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:
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.
The Army’s 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, is in the process of holding change of command ceremonies for the brigades six battalions. The ceremonies began Nov. 27 and continue through Nov. 30, followed by a brigade change of command ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 5.
Lt. Col. Richard Scott assumed command of the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry from Lt. Col. Christopher Cassibry, during a change of command ceremony Nov. 27.
Jumping from the tail of an HC-130 into the dark frigid night, two elite pararescuemen of the Alaska Air National Guard felt their parachutes deploy, before descending safely to frozen ground 160-miles north of the Arctic Circle.
A few hours earlier, pararescuemen Air Force master sergeants Roger Sparks and Brandon Stuemke were spending time with their families on what seemed to be a typical October Sunday night, when the phone rang.
Described as a “soldier’s soldier” by a member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Private 1st Class Vincent Ellis was killed in action protecting his fellow “Spartans.”
While deployed in Afghanistan, Ellis suffered a knee injury and was reassigned to Forward Operating Base Salerno for rehabilitation. When the base was attacked June 1, Ellis — restricted to a brace and crutches — didn’t hesitate.
The Alaskan mid-October weather is surprisingly nice as a man stands face to face with a moose. In most cases, such a situation could easily become dangerous. Both appear introverted and timid, keeping some distance. The man turns his back on the large animal, which then approaches him. It rests its head on his shoulder and the invisible barrier between them breaks.
The impact is significant; the man is a Soldier visiting an Alaska reindeer farm as part of a trip arranged by his unit in Hawaii.