Military News

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Afghan Border Police and Afghan Uniformed Police from all areas of Regional Command-East have been coming to Forward Operating Base Gardez to learn how to work on vehicles and, more importantly, with each other, at a class taught by the U.S. soldiers of the Maintenance Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Spartan.

The course is just one more example of how U.S. forces are helping the different Afghan National Security Forces to work with each other.

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Soldiers have different ways of marking away their deployment times. The paratroopers of 3rd Platoon, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Spartan, who are stationed at Camp Clark, tick it off by one perilous mission at a time. Here, in the rocky eastern interior of the country not far from the Pakistan border, days outside the wire are more common than days safely inside.

There are only approximately 400 Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialists in the Air Force, and two of them reside at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Greg Avey and Tech. Sgt. Reid Beveridge are SERE specialists and belong to JBER’s 3rd Operations Support Squadron’s Weapons and Tactics Flight.

They are responsible for ensuring all pilots and aircrew receive their required training for combat survival, water survival, emergency parachuting and conduct after capture.

As it turns out, the rugged terrain surrounding Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is actually a pretty good double for Afghanistan.

“We were out in the winter months repeatedly doing driver training to get ready for this,” said Lt. Col Brad Hinson of the 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Centurions) during a recent conference call from Afghanistan.

Children may be amazed or terrified of wild animals that live in the wilderness of the Alaskan outdoors, but a little education can leave their parents a little more at ease.

“My fondest memories as a young child in the backwoods of Pennsylvania were not watching cartoons and playing video games, but exploring all plants and animals I could find in the woods,” said Sarah Jones, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson wildlife education center coordinator.

A ceremony to recognize the upcoming deployment of the 98th Maintenance Company was held at the Alaska National Guard Armory on Jan. 23.

Approximately 130 Soldiers will deploy in February for a 12-month tour of duty in Kuwait, where they will provide vehicle maintenance, welding and fabrication and repair parts supply, according to a U.S. Army press release.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Deployment can be hard on a family. It can be even harder for a service member who would normally read their children a good-night story but are not around to do so. However, the Pat Tillman Memorial United Services Organization here offers a service to help close that gap.

The program is a cooperative effort between the USO and the federal non-profit organization United Through Reading. It allows overseas personnel to read to their loved ones back home through recorded video.

Six Chugiak-Eagle River students were among 37 Alaska high school seniors nominated to U.S. service academies on Monday, Jan. 23 by Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

“This year’s nominees are stellar candidates who embody the leadership capabilities and strong characters we expect from our men and women in uniform,” Murkowski said in a press release. “It is a privilege to nominate such accomplished Alaskans for admission to our service academies.”

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan, — Having three deployed members in one family at the same time would seem unlikely; however, for the Hale family, it’s a reality.

With a little help, they were able to reconnect after a four-year separation, at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Jan. 6.