Military News

Josh Wood is a submarine hunter.

The 2010 Eagle River High School graduate and current U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class was recently featured in a profile by the Navy’s American Connections Media Outreach blog, which highlights the work of sailors for their local communities. An aviation electrician’s mate with the Navy’s HSM 71 squadron, Wood is responsible for helping keep the Navy’s MH-60R “Seahawk” helicopter in the air.

One of Alaska’s most vet-friendly towns now has a highly visible symbol of its support for the armed forces.

A joint effort of the local chamber of commerce, garden club and numerous service organizations raised more than $11,000 to bring a giant steel star and Blue Star Memorial sign to Chief Alex Park alongside the Old Glenn Highway. The 15-by-15-foot steel star was filled with red, white and blue flowers Tuesday.

The guest of honor was resplendent in a bright red dress and a pair black flats she picked out several days before the party.

As she sat surrounded by piles of birthday cards sent from around the world — and fresh off a phone call from U.S. congressman — the smile on Charlotte Schwid’s face Wednesday was matched in brightness only by the glints of sunlight pouring in through the windows of the Eagle River VFW and bouncing off the “Birthday Girl” tiara she wore atop her flowing locks of silver hair.

Three local Girl Scouts were presented with the group’s highest honor during the Girls Scouts of Alaska’s annual Leadership Luncheon April 18 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage.

Earning Gold Awards were Eagle River’s Kayla Reifel and Allyson Brokaw, along with JBER’s Carolyn Pope. The three were joined by Anchorage’s Quinn White and Petersburg’s Avery Herrman-Sakamoto in receiving the awards.

In order to earn a Gold Award, Girl Scouts must work on a project that addresses a community need.

When military kids grow up and decide to return to their roots and childhood homes, there are multiple locations to claim. While a military retiree myself, I am also a former military brat. At 61-years-old I have felt compelled to return to every base I have ever lived. Although it took me 30 years to return to Fort Richardson; once I did, with my husband and children, I have either lived nearby in Anchorage or visited on a regular basis; however no trip is ever complete without returning to the familiar surroundings on Fort Richardson.

Well, sort of.

A proposal that would lock up 1,380 acres of municipal parkland from future development in exchange for cash is one step closer to reality after the Chugiak-Eagle River Parks and Recreation Department agreed to a memorandum of understanding with an Oklahoma nonprofit funded by the U.S. Army.

An Eagle River family never knew just how many friends they had until tragedy struck in the form of a Subaru Forester with an alleged drunk driver behind the wheel.

The U.S. Army is investigating the death of a 20-year-old infantryman who died Saturday during a live fire training exercise near Fort Greely.

Spc. Nicholas Peter DiMona III, 20, of Medford Lakes, New Jersey, died from a gunshot wound while taking part in training at the Donnelly Training Area, according to a press release issued by the Army on Monday. He was taken by helicopter to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Chugiak-Eagle River residents can expect to see and hear plenty of military air activity through the first week of April as Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson conducts its two-week Polar Force exercise.

The massive exercise “gives squadrons an opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to forward deploy and deliver overwhelming combat airpower,” according to a Facebook post by the Air Force’s 3rd Operations Group, which included photos of a close formation taxi “elephant walk” showing 24 F-22 Raptors, a C-17 Globemaster III and an E-3 Sentry aircraft on the runway.

Stay calm, it’s only a drill.

People living near Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson are likely to see an increase in noise and emergency vehicles during an emergency response exercise Thursday.

According to a press release issued Wednesday, noise from the drill “may carry into the local communities adjacent to JBER.”

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