the Navy and Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard involved in this emergency repair is a big plus for the entire island."

Capt. John Edwards, the shipyard's commanding officer, said the decision to dock the 760-ton container ship was not difficult. "Military readiness and national security is directly tied to economic stability," he said. "Service members and their families, as well as military commands, rely on many of the products carried on Matsonia."

Edwards also said the joint effort provides an opportunity for the shipyard to improve its business relationships with local private shipyards.

The Navy is hosting a Fourth of July block party and fireworks show. However, it is open only to those with a military identification card and their sponsored guests. The party will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. July 4 at Pearl Harbor's Bravo pier and will include music by the Pacific Fleet Band; entertainment by Kapena, Shining Star and Kingpins; carnival games, arts and crafts booths; and an aerial fireworks show beginning 8:30 p.m.

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that the mayor of Kadena on the island of Okinawa has unveiled plans for a four-story, $17 million observatory that offers views of the runways and concrete hangars of Kadena Air Base, the largest U.S. military airfield in the Pacific.

Kadena's mayor, Tokujitsu Miyagi, said the U.S. air base is "one of the most attractive tourist assets Kadena now has."

Plans call for restaurants, gift shops and a museum that describes the U.S bases and the World War II battle that brought Americans to the island. There also will be a map showing how the base has taken up 85 percent of the town's prewar land and a list of crimes committed by U.S. servicemen.

The June 25 Wall Street Journal story says Okinawans resent the presence of the 26,000 U.S. military personnel stationed there, but need the jobs and money they bring. With unemployment at 8.3 percent, the highest in Japan, the paper reports that Okinawans cannot afford to send the U.S. service members home. However, following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and the tensions on the Korean peninsula, U.S. presence on Okinawa has hurt its visitor trade.

Moving up

Schofield Barracks

>> Lt. Col. Michael J. McMahon has assumed command of the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, relieving Lt. Col. John T. Hansen.

>> Col. Benjamin D. Lukefahr has assumed command of the 115th Military Intelligence Group, relieving Col. David J. Pyle.

>> Col. Brooks S. Davis has assumed command of the Aviation Brigade, relieving Col. James S. Schisser.

>> Lt. Col. Andrew V. Jasaitis has assumed command of the 65th Engineer Battalion, relieving Lt. Col. Kevin R. Beerman.

>> Lt. Col. Steven R. Miles has assumed command of the 29th Engineer Battalion, relieving Lt. Col. William P. Goetz.

>> Lt. Col. Joseph R. Connell has assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery, relieving Lt. Col. Wayne L. Detwiler.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

"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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