Military News

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

317th AG maintenance units recognized as AMC's best Posted 2/26/2013 Updated 2/26/2013 Email story Print story Share by Airman 1st Class Charles V. Rivezzo 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs 2/26/2013 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Mobility Command recently recognized the 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 317th Maintenance Squadron with the 2012 AMC Maintenance Effectiveness Award in the medium and small aircraft maintenance squadron category. The AMC Maintenance Effectiveness Award, the command's premier maintenance award, is presented annually to recognize the most outstanding maintenance units based on unit mission accomplishments, effective use of maintenance resources, innovative management accomplishments and quality of life programs during the past fiscal year. "Our maintainers are simply the best," said Col. Walter H. Ward, 317th Airlift Group commander. "They do more than fix airplanes, they are winners. They've conquered the toughest challenges of conversion to the C-130J while still deploying and scored the highest LCAP in AMC history. I ask them for maintenance miracles and they deliver. They haven't seen a day when their best effort wasn't left on the flightline. That's why AMC recognized them, that's why I love them." According to the 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's award citation, the 317th AMXS generated 8,705 sorties and 14,544 flying hours, while delivering a command-best 84 percent mission capability rate in direct support of combat operations, joint exercises and local training. Additionally, the squadron's near-perfect performance on the 2012 AMC LCAP inspection propelled the 317th AG to the command's first "Outstanding" rating and secured the group's "Excellent" rating during AMC's 2012 Consolidated Unit Inspection. According to the 317th Maintenance Squadron's award citation, the squadron contributed to the success of the 317th AG's global reach mission by providing unsurpassed fuel cell, isochronal inspection and engine support through 17 major aircraft inspections and 82,806 maintenance actions. Furthermore, their efforts supported combat operations, joint exercises and local training operations through the generation of 8,705 sorties and 14,330 flying hours, which directly supported operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. The squadron's commitment to excellence guaranteed the continued success of daily operations as the group transitioned from the C-130H to the C-130J airframe maintaining an above average 83 percent mission capability rate. "I'm very proud to be a part of the 317th Maintenance Squadron as our Airmen continue to meet mission demands, while looking for ways to improve on how we do it," said Maj. Sarah Emory, 317th MXS commander. "A special thanks to our leadership team who spent many hours packaging our combined efforts as it would not have been possible without them." The 317th AMXS and MXS will now go on to compete at the Air Force level.

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


2/26/2013 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Mobility Command recently recognized the 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 317th Maintenance Squadron with the 2012 AMC Maintenance Effectiveness Award in the medium and small aircraft maintenance squadron category.

The AMC Maintenance Effectiveness Award, the command's premier maintenance award, is presented annually to recognize the most outstanding maintenance units based on unit mission accomplishments, effective use of maintenance resources, innovative management accomplishments and quality of life programs during the past fiscal year.

"Our maintainers are simply the best," said Col. Walter H. Ward, 317th Airlift Group commander. "They do more than fix airplanes, they are winners. They've conquered the toughest challenges of conversion to the C-130J while still deploying and scored the highest LCAP in AMC history. I ask them for maintenance miracles and they deliver. They haven't seen a day when their best effort wasn't left on the flightline. That's why AMC recognized them, that's why I love them."

According to the 317th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's award citation, the 317th AMXS generated 8,705 sorties and 14,544 flying hours, while delivering a command-best 84 percent mission capability rate in direct support of combat operations, joint exercises and local training.

Additionally, the squadron's near-perfect performance on the 2012 AMC LCAP inspection propelled the 317th AG to the command's first "Outstanding" rating and secured the group's "Excellent" rating during AMC's 2012 Consolidated Unit Inspection.

According to the 317th Maintenance Squadron's award citation, the squadron contributed to the success of the 317th AG's global reach mission by providing unsurpassed fuel cell, isochronal inspection and engine support through 17 major aircraft inspections and 82,806 maintenance actions.

Furthermore, their efforts supported combat operations, joint exercises and local training operations through the generation of 8,705 sorties and 14,330 flying hours, which directly supported operations Enduring Freedom, New Dawn and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. The squadron's commitment to excellence guaranteed the continued success of daily operations as the group transitioned from the C-130H to the C-130J airframe maintaining an above average 83 percent mission capability rate.

"I'm very proud to be a part of the 317th Maintenance Squadron as our Airmen continue to meet mission demands, while looking for ways to improve on how we do it," said Maj. Sarah Emory, 317th MXS commander. "A special thanks to our leadership team who spent many hours packaging our combined efforts as it would not have been possible without them."

The 317th AMXS and MXS will now go on to compete at the Air Force level.

First operational KC-135R Stratotanker retires

by Airman 1st Class Klynne Pearl Serrano
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


2/26/2013 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- After more than 50 years of service and 22,500 flying hours, the first operational KC-135R Stratotanker retired from service, Feb. 21, 2013.

The aircraft made one last high-speed pass on the runway before heading to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.., better known as the "Boneyard," where Air Force aircraft go to provide parts to satisfy critical supply needs without any major holds.

The aircraft, tail number 61-0312, first flew with the United States Air Force Aug. 14, 1962, and was re-engined June 27, 1985. The aircraft flew 15 sorties in January of 2013 alone.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2013 authorized the Force Structure Reduction of 16 KC-135 aircraft in the fleet.

The KC-135 Program Office at Tinker AFB, Okla., used the Fleet Health Analysis Tool to score each aircraft on various criteria such as number of flight hours, usage severity, fuselage/wing/fuel cell structural integrity, and due date for next programmed depot maintenance. The Air Force Strategic Basing Division identified 61-0312 as being ready to retire Feb. 19, 2013.

The 97th Air Mobility Wing's mission is "Forging Combat Mobility Forces ... deploying airman warriors," as the premier air mobility training location for KC-135R Stratotanker and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

"[KC-135Rs] assigned to Altus Air Force Base fly approximately 1,820 sorties per fiscal year, which averages out to 91 sorties per aircraft," said Joey Dauzat, 97th Maintenance Directorate KC-135R sortie generation flight chief. "Flight hours are approximately 7,030 hours per fiscal year, which averages out to 351 flight hours per aircraft. All sorties are required to have boomers on them, so every sortie flown is a boomer training sortie."

The retirement of 61-0312 is not expected to negatively affect the 97th AMW's mission.

"We have a sufficient number of KC-135Rs to support the flying requirements without 312," said Carl Martin, 97th MX deputy director of maintenance. "In fact, having one less tanker could prove to be beneficial as it will allow us to fly those remaining a little more often. Up to a certain point, KC-135Rs perform better when they fly more."

The retirement did affect several members assigned to the 97th MX.

"A number of A-TEAM members, including myself, were assigned to Altus Air Force Base as members of the 340th Air Refueling Wing in 1987 when the [KC-135] R models started arriving to replace the then assigned KC-135As," Martin said. "Maintainers tend to take pride in and become attached to the aircraft they maintain, so like a number of other A-TEAM members, seeing the first KC-135R being retired brings back many fond memories and a bit of sadness."

The 61-0312 is not meeting its end yet, however; for the next several years, it will be used to keep the KC-135 fleet and other Department of Defense aircraft flying by providing its parts, or will be placed in storage for potential reactivation if necessary.

Tinker shop looking for trouble

by Senior Airman Mark Hybers
507th Air Refueling Wing, Public Affairs


2/25/2013 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- There's one shop in the 507th Maintenance Squadron that spends its time looking for trouble.

Trouble in the form of cracks -- metallurgic imperfections that can play havoc with high-stress machinery if not detected. The forensic specialists in the squadron's Non-Destructive Inspection lab here marry science and chemistry to inspect and detect troublesome cracks in parts on the venerable KC-135 Stratotanker.

Each morning, Tech. Sgt. Steven Smith and the five-person NDI shop begin their "crack-finding" mission by sifting through a request list from the sheet metal shop. Everything from the smallest bolt to an aircraft wing gets the NDI shop's special attention.

"NDI plays a big role in the readiness of the aircraft," said Senior Master Sgt. Larry Spradling, 507th fabrication flight chief. "The inspections they perform show defects that are not detectable by the human eye. It's a very important part of the process."

The NDI shop uses five tests to check for cracks - penetrant, magnetic particle, ultrasonic, eddy current and x-ray -- each designed for specific types of parts. Smith uses a computer program and technical order to determine which test to perform.

"The TO breaks down everything you need to know about the inspection, which of the five tests to perform, details about the part or parts being tested, calibration settings and much more," Smith said.

Some inspections, like the penetrant test, require a great deal of preparation. Once cleared of oils and dirt, the part is dipped into a penetrant solution and then sits to dwell (set up). Dwell times vary depending on the part. Once the penetrant soaks into the part, it's rinsed with water, and then rinsed with an emulsifier, a soap-like substance. The part is rinsed again with clean water and then dipped into a developer for about a minute then placed a large drying machine. From there, it's off to an enclosed area to be inspected under a black light.
Cracks appear as a green line under black light testing.

Not all parts are easily removed from the aircraft for testing, however. For these parts the NDI lab is equipped with portable equipment. That mobility comes in handy during Isochronal Inspections, an in-depth inspection that tests an aircraft from top to bottom, inside and out.

"The NDI guys are able to come out to the aircraft during an ISO and perform bulkhead tests," said Master Sgt. Jason Lawson, 507th ARR shop chief. "They perform inspections on all of our hardware, on or off the plane. They really do a lot for us," he said.

The 507th NDI team performs roughly 300 inspections per month. "We take this stuff very seriously," Smith said. "If we miss something, it could be catastrophic."

KC-46A team visits Fairchild

by Tech. Sgt. J.G. Buzanowski
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


2/25/2013 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- A team assigned to survey potential operating locations for the new KC-46A refueling tanker visited Fairchild Feb. 18-23.

The Air Force site activation task force team assessed operational and training requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, housing, infrastructure and manpower at Fairchild.

"The site survey team's week here collecting data is part of a deliberate process the Air Force uses when making basing decisions and takes an enterprise-wide look to evaluate potential basing locations," said Col. Brian Newberry, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. "Team Fairchild diligently prepared for the visit to ensure we provide any and all base-specific data we could to the survey team.

"As an interesting side note, the KC-46A site survey team was actually here on the 55th anniversary of the KC-135 arriving for duty here at Fairchild," Newberry added.

Air Force leaders announced in January that Fairchild is a candidate base to host the first of several operational KC-46A aircraft.

Over the next 30 days, the team will refine the collected data and present their unbiased report to Air Force leaders. In addition to Fairchild, the team visited Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D., McConnell AFB, Kan., and Altus AFB, Okla.

The announcement on the "preferred" and "reasonable alternative" bases is expected around May 1. The team appreciated the "tremendous support from active duty and guard members," said a leading member of the group.

Following the selection, the Air Force will conduct environmental impact studies, which should take about a year. After that, they'll announce which base will have the first KC-46A tankers, the team lead said.

"Building a new weapon system only happens about once in a generation," Newberry said. "We came together as a team to make this happen. We took a giant step ahead for our nation."

Col. Daniel Swain, the 141st ARW commander for the Washington Air National Guard, also noted the historical significance of Team Fairchild's work.

"We're on the leading edge of history for this country and this state," Swain said.

A new tanker to replace the Eisenhower-era KC-135 Stratotanker has been a prime acquisition goal for the Air Force over the last ten years. The KC-46A will be built by the Boeing Company and the first of the new tankers are expected to fly in 2016.

Guard, Reserve Command Post, a unique epicenter

by Capt. Jon Quinlan
507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


2/15/2013 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- It's 12:30 a.m. in the command post and a radio mounted on Tech. Sgt. Lakesha Bailey's console lights up and blasts without warning thru the speaker, "Exercise, Exercise, Exercise, Sooner Control, this is Okie 34 we are declaring an in-flight emergency and request emergency personnel and fire rescue at runway three zero zero. We have four souls on board." The calm but deliberate response from Bailey is, "Copy all, working."

This aircraft emergency response scenario is not uncommon for the Guard and Reserve command post controllers and is just one aspect of the type of work these Airmen perform daily, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

A crew of 10 Guard and Reserve personnel work in 12-hour shifts serving as the epicenter of information for the 507th and 137th Air Refueling Wings. The "Sooner Control" command post is the only associated guard and reserve command post with a nuclear mission in the Air Force.

"We are a full-time, 24/7 command and control node, directly responsible to the commander and serve as the focal point of operations," said Master Sgt. Bryan Chamberlain, 507th ARW command post superintendent. "Our team executes command directives in support of homeland security, national defense, and Air Force operations."

Command post controllers man a console which is integrated with computers, radios, telephones and alerting systems. Right next to the controllers are hundreds of checklists detailing various actions from tornado emergency response to nuclear event actions.

"I take seriously the responsibility of directing nuclear response to enemy threats and possibly saving the lives of the American people and those I love," said Bailey, 507th ARW command post controller and training manager. "Responding quickly to any type of emergency can make the difference between life and death.

The 507th and 137th Air Refueling Wings operate the KC-135 Stratotanker and can be called up at a moment's notice to refuel other aircraft defending the U.S. or its allies. Any notification of this nature would come straight to the Sooner Control command post and direct to Baileys console.

Controllers arrive 15 minutes before their shifts to receive the changeover briefing, conduct inventory and security checks according to Bailey. Their day to day duties consist of flight following aircraft, submitting operational reports, dissemination of weather warnings/watches, and emergency actions.

The Sooner Control command post team has a lot of day to day responsibilities but the overall theme of their duties is responding to emergencies. If there is an in-flight emergency the controllers are the first to respond, the first to get the help and the first to notify the command.

"I love the number one purpose of a controller which is to receive, decode, and respond to emergency action messages." Bailey said. "It's great being part of this joint team making it happen."

Business as 'un'usual for historical 822nd CEF activation ceremony

by Master Sgt. Julie Briden-Garcia
301st Fighter Wing


2/25/2013 - NAVAL AIR STATION FORT WORTH JOINT RESERVE BASE, Texas  -- One Air Force Reserve civil engineer flight found a way to conduct a historic ceremony without spending a penny more than their normal UTA business expenditures.

The 822nd Civil Engineer Fight held their activation ceremony Feb. 2 at 10th Air Force Headquarters here with Col. Frank Meyers, 622nd Civil Engineer Group, presiding via the telephone from Robins AFB, Ga. Since the budget wouldn't allow Meyers to travel to attend the ceremony, Col. Gene Odom, 810th CEF commander, thought the next best thing would be to have him listen through a conference call. For official reasons, Lt. Col. Steve Mason, a traditional reservist with the 810th CEF, stood in as the presiding officer proxy.

"It is a dynamic time for the 822nd CEF. We joined the 622nd CEG in Oct. 2012 which brought many changes and the great opportunity to be aligned with the Air Force Civil Engineer Community," said Odom, the new 822nd CEF commander.

The teleconference ceremony began when the flight's longest standing member, Senior Master Sgt. Jimmy Camargo, who represented the 810th heritage and history, retired the 810th CEF's colors. The flag was furled and cased in a matter of seconds signifying the end of one era and a new beginning.

The 810th CEF heritage started with 10th AF in Nov. 15, 1978 as the 10th Civil Engineering Flight at Bergstrom AFB, Texas. On Oct. 1, 1994, it was re-designated as the 810th CEF and moved to Carswell Air Reserve Station, Texas, on  Sept. 1996. In 2002, the 810th CEF moved into its permanent facilities collocated with Headquarters 10th AF here.

Capt. Mark Hope unfurled and posted the new colors to signify the activation and future of the 822nd CEF.

Some ceremonies must be accomplished and are mandatory by various governing DOD regulations. By conducting the ceremony via teleconference, the 822nd Civic Engineering Flight saved the Air Force Reserve Command more than $2,000.

Army, Navy train to save lives downrange

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


2/25/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Guam Army National Guard Soldiers and members of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 trained together on combat lifesaving skills and search and rescue at Andersen South, Feb. 19.

This is the first time the Guam Army National Guard and HSC-25 had large-scale coordination and trained together specifically on combat life saving.

"It's good for morale and getting the Soldiers pumped up," said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Michael Taman, Guam Army National Guard, 203rd Regional Training Institute training administrator. "They've been training off and on for the past year. It's the first time for most of them to go on a helicopter. It's a huge incentive for these guys to have this kind of training right before they deploy."

Altogether, it took approximately three months to coordinate the training.

"HSC-25 provided us with air medical evacuation assets, something usually lacking and hard to obtain in a training environment," Taman said. "We're fortunate we were able to sync our training schedules."

The Soldiers went through Combat Life Saver training, a 40-hour course designed to test Soldiers' abilities to treat injuries under fire. The course includes classroom instruction, hands-on evaluations and field training where Soldiers learn to provide treatment and get casualties out of a combat zone safely.

During training, HSC-25 members were also able to fulfill their own training requirements on ground personnel recovery.

"The ability to recover isolated and possibly injured personnel is one of the critical capabilities of the Navy HSC community," said U.S. Navy Lt. Brian Cramer, HSC-25 mission coordinator. "Pilots were able to train in communications, procedures, tactics and maneuvers associated with combat search and rescue. Rescue swimmers were able to practice on ground rescue, and hospital corpsmen were able to practice scene and patient assessment and combat casualty care."

Cramer said training is more effective with actual ground forces because it helps HSC-25 members see requirements and perspectives of other units involved.

"Procedures for combat search and rescue and casualty care are standardized among services, so it is very beneficial to see how the operation goes firsthand," Cramer said. "For example, a timeline or landing zone that works for aircraft may not work for ground forces and vice versa. When we work with each other, we learn things important to other units and how to maximize coordination on the battlefield."

During training, Soldiers were able to make contact with the pilot, request a medical evacuation and obtain an actual arrival time.

"Nothing enhances this training more than communicating with a pilot, looking up, seeing a helicopter and knowing when it is going to land," Taman said. "It provides another dimension of realism and enhances training."

Taman said Andersen South is a suitable training area for urban operation because of old houses and paved roads on location. It's the area on island most similar to what Soldiers are likely to encounter during their deployment.

"Andersen South is the closest location we can find that can simulate being downrange without going over there," Taman said. "We can kick doors in and clear houses. It is the largest area on island that has facilities we need for this kind of training."

With different branches bringing different contributions to the fight, joint training has been more prevalent across the Department of Defense now more than ever.

"Everything now seems to be joint and we need to train and execute real-world missions with other branches," Taman said. "This exercise helps us push toward that direction. We're really thankful to the Air Force for letting us use their training areas and to the Navy for coordinating with us and letting us use their medevac capabilities. We look forward to doing more joint training and missions in the future."

March Programming Aboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA



WILMINGTON, NC – The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA announces the programming schedule for March, 2013.

Power Plant
March 16, 2013
Time: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
$65 per person.  $60 for Friends members or active military.
Calling all Navy engineering enthusiasts! Join us for an in-depth program on the Battleship's power plant. Learn in detail about the ship's eight Babcock & Wilcox boilers, four sets of General Electric turbines and reduction gears, steam and diesel powered service turbo generators, along with electrical distribution, water distillation, and steering mechanisms. Our program features classroom presentations and behind-the-scenes tour of engineering spaces. North Carolina naval steam engine expert Gene Oakley demonstrates his working models of historic naval steam engines to place the Battleship’s engines in perspective. Discover what it took to propel a 36,000 ton heavily armored battlewagon bristling with massive firepower and 2,300 fighting men across the Pacific.

The program is for adults only (ages 16 and up) and is limited to 40 participants. It is not appropriate for those who have difficulty climbing narrow ladders or over knee-high hatches. Wear warm, comfortable, washable clothing, sturdy, rubber-soled shoes and bring a camera! Registration and payment are due by Thursday, March 14, 2012. Event is $65/$60 for Friends of the Battleship or active military. Call 910-251-5797 for reservations.

Easter Egg Hunt Carnival
March 29, 2013 (Good Friday)
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
$5 per person (including adults).  Children 2 & under are free.
Hippity Hoppity down the Battleship trail for a fun Spring event with continuous games and egg hunts every 20 minutes.  A petting zoo will also be on hand with the cutest little chicks around.  Make sure to bring your camera and take pictures with Buddy the Battleship Bunny. Offered new this year is a slower paced hunt area for kids who need a less stressful environment or for children with special needs who choose a slower paced environment.

Admission for the Easter Egg Hunt Carnival is only $5 per person, kids 2 and under are free. We've talked with the Easter Bunny and he told us that he has even more surprises this year. Stay tuned as the eggs and festivities hop out of the basket. Sponsored by Jammin 99.9 and Once Upon A Child.

The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported and relies primarily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship's Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River.   Visit www.battleshipnc.com or follow us on Facebook.com/ncbb55 and Twitter.com/battleshipnc for more information.

18th MUNS prepares for PACAF exercise

by Airman 1st Class Hailey Davis
18th Wing Public Affairs


2/26/2013 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 18th Munitions Squadron is preparing for a Pacific Air Forces-wide exercise scheduled for March 3-8.

The combat ammunition production exercise is an annual PACAF non-rated exercise that involves 18th MUNS and seven bases within PACAF, and the U.S., to employ an operation plan for air-to-ground missions.

"Most of our missions are air to air, and our (personnel) do not have the experience of building bombs for air-to-ground missions," 1st Lt. Richard Danaher, 18th MUNS CAPEX project officer, said. "That's where bringing in people from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, come into play. We actually get to build bombs (and practice) the roles that would happen in any type of war-time effort."

Participating with other units whose mission is to provide air-to-ground munitions is key during CAPEX.

"Being an air-to-air unit, we don't touch a lot of the different functions throughout our day-to-day operations," said Master Sgt. Lance Andrews, 18th MUNS production flight chief. "CAPEX rolls in different (scenarios) that would require us to generate these types of air-to-ground (bombs)."

Danaher added that validating a munitions employment plan is also important if, during a wartime effort, reinforcements were to come to Kadena. CAPEX allows ammunition personnel to receive training necessary to provide inbound force aircraft with the ammunition they need to carry out a mission.

"This is (also) a true celebration of the ammo troop's capability to provide to the warfighter," said Chief Master Sgt. Melvin Jobe, 18th MUNS squadron superintendent. "Although we're testing our capability to support PACAF as they head into the fight, this is the celebration of what ammo troops provide to the fight."

The chief, along with Danaher, added that many other units around Kadena provide services and support for CAPEX, such as the 18th Force Support Squadron and 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

"This is a Team Kadena effort," Danaher said. "Everyone from billeting and communications have helped aid us to bring (the supporting units to Kadena)."

AFSPC Hosts Front Range Regional Encroachment Management Project Efforts

Release Number: 130202

2/26/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo -- Air Force Space Command hosted a series of joint military/community subject matter expert workshops last week in downtown Colorado Springs to discuss topics of common importance along the Front Range. The meetings, which were held as part of the first-ever regional level, multi-installation encroachment planning analysis by the Air Force, convened a broad mix of installation personnel, regional planners, and other community stakeholders from the Colorado Springs and Denver-Aurora metropolitan areas.

As part of its Air Force Encroachment Management (AFEM) Program, Headquarters U.S. Air Force selected AFSPC to lead this effort to develop the first prototype Regional Encroachment Management Action Plan (REMAP).

Encroachment is defined as the impacts of community actions on military activities as well as the impact of the military's actions on the surrounding community. In addition, encroachment impacts from natural factors (such as climate) are considered in the analyses. The REMAP involves military installations along the Front Range --Buckley AFB, Cheyenne Mountain AFS, Fort Carson, Peterson AFB, Schriever AFB and the U.S. Air Force Academy-- as well as a broad range of community stakeholders from the Colorado Springs and Denver-Aurora metropolitan areas.

Colonel Joseph Schwarz, AFSPC Deputy Director for Installations and Mission Support, said, "HQ AFSPC has advocated for a regional approach to encroachment planning, and this prototype project is an opportunity to move forward on key regional interests and challenges of the Peterson, Schriever, Fort Carson, Buckley, and USAFA military and civilian communities."

The purpose of the workshops was to help provide an enhanced understanding of the military's regional mission and operational requirements, as well as common interests shared between the military and Front Range communities. Topics covered included urban growth, climate and water supply, energy, airspace, and the radio frequency spectrum. Ultimately, the goal of the REMAP is to foster compatible mission and community growth through targeted initiatives, many of which will require ongoing

coordination between military installations and community stakeholders.

"Developing a Regional Encroachment Management Action Plan for the Front Range offers a unique opportunity to identify and address common challenges and mission constraints across our military installations," said Lynne Neuman, the AFSPC program lead. "By collaboratively working with our community partners, we can ensure the long-term sustainment of local DoD installations and adjoining communities. Additionally, we can capitalize on symbiotic interests and find smarter, more cost-efficient ways of doing business."

The AFEM Program was created to address encroachment and sustainment challenges Air Force-wide.

The AFEM Program office in Washington D.C. is the lead for the program, and is developing policy, guidance and tools to help Air Force major commands and installations address encroachment and sustainment challenges. Towards this end, the Air Force is completing Encroachment Management Action Plans for its domestic and international installations.

A mid-term review is planned in May and a formal presentation to installation and community leaders is currently scheduled for July.

Face of Defense: Marine Gains Perspective From Loss of Parents

By Marine Corps Cpl. Elizabeth Gleason
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 25, 2013 – Since Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ryan Nicolai was a boy, he felt a calling to serve his country as a United States Marine.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
With perspective he gained from the loss of his parents, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ryan Nicolai graduated with honors from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Elizabeth Gleason
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
But before he could follow his dream, he knew his duty was to take care of his parents. In the years before he left for recruit training, he gained the life experience that would propel him through the hard times yet to come.

In 2011, Nicolai lost his father, a retired Marine, to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Months before the loss of his father, his mother was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly after what he thought to be a turning point in his mother’s illness, Nicolai decided to enlist in the Marine Corps and follow in his father’s footsteps.

Nicolai joined the Delayed Entry Program, which allows recruits to enlist in the military and specify a future reporting date for entry. As his mother’s condition worsened, Nicolai postponed his ship date until he was no longer able to. He shipped out to recruit training Nov. 26, and joined Platoon 2151, Company G, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion here.

Three weeks after his arrival, drill instructors escorted Nicolai to the company office. “They told me that the Red Cross called, and my mom had died,” he said. “Losing my dad was the only thing that helped prepare me a little bit for losing my mom.”

Nicolai’s mother died the day before initial drill, an evaluation that tests recruits on their drill knowledge and skills, but he stayed and completed it before flying home to be with his family, said Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Enrique Lopez, his senior drill instructor.

Soon, Nicolai was on an airplane, headed back to the depot to finish his training.

“Coming to recruit training the first time was hard, but it was harder coming back the second time,” said Nicolai, a 22-year-old Medina, Ohio native. “When I got back, I was losing focus, and I was always frustrated. I didn’t want to get up anymore. I wasn’t the same.”

With the guidance of his drill instructors, Nicolai said, he realized that although he was struggling, he had to push through and continue. Through the hardship, he kept the position as guide that he had earned early on in recruit training.

“I’m pretty sure he still thinks about it, but he doesn’t let it get in his way of being guide,” Lopez said. “He motivates the other recruits, because they saw him stay strong through what he was going through. He set the example for them.”

Through his loss, Nicolai said, he gained a new perspective on life that helped him finish recruit training.
“I was sitting at medical and had a realization that I defined myself by what I gave up for my parents,” he added. “Taking care of my parents is who I was -- it’s what I did. When my mom died, that part of my life was over.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do,” he continued. “I was at recruit training trying to become a Marine, but I hadn’t made it what defined me. All of a sudden, I knew where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do, I want to lead and take care of Marines.”

Through it all, Nicolai’s drive, knowledge, spirit and perseverance not only earned him the title Marine, but also led him to graduate as the company honor man, the recruit who demonstrated the highest level of leadership throughout recruit training.

Nicolai’s motivation and knowledge of the Marine Corps and life showed throughout training and set the example for all recruits, Lopez said.

“I am who I am today because of my parents,” Nicolai said. “If it wasn’t for my parents who were loving, strict and iron-willed, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”

Air Advisor students fly, fight, win

by Airman 1st Class Ryan Throneberry
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs


2/14/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Students with the Air Advisor Academy here took part in a field training exercise (FTX) Feb. 1, 2013, here.

The FTX is the culmination of all the expeditionary skills and language, region and cultural knowledge the 28 students have gained during their time at the academy.

"When they first come to the academy, they are unsure of themselves," said Col. J. Olaf Holm, Air Advisor Academy commandant. "During the month they are here, we try to recreate the conditions they will see downrange so they can build that confidence within themselves."

The students come from a variety of backgrounds from helicopter pilots to aviation mechanics, medical personnel to weathermen and everything in between. An air advisor is an Airman specially trained and educated to apply aviation expertise to assess, train, advise, assist and equip foreign personnel in developing and applying aviation resources to meet the host nation's needs in support of U.S. interests.

The exercise takes place in a mock Afghanistan landscape in Kandahar province. The scenario involves air advisors meeting an Afghan Air Force colonel to introduce themselves as the new air advisors in the area.

The students must brief the fieldcraft instructors their plan for the event prior to going out to Range 59E, the meeting location. The facilities at Range 59E replicate an urban environment students may encounter downrange.

The meeting lasted two hours before the students loaded into their vehicles, preparing to head back to the academy. The drivers received a call that their planned route was no longer an option which diverted them straight through a village.

The village is where trainers dressed as an opposing force engaged the students, forcing them to disembark, return fire and move on foot to a helicopter extraction point.

"A big difference between this FTX iteration and others is the use of our new Airsoft guns instead of inert blue weapons," said Holmes. "It allows the students and the opposing force to fire and return fire, adding to the effect and realism of the training."

Armed with their Airsoft weapons, the students returned fire but also incurred casualties, forcing wingmen to combat dress and care for the wounded; adding additional stress to a high-speed environment.

"It's amazing to see these students take all the lessons learned during the course and apply them here," said Holm. "Amidst all the chaos and triage going on, the students reacted appropriately and did what they needed to accomplish."

The students tactically moved through the wooded area behind the village to their designated landing zone all the while receiving fire from advancing enemy personnel. Once all 28 students had made it to the LZ, a cease fire was called, allowing the students to recollect for the debriefing.

"This training scenario teaches us the basic warrior skills we all need to know," said Tech. Sgt. Bryan Sammons, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisor Group security forces advisor. "I feel like it was a good assessment of our skills we've learned during our time at the academy."

"My advice to future air advisor students is to keep an open mind and really absorb everything you learn here," said Sammons. "Being in security forces, I am familiar with expeditionary training like this but I still learned a great deal. That knowledge will stay with me throughout my future deployment."

Minnesota ANG Airmen train with 628th SFS

by Staff Sgt. Anthony Hyatt
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs


2/21/2013 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C -- An Air National Guard unit from Minnesota recently wrapped up a training exercise here at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

Sixteen Airmen from the 133rd Security Forces Squadron, stationed at Minneapolis - Saint Paul, Minn., completed a two-week deployed for training, or DFT, from Feb. 2 - 16, 2013 working with Airmen from the 628th Security Forces Squadron.

"Our main mission coming to Joint Base Charleston was to shadow the active-duty service members of the 628th Security Forces Squadron," said Master Sgt. James Kenison, 133rd SFS team lead. "I brought along a lot of younger Airmen and noncommissioned officers that didn't have much active-duty experience."

During their training, the Airmen from the 133rd SFS melded right in with the 628th SFS personnel.

"The partnership between the two squadrons worked so well - my guys blended in great with the active duty," said Kenison. "While stationed here, we performed patrol duty, gate guards, resource protection, combat arms training and maintenance and pass and identification."

The group from Minnesota was also able to conduct a few procedures that they don't perform as often at their home station.

"We actually got to fill out paper work on damage reports and a medical emergency, which we don't typically do at our base," Kenison said. "We also got to observe how the vehicle scanner works."

Another benefit the 133rd SFS Airmen received from this training was the opportunity to work at a larger base.

"Joint Base Charleston is a much larger base than what we are used to in Minneapolis," said Kenison. "Our guys were able to see the day-to-day operations of a joint base and to operate on a base with more than 50 C-17s, compared to a with base single digit aircraft."

"We were thrilled to have them [133rd SFS Airmen]," said Senior Master Sgt. Jacob Blake, 628th SFS Operations superintendent. "From their team leader, Master Sgt. Kenison, on down, every member of the 133rd Security Forces Squadron that worked with us was committed, professional and exceptionally capable."

The 133rd SFS were accompanied on this training mission by personnel from the 133rd Logistics Readiness Squadron, who were training with the 437th Aerial Port Squadron.

The 133rd SFS is responsible for the protection of aerospace both at home station and deployed locations. This unit also works with air base defense, law enforcement, security, combat arms training and maintenance and the Phoenix Ravens.

The ANG has units in every state and territory of the United States.

The Air National Guard accomplishes three missions: to support the Air Force in its national security objectives, to protect life and property, and to preserve peace, order and public safety, and to participate in local, state and national programs, according to the Air National Guard website.

As a member of the ANG, members are required to attend one drill per month and one period of annual training per year. A drill consists of two days of training per month.

Chiefs to Congress: Fiscal Crisis Threatens U.S. Military Edge

By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2013 – America’s military superiority is founded on training and readiness, and the fiscal crisis facing the country threatens to strip away that edge, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress today.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and National Guard Bureau Chief Army Gen. Frank J. Grass testified before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee on fiscal challenges facing the department.

The chiefs discussed the effects of sequester -- $47 billion in across-the-board 2013 defense spending cuts that will take effect March 1 if Congress doesn’t act –- and the continuing resolution, which guides government spending in the absence of an approved budget.

If the continuing resolution stays in place unchanged through the rest of the fiscal year, they said, the Army will see an $18 billion shortfall, and the Navy’s budget will be $8.6 billion in the red. And because a continuing resolution limits contracting, maintenance and construction, they noted, the workarounds they’ve adopted under it are creating even bigger problems for the future.

All five chiefs described cost-cutting measures they’ve already taken, and outlined likely short- and long-term consequences of continued budget uncertainty. All agreed the biggest danger to the force is that, as Odierno told subcommittee members, “these cuts will have grave consequences and immediate impact on the readiness of our remaining forces.”

Amos described the dilemma the Joint Chiefs face: to support warfighters and keep readiness high in units soon to deploy, the service leaders will have to strip funds from maintenance and operations accounts and furlough civilian employees without pay for up to 22 days through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. This means that while ships and planes wait for maintenance and troops miss out on essential training, medical clinics, schools and counselors’ offices will reduce hours and services.

“We will curtail training for 80 percent of our ground forces,” Odierno said.

Amos said the cuts will harm the Marine Corps’ readiness. “By the beginning of next year,” he said, “more than 50 percent of my tactical units will be below acceptable levels of readiness for deployment to combat.”
Welsh said two-thirds of Air Force combat units will cut training starting in March. “They'll drop below acceptable readiness levels, by our definitions, by mid-May,” he added. “Most will be completely non-mission-capable as a unit by July.”

If a 2014 budget is in place by October, he said, it will take the Air Force six months to regain its present level of training.

The chiefs asked for Congress’ help in giving them some spending flexibility if the continuing resolution remains. Authority to move funds between accounts could help prevent the current unavoidable waste Greenert decried in the Navy. The shortfall created by the continuing resolution, he said, “has compelled us to cancel ship and aircraft maintenance, reduce operations, curtail training for forces that will soon deploy, and [notify] 186,000 of our civilians of a possible furlough.”

“We've lost $600 million in February because of … just lost opportunities,” the Navy’s top officer said. “Through the month of March, if we don't have that opportunity to reallocate funds, it would be another $1.2 billion, and it just continues to grow and cascade as we go through the summer.”

Greenert told the panel an appropriations bill for this fiscal year is necessary to allow the department to distribute resources in a deliberate manner.

Odierno said for more flexibility would be significant for the Army and “would help us eliminate the $6 billion shortfall we have in continuing resolution.”

“It would at least solve one-third of the problem that we have today,” he added.

The Army chief said he started his career in a hollow Army, and he doesn’t want to end it there.

“We simply cannot take the readiness of our force for granted,” he said. “If we do not have the resources to train and equip the force, our soldiers -- our young men and women -- are the ones who will pay the price, potentially with their lives.”

Panetta Leaves Legacy of Service, Leadership, Partnership


By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2013 – History likely will record Leon E. Panetta first as the CIA director who got Osama bin Laden. But over his 19 months as defense secretary, the former spy chief also got a crack at solving the problems of some 3 million battle-weary people -- while running two wars and warding off a budget meltdown.

To understand how he did it, you have only to listen to his words. In his final major speech Feb. 6, which he directed to the students in a Georgetown University audience here, the secretary urged them to action on behalf of the nation. As he prepares to leave government, Panetta told them, he’s reminded of what he has told other students: leaders must be prepared to face and manage risk.

“I still say it when I get a chance, and I say it to you: that we govern in our democracy either through leadership or through crisis,” he said. “If leadership is there, and … [those elected] are willing to take the risks associated with leadership, to make the tough decisions that have to be made, then hopefully crisis can be avoided. But if leadership is not there, if it's absent for whatever reason, then make no mistake about it, crisis drives policy in this country.”

That’s exactly what is happening -- crisis is driving policy in the United States, he said.

“It has become too politically convenient to simply allow a crisis to develop and get worse,” he said, “and then react to the crisis. … I understand the mentality. Why do I have to make tough decisions that anger my constituents -- raise their taxes, cut their entitlements? Why do I have to do those decisions when I can simply stand back and allow crisis to occur?”

The price of governing by crisis, Panetta said, is “you lose the trust of the American people. You create an aura of constant uncertainty that pervades every issue and gradually undermines the very credibility of this nation to be able to govern itself.”

He said to stay ahead of crisis, leaders first must take responsibility, then must work for consensus.
Panetta, who loves a punch line, told the students about a priest and a rabbi who go to a boxing match together to help them better understand each other. The rabbi, seeing one fighter cross himself before the match, asks the priest what the gesture means. “Nothing, if he’s not willing to fight,” the priest says.
The secretary has cautioned young audiences – U.S. and other countries’ troops, students and cadets around the world -- that

freedom, democracy, and even the simple security to raise a family in peace don’t survive without sacrifice.
“[It] doesn't mean a thing if you are not willing to fight for the American dream -- the dream that my parents had,” he said at Georgetown. “The dream of giving our children a better life. The dream of maintaining a government of, by, and for people. That torch of duty is now passing to a new generation, and with it passes the responsibility to never stop fighting for that better future.”

So in 19 months at DOD, Panetta fought for a strategy-based approach to defense budgeting, and for government leaders to take responsibility in making it law. He fought to keep the nation focused on its troops and their accomplishments in Iraq, where forces have since completed their mission, and in Afghanistan, where they remain. He fought against troop suicide and sexual assault in the ranks, and fought for equal treatment of same-sex couples and more military jobs for women.

Panetta fought, as his record shows, the way his troops do:

effectively and with discipline, often using a coalition approach. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, could have been summing up the Panetta defense doctrine when he said recently that he likes to fight alongside his friends.

The secretary took that “with partners” approach everywhere -- inside the Pentagon, while working with Congress, and during talks with leaders of the 34 nations he visited, some repeatedly, on 45 stops as leader of the world’s strongest military.

“Reaching across the aisle” has a different meaning in the Pentagon, where civilian appointees and military members have been known to follow different courses. Panetta, for his Georgetown audience, recounted how he and the department’s senior leaders developed the defense strategy DOD is now carrying out.
“I had everybody in the room, something that, you know, was not exactly that prevalent in the past,” the secretary said. “Military over here, civilians over here, and not that often did they come together to really work to resolve policy. And my approach was, I have to be able to work as a team if we are going to be able to take on this challenge.”

Same with Congress: even as he chastises that body for its “partisan dysfunction,” as he did at Georgetown, the secretary praises the members for their support to troops.

Panetta’s likely last appearance before Congress as secretary was Feb. 7, when he testified on the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya. He told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee they have his deepest thanks “for the support and friendship that I've had with all of you on both sides of the aisle.”

Each time he hit the road for Afghanistan, NATO headquarters, the Asia-Pacific region, South America, the Middle East or Europe, Panetta took with him a determination to make friends and build consensus. He explained to Asia-Pacific leaders in 2012 that the U.S. pivot to the region has real implications for rotational troop deployments, training and engagement. And he invited European leaders in 2013 to join that pivot, because the Asia-Pacific region holds critical economic and security importance for the entire world.

In Afghanistan, Panetta strove to maintain both a strong NATO coalition and a close partnership with the Afghan government and its forces. The phase of the Afghanistan conflict Panetta oversaw included an escalating number of “insider attacks,” with 34 reported in 2012. He also was called to respond to incidents such as the Quran burning of Feb. 21, 2012, in which U.S. troops allegedly burned religious materials at the Parwan detention facility near Bagram, Afghanistan, inciting days of violent demonstrations.

Less than a month later, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales allegedly murdered 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district. While the secretary displayed personal grief at such happenings, he also reacted with perseverance. Speaking to reporters about the killings later that month, Panetta gave a characteristic response.
“War is hell,” he said. “We’re going to run into these kinds of incidents. That’s the nature of conflict, but we can’t allow those kinds of incidents to undermine our basic strategy. We’re on the right track, and we have to stick to it.”

The secretary maintained that strategic focus through the end of the U.S. “surge” and the start of pulling troops out of that country. In October 2012, he told NATO leaders that staying the course in Afghanistan’s coming phases meant “first, strong coalition partnership with Afghan forces; second, effective response to insider attacks; and third, careful evolution of the campaign.”

In a statement Feb. 11, Panetta said he welcomes President Barack Obama’s announcement that 34,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan will return by this time next year. The plan supports ground commanders’ recommendations, he said, and “puts us on the right path to succeed in Afghanistan.”

The secretary added, “Our troops on the ground will continue to be in a tough fight, and they will continue to face real challenges, but our fundamental goal is now within sight.”

Panetta said at Georgetown that another fundamental goal in national defense is protecting the nation’s computer systems.

“The developments that have taken place in the cyber arena have been incredible over these last 10 years,” the secretary said in response to a student’s question. He added that 21st-century technology makes cyberattacks a primary threat to U.S. national security.

“There is no question, in my mind, that part and parcel of any attack on this country in the future, by any enemy, is going to include a cyber element,” he said.

Panetta served as an Army intelligence officer from 1964 to 1966, later representing his home state of California in Congress from 1977 to 1993. He was also chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget during Bill Clinton's presidency.

The secretary's legacy of public service extends into his life outside Washington. Panetta and his wife, Sylvia, in 1997 founded the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at California State University, Monterey Bay. The institute provides study opportunities in government, politics and public policy. The institute also sponsors other activities, such as a reading program that recruits hundreds of volunteers from communities around Monterey to work with children in kindergarten through third grade.

He told Georgetown students his “very core principles and values,” instilled through his Catholic upbringing and education, are faith, hard work, giving something back and knowing the difference between right and wrong: “that sense of conscience that is so important, particularly in public service.”

So at U.S. bases around the world, in palaces and defense ministries and Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Panetta has exhorted men and women to give back to their nations, urged governments to work together to make the world safer, and praised his troops for their service.

During his January visit to an Army airborne unit based in Italy and recently returned from Afghanistan, Panetta said Americans are “safe in their homes … because of those who are willing to go off to far places, and fight an enemy that has made clear they will not hesitate to attack our country, and to attack innocent men and women -- and children.”

The secretary’s most lasting legacy may be his example of selfless service, leadership and good partnership. During a DOD farewell tribute to Panetta on Feb. 8, Dempsey offered his view of what he called Panetta’s “parable of the individual and the institution” over his nearly 50 years in government.

“For those nearly five decades, you've never yielded to cynicism, you've always believed in the goodness of governing well, and your character and competence have set the example,” the chairman said.

Dempsey continued, “Mr. Secretary, you have made our nation safer. You have made our men in uniform -- and women -- stronger. And you have prepared us to meet the challenges ahead in our time and in the future. And for that, you've earned our eternal esteem.”

Panetta returned the compliment, noting that he and Dempsey have testified to Congress together 11 times and faced 10 Pentagon news conferences side by side.

“As we used to say when I was in the Army, there isn't anyone I'd rather be in the foxhole with than Marty Dempsey,” he said. “I cannot tell you what a privilege it has been to work with you and to work with all of the service chiefs. We've dealt with some very tough issues, and there is no way -- no way -- that I could have done this job without your support, without your loyalty, and without your dedication.”

During his retirement phase, Panetta likely is to continue tackling challenges with a partner’s help: Sylvia Panetta, currently director and formerly co-director with her husband of the Panetta Institute, also has teamed with him in raising three sons and spoiling six grandchildren.

“She has endured extended absences and long hours and the demands that come with public service, but she has always been there,” Panetta last week said of his wife of 50 years. “And I will never be able to thank her enough for her constant love and support. Her Valentine gift is both of us going home together.”