Pacific briefs: Events planned to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 15, 2009

The following events are being held in connection with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday:

- Camp Kinser Surfside Club will hold observances at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and 9-11 a.m. Friday.

- The Butler Officers Club on Plaza Housing will hold an observance 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday.

- The Habu Pit on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma will host an observance 2-4 p.m. Friday.

For more information or tickets to events on Marine bases, call DSN 645-3555.

- "A Day of Service Observance" is scheduled at Torii Station’s Coral Cove from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday. The guest speaker will be Capt. Brian Dawson, commander of U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa.

- The Rocker NCO Club on Kadena Air Base is holding a luncheon to start 11:30 a.m. Friday. Admission is $5. For more information, call DSN 634-1288.

- Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa’s Multicultural Heritage Committee will host an 11 a.m.-1 p.m. luncheon Tuesday at the Crow’s Nest Club on Camp Shields.

Raptor squadron making second visit to Guam

A squadron of F-22A Raptors is scheduled to arrive at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam this week, the second time the Air Force’s newest fighter jets have been temporarily stationed on the island, the Air Force announced.

The stealthy fighters and their support personnel are part of the 90th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The three-month stay is part of the Air Force’s regular rotation of aircraft to Andersen, which has no permanent air squadron of its own. The rotation will bring about 12 jets and 250 airmen to the island, according to a release.

"This strategic deployment to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam shrinks the tyranny of distance across the Pacific …," Brig. Gen. Philip Ruhlman, commander of the 36th Wing at Andersen, is quoted in the Tuesday release.

The fighters will participate in upcoming military exercises, including Cope Thaw and Jungle Shield, according to spokeswoman Maj. Richelle Dowdell.

Korean servicemembers charged with bribery

Two South Korea military members have been arrested on bribery charges involving an Iraqi contractor while serving in Iraq last year, an official at the Ministry of National Defense confirmed Tuesday.

The two members — a 30-year-old captain and a master sergeant — were part of South Korea’s Zaytun unit, which was deployed to Irbil. They were arrested last month, the official confirmed.

The captain is accused of allowing a delay to construction on the South Korean base in Iraq in exchange for about $25,000 in cash and other items, including a digital camera, the official confirmed. No information was provided regarding the master sergeant.

South Korea’s remaining troops left Iraq late last year after four years as a part of Coalition Forces there.

DOD: Remains from Korean War identified

The remains of two 1st Cavalry Division soldiers missing from the Korean War have been identified, according to the Department of Defense.

Sgt. Dougall H. Espey Jr., of Mount Laurel, N.J., and Master Sgt. Cirildo Valencio, of Carrizo Springs, Texas, will both be returned to their families for burial with full military honors later this year. They are among two of more than 350 servicemembers unaccounted for at a battle at Unsan, North Korea, according to a news release from the Pentagon.

Espey and Valencio were members of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment. On Nov. 1, 1950, the company was near Unsan in an area known as the "Camel’s Head," according to the Pentagon release. Chinese forces struck the cavalry’s lines, forcing a withdrawal and surrounding the 3rd Battalion.

Espey’s remains were part of 208 boxes that North Korea turned over to U.S. authorities in the early 1990s. Valencio was found as part of a 2002 excavation in North Korea by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, based out of Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.

Espey will be buried April 3 in Elmira, N.Y. Valencio will be buried on Aug. 4 in Arlington National Cemetery.

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