Military News

Monday, February 11, 2013

Army exploring 'human dimension'

by David Vergun
Army News Service


2/11/2013 - WASHINGTON -- The Army realized in the early years of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that in addition to conventional warfare, Soldiers were being asked to perform a lot of nontraditional functions, some of which they were often ill-equipped to do.

These included negotiating with tribal leaders and helping develop infrastructure and services for local populations, tasks they were never trained to perform, said Col. Thomas Meyer, chief of the Human Dimension Task Force at U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC.

In 2006, Gen. William S. Wallace, who was the commander of TRADOC, realized that since more was being asked of Soldiers, they would need to improve their performance, Meyer said.

Wallace concluded that "tanks, trucks and guns were not the primary reason for battlefield success. Rather, it was the Soldiers on the ground," Meyer added.

TRADOC responded by adding the "Human Dimension" to its six other dimensions of study, Mission Command, Movement and Maneuver, Protection, Fires, Intelligence, and Sustainment.

Since then, human performance has moved toward the forefront of Army research .

The goals of Human Dimension research are to create a more resilient, knowledgeable and adaptive force through improved selection, talent management and training, Meyer said.

Because those goals are so broad, TRADOC enlisted the assistance of business and industry, academia and science, since each of these sectors had already been doing a lot of human performance studies. Army research labs, G-1 personnel and Army medicine were also consulted and information was shared across the services.

Researchers used cognitive, performance and psychological studies and surveys to better place Soldiers in military occupational specialties where they'd have a better chance of succeeding.

Placement is critically important, Meyer said, not just to make a happier and more productive Soldier, but from a cost perspective as well. A Soldier who doesn't have the aptitude for a particular specialty, for example, might not make it through training, he said. And training can be very expensive, especially in these times of fiscal austerity. Also, that Soldier might not be as successful later on the battlefield.

Meyer provided an example of a 68W, or combat medic, whose training is extensive, 13 months. To succeed, that person should have the right mix of knowledge and skills.

Also, the chemistry of the brain and personality factors could determine who succeeds and who doesn't.

The ultimate test, Meyer said, might be when they experience their first casualty on the battlefield. There are some individuals who can't function or cope in that traumatic environment, he said.

"Through research into how the mind and body works, we are learning more about those individual characteristics that will enable us to better place that person," he said, resulting in lower rates of attrition during training or after and the high cost associated with that.

In addition to better placement, Human Dimension is looking at ways to deliver improved training methods that are also more cost effective.

Some individuals respond better to different learning methods and the pace of learning is not the same for all Soldiers, he said. So the Army is adding virtual training, online courses and simulations, where Soldiers can learn at their own pace and get immediate feedback.

A traditional method of training involves creating a mockup of a village in a particular country, hiring actors to play the parts of locals, and then sending Soldiers on orders to remote training centers. All of this costs time and money, he said.

Now, a lot of this type of training can be run through simulations, he said, adding that a visit to a training center might still take place but by the time the Soldier arrives, he or she would have already become familiar with the training through virtual means and would likely be better prepared.

Human Dimension also is working with researchers on ways to optimize Soldiers' physical and cognitive abilities, as well as to increase their resilience to hardships. TRADOC is including Soldiers' families and Army civilians in its scope of study.

TRADOC's studies, while important and relevant for the Army today, are focused on looking ahead to 2020 and even 2030 and beyond.

People are an important investment for the Army, said Meyer, noting that more than 40 percent of the Army's budget is dedicated to manpower. And, he added, that manpower pool is dwindling, making that investment all the more critical.

"Now 75 percent of those 17-to-24-year-olds are not eligible for service either because they don't have the educational background, have physical limitations or they're overweight," he said. "Also, our population is aging and we're behind other countries as there are fewer young people with backgrounds in science, engineering and math."

That makes selection, training and adaptive strategies all the more important, Meyer said.

As America and its Army face an uncertain fiscal future, the nation continues to expect to have the same level of security in the future that it has currently, he concluded. To succeed in the Army's mission, therefore, investing in the Soldier is paramount.

450-miles of remembrance

by Staff Sgt. Brandon Shapiro
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


2/11/2013 -  MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- Sixteen Airmen from Hurlburt Field, Fla., took part in a 450-mile, six day ruck-march, in honor of five fallen Air Commandos.

Of the sixteen, were four teams which included members from the 319th Special Operations Squadron, the 34th SOS, the 18th Flight Test Squadron and the 25th Intelligence Squadron.

The Commandos' six-day journey began on the Emerald Gulf Coast and concluded at MacDill Air Force Base's U.S. Special Operations Command fallen hero memorial, where stories were told, tears were shed and fallen comrades were remembered.

As the Commandos neared MacDill, a motorcade of Patriot Guard Riders and more than 60 community members lined up to pay respect and thank the group for their sacrifices.

The march was a special event, "very moving, very emotional," commented ruck marcher Master Sgt. John Hickman, 18th FTS first sergeant. "It's not about us [the Air Commando marchers]; it's about those that made the ultimate sacrifice."

Upon their arrival at the memorial, the commandos were greeted by Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Trask, U.S. Special Operations Command director of force structure, requirements, resources and strategic assessments, who remarked on their noble efforts and selfless actions.

After comments were made, the Air Commandos gathered together, walked over to the wall of fallen heroes, knelt down, placed a rose and spoke to their fallen brothers and sisters.

Amongst the Commandos paying tribute was Hickman, who slowly walked the memorial's semicircle.

"I've seen seven names so far that I've known," he commented, showing the grim reality of combat and how much the march really meant.

This year's march was in memory of the five Air Force Commandos who died last year --Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, 866th Air Expeditionary Squadron; Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 319th SOS; Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 34th SOS; 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 34th SOS; and Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 25th IS

As the Commandos paid tribute at the memorial's wall of heroes, onlookers silently held each other, drawn in by the emotional event.

The Hulbert Field remembrance marchers left behind a unique ambiance, one that exemplified the Special Operation memorial creed:

To honor the selfless service and sacrifice of the men and women of the U.S. Special Operations Command and its assigned forces; to honor, promote, and preserve our nation's illustrious special operations heritage by recognizing the achievements, service, and sacrifice of the individuals, units, and other special operations organizations that contributed to our legacy; and, to recognize patriotic citizens who form our auxiliary.

Expeditionary Center commander visits 43 AG

by Marvin Krause
43rd Airlift Group Public Affairs


2/11/2013 - POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, FORT BRAGG, N.C.  -- The commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, Maj. Gen. Bill Bender, and his command chief, Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Cui, visited the 43rd Airlift Group here, Feb. 8, during a six-day tour of Air Mobility Command bases under his administrative command.

While at Pope Army Airfield, the General received a Global Response Force mission briefing from Col. Daniel Tulley, commander of the 43rd AG; attended a meeting with Maj. Gen. John Nicholson Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, U.S. Army; held an "All Call" with the group's Airmen and was the guest speaker for the group's Annual Awards Banquet.

During the "All Call", the General thanked the group's Airmen for their impressive service, discussed his priorities and surveyed Airmen's real-time responses to questions using cell phone text polling software.

"Thank you for the work that you're doing to support Air Mobility Command, and in many ways, to support Air Mobility Command's most important mission, which is the Global Response Force mission," said Bender. "We fail as a nation if we fail in that mission, so you're on point for some very serious mission responsibilities and you are doing a fantastic job with it."

"I just met with the 82nd Airborne Division and had a discussion with Maj. Gen. Nicholson and he was very complimentary in the support that we get from the 43d Airlift Group."

Bender went on to say that there is a lot of work going forward that needs to be done with our Army mission partners to get the Global Response Force back to where it needs to be.

"I just met with the 82nd Airborne Division and had a discussion with Maj. Gen. Nicholson and he was very complimentary in the support that they get from the 43d Airlift Group. There's a clear recognition on the part of the U.S. Army, the 82nd Airborne Division, Air Mobility Command, and the U.S. Air Force at every level, that having gone off to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last 11-12 years, that a lot of that mission capability that we used to practice and had a very high state of alert, has overtime atrophy," said Bender. "It's nobody's fault, we were doing what the nation was asking of us, but now there's a recognition as we come home with an environment that very likely will increase the likelihood of the use of the Global Response Force going forward in many different ways that we're going to be a part of that. I will submit to you today, going forward in our future, it is very likely that there will be increased emphasis on that relationship and that important mission."

The General also reinforced the priorities of Gen. Selva, the commander of Air Mobility Command, of mission, training, and caring and respect for each other to the group's Airmen.

"Gen. Selva places a huge emphasis on a couple of things. First is mission, and as I said, the Global Response Force is an important mission for us arguably in that small number of number one missions that we have," said Bender. "Secondly, is training and he has stated over and over again to his leaders, Gen. McDew at 18th Air Force and myself, that we have lots of work to do on the training side, not so much in your specialties, certainly a lot in certain key areas of our Air Force that we've allowed to atrophy over time as we transform our service to an expeditionary service. Where the Global Response Force is concerned, we've got to get back together with the Army and train through exercise and get ready for a critically important mission for our nation."

The general solicited real time cell phone text polling to several questions during the "All Call", providing instant feedback from the group's Airmen to the General's questions, allowing him to effectively explain current organizational challenges in the Air Force.

"From my perspective where I sit, we are very familiar with the challenges that you face here and we've been working them extremely hard, but they're hard and they're complex and in every case, every single office that we go to where they may have had more people, a better resource, and a better ability to handle whatever the problem is to address it, they also have the same challenges. They're now part of a smaller organization that has over many years now given up some of their resources," said Bender. "The challenge for all of us is to push as much as we can down to the very lowest part of the organization where the work gets done, to get you as the experts to address the problems."

He provided examples of Airmen creatively tackling problems normally accomplished at higher levels in the organization, using innovation, collaboration and teamwork to solve problems at the lowest level where the work is accomplished by the experts.

"You cannot, in today's environment, expect that an easy way that you're going to get resolution to difficult problems in a timely fashion is through a hierarchical approach," said Bender. "We need to take on a spirit of volunteerism and identify problems we need to fix in creative ways, working together to fix them."

The General culminated his visit by attending and speaking at the group's annual awards banquet, honoring the group's best of the best performers for 2012.

353 SOMXS wire analysis shop helps fellow maintainers

by Tech. Sgt. Kristine Dreyer
353rd Special Operations Group Public Affairs


2/10/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Maintainers across the Air Force spend countless hours on the flight line in extreme temperatures ensuring that our aircraft are mission ready. While Air Force maintainers understand and accept these work conditions that come with the territory, one 353rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron flight, helps to save its fellow maintainers time and frustration.

The 353rd Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, wire analysis shop, is AFSOC's test bed for automatic wire test sets, used to help identify maintenance issues faster in the MC-130 aircraft.

The AWTS program was initiated about four years ago by Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command, in order to provide special operation maintainers a program to help pinpoint maintenance issues with MC-130s in significantly less time. Each test program set is built to specifically identify wire malfunctions on the aircraft.

"Typically, it can take a maintainer about one minute to test two or three wires by hand with a multimeter," said Tech. Sgt. Don McKenzie. "This system can test more than 3,000 wires in just one minute. This means what may take one maintainer days to identify, this system can catch something in less than a ten minute period."

Each program is written locally to identify specific maintenance issues. McKenzie along with Staff Sgt. Robert Walker is the second generation of Airmen assigned to the wire analysis shop. Between them and the three NCOs before them, they have written five difference test program sets used to help maintainers identify issues with the engine, antiskid systems, radar systems, missile warning systems and fuel quantity systems.

"AFSOC decides which program we need to build based on the number of maintenance issues we may have with a system AFSOC wide," said McKenzie. "We write the program here and get it approved for local use before sending it on to the Depot in Warner Robins who helps distribute the program DoD wide."

Last summer, McKenzie was able to witness first hand as an expediter during the Foal Eagle exercise in Korea how valuable the AWTS is.

"We had an MC-130 down for radar issues," said McKenzie. "We were working 12 hour shifts, 24/7, and still couldn't fix the issue. Finally we called the wire analysis team out and within one hour they told us that there was a broken ground wire. Once the issue was identified the hard part was over for us."

One of the goals of the wire analysis shop is to train their fellow 353rd SOMXS maintainers in the next few years to use the AWTS system so they will be able to simply check out the AWTS from the tool room as need.

By increasing the use of AWTS, the wire analysis shops expects to decrease the amount of aircraft down time by not only shortening the time it takes to trouble shoot hundreds of wires found on an aircraft, but also help their fellow maintainers proactively identify out of tolerance wiring even if the aircraft system still works.

"I think it is amazing," said Walker. "We create something out of nothing and then we get to see how it can help not only locally, but the entire military if they chose to use it."

27 SOMXG wins Clements McMullen Memorial Daedalian Trophy

27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

2/11/2013 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The hard working men and women of the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group earned top honors as they were chosen the recipients for the Air Force's 2012 Clements McMullen Memorial Daedalian Weapon System Maintenance Trophy.

Awarded annually, this trophy is given to the Air Force unit with the greatest weapon system maintenance record over the past year.

"Our people superbly support an impressive array of special-function aircraft types," said Col. David Wiesner, 27 SOMXG commander. "Despite having aircraft constantly involved in cutting-edge testing and upgrades, we continue to flawlessly meet aircrew training requirements and real world taskings with reliable and mission-ready aircraft. Nobody does it better."

The trophy will be officially presented to the 27 SOMXG during a ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Times and dates are currently being coordinated. Updates will be made available on the 27th Special Operations Wing Facebook page.

"It's awesome for our maintainers to get recognition from people outside of the Cannon family," said Wiesner. "We have always known what a great job our maintainers do each and every day, and how hard they work. Now people at other locations and levels can see the evidence of their continuous exceptional effort."

Cope North continues to take to the skies

by Master Sgt. Joshua Gray
Cope North 13 Public Affairs


2/10/2013 - Cope North 2013 Public Affairs, Andersen AFB -- Exercise Cope North 13 moves into its second week here, with the focus on molding the air forces of three nations into a cohesive fighting force.

Participants from the Unites States, Japan and Australia will focus on Large Force Employment scenarios, which enhance the interoperability of 15 different airframes.

"From an interoperability standpoint, I think there are multiple facets to think about," said Col. Peter Milohnic, the U.S. Air Force Exercise Director for Cope North 13 and Commander of the 18th Operations Group at Kadena Air Base, Japan. "At the lowest level of interoperability, we've got de-confliction, and I'm primarily talking about the flying aspect. As you move up the ladder of interoperability, you go from de-confliction, to coordination, to integration, and ultimately at the top of the hierarchy, you've got interdependence."

According to Milohnic, the combined nations at Cope North are at the coordination stage, heading to the integration stage. Integration is a vital step because it is the step where they make sure everyone's equipment can work with each other.

An example of this is the F-15, which has two squadrons participating at Cope North. One of which is the U.S. Air Force unit flying C-models, while their Japan Air-Self Defense Force counterpart is flying J-models. While the basic airplane is the same, each aircraft has different internal systems specific to each nation. Each nation tries to make those systems work with each other as closely as possible, but sometimes there are kinks to work out.

Royal Australian Air Force Exercise Director Group Captain Robert Chipman said exercises like Cope North are important to make sure that not only can those F-15s work together when the time comes, but that they'll also work with the other fighter and support aircraft of partner nations, such as the newly-operational RAAF E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning aircraft.

"I think it is very good that we get to incorporate air combat training, particularly where we have all three forces, with the surveillance and refueling assets as well, because it is extremely complex to bring those together," Group Captain Chipman said. "And the time you need to learn those lessons needs to be in training, and not in combat."

Look at the flightline at Cope North, and you'll find a lot of units that are home based with, or near, units of the other partner nations. The JASDF's F-2 fighters and E-2C radar surveillance aircraft here for Cope North share a runway at Misawa with two squadrons of F-16s from the USAF's 35th Fighter Wing, and the F-15Cs of the USAF's 44th Fighter Squadron and the F-15J's of the JASDF's 204 Squadron are both based on the island of Okinawa.

However, each air force has their own training objectives and restrictions, so despite having squadrons so close to each other, the nations don't get to fly together as often as they might like.
Colonel Niida Yoshiyuki, the JASDF's Exercise Director, states one of the key advantage to Cope North is being able to free themselves from home station obligations and focus solely on integration.

"There are fewer limitations for training, so we are able to do all kinds of training," Colonel Niida said. "That's the main difference between training at Misawa and training here. At Misawa, we only train with the U.S. Air Force, but here we can train with the RAAF, and it is very useful for improving our tactical ability."

While there may only be a few days left of flying for this year's Cope North, Colonel Milohnic believes there is still plenty of time to solidify the lessons learned about each air force's different tactics and procedures, ultimately making them a more formidable force.

"From an integration standpoint, as long as we see a learning curve that's on the positive slope, going up rungs of the ladder instead of back down, then I think we'll be pretty happy."

Community organizations send their thanks!

by Maj. Katherine Cherolis
Public Affairs


2/8/2013 - Swanton, Ohio -- Part of the 180th Fighter Wing mission is to be good stewards in our communities. The 180th continues to show how committed they are to their communities, with contributions to the Seagate Food Bank and a partnership with the American in Red Cross.

In 2012, 180th members donated 4,917 pounds of food, as well as, $6,909.50, to the Seagate Food Bank of Northwest Ohio. The money was used to purchase fresh
veggies, meats and dairy at discount prices. All the food collected and purchased was distributed through their partner network at no cost. It is the biggest collection year on record.

In a thank you letter from Seagate, Deborah A. Vas, Executive Director of the Seagate Food Bank of NW Ohio, said, Seagate can't change the world, but I am proud to say we make a small difference in our community. That "difference" would not be attainable without the generosity and compassion of the 180th Fighter Wing.

"Toledo Seagate Food Bank appreciates and commends the 180th Fighter Wing on keeping our Country safe and also their care and compassion for our local community,"
said Vas.

Master Sgt. Dave Harrison, a member of the Communications Flight, who helps collected money and food donations at the gate, is completely astonished at the generosity of the 180th members. "Being a part of this collection and being able to see how much we truly contribute back to the community and how giving the 180th folks are makes me even more proud to say I am a member."

Members not only donated food and money but also their blood. The 180th host three blood drives each year on base. Since 2009, 310 members have contributed 1,149 units of blood to the American Red Cross.

"The partnership between the Red Cross and the 180th is one that has become very solid over the years. When the 180th commits to doing a blood drive, we know that
drive will do well and we can be sure those units will be there for hospital patients the next day," said Kerri Rochelle, American Red Cross Senior Donor Recruitment Representative.

Each year 180th members continue to set the bar higher with their commitment to the surrounding communities. Members show that their core values of integrity in all we do, service before self and excellence in all we, not only applies to the ANG, but to those outside of the Guard.

TV series offers gritty inside look at AF rescue missions

by Senior Airman Jarrod Grammel
23d Wing Public Affairs


2/8/2013 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- During an episode of "Inside Combat Rescue" that premiered at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Feb. 7, viewers saw the chilling sight of pararescuemen loading an amputee into a helicopter.

"Inside Combat Rescue" is a National Geographic series that shows a realistic and gritty look at what goes on during a deployment for Air Force rescue units. The series is scheduled to air on TV for the first time Feb. 18 and continue Mondays at 10 p.m.

"Our biggest goal was to make something that they could look back on and be proud of," said Jared McGilliard, "Inside Combat Rescue" series producer. "I hope it creates conversations about this war. The series shows the consequences and humanities of this war."

One of the Airmen featured in the series was U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Trevor Clark, 38th Rescue Squadron pararescueman. He said that the series looks really good and is happy with how everything is being portrayed.

"It's an honor to be a part of this," he said. "It feels good to know this is going to do good things for our unit, this base and the Air Force as a whole. It's something that's never really been done before."

While capturing the lives of the pararescuemen and their teams, one of the film crew's biggest goals was to stay out of the rescue team's way. McGilliard said the film crew began to integrate with the unit, so there was an expectation of where to be and when.

"It was important to stay out of their way," said McGilliard. "We had to ensure we would never be a detriment to the mission."

The main way the film crew accomplished this was with the use of mounted cameras. With limited space on the helicopters, there was little if any room for a cameraman. The film crew stayed on the main base, filming every moment up to take off and immediately after the helicopter landed.

To ensure they captured everything, even when they couldn't be onboard, the film crew used more than 50 mounted cameras for every mission. They mounted cameras on everything from the outside of the helicopters to the helmets of the pararescuemen, aerial gunners and pilots.

"The mounted cameras made it accessible like never before," said McGilliard. "It's about the guys, as seen through their perspective. It's authentic and hard to watch. If the audience isn't uncomfortable watching it, then it wouldn't be authentic.

"It's character driven," he added. "It's about these guys and their war."

Clark agreed with McGilliard on the use of these mounted cameras. He said the film crews were never in their way, and the mounted cameras give a unique perspective.

"I think the way they set up the cameras in the helicopters and having our helmet cams being able to really show the audience what goes on, hasn't really been done before," said Clark. "It's a really cool perspective, and I think people are going to see stuff they would never get to see otherwise."

This was McGilliards goal, and he said the footage came out even better than expected. He said it was an honor to work on the project and that it was humbling to work with the rescue teams.

"They are an elite unit, and I don't think there is anyone more deserving of being a role model than these guys."

McGilliard and Clark both agreed that the mission and the series were a team effort. Although the focus of the series is on the pararescuemen, Clark said they couldn't do their job without the maintainers, pilots, flight engineers and many other units and people.

As far as the series goes, McGilliard said that it wasn't just National Geographic and the pararescuemen working on it. He said there are a lot of people who should be proud of the series.

I will revolutionize the way people look at Chaplains"

by Master Sgt. Todd Moomaw, Tech. Sgt. Sara Robinson
132nd Fighter Wing, Iowa Air National Guard


2/10/2013 - DES MOINES, Iowa -- As Airmen, we all raised our right hand and swore to 'support and defend The Constitution of the United States'. This is no exception for members of the Air Force Chaplain Corps. As a matter of fact, they focus on one very important part of the Constitution, our First Amendment Right to 'Free Exercise of Religion'.

Chaplain (1st Lt.) Tony Davy is the newest member of the Iowa Air National Guard 132nd Fighter Wing's Chaplain Team. As a young man growing up in Independence, Iowa, he felt the call to ministry at the young age of 11. This started him on a spiritual journey that has led him to a better understanding of the power of spirituality and diversity in religion.

After high school he worked as a counselor at a boarding school and looked for opportunities that he thought would help people. He then decided that the military would be a good place to gain insight in the world and maybe help him grow as a person.  "I'll join the guard for a couple years and see," he said in May of 2003. Davy first served as a traditional enlisted member in the Logistics Readiness Squadron for 9 years. He was selected in 2008 as the 132nd Fighter Wing Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. After finishing his Bachelor's Degree in Business from Upper Iowa University, he earned a Seminary degree from Liberty University.

It was now time for Davy to decide what direction he wanted his military career to go. Davy's motivation to become a Chaplain came from interacting with his peers on drill weekends and several overseas deployments. "People in uniform come into contact with more reasons to look to the divine," he says.  In Davy's 20 years working in ministry he learned that spirituality can be the key to a better society as a whole.

"We can make the world a better place, one person at a time. We have the ability to help others, but often we choose not to. Don't be concerned about, 'what's in it for me', says Davy. Being a good person is not specific to any religious affiliation. Chaplains serving in the United States military need to be prepared to offer spiritual guidance regardless of someone's religious or spiritual beliefs.

"We [Chaplains] give everyone access or the right to worship as they choose or the right not to do anything. We treat the people around us appropriately, regardless of religion. If you get strength from a religion we want you to practice that regardless of the religion. Spirituality supplements our relationships with everyone," explains Davy.

The US military is a culturally rich, interfaith environment as is the Chaplain Corps. Chaplains can specialize in Muslim, Protestant, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu or Sikh beliefs. They are not however limited to just those areas. All Chaplains should be able to council, support and advise any other area.

Davy has 2 objectives to reach his goals as a chaplain. First, make himself available to anyone who wants to speak of a spiritual nature. "We don't always see that we are spiritual, but crisis in our lives can make us come to grips with our spirituality," he says. The second goal is to increase participation in base worship services. Davy understands the challenges of people making themselves available on busy drill weekends, but wants to create an excitement or buzz around worship. "There is strength in numbers, we can create synergy with more people, and on an individual basis it boils down to connecting with the person next to you."

Lt. Davy says, "I will revolutionize the way people look at Chaplains." All of us should be in the ministry, all the time. Chaplains are stewards of community and citizenship. Community is common and unity combined. Too often, we just want to be us, but we have to help each other. Being a good wingman does not stop at the end of drill weekend. We need to be wingmen for other citizens to help the world be a better place.

"Assisting other people will give us more fulfillment in our own lives. We should be reaching out every day to minister hope and address needs with people we come in contact with every day," he says.

Exercise Cobra Gold 2013 Kicks Off in Thailand

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 – The commander of U.S. Pacific Command kicked off the longest-running U.S. military exercise in the Pacific in Thailand today, calling the 13,000 multinational participants guardians of future peace and prosperity.

Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III marked the opening of the 32st iteration of Cobra Gold hosted by Thailand and the United States since 1980.

Cobra Gold began as a bilateral U.S.-Thai exercise, but expanded more than a decade ago to include other regional partners to advance their common goals and security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region, officials said.

Cobra Gold 2013, which runs through Feb. 21, brings together the militaries of United States, Thailand and five other Asian countries: Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Twenty additional nations have sent observers, including, for the first time, Burma.

“Whether you are a participant or an observer, or whether you have been here for 32 years or this is your first year, your being here demonstrates your country’s resolve to peace and stability in this region and in the world,” Locklear said at the opening ceremonies. “It is critical to building our multinational coordination, our interoperability with all of our partners in the region and to allow us to collectively respond to crises and protect the peace and prosperity of all our people.”

This year’s exercise will be demanding, as it prepares participants “for a broad spectrum of challenges we are going to face together,” the admiral said. The ambitious training schedule includes a staff exercise, senior leader engagements and “humanitarian and civic projects we will do together, field training we will do together, [and] live-fire events we will do together,” he said.

Highlights will include an amphibious assault demonstration that includes attack jets, helicopters, landing craft and small boats; small-boat and helicopter raids; a multilateral noncombatant evacuation operation; a combined arms live-fire exercise; and jungle warfare and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training.

All are designed, Locklear said, to “replicate the dynamic environment we find ourselves in today and [expect] in the future.” He challenged the participants to take advantage of the training opportunities at Cobra Gold to build the bonds and capabilities that ensure they will be prepared.

“Working together, we will meet the challenges and forge a brighter future for the region and the world,” he said.

Marines with 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force’s Marine Wing Support Squadron 172, Marine Aircraft Group 36, arrived in Thailand last week to partner with Royal Thai Marines to build a schoolhouse at Ban Nam Chiao Elementary School in Lam Ngob district. Another civic project planned during the exercise is construction of a one-story multipurpose building for the Baan Hua Wang Krang School in Thailand’s Muang district.

KARL members soar with McConnell

by Staff Sgt. Abigail Klein
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


2/11/2013 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- More than thirty members of the Kansas Agricultural and Rural Leadership group took to the skies to witness McConnell's main mission firsthand Feb. 7, 2013.

A staple of the Kansas community, KARL is a two-year program that provides study, training and worldwide travel opportunities for emerging leaders in the states agriculture and rural communities since its founding in 1990, said Jack Lindquist, KARL president.

The flight also gave KARL members a chance to learn about the importance of air refueling, detailed during a unit mission brief conducted by Col. Kyle Kremer, 22nd Air Refueling Wing vice commander. The pre-flight briefing detailed McConnell's history and the importance of the Air Force's role in combat.

The brief also provided Kremer a chance to thank KARL members for their dedicated support to McConnell as leaders and members of the Kansas community.

"You guys are really what makes this community great and we can't thank you enough for coming out here today," he said.

The flight lasted approximately three hours, and was a once-in-lifetime event for the members, most who have little or no military background.

"It is important for the KARL class to participate in McConnell tours because the military helps to keep the [agricultural] trade routes open," said Luke Thornton, KARL member. "Since we are heavily involved in production agriculture, this is a very important function considering the purpose of our class is to understand as many aspects of our Kansas economy as possible."

KARL has toured McConnell every two years since 1993. The importance of maintaining this link was re-emphasized by Thornton.

"We are very supportive and thankful of everything the U.S. military does to ensure our safety and we are fortunate to have such a long-standing relationship with McConnell as part of our program," he said.