Military News

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A group of Alaska-based parachute riggers are now rigging everything from fuel to food for delivery to soldiers on the front lines in Afghanistan.

The riggers are part of the 725th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Centurion, which recently deployed to eastern Afghanistan. The battalion is led by Lt. Col. Brad Hinson from Jackson, Tenn. and Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Morrison, a native of Crawfordsville, Ind.

A select group of Reserve Airmen and Anchorage citizens were treated to an advanced screening of the new George Lucas film, Red Tails, about the famed Tuskegee Airmen at the Tikhatnu movie theater in Anchorage Dec. 15.

The screening was offered to members of the 477th Fighter group because its heritage traces back to these heroic aviation pioneers. The Group's 302nd Fighter Squadron historically was part of the 332nd Fighter Group, also known as “The Redtails” the famous all-black unit that fought both American prejudice and Nazi militarism.

New Eagle River football field general Jason Brewer plans to bring a no-nonsense coaching style, enthusiasm and plenty of experience to the job when he takes over in the fall.

“The kids know me, the kids know what I’m about,” said Brewer, who previously served for two years as an assistant under Kenny Ray. “I’m about discipline and having fun.”

Brewer isn’t really a general, but he did recently wrap up his Army career as a 1st lieutenant who returned from a tour in Pakistan and Afghanistan last fall. He recently took a new job with the National Guard.

BUTLERVILLE, Ind. — The economy may not show many signs of improvement, but Christmas spirit is on the rise thanks to a few soldiers who brought a little cheer to families in need.

 The National Guard Patriot Academy hosted its 3rd Annual Operation Christmas Blessing Monday to provide a hot meal, household goods and toys for children whose families have fallen on hard times. For them, accepting help was not easy to do.

Soldiers and Airmen kicked off the holidays at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson with a concert and tree lighting in front of the U.S. Army Alaska headquarters building Dec. 1.

JBER Outdoor Recreation coordinated the event with help from members of military commands on the installation and volunteers.

“We’re happy to assist and show our support for the troops in any way that we can,” said volunteer Cheri Terhorst.

Covered head to toe in blue and gold windbreaker pants and jacket, Pat McBride stuck out like … well, a Navy fan among a sea of Army faithful.

McBride and fellow United States Naval Academy graduate Dave Bergman might have been in the extreme minority watching the 112th Army-Navy Game on Saturday, Dec. 10 at Eagle River Ale House, but that didn’t dampen their spirits one bit.

“No matter where you are in the world, you always try to find another guy to watch the game with — even if they’re Army,” quipped Bergman, a 1989 graduate.

Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Knight has worked all around the world — from Colorado Springs to Afghanistan, Germany to Korea — but he told the Chugiak-Eagle River community that there’s something special about the bond between Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and the surrounding communities.

“I think the Anchorage Bowl is the gold standard,” Knight told the chamber during speech on Dec. 7 at the Bear Mountain Grill in Eagle River.

Nearly 300 Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, boarded a Boeing 737 at the Joint Mobility Center en route to Afghanistan Nov. 28.

The departure marked the first step in the 4-25th’s latest 12-month deployment.

More than 3,500 Soldiers are expected to depart from JBER between Nov. 28 and Dec. 14.

More than 120 Alaska Army National Guardsmen said goodbye to family and friends at a departure ceremony held Saturday, Nov. 26 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The soldiers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry (Airborne) Regiment are headed to Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center in Indiana before deploying to Afghanistan for a year. At Camp Atterbury, the soldiers will receive their final pre-mobilization and validation training, according to a press release.