From the Armed Services

Article excerpt

- Army National Guard Pvt. Christiaan D. Mihm has arrived at Fort Sill, Lawton, Okla., to begin One Station Unit Training. The training includes completion of basic military training and advanced individual training.

During basic training, students receive instruction in drill and ceremonies, map reading, tactics, military customs and courtesies, and first aid. Trainees develop combat skills and handle various weapons available to the infantry soldier.

During AIT, soldiers receive instruction to become field artillery cannon crew members. The student is trained to maintain, prepare and load ammunition for firing; operate and perform operator maintenance on prime movers, self-propelled Howitzers and ammunition vehicles; perform crew maintenance and participate in organizational maintenance of weapons and related equipment. The soldier also learns to establish and maintain radio and wire communications.

Mihm is the son of Heidi and Larry Mihm of Cary. He is a 1998 graduate of Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock.

- Navy Hospitalman John D. Swartz, son of Yvonda and John Swartz Sr. of Crystal Lake, recently completed a multinational exercise in the Mediterranean and Baltic Sea aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort, home ported in Baltimore.

Swartz was one of more than 700 active duty and reserve naval personnel who participated in Baltic Challenge '98 along with military personnel from 11 European nations. The exercise marked the first time USNS Comfort has traveled to the European theater and played a role in multinational exercises, and was the first major activity USNS Comfort has participated in since the Haitian migrant rescue operations in 1995.

During the exercise, members from Swartz's ship provided trauma training for military doctors and lawyers from Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. In addition, USNS Comfort personnel successfully removed a tumor from a Lithuanian boy and rescued a man from drowning in a Lithuanian waterway.

After the exercise, Swartz's ship stopped in Visby, Sweden to participate in an international medical conference. Medical personnel demonstrated the ship's ability in telemedicine, where the best medical minds in the world can be linked by satellite video to confer, diagnose, and provide treatment from USNS Comfort to other locations around the world.

Hospital ships like USNS Comfort provide platforms for medical training during major exercises or serve as medical treatment facilities during real world operations. Medical training supported includes patient evaluation, communications procedures, helicopter operations, telemedicine and operating with non-governmental and private volunteer organizations.

The 1996 graduate of Crystal Lake South High School joined the Navy in July 1996.

- Marine Lance Cpl. Samuel Torres, whose wife Amy is the daughter of Delbert and Geraldine Drake of West Dundee, recently completed two training exercises while on a six-month deployment to the western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked aboard the ships of the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group.

The first of the two exercises, sustainment training, took place in Hawaii. The three-day training exercise tested all areas of amphibious warfare, including non-combatant evacuation operations and amphibious assault.

The second training exercise took place in Singapore. During this exercise, Torres received training on urban warfare techniques, rope rappelling, close-quarter battle, weapons and small unit fighting. The training was designed to sharpen the skills of the already capable MEU.

Home based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., Torres' unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are composed of more than 2,000 personnel and are divided into an infantry battalion, an aircraft squadron, a support group and a command element. …