In the Military

Gregg K. Kakesako

See also: For Your Benefit


Last carrier strike group
in Iraq returning to San Diego

The last carrier strike group from the Iraqi war is on its way home to San Diego, with the USS Nimitz making a four-day port call at Pearl Harbor tomorrow after eight months at sea.

The Nimitz will be accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton and support ship USS Bridge. The three warships will leave Oct. 31.

Also included in the Nimitz carrier battle group is the Pearl Harbor-based destroyer USS Chosin, which won't be home until Nov. 2.

During the ship's deployment, Nimitz flew more than 6,500 missions in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In addition, this was the first deployment of the F/A-18F Super Hornet (two-seat version) and E-2C Hawkeye 2000. Nimitz is also the first aircraft carrier to deploy with two Super Hornet squadrons.

Remains believed to be those of American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War will be flown from North Korea to Yokota Air Base in Japan on Oct. 28 and then to the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command at Hickam Air Force Base for identification. The remains were found from two sites in North Korea.

Several sets of remains recovered near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea are believed to be those of U.S. Army soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces in November and December 1950. Other remains were recovered in Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang, where members of the Army's 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry divisions fought communist forces in November 1950.

Since 1996, 27 recovery operations have been conducted in North Korea. Of the 88,000 U.S. servicemen missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War, with about 1,100 unaccounted for from the Chosin campaigns, JPAC said.

While Pearl Harbor was hosting a Russian destroyer and an oiler this weekend, Guam welcomed two Chinese ships -- the Luhai class guided-missile destroyer Shenzhen and the oiler Qinghai Hu -- a Navy first for the island. The guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville traveled from Yokosuka, Japan, to serve as the host ship for the visiting Chinese.

Miss America 2001 Angela Perez Baraquio and the chorale and symphony orchestra of the VA-National Medical Musical Group are the feature performers at the State of Hawaii's Veterans Concert. It will begin 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at St. Andrews Cathedral and honors the Korean War veterans as the three-year commemoration of the Korean War comes to an end. Admission is free.

Local musician Jake Shimabukuro will be the featured entertainer at the Go For Broke Educational Foundation's second annual dinner Nov. 8 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Long Beach, Calif. The dinner will be prepared by Hawaii chefs Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's restaurants and Hiroshi Fukui of L'Uraku restaurant. This year's celebration will mark the 60th anniversary of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team -- the most decorated unit, together with the 100th Battalion, in U.S. military history for its size and length of service.

Tickets for the "Evening of Aloha" are $125 per person. World War II veterans and their spouses can purchase tickets at $100 per person. All proceeds of the event will go to the support the Go For Broke Educational Foundation's programs. For more information, call 310-328-0907 or go to

U. S. Reps. Vic Snyder, Rob Simmons and Silvestre Reyes have introduced legislation authorizing campaign medals for military personnel who participated in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The legislation would authorize separate medals for the Iraq and Afghan campaigns. The president and the Pentagon would be charged with determining who would receive the medals.

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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