Local military news briefs

Staff Reports

From above, the profile of the vessel is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder.

From above, the profile of the vessel is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ohio National Guard celebrated its birthday in July as well. It was organized on July 25, 1788 — nearly 15 years before Ohio gained statehood — in Marietta, Ohio, as the Northwest Territory Militia.

Free health care events to be conducted in Madison and Union counties

GuardCare is hosted each year in a different medically under-served Ohio community. Services are free to all who attend, regardless of income. No appointment is necessary and insurance is not needed or considered.

The Madison County GuardCare will be open to the public Saturday, Aug. 5, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at London High School, 336 Elm St., London, OH 43140.

The Union County GuardCare will be open to the public Saturday, Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Union County Health Department, 940 London Ave. No. 1100, Marysville, OH 43040.

Services at both locations will include immunizations, sports physicals, women’s health services, and hearing and vision testing.

Through GuardCare, the Ohio National Guard supports and assists local health care providers. The event also enhances the skills of Ohio National Guard medical personnel, many of whom work as health care professionals in their civilian occupations as well.

Celebrating 100 years of service at Camp Sherman

The Ohio National Guard participated in the recent centennial celebration of Camp Sherman in Chillicothe.

For 100 years, Camp Sherman has played a major role in the history of Chillicothe. To aid in the U.S. Army’s World War I mobilization, more than 1,300 buildings were erected, including a library and a hospital. By the end of the war, more than 40,000 Soldiers had passed through the Camp Sherman gates for training.

The federal government closed the original Camp Sherman in the 1920s and today only the old library remains. The original footprint of the camp now has multiple uses, including a school and a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center. And its legacy lives on today as the Ohio National Guard’s Camp Sherman Joint Training Center.

Just as Soldiers were trained there 100 years ago, the men and women of the Ohio Army National Guard prepare there today for their state and federal missions. The Camp Sherman Joint Training Center includes a 35,000-square-foot readiness center, and provides training support to law enforcement agencies and is available to local youth and educational programs.

More information about the history of Camp Sherman is available at http://www.campshermandays.com/.

Funeral honors to be conducted for missing Ohio National Guard Soldier who died during World War II

COLUMBUS — An Ohio National Guard Soldier missing for more than 75 years was laid to rest in his hometown of Port Clinton, Ohio in July.

Technician 4th Grade John Kovach Jr., whose remains were recently identified, lay in repose at the Bataan Memorial Elementary School on July 10, followed by a brief service honoring him and the men of the 192nd Tank Battalion. Procession and graveside services followed at Riverview Cemetery, with full military honors provided by the Ohio Army National Guard.

Kovach enlisted in the Ohio National Guard on Aug. 8, 1940, in the 37th Tank Company at Port Clinton. The 37th Tank Company was designated Sept. 1, 1940, as Company C, 192nd Tank Battalion.

Inducted into federal service on Nov. 25, 1940, Kovach trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky, before arriving in the Philippine Islands, on Nov. 20, 1941. He participated in the battles of Luzon and Bataan before being captured. Kovach was among the approximately 75,000 Filipino and American troops on Bataan who were forced to make an arduous 65-mile march, known in history as the Bataan Death March, where thousands perished due to the harsh conditions.

Kovach died in November 1942 and was buried in a camp cemetery. His remains were moved after the war to a mass grave until 2014, when the U.S. Army exhumed the remains for DNA testing.

Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Buckeye) celebrated a century of service

By Sgt. 1st Class Josh Mann

Ohio Army National Guard Historian

COLUMBUS — On July 18, the Ohio National Guard’s 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team celebrated 100 years of service to the state and nation. Called “Buckeye” since its birth, the 37th has had elements stationed in 126 different communities across Ohio and eight of its Soldiers have earned the Medal of Honor.

Headquarters, 37th Division was constituted on July 18, 1917, as the Ohio National Guard prepared for Word War I. Since its birth, the 37th has proudly served in World War I, World War II, Kosovo and the War on Terrorism. Additionally, the 37th Infantry Division saw federal service during the Korean War, when nearly all of its Soldiers were sent to the front lines as individual replacements.

During World War I, the Buckeye Division fought in France and Belgium, earning credit as one of the best American divisions the German Army faced. Following the armistice, the division was selected to escort the King of Belgium back into his country after years of German control.

Led by Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler for the duration of World War II, the division spent 592 days in combat in the Pacific and earned the nickname “heavyweight” from Yank magazine, which wrote:

“Seeing the 37th move toward a new front was like seeing Joe Louis step into the ring after the preliminaries. It’s a big, tough, skilled division for a big, tough job. It’s a heavyweight.”

After 51 years of service, the 37th Infantry Division was reduced to a single brigade in February 1968 due to Army force structure changes. Ohio Gov. James Rhodes wrote of the removal, “lest any Ohioan ever forget that there was in fact, and remains for posterity, a division for which superb is the only description. It was a superb outfit, and such units are made by superb men.”

The 73rd Infantry Brigade rose from the ashes of the Buckeye Division. First assigned as an element of Indiana’s 38th Infantry Division, the Buckeye Brigade reorganized as a separate infantry brigade in 1977 and assumed the mission as a Theater Defense Brigade in 1980. With this mission came the war time defense of the Aleutian Islands.

Army force structure changes in 1993 again reorganized the 73rd as the 37th Brigade. Now a mechanized brigade, 37th units were the first Ohio formations to be called into federal service after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

On Sept. 1, 2007, the 37th was once again reorganized as the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and proudly brought back the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 37th Infantry Division, a red circle with white border (patterned after the flag of Ohio), which had been dormant since 1968. Since then, the 37th IBCT has deployed to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and most recently to Kosovo.

Today, the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team maintains approximately 3,500 Soldiers in the Ohio and Michigan Army National Guards, and is the No.1 IBCT in the Army National Guard inventory for readiness (preparedness of units, Soldiers and equipment, measured by a number of statistics).

The 37th IBCT is currently deployed in support of Operation Joint Guard-Kosovo Force (KFOR), tasked with maintaining a safe and secure environment for people living along Kosovo’s southeastern border, and will return home later this summer.

121st Air Refueling Wing hosts child with autism

The 121st Air Refueling Wing recently hosted Chase Fuller as an honorary pilot for a day at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base. Fuller is a 15-year-old from Gahanna. The pilot for a day program includes an honorary induction into the Air National Guard, taking a tour of the KC-135 Stratotanker, marshaling an aircraft, taking a tour of the fire department, learning about emergency management and interacting with Security Forces personnel. Fuller will be starting high school this fall. He is interested in planes and loves to visit the airport to watch them land. He takes pride in his ability to name planes as they fly overhead or by the sound of their engines. His interests include a career marshaling aircraft. Fuller earned gold, silver and bronze medals in the Gahanna Special Olympics participating in bowling, basketball, swimming and track.

NOAA locates Destination wreckage, Coast Guard hearing set for August

Two NOAA ships, en route to scientific missions in Alaskan waters, helped locate the missing fishing vessel Destination at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation. The Destination and its six crew members were lost February 11, 2017, while fishing for Opilio crab (snow crab) northwest of St. George, Alaska.

NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson, a fisheries survey vessel, conducted the first survey from April 30 through May 1. The Dyson used its multibeam echo sounder to search the area around the last known position of the Destination. While the ship was not able to positively identify any contacts, it did narrow the search area.

A second survey by NOAA Ship Fairweather, a hydrographic survey vessel, was conducted on July 8 and 9. The Fairweather used its multibeam sonar, designed for seafloor mapping and object detection, to locate the Destination in approximately 250 feet of water.

With the wreckage and debris field located by NOAA ships, a U.S. Coast Guard dive team aboard Coast Guard Cutter Healy will use a remotely operated vehicle to investigate the wreckage later this month. Imagery from the ROV will provide visual confirmation of the wreck site and become part of the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation, which holds its public hearing August 7-18 in Seattle.

“The Marine Board appreciates NOAA’s help in locating the wreckage of the F/V Destination,” said Commander Scott Muller, U.S. Coast Guard, chairman of the Marine Board of Investigation. “The vessel location is an instrumental piece of our investigation. We have a long partnership with NOAA to support the safety of those on the sea and appreciate their assistance in this and past investigations.”

“The crew and officers of Oscar Dyson and Fairweather were honored to assist the Coast Guard in this investigation,” said Captain Keith Roberts, NOAA Corps, commanding officer of NOAA’s Marine Operations Center – Pacific. “Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those lost aboard the Destination.”

Coast Guard and NOAA have a long history of collaboration, underscored by their shared mission to promote safety at sea. The unique capabilities of NOAA research and survey ships have been instrumental in assisting marine accident investigations, involving both vessels and aircraft.

The NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. You can follow NOAA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and social media channels.

Columbus native helps keep one of the Navy’s newest, most advanced aircraft flying

By Kayla Good

Navy Office of Community Outreach

(WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash.) – A 2012 University for Development Studies graduate and Columbus, Ohio native is serving with a U.S. Navy electronic attack squadron that flies one of the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced aircraft, the EA-18G Growler.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Randy Agyeibi is an aircrew survival equipmentman with the “Black Ravens” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 135, one of 14 Navy electronic attack squadrons based in Whidbey Island, Washington.

As an aircrew survival equipmentman, Agyeibi is responsible for keeping parachutes, life rafts, personal flight gear and toher viation survival gear in proper working condition.

“I like everything about my job because I make sure the aircrew is safe and they aren’t at risk,” said Agyeibi.

Taking off from and landing on Navy aircraft carriers, as well as supporting expeditionary land-based operations around the world, Growler crewmembers engage in electronic warfare, one of the most important components of modern air combat, according to Navy sources.

The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite, complete with advanced receivers, jamming pods and satellite communications. The electronic warfare mission involves jamming enemy radar and communications systems to render air defenses ineffective.

“I love working with the people in my command,” said Agyeibi. “This command takes really great care of its sailors.”

As a member of one of the Navy’s squadrons with the newest aircraft platforms, Agyeibi and other VAQ 135 sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

“We’re in the warfighting business, and we’re here to win,” said Capt. Tabb Stringer, Commodore of Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “We operate the most advanced and capable electronic attack aircraft in the world and our sailors are the most highly trained, innovative, and critical thinking teammates I have ever worked with.”

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied at VAQ 135, according to Navy officials. Approximately 65 officers, 400 enlisted men and women, and 110 civilian contractors make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — this includes everything from maintaining airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry, and flying the aircraft.

Serving in the Navy, Agyeibi is learning about being a more responsible leader, sailor and citizen through handling numerous responsibilities.

“For me, serving in the Navy has been the greatest opportunity,” added Agyeibi. “Not all people have the opportunity to serve and I am proud that I do.”

From above, the profile of the vessel is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder.
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2017/08/FVDestination_Sonarimage.pngFrom above, the profile of the vessel is clearly visible, including the bulbous bow to the right, the forward house and mast, equipment (likely crab pots) stacked amidships, the deck crane aft, and the skeg and rudder.

Staff Reports

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Ohio National Guard celebrated its birthday in July as well. It was organized on July 25, 1788 — nearly 15 years before Ohio gained statehood — in Marietta, Ohio, as the Northwest Territory Militia.