Briefs: Fallon says no decision on Pacific carrier port
Guam’s port will be modified to handle visits by aircraft carriers, but no decision has been made on a new homeport for the USS Carl Vinson, according to an interview U.S. Pacific Commander Adm. William J. Fallon gave to the Honolulu Advertiser.
The U.S. Navy is still considering Guam, Hawaii and Puget Sound, Wash., for the Vinson’s new home, a Pacific command spokesman said from Hawaii on Monday night. That decision is expected in the spring, he said. But in the interview with the Advertiser, Fallon said he did not “envision an aircraft carrier home-based (on Guam) as part of that in the near future from necessity or practical terms.”
Guam will be the new home for the III Marine Expeditionary Force, which is currently stationed on Okinawa. That move involves 8,000 Marines and is reportedly scheduled to begin in 2008.
Fallon has been tapped as the next commander of U.S. Central Command and will oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Two injured trying to cross security bollardsYOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Two people were injured Saturday when their vehicle attempted to cross security barriers, known as bollards, that were being raised, according to a base spokesman.
The incident occurred on the flight line’s south overrun as the car headed toward the east gate, said Maj. David Westover, the 374th Airlift Wing public affairs officer. The bollards were raised in response to a separate incident, Westover said, adding that one passenger suffered a broken nose and both received cuts due to the mishap.
Although this is the first major vehicle accident at Yokota involving the security bollards, Westover advised drivers on Yokota pay attention to all traffic signals while crossing the flight line at the north and south overruns.
Airman punished for alcohol, drug chargesMISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — An airman basic with the 35th Services Squadron received a bad-conduct discharge and four months’ confinement in a court-martial here for alcohol- and drug-related offenses.
Drexel T. Garland pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty for driving with a blood-alcohol concentration greater than .03 — in violation of host-nation law. He also pleaded guilty to wrongfully using and distributing marijuana, according to base officials, who added that the airman is serving his confinement at Misawa Air Base.
Misawa motorcycle season could rev up earlyMISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Misawa’s motorcycle riding season could open as early as March 23 this year if the current mild weather continues, according to base officials.
Motorcyclists assigned to Misawa aren’t allowed to ride their motorcycles on or off base during the winter months. Typically, the season opens in early to mid-April.
In recent weeks, base officials have been reminding personnel that motorcycle riding — despite the lack of snow and ice on the roads — is still prohibited, after receiving reports of people riding on and off base.
The base is tentatively planning to hold the Advanced Motorcycle Riders course March 24 and 25. For more information on the safety course, call the safety office at DSN 226-2702.
Sasebo wins more environmental honorsSASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The U.S. Navy’s environmental office at Sasebo has gone on to win recognition for its work in environmental quality and cultural resources management from the Secretary of the Navy. Last month, the Sasebo office won similar awards from the Chief of Naval Operations.
In the past two years, Sasebo has renovated Fleet Landings, the harborside building that dates back to 1924. The base also is working with a local Japanese group to renovate a collection of brick buildings that date back to the 1880s. The environmental quality award honors the base’s compliance with regulations governing hazardous materials, trash, recycling, ship discharges and ordnance.