Military News

Douglas Halfdane Leavelle, of Eagle River, graduated Navy Basic and Navy Aircrew training at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Fla.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Ashley D. Pence graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Pence is a 2004 graduate of Chugiak High who earned her bachelor’s degree in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin Stout in Menomonie, Wisc.

Imagine boarding a C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft and making the flight across the Atlantic Ocean to a place where they speak a language that isn’t your native language. This isn’t your normal U.S. Air Force deployment, but actually a Polish Air Force deployment to Alaska to participate in Red Flag-Alaska.

Red Flag is a Pacific Air Forces-sponsored, Joint National Training Capability-accredited exercise. The goal of Red Flag-Alaska is to provide each aircrew with these first vital missions, increasing their chances of survival in combat environments.

An U.S. Air Force airman based at Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson was indicted last week on murder and tampering with evidence charges in the April killing of fellow airman Clinton Reeves.

According to the indictment, James Devinn Thomas, 24, allegedly killed Reeves on April 19 while attempting a robbery. Thomas is also charged with trying to conceal his crime.

Reeves was last seen April 19 after leaving work at JBER. His red Dodge Avenger was discovered abandoned in Anchorage later that month.

The U.S. Army said a 22-year-old soldier on his first deployment to Afghanistan died June 4 in Landstuhl, Germany, where he was receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered in a June 1 attack in Khost Province.

Private First Class Vincent J. Ellis, of Tokyo, Japan, was a member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. The Army said he was assigned to the brigade’s 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, where he served as an airborne cavalry scout.

At 4 a.m. on a Thursday, the sun was rising above the mountains as fire trucks lined the streets next to the fishing docks here May 24.

A mother and her daughter carrying signs of welcome positioned themselves behind the trucks and waited eagerly. They didn’t have to wait long; soon two shuttle buses arrived, escorted by police cars, carrying two loads of military troops.

Some had returned from deployment; others would soon be deploying. Their mission today: the Annual Armed Services Combat Fishing Tournament.

The U.S. Army said a 20-year-old paratrooper with the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division was killed and three others were wounded in an improvised exposive device attack on their Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle on June 9 in the city of Tore Obeh, Afghanistan.

According to the Army, the dead soldier — Pfc. Nathan Tyler Davis, of Yucaipa, Calif. — was the driver of the vehicle. Davis joined the Army in Sept. 2010 and graduated from basic training in Fort Benning, Ga., before arriving in Alaska in February 2011. He was on his first deployment.

The Army said a 22-year-old soldier on his first deployment to Afghanistan died June 4 in Landstuhl, Germany, where he was receiving treatment for injuries suffered in a June 1 attack in Khost Province.

Private First Class Vincent J. Ellis, of Tokyo, Japan, was a member of the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. The Army said he was assigned to the brigade's 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, where he served as an airborne cavalry scout.

After returning home from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Sgt. 1st Class Maximo Cabrera got to do something he’s never done — hold his daughter.

Cabrera was reunited with his fiancée, Valeri Camacho, and their 6-month-old baby, Maxine, just before 3 a.m. on Friday, June 1 at Buckner Physical Fitness Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

John Lerch, of Eagle River, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant on May 23, 2012. He will be stationed at Vance AFB in Enid, Okla., and will attend pilot training this fall. He is a 2008 graduate of Chugiak High School and the son of John and Lenette Lerch of Eagle River.

Alaska Air National Guard Lt. Col. Sharolyn Lange, of Eagle River, recently received the Paul Lindemuth Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Talkeetna Theater on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

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