Military News

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

AF leaders brief BMT sexual misconduct investigation findings

by Master Sgt. Jess Harvey
Air Force Public Affairs Agency


11/14/2012 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Air Force leaders announced Nov. 14 to members of the press here the results of the commander-directed investigation regarding the occurrences of sexual misconduct within basic military training between October 2010 and June 2011.

The CDI was commissioned by Gen. Edward Rice, commander of Air Education and Training Command, June 20, 2012 based on substantiated reports of misconduct within Air Force BMT, and led by Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, Air Force Chief of Safety, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

The final report included 22 findings and 46 recommendations that accurately reflect the deficiencies in the Air Force's basic military training program and provide effective proposals to remedy those deficiencies, according to Rice.

Of the 46 recommendations, Rice said AETC is working to implement 45 of them within a year's time to include the implementation of a training oversight council and ensuring there is a female instructor included on every team.

"The conditions that led to the abuse of power in basic military training are ever-present; thus, our vigilance and engagement must be persistent as well," said Rice. "To that end, I am directing the establishment of the Military Training Oversight Council, which will be chaired by a three star general."

"The purpose of this council is to ensure we have the appropriate level of leadership oversight over issues associated with trainee safety and the maintenance of good order and discipline," he said.

Another recommendation Rice highlighted was to have more female instructors in BMT because, as he pointed out, young Airmen come from all walks of life and some of them have never had been around a strong authority figure of the opposite sex but that's an integral part of the Air Force.

"They may be under the authority of a female or a male, and we want to make sure they have the full range of that experience in basic military training and this will make that happen," said Rice.

The change is to implement four-person training teams and every team will have at least one female Airman, but right now, there aren't enough female MTIs to make this happen, said Rice. The Air Force is working hard to build to that level.

"Of all the 45 recommendations, that will be the last one that we complete fully," said Rice. More female MTIs are already being recruited and trained, but like building any Airman, it takes time.

The recommendation not being implemented had to do with the length of basic training, said Rice. That's because AETC was already looking at cutting down the just over 8-week BMT schedule.

He said gaps in the schedule leave the trainees too much time to potentially get into mischief.
"I haven't rejected that recommendation," said Rice. "We are continuing to look at the proper length of basic training. It's just that we are looking at it in a different form."

According to Rice, all of the recommendations were in line with the commitment Air Force leadership has made to correct this situation. Of the 46 CDI recommendations, 20 are associated with strengthening institutional safeguards, 14 are associated with strengthening leadership, and 12 are associated with strengthening the MTI culture.

To perform the CDI and come up with the recommendations, Woodward conducted 215 in-depth interviews and surveyed more than 18,000 personnel and conducted focus groups with basic military trainees and training-instructor spouses. The investigation also included survey trips to many of the training locations throughout the military.

But, Rice pointed out, what went wrong is not a mystery to Air Force leadership.

"We understand the what, the how and the why of our deficiencies, and because we have this understanding, I am confident the solutions we are implementing will effectively address the root causes of the problems we have identified," said Rice.

"This report necessarily focuses on the few who violated [a] sacred trust and broke faith with fellow Airmen everywhere," Woodward said in her report. "It is important to remember that despite the extraordinary scrutiny of basic training. . .honorable men and women throughout the Air Force enlisted training complex continue to serve every day with distinction."

‘Business as Usual’ Encompasses Much for U.S., Australia

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

PERTH, Australia, Nov. 14, 2012 – The annual Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations here was very much a “business as usual” conference that checked the state of the alliance and charted the way forward for the two countries.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta met today with their Australian counterparts, Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Defense Minister Stephen Smith. Yesterday, the four met with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The U.S. and Australian ministers spoke with reporters at the Curtin House following their meetings today.

Carr said the meetings yielded no huge announcements and consisted mainly of consultation and reports on how previous decisions are being implemented.

The four discussed the U.S. Marine rotation to Darwin in northern Australia, Carr said. “We welcome the success of the first rotation, … and we look forward to the next rotation in 2013,” he added. The 250-Marine contingent in the recent rotation is scheduled to increase to 1,100 next year, and up to 2,500 over the next five years.

The four discussed additional possibilities for military cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, Carr said, specifically U.S. use of Australian ports and airfields. All agreed this needs more study, he added.

Clinton called the U.S.-Australian alliance “an anchor of peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and around the world, forged in war, but flourishing in peace.”

The four ministers discussed Afghanistan and the way forward in that nation, she said. “We honor the service and sacrifice of our Australian allies,” the secretary said. “We are on track to transition full responsibility to the Afghan government by the end of 2014, and we are also focused on economic and political transitions.”

The four talked about broader regional and global issues. Throughout the Indian and Pacific oceans, the American and Australian navies work together to protect the seaways through which much of the world’s trade passes. “Increasingly, our cybersecurity experts cooperate to keep our networks safe and our online commerce flowing smoothly,” Clinton said.

The secretary of state also congratulated the Australian Parliament for approving the U.S.-Australian Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty. “This agreement will boost trade and help our companies collaborate more closely and spur innovation,” she said. “It’s a definite win-win.”
Australia and the United States agreed on the way forward on Iran, Clinton said, noting that both countries want the international community to remain united to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

And the ministers discussed the on-going situation in Syria, the secretary said. “We agreed today that the formation of the new Syrian opposition coalition is an important step forward and will help us better target our assistance,” she added.

The secretary announced the United States will provide another $30 million of humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria and to the thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. This will bring the total for U.S. humanitarian assistance to $200 million, she said.

The United States and Australia will work with China and with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to develop “a code of conduct for the South China Sea, supporting continued reforms in Burma and pushing the peaceful, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” she said.

The United States will host next year’s conference.

7th OSS crowned best bomb squadron in Global Strike Challenge

by Airman 1st Class Charles V. Rivezzo
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Once again, the 7th Operations Support Squadron is atop the bomber community as they walked away from the 3rd annual Global Strike Challenge with two of the competitions most coveted trophies.

During the GSC symposium Nov. 7 at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., the 7th OSS was awarded the LeMay Trophy for Best Bomb Squadron and the Eaker Trophy for Best B-1B Squadron.

Additionally, the 7th Bomb Wing was recognized as the runner-up for the Fairchild Trophy, which is given to the overall best bomb wing.

Throughout the past three years, the 7th OSS has proved to be Dyess' most decorated squadron when it comes to the GSC, winning the LeMay Trophy twice and holding onto the Eaker Trophy for a third time.

The bomber operations portion of the GSC had three main components for aircrews to earn points. The first component was the bomb score where aircrews were judged on how close their bombs were dropped to targets. The second component was timing control, where aircrews were penalized for every second, early or late, the bomb hit the target. The third component judged was a real-world combat bombing scenario.

"Our crew was filled with veteran operators who have years of B-1 experience," said Maj. Kyle Schlewinsky. "Having the abilities and experience that we have gave us a huge advantage during global strike due to the competition's rapidly changing scenarios."

The Global Strike Challenge is the world's premier bomber, intercontinental ballistic missile and security forces competition with units participating from Air Combat Command, Air Force Global Strike Command, Air Force Materiel Command, Air Force Reserve Command and the Air National Guard. Approximately 400 competitors from 16 different wings and nearly 50 squadrons participated in GSC events this year at various locations around the United States.

"Every Airman on this installation played a role in making these awards a reality, and both Colonel VanHerck and I thank you," said Col. Vincent Lostetter, 7th Bomb Wing vice commander. "Additionally, we extend a special job well done to the outstanding Airmen of the Operations Group, Maintenance Group and Mission Support Group, who performed as we knew they would, all while representing themselves and Dyess Air Force Base in the finest of fashion."

Commentary: The pain of Isolation.

by Capt. Sheila N. Johnston
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Most people don't know me as the daughter of a man who committed suicide--but I am. I have spent the last 18 years and 11 months dodging an often-used statistic which condemns me to follow in his footsteps.

According to an April 2010 New York Times article, children whose parents commit suicide are twice as likely to kill themselves. Whether this is widely applicable or not, it is used to generalize survivors affected by suicide.

Additionally, a June article from The Huffington Post reported military suicides averaged one per day (154 suicides in 155 days) to that point and were 50-percent higher than direct-combat deaths since January. Still, in some military circles, discussion of suicide is limited to chaplains, mental-health officials or small groups on designated wingman or resiliency days. These are not the only places talking about suicide prevention is appropriate.

Personally, last year was the first time I spoke about my dad's story with fellow servicemembers publicly. As the assistant director of operations for a squadron that deployed short notice worldwide, I could see how the story of one combat veteran--my dad--related to the diverse missions we supported. When I shared this with my squadron, my goal was to point out that what we do as military members is abnormal by most standards, so it's vital we don't isolate ourselves as a result.

November 17th will mark 19 years I've been without my dad, and ironically, it is also the 14th annual International Survivors of Suicide Day, which targets family members affected by suicides. In my personal experience, I'd like to say there were no warning signs or that I could've recognized them and fixed the problems, even as a 12-year-old girl. But, that's not realistic. There were signs. I just didn't know how to recognize them.

Suicide's warning signs don't always follow the stereotypical "darkness." My dad had many great years after his military service, but he didn't have the benefit of support from others--an organic network of fellow servicemembers, a supportive public, or practitioners familiar with military stresses--to pull him through the not-so-good times. Combine that isolation with a host of self-medicating vices, and now from a more-informed perspective, I can see the recipe for disaster revealing itself.

There is no question that our military has improved mental-health services and developed new resources for servicemembers and their families since my dad's era.

However, since we are subjected to abnormal situations, we must make it our responsibility to use what has been given to us in order to balance that stress. Suicide is not an easy topic to tackle with anyone, but when family members or co-workers isolate themselves, this is a message anyone can intercept. While some military members still see discussing suicide prevention as taboo, it shouldn't be. The simple act of asking, "Are you ok?" lets your wingman know you see something is amiss, and it gives you both a chance to work through the next steps.

It's easy to say suicide is "selfish," but it isn't as easy for an isolated person to see what their suicide might actually cost. Highlighting that cost is where we can personally affect those around us. I have graduated, married, promoted and passed numerous milestones without the opportunity to celebrate these things with my dad at my side. I've also met many trials in life without a chance to ask his advice or gain his perspective.

Regardless of the outcome, my dad gave me an opportunity to share his story and struggle with others in my military family and hopefully prevent the loss of another of those family members to suicide.

Army Reserve Chief Looks to Leaders to Solve Sequestration

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 – The Army Reserve remains an efficient and value-added component of U.S. national security, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey W. Talley, chief of the Army Reserve, told members of the Defense Writer’s Group here today.

Talley also said he’s looking to senior Pentagon leaders, Capitol Hill legislators and the White House to solve issues related to potential sequestration.

The commander of U.S. Army Reserve Command explained why he isn’t planning for sequestration.
“I’m not … worrying about sequestration … because [Defense] Secretary [Leon E.] Panetta has told the departments ‘Do not plan for it,’” Talley said. “And the secretary of the Army, John McHugh, has said ‘Don’t plan for it.’”

“So we’re not spending any time in the Army planning for sequestration,” he said. “I’m certainly not spending any time in the Army Reserve [planning for sequestration], and we’ve been in a continuing resolution for a number of years now.”

Sequestration is a mechanism built into last year’s Budget Control Act that would trigger across-the-board cuts in federal spending -- including an additional $500 billion cut in defense -- if Congress cannot agree on a plan to reduce the federal deficit.

Talley said regardless of what happens regarding sequestration or the continuing resolution, he has confidence in President Barack Obama as the commander-in-chief, and in the elected leaders of Congress.
“I know they’ll step up and provide the leadership we need to solve those problems,” he said.

The reserve is well situated both financially and in end strength, he said, with the force’s operational tempo expected to stay consistent.

“We don’t see any big changes coming for the Army Reserve other than we’re a value added,” Talley said. “And we’re being utilized, and we expect that to continue in the future.”

The Army Reserve “is probably going to go down about 1,000 [troops] -- we’re officially at 206,000 in terms of authorization for end strength,” Talley said. “We’ve been told to plan to go to 205,000 -- we’re already at that. So we don’t see a big decrease in our end strength. Our operating budget is $8 billion a year. We’re six percent of the Army’s budget -- we provide almost 20 percent of the force.”

Talley said the Army Reserve is “pretty efficient,” not to imply that other parts of the Army are not.
“But what I would say is the Army Reserve, if we’re anything, we are very efficient -- a great investment for the dollar,” he said. “Again, just do the math, six percent of the budget for 20 percent of the force.”
“The Army Reserve is a complementary force … [we’re] enablers,” Talley explained. “We represent most of the combat service support and combat support to the active component.”

The general also said people may assume that because of reductions to other Army components, it would be best to also reduce the reserve.

“My only response is -- I’m a business person, I came from the private sector to come into this position -- that doesn’t make any business sense to me,” Talley said.

“If you reduce the size of the Army Reserve, you don’t really save any money, because we’re already, as I mentioned before, pretty efficient,” he said.

The reserve chief said recent history has proved the value of his component.

“As we have to come down, perhaps, in our active-component strength,” Talley said, “one of the ways that you mitigate that risk in national security architecture is by investing more in the reserve component -- not less.”

Talley said he will leave the budget discussions and decision-making to senior leadership at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

“But so far, from my foxhole, we’re actually sitting pretty well of the three [reserve] components,” he said.

Strategic Planning Systems 2012

by Col. Nahaku McFadden
National Guard Bureau Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - LEESBURG, Va. -- The question of where the Air National Guard will be in 2025 was the topic of conversation for 300 senior ANG leaders from across the nation at the Strategic Planning Systems conference here Tuesday. The answer to that question, SPS committee chair Brig. Gen. Joseph G. Balskus assured attendees, was within their grasp.

"We started out in 2005 and now look where we are," Balskus observed. "We are looking ahead to the future of the Air National Guard in 2025. We are building the bridges necessary for total communication with guidance from the field."

A "Strong Air Force, Strong Air National Guard; Defending America" was the theme for the SPS conference. The SPS, Balskus noted, started as a field-driven initiative to provide strategic priorities for the ANG. The committee develops proposals within the SPS or by working with the National Guard Bureau staff. Two SPS representatives are appointed by the Adjutants General from the 54 states, territories and District of Columbia.

Deputy Director of the ANG, Brig. Gen. James "JC" Witham, said it was time to roll up our sleeves.

"We need to have the discourse between each other [states and National Guard Bureau] in order to get to 2025," Witham said. "The beauty of this system is that it tells us the path that we want."

SPS committee members developed five strategic priorities. They are:

     -  Provide the right people in the right place with the right skills;
     -  Fulfill roles and missions that meet federal, state, territory, and district defense and security requirements today and in the future;
     -  Build strength through partnerships within and beyond the ANG;
     -  Apply consistent, responsive, and transparent processes to ANG organizational activities; and
     -  Communicate with many voices, one message.

Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt III, the director of the ANG, thanked the SPS committee for their leadership over the past few years.

"A lot of things that we are doing now, we have never done before and it's because of the great work being done with the SPS," Wyatt explained. "The groundwork was done right here. I know what is important to the field and what is important to the wings, and I know that you will continue to support the next director."

The next big mountain to climb, Wyatt added, is to determine how best to posture the Air National Guard of 2025.

"We (the ANG) offer the best value proposition for this country in the area of defense," Wyatt stated. "Congress recognizes the importance of the Air National Guard doing the homeland defense mission. I like where we are."

Dover Reservist killed in motorcycle accident

512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

11/14/2012 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  -- A reservist, assigned to the 712th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here, was killed in a motorcycle accident Monday at about 4 p.m. in Rising Sun, Md.

Senior Airman Ryan Hartnett, was serving in an active-duty status, undergoing training in aerospace propulsion.

"Our wing is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our Airmen over the weekend," said Col. Raymond A. Kozak, the 512th Airlift Wing commander. "My sincerest condolences go out to Airman Hartnett's family, friends and co-workers. I'm dedicated to ensuring the Hartnett family receives all the assistance they need from our Air Force community as they deal with the loss of their loved one.

Hartnett joined the wing in July 2011.

The cause of the accident, involving another motorist, is under investigation by the Maryland State Police.

Answering the call, McConnell attends A/TA

by 2nd Lt. Jessica Brown
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen gathered with Department of Defense civilians, industry partners and military families from across Air Mobility Command at the 44th Annual Airlift/Tanker Association Symposium Nov. 1 to 4 in Anaheim, Calif.

The A/TA symposium is an annual event which allows Airmen, senior leaders, career field experts and civilian counterparts to strengthen relationships and discuss more efficient and effective ways to meet future mobility challenges. This year McConnell sent 34 Airmen to attend the symposium.

In an attempt to maximize professional development while conserving taxpayer dollars, this year's A/TA was revamped to include 11 previously scheduled stand-alone conferences, ranging from the Aeromedical Evacuation Conference to programs like High Flight and Phoenix Stripe.

McConnell members also had the opportunity to participate in more than 50 seminars focused on Air Force issues ranging from enlisted and officer career development, aviation fuel efficiency, and Total Force Integration.

There were also major addresses delivered by several distinguished leaders, including U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Transportation Command commander Gen. William M. Fraser IV., Commander of Air Mobility Command Gen. Ray Johns, and Chief Master Sgt of the Air Force James A. Roy, among others.

"It was encouraging to hear how passionate our leaders are about taking care of Airmen and how much they appreciate what we do on a daily basis," said Staff Sgt. Danielle Peck, 22nd Air Refueling Wing plans and program technician. "My favorite part of the conference was hearing our senior leaders speak, [including] General Welsh and an inspiring speech from General Johns."

Welsh opened the symposium with a thank you to Airmen for commitment and dedication to their families, sacrifice, courage, innovation and to the Air Force's core values. He also introduced the theme of the symposium, "Mobility Airmen Answer the Call."

"You have answered your nation's call, and you'll do it for your whole career, and on behalf of your nation, thank you," said Welsh.

His gratitude reverberated throughout many of seminars offered. However, many McConnell Airmen picked up on another common theme.

"Even though General Welsh introduced the theme as 'Mobility Airmen Answer the Call,' there was also another focus and it was remembrance," Said Capt. Edmund Ballew, 22nd ARW chief of standardizations and evaluations.

While the three-day convention allowed Airmen to submerge themselves in professional development, nightfall brought friendly rivalry and esprit de corps in the game of Crud.

This year McConnell took two five-man teams to compete in the Crud Tournament. The sport is a tradition within the Air Force. AMC teams compete for the coveted A/TA Crud Tournament trophy.

"Being able to defend the Crud title was a great experience," said Shawn Hinkle, 22nd Medical group facility manager. "Even though we only had two teams this year, we were still able to take first and fourth place. That makes us the third base ever to be repeat champions."

McConnell won the first Crud tournament in 2001. Combined with the past two wins, McConnell now has a total of three Chairman's Victory Cups.

After their win, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. (retired) Ronald Fogleman, presented the team with the Crud Tournament Plaque.

While the theme of the symposium celebrated Airmen doing what they do best, the final day of the symposium was dedicated to those who have answered the call. Air Force leaders at the symposium again expressed gratitude and reminded Airmen that they are integral to success of the mission.

"Sometimes it is difficult to see the big picture from behind a desk or in a warehouse. But, what we do every day is so much more than that. It's important because we make the Air Force elite and the strongest in the world," said Peck.

JB Charleston's Honor Guard presents the Colors at Panthers game

by Staff Sgt. Anthony Hyatt
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Joint Base Charleston Honor Guards teamed up to form a Joint Service Color Guard and presented the Colors for a crowd of nearly 74,000 during the Carolina Panthers - Denver Broncos football game Nov. 11, 2012, in Charlotte, N.C.

The Joint Service Color Guard participated in the event as a Veterans' Day tribute and part of the Panther's annual Military Appreciation Day.

"This was an important event to display the honor and professionalism we have here at Joint Base Charleston in support of our great nation and all of its military veterans, past and present," said Chief Petty Officer Eric Combs, JB Charleston - Naval Support Activity Galley Leading CPO.

Maj. Erin Karl, 916th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Officer, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., sang the National Anthem at the game.

"We all had a great time," said Combs. "It was an amazing experience to be on the field with the players and an honor to present the Colors as a joint team representing all branches of the military."

"First and most important, this detail shows respect for veterans from all services," said Tech. Sgt. John Hassell, 628th Force Support Squadron, Joint Base Charleston Honor Guard noncommissioned officer in charge. "Secondly, it reminds everyone that the military still fights and protects our country together, regardless of which branch they belong to."

During the pregame ceremony, the stadium crowd held a moment of silence for prisoners of war and those missing in action, and recognized veterans by hosting an on-field Oath of Enlistment ceremony for local military members to include live video stream of troops in Afghanistan who were re-enlisting into their respective services. The ceremony was led by Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, U.S. Marine Corps Installation East commander.

A four-aircraft flyover was also conducted by the Louisiana Air National Guard 159th Fighter Wing from Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La.

The National Football League is honoring veterans and active duty members of the military with its annual Salute to Service campaign. For every point scored during the NFL's 32 designated Salute to Service games, the league will donate $100 to each of its three core military, non-profit partners - Pat Tillman Foundation, United Service Organization and the Wounded Warrior Project.

AETC seeks enduring solutions for sexual misconduct

by Maj. Carla Gleason
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The Air Force is undertaking sweeping changes to improve Air Force Basic Military Training safety and security at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland according to a report released today by Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., Air and Education Training Command commander.

The changes are the result of Air Force-led investigations that began in 2011 which uncovered a high number of alleged sexual misconduct cases involving military training instructors and trainees - ranging from unprofessional social media contact of a sexual nature to sexual assault.

"The misconduct discovered at BMT tears at the foundational trust and core values that hold the Air Force together," Rice said. "We are fully committed to enduring solutions for the BMT environment and a zero-tolerance standard for sexual misconduct."
As an increasing number of allegations against MTIs came to light, AETC's leadership dedicated their efforts to investigate all of the allegations thoroughly, care for the victims, hold perpetrators accountable while protecting due process rights of those accused, and correct the problems that led to the misconduct.

Since April 2012, 53 investigators or agents and hundreds of support personnel have conducted interviews, analyzed data, and pursued leads. They completed thousands of hours of investigative work and will complete many more before they are finished. As a result, five military training instructors have been convicted by courts-martial and others are pending charges. All subjects are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

"The vast majority of our MTIs have not engaged in criminal misconduct or demonstrated unprofessional behavior," said Rice. "Rather, they exemplify our Air Force core values. The number of MTIs being investigated constitutes a very small percentage of our MTI corps."

In addition to ongoing criminal investigations, the AETC commander appointed Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward to conduct an independent, commander-directed investigation.

"The CDI was the next stage in AETC efforts to deeply and deliberately evaluate our training environments," said Rice.

The 38 CDI members conducted hundreds of interviews, surveyed more than 18,000 personnel, visited training locations, consulted with sister-service training schools, and conducted focus groups with basic trainees.

Woodward's team produced 22 findings categorized into five major areas: leadership; MTI selection and manning; MTI training and development; misconduct reporting and detection; and policy and guidance. The report also included 46 recommendations to improve those areas.

"It is important to remember ... honorable men and women throughout the Air Force continue to serve every day with distinction." Woodward said in her final report. "These dedicated Airmen build our Air Force one person at a time and remain proud of their mission and themselves. Their efforts continue to produce the world's greatest fighting force."

AETC intends to implement all or part of 45 of these recommendations. The single remaining recommendation, which suggests adjusting the length of BMT, is undergoing review in a separate forum.

Leadership: Five of the findings and 15 of the recommendations contained in Woodward's report dealt with leadership and oversight within BMT. According to the report, insufficient oversight contributed to a culture where incidents of misconduct developed.

"Fixing these problems will require leaders who foster and promote a professional culture by directly engaging with instructors and trainees every day," said Woodward. "In short, leaders must be an integral part of the training process from start to finish, building a climate of respect and discipline through action and example."

The command has already implemented several of the leadership recommendations including increasing leadership visibility and officer oversight.

Selection and Manning: The findings and associated recommendations for MTI selection and manning included decreasing the student to instructor ratio, increasing the number of female MTIs, adding additional leadership positions and providing formal guidance and requirements for the MTI screening and selection process.

"Because MTIs are particularly influential in imprinting our values on our youngest Airmen, and the workload associated with MTI duty is extremely high, candidates must be carefully screened," Woodward said. "In addition to experience in the operational Air Force, suitable applicants must meet a number of demanding requirements that indicate they are likely to succeed in this challenging special duty."

Training and Development: The existing instructor training program provides the foundation for the BMT MTI force, but the CDI investigation indicated areas where enhanced training and professional development would be beneficial. Recommendations in this area included a "back to basics" program that emphasizes Air Force core values and NCO professional standards of conduct, as well as specialized training for BMT leadership.

AETC will address these recommendations by emphasizing leadership as a core competency in the MTI qualification training course, by increasing the focus on mentorship and by developing a BMT deliberate development program, among other things.

Reporting, Detection and Climate: The CDI review identified an MTI culture that emphasized fear and power over trust and respect. Findings in this area also highlighted a lack of consistency in accountability, poor detection of misconduct and a lack of a formalized reporting process.


"For some MTIs, the power they hold over impressionable young men and women may tempt them to consider unprofessional conduct," said Rice during his review of the CDI report. "Our efforts are focused on deterring, detecting and preventing this behavior in the future, while strengthening BMT leadership and the MTI culture.

Recent command emphasis has been effective in this area according to surveys. Results indicated that 93 percent of trainees felt comfortable reporting misconduct and more than 95 percent believe leadership made reasonable efforts to stop sexual assault.

Policy and Guidance: During their investigation, the CDI team reviewed policy and guidance regarding prevention, detection, and handling of sexual assault, sexual harassment and unprofessional relationships in basic military training. Recommendations in this area included reducing barriers to reporting misconduct, greater situational awareness and fair, just, and equitable enforcement of instructions, policies, and guidance regarding unprofessional conduct.

In addition to recommendations outlined in the report, Rice directed the creation of a Military Training Oversight Council designed to provide enduring guidance to BMT leadership and advise the AETC commander on strategic issues affecting safety, good order and discipline and training.

"We owe it to our Air Force, our Airmen, and our nation to get this right," said Rice. "Ensuring that we do not find ourselves looking at these same problems again is a top priority."

710th BSB, 87th LRS work together in HEMTT refueling

11/14/2012 - Staff Sgt. Wilson Briones, 87th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Fuels Managment Flight fuels specialist, from Queens, N.Y., and Mike Laird, Maytag aircraft terminal manager, from Jamestown N.Y., work together to hook a fuel line to a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck from the 710th Brigade Support Battalion out of Fort Drum, N.Y., Nov. 6, 2012, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. Soldiers 710th BSB worked with Airmen from the 87th LRS Fuels Management Flight, to fill five HEMTTwith fuel to be delivered to regions around New York and New Jersey for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. (U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. David J. Murphy)

Logistics Airmen aid WA linemen, equip movement to NY

by Master Sgt. Jennifer Buzanowski
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


11/9/2012 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Nine Airmen from the 92nd Logistics Readiness Squadron processed electrical linemen and their equipment for flights from here to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst so they could help Long Island, N.Y., residents recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Within six hours beginning the evening of Nov. 2, the LRS team processed 19 employee volunteer Bonneville Power Administration and 14 of their support vehicles for flights on a C-5 Galaxy from Travis AFB, Calif., and two C-17 Globemasters from Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

"We practice enough so we knew exactly what we needed to do and how to get it done," said Senior Airman Jonathen Browne, 92nd LRS traffic management specialist, who described how the entire LRS team measured and weighed each vehicle to get the center of balance.

Browne's traffic management office counterparts completed the passenger manifest for the C-5 flight and the cargo manifests for the C-5 and two C-17s. Nothing can be loaded onto an aircraft without the completed manifest, said Browne.

But before a manifest can be completed, the aerial port office completes a load plan that projects which equipment will be loaded into which aircraft.

"Normally our primary mission is preparing the weekly deployers," said Staff Sgt. Israel Martinez, 92nd LRS air transportation specialist, referring to a KC-135 which goes from Fairchild to the Transit Center Manas, Kyrgyzstan each week called an 'iron swap.' "But this was exciting. We were told to stand by at 6 p.m., and by 9 BPA showed up as one big group and I didn't expect to see the aircraft so quickly."

One of Fairchild's installation deployment officers said it may have been coincidence but as soon as the load plan was submitted in the military's logistics system the C-5 aircrew at Travis requested to arrive one hour early.

"I was surprised at how quick things moved," said Michael Dery. "We expected the first aircraft to arrive about 10 hours after we started processing cargo, but 8 hours later the C-5 was here."

Although the C-5 arrived earlier than projected, it left about the time it was originally scheduled. The largest of the utility vehicles had to have its bucket removed in order to fit on the aircraft. Even using shoring - wooden planks that make the incline of the loading ramp less steep - wasn't enough to accommodate the 50,000-pound vehicle without removing the bucket.

"Not knowing what resources they had available in New Jersey, we loaded shoring onto the C-5 so there wouldn't be a delay in offloading the equipment," said 1st Lt. Ashley Reinig, an installation deployment officer, 92nd LRS. "The journey for BPA wasn't going to be over when they got there and we wanted to make sure they weren't going to be held up."

The sense of urgency to help BPA reach Long Island residents ran throughout LRS.

"Even 32 hours into their long duty day they still had smiles on their faces," said Reining.

Transcom Charts Future as DOD’s ‘Distribution Synchronizer’

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., Nov. 14, 2012 – For years, tiny Morón Air Base in Southern Spain appeared to be headed to the chopping block. The base, established with the Spaniards in the early 1950s, had for decades been relegated to standby status for U.S. deployments in support of exercises or crisis response.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
U.S. Transportation Command’s global campaign plan for distribution will ensure the command is postured to ensure warfighters have the transportation and logistical support required to conduct future missions around the world. Here, Army Spc. Chance Alwin with 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, takes the lead during a combat patrol in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 9, 2009. Courtesy photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
U.S. Air Forces in Europe leaders, looking for ways to cut operations that don’t directly support their contingency plans, were prepared to close its gates. However, officials at U.S. Transportation Command, working with U.S. European Command, helped them realize that although Morón may no longer be vital to activities in the European theater, it’s a key node for operations within both U.S. Central Command and U.S. Africa Command.

The decision to maintain Morón offers a snapshot of Transcom’s work as the Defense Department’s officially designed “distribution synchronizer,” Navy Rear Adm. William “Andy” Brown, the command’s director of strategy, policies, programs and logistics, told American Forces Press Service

That mission, assigned in early 2011, charges Transcom to look horizontally across the combatant commands -- rather than vertically, through individual combatant command stovepipes -- to synchronize planning for global distribution operations, Brown explained.

The idea is to help DOD “knit the distribution seams among the combatant commands to better support their theater campaign and contingency plans,” Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III, the Transcom commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year.

This, in turn, will help ensure access to the places vital to Transcom’s transportation and distribution mission, Fraser said, ensuring sufficient distribution lines across multiple theaters for it to project and sustain forces around the globe.

A big consideration, Brown said, is to continue posturing Transcom to react to simultaneous events with the transportation and distribution network in place to support them. “What happens if we had to [respond to] a hurricane over here and another operation over there?” he said, pointing to two opposite ends of the globe. “What happens to the global transportation network, and how do you maintain that resiliency and ability to react quickly to changes?”

Transcom’s global campaign plan for distribution, expected to be completed by late 2013, will provide the framework for addressing these issues, Air Force Col. Carol Johnson, a plans officer in Brown’s directorate, reported.

The campaign plan will help Transcom identify what measures need to be taken now to provide the infrastructure, relationships and other requirements to support the defense strategic guidance, she said. That includes the department’s pivot toward the Asia-Pacific region, the drawdown of combat operations within Centcom, natural disasters and other contingencies.

Recognizing that requirements will always outweigh capability, Johnson said the global campaign plan will help DOD identify redundancies, establish priorities, weigh risks and recommend solutions for reducing them.
Working with an initial concept, Transcom brought together stakeholders from across its distribution community to war-game it in July. “Everybody agreed it was feasible and would work,” Johnson said of the concept. Now, the Transcom staff is waiting for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James N. Miller to give that concept the green light, most likely in early December, so they can begin drafting the official plan.
If that plan is approved as expected by the end of next year, Transcom officials plan to spend a year fine-tuning the processes.

Then, once each year, the Transcom commander will sit at the table with defense senior leaders and the other combatant commanders to review their theater distribution plans and identify ways to shore up any gaps.
“Our job will be to look across the spectrum and make recommendations to the chairman,” Brown said. “From a national perspective, our No. 1 priority is to get this global campaign plan for distribution right.”
The annual review will help keep Transcom’s global distribution plan in line with the changing strategic environment and COCOM requirements, Johnson said.

“Most people write plans, get them approved, then put them on the shelf until it’s time to pull them off and execute,” she said. “But ours is consistently going to be evolving and updating, because we do this every day. Our plan will be updated based on the strategic environment and the strategic needs of the Defense Department.”

Ultimately, she said, the new plan will help DOD develop a more strategic posture for the future.

“In the past, we have been reactionary in supporting folks when things happen, and we haven’t had that strategic look at distribution,” Johnson said. “But with the global campaign plan for distribution, we can be more strategic in the planning effort of distribution. And that will make us more effective in everything we do.”

Delaware school honors local veterans

by Tech Sgt. Jeremy Larlee
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


11/13/2012 - Dover Air Force Base, Del.  -- Veterans from across the state of Delaware attended a Veteran's Day Celebration Nov. 9, 2012, at Lake Forest North Elementary in Felton, Del.

The celebration included reading selections and musical performances by the school's children.

Todd Weller, a coordinator for the event and an art teacher at the school, said the event was a huge success and has been steadily growing in the eight years he has been at the school.

"The turnout for today's event was great," he said. "The kids have been preparing for this for a few weeks. I think they did a great job."

Weller said that, as an educator, he thinks it is important to teach the children about the military.

"It is great to reach out and thank the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us," he said. "It is important to know how sacred and special the freedoms we enjoy are. Our American freedoms would not be possible without the veterans."

Senior Master Sgt. Mark Currier, assigned to the 166th Logistics Readiness Squadron at New Castle Air National Guard Base, Del., arrived back home the night before from a deployment to Southwest Asia. He said he attended the celebration the year before and was happy that he got back home in time to see this year's event.

"I liked the ceremony it was very well done," he said. "I was impressed by the children's musical performances. It is beneficial for them to learn about veterans at a young age and learn about the importance of civic duty."

Weller said the school benefits from the local military population as well. A group of Airmen from Dover AFB visit weekly to mentor the students.

"We are very thankful for the volunteer help we get from the service members," he said.
"The kids really listen to them, and it is great to have another voice shaping their lives."

Weller said that many of the children have family ties to the military. He said the majority of students have at least one relative that has served in the military as well.

"The military is such a strong part of our school," he said. "An event like this is essential because it is important that we show our heroes how much we appreciate them."

Veterans Home enlivened with music and companionship

by Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

11/14/2012 - BARKSDALE AFB, La. -- The United States Air Force Band of the West's ensemble, Warhawk, performed for veterans at the Northwest Louisiana War Veteran's Home Nov. 6.

More than 65 residents attended the performance, according to Ms. Frankie Canty, activities director for the home, located in Bossier City, La.

"This performance has improved the quality of life for our veterans and reassured them that someone cares about their well-being," Canty said.

"It is important to remember our veterans and their sacrifices - they have given us the freedom we enjoy today," she said.

The band was proud to visit the veterans, said Master Sgt. Steve Wilson, non-commissioned officer in charge of the ensemble.

"It is an honor and a privilege to perform for those who have served and gone before us," he said. "We're grateful for the legacy of excellence they have left for us."

The band, based out of Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, also performed during Air Force Global Strike Command's competition score posting event here Nov. 7.

"It is not only our job to tell the Air Force story, it's our privilege," said Wilson.

"We are so very blessed to do what we do best, which is to play music, in service to our country," he added.

The Band of the West travels more than 125,000 miles and provides over 300 performances to military and civilian audiences throughout Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Louisiana annually.

For more information on the U.S. Air Force Band of the West please visit this website: http://www.bandofthewest.af.mil/aboutus/index.asp.

Gates pays tribute to Kansas service members

by Airman 1st Class Victor J. Caputo
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


11/13/2012 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates returned to his hometown of Wichita, Kan., over Veterans Day weekend to speak to active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen from McConnell and members of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce Nov. 12, 2012, at the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

During the annual chamber of commerce meeting, Gates spoke about his experiences in the CIA, his tenure as secretary of defense and his views on the world and current events.

"I would argue the importance of . . . sustaining a strong, American defense in a turbulent world," said Gates. "I know defense has to play a part in getting fiscal responsibility back in Washington [D.C.], but in my view, we've already done that."

He balanced serious subjects, such as current overseas threats, with humorous insights to his career, such as the secretary of defense's plane being nicknamed "The Big Brisket" during his tenure.

"He's an awesome speaker and kept us really engaged and showed everyone a different perspective on things," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Collins, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Command Post console operations NCO in charge.

Gates used his long and varied career to explain current events not from a politician's standpoint, but from that of a leader.

Before assuming his position as secretary of defense, Gates was the president of Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, for more than four years.

Senior Airman Ryan Bippert, 22nd Operations Support Squadron wing scheduling journeyman, attended the university for the duration of Gates' tenure as president but graduated one semester after Gates left for Washington, D.C. He took his diploma to the after-ceremony to have Gates sign it.

"Seeing him full-circle and getting him to sign my diploma six years later was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," said Bippert.

While Gates spoke about his public service, he was humble about his accomplishments. When asked about what his legacy is, Gates responded simply.

"There's only one thing that really matters to me," said Gates. "Did those troops out there on the frontline consider that they had a secretary of defense that had their backs? Who would do whatever it took, spend whatever it cost to protect them, allow them to complete their mission and allow them to come home safely, and if they didn't come home safely that they were provided with the best care in the world? That's the only legacy that I care about."

Gates ended the speech and Veterans Day weekend with a word of thanks to the men and women serving in the military and stated his gratitude tp all in attendance.

Military Spouse Hiring Program Gains 30-plus Companies


By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 – More than 30 companies and organizations joined the Military Spouse Employment Partnership here today as part of the White House-sponsored Joining Forces effort to help unemployed spouses find jobs.

The newly inducted businesses, which join 129 other companies, were brought into the program at the partnership's third such ceremony. Inductees at today’s Washington Navy Yard event represented businesses including fitness centers, banks, a hotel chain and a major soft-drink company.

The partnership’s members include small and large, local, national and international businesses, officials said.

"We appreciate your patriotism and your understanding that investing in military spouses makes military families, service members and national defense strong," Charles E. Milam, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, told the new partnership members.

“Statistics will show that you'll be reaching into a rich talent pool,” Milam said. “Military spouses are well-educated; many have degrees in fields such as science, math and information technology, which create innovation in today's global economy.”

Milam added that the members' commitment is a key component to military families' improved quality of life.

The partnership seeks to mitigate the challenges of military life by helping spouses find and maintain rewarding careers despite frequent relocations, said Frederick E. Vollrath, who is performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for readiness and force management.

Vollrath reminded the new inductees of the “core tenets” they've agreed to abide by in the partnership:
-- Increasing job opportunities while maintaining employment status for spouses who relocate to new duty stations;
-- Providing career promotion opportunities for those who help their employer meet its goals and objectives;
-- Supporting spouses' pay equity on par with their training, work experience and credentials; and
-- Telling their corporate counterparts about their support and commitment to military spouses.
“We count on you to spread the word,” Vollrath said.

The partnership and its business members are vital to the military community because of spouses' high unemployment rates and historically low wages, he said.

Despite their hard-to-find skills and high levels of education and training, Vollrath said, military spouses “face a 26-percent unemployment rate and a 25-percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts.”

And while 77 percent of military spouses -- including men, and not just women, he pointed out -- want or need to work, frequent relocation is often a barrier to establishing or continuing a career, Vollrath said. That inability to find and retain jobs because of relocation issues “compromises the quality of life of military families and the readiness of the military force,” he said.

The military spouse is tech-savvy, adaptable and resilient; a strong leader, skilled multitasker and a team player who is mature and effective under pressure, Vollrath said.

And only recently, the partnership’s business members have become a large part of a national solution to the challenges of military spouse employment, he added.

Vollrath listed examples such as the Presidential Study Directive-9 report, “Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America's Commitment,” which was published in January 2011 and highlighted the need for the federal government to help develop spouse career and education opportunities.

“But the government can't do this in a vacuum,” Vollrath said. So, a goal was set to increase those opportunities through public-sector jobs.

“The Department of Defense looked at programs that were working well, and leveraged the successful partnerships created under the Army Spouse Employment Partnership,” he said. In June 2011, the program was expanded to add Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force spouses.

In less than a year and a half, the partnership's hiring figures have been “phenomenal,” said Vollrath, noting that more than 54,000 jobs were posted in October alone, and nearly 816,000 vacancies have been posted since June 29, 2011.

Partner members have hired more than 32,000 military spouses during that time, he added.
“Today, you join a vibrant, active and focused partnership,” Vollrath told the newest business inductees. “You will provide employment connections that help military spouses find and maintain rewarding careers.”
 

19 stories of heroism highlighted in 'Veterans in Blue'

11/14/2012 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- "Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived," said Gen. George S. Patton.

For decades Airmen have answered the call to serve and protect the nation's interests, its people and the cherished freedoms that underpin it all, risking their lives for others, and thus, becoming heroes in the eyes of those they protected.

From WWII to Korea to Vietnam to Iraq, 19 stories of service and heroism at war are captured in the third volume of "Veterans in Blue," formerly known as "Pioneers in Blue."

Launching Veteran's Day, the new displays join those presently hanging in the Pentagon's A ring on the 5th floor between the 8th and 9th corridors. The stories, photos and video interviews will also be available at http://www.af.mil/specials/veterans/index.html.

The veteran's honored in this volume include:

Retired Capt. Roscoe Brown, Jr. commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, the famed "Tuskegee Airmen." Brown flew his first mission in August 1944, escorting B-24 bombers over Romania, and he was the first pilot in 15th Air Force to shoot down a Me-262 jet fighter.

Retired Gen. Robert Cardenas made his mark on history as one of America's premier test pilots, a combat leader in both bombers and fighters and as the first commander of the Air Force Special Operations Force.

Former Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt.  Arthur T. Cobert is an Army Air Corps veteran who served as a flight engineer, gunner and backup pilot on the B-25 bomber during WWII. A member of the 11th Bomb Squadron, which was one of two replacement crews for the legendary Flying Tigers, he was wounded twice during his service.

Retired Maj. Gen. Alfred Flowers enlisted in August 1965 and was stationed at Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam, during the Tet Offensives of 1968, and retired in January. He served for 13 years before being commissioned, moving through the ranks until he retired after 46 years.

Retired Col. Henry P. Fowler served in the Air Force for 27 years as a pilot, Judge Advocate, and was a P.O.W. at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. He spent six years as P.O.W. after being shot down on March 26, 1967 by a surface-to-air missile.

Retired Master Sgt. Carl Hackworth served for 22 years as a mechanic and crew chief for aircraft including the B-25 Mitchell and F-100 Super Sabre and completed two tours in Vietnam and another in Thailand.

Retired Lt. Col. James Harvey, III was an original member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen and during the Korean War was the military's first black (jet) fighter pilot to fly in Korean airspace.

Retired Col. George Hays served for more than 40 years and served in Vietnam and Thailand as an enlisted communications specialist and later was commissioned. He retired in July as the longest serving colonel in the Air Force.

Gloria Heath was one of only 1,074 women selected to be part of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, or WASPs. She flew B-26 bombers, towing targets for P-47 pilots for aerial gunning training and went on to shape the development of today's worldwide search and rescue system.

Retired Col. Howard Johnson was a fighter pilot who flew more than 7,000 hours in 15 different airframes and flew 87 combat missions in the P-51, 60 as the flight lead of "The Ferocious Four."

Retired Lt. Gen. Leroy Manor flew over Normandy during D-Day and was commander of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Force. In 1970, he was tasked to command the contingency task force for Operation Ivory Coast, the Son Toy Raid. In total he logged more than 6,700 flying hours, including 347 combat missions in two wars.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James McCoy was the sixth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. During the Taiwan crisis of August 1958, he was key to establishing the operating the wing command post that coordinated all Composite Strike Force aircraft.

Retired Lt. Col. John Mulzac was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, joining the service at the age of 19. He served in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. After retiring in 1983, and three years later he became a New York City firefighter, retiring after 20 years.

Retired Col. Ralph Parr is the only American pilot to receive both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross. In May 1953, he achieved ace status with five kills in 11 days. He achieved double ace status in July 1953 when he made 10 kills in a seven-week period during the Korean War.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Louis Roffman enlisted in 1936 and served for more than 31 years. He's a Pearl Harbor survivor and later fought in the Battle of Midway.

Retired Lt. Col. Edward Saylor joined the Army Air Corps in 1936 and served as a flight engineer for the Doolittle Raiders. Following bombing Tokyo, Japan, his crew ditched their bomber in the waters near a small Chinese island. He later received a battlefield commission and received many other decorations during his 28 years of service.

Retired Capt. Gwen Sheppard is a two-time Warrior Games athlete, competing in archery, sitting volleyball and shooting. Her 27-year career began at the U.S. Air Force Academy and later included stints with the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Navy Seabees.

Retired Col. Leo Thorsness flew 92 Republic F-105F Wild Weasel missions and was awarded America's highest military decoration before he was shot down and taken prisoner in North Vietnam. For nearly 6 years, was a P.O.W. in camps such as the Hanoi Hilton and Heartbreak Hotel.

Retired Lt. Col. Richard Waring was a B-17 navigator who flew more than 35 successful bombing missions over Germany in WWII. Enlisting at the age of 20, he attended preflight, gunner and navigator school and later commissioned as an aerial navigator. He remains in retired reserve status today.

Reserve Band performs annual holiday concert

11/14/2012 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga -- The Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve presents its free annual holiday concert at the Museum of Aviation Century of Flight Hangar, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

The concert is open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m. Seating is limited.

"Over the years, it's been an honor to serve our country and the local Middle Georgia community," said 2nd Lt. Thomas P. Gamboa, commander of the Reserve Band.  "Now it's that time of the year when we can come together with our families and friends to celebrate the holiday season."

Exercise Razor Talon launches from Seymour Johnson

by Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- The 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., hosted Exercise Razor Talon to provide joint units on the East Coast an opportunity to participate in a training exercise Oct. 26.

Seven installations along the East Coast participated in the exercise, contributing 32 aircraft to create a large force exercise.

"The combined effort was one of the biggest East Coast, large force exercises in recent history," said Maj. Ronen Segal, 4th Operations Support Squadron chief of fighter scheduling. "(Razor Talon) provided invaluable scenario-based integration and tactics practice for nearly 100 aircrew."

During the exercise, aircrew trained to suppress and destroy enemy air defenses, as well as refine airborne refueling operations.

"These are the primary mission sets that the participating units have been tasked with by their applicable major commands," said Capt. Trevor Flaten, 335th Fighter Squadron plans officer. "Proficiency is paramount to national security (as well as) the ability to project airpower when and where required."

Currently, Razor Talon exercises are planned for each month this fiscal year.

"In the future we plan on flexing different mission sets as well as integrating other East Coast assets such as the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard," Flaten said.

The next exercise is scheduled for Nov. 16, 2012.

AAFES chief visits Holloman

by Airman 1st Class Colin Cates
49th Wing Public Affairs


11/14/2012 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.  -- The senior enlisted advisor for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service visited the Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 7 and 8.

During his visit, Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Pearson toured Exchange facilities, met with Airmen and community members and addressed Exchange-related issues.

"This is my first time visiting Holloman AFB, and I have been excited about this visit from the time I arrived," said Pearson. "Each group that I have interacted with today has been truly wonderful."

The Exchange is a joint non-appropriated fund instrumentality of the Department of Defense with a retail mission to provide quality products, services and food to service members, their families, Reserve and Guard members, and military retirees. Exchange sales generate earnings to supplement Air Force Services programs as well as Army Morale Welfare and Recreation activities.

Pearson is one of 72 active-duty service members assigned to AAFES which carries out this mission while employing more than 42,000 civilian associates worldwide.

"For every dollar earned, 67 cents comes back to the military community from the MWR dividend. Last year Holloman activities got back more than $436,000, so shopping at the Exchange is a win-win," Pearson said. "You get great products at a great price and your spent money comes back to the installation through the dividend."

Part of Pearson's job as the senior enlisted advisor is to visit bases throughout the world and find out what the Exchange services can do better to serve its customers and fix existing problems.

"Educating our customers on the AAFES benefits is the most important part of my job," Pearson said. "You can go anywhere to purchase an iPod or a TV, but when you buy from the Exchange, that's money going back to support our military and communities. AAFES will keep striving to meet our customers' needs and be their number one choice."