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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hometown News: Jamey Milliner

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jamey K. Milliner, son of Gwendolyn A. and Sam F. Milliner of Alexander City, along with more than 2, 500 sailors and Marines from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), Norfolk, Va., and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU), Camp Lejeune, N. C., are currently deployed to support Maritime Security Operations, provide crisis response capability, and increase theater security cooperation and forward Naval presence in the Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of operation.

Milliner is a 1998 graduate of Benjamin Russell High School of Alexander City and joined the Navy in July 1998.

During a port call in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the sailors and Marines hosted tours aboard ship. They also volunteered to assist residents and refurbish the grounds at the Association Sindrome de Down de Beleares, dedicated to helping persons with Down Syndrome. The sailors and Marines also had the opportunity to participate in bicycling and kayaking tours, tours of Palma City, the Caves of Drach and Costa Nord.

Bataan also recently commemorated the Battle of Midway, wearing uniforms as they were worn in 1942 and playing Midway announcements throughout the day over the ship's general announcing system.

Four Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., who spent three weeks aboard the Bataan, were paired with enlisted sailors who helped prepare the future officers for shipboard life and acquire tools to become effective leaders.

Bataan transited the Suez Canal and entered the Fifth Fleet's area of responsibility, relieving the USS Boxer Amphibious Group.

The 22nd MEU performed the first ship to shore emergency medical evacuation from the Bataan using the new MV-22B Ospreys. The V-22 is a joint service, multi-mission aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability and performs missions as effectively as a conventional helicopter while also having the long-range cruise abilities of a twin turboprop aircraft.

ARGs usually include an amphibious squadron (PHIBRON), an amphibious assault ship (LHA/D), amphibious transport dock (LPD), dock landing ship (LSD), embarked Naval support elements and an embarked MEU.

The BATARG is comprised of the multi-purpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce (LPD 15) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43). The BATARG and 22nd MEU provide the combatant commander a versatile sea-based force that can be tailored to a variety of missions, including quick reaction crisis response options in maritime, littoral and inland environments in support of the Navy's Maritime Strategy.

The 22nd MEU includes a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its command element.

For more information on Bataan, please visit www. bataan. navy. mil and www. navy. mil/local/lhd5/

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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