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  1. #1

    Cool Marine News Briefs

    April 17, 2006

    Marine News Briefs

    Airfield battle continues

    In Southern California, where strict environmental regulations protect the pocket mouse, military airfields could become a new sort of endangered species.

    The threat comes from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which has set its sights on kicking the military off one of the area’s bases to make room to build a larger international airport.

    Despite repeated refusals, the agency continues to meet and vote and spend millions of tax dollars for studies it believes will help pressure the military to give up Marine Corps Air Station Miramar or North Island Naval Air Station for a new civilian international airport.

    Agency officials pleaded their case in person with Navy Secretary Donald Winter, but he rejected the idea citing national security needs and combat readiness.

    The agency recently suggested a joint use plan, but the military rejected that idea also.

    However, on April 3, the agency’s members voted, 6-3, for another study, this one on ways to shift squadrons out of Miramar to make room for commercial airlines and jumbo jets.

    Gunny receives Bronze Star

    “Bravery under fire” in Iraq earned a gunny the Bronze Star with combat “V,” awarded during a March 24 ceremony at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

    Gunnery Sgt. Torain Kelley served as the company gunnery sergeant for Bravo Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, in Fallujah from October to December 2004.

    Returning from a battle, Kelley’s convoy was hit by a vehicle-borne bomb, Kelley’s award citation said. Despite enemy mortar and small-arms fire, Kelley “quickly maneuvered about the crisis site, establishing a defense, orchestrating recovery efforts and reassuring Marines.”

    During a separate foot patrol en route to the company’s firm base, Kelley’s 15-man patrol came under fire. Kelley ignored his own wounds to establish security and treat the wounded. He constructed improvised litters and provided suppressive fire while maneuvering the patrol to the base, the citation said.

    T-shirts lead to suspension

    A group of students at a Westminster, Colo., middle school were suspended April 6 for wearing patriotic clothing that honored the U.S. flag or military, the Denver Post reported.

    Sixth-grader Katie Golgart and three other students were given one-day suspensions after wearing Marine Corps T-shirts or clothing featuring the American flag.

    Golgart, 11, said she was trying to show support for a family member who had been a Marine.

    In response to the Colorado attorney general’s warning that a ban on patriotic clothing violates state law, Shaw Heights Middle School principal Myla Shepherd lifted the ban late in the day, the report said.

    Shepherd’s ban had included political and camouflage clothing after several incidents stemming from disagreements over immigrants’ rights, including one in which 25 students wore camouflage one day.

    Troops’ blood saves girl

    Four service members serving in the Philippines recently aided a 3-year-old Filipina on the brink of death.

    According to a March 28 Marine Corps news release, doctors at the Zamboanga City Medical Center had been searching for a week for a blood donor for a little girl named Frail, who was diagnosed with typhoid fever and anemia.

    Petty Officer 1st Class Frank Thompson, who is deployed to the Philippines with the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines, said Frail needed a transfusion of type A-negative blood.

    Thompson said that meant “almost certain death” in the Filipino community because that blood type is most common in Caucasians.

    In response to a doctor’s request for service members who could donate the correct blood type, Army Sgt. Maj. Robert Saiz, Petty Officer Jeffrey Simpson, Marine Cpl. David Bombard and Army Sgt. Michael Light gave blood on March 28.

    Thompson said the donations came in the nick of time for Frail and her family.

    “They were going to take the girl back home the next day to let her die.”

    Who is your hero?

    Marine Corps Times is looking for heroes. Not the type who make headlines for combat exploits, but rather the quiet, everyday heroes whose dedication, professionalism and concern for their fellow Marines set a standard for us all.

    Through April 17, we are accepting nominations for the Marine Corps Times’ Marine of the Year.

    To nominate someone, send us:

    • Your name, address, commercial phone number and e-mail address.

    • The name, address and commercial phone number of your nominee and his/her unit commander.

    • An explanation in 300 words or less of why your nominee deserves this award.

    • Names and contact information for three people who can verify the nominee’s achievements that took place in 2005.

    You can submit nominations in one of four ways:

    • Online at www.marine

    • By e-mail at

    • By fax to Marine Corps Times’ Marine of the Year Award at (703) 642-7325.

    • By mail to Marine Corps Times’ Marine of the Year Award, 6883 Commercial Drive, Springfield, VA 22159.


    A story in the April 10 edition quoted a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement saying that Capt. Richard Toschiaddi had been arrested on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography. The spokeswoman, Lauren Mack, now says she was in error. Toschiaddi was questioned, fingerprinted and his mug shot was taken, but he was not formally arrested. No federal charges have been filed. As the story noted, he was turned over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. No military charges have been filed against the Camp Pendleton, Calif., logistics officer.


  2. #2
    April 17, 2006

    News Breaks

    Marine killed on California interstate

    A 22-year-old Camp Pendleton, Calif., Marine who was jumping around in traffic on Interstate 15 in Temecula was struck and killed April 6, the North County Times reported.

    Officer Ron Thatcher, a California Highway Patrol spokesman, said the name of the Marine wasn’t being released yet, but he was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.

    According to the CHP, someone called 911 at 2:54 a.m. to report that a man was jumping in and out of the freeway’s southbound lanes, south of Rancho California Road.

    Thatcher said a big-rig driver slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting the Marine. The driver of a Toyota Previa behind the truck then swerved around the rig and struck the Marine, the officer said.

    The Marine landed in the freeway’s center divide, suffering head injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:08 a.m.

    Parris Island officer dies in vehicle crash

    A senior officer at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., was killed in a car crash April 4 in Port Royal, S.C., Marine officials said.

    Lieutenant Col. Annette Jacobsen was the deputy comptroller for the depot.

    According to a depot spokesman, Maj. Billy Canedo, Jacobsen was pulling into an intersection around 4:15 p.m. when her 1999 Honda sedan was struck on the driver’s side by a dump truck.

    Rescue crews extracted the Marine and transported her to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

    Jacobsen entered the Corps in 1981. Her husband recently retired as the depot’s inspector general.

    Canedo said the accident is under investigation.

    Philippine case raffled off to new court

    The Philippine rape case involving four Marines was raffled April 3 to Judge Benjamin Pozon of Branch 139 of the Makati Regional Trial Court, according to a report posted on the Internet by ABS-CBN News.

    According to the report, the case was supposed to have been raffled off to an Olongapo City Regional Trial Court, which has jurisdiction over the Subic Free Port, but on March 28, the Supreme Court allowed the venue to be changed.

    The original judge, Renato Dilag, recused himself a day before the accused were to be arraigned.

    Dilag said his son had worked with the law firm that represents one of the Marines.

    The leathernecks were training in country with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. They are accused of raping a 22-year-old Philippine woman Nov. 1 in Subic Bay.

    Japan, U.S. agree on relocation plan

    Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, will be relocated as part of a reorganization of U.S. troops stationed in Japan, officials said April 7.

    The city of Nago in central Okinawa agreed to host the air station after Japan’s Defense Agency decided to relocate a planned runway to keep flights away from residential areas.

    The deal marks a major step toward a final agreement between Japan and the U.S. on redeploying U.S. troops in Japan.

    “The agreement today is extremely significant,” Japanese Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga said in a news conference. “The Futenma relocation plan had been up in the air for 10 years.”

    Washington has proposed adjusting the deployment of some 50,000 troops based in Japan as part of a worldwide realignment of U.S. forces, which also includes a plan to move 7,000 Marines from Okinawa to the Pacific island of Guam.

    Realignment talks were to resume April 13-14 in Tokyo.


  3. #3
    April 17, 2006

    Around the Corps

    Compiled from military and other public sources.


    Flash flood accident kills 6; 2 missing

    An accident involving a 7-ton truck that rolled during a flash flood April 2 in Asad, Iraq, claimed the lives of six Marines, according to an April 5 Defense Department release.

    Two Marines, Lance Cpl. Eric Palmisano and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Marcques Nettles of 1st Marine Logistics Group, are missing following the incident. Their duty status is listed as “whereabouts unknown,” the release stated.

    The only other U.S. military member with this duty status is Army Sgt. Keith M. Maupin, missing since his convoy was attacked in Iraq and he was captured on Aug. 9, 2004.

    On April 4, the Corps recovered the body of one Marine and determined the cause of death to be drowning, said Capt. Megan McClung, a spokeswoman for I Marine Expeditionary Force.

    One Marine was injured in the accident, which was not caused by enemy action, according to the release.

    McClung released no details about the injuries sustained by the surviving Marine but said he was transported to a surgical unit at Al Asad Air Base, where he was treated and returned to his unit the next day.

    Reserve unit joins RCT-5 in Fallujah

    Reservists from a Massachusetts-based unit have arrived in Iraq to join Regimental Combat Team 5, an April 6 Marine Corps news release said.

    According to the release, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, assumed authority for the part of Fallujah formerly patrolled by leathernecks from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, who were to return to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on April 12.

    The battalion will train with Iraqi Security Forces and conduct counterinsurgency operations for RCT-5, according to Sgt. Maj. Bradley Trudell, the battalion’s senior enlisted Marine.


    Nonlethal crowd control taught

    Leathernecks and British Royal Marines joined forces in Moneague, Jamaica, to train Caribbean defense forces, an April 5 Marine Corps news release said.

    The training is part of Exercise Tradewinds, an annual event designed to improve the ability of participating forces to manage security during the World Cup of Cricket, which will be held this year at locations throughout the Caribbean.

    Since rioting is a primary security concern, the Marines worked a two-day mock riot into the three-week training schedule.

    “We teach the troops that they just can’t shoot unruly people,” said British Royal Marine Capt. Rhys Hopkins, head training officer.

    “The training is very physical, very disciplined, and the troops work hard to make all of this come together,” Hopkins said.

    North Carolina

    Squadron returns from NAS Key West

    Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 302 returned from training in Florida to Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., on March 29, a Marine Corps news release said.

    The squadron spent 12 days training at Naval Air Station Key West.

    “Being able to come to Key West and have this experience is invaluable for both our pilots and crew chiefs,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Herndon, squadron commander.

    Herndon said the squadron deployed with eight CH-53E Super Stallions and trained in instrument and area familiarization and confined area landings.

    Civil affairs Marines return to Lejeune

    The 6th Civil Affairs Group returned to Camp Lejeune, N.C., on April 4 from a seven-month deployment to Iraq, a Marine Corps press release said.

    According to the release, 6th CAG is a provisional unit created for the Corps’ civil affairs mission in Anbar province. The unit was to be permanently deactivated upon its return.

    The 6th CAG provided civil-military operations support to 2nd Marine Division during its deployment, including support for Operations Sayaid II, Steel Curtain, Freedom Express and Patriot Shield II, the release said.


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