In Service

Junior ROTC students learn basic military knowledge, but not how to be a military firefighter. Can they step up to the challenge?

The 673d Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters hosted a team-challenge demonstration for the Eagle River High School JROTC to show them first-hand what firefighters do.

“They wanted hands-on (experience), so why not let them simulate the tasks?” asked Air Force Master Sgt. Louis Martinez, 673d CES firefighter. “This lets them feel the physical rigors on scene. These are some of the things we do in case of a fire or rescue.”

This time each year, service members and civilian employees on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson have the opportunity to donate to their favorite charities or select new ones through the Alaska Combined Federal Campaign, which begins Monday.

This year, the Alaska CFC theme is “You can change a life.” Since 1961, when President John F. Kennedy established the campaign with an executive order, the drive has collected more than $7 billion in charitable donations, according to the organization’s website.

Nearly 700 military members, families and other distinguished guests dressed in their finest attire to honor the Air Force’s legacy at the Dena’ina Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 19 for a ball and celebration.

U.S. Air Force installations across the globe celebrated the 68th Air Force birthday in some fashion, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson threw a party to remember a proud past and promising future.

SEWARD — Standing at the bow of the Viewfinder, President Barack Obama gripped the steel railing as the boat cut through the deep blue water of Resurrection Bay amid the mountains, islands and glaciers in the Kenai Fjords National Park.

As the days get shorter and colder, children need to start bundling up. For some, their winter jackets, gloves and boots don’t quite fit anymore.

Fortunately, the Army Community Service Center on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson offers the “Koats for Kids” program to service members and their families. The annual event is an opportunity for the JBER community to receive and exchange winter clothing before the seasonal change.

One of the greatest threats to our community’s safety is an active shooter incident, as these types of attacks are very unpredictable and most come with little to no warning.

There may be almost no reaction time, so you must protect yourself any way you can.

All of us have heard “know your surroundings,” but how many of us truly practice this in our incredibly busy lives?

A dedication for the Fisher House Annex was hosted at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Warrior Transition Unit July 28 in honor of the 22 new rooms providing shelter for service members and family in need of medical attention.

The WTU provided a wing of its building due to the high demand for shelter for families receiving care in the community.

“The people occupying these new rooms are active duty and their adult family members; parents, spouses, and high-risk pregnancies,” said Jenny Hall, Alaska Fisher House manager.

When polled with the question, “Who or what do you fight for?” many soldiers may have a variation of the words “family, honor, country ... my brother or sister next to me in the trenches” somewhere in their answer. The brotherhood spirit pervasive throughout the Army is sometimes literal.

For Michael and William Plachinski, brothers and Army first sergeants stationed in Alaska, the bond of brotherhood couldn’t be stronger.

Approximately 350 Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division were honored in a redeployment ceremony at Buckner Physical Fitness Center July 10.

Several hundred paratroopers assigned to the 1st Squadron (Airborne), 40th Cavalry Regiment, along with a small contingent assigned to the brigade’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, returned from a 10-month rotation in support of peacekeeping operations in Kosovo.

Since the birth of the Bear Paw Festival in Eagle River since 1985, Alaskan service members have been a major part of the annual event.

The Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce created the Bear Paw Festival to celebrate growing businesses in Eagle River and bring the community together. This year’s festival was hosted July 8 through 12.