News of the Force: Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Page 2

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Feb 1, 2018, 2:20:55 PM2/1/18
                                        NEWS Of THE FORCE: Thursday, February 1, 2018 - Page 2

U.S. Army
     Sircaria Coleman deserted her post as a U.S. Army company commander more than five years ago, but her run from the law ended when she walked onto a cruise ship dock in New Orleans, La., this week, court records allege. Authorities arrested Coleman at the Port of New Orleans on Monday morning. She will be turned over to the Military Police.
     The U.S. Army's new 9-mm Modular Handgun System (MHS) suffered several issues during testing with ball ammunition, but passed its tests with jacketed hollow point expanding rounds.
     Next week the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland will hold a hearing on Army modernization. Just twelve months ago, in a similar hearing, the U.S. Army was, according to its own senior leaders, in dismal shape.
     About 4,100 participants from 10 nations are taking part in an  exercise in Germany which runs Jan. 15th-Feb. 5th. Nearly 2,420 participants will come from the United States and approximately 1,680 are participate from allied and partner nations.
     In his first State of the Union address, President Donald Trump praised an Army hero, vowed to soon call for one of the biggest military spending increases in U.S. history, and said America is again ready to lead the world.
     U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, along with members of the bipartisan Senate Great Lakes Task Force, today urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include the Great Lakes Coastal Resiliency Study in the president's FY2019 budget request.
     With just over a week before the start of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Team U.S.A. has added seven Army soldiers to their roster.
     John Goodale, the Assistant Adjutant General-Army and commander of the Idaho Army National Guard, is retiring after spending four decades serving his country.
     Pvt. Christopher A. Langner, of Alta, and Pvt. Alberto Garcia, of Storm Lake, were both part of approximately 80 Iowa Army National Guard soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston.
     For 75 years, Lloyd Lobdell was denied a headstone printed with his name, birth date, rank and military unit. Entombed with nine other men in an unmarked grave in the Philippines, Lobdell was not forgotten by his grieving family but he was never properly buried. Tomorrow, the Elkhorn, Wis., man will finally get the burial he deserved when he died of illness in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Cheri Delaney, whose 88-year-old mother, Priscilla Schmall, was Lobdell's first cousin, is traveling to Hawaii with her mom for the military ceremony. Delaney remembers visiting her Aunt Ruth, Lobdell's mother who died in 1982, when she was a child and hearing stories about him. "I wish my aunt was alive because I think it was very difficult for her, not knowing," Delaney said in a phone interview. "It will be closure for my mom. She knew him." Lobdell was a member of Company A, 192nd Tank Battalion, an Army National Guard unit federalized in November 1940. Known as the "Janesville 99," Company A consisted of men who signed up for the Wisconsin Army National Guard before the war and trained at the Janesville Armory. Lobdell grew up on a farm and graduated from Janesville High School in 1938. In October 1940, Lobdell enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 32nd Tank Company because he knew it was being called to federal duty for one year and he figured he could fulfill his military obligation before he could be drafted into the regular Army.Once they mobilized for overseas duty - by this time part of the 192nd Tank Battalion - the soldiers trained for almost a year and arrived in the Philippines on Thanksgiving Day 1941 to help beef up American military forces. When the Japanese attacked the Philippines less than three weeks later, on Dec. 8, 1941, the 192nd Tank Battalion fought valiantly but was forced to withdraw to the Bataan Peninsula and surrendered with the rest of American troops in April 1942 before embarking on the brutal Bataan Death March. Lobdell, a private first class, was assigned to the POW camp at Cabanatuan on the island of Luzon. He became ill from malaria and beriberi, and died on Nov. 19, 1942, four days before his 24th birthday, and was buried with fellow prisoners in the camp cemetery. Only 35 of the original "Janesville 99" returned home from the war - two were killed in combat, one died on the death march, and the rest succumbed, like Lobdell, to disease and starvation. After the war ended, the American Graves Registration Service personnel exhumed the graves of Lobdell and others who died at Cabanatuan and relocated them to a temporary U.S. military cemetery near Manila. In 1947, the remains were exhumed in an attempt to identify them. But because of extensive commingling of remains and limited means of identifying the fallen, they were not identified and were reburied as unknowns in the cemetery at Fort McKinley in Manila. Four years ago, 10 graves associated with Cabanatuan Common Grave 717 were exhumed and sent to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency for identification. Two of Delaney's cousins gave DNA samples that were used to match Lobdell's remains. Last summer, the family was notified of the positive identification. Delaney has a copy of the telegram sent to Lobdell's parents telling them of his death and she received his medals, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, which were donated to the Elkhorn Historical Society. Lobdell's family chose the American military cemetery in Hawaii known as the "Punchbowl" for his final resting place. "We thought it would be nice for him to be buried with his comrades," said Delaney, of Fort Atkinson.

The parting shots
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign paid private investigators more than $5,000 in December to conduct “research consulting,” according to a new financial filing. The payment went to Confidential Global Investigations, a sleek corporate investigations company that reportedly employs former FBI agents.
     Florida has entered into reciprocity agreements with seven other states, clearing the way for Florida licensed private investigators to follow cases that originated in Florida to those states.
     The Canadian Senate has passed a bill that changes the text of the English-language version of the national anthem to make it gender-neutral. It now awaits royal assent by the governor general to become law. The move is set to change the words "in all thy sons command" to "in all of us command."
     National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) has terminated its Houston-based franchise, the "Scrap Yard Dawgs" (SYD), effective Jan. 29th , due to repeated violations of the team's franchise agreement, including the SYD's repeated failure to make timely payments to players and vendors.
     A semitrailer driver ignored warning signs and drove over Peru's famous Nazca Lines last Saturday, causing significant damage to the UNESCO World Heritage site.
     Actress Shalita Grant, who plays "Sonja Percy" on NCIS: New Orleans, is leaving the drama, Variety has learned exclusively. Sources say the departure is amicable and mutually agreed upon between the actress and the producers of the CBS procedural, which is shot in the Crescent City.
     And what's known as the South Central Iowa Drug Task Force may soon be phased out, but officers with drug experience would still be at the Centerville Police Department. Back when it started, the drug task force was completely funded through a grant program, but that grant funding continues to dwindle.

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