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Check Six: Air Force Buzz Numbers

A Hawaii Air National Guard F-102 Delta Dagger with a buzz number in the early 1960s | click to enlarge

A buzz number was a large letter and number combination applied to U.S. Air Force planes after World War II and into the early 1960s. They were applied for general aerial identification of aircraft, but particularly for the identification of aircraft guilty of “buzzing” (very-low-altitude high-speed passes) over populated areas.

The system was designed to be a deterrent to 8th Air Force pilots performing unauthorized low-level flying over post-war Europe. This practice created the need for ground observers to be able to identify and report an offending aircraft.

In response to this need, a system of letters and numbers was developed to uniquely identify each aircraft in inventory. The number was painted as large as possible on each side of the fuselage, and on the underside of the left wing.

The Buzz Number system continued in use through the 1950s, but was ended during the 1960s. One of the last Air Force fighters to carry was the F-4 Phantom II, which used a Buzz Number of FJ.

Continue reading about buzz numbers at the Airplanes of the Past website– Great photographs

Special thanks to Drew Hurley for sending the link to this website to Retiree News. Drew was a public information officer in the Hawaii Air National Guard. He served for several years before transferring to the New Jersey Air National Guard. Retiree News is planning an update on Drew.

HIARNG Soldiers Take the Mission – Task Force Sinai

From the Adjutant General’s Facebook page

The 1st Squadron, 299th Cavalry Regiment took over the mission in Sinai. Be safe Soldiers!

Task Force Sinai conducted a Transfer of Authority ceremony this morning as 36th Infantry Division, 1st Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment departed and 1st Squadron, 299th Cavalry Regiment of the Hawaii Army National Guard arrived.

Check out the photographs

Will some military retirees miss the boat on new dental coverage?

From the website

Are military retirees getting the word about looming changes to their dental coverage, and do older retirees in particular have the tools they need to make that decision?

Some advocates are concerned about the upcoming transition from the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program, which ends December 31. It’s being replaced by the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), traditionally available to federal civilian employees, retirees and their families. But retirees are not automatically enrolled in the new FEDVIP coverage. They must enroll between November 12 and December 10, or they won’t have coverage on January 1.

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Check Six: The End of an Era – 16 years ago

Kamehameha Schools photograph | click to enlarge

On May 9, 2002, Kamehameha Schools held a Deactivation Parade to mark the end of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) after 114 years.

Many past and current Hawaii Army and Air National Guard members were Kamehameha School graduates whose first encounter with military leadership, discipline, and values was through JROTC.

The following is some excerpted remarks by Dr. Michael J. Chun, Kamehameha Schools President and alum Campus Headmaster at the JROTC Deactivation Parade on May 9, 2002

For 114 years, the hills and valleys of Kalihi have echoed the cadence of cadets marching to the drumbeat of honor, duty and country. First to the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, and later to the United States of America, we pledged our allegiance and commitment to serve.

Whenever the call was made, Kamehameha graduates answered with valor, chivalry and patriotism. For all eyes and for all time, they courageously stood guard over this beloved land of ancient descent.

It is with deep sadness then, that we now bid farewell to a tradition that has been a hallmark at Kamehameha since our beginning. The strength of this program lies in the ideals and values that have been taught to our students, showing them what they should be, what they can be, what they will be. They have learned a strength of character, woven with kūpono, koa and na‘auao,that can be traced to Kamehameha the First.

Read the entire article from the September 2002 issue of Imua, a publication for the Kamehameha Schools ‘Ohana

Air Force Expands Basic Military Training to Eight-and-a-Half Weeks

From the website

The U.S. Air Force has expanded its Basic Military Training from seven-and-a-half weeks to eight-and-a-half weeks in an effort to align more closely with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ heightened focus on readiness and lethality, officials said Monday.

In a move that took effect September 4 but was announced Monday, the BMT curriculum has been enhanced with additional physical fitness and combat skills courses to train airmen for real-world events during the earliest days of their service, Air Education and Training Command said in a release.

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New Followers 18.11.07

You can register to receive an email every time there is a new post.

In the Follow Retiree News via Emailsection, on the right column of the website – enter your email address and press Follow”. 

Shortly, you will receive a confirmation email to your address from You acknowledge the email and you are a registered reader.

After you compete this short registration process, you get a notification email every time there is a new posting. The email has a quick teaser of the posting, along with tags that indicate how the posting relates to special topics/areas. There is a direct link to the website (Read more of this post)

Retiree New post sample   click on graphic to enlarge

Thanks to these Retiree News readers who registered to “Follow Retiree News via Email”:

bettejo_dave, purplesvobo, crafter21, ajheff, rkroon, greggthompson29, diazcw3, falofive, jwmail, ralshow75, billfish194871, chefjre, nfeiges

Check Six: Brig Gen Wong Pinned – 15 years ago

Retiree News photograph | click to enlarge

This photograph was taken on August 4, 2003 at the State Capitol. Governor Linda Lingle pinned Darryll Wong to brigidier general in a ceremony in Ceremonial Room at the Capitol.

In the photograph are two retired chief master sergeants – Darryl Ho and Thomas Sato.

Darryl served as the NCOIC of the Consolidated Base Personnel Officer (CBPO) for many years before his retirement.

Tom served on the fighter flightline for many years. He was one of the NCOs on the flightline when then-Capt Wong started his Hawaii Air National Guard career as an aircraft maintenance officer.

The Best Places to Retire in 2019

From the U.S. News & World Report website

Retirees have an opportunity to relocate to a place that better suits their interests and budget. The challenge is finding a place that will meet all of your retirement needs. A new U.S. News analysis compared the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States as potential retirement spots.

The study included data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care. The data was weighted based on a U.S. News online survey of people age 45 and older about their retirement preferences.

Over half of the list contains cities from just three states: Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania. There are seven cities in Florida that made the 25 Best Places to Retire, largely due to affordable homes, low taxes and high ratings for happiness and desirability. The list also contains four places in Texas and three Pennsylvania communities that provide a high quality of life at an affordable price.

Here’s a look at the Best Places to Retire in 2019:

Here’s When the Army Might Unveil Slogan to Replace ‘Army Strong’

From the website

The U.S. Army has taken steps to energize its recruiting machine, but the service may still be many months away from unveiling a new slogan to replace “Army Strong.”

It’s been just over four months since Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey floated the idea that the Army might come up with a new slogan that’s as powerful as “Be All You Can Be” was to the Army at the end of the 20th Century.

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Tomorrow is Election Day. Honor Brent Taylor’s memory — VOTE

From the Task and Purpose website

Army Maj. Brent Taylor was killed in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan on Saturday, but days before his tragic death, he penned a powerful call to action for his fellow Americans ahead of Election Day in November: Embrace the glory of democracy.

“It was beautiful to see over 4 million Afghan men and women brave threats and deadly attacks to vote in Afghanistan’s first parliamentary elections in eight years,” Taylor, a 39-year-old Utah National Guardsman and the mayor of North Ogden, Utah, wrote in his final Facebook post on October 28. “The strong turnout, despite the attacks and challenges, was a success for the long-suffering people of Afghanistan and for the cause of human freedom.”

“As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us.”

Thousands of Afghans turned out to vote in the country’s first parliamentary in years in the aftermath of another devastating insider attack in Kandahar that wiped out the province’s top security officials and left an American general wounded.

“Many American, NATO allies, and Afghan troops have died to make moments like this possible; for example, my dear friend Lieutenant Kefayatullah who was killed fighting the Taliban the day before voting began,” Taylor wrote on Facebook.

Taylor, a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, was on his fourth tour in Afghanistan and had previously served two tours in Iraq. He is survived by his wife and seven children.

“There are men and women who go off to a deployment every day with no fanfare, with no attention, with no news articles on one individual. It’s what they do. The call to serve comes up, and you just answer it,” Taylor told Deseret News as he prepared to return to Afghanistan in January. “If it’s something we can do, and the call comes to serve, we say yes.”

Check Six: Gary Peters – 30+ years ago

Hawaii Air National Guard photograph | click to enlarge

This undated photograph shows then-Capt Gary “Pork” Peters during a family day doing a cockpit orientation of a F-4C Phantom.

Pork joined the 199th Fighter Squadron out of U.S. Marine Corps in June 1984. He flew F-4 Phantoms and F-15 Eagles during his time with the squadron. He served in several staff positions and later became the squadron commander.

In September 1998, Pork left Hawaii to become the commander of the then-181st Fighter Wing in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Wing flew F-16 Fighting Falcons. In 2004, he retired and started working for defense contractors.

According to his LinkedIn page, Pork recently joined Valiant Global Defense Services at MCAS Yuma.

In 2008, the Wing had a mission change and was redesigned the 181st Intelligence Wing.

This Chart Shows How Much Health Care Will Cost in Retirement – at Every Age

From the Time Money website

Here’s some good news about medical expenses in retirement: health care inflation has slowed over the past year, lowering your projected lifetime tab, according to a new report. And here’s the bad news: even at this lower growth rate, health care expenses are a runaway train that can plow a hole into the most carefully constructed budget.

Retirement health care expenses are projected to rise at an average annual rate of 4.2%, versus an estimated 5.5% last year, according to a report released last week by HealthView Services, a Danvers, Massachusetts-based company that provides retirement health care cost data and tools to financial advisors. The report attributed this decline primarily to slower growth in the cost of prescription drugs.

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Fitness Experts Share Top Workouts for People with High Blood Pressure

From the Everyday Health website

Nearly 1 in 3 adults — 75 million Americans — has high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While eating healthier and reducing sodium intake are great ways to lower your blood pressure, exercise is a crucial and potentially fun way to fight hypertension.

Although not every form of exercise might be right for you, there are a number of ways you can stay active to keep your blood pressure down. Here are four options:

Off Track: Best Brunch Spots in Honolulu Right Now

From the Thrillist website

Believe it or not, spam still dominates the palate of many local breakfast and brunch spots in Honolulu, but a new construction boom has brought new plates and new life to the Aloha State restaurant scene. That means more varied brunch options everywhere you turn. Why get simple scrambles when you can now kau kau, or eat, a mouth-watering Short Rib Loco Moco or a decadent order of green tea pancakes?

Sure, you can keep your Spam, but you’ll have to make room for these tasty bites served up at the best brunch spots in town.