Thursday, October 10, 2013

Duel of the schools

by Donovan Jackson
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

10/9/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- Taking a break from the daily rigors of Air Force academia, the Air Command and Staff College competed against the Air War College in the second annual Duel of The Schools competition Monday and Tuesday.

Events took place base-wide, providing excitement, relaxation and a competitive spirit for ACSC and AWC students.

"This friendly rivalry started three years ago," said Lt. Col. Dwayne Lahaye, AWC student. "The Duel of The Schools competition is a great break from the demanding academic routine for all of the students. The AWC team was really fired up this year, and we are always looking forward to competing against our much younger counterparts at ACSC."

According Lahaye, the Dual of The Schools competition is a "carry on" from the Jim Thorpe Days competition, but at a much more economical cost.

"In the past, the AWC would send students to participate in a long-standing annual sports event called the Jim Thorpe Days," he said. "Students would travel to Carlisle Barracks (Penn.) to compete against the other senior military schools, like the Army War College and National War College, in mental and physical challenges. However, due to serious budget constraints in the past couple of years, the AWC began reaching out to its neighbor ACSC for fun competition hosted locally at Maxwell."

Events for the competition ranged from the physical, such as tennis, cycling, and running, to the cognitive, such as Jeopardy and chess.

"I really enjoyed all of the events, but my favorite was the 5K run," said ACSC student Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Farley, an F-18 Hornet pilot. "This event really helped to bring the colleges together while encouraging us to get to know one another on a competitive level."

Aside from being an enjoyable time, the competition provided the opportunity for international officer students to participate in friendly, American competition.

"I really enjoyed the competitive spirit of my American colleagues," said Col. Marco Lant, member of the Italian Air Force and AWC student. "I feel that a competition such as this helps to build our relationships and partnerships amongst each other, but most importantly, our friendship."

AWC class president, Col. David Drichta, said that the competition helps to bring a "level of balance" to the academic year.

"We are all here for a year of professional military education, and competitions like the Duel of The Schools gives us a chance to refresh ourselves before hitting the books again," said Dritcha. "You can only study for so long; it's nice to get out and have a little fun with athletics."
After the scores for each individual event were counted, ACSC rose victorious over AWC, bringing home a trophy and bragging rights until next year's event.

NATO Fosters Partnerships Key to Future Success

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2013 – NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised efforts that are expanding and strengthening the partnerships he called fundamental to the alliance’s ability to deal with modern security challenges.

Partnerships “are key to our future success in a world where risks cross borders and we are all interconnected,” Rasmussen said during a news conference today in Brussels.

“By working together, NATO and our partners are making a real contribution to dealing with today’s security threats, including outside the Euro-Atlantic area,” he said. “Partnerships produce real results -- on operations, in training and exercises, and in the reform and management of democratic defense institutions.”

In addition to broad cooperation demonstrated by the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, NATO continues to expand its efforts with partners in other operational theaters, the secretary general said.

He recognized several new developments:

-- A Ukrainian frigate joined Operation Ocean Shield yesterday, representing the first time any partner nation has taken part in NATO’s counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa;

-- The Republic of Moldova will join the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, the first time that country has contributed to any NATO-led operation;

-- NATO allies and partners in southeastern Europe came together last week to work on a NATO-led initiative aimed at improving governance and democratic oversight in the defense sector; and

-- NATO partner Austria is co-leading a NATO project to support the defense education system of another partner country, Serbia.

“We have immense experience of working with partners,” Rasmussen said. “And looking ahead, our cooperation with partners continues to grow.”

A major NATO exercise to take place in Poland and the Baltic states next month will ensure the NATO Response Force “is ready to defend any ally, deploy anywhere and deal with any threat,” he said.
Ukraine and Finland will participate in the Steadfast Jazz exercise, and other NATO partners have expressed interest as well, he reported.

“So they will train alongside us -- and will then have met the requirements to deploy with next year’s NATO Response Force,” he said.

Meanwhile, another NATO partner, Georgia, has been accepted to join the Response Force in the future, and Rasmussen said he expects Georgian troops to be available to the force in the 2015 timeframe.

“This, again, would be a first: the first time Georgia has joined NATO’s rapid-reaction team,” he said.
NATO’s diverse partnerships “are delivering,” he added.

Rasmussen recognized as examples milestones to be reached in the coming year: the 20th year of the Partnership for Peace initiative aimed at strengthening security and cooperation across the Euro-Atlantic, the 20th anniversary of the Mediterranean Dialogue that forges ties with countries around the Mediterranean, and the 10th year of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with Gulf region nations.

“All these initiatives have borne fruit, but there is more that they can do,” he said.

Exploring ways build on 20 years of operations experience and to take the alliance to that next step is expected to be a major agenda item at NATO’s 2014 Summit in Great Britain.

“The summit … will ensure that we continue to build on the lessons we have learned, to strengthen the alliance and keep it ready to deal with modern security challenges,” Rasmussen said. “It will reaffirm the vital transatlantic bond on which NATO was founded. And it will further enhance our partnerships, which are key to our future success.”

Carter to Step Down as Deputy Defense Secretary in December

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2013 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced that Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter will step down December 4.

Carter has served in senior Defense Department positions since the start of the Obama administration including as undersecretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics under Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates before becoming the department's number two official.

In a statement issued late today, Hagel said he met with Carter this morning “and reluctantly accepted his decision to step down.”

Hagel called Carter an extraordinarily loyal and effective deputy secretary who constantly provided outstanding support to service members fighting downrange. “He possesses an unparalleled knowledge of every facet of America’s defense enterprise, having worked directly and indirectly for eleven secretaries of defense over the course of his storied career,” Hagel said.

Hagel thanked Carter for remaining his deputy and helping him get up to speed in the department during some unusual times. “I have continually relied upon Ash to help solve the toughest challenges facing the Department of Defense,” Hagel said. “I particularly appreciate his work spearheading the Strategic Choices and Management Review, which put the department in a far stronger position to manage through unprecedented budget uncertainty.”

As undersecretary, Carter led DOD’s efforts to accelerate the fulfillment of urgent operational needs such as the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. He worked to increase the department’s buying power, and worked to strengthen America’s defenses against emerging threats, such as cybersecurity.
Deputy defense secretaries generally remain in the background, but Carter held some very visible portfolios including serving as the department’s point man in defense relations with India. Most recently, he headed the department’s investigation into the Washington Navy Yard shooting.

Hagel called Carter a brilliant strategist and an excellent manager. “His compassion, love, and determination to overcome any and all bureaucratic obstacles earned him abiding respect and appreciation,” he wrote. “I am confident that the Department, and the country, will continue to benefit from Ash Carter's service in the months and years ahead.”

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said Carter's decision to leave was his and his alone.
Carter has moved back and forth between academia and government. He earned bachelor’s degrees in physics and in medieval history from Yale University, and received his doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Before joining the Obama administration, Carter chaired the International and Global Affairs faculty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and was Co-Director of the Preventive Defense Project.

During the Clinton administration, Carter served as assistant secretary of defense for international security policy.

Hagel thanked Carter for remaining on the job until December. He said the time will help smooth the transition. “The department will miss him,” Hagel wrote. “I will miss him.”

AETC welcomes new commander

by Tech. Sgt. Beth Anschutz
Air Education and Training Command

10/10/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- Gen. Robin Rand took command of Air Education and Training Command from Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. during a ceremony here today.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, presided over the ceremony.

"This is a special day, not just for the Rice and Rand families, but for the command and our Air Force family," said Welsh. "We get to acknowledge the profound impact of a great leadership team and thank them as they move on to new adventures in life, and we get to welcome another great leadership team to what is clearly one of the greatest jobs on earth."

Welsh reflected on Rice's service with reverence, noting some of his accomplishments along the way.

"For the past three years, AETC was led by Ed Rice with distinction. He worked tirelessly to create an environment of pride, and has been a spectacular role model ... for all of us." Welsh said. "During Ed's past three years at the helm, the great professionals of AETC have trained nearly a million Airmen, in every specialty in our Air Force; Active, Guard, Reserve, civilians and contractors ... you train them all! And Ed Rice leads the charge!"

Welsh said San Antonio is a great place to celebrate the end to Rice's tenure as AETC commander and also 35 years with the Air Force.

"For the last 35 years of service, Ed has been a giant in our Air Force," Welsh said. "I think it's fitting that he finishes his career in AETC, right where he started it back in 1978 as a pilot training student at Williams Air Force Base."

As Welsh reflected on the past, he noted that Rand has big shoes to fill, which will not be a problem for the new general in command.

"One of the greatest things about the Air Force is that every time we watch a great leader walk out the door and you get that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach and worry about being able to replace him, amazingly, another great leader seems to walk in that door," Welsh said. "That's certainly what's happening today."

Rand previously served as the 12th Air Force, Air Combat Command, commander. He is a command pilot with more than 5,000 flying hours, including 470 combat hours. He has held multiple flying tours, served as an air liaison officer with the U.S. Army and has had staff tours on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense and Air Staff.

As Rand addressed the men and women of AETC, he recalled the first time he arrived at Randolph with his wife, Kim, as second lieutenants, 33 years ago for T-37 Instructor Pilot training.

"Never in my wildest imagination would I have envisioned being here on this stage today," Rand said. "If there is one word to summarize my emotions today, it would be grateful."

Rand said he is grateful to be able to serve in our Air Force with great Airmen, who are currently serving in combat operations or humanitarian missions in every theater, on every continent of the world.

"Let no one forget that these phenomenal Airmen are fully engaged and they and their families work and pay for their service with blood, sweat and tears," Rand said. "Let no one forget that each and every one of these Airmen got started, shaped and molded in the first command, right here in Air Education and Training Command."

As the new AETC commander, Rand is charged with recruiting, training and educating America's Airmen through innovation. With an assigned force of more than 60,000 active-duty Airmen, Reservists and civilians, AETC trains and educates more than 300,000 American and International students each year on bases throughout the country.

Rand's pledge for the command is simple.

"I will do everything humanly possible to ensure the Airmen trained in the First Command will be prepared to carry the nation's load," Rand said.

Innovation advances F-22 as strategic force in the Pacific

by Capt. Ashley Conner
477th Fighter Group Public Affairs

10/10/2013 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska  -- The newest strategy in fighter employment will enable combat-ready F-22's to rapidly refuel, rearm, and redeploy. The new concept was demonstrated here during joint exercises in August.

The usual method of deploying fighters is structured around large footprint packages to a select few operating bases. The new rapid response force concept was developed by Lt. Col. Kevin Sutterfield, a Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 477th Fighter Group.

"This concept emphasizes the fundamental tenants of airpower: speed, flexibility, and surprise by pairing smaller formations of fighters and airlift that can move quickly together and operate from unexpected locations," said Sutterfield.

After penning a white paper that circulated through the Pentagon and Combatant Command staffs, Sutterfield partnered with active duty and Reserve experts around the combat Air Force to further flush out the details.

"Pilots from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, the USAF Weapons School, and the CSAF's Strategic Studies Group played important roles in making this a reality," he said. "We determined we needed to find a way to quickly generate and move small cells of 5th generation jets ... keep them moving, refueling, and rearming for a 72-hour cycle".

To test these theories, experienced pilots and maintainers from the 3rd Wing and 477th Fighter Group developed exercises in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

The events enabled line pilots and maintainers to develop innovative tactics and practice under realistic combat stresses. In one example, F-22's from JBER executed a practice strike on targets in the Atlantic Ocean by flying very nearly over the North Pole. It demonstrated the strategic location of Alaska and the ability for airpower to hold targets at risk from great distances.

"This concept decreases the logistical burden of deploying a Fighter Squadron and Aircraft Maintenance Unit and instead uses a flexible combination of four F-22s, one C-17, a tailored maintenance package and trained personnel to quickly project airpower anywhere on the globe," said Lt. Col. Robert Davis, former JBER 525th Fighter Squadron commander and current Air War College student, who played an integral role in making this concept a reality for the F-22s.

After several successful exercises the concept is now an operational reality.

"The concept of this rapid fighter response and its successful demonstration are the result of the synergies available when the active and reserve components work together in leveraging their corresponding strengths," said Col. Tyler Otten, 477th FG commander. "Lt. Col. Sutterfield's experience, longevity as a Reservist and innovative thought were the genesis of this idea that we were able to execute as reserve and active mission partners. This is the total force in action."

Although it was the concept of one pilot, the entire Total Force Enterprise at JBER from the maintainers, weapons loaders, fuels specialists, loadmasters of the active duty and Reserve pilots can be credited with successful demonstration of this concept.

"This rapid response force is a direct result of Airmen empowered to innovate," said Col. David Nahom, 3rd Wing commander. "There is no greater site to watch the professionalism, pride, and teamwork of our young operators and maintainers who collaborated to prove their pioneering capability."

Fire prevention week focuses on kitchen safety

by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nuñez
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/10/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- -- The 51st Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Emergency Services Flight hosted several activities in observance of this year's fire prevention week which kicked off Oct. 6.

With the goal of educating the public about fire safety, President Woodrow Wilson issued the fire prevention week proclamation in 1922 and it and has been observed ever since.

Every year, a different theme is designated for the weekly observance.

"This year's theme for fire safety is preventing kitchen fires," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Haenelt, 51st CES fire inspector. "Kitchen fires are the number one cause of fires worldwide, mainly due to food being left unattended while cooking. So we are giving people tips on how to combat and prevent kitchen fires."

During the vehicle extrication demonstration that kicked off this year's fire prevention week, firefighters showcased the steps they would take to remove a victim from a vehicle involved in a serious accident. To accomplish this task they used and displayed a variety of tools and equipment at their disposal, including the Jaws of Life.

"If you get in an accident, and we have to extract you, we would come out and use any of the techniques that we displayed," said Staff Sgt. Jacob Barrey, 51st CES crew chief. "If need be, we can get a victim out of a vehicle in 5 to 10 minutes."

Every year, fire departments across the country hold fire education and awareness events.

Osan firefighters and Sparky the fire dog will be visiting the Child Development Center, Osan Elementary school, and the youth center to educate children understand that firefighters are here to help and not as scary as they may appear.

Here a few tips on fire safety from the National Fire Protection Association:

· Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don't use the stove or stovetop
· Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove
· If you are simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind yourself when the food will be ready
· Keep anything that can catch fire; oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains, away from your stovetop

End of an era for AFSSS

by 1st Lt. Stacy Glaus
21st Space Wing Public Affairs Office

10/9/2013 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 21st Space Wing closed the Air Force Space Surveillance System due to resource constraints caused by sequestration, marking the end of its 52 years of service to the Space Situational Awareness mission, Oct. 1.

The Air Force Space Surveillance System was designed to transmit a "fence" of radar energy vertically into space to detect all objects passing through that fence. It operated from three transmitters and six receiver stations located along the 33rd parallel in the southern portion of the United States.

The three transmitter sites were located at Jordan Lake, Ala.; Lake Kickapoo, Texas; and Gila River, Ariz.

The six receivers were located at Tattnall, Ga.; Hawkinsville, Ga.; Silver Lake, Miss.; Red River, Ark.; Elephant Butte, N.M.; and San Diego, Calif.

"The AFSSS mission was a cutting edge system when it was initially developed," said Col. John Shaw, 21st Space Wing commander. "Even to this day it complemented our SSA missions throughout the world, but due to sequestration, the decision was made to reconfigure some of our other assets and deactivate the AFSSS."

The radar had three distinct processes which were performed by three different organizations. The 20th Space Control Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., oversaw the radar transmitter and receiver sites and also collected the observations. Observations from these sites were sent to the 20th SPCS, Detachment 1 at Dahlgren, Va., where the data was processed. Finally, the 614th Air and Space Operations Center, Detachment 1 at Dahlgren, analyzed the AFSSS data and distributed observations to the Joint Space Operations Center located at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

The two receiver sites at Tattnall and Silver Lake were deactivated in April of this year. The remaining sites, including the 20th SPCS, Det. 1, deactivated Oct. 1.

With the exception of the 20th SPCS, Det. 1, all sites were staffed by contract personnel from Five Rivers Services. Government crews and resources from 20 SPCS, Det. 1, have been realigned under the 614th AOC, Det. 1.

Modified operating modes at Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System at Cavalier AFS, N.D., and the space surveillance radar at Eglin AFB, Fla., as well as other 21st Space Wing SSA sensors, allowed for the discontinuation of AFSSS operations while maintaining solid SSA.

While network performance studies are ongoing, initial indications show better than expected performance of the Space Surveillance Network since discontinuing operations of AFSSS, and most metrics are indicating no noticeable impact. Additionally, Air Force Space Command will see a cost savings from the AFSSS de-activation of more than $14 million per year, beginning in Fiscal Year 2014.

As part of the AFSSS closing process Shaw and Chief Master Sgt. Richard Redman, 21st Space Wing command chief, visited one of the sites before its closure.

"It was an honor to be able to go and visit the contractors working at the Elephant Butte (N.M.) site," said Shaw. "Some of these people have worked on the AFSSS their entire careers and it has served us well for the past 52 years. We were especially grateful we could go there and thank the crew for their dedication in person."

As the sun set on the final day of operations Sept. 30, AFSSS sites lowered the U.S. flag that flew over their locations one final time. The flag was folded and then presented to each site manager.

A formal ceremony, marking the closure of all sites and deactivation of 20th SPCS, Det. 1 was also held in Dahlgren, Va. The ceremony included a special guidon flag-casing ceremony, which is a military tradition used to recognize units that have deactivated or moved. The guidon was sent to the parent unit, the 20th SPCS located at Eglin AFB, Fla., for historical preservation.

"The contributions of the fence for 52 years, coupled with the dedication of the men and women who maintained and analyzed its data is a remarkable accomplishment," said Capt. Roland Rainey, commander, 614th AOC, Det. 1.

Oct. 1 meant more than just a day to take down a flag; it was also a day to celebrate the AFSSS's history.

"While we say 'farewell' to the AFSSS and its contributions to the Space Situational Awareness mission, it is equally important to remember all the operators, analysts and contractors, both military and civilian, who met the space race challenge over the years," said Rainey.

For some of those members who devoted their careers to the AFSSS mission, Oct. 1 was a bittersweet day.

Kenneth St. Clair, 20th SPCS Det. 1 site supervisor and now the 614th AOC Det. 1 supervisory information technology specialist, has worked the AFSSS mission for more than 30 years. He experienced many unit name changes throughout his tenure but the mission always stayed the same. This time, that mission will change as well.

"(The closing ceremony) signified the end of 20th SPCS, Det. 1," said St. Clair. "It's going to be different but we will keep moving on."

But not all sad news came out of these closing ceremonies. One member - or perhaps 'mascot' is a better term - seemed to create a bright spot to the closure of the AFSSS story.

His name - Grumpy.

Grumpy is a black and white stray dog that decided to call the Gila River space surveillance site home nearly four years ago. Too scared to approach the crew working at the site, Grumpy was never able to become 'friends' with the crew. The crew members still cared for and fed him, nonetheless.

As the AFSSS sites approached their closure date of Oct. 1, many people were afraid Grumpy would be left at the site, uncared for and alone. That all changed when one of the crew members was finally able to warm up to Grumpy. The member has since adopted him and Grumpy has a new home.

DARTs provide vital feedback during exercise

by Airman 1st Class Zachary Kee
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/8/2013 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- "Exercise Exercise Exercise, Alarm Black, MOPP 4, Limited Release," sounds from the giant voice system during an Operational Readiness Exerise here.

With this announcement, members of Misawa's Damage Assessment Response Teams know it is time to go to work.

"As a DART member our primary job is to provide post-attack reconnaissance around base," said Airman 1st Class Sean Easton, 35th Civil Engineer Squadron DART member. "We look for damage to critical infrastructure along with unexploded ordnance and, if needed, we help with casualty treatment."

DART recons all critical infrastructure on base, which is any building that would directly stop or significantly slow the mission if damaged or destroyed.

A DART position is not something just any Airman can obtain. Members of the 35 CES participate in monthly Base Emergency Engineering Force training days to sharpen their primary duty skills. Senior enlisted leadership then selects members from four CE Air Force Specialty Codes -- HVAC, Water and Fuels, Electrical and Structures - to make up a DART, based off the professionalism the Airmen displayed during BEEF training. Misawa has two DARTs, and the Airmen on these teams continuously train to remain efficient.

Training is something Senior Airman Gabriel Gebhart, 35 CES DART member and water and fuels technician, says is critical to correctly assessing damaged infrastructure.

"I think it is important that there is a group of trained service members who are designated to ensure infrastructure around base is suitable for operating out of," said Gebhart. "The average person wouldn't be able to determine if the building is safe to work out of."

Easton echoed Gebhart and took it a step further and said without correctly assessing a situation, it would greatly impact mission readiness.

"By properly assessing a situation we can keep a building from coming down on a group of people," said Easton. "If we don't go out and do this we wouldn't know what buildings are operational. We need critical infrastructure to get our jets off the ground and keep the mission going."

Operation Homecoming memorial rededicated

by Staff Sgt. Terri Paden
15th Wing Public Affairs

A rededication of the Operation Homecoming memorial took place here Oct. 7.
The ceremony, which was held near the original site the first 20 prisoners of war to return from Vietnam landed, was attended by former POW retired Capt. Jerry Coffee, who also served as guest speaker for the occasion.
"This event was to commemorate and pay tribute to the American spirit, teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of those held as prisoners of war during the Vietnam Conflict," said Capt. Bryan Ewing Sr. of the 647th Contracting Squadron.
Between Feb. 12 to April 1, 1974, 591 POWs were released from captivity by the North Vietnam government and flown from Southeast Asia to Clark Air Base in the Philippines to Hickam Field. This was known as Operation Homecoming and marked the end of Vietnam War. On Feb. 12, 1974, the first POWs to return from the war landed at Hickam Air Force Base's Military Airlift Command Terminal and stepped off the plane to more than 2, 000 members of the Hickam community waiting to welcome them home.
A monument was soon built to serve as a reminder of the historical moment and was a mainstay in the parking lot of the Fire Stone gas station for more than 40 years before a small group of students at Hanalani High School came up with the idea to relocate it to a more peaceful location.
According Jessie Higa, volunteer base historian, the new memorial, complete with benches, a small flower garden and walk path, is now a place veterans can come for reflection, fellowship and inspiration away from the hustle and bustle of the gas station customers.
"We needed to do a community project and decided to do this as a way to commemorate the service and sacrifice that the men of the Vietnam War gave us," said Bryan Ewing Jr, a junior at Hanalani High School and project participant. "This took a lot of time and effort but was a big deal for us. I'm very honored and glad that we chose this. We did great work and I'm really very proud."
Higa said the project, which originated during a base tour she was giving, was a good way to get younger members of the community involved in the history of the base.
"This ceremony not only acknowledges that our base doesn't forget the contributions these men made to our history, but it is a teaching opportunity for the next generation," she said. "They have to get involved ... they have to get personally invested in history and make a contribution in order to make it  more valuable to them and make them want to pass it on. Patriotism is not something you teach, it's something you have to experience and that's where true loyalty is formed. That's how you build an appreciation for legacy and honor."
Higa said though the previous memorial was built with good intentions, years of neglect from being in such an obscure location had made it almost illegible. However, thanks to the school donating a grant from the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, as well as donations from the Hickam Chief's Group and Top Three, the new memorial is now under contract and will be maintained year round for vets who want to visit it.
"That's the unfortunate state of the economy right now," she said. "Everyone is doing more with less. With the state of money and manpower things like this truly would not happen without volunteers and donations. Everyone has to do their part to help out. It really is about partnership and serving where we can to fill in the gaps."
The new Operation Homecoming memorial is located on the corner of Freedom Ave. next to the skate park and is available 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week to those with a military ID.

36th FS hosts ROKAF pilots during Buddy Wing

by Senior Airman Siuta B. Ika
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/9/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Two Republic of Korea air force pilots flew with pilots from the 36th Fighter Squadron during a Buddy Wing exchange here Sept. 11-12.

The Buddy Wing exchange program places both ROKAF and U.S. Air Force pilots in the same briefings and flying rules that the host unit flies under.

During this exchange, the ROKAF pilots took to the skies with two 'Fiends' from the 36th FS for air combat maneuvering, which is something that both sets of pilots don't normally get to do, explained U.S. Air Force Capt. David Ludington, 36th FS pilot and assistant chief of scheduling.

"Buddy Wing is an awesome experience for us to train together, because we don't normally get to do that," he said. "We took turns testing each other's game plans, which went very well. They got us when they were supposed to and we did the same when we were supposed to. It was good to see that our allies on the Korean side are as diligent in their training as we are."

The Korean pilots shared Ludington's opinion and are anxious to fly with the 36th FS again, said ROKAF Capt. Hyun Seung Lee.

"We had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and hopefully taught them something too," Lee said.

This may have been the last Buddy Wing exchange of 2013, but definitely won't be the last exchange between the two fighter squadrons, Ludington said.

"We would love the opportunity to fly at their base or have them come back and fly with us again here," he said. "It's great to have the opportunity to train with one of our allies, which in the end, is beneficial for both sides."

New Virtual Curriculum Assists Separating Troops

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

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2013 – The Defense Department continues to assist service members and their families in preparing for the transition to civilian life with a new virtual curriculum, a Defense Department official said here.

During a telephone interview with American Forces Press Service, Susan S. Kelly, director of the Transition to Veterans Program office, discussed the redesign of the Transition Assistance Program and its evolution to include the Transition GPS virtual curriculum on the Joint Knowledge Online portal, or JKO, which became available today.

“We recognize that many of our service members don’t have access to brick and mortar classrooms for transition instruction” Kelly said. “The JKO portal is our effort to take all of the redesigned TAP curriculum, which is called Transition GPS, … and put it into an environment where they can access it whenever they need it from anywhere in the world.”

Service members, she said, can improve their job search skills, find out about Veterans Administration benefits, learn how to find and apply to a college or university that fits their goals, or how to start their own business by accessing the Transition GPS virtual curriculum.

An essential part of the virtual curriculum capability, Kelly added, is to support the ability to meet career readiness standards published by the Defense Department.

“Those career readiness standards extend all the way from registering in VA’s ‘e-Benefits’ so they’re connected to the Veterans Affairs family immediately, all the way to career readiness standards for employment, where service members have to develop a job application packet, resume, personal and professional references as well as job applications,” she said.

Those standards also include a completed application for institutions of higher learning or technical institutions if service members are planning to go to college or receive a certification using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Kelly said.

“There’s a whole expanse of career readiness standards that the military members must meet before they separate,” she said. “The Transition GPS curriculum has modules that build the skills for the service members to meet each one of those career readiness standards.”

The ultimate goal is for the service members to determine what their personal goals are when they enter civilian life and to posture them well to be successful in pursuing those goals, Kelly said.

“The goal of the entire TAP redesign is to get military members career-ready for their civilian lives and to help them do very, very deliberate planning for both themselves and their families to do well as they become civilians,” she added.

The best way for a service member to begin this process is to contact the transition assistance program staff on their installation, Kelly said. Soldiers should contact the Army Career Alumni Program, sailors and Marines can use fleet and family support centers, and airmen can begin this process at their nearest airmen and family readiness center.

“That’s the first entry point for them to get scheduled for classes,” Kelly said. For those who are geographically separated or isolated from installations, she added, the virtual curriculum is there for them on the JKO website.

Kelly also noted it’s important that this virtual curriculum is being hosted on the JKO portal.
“That’s where service members go for military training now in the joint world,” she said. “So we are putting transition preparation training into that military training platform.”

The virtual curriculum is a major accomplishment in the TAP redesign according to Kelly. It’s the first time that the Veterans Employment Initiative Task Force, as an interagency partnership that includes the DOD and the Veterans Affairs, Labor and Education departments, as well as the Small Business Administration and the Office of Personnel Management, has developed and hosted a complete curriculum for service members on one website.

Kelly noted that the virtual curriculum can also be used by service members who are exploring their options as they think about continuing in the military or transitioning out.

“You don’t have to be enrolled in the TAP class to use this website,” she said. “Any service member can log in and use it, even years before they make the decision to transition to civilian life.”

Preparing for separation is a part of any service member’s military career, Kelly said.

“You want to align what you’re gaining out of military training and experience with what you want to do as a civilian when you separate,” she added.

Alexander Calls on Industry to Help Set Record Straight

By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2013 – The nation’s top cyber commander called on industry today to “put the facts on the table” about the National Security Agency following leaks about the agency’s surveillance programs, blaming inaccurate or sensational reporting for congressional failure to approve measures that he said are needed to protect the nation from a devastating cyberattack.

“We need the American people to understand the facts. And it’s got to start with what we’re actually doing -- not what we could be doing -- with the data,” Army Gen. Keith B. Alexander, NSA director and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, told an industry conference in suburban Maryland. “Most of the reporting is, ‘They could be doing ‘A.’ The facts are they’re doing ‘B.’”

Warning that he doesn’t want to have to explain why he failed to prevent another 9/11, Alexander appealed to industry to help in light of the damaging leaks in June by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden has been charged in absentia with violating the Espionage Act and stealing government property for turning over secret documents to reporters detailing classified NSA programs, actions that Alexander has blamed for causing irreversible and significant damage to the security of the United States and its allies.

In the time since the leaks, Alexander said, the media have complicated matters through exaggerated or inaccurate reporting.

“Everything that comes out is almost sensationalized and inflamed by what it could be, not by what it is, and that singularly in my mind will impact our ability to get cyber legislation and defend the nation,” he said. “And if you think about the numbers of disruptive attacks over the last year, and destructive attacks, and you plot that out statistically, what it says to me is it’s getting worse, and that’s going to grow.”

Alexander pointed to a series of recent destructive cyberattacks around the world, including on Saudi Aramco, a Saudi oil company, where he said data in more than 30,000 systems was destroyed last year, as well as attacks against Qatar’s Rasgas gas company and twin attacks in South Korea earlier this year.

“Then, look at what hit Wall Street over the last year: over 300 distributed denial-of-service attacks. How do we defend against those?”

Alexander called for laws that would encourage industry and government to share information about potential threats in real time. “This will become hugely important in the future,” he said. We’ve got to have legislation that allows us to communicate back and forth.”

To get there, the general said, the rhetoric on media leaks must change and the trust factor must be fixed, “because we’re not going to move forward with all that hanging out there.”

In the absence of congressional action, President Barack Obama has issued an executive order promoting increased sharing of information about cyber threats across government and industry.
However, Alexander said, the nation’s cyber defenses remain dependent on closer, real-time cooperation between the government and Internet service providers and the anti-virus community.
“Our team -- government, industry and allies -- have to be ready to act, and we’re not,” he said. “We’re stuck because of where we are in the debate, so what you could do to help is get the facts. We need your help to inform the American people and Congress about what we’re doing.”

ISRG locks in, trains for wartime operations

by 1st Lt. Kay M. Nissen
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/9/2013 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 600 intelligence Airmen participated in a 24-hour lock-in training event at the Korea Combat Operations Intelligence Center here Oct. 3 and 4.

The training required Airmen of the 694th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group to practice wartime operations while locked into their workstation overnight.

"We're going to focus on intelligence oversight training ... one of our goals is to have 100 percent of available people to go through [contingency] training in a 24-hour period," said Capt. Kristian Thane, 694th ISRG Plans and Programs flight commander. "The end goal of this training is that we want everybody to have the big picture. If you give them (Airmen) the big picture of what we are trying to do ...there's a good chance they will come up with good ideas, better ways of accomplishing the mission."

Prior to 2013, the lock-in training event was not in effect for approximately eight years. Now the 694th ISRG requires Airmen to prepare for overnight training within the walls of the KCOIC every other month.

"We decided we have to reenergize training. We've got to be good not only at what we do during day-to-day operations - we've got to be good at what we do if a conflict or crisis breaks out," said Col. Shane Hamilton, 694th ISRG commander. "It's hard what we do inside [the KCOIC], we really push our Airmen to max perform ... they have taken to it like fish to water."

With two previous lock-in training events this year, 694th ISRG Airmen were able to identify potential improvements in their procedures and tailor the event to meet the requirements of contingency operations.

"As a group, we really are a self-contained entity. Once our blast doors shut, we're really an island. That takes a special kind of work for our Airman," said Hamilton. "Not only are they really good at their intel job, every Airman inside has also got other responsibilities that they have to fulfill."

The training participants practiced skills to include contamination control procedures, mission oriented protective posture gear driving, and individual preparations for sustained contingency operations.

"One of the advantages of the lock-in is just getting people into that mindset that we might have to be here for an extended period of time during an actual war," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Rocheleau, 6th Intelligence Squadron intelligence analyst."[We] need to get people out of their comfort zone, and get them to realize that they might be uncomfortable, they might be tired, however there's still a job that needs to get done. It's still our duty to get it done."

The mission of the 694th ISRG is to provide continuous armistice indications and warnings, as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations in support of the Republic of Korea.

"What is important to me is how hard our Airmen work every single day. This KCOIC and our mission is 24/7/365 days a year," said Hamilton. "There's not a single day that goes on that our Airmen are not doing it; there's not a single minute that our Airmen are not on mission doing what they can to support the objectives of USFK (U.S. Forces Korea) and 7th Air Force here on the peninsula."