Military digest for July 29

Monday, July 29, 2002

Sergeant finishes exercise in East Africa

Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. John B. Hankins, son of Jean and Charles M. Hankins of Anna, Ill., recently completed two months of training exercise and humanitarian missions in the East African nation of Djibouti while assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Marines from Hankins' unit participated in Exercise Djibouti MEUEX 02, which included aviation, amphibious assault, live-fire and maneuver training. Additionally, volunteers from the unit conducted engineering, medical and dental projects, and delivered school supplies donated by U.S. citizens from Morehead City, N.C.

Hankins is a 1980 graduate of Galatia High School of Galatia, Ill., and joined the Marine Corps in May 1987.

Sailor serving six-month deployment in Spain

Navy constructionman Andrew J. James, son of Linda M. and John F. James of Cape Girardeau, is currently on a six-month deployment to Rota, Spain, while assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Seven, home-based in Gulfport, Miss.

Seabees from James' unit recently joined 14 other NATO nations in Spain, the Canary Islands and the Western Mediterranean for annual military exercises.

At San Gregario, Spain, James' unit assisted with the construction of a 35,000-square-foot base camp, built a landing strip and helped the Spanish military with road improvements.

James is a 2001 graduate of Central High School and joined the Navy in June 2001.

-- From staff reports

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