Kansas Air National Guard expands at Wichita

Here are recent headlines about the military in Kansas:Kansas National Guard(KAKE TV) Intel Center at McConnell Doubling in Size: The Kansas Air National Guard at McConnell Air Force base is landing more jobs. The McConnell Air National Guard Intelligence Squadron is expected to roughly double in size, increasing the division to around 400 personnel. The Intel center opened in 2006 after several years of planning. 200 Air Force analysts work the intelligence processing center right now – analyzing information from reconnaissance missions in real time from around the world. Over the next year, the number of analysts will grow to 400. Congressman Todd Tiahrt says this expansion means long-term job security for our area.Fort Leavenworth(The Timaru Herald, New Zealand) Top rank for former Timaru man: Former Timaru man Major General Rhys Jones has been appointed Commander of Joint Forces New Zealand. His new role sees him responsible to the Chief of Defence Force for operational-level command and control of all joint and combined international operations and exercises. “I consider this role to be the culmination of my career. It places me at the sharp end of the military, responsible for all operational deployments which are the reason why we have a Defence Force,” Major General Jones said of his appointment. He joined the Army in 1978, graduating from Officer College at Duntroon, Australia into the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps at the rank of Lieutenant in December 1982. His academic achievements include attending Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, USA, and higher defence college at the Australian Defence College.Fort Riley ¢ 1st Infantry Division(49abcnews.com) Combat battalion welcomes new commander: Soldiers from the 541st Combat Battalion got a new commander Wednesday. Lieutenant Colonel Howard Merritt passed over the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel John Silverstein. Siverstein is no stranger to Fort Riley. He served as an officer with the same battalion in 2002. He’s getting used to calling Kansas home. Before this assignment, he was at Fort Leavenworth.(Topeka Capital-Journal) Fort Riley soldier dies: A 20-year-old Fort Riley soldier died Tuesday in a German hospital after being transported from Tikrit, Iraq, with a noncombat-related illness one day earlier. Spc. Micheal D. Brown was an aviation operations specialist in the 1st Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.(49abcnews.com) Ft. Riley brings out the big guns: It’s the largest piece of artillery in the U.S. Army, the M109A6 Paladin armored fully tracked 155 millimeter howitzer. It’s in use now in places like Iraq and this week for training at Fort Riley. We were allowed to see the Paladin in action on the post. “We’re training for a task that’s more high intensity, but we also have a lot of adaptability,” battalion executive officer Maj. Richard Hodgson said. Several miles away is the impact zone, where fire support crews were training in dialing-in the targets. For this training the big guns were firing about eight miles, but their range is 20, and they are accurate.