I always wanted to come to Alaska. I will admit to pushing my husband to put Alaska high on his wish list. I didn’t know much about the frontier state. But I did know that almost everyone I talked to who was stationed in Alaska loved it. The one exception was my father, who isn’t a big fan of snow. Driving to Alaska, on my way to live here for at least three years, I was quite ignorant to what life here would be like.
In the 1980s, a famous recruiting commercial claimed the U.S. Army does “more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day.”
That’s still the case.
Well before dawn on the morning of Jan. 31, more than 200 members of the Army’s 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment arrived under cover of darkness at the foot of Arctic Valley Road. Carrying 35-pound rucksacks and decked out in their camouflage combat uniforms, the men briefly listened to instructions from their platoon leaders before springing into action.
I love living in Alaska. I love the mountains and the snow. I would so much rather be cold than hot. Eagle River is the perfect place to raise my family with its small town feel and wonderful people. Most of the downsides have upside trade-offs. There may not be an Old Chicago’s restaurant here, but there is a Pizza Man. Days may be really short in December, but they are long in June. Nonetheless, there is one huge downside to living here: the isolation from family and friends in the Lower 48.
Ten days ago, Technical Sgt. Brian Stiles marched down Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate the swearing in of President Barack Obama in front of thousands of spectators as a member of the 2013 Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C.
Just another day of work.
Stiles, a 1993 Chugiak High graduate, is a trumpeter in Ceremonial Brass — one of six United States Air Force bands.
Nearly 100 Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson soldiers are set to deploy in the next week or so for a nine-month tour in Afghanistan.
Their mission is anything but standard.
Typically tasked with construction — building roads, bridges, etc. — the 84th Engineer Support Company (Airborne), 6th Engineer Battalion will now be protecting such infrastructure. The 84th Engineer Support Company, whose nickname is the “Kodiaks,” will be responsible for finding and neutralizing improvised explosive devices.
The change in assignment is the first for the Kodiaks.
As another year passes, two load crews competed for pride and a plaque in the 3rd Wing Load Crew of the Quarter competition Jan. 4. The objective of the load competition was to test the abilities and work ethic of two or more load crews from different fighter squadrons.
The 90th and 525th aircraft maintenance units train consistently to be proficient at their jobs and to compete in quarterly loading competitions. The instructors of the load crew members strive to make sure their crew members are trained to keep the mission running smoothly.
UPDATE (Jan. 21, 10 a.m.): APD and JBER officials said Monday that Anchorage Police arrested a man who is a "person of interest" in the gate-crashing on Jan. 19 at around 7:15 p.m. in Eagle River on unrelated charges. The pick-up truck involved in the incident was located in Anchroage at around 11:50 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.
A man driving a pick-up truck entered Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson early Saturday (Jan. 19) morning, led security officers on a 10-minute chase, then escaped by leaving base through the same gate he entered.
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.