TISHOMINGO — Air Force Airman Jonathon U. Linder has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

During the six weeks of training, the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization, and military customs and courtesies; performed drill and ceremony marches, and received physical training, rifle marksmanship, field training exercises, and special training in human relations.

In addition, airmen who complete basic training earn credits toward an associate degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

He is the son of Michael Linder of South Byrd St., Tishomingo.

The airman is a 2005 graduate of Tishomingo High School.



Joshua Saunders

SULPHUR — Navy Seaman Recruit Joshua B. Saunders, son of Tina J. and Jonathon D. Saunders, Sulphur, recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., with honors.

During the eight-week program, Saunders completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations." This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly "Navy" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.

Saunders is a 2005 graduate of Sulphur High School.



Jennifer Stephens

SULPHUR — Navy Lt. j. g. Jennifer J. Stephens, daughter of Rita J. Lansford and Lewie A. O'Neal, both of Sulphur, and her fellow shipmates entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to conduct maritime security operations (MSO) during a scheduled deployment while assigned to the amphibious transport dock USS Austin, homeported in Norfolk, Va.

Marines and Sailors of Expeditionary Strike Group Eight conducted MSO in the Suez Canal. MSO sets the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. MSO denies international terrorists use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other materials.

USS Austin is a warship that embarks, transports and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. Amphibious landing docks are generally designed to use landing craft to transport troops into a war zone.

Stephens is a 1994 graduate of Sulphur High School and joined the Navy in December 2002.



Darrell Thomas

DAVIS — Navy Fireman Darrell G. Thomas, son of Juanita K. Thomas, Prentiss, Miss. and Marshall D. Brown, Davis, and his shipmates concluded Annual Exercise (ANNUALEX) 2005, while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

ANNUALEX 2005 is a joint exercise between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). Two U.S. submarines, 10 U.S. Navy ships and 49 JMSDF ships participated in a series of wartime exercises to observe and improve mission interoperability.

USS Kitty Hawk is the first of the "supercarriers, " commissioned April 29, 1961. Carriers like USS Kitty Hawk are deployed throughout the world to maintain U.S. presence and provide rapid response in time of crisis.

The ship serves as a highly visible deterrent to would-be aggressors and is equipped with the most versatile and powerful weapons and aircraft available.

Thomas joined the Navy in June 2000.



Brian Wilke

ADA — Army Pvt. Brian D. Wilke has graduated from basic combat military training at Fort Sill, Lawton.

During the eight weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission and received instruction in drill and ceremonies, rifle marksmanship, weapons, map reading, tactics, armed and unarmed combat, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, Army history, core values and traditions, and special training in human relations.

He is the son of Emily R. and Ralph S. Wilke, Ada.

His wife, Rebecca, is the daughter of Neal Sliger, and Julie Sliger, both of Huntsville, Ark.

The private is a 2004 graduate of Ada High School.