View Full Version : Another day in the Corps

09-22-03, 08:57 AM
Another day in the Corps
Submitted by: Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa
Story Identification Number: 200391715256
Story by Sgt. Bradly Shaver and Capt. Dave Schreiner

Camp Ramrod, Ethiopia(September 17, 2003) -- Two Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 Marines were recognized in a promotion and reenlistment ceremony recently at Camp Ramrod, Ethiopia.

Corporal Jose A. RamirezVasquez, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and Gunnery Sgt. George S. Wiggins, from Swansboro, N.C., reenlisted for his last four years in the Marine Corps before retiring.

"This is a very proud day for me," said Sgt. Ramirez an Airframes Collateral Duty Inspector for HMH-461. "Being promoted while conducting operations in Ethiopia makes it even more memorable."

Ramirez has served under Wiggins, who is a 17-year veteran and has been with the squadron for the past six years working in the airframes division.

"This is a very memorable occasion for me as well," said Wiggins. "It's not everyday that someone gets to reenlist for the last time while forward deployed, especially in a place like Camp Ramrod, Ethiopia."

Even though this will be Wiggins' last four years in the military, he said the Marine Corps has treated him well and has given him many unforgettable memories during his time in service.

The HMH-461 squadron, nicknamed Ironhorse, deployed from Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., in April to support CJTF-HOA's mission of detecting, disrupting and defeating transnational terrorist groups in the region, and support coalition partner efforts to deny the opportunity for reemergence of terrorist networks in the Horn of Africa.

With their CH-53E Super Stallions, the Marines of HMH-461 have been conducting joint operations in Djibouti and surrounding countries in the Horn of Africa, supporting the Global War on Terrorism.

"It is truly a privilege to reenlist and promote fine Marines such as Gunnery Sgt. Wiggins and Sgt. Ramirez in the field," said Maj. Robert Pridgen, HMH-461 executive officer. "These two, by this reenlistment and promotion, demonstrate a unique and personal dedication to duty not uncommon in our ranks. I am proud to be counted among them."


Marine Gunnery Sgt. George Wiggins and Marine Sgt. Jose RamirezVasquez, both of Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 report for reenlistment and promotion at Camp Ramrod, Ethiopia, recently. Marine Maj. Robert Pridgen, squadron Executive Officer, accompanied by HMH-461?s Navy Capt. John Dewalt, interim Flight Surgeon, executed the promotion and reenlistment ceremony. HMH-461 is forward deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, whose mission is detecting, deterring, and defeating transnational terrorists in the East Africa region.
Photo by: HMH-461