Marine Corps Capt. Benjamin B. Harrison, son of Sarah A. and Stephen G. Harrison of Fairfax, and more than 2,100 Marines and Sailors assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are in the middle of a scheduled deployment with the Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group to the Mediterranean Sea in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Harrison is a 1995 graduate of Robinson Secondary School of Fairfax and joined the Marine Corps in May 1999. He is a graduate of United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. with a BS degree.
Navy Lt. Daniel R. Parilla, a 1991 graduate of Paul Vi High School in Fairfax, made a port visit to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during a scheduled deployment, while assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, homeported in Bremerton, Wash. During the visit, members of Parilla's unit took time to read, play and assist in teaching children at the Rashid Pediatric Therapy Center in Dubai. The 130 children at the school have a variety of disabilities and range in age from 3 to 15. The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the Persian Gulf conducting operations in support of multinational forces in Iraq and maritime security operations in the Gulf to promote security and stability in the region. Carriers like the Carl Vinson are deployed throughout the world to maintain U.S. presence and provide rapid response in times of crisis. They serve as a highly visible deterrent to would-be aggressors and are equipped with the most versatile and powerful weapons and aircraft available. Parilla joined the Navy in August 1995.
Marine Corps Pfc. Nathan D. Leach, son of Stephanie M. Glor and Frank C. Leach of Centreville, and more than 2,100 Marines and Sailors assigned to the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) are in the middle of a scheduled deployment with the Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group to the Mediterranean Sea in support of the Global War on Terrorism. During the deployment, Leach's unit participated in a number of exercises including Eagle Resolve 2005, a joint exercise with the Israeli Defense Force, a one-day exercise in Dijibouti in support of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, and a one-month live-fire exercise at Udairi Range, Kuwait. The MEU also participated in community outreach projects in Malta, Italy and Bahrain. Leach's unit is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to rapidly organize for combat operations in virtually any environment. MEUs are built around a reinforced infantry battalion, a combat service support element, a reinforced helicopter squadron and a command element. Leach joined the Marine Corps in January 2004.
Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Jason E. Parson, son of Deborah P. and Herbert W. Parson of Chantilly, recently graduated from the Marine Corps Basic Combat Engineer Course at Marine Corps Engineer School, Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C. During the five-week course, Parson received instruction in the fundamentals of engineering support for combat units, including the procedures for building and repairing bridges, roads and field fortifications. Parson also received training on demolition concepts, land mine warfare and camouflage techniques. Parson joined the Marine Corps Reserve in January 2005.
Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Saylor, son of Sharon L. Dennis of Centreville, and the reserve Marines of 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, homebased in Roanoke, are in the middle of a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Saylor and approximately 65 of his fellow Marines deployed to support the U.S. coalition's mission of promoting stability and safety in Iraq. Saylor's unit's primary mission is to enhance the mobility, counter-mobility, and survivability of the Marine division through close combat engineer support and to provide limited general engineer support for the functioning of a Marine division. Saylor is a 2002 graduate of Westfield High School of Chantilly, and joined the Marine Corps Reserve in May 2003.
Marine Corps Pvt. Jenifer N. Demas, daughter of Harold F. Demas of Centreville, recently graduated from the Aviation Logistics Tactical Information Systems Course at the Navy Supply Corps School, Athens, Ga. During the 25-week course, Demas received technical training on computer network information systems operation, installation, maintenance and repair. Demas also received training of digital network infrastructures in support of the Naval Tactical Command Support System. Demas is a 2004 graduate of Centreville High School of and joined the Marine Corps in June 2004.
Air Force Col. Robert D. Winston has assumed command of the 65th Air Base Wing, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. He is the son of Ramon K. and Alma V. Winston of Plantation Point Drive, Amelia Island, Fla. His wife, Kim, is the daughter of John and Waldtraut Covach of Edenderry Drive, Fairfax. Winston received a bachelor's degree in 1979 from the Citadel Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, and earned a master's degree in 1989 from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Mary J. Zarlenga graduated from the Army ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as "Operation Warrior Forge," at Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash. The 33 days of training provides professional training and evaluation for all cadets in the aspects of military life, administration and logistical support. Although continued military training and leadership development is included in the curriculum, the primary focus of the course is to develop and evaluate each cadet's officer potential as a leader by exercising the cadet's intelligence, common sense, ingenuity and stamina. The cadet command assesses each cadet's performance and progress in officer traits, qualities and professionalism while attending the course. Zarlenga is the daughter of Carleton J. and Anna W. Nysewander of Starlit Ponds Drive, Fairfax. She is a 2001 graduate of Paul VI High School, Fairfax.