Military News

On Jan. 21, two Eagle River locals will travel down Pennsylvania Avenue between the U.S. Capitol and White House as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Parade.

Bennett Hoback and Technical Sgt. Brian Stiles will be among those participating in the event in Washington, D.C.

Hoback, 17, will be riding with the Culver Military Academy Black Horse Troop. The 59-member boys unit will be joined by 24 of Culver’s Girls Academy Equestriennes.

Hoback, who attended Gruening Middle School, said he’s looking forward to his first trip to Washington, D.C.

KODIAK — The Royal Dutch Shell Arctic drilling rig Kulluk Salvage was hit with a storm New Years Eve that ran it onto an Alaska island and caused a power outage. The Kulluk is a circular drill barge that does not have propulsion, and needed heavy equipment to restore operational power. The U.S. Army 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, out of Fort Wainwright, Alaska, was able to support the civilian operations as well as military.

A C-5A Galaxy from Memphis Air National Guard Base, Tenn., needed to refuel to continue its mission across the Pacific theater. The aircraft landed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, a base strategically positioned to be a good breaking point for military and commercial flights enroute. The temperature averaged 11 degrees below zero - too cold to snow even though there had been a thick layer on the ground for days. Ice continually formed across the ground and all transportation surfaces.

Very few would want to be outside in this weather.

A soldier was found dead in another soldier’s barracks room on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Christmas Day.

The Army said PFC Grant W. Wise, 25, of Fairport, N.Y. was found with a single gunshot wound to the head and declared dead at around 7:45 a.m. on Dec. 25.

Wise, who joined the Army in 2011, was assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. He served at Ft. Bragg, N.C. before being assigned to JBER in September 2012.

WASHINGTON — Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn’t care much for his popular “Stormin’ Norman” nickname.

The seemingly no-nonsense Desert Storm commander’s reputed temper with aides and subordinates supposedly earned him that rough-and-ready moniker. But others around the general, who died Thursday in Tampa, Fla., at age 78 of complications from pneumonia, knew him as a friendly, talkative and even jovial figure who preferred the somewhat milder sobriquet given by his troops: “The Bear.”

Events in Afghanistan dominated military coverage in 2012, as a 3,500-member brigade spent much of the year in hostile territory. That group returned to Alaska in October. The year’s other big news on base came in May, when Gen. Michael Garrett took over command of the U.S. Army Alaska from Gen. Raymond Palumbo.

Here are the military stories the Star focused on in 2012:

Many would say they haven’t used half the math skills they learned in school Why would they? In today’s computer age, most don’t need to.

However, there is one particular job in the Air Force where a calculation and attention to detail can be the difference between life and death.

When it comes to the safety of the crew, the cargo and the passengers aboard a C-130 Hercules, loadmasters like Airman 1st Class Andrew Thompson reign supreme.

Col. Matthew W. McFarlane assumed command of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division from outgoing commander Col. Morris T. Goins during a change of command ceremony held Dec. 5 at Hangar One, here.

The event was attended by many dignitaries and family members from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson including the commander of Alaskan Command, Air Force Lt. Gen. Stephen L. Hoog and U.S. Army Alaska commander, Maj. Gen. Michael X. Garrett.

Stryker Brigade soldiers from the U.S. Army's 5th Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment stationed at Fort Wainwright will be conducting training on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson through Dec. 12, the Army announced this week.

Small arms fire, large caliber weapons and some explosions may be heard in areas near the base while training occurs.

Questions or concerns about the training may be directed to the U.S. Army's Pubilc Affairs Office at (907) 384-1542.

Eagle River’s Suellyn Wright Novak, a longtime advocate for veterans issues who currently serves as executive director of the Alaska Veterans Museum, was awarded the Governor’s Veterans Advocacy Award during a ceremony on Veterans Day.

Rep. Anna Fairclough, of Eagle River, nominated Novak for the award. In her nomination letter, Fairclough cited Novak’s years of service to the Veterans community.

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