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The destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur arrived in Shimboda, Japan, Thursday to participate in the 68th annual Black Ship Festival.

The festival commemorates the 153rd anniversary of the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry’s landing in Shimboda. Perry arrived in Japan with seven ships on March 8, 1854, determined to open the isolationist nation for trade.

The Curtis Wilbur is assigned to Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.

USS Paul Hamilton to make Nagoya port callThe USS Paul Hamilton will make a port visit to Nagoya, Japan, in the near future, the Navy said Thursday.

The destroyer is homeported at Pearl Harbor and is currently operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

While in Nagoya, the Hamilton’s crew is scheduled to participate in community outreach events.

Judges in noise lawsuit find quiet at FutenmaGINOWAN, Okinawa — To the disappointment of Ginowan residents, the skies over Marine Corps Air Station Futenma were quiet Thursday.

Three judges from Naha District Court visited their community near the air station as part of the examination of the noise suit filed by some 404 residents who claim aircraft noise from the air station causes them physical and psychological harm.

The skies, however, remained quiet.

Red Cross luncheon honors volunteersYONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — More than 100 volunteers were honored Thursday at the American Red Cross’ Armed Forces Emergency Services annual recognition luncheon.

“I believe in volunteering, in the spirit of giving,” keynote speaker U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. B.B. Bell said at the luncheon, held at the Dragon Hill Lodge.

American Red Cross regional manager Lawson Hughes estimated volunteers donated 18,000 hours in the past year, worth $306,000.

Among other activities, the Red Cross verifies information on illnesses and deaths in servicemembers’ families, which commanders use to decide whether to release a soldier on emergency leave.

“We’re sort of a communication link between the active-duty members here and their families back home,” Hughes said.

First meeting of new retiree group setSEOUL — Members of the newly formed Yongsan Retiree Council are to hold a charter signing ceremony Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. in the U.S. Army Garrison Headquarters conference room.

The organization will hold its first official event, a Retiree Forum, June 9 at Commiskey’s beginning at 9 a.m.

The event will feature guest speakers who will present information relevant to retirees about Tricare and the Veterans Affairs Benefits Discharge Office.

The 50 retirees to attend will receive $2 off of the breakfast buffet.

Call Steve Rego at: 010-6476-2975 for more information.

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