Military News

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Face of Defense: Airman Leads Multinational Hockey League


By Air Force Senior Master Sgt. George Thompson
386th Air Expeditionary Wing

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Feb. 19, 2013 – A force protection airman with the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron serves as a player, referee and commissioner of a multinational floor hockey league to keep his favorite sport up and running at his deployed location.

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Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Nester takes a break during a floor hockey match-up between the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing’s U.S. team and Team Canada at a deployed base in Southwest Asia, Feb. 15, 2013. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Staff Sgt. George Thompson
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"I started playing hockey in my neighbor's driveway when I was 5, and I played ice hockey in junior high school," Air Force Senior Airman Daniel Nester said. "My cousin took me to my first St. Louis Blues game, and I've been a hockey and Blues fan ever since."

An evening physical training session reunited Nester with his favorite sport in the most unlikely of places -- Southwest Asia.

"I found out about the league in early December 2012 when I just happen to be in the gym on a Friday night and they were playing hockey," he said. "I went out and played the next couple of Fridays, and I got a lot of positive compliments about my knowledge and insight for the game of hockey."

When the redeploying commissioner asked him about taking over the league, Nester jumped at the opportunity. Over the next couple of weeks, he got his feet wet with the administrative side of the game while also playing and refereeing matches.

"I had to organize the schedule, keep the statistics, set up the games, [and] organize the playoffs, the championship game and the All-Star game," he said.

While he would rather simply play the game he loves, Nester said, he knows being an active commissioner will keep the league going. "Everything reflects on the commissioner," he said. "You are responsible for keeping it at a professional level, yet making it exciting to where people want to get out there."

The seemingly endless turnover of personnel during deployments is another challenge the young commissioner soon will face.

"The hardest part, which is coming soon, is keeping people in the league despite rotations," he said. "It's hard to get the word out when you have over half of your league redeploying back to the states or to their home stations."

Fortunately for Nester, he receives a lot of support from coalition service members whose national pastime just happens to be hockey. "The Canadians are always a great help," he said. "They arrive early when they have late games, and they are always willing to come down and offer some expertise."

The league's final match of the season pitted the undefeated Canadian team against the 12 best players from the league's other four teams in an all-star type of match-up for bragging rights and the coveted hockey trophy.

"The Canadians are a very skilled hockey team, but it is possible to put a team together to beat them," Nester said.

While Nester's all-star team fell short in a 7-3 loss to the Canadian team, the camaraderie and sportsmanship contributed to Nester's determination to make the hockey league a success.

"I love the game of hockey, and if I leave the league better than I found it -- better than when it was given to me -- then I would say I was successful as commissioner," he said.

COMACC visits Team Dyess

by Capt. Trisha Guillebeau
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


2/19/2013 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Budget, Air Force culture and Comprehensive Airman Fitness were main themes during the Air Combat Command commander's first visit to Dyess AFB, where he engaged with Airmen, NCOs and officers alike Feb. 12 and 13.

The general's immersion began with breakfast, where he discussed one of his top priorities with commanders and first sergeants.

"We must continually care for our Airmen and their families," said U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of ACC. "Get to know your Airmen personally - they are the cornerstone of your organizations. As leaders, we must take time to continually develop the men and women in our Air Force so that we can continue to deliver combat airpower in support of our nation's interests."

Following breakfast and a visit to the Dyess Museum, Hostage received several briefs to include the Dyess mission brief, the B-1 Day in the Life and squadron mission briefs.

"Dyess and the B-1 community have written a very impressive chapter in Air Force history," Hostage said. "Dyess has a great reputation, and I'm very impressed with what I've seen."

Hostage entertained questions from Airmen during a luncheon following the briefs on topics ranging from education benefits to physical training to changing the culture of the Air Force.

"One of the cultures we are trying to change now is the culture of fitness," Hostage said. "What I need you to do is think in terms of fitness all the time, not just right before a PT test, because your life will be a higher quality, you'll live longer and you'll be healthier."

He also offered his opinion of Dyess.

"Dyess is a huge base with tremendous capacity, but it's underutilized. If it was my choice, I would close every third base and put all of the personnel and equipment at other bases," Hostage said.

One Airman reflected on Hostage's comments.

"Lunch with General Hostage was informative and uplifting regarding PT standards and the overall positive rating of Dyess AFB as a whole," said Airman 1st Class Tiffany Mullen, 7th Mission Support Group. "It was refreshing to hear a senior leader's candid opinion on some of the major issues that we are facing today, such as combat roles being opened to women and budget cuts."

Congratulations were in order for a few shops on base. The general stopped by to offer his compliments on the recent achievements and visit with the Airmen and civilians in those sections. The 7th Contracting Squadron won the Air Force's 2012 Small Business Achievement Award. The 7th Bomb Wing Legal Office won the 2012 Best Legal Office in ACC and the 7th Communications Squadron was awarded the Lt. Gen. Harold W. Grant Award as the Best Communications Squadron in 12th Air Force. The Child Development Center also won the ACC 2012 Child Development Program of the Year Award.

"It was an honor, and I appreciated him taking the time to recognize our accomplishments," said Senior Master Sgt. Gary Virtue, 7th CS.

Hostage took a hands-on approach when he visited the 7th Security Forces Squadron Dog Kennels and the 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Fabrication Shop, where he had the opportunity to see how the metals technology flight manufactures highly precise aircraft parts out of aluminum. After receiving an overview, the general entertained questions from Airmen regarding the recent budget issues.

"We've been operating under the continuing resolution for six months now and, at the same time, we are facing sequestration as a result of not finding money in the budget to cut," Hostage said.

Concluding his visit to the 7th Bomb Wing, Hostage thanked the men and women of Team Dyess.

"The fact that we continue to live the way we live is because one-tenth of one percent of our society is willing to fight and die for our freedom," Hostage said. "We all grew up free to make our own choices because generations ago someone put on a uniform and fought and died to protect that freedom for us. I have kids and grandchildren who will grow up with that freedom because each one of you chose to put on a uniform. It doesn't matter how long you serve, every bit of service is important because you are preserving something that really is unique in the history of humanity - freedom. Thank-you for serving. Thanks for wearing the uniform and thanks for all that you do."

Reserve Airman in training helps save infant

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


2/15/2013 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- A McChord Reservist saved his first life when a baby went into cardiac arrest at the Madigan Army Medical Center emergency room Feb. 12.

Airman 1st Class Barrett Rayan, aeromedical evacuation technician in training at the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, was near the end of his 12-hour night shift when a baby was brought in because of low oxygen levels.

"The baby was having what are called retractions, which looks like their skin is being sucked under their ribs because they are trying aggressively to breathe," Rayan said.

In the ER, a team of two resident doctors, an attending physician, three nurses and Rayan, the only medic, began pumping oxygen into the infant's lungs to try and raise his oxygen level back to normal.

Multiple efforts were made to insert tubes and create an airway for him but nothing was working. They had to insert a paralytic so that the baby's muscles would relax enough to accept the tubing. When doing so, the doctor knew the baby's oxygen level would plummet, but he was not expecting cardiac arrest.

"The baby turned blue," Rayan said. "I saw his O2 stats hit zero; zero oxygen."

It's a rare occurrence, he said. One nurse, who'd been working in the ER for five years, had never before seen a pediatric cardiac arrest.

To keep the child's heart beating, they had to perform CPR, which is different than doing CPR on an adult. They wrap their hands around the baby's body and place their thumbs on his chest.

Rayan, who has never done CPR on a live person before, took the second turn.

"They told me I was up next and I went in," he said. "Your training kind of takes over when you're in a situation like that."

After continuous compressions at 100 beats per minute for nearly 15 minutes, the baby's body finally accepted the tubes. He could breathe normally again and his oxygen levels shot back up to the healthy level.

Aside from the shaky start, the effort was a success and the team handled it the best way an emergency situation can be handled, Rayan said. Everyone stayed calm, on point, and did what they needed to do.

"The fact that they can do their job and yet still keep such a lighthearted mood in such a serious situation is really important thing because if the kid had not made it, it's hard on a lot of people," he said.

Rayan has been at Madigan nearly three weeks out of the three month training period he is assigned. So far he has completed five and a half months of medical technical training and one and a half months of training at a hospital. He still has seven months of total training left. Even though he is a beginner in the field, he was successful in helping save a child's life.

"It's a good feeling knowing everything I learned really can make a difference" he said. "We have a lot of info we have to learn during tech school; it's very fast paced. When the time comes you either know or you don't, and I knew."

Air Force celebrates the Year of the B-2

by 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

2/19/2013 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo.  -- Team Whiteman and Air Force Global Strike Command are celebrating a major milestone in Air Force history in 2013 by marking the 20th anniversary of the delivery of the first B-2 Spirit bomber to Whiteman Air Force Base.

"2013 is a significant year for the 509th Bomb Wing, Team Whiteman, and the entire United States Air Force," said Brig. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing. "For 20 years, the B-2 has defended America as a strategic deterrent, and when called upon by the commander-in-chief, the B-2 has led the way in combat for each of our nation's past four armed conflicts."

The B-2 program traces its origins back to the Advanced Technology Bomber of 1979, which was born at a time when the United States was interested in developing a new strategic bomber capable of striking targets in the Soviet Union.

Central to the new bomber was the concept of 'stealth,' or the ability to evade enemy radar through a combination of advanced materials and innovative aircraft design. These new capabilities would ensure that the bomber leg of the nuclear triad would remain a viable strike option, even in some of the world's most heavily defended airspace.

The 31st anniversary of a notable B-2 milestone occurred earlier this month; in 1981, Northrop Grumman Chief Test Pilot Dick Thomas flew the technology demonstrator TACIT BLUE for the first time, from a classified location in Nevada. TACIT BLUE was the first airplane to demonstrate low radar cross-section using curved surfaces. This flight came a year after Northrop Grumman was awarded a contract for a planned fleet of 127 aircraft.

Design and production continued through the 1980s, and the B-2 was first unveiled in 1988. Only a few years later, however, the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent cuts to the defense budget saw the planned fleet size drop first to 75 aircraft, then to its current size of 21 aircraft.

Each one is named for a state, except for two - the Spirit of Kitty Hawk and the Spirit of America.

"The introduction of the B-2 into America's arsenal truly can be considered a revolution in military aviation," said Dave Easley, 509th Bomb Wing historian. "The combination of its unique survivability and its tremendous bombing accuracy really marked the first time when the fundamental calculus of air combat changed from the number of aircraft sorties required to destroy a target, to how many targets could be destroyed by a single sortie."

The first major anniversary this year will be April 1, when the 509th Bomb Wing celebrates 20 years of service since its activation in 1993. April 1 will also be the 16th anniversary of the wing's declaration that the B-2 had achieved initial operational capability.

Throughout the year, the Air Force will celebrate other key milestones in the B-2 program, including each of the four combat deployments the B-2 has contributed to since its delivery to Whiteman Air Force Base.

Although it was originally designed as a strategic bomber, one of the earliest modifications to the B-2 enabled it to deliver conventional munitions, as well. Those capabilities were put to use in Kosovo in 1999, when B-2 bombers flew 1 percent of NATO sorties, but struck 11 percent of the alliance's targets.

The B-2 was America's first response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, striking Taliban positions in Afghanistan and opening the way for additional American forces to enter the country.

In 2003, B-2s dropped the first bombs in the "shock and awe" campaign that opened Operation Iraqi Freedom. B-2s were responsible for dropping more than a million pounds of bombs in total on Saddam Hussein's forces.

Most recently, the B-2 led the way in Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn, when three B-2s flew more than 25 hours from Whiteman AFB to destroy virtually the entire Libyan air force on the ground. The bombers dropped 45 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions on hardened aircraft shelters, destroying the planes and helicopters inside and removing Muammar Qaddafi's ability to harm his people from the air.

The year's most significant date will be Dec. 17, when the wing will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the delivery of the Spirit of Missouri, the first B-2 bomber to arrive at Whiteman. Dec. 17 was also the date when the 509th Composite Group, commanded by Col. Paul Tibbets Jr., was activated at Wendover, Utah, in 1944, and the date in 1903 when the Wright brothers made their first powered, heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, NC.

"The weapon system has come a long way from the simple spruce flyer of the Wright brothers," said Bussiere. "The B-2 remains our nation's most modern and effective form of defense, and will continue to protect our interests here and abroad for many years to come."

Maintenance group returns T-33 Shooting Star to static 'flight' status

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


2/15/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Every day the sun rises over JBER. The timing of when it rises, whether it gets filtered through clouds, how long it lasts, and when it goes down again are all subject to time of the year and weather conditions in Alaska. But when it does light up the sky, over time it affects what it touches. For humans, it provides vitamin D. For plants, it provides a source of food.

For aircraft, such as the planes on display in Heritage Park, it slowly causes paint to fade, while rain and other factors play at corrosion and general wear on the static metal birds.

Aircraft maintainers from the 3rd Maintenance Squadron work hard maintaining the historical displays.

"The Airmen are doing a superb job on this jet," said Marc Horn, 3rd Maintenance Squadron sheet metal painter and worker. "It's just a testament to the quality of work that they do. We're really proud of it."

The maintenance crews do the refurbishing jobs when they have down time, so the projects don't impact the mission.

The Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star is the first of the historic symbols to get refurbished since it arrived at the park in June of 1999.

"We want to keep them for a long time and we don't want to wait until the last minute when there're a lot of problems, so we're bringing them in one at a time right now," he said. "We're doing what they need, so they are well preserved."

The aircraft were added to the park at different times, so the condition of each will vary, he said.

Inspectors look over the planes annually searching for corrosion or paint fading.
"We make any other repairs with holes or anything like that, that we may find, and get it structurally sound," he said. "Then we actually sand it right down to the metal and repaint the entire aircraft."

The sanding takes the old paint completely off, as well as the local markings, symbols and stencils. The aircraft is then wiped clean before a primer is applied.

The colors, symbols and stencils are all reapplied in coats. Finally, a clear coat is used as additional protection.

"It'll stay looking real nice for a long time," he said.

The Airmen working to preserve the T-33 said they understood the significance behind their efforts.

"To me, it means quite a lot because these are part of our past," said Airman 1st Class Justin Howard, 3rd Maintenance Squadron structural aircraft journeyman.

"It kind of makes it a little more special to you because we've flown these, they were our jets. These jets are part of our heritage, they are very important to us because they used to fly them. They trained, some of them fought in combat, so it's good to restore them to their former glory."

Alaskan Air Command's units, including the 5021st Tactical Operations Squadron, flew the T-33A. Air Force Col. William Povilus, 21st Tactical Fighter Wing commander, requested the plane be retained in Alaska.

It was then added to the Air Force Museum inventory in 1987.

Povilus originally had it placed in JBER's Paxton Memorial Park, near the Government Hill gate, named after Air Force Col. Pat Paxton, a former commander of the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing killed in an F-15 crash in 1985.

The 3rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron repaired and refurbished it back to its arctic markings of the 1970s and mounted it in Heritage Park.

The T-33 made its first flight in 1948.

Production continued until 1959 with 5,691 T-33s built.

In addition to its use as a training aircraft, the T-33 has been used for such tasks as drone director and target towing, and in some countries even as a combat aircraft.
The RT-33A, a reconnaissance version made primarily for use by foreign countries, had a camera installed in the nose and additional equipment in the rear cockpit.

The T-33 is designed with two .50-caliber machine guns in the nose. It has a maximum speed of 525 miles per hour, and a maximum cruise speed of 455 miles per hour.

It is one of the world's best-known aircraft, having served with the air forces of more than 20 different nations over the course of several decades. It is a proud feature of Heritage Park, Horn said.

"We have a lot of visitors that come on base every year," the painter and operator said.
"One of the highlights of the base is going to Heritage Park and seeing jets there were actually in operation here at one point and there are actually some people that come who knew and flew these jets," Horn said.

"The jets are 40 to 60 years old and there are a lot of people that are veterans from that era who really enjoy seeing them. It means a lot."

Wolf Pack tested during Beverly Bulldog 13-2

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


2/15/2013 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Exercise! Exercise! Exercise!

Beverly Bulldog 13-2 tested the abilities of more than 2,600 Wolf Pack members--Airmen and Soldiers, from U.S. and Republic of Korea forces--to respond to casualties and threats during a weeklong exercise, Feb. 11-15, 2013.

Scenarios including an aircraft crash, facility fires and contamination, flying and maintaining a rapid turnover of F-16 Fighting Falcons, and their general ability to survive and operate in a complex wartime environment were some of the challenges members faced.

"We cannot predict exact situations we might be called to respond to at the Wolf Pack," said Col. John W. Pearse, 8th Fighter Wing commander. "That's why we exercise a variety of scenarios that encompass defending the base and accepting follow-on-forces while knowing we may be called to take the fight north at a moment's notice."

During these exercises, base members rely on a variety of communication avenues to receive and transmit information. Maj. Andy Grab, 8th Comptroller Squadron commander, emphasized the importance of unit control centers to track alarm conditions and disseminate information to Airmen from leadership and emergency responders while also providing information on conditions and Airmen around base back to leaders.

"UCCs (Unit control centers) are integral to the success of Wolf Pack exercises as they are the command and control conduit for the wing," said Grab. "Their swift response and coordination with the EOC (emergency operation center) ensures alert notifications are communicated across the base and emergency procedures are immediately put into action."

"This vital flow of information ensures wing leadership has visibility on the entire base. Should we have to fight tonight, our UCC's validate our wing's capability to (complete our mission)."

While unit control centers are important, that is not the only way members receive information. American Forces Network-Korea broadcasts radio transmissions which are repeated on closed-circuit television pumped throughout buildings and dorms, and the 8th Fighter Wing's command post makes giant-voice announcements and sends email notifications to cover other communication lines.

Kunsan's 'Cyber Warriors' play a big role in a variety of communication efforts.
"We maintain and monitor all communication media across the base enabling communication and C2 (command and control) for the 8th FW," said Maj. Ray Champion, 8th Communications Squadron commander. He added these systems are not just a priority during exercise, but also for daily operations.

A central purpose of these exercises is to test the 8th Fighter Wing's ability to respond to wartime scenarios. This includes all facets of the base mission, which is to: 'Defend the base, accept follow-on forces,' and when all else fails, 'take the fight north .' The base mission is part of the greater 7th Air Forces mission to 'Deter. Defend. Defeat.'

Part of defending the base includes a host of force-protection initiatives accomplished around the clock.

"With the amount of training security forces receives prior to these exercises, we are prepared to deal with any scenario," said Tech. Sergeant Venessa Brown, 8th Security Forces Squadron. "Regardless of the time, terrain and weather, the defenders at Kunsan are always prepared to protect the pack."

Another important element in defending the base is keeping them healthy or treating any injuries. The 8th Medical Group staff takes care of exercise scenarios as well as any illness or injury that might occur to members while participating in exercise events.

"The men and women of the 8th Medical Group have a critical role in preparing the Airmen of the Wolf Pack to fight tonight," said Col. Jill Scheckel, 8th Medical Group commander. "Our focus is on sustaining and enhancing performance of the human weapon system. Readiness underlies everything we do." She added the Airmen did a great job in responding to mass casualty injuries and demonstrating their ability to survive and operate in a simulated wartime environment.

Furthermore, the logistical elements of both exercising and maintaining real-world capabilities simultaneously would not be possible without Airmen from the 8th Civil Engineer Squadron, the 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron, and the 8th Force Support Squadron.

"The Red Devils--military and mission-essential civilian personnel--provided critical firefighting, emergency management, explosive-ordinance disposal, shelter management, airfield management repair, and expedient maintenance and repair required to keep the base infrastructure and facilities operational," said Lt. Col. Deron Frailie, 8th CES commander. "The team effort required to accomplish all these tasks, while Herculean, could not have been accomplished without the essential augmentees from both the 8th MDG and 8th CS. It truly is a team Wolf Pack effort to support taking the fight north."

Senior Master Sgt. Travis Goodman, 8th Logistics Readiness Squadron said logistics Airmen provide a variety of support prior to and during exercise conditions.

"As Airmen arrive at Kunsan, we issue their IPE (individual protective equipment) gear. That's priority one for exercising and responding if there is a chemical attack threat." He added LRS Airmen also maintain a fleet of vehicles and transport Wolf Pack members during exercise conditions and daily operations; and they provide vital support to the Wolf Pack through movement of personnel and cargo on to and off of the peninsula.

"During exercises, we practice our ability to track and receive Airmen. We also exercise receiving supplies of all kinds to support the on-going Wolf Pack mission," Goodman said.

Responsible for maintaining base support while also exercising the Wolf Pack's ability to 'accept follow-on forces,' the 8th Force Support Squadron deals with everything from issuing Meals Ready to Eat to mortuary and casualty affairs.

"Force support Airmen are multi-faceted to do casualty reports, search for and possibly process human remains and still make sure everyone is accounted for and has a place to sleep," said Maj. Karalyne Lowery, 8th Force Support Squadron. "I am proud of how the FSS Airmen accomplished their jobs despite the variety of new and persistent scenarios this exercise."

Col. James Sturgeon, 8th Operations Group commander, said that ultimately, if the 8th Fighter Wing is called to 'take the fight north,' the 8th Maintenance Group and the 8th Operations Group exercise their ability to generate sorties, maintain a rigorous aircraft maintenance schedule, and destroy priority targets during exercises of this nature. The 8th OG in coordination with the 8th MXG generated and flew more than 160 sorties in support of Beverly Bulldog 13-2.

While Airmen in the 8th MXG generate aircraft routinely, their ability is scrutinized during exercises of this kind where aircraft are needed at a rapid rate.

"Our pilots and maintainers continue to impress me with their teamwork and unity of effort in one of the most strenuous conditions possible," said Col. Ray Lindsay, 8th MXG commander. "Our continued focus and team work only guarantees the 8th FW's ability to wreak havoc upon our adversaries."

Colonel Pearse expressed his pride in leading the Wolf Pack and said the general sense of urgency and ability of Kunsan Airmen to maintain their readiness is not just important, but essential.

"The Wolf Pack is here to deter enemy aggression and to help defend the Korean peninsula alongside our Republic of Korea partners," said Pearse. "We continue to routinely exercise our abilities and maintain our readiness to fight tonight."

PACAF command chief addresses Andersen Airmen

by Senior Airman Robert Hicks
36th Wing Public Affairs


2/15/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- The Pacific Air Forces command chief spoke to Airmen during an enlisted call here Feb. 12.

During the enlisted call, PACAF Command Chief Master Sgt. Steve McDonald discussed several topics, beginning with the Air Force's Comprehensive Airman Fitness initiative, which seeks to give Airmen the skills they need to overcome adverse or traumatic events in their lives. CAF consists of four main pillars: mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness.

Chief McDonald explained how the CAF program has master resiliency skills in place that serve as tools service members can use on a daily basis to help maintain resiliency.

The PACAF command chief moved on to address the suicide rate in the Air Force and the initiatives in place for suicide prevention, as well as securing more family time for Airmen.

Chief McDonald identified the severity of the issue of suicide in the Air Force and explained ways in which the military has tried to prevent suicide and provide help to service members throughout his 27-year career.

"No one knows what their darkest hour in life looks like. I know I don't, but sometimes people face this hour, and whatever it may be, you have to be prepared for it," he said. "Everyone must know their purpose and reason to press on before that darkest hour arises."

The chief also stressed the importance of service members and their families to the military and how senior leadership works to find ways for Airmen to spend more time at home with their loved ones.

"With every new addition that comes up, whether it's adding more training or changing the way we do things, senior leaders in today's force ask, 'What is this going to do with Airmen's time? How much time are they going to be losing with their families and how much extra time will they be spending at work?'"

In his parting words to Team Andersen, Chief McDonald talked about how impressed he was with the job the Airmen are doing within the Pacific area of responsibility.

Chief McDonald also provided an opportunity for Airmen to ask questions and have a discussion about the issues that are important to them.

"I'm always impressed by the Airmen," he said as he concluded his discussion with the Airmen. "The job you're doing here, with the strategic importance at Andersen and all the exercises and real-world missions you support, shows it's pretty important that you're here."

51st SFS finish BB 13-02 strong

by Staff Sgt. Sara Csurilla
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


2/18/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- "We exist to defend the base--in armistice and in war," said Master Sgt. Ernest Calbillo, 51st Security Force Air Base Defense operations and intelligence NCO in charge.

Airmen from the 51st SFS demonstrated their ability to do this during the last counter surveillance scenario, or ground attack, during operation readiness exercise Beverly Bulldog 13-02 at Osan Feb. 15, 2013.

With nearly 20 people acting as opposing forces trying to sneak up and attack the 51st Fighter Wing's headquarters building, security forces Airmen fought them off, one simulated grenade at a time.

"Exercises provide security forces with the ability to apply their air base defense training," Calbillo said. "It lets us practice our tactics and procedures, and hone troop leading skills. In a real-world scenario, we may not receive any significant warning and must be ready at all times. We must do everything; physically, mentally, and emotionally to ready ourselves today for the worst case."

The mission of the 51 SFS is to maintain a secure environment from which to generate combat power, and exercise like BB 13-02 helps condition the Airmen of the 51st SFS for anything that might come their way.

"They work long hours in harsh conditions, 24 hours, seven days a week, yet remain highly motivated," Calbillo said. "This is who we are and what we do. We are the Air Force's shield. We willingly stand between the enemy and our base population so others can generate combat power."

Air Force releases findings on Misawa F-16 mishap

by Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

2/19/2013 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- Headquarters Pacific Air Forces today released the results of its investigation into the July 22 F-16C aircraft crash in the Pacific Ocean approximately 750 miles northeast of Misawa Air Base, Japan.

The Accident Investigation Board, convened by PACAF, found by clear and convincing evidence that the mishap was an uncommanded closure of the main fuel shutoff valve.

According to the AIB report, the F-16C Fighting Falcon experienced a loss of thrust from the engine that the aircraft's pilot could not restore. The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered without injury. The aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean and was destroyed. No other property damage or injuries to military personnel or civilians resulted from the mishap.

The aircraft was assigned to the 14th Fighter Squadron, 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base, Japan. The mishap occurred en route from Misawa AB, to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska to participate in exercise RED FLAG-Alaska.

Colonel Terry Scott served as the Accident Investigation Board president. Colonel Scott is the Vice Commander, 15th Wing, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Colonel Scott is a command pilot with more than 3,900 flight hours, to include the F-15 and the F-22.

Air Force units help recover diverted Navy aircraft on Rota

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


2/15/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- Team Andersen Airmen, along with Airmen from units in support of Cope North 13, transported an R-11 refueling truck on a C-130 Hercules aircraft from here to Rota Island, Feb. 13, to recover a Navy F/A-18 Hornet that diverted there due to weather a day prior.

With the combined effort of Airmen from the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 36th Airlift Squadron, temporarily assigned here from Yokota Air Base, Japan, and the 36th Logistics Readiness Squadron and 734th Air Mobility Squadron, the refueling truck was transported to Rota and successfully refueled the diverted F/A-18 aircraft that was also here in support of Cope North.

The truck transport was necessary due to the absence of refueling facilities on Rota that can accommodate fighter aircraft. As a result of the weather conditions during the mission, the F/A-18 pilots did not have the option of diverting in a more equipped location.

"There is not a drop of jet fuel on Rota," said Senior Master Sgt. Kasey Saunders, 36th LRS NCO in charge of fuels distribution. "There were civilian aircraft, but those don't run on the same fuel as our aircraft, and the only way to refuel an F/A-18 is with a refueling truck."

Maj. Nicole Fuller, 36th LRS commander, said this is the first time the 36th LRS provided this type of refueling support. A lot of coordination and adjustments had to be made in order to make the transport happen.

"Emergency situations like these don't happen very often," said Major Fuller. "The first truck we had was too big and heavy. Instead of putting it in a larger aircraft, we got a smaller refueling truck and removed nonessential parts to make sure it was within the allowable cabin load.

"Once we got the truck there, the plan was to offload the truck from the C-130, transfer fuel from the C-130 to the truck," she added. "We then uploaded fuel from the truck into the F/A-18, reload the truck back into the C-130 which then returned to Andersen."

The truck had to be transported empty for weight and safety purposes. The C-130 then had to make another trip in order to transport additional equipment that had to be flown to Rota in order to transfer fuel from the C-130 to the refueling truck.

"In more convenient situations, aircraft divert to airfields with more facilities, however, that is not always the case," said Major Fuller. "If we do have to do it again, from this experience, we'll be better and more prepared in supporting such emergencies in the future."

With the number of units involved in the successful recovery of the F/A-18, the operation was a testament to the effective interoperability between bases, branches of service and regional partners within the Asia-Pacific.

Global Strike's Command Chief Visits Whiteman

by A1C Lacie Carmody
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


2/19/2013 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Chief Master Sgt. Brian Hornback, Air Force Global Strike's command chief visited Team Whiteman Feb. 8-9, bringing with him a vision for the future of Airmen stationed not only at Whiteman, but across the Air Force.

Hornback is no stranger to the base, having been previously stationed here twice.

"Visiting Whiteman Air Force Base is like coming home, and it feels like the 509th Bomb Wing has wrapped itself back around my shoulders," he said.

Hornback toured the base, spending time with individuals across the installation and addressing the evolution of the Air Force.

He said he believes today's Airmen are more digitally linked and globally aware than former generations. In his view, what is important now is bridging the gap between senior leadership and junior Airmen.

This will not be accomplished by "fixing" the way junior enlisted think, but understanding and offering guidance instead, he said.

Hornback also stressed the importance of spending more time discussing the problems of the present and tackling issues in the future, while spending less time in front of computers or at a desk.

"There are some basic foundations to help lay," Hornback said. "I can't tell you that you use my path because that only worked for me 28 years ago. That path is completely different now; it's a different Air Force.

"NCOs, Staff Sgt. through Chief Master Sgt., need to spend more time with their Airmen to coach, lead and mentor them and actually maybe teach leadership traits that will help them through their Air Force Career and then maybe get out of their way. They're the future of the Air Force."

He also discussed how to break through the barriers regarding forums and how to start open discussions in order to build stronger bonds in the workplace.

"We say we want an open forum, but do we really want an open forum? Or do we want open dialogue when a forum is open? I'm not going to laugh at your questions. They may be silly but I'm not going to laugh at them. If you want to talk we'll talk," he said.

Finally, Hornback articulated his goals for the Airmen of Global Strike, highlighting the importance of both military and off-duty education.

He said he wishes to develop the Airmen throughout the command by emphasizing the superior education and training of AFGSC personnel, and the resources and equipment that make the mission work. He wants Airmen to be excited about their jobs, but also to understand the importance of their roles and responsibilities in the nuclear enterprise.

Finally, Hornback stressed the necessity of remaining positive when stationed at a Global Strike base.

"There are worse places to be," he said, "but every place you go, there you are. So what are you going to do to make it better? You control your motivation, your morale, your discipline and yourself."

New community center opens at JB San Antonio-Lackland

by Minnie Jones
433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


2/15/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND  -- Selrico Services, Inc. invited members of Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland to a tour and taste event at a brand new community center and dining facility, Feb. 13.

The $175,000 renovated structure is two facilities in one -  a community center named the "Gott Commons Community Center" and the "Heroes" restaurant, or "Heroes at the Gott Commons." Both facilities are located in the old Rodney Gott Dining facility on Security Hill.

The Gott Dining Facility closed Feb. 1, 2012. According to the Department of Defense, over the last decade the Air Force has closed approximately 49 dining facilities, in some cases due to under use. The Gott Dining facility fell prey to Air Force closures, thus leaving a void on Security Hill and to the Guard and Reserve components located on the other side of the hill.

Selrico Services, Inc. is a global, full-service contractor, offering services that range from food services, to providing permanent and temporary facility solutions and operations, base operating support services, and contingency/life support solutions.

The 8,200 square-foot facility provides servicemembers and civilians assigned on the "Hill" and to the Air Force Reserve and the Texas Air National Guard with a wide variety of food and services all in one place without traveling to Lackland proper. The facility accomdate 185 people.

"The Force Support Squadron is proud to bring leisure and dining opportunity to JBSA-Lackland," said Debbie Milner, 802nd Force Support Squadron marketing director. "Customers will find a beautifully renovated facility featuring stacked stone walls, granite counter tops, and a water feature. It's a great place to unwind from the hectic pace of the day."

Security Hill is home to numerous units, such as Air Force Space Command's 24th Air Force and the 67th Network Warfare Wing and Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency.

The "Heroes at the Gott" will offer breakfast and lunch, with a choice of healthy food options; grilled foods, Mexican and Italian cuisine, and a carving station.

Other amenities include, free Wi-Fi, a sports bar and "The Grind," a coffee and grab-and-go bar that offers Starbuck products. The resource area include a reading area, where people can swap magazines and books, information on FSS leisure activities, three computers with a direct link to JBSAtravel.com and a meeting space that can be reserved during breakfast and lunch hours.

It will also give servicemembers living in the dorms a place to eat and go after work.

"The main thing is that this is a partnership between us (Selrico Services, Inc.) and the Air Force project," said Rick Aleman, President, Selrico Services, Inc. "What we were trying to do here is to give Airmen a different feel, a different atmosphere, so they can relax here - it's all about having fun and relaxing."

Panetta announces Distinguished Warfare Medal

by Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service


2/15/2013 - WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has approved a new medal designed to recognize service members directly affecting combat operations who may not even be on the same continent as the action.

The Distinguished Warfare Medal recognizes the changing face of warfare. In the past, few, if any, service members not actually in a combat zone directly affected combat operations.

These new capabilities have given American service members the ability to engage the enemy and change the course of battle, even from afar, Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference today.

"I've always felt -- having seen the great work that they do, day in and day out -- that those who performed in an outstanding manner should be recognized. Unfortunately, medals that they otherwise might be eligible for simply did not recognize that kind of contribution."

Now, the Defense Department does.

"The medal provides distinct, departmentwide recognition for the extraordinary achievements that directly impact on combat operations, but that do not involve acts of valor or physical risk that combat entails," Panetta said.

Technological advancements have dramatically changed how the American military conducts and supports warfighters. Unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, missile defense technology and cyber capabilities all affect combat operations while the operators may not be anywhere near the combat zone. The new medal recognizes the contributions of these service members.

It will not be awarded for acts of battlefield valor, officials said. It will be awarded in the name of the secretary of defense to members of the military whose extraordinary achievements directly impacted combat operations, and cannot be used as an end-of-tour award.

"This new medal recognizes the changing character of warfare and those who make extraordinary contributions to it," said Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "The criteria for this award will be highly selective and reflect high standards."

The most immediate example is the work of an unmanned aerial vehicle operator who could be operating a system over Afghanistan while based at Creech Air Force Base, Nev. The unmanned aerial vehicle would directly affect operations on the ground. Another example is that of a soldier at Fort Meade, Md., who detects and thwarts a cyberattack on a DOD computer system.

The medal could be used to recognize both these exceptional acts, officials said.

In the order of precedence, the Distinguished Warfare Medal will be below the Distinguished Flying Cross, and will be limited to achievements that are truly extraordinary. "The member's actions must have resulted in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from comrades or from other persons in similar situations," a DOD official said.

The military department secretary must approve each award, and it may not be presented for valorous actions. "This limitation was specifically included to keep the Distinguished Warfare Medal from detracting from existing valor decorations, such as the Medal of Honor, Service Crosses and Silver Star Medal," the official said.

Award criteria will be incorporated into the next revision of DOD Manual 1348.33-V3, Manual of Military Decorations and Awards, Volume 3.


First African-American Medal of Honor Recipient Safeguarded Flag


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

WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2013 – The U.S. flag has been a symbol of American courage and patriotism for more than 200 years, and those who serve in the military hold it in high reverence.
So it’s no surprise that Army Sgt. William H. Carney risked his life in 1863 to safeguard the symbol of American pride and inspiration, earning the distinction of being the first African-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Carney, the son of slaves, was born in Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 29, 1840. As a young man, he was ambitious and eager to learn, and excelled in academics despite laws and restrictions banning African-Americans from learning to read and write.

After his parents’ slave owner died, the Carneys were granted their freedom. Carney’s father moved further north, searching for a suitable area to settle down. After stops in Pennsylvania and New York, the elder Carney took his family to New Bedford, Mass.

Carney spent the remainder of his adolescence in New Bedford, working odd jobs and pursuing his interests in the church. He attended services at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Union Baptist Church, and was on the precipice of making ministry his life’s work when the Civil War began. Carney decided he could better serve God by serving in the military to help free the oppressed.

On March 4, 1863, Carney, along with 40 other African-Americans from New Bedford, joined Company C, 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry Regiment, to fight in the Civil War.
According to state records, the regiment was the first African-American Army unit to be raised in the northern states, and its fighting force included two of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ sons.

After only three months of training in Readville, Mass., they were shipped to the main area of fighting in South Carolina, where they saw action at Hilton Head, St. Simon’s Island, Darien, James Island and Fort Wagner.

It was at Fort Wagner that Carney’s heroic actions earned him the nation’s highest military honor.
On July 18, 1863, 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry Regiment soldiers led the charge on Fort Wagner. During the battle, the color guard, John Wall, was struck by a fatal bullet. He staggered and was about to drop the flag when Carney saw him.

Carney seized the flag, and held it high despite fierce fighting, inspiring the other soldiers. He was wounded twice -- in his leg and right arm -- and bled heavily. Although the Army sergeant could hardly crawl, he clutched the flag until he finally reached the walls of Fort Wagner. He planted “Old Glory” in the sand and held it tightly until he was rescued, nearly lifeless from blood loss.

According to accounts, Carney still refused to give up the flag to his rescuers, but grasped it even tighter. He crawled on one knee, assisted by his fellow soldiers, until he reached the Union temporary barracks, ensuring the flag never once touched the ground.

For his bravery, on May 23, 1900, Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first African-American to receive the medal.

His citation reads: “When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back, he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.”

Equipment scheduled to arrive for joint U.S.-Belizean exercise

by Capt. Justin Brockhoff
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs


2/19/2013 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. -- Construction equipment and materials for a joint U.S.-Belizean exercise is scheduled to begin arriving into ports in Belize in the spring for New Horizons 2013, a major event that will test U.S. military members' ability to deploy while building partnerships with host nation medical and civil engineering experts.

The exercise itself, overseen by U.S. Southern Command and planned by Air Forces Southern, is slated to last approximately 90 days with several construction projects to add new classrooms and buildings to existing schools with manpower provided by both U.S. and Belizean military engineers.

In addition, combined U.S. and Belizean medical teams will conduct multiple medical events to provide medical services to Belizeans.

Preparations have been going on for months to kickoff construction and medical events in the spring, according to planners. The construction equipment and materials scheduled to arrive will be received, stored and secured by the Belize Defence Force who will also be participating in the exercise.

"Deploying the equipment and supplies that exercise participants need is a major part of the New Horizons," said Capt. Richard Hallon, one the exercise's staff planners. "We've got to pack and prep the right equipment and materials in the U.S., work with U.S. Transportation Command to have those items shipped to the partner nation participating in the exercise, and coordinate for the storage and security of those supplies until the exercise participants arrive."

New Horizons dates back to the 1980s and is conducted in a Central American, South American or Caribbean partner-nation at the government's request. Once the location is determined, the host-nation government assembles and prioritizes a list of proposed medical and construction projects, which is balanced against the exercise's training objectives to ensure that participants get the maximum training benefit. From there, planning for the deployment and all of the things that go with it begins.

"New Horizons provides U.S. service members with training that they can't get at home," added Mr. Chris Donovan, the lead exercise planner for his sixth New Horizons. "This process is all about being able to plan and carry out a deployment from start to finish. There are some experiences that simply can't be gained by talking through the process. This exercise provides our service members with an opportunity to gain experience that enables them to be ready to answer the call when and where needed for a real world humanitarian need or crisis-type situation."

The other key benefit U.S. service members receive from New Horizons is the opportunity to learn from and build partnerships with the exercise participants from the host nation's government and military forces, he added.

Over the past 20 years, U.S. Southern Command has regularly partnered with the Belize Defence Force as well as the Ministries of Health and Education to conduct combined exercises that make both sides more prepared to respond to humanitarian relief scenarios.

Last year's iteration of New Horizons provided humanitarian and civic assistance through six projects in the Chincha, Pisco, and Independencia regions of Peru hit hard by a devastating earthquake in 2007. Projects included the construction of a multi-complex community center and clinic, as well as free medical care to an estimated more than 22,500 people.

Langley hosts Special Olympics

by Airman 1st Class Austin Harvill
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


2/19/2013 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va.  -- One second left in the game, he lined up the shot and launched the ball through the air. The buzzer sounded, followed by the swish of success.

The crowd cheered wildly, even though the shot didn't win the game for his team, while his opponents gave him high-fives and congratulated him in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Moments like these were plentiful Feb. 9 at Langley Air Force Base, Va., where the 2013 Area 22 Special Olympics were held.

"All of the kids and adults were so happy just to compete," said Tech. Sgt. Jessica Covington, 633rd Force Support Squadron fitness assessment cell noncommissioned officer in charge. "You appreciate their effort."

According to their official website, the Special Olympics is an organization dedicated to giving special-needs individuals an opportunity to compete in a wide-range of sporting events. In support of Special Olympics, Langley hosted basketball games for the local chapter. Special-needs children and adults came together with their caretakers and coaches to compete in a day-long tournament.

"When the athletes get on the court, sometimes you forget they even have a disability," Covington said. "They are just like us--people who want to compete and have a good time."

For Covington, this event was not her first experience working with Special Olympics

"I worked with Special Olympics back in high school and at my last base," Covington said. "Their spirit of competition and teamwork is still inspiring to me."

She went on to say many athletes looked up to her and were grateful for Team Langley's ability to host the event.

"They were all very nice, both players and staff," Covington said. "Even though they planned most of the tournament and logistics, you would think we did it all by how they treated us."

The feeling of thanks and generosity was mutual for Master Sgt. Michael Daugherty, a Langley volunteer at the Special Olympics.

"I enjoy working with others; plus I like competitive sporting events," said Daugherty. "So if I also have the opportunity to help someone, why not?"

Daugherty explained how hard it can be when someone needs help, and also how good it feels to be that help.

"When I volunteer or help someone, the feeling I get is hard to explain," Daugherty said. "If you need help, it is such a relief to receive it, so to be that help is really a win-win; they feel good and so do I."

Even though the Special Olympics are not currently scheduled to return to Langley next year, Langley Airmen believe the memory of the willingness to compete and their spirit of sportsmanship from the athletes will last a lifetime.