Military News

Monday, September 16, 2013

Beale reservists embrace long work week with 12th day celebration

by Senior Airman Bobby Pilch
940th Wing Public Affairs


9/13/2013 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- When someone joins the Air Force Reserve, working one weekend a month doesn't sound like much of a sacrifice. But, the one weekend a month turns into working 12 days in a row, 12 times a year when combined with a full-time job.

For reservists with the 50th Intelligence Squadron here, those 12 days are spent behind windowless walls with cipher locked doors and no hint of the weather outside from eight to 12 hours a day.

"The 12 days are spent with our nose to the ground," said Senior Airman David Kuder, a geospatial analyst, who is employed as a full-time intelligence analyst training instructor teaching advanced analysis concepts as a civilian contractor. "If you think about working those consecutive days without a day off, it will drive you crazy."

An idea was conceived by Tech. Sgt. Robert Bower, mission support supervisor, while discussing reservist heritage with fellow IS airmen during their lunch break on a sunny April afternoon earlier this year - an optimal day for a barbecue.

"When I became an Air Reserve Technician here, it was just one continuous streak from Monday until the 12th day," said Bower as he described the schedule he and fellow reservists fulfill as part of their mission.

"For us full-timers, after working 12 days in a row, morale is usually low by that point," said Staff Sgt. Jason P. Hoffman, mission systems supervisor. "So, everybody, including our commander, agreed that it was a great idea, and 12th Day was born."

Since its inception, 12th Day events have taken on several themes, mixing up the traditional barbecue atmosphere, yet staying true to building camaraderie among the squadron members.

"Our favorite one was Mexican-themed," said Hoffman. "Tech. Sgt. Bower pulled up his car and tuned the radio to a Latin station. Everybody was out there dancing. It was a lot of fun."

"People wanted to dance," said Bower. "It was irresistible. You could see feet start to move."

Senior Airman Jillian A. Jaeger, a human resource specialist, describes the 12th Day celebration as an opportunity to be around fellow co-workers, enjoy some downtime and encourage morale within the squadron.

"What it symbolizes to me is the recognition of the hard work that we put in as ARTs and Active Guard and Reserve working Monday through Friday and endure a UTA weekend. Then go back to work another Monday through Friday," said Master Sgt. Mark T. Aldrette, unit education and training manager and NCO in charge of the commander's support staff. "We are in this office and around each other a lot, so it is something that builds on camaraderie established over that time. It's an opportunity for us to sit back, enjoy some good food and each other's company outside of work."

Though the event was conceptualized to bring together the reservists who serve in the 50th IS, it has expanded to include all personnel within the squadron.

"Normally we get a lot of active-duty and civilians passing through and we throw a donation jar out there so we do not exclude anybody from it," said Hoffman. "We're happy to sell people burgers or brats or whatever we are doing. It's been something for everyone to look forward to. This is an hour-and-a-half to two hours out of everybody's schedule where they can come stand around the barbecue and have a good time."

Bower's hope is that the 12th Day concept will take off throughout Air Force Reserve Command and become part of the culture for future reserve squadrons. His NCOIC shares the same vision.

"AFRC wide, it would be a good reminder that not only are we co-workers, but people we work with a lot," said Aldrette. "If you think about it, the people who are here full time and work the UTA are with each other at least 25 days out of the month."

With the demand placed on a reservist's schedule and the amount of time spent with fellow airmen, they become an extension of their family.

"You hear the term 'Air Force family' thrown around," said Bower. "Families eat together."

The 50th IS, a total force integrated unit comprised of civilian, active duty and reservists, supports two of five Distributed Ground Stations located throughout the world that make up the Distributed Common Ground System weapons system. Each DGS is comprised of intel analysts and communications specialists who process multiple forms of intelligence gathered from manned and unmanned reconnaissance platforms such as the U-2 Dragonlady and the RQ-4Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft.

To learn more about this event and other activities with the 940th Wing, visit our social media channels by clicking here or visit our website at www.940wg.afrc.mil.

AF's final C-17 arrives at Charleston

by Senior Airman Dennis Sloan
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs


9/16/2013 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AFNS) -- As the sun rose above Long Beach, Calif., the last U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, P-223, rolled off the Boeing assembly onto the flight line where it was prepared for its inaugural flight to Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

A ceremony was held on stage with the P-223 in the backdrop for all to see, while Air Force leaders thanked the Boeing employees, who worked on the U.S. Air Force C-17's for the past 20 years, for all their hard work.

"Even though this is the last C-17 to be delivered to the Air Force, we know that the Boeing employees will stand behind us and all 222 C-17s we operate for many years to come," said Gen. Paul Selva, Air Mobility Command commander.

The keys to the bird were handed over to Selva and the aircrew boarded the aircraft to begin their journey to JB Charleston.

As the C-17 took off and Lt. Gen. James Jackson, Air Force Reserve Command commander, performed a fly-over Boeing, employees could be seen waving American Flags in the air cheering the Air Force on.

"I had never flown a C-17 before, but after going through the simulators and getting hands on instructions from experienced C-17 pilots I felt confident taking off and flying the Globemaster high into the sky," said Jackson.

Jackson is a former F-4 Phantom and F-16 Falcon fighter pilot as well as a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot.

The crew on board the C-17 was handpicked and included a general officer, pilot, loadmaster and crew chief from active-duty, reserve and guard components.

"It is truly an honor to be a part of the mission today," said Tech. Sgt. Paul Garner, Air National Guard 155th Airlift Squadron loadmaster out of Memphis, Tenn. "I'm happy I can represent the Air National Guard as a loadmaster on this historical flight."

After taking off and flying for more than an hour, Jackson handed the controls over to Selva who flew the C-17 alongside Lt. Col. Scott Torrico, Air Force Reserve, 701st Airlift Squadron out of JB Charleston, S.C.

"There is nothing this aircraft cannot do," said Selva. "If we need to transport vehicles, cargo, personnel or even perform an aeromedical evacuation, the C-17 and its crew are highly capable of doing any one of these missions."

While the generals took care of the piloting of the aircraft, crew members to include loadmaster and crew chiefs took care of all the flight duties in the rear of the aircraft as well as sharing stories of their time with the C-17 and how much it meant to be on the flight.

This is something I will definitely be telling my grandchildren someday," said Staff Sgt. James Regan, 437th Maintenance Squadron crew chief. "My wife Samantha and my four-year-old son Taylor will be on the ground at JB Charleston to greet me when I land."

After Regan turned the controls of the C-17 over to Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, Air National Guard director, Selva handed him the keys to P-223.

"Words can't describe how I felt being handed the keys to the last C-17," said Regan. "Speechless, really."

As the aircraft approached JB Charleston, Clarke performed a fly-over for the crowd of military, community members and their families all eager to see the final U.S. Air Force C-17.

"This was my first time flying the C-17, so I made sure to make the landing as perfect as possible," said Clarke.

"It's is a little bigger than the fighters I am used to," he jokingly said.

P-223 landed and was parked right in front of the crowd of people waiting to greet the aircrew and celebrate 20 years of history in the making.

"While this may be the last U.S. Air Force C-17 delivery, this bird has many more flights in its future," said Jackson.

Army Evacuates Guardsmen, First Responders in Colorado

From a Colorado National Guard News Release

CENTENNIAL, Colo., Sept. 16, 2013 – As rain and cloud cover hampered military aviation operations in Colorado yesterday, the rising waters added Colorado National Guardsmen and first responders to the list of flood evacuees.


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An aerial view shows flood damage in Colorado, Sept. 14, 2013, due to heavy rains. Soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, have been assisting with search-and-rescue operations. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Wallace Bonner
  

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At about 4:20 p.m., a mix of 51 Colorado National Guardsmen, first responders and civilians, along with five pets, were reported to be stopped by rising waters in Lyons, Colo. Flood waters rose so high that even the half-dozen Light Medium Tactical Vehicles deployed with the group -- the “go-to”
high-mobility trucks that have become the staple of the military’s ground search-and-rescue efforts -- couldn’t ford them, officials said.

In the meantime, the weather in Boulder County broke, so U.S. Army aviators from the 4th Infantry Division from Fort Carson resumed flight operations from the Boulder Municipal Airport. Among their priority missions was to evacuate the 51 people stranded in Lyons.

Aviators flying two helicopters -- a CH-47 Chinook and a UH-60 Black Hawk -- were able to evacuate all 10 civilians and their pets, along with a number of first responders and Guardsmen, before weather took another bad turn and aviation operations were suspended again.

“It’s great to provide support to our neighbors and work with such great professionals,” said Army Col. Robert Ault, commander of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. “The first responders have the desire, we have the capabilities and it’s great when we can all come together to help make a difference.”

Of the original 51, 15 first responders and Guardsmen, along with the high-mobility vehicles, are waiting out the flood on higher ground until flight operations resume or the waters become passable, officials said.

Twenty military helicopters and crews were scheduled to conduct evacuation operations yesterday, but most were grounded for much of the day as heavy rain and low ceilings hampered visibility, causing flight safety issues for much of the day

Face of Defense: Corpsman Leads With Emphasis on Family, Unit

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

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., Sept. 16, 2013 – Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Bundeson is no stranger to war. During his deployment in Fallujah, Iraq, a truck in his convoy was hit by an improvised explosive device, tearing the vehicle apart and flipping it over, killing the vehicle commander and the gunner.


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Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Bundeson participates in a combat operations center exercise at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 5, 2013. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Shaltiel Dominguez
  

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“One of my sailors suffered the loss of his friend pretty badly, and I was able to help him through it,” Bundeson said. “We have to stick together as a family.”

For Bundeson, a corpsman with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, 1st Marine Logistics Group, family is everything. From the Marines and sailors around him to his wife and children back home, he considers all of them just as close.

“The biggest challenge I’ve encountered was seeing Marines go down, and the only way I was able to overcome it was by maintaining my esprit de corps and staying true to the Marines and sailors around me,” he said. “They are my family.”

During the 13 years Bundeson has been an active duty corpsman, he has been on five combat deployments, serving in Ramadi, Fallujah, Al-Asad and Al-Taqqadum during the height of the Iraq War. During hard times, he said, his focus on family kept him going. His wife and 14-year-old daughter provide him with a valuable pillar of support and push him to do better each day, he added.

“At home, my wife and my daughter are my motivation,” he said. “They mean everything to me, and they keep me going.”

Bundeson was born in Zambales, Philippines, but he calls Roseburg, Ore., his hometown. American culture is just as much a part of him as the Philippine culture he was born into, he said.

The military is in Bundeson’s blood.

“My dad was in the Navy, and following in my dad’s footsteps seemed the right thing to do,” he said.
Bundeson uses the same familial principles to motivate and develop other Marines and sailors. Most recently, he showed his leadership skills during a three-day combat operations center exercise here. He took some Marines and sailors under his wing, established command presence by treating them fairly and with respect and efficiently accomplished the tasks at hand.

“Exercises like these give you a chance to teach newer Marines and sailors ways to do things more effectively,” Bundeson said. “It doesn’t matter what service you’re in -- you need to take charge and take care of your junior Marines and sailors like they’re a part of you.”

Pentagon Offers Resources as Navy Shooting Response Continues

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is making Defense Department resources available to Navy officials as they deal with a still-unfolding shooting incident at the Washington Navy Yard that reportedly has left some people dead and several others injured, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

"Everyone here at the Department of Defense is saddened by the incident at the Washington Navy Yard this morning,” Little said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims.”

Hagel is following the situation closely, Little said, and the commander of the Military District of Washington is determining the operational and security status of military installations in the national capital region.

“Individual installation commanders have the authority to change their operating status at their discretion,” the press secretary said. “While the Pentagon remains open, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency increased its security posture, not out of a specific threat, but as a proactive, precautionary measure.”

Little stressed that the situation remains fluid. Navy officials are working closely with law enforcement and emergency management representatives from the FBI and the District of Columbia to secure the scene and begin the investigation, he added.

An active shooter was reported inside the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building at 8:20 a.m. EDT, officials said.

“Emergency personnel remain on scene, and a ‘shelter in place’ order has been issued for Navy Yard personnel,” a Navy news release said.

The Naval Sea Systems Command's headquarters is the workplace for about 3,000 people. The organization is composed of command staff, headquarters directorates, affiliated program executive offices and numerous field activities. The command engineers, builds, buys and maintains ships, submarines and combat systems and is the largest of the Navy's five system commands.

A White House statement said President Barack Obama has been briefed several times about the unfolding situation by Lisa Monaco, his assistant for homeland Security and counterterrorism, and Deputy Chief of Staff Alyssa Mastromonaco.

The president directed his team to stay in touch with federal partners, including the Navy and FBI, as well as the local officials, the statement said.

Family members looking for information about their loved ones can contact the Navy Yard’s Warfighter and Family Support Center at 202-433-6151 or 202-433-9713.

Army Vice Chief, Wounded Warriors Share Their Inspirations

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 – The Army’s vice chief of staff came out to show his support yesterday for wounded warriors across all branches of service during the third annual Wounded Warriors Celebrity Softball Classic here.


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Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. John F. Campbell, center, applauds as teams are introduced during the third annual Wounded Warriors Celebrity Softball Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., Sept. 15, 2013. DOD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
  

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Army Gen. John F. Campbell watched as wounded warriors, families and friends from the Washington Nationals organization and celebrities from across the country competed at Nationals Park.

“I [just] had to come out and watch some of our wounded warriors from all the services come out here and continue to play hard [and] work hard, and they really show some inspiration,” Campbell said. “I’m glad to be a part of it.”

The general said that while he has attended many wounded warrior events, he was enjoying the Celebrity Softball Classic for the first time. He noted that Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, would be playing in the game.

“So it’ll be fun to watch him, and they’ve got some great celebrities out there as well,” Campbell said. “[I’m] looking forward to it.”

Campbell said he encourages everyone to come out and support wounded warrior events whenever they get the opportunity.

“All of our wounded warriors continue to fight every single day,” he said. “I think it’s pretty special, so I’m proud to be a part of it. To see what they go through in their everyday lives and the stresses they have, and they continue to … have, their passion to be able to do this is pretty inspiring.”

The general said when he’s having a “rough” day on the job, he finds it “pretty powerful” when he stops and thinks of what wounded warriors are going through every day to be able to push on.
Zach Briseno, a former corporal in the Marine Corps, shared his perspective for moving forward with his life.

“At first, I thought that my life was over, you know -- I’d be in a wheelchair the rest of my life,” he said. “But then you meet other guys that have smiles on their faces. Families are a big help, [as are] organizations like this and the fans that come out and support the organizations.”

Briseno, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, said he was walking three months after his injury and was determined to walk in to greet his unit as his comrades returned home from Iraq. He said he’s happy to be an inspiration to others, but that he remains modest.

“Honestly, there are more inspirational people out there than me,” he said. “I just come out here to play a game that I love to play. I grew up being a baseball player my whole life. If it does help change somebody’s future, somebody’s outlook on life -- especially a kid -- I’m all for it.”

Greg Reynolds, a former Army staff sergeant who hails from Dighton, Mass., said that with the right mindset and attitude anything is possible.

“I always say the only limitations you have are the ones you make, and I don’t make any,” he said. “Hopefully, you’ll see that tonight. My teammates -- we don’t make any limitations. We strive to be better than our able-bodied opponents.

AETC kicks off CFC for 2013

by Capt. Ashley Walker
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs


9/16/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO RANDOLPH, Texas  -- The nation-wide Combined Federal Campaign began Sept. 1 and will run until Dec. 15.

The CFC is one of the largest and most successful annual charities held in today's federal workplace. The campaign raises millions of dollars for more than 2,700 agencies that all go through a rigorous review process each year to be listed in the CFC brochure.

"The CFC gives federal and military employees an opportunity to get involved in national charities and our local communities by donating to various worthwhile charities and causes," said Dwyer Stringer, Air Education and Training Command CFC loaned executive.

Donating is as easy as setting up an allotment or writing a check; and there is no donation limit.

"During the last campaign, CFC collected more than $258 million. Last year AETC contributed $396,946," said Lt. Col. Freddie Jenkins, project officer for AETC Headquarters 2013 CFC campaign. "The anticipated target for AETC Headquarters is $401,821. We hope to reach the contribution target within the first five weeks of the CFC campaign."

"The Air Force as a whole is a giving organization," said Stringer. "We do many charitable acts as individuals, units and as a service. CFC is just one easy way to continue to give."

Each base will have different active drive times within the span of the campaign, so Airmen should check with their local representatives for details.

Each unit's local representatives are tasked to make contact with all personnel in their work centers to talk about CFC. The representatives answer questions and help facilitate donations. Local representatives can provide potential donors with a list of approved CFC charities. Find your local CFC representative to start making a difference

Fort Meade Joins Healthy Base Initiative Demonstration

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

FORT MEADE, Md., Sept. 16, 2013 – As one of 14 pilot installations in the Defense Department’s Healthy Base Initiative, this Maryland post will share its best practices and lessons learned across DOD to promote healthier and more resilient service members, families, retirees and civilian employees, a senior defense official said today.

Army Col. Brian P. Foley, the Fort Meade garrison commander, announced during a ribbon-cutting for the new Army Wellness Center here that the post has been named a demonstration site in the Healthy Base Initiative. The initiative is part of Operation Live Well, a program aimed at making healthy living the easy choice and the social norm.

Participating in the Healthy Base Initiative will help the Defense Department encourage an alternative to the national trend toward obesity and tobacco use, Charles E. Milam, DOD’s principal director for military community and family policy, told American Forces Press Service.

During the demonstration, expected to last about a year, teams of subject matter experts will evaluate the participating installations’ facilities and programs. The reviews will cover everything from fitness and wellness programs being offered to food choices available, Milam said.

Among the team members will be representatives of the Culinary Institute of America, who will help to assess offerings at installation dining facilities, fast-food outlets and vending operations and, when applicable, on-base schools. They will help to identify, for example, if dining facilities need to provide more nutritious alternatives, and will make recommendations to the installation commander.

“This is not about eradicating the fast food on the installation,” Milam emphasized. “It is about providing some choices.”

Assessments conducted at the Healthy Base Initiative installations will provide a baseline review of what’s being offered to support not only improved nutritional choices, but also increased physical activity, obesity reduction and decreased tobacco use, he said.

The assessments will help to clarify “what programs we have in place today, and to figure out what moves the needle and what levers we pull and push and what really works and what doesn’t,” Milam said.

The results will be used to help DOD develop policies for the future that can be shared across the military and beyond installation gates.

“One of the advantages of the program is that not everyone is doing the same thing. We have 14 different sites out there, and they are all doing something a little bit different,” Milam said. “And I believe that at the end, we are going to be able to package the goodness in everything that we learn from this demonstration in a way that we can push it out to the Department of Defense.”

The effort will have a direct impact on readiness and resilience by promoting stronger, healthier and more physically and emotionally strong military members and families, as well as DOD civilians and retirees, he said.

Army Col. Danny B.N. Jaghab, commander of U.S. Army medical Department Activity here, called the new installation wellness center a positive step toward that goal. Its staff will include medical practitioners and health educators focused on preventing disease, injury and disability.

“I’m honored to have the responsibility for delivering programs through the center that will help service members and their families, retirees and Department of Defense civilians build and sustain good health,” he said.

Army Maj. Gen. Dean G. Sienko, commander of U.S. Army Public Health Command, said two studies of existing Army wellness centers show they have a positive impact on their clients in terms of body mass index, body fat, muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, resting heart rate, blood pressure and aerobic capacity.

Based on the data, “these centers work,” Sienko said. “They make people healthier. They will prevent chronic diseases and improve quality-of-life.”

Other participants in the Healthy Base Initiative demonstration are Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Sub Base New London, Conn.; Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho; Yokota Air Base, Japan; Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center/Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, Twentynine Palms, Calif.; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.; March Air Reserve Base, Calif.; and Camp Dodge, Iowa. The other two participants are the Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va.; and Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, Va.

Intelligence Agency Director Discusses Roadmap for Future

By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 – In a global environment where crises such as the one occurring in Syria become sudden priorities and where fiscal, cyber and geopolitical disasters simmer on the world’s back burners, intelligence is a critical guarantor of U.S. national security, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said here last week.

Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn spoke to those attending a panel on intelligence community challenges and priorities at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance Summit. INSA is a nonprofit public-private organization whose members include current and former high-ranking intelligence, military and government agency leaders, analysts and experts.

“In light of future trends … and in light of the absolutely critical role of intelligence for our national security, we must do the following,” Flynn said. “We must adjust our operating model to refocus on our mission and our unique strengths. We must continually emphasize burden sharing, partnerships and integration. And we must instill flexibility and agility to respond to crises. That is our new normal.”
Flynn said these undertakings must be woven into the fabric and culture of DIA and everything it does.
“At DIA,” he said, “we have already laid the groundwork for that future.”

The agency recently reorganized into a centers-based model that networks and integrates talent from across the agency -- analysts, collectors, collections managers, technicians, technical experts, targeteers -- and brings them together as one team to solve critical problems, Flynn said, describing the model as a “critical personal lesson that I learned from the past decade of war.”

At the core of the centers are the following three qualities, the general explained.

-- A fusion of analysis and collection, which, based on experience from Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, is the most successful model for intelligence production and support;

-- Flexibility, so team members no longer have to contend with organizational boundaries; and
-- Integration, as each center has interagency embeds from across the intelligence community and tight relationships with combatant commands and service intelligence centers.

“That's not the model that we had coming into the last decade of war,” he said.

Today, Flynn said, DIA’s Middle East-Africa Regional Center, in close coordination with U.S. Central Command, the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the White House, is handling the DIA assessments of the Syria crisis.

“And I have the utmost faith that they have the right talent, the right tools and the right resources to get the job done,” he said.

The agency also has pushed more of its intelligence professionals -- collectors and analysts -- into the field to “thicken the edges,” the general said, ensuring that they and the agency have an appreciation and working understanding of developments across the globe.

“My constant drumbeat is to make the edge the center,” Flynn said. “The unique perspective of these officers in the field often made the crucial difference in our support to policymakers during the [al-Qaida] threats in Yemen, operations in Mali, instability in Egypt and certainly growing unrest in Syria.”

Recently, he added, feedback from an intelligence officer in a particular country went directly to the secretary of defense in advance of his talks to allies about instability in the Middle East.

As the United States finds itself with new national security crossroads to navigate, the general observed, DIA is focused on being in the right place at the right time.

Flynn said DIA’s role in the U.S. government’s response to the crisis in Syria has been intense and continuous from the beginning.

“In our agency we have over 6,000 civilians who have served in a combat environment in the last decade,” he said. “That's pretty extraordinary. Those that served in Iraq and focused on … al-Qaida, … but certainly on the Middle East militaries and the kinds of capabilities they have. They're worth their weight in gold right now.”

The Defense Intelligence Agency is deeply involved as a member of the community, the general added. DIA, he said, is part of “an integrated team supporting Central Command, European Command, Africa Command, certainly Cyber Command. And we also support the military planning that's going on at every level up to and including the Joint Staff.”

DIA also is involved on the policy side, he said.

“We have provided what I would call the nation's experts on chemical warfare to the State Department. They are today helping Secretary [John F.] Kerry negotiate that issue. They were called on a dime, and the individual I'm thinking about in this case absolutely jumped right into it,” Flynn said.

The crisis in Syria shows how rapidly a challenge from the list of global threats can bubble up to the surface and completely change the nation's course and commitment of resources, the general said.
Another such issue on the horizon, he noted, could be the tactical use of cyberattacks for strategic purposes.

“We are all aware of the cyber threat,” Flynn said.

Summit attendees spent a significant part of the afternoon talking about a range of cybersecurity topics, he said, from rogue hackers to insider threats to state-sponsored actors.

In May, the general added, appropriately at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in no uncertain terms that the destructive potential of cyberattacks has become the national security challenge of the age.

“While we grow ever more worried about threats to infrastructure in our increasingly wired society, DIA is increasingly focused on threats that can degrade our military capabilities,” Flynn said.

Militarized cyber weapons are a new world for DIA, he added, one in which the agency needs to understand the doctrine and intent of cyber foes to best manage the risk such enemies pose to the nation.
“DIA has been the all-source leader on enemy doctrine and discipline, order-of-battle research and offensive capabilities for more than 50 years,” Flynn said.

The agency is working hard with its intelligence community partners, he added, “to understand the security challenges that we face in our era.”

Team works to heal, help injured ARC Airmen

By Debbie Gildea, Air Force Personnel Center Public Affairs


JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO -- RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Air Reserve Component members who are injured or develop an illness while on active duty orders now have a centrally located team of specialists working to help them get well, get their benefits, and get back to their life.
The Air Reserve Component Case Management Division, recently established at the Air Force Personnel Center, is composed of total force medical, personnel and finance specialists to help injured ARC Airmen get well, said Lt. Col. Thomas Matschek, ARC Case Management Division chief.

Medical continuation originated in 2004 when many ARC Airmen returned from deployment injured or ill and in need of care, said Matschek. In addition, force readiness was affected. Originally decentralized with major commands managing their own programs, in 2008 the program was centralized under the Air Force Medical Operations Agency. An independent review indicated that adding case management would improve the process, he said.

Bringing all key players under one roof is helping to minimize the length of time an Airman spends in the medical continuation system and enable the active duty and ARC specialists to maximize their care and support, the colonel explained.

"Since the July initial operational capability point, we've averaged about 25 new case certifications or existing case extensions per week," he said. "We've seen some great successes when we've been able to use our medical case management skills to bring some of our more severely wounded airmen to major military treatment platforms or VA poly-trauma centers of excellence. These locations help ensure an affected airman has efficient access to a full spectrum of evaluation and treatment options."

In addition, the division is capitalizing on the opportunity to work synergistically with the various teams in AFPC, including the disabilities and wounded warriors divisions.

The priority for Airmen on MEDCON orders is to get well. The priority for the MEDCON team is to assist the Airman in obtaining authorized medical care, entitlements and benefits.

"We are trying to ensure Airmen receive the appropriate entitlements and benefits through a prompt, all-encompassing administrative process, and the centralized care division is helping us do that. We're eliminating a lot of the guessing by providing individualized case management, with special attention to complex situations," said Matschek.

While processes are standardized, individual cases and outcomes will vary.

"We have a large Reserve and Guard population and their needs range from routine to urgent, so this division will significantly change the landscape for injured ARC Airmen," he said. "It's important to note that 47 percent of the total force comes from ARC, and those Airmen are involved in every contingency. More than 11 percent of ARC Airmen were involved in Iraq in 2008, and 22 percent were in Afghanistan."

ARC Airmen deploy and work side-by-side with active duty Airmen, and like their active duty teammates, they are removed from forward locations if seriously injured or ill.

Unlike active duty, however, a line of duty determination is required for ARC Airmen, as well as an evaluation to determine whether or not they will be vectored to the MEDCON program.

"The line of duty determination and evaluation will help us identify members who may not have been identified earlier and, if necessary, vector them to the MEDCON program. There are also unique cases that may not surface until several months after demobilization. Those cases will be handled through the service member's medical unit and vectored to the ARC-CMD," said the colonel.

Once on medical continuation orders, ARC Airmen are required to report to their unit or alternate duty location and perform work to the extent that their medical condition allows.

In addition, they are scheduled for a variety of appointments focused on helping them get better and enabling them to return to duty. If an Airman requires additional time for treatment or recovery beyond a six-month period, or the condition has not improved, the ARC CMD will either request an extension to the MEDCON orders or recommend Integrated Disability Evaluation System processing.

"Sadly, some Airmen will not be returned to duty, and this division will help prepare them for the medical evaluation board or other separation process," said Matschek.

The decision to establish a holistic division at the personnel center supports the Air Force's long tradition of caring for Airmen, the colonel said.

"We have a continuing obligation to care for all Airmen throughout their service and - in many cases - beyond," he said. "This division will help us meet that obligation."

For more information about the ARC medical continuation program, or for information about other personnel issues, visit the myPers website at https://mypers.af.mil.

Former Army Captain to Receive Medal of Honor in October

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 – President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor next month to former Army Capt. William Swenson for conspicuous gallantry during Sept. 8, 2009, combat operations in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

At the time, Swenson served as an embedded trainer and mentor of the Afghan national security forces with Afghan Border Police Mentor Team, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.

In a White House statement announcing the ceremony, officials said Swenson will be the sixth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He and his family will join the president at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service.

Swenson separated from the Army on Feb. 1, 2011, and now lives in Seattle. He is single.
The Medal of Honor is the nation’s highest award for battlefield gallantry.

Rising Thunder Promotes U.S.-Japan Partnership, Capability

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2013 – The first combined aviation live-fire exercise with U.S. and Japanese army forces firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles proved to be a highlight of the ongoing Rising Thunder 13 exercise underway at Yakima Training Center, Wash.


Click photo for screen-resolution image
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, right, commander of the 7th Infantry Division, meets Japanese Maj. Gen. Takeyoshi Omari, deputy commander of 4th Division, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, during Rising Thunder at the Yakima Training Center, Wash., Sept. 13, 2013. Rising Thunder is a U.S. Army-hosted exercise designed to build interoperability between 1st Corps, the 7th Infantry Division and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. Jason Shepherd
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
About 800 soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 1st Corps and almost 500 members of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force are participating in the annual exercise, Army Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, the 7th Infantry Division commander, told American Forces Press Service.

The three-week exercise, now in its 20th year, is fundamental to strengthening the longstanding bond between the U.S. and Japanese armies, Lanza said. That bond, and the U.S.-Japanese alliance, is a cornerstone of the rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

Activities conducted since the Sept. 4 opening ceremonies have focused on tactical skills such as target detection, reconnaissance techniques and cover and concealment. The exercise also includes platoon and company-level live-fire exercises, indirect live fire scenarios, demolition activities involving engineers and urban operations in one of the training area’s mock villages, Lanza said.

Last week, the U.S. 16th Combat Aviation Brigade and Japan’s 3rd Anti-Tank Helicopter Battalion conducted the aviation live-fire to test the interoperability of the newly fielded U.S. AH-64E Apache helicopters with Japan’s AH-64D models during Hellfire operations.

“That was a tremendous achievement, because you had Japanese aircraft and U.S. aircraft operating in the same airspace, taking the same commands from the tower, working air-space deconfliction, air space management, fires control and gunnery,” Lanza said. “The interoperability was tremendous.”
Both the United States and Japan dedicated more resources and manpower to this year’s Rising Thunder, he noted.

The Japanese defense force has “raised considerably the amount of capability they have brought out,” he said. Japanese Maj. Gen. Takeyoshi Omari, deputy commander of 4th Division, deployed to the state of Washington for the exercise with an infantry regiment, artillery unit, engineers and aviation section.
“We have done the same thing,” Lanza said, committing the entire 520th Infantry Stryker Battalion, an element of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, as well as some of the brigade’s enablers.

The scope of the exercise has expanded as well.

“Last year was more about cooperation and partnership,” Lanza said. “This year we have expanded it beyond cooperation and partnership to really being interoperable in a combined-arms maneuver scenario with our allies.”

As U.S. and Japanese soldiers train, eat and bunk together, Lanza said, they are growing in cultural awareness and understanding. They share friendly games of baseball and paused together Sept. 11 to pay tribute to those lost in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania during the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Lanza said he’s been struck during Rising Thunder 2013 by the commonalities between the allied soldiers.

“When you look at the two forces in terms of interoperability, there are some amazing similarities in the professionalism of the forces,” he said. “There is a lot of similarity between our organizations and in how we operate, how we train and how we fight. So it is very refreshing to operate so closely with an allied force that we are so close with and that we have such great ties with to conduct this operation.”