Military News

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Locklear Warns of Territorial Disputes Escalating to Conflict


By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2013 – Amid reports of an incident between China and Japan near the Senkaku Islands, the top U.S. commander in the Asia-Pacific reiterated the need to resolve territorial disputes peacefully and to develop a code of conduct to support the process.

Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the U.S. Indonesia Society in Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday that territorial disputes have occurred throughout history and will undoubtedly continue into the future.

But the admiral warned during a media roundtable about the stress these disputes inflict on the security environment – and the potential they pose for conflict if not resolved.

Nations of the world need to come together to settle their differences over parts of the South China Sea and other contested areas diplomatically so they don’t escalate, he said.

Military conflict “would have global impacts that we should not even contemplate,” he warned. “We should not even allow it to enter into our dialogue … and not allow it to happen.”

The United States does not take sides in border disputes, he emphasized, but will continue to do everything in its power to support steps being taken by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and others to promote peaceful resolution.

Locklear didn’t get into specifics when asked about reports that a Chinese navy warship targeted a Japanese warship with its weapons radar near the Senkaku Islands last month. He said, however, that it rings a warning bell about how quickly territorial differences can turn dangerous.

“There must be real care in ensuring that the governments involved and leadership of those governments understand the potential for miscalculation if those systems are used incorrectly,” he said.

The U.S. perspective to both Japan and China, he said, is that “we need to be very, very careful in ensuring we don’t see escalation that could lead to miscalculation that could lead to unintended consequences.”

Locklear reiterated his call for a code of conduct that provides a framework for resolving these differences. He expressed hope that ASEAN and nations in the region including China will “feel a sense of urgency” and reinvigorate the stalled discussions toward reaching one.

“The question is, can we have a system of rules that allows us to work together with this with diplomacy rather than military power?” he said

Establishing this code “will give diplomacy breathing room and give diplomacy time to work, because it will take some time,” he said.

Supply Ships Arrive in Antarctica for Operation Deep Freeze

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2013 – A hulking Military Sealift Command-chartered tanker ship is expected to begin offloading millions of gallons of fuel in Antarctica today as part of the Defense Department’s Operation Deep Freeze mission, which supplies the National Science Foundation at one of the world’s most remote scientific outposts.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Military Sealift Command-chartered container ship MV Ocean Giant, prepares to leave Port Hueneme, Calif., with nearly 7 million pounds of supplies, vehicles and electronic equipment and parts, Jan. 17, 2013. The ship is slated to begin offloading at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, as part of Operation Deep Freeze’s support to the National Science Foundation. U.S. Navy photo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
MT Maersk Peary, which left Europe in December, is scheduled to begin discharging more than 6 million gallons of diesel and jet fuel and gasoline at McMurdo Station, Sarah Burford, a Military Sealift Command spokeswoman, told American Forces Press Service.

A container ship that left California in January, MV Ocean Giant, then will deliver nearly 7 million pounds of frozen and dry food, building supplies, vehicles, electronic equipment and parts, and other supplies. Sailors from Navy Cargo Handling Battalion 1 are preparing to work around the clock for eight days to offload the supplies at a 500-foot-long ice pier that juts into the Antarctic Ocean, Burford said.

The deliveries represent 100 percent of the fuel and about 80 percent of the supplies the researchers and support personnel in Antarctica will need to survive and work over the course of a year, she said.

Air Mobility Command augments this support, airlifting passengers, perishable goods and time-sensitive materials in and out of Antarctica, and between sites within the continent, explained Air Force Col. Howard McArthur, U.S. Transportation Command’s West Division operations chief.

For this year’s Operation Deep Freeze mission, C-17 Globemaster III and ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules aircraft began air support missions in the fall.

The air and surface deliveries, conducted by Transcom in support of U.S. Pacific Command, are part of a historic Defense Department mission in one of the world’s coldest, windiest, highest and most inhospitable environments.

Operation Deep Freeze has been supporting the National Science Foundation, which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, for almost 60 years. It’s an extension of a mission the Navy started almost 200 years ago. In 1839, Navy Capt. Charles Wilkes led the first U.S. naval expedition into Antarctic waters. Navy Adm. Richard E. Byrd followed in his footsteps, establishing naval outposts on the Antarctic coast in 1929, and later that year, he made the first flight over the South Pole.

In 1946, Byrd organized the Navy’s Operation Highjump, which included more than 4,000 people and numerous ships and other craft operating in the Ross Sea.

In 1955, the Navy conducted the first Operation Deep Freeze.

Today, Joint Task Force Support Forces Antarctica, led by Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, brings together active, reserve and National Guard assets from the Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard, as well as Defense Department civilians. This year’s task force includes C-17 support from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; LC-130 support from the New York Air National Guard; sealift support from the Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command; engineering and aviation services from Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and cargo handling from the Navy.

Together, this team provides the aircraft, shops and logistical expertise needed to support research in what may well be the most isolated and challenging part of the globe, officials said. They coordinate strategic intertheater airlift, tactical deep field support, aeromedical evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply, port cargo handling and transportation requirements.

Last year alone, they delivered more than 3,250 passengers, 10,000 short tons of cargo and 5 million gallons of fuel in support of the National Science Foundation, Transcom officials reported.

Although the mission takes place during the Antarctic summer, harsh and unpredictable weather has always been a challenge, McArthur said. Ships typically must arrive between January and March, and require an icebreaker to cut a channel through a thick ice shelf for them to reach McMurdo Station.

Surprisingly, bitter cold isn’t always the biggest operational hurdle.

“During the past couple of years, the warmer temperatures have actually been more of a challenge than the cooler temperatures,” McArthur said. It made the ice pier too unstable to support dry cargo operations last year, requiring soldiers from the 331st Transportation Company to build a floating dock. This year, volcanic dirt that blew onto the ice runway during a December storm absorbed solar energy, causing extensive snow melt, McArthur said.

“But they are working around that and providing the support that is needed,” he said, calling it an example of Transcom’s commitment to deliver for its customers -- in this case, interagency partners at the National Science Foundation.

“Whether it is in the Antarctic or some other location in the world, we stand ready to provide flexible support … and ensure that the mission is executed,” he said.

Demanding, unpredictable conditions require planning and teamwork, said Tom Broad, the team lead for Military Sealift Command Pacific’s sealift pre-positioning and special missions.

“We can’t always know what will happen,” Broad said. “Because of this, we really have to function as a team, not just within the Navy, but with all the other organizations who participate in this mission, to ensure that we get the critical cargo onto the ice, and on time, to support the people who live and work there.”
That’s what makes Operation Deep Freeze so important to the U.S. Antarctic Program, said Army Capt. Sylvester Moore, commander of Military Sealift Command Pacific.

“Without this resupply mission, all operations in Antarctica would end, and the scientific community would lose the opportunity to conduct research and study not only the continent of Antarctica, but its impact on our global climate,” he said.

(Sarah Burford of Military Sealift Command contributed to this article.)

Enlisted heroes receive graduate-level education at Weapons School

by Staff Sgt. William P. Coleman
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


2/6/2013 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- For the first time in the 64 year history of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Joint Terminal Attack Controller qualified Airmen received advanced instructor diplomas Dec. 15, 2012.

JTAC qualified Airmen are responsible for communicating with pilots from all services and advising ground force commanders on where and how to attack enemy forces. They control attacks from aircraft and artillery while keeping non-combatants and friendly forces safe.

The Air Force Weapons School has been upgrading their curriculum since 1949 to teach Air Force officers how to use all available assets in war. For more than the past ten years, enlisted JTACs have proved to be a critical asset for controlling air space and winning battles.

"The reason the Air Force enlisted JTACs are integrated at the Air Force Weapons School is because they are a weapons system personified," said Col. Robert Garland, U.S. Air Force Weapons School commandant. "They integrate with 29 other weapons systems that collectively ensure our nation prevails in battlespace dominance."

The success brought by JTACs is what turns the tide during harrowing situations for friendly ground forces. A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot Maj. Ryan Hayde, 66th Weapons Squadron director of operations, has worked with JTACs numerous times, eliminating threats and saving American lives.

In one battle, Hayde recalls a JTAC clearing a helicopter to rescue a critically wounded soldier and calling close air support using two B-1B Lancers, two F-15E Strike Eagles and four A-10s while returning fire with his rifle.

"The JTAC marked 20 targets that were keeping the helicopter from landing," said Hayde. "During the eight-hour fight, we dropped every bomb off all the aircraft and got the wounded soldier on the helicopter and out of the fight."

As an integral part of the kill chain, the Air Force needs JTACs for successful close air support missions. To capitalize on their abilities, the U.S. Air Force Weapons School created a JTAC advanced instructor course.

The initial instructor cadre, a group of seven JTAC qualified Airmen, validated the course and then graduated.

Collectively, these Airmen have over 58 years of experience; have eliminated over 2,000 enemies using 1 million pounds of ordnance without any collateral damage. Among other decorations, they have been awarded 14 bronze stars (three with valor), seven combat action medals and two purple hearts.

The JTAC cadre compiled the learning objectives of pilots and JTACS, so they could train and learn together during the six-month course.

"Before the instructor course, we were facilitating their [pilots] training to give them realism in what they would actually face in a combat scenario," said Capt. Michael Smith, JTAC Advanced Instructor Course commander. "Now, we integrated our syllabus with their syllabus to achieve each of our training objectives simultaneously."

While in classrooms with pilots, the JTAC cadre learned valuable lessons in which they will highlight for future JTAC students.

"One of the biggest learning objectives that I got as a student was integrating the ground forces with flying, cyber and space assets into one mission set," said Senior Master Sgt. Adam Vizi, Weapons School JTAC instructor. "I can advise my ground force commander that, not only does the Air Force provide close air support, but we have a myriad of other assets available, and I know the people to talk to and get that for you."

Going through the U.S. Air Force Weapons School, the enlisted JTACs are exposed to the same graduate level academics that officers receive.

"The JTAC instructor course is as robust as any officer Weapons Instructor Course that trains in the School today," said Garland. "As the commandant, I look forward to the day and the opportunity to upgrade the JTAC advanced enlisted course to an Air Force Weapons Instructor Course in the near future."

The education JTACs receive from the Weapons School will be sent out to other JTACs around the Air Force. The first student class of JTACs, class 13-A, started Jan. 7 and are projected to graduate June 15.

"As they graduate and get sent back to their units, they bring the same education from the Weapons School to teach other JTACs," said Master Sgt. Bryan Patton, U.S. Air Force Weapons School JTAC instructor. "It will professionalize and standardize the training and highlight techniques that work in different combat situations."

Airmen from Tactical Air Control Party and Combat Controller career fields who are JTAC instructors at their home stations are eligible to attend the course. TACP and CCTs from different bases in different commands are able to come together and gain knowledge while sharing experience.

"We are happy to be here, we are learning skills you would not find anywhere else," said Staff Sgt. David Dunn, 321st Special Tactics Squadron CCT. "This gives us a chance to bring something new to our career field and teach our guys to be better JTACs."

"Knowing the level of guys that the Weapons School puts out made me want to be here," said Tech. Sgt. Clint Herbison, TACP from Air Ground Operations School, Einsiedlehof, Germany. "We want to be the best of what we do, and this is the obvious direction that will enhance our training"

Command announces Public Affairs Communication Excellence Awards

2/8/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Air Force Reserve Command announced the winners of the 2012 Public Affairs Communication Excellence Awards Feb. 8.

Winners, by category:

Outstanding Communication Field Grade Officer (O4-O5) Award - Lt. Col. James Bishop, 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

Captain Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer (O1-O3) Award - Capt. Ashley Conner, 477th Fighter Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Outstanding Communication Intermediate Grade Civilian (GS-10-GS-12 or equivalent) Award - Ann Skarban, 302nd AW, Peterson AFB, Colo.

Outstanding Communication Tactical-Level Civilian (GS-5-GS-9 or equivalent) Award - Luke D. Johnson, 943rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

Outstanding Communication Senior Noncommissioned Officer (E-7-E-8) Award - Master Sgt. Donna Jeffries, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication Noncommissioned Officer (E-5-E-6) Award - Tech Sgt. Donald R Allen, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, March ARB, Calif.

Outstanding Communication Airman (E-1-E-4) Award - Senior Airman Katie Spencer, 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Airman First Class Darryl G. Winters Combat Communication Award - Staff Sgt. Tracy D Brown, 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.

The Brigadier General Harry J. Dalton Jr. Award - 916th ARW Public Affairs Office, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

Maj. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold Award for Public Affairs Communication Effectiveness - 439th AW Public Affairs Office, Westover ARB

Best Integrated Communication Award - 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs Office, Patrick AFB, Fla.

Best Innovative Program Award - 920th RQW Public Affairs Office, Patrick AFB

Best Issues Management Award - 916th ARW Public Affairs Office, Seymour Johnson AFB

Best Crisis Communication Award- 302nd AW Public Affairs Office, Peterson AFB

Winners will represent AFRC at the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs level competition. Results of the SAF/PA competition are scheduled to be released Feb. 13.

Fueling the high flyers -- U-2 tube food calms cravings in the cockpit

by Senior Airman Shawn Nickel
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs


2/8/2013 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Peach cobbler, chicken-a-la-king, key lime pie, or even the classic sloppy joe don't compare to a home cooked meal, but U-2 Dragon Lady pilots say the food they eat while flying long missions is delicious.

While wearing a fully pressurized suit, pilots aren't able to open the visors on their helmets and have limited range of motion to feed themselves while wearing their bulky yellow equipment. To overcome these challenges, America's highest flying aviators use a specialized method of eating -- Tube Food.

Similar to the size of a tube of toothpaste, these metallic containers are fitted with a plastic straw designed to slip through a sealed port on each pilot's helmet. The port does not to affect the pressure of the suit and is also used for hydration.

The tube meals come from an Army research laboratory in Natick, Mass. Expert chefs and nutritionists craft these meals which are then turned into a paste the consistency of baby food.

"We've been making these for years and years," said Dan Nattress, a food technologist with Combat Feeding. Combat Feeding has been supplying tube food to U-2 pilots for five decades and is constantly adding new flavors.

While technicians from the 9th Physiological Support Squadron assist pilots into their full pressure suits, they ask for their food preference.

"Depending on the duration of the flight, each pilot is different," said Staff Sgt. Suzzett Stalesky, 9th PSPTS suit technician. "It just depends on the pilot preference. Some pilots take the same thing every flight, and some newer ones are still trying to find what agrees with their body during a flight."

Stalesky said pilots usually eat one tube an hour. They can have the classics like beef stroganoff or applesauce, or more exciting options to give them a little "kick" like chocolate pudding with enough caffeine to satisfy any coffee addict.

"It's not like having a few cups of Starbuck coffee, but it's pretty close," said Maj. Laura, 99th RS pilot whose favorite flavor is pasta Bolognese.

So what is the favorite dish among the most seasoned U-2 pilots?

Stalesky said caffeinated chocolate pudding and chicken-a-la-king takes the cake.

Command announces Public Affairs Communication Excellence Awards

2/8/2013 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Air Force Reserve Command announced the winners of the 2012 Public Affairs Communication Excellence Awards Feb. 8.

Winners, by category:

Outstanding Communication Field Grade Officer (O4-O5) Award - Lt. Col. James Bishop, 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

Captain Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer (O1-O3) Award - Capt. Ashley Conner, 477th Fighter Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Outstanding Communication Intermediate Grade Civilian (GS-10-GS-12 or equivalent) Award - Ann Skarban, 302nd AW, Peterson AFB, Colo.

Outstanding Communication Tactical-Level Civilian (GS-5-GS-9 or equivalent) Award - Luke D. Johnson, 943rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

Outstanding Communication Senior Noncommissioned Officer (E-7-E-8) Award - Master Sgt. Donna Jeffries, 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication Noncommissioned Officer (E-5-E-6) Award - Tech Sgt. Donald R Allen, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, March ARB, Calif.

Outstanding Communication Airman (E-1-E-4) Award - Senior Airman Katie Spencer, 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Airman First Class Darryl G. Winters Combat Communication Award - Staff Sgt. Tracy D Brown, 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo.

The Brigadier General Harry J. Dalton Jr. Award - 916th ARW Public Affairs Office, Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

Maj. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold Award for Public Affairs Communication Effectiveness - 439th AW Public Affairs Office, Westover ARB

Best Integrated Communication Award - 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs Office, Patrick AFB, Fla.

Best Innovative Program Award - 920th RQW Public Affairs Office, Patrick AFB

Best Issues Management Award - 916th ARW Public Affairs Office, Seymour Johnson AFB

Best Crisis Communication Award- 302nd AW Public Affairs Office, Peterson AFB

Winners will represent AFRC at the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs level competition. Results of the SAF/PA competition are scheduled to be released Feb. 13.

Multiple DoD agencies pull together to resurrect historic Remagen Drop Zone

by Master Sgt. Bucky Burnsed
Georgia Air National Guard


2/8/2013 - COMBAT READINESS TRAINING CENTER, Savannah, Ga. -- Thanks to the cooperation and hard work of multiple U.S. military organizations - and, especially, the New Mexico National Guard - a resurrected Remagen Drop Zone (DZ) will be fully operational for Global Guardian 2013. The DZ will play host to heavy equipment drops, paratroopers, and C-130's creating huge dust clouds as they land and take-off from the historic Fort Stewart drop zone.

One of the real miracles of World War II­­­ occurred when lead elements of General William Hoge's 27th Armored Infantry Battalion (AIB), Combat Command B, US 9th Armored Division, topped the hills overlooking the German town of Remagen. It was March 7, 1945.

Allied Forces were attempting the final push across the Rhine River - the last geographic obstacle to Germany's heartland. Knowing all of the bridges over the Rhine had been ordered to be "blown" by Adolf Hitler in an effort to slow the advance, the men of the 27th AIB were amazed to crest the hill and see the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen still standing.

An immediate attack was launched as they could see German Army engineers preparing to blow the bridge. Before the bridge could be completely destroyed, it was secured by the heroic efforts of the 27th AIB. The war ended just two months later, thanks in part to what Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower called the "Miracle of Remagen."

Ever mindful of the U S Army's rich history, Fort Stewart, Ga., named one of its first drop zones after Remagen. The drop zone has seen more heavy equipment and paratroopers dropped there over its many years than could ever be counted. Originally the drop zone was designed as a short field, assault landing site for helicopters and the C-130 Hercules.

While helicopters enjoy the luxury of sitting down in just about any large clearing, large military cargo aircraft typically land and take-off from paved runways especially designed to accommodate the extreme weight of the aircraft.

The C-130 differs from most military heavy lifters in the fact that they are designed to land and take off on exceptionally short dirt runways. However, over many years, the landing strip at Remagen DZ has fallen into disrepair. While the area is basically a large, hard-packed Georgia red clay field and the Army continued to use the field for paratroop drops from helos, C-130's had actually not attempted assault landings in the area for many years. The surface had become severely rutted from weather, rain and its runoff.

Enter Global Guardian, the nation's largest National Guard exercise, scheduled for March and set to take place in Savannah. The commanders responsible for planning and implementing the exercise, comprised of elements across all military services, saw the obvious need for an area where C-130's could perform this tactical activity, thus enhancing the exercise' overall mission. Savannah's Combat Readiness Training Center (CRTC), Georgia Air National Guard, served as Grand Central Station for Global Guardian, as it does for many military exercises throughout the year.

The idea soon emerged of resurrecting Remagen DZ as a fully functional landing strip for C-130's or even the emerging new, smaller C-27's. However, today's shrinking military budgets cast a pall over the possibility. Still, Col. Todd Freesemann, the CRTC's commander, accepted the challenge and commissioned the unit's operations personnel with the task.

Led by Ops Group Commander Lt. Col. Christopher Rachael, and Global Guardian liaison officer, Lt. Col. David Spisso, they began reaching out to the Army and the National Guard Bureau to find resources to pull it off. Working together, all agreed everyone would benefit from the project.

As a C-130 Aircraft Commander, Lt. Col. Spisso fully appreciates a nearby assault landing zone, "Training to land and take-off on these short dirt airstrips is critical for C-130 pilots as we maneuver the aircraft into the field at very precise angles of attack and at speeds that could produce a great deal of fear in the untrained. But the very act creates an exceptional strategic and tactical advantage."

CRTC's operations personnel further identified the 210th Red Horse Civil Engineering Squadron, a joint Air and Army National Guard unit, from the New Mexico National Guard with the right skills to come in and quickly resurface and remediate the old Remagen DZ.

This highly energized unit hit the ground running in mid-January, and in less than three weeks' time, using all types of heavy equipment borrowed from Fort Stewart, the CRTC and its Townsend Bombing Range, has successfully resurrected the historic DZ and assault strip. Working from very early in the morning until "dark thirty," the Airmen and Soldiers of the 219th removed large obstructions, moved thousands of pounds of dirt, and completely resurfaced the hard-packed red clay runway.

Colonel Todd Freesemann, speaking from his own West Point engineering background said, "I have to admit, realizing the scope of the work, I was not optimistic this project could be completed considering today's budget restraints. But this accomplishment serves as a strong testimony to how much can be accomplished when all of the military services work together to achieve a common goal."

Osan community commemorates Battle of Bayonet Hill

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


2/8/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Sixty-two years ago, with the help of their American and other United Nations allies, South Korea was able to sustain and escape the threat of the communist regime. Today, throughout the small country of the Republic of Korea, memorials sprinkle the land to commemorate the bravery of those defending freedom.

Osan itself houses historical grounds from the memorial Battle of the Bayonet Hill in which claimed the land for the air base the next year.

More than a hundred Soldiers and Airmen from the United States and Republic of Korea Forces, and families from the Osan community came together to recognize the Battle of Bayonet Hill, known as the Battle of Hill 180, for its 62nd anniversary in a ceremony Feb. 7 at the historical site on base.

The famous battle began Feb. 5, 1951 with Easy Company, led by Capt. Lewis Millett, moving through the frozen grounds near what is now Osan Air Base. Being vastly outnumbered by Chinese forces and being low on ammunition, the conquering of the hill was remembered for the Soldiers courage and improvision. The battle also marked the last time bayonets were used in combat.

"After the battle, 47 enemy dead were counted on the forward slope of the hill--30 had died as a result of bayonet wounds, while on the reverse slope lay another fifty enemy, dead of either bayonet or gunshot wounds," said Lt. Col. Jason Kristolaitis, 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment-Korea, in an account of the battle at the ceremony. "The following year, in the summer of 1952, Osan Air Base was constructed."

The commemorative event, hosted by the 3rd Battlefield Coordination Detachment-Korea, featured the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade firing squad who gave a 21-gun salute to those fallen, a joint formation including Osan Junior ROTC cadets, and U.S. and ROK Air Force and Army active duty members, as well as an F-16 fly-over.

Maj. Gen. Chun, In-Bum, ROK/United States Combined Forces Command and deputy chief of staff of the Operation of Ground Component Command, was the guest speaker for the event.

In relation to Millett, he said, "I wish I could say he was a guy just like one of us, but apparently he wasn't. Not many people can conduct a charge with a bayonet against machine guns.

I think for all of us, [the ceremony] is a reminder of what we're here for," he continued. "What our job is. Every day we are challenged and often we ask ourselves, why am I doing this? Well I think the answer lies right here. Be it in a battlefield or everyday life ... if we have the spirit of Millett, we will turn out OK."

The undaunted spirit of Capt. Millet allowed him to lead his soldiers against terrible odds to victory over the communist forces. A victory who's lasting effects are still felt by the Korean people today.

"To all the Americans who are present here today, do not forget, as I sincerely state, that all the smiles you see in this country today are because of the Americans and other U.N. forces that fought and died for this country," Chun said. "And that is why we are here in this cold to remember that day 62 years ago. So I pay tribute to Col. Millett and the nine men who passed away that day and to the many others who fought for our freedom and fight today like us."

Misawa Airmen conclude ATR integration with Andersen's 36th MUNS

by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
36th Wing Public Affairs


2/8/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- Munitions Airmen from the 35th Maintenance Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, packed up their specialized equipment here, Jan. 31, 2013, after integrating with the 36th Munitions Squadron to support the 35th Fighter Wing's aviation training relocation.

The aviation training relocation program is designed to increase operational readiness while reducing the impact of training on local communities.

For approximately two-and-a-half weeks, Misawa Airmen worked with Team Andersen Airmen in support of the 35th FW's F-16 Fighting Falcons. This allowed the team from Misawa to successfully expend everything they were tasked to build and drop during the ATR, with the exception of the flights and munitions drops affected by weather delays.

"We usually do not have a range or the right weather to be able to accomplish all our annual sorties that require dropping live munitions," said Tech. Sgt. Cameron Neuman, 35th MXS precision guided munitions noncommissioned officer in charge. "That is why we look to other bases in order to fulfill our requirements."

Though there are other locations in the Pacific where the F-16 crews can accomplish their sorties, Sergeant Neuman said Andersen usually has the best flying weather at this time of year, which allows the F-16 pilots to produce higher sortie rates for dropping live munitions.

Months before arrival, Misawa was in constant correspondence with Andersen in order to make sure Andersen could provide for Misawa's munitions production needs.
It is typical for Misawa's munitions Airmen to travel with their fighters, taking with them production equipment specific for fighter munitions.

"We try to send our Airmen with the fighters because we use specialized equipment to work on fighter munitions," said Sergeant Neuman. "Our fighters use missiles and bullets, which are not usually what Andersen's Airmen work with as they are more accustomed to supporting the bombers; however, these differences create the wealth of knowledge found in the exchanges of information and integration between the Airmen."

The 35th MXS munitions Airmen integrated with 36th MUNS conventional maintenance to finish building bombs, then with line delivery to build countermeasures and deliver munitions to the aircraft. Andersen's line delivery Airmen conducted flightline orientation for the Misawa Airmen and showed them the flightline routes designated for explosives.

"Typically in our area of responsibility, we constantly receive incoming forces," said Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Collins, 36th MUNS production flight chief. "Even though we're only getting small teams at a time, it gives us validation that our process of integrating Airmen works, especially when we have to work together for real-world missions."

Panetta: DOD must 'operate on every front' against suicide

by Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service


2/8/2013 - WASHINGTON -- Veteran and service member suicide is a problem no single approach will solve, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told a Georgetown University audience here today.

The secretary, who is expected to retire this month, delivered a speech on leadership and government this morning and then took audience questions.

One student introduced himself as a second-year master's student in foreign service and public policy programs, an Army veteran and a member of the Maryland Air National Guard. He asked what "the Department of Defense and our lawmakers" can do to combat suicide among veterans.

"It is one of the most tragic issues that we deal with right now in the military," the secretary responded. The rate of suicide among troops and former troops mirrors that of greater society, he noted, but added, "There is no question in my mind that part of this is related to the stress of war over the last 10 years, [and] the fact that we have deployed people time and time again."

Repeated combat zone assignments keep troops away from their families, Panetta said. He said military leaders must therefore ensure they give recently deployed service members the opportunity "to get their feet back on the ground, ... to reboot themselves into society," when they return.

Beyond the rate of incidence, several other common factors link service member and veteran suicides with those of their civilian counterparts, the secretary told his audience. He summed them up as "stress and the general society."

"Financial problems, family problems, drinking problems, drug problems," Panetta said. "All of that contributes to the growing rate of suicide."

The secretary noted that he was raised to see suicide as something "you just don't do."

"You have to confront ... the challenges you have to confront, but today there seems to be an attitude that ... suicides are a way out," he said. "And they aren't -- they aren't."

What DOD can do and is doing is "operate on every front" against suicide, Panetta said. The department, he said, , is managing deployment rotations on a "rational basis," hiring more health care professionals, educating service members to watch for and respond to signs of suicidal ideas in their fellow troops, and ensuring help is accessible when it's needed.

"All of us need to be part of the answer to ... make sure that this does not happen," Panetta said. "There's no 'silver bullet' here. I wish there was."

It's very important, the secretary said, to "convey a message to those men and women in uniform that we treasure -- we treasure -- those who are willing to put their lives on the line. We are not going to take them for granted."

Team Buckley's own battle in the cage

by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau
460th Space Wing Public Affairs


2/8/2013 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Two Airmen are about to break Article 114, Dueling, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but neither of them are going to lose a stripe.

Jason Thompson and Rick "The Reach" Van Seters are scheduled to fight in separate events Feb. 9 during Buckley's Mixed Martial Arts Fight Night at the base fitness center.

Airman 1st Class Thompson is with the 2nd Space Warning Squadron, while Airman Van Seters is with the 460th Space Communications Squadron.

Both of these fighters share the same basic reason for starting in mixed martial arts -- the challenge.

"It has to be the challenge," recalled Thompson on why he got started in MMA. "It is the ultimate test of self -- the ultimate competition between you and another person."

Van Seters also developed into an MMA fighter when he needed something more intense in his life, he said. He had been kickboxing for seven years, but stepped it up to Mauy Thai last year.

Regardless of why they started, both Airmen train rigorously every day as part of their fighter lifestyle.

"I do a lot of training," said Thompson, "but my primary focus right now is on grappling. I do CrossFit exercises, swimming, running, isometrics -- anything to shock my body into a good as shape as I can."

All of this physical training isn't enough for Thompson; he believes that taking care of his body is just as important, he said.

"It's a daily regimen. I wake up, eat my oatmeal, my eggs whites, my grapefruit, and take my vitamins," he said. "For me, nutrition is huge. I take it more seriously than other people I met because I need that edge. I don't have the genetics that a lot of these other people do, so I have to be very careful and conscious of what I consume."

For the 6-foot-4-inch tall Van Seters, cardiovascular training plays a core role in his fight preparation.

"I do a lot of running and biking. In a usual workout, I will do a three-mile run and about a 10-mile bike ride," Van Seters stated. "Most fights end up with one guy getting tired, his arms drop, and he gets knocked out. Somebody might have better technique than me, but if I can outlast them and throw more stuff, they are going to get winded and fall."

While MMA does include blood and knockouts, it also teaches core values to those willing to learn, according to both fighters.

"It has made me more disciplined and a good worker," Thompson said. "I pride myself on my work ethic and being the best in all areas of my life, and I think MMA has made this a habit in my life."

"The Reach" echoed this sentiment about how MMA has improved his performance as an Airman.

"It drives you to do your job better," said Van Seters, "because you kind of have to win at everything you do. You start winning in fights, and you kind of have to win as an Airman, too."
MMA doesn't just teach you how to fight, it also instills work ethic and humility, Thompson said. Not only that, but its values transfer well into the ever-changing environment that is military service.

"You learn to embrace challenges and get comfortable with being uncomfortable," Thompson explained. "You put yourself in situations where you are forced to overcome fear."

Van Seters also believes MMA teaches the most basic lesson in the cage that every Airmen serving lives every day, he added. "Failure is just not an option out there."

EMS wins AF-level award

by Staff Sgt. C.J. Hatch
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


2/8/2013 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- There are many levels of recognition for Airmen from unit level awards all the way up to Air Force level, and nothing is better than knowing your unit is at the top of the heap.

That is how the 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron felt Jan. 25 when it was announced they had won the Air Force Maintenance Effectiveness Award for 2012. It is presented to the maintenance unit that has best met the objectives of providing safe, serviceable and available equipment for sustained use in peacetime and wartime.

"After winning at the group level, we submitted our package and won among the eight or nine Air Education and Training Command bases that qualify to vie for the award," said Chief Master Sgt. Francisco Johnstone, 56th EMS Maintenance superintendant. "Then it was sent to compete against all the major commands."

The EMS package covered each of the five flights within the squadron -- aerospace ground equipment, munitions, armament, fabrication and maintenance. Each section was graded on four things -- mission accomplishments, effective use of maintenance resources, innovative management accomplishments and personnel quality-of-life programs.

"We have more than 470 people in our five squadrons, and they all do amazing work," Johnstone said. "It's the day-in day-out work they do that helped us win. We submitted a large package for this award with four pages of bullets."

Some of the mission accomplishments performed in 2012 by the 56th EMS included maintaining 138 of the Air Force's oldest F-16s while overcoming a 30 percent reduction in manning. The ammo flight prepared more than 570,000 20mm rounds, 28 percent of the Air Force total. That's more ammo fired than the Pacific Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Europe combined. They maintained the largest munitions area in AETC and had a 99.9 percent inventory accuracy rate.

"The quality of our technicians is amazing," he said. "There are a lot of opportunities to make mistakes, and they just don't do it. If there is a process in place they are always looking for a way to do it just a little bit better. All the stuff they do every day goes like clockwork so nobody sees it; the work just gets done. It's our Airmen's and civilians' hard work and dedication that won the award; they each bring a wealth of knowledge to the squadron.

Western region recruiter excels in accessions

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


2/7/2013 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Just as a track star battles exhaustion to be the first to the finish line, a 446th Airlift Wing recruiter strived to conquer all obstacles she faced in her career last year. By going above and beyond expectations, she earned one of the top awards in recruiting for Fiscal Year 2012.

Master Sgt. Yvette Larson, officer accessions recruiter of the Western Recruiting Squadron, was awarded the Top Health Professions/Officer Accessions for exceeding her goal. She recruited 30 officers; 429 percent more than the seven she was assigned.

"I put in a lot of effort so it was really amazing for me to be recognized and receive this award," she said.

Larson has been a recruiter since she switched to the career field in 2006, but the McChord assignment was the first time she tackled officer recruiting.

"I came from Kadena Air Base, Japan where I was the in-service recruiter," she said. "I assigned active-duty Airmen to positions throughout the U.S. and abroad. That position set me up to understand what was necessary for the officer recruiting."

In-service recruiting deals with both officers and enlisted service members coming off active duty, she said. She learned what being an officer recruiter meant because she often had to search the Reserve for officer positions.

As she learned the new type of recruiting, she discovered new difficulties.

"One new challenge was figuring out who I could assist and who I needed to politely dismiss," she said. "We do not have a lot of positions to fill in this area."

Although most of the people who call her are non-prior service, officer positions usually need to be filled by prior service Air Force officers, she said. Civilians don't always meet qualifications so she rarely has positions she can place them in.

Facing problems like that taught her a lot, but another challenge stood in her way. The area she was assigned to hadn't had an officer recruiter in seven years.

Along with McChord, she recruits for the 304th Rescue Squadron at Portland Air National Guard Base, Ore., and for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. All of these places offer limited job openings for officers, adding another challenge to reaching her goal.

Still, she managed to understand and overcome all the hurdles of her new job, allowing her to finish with the highest turnaround of the season.

Locklear Calls for Indo-Asia-Pacific Cooperation

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2013 – Cooperation across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region is vital to dealing not only with the security challenges associated with global warming and natural disasters, but also to better address transnational threats and resolve differences that cause destabilizing friction, the top U.S. commander in the region said today.

“The future of our regional institutions -- and whether international relations in the region will be characterized more by conflict, competition, a balance of power or collective security -- is unclear,” Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the U.S. Indonesia Society in Jakarta.

“But we must work together to create a security environment that is resilient and can withstand the inevitable shocks and aftershocks of our complex security environment,” he said.

Locklear addressed the group during a visit that included meetings with Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and senior leaders from the Indonesian armed forces, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretary General H.E. Le Luong Minh and ASEAN member nation representatives, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Dan Marciel.

Calling Indonesia an increasingly important contributor to regional security, Locklear acknowledged its prominent role “in pulling together neighboring countries to address security concerns and common interests.”

He recognized the comprehensive partnership between the United States and Indonesia that’s been on a continued upward trajectory since 2008. Its emphasis on maritime security, counterterrorism and disaster risk reduction serve as an example as the United States forges closer relationships across the region in its “rebalance” of focus to the Asia-Pacific, he said.

Locklear dismissed criticism that the rebalance is a strategy to contain China.

“This is a strategy of collaboration and cooperation -- including with China,” he said. “There is an opportunity here … to help China enter into the security environment as a productive member.
“The U.S. rebalance is an intentional effort to reinforce to the people of the Indo-Asia-Pacific that the United States is a Pacific nation … committed to peace and prosperity for all -- peace and prosperity that must be underpinned by a resilient security environment,” he said.

That resilience, the admiral said, extends beyond merely recovering from crises to helping to prevent them.

Cooperation enhances countries’ ability deal to with the security consequences of natural disasters and the severe weather patterns and rising sea levels associated with climate change, he said.

“Both our nations have a significant interest in improving our ability to quickly respond and mitigate the ongoing risk these threats bring,” the admiral told the Indonesian forum.

But disaster response alone isn’t the answer, Locklear said, adding that the challenge demands working together at the community, national and regional levels to mitigate the risks and plan for a coordinated response. It also highlights the need to forge relationships and develop protocols to provide regional responses when they’re required, he said.

Locklear said he recognizes some of the obstacles to regional cooperation. “It can be a tough neighborhood with nationalistic tendencies that can split and divide us and lead to a weak system of security environments,” he said.

But he closed by emphasizing that the United States is a Pacific nation with a commitment to supporting the effort.

“The U.S. rebalance is all about learning from the challenges of the past and adapting for a prosperous future,” he said. “We desire to achieve a balance in our engagements and relationships by focusing on how we can positively impact and reinforce a more secure and prosperous Indo-Asia-Pacific.”