The White Falcon


The White Falcon - 11.11.1977, Blaðsíða 1

The White Falcon - 11.11.1977, Blaðsíða 1
Present service members tentatively exempt Military retirement benefits under fire President Carter's panel on mili- tary pay is indicating that it won't propose any big cuts in the growing cost of military pensions. And that cost now exceeds the Army payroll. The Commission on Military Compensa- tion has agreed tentatively that any pension proposals would not apply to current retirees or to persons already serving in the armed forces. A staff member, Lieutenant Colonel! Michael O'Connell, says that means the full effects of any change wouldn't be felt for a few years after enactment. Commission members also listened without dissent as LCol O'Connell told them yesterday that based on cost alone, the staff found no compelling argument for changing the retirement system. O'Connell said the commission might want to change the system for other reasons, possibly redistribut- ing the same amount of money in a different package of benefits. He said the total cost of pen- sions under the present system would continue to grow at about one and a half per cent a year through the end of the century. The annual cost is now more than nine billion dollars. His projection, however, assumes there would be no inflation and no military pay-increases. Both of these factors tend to push up costs. None of the commission members spoke in favor of reducing the cost of pen- sions. One said he opposed any reduc-¦ tion in pension levels or any attempt to end servicemen's rights to pensions af- ter 20 years service. Congressional critics of the mili- tary pension system argue that the ris- ing cost of military pensions forces the Pentagon to choose between guns and pensions. Therefore, they claim it threatens eventually to undermine national security. The commission's final recommenda- tions are due in about five months. These are expected to become the focus of a debate in Congress where support for the present military pension system has been slipping. More than one third of the members of the house went on record earlier this year for reducing future military pensions. Commission member John Filer says congressional dissatisfaction with the system is one reason why the panel should not recommend keeping the present system intact. Other staff suggestions would in- crease severance pay for persons forced out of the service before retire- ment; require armed forces mem- bers to contribute a portion of their pay to the retirement system, which is not now required; allow them to earn a deferred pension* after 10 years of service, in addition to an instant pension at 20 years and re- duce pension payments at the time retirees begin to draw Social Se- curity checks in addition to their military pension checks. No cost projections were pre- sented for any of these proposals. Some would increase total costs while others would cut spending. Volume 33 Number 45 Keilavik, Iceland November 11, 1977 VIPS' VEHICLES STAND ready to aid the officials whether rain, sleet or snow as call may come through at the Public Works Transportation Division, (above). HEADLIGHT ADJUSTMENT is just one of the services performed at the Public Works Transportation Division as Krigtinn Vilhtalmsson, the oldest employee assigned to the division, makes a minor adjustment to a government vehicle, (right). VP-16 Returns to Iceland by Ltjg James D. Pruitt Personnel and aircraft from Patrol Squadron 16 began arriving from their homeport, Naval Air Station Jackson- ville, FL recently. Led by Commander A. W. Rehfield, the "Eagles" effected a smooth and expeditious turnover of operations and formally relieved Patrol Squadron 24 last week. This event marks the beginning of the squadron's sixth de- ployment to Keflavik. VP-16 first visited Keflavik in May 1954, and then returned again in 1956, 1958 and 1962, flying the renowned Lockheed P2-V "Neptune" patrol air- craft. In April 1975, the Eagles again returned, flying the advanced long-range antisubmarine warfare platform, the Lockheed P3-C "Orion." Presently, the 375 men of VP-16 operate and maintain nine aircraft. Since their commissioning in 1946, the Eagles have maintained a reputation as one of the finest patrol squadrons in the fleet, and have repeatedly demon- strated their professionalism in their ability to perform outstanding ASW missions. Enthusiasm prevails among the men of Patrol Squadron 16 as they look forward to an enjoyable stay in the Land of Ice and Fire. Transportation on the move To serve the needs of the NATO base is the goal of Ensign Reynold A. Sefton, the Public Works Department transporta- tion officer. The 17-year Navy veteran, formerly a senior chief equipment operator, is the division officer for 100 people in the transportation section. These employees work in the mechanical, bus rehabilita- tion, general maintenance and body shop sections. Seven military mechanics service the transportation bus fleet. The base bus service operates from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. A dispatcher is on duty 24 hours daily. Both a military taxi service is available as well as a wrecker service for military vehicles around the clock. In the command pool, 70 vehicles may be checked out on a first-come, first- served basis. In this case, the first consideration is the mission of the in- dividual command; vehicle usage is granted to activities according to this priority. C-pool vehicles may be requested (continued on page 3) New hobby center taking shape Construction progresses on hobby center After the new building is accepted, the Recreation Department will move, and final touches will then be added. The building will house the ceram- ics shop, pho«o shop, electronics shop, leather shop, woodworking shop, stereo shop, hobby sales store plus The new Hobby Shop Center will be completed by May 1, 1978, with the grand opening slated for May 5, 1978, according to Master Chief Air Control- man Gene Raymond. The new building, presently under construction next to the Viking building, is scheduled to be accepted from the contractor March 3. classrooms which hobbyists may work on projects. A planned attraction will be the lapidary shop where ordinary stones may be converted to polished jewelry. New equipment is expected for many shops: The carpentry shop will receive a larger assortment of tools, new en- largers will be installed in the photo shop and the electronics shop will be updated and improved. The new hobby shop will provide an increased opportunity to indulge in one's favorite hobby. Meanwhile, a chance to participate in one's own interest is available at the present hobby shop.

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