Military News

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Italian Defense attaché stresses importance of coalition training

by 2nd Lt Meredith Hein
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs


7/2/2013 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The defense attaché to the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C. emphasized the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program in building international partnerships during a visit to Sheppard AFB June 28.

Italian Air Force Maj. Gen. Giovannu Fantuzzi toured the 80th Flying Training Wing, which operates ENJJPT, and will speak at class 13-06's graduation June 28.

"It is important to train as an alliance," Fantuzzi said. "For our students, being here, learning about the United States, learning English and the culture is so important for our young officers."

He also presided over the change of command ceremony for the 80th Operations Group, in which Italian Air Force Col. Paolo Baldasso took command from German Air Force Col. Eberhard von Wintzingerode-Knorr. Baldasso will be the first non-German officer to command the operations group.

Fantuzzi stressed the importance of training as a coalition. Especially in an environment of fiscal constraints, he said, it is important to come together and work on finding the best solution to training.

The Italian Air Force, Fantuzzi said, sees the experience of pilot training as important for its young officers, especially by exposing them to different cultures, perspectives and ways of thinking. "There is a benefit to working together and leveraging on all of our different experiences."

The strategy of the Italian Air Force has been completely changed as a result of coalition war fighting, said Fantuzzi. "This has been a long process, starting from the end of the Cold War, as coalitions have become the norm."

In Libya, during Operation Unified Protector, coalition training enabled the NATO partner nations to be successful. "You need to start with coalition training like you have here at Sheppard to fight and win a war," he said.

"We'd like to keep investing to gain knowledge and capability in the pilot training area," Fantuzzi said. "Pulling and sharing efforts, as we've done in NATO's Smart Defense, shows that pilot training is something we can do together."

The concept of Smart Defense encourages the NATO partners to work together in "developing, acquiring and maintaining military capabilities to meet current security problems," according to NATO's website.

Fantuzzi noted that it is important to have a "niche" capability, so that nations have the capacity to "plug in" and fight in the coalition. "What you do here," he said, "is teach the fundamental beginning of the process, stressing it from day one."

"We will not fight the next conflict alone," Fantuzzi emphasized. "That doesn't come for free--you have to invest in your training to be successful."

Top Service Members Mark All-volunteer Force’s Anniversary

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 – In a letter issued yesterday to the men and women of the armed forces, the nation’s top two military officers and senior enlisted member marked the 40th anniversary of the all-volunteer force.

The letter -- signed by Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs; and Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman -- reads as follows:

Since the Nation's founding, our sons and daughters have volunteered to leave the everyday comforts of their homes, their neighborhoods, and their families to join and serve a cause greater than themselves. They have joined a profession bound by honor, sacrifice, bravery, and -- in many cases -- danger. They serve a greater purpose -- protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.

On 1 July 1973, the United States instituted the All-Volunteer Force. Those who choose to wear the cloth of our Nation do so with a great sense of pride and allegiance. To volunteer speaks volumes to the character, patriotism, and commitment of America's most precious resource -- our men and women who serve.

As we commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the All-Volunteer Force, we would like to pass our heartfelt appreciation to all those who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces. You are America's strength -- you honor our past, and you preserve our future.

Well done, Warriors -- thank you for your service!

Maxwell stands up, runs for respect

by Tech. Sgt. Sarah Loicano
Air University Public Affairs


7/2/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- Team Maxwell and Air Education and Training Command leadership culminated the installation's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response stand-down week with a 5K run for respect June 28.

"We are focusing on protecting and respecting our fellow Airmen," said Col. Trent Edwards, 42d Wing Commander. "This run culminates our focus this week but doesn't prevent us from thinking about and acting to prevent sexual assault."

The base conducted a mandatory SAPR stand-down June 24-27 for all service members and civilians in response to an order from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that all military services set aside time to inform its members of their role in eliminating sexual assaults, as well as taking steps to create a zero tolerance culture.

Addressing Maxwell members before the run, Gen. Edward A. Rice, Jr., commander AETC, stressed the importance of creating awareness about the depth of sexual assault problems within the Air Force and each individual's responsibility toward prevention.

"Each one of us has an opportunity and a duty to stamp this scourge of sexual assault out of our Air Force. The most effective and simplest way to do this is to have respect for our fellow Airmen, to demand it of each other and of ourselves," Rice said.

"One sexual assault is one too many. We can't change the past; we can only change the future and we can start right now," he said.

For some runners, the briefings and information they learned about sexual assaults within the Air Force this week emphasized the importance awareness and education plays in prevention.

"We are the focal point for accepting new Airmen into our Air Force; we are the root source of not only Airmen but education for the entire Air Force, so it's important that sexual assault awareness begins here," said Maj. Damon Wille, headquarters Air Force ROTC.

The stand-down consisted of base-wide briefings from the installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator regarding sexual assault reporting procedures, including unrestricted and restricted reporting and defining what constitutes sexual assault. Work centers also engaged in discussions on sexual assault awareness, issues currently affecting the Air Force, and ways to eliminate sexual assault cases in the military.

Recently, the Air Force has begun to take aggressive steps toward addressing the sexual assault crisis currently existing within the military. In January, the service implemented a Special Victim's Council Program, enabling sexual assault victims to receive legal representation, ensure protection of privacy and prevention of unnecessary disclosure of personal or intimate details, and support victim's rights.

Additionally, the Air Force has changed the way allegations of sexual assault are investigated, transferring responsibility to the Office of Special Investigations. Among these other changes, the Air Force Audit Agency is reviewing Air Force SARC office credentials and qualifications; beginning in October, all Air Force victim advocates and SARC agencies will be required to be credential through the National Organization for Victim Assistance.

Maxwell's SARC office and SARC victim advocate volunteers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can be contacted by calling 953-4416 or 953-7116.

Travis takes command of Moody reserve unit

by Tech. Sgt. Danielle Johnston
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/2/2013 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga.  -- Col. James Travis took command of the 476th Fighter Group in a change of command ceremony here June 23.

The 476th FG, a geographically separated unit of the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., is an A-10 Thunderbolt II classic-associate unit comprised of approximately 220 Citizen Airmen.

Travis received command from Col. Christian Funk, who led the 476th FG for two years.

Travis, the former commander of the 47th Fighter Squadron, Barksdale AFB, La., had previously served with the group earlier in his career as an A-10 pilot.

"It is a great honor to lead the 476th Fighter Group," he said. "My family and I appreciate the warm welcome from the base and local leaders. We truly feel connected to the mission, the unit the base and the city. We look forward to continuing and building the great total force enterprise here."

Breedlove: Special Operators Provide Decisive Capability

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 2, 2013 – Special operators, working together through the NATO Special Forces Headquarters, have provided the decisive edge during NATO missions in Europe, Afghanistan and Africa, and continue to improve their capabilities across the land, air and sea domains, the senior U.S. and NATO commander in Europe said today.

“These ‘quiet professionals’ provide unique current and emerging capabilities that enable our team to respond rapidly and precisely in ways no one else can,” Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, noted in a blog posting. “As our military teams across the alliance find more efficient and effective ways of providing the right forces at the right place and at the right time, we will increasingly look to our special operators to get the job done.”

Breedlove praised the role of special operators after presiding today over the NATO Special Forces Headquarters’ change of command ceremony. Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank J. Kisner passed command to Navy Vice Adm. Sean A. Pybus.

Breedlove recognized the operational support the headquarters has provided more than 2,200 allied and partner special operations service members serving in Afghanistan under the International Security Assistance Force mission. Meanwhile, the NATO Special Forces Headquarters has provided special operations expertise to Operation Unified Protector in Libya, Operation Ocean Shield off the Horn of Africa, Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea and other NATO missions, he said.

The general attributed much of the success of these missions -- and future ones -- to the NATO Special Operations Forces Training and Education Program. This initiative is “the centerpiece of building and sustaining allied and partner SOF capability,” he said, with more than 3,500 special operations personnel from 34 nations graduating from the program’s 26 courses that span the spectrum of special operations capabilities.

Breedlove singled out examples of these capabilities across the region. Members of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe, based in Stuttgart, Germany, “are accomplishing great things every day on the ground, in the air and on the seas across the European theater and beyond,” he said.

New aircraft arriving in the theater will bring additional capability, specifically in support of crises response, disaster preparedness and emergency airlift missions, he noted. The first of two CV-22 Osprey aircraft at the British Royal Air Force base at Mildenhall, United Kingdom, represent “a first for U.S. special operations aviation in Europe, providing transformational vertical-lift capability to our theater,” he said.

Also arriving are the first of 12 MC-130J Commando II aircraft, “uniquely capable of low-visibility, low-level aerial refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft, as well as infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of ground and maritime special operations forces,” the general said.
“These aircraft bring new capabilities to our theater that are welcome additions,” Breedlove said. “These important upgrades will allow our special operators to fly further, faster, higher and longer than ever before, dramatically increasing our theater special operations capabilities and range of modern support to our European partners.”

Meanwhile, Special Operations Command Europe continues to focus on expanding theater-wide SOF capabilities. Efforts to train, develop and enable European allies and partners “thickens our lines,” Breedlove said.

In Afghanistan, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force’s Combined Special Operations Task Force 10, led by the only U.S. special operations forces serving under NATO operational control, includes special operators from Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Breedlove recognized the contributions the element is making across nine Afghan provinces, with “profound effects on enabling the Afghans to assume full responsibility for their national security.”

Navy Special Warfare Unit 2, Special Operations Command Europe’s maritime element, also remains heavily engaged in Afghanistan, Breedlove noted. Teamed primarily with Romanian and Polish forces and Afghan law enforcement officials, they are “bringing some very bad people to justice,” he said.

Meanwhile, the unit has built strong relationships with allies from Greece and Denmark and Norwegian navy special warfare teams to create “a theater maritime response capability second to none,” Breedlove said.
Looking to the future, Breedlove said coalitions will remain the cornerstone of international military missions. Just as in current operations, he said special operators will be looked to “to get the job done.”

“From what I have seen thus far, our quiet professionals in NATO and Eucom are exactly the right people to meet this challenge,” he said. “They are a special breed, and I'm grateful for what they bring to our team.”

Forest Service repositions MAFFS aircraft to Arizona

7/2/2013 - BOISE, Idaho  -- The U.S. Forest Service, through the National Interagency Fire Center here, has directed the repositioning of military Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System aircraft from Colorado Springs, Colo., to Mesa, Ariz.

"The weather and progress on the ground have helped us in the Four Corners region." said Col. Charles D. Davis III, commander of the Air Expeditionary Group (Provisional) - Wildland Fire Fighting, located at the NIFC, here. "By Wednesday, we plan to have relocated all four airplanes and their crews to Arizona."

One MAFFS aircraft departed Colorado Springs Monday evening to drop fire retardant on the Dean Peak fire, a wildland blaze burning east of Kingman, Ariz., in an effort to draw suppression lines and help contain the fire.

Following the mission where it dropped 3,000 gallons of retardant, it landed at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, the former Williams Air Force Base, where it stayed the night. A second aircraft due to fly the same mission did not take off due to thunderstorms over the fire site.

The AEG intends to have all four MAFFS aircraft ready to make drops in Arizona Wednesday. They will operate from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway. Two aircraft each are from the 302nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command located at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., and the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, based at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station.

"The relocation of the MAFFS resources does not mean MAFFS aircraft will be unavailable should they be needed in the region again if the USFS determines that is necessary," added Davis. Four additional MAFFS-capable C-130s are operated by Air National Guard units in North Carolina and Wyoming and can be called on if needed.

MAFFS initially activated June 11 to assist in fighting forest fires in Southern Colorado after the USFS sent a request for assistance to the Department of Defense though U.S. Northern Command. USFS requested two additional MAFFS tankers June 21. Since activating, MAFFS aircraft have made 70 drops on Colorado and Arizona fires using some 190,000 gallons of fire retardant.

MAFFS is a self-contained aerial firefighting system owned by the USFS. MAFFS modules are loaded into the cargo bays of military C-130 aircraft.

Following USFS lead planes, military aircrews can discharge 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant from the MAFFS modules along the leading edge of a forest fire in less than five seconds and cover an area a quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide. Once the load is discharged, ground crews at a MAFFS tanker base can refill the modules in less than 12 minutes.

A joint DOD and USFS program, MAFFS provides aerial firefighting resources when commercial and private air tankers are no longer able to meet the needs of the Forest Service. The military AEG exercises control over MAFFS resources at the direction of the USFS.

Surviving from point A to point B

by Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Boutte
509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


7/2/2013 - WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Flying is inherently danger--every flight and every mission carry the possibility of crashing.

To ensure all Airmen who take this risk have the best possible chance of making it through and returning home to their loved ones, survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) specialists provide combat survival training for aircrew members, including those who fly the B-2 Spirit.

"We simulate a B-2 Spirit ejection over hostile territory," said Staff Sgt. Clifton Cleveland, 509th Operations Support Squadron SERE specialist. "Our B-2 pilots are then required to evade capture with aggressors actively pursuing them, ultimately resulting in a successful rescue."

Several members of Whiteman's flying elite recently undertook this training in the woods and fields around Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

The first part of the day consisted of in-class lectures and demonstrations. The second half of the day covered survival training and evading enemies. The pilots followed an instructor from point to point to learn the process of gathering materials, seeking shelter, discarding unnecessary supplies, finding food, using maps, radios and flares, and getting to their retrieval locations.

The aircrew personnel were required to use their navigation and evasion techniques to get to a recovery point for rescue.

This training, which is required every three years, is used to strengthen the aircrew's skills and further hone the techniques and procedures previously learned in their initial survival training.

Captain Jonathon Roe, 393rd Bomb Squadron B-2 Spirit pilot, has been through this training three times.

"Each time is roughly the same," Roe said. "I have never been in a real-world situation, but I believe the survival training I receive will be instrumental in saving my life."

SERE conducts various training for aircrew here, including combat and water survival, conduct after capture and emergency parachuting techniques.

The training focused on life-saving techniques so aircrew have the highest possibility of survival in the event of an emergency.

17 OWS provides forecast for Everest success

by Capt. Justin Billot
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs


7/2/2013 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- What does it take to achieve success?

A team of Airmen mountaineers accomplished a major feat by climbing to the peak of Mount Everest May 19, a triumphant achievement and the first of its kind for a U.S. military team that not only required strong will but a reliable weather forecast.

Miles from home, family and the rest of civilization, sheer willpower hoisted the United States Air Force 7 Summits team. Ice cracked underfoot as the climbers made the daunting trek. The team had already conquered six of the world's highest mountain peaks, one for each other continent with only Mount Everest remaining to complete their seven-continent journey.

The altitude typically reserved for birds and aircraft required specialized training, equipment and support. One critical piece of specialized support would come thousands of miles from the warm shores of Oahu. It was a weather report from the Airmen of the 17th Operational Weather Squadron at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

A four-day weather forecast included wind speed, snow accumulation, wind chill, and temperature. The initial forecasts along with periodic updates were put together using satellite imagery, weather modeling, and climatology information.

"The 17 OWS forecast was right on and we summited in great conditions," said a member of the Air Force 7 Summits team. "We couldn't have done it without the weather forecast, and we truly thank all the Airmen for the amazing level of support they provided us."

The 17 OWS is responsible for delivering pinpoint weather awareness and timely forecast updates in real-time for an area of more than 113 million square miles. Their responsibility is 24/7 weather surveillance for more than 50 percent of the Earth's surface.

"We are here to provide decision, quality weather info so pilots and aircrew can plan and execute day-to-day air operations across the Asia-Pacific region," said Maj. Mark Allen, 17 OWS commander. "These reports are vital to enabling flight operations, disaster relief efforts, and military training exercises."

The request from the Air Force 7 Summits team was far from the typical day-to-day forecast, and provided the 17 OWS an opportunity to assist fellow Airmen in a unique situation.

"I was surprised, because this request was the first of its type for us. Although we are used to mapping forecasts for mountainous regions, we've never mapped Mount Everest," said 1st Lt. Andrew Spier, the Officer in Charge who built the initial request.

Mapping the peak of Mount Everest came with its difficulties.

"This forecast was very challenging. It required about four times the amount of time compared to a typical request for weather support," said Senior Master Sgt. Greg Espinosa, Flight Chief of Contingency Operations, who also prepared the information.

The Air Force 7 Summits team became the first U.S. military team in history to summit Mt. Everest. And, it was the 17 OWS that answered the call to provide the tactical weather support.

"I think it's pretty amazing we were able to provide support," Spier said. "It was definitely a challenge, but we were happy to get the opportunity."

What does it take to achieve success? In this case it took dedication, grit, sacrifice, resiliency and a team of skilled weather Airmen.

Twins Complete Long-awaited Re-enlistment


ace of Defense: Twins Complete Long-awaited Re-enlistment

By Samuel King Jr.
Eglin Air Force Base
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla., July 1, 2013 – Air Force Master Sgt. Antone Scott always had wanted his identical twin brother to be a part of one of his re-enlistment ceremonies, but for 10 years, timing and location kept them apart.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Navy Lt. Cdr. Anthony Scott stands with his twin brother, Air Force Master Sgt. Antone Scott, after administering the oath of enlistment to him June 27, 2013, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
But, when Scott raised his hand here June 27 to take the oath for his fifth enlistment, his brother was there to administer it.

"It's a great honor knowing he could have selected any officer for his re-enlistment, but he was willing to make the extra effort and coordinate to re-enlist this way," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Scott, assigned to Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va. "I'm very thankful and blessed to share this moment with my brother and our family."
Sergeant Scott was all smiles during the ceremony. After years of separation, delays and other obstacles, he finally recited the oath to his brother.

"The timing was finally perfect for him to administer the oath to me for both the first and most likely the last time, because this will take me to 24 years of service," the 96th Logistics Readiness Squadron member said.

The brothers grew up in Greenville, Ala. They spent their first 20 years confusing friends, relatives and teachers, who tried to figure out which one was Anthony and which one was Antone. They were always in different classes in school, although they did swap places occasionally without anyone discovering.

"It was easy, because I knew how to act like Antone and he knew how to act like me," Anthony said, laughing. "When we look back at old photos of ourselves, it's sometimes difficult to tell who is who."
Antone remembers those days of having a doppelganger fondly.

"Always having someone by your side growing up and sharing everything was fun," said the master sergeant, who leads 18 members of Eglin's deployment facility. "It's one of the best experiences of my life."

In 1992, the brothers signed up for the Navy together in the delayed entry program, but Antone "jumped ship" before entering and instead stepped into the blue two months later in January 1993.

"He was smarter," Anthony joked.

Throughout their linked life, Antone always has followed Anthony, his big brother by three minutes, especially when it came to education. Anthony completed his associate's and bachelor's degrees, followed a year later by Antone. In further education, Antone is only a few steps behind Anthony, who already has completed his master's degree.


"Anthony was always the overachiever," Antone said with a smile.

Since they joined the military, the brothers have seen each other only sporadically as their careers moved them around the world. They came back together in 2000 while Antone was stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and Anthony attended ROTC at nearby Norfolk State University.

"Just knowing your twin brother is only a few miles away is a great feeling," said Anthony, who was a petty officer 2nd class before receiving his commission through the enlisted commissioning program. "We could get together with each other's families more often."

Antone said he and his brother would meet each week for lunch and talk about their lives and their services.
After Anthony completed the school and earned his commission, Antone was on hand to be part of a time-honored military officer tradition: the first salute.

"I was a bit nervous, but it was so good to have my twin brother give the first salute upon my commissioning, and I passed him the traditional silver dollar," Anthony said. "Navy tradition states you have to buy your first salute and then earn every salute thereafter through your performance by gaining the respect of your subordinates."

Although he's a little older and higher ranking in the military, Anthony said, his brother has always been his mentor.

"Throughout our 20 years of service, we've discussed leadership, guidance and mentorship of leading airmen and sailors in every situation," said Anthony, the commander of Amphibious Squadron 6 at Virginia Beach, Va. "My brother has always given me the confidence and strength to grow, develop and advance as an enlisted sailor and officer."

Both brothers have carried their love for the services to their families. Each brother has three sons of his own, and their eldest sons have chosen careers as soldiers in the Army.

"The Air Force and Navy [have] done great things for me and my brother with traveling the planet, advanced education and supporting our families," Anthony said. "Being able to re-enlist him shows me he will continue to reap the benefits of being an airman while making the Air Force a better institution, because of his service and leadership. It is always a privilege to administer the oath, but it is extra special when it is your brother."

JSTARS unit beefs up for disaster

by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons
116 Air Control Wing Public Affairs


6/28/2013 - June 28, 2013 -- The 116th Air Control Wing's civil engineer squadron has been chosen among a select group of Air National Guard CE units throughout the nation to take on an additional mission that will bolster their ability to respond to disasters in the Southeast United States.

To meet this mission, the Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force, or Prime Beef unit, took delivery of two route clearance kits Thursday at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

"During Hurricane Katrina, which we responded too, Domestic Operations found that getting to a location hit by a disaster could be time consuming because of debris," said Chief Master Sgt. David Fite, superintendent of the 116th CES.

"Whether it's trees on the road, overturned cars, or piles of rubble, this equipment will give us the capability and skill set to clear the way for emergency operations personnel to respond," shared Fite.

Located in the heart of FEMA Region 4, the 116th CES will use the multi-purpose Kubota tractors with buckets, grappling hooks and brooms to provide Guardsmen a mobile and versatile tool set to respond quickly to disasters that strike their region, according to 116th CES Prime Beef Manager, Senior Master Sgt. James Love.

"The addition of route clearance kits to the 116th CES' equipment listing provides a tremendous capability to the Georgia Air National Guard to assist our civilian partners in times of disaster and ensures the 116th Air Control Wing will play a vital role in protecting the citizens of Georgia," said Col. Greg McCreary, 116th Mission Support Group commander.

Having the equipment in their own backyard will provide more opportunity for drill status Guardsmen to get the training they need at home, added Fite.

35-year Guard member accepts dual employment opportunity

by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young
116th Air Control Wing Public Affairs


6/28/2013 - June 28, 2013 -- Since 1977, most of Senior Master Sgt. Maldvina Anderson's career was spent working part-time or in temporary status, but after 23 years, her life has changed. Anderson is now a full-time, civil service, Health Services Management technician for the 116th Air Control Wing. Enriched with two jobs, she explains the life she leads wearing the uniform during the week and one weekend a month.

When you joined the Air National Guard in 2000, did you envision being a dual-status technician? Early in my career, family obligations deterred me from pursuing full-time employment and it wasn't until I was performing temporary work for the 116th Medical Group that I found out about being a civil service technician. I thought "wow" I can serve in a dual role as a civilian and guardsman at the same time.

After I accepted a civil service position in 2009, it made it easier to transition into military status on "drill" weekends and when I deploy.

What is the role of the Health Services Management flight? We perform a myriad of duties that ultimately ensure wing members are medically ready and qualified for duty. The 116th MDG also has a key role in the regional Homeland Response Force (HRF).

The MDG participates in about four disaster preparedness exercises a year, most recently, Vigilant Guard at Camp Blanding in Florida. Can you tell us about the exercises? These exercises test our Homeland Response Force mission, which is to treat patients in a disaster. We are a chemical, biological, radiological/nuclear and explosive enhanced response force package or CERFP. CERFP are the teams that make up the HRF.

The exercises are scenario based; like hurricane preparedness, train derailments and chemical plant explosions. Each scenario is designed to help prepare us for disasters in Georgia and in the southeast region.

For example, during a chemical incident our medical technicians would don their protective chemical suit or "red bags" and respond to the "hot zone" to aid with victim search and rescue. We have doctors, nurses and medical technicians who participate in the exercises.

Being able to practice frequently ensures we provide optimal services to our wing, community, state and region if disaster strikes.

A number of best practices have resulted from HRF exercises.

What is your role in HRF? I manage the Medical Control Center team ensuring accountability of patients and medical personnel by tracking their movements in and out of the site. The MCC accounts for vehicles, provides necessary transportation for victims and personnel, and keeps inventory of all supplies.

You've been in the military 35 years. What are the most significant technological advancements you've seen in Health Services Management? Computers have significantly improved the way we communicate through electronic mail and web based programs.

Web based programs allow us to access patient and personnel information more quickly and provides a better means to organize the information. Patients or personnel are also able to complete necessary forms and send them electronically to us, which has definitely sped up our processes.

What do you enjoy about the Air National Guard? The best part is the camaraderie and the very close ties. We take care of each other; "Wingman" means something. I feel honored and good about what I do for my state, community and other military members.

Anderson transitioned from the Air Force Reserves into the Air National Guard in 2000. Her previous duty assignments include the 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah, Ga., and the 175th Wing in Baltimore, Md.

Maldvina's rank of Senior Master Sergeant is the second highest achievable enlisted rank in the Air Force.

352nd SOG welcomes Osprey to fleet

by Tech. Sgt. Stacia Zachary
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


6/25/2013 - RAF MILDENHALL, England  -- The 352nd Special Operations Group resurrected a key capability June 24, 2013, when two CV-22B Ospreys touched down here.

The Ospreys are the first of 10 slated to arrive as part of the 352nd SOG expansion, which will last through the end of 2014.

The CV-22 fills part of the role previously accomplished by the MH-53 Pave Low helicopter. However, it combines the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical-landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel-efficiency and speed of a turboprop aircraft.

This new acquisition to the 7th Special Operations Squadron enhances the unit's ability to rapidly respond across greater distances.

"It brings a new capability to the (European Command) theater that hasn't really been here for a while and I think that was when the MH-53 departed, the vertical lift piece of this departed with it," said Lt. Col. Chris Goodyear, 7th Special Operations Squadron director of operations.

The CV-22's arrival to RAF Mildenhall further solidifies the enduring partnership between U.S. and U.K. forces. Forged out of the need to unite during World War II, U.S. and U.K. forces formed a bond that has stood the test of time and is more valid today than ever.

The 352nd SOG expansion allows the two countries to continue working together while benefitting from more modernized equipment and additional personnel. Being stationed in the U.K. simply allows U.S. forces to work seamlessly with their coalition counterparts and train in an overseas environment.

"The arrival of the new aircraft is the next chapter in a 70-year historical relationship the U.S. and the U.K. share," said Col. Christopher Ireland, 352nd SOG commander. "While this is a new airframe, we are still operating under the same parameters previously set by Her Majesty's government. We are partners with the Ministry of Defence and follow U.K. aircraft regulations and restrictions. We set high standards for our people, and we are committed to being good neighbors."

The 7th SOS executes night, adverse-weather, long-range insertion, extraction and resupply operations. The squadron can also support noncombatant evacuation and humanitarian relief.

The aircraft's speed allows it to reach its objectives faster than its predecessor and is a proven combat asset. In addition, when in airplane mode, the aircraft is quieter than other rotary wing aircraft, which is beneficial when over hostile territory.

"It brings that vertical lift capability where you can land in austere locations that don't necessarily require a runway," Goodyear said. "So it gives you access to places that you normally wouldn't have with a fixed wing aircraft. But, the unique thing about the CV-22, unlike our rotary wing partners, is it has the speed of a fixed wing platform. So you kind of get the blend of the best of both worlds. You have the speed of a fixed wing and you have the vertical lift capability of a helicopter."

The arrival of the CV-22 marks the start of a new chapter in an enduring partnership, but also is the dawn of a new era in which modernization and increased capabilities are a reality for 352nd SOG Airmen.

"The new air frames (CV-22B Osprey and MC-130J Commando II) bring a modernized fleet of aircraft and new capabilities," Goodyear said. "Each one of them has unique features that this theater is going to enjoy now - it's an exciting time."

Safety program gives Airman avenue to identify potential issues

by Joseph Murray
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs


7/2/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- In April of 2006, a B-52 crew was bringing their aircraft in after a long training mission -- adverse weather conditions surrounding their home station made for a trying and difficult approach.

The bomber finally broke through the clouds, and finding the runway clear; the crew expected an easy recovery after their long mission. Seconds before touch-down however, the tower ordered an immediate go-around.

The aircraft heaved up into the air, straining against its control cables, and plunged directly back into the weather bank. Inside the storm clouds, static discharge damaged the wing and endangered the men on board. Following procedure, and relying on their training, the crew was able to bring the stricken craft safely to ground with no further incident.

On inquiry it was discovered that the plane was required to take another pass due to lightning strikes five miles off the end of the departure runway. In accordance with published procedure, all landings had been suspended, including the one that was about to be successfully executed.

"A safe landing was aborted and a crew was endangered because of dogged adherence to a flawed procedure," said Maj. Gregory Watson, AFGSC Flight Safety Integration Chief, "Input from the Airmen on the ground and in the air helps rewrite our procedures keeping our people safe and our planes in the air."

Air Force Global Strike Command Safety introduced the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) to provide a means to reduce safety incidents by giving Airman the ability to report hazardous situations, questionable events and high-risk activities.

"Safety is more prominent when we have actual mishaps, when we have bent metal, lost a person or destroyed an intricate process because of an accident," said Col. Rey R. Ermitaño, AFGSC Director of Safety, "ASAP is important because it allows the safety community to proactively track and seek those small incidents which could grow into larger safety issues."

"The ASAP program allows you the Airman to have a voice, a direct impact on those things in the command especially those that concern the safety arena," said Watson.

The program was adopted in the early 1990s by civilian airlines. Major carriers now receive and investigate an average of 100 reports per week.

Since Air Mobility command introduced the program in July of 2009, it has received more than 360 reports which have contributed to overall safety in the command. AFGSC is only the second MAJCOM to implement the program.

"The proactive nature of ASAP makes it a very cost-effective way of dealing with incidents. Our desire is that we catch them early enough that they do not create a larger mishap," Ermitaño said. "If this program enables us to take measures ahead of time to save lives, then it is something we really need to participate in."

"Use it," Watson said. "The more ASAP gets used, the more data we get, the more hazards we identify and the more mishaps we prevent."

McChord reservists participate in Patriot Defender

by Sandra Pishner
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/28/2013 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Battling the heat and at times their own senior NCOs, security forces reservists from the 446th Security Forces Squadron here successfully navigated their way through security forces sustainment training at Fort Wolter, Texas.

The training, known as Patriot Defender, took 16 people from the 446th SFS through the paces of 21 core security forces tasks.  This is the first time in 10 years the squadron has participated in the sustainment training. However much of the course is also taught in the pre-deployment training Reservists attend prior to deploying.

Overseen by cadre from the 610th Security Forces Squadron, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, the two-week training course included classroom time, land navigation, urban operations, mounted and dismounted operations, static and entry control point operations, and weapons firing.

All of the Airmen were certified for operation of the light-medium tactical vehicle and up-armored Humvee, and were trained in the Army's Humvee roll over simulator.

"Sustainment covers the security forces readiness tasks that we need to be certified on and trained on in order to fulfill our mission," explains Master Sgt. Michael Pate, 446th SFS. "Its 14 days of training covering all 21 core tasks, with all the changes that have been made from (lessons learned from Southwest Asia operations). Anything security forces does; this is where they accumulate everything together and ask 'How ready are you.' "

All the training done at Patriot Defender is for security forces from across the Air Force Reserve Command.

"We were combined into a 56-man flight with Dobbins (ARB, Ga.,) and Pope (Field, N.C.), and there were two other flights," said Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Helpenstell. "The whole program is 156 people, all Reservists."

Arriving at the training in Texas from the mild climate of Washington presented the McChord reservists with an additional challenge - staying hydrated in extreme heat.

"It took a while to acclimate to the heat, with ranged from 97 (degrees Fahrenheit) to 100," said Helpenstell.

The heat was not the only element Airman 1st Class Chessie Kirk had to acclimate to at Patriot Defender. Having just joined the unit from technical training in May, Kirk also had to get use to her fellow defenders.

"She did great," said Tech. Sgt. Dan Carroll, her supervisor. "We made her a squad leader and she really found her voice. She's not a big person, but she really carried her own and even when she was on restricted duty for dehydration, she refused to let anyone take her weapon."

Kirk, along with the 15 other McChord reservists meld into a strong team.

"What impressed me was how well we came together as a team, not only with our 16 people, but with the people from Dobbins and Pope," said Helpenstell. "The first couple days everyone was in their own little groups, but by the end we were just one big 56-man team."

That team learned together as the built up to the end of training field exercise.

"The training starts out with a crawl, walk, run and it culminates in a three-day field exercise where they incorporate all you've been training on the previous 12 days," said Pate.

"We excelled at pretty much everything we did," continues Pate, who was awarded the Lt. Joseph Helton Leadership Award. "We went from static defense, which we did for the ORI, to the mounted, dismounted patrols."

During the urban warfare portion of the training, the leadership from the flights, including Pate and Helpenstell, got to play the aggressors.

"That was a lot of fun," both Pate and Helpenstell said.

But more important than fun, was learning about changes in tactics that have occurred over the years.

"The counter IED and the mounted and dismounted patrols had the most changes in the training," said Carroll. "The mounted and dismounted patrols use to follow the Army tactics and now they follow the Marines tactics."

Reserve F-16 pilot helps squelch wildfires across West

by Kari Tilton
419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


6/28/2013 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Air Force Reserve F-16 pilot Lt. Col. Paul "Buster" Delmonte flies several types of aircraft as part of his full-time civilian job, but instead of dropping bombs he delivers an entirely different kind of weapon.

Delmonte, the 466th Fighter Squadron commander, is an aerial firefighter and aviation safety manager with the U.S. Forest Service. Between May and October each year, he flies above fiery mountain ranges to drop smokejumpers and direct the delivery of fire retardant.

He's currently in Durango, Colo. with more than 1,400 forest service personnel to extinguish the West Fork Complex Fire, which as of today has consumed more than 83,000 acres. He's also working alongside Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard aircrews deployed there with specially equipped C-130s that are dropping thousands of gallons of retardant on the blazing wilderness area.

Just like flying in a combat zone, conditions above wildfires are often rough and the drop zones are always challenging.

"Typically, we drop the smokejumpers over tight clearings in the forest canopy," Delmonte said. "It takes about 30 minutes to empty the plane and it can be challenging to maneuver through narrow canyons while steering clear of trees and other obstacles."

"If the fire is big, often times smoke combined with the angle of the sun will make it extremely difficult to see," he added.

When transporting smokejumpers, Delmonte flies either a DHC-6 or DC3-TP aircraft. Both are known for their ability to fly at slow speeds and in tight circles. The smokejumpers jump from the aircraft, parachuting into rugged terrain to reach areas that are hard to access by road.

When fire retardant is the weapon of choice, Delmonte flies as "lead plane" in a Beech King Air, a smaller, highly maneuverable aircraft. His role is to orchestrate the location and timing for large forest service tankers to drop the retardant, foam or water.

"We have a smoke generator onboard - similar to airshow aircraft - so we can mark the start point and designate the best course for the tankers," Delmonte said. "Piloting the lead plane is much like being an F-16 FAC-A (forward air control - airborne). I get the objectives and priorities from the ground incident commander and then go to work sequencing other aircraft over the target."

The forest service can send Delmonte anywhere in the U.S., but he typically covers hot spots in the western U.S. like New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and California where wildfires are most common in the hot, dry summer months.

During a busy season, a lead plane pilot can assist in putting out as many as 60 fires, he said. So far this year, he's been called to New Mexico, California, Idaho and Colorado.

But with weather reports calling for a record-setting heat wave across the western U.S. this weekend, things are likely just warming up.

"I expect I'll get busier real soon, as July and August are typically our biggest months," he said.

Canadian pilot calls 2nd ARS home

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


7/1/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Capt. Kevin Judd may not be a member of the United States Air Force, but he has certainly found a home at the 2nd Air Refueling Squadron here.

The Royal Canadian Air Force CC-150 Polaris pilot from Deep River, Ontario, has been flying with the 2nd ARS for the past two years as part of the three-year Military Personnel Exchange Program.

The program started in 1998, and through the years Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Chile, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Denmark and Thailand have participated according to an article by Senior Airman Tong Duong.

"I volunteered for the program because I knew it would be a great experience," said Judd. "I was selected for the opportunity because of my tactical air refueling background in Canada."
The Air Force goals of the program include promoting mutual understanding and trust, enhancing interoperability, strengthening air force to air force ties, and developing long-term professional and personal relationships as stated by the 2011 U.S. Air Force Global Partnership Strategy.

"The MPEP allows us to learn as much from our exchange officers as they learn from us," said Lt. Col. William Wade, 2nd ARS commander. "By understanding how the two nations accomplish similar tasks and missions, we are both stronger partners in the end."

Judd has spent his time here learning the U.S's tactics, techniques and procedures and his Canadian training allows him to see potential shortfalls on either side.

"Capt. Judd brings tremendous operational experience in other airframes to 'The Duce' while also bringing in a fresh perspective," said Wade. "He is not hampered by the philosophy of 'that's the way we have always done it,' and he asks hard questions. The answers to those questions are what helps make us a better unit and crew force."

Judd was not trained in the states, but professionalism knows no nationality.

"While there are some big differences between the U.S. and Canadian air forces, we both hold our pilots to the same standard," said Judd. "The size and scope of the U.S. Air Force is much larger but the professionalism and excellence expected from a pilot is universal."

The Canadian pilot is also receiving as much knowledge as he is sharing, which is the essence of the program.

"Judd is learning how we administer, operate, and employ our crews and aircraft," said Wade. "When his exchange is complete, he will take that information and knowledge back to Canada. He is an extremely valuable member of 'The Duce' team and we are thankful to call him a fellow Ducer, regardless of what nation's patch he wears on his shoulder."

Judd has one more year here at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst before returning to the 437 Transport Squadron in Canada as the head of training.

"The 2nd ARS has been very welcoming since my family and I arrived here," said Judd. "This is a great program and I hope it continues long into the future."

384th ARS continues Pilot for a Day, enriches young lives

by Staff Sgt. Jess Lockoski
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


6/27/2013 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.  -- Flight suits come issued in many sizes; however, at McConnell, they can come in the size of extra-extra small - for the youngest and tiniest new, up-and-coming pilots.

Eleven-year-old Esmeralda Quinonez-Jauregui, who has waged a war with Leukemia and is now in successful remission, became the latest aircrew member on base when she joined a 22nd Air Refueling Wing flying squadron's "Pilot for a Day" program, June 27.

The 384th Air Refueling Squadron hosted Esmeralda, her mother, Leticia, and family members as part of an almost 20-year Air Force-wide program that allows medically-challenged youth a chance to visit bases and become a part of the Air Force family.

"I hope this day will leave a positive, lasting memory for Esmeralda," said Capt. Jonathan Yates, 384h ARS pilot. "It is important to me and the 384th ARS because it not only gives us the chance to share what we do in the Air Force with an ailing child, but as warfighters, gives us inspiration from someone who is bravely fighting a battle of her own."

Quarterly, between the wing's four flying squadrons, they try to organize "Pilot for a Day" and have hosted more than a dozen youth's visits over the years.

"Each squadron takes pride in having a child be an honorary member and always has people to lend a hand, making sure the day goes smoothly and that the focus goes 100 percent to the child," said Yates.

Esmeralda's welcome in the flying community started by receiving her own child-sized flight suit and squadron patches. She was selected to participate, like many children before her, through a partnership with local community hospitals.

"We make this program available in order to provide hope and give children goals to stay strong and work towards," said Yates.

Esmeralda was diagnosed with Leukemia two and a half years ago and has been in remission for about one year, receiving treatment at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., a four-hour drive from her Ulysses, Kan. home.

"She is doing really good; she's so strong," said Paula, her 18-year-old sister. "No child should ever have to go through what she went through but she's very strong and understanding."

Esmeralda was nothing but smiles through the whole process, she added.

She continued to share her smiles with Team McConnell Airmen during several stops, trying the KC-135 Stratotanker simulator and Boom Operator Weapon System Trainer first.

While her feet could hardly reach the cockpit floor, pilots aboard agreed she was ready for flight. But Esmeralda had an exception to the standard flight uniform regulations - her small, black flip flops hung from her feet below her flight suit.

She refueled an E-3 Sentry, F-16 Fighting Falcon and a B-2 Spirit in the BOWST next.

"She really had a lot of fun," said Senior Airman Kyle Engasser, 384th ARS boom operator, who laid beside her in the sim. "At first she was so quiet, I think I could hear just the mic click, but when she got past the first receiver, she got more comfortable with it and was all smiles; it was pretty cool."

Esmeralda said she plays video games at home, but it was nothing compared to the simulators.

During her day, she toured a KC-135 static display on the flightline and visited the base fire department and security forces squadron's working dog section to learn about the equipment and jobs of the base's emergency responders.

"Our Airmen jump at the opportunity to share their career field, pride and expertise, especially when it has the ability to brighten someone's day the way we know it has for Esmeralda," said Yates.

Her favorite part of the day, she said, was watching the fierce bites of a dog rip into an aggressor during the K-9 demonstrations.

The young pilot returned to the squadron and was met by dozens of applauding Airmen who showed her moral support. She left McConnell with a newly earned set of pilot's wings and a smile.

618th TACC welcomes a new commander

by 1st Lt. Nicole White
618th Tanker Airlift Control Center Public Affairs


6/28/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Maj. Gen. Timothy Zadalis succeeded Maj. Gen. David Allvin as commander, 618th Air and Space Operations Center (Tanker Airlift Control Center), in a change of command ceremony held here today.

Zadalis comes to the 618th AOC (TACC) after serving as the Director of Intelligence, Operations and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio Randolph, Texas.

In that assignment, he was responsible for developing policies and programming resources for Air Force technical and aircrew training programs. This included undergraduate flying and initial skills training for Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Reserve and National Guard personnel, Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, enlisted accessions, initial training and non-rated supplemental training.

The new commander expressed enthusiasm for his new assignment and credited the hard work of TACC operators making global reach a reality for the world's greatest Air Force.

"My family and I are excited about being here and the mission we are now a part of. It is a pleasure for me to back at Air Mobility Command after four years and it is an honor for me to join the team at TACC. "

Allvin took command as the 16th commander of TACC in April 2012 after arriving to Scott in August 2011 as the 618th AOC (TACC) vice commander.

He will be moving on to become the Director, Strategic Planning, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. His new responsibilities will include directing the development and implementation of Air Force long-range strategic planning, as well as providing associated policy guidance.

"All of the members of TACC are truly remarkable," said Allvin. "Over the past years, I have seen them answer the call of millions around the world providing aid, cargo and millions of pounds of fuel. I am sincerely proud of this organization, and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to command such an exceptional team."

The change of command took place at a crowded Scott Club, where 618th AOC (TACC) members welcomed Zadalis as their new commander, and, after reflecting on his time with the unit, said goodbye to Allvin and his family. Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony.

"Command is an honor, a privilege and a sacred trust that few experience. It demands leaders of great commitment and character," said McDew. "Before you are two leaders whose characters have been tested with great responsibility. Those tests revealed an enduring commitment to airmen and to the mission and to our core values of integrity, service, and excellence. That same commitment and character is reflected in the men and women of this amazing organization."

The 618th AOC (TACC), at Scott Air Force Base, is the 18th Air Force's hub for planning, allocating and executing airlift, air refueling, and aeromedical evacuation operations around the world. Employing a fleet of nearly 1,300 aircraft, the 618th AOC (TACC) is heavily engaged in ensuring the swift and reliable deployment, re-deployment, and sustainment of U.S. and coalition forces overseas.