Draining the Pacific Ocean

Draining the Pacific Ocean reveals a mountain larger than Everest and a new Hawaiian island on the rise.

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Department of Defense Releases the Names of the Six Marines Killed Jan. 19 in Afghanistan

The Department of Defense released the names of six Marines killed Jan. 19 when their CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter went down in Afghanistan.

Each Marine was assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, the “Red Lions,” based at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. The squadron deployed in August for a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Capt. Nathan R. McHone, 29, of Crystal Lake, Ill., a CH-53 pilot, was commissioned into the Marine Corps in September 2005 and joined the squadron in October 2009. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His personal awards include two Air Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and NATO ISAF Medal.

Capt. Daniel B. Bartle, 27, of Ferndale, Wash., was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and CH-53 pilot. He was commissioned into the Marine Corps in May 2006, and reported for duty with HMH-363 in July 2011. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His personal awards include two Air Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the NATO ISAF Medal.

MSgt. Travis W. Riddick, 40, of Centerville, Iowa, was a CH-53 crew chief who enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 1990 and reported to the “Red Lions” in March 2011. This was his fourth deployment; he had previously deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

His awards include six Air Medals, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals, seven Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, NATO ISAF Medal, and Kuwait Liberation Medal.

He is survived by his wife and six children.

Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, 22, of Willis, Texas, was an aerial observer who joined HMH-363 in May 2011. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in November 2008. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His awards include an Air Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO ISAF Medal.

He is survived by his wife.

Cpl. Kevin J. Reinhard, 25, of Colonia, N.J., was a CH-53 crew chief. He enlisted in the Marines in June 2008 and reported to HMH-363 in September 2009. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His awards include three Air Medals, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO ISAF Medal.

Cpl. Jesse W. Stites, 23, of North Beach, Md., was a CH-53 crew chief who had been with the “Red Lions” since March 2009. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 2008. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan.

His awards include three Air Medals, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and NATO ISAF Medal.

He is survived by his wife.

Photos will be posted to the MCB Hawaii website when available. Imagery from HMH-363’s deployment is available online at http://www.dvidshub.net/.

Update On One of the Rat Lungworm Victims… Doctors Say He Will Make a Full Recovery

Here is a quick update on one of the victims that got infected with the rat lungworm disease while visiting Puna here on the Big Island.

a holidaymaker, who traveled to Hawaii to learn about organic farming, found himself in hell, after catching a flesh-numbing parasite.22-year-old Eric Reinert was confined to a wheel chair when his nervous system was attacked by a crippling disease-rat lungworm.  

The rare microscopic organism lives in rats and can be caught by eating fruit and vegetables that have not been thoroughly washed.

Now the former state wrestler is having to learn to walk again, CBS News reported.

‘Every movement was just dreaded – horrible, awful, terrible,’ said Reinert.

The young man left Watertown, Minnesota last November to travel to Hawaii to indulge his passion for organic farming…

Crippling disease: 22-year-old Eric Reinert has been confined to a wheel chair since his nervous system was attacked by paralysing disease rat lungworm

…Doctors diagnosed him with rat lungworm.After a month in hospital he was allowed home and is now making small steps to get back to health.  Doctors say he will make a full recovery.

‘A lot of people in Hawaii don’t know this exists, I didn’t know it existed. I wasn’t told about it because I’m sure the people I lived with didn’t know it exists,’ Reinert told CBS.

‘Honestly … this left side of my face is still numb,’ said Reinert.

‘Every day it gets a little better. It’s kind of a roller coaster with the pain but overall, that’s what I tell everybody. Overall, I’m getting better every day,’ he said.

The VOG Measurement and Prediction Project (VMAP)

Have you ever wondered which way the VOG was blowing on the Big Island and how much Sulfur Dioxide is being emitted into the air?  Well the VOG Measurement and Prediction Project (VMAP) might be of assistance.

Is it possible or practical to predict vog? The Vog Measurement and Prediction Project (VMAP) is a feasibility study in which scientists will evaluate [are evaluating] whether vog forecasts are achievable and useful. Project collaborators are making the feasibility study available to the public through this Web site, but as an ongoing investigation, VMAP currently provides limited service and reliability. Thus, VMAP users should have no expectation of accuracy or timeliness, and project data should not be used for decision making purposes at this time. Comments and inquiries can be directed to the appropriate contact.

Vog is primarily a mixture of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and sulfate (SO4) aerosol. SO2 (invisible) reacts with oxygen and moisture in the air to produce SO4 aerosol (visible). SO2 is expected to be the main problem in areas near the vent (Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Pahala, Na`alehu, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates) and SO4 aerosol is expected to be the main problem at locations far from the vent (Kona and farther north and west).

Vog Model

The model output animation and accompanying forecast table is generated using the HYSPLIT numerical dispersion model. The model uses estimates of volcano emissions along with forecast winds to predict the concentrations of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) and sulfate aerosol particles (SO4) downwind of the ongoing Kilauea eruption. This is a research effort that is in progress.

Click here for model statistics. For a history of the VMAP model parameters, click here.

Here is the what the Big Island is looking like: