Military News

Monday, January 27, 2014

Lajes honors Portuguese employees, hosts 400 at luncheon

by Capt. Mark Graff
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2014 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- The 65th Air Base Wing honored its Portuguese employees at a luncheon here, today. Approximately 400 Portuguese employees attended the luncheon as part of a month-long celebration of Lajes Field's Portuguese workforce.

Col. Chris Bargery, 65th Air Base Wing commander, recently designated each January as Portuguese Employee Appreciation Month to recognize the nearly 800 Portuguese employees who work with U.S. Air Force servicemembers stationed at Lajes Field. U.S. servicemembers and Portuguese employees have worked together on Lajes Field since 1946.

"Portuguese Employee Appreciation Month is about honoring and recognizing the amazing Portuguese men and women we work and live with each day," said Bargery. "Our Portuguese employees provide the continuity, technical expertise and dedication that make our wing so successful. Through the decades, their service is the common theme to what makes this base so great."

Jorge Fontes, a Portuguese employee from Angra do Heroismo, felt honored by the event.

"I felt honored because I've been working for the U.S. government for the last 38 years and this is the first time I've seen any celebration like this," said Jorge Fontes, an accounting technician for the 65th Comptroller Flight. "I think it's a good idea, I really appreciate it and I hope it happens every year for the local nationals."

The luncheon was held at the base's Top of the Rock Club and included a traditional Azorean alcatra meal, a video presentation and a commemorative gift presentation from the wing commander and command chief. The gift depicted the Portuguese and American flags flying side-by-side. It will be displayed near the entrance of the Top of the Rock Club.

Bargery concluded the ceremony by offering his thanks to the Portuguese workforce.

"I've been continually impressed by the capabilities of our Airmen - both American servicemembers and Portuguese employees," Bargery said. "Working together for so many years, we've achieved much, but we've got the capability to do so much more. Looking forward, I know we'll uphold Lajes Field's traditions of excellence in mission accomplishment and care for one another."

Maj. Billy Shaw, 65th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander and event organizer, said several events were held this month by 65th Air Base Wing squadrons. However, the signature event was the wing luncheon.

"We designed the event around Portuguese culture and Lajes Field history to say 'muito obrigado' in traditional Azorean style," said Shaw. "This was just our chance to give back to our great hosts and the entire Portuguese work force."

Portuguese employees said they appreciated the events throughout the month. Fontes' unit had an informal coffee break recently.

"We had a coffee break... and had a good time getting together with the Portuguese and American workers," Fontes said. "The lunch was very good, very well coordinated, and (there was) enough space for everybody... it was just very nice."

Shaw said much of a unit's success at Lajes Field can be attributed to Portuguese employees' knowledge and experience.

"Americans only live on Terceira for a few years at a time - I'm here for two years - but we're able to accomplish so much in that time because of our hosts," Shaw said. "Working with someone who has served in your unit for 30, even 40 years is amazing. There's so much our Portuguese employees teach us that helps make our units successful, even with high turnover on the American side."

Units decorated the Top of the Rock Club with photo displays of Lajes Field history and significant Portuguese employee accomplishments. The photos are on display for the remainder of January.

U.S. Air Force B-52 takes part in bilateral training at RAAF Darwin

Release Number: 030114

1/27/2014 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- 
A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress, operating from Andersen Air Force Base (AFB), Guam, has landed at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin to take part in short term bilateral training with the RAAF. The B-52 is assigned to Andersen AFB as part of U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Air Force rotational bomber presence in the Pacific. 

These rotations enhance U.S. ability to train, exercise and operate with Australia and other allies and partners across the region, further enabling the U.S. to work together with these nations to respond more quickly to a wide range of challenges, including humanitarian crises and disaster relief, as well as promoting security cooperation efforts across the region. 
 
The most recent landing of B-52 at RAAF Base Darwin took place in August of 2012 after the multilateral Exercise Pitch Black. The Royal Australian Air Force was a key part of this event, as their C-17 brought forward personnel and critical equipment from Andersen AFB to support the B-52 arrival at RAAF Base Darwin. Decisions on future aircraft rotations and bilateral training opportunities are still under discussion. 
 
For additional information, please contact Pacific Air Forces public affairs at +1 808-448-3226 or by e-mail at pacaf.paops@us.af.mil. Duty hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time.

February Programming Aboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA



 
WILMINGTON, NC – The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA announces the programming schedule for February, 2014.

Firepower!
February 15, 2014
Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
$95 per person.  $85 for Friends members or active military.

Learn about and explore the Battleship's 16-inch and 5-inch guns from the gun houses to the ammunition loading compartments; the 40mm and 20mm guns, and the weapons that they replaced (1.10 and 50 caliber guns). The finest guns are of little use without the means to direct their fire accurately at the target. Presenters will discuss the various types of fire control equipment (directors/optical range finders, radar, computers) and how main and secondary battery plotting rooms and the combat information center operated. Participants will enjoy a lively, engaging, in-depth program with presentations, hands-on experience, and serious exploration for adult learners.
The program is for adults only (ages 16 and up) and limited to 40 participants. It is not appropriate for those who may have difficulty climbing narrow ladders. Wear warm, comfortable, washable clothing, sturdy, rubber-soled shoes and bring a camera! Registration and payment are due by Thursday, February 13th.  Event is $95; $85 for Friends of the Battleship or active military. Program includes a box lunch. Call 910-251-5797 for reservations. 

Statewide NC QSO Party
An Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club Event
Sunday, February 23, 2014 from noon to 10 pm
The Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club will operate from the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA during the North Carolina QSO Party on Sunday, February 23, 2014. The event runs from Noon until 10:00 pm local time. The purpose of this annual “HAM Radio” event is to allow amateur radio operators worldwide to contact as many of North Carolina’s 100 counties as possible.  This year the Battleship is one of four stations worth “extra points” if contacted. The Battleship is NI4BK and the club looks forward to hearing from many HAMS.      Licensed radio amateurs are invited throughout the year to be guest operators on the air from Radio Central using call sign NI4BK.

The Club will communicate by voice through the Ship’s original cabling and antennas. Morse code communications will originate from the TBM-4 transmitter, placed in service aboard the Battleship in 1941, and restored to operating condition by Club members in 2002, after a 50+ year slumber.
The club hosts and participates in several events at the Battleship during the year, including Museum Ships Day, Battleship Alive, and Pearl Harbor Remembered.  They also spend time restoring the Battleship’s original communications equipment. Details of the guest operator program may be found at the club's website http://AC4RC.org.

The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported and relies primarily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship's Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River.   Visit www.battleshipnc.com or follow us on Facebook.com/ncbb55 and Twitter.com/battleshipnc for more information. Relive with the crew on the Battleship Blog http://seastories.battleshipnc.com/. The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is an historic site within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (www.NCCulture.com).

Command Chiefs visit 86th MMS site

by Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2014 - SANEM, Luxembourg -- Chief Master Sgt. James Davis, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa command chief, and Chief Master Sgt. James Morris, 86th Airlift Wing command chief, visited the Central Regional Storage Facility site in Sanem, Luxembourg, for an immersion tour, Jan. 14.

The immersion tour gave the command chiefs an opportunity to witness the CRSF site mission and capabilities first hand and to interact with the Airmen and personnel assigned to the unit.

"Our mission, in a nutshell, is to store and maintain war reserve material, and then when called upon, deploy it out the door," said Maj. Ryan Anderson, 86th Airlift Wing Material Maintenance Squadron commander. "Eighty-five percent of USAFE WRM is stored and maintained by the 86th MMS."

The CRSF has the capability to store more than 500,000 square feet of equipment and assets. There are several controlled humidity warehouses and one temperature controlled warehouse. Some of the equipment stored in the warehouses include: vehicles, generators, and equipment required when setting up living quarters on a new base.

The controlled environments allow for the equipment to be stored for an extended amount of time and not corrode, rust and become unserviceable. Having this capability saves the DOD invaluable time and resources which can be used to buy new equipment or make repairs, which is important with today's budget restraints.

"Being here and learning about the CRSF is important for me. This is one of the locations in Europe that we get asked about," said Davis. "This location is definitely of interest. Thank you all for what you are doing out here."

The tour included Davis and Morris visiting the CRSF site and receiving mission briefs in each section. They also had the opportunity to have lunch with enlisted Airmen assigned to Sanem and speak about their roles in the mission and what challenges they are facing in today's Air Force.

"Our motto in USAFE-AFAFRICA is Forward, Ready, Now. The WRM arena in Luxembourg captures this sentiment" said Davis. "I am impressed."

Face of Defense: Airman Serves Nation, Community



By Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sean Tobin
62nd Airlift Wing

YELM, Wash., Jan. 27, 2014 – Air Force Master Sgt. Phil Ryan received the call early in his shift.

The emergency concerned a young man who was sleeping in a car in a grocery store parking lot. The man's mother and girlfriend were concerned for his safety. They feared that due to his prior drug abuse and his state of mind, the young man was in danger of hurting himself or someone else.

Ryan, the superintendent of complaint resolution for the 62nd Airlift Wing's inspector general's office at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., responded to the call and located the vehicle in the crowded parking lot. As he stood by the open door of the vehicle talking to the young man in the back seat, the array of weekend grocery shoppers, busily going about their errands, slowed to a group of curious onlookers, craning their necks to see what was going on.

Ryan remained focused on the task at hand. After a lengthy discussion, Ryan persuaded the man to leave the back seat of his own vehicle and get into the back seat of the patrol car. From there, it was a half-hour drive to the hospital, where Ryan helped the man get checked in to be evaluated by medical professionals.

If this sounds a bit beyond the scope of the Air Force IG's mission, there's a good reason for that. Ryan was not responding to the call as a member of the Air Force; he was responding under his role as a sworn peace officer, working for the Yelm Police Department here.

While not conducting investigations for the IG, the master sergeant spends dozens of hours of his free time each month as Officer Ryan, patrolling the streets of Yelm as a reserve police officer. He has about 800 hours of experience patrolling the streets after spending about 400 hours training at the police academy -- all without pay.

Ryan said his Air Force career has both helped and been helped by his experiences in law enforcement.

"I find the two jobs complement each other well," he said. "Like law enforcement, working in complaint resolution involves investigative work."

Both jobs require the ability to quickly assess a situation and determine the best approach when it comes time to speak with someone who may or may not want to be spoken to, he said. That experience came in handy, as evidenced by his ability to talk the lone man from the grocery store into calmly going in for a medical evaluation.

After ensuring the young man was in good hands at the hospital, Ryan returned his attention to the streets of Yelm. He spent a good portion of the early afternoon making traffic stops for infractions such as speeding, license plates not being affixed properly and illegal cell phone use -- which he called his “pet peeve.”

"Studies have shown that drivers distracted by their phones are 23 times more likely to be in a collision than undistracted drivers," he said.

Ryan let off the majority of drivers he pulled over that day with a warning. But even if he doesn't feel the need to give a citation, he said, it's important to get out of the patrol car and talk with people.

"It's just good community policing to be interacting with as many people as possible during a shift," he said. "Besides, you never know what you may uncover during an otherwise routine traffic stop." That approach to community-based policing came to fruition later, when Ryan's shift drew to a close.

While speaking to the driver during a routine speeding stop, Ryan immediately determined the driver was under the influence of alcohol. The driver was arrested and placed in the back of Ryan's patrol car. As Ryan drove the suspect to be booked into custody, the suspect expressed his confusion as to why he was being placed into custody.

"So I was driving under the influence," the suspect said. "What's the big deal? It's not like I killed someone."

The irony of the suspect's statement was not lost on Ryan.

"He doesn't even know what he doesn't know," Ryan later said. "That's the whole reason I'm out there -- to stop [drivers] like him from killing someone."

Ryan said he plans to work as a full-time police officer once he retires from the Air Force.

"This wasn't always something I wanted to do," Ryan said. "But after nearly 800 hours of patrol, I've learned that this is what I was meant to do."

Travis trains in Colorado: 60th AMW, 621st CRW join forces with Army to load, unload aircraft

by Senior Airman Madelyn Brown
60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2014 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The mountainous terrain of Colorado Springs, comparable to the terrain aircrew in Afghanistan maneuver through daily, provided a realistic training ground for a joint-service exercise Jan. 13 to 17 involving Travis Airmen and Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team 4th Infantry Division.

The exercise was designed to provide a realistic environment and scenario for Airmen and Soldiers to train from the perspectives of flying, command post set up and heavy equipment load and offload during contingency operations.

The command and control portion of the training involved the set up of a mobile command post by Airmen from the 570th and 571st Contingency Response Groups. A mobile command post is essential to setting up operations at unfamiliar airfields anywhere in the world.

Before the CRG Airmen could set up their mobile command post communications, pilots of the 21st Airlift Squadron focused on heavy weight, high pressure altitude spot landings, aerial refueling and tactical ingress and egress into airfields surrounded by high terrain, said Capt. Chad Sanford, 21st AS chief of combat operations and tactics.

Once landed, the 21st AS loadmasters partnered with the Army for training on unloading and loading unique heavy equipment utilized by the Soldiers of the 3rd and 4th Brigade in support of the Army's global response force.

"We were able to provide valuable training to less experienced loadmasters in the loading and offloading of equipment such as the M1 Abrams tank, M2 Bradleys, M88 Improved Recovery Vehicle as well as UH-60 Blackhawks," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Turner, 60th Operation Support Squadron.

For many of the approximately 300 Soldiers, this training was their first exposure to loading and unloading their equipment to aircraft, Sanford said.

By the end of the week, the impact of the training was made evident by a final trial.

According to Turner, the Travis Airmen were able to load all 133,600 pounds of the M1A Abrams Tank, which is equipment rarely seen by the 21st AS loadmasters. Once loaded the Soldiers were tasked to use their tie-down training and secure the tank to the aircraft. Starting from when the vehicle was put into drive to when the last chain was secured, the total time for the exercise was 31 minutes.

"The greatest benefit to this Joint Service Operation was knowing that both services benefitted from this training," Turner said. "Our loadmasters received cargo load training that is rarely seen on operation missions and the Army received rare training in cargo loading and tie-down operations."

For Sanford, the joint service exercises are essential to overcoming the barriers between the services and to ensuring the success of future military contingency operations.

"The scenarios practiced in this exercise closely resemble the current fight in Operation Enduring Freedom from a pilot perspective," Sanford said. "The ability to work together and function at a high level to accomplish something as small as a weeklong operation will benefit the services as a whole when executing larger more challenging real world operations,"

Sheppard student pilot reconciles two identities, one career

by Airman 1st Class Jelani Gibson
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs


1/24/2014 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Thousands of miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, jets streaked across the azure sky, captivating the imagination of a boy who would grow up to face two lives and one dream.

2nd Lt. Abraham Morland, an 80th Flying Training Wing Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training student pilot, held dual citizenship in both the United States and the United Kingdom. He was born to British parents while they were in Tulsa, Okla., his father working as a flight simulator technician.

With aviation in his blood, Morland always had his mind focused on taking to the skies. When it came time to decide how he wanted to pursue his dream of flying, he had to look within his soul and ask what flag he wanted to Velcro to his flight suit--the Stars and Stripes or the Union Jack.

"All I've really wanted to do was to fly," he said. "It was a dream and love of mine. I can't see myself serving anywhere else."

Morland said the pull of flying was constantly beckoning him, even at a young age. Returning to his parent's homeland, he took to the skies as an 11-year-old boy with the Air Training Corps, the British equivalent to the Civil Air Patrol. During his freshman year of high school, he went on a two-week field trip to the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England. There he shadowed the flight crews, security forces, civil engineers and aircraft maintenance Airmen, experiencing an Air Force life.

But, it was watching the KC-135 Stratotankers and the C-130 Hercules gliding through the skies that stirred a fire in his belly. It was there the inner struggle of deciding which flag to fly under gained a lot of momentum for the Stars and Stripes.

"My real love was America, I wanted to come back home to the states and join the U.S. Air Force," he said.

As a result, his parents moved back to the United Sates so their son could pursue his dream of becoming a pilot. He enlisted in the Air Force as a personnel apprentice and reported to his first duty station at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and spent the next three years trying to get into the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

"I thought that was the only way I could become an Air Force pilot," he said. "My grades were okay, but I didn't have high enough (aptitude test) scores."

Having a strong Christian faith, Morland "gave it all to God" in his pursuit to becoming a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. He tried and failed for five years to get into the academy. After his final rejection, he took the advice of his commander and attended the Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Angelo State University, Texas.

'"What's the worst that could happen,'" his commander told him.

He knew from the moment he was accepted he wanted to fly a "heavy" aircraft, as memories from his high school experience at Mildenhall rang fresh in his mind's eye. He was accepted to pilot training at Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program in October 2012.

"They told me I had to give up my British citizenship," Morland said. "All of my family lives over in England, so it was hard to say, 'I will denounce the Queen.' It wasn't hard for me to say I will be loyal to America."

Now in training at ENJJPT, he is in the first phase of flight training with the T-6 Texan II. Operated by the 80th Flying Training Wing, ENJJPT is the world's only multi-nationally manned and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for NATO. Throughout all of the difficulties in his road to flight school, the lessons of perseverance is not lost on the 24-year-old lieutenant.

"Do not give up," he said. "Days are going to get tough. We all go through challenges. I had good supervisors encouraging me every step of the way."

Having reached the starting point of his dream, he is enthusiastic and optimistic about the goal that took him so long to achieve.

"It was tough, but encouraging," he said. "This is what I want to do."

As he competes on a global scale against other hand-chosen candidates, he is confident in his ability and looking forward to influencing others in the Air Force.

"I want to be able to help people go for their dreams," he said. "We're a big team, we need each other."

Now that Morland has begun his career as a pilot, he has entered a place where he can finally fulfill his dream of flying. His original dream of flying the heavies might have morphed a little into flying a fighter, but he doesn't really care, as long as he's flying high.

"I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to fly the latest and greatest," he said.

‘MyICP’ Gives Military Spouses New Career-planning Tool



By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2014 – Military spouses who need guidance on education and careers have a new online tool at their fingertips, a program analyst for the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, known as SECO, said in an interview last week.

“My Individual Career Plan,” or MyICP, allows spouses to build a virtual career roadmap based on their specific goals and objectives, Lee McMahon said.

MyICP launched Jan. 10 on Military OneSource’s MySECO website, the primary access point for the Defense Department’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, McMahon said.

“SECO provides expert career and education guidance to military spouses worldwide,” she explained, “supporting them in four career lifecycle stages: career exploration, education, training and licensing, employment readiness, and career connections.”

The MyICP tool is available for all active-duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps spouses and to National Guard and Reserve spouses as well, McMahon said, noting that it’s also open to spouses for up to 180 days after their service member separates or retires from the military. Spouses must first register at https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil to use it. Surviving spouses of military members who died while on active duty also are eligible.

To illustrate how MyICP works, McMahon used the example of a nursing student military spouse who has just moved to a new duty station and wants to see what opportunities exist in the new area.

Licensing requirements are an issue for nurses, McMahon notes. So once logged on and after clicking on “manage my individual career plan,” the spouse would begin to build a MyICP by selecting “licensed” and “student.” Next, the spouse would go to the occupation page to find “nursing,” which would generate information from the Labor Department. The spouse would then select topics from the “challenges and growth opportunities” category. This category may include topics such as child care and relocation or time-management skills.

The self-service wizard then produces a MyICP, McMahon said, which recommends activities to meet a person’s career and education goals based on the selections made.

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership, a component of SECO, is composed of more than 200 companies and organizations that have committed to hiring military spouses, she added, so MyICP also includes the ability for users to see which of MSEP’s partners might have jobs in the user’s occupation, and provides a link to check the company’s openings in the chosen field.

McMahon encouraged all military spouses in search of such opportunities to try the MyICP tool.

“We would love to hear their feedback,” she said, noting that users can submit their input on the MySECO website by clicking on “SECO Satisfaction” or the feedback button.

Military spouses who have additional questions or need more information about using the MyICP tool can call Military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647 [Call: 1-800-342-9647] and speak to a SECO career counselor.