The guided-missile destroyer USS Cole has ended a historic deployment as the first single U.S. ship to sail with a foreign nation’s battle group, according to a Navy news release.

The Cole, bombed by terrorists in 2000 as it refueled in Yemen, sailed for four months under the command of the British carrier strike group headed by the HMS Illustrious, one of England’s AV-8B Harrier and helicopter aircraft carriers.

The group included several other warships from the United Kingdom, and ships from Spain and France, according to the Navy’s 6th Fleet release.

The battle group sailed in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Pacific regions, conducting training exercises and real-world missions, the releases stated. The Cole’s main role in the deployment, dubbed Orion ’08, was as the strike group’s air defense commander. It also served as one of the primary force protection ships at all choke points and strait transits.

The ship’s crew visited several ports, including stops in India, Malta, Oman, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and the U.K.

Memorial service set for Würzburg vetA memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Leighton Barracks chapel for retired Maj. Robert J. "Bob"" Frank, a longtime resident of Würzburg, Germany, who passed away May 28. He was 80 years old.

Originally from Williamsport, Pa., Frank enlisted in the Army and spent time in Germany, and in Korea, where he was decorated with a Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor. He also served three tours in Vietnam, family members said.

After retiring in 1977, Frank worked as a food-and-beverage broker for the Defense Commissary Agency. He was an active member of local veterans organizations and a lover of military history.

Frank is survived by Anna, his wife of 59 years; daughter, Babette, and her husband, Paul; and two grandsons, Robert and Jack.

USAFE honors Spangdahlem teenMary-Lynn Piper has been selected as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe youth of the year for 2008.

The 18-year-old from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, receives a $3,000 scholarship for post high school education, according to a USAFE Services press release.

Piper was selected from candidates from a variety of USAFE bases for outstanding service to Spangdahlem Youth Programs, community, her academic achievements moral, and ethical character, and family values, the release stated.

She will compete for European youth of the year honors with U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Europe USAREUR and NAVEUR youth of the year winners, according to the press release. Should Piper be selected as the European youth of the year, she will travel to the U.S. to compete at the regional level Boys and Girls Clubs Of America Youth of the Year Program.

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