Skip to content

Check Six: Project ALPS (Air Launched Probe System) – 38 years ago

Back row: unknown, Michael “Boss” Tice, Mick “My Tai” Melich, David Pontes Front row: Howard Hironaka, unknown – Hawaii Air National Guard photograph

This article first appeared in the July 15, 2010 Retiree News e-newsletter.

Project ALPS (Air Launched Probe System) was a tasking that had some 199th Fighter Squadron pilots flying in orange ―space suits. Both Mike “Boss” Tice and Mick “My Tai” Melich provided comments about the photo and Project ALPS.

Boss wrote back saying: I forget the year but Mick may remember because he came aboard as a temp tech with money we got for the project. I think it was called Project ALPS, but I don’t remember what ALPS stood for. It was an Army ballistic missile defense agency thing. They hung a big rocket on the centerline, we went to 40 some thousand feet as fast as we could go and then zoomed at about 30 degrees and launched this thing about 60 thousand feet. Purpose was to gather radar signature data as it came back down simulating a bad guy re-entry vehicle.

Mick and Ed “Easy” Pickering were the ones that flew the profile several times and the actual launch. I got to do one as the backup and played SOF (supervisor of flying) on Kwajalein for the ―shoot.  The two strangers are life support guys that came from Edwards AFB for space suit support. Took place over several months though the actual number of sorties flown was probably somewhere six and ten. The Arizona tankers supported us with lift to and from Kwajalein and air refueling during the missions.

Mick‘s comments: The other two folks were technicians from Edwards AFB or NASA and were there only to support the training and care of the full pressure suits we were using for this project. This all occurred in late 1981 and early 1982 as I recall.

Check Six: July 1990 Kūkā‘ilimoku

The Kūkā‘ilimoku is the official e-newsletter of the 154th Wing, Hawaii Air National Guard. The first issue came in September 1957 and continues as a monthly newsletter today. 

Today we feature the July 1990 Kūkā‘ilimoku issue. This issue includes the following stories:

* 154th Civil Engineering Squadron and 154th Services Flight’s Kadena AB Deployment

* CAMS News & Views

* 1990 HIANG Softball Tournament 

Review the entire the July 1990 Kūkā‘ilimoku issue

Interesting side note: the Kūkā‘ilimoku staff included Sgt Gaye Sakamoto and SRA Wayne Acosta

Dementia Diagnosis: When Do You Go Public?

From the nextavenue website

Post-Its had become an essential tool for Dale Rivard.

As a veteran assistant state’s attorney in Grand Forks, N.D., Rivard found that he was increasingly relying on the sticky notes to track the multiple details associated with his job as a prosecutor. He used them to remind himself of details connected to his cases and the particulars of the clients, witnesses and judges with whom he interacted.

“I was diagnosed with minor cognitive impairment, which is a neurological condition that is progressive,” says Rivard, now 60. “It makes my speech slower and now it’s affecting my balance and the feeling in my arms and legs. To make a long story short, I’m heading into dementia.”

Rivard’s diagnosis set off a chain of conversations that few people could be prepared to have. He shared his health status with his employer, colleagues and professional acquaintances, as well as with his 88-year-old father, four children, six grandchildren and large extended family.

Continue reading

Off Track: We ate out at restaurants and here’s what it was like

From the Frolic article

From the Frolic Hawaii website

The view from 7 restaurants on the first weekend of dining in again.

After months of missing the pleasures of eating out, many on the Frolic team headed back to the spots we’ve been dreaming about on the first weekend restaurants could reopen their dining rooms.

Here’s what we experienced at six eateries around Oahu and one on Maui.


Boogaloo: future of violent anti-government extremism in the U.S.

From the Task and Purpose website

On June 6th, Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carillo was arrested in California in connection to 19 separate felonies, including the alleged murder of a Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputy and serious wounding of two other law enforcement officers in an ambush attack. Weeks later, prosecutors alleged in Carillo’s indictment that the airman had also orchestrated the fatal shooting of a federal officer and wounding of another at a federal building in Oakland amid unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. 

According to prosecutors, Carrillo was motivated to target law enforcement officers with violence because of his connections to the ‘Boogaloo’ movement, an amorphous umbrella of far-right, anti-government extremists who seek to spark a second Civil War by, among other acts, murdering police officers.

Continue reading

Hawaii COVID-19 Cases By Zip Code

204th Airlift Squadron Celebrates the Fourth of July

Off the Hawaii Air National Guard Facebook page

While we don’t have fireworks to show off on this Fourth of July, the 204th Airlift Squadron ‘Pueos’ have their own way of celebrating, and we can’t think of a better way of commemorating 244 years of freedom! 

Happy Independence Day to you and your Ohana!

Watch the video


Japanese Spherical Fireworks

Very expensive and very well-engineered fireworks to get the effects of hearts and variations of planets in a solar system. Sixty-four seconds of fireworks in Japan.

This show is said to be the first of its kind in the world (spherical pyrotechnics). Worth watching. Likely the world’s best fireworks display you will ever see!

Mahalo to Fred Hyun for sharing this video with Retiree News.

Independence Day

From the Images of Old Hawaii website

Independence Day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson’s most enduring monument.

The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers.

Continue reading

Legislators Briefed on the Joint Task Force

Hawaii Army National Guard photograph

Off the 117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment Facebook page

Major General Suzanne P. Vares-Lum and Hawaii State Legislators attend a brief hosted by Brigadier General Moses Kaoiwi Jr., Hawaii National Guard Joint Task Force on July 1, 2020. During the brief, the VIPs were informed of the overall mission, capabilities and future transition from federal orders to state level by the Joint Task Force staff. 

More photographs by SSG Thomas Foster

The CDC just added new COVID-19 symptoms to its list

From the Business Insider website

When the novel coronavirus was first identified in China, patients seemed to develop at least one of three symptoms: fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath. The data was skewed, however, by the fact that most patients being tested for the virus had severe cases that required hospitalization.

As the virus grew to pandemic proportions, doctors have observed many additional symptoms.

Mandatory interisland Traveler Health Form now online

The State of Hawai‘i mandatory interisland Traveler Health Form can now be submitted online within 24 hours of flight departure. This upgrade adds efficiency to the passenger verification process, helps save travelers time and allows information to enter the database in real-time. The form includes health and contact information needed to trace close contacts should a passenger become ill.

Ticketed passengers are encouraged to visit the Hawai‘i Department of Health travel website to find the digital fillable Traveler Health Form. Once all the required questions have been completed and it is signed and submitted, the passenger will receive an email with a QR code. They should bring the code with them to the airport, either on an electronic device (preferred) or printed. The form may not be completed or submitted outside of the 24-hour time frame. (Please note: certain browsers such as Safari and Explorer are slow loading and Chrome is best).

Continue reading

The Hawaii National Guard Association (HNGA)

The purpose of the Hawai‘i National Guard Association (HNGA) shall be to strengthen the national defense; to further the interests of the Hawai‘i National Guard; and to promote and develop a sound organization. We strive to work closely with our local, state, and national elected officials and with the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). We will fight to maintain and/or increase our structure of forces in Hawai‘i, fight for the modernization of equipment, and maintain and/or increase our personnel benefits for Soldiers, Airmen, and our families.

For more information, go to the:

HNGA website
HNGA Facebook page