Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Air Force, Army team takes ENT medicine to 'New Horizons'

by Tech. Sgt. Tony Tolley
1st Combat Camera Squadron

6/28/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO- LACKLAND, Texas -- BELMOPAN, Belize - U.S. military medical personnel partnered with medical staff from the Western Regional hospital here recently to conduct a medical readiness training exercise focused on providing health care for the people of Belmopan.

Called New Horizons, the 13-day medical exercise held April 17 through May 1, provided ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgical procedures and hearing aids to patients who were most in need and met the criteria for these services. ENT surgery is the surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, or deformations of the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck areas. The purpose of this type of surgery is to treat abnormalities or defects to affected areas, according to members of the U.S. Army and Air Force medical team deployed to the region.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Quintin Hecht, an audiologist from the Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center's 59th Surgical Specialty Squadron, Joint-Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, was enthusiastic about the opportunity to help the local community and learn from the Belizean staff.

"The hospital staff is very knowledgeable and we are able to learn and share ideas with them. This is definitely one of the most rewarding things I have done," said Hecht. "It's an unforgettable experience, to provide patient care to the Belize population. At the end of the day, you see how grateful the patients and staff are, you feel the sense of pride and accomplishment."

The U.S. medical team, consisting of two Army and nine Air Force personnel, had to make a few adjustments to their temporary working environment. Equipment and supplies were brought from their stateside units to turn the surgical area in Belize into a fully functioning operating room needed for the complex surgeries conducted.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Brent Feldt, an ENT resident from the San Antonio Military Medical Center at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said he enjoyed the challenges it took to work in an environment outside of the United States.

"Being a surgeon in the Air Force, I have learned a ton about what it takes to work in austere conditions and working with a team of individuals from multiple bases that you have never worked with before," Feldt said. "Working with patients who don't speak the same language can present obstacles in this type of environment, but we learn to work around these problems."

Modern ENT surgery and procedures have a lasting effect and improve quality of life for beneficiaries, according to the deployed medical staff.

"What we are trying to accomplish here, is to bring the same standard of ENT care to Belize that we offer (our patients) in the United States," said U.S. Army Maj. Travis Pfannenstiel, an ENT physician and colleague of Feldt's at the SAMMC.

"An ideal surgical procedure for an international humanitarian mission is one that has high quality-of-life impact, like the restoration of form and function, with minimal follow-up care," said U.S. Air Force Col. Mark Boston, a WHASC surgical services consultant who helps coordinate humanitarian medical missions on behalf of the 59th Medical Wing at JBSA-Lackland.

ENT medical personnel screened 182 patients, conducted 10 operations and 82 audiology evaluations, and dispersed 44 hearing aids during the international mission to Belize.

New Horizons is a U.S. Southern Command-led joint humanitarian assistance exercise, which is conducted annually with partner nations.

"U.S. Southern Command conducts missions to different countries besides Belize - such as Panama, Peru, Honduras, and Ecuador - to perform similar services," said Boston.

The number of personnel on these missions varies in size, depending on what is needed for surgical procedures, he said. "These missions are usually 13 days long so the medical team brings along a two-week inventory to sustain surgeries without relying on the host nation for support.

"What is first and foremost on these international deployments is training in groups. We focus on working alongside local nurses and physicians to provide education and training, and direct patient care," said Boston. "We aim to provide a tangible humanitarian benefit to the host nation and its citizens." (Portions of this story compiled and written by Master Sgt. Arian Nead, 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs)

AMC recognizes Airman

by Nick DeCicco
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

7/3/2013 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Ask Airman 1st Class Scott Krause, 60th Maintenance Squadron avionics flight member, to talk about himself and the response is a quiet one.

Lacking boast or ego, the Air Mobility Command-level recipient of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.'s Senior Master Sgt. Margaret Barbour Frances Award is speechless about his accomplishments.

"I never thought I'd be in this position," Krause said.

But surely he's thought about what it would be like to win an Air Force-wide award, right?

"It hasn't crossed my mind yet," he said. "It's up to the judges."

The award is presented to an Airman ranked E-1 through E-6 who exhibits outstanding performance in professional and community service.

For his part, 24-year-old Krause's helps with Vacation Bible School, booster clubs, dorm council and coaching youth sports.

While Krause shows modesty, his supervisor, Master Sgt. Ronald Richards, 60th Maintenance Squadron avionics flight chief, was eager to sing his praises for him.

"If I had a whole shop full of him, I'd be in heaven," Richards said. "He'll volunteer for stuff. He just goes and does it and he doesn't want people to know."

Krause said that's an attribute that was taught to him at an early age.

"My dad instilled integrity," he said.

Richards said his actions demonstrate that value.

"If he sees something wrong in the shop, he brings it to my attention," Richards said. "He tries to better the shop."

Education is important to Krause, too. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Carroll University, a private college based in his hometown of Waukesha, Wis. He's pursuing his master of business administration from Brandman University.

But as far as any attention or accolades, Krause does everything he can to deflect.

"In the grand scheme of things, I still haven't accomplished anything," Krause said. "It's not going to change who I am or who I see myself as. I'm not going to let it go to my head."

The award is named for Barbour, who served the Air Force for 27 years, including World War II. At the time of her retirement, she was one of the three top-ranking African-American enlisted women in her branch of the service, according to a 2010 obituary in the Newport News, Va., newspaper, The Daily Press. It is one of several annual awards the Tuskegee Airmen organization bestows.

Officials will announce the Air Force-level winners later this year. For more information, visit

Through Airmen's eyes: Supporting the military through racing

by Airman 1st Class Ashlin Federick
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

7/3/2013 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del.  -- On April 27, 2012, Chaplain (Col.) Steven West went to Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., to speak about ministry; he left with a plan to change the world.

The chaplain left his office at the 633rd Air Base Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., to meet with Dell Hamilton, a partner of Hamilton Means Racing LLC. Hamilton owns a team and car in NASCAR and helps provide faith-based initiatives at the races.

Hamilton and West shared a vision of linking America to verified organizations that provide needed support to active duty, guard, reserve, veterans and their families. Motivated by this goal, they cofounded the Support Military Foundation.

SMF helps charitable organizations maximize their abilities to assist the military.

"Our main purpose isn't to actually take care of a group," said West. "We are the ones overseeing to make sure the military members receive the assistance they need. This is led by military members to better serve the people."

West has seen all aspects of the military. He has been in the guard, the reserves and on active duty as both enlisted and officer. He enjoys educating business leaders about the military.

"I was able to reach out to businesses and help them understand the military and how SMF helps," said West.

Kathleen Frantz, Katy's Goodness proprietor, said SMF works with organizations to provide a gateway and validations to ensure that veteran support organizations are doing what they say.

"SMF becomes a go-to for people who want to learn more about providing help to the military and veteran communities with organizations that can be trusted," said Frantz.

SMF's main goals are to give Americans a place to find quality military support organizations, a method to get involved through social networks and a cause to rally around through the "Behind the Camo" awareness and involvement program.

"Our 'Behind the Camo' program is designed to be the 'Pink' (breast cancer awareness) of the military," said Hamilton. "In other words, if you wear our 'Camo' we want you to know it reflects your support of the military."

Hamilton said West has taught him more about the military in the last year than he has learned in his entire life. He is impressed by West's dedication to the SMF.

"My father and uncles were all in the Korean War," said Hamilton. "I have a deep love for the military and know they are why I have my freedom."

Frantz said the SMF is a continuation of West's life's work and service he has already provided.

"West is an educated, experienced pastor that has spent a large portion of his life dedicated to serving our country," said Frantz. "He also serves to inspire, support and make a difference to many of our troops in times of difficulty, strength and awareness."

Hamilton said he and West have a unique opportunity to use NASCAR to help get their message out to the public.

"I have been involved in NASCAR for eight years," said Hamilton. "NASCAR boasts some of the most patriotic fans you will ever find and that is why we chose to use NASCAR as our platform to promote our 'Behind the Camo' program."

319th Civil Engineer Squadron Improves Quality of Life While Sharpening Skills

by Staff Sgt. Susan L. Davis
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

7/3/2013 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- A portion of Building 408 is getting a facelift thanks to about 50 members of the 319th Civil Engineer Squadron.

The work was chosen for what is known as a Contingency Construction Home Station Training (CCHST) project, completed every 12 months to hone engineers' skills in their respective vocations, as well as improve quality of life for building occupants.

According to officials from the Headquarters Air Mobility Command Readiness and Emergency Management Division, AMC civil engineers should possess both construction and management skills to complete facility and infrastructure projects required of them in the deployed environment.

However, they are not always provided the opportunity to practice these skills at home station due to their focus on accomplishing small repair or recurring maintenance work.

Structural and power production engineers, electricians, Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Refrigeration specialists, and other specialties within the CE squadron come together to complete each project.

"It's important that our civil engineers get this experience here at home in between their routine repair and maintenance duties, because this is the kind of thing we do while deployed, and they've got to know what they're doing when they get there," said 2nd Lt. Chrystopher Nicholson, 319th CES.

Projects selected for a CCHST are usually small-scale renovation or construction projects that take between 500-1,000 hours to complete, and are usually finished by the end of June each year.

Civil engineers here chose the area in Building 408 because it was many years outdated, both cosmetically and functionally. There, they installed two new offices that didn't exist before, as well as two refurbished restrooms.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Powell, 319th CES electrician, said he very much enjoys the work he and his team are getting to do on the current project at Building 408.

"This is really more than just making this part of the building look nicer," he said. "This is about ensuring the building is code-compliant and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, and more energy efficient. The planning and purchasing aspect can be really involved and time-consuming, but when you take a step back and say to yourself, 'I built that'--that gives you a real sense of accomplishment."

Port Dawgs ship help

by Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

7/3/2013 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 60th Aerial Port Squadron recently shipped more than 14,000 pounds of donated humanitarian relief supplies to Afghanistan as part of a Denton Program shipment.

The Denton Program's objective is to put the empty space on U.S. military transport to good use by providing humanitarian relief transportation for nongovernmental organizations or private citizens, at little or no cost to them.

The donor organizations for this shipment plan to have their goods distributed to the Afghan people in and around Kabul, Afghanistan.

Among the materials donated were clothing for people of all ages, fabrics, footwear, dishes, pots, pans, bowls, cups, bedding, toys and food.

"This is the second Denton shipment I have dealt with and it makes me feel great," said Tech. Sgt. Martin Moya, 60th APS NCO in charge of inbound logistics. "After doing some research on my own and finding out what this program is about, it fills me with great pride knowing these donations are from the American people."

"I really believe a shipment like this establishes faith and changes the perception of Americans from another country's point of view for the good," Moya said. "This reinforces the big picture and it convinces Airmen we are not just moving a box from A to B, but resources and help to those in need."

The Port Dawgs inspect and palletize the donated goods in a short amount of time in preparation for movement. Two of the Airmen palletizing this shipment were Senior Airman Jacob Peterson and Airman 1st Class Jacob Siluano, both 60th APS airfreight operators.

For Peterson, this was his fourth Denton shipment.

"It is important we get these goods out," Peterson said. "I feel very proud helping people and when these types of shipments come, I feel very grateful for the job we do."

This was Siluano's first Denton shipment.

"I feel great knowing that these goods are going to people who are in need, it's a great experience and feeling," Siluano said.

The shipment of goods weighed more than 14,000 pounds and had an approximate value of 16,000 dollars. The goods are shipped via space-available, meaning all mission- essential materials have first priority.

Grand Forks AFB youth takes 8th place in AF-wide literacy program

by Airman 1st Class Ashley Nicole Taylor
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

7/3/2013 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- A Grand Forks AFB youth has been named one of the top 25 readers in the Air Force.

Isabell Taylor, 6, daughter of Master Sgt. Jessica Taylor of the 319th Air Base Wing Legal Office, and Tech. Sgt. Ray Taylor of the 319th Civil Engineer Squadron, earned an 8th place finish in the "One Page at a Time Program."

The Air Force created the program to promote literacy to today's youth. The free program is for children in kindergarten through 8th grade and it runs from November to March each year.

Every book read is logged and turned in to the base library or youth center and prizes are given out with each title.

Isabell, one of more than 2,100 kids worldwide who participated this year, read a total of 199 books, earning her a Kindle Fire and a $10 Amazon gift card.

"We're so proud of her," said Isabell's mother. "At night I would read with her, but she loves reading anyway, so it was easy."

Isabell said her new Kindle Fire makes reading easy and convenient.

"I like reading because it makes me a lot smarter," said Isabell. "My favorite book is "Cat in the Hat," by Dr. Seuss because I like that it rhymes and my favorite animal is a cat."

Youth Center staff members said they would like to see this program expand in the years to come.

"The One Page at a Time Program is a great program with guaranteed prizes for participation," said Stephanie Pfeiff, school age program clerk. "I would love to see greater enrollment in the following years. The kids on base are reading for school already, so all they have to do is turn in logs of what they are reading."

Face of Defense: Corpsman Imparts Battle-tested Techniques

By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Shaltiel Dominguez
1st Marine Logistics Group

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., July 2, 2013 – The medical tent erupted with noise as patients flooded in during a mass casualty exercise. Amid the chaos, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali N. Adams, an administrative clerk with the Advisory Training Group, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, calmly observed and advised corpsmen as they did their work.

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Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ali N. Adams uses the experience he gained as a member of a shock-trauma platoon in Afghanistan to teach life-saving techniques to less-experienced sailors. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Shaltiel Dominguez

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Adams, a St. Louis native, is part of a select group of corpsmen who have deployment experience and are considered the best in their field. Their mission is to teach real-world techniques to less-experienced sailors.

“The Advisory Training Group staff are proven sailors and Marines that have been battle tested,” said Navy Lt. Paul B. Dalangpan, company commander for Bravo Surgical Company, 1st Medical Battalion. “They are staff specialists who are certified in what they do.”

Adams’ personality is a perfect fit for the ATG, which demands leadership and teaching skills from its staff.

“I love to teach,” Adams said. “It’s really fulfilling when you see somebody learn and apply what you taught them.”

Despite the prestige that comes with being an ATG member, Adams is humble and gives credit to those around him, such as his mother, who fostered his passion for teaching.

As a young adult, Adams said, he found an avenue for his skills.

“I used to coach a basketball team in my early 20s,” he said. “Seeing that process of a young mind not knowing something and then becoming a master at whatever they’re doing is very fulfilling.”

Perhaps the main reason for Adams’ success as a teacher is because he was also a good student during his deployment. Adams attributes his technical proficiency to his mentors, Navy Chief Petty Officer Ralph Solon and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class David Levya, during his time as a shock-trauma platoon member in Afghanistan.

Adams learned fast, and his success in the field led to his meritorious promotion from seaman to petty officer 3rd class. Now, as an experienced 28-year-old corpsman, Adams takes pride in passing on knowledge to new sailors.

“For Marines to know that [corpsmen are] there really helps their confidence and morale,” he said. “They know that if something happens to them in the battle space, they can and will survive.”

Whether he is teaching new sailors as a member of the ATG or learning new techniques, Adams said, he understands the value of being a corpsman and strives toward excellence.

Senior leaders remember fallen heroes on America's birthday

7/2/2013 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody send the following Independence Day message to the men and women of the U.S. Air Force:

Happy Birthday, America! For 237 years, our Nation has been built on the bedrock of freedom and democracy that our Founding Fathers established when they signed the Declaration of Independence. We draw on the courage of those patriots and take inspiration from the countless acts of heroism that followed as America's sons and daughters fought to protect our free and independent Nation.

On this Fourth of July, as Americans around the world gather to celebrate with families and loved ones, let us remember our service members who have fallen in battle. These brave heroes paid the ultimate price to make freedom possible. We must also never forget the families who have lost fathers, mothers, sons or daughters-they are part of our extended family. Remember them this Independence Day, as well as those who stand guard while we celebrate our Nation's birthday.

The American people look to our men and women in uniform as symbols of the strength and commitment of this great Nation. As Airmen, we live up to a high standard and we are grateful for all you do to defend our precious freedoms each and every day. We are proud of you, and we wish you and your families a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Iron Airman challenge promotes fitness resiliency

by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Raughton
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

6/28/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- All Airmen must maintain fitness standards as a mission readiness requirement. However, fitness can also be used as a great motivator for people to achieve higher levels of resiliency.

The Iron Airman challenge, which consists of timed push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and a distance run, is a new program being run by the 2nd Bomb Wing to accomplish just that.

"The job we do is more demanding now than ever, and the importance of personal resiliency has increased proportionately," said Col. Andrew Gebara, 2nd Bomb Wing commander. "Physical fitness is a significant part of a person's overall feeling of well-being, and having goals is a huge part of physical fitness. For Airmen who have mastered the Air Force physical fitness test, the Iron Airman Challenge is a significantly higher goal to which those with a competitive spirit can aspire."

Iron Airman, which began in 2012 as an initiative by the 11th Bomb Squadron's commander, Lt. Col. William Wharton, was partially derived from a melding of the various services most challenging PT standards. For example, the max push-ups for males was derived from the Navy and the Air Force Academy tests, while the two-mile run was a combination of the Air Force and Army run tests. Using this model, Wharton felt he could encourage Airmen to achieve much higher than the USAF PT test requirements.

"I set out to challenge and inspire a few folks with the program and have found myself inspired by their efforts instead," said Lt. Col. Wharton. "I believe physical fitness is merely an outward representation of the deeper traits of resiliency, determination, endurance, and grit."

To become an Iron Airman, one must complete four events, each worth 100 points, in less than 30 minutes, and score a minimum of 360 points.

A perfect 400, for example, would require a male under 30 to complete 21 pull-ups, 91 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and a two-mile run in 12 minutes and 16 seconds or less.

Capt. William Graff, 2nd Bomb Wing, recently became the first to complete the test with a perfect score.

"It's like a supercharged PT test," Graff said. "It pushes you to the max, which I wanted after I broke my arm in January. I wanted a rehab goal, and Iron Airman was the perfect fit."

The challenge is not just for aviators.

"Every Airman is eligible to do this," said Carroll, who was the first to become an Iron Airman. "However, the kind of person that's going to succeed is one who has already excelled on the PT test. If you train for Iron Airman, you will also be training to excel on the PT test."

Those who complete the Iron Airman challenge receive recognition from the 2nd Bomb Wing commander, see their name on an Iron Airman Achievement Board, and receive a trophy.

607th ACS Air Control Squadron joins AETC

by Senior Airman DAVID OWSIANKA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/28/2013 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE -- The 607th Air Control Squadron at Luke Air Force Base realigned from Air Combat Command and joined Air Education and Training Command as of Monday.

The squadron moved to AETC because the Air Force needed a unit to manage the undergraduates weapons director training course.

"It's great to be able to keep the training here at Luke where we have outstanding fighter jet training to work with to complete our mission as air combat controllers," said Lt. Col. Sean Slaughter, 607th ACS commander.

The 607th took responsibility for executing undergraduate weapons director training in January. The Arizona Air National Guard's 107th ACS, which will inactivate October 1, had previously been responsible for that mission.

"Despite a host of complex challenges, the transition has been a real success story," Slaughter said. "Active-duty and Air National Guard maintainers and instructors from the 107th, 607th, and 56th Training Squadron have worked as one highly effective team to make this a seamless transition for the weapons director pipeline."

"Having the instructors in one squadron allows for everyone to be on the same page for training," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Gibson, 607th ACS initial qualification training informal training NCO in charge. "The undergraduate course being part of the 607th has allowed for more instructors to teach the class."

The squadron's mission is to train control and recording center professionals. With the new missions, they teach six courses; five initial qualification training, from the old curriculum, and one undergraduate course received from the 107th ACS's curriculum.

The five IQT courses are the weapons director IQT, air weapons officer, interface control technicians, surveillance technicians and electronic protection technicians.

Weapons directors go through the undergraduate course. The course is for enlisted weapons controllers who control combat and support the aircraft in the battle space.

Even though the 607th ACS is changing commands, the mission will stay the same.

"The expertise and support from AETC and ACC have helped ensure that our courses will remain relevant, our instruction remains effective and we will continue to produce the world's greatest air control professionals," Slaughter said.

July Marks 40th Anniversary of All-volunteer Army

By Alex Dixon
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2013 – When newly elected President Richard M. Nixon directed the Department of Defense to create an all-volunteer force, Army leaders knew there would be some hurdles.

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Today’s Army enlists only those who voluntarily choose to enter into military service. That has not always been the case. In 1973, the U.S. military implemented the all-volunteer force that replaced the conscription system used previously. Courtesy photo

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Instead of drafting young men to fill the ranks, the Army and the other armed services would need to spend money to ramp up recruiting efforts and portray military service as an attractive career choice.
By July 1, 1973 -- now 40 years ago -- the draft had been eliminated. But the Army started working on developing the all-volunteer force well before that.

In April 1971, Project VOLAR, for "volunteer Army," was implemented at select Army posts across the country. The project was an experiment designed to increase retention rates and morale among soldiers and attract those who would want to serve.

Army Sgt. Maj. Ray Moran, now retired, was assigned to the 1st Recruiting Brigade under VOLAR in 1971, at Fort Meade, Md., and said VOLAR brought about changes to life at the post.

Comfortable furniture soon filled the open-bay barracks, which were divided into sleeping rooms. Beer, once prohibited, became a popular beverage. And grooming standards relaxed. But Army leaders soon realized some changes caused more problems than they solved, and new initiatives began that focused on instilling professionalism and building pride for the Army.

Moran said he thinks the all-volunteer force initiative has proven a success -- and he was proud to have been part of it.

"We built a volunteer Army that really proved itself in Desert Storm," Moran said in a 2011 interview. "They were just a marvelous bunch of soldiers, and they have done it right through to Iraq and Afghanistan today. We are very proud of the all-volunteer Army."

Maj. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands, director of military personnel management, Army G-1, has served in the Army for 32 years now. As he grew up on a military post, he saw how the services transitioned from the draft to the all-volunteer force.

Now 40 years after the transition, Seamands says he continues to see the Army improve as a result of the all-volunteer force.

"Everybody in the Army wants to be in the Army," Seamands said. "Everyone's volunteered to come in and be a part of something bigger than themselves."

Seamands says the all-volunteer force creates a longer term of service, allowing for more complex training and cohesion-building for units.

Under the draft system, draftees usually served for two years. Now, soldiers enlist to serve for up to five years.

Only 20 percent of Americans are qualified to be in the Army under standards of health, behavior and intelligence. Seamands said recruiting still remains a challenge.

"We are very selective because we know what's at stake," he said. "What's at stake is having a professional force that's capable of fighting and winning our nation's battles."

During and following the Vietnam War, public trust in the Army was at an all-time low, Seamands said. Significant numbers of draftees didn't want to serve and faced hostile environments when they returned home.

Seamands said the transition to the all-volunteer force changed the national dialogue about the Army.
"Americans have a lot to be proud of and one of them is the all-volunteer force," Seamands said. "It's unprecedented. And now, the American people realize the national treasure we have in our sons and daughters serving in uniform."

New York Guard Members Battle Mohawk Valley Flooding

National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va., July 3, 2013 – New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo yesterday deployed 250 National Guard members to aid residents and businesses impacted by recent heavy rains and severe flooding in the state’s Mohawk Valley region.

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New York Army National Guard soldiers Staff Sgt. Gary Matt, from the 2nd Battalion 108th Infantry, and Staff Sgt. Joe Bolton, from the 206th Military Police Company, tow a surplus Humvee vehicle used by the village of Mohawk in New York as a rescue vehicle out of a garage where it was submerged in five feet of water. Photo by Bill Albrecht, New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs

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Guard members along with 27 pieces of heavy equipment will work in flood-impacted areas to help with debris removal and security.
“The state is using every resource at its disposal to help New Yorkers impacted by these devastating floods,” said Cuomo, noting the state’s National Guard members will “provide immediate aid and assistance on the ground in those communities hardest hit.”

National Guard members deployed to the Mohawk Valley will assist residents, businesses and local first responders in various ways, officials said.

Guard members, including dozens of engineers, will help local personnel with debris removal and road repairs using heavy equipment including excavators, dump trucks and bulldozers.

Thirty five military police and Humvee vehicles will assist local police forces with security and presence patrols.

These New York National Guard members are stationed in the Southern Tier and Capital Region areas and have been deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and also have helped New Yorkers impacted by past hurricanes and tropical storms including Irene, Lee and Superstorm Sandy.