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Airman Centa graduates

U.S. Air Force Airman Michael G. Centa graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Centa is the son of Bonnie Haven of Capac, MI, and Eric J. Centa of Chesterfield, MI, grandson of John Centa of Portage, MI, and nephew of Rose McKibbon of Kalamazoo, MI.

He graduated in 2016 from Diane M. Pellerin Center High School, Chesterfield, MI.
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Spanske participates in Navy’s ‘RIMPAC’


Seaman Alvin Spanske, a 2013 Almont High School graduate and Almont native is serving in the U.S. Navy and is participating in the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC).

Spanske is an information systems technician aboard USS San Diego, currently operating out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

A Navy information systems technician is responsible for maintaining communications circuits aboard the ship.

“I look forward to experiencing the interaction with the other nations during RIMPAC,” said Spanske.

According to Navy officials, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is “Capable, Adaptive, Partners,” Navy officials explained. The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air defense exercises, as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal and diving and salvage operations.

The Department of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet yearlong initiative will also play a major role in RIMPAC. The initiative highlights global operations using energy conservation measures and alternative fuel blends to demonstrate how optimizing energy use increases resiliency and operational readiness. During RIMPAC, almost all participating units will operate using an approved alternate-fuel blend.

Twenty-six nations, 45 surface ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific Exercise. This year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“This is a great opportunity for us to come together as a team within the ship doing the mission the nation expects us to be able to accomplish,” said Capt. Carl Meuser, commanding officer aboard USS San Diego.

“This is the first ship I’ve been assigned to and it has been great getting to know so many people aboard,” said Spanske.

Challenging living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Spanske explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

“I continue to look forward to interacting with those around me,” said Spanske. “This is an exceptional mentoring program. The sailors in my work center make sure I master new skills routinely.”

Additional information about Rim of the Pacific Exercise is available at www.cpf.navy.mil/rimpac/.

Halteman graduates from Air Force basic training

U.S. Air Force Airman Kaleb A. Halteman graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Halteman is the son of Brian and Tamara Halteman of Holly, MI, and grandson of Dan and Diane Halteman of Almont, MI.

He graduated in 2014 from Holly High School, Holly, MI.

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Spivey completes Basic


Private First Class Nathan E. Spivey of Dryden graduated from United States Marine Corps boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island on April 29, 2016. Private First Class Spivey, successfully completed 13 weeks of intensive basic training at MCRD Parris Island as one of 53 recruits in Training Platoon 3033. While in recruit training Private First Class Spivey was a Squad Leader in his platoon and was the platoon’s high scorer in the Combined Physical Fitness Test/ Combat Fitness Test earning a score of 593 out of a possible 600 points.

Private First Class Spivey, received a meritorious promotion to Private First Class, for these accomplishments. Following 10 days of leave, he will report to Camp Lejeune for two months at Infantry Training Battalion.
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Essenburg serving in Japan


Master-at-Arms 3rd Class Cody Essenburg of Capac, assigned to Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan’s Harbor Patrol Unit, stands lookout aboard an Argos II harbor craft during a routine security patrol.

The Harbor Patrol Unit provides anti-terrorism force protection, ship escort, and bay patrol as part of maritime security operations.

Airman Bickel graduates

U.S. Air Force Airman Alexander J. Bickel graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Bickel is the son of Robert J. Bickel and Monica J. Valentine of Imlay City, Mich.

He is a 2014 graduate of Imlay City High School, Imlay City, Mich.
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Donnellon completes training at West Point


Cadet Timothy Patrick Donnellon II, son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Donnellon of Emmett, completed Cadet Basic Training at the U.S. Military Academy.

Donnellon entered West Point on June 29 and has successfully completed six weeks of CBT. CBT is one of the most challenging events a cadet will encounter over the course of their four years at the academy.

The initial military training program provides cadets with basic skills to instill discipline, pride, cohesion, confidence and a high sense of duty to prepare them for entry into the Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer instruction included first aid, mountaineering, hand grenades, rifle marksmanship and nuclear, biological, and chemical training.

Donnellon began classes Aug. 17. The West Point curriculum offers 37 majors balancing physical sciences and engineering with humanities and social sciences leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.

Donnellon graduated from Yale High School. He plans to graduate from West Point in 2019 and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
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Petty Ofc. 2nd Class Brad Benoit


A Columbus, Michigan native and 2008 Riverview East High School graduate is building bridges and roads around the world as a member of the U.S. Navy’s Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133, based in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Brad Benoit is a religious programs specialist with NMCB 133, a unit specializing in building structures in areas of conflict. Sailors attached to NMCB 133 and other similar units, nicknamed “Seabees,” are a unique group in the Navy whose motto is “We build, we fight.”

“I regulate appointments and destructive behavior reports within the command. I also am responsible for monthly metrics that go to the chaplains,” said Benoit.

Seabees are trained as builders and fighters. They not only build bridges, roads, runways and other structures in war zones; they also defend those structures after they’ve built them.

Benoit and the rest of the sailors assigned to NMCB 133 are part of the Navy’s construction force that has been around for more than 70 years. Seabees have built entire bases and bridges and bulldozed and paved thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips for the U.S. military all over the world, playing a vital role in every major conflict the U.S. has been involved with since World War II.

“I like the motivation of the expeditionary units and the fraternity that they have,” Benoit said.

With nearly 600 personnel assigned to the battalion, jobs are highly varied and every job plays an important role in keeping the battalion ready to deploy around the world to defend America wherever needed.

Benoit’s commanding officer said he’s proud of the hard work and dedication from the battalion over the past 12 months preparing for their next deployment.

“The Seabees in this battalion are some of the hardest working people you’ll find in the Navy, willing to put themselves in harm’s way to build in unstable areas and, when necessary, fight the enemy to defend it,” said Cmdr. Miguel Dieguez, NMCB 133 Commanding Officer. “This group is devoted and ready to deploy around the world to advance the Nation’s interests wherever we’re needed.”

Working with NMCB 133 and serving in the U.S. Navy, Benoit said he is learning about himself as a leader and person.

“The Navy is helping me make the choices that benefit my future,” Benoit said.

Airman Englehardt completes basics

Air Force Airman Courtney P. Engelhardt graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Engelhardt is the daughter of Tammy L. and Kevin R. Engelhardt of Riley, and sister of Ashley D. Engelhardt of Port Huron.

She is a 2012 graduate of Capac High School.

Army Pvt. Zissler graduates from training

Army Pvt. Jacob R. Zissler has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier 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.

Zissler is the son of Teresa L. and step-son of David P. Rich of Capac. He is a 2014 graduate of Capac High School, Capac.
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