Military News

Thursday, August 22, 2013

'Family' reunion puts focus on Wingman culture

by Senior Airman Brittany Paerschke-O'Brien
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs


8/22/2013 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Langley Air Force Base hosted the "We are Family" reunion Aug. 16 at the Langley dormitory field as the final event of a 60-day campaign to bring awareness to sexual assault.

The campaign was created as a response to the Department of Defense-directed stand down day for all services to emphasize the importance of sexual assault prevention. As part of "We Are Family," the 633rd Air Base Wing organized various events to bolster wingman culture on Langley in an effort to eliminate sexual assaults.

"Here at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, there are so many different wings and mission partners and for the most part, everyone sticks to their own mission," said Chief Master Sgt. Trae King, 633rd ABW command chief. "We gathered people from all the different operations across the installation and involved them in the planning and events so that we would have participation throughout the base."

In addition to the reunion, different events were held during the campaign to create open lines of communication among Airmen, including an improvisational comedy presentation, a base retreat ceremony and a Single Airman Initiative block party.

"This campaign did a wonderful job of bringing awareness about sexual assault to the base," said Master Sgt. Eric Brown, 633rd Force Support Squadron Shellbank Fitness Center fitness and sports section chief, a volunteer at the reunion. "They involved everyone from the highest ranking to the lowest."

According to Chaplain (Capt.) Michael McDonald, 633rd ABW chaplain, these events fostered an environment where service members felt comfortable in reporting sexual assaults.

"Being able to hear personal experiences rather than statistics is important," he said. "The discussions that have come from these events have given service members the confidence to come forward."

As the final event of the "We Are Family" campaign, the reunion featured activities such as games, raffles, music from the Blue Aces, a mechanical bull, informational booths and inflatable party equipment.

Through these activities, the event helped to bring Airmen together in a way where everyone could view themselves as family, said James Murrell, 633rd FSS Community Center director, who helped organize the event.

"We are all on the same team and the people who are celebrating with us here today are the same people who have our backs out on the front lines," said Murrell. "Being able to identify them outside of a work environment builds camaraderie."

When reflecting on the campaign as a whole, King said the various events were successful in changing the wingman culture and bringing a feeling of closeness to the base.

"I feel our goals to raise awareness, prevent sexual assault and bring the installation together were accomplished," said King. "In doing that, we have created an atmosphere of family."

Face of Defense: South Korean Soldier Sees Alliance Firsthand

By Army Sgt. Steven Reeves
314th Press Camp Headquarters

CAMP WARRIOR, South Korea, Aug. 22, 2013 – While growing up just outside of South Korea’s capital of Seoul, Pfc. Min Seob Lee of the South Korean army never really understood why American service members were in his country.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
Pfc. Min Seob Lee of the South Korean army is fulfilling his mandatory military commitment with the Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army program. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Steven Reeves
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
But after he was selected to serve in the Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army program, known as KATUSA, Lee said, his attitude quickly changed.

“I wasn’t clear about what the U.S. Army does here,” Lee said. “But now I really see the commitment and dedication of the U.S. Army and its soldiers. I understand now that they are here to protect and defend Korea. I can see the values of the American soldier firsthand.”

Lee is attached to the 8th U.S. Army’s public affairs office, where his official job title is administrative assistant. But his duties also include driving and whatever else he can do to assist in the shop’s day-to-day operations.

Lee honed his English skills while living in Europe with his family and while studying at the University of California-Berkley.

“I do a lot of translating, as well as helping soldiers understand the Korean culture,” he said. “I like working with the U.S. Army and assisting in its mission to defend freedom in Korea.”

“KATUSA soldiers like Lee really make our operations run a lot smoother,” said Staff Sgt. Josephine Ampley of 8th Army public affairs. “Their language skills and overall contributions are a definite credit to the [South Korean] army, as well as being invaluable to the U.S. Army and our mission here.”
The KATUSA program began in July 1950 during the Korean War. Originally intended to match able-bodied Korean personnel with available U.S. equipment, the program has evolved into a cultural exchange and a symbol of friendship between the two nations.

Most South Korean men serve their 21 months of mandatory military service in one of their country’s service branches. A select few are chosen to augment the U.S. Army through the KATUSA program. These select individuals are conscripted citizens who, by obligation, put their lives on hold to serve their country and work alongside U.S. soldiers.

Lee said he wanted to be a KATUSA soldier after becoming immersed in American culture during his time as a college student.

“Having studied in America, I felt the KATUSA program was for me,” he said. “So I applied for it when it was time for me to complete my mandatory service.”

KATUSA applicants are first selected through a lottery. Once selected, trainees complete six weeks of South Korean army basic training and an additional three weeks at the KATUSA Training Academy.
“Being chosen in the lottery was pure luck,” Lee acknowledged. “But I am glad it worked out the way it did. This has been an invaluable experience for me.”

After completing his 21 months of mandatory military service, Lee said, he plans to return to the United States to pursue a law degree.

“Working with the U.S. Army has opened a lot of doors for me and [has] given me the discipline needed to be successful,” he said. “I am proud to call myself a KATUSA.”

Maj. Isaac Taylor, 8th Army public affairs, said the KATUSA program’s significance goes beyond the daily contributions made by soldiers such as Lee.

“It illustrates how really strong the [South Korean]-U.S. alliance is,” he explained. “It’s also amazing that they allow us to have not just any of their young men, but some of their highly educated future leaders who have goals that will reach far beyond the military and into all aspects of their society.”

WWII bomber group vets reunite at JBSA-Randolph

by Airman 1st Class Alexandria Slade
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs


8/22/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- World War II veterans and members of the 381st Bomb Group (Heavy) Memorial Association observed pieces of aviation history during their visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Aug. 9.

"We visited JBSA-Randolph's historic buildings and learned about the current mission," Dr. Kevin Wilson, group historian, said. "Many 381st veterans served at JBSA-Randolph either before or after their deployment to England (During WWII)."

After visiting the historic Taj Mahal, Chapel 1, 560th and 99th Flying Training Squadrons, the day concluded with a luncheon hosted by Col. Gerald Goodfellow, 12th Flying Training Wing commander.

At the luncheon, Goodfellow spoke about current Air Force bomber operations overseas, and throughout the day, the veterans shared personal stories, lessons and experiences - relating past missions to current Air Force operations.

"My counsel is to be attentive, take care of your fellow men and know what is right and wrong," Alexander Strohmayer, 381st BG and WWII veteran, said.

At one point, when the group was still active, more than 8,000 service members served with the 381st BG, 619 of whom were killed in action, Wilson said.

The memories of the group are currently shared by 750 members, which include veterans, descendants and friends.

"There are great lessons to be learned from these men," Goodfellow said. "There are lessons of courage, how warriors should act in combat and the importance of honor in what these veterans have done. They faced tremendous odds, resulting in many fighters not returning home; but those who are here now and those who have passed will always be great examples."

Youngest American WWII ace remembered

by Dr. Roy Heidicker
4th Fighter Wing


8/22/2013 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Ret. Col. Van Chandler, the youngest American pilot to have destroyed five enemy aircraft in World War II, was remembered during a ceremony and shadow box presentation here, Aug. 5, 2013.

With a heartfelt speech in which he remembered the grandfather he knew as a child, Nash presented the 4th Fighter Wing with Chandler's shadow box.

Col. Lamar Pettus, 4th FW vice commander, thanked Nash for the donation and spoke of Chandler's many accomplishments to include two Legion of Merit medals, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 15 Air Medals. Chandler began his service nearly 70 years ago as a second lieutenant assigned to the 336th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group in England, and flew the P-51D Mustang during WWII. One week after his arrival, Chandler experienced a mechanical malfunction and, since there were no ejection seats at the time, had to bail out by climbing out of his plane. Fortunately, he successfully parachuted to the ground and was hidden by a friendly Belgium family until rescued by British forces.

New Year's Day, 1945, Chandler shot down his fifth enemy aircraft, making him an ace. For the 4th FG, a place where you couldn't walk through the chow hall without tripping over an ace or two, this would be a pretty mundane event, except for one thing; Chandler was only 19 years old. He became the youngest American ace of WWII and destroyed another four German planes on the ground before the end of the war.

Chandler went on to serve 30 years in the Air Force, ultimately shooting down three MiG-15s in the Korean War and flying missions during the Vietnam War, in addition to his previous victories.

A very humble man, Chandler never spoke of his wartime exploits to his wife, Mary, nor showed her the medals he earned. Years after his death in 1998, Mary found his medals stored in a footlocker.

With no knowledge of what these medals were, she researched them all and had them mounted in a shadow box, something she said Chandler wouldn't have approved of because of how private he was. She wanted to, in a way, bring Chandler's career full circle by offering to donate the box to be displayed at the 336th Fighter Squadron, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C.

The shadow box will be put on permanent display where future generations of Airmen can take pride in the fact that Chandler greatly enriched the 4th FW's heritage.

Labor Day safety to conclude CDOS campaign

by Airman 1st Class Alexandria Slade
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs


8/22/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- As summer comes to a close, the Critical Days of Summer campaign is set to conclude with Labor Day safety.

Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer, the beginning of football season and a celebration for workers and their families, Staff Sgt. Gary Lund, 502nd Air Base Wing ground safety technician, said.

Common recreational activities during this holiday can vary from barbecues to traveling and camping - all of which can be dangerous if the proper procedures to manage one's safety are not taken.

Lund said the usual risks of Labor Day weekend include "long road trips, summer hazards and alcohol consumption."

No matter what plans are in store for the holiday weekend, Joint Base San Antonio members should always have a plan and utilize the wingman, or battle buddy, concept, Lund said. If one is planning on leaving the local area, notify a second party and avoid traveling alone.

Alcohol consumption is a factor that should be carefully considered and planned around at all times.

"Use the wingman philosophy," Marvin Joyce, 502nd ABW safety and occupational health specialist, said. "Watch over each other, know your limits, make a plan and designate a driver.
If you're going to drink, do so responsibly and drink enough water to stay hydrated."

Along with alcohol consumption, other potential hazards include cooking food on or around open flames, and water mishaps.

To lessen the danger of recreational activities during Labor Day weekend, Joyce said to "maintain constant supervision."

"Make sure barbecue grills are in good working condition and if participating in water activities, set safety rules for the whole group based on their swimming capabilities," he said.

While traveling to and from events or different areas, "follow all road rules," Lund said.

Travel preparation should include a survival kit, vehicle tune-up, alternate plans for bad weather and adequate rest, he said. Airmen age 26 and below traveling long distances must fill out an Air Education and Training Form 29B. Soldiers should use the Ground Risk Assessment Tool found at http://safety.army.mil that will provide the user with an automated DA Form 7566 that can be updated, saved and emailed.

Ohio Guard, Reserve units co-host joint employer awareness event

special Staff Report
910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office


8/21/2013 - YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio -- The Air Force Reserve's 910th Airlift Wing, the Ohio National Guard and Ohio Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve teamed up to co-host the inaugural joint employer awareness event, August 1- 2.

The event gave civilian employers of Air Force Reservists and Ohio National Guardsmen the opportunity to get an up-close look at both the 910th's facilities and the Ohio National Guard's Joint Military Training Center at nearby Camp Ravenna, Ohio. The event was designed to give attendees a better understanding of the mission that their employees carry out as members of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The two-day event was created out of necessity because of the mandated elimination of military orientation flights brought on by the federal sequester. The opportunity to fly aboard military aircraft traditionally has been a big draw for employers to participate in these types of events. With the flights being cancelled, event organizers were forced to come up with creative ways to share the Guard and Reserve missions with employers.

"We had to think outside of the box a bit after the flights were cancelled," said Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr., 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs superintendent. "So, we teamed up with the Guard and ESGR, pooled our resources and came up with what we all think is a pretty cool program."

Participants visited various Ohio National Guard combat simulators and training sites and observed a cargo airdrop from one of the 910th's C-130 Hercules aircraft at Camp Ravenna. Attendees observed 910th fire department training, walked through a C-130, witnessed an aircraft cargo on-load and toured several shops on the air station. Event organizers considered the venture a success and hoped to put on an expanded event for even more attendees in the future.

"This was a pilot program, the first ever in the state of Ohio," said John Marino, East Ohio ESGR Military Outreach coordinator. "Next year, we plan on it being bigger and better with the goal of having all branches of the armed services represented."

Defining a new role for 'The IG'

by Senior Master Sgt. Angie Sarchet
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs


8/22/2013 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- The Air Force modified the inspection process in June, greatly changing how Airmen at local units are evaluated when they are visited by the headquarters Inspector General Team.

The changes usher in a new way units will interact with IG inspectors. Under the new Air Force Inspection System the process is driven by a philosophy that commanders focus on mission readiness and not spend time before the IG team visits preparing for "inspection readiness". The new reality for all units is units that are mission-ready should already be inspection-ready.

"This system empowers our wings so they are more focused on getting their mission accomplished, managing their resources well, leading their people and improving their unit," says Col. Kyle Voigt, AMC deputy inspector general.

Now a wing's compliance and readiness is the responsibility of the wing commander, not the headquarters IG. The role of inspectors at major commands switches to validating the wing commander's unit self-assessments and reporting.

AMC officials will accomplish the command's first Unit Effectiveness Inspection under the new Air Force Inspection System at Little Rock AFB, Ark., in September.

"The MAJCOM visit is not an all-or-nothing event about grading a wing's performance during inspection week," says Col. Andrew Molnar, AMC's IG Team Chief for the Little Rock visit. "The headquarters IG will simply confirm what the wing IG should already know based on its long-term program of continuous compliance and local audit efforts. In that respect, an IG visit will be just another piece of a commander's continuous assessment and inspection process."

As wings self-assess, the headquarters experts will continuously validate a wing's efforts by using a variety of tools including virtual inspections, daily interactions, and small team visits.

"This will create a 'photo-album' of the wing's performance during the 24-30 month evaluation cycle," said Voigt. Air National Guard units will be on 48-60 month cycles, he said.

AMC inspection officials released the 2014 inspection schedule in June. The goal is to conduct at least one Unit Effectiveness Inspection by the end of October 2014.

First Up: Little Rock AFB's Black Knights. "We have laid out clear criteria for the Little Rock capstone visit as to what defines success for the wing and success for the headquarters," says Molnar. The new schedule represents "proof of concept" for the new inspection system, he said.

While the new IG process may reveal some growing pains, leaders say they believe the investment in mission readiness will increase efficiency and compliance, return precious time back to Airmen while reducing the inspection costs and footprint.

Not all inspections have changed, officials say. The Nuclear surety mission, for example, remains under previously established processes.

Stratotanker, Stratofortress tandem continue half a century of Asia-Pacific partnership

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


8/22/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- America's involvement in the Vietnam War continued to escalate in 1965, and on June 18, 27 B-52 Stratofortresses broke the threshold of Guam's airspace toward the open skies of the Pacific to conduct the first Arc Light mission. At the same time, 27 KC-135 Stratotankers departed Japan to rendezvous with the bombers in the Philippines to refuel them for a 4,500 nautical mile round trip.

Ever since its first sortie, the KC-135 has played an important role in extending the reach of the B-52's airpower and lengthening the duration of its hovering capabilities -- capabilities that are crucial to a region surrounded by water.

"The relationship between the KC-135 and B-52 is one that has grown over the years and is now ideally suited to the Pacific Air Forces area of responsibility," said Lt. Col. Harry Dyson, 36th Operation Support Squadron commander.

"Andersen is one of the critical bases here in the Pacific because it's close enough to all our allies and our adversaries, while still being outside of immediate threat range," he continued. "The distances involved in the PACAF region are so great, and the ability to employ from Andersen is achievable because of the KC-135s and B-52s that rotate here regularly."

A B-52 Stratofortress and a KC-97 Stratotanker take a slow dive during an aerial refueling in the 1950s. The B-52 had to slow down, drop its flaps and tires in order for the KC-97 to keep up with its speed and altitude. (Courtesy photo)
The B-52 started flying in 1952, while the first KC-135 was first delivered to the Air Force in 1957. Though the tanker was a little behind on the delivery, it was built to cater to the in-flight capabilities of the B-52's speed and operational altitude. Prior to the delivery of the KC-135s, The Air Force relied on the KC-97 Stratotanker for in-flight refueling, which was less than ideal for the Stratofortress' speed and operational high operational altitude.

As the U.S. Air Force started using the KC-135 more and more, the B-52 and KC-135 tandem was pivotal in historical combat operations stretching from the War in Vietnam to present day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to an article written by U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Col. Walter Boyne, a combat veteran, aviation historian and author, during Arc Light, KC-135s were used to keep the bombers in the air during missions that lasted for 12 hour or longer. Though some tankers stayed in the Philippines to be on stand-by for tactical aircraft during the span of Linebacker and Linebacker II, one tanker was always assigned to one bomber during inbound portions.

"That was pretty much the case for every mission," Meyer said. "Even when they started making the G and the H models for the Stratofortress, which actually fly a little bit further, the KC-135s were still important to accomplishing the bomber missions."

By 1972, there were 195 KC-135s stationed in the Asia-Pacific region to support the 155 B-52s on Andersen's ramp and other combat aircraft spread all throughout the region.

After the Vietnam War, the tandem also conducted missions that forwarded or launched from the Pacific. Meyers said that multiple operations required aerial refueling capabilities in order to get the B-52s to their destination and back.

A B-52 Stratofortress tries to connect to a KC-135 Stratotanker in order to execute aerial refueling over the Pacific Ocean, Aug. 10, 2012. The B-52 and KC-135 tandem has been used in pivotal wars, including historical combat operations during the War in Vietnam to present day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos/Released)
The duo was always ready on Andersen  when it was a Strategic Air Command base during the Cold War and continued to be used in the Middle East during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

"During Operation Desert Shield in 1991, the bombers utilized Andersen as a forward base to get to an expeditionary location where they launched for attack," he continued. "Two B-52s launched from here in 1996 for Operation Desert Strike and conducted a 33-hour to drop conventional bombs in Iraq as a warning."

Today, the partnership lives on with the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron and the expeditionary B-52 bomb squadrons that rotate in and out of Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, to support U.S. Pacific Command's Continuous Bomber Presence and continue a partnership that has proven itself through history.

CSAF, CMSAF talk key issues with 15 WG Airmen

by Staff Sgt. Terri Paden
15th Wing Public Affairs


8/21/2013 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- More than 300 members of Team Hickam had the opportunity to hear from two of the top Air Force leaders at an Airman's Call here Aug. 19.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody met with wing Airmen to discuss current issues affecting readiness and the future of the Air Force.

During the all-call Welsh and Cody emphasized the importance of taking care of one another, getting the mission accomplished and developing tomorrow's leaders.

"Great people, which we have, plus pride, which we will always need, equals performance," said Welsh. "In our business, performance is the bottom line. There's only one bottom line for us. Our job is to fight and win the nation's wars ... and we will never get the performance we need if we don't treat our Airmen well--If we don't foster that pride that keeps them at the top of their game."

Welsh said there are three essential elements for mission success.

"Take common sense, add better communication and then mix in the most important ingredient which is caring about our people, the mission and the future ... and we win," he said.

Chief Cody also highlighted the importance of having resilient Airmen.

"The resiliency we have as a community is linked to how connected we are to each other," he said. "I always say it only takes about 90 seconds to connect in a meaningful way and to get that tight-knit relationship that's built on trust and mutual respect. If we have that with each other we'll get through anything."

In addition to resiliency, Cody said Airmen should frequently ask themselves three questions.

"Every day you should understand where you are at in winning the fight, what you are doing to strengthen the team and how you are shaping the future," he said.

Cody said Airmen should also look at ongoing changes to the force structure in a positive light.

"Don't look at change in a negative way, look at it as the evolution of our force ... of how we will make ourselves stronger and sustainable into the future," he said.

Cody advised Airmen to stay focused on what's most important--the mission and the people.

"We have phenomenal things going on and each and every one of you is part of those phenomenal things," he said. "We do the work that our nation needs us to do every single day despite all the limiting factors that seem to be put in front of us at any given moment. But that doesn't mean we can lose sight .... I do believe our strength, and where we need to continue to strengthen this team, is how we connect with each other."

Welsh thanked Hickam Airmen and their families for their service and gave his assessment on the current state of the Air Force: "Operationally we rock," he said. "We're unbelievably good at everything we're doing."

Reserve pilot takes fitness higher

by 1st Lt. Lori Fiorello
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


8/21/2013 - MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Whoever uses the excuse, "I don't have time to exercise," never met Maj. Michael Masuda, 313th Airlift Squadron, C-17 instructor pilot and devoted triathlete.

"My passion started while I was on active duty," said Masuda, who still has that new Air Force Reserve scent. "We'd fly for hours, land then go straight to our rooms for crew rest and wake up and do it all over again, for days at a time."

Masuda decided not to let his chaotic flying schedule interfere with his health and wellness and discovered a new passion.

"It's challenging in the flying world to maintain my fitness routine" said Masuda. "I started to run as a means to get out and see the local areas [where we landed]. The more I ran, the more interested I became in other physical activities, which evolved to where I am today [with triathlons]. I became interested in the Olympic distance competitions because it's a faster race and you have more of an opportunity to compete worldwide and travel internationally."

Masudo keeps active while on the road and squeezes out workouts in the air ... onboard a C-17, of course. In between pilot rotations, he ventures to the back of the cargo department and performs his own plyometric workout consisting of pushups and pull-ups.

That's only one of the various ways he finds time for filling the gaps during his trips. After wheels down and landing procedures are complete, Masuda hits the pavement with another set of wheels.

"I bring my bike on trips with me and have cycled everywhere around the world from [the Republic of] Cyprus to Diego Garcia," said the dedicated athlete.

Masuda constantly trains to compete, which involves vigorous training with a coach, averaging from 16 to 18 hours per week. He also participates in local races, competitions and open-water swims. Masuda attributes his ability to follow his competition dreams to his career shift in joining the Reserve.

"As a Reservist, I've been able to pursue my hobbies and interests; I have the luxury of working around my schedule," said the Seattle resident.

Masuda recently competed in the U.S. National Championships for Olympic Triathlons in Milwaukie, Wis. finishing in the top 12 percent overall.

The race consisted of a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike, and 10-kilometer distance run. Although he isn't faster than a speeding bullet, his latest two-hour and 10-minute race time, suggests he's ready to attack. The eager athlete plans to participate again next year hoping to qualify to compete at the world level.

"I just want to see where the sport takes me," he said humbly. "I'm simply enjoying my experience now."

By the way, Masuda said he "took it easy" on his fitness assessment by running a seven-minute, 58-second mile and a half.