Military News

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today in the Department of Defense, Friday, March 11, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates is traveling.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn has no public or media events on his schedule.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, Kenneth Handelman; Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense, Andrew Weber; Director, Defense Threat Reduction Agency Kenneth Myers; and Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense, Army Brig. Gen. Jess Scarbrough testify  at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on counterproliferation strategy for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and chemical biological defense programs at 11:30 a.m. EST in room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building.

Department Reaches Out to Guard, Reserve Employers

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 – The Defense Department is reaching out to employers of National Guardsmen and reservists with a major survey to find out how the past decade of war and the heavy use of reserve-component forces has affected their civilian workplaces.

The department is distributing the surveys to some 80,000 employers throughout March and April to gain insight into the benefits and challenges of employing members of the Guard and reserves, Dennis M. McCarthy, assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, told American Forces Press Service today.

It is the largest survey of its kind since the military entered sustained operations following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States, McCarthy said. While surveys have looked into how Guard and reserve members are faring, none have focused primarily on employers and how they’ve been affected, he said.

“We want to know a little more about them and what their experiences have been,” McCarthy said. “We want to know what they’ve gained, how they see the value of having members of the National Guard and reserve working for them. We want to know what pressures there have been, and the things they’ve done to deal with it.”

The survey also is about sustaining military relations with employers and assessing the value the members of the reserve components bring to a workplace, McCarthy said.

“We want to get some ideas, if they have them -- and I know they will -- of what we can do to sustain their support in the future,” he said. “What I hear all the time is that these men and women who serve in the National Guard and reserve are among [their] best employees.”

McCarthy said he expects employer responses to be high. Phone calls were placed to about 40,000 of the targeted employers to notify them of the survey, and only about 1,500 asked that it not be sent to them, he said.

The survey is being distributed by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, a Defense Department agency created in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and reserves service. ESGR hosts annual Employer Freedom Awards to recognize the best employers for those serving in the reserve components. This year, some 3,000 service members have nominated their employers, a record number since the awards were created 16 years ago, McCarthy said.

The high number of nominees reflects the support Guard and reserve members have felt in the past decade, McCarthy said.

“After 10 years of conflict, where we’ve mobilized over 800,000 reserves, the level of support by employers in this country has been absolutely phenomenal,” he said. “This survey is intended to help us sustain that support … and maintain a partnership well into the future.”

McCarthy added that he hopes the survey results will translate into laws and policies to sustain the strong relationship between the reserve components and employers.

The survey is being distributed to employers of all sizes and industries in every state and territory, ESGR officials said.

Frontline Psych with Doc Bender: Compassion Fatigue

By Dr. James Bender

Dr. James Bender spent 12 months as the brigade psychologist for the 4-1 CAV out of Fort Hood. He served for four and one-half years in the Army. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad and many spots in between. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on mental health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.

Every once in a while, I get the chance to interact and talk with various groups related to the military and/or mental health. I had one of those chances when I moderated the February DCoE webinar, “Understanding and Overcoming Compassion Fatigue.” Every month, DCoE hosts a webinar, open to anyone, about various topics related to military psychological health and traumatic brain injury. Past topics include suicide prevention, sexual assault in the military and combating stigma related to seeking mental health treatment.

Compassion fatigue is something that can develop when providers feel overwhelmed, usually because of a heavy patient caseload or the type of trauma they treat. As a result the provider or caregiver exhibits signs of chronic stress or an extreme state of tension, which often leads to challenges when feeling compassion for his or her patients.

It’s especially common in theater, where long hours, lack of sleep and other stresses are the norm. Providers may feel that their work doesn’t matter, that patients aren’t going to get any better, or that no one values their work. Unfortunately, these feelings can affect patient care. Providers in the mental health field can be especially vulnerable because the nature of their work. Most mental health issues don’t show up in common medical exams the way a broken arm does, making them hard to diagnose. As a provider in the psychological health field, you deal with complex problems that have complex causes and solutions—which of course are different for each patient. All of these factors can contribute to compassion fatigue.

The webinar presenters, Dr. Jeffrey Rhodes and Ms. Victoria Bruner, touched on these issues and gave specific steps to take to help minimize the risk of this unique type of fatigue. Check out their entire presentation, including audio and resources, on the monthly webinar section of the DCoE Website.

This Day in Naval History - March 10

From the Navy News Service

1783 - USS Alliance, commanded by Capt. John Barry, defeats HMS Sybil in the final naval action of the American Revolution in West Indies waters.
1933 - The Pacific Fleet provides assistance after an earthquake at Long Beach, Calif.
1945 - Navy and civilian nurses interned at Los Banos, Philippines, are flown back to the United States. The Navy nurses are each awarded a Bronze Star.
1948 - First use of jets assigned to operational squadron (VF-5A) aboard a carrier - USS Boxer (CV 21).

Son of Legendary Diver Speaks at CNRMA

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) Tim Comerford, Commander, Navy Region Mid Atlantic Public Affairs

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The son of Master Chief Petty Officer Carl Brashear, the first African-American to qualify and serve as a master diver in the Navy, spoke at Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic's African-American/Black History Month celebration, March 3

Army Warrant Officer Phillip Brashear related his father's legacy and his own determination as an African-American.

"First of all, I'd like to say I feel honored to be here," Brashear said. "I'm a helicopter pilot, and I've spent time in Iraq. During my time in Iraq, I (had) been shot at a lot. So for me to be here before you, 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds – being a big target for insurgents to get – I just want to thank God and the military I am here today."

He said the honor of being able to assume his occupation was due to innovators of the past.

"I wouldn't even be flying Blackhawk helicopters if it weren't for a special group that we always should recognize – the Tuskegee Airmen," said Brashear. "I fly a multi-million dollar aircraft because they taught America, and the world, that it doesn't matter what color of skin you are. If you have the mental capacity – you can do anything you want in life."

The Tuskegee Airmen were African-American pilots who fought in World War II. Formerly, they were called the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. Brashear said the Tuskegee Airmen may have made him a pilot, but the person who made him a man, was his father.

"I wouldn't be a man if it weren't for Carl Brashear," Brashear said. "It is true, my father was introduced into the Navy as a cook, or steward, because back in those days that is all a black man could do. He was introduced to diving when he saw a diver bring up a wrecked sea plane, and he was just so amazed at what a gentleman was doing, he wanted to do that.

"It was a pretty hard goal even to get to the school, but he achieved that goal," Brashear said.

In 1966, while serving aboard the USS Hoist, Brashear was severely injured while diving in search of a nuclear bomb dropped from an Air Force B-52 Stratofortress following a collision with a KC-135 Stratotanker during in-flight refueling off the coast of Palomares, Spain. The incident resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee.

Following two years of recovery and rehabilitation, the determined Brashear achieved recertification as a diver, eventually becoming the first African-American master diver in 1970. He retired from the Navy in 1979 as a master chief petty officer.

Brashear said that his father was exceptional even when he was his own worst enemy.

"Later, toward the end of his career, he developed alcoholism," said Brashear. "And people ask me, 'Why do you bring up alcoholism? Your father was a great man.' Well, he did develop alcoholism, but you know what? He went to the school and he defeated it."

He said his father defies even the borders of Black History Month.

"To put my dad in the category of Black History Month is kind of like putting him in a small cage," said Brashear. "My father overcame being black, being poor, being undereducated, being handicapped, and eventually fought a drug and alcohol problem that he won. So there are whole bunch of months my father is eligible to be part of."

Phillip Brashear had his own goals, but when he joined the Navy, his finding what he wanted to do was similar to his father's experience.

"I was so impressed when I saw those enlisted guys getting off the helicopters and those pilots," said Brashear. "I knew that's what I wanted to do. Believe me, my life was not easy just because my father was Carl Brashear."

Brashear spoke about the time when he had to take a swim test to become an aircrewman, and could not get around part of it.

"I failed that test three times," he said. "The fourth time I took that test, they called my dad to come to the pool and see me. I passed the test and became an aircrewman. That test reminded me of what my dad went through; he never took no for an answer and always kept trying to do what he wanted to do. In our household you couldn't say the words 'I can't' – it was either, 'I will' or 'I'll try.'"

After he qualified as an aircrewman, he realized he wanted more and became one the U.S. Army's flying warrant officers.

"If he hadn't passed down the ethic of never giving up, I wouldn't be where I am today," said Brashear. "It is something to be the son of Carl Brashear because for the rest of my life there is nothing I can give up on. I will always have to achieve to make something out of myself, because that is what he did."

Brashear said events like African-American History Month are very significant.

"History has gaps, and I want to fill in the gaps," said Brashear. "Service members need to be told the history (so they will) learn to never to give up. We will have a whole lot more admirals, generals, doctors, lawyers and every other job that they might want. The sky is the limit."

Carl Brashear was featured in the 2000 Hollywood movie "Men of Honor".

New System at NNMC Reviews, Approves Cancer Research

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alexandra Snow, National Naval Medical Center Public Affairs

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- The United States Military Cancer Institute (USMCI) held its inaugural meeting at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) for its new review board to examine and approve oncology research protocols for medical treatment facilities in the National Capital Area, Feb. 24.

To better serve the military community, the USMCI Internal Review Board (IRB) system provides a new process for investigators who wish to conduct cancer research at several Department of Defense (DoD) medical treatment facilities, including non-DoD partners, said Marianne Elliott, chair of the USMCI IRB and senior human subject protection scientist at Fort Detrick.

She added that the USMCI IRB panel meets monthly to review research protocols, ensuring the rights, welfare, and safety of research subjects.

"The structure addresses a long-recognized need to bring the results of cancer research to our patients by streamlining the IRB review process and making it easier for investigators at multiple institutions to rely on one central IRB," said Elliott.

Participating in cancer research is invaluable to health care providers and supports the oncology graduate medical education programs in military teaching hospitals, Elliott said, adding, "Our IRB members bring experience and expertise in cancer research and other related areas, such as pharmacology, neurosurgery."

At NNMC, all new research for the USMCI IRB must first be submitted through the existing IRB, Elliott said. Upon approval, protocols will be sent to the USMCI for consideration. Although the USMCI IRB is similar to the web-based IRB network currently in place at NNMC, the two systems differ in scope and purpose.

"NNMC IRB is for all research protocols being conducted at NNMC or by NNMC investigators. The USMCI IRB will be a central IRB for all oncology research conducted in two or more institutions where at least one is a DoD (Department of Defense) institution," said Luis Calvo, program analyst in the Responsible Conduct Research Service (RCRS) office at NNMC.

IRB review time will vary for each research protocol, Elliott said, depending on the nature of the research and the individual institution's approval system.

For more information on the USMCI IRB, e-mail Elliott at Marianne.m.elliott.ctr@us.army.mil. For NNMC's IRB, contact Calvo at 301-295-2269.

DOD, State Department Present Budgets to Senate

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 – Concepts of security are changing, and it is just as important to invest in diplomacy and development as it is to invest in service members and their equipment, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III told the Senate Budget Committee today.

Lynn and Deputy Secretary of State for Management Tom Nides testified together before the committee. It marked the first time the two departments had testified about their budgets together, and it underscored the strong partnership that exists between them, Lynn said.

“We at DOD view the security assistance activity as a vital instrument that can prevent or attenuate instabilities that otherwise might draw the United States into conflicts,” Lynn said. “If properly applied in a timely manner, security assistance is likely to be more decisive and less costly than direct military intervention after a problem has become a crisis. Our cooperation with the State Department is, therefore, an important component of our national defense.”

Lynn called on the senators to fully fund the State Department’s fiscal 2012 budget request of $59.5 billion. The request includes funding for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The two men testifying together mirrored what happens daily around the world, as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines often work side by side with State Department and USAID personnel.

“We at the Department of Defense strongly believe that a full and robust funding of our foreign policy operations is an effective means of meeting our national security,” Lynn said. “Indeed, if we promote security and responsible governance as crises are brewing, we will be able to avoid later in the crisis the deployment of U.S. military forces.”

The Defense and State departments have complementary skills, Lynn said.

“We want to support the partnership,” he said. “We believe the mix of competencies between the State Department, the Department of Defense, as well as USAID, is what is needed to address the kinds of security crises, the kinds of instabilities, the kinds of conflicts that spark up around the world, and to do those at the earliest possible warning.”

The deputy defense secretary said the Defense and State departments and USAID are working together on counternarcotics programs and in training of Afghan law enforcement officers.

“We propose, with congressional concurrence, an Afghan infrastructure program that will meld the DOD responsibilities for counterinsurgency with [USAID] and State responsibilities for development [in a way] that is more integrated than in the past,” Lynn said.

The plan, he said, integrates the long-term development efforts in Afghanistan with dealing with immediate threats via the military campaign in the country.

State and Defense work together in other areas of the world, Lynn said, noting DOD works with State on delivering security assistance wherever American interests are at stake.

“We’ve developed over the past several years some joint authorities, some dual-key cooperative authorities, such as the Pakistan counterinsurgency capability fund,” Lynn said. The agencies work closely on authorities to train and equip partner nations in the counterterrorism fight, he noted.

“This year, we’re requesting funding for an Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq,” Lynn said. “This would be a remaining DOD presence as we transition to a State Department lead in Iraq.”

In Mexico, the two departments jointly address surveillance, interdiction, air and maritime operations and planning through a variety of initiatives, Lynn said. The departments also work to train partner militaries in more than 100 countries through programs such as the International Military Education and Training program, and the newly proposed Global Peace Operations initiative.

“For fiscal 2012, we’re also requesting a new, path-breaking program which would involve pooled funding -- where State and DOD would contribute to a fund where we would seek to anticipate security issues wherever they are in Africa, Latin America [or] Asia, and to jointly target assistance for development funding for economic assistance and security assistance in an integrated way in an effort to anticipate growing crises and reduce them before they get started,” Lynn said.

The deputy secretary also spoke strongly in favor of the State Department’s plan to switch to receiving its funding via the Overseas Contingency Operations fund.

General Officer Announcement

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has nominated Air Force Maj. Gen. David L. Goldfein for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and for assignment as commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, Air Combat Command.  Goldfein is currently serving as director of operations, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.

General Officer Announcements

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has made the following nominations:

Army Lt. Gen. Robert W. Cone, for appointment to the rank of general and assignment as commanding general, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Va.  Cone is currently serving as commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas.

Army Maj. Gen. Donald M. Campbell Jr., for appointment to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, Fort Hood, Texas.  Campbell most recently served as commanding general, U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Fort Knox, Ky.

NIOC Sailors Teach English to Local Japanese Students

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Matthew Bradley, U.S. Naval Air Facility Misawa, Japan Public Affairs

MISAWA, Japan (NNS) -- Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Sailors aboard Misawa Air Base visited a Japanese after-school youth facility in Misawa, Japan, to help students learn the English language as part of a cultural exchange, March 10.

The NIOC Misawa Sailors have been visiting the children at the Oka Misawa Jidokan twice a month for the past three years.

Legalman 1st Class Quenise Crigler, volunteer coordinator, said she particularly enjoys teaching and learning from the children.

"These sessions are a little give and take," Crigler said. "We're able to teach them a little English, and they teach us a little bit about their culture. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with the kids. I like seeing how excited they are even before we get inside the door."

Yumiko Yamamoto, a teacher at the facility said Misawa is a very special city because Japanese children see Americans almost everyday.

"When the Americans first started to visit, the children were a bit shy, but now they are excited and look forward to each visit," said Yamamoto. "This is a great opportunity for the kids to use English and interact with native speakers."

NIOC plans several seasonal events throughout the year in addition to the regular visits. These events showcase both American and Japanese cultures. For Halloween the children went trick-or-treating, and for the New Year's Eve party the students introduced the Sailors to the Japanese tradition of bean throwing, said Yamamoto.

Crigler said an event to celebrate Easter is already being planned.

For more news from Naval Air Facility Misawa, visit https://www.cnic.navy.mil/misawa/index.htm or visit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nafmisawa.

Chairman Tackles Tough Issues at Virtual Town Hall

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 – Civil unrest in parts of the Middle East and North Africa, Somalia piracy, the U.S.-Pakistan relationship and North Korea’s nuclear posture were among the topics Navy Adm. Mike Mullen took on during a virtual town hall meeting that will air March 14 on the Pentagon Channel.

Questions came in to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from service members, spouses and veterans who posed them online via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

Mullen taped his answers yesterday in a session that marked the third edition of the Pentagon Channel’s “Ask the Chairman” program, which began in 2009.

“What happened in Egypt really started in Tunisia, and is an incredibly rare and significant change,” Mullen said in response to a question from Spc. Steven Wolf of the Army National Guard.

“We’ve had a long-term relationship with the Egyptian military. We continue to stay in touch with them, and they’ve done the right thing as they move through a time of incredible change after a long time of no change whatsoever,” the chairman added.

Over a week that began Feb. 20, Mullen visited U.S. troops and military and government leaders in seven Persian Gulf nations.

“Every country in the region is concerned [about the recent political turbulence],” the admiral said. “We have to be careful to discriminate between countries -- make sure we don’t broad-brush this and apply solutions equally in every different country.”

Mullen said he believes the current unrest in some Middle East and North African nations “is fundamentally about the internal challenges that many of these countries have” in recognizing that their citizens seek a better way of life, including freedom and economic opportunities.

The United States is “very focused” on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa and recognizes the outcomes are uncertain, the nation’s top military officer said.

“The landscape is clearly changing and we certainly look to stay engaged in this critical part of the world for the extended future,” Mullen said.

Navy Reserve Cmdr. Peter Dunn asked whether the military could be more effective against increasingly violent incidents of piracy off the coast of Somalia if the activities were treated as acts of war rather than as crimes. Mullen said the criminal approach to the “growing concern” of piracy presents challenges, but that the United States is on the right path in a situation that increasingly is global.

More than 30 nations’ ships are in the area, Mullen said, and many, including Russia and China, have added to the counterpiracy capability.

Mullen said the pirates principally are based out of Somalia, and that for the United States to go ashore in a country is “a huge step.” The pirate activity “is a criminal regime” that is getting better at what it does, he added.

“It really is a crime,” the admiral said. “I don’t see it as an act of war in any way, shape or form. … It’s a very complex problem that we continue to try to work together with as many nations as we can.”

A question submitted via Facebook by Gerald David concerned Pakistan and how that government might be persuaded to be more forceful in engaging internal terrorist threats.

“I’ve traveled to Pakistan over 20 times to work on establishing a relationship of trust with the Pakistani military,” Mullen said. “We left them for 12 years -- from the early 1990s to about 2002 -- and we’re working on reestablishing that trust.”

Trust is critical not only between U.S. and Pakistani militaries and intelligence agencies, the chairman said, but also between the citizens of the two nations.

“We abrogated that in the 1990s,” he said, “and so we’re working hard to re-establish it in a very dangerous part of the world where there clearly are an awful lot of terrorists.”

Mullen said he’s always mindful of the thousands of service members that the Pakistani military have lost and the tens of thousands who have been wounded.

“They’ve sacrificed greatly to support their own citizens in Pakistan and they’ll continue to do that,” he said. “They’re working with us much better than they have in the past, but they do have significant internal terrorist challenges. … We’re working hard to come together in a much more integrated fashion to focus on the terrorist threat that affects both of us.”

A question about global strategic threats involved North Korea and the steps being taken in the United States to protect against nuclear aggression. Mullen said that although North Korea is “a very difficult challenge,” other nations in the region are dependable allies.

“We’ve had a relationship with the Republic of Korea in the south for over 60 years, and I find that relationship to be exceptionally strong,” Mullen said.

The United States also has strong relationships with Japan and Australia, and growing relationships with the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“There’s no question that the leadership in North Korea has acted irresponsible at times. They are very provocative,” Mullen said. “But … the Republic of Korea’s President Lee [Myung-bak] has made it very clear that he is going to respond to provocations in the future.”

Mullen said he worries because some estimates indicate that North Korea will have a nuclear capability in a few years “that they can put on an [intercontinental ballistic missile] and actually reach the United States.”

The international community “needs … to take steps to ensure that the provocative behavior ceases and does so in time to avoid any provocation that could include the use of nuclear weapons,” Mullen said.

Face of Defense: Female Osprey Pilot Completes Training

By Stefan T. Bocchino
377th Air Base Wing

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M., March 10, 2011 – After nearly three years of flight training, an Air Force officer has become the first qualified female pilot of the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

"I had two major influences for initially getting interested in flying," 1st Lt. Candice Killian said. "One was my grandfather. He flew civilian aircraft. I never got to see them, because I was too young, but I saw pictures of them at his house and he would tell me stories. The other was a friend who flew. His father was in the Air Force. When my friend went to the Air Force Academy, he encouraged me to learn to fly."

Killian said she went to her local airport to look into flying lessons. Within 18 months, she completed her private pilot's license and decided she wanted to join the Air Force to make a positive difference, serve her country and fulfill her desire to fly. She went to the Air Force Academy to start her training.

"I found out that I was going to fly for the Air Force my senior year at the academy," Killian said. "The undergraduate pilot training track is very broad at first, but you find out where you're going at the academy at what we call '100 days.' It's a dinner and a celebration where they tell you where you're going to go. It's your senior year, and you finally know where you're going."

From the academy, Killian went to initial pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. The initial training, on the T-6A Texan II training aircraft, took about six months and included flight training and academics. After that, she went to Fort Rucker, Ala., to learn how to fly the UH-1 Huey helicopter.

"I knew I wanted to fly helicopters," Killian said. "I like the mission role that helicopters in the Air Force generally fly, the broad spectrum of things we can do. Upon completion of the course at Fort Rucker, you can get CV-22s, UH-1s or HH-60 [Pave Hawks]. The mission of the Osprey is very appealing."

After undergraduate pilot training, Killian was chosen to train as a pilot on the CV-22. The initial training took place in a joint program with the Marine Corps at Air Station New River, N.C. All Air Force CV-22 pilots complete the Marine course, where they are taught general aircraft systems and the basics about flying a tilt-rotor aircraft.

"Working with the Marines was a lot of fun and really fulfilling," she said. "To experience their culture and how they train was awesome. I had the opportunity to be instructed by them and see the different learning styles they used."

After training with the Marines, Killian came here to complete her CV-22-unique mission training with the 58th Special Operations Wing.

"I didn't find out I was the first female pilot until they chose me," she said. "I remember being told, 'You're the first.' It's an honor that they would choose me. It's nice to be a part of this elite organization."

Each pilot who graduates from CV-22 training receives a coin from the commander, with a number signifying where they fall in the training pipeline, said Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Riddick, 71st Special Operations Squadron commander. Killian’s number is 97.

"She's done very well in the course," Riddick said. "It's been fantastic having her here, and I look forward to hearing about her career."

From here, Killian will move on to her next duty station at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

"I want to continue to do well," she said. "For all those who have influenced me along the way, I can't thank them enough. Without them, I probably would not be here. I want to thank everyone for their positive guidance."