Military News

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Air Mobility tactics, electronic warfare experts analyze the adversary

by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
139th Airlift Wing


7/20/2012 - ST. JOSEPH, MO. -- Approximately combat operations experts met at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base here this week for a working group on air mobility tactics to analyze and report on current air and air defense operations across the globe.

The Air Force, Air Mobility Command's (AMC) Air Mobility Tactics Analysis Team (AMTAT) July 16-20 at the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center (AATTC) studied field driven data collected on its adversaries.

It is one of many other high-level meetings of service members, intelligence personnel and allies who share adversarial information worldwide in defense of the nation.

Such information is highly valuable to those in overseas contingency operations, which rely greatly on up-to-date intelligence and tactics to survive and operate.

"The key here is that it's a report for operators, written by operators," said Maj. Tim Murphy, who served as the AMC Air Operations co-chair for the event.

Murphy - who is a also a command pilot and tactics instructor here - said the meeting provided the opportunity to share serious data, as well as some earnest accounts, on recent air mobility combat tactics and other information concerning new and developing trends by adversaries.

Their meeting is held at least annually.

Those assembled included National Guard, Reserve Command and Active Duty officers and enlisted. Joining them were civilians, including intelligence personnel and international experts from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.

"The AMTAT is comprised of personnel from a wide variety of intelligence and operations organizations within the Air Force and joint community as well as from specific allied partners," said Lt. Col. Christopher Parker, commander of AMC's Headquarters, Air Operations Squadron Detachment 5. He also serves as the AATTC's director of operations for Development.

"Their objective is to provide a detailed analysis of operational tactics, training and employment of air and air defense forces of potential adversaries."

Parker said the AMTAT provides findings in a format and timeline that satisfies the specific needs of aircrew, weapons controllers, intelligence personnel and operational planners to support tactics development, operational planning and threat replication training.

The result is an air mobility that always holds the upper hand in training and tactics over the enemy, they agreed.

"Their report is the culmination of their analytical efforts," said Parker. "It's released to the major commands, Guard and Reserve units and other Air Force and intelligence community organizations, as well as to our allied partners who participated in its development or are involved in combat operations."

Both officers give credit for the meeting to AMC; the main organizer and supporter.

"The Center could not host this without them," said Murphy.

Parker added that a lot of hard work also goes on behind the scenes at the AATTC.

"The AMTAT is a culmination of the Center's exhaustive analytic efforts throughout the year," said Parker.

The AATTC is both schoolhouse and home for AMC tactics and electronic warfare as well for adversary studies.

Parker said the Center provides a synergy of tactics and electronic warfare development, with focused training on mobility Air Force operations in combat environments using aircrew and signal intelligence experts. In addition, the Center's specialists serve as an interface between operators and various U.S. and allied intelligence agencies, worldwide.

"The Center is the ideal location to host this," said Parker.

Panetta Urges Work, Sacrifice to Honor Aurora Victims

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 – In a message issued last night, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta paid tribute to the military victims of the July 20 shooting spree in Aurora, Colo., and urged Defense Department personnel to honor the victims’ memory through hard work and sacrifice.

Here is the text of the message:

To all Department of Defense personnel:

Flags at Department of Defense installations across the world are being flown at half-staff to honor the victims of last week’s tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. All of us in the Department of Defense community are deeply saddened by this senseless act of violence, which has hit our military family especially hard.

Four of the victims served in the military -- including Air Force Staff Sergeant Jesse Childress, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class John Larimer, Jonathan Blunk, a former Sailor, and Rebecca Wingo, a former Airman. Other DoD personnel and family members were also injured in this cruel attack.

I know that many are struggling to understand why these innocent lives were taken from us, and how such a tragedy could occur in this country. Even as we try to make sense of this evil act, we are also moved to learn more about the actions of men and women like SSgt. Childress, who threw himself in front of his friend in the movie theater to shield her from the gunman. His selflessness saved her life, at the cost of his own.

These acts of heroism and sacrifice are the essence of what military service is about -- putting your life on the line to defend those who are part of the American family.

Let us all honor the victims of this tragedy by committing ourselves to the hard work and sacrifice of protecting this country. Bravery, courage, and dedication are the hallmarks of our men and women in uniform -- our heroes.

May God bless each and every one of you, and the United States of America.

Air Guard recruit becomes U.S. citizen, heads to basic training

by Maj. Gabe Johnson
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/20/2012 - TUCSON, Ariz. -- Fifty-three new American citizens took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States July 20 at the U.S. District Court here each looking forward to the duties of citizenship including one new American among the proud group ready to assume the duties of an Airman.

Vivian Gutierrez de Pineres, originally from Bogota, Colombia, became a naturalized U.S. citizen only four days before reporting to Air Force Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, July 24.

She enlisted in the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing in February to serve as a health services manager. While preparing her for the rigors of basic training, the wing helped her apply for citizenship.

"I feel so much appreciation," said Gutierrez. "I feel so thankful to the Arizona Air Guard. They have opened their doors to me and they helped me prepare my citizenship application making today possible."

Gutierrez said she didn't expect to become a citizen when she moved to the U.S. in 2006 to help manage her family's business in Miami. However, after meeting and marrying her husband, an American Soldier, her perspective changed.

"For me it became important to become a citizen," said Gutierrez, whose husband is an intelligence officer at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. She volunteers there to assist other Army spouses during deployments. "I have always been interested in helping my community and if this is my new country I need to do the same here."

"I'm very proud of her," said Capt. Tim Cullers, Gutierrez' husband. "She stuck it out. It wasn't always easy. We went through the whole process of residency and now citizenship. It's worth it."

Cullers said he's also proud of his wife's desire to serve in the Air Guard.

"She's progressing as an individual. She likes to be a member of a professional organization. It also helps us come together as a family because it gives us goals to work towards together."

"I always imagined I would get married on the 4th of July," said Cullers. "We didn't get married on July 4, but we did meet on a 4th of July. Today she's an American citizen and together we're a patriotic family."

National Guard hosts virtual conference on diversity

by Army National Guard Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau


7/24/2012 - ARLINGTON, Va. (1/19/12) -- The chief of the National Guard Bureau outlined his vision for diversity within the National Guard during the first National Guard Bureau Virtual Diversity Conference - held completely online on Wednesday.

Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley said the goal of the virtual conference was to present to all Citizen-Soldiers, -Airmen and civilians the vision and strategy of Guard leadership in the area of diversity management - and the use of a virtual conference allowed that message to reach a larger audience.

"As your chief of the National Guard Bureau, it is my role to work with your adjutants general to ensure that the National Guard remains a mission-ready force," he said. "Effective diversity management is essential to military readiness and mission accomplishment."

McKinley said steps to improve diversity management throughout the Guard have been taken, one of them being the establishment of the National Guard Bureau Joint Diversity Executive Council.

"The goal of this council," he said, "is to identify and adopt the best
practices for recruiting, retaining and developing a very diverse workforce - and sustaining a climate of equality in the National Guard."

"The council adapts these practices from various resources to recommendations that are appropriate to the National Guard's military and civilian structure," said Phyllis Brantley, chief of National Guard diversity and special-emphasis programs.

Some of the accomplishments of the council thus far include: a comprehensive diversity policy, a leaders guide on diversity, resources for state-level Joint Diversity Councils and training and mentoring for state-level JSDCs from NGB staff.

"We as an organization have made significant progress, but much more is
needed - especially in our military leadership diversity," McKinley said. "It's a problem with cyclical effects. Through the work of our adjutants general and other National Guard leaders, I am confident that we can move toward a future workforce that more clearly reflects the population of our great nation."

McKinley said accessing and adopting some programs from the civilian sector is one way that the Guard could use to achieve its diversity goals.

"Another step to reaching our goals on diversity and inclusion in the Guard is for each state, territory and the District of Columbia to establish state joint diversity councils and assign a liaison to work with the NGB Joint Diversity Executive Council," he said.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Denise Jelinski-Hall, the National Guard's senior enlisted leader, said in order for the organization to remain relevant, "we must understand diversity and how to strategically capitalize on the strength of our Soldiers, Airmen and civilians."

"Diversity must be recognized as an enhancement of the character of our
organization," McKinley said.

"Change is never easy, but I remain confident in the Soldiers, Airmen and civilians of the National Guard to get this work done," he said.

Total Force C-130 operations building opens at Peterson

by Staff Sgt. Stephen J. Collier
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


7/17/2012 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- With a snip of the ceremonial scissors, Air Force Reserve and Active Duty Airmen ushered in the opening of a new Total Force C-130 operations facility July 17 here.

The new $5.6 million facility is the next milestone in the 302nd Airlift Wing's integration with the Active Duty 52nd Airlift Squadron. The 12,500-square foot building will house both the 52nd AS and the AF Reserve's 731st Airlift Squadron under one roof. The two squadrons, as well as C-130 Hercules aircraft maintenance, merged under the Air Force's Total Force Integration program.

Known as 'TFI,' the integration allows Active Duty, Air National Guard and AF Reserve organizations to make more efficient use of facilities, personnel and aircraft. For the 52nd AS and 302nd AW, that means performing both training and real-world airlift and airdrop missions together, as well as matching maintenance personnel to maintain the wing's 12 tactical airlift aircraft.

Officiating the historic moment, leadership from both the AF Reserve and Air Mobility Command took center stage to cut the bright, red ribbon. Grasping the scissors, AF Reserve Col. Jay Pittman, 302nd AW commander, and Col. Brian Robinson, 19th AW commander from Little Rock AFB, Ark., sliced through the ribbon, marking the official opening of the facility.

Just before the ribbon cutting, Pittman stood in front of the audience, highlighting the significance of the day's event.

"We've been waiting over a year for this building to be finished. It's been worth the wait and this is a fabulous facility," Pittman said. "I love talking about this TFI; I believe in it and I'm passionate about it. From day one, the 52nd AS pulled together, and since then we've been through combat together and we've been inspected together. This building is really going to be the icing on the cake. It's the last piece we need to look like a long-term, professional organization. We used to call this [area] the Reserve campus; this is now the TFI campus."

Pittman pointed out some of the highlights of the new facility, including a 200-seat auditorium, which he said was necessary for the many organizations looking for adequate space on Peterson. The colonel said he was also excited to see continued improvements in the area, with a newly-landscaped courtyard, lighting and a partially-covered area.

The colonel also proudly proclaimed his vision for the new facility.

"This campus is going to be the showcase of the Air Force Reserve Command and the TFI community at large."

Mirroring the Active Duty relationship with their AF Reserve counterparts here, Robinson also spoke highly of the TFI partnership.

"I can tell you that Colonel Pittman has the same amount of enthusiasm about this project that he had over our very first phone call," Robinson said. "I just want to say thanks to all the organizations out here that have taken care of the 52nd AS. You know, I don't worry about this unit at all. Everyone here is committed to success and they're doing it right."

The 52nd AS, which first activated in October 2009, has seen their share of combat deployments. The squadron has deployed several times, supporting tactical airlift and airdrop operations throughout Southwest Asia. The squadron achieved full operational capability in late 2011 as its end strength reach approximately 200 Airmen.

Reservists keep A-10s flying at RIMPAC exercise

by Staff Sgt. Ted Daigle
307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


7/23/2012 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- A bright Hawaiian sun rises over the peaks of Oahu into a clear blue sky, but Staff Sgt. Justin Browning, 917th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, has no time to enjoy the site as he is already hard at work preparing an A-10 Thunderbolt II for a mid-morning mission at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Browning walks on, under and around the jet checking for any visible problems, inspecting the engines and preparing for the time when the aircraft will be called into action. As he dons his protective gear, he provides the plane with enough liquid oxygen necessary for the mission. One final walk around and Browning is ready to go.

The pilot arrives, greets Browning and they begin the final checks before take-off. After several hours of quick-paced preparation, the A-10 pulls off, leaving Browning with a smile and sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

Browning is one of 25,000 personnel participating in the Rim of the Pacific exercise in and around the Hawaiian Island June 29 through Aug. 3, 2012.

For Browning, working with the aircraft is a labor of love, and the Air Force is in his blood. He joined the Air Force at age 18 after hearing stories from a great uncle who served. The ensuing12 years have been adventurous and fulfilling for Browning.

After completing tech school, his love of aircraft and flying compelled him to seek a degree in commercial aviation from Louisiana Tech University. That same commitment continues to drive him to volunteer for every deployment he can, even as he juggles his family life and his civilian job as an oil and gas engineer.

"I joined the Air Force to help out and my civilian employer is very supportive, so volunteering just makes sense," said Browning.

Capt. Brian Plauche, 917th MXS operations officer, believes crew chiefs like Browning are instrumental to the success of the unit.

"Sergeant Browning is always ready and he is very knowledgeable, the two things you need in a good reservist," he said

All the deployments have created some lasting memories for Browning.

During one Hawg Smoke competition the rain poured down the entire time, challenging Browning to accomplish the mission.

"It was like a monsoon and the rain of the flight line was two- to three-inches deep, at times," he said. "We stopped calling it Hawg Smoke and started calling it Hawg Wash."

Volunteering for service in Afghanistan proved to be another memorable experience. Browning left behind his wife, a newborn son and his civilian job to help with that mission. He spent five months there accomplishing the mission, in spite of adverse conditions and routine rocket fire directed at his base.

All the experiences have left Browning eager to continue his service and hopeful he can pass his legacy on to his young son.

"I want to complete 30 years in the Air Force Reserve, and I hope my son will join one day and do what I did," he said.

A few hours after taking off, the A-10 lands, the pilot having completed his sortie. Tomorrow, it will be need to be ready to fly again, and Browning will be there, like he always is, to make sure it happens.

Small business owner, teacher, lawyer share common bond

by Staff Sgt. Danielle Johnston
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/23/2012 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- On Friday, Dave Paladino assembled a torpedo, but his job is probably not what you'd expect. He owns two sandwich shops, but he's also a bomb builder.

The same Friday, Nicola McConnell taught eight graders about the Cuban Missile Crisis. Saturday, she assembled a laser-guided bomb.

Jeff Wetzel spent his Friday evening building a civil litigation case for a national bank. The next morning, he built a Mark-82 for an A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Paladino, McConnell and Wetzel have one thing in common - they are reservists in the munitions flight with the 442nd Fighter Wing here.

The other 28 days a month, they couldn't spend their days more differently working as a small-business owner, a teacher and a lawyer.

Bombs - not a small-business venture
Senior Master Sgt. David Paladino is the assistant flight chief of munitions. He is responsible for approximately 80 reservists - all of whom work to build, inspect, store and deliver deadly bombs.

Paladino has worked in munitions with the 442nd FW as a reservist for nearly 20 years. During the week however, Paladino is the owner and operator of two sandwich franchises in Springfield, Mo.

While the two jobs are completely different, Paladino says the skills needed to accomplish them are strikingly similar.

He began his first business as a child in his dad's store.

"I set up a popcorn machine and some soda and started selling," he said. "That was my first business. I feel like I just had it in me, because I come from a family of business owners."

Today, Paladino works nearly 65 hours a week - on weeks he doesn't have military duty. On the weeks he does, he said he relies heavily on employees who come in to backfill positions - sandwich-making civilian reservists.

As both a small-business owner and an assistant flight chief, Paladino is responsible for maintaining supplies, managing personnel and creating smooth workflow.

He said maintaining consistency as a supervisor and leading by example are two behaviors he always tries to exemplify - both of which can be seen when he takes the floor to build a bomb or to make a sandwich.

"Sometimes in the military, when people see supervisors on the floor getting their hands dirty, they think it's poor leadership," Paladino said. "But I want employees - and reservists - to know I wouldn't ask them to do anything I wouldn't do myself whether it's inventorying parts for the Reserve or washing dishes in my restaurants."

Paladino has even found entertaining ways over the years to combine his love for munitions and his talent at managing small businesses.

"Every year we have competitions where the employees use ingredients to create their own sandwiches, and judge the winner," he said, "so now we have a sandwich on the menu called a 'Claymore.'"

A claymore is a U.S. military remote-detonated land mine used in World War II. It is also now a roast beef and cheddar sandwich loaded with tasty toppings at two restaurants in southern Missouri.

A-M-M-O: Teaching history, not spellingMaster Sgt. Nicola McConnell has a tough job. She builds bombs.

She said her civilian job is even harder. She teaches eighth grade.

On drill weekends, she is a munitions line delivery technician - transporting missiles to the mighty "hawg."

She uses her 17 years of bomb-building experience in the classroom as an American history teacher in Ozark, Mo.

"I actually have Korean War and World War II bomb casings that sit in my classroom, along with some 30-milimeter bullet casings, and the kids really get a kick out of seeing that," she said. "It can be a great teaching tool to get them engaged."

Her three deployments, once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan, have also given her a unique perspective in the classroom, she said.

"I think it's very important for my students to know what life is like for the military," McConnell said. "Talking to my students about my experiences can be eye-opening for some of them. Each time I deployed, it cut in the school year just a little bit, so they became more aware of what was happening on the other side of the world."

Next year, McConnell said she will be teaching a leadership course, something a senior noncommissioned officer in the Air Force knows something about - but that doesn't mean it won't be a challenge for her.

"Teaching eighth grade can definitely be harder than building bombs," she said. "Only one of them comes with a step-by-step manual on how to do it, but I love it."

No one objects when you work with munitions
Tech. Sgt. Jeff Wetzel sees explosions in the court room from time to time in Kansas City, Mo. as a civil lawyer for national banks.

In the 442nd Maintenance Squadron he tests and inspects munitions meant to make big explosions.

"One day during my workweek can be very mentally challenging," he said, "and the next day, with ammo, it can be very physically challenging. But some weekends I come in, and I don't care how hard we work, because it's different from what I do every other day, and I love it."

Research is one thing Wetzel enjoys doing, and he gets to do his fair share of it as both a lawyer and as an ammo troop.

"It takes about two hours to prep for processing and inspecting 30-millimeter ammo between reading all five (technical orders)," he said. "Then, when something breaks, you're heading back to the books for troubleshooting. As a lawyer, there are times when I'm in the books researching and writing all day."

As a reservist however, Wetzel doesn't have to do it alone like he does in the courtroom.

"I have three other civil litigators I can go to who can help me, but the vast majority of my work, including hearings, is all on my own," he said. "But in the Reserve, I've got a lot of people I can go to for help with something I'm working on."

One of those people, is retired Chief Master Sgt. Greg Wetzel, former 442nd Maintenance Squadron weapon's loader, and Jeff Wetzel's dad.

"My dad was in this unit for a long time," Jeff Wetzel said. "He told me this was one of the top career fields he recommended for me to go in to. It's so different than my civilian job, but my dad was right. I love being both an ammo troop and a lawyer."


Panetta: Under Burgess, DIA Evolved Into Global Agency

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 - The Defense Intelligence Agency has evolved into a global agency that operates wherever U.S. forces are engaged and at every point along the chain of command, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said today.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta passes the flag from Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., left, to Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn during the change of directorship for the Defense Intelligence Agency on Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., July 24, 2012. Burgess had served in the position since 2009. Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler, right, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, participated in the ceremony. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Panetta spoke here during a ceremony marking the DIA change of directorship, as Army Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess Jr., who joined DIA as director in 2009 and is retiring after 38 years of military service, relinquished the directorship to Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.

The DIA director also serves as commander of the joint functional component command for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance that is part of U.S. Strategic Command, and Burgess handed over that responsibility as well.

Hundreds in the audience included top officials of the U.S. and coalition armed forces, the intelligence community and Congress, family members and guests, and the men and women of DIA.

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented Burgess with one of several commendations he received today -- a certificate of appreciation from President Barack Obama.

"I extend to you my personal thanks and sincere appreciation of a grateful nation for your contribution of honorable service to our country," the citation said in part. The president also commended Burgess for helping to maintain the nation's security during a critical time in its history.

During the ceremony, Panetta, Dempsey, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., and many others praised Burgess and his service to the nation.

"Military intelligence is now far more integrated, far more effective and more vital than ever to our ability to defend this country, and Ron Burgess has been instrumental in that transformation," Panetta said.

"Particularly over the last decade, Ron has helped bring about that fusion of military and intelligence capabilities that has been at the heart and soul of our intelligence effort in this country and throughout the world," the secretary added.

Such an integration of capabilities, he added, has been a game-changer on the battlefield.

"As a former director of the CIA, I can personally attest to how important that military intelligence relationship has been," the secretary said. "The ability of the military and intelligence communities to work together has been incredibly important to protecting this country."

Panetta also extended his gratitude to "the dedicated men and women of the DIA, who work every day and every night, without fanfare, to keep our nation safe."

Panetta said Flynn brings to his new position decades of experience in military intelligence and unsurpassed knowledge of the 21st-century battlefield.

"I had the opportunity to see his impressive work up close as director of the CIA, a chance to see it up close when he was in Afghanistan doing tremendous work there," Panetta said, "and I have full confidence that he is the right man to lead the more than 16,000 dedicated professionals that are here at the DIA."

As secretary of defense and as an American, the secretary added, "I am deeply grateful that our department has men and women of the caliber of these two who are willing to dedicate their lives to defending the values that we cherish and the freedom that we hold so dear to our heart."

Since 2011, Flynn has served as assistant director of national intelligence for partner engagement.

"As we recognize the accomplishment of a great leader in Ron Burgess for his service to DIA and our nation over these many years," Flynn said, "today is as much about the civilians, our military and all the families that make up this global organization currently deployed in 139 countries around the world, with over 500 serving our combat forces in Afghanistan."

The new DIA director also praised agency teams, including the Afghanistan/Pakistan Task Force in Afghanistan directly supporting ISAF Commander Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, the counterterrorist intelligence specialists supporting special operations forces globally deployed, those supporting the nation's rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific basin, and those making possible the newly established Defense Clandestine Service.

In today's uncertain environment, Flynn added, "DIA stands out as the world's premier military intelligence agency. There are simply none better."

Clapper, who was DIA director from 1992 to 1995, told stories about Burgess's fierce love for college football by the Tigers from his Alabama alma mater Auburn University, his career-long history of regular gym workouts, and his role in transitioning the National Defense Intelligence College into the National Intelligence University -- despite, Clapper said to laughter from Burgess and the audience, Burgess's advice to his own children about going to college: "It's only a lot of reading if you do it."

Clapper told other stories as well, about the difference Burgess made at DIA.

"Yesterday, for example, we presented Ron with a special award recognizing his leadership in fostering equal opportunity and diversity, not only at DIA, but as the role model of leadership for the entire community," Clapper said. "That is richly deserved recognition, and it is exemplary of Ron's superb leadership."

Afterward, Clapper presented Burgess with the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal "in recognition of extraordinary contributions from May 1974 to July 2012 ... [and personal qualities that were] instrumental in transforming defense intelligence into a cooperative enterprise to better serve national policymakers, combatant commanders and warfighters."

Burgess also received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal for his 2009-2012 service as DIA director.

Taking the podium, Burgess recognized and thanked all of those who shared the stage with him, his advisory board and those in the audience, his voice breaking as he thanked his wife and children and their families for many years of love and support.

"To the men and women of DIA here and around the globe, thank you for your highly professional service to the nation," Burgess said.
"What guides this agency and its professionals every day is the understanding that while much of what we do is secret, our work is and forever shall be a public trust," he added, "and it's a trust that we must earn anew every day."

Scott AFB cyclist's ambassadors at longest bicycle tour in world

by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


7/24/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- A group of four cyclists from Scott Air Force Base left July 20, to participate in the 40th Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, July 22 to 28. RAGBRAI is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world and has been a tradition for U.S. Air Force members for 13 years now.

The group from Scott consists of four cyclist and two support members who will carry equipment. The six members will meet up with the rest of the Air Force Cycling Team members before the race. Although the Air Force officially sponsors the AFCT, it only provides support transportation. The cyclists pay for most of the trip including registration fees, camping fees, jerseys, transportation to Iowa and food. Each year the route is different.

According to Capt. Rob Lounsbury, Scott AFB AFCT lead, the Air Force has more than 40 riders participating in this year's annual event.

Lounsbury is a licensed category 4 road cyclist who has participated in three RAGBRAI events since 2008, and this will be his fourth year. He has more than 20 years of service and has been riding since 1995, beginning exclusively as a mountain biker and picking up road riding in 2007.

"We [Air Force participants] act as ambassadors for the Air Force," he said. "While riding, we hope to serve as positive role models to the public by telling our stories and assisting riders in any way possible during the adventure across Iowa, for example, as first responders and assisting with mechanical issues."

As military participants they will be the face of the Air Force for more than 10,000 RAGBRAI riders and spectators.

"This is not a race, rather, an adventure," said Maj. Jamie Cornett, first time RAGBRAI participant. "We will ride our bicycles for seven days, averaging 67 miles per day and leaving as many people possible with a positive impression of the Air Force. We will also be passing out free Air Force swag."

Even though the Air Force members participating are fit, they still take time to indulge along the way.

"The best part is the new people you will meet and the pie," said Lounsbury. "If you lose weight during this ride you are doing something wrong. Everywhere you go people are usually eating pie and good food. Because the route is different each year many people look forward to watching us ride through their town in this once in a lifetime event,"

The AFCT is open to all active duty, Reserve and Air National Guard Airmen and their families, as well as Air Force civilians and retired Air Force members. Registration for next year's RAGBRAI will open at the end of the year at airforcecyclingteam.com. Follow the team at http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/67188808213

'Today's Air Force' looks at guns, planes and more guns



7/24/2012 - FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- Air Force Television News released a new edition of "Today's Air Force" on July 20.

First up, Staff Sgt. Chris Pyles takes look at how the Air Force is saving money through total force integration. Later, Pyles takes viewers to Baton Rouge, La., to the set of "Sons of Guns" to meet an Air Force veteran. Finally, "Today's Air Force" heads to Peru for New Horizons 2012.

To view the full video, click here.

This 30-minute, bi-weekly news show can be seen every day on the Pentagon Channel and American Forces Television Service stations around the world. The show also airs on more than 140 public cable-access stations within the United States.

To submit a story idea for "Today's Air Force," or for any Air Force News products, send an e-mail to storyideas@dma.mil.

This week's line-up includes:

Block 1- Straight from the Top: The chief master sergeant of the Air Force says to unplug and talk face-to-face.
- SECAF Visit: Secretary Donley travels to Papa AB, Hungary, and makes history.
- Korean Assistance: A look at how another nation is helping in Afghanistan.
- TFI: The Air Force saves money using all of its assets.

Block 2- Largest C-130J Formation: The 317th Airlift Wing out of Dyess AFB makes history.
- Sons of Guns: A look at how an Air Force veteran became a reality TV star.
- The Phase Process: Maintaining an aircraft that's older than most of the people working on it. - TWIP: This Week in Photos

Block 3- New Horizons: Helping the country of Peru with humanitarian assistance while training.
- Combat Controller PT: To be the best you have to work the hardest.
- Behind Boom: Ammo - "Giving the enemy the opportunity to die for his cause."

Former MTI found guilty on 28 charges

7/23/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- A sentence was returned today in the general court-martial of Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Walker.

Walker, a former basic military training instructor at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, was convicted of 28 charges Friday after a week-long court-martial. The charges included rape, adultery, obstruction, aggravated sexual contact, multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and violating a lawful order regarding unprofessional relationships with trainees.

Walker was sentenced to be confined for 20 years, to be discharged with a dishonorable discharge, to be reduced to the lowest enlisted rank (E-1), and to forfeit all pay and allowances.

The conviction stemmed from incidents that took place between October 2010 and June 2011 involving 10 female basic military trainees while assigned to the 326th Training Squadron. Since then, the Air Force has launched comprehensive internal and external investigations at Air Force basic military and technical training centers.

Walker is the second MTI to be tried in conjunction with these sexual misconduct investigations. The first, former Staff Sgt. Vega-Maldonado, pleaded guilty to one charge of having an improper relationship with a trainee and violation of a no-contact order. He was sentenced to 90 days confinement, forfeiture of $500 pay per month for four months, 30 days hard labor, 30 days restriction to Lackland and reduction in rank to Airman.

Air Mobility tactics, electronic warfare experts analyze the adversary

by Master Sgt. Michael Smith
139th Airlift Wing


7/24/2012 - ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- At least 50 combat operations experts met at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph, Mo., this week for a working group on air mobility tactics to analyze and report on current air and air defense operations across the globe.

The Air Force, Air Mobility Command's Air Mobility Tactics Analysis Team, July 16-20, at the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center studied field driven data collected on its adversaries.

It is one of many other high-level meetings of service members, intelligence personnel and allies who share adversarial information worldwide in defense of the nation.

Such information is highly valuable to those in overseas contingency operations, which rely greatly on up-to-date intelligence and tactics to survive and operate.

"The key here is that it's a report for operators, written by operators," said Maj. Tim Murphy, who served as the AMC Air Operations co-chair for the event.

Murphy - who is a also a command pilot and tactics instructor here - said the meeting provided the opportunity to share serious data, as well as some earnest accounts, on recent air mobility combat tactics and other information concerning new and developing trends by adversaries.

Their meeting is held at least annually.

Those assembled included National Guard, Reserve command and active duty officers and enlisted. Joining them were civilians, including intelligence personnel and international experts from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand.

"The AMTAT is comprised of personnel from a wide variety of intelligence and operations organizations within the Air Force and joint community as well as from specific allied partners," said Lt. Col. Christopher Parker, commander of AMC's Headquarters, Air Operations Squadron Detachment 5. He also serves as the AATTC's director of operations for Development.

"Their objective is to provide a detailed analysis of operational tactics, training and employment of air and air defense forces of potential adversaries."

Parker said the AMTAT provides findings in a format and timeline that satisfies the specific needs of aircrew, weapons controllers, intelligence personnel and operational planners to support tactics development, operational planning and threat replication training.

The result is an air mobility that always holds the upper hand in training and tactics over the enemy, they agreed.

"Their report is the culmination of their analytical efforts," said Parker. "It's released to the major commands, Guard and Reserve units and other Air Force and intelligence community organizations, as well as to our allied partners who participated in its development or are involved in combat operations."

Both officers give credit for the meeting to AMC; the main organizer and supporter.

"The center could not host this without them," said Murphy.

Parker added that a lot of hard work also goes on behind the scenes at the AATTC.

"The AMTAT is a culmination of the center's exhaustive analytic efforts throughout the year," said Parker.

The AATTC is both schoolhouse and home for AMC tactics and electronic warfare as well for adversary studies.

Parker said the center provides a synergy of tactics and electronic warfare development, with focused training on mobility Air Force operations in combat environments using aircrew and signal intelligence experts. In addition, the center's specialists serve as an interface between operators and various U.S. and allied intelligence agencies, worldwide.

"The center is the ideal location to host this," said Parker.

Korean War defining conflict for new Air Force

by Martha Lockwood
Air Force News Service


7/24/2012 - FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- While July 27th is one of the lesser-known days of remembrance for the U.S., for the Air Force, recognizing the signing of the Korean War armistice on this day in 1953 marked an era when the service came into its own.

The 1950s heralded a decade of innovation, with inventions such as power steering, the bar code and the transistor radio, but, for the Air Force, nowhere was innovation more on display than during the span of the Korean War, from June 25, 1950 until July 27, 1953.

This was the first war for the newly independent Air Force, and it was the first war in which the United States used jet aircraft. The Air Force's F-86 Sabre jets bested Soviet-built MiG-15s, the U.S.-trained pilots were better prepared for combat, and their tactical approach was better thought out.

Background

By the time of the mid-century Korean conflict, the 20th century had already seen two destructive and costly global wars. Towards the end of World War II, Allied summits decided the future of the Japanese empire, some say, by leveraging the future independence of the Korean peninsula. Although only intended as a short-term, pre-independence arrangement, Korea, a Japanese colony since 1910, was to be occupied north of the 38th parallel by Soviet Russia; to the south, the United States. A military administration under the direction of Gen. Douglas MacArthur would control the area from its headquarters in Tokyo.

War-impoverished Russia saw this as an opportunity to rebuild its economy, and the newly created and Soviet-equipped North Korean Peoples' Army, headed south to capture the important port of Pusan and natural resources of coal, lead, tungsten, and iron ore.

Even though the Air Force faced a conflict that was almost entirely tactical in nature, limiting how and where airpower could be applied, this newest armed service had learned its lessons well during World War II and knew the strategic role it played in attacking an enemy's homeland.

The Role of the Air Force

The Far East Air Forces Fifth Air Force was the command and control for Air Force-engaged in combat with units located in Korea and Japan. The command was fortified by fighter and troop carrier wings from Tactical Air Command and federalized Air National Guard units from the United States. These tactical units conducted interdiction strikes on supply lines, attacked dams that irrigated the fields and flew missions in close support of United Nations ground forces. AT-6 "Mosquitoes," the ubiquitous, single-engine prop plane of World War II, were used as airborne controllers, provided communication links between ground troops and supporting aircraft.

President Truman was unwilling to risk extensive use of the U.S. bomber force, which was being used as a deterrent for possible Soviet aggression in Europe. However, a few groups of Strategic Air Command B-29 Superfortress bombers that were not part of the nuclear strike force were released for combat over the Korean skies, effectively targeting North Korean government centers, military installations and transportation networks.

By mid-1951, the land battle was in a stalemate, and both sides agreed to armistice talks, which dragged on for two years. The main haggling point was the future of the tens of thousands of communist prisoners: Communist negotiators demanded their return to their country of origin. Yet, thousands of prisoners were not willing to be repatriated.

Finally, in July 1953, a formula granting repatriation and asylum for prisoners of war was worked out, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) was established extending two meters either side of the 38th parallel, and a United Nations Commission was set up to supervise the armistice.
The Legacy of the Air Force

The Air Force suffered 1,841 battle casualties, of which 1,180 were killed in action. Hostile action and other causes resulted in the loss of 1,466 aircraft. The Korean War was the last (and only) time large numbers of piston-engine and jet-engine aircraft engaged in war simultaneously. It was also the last major war of the U.S. without some space support.

With the end of fighting in Korea, the newly inaugurated President Eisenhower called for a greater reliance on nuclear weapons and air power to deter war. This resulted in a strategic investment in the Air Force. The nuclear arms race had shifted into high gear, and the Air Force retired nearly all of its propeller-driven B-29s and B-50s. They were replaced by the B-47 Stratojet. By 1955, the B-52 Stratofortress was being ordered in huge supply, and the prop-driven B-36s were being rapidly phased out of heavy bombardment units.
War tactics were forever changed by the Korean War, and the strategic initiative and innovation of the Air Force was leading the way.

Korean War Vet's Memories Vivid of Time Spent as POW

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 - When infantryman David Mills joined the Army on his 17th birthday and was sent to fight in the Korean War, his mission was to hold Outpost Harry "at all costs."

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David Mills, 76, holds his certificate for the Purple Heart, which he received 57 years after he was repatriated by the Chinese in 1953 as a prisoner during the Korean War. DOD photo by Terri Moon Cronk

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Mills, now 76, says those orders came from 8th Army on April 2, 1953, to stave off enemy Chinese troops from the strategically placed outpost in the Iron Triangle, about 50 miles from Seoul at the 38th parallel, which divided North and South Korea. The outpost was close to Chinese lines.

The Chinese had "an affinity" for Outpost Harry, said Mills, a member of Company F, 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division.

"They came to 'visit' us often and fought ferociously," he said. "They tried [several times] to take it. Had it fallen, with its high elevation, it would've made it difficult for the main line of resistance to remain where it was. [We] perhaps would've had to withdraw as far back as Seoul, which no doubt would have extended the war for quite some time."

It was unlikely the United States would have accepted a cease fire with the capital of South Korea under Chinese control at that time, he added, so it was important for American troops to hold the outpost's position.

But on April 24, Chinese troops nearly took Outpost Harry.

"We had 88 men holding the outpost," he said. "The attack was ferocious. We were overrun. Hand-to-hand fighting occurred in all of the trenches, and very heavy losses were suffered on both sides."

The forward observer from the 39th Field Artillery called for backup artillery to stop the attack, which was successful, he said.

But things didn't turn out as well that day for Mills, who received nine wounds -- two in the head, six in the leg and one in the left arm.

During what Mills described as very close fighting with hand grenades and bayonets, his weapon overheated and became inoperable. While searching for another, he crawled on his stomach to the entrance of a bunker about 30 yards away.

"Nobody was in there," he said. "I reached in to grab a rifle, and I felt something poke me in my back. I backed out very slowly and turned over, and was looking at the muzzle of a Russian-made submachine gun."

Three Chinese soldiers stood over him, Mills said. One held the gun, and the other two carried six grenades each, three on each side of their chests, he said.

"I thought I was going to die," Mills recalled reciting a short prayer as he looked up at the barrel of the weapon.

"I was ready to die," he said. "Then I had an immediate second thought. I was 17 years old, and I thought, 'How are my parents going to take this?' And I thought, maybe, I could get the weapon away from that soldier, and kill all three of them. Then I had a rational thought: He had his finger on the trigger and the likelihood of me being successful was rather slim. I lay there until they picked me up."

As the captors walked him to a Chinese camp, Mills saw the dead everywhere. "There were many Americans, but many more Chinese," he said.

As the soldiers roughed him up and forced him down hilly terrain, Mills said he felt no pain and wasn't aware he was wounded.

"Each time we got to the top of a rise, they'd hit me between the shoulder blades with the butt of the weapon, and I'd go tumbling down the hill. After the third time, my leg felt funny and I had difficulty maintaining balance," Mills recalled. It was when he felt blood running down his neck that he knew he'd been hit.

"Eventually, I half-crawled and was half-dragged to a cave, in which I spent the first night of my captivity," he said.

Mills found himself next to a Chinese soldier who had three bullet holes in his stomach.

"I could hear bubbles as the air escaped [from his wounds]," he said. "He died during the night."

The next morning, the Chinese soldiers took Mills from the cave and repeatedly prodded him with a rifle to make him walk up a road, but by then he was in such pain from his injuries, he couldn't walk.

"They pointed to a rock for me to sit down on, went around the corner," Mills said. "I thought I was going to be executed."

Instead, he said, four Chinese soldiers came around the corner with a stretcher, put him on it and carried him for seven days to a place Mills estimated to be 30 to 50 miles behind the lines.

"I was placed in a dungeon not high enough for me to stand, or long enough for me to stretch out straight," he said. He couldn't eat for two weeks. Knowing he would die of starvation otherwise, Mills said he forced himself to eat.

Rain poured into the dungeon. "I spent a lot of my time snapping the backs off lice," Mills said of his confinement. "My leg hurt so bad, I asked them to cut it off. They sent someone to look at it. I don't know if he was a doctor ... he just looked at it, and [now] I'm glad they didn't acquiesce to my request."

After enough prisoners of war to fill an army truck were brought in, they were taken to a prisoner camp, Mills said. Still not treated for his wounds, with bullets and shrapnel intact, Mills said he was not made to do hard labor like the other prisoners.

During his four-month captivity "the 15th Infantry Regiment with its company-sized outpost decimated the entire 74th Chinese Infantry Division, killing more than 5,000 of them," Mills said. "There were very heavy American losses, but we held that hill."

Four months to the day after he was taken prisoner, the Chinese repatriated Mills and the other POWs on Aug. 24, 1953. His family didn't know he was alive, Mills said, and initially were told he was killed in action. Mills said he has copies of his two published obituaries.

Reflecting on that April day in 1953 when the outpost was attacked, Mills said he was the last soldier, U.S. or Chinese, on the hill firing a weapon.

"I've often wondered if I was captured with an empty gun," he said.

He also thought he was likely the only survivor of the attack, until decades later when he found the Outpost Harry Survivors Association and similar groups.

For being wounded during combat Mills received the Purple Heart, but it took 57 years, because of omissions in his paperwork, he said. Mills said his initial discharge papers indicated he'd served overseas, but they didn't say where, and didn't note that he'd been wounded, had served in combat, or been taken as a POW.

Knowing he was eligible for the Purple Heart, Mills' daughter set out to find and correct her father's records.

After hearing his records likely had burned in a fire in a St. Louis military repository, Mills' papers were found archived in Philadelphia.

The paperwork was corrected, and the award was approved in nine short days, Mills said. Then-Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli presented Mills with his Purple Heart in 2010.

"To receive [the Purple Heart] from General Chiarelli was worth the wait," Mills said.

Although the Korean War is sometimes called "The Forgotten War," Mills said that was not his experience. Upon his enlistment in the Army, Mills recalled that he "wanted to see the world."
"And I did. A small part of it," he said.

Panetta Lifts F-22 Raptor Flight Restrictions

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2012 - Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is satisfied the Air Force has identified the cause of hypoxia-like symptoms 12 F-22 pilots suffered, and restrictions he placed on use of the fifth-generation fighter will be lifted gradually.

Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz and other Air Force leaders told Panetta on July 20 that they are confident the root cause of the symptoms is the supply of oxygen to pilots and not the quality of oxygen, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today at a news conference.

Reporters asked why these shortcomings weren't picked up earlier. "I can't go back in time and conduct technical archeology on this type of aircraft," Little said. "I would say the Air Force has taken very prudent measures ... over the past year and a half or so with respect to the F-22. And they have come to the conclusion as to what is causing these hypoxia events.

"With any aircraft -- be it the F-22 or the F-16, [or] with a helicopter or a ground vehicle -- we can never take the risk to zero," he said. "But we have an obligation to our troops and our airmen to make whatever equipment they are using as safe as possible, and that's what we think we're doing here."

In May, Panetta directed the Air Force to limit all F-22 flights to remain near potential landing locations to enable quick recovery and landing should a pilot encounter oxygen deprivation. The secretary also directed the Air Force to expedite the installation of an automatic backup oxygen system in all of the planes, and he asked for monthly progress reports as the service continued the search for the root cause of the problem.

These actions were in addition to steps the Air Force already was taking to determine the root causes of the hypoxia-like symptoms pilots have experienced. Panetta made this decision, in part, due to the reluctance of some pilots to fly the aircraft, Little said at the time.

The Air Force has made two changes that appear to have solved the hypoxia problem. The first was to order pilots not to wear the pressure garment vest during high-altitude missions. Pilots use the vest to combat G-forces generated flying a high-performance aircraft. The vest inflates to stop blood from pooling, which would cause pilots to black out during high-speed turns.

The Air Force found that a faulty valve "caused the vest to inflate and remain inflated under conditions where it was not designed to inflate, thereby causing breathing problems for some pilots," Little said. "The garment has been suspended from flight since June."

This problem was not identified during initial F-22 testing.

Second, the Air Force removed a canister filter from the oxygen delivery system, and that has increased the volume of air flowing to pilots. The service also is looking at improving the oxygen delivery hose and its connections.

Following the Air Force briefing last week, Panetta decided to lift restrictions on the aircraft gradually. Beginning today, F-22s may resume long-duration flights for deployments, aircraft deliveries and repositioning of aircraft.

"Secretary Panetta has authorized deployment of a squadron of F-22 aircraft to Kadena Air Base, Japan," Little said. "The aircraft will fly to Japan under altitude restrictions using the northern Pacific transit route." Following completion of the flight to Japan, the Air Force likely will approve most long-duration flights, officials said.

Still, initial long-duration flight routes will be designed to pass near airfields. The Air Force also has imposed an altitude restriction on the aircraft so pilots will not need to wear the pressure vest.

Training sorties will remain near runways until completion of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board-recommended corrective actions. This is expected by the end of the summer.
The Air Force will notify Panetta when fixes are finished with the pressure vest and related cockpit life support components. Pending successful completion of associated testing and NASA's independent analysis, Panetta can decide to return the F-22 fleet status to normal operations.

Face of Defense: Medic Inspires Comrades to Run for Health

1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, July 24, 2012 - Army Spc. Deme Ergie wasn't always a runner. And as a medic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, he found little opportunity to keep in good cardiovascular shape while deployed to Afghanistan.

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Army Spc. Deme Ergie stands with his second-place trophy after competing in the Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Freedom Fest 5K, June 30, 2012. Courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"It was hard to find the time to really get a good workout downrange," Ergie said. "The ground back on [Forward Operating Base] Shoja wasn't really good for running."

But when the "Bobcat" soldiers of the 1-5th started returning here in April, Ergie saw a chance to get back in shape and seized it. Several officers and soldiers with the 1-5th had formed Team Bobcat Rush -- a group of motivated running enthusiasts who planned to represent their battalion at various events throughout Alaska during the summer running season.

At the top of Team Bobcat Rush's list of activities were the Army 10-mile tryouts in May and the Anchorage-based mayor's marathon in June.

Ergie was born in Ethiopia, and before he joined the Army, he lived in Alexandria, Va., where he said he hopes someday to return and go to school. Away from home and fairly new to the Army, Ergie said, he decided he would join the Team Bobcat Rush, purely to improve his running.

"I wanted to get better," he said.

Team Bobcat Rush's captain, Army 1st Lt. Ivaylo Benov, recalled how difficult it was for Ergie at first. "He had difficulty just completing a basic two-mile run [in Manas, Kyrgyzstan] while we were waiting to come home," he said. "We were aiming to do a really easy self-paced workout, and it was pretty tough for him."

But Ergie kept at it, showing up almost every day after Team Bobcat Rush returned home for 5:30 a.m. practices at the Chena Bend Golf Course here.

"We ran that early in the morning because we wanted to be used to running long distances during the same time of day as the race," Benov explained. The team's workouts usually were at least eight miles, and at least once a week team members could expect to run more than 10 miles.

The practice and Ergie's personal dedication paid off; he ran the 10-miler trial in 69 minutes, 37 seconds, averaging less than seven minutes a mile. That time qualified him for an alternate position on the U.S. Army Alaska 10-miler team and made him the second-fastest member of Team Bobcat Rush.

Ergie's performance in the Freedom Fest 5K, held a little over a month later, was even more impressive: he clocked in at 19:43, or about six and a half minutes per mile. That performance won him second place overall for the race.

"This is just outstanding," said Army 1st Sgt. Larry Addy, Ergie's company first sergeant. "Ergie is a role model for the rest of the soldiers in this company and this battalion. He really is proof that anybody can get in shape if they're just willing to put in the time and dedication."

Army Capt. Mike Gorman, company commander, agreed.

"The really great thing about Ergie's success is that he is a guy who picked himself up by the bootstraps and got better without us, the chain of command, having to tell him to get better," Gorman said. "I'd feel so much better if more soldiers in this company followed his example."

Army Staff Sgt. Jeremy Conn, the 1-5th medic platoon sergeant, has started running with Ergie regularly. "He pushes me and is getting me in great shape," Conn said.

Team Bobcat Rush has continued to grow, with more junior soldiers starting to attend practices. Benov speculated that the increased numbers have something to do with soldiers having seen one of their peers go so far in so short a time.

But Ergie is humble when talking about his own success.
"I'm not special," Ergie said he emphasizes to anyone who asks him about his running. "I think that anyone can do what I've done -- absolutely. It just takes dedication."

Total Force engages in Alaska Turkey Shoot

by Tech. Sgt. Dana Rosso
477th Fighter Group Public Affairs


7/23/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Pilots and maintainers assigned to the 477th Fighter Group competed alongside their active duty and Air National Guard counterparts in the 3rd Wing's Turkey Shoot competition here July 17-19.

A Turkey Shoot is an Air Force tradition that goes back to the early days of tactical aviation.

"Throughout the three-day competition, operators and maintenance personnel were graded on their ability to produce aircraft and accomplish a tactical mission that represents something the 3rd Wing assets would do in actual combat," said Maj. Christopher Miller, a member of the 302nd Fighter Squadron and Turkey Shoot coordinator.

There was a vast array of squadrons from active duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve participating in the training exercise, including the 302nd, 159th, 90th and 525th Fighter Squadrons, the 3rd Operations Support Squadron, the 517th and 176th Airlift Squadrons, the 477th, 703rd, 176th and 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons as well as the 18th Aggressor Squadron.

The competition started as aircraft maintenance units produced fully mission capable aircraft. Weapons load crews were evaluated on their ability to load as quickly and safely as possible, with no technical order violations. While those maintenance personnel were generating combat ready aircraft, the C-17, F-15C and F-22 pilots along with their intel personnel were mission planning and briefing in preparation for the training scenario.

Once the jets were determined to be "combat" ready, four Reserve F-22 pilots from the 302nd FS and four Air Guard F-15C pilots from 159th FS from Jacksonville, Fla., took off from JBER and escorted a C-17 from the 517th Airlift Squadron to a drop zone located within the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex to deliver the simulated load.

Throughout the mission, the pilots faced simulated surface to air missiles and engaged with F-16s from the 18th Aggressor Squadron from Eielson Air Force Base, located 250 miles north of JBER.

This was the first time that a four-ship of Reserve pilots from the 302nd FS competed in the 3rd Wing's Turkey Shoot. According to Miller, the Reserve and Air Guard's participation in this training is an example of JBER's commitment to Total Force Integration.

"The Turkey Shoot fosters a competitive spirit and improves camaraderie between participating units," said Maj. Miller. "It gives an increased knowledge about 3rd Wing assets and a fighting "team" spirit with all operations and maintenance participants."

Bataan CSADD - Sailors Helping Sailors


From USS Bataan Public Affairs
USS BATAAN, Norfolk, Va. (NNS) -- Junior Sailors aboard multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) formed a new local chapter of the Navy's Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) July 24.

CSADD is a Navy-wide program geared at young Sailors (ages 18 to 25) aimed at reinforcing a culture of shipmates helping shipmates, while preventing destructive behavior and building leadership skills.

The program gives young Sailors the opportunity to help each other through peer-to-peer interaction. CSADD helps Sailors with everything from making responsible drinking decisions to suicide prevention.

While there is an instruction governing CSADD's purpose and general duties, each command has a great deal of latitude in forming local chapters. Aboard Bataan, senior leadership is confident the ship's new CSADD chapter will have a positive impact on the command's Sailors.

"CSADD is already in the process of organizing events," said Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) (AW/SW) Byron Coleman, the Bataan Chapter's senior enlisted sponsor. "Most of our Sailors want to do the right thing when nobody's looking. CSADD provides peer pressure to do something right."

The first step in forming the local chapter was to form a core group of junior Sailors interested in participating, and motivated to help other Sailors. After gathering the founding members, they decided who would be the first advocate to the Navy's regional chapter, and then worked with Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Kevin Goodrich, Bataan's CMC, to identify a senior enlisted member to sponsor them. Coleman, who has previously held billets as an equal opportunity advisor, was an ideal selection.

"I look forward to the creative ideas our CSADD chapter will develop to help take care of our Sailors," said Goodrich. "I'm confidant this will be another way to reach those with problems or concerns, and help keep Sailors safe both on and off duty."

Bataan is currently in homeport in Norfolk, Va., undergoing planned maintenance availability.

Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions Urges 'Wait 2 Txt,' 'Txting Kills,' and 'Dnt Txt'

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Charlemagne Obana, Naval Hospital Bremerton Public Affairs
BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Navy Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Coalition of Sailors Against Destructive Decisions (CSADD) members raised awareness for NHB Sailors, staff, and visitors about the dangers of driving while texting as part of a monthlong July driver safety campaign, July 17.

NHB CSADD members collected more than 50 signatures during lunchtime from people pledging to keep from texting while driving.

Their table featured a static display with facts and statistics of fatalities resulting from texting and driving. Those who made pledges signed a banner and were given a choice of different rings and bracelets with slogans such as "TXTING KILLS" and "DNT TXT."

"We wanted to focus on what we call, 'Wait 2 Text,' which involved putting down the phone and not texting while driving," said Hospitalman Elizabeth George, of NHB's Pediatric department and CSADD July motor vehicle safety campaign coordinator.

"There are different organizations that have similar campaigns going on that are focused on teenagers. CSADD is for everyone but [geared toward] Sailors 25 and younger. Our campaign is for those who might be the people most often guilty of texting and driving," George said.

"You've got a group of young Sailors in plain sight encouraging their peers to sign this document that they promise not to text and drive. I think it's a great idea," said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class (FMF) Jason Corless, NHB command career counselor, who signed the banner and received a ring emblazoned with "WAIT 2 TXT."

"It's pretty awesome that they're taking ownership and accountability for everything themselves and their counterparts are doing in the hospital and in the region," said Corless.

The July CSADD motor vehicle safety campaign is based around the acronym SAFETY to highlight the many dangers to Sailors.

"SAFETY stands for speeding, alcohol, fatigue, ejection (seatbelts), texting and you, and what you can do to prevent that," George said.

After collecting signatures, CSADD members posted the banner below the CSADD display located at the hospital quarterdeck. The trifold display explains the CSADD program, the CSADD Creed, and topics covered by CSADD.
Along with raising awareness, the NHB CSADD chapter is tentatively planning events such as paintball and safe and fun activities sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

"Our CSADD is doing a phenomenal job. They've helped stand up other programs at the Naval Base Kitsap Bangor base, and I hope they can be a good contender for chapter of the year," said Corless.