Military & Veterans News
Coast Guard's 3rd Fast Response Cutter launched PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by USCG Public Affairs   
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 14:07

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard announced Wednesday the launch of its third Sentinel-class, Fast Response Cutter, the William Flores, at Bollinger Shipyards, Lockport, La.

The launch of the William Flores into the waters of Bayou Lafourche marks a production milestone as the Fast Response Cutter readies for sea trials, delivery, crew training and eventual commissioning.

“The Coast Guard’s new Fast Response Cutters are national assets, unique to the United States and uniquely equipped to respond to all threats and all events in times of crisis,” said Cmdr. Chris O’Neil, chief of media relations for the U.S. Coast Guard.  “The Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutters will be capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots and operating in seas up to 18-feet.  Armed with a 25-mm chain gun and four, .50 caliber machine guns,  the speed, stability and firepower of the Fast Response Cutter deliver tremendous lifesaving, law enforcement and homeland security capabilities in the same package.  Like the Island-class patrol boats the Fast Response Cutters replace, the fleet of 58 Sentinel-class cutters will serve as the workhorses of America's littoral, maritime fleet.”

Seaman Apprentice William Flores, namesake of the cutter, posthumously received the Coast Guard Medal, the service’s highest award for heroism not involving combat, for his unselfish acts and sacrifice Jan. 28, 1980, following the collision between the Coast Guard Cutter Blackthorn and the tanker Capricorn.  Flores and another crewmember threw life jackets to their shipmates who had jumped into the water.  Later, when his companion abandoned ship as the Blackthorn began to submerge, Flores, who was less than a year out of boot camp, remained behind and used his belt to strap open the life jacket locker door, allowing additional life jackets to float to the surface.  Even after most crewmembers abandoned ship, the 19-year-old Flores remained aboard Blackthorn to assist trapped shipmates and to comfort those who were injured and disoriented. Seaman Apprentice William Ray “Billy” Flores and 22 other Coast Guardsmen perished as the Blackthorn capsized and sank near the entrance of Tampa Bay, Fla.  Twenty seven of his shipmates survived.

After commissioning, the William Flores will be homeported in Miami, with a crew of 24 to conduct alien migrant interdiction operations, port, waterways and coastal security patrols, search and rescue and national defense missions.

Named for enlisted Coast Guard heroes, Fast Response Cutters have an overall length of 154 feet, a beam of 26 feet and are capable of speeds in excess of 28 knots.  The Fast Response Cutter also features a stern launch ramp for rapid and safe deployment of its 7.9-meter small boat.  The William Flores is scheduled to be delivered and commissioned in 2012.

For more information about the Fast Response Cutter visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/sentinel/default.asp or to learn more about the recapitalization of Coast Guard assets visit http://www.uscg.mil/acquisition/programs/pdf/CG9recap.pdf.

 
Braley Statement on Death of Marine Cpl. Christopher Zachary Reiff PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 02 December 2011 09:05

Iowa Marine died from wounds suffered by an IED explosion in Afghanistan 

 

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement today after learning that Marine Cpl. Christopher Zachary Reiff, a native of Preston, Iowa, died as a result of injuries suffered from an IED explosion while on patrol in Afghanistan:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Reiff family.  Words seem so inadequate at times like these, but I am grateful for Corporal Reiff’s service.  He made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of the country he loved.  I urge Iowans to keep the Reiff family in their thoughts this Thanksgiving.”

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Governor Pat Quinn Proclaims Lance Corporal Joshua Misiewicz Day in Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Katelyn Tye   
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 11:08

Honors La Grange Military Hero

CHICAGO – November 19, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed Lance Corporal Joshua Misiewicz Day in Illinois, in recognition of Lance Corporal Misiewicz’s exemplary service in the United States Marine Corps.

Lance Corporal Misiewicz, a 23-year-old La Grange resident, deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the 1st Batallion, 5th Marine Regiment in March 2011. While on patrol in the Helmund Province on July 20, 2011, Lance Corporal Misiewicz stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and sustained extensive injuries. Lance Corporal Misiewicz was later awarded the Purple Heart by Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos for injuries sustained during battle.

A copy of Governor Quinn’s proclamation is attached.

WHEREAS, all citizens owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who heroically serve to defend the freedom and safety of all Americans; and,

WHEREAS, by answering the call of duty during times of peace and war, these heroic service men and women have demonstrated a profound love for the people of this country and a steadfast commitment to the freedom that unites us; and,

WHEREAS, the United States and the State of Illinois are blessed by the 1.5 million men and women who have answered that call to serve our nation with courage and integrity; and,

WHEREAS, these members of our military are true heroes; and,

WHEREAS, since June 2011, more than 100,000 American heroes remain deployed in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom; and,

WHEREAS, one such hero was 23-year-old La Grange native and United States Marine Corps Lance Corporal Joshua Misiewicz; and,

WHEREAS, prior to pursuing his dream of enlisting in the Marines, Lance Corporal Misiewicz spent a lifetime representing his community in the highest esteem—as a member of the St. Xavier Parish, as an all-state all-star hockey player, as a 2006 honors graduate of Lyons Township High School, as a student athlete and associates’ degree recipient from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in Winona; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz deployed to Afghanistan as a member of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment in March 2011; and,

WHEREAS, A Department of Defense photo of Lance Corporal Misiewicz giving high-five to an Afghan child in April 2011 became an image seen around the globe as a demonstration of the American goodwill toward the people of Afghanistan; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz, while on patrol in the Helmund Province on July 20, 2011, stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) and sustained extensive injuries; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz has undergone more than two dozen surgeries and will continue to receive treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; and,

WHEREAS Lance Corporal Misiewicz has fought successfully against all odds; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz, was awarded the Purple Heart by Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos for injuries sustained during battle; and,

WHEREAS, Lance Corporal Misiewicz has now accepted a new mission, spending much of his time with the support of his family and fellow Marines following the road to recovery en route to the future;

THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim November 19, 2011 as LANCE CORPORAL JOSHUA MISIEWICZ DAY in Illinois, in recognition of Lance Corporal Misiewicz’s service and sacrifice, and encourage all citizens to express their respect and gratitude for our nation’s troops by supporting them in whatever way possible.

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Illinois National Guard Soldier Paves the Way for Air Assault Training PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Spc. Jeffrey Granda, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment   
Monday, 21 November 2011 16:29
GREENVIEW, IL (11/17/2011)(readMedia)-- Hovering 90 feet in the air. Dangling from a Blackhawk helicopter and rappelling to land with a rope as the wind whistles through your hair. This is an experience many who put on a U.S. Army uniform dream of, but few experience. Until recently, most of those opportunities were reserved for active duty Army personnel. Through a new program, Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers are getting a unique opportunity to attend Air Assault School.

The program allows distinguished honor graduates from initial entry training (IET) to attend Air Assault School.

"Soldiers must graduate from IET as a distinguished honor graduate or honor graduate with a physical fitness test score of 280 or above," said Sgt.1st Class Angela Cooper of Hartsburg, Acting Training Seat Quota Manager. "Soldiers meeting the criteria must submit applications within 90 days after graduating from IET."

Since October 2010, nine Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers qualified for the program, but only one Soldier has graduated from Air Assault School.

On January 14, 2011 Spc Jeremy Doggett of Greenview, a member of the Illinois Army National Guard's Troop A, 2nd Squadron, 106th Cavalry Regiment, in Pontiac graduated from Air Assault School at Fort Benning, Ga. Doggett excelled during IET, becoming a distinguished honor graduate and receiving the Draper Leadership Award, which is designed for upcoming leaders in armor and cavalry units. His extraordinary accomplishment led to the creation of the new program allowing Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers the option to attend Air Assault School.

"Soldiers have to meet high standards to go to air assault training," said Master Sgt. Marshall

Peterson of Tallula, with the training division at Camp Lincoln in Springfield. "Prerequisites include a commander's recommendation and successful completion of a 12-mile road march with 35 pounds of equipment in three hours. We want smart, strong Soldiers with the strength and mental toughness to rappel out of a helicopter and complete the training."

Air Assault School is a 10-day course with a "Zero Day" that consists of a physical fitness test and an obstacle course. The obstacle course is designed to assess a student's upper body strength, agility, endurance, confidence and ability to perform at heights without displaying fear or distress. This test is critical in determining if a Soldier will be able to complete Air Assault School without becoming a safety risk during the demanding training events conducted during the course.

"The obstacle course consists of nine separate obstacles that you must overcome," said Doggett. "Two of the obstacles must be completed receiving a first time 'go.' You cannot receive more than one 'no go' on each of the remaining seven obstacles or you will fail."

Air Assault School is typically recognized as more challenging than Airborne School due to the additional academic portions of the course coupled with the physical challenges. Safety is paramount during all training and failure to meet the rigorous standards results in an immediate discharge from the course."

Air Assault School has three distinct phases, with each phase having a written test. Soldiers learn up to 17 hand and arm signals used during sling-load operations. There is a three-day phase focused on planning and preparation for sling-load operations, capabilities, characteristics and use of sling loading equipment. Soldiers eventually learn to rappel from a hovering helicopter.

"Between the first and second day we did a six-mile ruck march and it was nasty out and that's when my uniform including boots were soaked, said Spc Doggett. "During the ruck my socks were drenched and fell down creating friction....and both of my boots were saturated in blood. The bad part was I knew I had another ruck to complete, but no pain, no gain."

Many Soldiers are cut throughout the course for various infractions in standards. One example is air assault Soldiers are required to shout "air assault" every time their left foot hits the ground and Soldiers never walk during training.

The final day starts at 1 a.m. when Soldiers wake up and conduct a 12-mile ruck march within three hours.

"It was January and there was a rain snow mix, so conditions were not ideal," said Doggett. "I think the Air Assault School is a great course that improves attention to detail and leadership skill. The training sets you apart from your peers. It really toughened me up and made me the person I am today. Upon graduation I was coined by State Command Sgt. Maj. John Starbody. "

Doggett said having this course under his belt helped him move forward to his next path in the military. Since graduation, he has been attached to the Illinois National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Command in Springfield traveling throughout the state as a member of the mobile event team and was recently selected to attend flight school at Fort Rucker this coming year.

More Soldiers are slotted to attend Air Assault School and further funding is available for fiscal year 2012. Details of the new program can be found in Illinois Army National Guard Operations and Training Message 11-006.

Photo 1: Photo courtesy of Spc. Jeremy Doggett/ Through a new program, Illinois Army National Guard Soldiers are getting a unique opportunity to attend Air Assault School. "Between the first and second day we did a six-mile ruck march and it was nasty out and that's when my uniform including boots were soaked, said Spc. Jeremy Doggett of Greenview. "During the ruck my socks were drenched and fell down creating friction....and both of my boots were saturated in blood. The bad part was I knew I had another ruck to complete, but no pain, no gain."

Photo 2: Army photo by Sgt. Jason A. Bushong/ A servicemember rappels from the tower with a combat load during Day 8 of Air Assault School on Camp Smith, N.Y., July 28.

Photo 3: Photo courtesy of 55th Combat Camera/ Air Assault students rappel from a UH-60 Blackhawk as part of their graduation from Phase 3 at Camp Smith, N.Y., on July 29.

For high resolution photos, please contact the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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New Cain Video Pays Tribute to American Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Friends of Herman Cain   
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 13:21
Paying tribute to America's veterans, Presidential hopeful Herman Cain teams up with highly decorated Colonel Michael Steele to offer a powerful and moving message to the men, women, and families of our armed services.

Colonel Steele was the company commander of the Third Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, during Operation Gothic Serpent, the basis for the book and subsequent movie, "Blackhawk Down."

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

From the Berlin Wall to Mogadishu to Iraq, Colonel Steele has served his country well, and Herman Cain is honored to have a friendship with a man so respected and decorated as the Colonel. Please join us in honoring our proud and heroic Veterans on this and every day.

Thank-you and God bless all our servicemen and women, and God bless America.

You can see the video on the Herman Cain YouTube channel.

 
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