Page 1

Volume 6, No. 23 ©SS 2014

FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014

‘Swiss Army knife of the joint force’

Why the military can’t get enough of amphibious ready groups

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Honda Military Appreciation Offer

$1,000 2014 Honda Pilot EX 4WD

Toward A New Honda Vehicle In appreciation of your military service, Honda is offering select U.S. Military individuals and their spouses $1,000 toward a new 2014 or 2015 model year Honda automobile when they finance or lease through Honda Financial Services (HFS).

Military Incentive valid May 16 – June 2nd. Conditions apply. Valid for Active duty military personnel, retirees and veterans within 180 days of separation. See Continental Honda for complete details.

Continental Honda Honda of Anchorage ContinentalAutoGroup.com/Honda ContinentalAutoGroup.com/Honda Continental International and Old Seward Highway • Anchorage, Alaska • 563-CARS


2

May 23, 2014

STARS AND STRIPES • S

PAGE 2

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

Friday, May 23, 2014

COVER STORY

Creating ‘a formidable force’ Amphibious ready groups play critical role in modern-day US military, humanitarian missions

BY H ENDRICK SIMOES Stars and Stripes

ABOARD THE USS GUNSTON HALL IN THE GULF OF ADEN — During a visit to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in 1993, then-President Bill Clinton said, “When word of crisis breaks out in Washington, it’s no accident the first question that comes to everyone’s lips is: ‘Where is the nearest carrier?’ ” Twenty-one years later, that question may be slightly modified to include, “Where is the nearest amphibious ready group?” While the sight of cranes moving equipment or the well deck slowly filling up with water aboard an amphibious dock-landing ship may not be as thrilling as catapults hurtling jets across a bustling flight deck, amphibious ready groups — known as ARGs — are playing a critical role in modern-day operations. In 2011, the Kearsarge ARG supported NATO-led operations to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya, and last year the same ARG was parked off the coast of Egypt to potentially respond to deepening political unrest there. It also was on call to respond to the escalating civil war in Syria. One of the ARG ships, the transport dock ship USS San Antonio, was even in the headlines for its role in the capture of suspected terrorist Abu Anas al-Libi in Libya during a nighttime U.S. special operations raid in October. The resume for the ARGs’ modern-day operational contributions

Chief Petty Officer Daniel Chavez, a craft master, maneuvers his landing craft out of the well deck of the dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall to take embarked U.S. Marines ashore in Djibouti on April 15. is long, and it includes plenty of humanitarian assistance missions as well. “There is more focus on the ARG, and I think it’s because people are starting to realize all the benefits the ARG gives our forces,” said Capt. Timothy Kuehhas, commander of the USS Gunston Hall, which is part of the Bataan ARG currently deployed to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet area of responsibility. But the right people might not be realizing the ARGs’ value just yet. High-ranking officials from both the Navy and Marine Corps are deeply concerned about the future of the amphibious ship fleet. “The Marine Corps’ require-

ment has been pretty steady — we need 38 amphibs,” Brig. Gen. Gregg Olson, commander of Task Force 51/59 and in charge of the amphibious forces deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet, said in an interview with Stars and Stripes in Bahrain. It’s essentially a supplyand-demand problem — and there aren’t enough amphibious ships to meet the global requirements, Navy officials said. In March, Chief of

Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert informed the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Navy has 29 operational amphibious ships. Greenert told the committee the requirement is 38 but that the Navy could manage with 33 such vessels. Either way, he expressed his concern that the Navy is wearing out the existing amphibious ships. Under the current budget constraints, having 33 amphibious ships may not be possible until at least 2018, according to the Defense Department report last month, “Estimated Impacts of Sequestration-Level Funding.” An ARG is usually made up of three amphibious ships: an amphibious assault ship, an amphibious transport dock and a dock-landing ship. It deploys with an embarked Marine expeditionary unit comprising about 2,200 Marines. Its purpose is to give the U.S. military a crisis-response capability that can be tailored for a wide range of situations, from disaster relief to combat. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos calls it the “Swiss Army knife of the joint force.” SEE PAGE 3

The dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall conducts well-deck operations off the coast of Djibouti, sending embarked U.S. Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and equipment ashore on April 15. The Gunston Hall is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. PHOTOS

BY

HENDRICK SIMOES /Stars and Stripes

Stars & Stripes is back in the U.S.! brought to us each week with the support of the sponsors below:

National content provided by Stars & Stripes. Local content, printing and distribution provided by A1 Publishing Alaska (A1). Most of the advertising provided by A1. A1 Publishing Alaska Publisher Steve Abeln (907) 250-0018 SteveA@AK.net Art Direction Studio D Graphics

Sponsorship Level none currently General:

Colonel:

www.ContinentalAutoGroup.com

Barbies Cafe’

Major:

www.BarbiesCafe.com www.ABCMotorhome.com

www.AnchorageChevrolet.com

none currently

www.LithiaKIAAnchorage.com

Captian:

Sponsorship Details - Steve 250-0018


May 23, 2014

3

STARS AND STRIPES •

Friday, May 23, 2014

S

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

PAGE 3

COVER STORY FROM PAGE 2

A moving base An ARG essentially gives the top brass a moving base that can either work together as a whole or split apart to handle multiple situations at once throughout a region. Each ship has similar capabilities but also some unique ones. While the Gunston Hall can sail into shallower coastal waters and use its well deck to send Marines ashore via 15 embarked amphibious assault vehicles and two landing craft, a bigger ARG ship like the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan has a flight deck capable of launching a variety of helicopters and aircraft, including the MV-22 Osprey, AV-8B Harrier attack aircraft and CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters. Olson explained that the goal of the ARG is to provide combatant commanders with the right force able to cope with a multitude of missions. Sometimes the mission requires air assets, sometimes it requires a ship off the coast capable of doing an amphibious landing and sometimes a combination of both, said Olson, who oversees the ARG and MEU when it operates in the 5th Fleet. “Together, it makes us a very formidable force,” Kuehhas said. On this particular day, his crew was busy sending Marines and support equipment onto a beach in Djibouti as part of the initial leg of an exercise lasting several weeks, while the other ships in the ARG, the Bataan and the amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde, were operating elsewhere. An ARG also works in international waters, allowing it to navigate to the shores of any crisis while being free from the constraints of complicated host nation agreements or lack of infrastructure issues that might impair the Army or Air Force’s ability to operate in a foreign nation. “We have the whole ocean as our highway, and every beach is a potential landing To view video and more photos of ARG life, go to: stripes.com/go/ARG

2014 CHEVY

‘ We have the whole ocean as our highway,

and every beach is a potential landing area.

PHOTOS

BY

area,” Kuehhas said. Until a decision is made on the future of ARGs, the Marine Corps and the Navy are experimenting with alternatives in light of not having enough. “The Marines and the Navy are working closely together to find ways to be creative,” said Olson, mentioning the Navy’s new Mobile Landing Platform and the Military Sealift Command’s Maritime Prepositioning Ship as examples of ships that can help augment the amphibious fleet. “We are going to take all of these capabilities and put them together to project power ashore,” he said. However, those ships are not designed to do the kind of “joint forcible entry” that amphibious ships can achieve. Nonetheless, officials say they

MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH

Active and retired military members can take an additional $1,000 off advertised prices on all new vehicles.

are capable of doing some “lower-end kind of things” normally done by the amphibious ships — to take stress off the Navy’s amphibious fleet. Olson said, “In the meantime, we’re going to get every iota of service life out of these amphibs because we know how to use them, the sailors know how to sail them and we know how to fight in them.” The Navy always maintains an ARG operating in the Middle East and one in the Western Pacific. Top Navy and Marine Corps officials have also expressed the desire to have an ARG continuously on station in the southern part of the Asia-Pacific and another one in the Mediterranean Sea. simoes.hendrick@stripes.com Twitter: @hendricksimoes

DOUBLE CAB 4X4 • DRAC PROGRAM VEHICLE

U.S. Navy sailors navigate a landing craft toward the well deck of the USS Gunston Hall after taking U.S. Marines and equipment ashore off Djibouti.

$35,665

MSRP CONSUMER CASH

-

$2,750

BONUS CASH

-

$1,000

USAA OFFER

-

$750

IVC CERTIFICATES

-

$1,000

CSA DISCOUNT

-

$7,465

DOC FEE

+

$200

YOUR PRICE

22,900

$

9100 OLD SEWARD, ANCHORAGE • (907) 365-8600 • ANCHORAGECHEVROLET.COM

ANCHORAGE

HENDRICK SIMOES/Stars and Stripes

Seaman Brittany Hopkinson, a boatswain’s mate, controls traffic on a beach in Djibouti as U.S. sailors and Marines offload a landing craft that has arrived from the dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall, sailing in the background.

SILVERADO

CHEVROLET OF SOUTH

Capt. Timothy Kuehhas commander, USS Gunston Hall

1 at this price. Stk# EZ148621. DRAC: Dealer Loaner Program Vehicle. Used, DRAC vehicles may have up to 7,500 miles at time of delivery. Prices plus tax, title and license. Prices includes $200 dealer Doc fee. Not all sales at MSRP. Eligible USAA members must present certificate to qualify. $1,000 Military Offer combined $500 GM offer and $500 Chevy of South Anchorage offer. Dealership required to verify eligibility of military personnel. Offer expires 05/31/14.


4

May 23, 2014

STARS AND STRIPES • S

PAGE 4

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

Friday, May 23, 2014

EUROPE

Last major units close up shop at Schweinfurt base BY M ICHAEL S. DARNELL Stars and Stripes

SCHWEINFURT, Germany — The last two major tactical units at U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany, were inactivated during double ceremonies held May 16, months ahead of the final closure of the base in September. The 18th Engineer Brigade, the 7th Theater Tactical Signal Brigade and the 72nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion cased their colors, symbolizing what is essentially the end of 70 years of U.S. military operations in Schweinfurt. “This is just another step in the transformation of our Army here in Europe and our Army as a whole. We’re winding down from a period of conflict, and it makes sense that we’re downsizing and reshaping our force,” said Col. Scott Peterson, commander of the 18th Engineers. “It’s been a great ride, and I’m really proud of the soldiers here in the brigade and these battalions.” Peterson spoke at the casing ceremony for his unit’s colors. The gathered crowd packed the stadium, and soldiers from across the base stood on the outside of the fenced-off area. For the soldiers of the 18th Engineers, the deactivation — the fifth in the unit’s 93-year history — felt like the breaking apart of a family. “There’s definitely a sense of pride to be able to conduct this and to be, for now, among the last members in the brigade,” said Master Sgt. Timothy Bare, the current operations staff noncommissioned officer in charge for the 18th Engineers. “We have a good group, a close-knit group. It’s a real family feeling.” The Schweinfurt garrison

closure is part of the U.S. military’s realignment across Europe. The training facilities at Hohenfels, Germany, cased their colors on earlier last week as part of the continuing consolidation of several independent training facilities under the USAG Bavaria umbrella. September will also see the closure of the Army garrison in Bamberg, although the 54th Engineer Battalion that was stationed there inactivated in April. While some troops will remain at Schweinfurt until it is officially shuttered on Sept. 30, the inactivation of the It’s been units siga great nify the ride, and departure of I’m really roughly proud of 95 perthe soldiers cent of here in the the base’s populabrigade tion. and these Already, battalions. some 10,500 Col. Scott troops Peterson have left 18th Engineers the area commander since the announcement of the base’s closure in February 2012. Schweinfurt’s mayor, Sebastian Remelé, attended both ceremonies and said the exodus of American troops is both a blessing and a curse for the area. “It’s an end of a chapter because the Americans were here for 70 years, so they were part of this city, part of this

For more photos from the inactivation ceremony, go to stripes.com/go/schweinfurt

PHOTOS

community. We had a real good relationship with the Americans, the soldiers and their families. So this is a sad moment for us,” he said. “But for sure, we have to look forward — we also see a chance to develop Schweinfurt using this new area.” Proposed plans include bringing an international campus to the Ledward Barracks and an industrial park where Conn Barracks now stands, and building housing throughout Askreren Manor and Yorktown village. While the town looks toward a future without the American presence, soldiers like Sgt. Maj. Stephfon Watson look back at their time in Germany with mixed feelings. “You still got the same pride in the organization that you had the day you came into it,” he said. “And you hope you leave it better on the way out the door. I think I did that; I think we did that as a team.” Separately, the Army garrison at Baumholder, which lost its primary tenant unit in 2012 at the start of the current round of cuts, will inactivate

The U.S. Army Europe band plays at the ceremony signifying the inactivation of the units. on May 15. Lt. Col. Michael Sullivan, who took over the garrison in the midst of the 170th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s inactivation, will relinquish command of “The Rock” at the same ceremony. While there have been questions about Baumholder’s long-term prospects, the Army is still investing in

infrastructure projects and base improvements. Work is expected to start soon on a project to replace a number of bachelor quarters on the garrison’s Smith Barracks with more than 100 modern townhouses. Stars and Stripes reporter Matt Millham contributed to this report. darnell.michael@stripes.com

10% discount - Veterans & active duty

Homestyle

Breakfast & Lunch

The VA offers a special refinance program for Veterans who already have a VA loan on their home. It’s called the Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan, or IRRRL. In many cases this program is available without the need for an appraisal if the property is still your primary residence, regardless of the current value. If you have since transitioned the property to a second home or rental, you can still obtain up to 115% of the appraised value to refinance your current VA loan.

©2013 CBC National Bank is a FDIC insured chartered commercial bank approved VA Lender #6720800000. NMLS #402135

MICHAEL S. DARNELL /Stars and Stripes

Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, commanding general of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, hands the 18th Engineer Brigade colors over to Col. Zane Jones, commander of the 18th Military Police Brigade, as part of the May 16 inactivation ceremony for the brigade at the Schweinfurt Army Garrison, Germany.

Time to Refinance?

Rich Moore, Mortgage Banker NMLS# 211177 toll free: 855.313.8138

BY

Mon-Fri 5am-3pm

Sat-Sun 6am - 3pm

Breakfast & Espresso ALL DAY! Menu: BarbiesCafe.com 68th & Lake Otis 6728 Lake Otis Pkwy. Anchorage, AK

344-4100

Family Friendly Café featuring home-style cooking at its finest with Barbie’s array of homemade soups, potato salad, sweet cornbread, omelets, eggs benedict, burgers, chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, sandwiches, salads and more Beer & Wine available 10am - 3pm


May 23, 2014

5

STARS AND STRIPES

ALL NEW KIAS ARE BACKED BY AN INDUSTRY LEADING

10 YEAR - 100,000 MILE WARRANTY

$ Y R A T MILI IATION 400

C E R P P A

! H T MON

2014 KIA

2014 KIA

SOUL 16,995 $

AFTER $400 MILITARY REBATE

10 AT THIS PRICE • Electronic Stability Control •Air Conditioning •Alloy Wheels • Power Windows •Traction Control • ABS Brakes •Power Locks •Bluetooth • CD • USB Ports

MILITARY REBATE

Through KIA Motors America. Available on new 2014 models, for example 2014 Kia Soul. Dealers are required to verify eligibility of military personnel. See dealer for details.

MSRP: $17,810. Priced after $400 Military Rebate.

OPTIMA 19,995 $

AFTER $400 MILITARY REBATE

2015 KIA

SORENTO 25,995 $

6 AT THIS PRICE

10 AT THIS PRICE

• Electronic Stability Control •Air Conditioning •Alloy Wheels • Power Windows •Traction Control • ABS Brakes •Power Locks •Bluetooth • CD • USB Ports

• Electronic Stability Control •Air Conditioning •Alloy Wheels • Power Windows •Traction Control • ABS Brakes •Power Locks •Bluetooth • CD • USB Ports MSRP: $22,415. Priced after $1,500 Factory Rebate and $400 Military Rebate.

AFTER $400 MILITARY REBATE

MSRP: $29,130. Priced after $1,250 Factory Rebate, $500 Competitive/Owner Loyalty Rebate and $400 Military Rebate.

LITHIA KIA OF ANCHORAGE ON THE CORNER OF OLD SEWARD & TUDOR

4434 OLD SEWARD HWY • CALL [855] 407-1982 • SHOP OUR INVENTORY KIAANCHORAGE.COM See dealer for stock numbers. Prices plus Tax, Title and License. Prices include $200 Dealer Doc fee. Not all sales at MSRP. See dealer for complete list of competitive make/models. Customer must prove ownership of Kia. Dealers are required to verify eligibility of military personnel. See dealer for limited warranty details. Offer expires 05/31/14.

! E R E H S I G SPRIN

to y d a e R rs e il ra T l e v ra T & s, Toy Haulers, Campers

Motorhome Outback 220TRB 22 foot One slideout 2014 $28,750

Lance 2014 825 Camper 8 Foot Short Bed 2014 $24,995

Coachmen Mirada Class A 2014 Model 29DS $82,450

Springdale 267BH 26 Foot 2014 $28,995

Ace Class A Motorhome 2014 $79,995

Jayco 21DSRB 21 Foot Rear bath with slide 2013 $29,198

Reduced to $23,995

RPOD ORPT176 17 Foot 2014 $19,998

Cougar 31SQB 31 Foot 2014 Large slide $37,985

Reduced to $26,449

Jayco 27DSRB 27 Foot 2013 Deep Slide $34,167

Outback 300B 30 Foot. Outside kitchen! 2014 $38,850

Coachmen 269BHS 27 Foot Bunk Model 2014 $27,469

Stealth Blackhawk 7X16 Utility Trailer Drop down rear ramp $8,698

Springdale 212RB 22 Foot Rear Bath & Slideout 2014 $24,975

Fuzion 260 Toy Hauler 2014 On-board generator & fuel Reduced to station, sleeps 6. $42,650

$29,388

Cougar 21RBS 21 Foot Slideout model 2014 $28,880

ABC MOTORHOME

561-1982

ALASKA’S RV SUPERSTORE

Go!

1-800-421-7456

5550 Old Seward Hwy., Anchorage Mon-Fri 9 am to 6 pm • Sat 10 am to 5 pm • Sun Noon to 4 pm

www.abcmotorhome.com Sizes are approximate and may or may not be the exact length of the living space. Trailer tongue length not be included in size figures.


6

May 23, 2014

STARS AND STRIPES • S

PAGE 6

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

Friday, May 23, 2014

ANNUAL MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY Double Header vs. Anchorage Glacier Pilots Sunday, June 8th @ 2pm - Mulcahy Stadium

All Military, retired or active duty and their families admitted free with Military ID to this event and all Anchorage Bucs Home Games*

Special Event Featuring

ALASKA BASEBALL LEAGUE * www.ANCHORAGEBUCKS.com

Schedule and more

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Color Guard Rolling Thunder Veterans Motorcycle Group First Pitches by Elite Service Members

Military Working Dog Display “Fallen Warrior” Ceremony w / Bugler The Alaskan Military Academy

at the Bucs Home Plate:

National Anthem sung by Janine Stang “National Anthem Girl” celebrating the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner by performing our anthem in all 50 states.

www.AnchorageBucs.com

Come on out to the ballgame Help Honor our military, enjoy a hotdog and two highly competitive baseball games! * Military free admission policy for all except July 4th fireworks event.


May 23, 2014

2014 CHEVY

7

STARS AND STRIPES

EQUINOX

MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH

Active and retired military members can take an additional $1,000 off advertised prices on all new vehicles.

AWD

$27,165

MSRP CONSUMER CASH

-

$1,000

BONUS CASH

-

$500

USAA OFFER

-

$750

IVC CERTIFICATES

-

$1,000

CSA DISCOUNT

-

$2,215

DOC FEE

+

$200

21,900

$

9100 OLD SEWARD, ANCHORAGE • (907) 365-8600 • ANCHORAGECHEVROLET.COM CHEVROLET OF SOUTH

ANCHORAGE

YOUR PRICE

1 at this price. Stk# E6235458. Prices plus tax, title and license. Prices includes $200 Dealer Doc fee. Not all sales at MSRP. Eligible USAA members must present certificate to qualify. $1,000 Military Offer combined $500 GM offer and $500 Chevy of South Anchorage offer. Dealership required to verify eligibility of military personnel. Offer expires 05/31/14.


8

May 23, 2014

STARS AND STRIPES • S

Friday, May 23, 2014

Can you:

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

Volunteers needed

Meet and greet guests, data entry, and give tours? Schedule volunteers & directors for duty each month?

Alaska Veterans Museum

Write press releases, call media organizations, and/or design ads? Coordinate with schools, Scouts, etc to arrange tours and other events?

PAGE 11

is Yo ap ur pr he ec lp iat ed

Brief VFW’s, American Legions, AMVETS & DAV Chapters on AVM activities ? Help collect oral histories; work directly with our Veterans to document their experiences? Help by donating Military uniforms & artifacts form WWI, Korea, Vietnam & the Gulf Wars? Help raise money to continue and expand our programs, and ultimately move to a larger space?

Please call: Suellyn @ (907) 696-4904 to offer any help you can.


May 23, 2014

9

STARS AND STRIPES • S

PAGE 12

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

Friday, May 23, 2014

MILITARY

Senators make case for saving the A-10 Warthog Lawmakers, AF advocates move to preserve plane in budget BY TRAVIS J. TRITTEN Stars and Stripes

WASHINGTON — Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Eric Brandenburg says he probably never would have returned from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan if not for the A-10 Warthog. The Silver Star recipient and former joint terminal attack controller stood beside powerful Senate lawmakers May 14 and urged the Air Force to back off a proposed retirement of the aircraft, saying it is uniquely capable of providing close air support, saving the lives of American troops on the battlefield. The press conference, which included Sens. John McCain, RAriz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., was the most recent push by lawmakers on Capitol Hill to block the Air Force 2015 budget proposal to phase out the hardfighting aircraft, known for the belch of its massive Gatling gun and its ability to fly slow and low to support infantry on the ground. “If our leaders don’t listen to the troops fighting on the ground, [the troops] are going to fail. Our troops need the A-10,” said Brandenburg, who deployed repeatedly in support of the Army’s 75th Ranger Battalion for eight years after 9/11 and who was awarded five Bronze Stars, three with the “V” device for valor. McCain said the aircraft is a favorite of infantry soldiers. “We listened very carefully to the U.S. Army,” he said. “They are the ones who need the close air support, they are ones who are in grave danger without it.” With the A-10’s combat record as a backdrop, a group of 10 senators called the proposed Air Force retirement

premature. They want the chamber to save the Warthog from extinction when it marks up its version of the National Defense Authorization Act on May 13. The House Armed Services Committee already rejected the A-10 plan in its draft defense budget passed last week. “I believe and hope the Senate will also act to protect the A-10 for our men and women in uniform,” said Ayotte, who has helped lead the effort to preserve the aircraft. The Senate coalition, which also includes Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, If our and Johnny leaders Isakson, don’t R-Ga., disagreed listen to the the troops with Departfighting on ment of the ground, Defense position [the troops] that the A-10 is too are going expensive to fail. and dated Our troops to keep around. need the The cost A-10. per flying Retired hour is Air Force actually Master less than Sgt. Eric other airBrandenburg craft that provide support for ground troops, including the F-15E and F-16 fighter jets, the B-1 bomber, the AC-130 gunship and the B52 Stratofortress, they argue. But the DOD is scraping for savings and has been unhappy with Congress’ refusal so far to support a phase-out of the A-10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled the proposal earlier this year, saying the retirement of the

Air Force fleet of some 300 Warthogs would save the department $3.5 billion over five years. A Pentagon spokesman said last week that Hagel was “certainly not pleased” — a rare comment on active legislation. The DOD is under intense pressure to cut costs due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, also known as sequestration, which triggered deep, automatic reductions in the federal spending after a divided Congress could not reach a budget agreement. Many popular defense programs and equipment could be on the chopping block in the coming year, including subsidies to base supermarkets, health care benefits, pay raises, the A-10 program, the Navy’s littoral combat ship funding and the USS George Washington aircraft carrier, which needs an expensive nuclear overhaul to stay in operation. The military’s top brass say the cuts are unwanted — Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said he had personally been saved by A-10 air support — but necessary due to the funding squeeze. House lawmakers, especially Republicans, have balked at slashing defense spending, saying it could weaken national security and erode trust among servicemembers. Now, A-10 support is growing in the Senate. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he may vote to keep the aircraft if spending offsets can be found. “I support preserving the A-10. To accomplish that, we must find a realistic way to pay for it,” he said last week in a statement to Stars and Stripes. “I’m optimistic that when the Senate Armed Services Committee marks up the

VA mortgage products. We proudly offer mortgage products from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These safe, flexible products with favorable loan terms are available to veterans and active duty personnel. Features and Benefits • Purchase, rate/term refinance, and cash-out refinance options • No down payment1required • Fixed- and adjustable-interest rates available Supporting • Seller-assistance options • Low minimum credit score requirement

those who serve.

Call me to learn more.

Eligible Properties • 1- to 4-unit property • PUDs • Condominiums • Manufactured homes

Rich Moore, Mortgage Banker NMLS# 211177 toll free: 855.313.8138

Programs available only to qualified borrowers. Programs subject to change without notice. Underwriting terms and conditions apply. Some restrictions may apply. 1Down payment may be required for loan amounts over $417,000 based on VA county loan limit. Member FDIC

Rev. 0313

defense authorization bill next week, we will be able to do so.” The Senate coalition may just be successful, at least at saving the Warthog in the chamber’s upcoming draft defense budget, said Todd Harrison, diI support rector of preserving defense the A-10. To budget studies accomplish at the Centhat, we ter for must find a Strategic realistic way and Budgetary to pay for Assessit. ments. “I Sen. Carl Levin, fully Senate Armed Services Committee expect chairman they are going to push hard, and they may very well succeed,” Harrison said. “It’s going to be an uphill battle for the Air Force to retire the A10 even in the Senate.” With elections looming, lawmakers would not want to vote against the Warthog program and risk military cuts and job losses in a number of communities outside bases where the aircraft is operated, he said. The A-10 is “almost as important to Moody [Air Force Base] as it is to troops on the ground,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who represents the base along with Chambliss and spoke at the

news conference May 14. Davis-Monthan Air Base in Tucson, Ariz. — McCain’s state — is home to about 80 of the aircraft, the largest concentration in the world. Nine U.S. bases and one U.S. base in South Korea have the Warthog. Many races are already heating up, with this issue being front and center in Tucson. Rep. Ron Barber, who added an amendment to save the A-10 to the House Armed Services Committee draft defense budget last week, is running against Martha McSally, a former A-10 pilot who is campaigning on defeating the aircraft’s retirement. The A-10 is the largest mission at Davis-Monthan and the retirement could mean the loss of 2,000 jobs, said Bruce Dusenberry, chairman of the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance, a group comprising private-sector leaders who represent military interests in the Tucson area. “The immediate reaction was, ‘Oh no,’ ” Dusenberry said. The loss could also affect the other military bases and vast training ranges that dot southern Arizona and are interconnected to the A-10 program, according to Dusenberry. “It’s hard to know the ripple effect,” he said. “It would be a major impact.” tritten.travis@stripes.com


10

STARS AND STRIPES • S

PAGE 14

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

May 23, 2014 Friday, May 23, 2014

Second round of Afghan voting is set for June 14 E

Foundation empowers military caregivers

BY JOSH SMITH Stars and Stripes

Afghanistan’s top two presidential candidates are officially headed to a runoff scheduled for June 14 after neither secured the majority votes needed to avoid a second round. On May 15, election officials formally announced the official vote tally from the April 5 election. Mirroring preliminary numbers, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah gathered 45 percent while former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani received 31.6 percent of the votes. Another former foreign minister, Zalmai Rassoul, was seen as a favorite of current President Hamid Karzai, but garnered only 11.4 percent. On May 11, he announced that he was throwing his support to Abdullah. The other five presidential candidates each drew support in the single digits in the first round of voting. Abdullah welcomed a second round and said he was confident that turnout would once again be high. Election officials said the numbers released on May 15 took into account hundreds of fraud complaints, but the investigations did not significantly change the preliminary percentages. At a news conference after the announcement, Ghani complained that more ballots should have been discarded because of fraud, but he said

he would participate in the runoff and predicted that he would double his vote count from the first round. The Electoral Complaints Commission, which was tasked with sorting through the complaints, invalidated roughly 400,000 votes. That is fewer than half of the more than 1 million votes that were thrown out during the 2009 election, in which Abdullah cited fraud and corruption when he quit rather than participate in a runoff against Karzai. In total, more than 6.6 million Afghans voted in this election, 36 percent of whom were women, according to election officials. The Independent Election Commission laid out the timetable for the constitutionally mandated runoff between Abdullah and Ghani. A second round of campaigning will be allowed between May 22 and June 11, with the vote scheduled for Saturday, June 14. The winner is expected to be announced in July. The United Nations’ representative in Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, called on Afghan officials to do more to prevent fraud and urged candidates to respect the results, but he praised the process, which for the first time was exclusively overseen by Afghans. “Afghans can justifiably be proud of their elections,” he said in a statement. “On election day, Afghan men and women demonstrated their desire to live in peace, dignity

Max D. Lederer Jr., Publisher Terry Leonard, Editorial Director Tina Croley, Enterprise Editor Amanda L. Trypanis, U.S. Edition Editor Michael Davidson, Revenue Director CONTACT US 529 14th Street NW, Suite 350 Washington, D.C. 20045-1301 Email: stripesweekly@stripes.com Editorial: (202) 761-0908 Advertising: (202) 761-0910 Daniel Krause, Weekly Partnership Director: krause.dan@stripes.com Additional contact information: stripes.com

and prosperity. Democratic choice prevailed over violence and coercion.” The runoff extends an election process whose conclusion many Afghans and international governments are impatiently awaiting so the country can move forward. Karzai has refused to sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States that allows for thousands of troops to remain in the country past the end of the year when all international combat forces are to be withdrawn. Both Abdullah and Ghani have said they would sign the deal, but the long electoral process means that U.S. military plans may be up in the air for months. The second round of voting will also take place in the historically violent summer fighting season, when Taliban and other insurgent attacks typically increase. The Taliban launched their spring offensive on May 12, with attacks around the country that claimed the lives of at least 16 people. Despite threats and a campaign of violence in the early months of this year, the Taliban were unable to deliver on promises to disrupt the election. Analysts fear that the insurgent group may redouble its efforts during a second round. Naiemullah Sangen contributed to this report. smith.josh@stripes.com Twitter: @joshjonsmith

This publication is a compilation of stories from Stars and Stripes, the editorially independent newspaper authorized by the Department of Defense for members of the military community. The contents of Stars and Stripes are unofficial, and are not to be considered as the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. government, including the Defense Department or the military services. The U.S. Edition of Stars and Stripes is published jointly by Stars and Stripes and this newspaper. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the DOD or Stars and Stripes of the products or services advertised. Products or services advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron.

© Stars and Stripes, 2014

JIM CROCKETT

MEMORIAL

Single: $250 Team: $950 Early Bird: $850 before May 16

GOLF CLASSIC JUNE 26, 2014

one strong part of the Rand lizabeth Dole — forfindings,” Dole said. “Also the mer U.S. senator and legal and financial challenges presidential cabinet … Many (military caregivers) member twice over have no health care, so their — and her husband, Bob Dole own health often has been — longtime veteran of both impacted.” houses of Congress and two Dole said she was surprised presidential tickets — could the research showed a majorbe called a Republican power ity of these caregivers were couple. also in the However, their latest efforts bridge the gap between red SPOUSE CALLS workforce. “They and blue politics with a red, have to be white and blue cause. The because of National Coalition for Military the expenses Caregivers was launched this of caregivyear by Caring for Military ing, and Families: Elizabeth Dole some are Foundation. now their “Everyone is so willing to family’s help,” she said. “We are very breadwinmuch a bipartisan organizaners,” she tion, and it’s a joy to work with Terri Barnes said. people who Join the conversation with Terri at are friends After the on both sides stripes.com/go/spousecalls study, the of the aisle, launch of the and the White National CoHouse.” alition of Military Caregivers Working alongside first lady was the next logical step. Michelle Obama’s Joining Although her initiative is Forces initiative, Dole’s coalifocused on the caregivers of tion has enlisted labor and wounded warriors, Dole said business leaders, nonprofits families with special-needs and faith groups to engineer a children could also benefit nationwide network of support from the coalition. for caregivers of wounded The Elizabeth Dole Fellows warriors. Program is another outreach. Dole’s inspiration for what Fifty caregivers of wounded she calls her “mission” is as warriors — one from each personal as it is patriotic. Her state — represent fellow husband was severely woundcaregivers in their states and ed in World War II, suffering injuries that have affected him advise the foundation. The Dole foundation’s work throughout his life. A long stay has natural connections to in 2010 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Dole expressed in Bethesda, Md., introduced concern over the recent news the Doles to many post-9/11 about mismanagement at VA veterans. hospitals around the country. She said getting to know She called VA Secretary other patients and their famiEric Shinseki “an honorable lies opened her eyes to the obstacles facing those caregiv- man with a great background ers, and the foundation arose in the military,” but said he from a desire to help. leads an agency with longtime Through her foundation, systemic issues that must be Dole commissioned a Rand addressed. Corp. study of the caregiver “When you think about population in the U.S. Among people who’ve been placed other findings, the two-year in harm’s way and who are study discovered that of 5.5 defending our freedom and million caregivers in the U.S., our security, there’s a special 1.1 million are caring for responsibility that we have to veterans of the wars in Iraq them,” she said. “So it’s very and Afghanistan. This group important to get these matters is younger than the rest of the resolved, and the spotlight is caregiver population and less on it now.” likely to have a support network, according to the study. Terri Barnes writes Spouse Calls weekly for Stars and Stripes. “Isolation was certainly

NOW! REGISTER www.beanscafe.org


May 23, 2014

11

STARS AND STRIPES • S

Friday, May 23, 2014

TA R S

A N D

S

T R I P E S

Sudoku Puzzle - Medium

Sudoku Puzzle - Medium

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

Sudoku Puzzle - Medium

Sudoku Puzzle - Medium

Sudoku Solution - Medium

Previous week’s answers

www.sudoku-puzzles.net

www.sudoku-puzzles.net Sudoku Solution - Medium

www.sudoku-puzzles.net Sudoku Puzzle - Medium

PAGE 15

Word Search US Presidents

Sudoku Solution - Medium

Sudoku Solution - Medium

www.sudoku-puzzles.net Sudoku Puzzle - Medium

ADAMS EISENHOWER HOOVER KENNEDY MONROE ROOSEVELT BUSH GRANT JACKSON LINCOLN OBAMA TRUMAN CARTER HARRISON JEFFERSON MADISON REAGAN WASHINGTON


12

May 23, 2014

S T A•R S A N D S T R I P•E S S

PAGE 16

TA R S

A N D

S

Friday, May 23, 2014

T R I P E S

Veteran Owned Businesses Britten & Associates

2616 Sorbus Cir Anchorage, AK 99508 (907) 440-8181 www.brittenassociates.com

Brr Concepts

17214 Meadow Creek Dr Eagle River, AK 99577 (907) 727-8438 www.brrconcepts.com

Coldfoot Environmental Services

6670 Wes Way Anchorage, AK 99518 (907) 770-9936 www.coldfootenv.com

Currier’s Asphalt Maintenance

1605 Roosevelt Dr Anchorage, AK 99517 (907) 522-8687 www.curriers.com

Denali Bio-Diesel Inc

22443 Sambar Loop Chugiak, AK 99567 (743) 730-8665 www.denalibiodiesel.com

Environmental Compliance Consulting

1500 Post Rd Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 644-0428 www.eccalaska.com

Lasher Sport Inc

801 E 82nd Ave Anchorage, AK 99518 (907) 529-8833 www.lashersport.com

Ljc Group Limited

Sustainable Design Group LLC

1785 East Raven Cir Wasilla, AK 99654 (907) 720-3259 www.sdg-ak.com

Ltr Training Systems Inc.

Weston Productions 20845 Frosty Dr Chugiak, AK 99567 (907) 229-6116 www.westonproductions.tv

Yard Chief Yard Care Inc

Frank Flavin Photography

7045 Welmer Rd Apt 5 Anchorage, AK 99502 (907) 632-5597 www.ljconline.com

5761 Silverado Way Ste Q Anchorage, AK 99518 (907) 563-4463 www.survivaltraining.com

MH Consulting

3431 Amber Bay Loop Anchorage, AK 99515 (907) 344-4521 www.mhcinc.net

Triphase Adventure Group

Frigid North G

1405 W 27th Ave Unit 306 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 360-1989 www.tagalaska.com

2120 Casey Cusack Lp Anchorage, AK 99515 (907) 306-7052 www.zusam.spruz.com

Alaska Radiator Distributor LLC

Tenant Watch

Heavenly Sights

5401 Cordova St Ste 305 Anchorage, AK 99518 (907) 561-1606 www.flavinphotography.com

3309 Spenard Rd Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 561-4633 www.frigidn.com

Globelink Telecom Inc

6706 Greenwood St Unit 2 PO Box 231256 Anchorage AK 99523 (907) 562-0384 www.radiator.com

JamesVelox & James

Really Creative Business Solutions

6911 Tanaina Dr Anchorage, AK 99502 (907) 243-0118 www.globelinktel.com

3000 C St Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 310-5785 www.jvjresearch.com

9138 Arlon St Ste A3 A3-88 Anchorage, AK 99507 (907) 646-2005 www.rcbusinesssolutions.com/index/html

3201 C St Ste 202 Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 272-7336 www.tenantwatch.net

Trailboss Enterprises Inc 201 E 3rd Ave Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 338-8243 www.trailboss.biz

1425 N Spar Ave #2 Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 337-3355 www.yardchief.biz

Bandapart Productions

Charters & Campground Ninilchik, AK Deep Creek (907) 567-73671 www.heavenlysights.com

Pyramid Audio

2440 Seward Hwy Anchorage, AK 99503 (907) 272-9111 www.pyramidaudiovideo.com

Stars & Stripes US Edition Alaska 052314  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you