October 20, 2014

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Serving Us
Jeremy Robben earns wings of silver from AF PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014 11:35 AM

Lt. Jeremy S. Robben was awarded the coveted wings of silver at a graduation ceremony held Dec.13, at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. His proud parents, Ed and Janet, and sisters, Annie and Becca, were in attendance.

His year-long journey began on October 25, 2012 as Lt. Robben reported to the 14th Student Squadron to begin his first day of United States Air Force Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT).

With a great desire to earn the Air Force wings of silver, Robben began the first of the 3 phases of pilot training

Phase I was five weeks in duration and involved many hours of classroom instruction and computer based training in T-6 systems and operations, life support, parasailing and altitude chamber training.

During the five months of Phase II, Lt Robben got his first taste of flying the SUPT training aircraft, the Texan T-6, under the watchful eyes of the instructor pilots.

Some days were spent double or triple-turning flights, other days he faced tough rounds of emergency procedure quizzes, simulators, and stump the dummy knowledge sessions.

Aerobatics training, instrument training, and formation training eventually gave way to solo flight of the mighty Texan.

The next five weeks of Phase III were spent back in the classroom learning the complex systems of the T-38, also known as the  “Talon.”

Many hours of instruction, tests and simulator flights led to dual rides with instructors and eventually onto solo flight.  Training continued with the contact phase of patterns, landings, and aerobatics.

This gave way to the formation phase.  Once all the checkrides were completed, it was on to more “real world” flying as Lt. Robben ventured out of the Columbus, MS area, flying to other locations throughout the Southeast.

After a long year of adrenaline, exhaustion, struggle, heart-break, perseverance, and triumph, Lt. Jeremy S. Robben earned the privilege of wearing the United States Air Force wings of silver.

For his next assignment, Robben will report to Hurlburt Field, located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.  Hurlburt is the home to the headquarters of Air Force Special Operations Command.

There he will train on the U-28A, a manned fixed wing with on-call/surge capability for Improved Tactical Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) in support of Special Operations Forces.

Lt. Robben is the 2008 valedictorian of Harrison High School where he excelled in academics, athletics, and music.  He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy in 2012.

He is the son of Ed and Janet Robben of Cleves and the grandson of Tony and Florence Robben and Harold and Roberta Rengering, all Harrison residents.

Navy Seaman George A. Phelps PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:10 PM

Navy Seaman George A. Phelps, son of JulieAnn G. Lockwood, Cleves, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL.
During the eight-week program, Phelps completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.
The capstone event of boot camp is “Battle Stations”. This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. “Battle Stations” is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly ‘’Navy’’ flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.   
Phelps is a 2013 graduate of Harrison High School.

Harrison grad top dog in cleaning historic oil spill PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013 4:23 PM

Lieutenant Commander Robert Hess was awarded the U.S Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal for his efforts during the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon Spill of National Significance, the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. History which impacted the Gulf Coast and is otherwise referred to as the BP Oil Spill.

Hess is a 1989 graduate of Harrison High School and the son of Bob and Debbie Hess, Hidden Valley Lake.

As branch director, Hess developed the initial strategies, plans, procedures, tactics and techniques for the offshore and inshore decontamination program which were adopted by the entire Gulf Coast Unified Command and subsequently employed throughout the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

He was responsible for the successful oversight and implementation of the Decon Program into active field operations and co-developed the first of its kind, USCG vessel decontamination course, vessel decontamination qualification standards and the vessel decontamination examiner qualification which will be used during future oil spill responses throughout the nation.

Hess also managed more than 1,300 contractors during Operation Deep Clean, a $1.1 million daily expenditure beach remediation project across the coast of Alabama.

Petty Officer Derek Birkenheuer PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013 5:36 PM

Petty Officer Derek Birkenheuer, Harrison, has been promoted from petty officer third class to petty officer second class. Birkenheuer is serving his second year in the United States Navy. 
Birkenheuer is described by his superiors as professional, dedicated, and a leader. His promotion includes increased authority and greater responsibility, according to Jeffrey Ruth, commanding officer of the USS Nimitz.
Birkenheuer is the husband of Ashley (Helton) Birkenheuer, and the son of Dawn and Mike Birkenheuer. 
Birkenheuer currently is serving overseas.

Chad E. Wissel PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013 10:14 AM

Army Pvt. Chad E. Wissel has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

He studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

Wissel is the son of Jeff Wissel, Harrison, and Suzanne Morris of Buford, Ga.