Wednesday, March 27, 2013

NATO Officials Host Young Professionals at Johns Hopkins

By Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2013 – NATO’s supreme allied commander for transformation encouraged about 70 college students here yesterday to apply their talent and motivation in assessing current and future crisis management and security challenges.

NATO, Allied Command Transformation and partner organizations hosted the 2013 Young Professionals Day at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies here, where Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros of the French air force delivered the keynote address.

The general called participants “active crew members” charged to provide fresh and innovative perspectives in strategic thinking for an ever-changing security environment to NATO leadership and analysts from the alliance’s 28 member nations and its partners.

“In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, NATO fully recognized that threats to the security of our nations are increasingly global and transnational,” Paloméros said.

The general reminded the students that two major milestones, both unforeseen, marked NATO’s transformation: the dismantling of the Soviet Union and 9/11.

As joint cyber, missile defense and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities increasingly define technology, the general said, new risks and opportunities can influence the security landscape. And since the alliance has become more inclusive -- nearly doubling its membership since Paloméros was a college student -- the NATO response must constantly evolve as a younger, more diverse force helps to create the strategic blueprint for interoperability.

“Within a very ambitious strategy concept, we still need to solve our security equation,” the general said. “We need to find the best way to match the security requirement to the security supply and resources.”

While the interconnection of people, ideas, trade and economies is not itself a security challenge, Paloméros said, it does have a direct effect organizationally on Allied Command Transformation, based on access to resources and the sharing of ideology.

“Interdependence of nations and regions can also create vulnerabilities,” Paloméros said. “[It] creates a growing demand for international security, and this has to be addressed … [with] a comprehensive approach.”

Assessing resources is critical to that approach, he continued, as the alliance cannot underestimate financial realities that jeopardize allies’ ability to resource their armed forces. NATO can do more through collaborative initiatives, he added, but individual nations may not be able to do more due to budget constraints that may be the norm for years to come.

NATO’s vision for outreach is not limited to allied nations, Paloméros emphasized, noting key partnerships with the European Union, United Nations, African Union, and the Red Cross among others. “Those partnerships are the key components of our vision for the alliance,” he said.
The links with these organizations will be fundamental to success in the way ahead, he said. “The ultimate goal of this work will be identifying security implications for future operation capabilities,” the general told the students.

Based in Norfolk, Va., Allied Command Transformation is central to NATO’s efforts to lead continuous military transformation that enhances effectiveness in current and future operations through training, education, capabilities, doctrine and concepts.

Stennis Strike Group Departs U.S. 5th Fleet AOR

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack, John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs
USS JOHN C. STENNIS, At Sea (NNS) -- The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) departed the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), March 26, after spending more than five months operating with and supporting U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

The JCSCSG returned to the 5th Fleet AOR in late October after departing in January 2012, after spending five months back at homeport.

"By returning to the AOR after a compressed turnaround at home, you exemplified the highest ideals of dedication and service," said Vice Adm. John Miller, commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, and Combined Maritime Forces. "The extraordinary strength, courage and professionalism you displayed while conducting more than 9,000 combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom allowed theater and national objectives to advance both tactically and strategically."

"We contributed in real ways, and you all should be proud of that," said John C. Stennis' Commanding Officer Capt. Ron Reis during an address to Stennis Sailors to announce the completion of their final OEF mission.

The JCSCSG operated in the Arabian Gulf and North Arabian Sea while conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation engagements, and command and control support operations for coalition forces in Afghanistan. Aviators from embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 flew more than 9,000 sorties and more than 23,000 flight hours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF).

"It's an honorable mission that we participated in, and it's important to understand it's not just us [aviators]," said Capt. Dell Bull, commander of CVW 9. "It's the guys in engineering, on the flight deck and the culinary specialists who allow us to maintain these airplanes, load weapons, etc. It takes a huge team effort to make that happen."

While in the AOR, the JCSCSG team conducted 28 Replenishment-at-Sea (RAS) evolutions moving more than 9,600 pallets of cargo, travelled more than 34,600 nautical miles and had port calls to Bahrain and Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates. The ship welcomed almost 50 distinguished visitors, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. James Winnefeld, four Ambassadors, five Congressmen and almost 35 entertainers and athletes organized by United Services Organization (USO) and Navy Entertainment. The JCSCSG also conducted crew member exchanges and passing exercises with the Royal Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the French Navy.

"The manner in which we have executed the mission here is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the Sailors of the Stennis Strike Group team," said Rear Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander of the JCSCSG. "We've done a great deal to strengthen relationships with our partners in this region, to support the troops on the ground and did our best to make this region more safe and secure. I hope that our Sailors and their families are proud of the important work they've accomplished on this surge deployment."

The U.S. 5th Fleet AOR encompasses nearly 2.5 million square miles of water, including the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and the Arabian Sea.

JCSCSG consists of John C. Stennis, CVW 9, guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) and Destroyer Squadron 21.

Soldier Advances Through 3 Rank Structures

By Army Sgt. Sung-jun Lim
19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

CAMP HENRY, South Korea, March 27, 2013 – It is challenging enough to become a noncommissioned officer, let alone a chief warrant officer and a field grade officer. But Army Lt. Col. Anthony G. Glaude, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command’s assistant chief of staff for information management, or G-6, has accomplished all that and more.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Lt. Col. Anthony G. Glaude brings experience as a noncommissioned officer and a warrant officer to his work as 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Brigade assistant chief of staff for information management. U.S. Army photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Glaude, who enlisted in the Army as a telecommunications center operator, later became a warrant officer and then a commissioned officer.

“I have gone through all three rank structures,” Glaude said. “I believe it gives me the ability to relate and empathize with soldiers regardless if they are enlisted soldiers, warrant officers or commissioned officers. I feel soldiers are comfortable around me, and therefore more honest and open with me, which allows me to be a better leader.”

Before joining the Army, Glaude enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1980. He left the Corps as a lance corporal, and later decided to add a new dimension to his military career. He enlisted in the Army in 1985, serving seven years and attaining the rank of sergeant.

“When I enlisted in the Marine Corps, my plan was not to make the military a career,” he said. “I planned to use the military as a stepping stone for a future job. But I liked the military and wanted to continue to serve, so I joined the U.S. Army in 1985, and the rest is history.”

Glaude said his 12 years as an enlisted service member gave him a strong thirst for further expertise and development.

“I wanted to be an expert in my field of communications,” he said. “[Warrant officers] become experts at their job because their knowledge, skills and abilities continue to grow year after year by basically performing the same kinds of jobs throughout [their] career.”

Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Loyd, 1st Theater Sustainment Command senior electronics maintenance technician, said Glaude is a leader who leads from the front and sets examples in all he does without hesitation. “He is well organized, extremely competent, and has an excellent rapport with people,” Loyd added. “He and I have been friends for many years, since we met at the Warrant Officer Candidate School, and I am proud to have served with him.”

After four years as a warrant officer, Glaude, by then a chief warrant officer 2, looked for another challenge. He decided to become a commissioned officer.

“Serving as a warrant officer was great, but for me something was missing, and that something was working with more soldiers on a more personal basis,” he said. “As a warrant officer, I typically had a few soldiers, but as a commissioned officer, I worked with thousands of soldiers. This gave me, and still gives me today, a chance to make a positive impact or difference in someone’s life.”

Army Sgt. Maj. Richard A. Jones, 19th ESC G-6 sergeant major, said Glaude’s experience makes him an effective leader. “As an officer, he spent his time as a junior officer from platoon leader to company commander and understands what it takes to be a successful leader,” Jones said. “His door is always open to provide that mentorship to anyone that comes into his office.

“His previous experiences are an asset to the G-6 team as well as the 19th ESC,” he continued. “Being an NCO in the past, he understands what it means to be a first-line leader of soldiers and the importance of training them to standard. He respects the opinions of the NCOs and empowers them to do what needs to be done.”

The technical expertise he gained as a warrant officer allows Glaude to communicate and understand the world of a technician and to provide soldiers with the tools they need to be successful, Jones said. He also knows where to get the right answers, he added.

Glaude hasn’t been immune to the difficulties and hardships many military members undergo, especially when his responsibilities kept changing as he placed himself in new environments.

“The Army is a hard life in and of itself -- the requirements, commitment and sacrifice can be daunting over time, since you inherit more responsibility as you earn more rank,” he said. “And for me, it is very difficult being away from my family, like many military members will tell you. However, this is the life I chose, and my family still supports my service.”

Glaude said his wife, a retired signal warrant officer, helped him overcome obstacles and has made him what he is. She keeps him straight and grounded, he added, taking care of their family while he is gone so he can concentrate on his job.

Even with 33 years of military service, Glaude said, he believes he still has more to give as long as he is still healthy enough to lead and motivate soldiers.

“I would like to be a battalion commander, which would allow me to reach out to a large population of soldiers and civilians, and provide the best leadership I could possibly provide,” he said.

New York Air National Guard crews return from South Pole season

from New York Air National Guard

3/27/2013 - STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Scotia, N.Y. -- Several Capital Region aircrew members of the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing returned to Schenectady County Airport here Thursday night after a long trip back from Antarctica.

The unit's redeployment marks the 25th anniversary of Antarctic operations for the 109th Airlift Wing.

The return of the final "skibird" marks the official end of the unit's support to Operation Deep Freeze for this year and a milestone for the wing.

The 109th Airlift Wing made its first trip to Antarctica in January 1988, supporting the Navy mission at the time. The wing made its first full year of Antarctic operations in 1989.

Since then, the 109th completed 25 seasons of flying in one of the harshest environments in the world with an accomplished safety record, resulting in no fatalities or excessive aircraft damage. While operating in this hazardous region, the wing completed a 10-year average of more than 3,000 flying hours each Antarctic season, more than most Air Force units complete in an entire year of operations.

Antarctic operations for the 109th have evolved over the years. In 1988 the unit deployed two aircraft, assisting the Navy, which had supported the South Pole mission since 1969. The Navy transferred that mission to the Air Force in 1989 and since that time the 109th Airlift Wing has been responsible for all the heavy airlift on the continent.

"We started out doing just pole missions with the Navy handling the camp lifts," said Senior Master Sgt. Mike Messineo, a flight engineer who served on the first mission in 1988. "All the crew used to be together in one room in bunk beds. We called it the ant farm."

Flight operations in Antarctica are conducted in support of the U.S. Antarctic Program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through the Division of Polar Programs in its Geoscience division, NSF coordinates all U.S. research on the southernmost continent and aboard vessels in the Southern Ocean. The agency is also responsible for providing all of the logistical support required to carry out that research.

"When we go out to the deep field there are always challenges," said Maj. Joseph J. DeConno, an LC-130 navigator and chief of current operations. "A great deal of hard work goes into planning and executing every deep field mission but it pays off knowing we are supporting the NSF with new discoveries all over the continent! It's some of the most challenging flying I've ever experienced and every flight is unique," he said.

The 109th has played an integral part establishing the remote camps, often the first aircraft and personnel to ever arrive in that part of the continent. Over the past 25 years, the 109th Airlift Wing helped establish more than 100 remote sites for exploration and research. This year, 14 sites were active, including South Pole Station. Sustainment of these remote locations requires the capability of the heavy airlift aircraft to provide enough fuel, equipment and supplies to keep researchers safe and able to conduct their work. All of the field camps and the South Pole Station require ski take-offs and landings and many have ungroomed surfaces, supportable only by the skibirds of the 109th Airlift Wing.

An example of the capability of the LC-130 skirbird is the South Pole Station. Completed in 2008, nearly all of the construction material needed to build the station was carried in by the 109th. To complete the station, the wing flew more than 925 flights transporting more than 24 million pounds of cargo.

This year's 2012-13 season, the 109th Airlift Wing completed 310 total missions, flying 2,219 hours and transporting 6.4 million pounds of cargo and fuel, the equivalent weight of 428 adult male African elephants. The wing also airlifted 3,602 passengers to and around the frozen continent.

An unprecedented wind storm buried the primary landing field near McMurdo Station on Dec. 7, 2012, and a dark layer of mineral dust caused roads and the airfield to deteriorate. Conditions became unstable for the wheeled aircraft that normally support the station, such as the U.S. Air Force C-17 or the Australian Antarctic Program's Airbus A-319. All transportation to and from the continent was left in the hands of the 109th Airlift Wing for the next seven weeks.

"We always encounter obstacles during the challenging Deep Freeze season, but this year's were significant because of the unusual natural event that cut off the continent from normal support," said Pacific Air Force Maj. Gen. Russell J. Hardy, Director of Operations, Plans, Requirement and Programs. "The LC-130s stepped up, proving that military support to the U.S. Antarctic program is vital."

The 109th Airlift Wing deployed six ski-equipped LC-130 aircraft to Antarctica in late October 2012, the start of the summer season at the South Pole and based at the McMurdo Station. Crews fly from the Sea Ice Runway or Pegasus Field airstrips.

"I am continually impressed with the professionalism and performance of the members of the 109th," said Maj. Blair Herdick, LC-130 navigator and chief of Antarctic operations at the wing. "This year was a particularly challenging year for us due to the number of deep field open snow camps, weather, supporting an increased number of flights between Christchurch and McMurdo and the deteriorated conditions of Pegasus Field. We overcame all of these challenges and had another successful year. I am more proud than ever to be a member of the 109th."

C-130 maintenance training team helps Royal Thai AF counterparts

by Dan Hawkins
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

3/27/2013 - LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark.  -- A mobile training team from the 373rd Training Squadron's Field Training Detachment 4 returned here March 9 from a month-long deployment to Thailand providing C-130 maintenance training to the Royal Thai Air Force.

Nine members of the field training detachment (FTD) made up the team of instructors who helped provide formal maintenance instruction to the RTAF C-130 community Feb. 6 through March 9.

"We provided training to 101 total students," said Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Lakin, 373rd TRS FTD 4 chief. "It took about four months of planning on our end to put all the pieces in place. It was a great experience for us as a team and the training was worthwhile to the RTAF as well."

Along with Lakin, training instructors on the trip were Tech. Sgts. Justin Solis, Justin Adams, Jacob Hicks, Jeremy Humphries, Michael Williamson and Brandon Jackson, along with Staff Sgts. Curtis Franklin and Clint White.

Five different maintenance specialties were taught during the deployment to Don Muang Air Base, located in Bangkok. The training was some of the first formal C-130 maintenance training in over 20 years for the RTAF.

The maintenance Air Force Specialty Codes trained on included crew chief; engine specialists, flight line and back shop; hydraulic specialists; electrics and environmental specialists; and fuel system specialists.

"The training was a great success," said Capt. Steve Massara, U.S. Air Force C-130 maintenance exchange officer who works in conjunction with the RTAF, via email. "(It) constituted some of the first formal C-130 maintenance training the Royal Thai Air Force has had in over twenty years."

Massara went on to note the team's skill in working through a myriad of different needs based on the location of the training, not to mention the cultural and language differences.

"The instructors conducted themselves with professionalism, cultural sensitivity, demonstrated their technical expertise and breadth of experience, all while adapting to use Thai language interpreters for every hour of instruction," Massara said. "These attributes helped them earn the respect of the Royal Thai Air Force C-130 maintainers, improved maintenance practices and ensured our relationship with this pivotal Southeast Asian nation will remain cordial for years to come."

The 373rd TRS FTD 4 is part of the 982nd Training Group based at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.

Col. Peter Markle, 982nd TRG commander, was pleased with the team's results.

"This is what our field training detachments do best," Markle said via email. "Representing the 82nd Training Wing in 'Making Great Maintainers and Communicators Even Better', even in Thailand!"

TCM introduces Kyrgyz military to aeromedical evacuations

by Tech. Sgt. Rachel Martinez
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

3/27/2013 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan  -- Transit Center at Manas medical professionals meet weekly with their counterparts in the Kyrgyz military for the purpose of exchanging information on processes and sharing common terminology.

At the request of the Kyrgyz Republic, the most recent military exchange introduced several Kyrgyz military members to the process of conducting aeromedical evacuations.

The meeting began with an overview of the beginning of flight medicine, followed by a presentation on the stressors of flight on the human body.

Following the classroom presentation, participants took part in hands-on assessment and preparation of a simulated patient to be evacuated for further medical treatment.

"It was very interesting because we have not experienced evacuation by plane or helicopter," said Kyrgyz Republic Col. Abakir Abdurahmanov, deputy commander of the Bishkek military hospital. "A lot of the information was new for us; now we have some knowledge of aerospace medicine."

For Lt. Col. (Dr.) Robert Lehman, 376th Expeditionary Medical Group flight surgeon, military medical exchanges such as this one do more than just share information; the exchanges are the first step in building stronger relationships.

"I love having a chance to talk to other cultures and learn their way of life and way of doing things," said Lehman. "This is just the first step. We never know where these things will lead us."

Medical exchanges will continue to be held on a weekly basis, with a plan to cover aeromedical evacuation topics monthly.

"There is always more to know," said Abdurahmanov.

From the Ground Up: Climbing to the Top of the World

by Sachel Seabrook
Air Combat Command Public Affairs

3/27/2013 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Six continents. Seven years. More than 100,000 feet climbed and next month, the USAF 7 Summits Challenge team is setting out to climb to the top of the world.

At 29,035 ft., Mount Everest is the highest peak on Earth. If successful, six Airmen will become the first American military team to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the first team of military service members from any nation to reach all seven summits. Airmen who are making the trek to Everest are stationed all across the country, including two right here at Headquarters Air Combat Command.

"For me, it's not about making history," said Capt. Kyle "Husky" Martin. "It's about proudly representing something larger than me."

Nicknamed Husky for sleeping out in the snow multiple times, Martin first started climbing 10 years ago. He heard about the Air Force 7 Summit challenge when he joined the United States Air Force Academy mountaineering club as a young cadet. Now a T-38 pilot and division chief for the 1st Operations Group, the Manhattan, Kan. native has climbed many mountains, including Ama Dablam, a mountain in the Himalayan range of eastern Nepal relatively close to Mount Everest.

"Ama Dablam is the climb I'm most proud of," he said excitingly. "It's rock climbing, ice climbing and really, really exposed to base camp, which is 4,000 ft. below you."

Led by Maj. Rob Marshall, a 34-year-old Special Operations pilot who has successfully conquered more than 30 peaks, the USAF 7 Summits Challenge team is dedicated to one thing: honoring fallen comrades by carrying the American and USAF flags to the highest point on each continent.

Those fallen comrades include several of Marshall's friends who were killed when an Air Force MC-130, call sign Wrath 11, crashed in the Albanian mountains in 2005. Two months later, tragedy struck again when two more of Marshall's friends, Captains Derek Angel and Jeremy Fresques, also died with three other Airmen in a small-plane crash near Diyala, Iraq.

"Remember walking around a track to raise money for your school or charity?" Marshall asked. "Well, I decided to take it vertical."

For every thousand feet the team climbs, they ask people to donate towards the college education of their fallen comrade's children.

In addition to Captain Martin, the Everest team includes:

- Maj. Rob Marshall, 34, a CV-22 pilot, from Mercer Island, Wash., stationed in Amarillo,Tex.
- Capt. Andrew Ackles, 29, a TH-1N instructor pilot, from Ashland, Ore., stationed at Fort
Rucker, Ala.
- Capt. Marshall Klitzke, 30, a KC-135R pilot from Lemmon, S.D., currently an instructor
pilot at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Capt. Colin Merrin, 28, a GPS satellite operations mission commander from Santee,
Calif., stationed at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
- Staff Sgt. Nick Gibson, 36, a reserve pararescueman and physician-assistant student
from Gulf Breeze, Fla., stationed at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.

"This trip is a great way to highlight the resiliency of the Wounded Warrior," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Disney, a pararescueman and wounded warrior who is ascending to the Everest Base Camp. "I want Airmen to understand that no matter what their experience or current life position, there is nothing that they cannot overcome."

Along with Disney, two other wounded warriors will be going to the base camp:

- Capt. Augustin "Gus" Viani, 28, a Combat Rescue Officer, stationed at Davis-Monthan
Air Force Base, Ariz.
- Master Sgt. Gino (last name and details withheld for operational security)

Though the team is not sponsored by the Air Force, Disney credits his Air Force training for preparing him for this very moment.

"For a PJ, climbing or mountaineering is just another way of getting to work," he said. "Our Operational Risk Management training prepares us to weigh the risk-to-reward ratios of our choices and to make life-and-death decisions on the fly."

Those risk-management skills, something Husky hopes Airmen pay attention to on and off duty, has contributed to the team's unblemished history of safety and success.

With the team being stationed all over the country, training together becomes a challenge. However Husky managed to get creative when it came to preparing himself for the ultimate climb.

"Since I don't have mountains here in Hampton Roads, I'll go out to the beaches," the captain said. "My daughter is my training partner. She'll add her might 20lbs to the baby backpack and we'll hike through the deep sand in my Everest boots. We look pretty absurd, but she loves to go outside."

Disney also credits his wife Tess for helping him prepare for this moment. With her support, he has gotten back into climbing shape in just two months.

With both men days away from leaving, Disney and Husky both hope to surpass their own limitations and encourage other Airmen do the same.

"Oh and come back with all of my toes," Husky adds. "I definitely want to come back with all of my toes."