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Archive for December, 2009

Camp Lejeune Marines on a mission

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

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Camp Lejeune is a very busy place as Marines get ready to ship off to Afghanistan. Their missions are varied, but none more so than the MEU – the Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The rapid-response unit launches from ships, landing by sea or by air. It is only the second unit to use the Osprey on deployment. The MEU is trained to carry out 43 diffrerent kinds of missions – from acting as a strike force, to rescuing personnel, to what they did when we visited – responding with medics to a mass casualty scenario.

It could be all too real in Afghanistan or Iraq. Lt. Michael Doss describes the scenario:

“Two insurgents dressed up as civilians had IED’s on them. One of them they stopped before hand, but the other went into the building and blew himself up.”

“They’re going to send in a team of 100 or so Marines to clear the building of threats and treat casualties,” adds Sgt. Robert Piper.

For medics and corps men, this mission requires a certain mind-set: Assure security before saving lives.

“One of the key points of this training is to maintain that security, secure hazards, and then effectively treat and triage and get those casualties out of there,” explains Chief Shawn Porter.

One of the greatest challenges Marines face in situations like this is figuring out who’s friendly and who’s hostile. It’s often a split-second call, and lives may hang on it.

Minimizing civilian casualties was something that was stressed by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen when he spoke to deploying Marines at Camp Lejeune on Monday.

Sgt. Piper agrees, that’s no small task.

“It’s always hard,” he says. “You have to carefully balance the ability to attack the enemy without putting civilians in danger, which takes a lot of training and a lot of careful tactics and planning. But fortunately, the Marine Corps is good at all of those things and we’ve been successful at it thus far.”

At the end of the battle, the Marines know this is as much a war for hearts and minds as it is for territory. The exercise was all about saving Afghan civilians.

“People think of the Marine Corps and ‘we’re going to go in and kick some butt.’ At the same time this training today, mass cas training, is not about going in and kicking butt. It’s about going in and saving lives and helping out people,” says Lt. Doss.

It’s about helping them out in more ways than medically.

Sgt. Piper tells us “it all comes back to securing the area and making the people feel safe.”

The 24th MEU will have more fire power than previous MEU units, and an armored vehicle designed to fly inside the Osprey.

The 22nd MEU is just returning from a seven month deployment.

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videoCamp Lejeune is a very busy place as Marines get ready to ship off to Afghanistan. Their missions are varied, but none more so than the MEU – the Marine Expeditionary Unit. WWAY’s Steve Rondinaro and Shontrelle Robinson visited Camp Lejeune, to watch the 24th MEU conduct one of its final training exercises prior to deployment.

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Associated poll

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Citizens’ group asks state to take over New Hanover ABC board

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

By Chris MazzoliniChris.Mazzolini@StarNewsOnline.com

A group of Wilmington residents want the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Commission to “dissolve” the local ABC board because of their anger over the now-postponed ABC headquarters expansion and the high salaries paid to administrators.

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Laurean case to be moved

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

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A judge has approved a change of venue for the Cesar Laurean case. Laurean is the Onslow County Marine charged with murdering fellow Marine Maria Lauterbach and burying her charred remains in his backyard.

The trial is still scheduled for June 18th, but the new location has not been decided yet.

The case has been closely followed by the media since Lauterbach was pregnant when she was killed. Cesar Laurean fled to Mexico after her death.

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A judge has approved a change of venue for the Cesar Laurean case. Laurean is the Onslow County Marine charged with murdering fellow Marine Maria Lauterbach and burying her charred remains in his backyard.

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Associated poll

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Fight over Titan plan goes to court

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

By Chris MazzoliniChris.Mazzolini@StarNewsOnline.com

And let the legal battle over Titan America begin.Opposition groups filed a petition in Wake County Superior Court on Wednesday, asking for a judge to review a decision by the N.C. Department of Administration that Titan’s proposed cement plant doesn’t qualify under a state law that would effectively prolong the permitting process.

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Whiteville Army recruitment office short-staffed

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

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With unemployment so high, more people are turning to the military as a career option. But staffing issues at one local recruitment office are making it difficult for people to be all they can be.

The Army recruitment office in Whiteville usually has three recruiters. But for the last two or three months, transfers and accidents have left just one recruiter to sign people up for service.

The number of recruiters assigned to an office depends on an area’s population. Two recruitment chairs in Whiteville have been empty for several months, leaving Sgt. Jonathan Welch as the only recruiter in the area.

Sgt. Welch often visits schools to attract new recruits, but when he’s out doing that, there’s no one to take walk-ins at the office. The empty office has caused some confusion for people interested in signing up.

“It can be done, it’s a little bit more difficult, it can be strenuous,” said Sgt. Welch. “If somebody else comes in here they’ll pick it up right away. I mean it’s not a problem. We’re very well trained at what we do; to help, to counsel, to offer advice to people, and to put people in the Army.”

Sgt. Welch says the Army is working to transfer recruiters from other offices around the country. The new recruiters are expected to arrive next month.

Last year the Army recognized the Whiteville recruitment office as one of the best small recruiting stations.

If Sgt. Welch is not at the recruitment office and you’d like to sign up, you can reach him at (877) 369-0313.

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The Army recruitment office in Whiteville usually has three recruiters. But for the last two or three months, transfers and accidents have left just one recruiter to sign people up for service, and that’s making it difficult for people to be all they can be.

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Associated poll

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