Military News

Friday, February 14, 2014

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Awarded NAS Pensacola Captain's Cup




From Navy Medicine Operational Training Center Public Affairs

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- For the second consecutive year, service members attached to the U.S. Navy's recognized global leader in operational medical and aviation survival training were awarded the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola Captain's Cup Championship Trophy during a ceremony Feb. 11 at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) auditorium.

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) Commanding Officer Capt. James Norton received the award from NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Capt. Keith Hoskins.

"The local NMOTC family [NAMI, the Naval Survival Training Institute (NSTI) and the Aviation Survival Training Center (ASTC)] have always been active participants in base activities," Norton said. "For these Sailors to be recognized as the base-wide champions two years in a row is an amazing accomplishment."

The Captain's Cup is a series of command team competition, individual sporting events, leagues and tournaments held aboard NAS Pensacola. Participants receive points for taking part in various events as well as points for the order in which they finish. Points are totaled at the end of the calendar year.

Norton said a command's receipt of the Captain's Cup Trophy showcases their willingness to work together as a team.

"I'm a strong believer that winning the Cup was an all-hands evolution," he said. "Participation for Captains Cup is extremely important for commands because it brings Sailors together. Not only do these Sailors get to be involved in something, but it brings our families closer together."

Norton also said that while the nature of the Captain's Cup remains competitive, the concept of command sporting contests reinforces the idea of the commonalities service members share.

"The Captain's Cup Program provides men and women in the military something to help break the grind of their everyday work," he said. "This allows them to participate with their shipmates in enjoyable but competitive sports, and with 24 sports to choose from, several people on base identify with certain sports and participate."

NAS Pensacola Captain's Cup Sports this year included: basketball, swimming, softball, flag football, soccer, tennis, golf, bowling, billiards, darts and a paintball tournament.

While there is no prize - save bragging rights by the winning command - the trophy is displayed at the winning command throughout the year and returned to MWR Sports at the end of the Captain's Cup Season for presentation to the next winner. However, if a command wins the trophy three years in a row, they're permitted to keep the award.

Norton said the NMOTC efforts towards the NAS Pensacola Captain's Cup are indicative of the continued efforts NMOTC staff always employs.

"What these Sailors organized is truly outstanding, and to have it result in being recognized as the winning command on a base as large as NAS Pensacola really shows the amount of work, dedication and perseverance they put forth," he said. "These Sailors - and the dozens of others who work every day at jobs which are critical to the naval aviation mission - found a way to involve the command in a fun and challenging series of events, and I couldn't be more proud of these young men and women and the whole of NMOTC."

NMOTC, the recognized global leader in operational medical and aviation survival training, reports to Navy Medicine Education and Training Command (NMETC), which manages Navy Medicine's formal enlisted and officer education and training programs, medical operational training for medical and medical support personnel deploying worldwide, and training that prepares aviators and flight crews to survive in land and water mishaps.

NMOTC and NMETC are all part of the Navy Medicine team, a global health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than 1 million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea and on the battlefield.

Behind the scenes with Transient Alert


by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


2/14/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARSON, Alaska -- Thick fog settled over Eielson Air Force Base, completely covering the flight line and hindering F-16 Fighting Falcons from landing, diverting the fighters to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

JBER Base Operations learned of the incoming aircraft and notified Novell Howard, 3rd Maintenance Squadron Transient Alert project manager, who went to work.

Novell Howard coordinated with his team and - based on the requests of the incoming transient flights - was prepared for anything from helping the pilots get a room for the night to having members of his team perform maintenance on the fighter jets.

This situation has happened before and will inevitably happen again. The mission of transient alert is to meet needs like these and more.

"Transient alert cares for any aircraft that is visiting JBER, not assigned or deployed here, from any branch of service," Novell Howard said. "Basically, if it's coming here to gas-and-go so it can continue to another destination, it belongs to us."

In cases such as fighter jets getting diverted, Transient Alert will perform the required services themselves, he said, though it's much more common for his team to coordinate the services of other units based on the needs of the incoming flights.

"We'll get notification from Base Operations saying that an aircraft is coming in today," the transient alert project manager from Los Angeles said. "I can also track week-by-week air traffic on the web to get a breakdown of what's coming in. Once I get that notification, I can schedule my people."

If it's just passing through and no maintenance is requested, Novell Howard's team will guide the aircraft to a parking spot after it lands, and talk to the crew about their needs.
On distinguished visitor aircraft, transient alert coordinates fuel, protocol and other units to ensure those options are available if needed.

"Transient alert supports the forward movement of missions to and from JBER throughout the globe," said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Hittie, 3rd Maintenance Squadron Transient Alert NCO in charge. "They get roughly 1,600 aircraft a year and complete around 2,500 actions, whether leading aircraft to assigned spots, maintenance, servicing, towing, de-icing, or assisting with departures or anything else that's needed. They coordinate it."

Novell Howard's team is made up of civilian contractors answering to Hittie. Many of them are retired military with experience working with a variety of aircraft. His team includes experts on heavy aircraft such as C-5 Galaxies and C-130 Hercules, as well as experts on various fighter aircraft.

"It's great," said Gary Howard, 3rd MXS Transient Alert aircraft servicer and a native of Summersburg, N.H. "I love this job, I've been doing it for 17 years now and it's one of the best jobs I've ever had."

Novell Howard said transient alert takes care of VIP aircraft.

"We also take care of any distinguished visitor that comes through, all the way up to Air Force One," he said. "The only time we would actually go from start to finish on an aircraft is a fighter aircraft. Every now and then a fighter jet comes through, like an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Eielson Air Force Base, they'll come for a change of command or an air show, and if the air field gets snowed in or fogged in, which has happened before, they divert to us. We'll take care of those ourselves. I was in the Air Force for 24 years. I was an expeditor, I was a crew chief, I've actually done transient alert before, for two and a half years.

Gary Howard said the job often involves taking care of little details.

"Today we have a DV aircraft that just arrived," he said. "We're helping refuel the aircraft and make sure they have all their needs taken care of such as ice water. We'll do a quick debrief, see what the needs are for tomorrow morning and what time they'll depart. I'm the aircraft marshaller; I make sure they follow my signals and I get them to the spot they need to be."

"Our mission is to take care of all transient aircraft, anything that comes through," said Clarence Everingham, 3rd Maintenance Squadron Transient Alert assistant project manager and a native of Wasilla, Alaska. "We coordinate and provide assistance with any service needed on transient aircraft. Our main focus is the aircraft. We support the air show when all those airplanes come through. We also take care of DVs.

"I served in the Air Force for 25 years. I was an engine guy. I'm sure I had a lot more responsibility then; here, I just work. I enjoy being here doing things that I know. Hopefully the talents I have help make this mission work."

23rd BS aircrews drop unique munitions during night training missions

by Tech. Sgt. Steve Grever
Air Force Public Affairs Agency


2/14/2014 - MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Two aircrews from the 23rd Bomb Squadron here successfully dropped a Cluster Bomb Unit-103 and two CBU-87B munitions during night training missions over the Nevada Test and Training Range Feb. 11.

The squadron flew two B-52H Stratofortresses, each armed with a CBU-103 and CBU-87B to test their ability to drop live munitions using guided and non-guided weapons systems.

"It was a good opportunity for us to practice live weapon employment," said Capt. Michael Devita, 23rd BS weapons and tactics flight commander. "We don't get a lot of opportunities like this. We only get to drop about two of these munitions per year."

Devita added that aircrews usually practice with simulated munitions, but using live weapons allow them to analyze the weapons system video footage to see the effects of getting these bombs on target.

The CBU-87B is an all-purpose, air-delivered cluster weapon system, but it's not guided by a global positioning system like the CBU-103. Devita said they were able to successfully destroy their intended target with the CBU-103.

"The CBU-103 was a direct hit," he said. "We were able to take the video back and analyze it to see that it would definitely destroy the target we were dropping on."

Lt. Col. Brandon Parker, 23rd BS commander, said his squadron, as well as the 5th Bomb Wing, have nuclear and conventional mission requirements they need to be prepared to execute at a moment's notice. After training and refining their procedures for their nuclear mission over the past few months, the 23rd BS has shifted to flying night training missions to practice executing their conventional mission.

"There is no better way to demonstrate your proficiency and build confidence in your capabilities than to go out and drop live weapons on the range," said Parker . "The whole team is involved. We are taking CBU-103s, which are wind corrected munitions dispensers, out to the Nellis range, and these crews are dropping those weapons out there to enhance our conventional readiness."

About 2,850 National Guard members providing assistance as deadly storm moves northeast

Click photo for screen-resolution imageBy Steve Marshall
National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. (2/14/14) — Areas in the South and Middle Atlantic pummeled by a brutal winter storm this week got a break Friday, as skies were sunny and the storm continued its trek toward New England.

Hundreds of thousands of residents remained without power in affected areas. and the storm was blamed in more than 21 deaths, including two people who died after being struck by snowplows.
About 2,850 Soldiers and Airmen were on duty in nine states and the District of Columbia, according to figures from the National Guard Bureau.

The states: Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Duties included assisting stranded motorists, pulling semi-trailers out of ditches with heavy-duty wreckers, transporting law enforcement and firefighting personnel — and just being there in case local authorities needed a boost.

In hard-hit Georgia, the ice storm left many residents of Augusta without power and heat. Several vehicles were stuck in ditches throughout the city, and Guardsmen used their tactical vehicles to pull the cars out. A couple that lived near the Augusta armory was provided shelter, warmth and a hot meal by an 878th Engineer Battalion Soldier who had only recently returned from Afghanistan.

"I just want to tell the Georgia Guard thank you," said Augusta resident Paige McDaniels after members of the 165th Air Support Squadron transported her and her three grandchildren to a local church that provided shelter to families in need. "The Guard did an awesome job; I appreciate it."

Army National Guard members of the Cumming, Ga.-based 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade were in their second day of icy patrols during the storm when two of them completed a special mission.
Staff Sgt. Timothy Bellinger, a Cumming resident, had been with the 560th BFSB for just two months when he and Spc. Derek Owens found themselves in a Humvee travelling the icy streets of his hometown in north Georgia.

After a morning spent conducting route reconnaissance and assisting stranded motorists, Bellinger's vehicle was directed to Northside Hospital to transport patients who could not travel home on the icy roads.

Hospital staff asked Bellinger and Owens if they could help an 83-year old woman get home. The Georgia Guardsmen immediately agreed.

"She asked me if she could drive," said Bellinger. "I said, 'well ma'am, maybe not this time." Bellinger reported that his smiling passenger appeared to enjoy the ride.

"She said it was pretty cool," Bellinger said.

New York’s 109th Airlift Wing ends Antarctic season with mission to move more than 1,100 people

Click photo for screen-resolution imageNew York National Guard

STRATTON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, SCOTIA, N.Y. (2/14/14) - Airmen from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing will cap five months of support of United States Antarctic research efforts by flying 1,100 researchers and support staff, and 43 tons of cargo, from the McMurdo Station base to New Zealand aboard seven of its 10 ski-equipped LC-130 cargo planes.
The flights are expected to begin next week.

In the past, the United States Antarctic Program, which is managed by the National Science Foundation, has used C-17 Globemaster III jets assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord Air Force Base to move researchers out of Antarctica as summer there comes to an end.


These aircraft can carry more than 120 people on each flight.

This year, however, the snow and ice runway the big jets, and other non-ski aircraft, use to land on is too soft to support their weight.

Last year, strong winds blanketed the airfield and the area around it for several square miles with volcanic dust and dirt from nearby terrain. When combined with the warm summer sun and mild January temperatures, this dirty snow and ice melted rapidly, forming melt pools 2 feet deep in areas.
Although temperatures are cooling, the runway's current condition makes it impossible for any wheeled aircraft, including the C-17, to land or take off on it. Only the LC-130s flown by the 109th, which land on skis as well as wheels, can use the runway to move people and cargo.

The LC-130 has a maximum passenger load of 35-40 people for inter-continental flights between McMurdo Station and Christchurch, New Zealand. For this reason it will take more missions to redeploy research and support personnel to New Zealand as they start their journeys home.

This will result in the 109th Airmen extending their deployment for a few weeks. The wing's Airmen normally return to Stratton Air Guard Base in mid-February to begin preparing to fly science support missions to Greenland during the northern hemisphere's summer months.

"The unique capabilities of our aircraft have made it possible for scientists to do their work and get the most of the Antarctic summer research season," said Col. Shawn Clouthier, the wing's commander.
"I am proud of our Airmen who have deployed this season and the dedication and hard work they have and continue to put into this season," he added.

The wing has deployed 479 Air National Guard members to Antarctica since the season began in October, with an average of 150 on duty at any one time.

Although the partial federal government shutdown in October 2013 forced the USAP to consider canceling or deferring many research projects, primarily in and around McMurdo Station, and running the three U.S. Antarctic research stations in a caretaker mode, when the budget problems were resolved, the USAP moved ahead with as much planned research as possible.

The problems with the runway also meant the C-17s have not been flying into and out of the Antarctic since November 2013.

This resulted in the 109th Airmen flying more missions than first planned, Clouthier said.
The wing has already completed 38 more missions than the 181 which the Airmen had planned to execute.

The wing normally deploys six LC-130s and six crews to fly missions. This year the wing deployed seven aircraft and added additional crews and maintenance personnel to handle the extra mission requirements, Clouthier said.

"Without the efforts of our aircrews and ground crews the 2013-2014 research season would not have been as successful," Clouthier said.

This season, the 109th expects to complete a total of 284 missions.

The new missions represent a 57 percent increase in workload for the 109th.

To accomplish this, the wing is scheduling up to seven missions each day.

Military training helps Soldier-athletes conquer luge challenges

Click photo for screen-resolution imageBy Gary Sheftick, Army News and Tim Hipps
U.S Army Installation Management Command

SOCHI, Russia (2/14/14) - When racing blindly down the mountain at 80 mph, trust and teamwork are crucial for two Soldier-athletes who attribute their resilience in the sport of luge to military training.
In luge doubles, the athlete in contact with the small sled is almost completely covered by his partner and has limited visibility of the course, said Sgt. Preston Griffall of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program. The two-time Olympian lays flat on his back on the sled while Sgt. Matt Mortensen, situated directly atop Griffall, helps steer the sled by signaling upcoming curves via body movements.

"You have to become one on the sled," Griffall said. "You have to know how your teammate is going to react - or not react - to a particular problem."

Griffall and Mortensen discussed teamwork and Army training during a Team USA Olympic luge doubles press conference earlier this week. They said military training helped them conquer the "mental challenges" of luge.

Luge is considered one of the most dangerous Olympic sports because, even in singles competition, athletes lay on their back with eyes pointed skyward. At the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, an athlete died from an accident during luge training. Nodar Kumaritashvili of the Republic of Georgia lost control of his sled in a turn near the finish line at Whistler Sliding Centre and flew over the track wall and hit a steel pole.

The 16 curves of Sanki Sliding Center include a "switchback hairpin bend" near the top of the luge course that architects said was designed to send sleds into a "rapid ricochet" in Turn 5. The next two turns combine to form an "S-shaped snake" known as "the labyrinth."

Although the new track has three uphill turns to slow the sleds, many of the luge competitors - including Griffall and Mortensen - encountered problems skidding out of Turn 5. In the second heat of doubles competition, they skidded after bumping the wall exiting Turn 5. The miscue was enough to drop them into 14th place with a combined time of 1 minute, 41.703 seconds.

"The second run was quite the wild ride," Griffall said. "There were a lot of problems. This track rewards perfection. We did not have perfection."

Luge doubles is an extremely challenging sport. Griffall explained that most luge athletes begin by competing in singles, and some progress to doubles.

"Doubles, itself, takes a lot of experience and a lot of working together," said Griffall, 29, of Salt Lake City.

He and Mortensen have been working together for eight years. Both have been members of the national luge team since 2005.

"I do most of the driving," said Mortensen, who is positioned on top. "Since I can see, I have more control."

Yet, he admits that his partner is instrumental in turning the sled.

"The bottom guy is the one in contact with the sled," said Mortensen, 28, of Huntington Station, N.Y. "I don't have any direct feeling with the sled. Preston is really responsible for making sure he is right with his body weight for the curves. He'll roll back and straighten the sled out every corner."

Doubles is also more exhilarating because there's a teammate to share the challenges and achievements, said Mortensen. "It feels like you're accomplishing so much more."

Luge doubles is a mental challenge, much like the Army's basic combat training, Griffall said.

"Going through basic training is probably 95 percent mental," Griffall said, explaining that it's a mental challenge to stay focused when sometimes training from 4 a.m. to midnight. He added that it takes discipline and determination to battle on without much sleep.

In luge, the start is all physical," Griffall said, "but once you lay down on the sled and you're navigating the sled down the track, it becomes all mental. You have to be extremely focused and stay on your game, because it's fast.

"Everything is happening in the blink of an eye."

Mortensen said the communication skills he learned in the Army also help him excel at luge.

The communication is challenging, Mortensen said, because on the track verbal communication is nearly impossible because of wind noise. There's no time for talking, even if words could be heard. Communication must be made by subtle movements, he stressed, such as a tilt of the head.

The Soldiers said being part of the Army and National Guard has been helpful in developing resilience, as well. That resilience has helped them bounce back after disappointing races, such as their 14th-place Olympic finish on Feb. 12, to focus on future challenges.

USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors Volunteer in Hampton Roads Region on Valentine's Day



From USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Nearly 1,500 Sailors aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) gave their own Valentine's Day gift to the Hampton Roads region: Volunteering in an all-day community relations (COMREL) event in the Hampton Roads region, Feb. 14.

Lincoln Sailors volunteered at more than 40 different COMREL projects ranging from visiting local elementary and middle schools to cleaning parks to planting perennials.

The all-day volunteer effort in eight different cities in the region marks the second all-day COMREL initiated by USS Abraham Lincoln Sailors since the ship arrived in the area in August 2012. On Sept. 20, 2013, Sailors from the Lincoln volunteered more than 5,000 hours in a similar COMREL blitz.

In Newport News, Lincoln Sailors visited seven different elementary and middle schools, teaching students about our 16th president in honor of Abraham Lincoln's 205th birthday Feb. 12.

Capt. Karl Thomas, commanding officer, USS Abraham Lincoln visited various COMREL locations throughout the Hampton Roads region to thank his Sailors for their volunteerism.

"I was truly touched that there is so much goodness that goes on in the community, and that our Sailors were enthusiastically involved in making a difference today," said Thomas. "I'm very proud to be their commanding officer, and to know that the Abraham Lincoln crew truly made a difference across Hampton Roads in so many different ways."

Other Sailors, such as Lt. Josh Wyatt of Lincoln's Operations Department worked alongside Sailors from the carrier's Medical department sorting donated clothing at Union Mission Ministries in Norfolk.

"Anytime we can lend a hand for the community in need is a great opportunity," said Wyatt.

Sailors assigned to Lincoln's Engineering department volunteered at an assortment of sites in the Hampton Roads region, including the Virginia Beach Farmers Market, Fort Monroe Community Center, North Phoebus Community Center, PETA, and the Hampton City Hall.

"My entire team from work control is helping to build fences, improve the landscaping, and clean up the grounds at PETA," said Senior Chief Machinist's Mate Reynaldo Alcantara.

More than 46 other Sailors from Lincoln's Engineering department planted 1,000 perennials at the Hampton City Hall's Honor Park, which is a memorial park dedicated to the fallen men and women from the police force and military.

"This is a team building experience for us and a way to give back to the community; honoring those who have fallen and making these monuments a better place for everyone," said Machinist's Mate Fireman Apprentice Travis Hayes.

Cmdr. Carl Koch, command chaplain aboard Lincoln, was amazed by the high spirits and fast pace of the volunteers planting perennials at Hampton City Hall's Honor Park.

"You can't beat the Lincoln's Sailors coming out here to help the local community," said Koch. "It's not their home community but it's a community they've adopted and who have adopted them. It's a great opportunity."

One of the master minds behind the planning of the command's two all-day COMREL events is Personnelman 1st Class Mishell Brownlee who reflected on what Sailors gain from helping in the communities they work and live in.

"This is the community we work and live in day in and day out," said Brownlee. "Sailors who help out with our command COMRELs can walk away feeling better about helping others and gain valuable career enhancement opportunities."

Sailors assigned to Lincoln's Reactor department ventured out to Carrolton Nike Park to help remove downed limbs and clean up shelters in the park.

"This is my first community project with Reactor department," said Machinist's Mate Fireman Apprentice Devin Hulstein. "The experience has been great."

These Sailors were more than happy to come out and help their community.

"Reactor department is always adamant about helping out with COMRELs," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class Matthew Theis.

While Reactor Sailors were adamant about volunteering, other Sailors from Lincoln's Weapons and Transportation departments were eager to volunteer at a local baseball field in Newport News.

"Weapons Department came out in full force to help out this area of Newport News," said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Kevin Nowlin. "The diversity and camaraderie of this group will make this a very successful project."

Sailors lined up on their measurements and pounded in posts and placed fencing, turning a mundane field into two usable baseball fields for the benefit of the community.

"We're all pretty excited about this project," said Aviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class Andrew Nicoletti. "We're out here for the purpose of giving back to a community that has done a lot for us."

Sailors from another division within Reactor department volunteered to paint fences surrounding the Phoebus Little League baseball field.

Gerald Stutt, president of the Phoebus Little League appreciated Lincoln Sailors for providing their time and talents to mend the field's fences.

"This is a tremendous help," said Stutt. "To have Lincoln Sailors come out to assist us with our tremendous workload does a great deal more than they can understand."

Nearly half of the more than 40 different COMREL events planned were conducted in and around Newport News.

Sailors assigned to Lincoln's Air Department volunteered at Newport News Park and helped pick up fallen debris throughout the parks forest area.

"It's just our way of showing our appreciation for Newport News has done for us," said Lt. Albert Duckworth.

Sailors assigned to Lincoln's Air department volunteered at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. Jan Silva, Foodbank manager reflected on the impact the volunteerism by Lincoln Sailors provide to the community members they serve.

"This Tidewater location is more like a warehouse, but we serve approximately 1,000 people every month," said Silva. "We also have more than 400 partner agencies that give food to their local neighborhoods."

Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Leon Johnson volunteered and reflected on giving back on Valentine's Day.

"The Command-wide COMREL is a good thing, especially on Valentine's Day, because many people out there don't have a lot of love in their lives and this is a way to help with that," said Johnson.

Lincoln Sailors continue to make a significant impact in the Hampton Roads region since the aircraft carrier arrived in Norfolk in August 2012, contributing more than 12,000 volunteer hours at various COMREL projects.

Sailors volunteered at the following locations:

- In Hampton: Sailors will volunteer at the following sites: Boo Williams Sportsplex, John B. Cary Elementary School, Transitions Family Violence Services, The Foodbank of the Virginia Peninsula, Virginia Space and Air Museum, Hampton City Hall, North Phoebus Community Center, North Hampton Community Center, Bethel Landfill, Phoebus Little League, Hampton City Honors Park, and Sandy Bottom Nature Park;

- In Newport News: Newport News Park, Horace H. Epes Elementary School, Magruder Primary School, Newsome Park Elementary School, Jenkins Elementary School, Yates Elementary School, Dozier Middle School, Passage Middle School, Crittenden Middle School, Virginia Living Museum, Habitat for Humanity Re-store, Peninsula SPCA, and Denbigh Youth Basketball League.

- In Norfolk: Ronald McDonald House, The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, PETA, Union Mission Ministries, Norfolk Zoo, Eggleston's Tanner Creek Nursery, Forkids' Haven House, Elmwood Cemetery, and Good Mojo Thrift Store;

- In Fort Monroe: Sailors will be volunteering at the following sites: Fort Monroe Community Center and Fort Monroe;

- In Portsmouth, Va.: Oasis Social Ministry;

- In Virginia Beach, Va.: Virginia Beach Highway Clean-up and Virginia Beach Farmers Market;

- In Yorktown, Va.: Chesapeake Arboretum;

- In Carrolton: Carrollton Nike Park.

Lincoln is currently undergoing RCOH at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo a RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.

Flying Yankees ready for the storm

by Maj. Bryon M. Turner
103rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


2/13/2014 -  BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Conn. -- The Airmen of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron here are ready to provide storm recovery operations and roadway clearance support should the state request their assistance in the event of a major weather event.

With yet another winter storm headed for the state, the engineer squadron began operational checks on their specialized equipment days before the storm's projected arrival; standard practice just in case their help is needed, said Master Sgt. Kevin Quinn of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron.

"We can field our domestic operations package consisting of two trailers for transport of two skid-steer tractors with various attachments which can be used to remove debris from roadways," Quinn said. "The package also has enough chainsaws and support equipment to sustain a 20-man team in the field for route clearing. We could also add a command and control element if necessary. "

The civil engineers of the Connecticut Air National Guard are no strangers to storm recovery missions, having answered the call to duty in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Winter Storm Alfred in 2011, Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and Winter Storm Nemo in 2013.

The unit has conducted a wide array of operations including route clearing, search and rescue missions, and emergency power production, flood pumping support to critical utilities' infrastructures, emergency management support and other activities both on base and in the surrounding communities.

Despite their current high state of readiness and their proven track record of storm recovery service to the state and community, the men and women of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron are not resting on their laurels. A three-day training course has been developed and planned for later in the year to train additional volunteers from other units of the Connecticut Air National Guard to increase the available pool of skilled team members for recovery operations in the event of a natural disaster, on or off base.

"The training will reduce the demand on the squadron, which is currently the sole provider of emergency route clearing personnel, while also providing a knowledgeable emergency response force," said Maj. Henry Chmielinski, commander of the 103rd Civil Engineer Squadron. "It will also provide all attendees with training on the proper maintenance of route clearing equipment to ensure down time is minimized while deployed. All teams will deploy with required equipment, supporting materials and parts to be self-sustaining while in the field."

McConnell Security Forces Airmen contribute to expeditionary award

by Master Sgt. Brannen Parrish
931st Air Refueling Group Public Affairs


2/13/2014 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- 
Airmen from the 931st Security Forces Squadron recently discovered they were part of the 376th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron's success during a recent deployment to the Transit Center at Manas.
The organization was recently named Air Force Central Command's Outstanding Expeditionary Medium Security Forces Unit for 2013.  Sixteen 931st SFS Airmen were deployed to the 376th ESFS to provide security of personnel, equipment and property from September 2013 to January 2014. According to Maj. Toby Kennedy, 931st SFS commander, the award is a testament to the Airmen's professionalism and commitment to mission accomplishment.
"I am exceptionally proud of my defenders.  We sent a young crew with a few seasoned leaders and they performed impeccably," Kennedy said. "For our newly formed squadron, and many of these defenders, this was our first deployment. Our Airmen represented the 931st SFS, the 931st Air Refueling Group, and the Air Force Reserve exceptionally well.  We are happy they went and served well and now we are happy they are home safe."  
According to Col. Mark S. Larson, 931st ARG commander, the unit's success during their deployment demonstrates the quality of leadership at all levels in the unit. 
"There is no better feeling for a commander than to receive positive feedback about your people from a commander down range," said Larson. "The 931st SFS is relatively but they have set an example and laid a foundation for others to follow. It's a testament to the quality of the leadership of our seasoned Airmen who guided a relatively young and untested team down range and prepared them for future deployments."

Air Force training helps Airman save a life

by Master Sgt. Chris A. Durney
22 AF Det 1 Public Affairs


2/14/2014 - LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark -- When Senior Airman William Huff learned CPR as part of his Air Force training, he never dreamed he'd use that knowledge within a month to save a man's life - twice.

Huff, an Air Force reservist assigned to 22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., is credited with reviving a Lonoke County man with the life-saving technique he had learned in a unit CPR training class in January. Huff is a maintenance technician with the base's growing Air Force Reserve unit.

According to Huff, he and his fiancé were driving along Forbus Road in Lonoke about 3 p.m. Feb. 5 when they spotted Scott Munholland lying in a ditch alongside the road. Taking quick action, they pulled over and checked to see if he was okay.

"He seemed disoriented and said he was having trouble breathing," explained Huff. "He said he needed an inhaler and that he lived right down the road. We got him into our car and called 911.

"We got him to his house and looked for the inhaler, but we were unable to locate it. We sat him down and a search of his pockets turned up the inhaler," said Huff. "He used the inhaler and appeared to be able to breathe better so I told him he'd be okay and that the ambulance was on the way."

Then things took a turn for the worse, and Huff's military training kicked in.

"He said he was still unable to breathe," explained Huff. "His breathing grew ragged and short and I coached him to breathe slowly and as deeply as possible. Then he stopped breathing altogether, and went limp.

"I shook him, snapped my fingers and called his name, but he was unresponsive," Huff continued. "I laid him on the floor and could see he was no longer breathing, and I could not feel his pulse. I then began administering chest pumps and after only 10 to 15 compressions he regained consciousness."

But the man wasn't out of the woods yet.

"He told me he still could not breathe, and while I was telling him to breathe deeply and slowly he stopped breathing and lost consciousness again. Once again, I administered chest compressions until he regained consciousness," said Huff.

According to Huff, Munholland told him that he wasn't going to make it, and that Huff could go, that it would be okay. But Huff wasn't having any of that.

"I told him I wasn't leaving him until the EMTs were here, and that he would be okay," said Huff. "I asked him if he had children and he said 'I got lots of kids.' I told him he would see them again and that he was going to make it."

An ambulance with Allied Emergency Services of Ward, Ark., soon arrived with two EMTs, who stabilized the man and hooked him up to oxygen.

"That young man's quick actions kept him going," said William Tremaine, one of the Allied personnel on the scene.

"I think he's extremely generous, a real stand-up guy," said Mr. Munholland. "People in the Air Force don't think about it, they just do what's needed, they're just helpful. I'd like to see him again and thank him."

Huff was honored during the unit's February unit training assembly (drill) for his heroic actions.

"The Air Force Reserve trains to same standards as the active duty Air Force and this is clear proof of the effectiveness of that training," said Col. Anthony Brusca, 22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, deputy commander. "This Airman embodies the ideals of service before self and we're very, very proud of him."

"Senior Airman Huff is one of our best troops and I'm extremely proud of him," said Maj. Richard Rogers, maintenance commander. "I'm not at all surprised that he took action and helped that man."

Aviano member sings way into Tops in Blue

by Senior Airman Michael Battles
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


2/14/2014 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy  -- After more than a year of waiting, one Airman finally has a chance to pursue his passion.

Last year, Senior Airman Jeffrey Ellis, 31st Security Forces Squadron defender, was selected in Jan. 2013 to join, the U.S. Air Force's premiere entertainment group Tops in Blue, but due to budget cuts, Ellis dream was put on hold.

TIB is an all active duty unit comprised of talented Airmen selected for their performing abilities. Airmen can audition in a variety of categories including singing, dancing, comedy and instrumental.

"I've been singing my whole life," Ellis, a Waldorf, Md. native said. "When I heard about Tops in Blue I knew I had to audition."

Ellis' father, retired Tech. Sgt. Billy Ellis, introduced him to Tops in Blue.

Once the Air Force received notice that the group TIB would continue, Ellis received notification that he would be brought on as a member of the 2014 cast instead of the original 2013.

Originally, Ellis auditioned for the group online when he was at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. He submitted a song titled "We Must Praise," which earned him a spot in the 2013 Air Force Talent Search competition held at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

During the 10-day competition, participants were judged on their vocal and dance talent, and also on their personality, personal interviews and team work. As part of his final performance, Ellis sang a song titled "Dreaming with a Broken Heart," which earned him second place in the male vocalist category. After completion of the completion, Ellis' combined talents officially earned him a position within the TIB cast.

"I'm looking forward to developing my craft," he said. "I have never had the chance to be vocal coached, so for them to be able to provide vocal coaching and the performing experience is priceless. In Tops in Blue you get all aspects of show business from performing, backstage, costumes and even the technical side, which is amazing."

When asked what his family thought of him being selected for TIB, Ellis said, "They were overjoyed. My family is my biggest support when it comes to my music."

According to the official website, TIB is an expeditionary entertainment unit that provides quality entertainment for personnel stationed worldwide at remote and deployed locations. TIB cast members promote community relations while supporting recruiting efforts and serve as ambassadors for the U.S. and Air Force.

"I think it's going to be a big job, but with everything it's going to come with some training and hopefully I will represent the Air Force as best as I can," Ellis said.

In March, Ellis will depart Aviano to start his two months of training with TIB at Lackland AFB before hitting the road in May for the group's world tour. Ellis joined the U.S. Air Force in Sept. 2011 and arrived at Aviano AB in Oct. 2013.

Lajes Field hit with strong winds, recovery underway

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


2/14/2014 - LAJES FIELD, Azores -- Lajes Field was hit with a low pressure weather system Feb. 13, and strong winds caused damages to base facilities and military family housing here.

Gusts as high as 100 miles per hour were reported on Terceira, the mid-Atlantic, Azorean Island where the 65th Air Base Wing is located. The 65th Operations Support Squadron weather flight recorded winds at 89 miles per hour at 12:37 p.m., Feb. 13.

"All personnel are accounted for and no injuries have been reported to date," said Col. Chris Bargery, 65th ABW commander. "We have sustained some damages to facilities, but our wing mission remains intact and our airfield is operational."

Personnel assigned to the 65th ABW - including local national employees - and U.S. Air Force tenant units were released early Feb. 13 and the wing commander authorized delayed reporting for Feb. 14.

"Throughout the entire situation, 65th Air Base Wing leaders were focused on the safety and well-being of Lajes Airmen," said Bargery. "Our damage assessment teams, first responders, emergency operations center team and Airmen at every level acted safely and conservatively."

The wing's emergency operations center and crisis action team were activated to ensure personnel safety and accountability, assess damages, direct repairs and ensure essential services remained operational. Some units - including the 65th OSS weather flight and the 65th Civil Engineer Squadron unit control center - worked overnight to provide updates and assess damage.

As of Feb. 14, personnel were reporting to work as usual.

"The base is starting to return to normal," said Bargery. "We're pleased to be opening facilities and services to our community. But we need everyone to go into the weekend and be more careful and conservative in their decision-making."

Significant damages included downed trees and limbs, portions of clay-tile roofing, downed power lines and fencing, broken street lights and some personal property damages.

Damage assessment and response teams from the 65th CES evaluated damages and completed repairs, said Maj. Timothy Barnard, 65th CES director of operations. Barnard led the unit control center and dispatched assessment teams throughout the night.

"Our teams have noted a total of 133 items damaged and we have already made repairs to 12 of those items," said Barnard. "We will continue making repairs as conditions allow. We have to be mindful of safety considerations as we send our repair teams out, of course."

One major repair the CES teams made was to restore base power, said Barnard. The majority of the base temporarily lost power during the storm.

"Our electrical crews restored power to the base in about an hour after a power feeder went down," the major said. "They isolated the broken wiring phase and re-routed power to the main base. Most importantly, we never lost power to the airfield."

Barnard encouraged Lajes Airmen to remain safe as they collect debris, especially in base housing.

"We're asking people to remain very safe and mindful that the clay roof tiles may continue to come loose and blow around. Those objects are quite heavy, so just be safe," Barnard said.

Lajes Field personnel who had personal property damaged due to the storm should work with the 65th ABW legal office to file a claim. Those who wish to file a claim should call 535-3546.

Security personnel from the 65th Security Forces Squadron worked with their Portuguese Air Force counterparts throughout the night, said Maj. Lawrence Wyatt, 65th SFS commander.

"Defenders from the U.S. and Portuguese Air Force teamed to secure some downed perimeter fences, but the base remained secure at all times," said Wyatt. "We also ensure mobile patrols occurred within base housing all evening."

U.S. Air Force personnel are coordinating response and recovery operations with the Portuguese Air Force.

Chief Hornback ready to turn the page

by Airman 1st Class Joseph Raatz
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs


2/14/2014 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- For many servicemembers, retirement is a time for reflection on their long careers.

After 29 years of service, Chief Master Sgt. Brian Hornback looks back at his time at Air Force Global Strike Command with a smile on his face.

"I had the best job in the world," Hornback said. "I got to go out and fly in the Hueys across the northern plains, and then I'm 100 feet underground working on missiles with the guys. The next time I'm belly-down in the dirt, firing weapons with Security Forces, and blowing stuff up with Explosive Ordinance Disposal, and putting out fires with the fire department and serving food at the dining facility. I mean, holy cow, I got paid to do that."

Hornback's final assignment was as AFGSC's command chief master sergeant. This position capped-off a long and decorated Air Force career that included more than a dozen assignments and multiple deployments.

Prior to his final posting, Hornback was command chief master sergeant of 8th Air Force and was highly involved in the establishment of AFGSC in 2009.

"I've been around the command since it stood up," Hornback said. "Since then, I've seen the understanding of the missile world by the bomber forces, and vice versa, make a lot of headway. That's something that didn't happen in the past.

"What really stands out for me, looking at it now, is that today in AFGSC, more than half of our Airmen don't know an Air Force without Global Strike Command," Hornback continued. "We've been around long enough now that to the Airmen of the command, it's always been there for them. I think that will go a long way in establishing and reaffirming the culture that we've been trying to work towards."

Over the years, Hornback said, he has learned a few important life lessons.

"I say it all the time: attitude is everything," Hornback said. "It's that simple. Henry Ford said it best, 'Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right.' Either way, it's all about attitude."

A good attitude and a positive outlook are what have enabled his career to take the course it has, Hornback said.

"If I had to sum up my Air Force experience in three words, and this goes for my advice to Airmen too, it would be 'just say yes,'" Hornback said. "Yes is the hardest word to say because it requires something of you. If you say no, well then that's it, things stop right there. But when you say yes, you open up a world of possibilities. And that's how you grow as a professional, and as a person, by giving yourself those opportunities. That's when you leave the Air Force with one word: wow."

Hornback was succeeded as command chief master sergeant of AFGSC by Chief Master Sgt. Terry West.

Hornback will remain close to Barksdale for now, he said. He has been offered a job which will allow him and his family to continue living in the local area as he makes the transition from military life to being a civilian.

"It's been one hell of a ride," Hornback said. "I'm ready for the next chapter."

Navy Conducts Assessments to Protect Environment



 From Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy, in partnership with other federal and local agencies, has deployed teams to assess and respond to potential environmental impacts due to the grounding of the Japanese commercial fishing vessel Daiki Maru in outer Apra Harbor Feb. 13.

Navy officials are taking all the necessary steps to address the situation and ensure the protection of the environment.

"It's our number one priority on the Navy base along with all the agencies we are partnering with," said Capt. Mike Ward, commanding officer of U.S. Naval Base Guam. "We've erected a unified command structure to respond to the incident. Our priority right now is to protect the environmentally sensitive area but we're also developing a salvage and tow plan to remove the vessel off the reef right so we can remove the hazard from the environment. We need to do that safely but as expeditiously as we can."

The Navy is working with the U.S. Coast Guard, Guam Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, the responsible party and other organizations.

"As soon as we heard the news of the grounding, an environmental assessment team went out there to check for any possible damage that may have occurred to the reef or the sea turtles," said Anne Brooke, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas conservation program manager. "This is a joint effort by a host of agencies. We train for this kind of thing and are very proficient at this."