Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Face of Defense: Graphic Artist Aids Recruiting

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Hillary Stonemetz
Air Force Recruiting Service

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 3, 2011 – Many of the graphic design images that cover the walls of a Military Entrance Processing Station office here are designed by the sergeant who works there, and his talents are having an impact on Air Force recruiting efforts.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Hahn, the MEPS liaison supervisor, has designed advertising billboards, banners, logos, T-shirts, football jerseys, challenge coins and Web banners for Air Force recruiting.

"As I travel across our zone, I'm consistently reminded of his talents," said Air Force Maj. Anthony Williams, 337th Recruiting Squadron commander. "There are several giant billboards on the interstate highways showcasing [his] work. His Battlefield Airmen poster and design always turns heads, and we continuously reap those rewards every day in the 337th.

Recruiting efforts are going well in those areas, largely due to Hahn's efforts, the major added.

Hahn enlisted in the Air Force in 1991 as an F-111 hydraulics mechanic and then became a crew chief for the B-2 bomber before being assigned to the Charlotte MEPS as a liaison supervisor. By day he manages and schedules applicant processing, then hones his graphic design skills at night and on weekends.

"My training has been self-taught for the most part," said Hahn, who briefly attended college for graphic design and illustration before enlisting in the Air Force.

His skills are appreciated by many of his squadron mates.

"When you see the caliber of Sergeant Hahn's work, you immediately recognize the designs as innovative, relevant and eye-popping," Williams said. "His stylized version of the [squadron’s] logo has been a huge success and a major factor in our unit's team identity and continued success in achieving the recruiting mission.

"As recruiters, we're well aware of the value and positive aspects associated with graphics design and image branding," he continued. "Branding confirms our teaming message here in the 337th RCS, and it emotionally connects our members to a common cause."

In addition to his contributions to the Air Force, Hahn also does freelance design work and has been hired by many nationally recognized companies.

"I've designed the 2002 No. 21 Air Force race car paint scheme, many NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World truck series paint schemes," Hahn said. "I've also designed apparel for motorsports teams from hats, T-shirts, jackets, etc., as well as website designs, logo designs and program covers for Las Vegas Motor Speedway."

After he leaves the Air Force, Hahn said, he plans to use his design skills full-time with his freelance graphic design company.

Soldier Missing from Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Chief Warrant Officer George A. Howes, of Knox, Ind., will be buried Aug. 5 in Arlington National Cemetery.  On Jan. 10, 1970, Howes and three aircrew members were returning to their base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam aboard a UH-1C Huey helicopter. Due to bad weather, their helicopter went down over Quang Nam Province, Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.).  A search was initiated for the crew, but no sign of the helicopter or crew was spotted.

In 1989, the S.R.V. gave to U.S. specialists 25 boxes that reportedly contained the remains of U.S. servicemen related to this incident.  Later that year, additional remains and a military identification tag from one of the other missing servicemen were obtained from a Vietnamese refugee.

Between 1993 and 1999, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and two investigations in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province (formerly Quang Nam Province).  A Vietnamese citizen in Ho Chi Minh City turned over a military identification tag bearing Howes’ name and told the team he knew where the remains of as many as nine American servicemen were buried.  He agreed to lead the team to the burial site.  In 1994, the team excavated the site and recovered a metal box and several bags containing human remains.  In 2006, the remains of three of the four men were identified and buried.  No remains could be attributed to Howes given the technology of the time.  In 2008, given advances in DNA technology, the remains were reanalyzed.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Howes’ sister and brother—in the identification of the remains.

U.S. Navy Sponsors X Games 17

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Travis Mendoza

LOS ANGELES (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy sponsored the 17th annual summer X Games in Los Angeles Thursday, July 28-31.

Thousands showed up to witness some of the world's most extreme athletes as they pushed the limits of their own bodies against gravity, their equipment, and the laws of physics. The games feature some of the world's best skateboarders, rally car drivers, BMX and moto-cross riders.

According to Naval Aircrewman 1st Class (AW) David Matiola, a rescue swimmer instructor, assigned to Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HSC) 3, the Navy sponsorship had a strong presence at the games with more than two different recruiting booths, and demonstration booths set up for people to visit.

The Navy's goal was to introduce a younger generation to the many opportunities that a military career has to offer, he said.

"Our ultimate idea is to provide people the opportunity to know that we are just as hardcore as the athletes that participate in the events," said Matiola. "We are out constantly putting our lives on the line."

Matiola, along with several other Sailors spent four days of the event working booths and interacting with civilians who were curious about the lifestyle of the military.

Professional motorsport athlete Brian Deegan said there is nothing more admirable than the service members that serve in today's military.

"In life what's the most hardcore thing," asked Deegan. "I have always thought that it was the action sports. To me however, it's being in the military, putting your life on the line for something that you believe in," he continued. Going over and serving and laying it down for your country. That's hardcore."

With the amount of people who attended the four-day event, it was a prime time for the Navy to show its face, support the community, and offer a chance for anyone interested to join up and serve in the military.

"I think it's perfect," said professional rally car driver Tanner Foust. "There is a time in our young lives that we have all shared. Going into the Navy and service is such an interesting option to have, which can open the doors to so many things you never thought were possible. It's a great connection, the Navy and the X Games."

The weekend came to a finish with both the athletes and recruiters accomplishing their goals. The Navy contacted hundreds of potential future Sailors, while the athletes did their best in the events set forth.

"Being here at the X Games really puts the Navy out there," added Matiola. "It lets everyone know what we are about, and what we do for this country."

Leap Frogs Parachute During First LA Navy Week

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michelle Turner

LOS ANGELES (NNS) -- Nearly 40,000 baseball fans watched the Leap Frogs, the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, perform during the opening ceremony of a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game as part of Los Angeles' inaugural Navy Week, July 30.

The Leap Frogs, composed of parachuting experts from Naval Special Warfare, also performed at Santa Monica Pier and Knott's Berry Farm July 31 and made an appearance at the Summer X-Games in support of Navy Week.

The Dodgers welcomed approximately 1,000 Sailors into the stadium to celebrate the Dodgers' Navy Appreciation Day, which included the Leap Frogs, the Navy Band, a local sea cadet unit, Sailors from several Navy ships and a special appearance by the Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert. Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Isaiah Maring, assigned to the Leap Frogs, carried the game ball as he parachuted in and presented it to Greenert, who threw out the first pitch.

"It was fabulous!" said Heather Herndon, a Dodgers baseball fan. "It was really exciting watching them come down and the stream of colors was really fun. It's great to see all of the (Navy dress white uniforms) sitting in the stadium all in one place. It makes you really proud."

The Leap Frogs presented a signed, framed photograph of the team to former Dodgers manager and Baseball Hall of Famer, Tommy Lasorda. Lasorda took time to chat with the team after the presentation and expressed his deep appreciation for the military and everything its members do for Americans every day.

The Leap Frogs' performances at Santa Monica Pier and Knott's Berry Farm were just as exciting and the team was met by a cheering crowd of spectators at both venues. Sea cadets from two local units provided security at Santa Monica Pier event and helped the Leap Frogs pack their parachutes after the jump. It was a great opportunity for young, future Sailors to meet veteran Sailors – some with more than 20 years of Naval service.

Chief Warrant Officer (SEAL) Keith Pritchett, Leap Frogs officer-in-charge, said that having the opportunity to meet people and show them appreciation is a great part about Navy Weeks.

"The variety of jump locations allowed us to get out and meet thousands of people all over Los Angeles," said Pritchett. "It's about the people and showing them who their Navy men and women are."

Los Angeles Navy Week is one of 21 Navy Weeks scheduled across the country this year. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they make in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant Navy presence. The Leap Frogs are based in San Diego and perform aerial parachute demonstrations across America in support of Naval Special Warfare and Navy Recruiting.