Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Flying crew chiefs 'know everything'

by Lt. Col. Bill Walsh
315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/4/2013 - Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii -- When a $200 million aircraft breaks down in a dangerous place like Afghanistan or Colombia, pilots just can't call "Triple A." But they can call on their flying crew chief who, as most aircrew members know, knows everything.

They are the mechanics of the sky, flying missions all over the world and a pilot's best friend.

"These guys have saved many, many missions," said Lt. Col. Jeffery Smith of the 300th Airlift Squadron and aircraft commander on this trip across the Pacific Ocean. "They make our job of flying the airplane much easier."

Flying crew chiefs are specially trained maintenance personnel who attend a six-week maintenance special operations course in addition to the hundreds of hours of training it takes to become seven-level maintainer.

"We have to know everything about the aircraft," said Tech. Sgt. Mark Graveline of the 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron as he does his preflight walk-around inspection.

From fueling the aircraft and checking the oil, to troubleshooting a major system malfunction, these flying mechanics earn their stripes everyday. According to Smith, keeping the mission moving is critical to its success. With a trained maintainer on board small things might not become big problems.

When an FCC flies a mission, he or she has to take an enormous amount of publications with them. Thanks to today's digital technology, they are all contained in a laptop with hundreds of pages of diagrams, parts, instructions and more to keep the giant C-17 Globemaster III in the air.

In addition to the publications, they take an FCC toolbox containing things like specialized wrenches, tire pressure gauges and more.

"You never know what you will need when it comes to a fix," said Graveline.

In his trademark green flight suit, Graveline climbs under the wheel well to inspect the tires of the enormous aircraft. Carefully and methodically he covers every inch of the outside of the jet even taking note of rivets in the tail towering five stories above.

"We look for cracks, leaks and any sign of trouble," he said over the loud noise of the other jets on the busy ramp.

The cost savings of having a Flying Crew Chief could be staggering especially if they can, for example, fix something therefore making it unnecessary to send out an maintenance response team.

"These folks are specialists in many maintenance fields and save the day sometimes," said Smith. "They're even more important in places where there is no support."

Wherever the mission goes, the Flying Crew Chief goes with it making sure that the aircraft is safe and ready to fly 24 hours a day.

Brother, sister share first salute

by Airman 1st Class Madelyn McCullough
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/4/2013 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- When a brand new officer graduates from Officer Training School, he usually receives his first salute during the ceremony. But that is not the case for one graduate with ties to McChord.

Rather than following in this ceremonial tradition, 2nd Lt. Nathan Mann, a maintenance officer with the 129th Maintenance Group at Moffett Field, Calif., managed to escape the base without saluting a single Airman. He decided to save his very first salute for his younger sister, Senior Airman Julie Mann, a health services manager with the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron here.

Mann said she is very proud of her brother for achieving one of his long term goals and was excited to render his first salute.

"He has a huge future ahead of him," she said.

The new lieutenant is a former master sergeant with the 446th Maintenance Squadron and 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, who won two awards as a technical sergeant in 2008. He won the Maintenance Group Quality Assurance Technician of the Year award and the MooseFest Senior Technician Category award. He is now living in California with his wife and twin daughters.

The new officer graduated OTS at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., on Dec. 7. On Dec. 28, Mann enjoyed the opportunity to salute her older brother.

"When he graduated, he went to extremes to save his first salute for her and she was honored by that," said Jillana Mann, Julie and Nathan's mother.

"Ever since she came in I thought it would be really neat to have Julie do it," said Mann. "We both started enlisted and I helped her come in. It's a really neat way to cross over to the officer side by having my sister do the first salute."

When the brother and sister faced each other and prepared to salute Dec. 28, both of their faces lit up with smiles.  Afterward they exchanged coins.

"For me, he's always been a big brother and someone to look up to," Mann said. "He helped me get in the military."

During basic military training, Mann borrowed a container from her brother that she stored name strips and other items in.

"The container was a reminder to me to be strong, as my brother was in the same building, same base, and same squadron years before," Mann said. "If he could do it, I could do it."

Sharing his first salute gave her the same deep feeling as sharing the container in basic training, she said. It is a close bond they share not only as family, but through serving.

Altus AFB assists AMC, Fort Sill to deploy defense systems in support of NATO

by 1st Lt. Katie Cousins
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

1/8/2013 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Airmen of the "Mighty 97th" are providing support for the delivery of troops and defense systems to Turkey.

The 97th Air Mobility Wing, the 31st Air Defense Artillery Army Brigade out of Fort Sill, Okla., and various units from Air Mobility Command joined forces to deploy Patriot missile batteries in support of NATO efforts to augment Turkey's self-defense capabilities.

The deployment follows U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's Dec. 14, 2012 order to deploy the batteries to de-escalate the situation along the Turkey-Syrian border, while demonstrating Alliance solidarity and resolve.

Three Patriot batteries, more than two million pounds of equipment and about 400 personnel from 3-2 Air Defense Artillery Battalion elements will be transported by Air Mobility Command and Air Education and Training Command aircraft.

Airmen from Altus AFB, Charleston AFB, S.C; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Travis AFB, Calif.; reserve units from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas and Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass., and a Kentucky Air Guard Contingency Response Group unit are providing a timely and safe delivery of troops and cargo throughout the 24-hour-a-day operation.

The 58th Airlift Squadron, 97th Security Forces Squadron, 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and the 97th Maintenance Directorate and other units, ensured that Altus AFB was ready to perform.

The 58th AS powered up C-17 Globemaster III's and prepared aircrews to complete their assigned missions.

"Here at Altus AFB, our focus is on training Airmen, and ensuring we are ready to support the U.S. by deploying personnel and equipment at a moment's notice," said Col. Anthony Krawietz, 97th AMW commander.

Despite the 97th AMW's primary mission of training airlift and air refueling crews, the wing has deployed its members to support a number of worldwide contingencies and relief operations, the last occurring in 2008 in response to Hurricane Ike. The 97th AMW has also flown recent missions in support of humanitarian operations in Haiti.

"A deployment out of Altus AFB is not something you see often, but we are always prepared for the call. We, along with our Army brethren just down the road, are proud to be a part of the U.S. effort in supporting the defense of our Allies," said Krawietz.

Hotaling named next Air National Guard Command Chief

Office of Public Affairs

1/8/2013 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- Chief Master Sgt. James Hotaling from the Continental U.S. NORAD Region-1st Air Force here was named as the Air National Guard's next command chief today.

As ANG command chief, Hotaling will serve as the senior advisor to Lt. Gen. Sid Clarke, the incoming director of the Air National Guard, on matters concerning the readiness, morale, welfare, proper use and progress of more than 90,000 enlisted Airmen.

Hotaling succeeds Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Muncy, who retired in September after serving almost four years as the Air National Guard's command chief.

"This is a bittersweet moment for my family and I," said Hotaling. "On one hand I am excited to be moving on to bigger challenges serving our Air National Guard, but on the other I will miss the camaraderie and friendships I have established during my short time here at First Air Force."

Hotaling will be the Air Guard's 11th command chief. Prior to July 1998, the title was "senior enlisted advisor."

Hotaling currently serves as command chief for the Continental U.S. NORAD Region-1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern). He previously spent nearly 24 years in various Air Force Special Tactics and leadership positions. He also serves as a member of the Air Guard's Enlisted Field Advisory Council and the Combat Control Association.

Hotaling is a native of North Carolina where he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1987 and joined the Oregon Air National Guard in 2003.

Reserve recruiters rock the Tacoma Dome

by Airman 1st Class Madelyn McCullough
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

1/7/2013 - TACOMA, Wash. -- Similar to a group of friends working in sync to assemble a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, recruiters from the Western Reserve Squadron have the critical mission of searching for the missing pieces of the 2,200-strong members of the 446th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, McChord Field, Wash.

Over the January Reserve weekend, the recruiters were given a monstrous opportunity to flex their muscles at the Air Force Reserve sponsored Monster Jam, Jan. 4-6 here at the Tacoma Dome.

Senior Master Sgt. Kristyn Ervin, the senior recruiter for the 446th AW Recruiting Office, says events like Monster Jam provide an enormous ability to inform the public of the Reserve mission.

"We are looking to create Air Force Reserve awareness and also to generate leads for the 446th (AW)," Ervin, of Dupont, said.

Currently, the recruiters' main target is searching for future Airmen to satisfy key positions in the wing's maintenance and civil engineer squadrons.

Reserve volunteers from both the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron and 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aided the recruiters in representing the Air Force Reserve and the 446th AW during Monster Jam.

Airmen like Senior Airmen Nika Kliebert and Staff Sgt. Dustin Ballard, both out of the 446th CES, partnered with fellow wing mates from the 446th AMXS, Senior Airman Justin Drayer and Senior Airman Marcianco Quinonez-Cheeks to represent the core value of service before self before nearly 20,000 spectators.

"They volunteered were specifically chosen by their fellow squadron members," Ervin said.

The recruiters mingled with potential Citizen Airmen about the Air Force Reserve and the wing, while the Reservists spoke about the intricacies of their career fields.

"I'm talking to people about what I do on the maintenance side, and trying to recruit people as well," Quinonez-Cheeks said. "I'm informing them of the opportunities and benefits of the Air Force Reserve."

Ervin says using active Reservists are one of the best ways to recruit.

"It takes wing members to help recruiting," Ervin said.

After 15 years of recruiting, she says that even with new technology, it still boils down to good old fashion, face-to-face interaction.

Monster Jam is an extension of recruiting and working together, she said.

For more information on the 446th AW or the opportunities offered by the Air Force Reserve, call the 446th Recruiting Office at (253)982-6689.

Reserve Guardian Angels put Gators, gold medalist through Special Ops training

by 2nd Lt. Leslie Forshaw
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

1/7/2013 - PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- It's all about teamwork. To complete a rescue mission during combat in Afghanistan, or win an Olympic gold medal it's all about working together.

This statement was never more apparent than during a workout session between the University of Florida Swim Team, two Olympic medalists and Air Force Reserve Special Operations Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing here, known as Guardian Angels, Jan 4.

Olympic gold medalists Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer joined their alma mater during a day in Air Force mock pararescue training.

"The training was brutal, but a lot of fun," said Lochte.

The morning started early for the swimmers, with a 7:30 a.m. arrival at the 308th Rescue Squadron, 920th RQW. Immediately, the athletes were put through circuit training where several pararescuemen and combat rescue officers were ready with loud voices and whistles to keep the men motivated and moving.

Former Olympian Maj. Chad Senior, 308th RQS director of operatons and CRO, has a long-standing tie with the UF Swim Team and was the catalyst behind the workout wager.

Old friends, Senior and Anthony Nesty, UF Swim Team assistant coach, in conversation a few months ago came up with the idea of having the men's swim team train with the Guardian Angels pararescue style.

After the circuit training, the swimmers took to the streets. A mile run from the PJ squadron to the beach found the athletes doing flutter kicks, pushups and low crawls in the cold salty surf of Cocoa Beach. The atheletes trudged through 1.6 miles of soft sand to Patrick AFB's lap pool, where they endured the pararescue water confidence course.

After a successful pool session where they learned pararescue survival techniques like budding breathing, using one snorkel between two swimmers, they were off to the Riverside Dining Hall for lunch where they interacted and asked questions to the very PJs and CROs that were, minutes ago, making life a bit harder than usual for them.

"This was a very good group of guys," said Chief Master Sgt. Doug Kestranek, chief enlisted PJ, 920th RQW. "Everyone was smiling and having a good time even though they were hurting."

Afterward the men had an educational afternoon touring the 308th RQS hearing stories and learning about the mission of combat search and resuce.

"We learned that you can never leave a man down, no matter what," said Lochte. "We have come together and there was no better place to learn it than from you guys (308th RQS)."

UF Head Coach Greg Troy agreed, "It was nice to see my guys working together. It's all about team work and the guys here (PJs and CROs) showed them the importance of that."

While the pararescue workout was agreeably difficult among the participants, it was an eye-opening day for the visitors. "They certainly aren't used to this, but it's good for them," Troy said. "They may be hurting Monday!"

DOD Comptroller: Budget Stability Key to National Security

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 – Stability in the size of the Defense Department’s budget -- and especially in the process of funding it -- is critical to maintaining national security, DOD Comptroller Robert F. Hale said here yesterday.

During a keynote address at the Brookings Institution here, Hale discussed three steps that must be taken to accommodate lean budget times.

Two of the steps already are in place, he said: determining a defense strategy to guide spending and instituting initiatives that stretch defense dollars.

“And third, we need -- I would say desperately need -- more stability, both in terms of budget size and, maybe particularly, budget process,” Hale added.

In more than three decades of working in and around the defense budget, he said, he has never seen a period featuring greater budgetary uncertainty than the next few months present.

Meanwhile, Hale said, he hopes to submit the fifth defense budget he’s overseen as comptroller.

“The first two [budgets] featured increases in the top line,” he said. “The third one, in February 2011, featured substantial top-line reduction, and the last one featured a significant reduction: about $260 billion over a five-year period relative to our planned $487 billion [reduction] over 10 years. And we may not be done.”

The 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act, which Congress passed Jan. 1, may force further reductions, Hale said. Although the law avoided activating a “sequestration” mechanism in a budget law passed last year, the threat of that mechanism’s automatic across-the-board cuts now looms beginning March 1, he added.

“We're still working on the details, but the total sequestration for DOD appears to be roughly $45 billion if it all goes into effect -- about 9 percent of our budget,” Hale explained.

“That is less than the sequestration [amount of about $62 billion] we faced before passage of the New Year's Day act. That could have been as much as 12 percent. But we also have two fewer months in which to accommodate those changes,” he said.

At a time when U.S. national security challenges have never been more complex, Hale said, the lack of budgetary stability and the reliance on continuing resolutions, which fund only a portion of the fiscal year budget at a time, makes it very hard to plan and extremely hard to plan well.

“We also cannot rule out an extension of the continuing resolution throughout the rest of this year, and that would sharply reduce the operation and maintenance funds that we have available and that we need to maintain readiness,” one of the department’s highest priorities, the comptroller said.

And while U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, protecting funds for wartime operations means even larger cuts in base budget dollars available for readiness, he noted.

“I think the nation's security would be better served if Congress adopted and then stayed with a more stable budget plan,” Hale said.

The department hasn’t enjoyed much budget-process stability during his tenure as comptroller, Hale added.
“I have personally coordinated four shutdown drills,” he said. “During two of them, I was sitting in my office at 8 at night, not knowing whether at midnight we would shut down the department or not. Fortunately, we didn't in either case.”

Continuing resolutions -- the nation is operating under one right now, he pointed out -- “really hogtie the department and its ability to manage,” Hale added.

A questioner asked Hale how industry can help the department navigate in a leaner budget environment. “We need you to sharpen your pencils as much as we are trying to do with regard to your overhead and anything else that would help us hold down costs,” he replied.

The department’s Better Buying Power initiative, established in 2010, was directed at improving efficiency and productivity for the $400 billion DOD spends annually on goods and services. Part of the initiative seeks to work “more closely with industry to see what you can do there. In return, we owe you some stability, and … we're not there yet,” Hale said.

“My hope is that in the next two months, all of us in the leadership of the nation and the Congress can work together to provide that stability,” he added. “Our national security demands no less.”

Reserve Recruiting selects new command chief

by Master Sgt. Paul Flipse
HQ AFRC Recruiting Service Public Affairs

1/4/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- A former senior recruiter of the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., was appointed command chief master sergeant of Air Force Reserve Recruiting Service in a ceremony held here today.

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Zwelling succeeds Chief Master Sgt. Robert Starkey, who is retiring after 29 years of service.

Chief Zwelling earned three associate degrees, including applied-science degrees in construction technology and personnel administration, from the Community College of the Air Force.

He completed the Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course at Joint Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va., and he is a graduate of both the USAF Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Maxwell AFB, Ala., and the Chiefs Leadership Course.

During his 29 years of service, Chief Zwelling has been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal with four oak-leaf clusters, an Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak-leaf cluster and an Air Force Achievement Medal with four oak-leaf clusters.

He was named distinguished graduate of Air Force Reserve Recruiting School at Lackland AFB, Texas, and was named lead recruiter of the year in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

NORAD Exercise Planned for National Capital Region

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and its geographical component, the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), will conduct exercise Falcon Virgo 13-04 beginning Wednesday morning between midnight and 2 a.m. EST in the National Capital Region (NCR), Washington D.C.

The exercise is comprised of a series of training flights held in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Capital Region Coordination Center, the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Coast Guard and CONR’s Eastern Air Defense Sector.

Exercise Falcon Virgo is designed to hone NORAD’s intercept and identification operations as well as operationally test the NCR Visual Warning System and certify newly assigned Command and Control personnel at the JADOC.

Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter will participate in the exercise.

These exercises are carefully planned and closely controlled to ensure CONR’s rapid response capability.  NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

In the event of inclement weather, officials will make a decision to postpone or cancel the exercise.

For more information, please contact NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs at 719-554-6889.

This Day in Naval History - Jan. 8

1847 - The Battle of San Gabriel takes place in California. The Navy, Marines and Army defeat the Mexicans in the battle.
1916 - A permanent Marine base (later named Camp Pendleton) is established in San Diego.
1945 - Task Group 77.2 delivers intensive shore bombardment of landing beaches on Lingayen Gulf. The destroyer/minesweeper, Palmer (DMS) is sunk by conventional Japanese air attack.

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 Celebrates 170,000 Mishap Free Flight Hours

By Seaman Christopher Pratt, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41 "Seahawks" celebrated 170,000 operational flight hours without a Class A mishap Jan. 8.

A Class A mishap is defined as an incident with a total cost of more than $1 million, destroyed aircraft, fatal injury or total disability. HSM-41, which began service as Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light 41 in 1983, has accumulated the hours over the course of the fleet replacement squadron's lifetime.

HSM-41's Sailor of the Year, Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 1st Class Cole Lindsay, spoke about the significance of the milestone.

"There are four mishap classes with Class A being the most severe you could have," Lindsay said. "It's amazing that we've flown that exorbitant amount of hours without any serious problems for the amount of time that we have been commissioned. Not many commands get that milestone."

Sailors at HSM-41 work on the MH-60R, an anti-ship, anti-submarine helicopter, keeping them flight ready for any mission they may be tasked with.

"We train all of the replacement pilots and aircrewman for the fleet and then we send them out to their corresponding squadrons," said Lindsay. "We also do search-and-rescue. If there is a ship in distress, somebody in the water, a canyon rescue, or overland rescue, we will go and pick them up."

Lindsay said that his squadron places a huge emphasis on safety and attention to detail, and identified training as a top priority for the squadron's future success.

"It takes everyone here training our junior personnel to do their jobs to keep heading in the right direction," Lindsay said. "As long as we train our replacements the right way, we are going to be successful."

Aviation Machinist's Mate Airman Apprentice Adriane Curran takes pride in the work that she does contributing to the safe flight operations of her squadron.

"I deal directly with all the moving parts of the helicopter that make it fly so it's really incredible to me," said Curran. "It really makes me proud and I hope that I can contribute to the next 10,000 mishap free flight hours."

375th LRS sergeant receives STEP promotion

by Senior Master Sgt. Stuart Camp
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

1/7/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Getting called in from convalescent leave, Dec. 19, 2012, was well worth the trip for a 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron sergeant - she got promoted.

Tech. Sgt. Alison Caldieraro, NCO in charge of outbound freight section of Traffic Management Office, was promoted by the 375th Air Mobility Wing commander under the Stripes for Exceptional Performers program.

"I'm incredibly grateful for everyone involved - supervisors, commander - it really means a lot," said the Grafton, Ill., native from a town about 55 miles northwest of Scott.

Caldieraro was called in to sign an enlisted performance report for a departing troop and also asked stick around for a pre-operational readiness exercise meeting. She sat in civilian clothes alongside ABU-clad colleagues when Col. David Almand, 375th AMW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Marty Anderson, 375th AMW command chief, walked into the passenger terminal conference room.

Senior Master Sgt. Edward Atchley, 375th LRS superintendent, was tipped off that his meeting might serve as grounds to promote Caldieraro.

"I was stoked," he said. "She had no idea."

The colonel said he noticed that Caldieraro was out of uniform and called her out.

"Then Chief Anderson pulled out the stripes, and I knew," Caldieraro said. "I didn't know what to say. I was in shock more than anything. I was so surprised."

She missed getting promoted this last cycle by less than a point.

"I've been studying for this year," said the newly minted technical sergeant, who has been in the Air Force just under 10 years.

Caldieraro was the only STEP-promotee this year in the 375th AMW, although there were several nominations considered by wing leaders.

STEP promotions are explained in Air Force Instruction 36-2502 as a means for commanders to promote deserving, hard-charging Airmen for compelling, although not quantifiable, reasons.

Air Force to provide dedicated legal counsel to sexual assault victims

by Rich Lamance
Air Force News Service

1/8/2013 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- A new Air Force pilot program designed to provide legal assistance to victims of sexual assault will begin later this month.

The Special Victims' Counsel Program will give sexual assault victims legal assistance and help them navigate the criminal justice system with lawyers trained to handle their unique needs.

"It takes a strong team to succeed in our mission to protect and defend the nation, and sexual assault undermines that," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "It's devastating to those involved. The Special Victims' Counsel will provide victims of sexual assault with a better understanding of the criminal process from an expert who is specially qualified to represent the victim. This program embodies what the Air Force is all about -- taking care of our people."

Experience shows that when victims believe that their actions leading to the assault are the subject of excessive scrutiny, they become upset and less willing to pursue their allegations. Some felt re-victimized by a process designed to hold offenders accountable -- in essence, they felt blamed for what happened to them.

"Victims, who are dealing with a sense of loss of control and sometimes post traumatic stress disorder, are often overwhelmed by what can be a grueling and lengthy criminal process," said Lt. Gen. Richard C. Harding, the Air Force Judge Advocate General. "With legal counsel providing greater support and advocacy throughout the investigatory and trial process, most victims will not walk away feeling victimized a second time."

Harding hopes that the program will help victims combat anxiety and will assist them in navigating the investigatory and military justice processes.

"Building victim resiliency benefits both the victims, who will have someone representing their interests, and the Air Force," the general said. "The program will help uphold victims' rights and services available to support and identify gaps in victims' services."

The program will provide 60 specially-trained attorneys Air Force-wide who will be placed geographically and who are certified trial counsel and expressed a desire to help victims of sexual assault.

According to Harding, the specialized training gives the attorneys in-depth training from experts in military justice and legal ethics, as well as from a civilian expert on counsel for victims. The course also provided practical exercises designed to familiarize the attorneys with potential scenarios they will encounter in the field.

Harding said he sees a three-step process to providing assistance to victims. "First we will begin offering victims counsel services with counsel in existing legal offices starting on 28 January. The program will provide an information sharing network to build upon 'best practices.' Second, we expect to standup a new, independent organization similar to the structure of our area defense counsel with additional manpower this summer. And third, as we gain experience, we will continue to refine and improve our rules of practice and training curriculum."

Harding added that the creation of a program to address the needs of the victim is long overdue, and he feels that this new program will go a long way in supporting victims and their rights while at the same time protecting the due process rights of the accused.

In talking about the courtroom in sexual assault cases, Harding pointed out that, "Prosecutors represent the government and even though the interests of the government and victims frequently align, prosecutors are unable to provide legal representation to victims. Because of the unfamiliarity with the criminal and military justice process, victims can feel overwhelmed with lengthy interviews with law enforcement, prosecutors and defense counsel. Special Victims' Counsel will help them understand the importance of separate interviews with different personnel in the military justice process and help protect their privacy and prevent unnecessary disclosure of intimate details. If you are a victim of sexual assault, the Special Victims' Counsel is your attorney -- you have complete attorney-client confidentiality and they will zealously advocate on your behalf."

U.S., NATO Patriots Deploy to Augment Turkish Air Defenses

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2013 – With advance elements of two U.S. Patriot missile batteries already on the ground in Turkey, additional defenders are prepared to deploy tomorrow in support of NATO’s missile defense mission there.

Airmen from the 721st Aerial Port Squadron loaded equipment for U.S. Army Europe’s 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command and 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, and the 32nd AAMDC from Fort Bliss, Texas, aboard a C-5 aircraft today at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, officials at U.S. Army Europe and U.S. Air Forces in Europe confirmed.

The 10th AAMDC will provide command and control for two Patriot missile batteries from the 32nd AAMDC.

Meanwhile, roughly 400 U.S. personnel and equipment from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, based at Fort Sill, Okla., began flowing into Turkey late last week to man the equipment, U.S. European Command officials said. Additional equipment will arrive by sea later this month.

In Turkey, the U.S. forces will be joined by missile defenders from Germany and the Netherlands, the only other NATO nations with PAC-3 Patriot anti-missile systems, which are each contributing two batteries to the mission.

NATO foreign ministers agreed in late November to provide Turkey the air defense support it had requested. The request came after shells from Syria’s political unrest -– which a new United Nations report estimated this week has claimed 60,000 lives -- spilled into Turkey.

“NATO has decided to augment Turkey's air defense capabilities in order to defend the population and territory of Turkey and contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis along the alliance's border,” the ministers said in a statement released following the meeting.

“Turkey is an important NATO ally, and we welcome the opportunity to support the Turkish government’s request in accordance with the NATO standing defense plan,” said Navy Vice Adm. Charles Martoglio, Eucom’s deputy commander.

Martoglio said the Patriot batteries will fall under NATO command once the systems become operational within the next several weeks.

He emphasized that the deployment will be defensive only, and won’t support a no-fly zone or any offensive operation.

Army Lt. Col. Robert Ozanich, intelligence and security officer for the Kaiserslautern-based 10th AAMDC, said the command-and-control element his command is deploying will interact with the Turkish government and NATO forces to ensure they are providing the protections Turkey has requested.

With experience throughout the European theater under their belts -- including recent deployments to Poland and to Israel during the Austere Challenge 2012 exercise -- the deploying soldiers have the experience and hands-on time with their equipment to carry out the mission, Ozanich said. “One of the biggest pieces is making sure that our soldiers are ready,” he said.

Equally important, he said, they have had the opportunity to work side by side with partner militaries and to develop an awareness of cultural customs, courtesies and sensitivities.

“The people going forward look forward to doing the mission they have trained for,” Ozanich said. “Our expectations are that we will be able to successfully complete this mission and provide the necessary protections to Turkey.”

“It’s good to be in Turkey,” said Army Maj. Brian Carlin, who deployed to Turkey with the advance elements. “We believe the measure of deterrence that we can add makes our soldiers’ time away from friends and families back home worthwhile. Protecting our allies is what this alliance is all about.”
At this point, it’s unclear how long the deployment will last. That, officials said, will be determined by the contributing nations in coordination with Turkey and NATO.

(Jesse Granger and Army Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado from U.S. Army Europe contributed to this article.)