Military News

Thursday, October 18, 2012

US, Indian Navies to Hold INDIAEX 2012



From Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The U.S. and Indian navies will conduct exercise INDIAEX 2012, a bilateral exercise designed to demonstrate cooperation between the U.S. submarine rescue system and Indian submarines.

The exercise is scheduled from Oct. 19 to Nov. 13, and will take place off the coast of Mumbai, India.

Four Indian navy submarines are scheduled to participate with the U.S. Navy's Undersea Rescue Command (URC) to practice rescue scenarios which demonstrate URC's Submarine Rescue Diving and Recompression System (SRDRS). The SRDRS will mate with Indian submarines for a transfer of personnel from the simulated distressed submarine to the rescue vessel. The at-sea portion of the exercise is scheduled from Oct. 30 to Nov. 6.

This will be the first time exercising the compatibility of a U.S. Navy SRDRS with Indian navy submarines.

"INDIAEX 2012 is critical to building a strong and sustainable partnership between the United States and India," said Cmdr. Dave Lemly, commanding officer of URC. "Conducting exercises like INDIAEX will allow India and the U.S. to continue to benefit from the military-to-military and security cooperation program."

URC is the only U.S. military command that conducts deep ocean submarine rescue. URC is a hybrid organization consisting of approximately 120 personnel from active duty, Reserve, government civilians and contractors.

The U.S. and Indian navies have a common understanding and knowledge of a shared working environment at sea. This exercise helps to advance the level of understanding between sailors. The U.S. Navy hopes to be able to continue this process over time.

The United States and India share common values and seafaring traditions. Our navies are natural partners, and exercises such as INDIAEX continue to strengthen the bonds and personal relationships between navies.

ACC commander visits Ellsworth

by Airman 1st Class Hrair H. Palyan
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Ellsworth hosted Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, Oct. 9 and 10, and took the opportunity to showcase 28th Bomb Wing Airmen accomplishing the mission at the home to two of the nation's three B-1 combat squadrons.

During his visit, Hostage took time to speak with Airmen during a breakfast in the Freedom Chapel and toured several facilities including the new 432nd Attack Squadron, 28th Security Forces Squadron shoot house, and the recently renovated 28th Medical Group.

Master Sgt. Amy Miller, 28th Medical Operations Squadron NCO in charge of the Family Health Clinic, said some of the new modern additions in the 28th MDG include mobile tablets that allow providers to document a patient's care during an exam, and a mobile storage device for the supply room that reduces the amount of space used by 30 percent.

"For the most part, we've expedited and simplified some of the processes that are necessary for helping Airmen and their families," Miller said. "It was nice to able to show off and highlight some of the things we are so proud of here."

The general was quick to thank all of the Airmen for their service and made it clear how their efforts make today's Air Force the world's greatest.

"Everyone at Ellsworth plays a valuable role," said Hostage. "B-1 aircrews wouldn't be able to project airpower if it wasn't for all the dedicated Airmen who work tirelessly to make a successful mission possible."

Hostage encouraged Ellsworth Airmen to remain vigilant during the coming years as the Air Force undergoes many changes including force reshaping and reduced involvement in Southwest and Central Asia. He noted that all Airmen will need to adapt to innovate, a skill that has enabled past generations of Airmen to respond effectively to the unpredictable defense challenges the United States continues to face.

"For example, the B-1 was originally built to be a Cold War bomber designed to penetrate the Soviet Union," Hostage said. "Because of our ability to adapt to the needs of our nation and the changing world, today the B-1 is one of the most effective close-air-support aircraft employed - supporting ground forces around the world."

The general emphasized to all of the Airmen he met that their efforts are greatly appreciated and recognized by not only Ellsworth leaders, but by top Air Force leaders around the globe as well.

Photo Interpreters Recall Cuban Missile Crisis

By Ken White
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Oct. 18, 2012 – Fifty years after they discovered Soviet missiles poised to strike the United States from Cuba, two intelligence officers met with hundreds of their current-day counterparts to commemorate the anniversary of the crisis that nearly brought the world to nuclear war.


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National Photographic Interpretation Center imagery kept President John F. Kennedy updated on progress made by the Soviets on their missile site in Cuba. This Oct. 25, 1962, image shows all the elements necessary to launch a missile with a 1,100 nautical mile range. Analysts could tell by the tracks in the ground leading to one of the missile shelter tents that a weapon in a high state of readiness was present. The image also demonstrated the Soviets’ extensive use of canvas to camouflage its weapons components and, therefore, its intentions. Photo courtesy of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Dino Brugioni and Vincent DiRenzo were part of a small group from the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center who worked for 13 tense days in October 1962 to avert disaster. They joined author and journalist Michael Dobbs, and two current analysts, in an Oct. 15 panel discussion at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency here.

Through reminiscences and present-day observations, the group illustrated the significance of the crisis and its continued impact on the tradecraft of imagery and geospatial analysis.

A photo interpreter, DiRenzo led the NPIC team and formed the initial conclusion about the presence of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles in Cuba from analysis of U-2 spy plane imagery. He discussed the immediate wake of his discovery.

"Considering the severity of the identification, we figured we'd be in for a long night," DiRenzo said. He indicated that the initial assessment was not a "slam dunk," as convincing people of the true significance of the find was difficult. While DiRenzo was absolutely sure, the image did not show clearly identifiable missiles, but rather, long, canvas-covered objects that, to the layman, could be almost anything.

Charged with preparing materials on daily developments for NPIC Director Arthur C. Lundahl’s briefs to the executive committee and the White House, Brugioni was instrumental in arming President John F. Kennedy with intelligence needed to navigate this perilous moment in history.

He recalled with humor how many of his briefing boards came back from the White House marked up with blue crayon from a doodling Caroline Kennedy. On a more somber note, he also relayed the fearful mood of the time.

"Black Saturday, we had gone to [defense readiness condition] 2," Brugioni said. "Fourteen hundred bombers were loaded with nuclear weapons; 50 B-52s were in the air; eight Polaris submarines were at sea; 125 [intercontinental ballistic missiles] were ready to fire; there was tactical aviation; there was 60 Thor missiles in England, 30 Jupiter missiles in Italy, and 15 Jupiters in Turkey. That morning we met with Art Lundahl and told him that all 24 pads were operational, meaning that within four to six hours, 24 missiles could be coming at the United States.

“I remember Lundahl scratching his chin, looked at me and said, ‘I don't want to scare the hell out of them, but I want to make sure they understand the danger,’" Brugioni recalled.

The son of a career diplomat, Dobbs spent his formative years behind the Iron Curtain. He became a Cold War scholar after covering it as a foreign correspondent for the Washington Post. He drew a parallel between his work and intelligence analysis.

"I feel a kinship with intelligence analysts. We try to start with the evidence and proceed from the evidence to the conclusions,” Dobbs said. “Our goal is to tell truth to power."

Dobbs went on to laud the efforts of the team who identified the missiles, and to praise Brugioni for his efforts since the crisis to improve public understanding of photo analysis.

"Dino has done more than anyone else to explain the art and science of photo interpretation to the broader public," he said. "He's a great educator; he's very good at explaining very complicated matters to laymen."
He also discussed how his research of the crisis, with the advantage of 50 years of hindsight, affirmed both the significance the crisis and the criticality of intelligence to policymaking. He also pointed out that 60 to 70 percent of the actionable intelligence came from NPIC during the crisis.

"This was the moment of the photo interpreter," Dobbs said. "They were able to tell [the president] when the missiles would be ready to fire."

It was probably the single biggest intelligence coup of the Cold War, he added.

Art Lundahl’s son, Robert, shared his late father's connection with the president.

"Above all, my father was certainly a technologist. He was a scientist at heart; he loved technology," said the younger Lundahl. "It sounded like President Kennedy had an equal interest in technology. There was a bond there."

Beyond technology, Lundahl also shared what he believes to be the key to his father’s effectiveness as an intelligence officer: exceptional communication skills.

"He was born to brief," Lundahl said. Specifically, he noted his father’s ability to be credible, while adjusting to the knowledge level of his audience and using humor to diffuse tension.

 NGA analyst Walter S. Trynock compared and contrasted the world of 1962 with today’s environment. Communication skills remain critical for analysts, he noted, but the tools for providing geospatial intelligence are markedly different, and today’s leaders are bombarded with information.

"The type of information, and the pace in which information is received by the policymaker, is constant, at all times of the day and night," Trynock said. "So the challenge is to bring out the relevancy and the 'so what' to contribute to their decision making.”

Then and now, keen analysis always has been key, Dobbs said.

"Intelligence is like a huge jigsaw puzzle, and you only find a few pieces, and there are always going to be some missing pieces, but from the pieces you do find, you try to inform policymakers about the entire jigsaw puzzle," he said.

Face of Defense: Teen Gets Wish at Military Hospital

By Chondra Perry
Brooke Army Medical Center

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, Oct. 18, 2012 – A teenager’s wish to serve as a nurse in a military hospital came true Oct. 11, thanks to a group of nurses assigned to San Antonio Military Medical Center here and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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Army 1st Lt. Zachary Godwin, clinical staff nurse, teaches Aissa how to place a peripheral intravenous catheter on a mannequin at San Antonio Military Medical Center, Texas, Oct. 11, 2012. Aissa’s wish to be a nurse in a military facility was granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation and SAMMC nurses. U.S. Army photo by Chondra Perry
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Aissa was “sworn in” to the Army Nurse Corps for the day by Army Col. Kimberly Smith, Brooke Army Medical Center’s chief of nursing services, in a ceremony by the hospital’s main entrance. Later, Smith presented Aissa’s grandmother with a ribbon on behalf of her own mother, who was also a nurse.

“The ribbon belonged to my mother. It has special significance, because I lost my mother six years ago,” Smith said. “I thought how cool would it be to share this ribbon, because my mom would be so thrilled to hear about her story.”

Aissa was given a uniform, boots, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope and custom dog tags. Before being whisked away by a group of nurses, she shared the reason for her wish.

“I get sick a lot, and I feel good when I help people,” she said. “Life is a challenge, and I don’t give up.”

Aissa said her desire to be a nurse in a military facility was the result of spending countless hours in hospitals and wanting to help other people, especially those recovering from war injuries.

The teen, who has been battling epilepsy and other illnesses, quickly changed into her uniform and began her rounds. She visited the SAMMC Simulation Center, where nurses taught her how to perform an adult, child and pediatric assessment, as well as how to initiate an intravenous drip and secure an airway.

“We wanted her to learn and get hands on,” said Army 1st Lt. Mollie Franks, clinical staff nurse and one of seven nurses Aissa shadowed throughout the day. “I’m excited and amazed she chose this. We tend to forget how honored we are to be in this profession. I wanted to do all I could to make this special for her.”
The next stop was the orthopedic ward where Aissa assisted in caring for wounded service members Capt. Ryan Keogh and Capt. Matthew Anderson.

Keogh, an Army Ranger injured in Afghanistan, was more than happy to help grant her wish. “If I can help somebody else have a better day, then absolutely,” he said.

Aissa listened to his lungs, stomach and checked his pulse. She determined, with the help of other nurses, that he would be OK.

Anderson, who also was injured while deployed in Afghanistan, helped to point out some of his veins on the monitor while Aissa used a vein-finding machine.

“I think it’s great that I can help grant her wish,” Anderson said. “It’s the least we can do, and it’s nice to see that people are going out of their way to make this happen for her.”

After seeing a few more patients and learning how to read an electrocardiography monitor, Aissa met with Army Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, BAMC commander, who presented her with a commander’s coin for excellence surrounded by Army, Air Force and civilian nurses.

She was also presented with a signed photograph of SAMMC and a coin on behalf of Maj. Gen. Jimmie O. Keenan, commanding general U.S. Army Public Health Command and chief of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.
“This day was beyond our expectations,” said Aissa’s mother, Cynthia Alvarez, who spent the day watching her daughter learn the ropes. “I’m so happy. She’s so happy, and we’re so thankful.”

And in the words of the teen nurse: “I loved every part.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is an organization that grants wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

ROK National Assembly visits Osan Air Base

by Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Members from the Republic of Korea National Assembly saw firsthand how U.S. and ROK forces work together during an annual ROK National Defense Committee inspection Oct. 15, 2012.

The ROK-led inspection focused on Korean airpower capabilities, combined facilities, and ROK and U.S. aircraft to obtain a greater understanding of the elements involved in the nation's defense, explained Maj. Alec Menoni, 51st Operations Group assistant deputy commander and special projects coordinator.

"We came to Osan Air Base to see how the U.S. Air Force and ROKAF are collaborating to keep our nation and our space safe," said ROK National Assembly Chairman Seung Min Yoo. "Here there are so many essential facilities to protect from North Korea or any other country. We are very confident that the U.S. and Korea Alliance is very important in protecting our nation."

Unlike in the U.S., where Congress is broken down into the Senate and the House of Representatives, the ROK has one combined Congress. The National Assembly's Defense Committee provides legislative oversight of Korea's military and their annual budget.

Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, completed a historic milestone the same day as he became the first U.S. Air Force general officer to fly aboard the ROKAF's newest aircraft, the E-737 Peace Eye.

"The E-737 Peace Eye brings a great new capability to our Alliance and as Air Component Commander, I was privileged to fly on it today," he said. "This was my first flight on the Peace Eye and I was not fully aware of all its capabilities, but now that I've seen it first hand along with the professionalism of the ROKAF officers and Enlisted crew, I am truly impressed with what it can do."

The assemblymen toured static displays of the U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, U-2 and ROK KF-16 Falcon and F-15K Slam Eagle, very similar to U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15 Eagles. However, the aircraft on display were only one part of the inspection. The assemblymen also learned about the combined war-fighting capabilities of the ROKAF and U.S. at the Korean Air Operations Center.

"We are honored to have the ROK National Assembly members here at Osan Air Base today and I hope that what they take away is the strength of the Alliance between the U.S. Air Force and the ROKAF," Jouas said. "Together we make a great Airpower Team. Every day our Airmen are working hard to deter, defend and, if necessary, defeat any advisories we may face, and I am certainly proud to be their commander."

3-peat: JBER Airmen first again to rekey Raptors

by Airman 1st Class Omari Bernard
JBER Public Affairs


10/18/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A team of Airmen from the 3rd Wing and the 673d Air Base Wing here helped JBER become the first base in the Air Force to successfully rekey all of their F-22 Raptors for the next year.

The effort of maintainers from the 3rd Maintenance Group and the communications security office of the 673d ABW directly contributed to this accomplishment. As a direct result, JBER has been first to annually rekey all their F-22s, not once, not twice, but three years in a row - setting the pace and standard for other bases operating the Raptor.

"Every year we meet up with the maintainers and discuss the challenges," said Eric Coleman, the 673d ABW COMSEC Security Manager. "Last year, the fleet was grounded so it was simple to do. This year with them constantly flying, we have to work around their schedules. Basically, we worked around the clock (shift work) with our maintainers in order to get our fleet rekeyed."

The rekey of the F-22 is the communications security portion of the aircraft maintenance. Like the keys to a car, the rekey is vital to the operations of the F-22.

"We don't actually key the jets ourselves," Coleman said. "We work hand-in-hand with the maintainers. The actual maintainers are the ones that go out and touch the jet."
The rekey itself is a change made to the encryption key and helps to establish a secure line of communication.

"It is not strictly between aircraft," Coleman said. "It is Department of Defense wide, since it involves everyone, it is important that we are all communicating correctly."

"Every year the material needs to be changed out," he said. "The whole F-22 fleet changes out annually."

"I can't stress enough the importance of the teamwork portion between the COMSEC office and the maintainers that were out in the cold doing the work," said Tech. Sgt. Samuel Cogburn, COMSEC assistant manager.

"They have a good understanding of what our job is," Coleman said. "We have a good understanding of what their job is. With that kind of understanding, we know what to expect - look for ways to help them out and make the process easier."

The planning for the rekey begins six months out. Members of COMSEC communicate with the maintainers four months out.

"We would never be able to accomplish this without the Airmen working around the clock," Cogburn said. "They are all professionals and individually want to complete the mission. Sometimes, you have to pry them off the machine."

"Over the years, just the relationship we have - the level of respect that they have for us and we have for them and our ability with communication," he said.

Rekeying the jets this year was a challenge, Coleman said. "If that material is not in that jet, then that jet is considered broken."

"If you have a fleet that is actually flying, then we have a small window of time to figure out how to do this and not impede their flying mission," he explained.

Four members were recognized and coined by Air Force Col. Brian Duffy Commander of the 673d ABW, and Air Force Col. Dirk Smith, commander of the 3rd Wing, for their accomplishments that represented the synchronization of the team and the foundation of this accomplishment.

"Today we recognize four individuals for their excellence and leadership," Smith said during the coin ceremony. "But you really are standing on the shoulders of many others that worked as a team, with your leadership, to accomplish this achievement. We know there are scores of additional Airmen and civilians that deserve a piece of this recognition as well."

ROK, USAF chiefs build partnership through experiences

by Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Forty-five of the top enlisted members from the Republic of Korea and U.S. Air Force arrived at Osan Air Base Oct. 12, 2012, to create an even stronger Alliance among the two nations.

These E-9s, or chief master sergeants, arrived for the second annual USAF/ROKAF Senior Enlisted Leadership Conference to discuss how to improve both Air Force's through shared experiences.

Lt. Gen Jan-Marc Jouas, 7th Air Force commander, opened the conference by discussing the importance of forums such as these in order to learn from one another and improve their nations' enlisted corps. "I believe we already have the strongest Alliance in the world, but every day, by working together, we can make it that much stronger," he said.

The chiefs discussed enlisted rank structures and communicated with their counterparts before enjoying a cookout and softball game later in the afternoon. Chief Master Sgt. Scott Delveau, 7th Air Force command chief, explained how last year's event included a conference, academics, and a soccer game followed by a trip to a Korean restaurant.

"It's very important to continue this tradition because we're building on what we learned from last year," he said. "Last year was very good. It broke the ice."

Sharing experiences is a great asset used by chiefs to educate their NCOs and Airmen on what skills they have learned during this workshop, explained ROKAF Command Chief Master Sgt. Wang Seong Buyun, Air Force Operations command chief. A valuable experience like this can be shared as the conferences will continue in the future.

"It is well known that the U.S. and ROK Air Forces are protecting the ROK by deterring any contingency in the peninsula as Air Component Command Forces," he said. "It is important that we know what our counterparts in the U.S. Air Force are doing and how to operate together. To strengthen this, we host U.S. and ROK chief master sergeants workshops to provide the opportunity to come together."

Last year's event included 13 U.S and ROK chiefs from Osan, Delveau said, but this year's event has stretched across the peninsula.

"This year we expanded the participants to include more functional managers and now we have every command chief from every ROKAF base across the country," he said. "This is a really good opportunity for an extensive exchange of information."

"I've learned quite a bit in the past 18 months I've been in Korea just talking to the chief master sergeants about simple things like how they care for their Airmen. We learn a lot from them and they learn a lot about us, so the more we communicate and engage with each other, the better it is going to be for our Airmen."

Flight medicine: a flight of their own

by Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
36th Wing Public Affairs


10/18/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- -- Personnel from the 36th Wing Medical Group and flight medicine clinic had a chance to see their patients immersed in their work environment during an incentive flight Oct.11 here.

"One of flight and operations medicines many responsibilities include ensuring our deployers' medical needs are met," said Maj. Dana Baker, 36th Medical Group aerospace medicine flight commander. "We coordinate closely with the deployed medical assets and assist with medical care for not only their flyers but all deployers at Andersen."

The flight served as an opportunity for flight crew and medical personnel to interact with each other while supporting the bomber aircraft stationed at Andersen during mid-air refueling.

"This gives the medical personnel an opportunity to see the different Airmen they may treat in the different and unique environments those Airmen work in," said Capt. Scott Avery, 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron flight surgeon. "This helps them see the big picture, and show them how they impact the mission."

Day-to-day medicine is described as abnormal physiology in a normal environment. Flight medicine is the normal physiology of a healthy crew in an abnormal environment, such as flying at 25,000 feet.

"Flights like these are important because it ensures that we have qualified Airmen that understand the concept of operations and understand the large Air Force in general," said Captain Avery.

The incentive flight took place on a Nebraska Air National Guard KC-135 Stratotanker with a Nebraska crew, though all jets, crews, and maintenance intermingle.

"These incentive flights are an example of the total force concept," said Captain Avery. "Just as the ANG works alongside active duty, medical and operational crews work together and it helps us to strengthen our team."

"This role is critical for continued support of the unique mission at Andersen," said Major Baker.

Flight safety ensure wing mission clear for take off

by Staff Sgt. Tong Duong
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea -- -- DUCK !

Piloting a jet at hundreds of miles per hour, pilots literally duck from feathered creatures, especially during the month of October.

"Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea is on the migratory paths for many birds that will fill up the airfield, creating a dangerous environment when planes are flying around," said Master Sgt. Keith Kollasch, 8th Fighter Wing, non-commissioned officer for flight safety.

According to the www.birdskorea.com website, approximately 500,000 migrant birds of 40 types visit between mid-October and March, including many uncommon migratory birds including Baikal teals, wild ducks, mallards, and wild geese.

Due to the uptick of migratory birds, wing safety members like Kollasch, are busier than usual this time of year.

"Flight safety is usually out several hours at a time, throughout the day to disperse the birds," he said. "There have been 33 deaths in the Air Force attributed to bird strikes, so we do our best to keep that from happening here at Kunsan."

Birds and aircraft do not mix, especially when in flight, so flight safety members use different dispersal techniques. Simply stopping a vehicle near a bird-resting site or firing bird bangs from a shotgun is enough drive them away temporarily. The 12-gauge bird bang is equivalent to an M-80 firecracker and is fired in the general area of the birds.

For trouble areas, the use of lethal bird depredation methods may be used as a last resort.

"When there are a lot of birds on the airfield, it's frustrating because it seems like we're just chasing them from one end to the other and back, but that's just the nature of the job when you are working with animals," Kollasch said. "You just don't know what they will do."

The 8th FW averages two to three bird strikes a months according to Kollasch, October being the most critical. With several hundred ducks migrating through the airspace a day, it is a hazard to the Wolf Pack.

"We do our best to make sure our job is complete before heading back to the office," he said. "Our job is to provide a safe environment for our pilots to fly in ."

'Fini-flight' honors 30-plus year flight engineer

by Ann Skarban
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/18/2012 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Vietnam-era veteran and long-time Air Force Reserve C-130 flight engineer Chief Master Sgt. Tom Farley was recognized for his 33 years of service and more than 11,300 flying hours in a fini-flight celebration here Sept. 27 .

Once parked and the C-130's engines were shut down, Farley's family and his fellow Airmen from the 731st and 52nd Airlift Squadrons and from throughout the 302nd Airlift Wing gathered on the flightline nearby aircraft "317" to provide the traditional fini-flight spray-down and personally congratulate him with handshakes, hugs and well-wishes as he deplaned for the last time.

Farley began his military career when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1971 as a motor vehicle operator and later a jet engine mechanic. In 1976 he took his first flights as a C-130 flight engineer in the Marine Corps and noted one of his career highlights was standing up the Marine Reserve wing at Glenview Naval Air Station, Ill. near his hometown of Chicago, Ill.

In 1996 Farley joined the Air Force Reserve Command's 928th Airlift Wing at O'Hare International Air Reserve Station, Ill. as a C-130 flight engineer and was later reassigned to the 302nd AW's 731st AS at Peterson AFB, Colo. as a result of the Chicago unit's closure in 1995.

Reflecting on his career, Farley said one of his most memorable experiences was serving on the 1998 Pacific Air Force floater to Thailand which included providing C-130 airlift support for the repatriation of human remains from Vietnam. "We were attached to PACAF and we did channel missions from Vietnam to the Pacific Islands. It was an honor. Going back to the Pacific was also meaningful ... it was where I was in training in the Marine Corps," said Farley.

Farley said, "I've been blessed to serve beside many and I truly appreciate the friendship and support from everyone throughout the years."

United States -- Thailand Defense Strategic Talks


Senior delegations from the United States and the Kingdom of Thailand met today at the Pentagon to conduct the United States -- Thailand Defense Strategic Talks.  The Defense Strategic Talks are the two allies’ premier forum for coordinating security policies and consulting on a wide array of security issues.
 
These discussions reflect enduring American and Thai commitment to cooperation and consultation on security issues based on shared priorities and mutual respect.  Both nations resolved to continue strengthening the alliance as a true 21st century partnership that aims to promote a peaceful, secure, and prosperous region and contribute to global stability.

The U.S. delegation was led by Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia Pacific Security Affairs Mark Lippert.  The Thai delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary of Defense General Thanongsak Apirakyothin.  Both delegations reaffirmed the importance of bilateral and multilateral interoperability and readiness.

The U.S. and Thai delegations look forward to next steps for the alliance, including their commitment to continue senior defense dialogues and future senior defense official visits.

The Joint Statement for the United States-Thai Defense Strategic Talks is available at:  http://www.defense.gov/news/USThaiDefenseStrategicTalksJointStatement.pdf .

Eagle Eyes

by Senior Airman Elizabeth Van Patten
94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- The 94th Security Forces Squadron watches over the base day and night, day in and day out. Airmen have a sense of security while at work, knowing that the SFS Airmen man the gates and patrol the streets and buildings of Dobbins Air Reserve Base.

However, security doesn't stop with security forces. They can't be everywhere. They need help from the rest of the base.

Are you up to the task?

"Overcoming complacency is our greatest challenge," said Neil Bethune, 94th Airlift Wing antiterrorism officer. "Of all the things we are vulnerable to; our greatest threat is the mindset of apathy and complacency. We have a military mission at Dobbins and that makes us all a target."

Terrorists think globally but act locally. They use the element of surprise to attack for the purpose of advancing their political, religious or ideological goals.

Historically, terrorists follow a general planning cycle. They begin by formulating a list of possible targets and gather information on these possible targets, primarily through surveillance and intercepted intelligence. Based on information they have gathered, terrorists will select a final target, taking into account target availability, impact and value.

The planning phase will also includes surveillance over extended periods of time. Multiple dry runs are practiced until the final attack plan is fine-tuned. Then, the attack will take place. Should the attack succeed, terrorist will exploit media coverage to publicize their cause.

"While we have no indicators of an imminent threat, surveillance is still a reality," said Bethune. "There are enemies to freedom who will seek to do us harm."

Should someone enter your work area that you don't know, they should be greeted and offered an appropriate amount of customer service. If there is still a concern, everyone is encouraged to notify Security Forces promptly.

"If you see something, say something," said Bethune. "Profiling individuals is wrong. However, profiling behaviors may indicate suspicious behavior. You have to decide if someone is a potential threat. Ask yourself if this person supposed to be in your work area, or why are they wearing a trench coat in 95 degree weather or why is that vehicle parked next to the fence line? Sometimes suspicious people just 'don't belong' or a behavior seems out of place."

On the other hand, an insider threat is usually a disgruntled employee of the Air Force. They pose a significant risk because they already have access to the base, and may have access to classified materials.

The signs that a military or civilian member may be a potential threat include: working odd hour without authorization, taking large amounts of information home, copying materials unnecessarily, traveling to foreign countries often and for only short periods of time, buying things they can't afford, are overwhelmed by life or career disappointments and they may act on concerns that they are being investigated.

For a more information on what the possible actions and behaviors of someone who may become an active shooter or inside threat is, click here.

The best prevention, or detection, from an insider threat is to be a good wingman. The wingman concept is simple - get to know those around you, watch them and provide support. Wingmen foster every one of us to collaborate and be held accountable for our actions.

Additionally, maintaining military bearing will help you maintain situational awareness. When in doubt, fall back on training - such as the use of duress words - whether basic military training, officer training school or advanced training.

All state side military bases are under Force Protection Condition Alpha with Bravo measures in place, and no military installation has been at FPCON Normal since before Sept. 11, 2001.

"Talk," said Bethune. "Communicate. Do not be complacent. Be aware. If it turns out to be nothing, then great. If it turns out to be something, then we've averted an attack."

The Air Force as a whole is constantly put to the test. Success or failure is measured easily, just by watching the news.

For more information on antiterrorism please contact Neil Bethune by email at neil.bethune@us.af.mil. If you see suspicious activity, please call Security Forces at 678-655-4908 or 4909.

Niagara implements Air Force Reserve trainee program

by Staff Sgt. Andrew Caya
914th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/18/2012 - NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- There is a new flight on base. However, it is not made of Airmen. Instead, trainees make up the ranks of the new development and training flight.

New enlistees to the 914th Airlift Wing now drill and train here on base while in the delayed entry program before going to Texas for basic military training.

"Basically, this flight is to make sure the trainees are prepared for basic training," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Denehy, 914 AW senior recruiter.

The time frame that members spend in the delayed entry program can range anywhere from one month to 12 months.

"As soon as a member enlists, to the time they leave for basic training, they come in and drill on the Saturday of the Unit Training Assembly," said Tech Sgt. Alexander Pacheco, NCOIC of the development and training flight.

"(The trainees) are a part of the unit now," said Denehy. "They are learning; their weekends are very productive. Some of them may have a little bit of a shock because Sergeant Pacheco is giving them a little bit of the TI (technical instructor) mentality."

Pacheco, desiring to ensure all of the trainees under his supervision are ready before they head to Texas, created a mini basic training bubble at the Niagara Falls ARS.

The flight follows a tailored course curriculum which includes rank structure, customs and courtesies, enlisted force structure, as well as dress and appearance standards.

"We test them on all of it to ensure they are gaining that knowledge," said Pacheco.

The testing goes beyond memorization, as Niagara trainees must execute all they learned while they are here.

It is mandatory that the trainees adhere to all grooming regulations found in Air Force Instruction 36-2903. Instead of wearing the Airman Battle Uniform, the trainees are required to wear conservative jeans, sneakers and are issued tan t-shirts. Before the trainees are allowed to converse, they must give a reporting statement to their superiors, said Pacheco.

Punctuality is instilled in the trainees.

"It's mandatory they have to be here and be on time, or everyone 'pushes'," said Pacheco. "It's not punishment it's more motivation. It teaches them to work as a unit...if a trainee fails, the flight fails."

And what would basic training be without physical training? The flight has mandatory physical training testing every month to prepare them for whatever the military training instructors throw at them during BMT at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Pacheco and Denehy believe this program will benefit both the member and the Air Force Reserve.

"Now they are participating," said Denehy. "I think that is going to cut back on the DEP discharges and cut down on the people who aren't making it through basic and tech school. It's also going to save the Air Force Reserve money, we know when someone goes to Lackland, they are ready because if they are not ready, Sergeant Pacheco is going to weed them out."

Both men said that before this program was implemented, it seemed not much thought was given to trainees after initial enlistment. The trainees would occasionally come in and check with their recruiter before basic and that was about it.

In the development and training flight, the trainees aren't done after Saturday during the UTAs and are in constant contact with the unit.

"They are required to check in with me on the first and 15th of every month via phone, email, text or in person," said Pacheco. "This check-in process is just to make sure that nothing negative happened to them and that they are still on track to leave for BMT."

Being part of the training flight gives new members a sense of belonging.

"The trainees are now participating in the unit before they go to basic and I think they feel they are a part of the Air Force Reserve now," said Denehy.

Airman competing for Miss Massachusetts USA title

by SrA. Kelly Galloway
439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- On any given day, Senior Airman Cara Lustig could be found at the gym, attending one of her six college courses, volunteering her afternoon reading to first grade students, working full-time in Boston or drilling here as a knowledge operations specialist.

And that's before the Miss Massachusetts USA beauty pageant she's competing in Nov. 16. Lustig will compete against about 60 candidates, which will be held in Lowell, and only one will be sent on to the National Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas.

A reservist with the 439th Communications Squadron at Westover, Lustig also works full-time as the Military Enrollment Advisor at the University of Phoenix at the Greater Boston Campus, and is completing her MBA.

"I want to help out in any way that I can," Lustig said about her job as the Enrollment Advisor for military veterans. "I feel that I can give back to someone who has already given so much to me. I'm able to assist them with career decisions, something that is going to affect them for the rest of their lives. It's a big deal."

Growing up in the small town of Quonset, R.I., Lustig had a drive to excel and move from her home state.

"I was at my brother's basic training graduation in Lackland when I had this epiphany," she said. "I've always wanted to move away from Rhode Island - I wanted something bigger, something better, like my brother was doing. So I enlisted in 2010 and chose communications as my AFSC because I wanted the skills I would be trained on to be easily transferable to my civilian life."

With a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Rhode Island, an information management associate's degree from the Community College of the Air Force, a current MBA candidate at the University of Phoenix and a commissioned officer applicant - it's easy to understand why Lustig is going to excel in her civilian career and with the Air Force Reserve.

After researching the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant, Lustig wanted young girls to have someone to look up to - a positive role model - so she decided to pursue it.

"I've found that since entering this pageant my self-confidence has boosted and I've been able to begin networking," she said. "Knowing that I will be someone people look up to gives me that extra drive to always improve myself."

At the Miss Massachusetts competition, judges will conduct an initial interview with all 60 contestants and choose 15 to compete. They will be judged in swim and evening wear as well as interview questions and answers. Physical fitness, self-confidence and overall beauty will determine which contestant will be chosen to be the ambassador to represent Massachusetts. Ultimately only one will be crowned as "Miss Massachusetts USA."

Winners immediately become role models, according to the Miss Massachusetts USA website, assuring a year of personal growth and maturing that money cannot buy.

U.S. Partners Encourage Pacom Commander

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press ServiceWASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2012 – Upon returning to U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in Hawaii after visiting three Asia-Pacific nations, the top U.S. commander in the region said he’s encouraged by their willingness to partner more closely with the United States in what he called a foundation of the U.S. strategy there.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, with Thailand's Chief of Defense Force Gen. Thanasak Patimaprakorn in Bangkok, Oct. 15, 2012. U.S. Pacific Command photo by Army Staff Sgt. Carl N. Hudson
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III has returned to Camp H.M. Smith after visiting senior officials in Bangladesh, India and Thailand. During every engagement, the admiral explained why, as it draws down its forces in Afghanistan, the United States is increasingly turning its attention to the Asia-Pacific.

Locklear recognized the region’s large populations, large militaries and new and growing economic powerhouses during an Oct. 16 discussion with reporters in Bangkok.

The relative peace the region has enjoyed for almost seven decades has enabled national economies to prosper, he noted. “The goal is to continue that,” he said, promoting security and stability through enhanced regional cooperation.

It’s a whole-of-government approach, he said, that includes not just military, but also includes economic, diplomatic and information initiatives.

“The end state, we hope, is a continuation of a collective security environment where all nations are able to participate,” Locklear said. He cited the range of operations that could include countering terrorism, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, stemming the flow of transnational threats such as drugs and human trafficking, and enhancing cybersecurity, among others.

Ultimately, Locklear said, U.S. rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region involves “building partnerships and ability to work together on these security issues that will impact the region in the future.”

That begins with the historic U.S. allies in the region, including Thailand, he said.

During his visit there, Locklear met with Chief of Defense Force Gen. Thanasak Patimaprakorn, Permanent Secretary for Defense Thanongsak Apirakyothin and other leaders to discuss ways to strengthen the U.S.-Thailand military-to-military relationship.

But the rebalance also involves building capacity among new regional partners and encouraging others to forge new relationships with the United States, he said.

Asked by a reporter, Locklear said he hopes these relationships are seen as “productive, in the eyes of China” and that Chinese leaders recognize that the U.S. rebalance is not meant to threaten or exclude China or any other country.

“This is not about a single nation,” the admiral said. “It is about this issue of: How do you foresee a future were you have all countries participating in a security environment that leads to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. And you can’t leave any one country out of that.”

Locklear underscored the point. “The importance of the rebalance is looking at, How do you bring everyone, including China, into a security relationship that allows peace and prosperity, even through trying, difficult times where countries may disagree on this issue or that issue without it leading to military confrontation,” he said.

He recognized areas in which China and the United States already are beginning to forge a military-to-military relationship. Their navies recently participated in joint counterpiracy operations, he noted, and leaders are exploring other areas in which they could work together, including health and medicine and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

In addition, the United States has invited China to participate in the next Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, in 2014. Twenty-two nations participated in this year’s RIMPAC. “We hope that in 2014, the People’s Liberation Army navy will find a way to send a ship and be full partners in that,” Locklear said. “This is the best way forward.”

Obama Nominates Rodriguez as Next Africa Command Chief

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2012 – President Obama has nominated Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez to succeed Army Gen. Carter F. Ham as the commander of U.S. Africa Command, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today.

U.S. Africa Command is the newest combatant command, and its headquarters is in Stuttgart, Germany. The command encompasses all of Africa and its adjacent waters except for Egypt.

The Senate must confirm Rodriguez, who currently is commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.

“He has served in a variety of key leadership roles on the battlefield,” Panetta said in announcing the nomination. Rodriguez was the first commander of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, the corps-level command in Afghanistan. He was the commander during the surge into Afghanistan, “and was a key architect of the successful campaign plan that we are now implementing,” Panetta said.

Ham has served as the Africa Command chief since March 2011. “Under his leadership, Africom has played a very central role in some very important missions,” the secretary said. “From the NATO campaign in Libya that led to the fall of Gadhafi to successful counterterrorism efforts in Somalia [and] Yemen to efforts we are now involved in in Nigeria and Mali and elsewhere, General Ham has really brought Africom into a very pivotal role in that challenging region.”

The nation is “deeply grateful for his outstanding service,” he said.

Panetta also announced the nomination of Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. to receive his fourth star and serve as the next assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. He would succeed Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., whom the president has nominated to command coalition and U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Paxton is commander of Marine Corps Forces Command, Marine Fleet Force Atlantic and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe. Paxton and Dunford also must be confirmed for their jobs by the Senate.

Statement on Alleged Assault in Okinawa

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs George Little provided the following statement: 


“We are working closely with the Government of Japan and relevant local authorities in their investigation of an alleged assault of a female Japanese citizen in Okinawa Oct. 16 by two U.S. service members.  The Department of Defense takes all incidents and allegations involving misconduct by service members seriously and pledges its continued cooperation. We deeply regret any grief and trauma the victim may have endured. U.S. Forces Japan is actively engaged with the Government of Japan and the U.S. Navy is fully cooperating with authorities in Okinawa as they continue their investigation.  We are also examining and will soon announce a package of measures to ensure responsible behavior and to demonstrate our commitment to maintaining positive relationships with the local communities that host our forces.”

Breaking it again at 89 with DGMC's assistance

by James Spellman
60th Medical Group Public Affairs


10/17/2012 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- Yeager... Few last names in modern Air Force history evoke as much lore, legacy, respect and admiration by Airmen everywhere as this local living legend. Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles "Chuck" Yeager retraced history Sunday, 65 years to the minute, as the first test pilot to break the sound barrier, taking to the skies once again to fly faster than the speed of sound.

The 89-year-old, a two-time best-selling author and the focal point of Tom Wolfe's 1979 book and 1983 feature film, "The Right Stuff" flew in the back seat of an F-15D Eagle as he "laid down a pretty good sonic boom over Edwards" Air Force Base in southern California.

The World War II "double-Ace" hit Mach 1.3 at 10:24 a.m. above California's Mojave Desert. It was the same area where he first achieved the feat above Muroc Air Field, now Edwards AFB.

It was Oct. 14, 1947, barely one month after the Air Force became a separate branch of service from the Army, when then 24-year-old Capt. Yeager piloted the experimental rocket-propelled Bell Aircraft XS-1, named "Glamorous Glennis" for his wife, through the sound barrier.

The thin-winged, bullet-shaped, orange X-1 is now on permanent display at the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Washington. Meanwhile, the aviation and aerospace world would never be the same. The area surrounding Edwards was virtually transformed overnight into a destination for the hottest test pilots who flew higher, faster and further in the latest aircraft of the day.

Fast forward 65 years. After flight surgeons from David Grant USAF Medical Center reviewed Yeager's medical records and signed off on his Medical Recommendation for Flying or Special Operational Duty form, the Air Force icon and living legend was cleared again to surpass the speed of sound while flying at 45,000 feet in altitude above the desert in the F-15D that took off from Nellis AFB, Nev.

"I was honored and thrilled General Yeager entrusted our team here at DGMC to care for him and ensure he was physically fit and ready to pilot an Air Force jet for the 65th anniversary of his record-breaking flight," stated Lt. Col. (Dr.) Dustin Zierold, 60th Surgical Operations Squadron trauma and critical care surgeon. "General Yeager is an icon of professionalism and dedication to service. Our entire surgery clinic enjoyed speaking with him, and even getting an autograph or two!"

"I really appreciated the Air Force giving me a brand new F-15 to fly. It was a smooth flight today," said Yeager of the anniversary flight. "I'm very familiar with the area and got a good view. The F-15 is my favorite airplane, and that's why I came here to fly it."

Capt. David Vincent, 65th Aggressor Squadron pilot, took Yeager up in the F-15D for the milestone flight, but it was the general who was in control of the aircraft when he "punched a hole in the sky." His final aerial move, he told CNN afterwards, was a fly-by, buzzing the Nellis tower.

Asked by a young girl if he was scared during Sunday's flight, Yeager joked, "Yeah, I was scared to death." The legendary pilot, who lives in Penn Valley, Calif., near Beale AFB, said he continues to fly all the time and it was "just another flight to him."

AF officials extend separation, retirement application window for active-duty Airmen



By Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Force Personnel Center officials have extended the window for eligible active-duty Airmen to submit their retirement or separation applications. Airmen who are eligible and would like to apply early to retire or separate on December 1, 2013, January 1, 2014 or February 1, 2014 are authorized to complete these personnel actions through the myPers website and their base military personnel sections immediately.

This opportunity expires on Nov. 16 and applies to members in the ranks of second lieutenant to lieutenant colonel for officers and airman basic to senior master sergeant for enlisted Airmen.

“By extending the application window for voluntary retirements and separations beyond the normal 12 months, Airmen will have an approved date of separation prior to MilPDS being offline in December,” said Lt. Col. Tara White, AFPC retirements and separations branch chief. 

Airmen will notice minimal processing delays if they initiate their retirement or separation paperwork before Nov. 16. Base MPSs will also have a reduced backlog of transactions to process after the Military Personnel Data System upgrade is completed. Airmen who intend to voluntarily separate or retire can have their approved dates of separation updated and potentially avoid being selected for a deployment or assignment. 

The Air Force processes about 12,000 retirements and 23,000 separations annually.

Airmen need to accomplish these actions because the Air Force is upgrading and transferring the MilPDS to the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Defense Enterprise Computing Center in December. The upgrade project is scheduled to take about 23 days to complete, during which time, MilPDS will not be available.

MilPDS is the primary records database for personnel data and actions that occur throughout every total force Airman’s career. MilPDS is also used to initiate Airman pay actions, maintain Air Force accountability and strength data and support a host of interactions with other Air Force processes and systems that rely on personnel data.

Reserve and Guard members will receive specific instructions from the Air Force Reserve Command and Air Reserve Personnel Center concerning how the MilPDS upgrade will impact their personnel programs. More information is available on the ARPC public website at http://www.arpc.afrc.af.mil. 

Officials will continue to release additional information and guidance to the Air Force’s manpower, personnel, services and pay communities and total force Airmen to continue to educate them on how the service will perform critical personnel and pay tasks during the MilPDS upgrade.