Military News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dyess AFB receives first C-130J simulator

by Airman 1st Class Kedesha Pennant
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


4/25/2014 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- The 317th Airlift Group held a dedication ceremony for a new C-130J Super Hercules simulator here April 22, 2014.

Dyess AFB is the first installation to receive the $26 million C-130J simulator with modern Vital-10 technology. Vital-10 is an advanced visual display package with a higher resolution and a more realistic display.

"One great aspect about the simulator is that we can alter the location, weather, variables, altitude and threats on the spot," said Maj. Seth Schwesinger, hey baby
317th Operations Support Squadron chief of group training. "It gives us the flexibility to pause at a certain point to provide instruction, rewind the scenario and try it again."

The cost to run the simulator is an estimated $850 an hour, a savings of $1,500 compared to an approximated flying cost of $2,300 an hour, which will allow the 317th Airlift Group to save an approximate $3 million annually. Additionally, the simulator will save the group approximately $400,000 annually in personnel and travel costs by conducting required training on site.

The new simulator is a proven tool used to build and maintain operator proficiency in the aircraft throughout multiple mission sets, including those not readily available during local flying, Schwesinger said.

Essentially, the C-130J simulator and the C-130J are one and the same, but with better cost savings and a safer way of doing things, Schwesinger added.

"We also have the ability to compound elements into a training scenario in a safe environment that mimics the aircraft," Schwesinger said. "This gives instructors the capacity to monitor training to enhance the learning of the aircrews."

One of the benefits of the simulator is being able to train in scenarios you wouldn't want to do in an actual aircraft.

"Other than off-station missions, local training was limited to the Dyess AFB area, which is flat and can have unpredictable weather patterns," Schwesinger said. "The simulator allows us to be put in any location to train in high-pressure altitude operations with high temperatures to see how the aircraft performs with these different variables added to the training scenario."

The simulator is also capable of different tactical training scenarios, including specific threat generators, which instructors are able to place along certain locations of a route.

"These threat generators can actually fire at us, and we have to react in accordance to our predetermined parameters," Schwesinger said. "It gives the instructor the ability to cage those parameters to see how well the aircrew reacted and decide if they successfully engaged or escaped the threat correctly."

With these capabilities, the simulator has the option to "damage" or "shut down" the aircraft if the aircrew didn't successfully react using the prescribed tactics.

"Aircrews have an additional factor to deal with in crew resource management to solve a threat and a tactical situation with a lack of resources presented in an emergency training scenario," Schwesinger said.

There are foreseeable advantages of the new simulator compared to the older version as well as the aircraft.

"The inherent capability of the simulator is that it offers repeated training opportunities, which offers a cost benefit without wasting fuel, manpower or maintenance," said Maj. Will Soto, the 317th OSS director of operations.

Other C-130J units will be able to use the new simulator to benefit from the advantages as well.

"Ever since we've fully transitioned from the H to the J model, we have been waiting for the new simulator to augment our training," Soto said. "We're very happy to have it, not only for the 317th AG, but the entire C-130J community."

The new C-130J simulator has incurred high expectations from the C-130 community to benefit both Dyess AFB and the Air Force with increased usage.

"It's an awesome capability that allows us a lot of flexibility to execute our tactical missions downrange as well as our local missions," Schwesinger said. "It will greatly improve overall aircrew training."

Architect Explains Buildings’ ‘Language’ to Pentagon Employees



By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2014 – In the flyer advertising Daniel Libeskind’s appearance at the Pentagon, he is listed as, “Architect. Designer. Optimist.” It’s the last description that is probably most important.

Libeskind is a world-class architect and artist who designed the Jewish Museum in Berlin and is the master planner for New York’s Freedom Plaza. He spoke earlier this week at the Pentagon as part of the NewIdeas@OSD series sponsored by the Aspen Institute and the undersecretary of defense for policy.

Libeskind was born in Poland to Holocaust survivors in 1946. He emigrated to the United States when he was 14 and studied music and art before taking up architecture.

“Where does architecture communicate?” he asked the Pentagon audience. “It’s just like music. It’s very scientific, but in the end it has to reach your soul. It communicates to the heart.”

He called architecture “a very deep language” that people must understand. He pointed to his buildings in Berlin, Singapore and Manchester, England, as examples of the conversations he has through architecture.

In Berlin, he spoke of the power of a void in a building to communicate. In Manchester, he spoke of pieces coming together to form a whole, In Singapore, he spoke about creating something just slightly different that projects a world-class living standard and preserves the sense of place in the city state.

Libeskind is known for his architectural statements. He designed the extension to the Denver Museum of Art. The titanium-sheathed building mirrors to angles of the Rocky Mountains. He also designed nearby apartment buildings and said he was pleased that the first apartments that sold out faced the museum and not the mountains.

Changing perceptions is also part and parcel of architecture. He re-designed the German Military Museum in Dresden. The museum had many different names going back to the 19th century, he said. It was the Kaiser Museum, a Nazi Museum, a Soviet Museum and an East German Museum.

His problem was how to tell the history of the German military without glossing over terrible deeds that occurred during World War II.

He designed a light-filled arrow that splits the classical front of the museum in half. It represents transparency and a new Germany while still showing the history. It promises something new. “It works to alter perceptions of war,” he said.

Trying something different is important to Libeskind. He said that in chickens and humans, 95 percent of the DNA is the same.

“It’s that last five percent that makes the difference,” he said.

He told the Pentagon audience that they can do “95 percent of the same thing, but to change the last five percent and you will have something exceptional.”

Hagel Waits to Hear From Russian Counterparts



By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2014 – Defense Department officials are still waiting to hear back from their Russian counterparts after reaching out to them via phone yesterday to discuss tensions in Ukraine, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.

The department has made it clear to the Russians that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is available for a phone call at any time, Warren said.

"He wants to continue calling on the Russians to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine," the colonel said. "Their continued destabilizing activities along the Ukrainian border are unhelpful, and they need to withdraw their troops from the Ukrainian border and place them back into their garrisons and go about working to a peaceful resolution to this crisis."

Tens of thousands of Russian troops were mobilized to the region in late February and early March. While some of those troops seized control of the Crimean Peninsula, others established cantonment areas along Russia’s border with Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin told the international community that the troops in the border region were staging exercises. Until recently, defense officials have said there was no evidence the Russian military was conducting the type of exercises they had described.

Warren said reports from multiple sources indicate that the movements by thousands of troops in the region are now consistent with the exercises recently announced by Russia.

“Troops are moving out of their cantonment areas into exercise areas,” he said.

Russia has a broad array of forces aligned along the Ukrainian border, Warren said, including mechanized infantry, light infantry, armor and airborne troops and fixed- and rotary-wing aerial assets.

“We're seeing all flavors of the Russian combined arms force,” he said.

The U.S. message to Russia has been very clear since the start of tensions with Ukraine, Warren said.

“Our message remains, 'Deescalate. Live up to commitments both in Geneva and international norms. Help bring this crisis to an end,'" he said.

Laughlin Airman presents unique opportunity for Del Rio students

by SSgt Steven R. Doty
47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs


4/24/2014 - LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A Laughlin student pilot helped connect students around the world to the International Space Station.

Thanks to a partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Air Force Academy Cadet Wing Science Technology Engineering and Math Outreach Club, panelists were on hand at the Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to talk to the astronauts living and working at the International Space Station currently orbiting 230 miles above Earth.

Laughlin's 2nd Lt. Victor Lopez, 47th Student Squadron, founded the Cadet Wing STEM Outreach Club while a student at the Air Force Academy. Currently, the club has more than 400 members representing 10 percent of the USAFA student population. In 2013, the club spent more than 1,769 hours volunteering at area schools and local science events.

Last year, Lopez was approached by an aeronautics instructor and asked if the club could help support a possible International Space Station downlink for students in Colorado.

"I excitedly accepted and helped co-author the proposal to send to NASA's Johnson Space Center," said Lopez. "Our caveat was that we would open up this event for students across the country to participate."

A few months ago, NASA answered.

"Once [NASA] accepted the proposal, I began organizing my network of STEM Outreach Aerospace students and professionals from here in Del Rio, Texas," said Lopez. "Before we knew it, we had seven schools in five states participating in the downlink, including the Del Rio Middle School and High School Robotics teams."

Thanks to NASA's Digital Learning Network, robotic teams from Del Rio High School, Team 4063 "TrikzR4Kidz", and the Del Rio Middle School, Robo Squad, were part of the downlink with hundreds of other STEM students from across the country.

"It's the first time we've done a national event," said Lopez. "It's exciting to be able to bring this kind of event to so many kids."

Two representatives from Team 4063 were on hand for the downlink at the Del Rio Middle School as their teammates compete against 128 teams at the 2013-2014 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Tech Challenge World Championship, April 23-26, at the Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri.

"Having the students from the high school in attendance with the middle school students will help form a bond," said Lopez. "We want to inspire the middle school students to pursue robotics in high school and STEM in college."

The International Space Station has been around for 13 years, brought together five different space agencies and is supported by 15 nations. It was an opportunity for students, who are already in tune with the kind of science occurring on the International Space Station, to learn about life in space, current experiments and gain further inspiration to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

"Students from Del Rio had a chance to interact directly with each remote school and astronauts on the ISS and on the ground in Colorado," explained Lopez. "It's an opportunity of a lifetime."

Lopez stressed that this unique opportunity was possible due to the support of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy, the Research Department at the Air Force Academy, students of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, who helped connect schools from around the country, and the STEM Outreach Club at the Air Force Academy.

The International Space Station downlink serves as a milestone to the efforts of Lopez and his founding of the STEM Club in 2011.

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Research publicist Amy Gillentine at the Office of Research, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado contributed to this story.

WWII, Korean War veteran retired at Luke

by Staff Sgt. Luther Mitchell Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/25/2014 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- A World War II and Korean War veteran was honored in a retirement ceremony April 4 on Luke Air Force Base.

Master Sgt. Marion Kiszczak served in the Army Air Corps and one of his final wishes was to officially retire in front of family, friends and leadership from Luke.

Responsibilities at home and limitations at work prevented Kiszczak from having a retirement ceremony in 1969, something he's regretted. With declining health, his family reached out to his old squadron to give him the retirement he never had.

"It is remarkable," Kiszczak said. "It's outstanding, believe me. It's hard to believe I would receive this kind of a send-off, and I sure really appreciate it."

Lt. Col. Shamsher Mann, 62nd Fighter Squadron commander, presided over the ceremony and Congressman Trent Franks, U.S. Representative for Arizona's 8th congressional district, delivered the closing remarks.

Kiszczak was wheeled into a packed room of Airmen, civilians, family and friends, who came out to honor the 91-year-old veteran. Capt. Aubrie Jones, 56th Force Support Squadron operations officer, narrated the accomplishments of Kiszczak as he sat at center stage.

Kiszczak enlisted in the Army Air Corps Sept. 15, 1942, when America was in the midst of WWII. He completed basic training at Sheppard Field in Wichita Falls, Texas, and went on to learn armament and received tow target training at Chanute Field, Ill.

His first assignment was at Hammer Field in Fresno, Calif., followed by Williams Field in Chandler. He served at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., training pilots on the P-51 Mustang and with the 56th Fighter Group, and with 56th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.

While in Illinois, Kiszczak began working on an idea to increase the efficiency of tow target reel operations. His suggestion to attach an electric motor to the tow reel was approved and implemented across the Air Defense Command. This innovation resulted in saving 260 man-hours and a decrease in the amount of personnel needed to perform the operation, from three to one, making it safer.

In 1959, the interceptors were moved from O'Hare to K.I. Sawyer AFB in Michigan where Kiszczak served as a standardization technical advisor with the 62nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron until his retirement.

Kiszczak held many jobs throughout his 27-year career to include tow reel operator, weapons technician, standardization NCO in-charge, and an aircrew egress systems repair technician and NCO in-charge.

His long years of service during a turbulent time in America's history left an impression on all of those who attended his retirement.

"That was one of the most powerful things I have done," Mann said. "To honor somebody that has served as long as he has, who was part of such a storied generation is truly an incredible honor."

Kiszczak has been married for 57 years and has four children. His son Kevin never knew how much his father had accomplished in his career until hearing it at the ceremony. He was overwhelmed with emotion upon hearing his father's deeds and witnessing the reception.

"It really hit home how much the Air Force appreciates their own," Kevin said. "We learned about contributions he made that were a mystery to us. To find out he helped invent a winch that took only one person to operate when the previous winch took three personnel and they are still using it to this day, that's when I actually got a little emotional. I didn't know the military side of my dad, I just knew dad. The ceremony was not only a great tribute to his military career, but it taught us some things that we didn't know about him."

Combat-experienced Air National Guard leaders reflect force

by Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau


4/25/2014 - ARLINGTON, Va. -- As a result of a high operational tempo and continuous overseas deployments, all current members of the Air National Guard's senior leadership have served overseas and have combat experience-the first time that has occurred in the Air Guard's more than 60-year history.

The Air National Guard director, deputy director, readiness center commander, readiness center vice commander and command chief master sergeant all have combat experience, according to Dave Anderson, director of the Air National Guard History Office. "That's pretty remarkable, in my opinion," he said.

While it may be a noteworthy historical milestone, that experience also translates over to a greater understanding of the challenges faced by Airmen who deploy.

"I think it's important that our senior leadership have experienced combat so that we can relate better to our Airmen who have been deployed continuously," said Air Force Brig. Gen. James C. Witham, deputy director of the Air National Guard, who flew combat missions in Iraq during the initial days of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"As we make decisions-both in resourcing and how to organize, train and equip our Airmen to take on these missions-by having participated in [combat] ourselves we better understand what the needs and requirements are as we provide the resources and policy for our Airmen to be able to train so they can then deploy," Witham said.

The director of the Air National Guard wholeheartedly agrees.

"If you didn't have that combat experience I don't know how well you'd be able to relate to others," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III. "Time away from home, reintegration back into families and how you train and prepare for inspections... you share all that in common and it's a cup that we all drink from when it comes to deployments and how we do things in a combat situation."

Clarke, who served as an expeditionary wing commander in Iraq in 2003 as well as multiple deployments enforcing the no-fly zone in Iraq in the late 1990s, believes combat deployment experience translates to being a better leader.

"That one experience probably shaped me more than anything else," Clarke said. It meant keeping a large group focused on the mission and motivated, he stated.

"It all came together with people with a common goal and a common focus," said Clarke. "Part of your job is making sure everybody understands what the task is, how they're going to accomplish it and what the end states should be and to be prepared for all the things that aren't going to go your way."

Clarke's own combat experiences are representative of the thousands of other Airmen throughout the Air Guard who have deployed. Their deployment experiences have collectively made the Air Guard a stronger force, he said.

Witham agreed.

"I think our Airmen are better trained now," he said. "They are better able to respond on a mission because they better understand the importance of it. Our Airmen who have participated in combat over the last decade-plus are that much more attuned to be able to respond in crisis and not only do they make better decisions, but it becomes part of what they do day in and day out."

While the deployments have increased since 2001, the Airmen of the Air Guard have been a dedicated element of overseas missions long before that.

"We've been doing things since the Korean War, but, I think since 1991 it's really escalated," said Anderson, the Air Guard historian. "We've quadrupled or tripled from what it used to be. Before, you'd have a couple of units [that deployed], now I don't think you can find a unit in the Air Guard that can say they've never deployed or participated in a combat operation."

Part of what set the stage for increased deployments after 1991 came from the Total Force policy, according to Anderson.

"The beginning of that is the Total Force policy of the 1970s where they said that the Guard, reserve and active components need to be merged together and they need to have the same equipment, the same training and they have to be deploying and operating cohesively," he said, adding that that has largely happened.

"It's taken awhile to really get there, and we're there now," Anderson said. "It's a seamless thing."

Clarke said he saw that aspect especially during his time as wing commander in Iraq.

"I honestly couldn't tell the difference between who was who because we didn't necessarily wear patches that identified us with any particular squadron or component of the Air Force," Clarke said. "We were just Airmen out there doing the mission."

That experience level has also translated over to the Air Guard's domestic or state mission as well.

"There are a lot of common things that you do overseas that you do at home when it comes to operating in a stressed environment," Clarke said. Whether it is a huge mudslide, tornado, earthquake or a bombing scenario, the Air National Guard has the capability to transpose those same combat skills to benefit the homeland, he added.

And shared combat experience allows for a greater tie between leaders of the Air Guard and the Airmen they lead.

"We can do any mission we are resourced for and trained to do," Clarke said. "The key part is the Airmen themselves. If they're motivated and well trained and have good leadership, you can do just about anything."

Hero to three: Buckley NCO saves lives from drunken driving accident

by Airman Emily E. Amyotte
460th Space Wing Public Affairs


4/21/2014 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It had already been dark for hours when the two were driving through the frozen housing complex. Minutes away from home, laughing and discussing the night they just shared, they pulled up on a cluster of taillights pushed to the side of the road.

This past December, Staff Sgt. Jordan Gunterman, 460th Security Forces Squadron military working dog handler, was a witness and hero to the victims of a drunken driving accident.

It was a Sunday night in single-digit temperatures; he and his wife, Starlla, were heading back home after a friend's birthday dinner. The two came up on an accident that couldn't have taken place more than five minutes before, leaving a red sedan smashed to pieces.

There were five or six people already surrounding the wreckage. Gunterman told his wife to pull over so he could see if he could offer any help. Making his way over to the crowd, he heard screams muffled through the broken glass and crumpled car. He sprinted towards the wreck, shining his light into the passenger seat.

"I saw a woman who was a bloody mess; confused and bleeding out of her nose, mouth and ears," he remembered. "I asked if she was okay to make sure she was breathing and she answered with, 'Who are you? I don't know what happened.'"

He swung open her door and frantically looked to see if she had any further injuries. A man walked up from behind and nonchalantly admitted to being the one who had hit them.

Gunterman asked if he was alright, but he needed to continue to help without the man getting in his way.

A boy sitting in the back seat, who didn't know his own name or where he was, caught Gunterman's eye. After only talking for a moment, he noticed the six-year-old's attention was fixed on the driver's seat.

"And that's when my flashlight went to him," he paused.

Behind the steering wheel was the grandfather to the two children in the back seat, covered in his own blood. Gunterman ran around to the side of the car that had taken the impact and started checking for the man's vitals, but he couldn't take back what had happened.

The little girl that sat behind the driver's seat cried out for her grandfather. Gunterman tried over and over again to bring life into the man, but nothing worked. A helpless feeling overwhelmed him and he couldn't hold back his tears.

"I checked vitals one last time and felt something move," he said. "I instantly assumed it was a heartbeat but when I looked over, the man that had tried to start a previous conversation with me was trying to pick the mom up."

Furious, Gunterman ordered the man to not move the mother and to come stand behind him. He didn't listen. His breath reeked of alcohol as he was belligerently cussing and refusing to obey.

He was drunk, Gunterman said. He just killed this man and tore apart his family.
Looking over the mangled car with blood on his hands, tears continued to roll down his cheeks.

"That's when someone said the car is leaking fuel and the car is smoking," he said. "So I ran over, pulled the mom, son and daughter out of the car and put them in my warm car with Starlla."

Shortly after the three were safe with his wife, the police and paramedics arrived. The drunken man who had hit the small car was now shut into the back seat of a police car with handcuffs on his wrists. An ambulance rushed the family off to the nearest hospital, leaving the staff sergeant and his wife to look back on what happened.

Gunterman constantly begs everyone to never risk driving under the influence; to never say, "I'm good" or "I do this all the time," because he has seen firsthand that it's not worth it.

"I pray that no one ever feels what that family is dealing with right now and I pray it never happens to them personally," he said. "My thoughts and prayers are with this family."
A night that was originally planned for a laidback dinner and some laughs quickly turned into an event that will have a lasting impression on Gunterman.

"So many thoughts cloud my mind when I am not busy working," he said. "The most asked question is why? Why did that man decide to drink and drive? Was it really worth it? A few good drinks and a stupid decision killed an innocent man."

Peterson AFB hosts 2014 Armed Forces Community Run

by Staff Sgt. Jacob Morgan
21st Space Wing Public Affairs


4/23/2014 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Peterson AFB will host the fifth-annual Armed Forces Community Run at 8 a.m. May 10 here.

The event is open to the general public and includes a 5k and 10k run throughout the base. Runners are required to register online, at one of the three locations listed below or on the day of the race. Be sure to bring a form of government issued ID, such as a state driver's license, U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, to gain access to the installation.

The registration fee is $30 for either race. However, registration on race-day will increase to $35. For the fee, runners will receive a running shirt, water bottle and other fitness related items. Several sponsors will be giving out free gifts and the U.S. Air Force Academy's band, Blue Steel, will be performing throughout the event. The Wounded Warriors Foundation is also expected to be in attendance to start and run the race with the participants.

The north gate will open at 7 a.m. the morning of the race. Day-of registration begins at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Buildings 1, 2 and 3 and will conclude at 7:50 a.m.

The race is expected to pass by many areas of the base such as the golf course, flight line and neighborhood areas to help give participants a better perspective of the Peterson AFB mission.

Last year's Armed Forces Community Run drew 175 participants. This year the 21st Force Support Squadron is looking to double that participation number.

"The Armed Forces Community Run gives our community a chance to come together, have fun and stay fit," said Maj. Tammy Schlichenmaier, 21st Force Support Squadron commander. "The race is open to the general public so our base and the local community can run side-by-side on an exciting course. The event promises to be a great one this year, so I encourage everyone to sign up either online or at one of the locations on or off-base."

Registration details
Registration may be made in person or online. May 8 is the final day to register online at www.21fss.com. There is a $2.50 processing fee for any online registration.

Race materials, including race number, may be picked up May 5-8 at Runners Roost, Boulder Running Company and the Peterson AFB Fitness Center (for DOD ID card holders only), or they may be picked up the morning of the race at the start area.
· Boulder Running Company, 3659 Austin Bluffs Parkway, Suite 32 - Pay by cash, check
· Peterson AFB Fitness and Sports Center, 225 W. Ent Ave. - Pay by cash, check, credit card
· Runners Roost, 121 N. Tejon St. - Pay by cash, check
· www.runningguru.com/event/AFCR - Pay by credit card only

For more information about the 2014 Armed Forces Community Run, call 556-2767.

Structures ensure safe environment

by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


4/25/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Construction workers provide communities throughout the world with buildings and homes to make life and work more comfortable.

At Yokota Air Base, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron structures shop provides that same stability by maintaining, planning and repairing structures. The 21-Airmen shop oversees base structural integrity, ensuring safe facilities for Airmen and their families.

One of their more recent work efforts, Thursday, included the removal of a damaged roof to improve an already safe environment for community members.

"We returned a bicycle rack to a safe state so the dormitory residents can utilize it again without fear of getting hurt or damaging their property," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Vera-Erazo, 374 CES structures craftsman.

Yokota experienced brutal winter storms in February, the worst in 47 years, which dropped 35 inches of snow on base within a two-week period. In a location that typically receives 2 inches of snow for the entire month of February, the snow left its mark, damaging some base facilities.

"Snowmageddon damaged many things that weren't built to withstand that much snow," said Tech. Sgt. Vincent Catalfamo, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron structures noncommissioned officer in charge. "Now we are going back and reinforcing and improving the safety in many buildings to hopefully prevent future damage to structures."

The structural shop has already completed a number of repairs since the snowstorms, ensuring buildings and structures throughout Yokota meet proper safety codes.

"Every day we are around base doing something," Catalfamo added.

The structures Airmen do a majority of base maintenance and a variety of repairs to ensure the facilities and structures used every day are properly functioning, according to Catalfamo.

"Our job allows other units and shops to focus on what they do rather than facility issues," Catalfamo said. "We make life easier for everyone else so they can complete their mission."

Catalfamo said that in addition to being able to help units on base, he enjoys the sense of accomplishment that comes along with the job.

"Unlike a lot of other folks and crafts, at the end of the day we can see exactly what we did," he said. "Whether we made something better or created something new, we see an almost immediate change. When we leave at the end of the day, we leave a physical mark at Yokota."

Team Andersen goes greener with reforestation of endangered species habitat

by Staff Sgt. Melissa B. White
36th Wing Public Affairs


4/25/2014 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Team Andersen members put in some time and effort toward completing a green initiative on Andersen Air Force Base April 12. The results were, in fact, a little greener as the nearly 20 volunteers worked with the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron and the Guam National Wildlife Refuge on maintaining a limestone reforestation project that is also an endangered species habitat at Northwest Field.

"The project demonstrates the Air Force's commitment to forest stewardship and enhancing continued existence of the unique flora and fauna on Guam for future generations," said Leanne Obra, 36th CES Environmental Flight natural resources specialist.

The volunteers, mainly from the 36th CES Environmental Flight Volunteer Conservation Officer Program, used simple gardening tools to remove invasive plants in order to provide a more nurturing environment for nearly 1,000 juvenile trees. The site is home to 17 newly-planted native limestone forest tree species, to include the Yoga, Ifit and Ahgao trees. These trees provide vital habitat for the threatened and endangered Mariana fruit bat.

"It makes me feel proud to be part of a project where the goal is reforestation of endemic plants in Guam," said Mark Ishmael, 36th CES VCO. "This is important to the future generations of Guam and I look forward to watching the plants grow and coming out again to help with this great project."

The 3.5-acre area of limestone forest, known at Achae Point, was originally cleared in 2011 in order for the base to construct an anti-terrorism, force-protection perimeter fence. The base then collaborated with the refuge to mitigate the damage by developing a plan to reforest two acres of the cleared area with a project starting that same year.

The years-long project first started with an installation of a fence in 2011 to keep out wild deer and pigs. In January 2013, 36th CES and Guam National Wildlife Refuge employees supported a contract company by collecting native seeds from trees on base to be re-planted later for the project. The seeds were grown in the contractor's greenhouse until they were transplanted at the site in November 2013 and maintained by the contractor until April. The project is now stable and officially turned over to the 36th CES. April 12 was the first time the 36th CES decided to team up with the wildlife refuge and volunteers to take maintenance efforts of the land into their own hands.

"Care is critical in the beginning stages of the plants' growth in order to keep away non-native plants for at least the first year as they mature," Obra said. "I am confident that with the care during the early stages of growth that the forest will thrive as they grow into the site and become a great resource for endangered species since they are native plants."

Obra said she plans to invite groups to the site quarterly in order to help with maintenance and care. The reforestation site will provide volunteers with an educational opportunity to learn about Guam's native plants and to see how the Air Force is making efforts to aid the recovery of natural habitats for endangered and threated species.

For more information on volunteering as an organization for the reforestation project, contact the 36th CES Environmental Flight at 366-5078.

Yokota brings combat airlift to Max Thunder

by 2nd Lt. Ashely Wright
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


4/24/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Over the past two weeks, Yokota Airmen have been working around the clock flying C-130H aircraft in and out of Gwangju Air Base, Republic of Korea, in support of Exercise Max Thunder.

Max Thunder is the Air Component portion of Exercise Foal Eagle, a series of joint exercises that integrate ground, air, naval, expeditionary and special operations. The exercise cultivates the U.S. and ROK partnership and enhances combat readiness through bilateral air operations drills.

Yokota's mission during the exercise is to demonstrate and sharpen the base's combat airlift capabilities in a simulated contingency operation.

"Max Thunder gives our Airmen a chance to experience the role of combat airlift within a bilateral operating environment," said Col Mark August, 374th Airlift Wing Commander, "Exercises like this also showcase what we bring to the field as tactical airlift professionals."

The training plays a critical role in promoting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula and reaffirms the U.S. commitment to stability in the Pacific region.
Yokota Airmen say that this exercise offers a more realistic set of operational challenges for aircrews to overcome.

"The challenge of these large-formation exercises is integrating with a lot of different Air Force assets," said Capt. Travis Patton, 36th Airlift Squadron Air Support Director of International Exercises, "Max Thunder is unique in that we're staging from Japan to fight in Korea; it requires more planning, but it is a realistic scenario if you look at how we've fought in previous conflicts."

Exercises like Max Thunder help to ensure Yokota Airmen are trained and ready to meet any contingency.

"We don't get to work with the ROKAF very often, so this is a great opportunity to integrate our forces and ultimately improve our interoperability," Patton said.
As the Western Pacific airlift hub, Yokota regularly participates in regional and local readiness exercises aimed at promoting interoperability and ensuring stability in the Pacific.

"Our Airmen play a vital role in demonstrating U.S. resolve in this dynamic part of the world," August said. "Max Thunder has been another great way for us to engage with our allies and maintain our readiness here at Yokota."

Joint Coalition roars through Max Thunder

by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/24/2014 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- Airmen from the Department of Defense and Republic of Korea joined forces to showcase and exercise its air power during the 12th Max Thunder exercise at Gwangju Air Base, ROK, April 11-25, 2014.

The exercise brought a brotherhood of Airmen together not only to showcase their skills, but also learn and develop new ones. The exercise included more than 600 deployed DoD personnel and over 150 Kunsan Airmen.

"What we have here is a unique situation when we are having ROKAF work with our Marines and our Navy in joint strike packages or any kind of exercise movement," said Lt. Col. Henry Jeffress, 80th Fighter Squadron director of operations. "It gives a unique flavor and ups the game bit. ... Everyone here is trying to get better."

The event fosters bilateral aerial training by replicating dog fights, quick alerts, close air support missions and the overall theme of employing and deploying a joint coalition and overcoming obstacles.

"Our (team) all around stepped up and they met the challenges of having all these aircraft on the ramp launching at one time, numerous aircraft in the air space, challenges from language difficulties, and somehow we are almost through," said Jeffress. "We have overcome it and learned. We have gotten better"

Sitting on the Gwangju tarmac were the multitude of branches and F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 8th Fighter Wing, and 51st Fighter Wing, F-18 Hornets from Marine Air Group 12, EA-18G Growlers from US Seventh Fleet, C-130 Hercules from the 374th Airlift Wing, F-15C Eagles and E-3B Sentry's from the 18th Wing and numerous ROKAF aircraft and accompanying support personnel.

The exercise planners hope to improve Airmen such as Staff Sgt. Alex Tamsen, 80th Aircraft Maintenance Unit crew chief, by giving experience that will minimize potential combat losses, demonstrate interoperability between the partner countries and provide training for future ROKAF and U.S. Red Flag participants.

"We come out here every day, we crush the sorties, we crush the mission and we do it all the time," said Tamsen. "We make sure these jets get up in the air and do their mission, safely."

For Tamsen and many of the Airmen the exercise came to a close on the 25th, but the knowledge learned from the 12th Max Thunder will follow them throughout future assignments and deployments.

"I am proud of the attitude that was displayed, and the professionalism that I saw," said Jeffress. "I am extremely impressed by what we were able to accomplish because there were a lot of lessons learned by both sides, and it only makes us better. We will all leave here better Airmen and better able and capable to do our job in the future."

What if Fort Hood happened here?

Commentary by Jim Hart
JBER Public Affairs


4/25/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- "He's got a gun!" comes a shout from down the hall. The sound of gunfire erupts. In the chaos, some people flee the building, others hide under their desks, still others go to "shelter in place."

Who made the right decision?

As the gunman walks down the hallway, he notices a "shelter in place" sign. "Bet some are in there," he thinks. Sadly, he's right. A locked door and some drywall are no match for a determined killer. It's a target-rich environment.

He proceeds further down the hall, to an open office where people are hiding. By now he hears sirens outside; agitated, his search is less than thorough, but it's not hard to look under desks.

Looking out the window, he sees people running outside. He takes aim and shoots.
The last shot he reserves for himself.

This scenario is fictitious, but only marginally so. Scenes like this play out far too often in the news cycle.

According to the FBI, the average active-shooter incident is over in 12 minutes and, in almost half the cases, ends before the police even get there. In that time, a person can walk the length of an office building several times.

In that same time, a potential target can make himself much more difficult to find and kill - if he knows what to do, and makes a plan based on good information.
Not everyone does.

Crossing-up protective measures
The terms used different types of sheltering and procedures may add to the confusion.
Emergency sheltering is post-disaster - when your home or office may be too badly damaged for safe use. Locations may be a mass shelter, like a school gym or hangar, or an expedient shelter like a tent or RV.

Natural disaster sheltering comes into play when officials don't want you to travel, but to shelter immediately where you are. Hurricanes, blizzards and tornados are all examples leading to this.

Shelter in place is not designed to counter active shooters, storms, or disasters - it's for toxic gasses or vapors that might come from a chemical spill or intentional release.
In a SiP room, occupants seal off the ventilation system and doors. It's generally in an interior room with no windows or access to the outside air. If the room does have windows, they're sealed with plastic and tape.

"I've had it happen real-world during tornados. People will shelter in place and put up the plastic," said Tech. Sgt. Leslie Baxter, Office of Emergency Management non-commissioned officer in charge.

To some, natural disaster and emergency sheltering procedures might sound like they fall under "sheltering in place" - even if the person is told to hide from a gunman, it might seem very similar in concept if you're just looking at the terms.

During the recent shooting at Fort Hood, some media reported that people were sheltering in place. Makes sense in English, but not in reality.

To help people distinguish between the terms, JBER has a different command to initiate active shooter protocols.

"The term for active shooter [on JBER] is 'lockdown, lockdown, lockdown'," said Phil Goss, JBER Emergency Manager, "The reason we use 'lockdown' here is because of all the confusion with 'shelter in place.' They're two totally different procedures."

Active shooters - escape or evade
"Know your environment. Know your surroundings. Take time to imagine what you would do," Michael Wilder, 673d SFS Standardization and Evaluations, said.

According to police, the idea is to get away quickly. Barring that possibility, conceal yourself from the gunman, preferably in a locked office (block the door with something heavy), hide under/behind your desk or anything large, silence all cell phone ringers; turn off TV's and radios.

Call 911 and let them know the approximate location of the shooter. If he's too close for you to talk safely, leave the line open so the operators can listen in.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, if the gunman is close and you're in imminent danger, you have a better chance of survival if you attempt to incapacitate him. Whatever you do, once you decide to take action, commit - don't half-do it. This is a last resort, but it may save your life.

"People need to talk about it. In your work area, what would everybody do if that were to happen? Plan on what your actions would be," Wilder said.

For more information about what to do for an active shooter, contact your security manager, anti-terrorism representative or Security Forces to help your office make a plan.

From Battlefields to the Boardroom - The Top Three Hurdles for Transitioning Military



by retired U.S. Army LTC John W. Phillips

“Either you deal with what is the reality, or you can be sure that the reality is going to deal with you.” —Alex Haley

If you are a transitioning military member, there are three significant hurdles you will face while transitioning from the military into the private sector. While there may be others, successfully facing these will help with all the rest. As I reflect back over my 15 years in corporate America, these three areas rise to the top and must be addressed and understood so that your entry into the private sector has a positive and successful outcome.    

The Trust Factor.  Trust is the foundation for all things where people are concerned. I can’t think of anything you will encounter in life that does not have some link to another human being. The ability to trust leaders, co-workers, direct reports, etc. is paramount to achieving goals. Without the trust factor at play, you’ll spend a great deal of time looking over your shoulder instead of doing the actual job you were hired to do. I see this key tenet as one of the most critical aspects in any organization. I may be critical here, however, if you are a veteran or a transitioning military member, do not make the mistake of assuming everyone has your best interest at heart in the corporate world. Watch your “6” at all times. Learn key methods to gain and build trust within your organization or workplace. There’s a great deal of information on how to do that – just Google; How to Gain Trust In The Workplace.  

Cultural Differences.  Diversity is a fact of life. That said it’s no surprise at how our world has changed in the last 10-15 years. As a member of any branch of military service, the very nature of our job is to interact, influence and perhaps to interpret the actions of individuals and groups whose cultural context may differ from our own. In order to carry out a mission or operation, members of the military must have the ability to adapt in various cross-cultural environments. Additionally, it is imperative that men and women serving in the military embrace opportunities to train and develop skill-sets to gain greater cultural awareness in areas such as; ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. Cross-cultural competence is a valuable asset to bring from the military to a private sector environment.

Communication Gaps. Coming from a world where “you speak when spoken to” will no longer be your new norm outside the gate.  While in uniform, a best practice for me was simply keeping my mouth shut (which was hard to do) and blending in with all the other skinhead recruits in fatigues. The communication style in the military is very direct and to the point. There was never a doubt in my mind what someone wanted while in uniform—enlisted or as an officer.  Transparency was the norm. Worrying about hurting someone’s feelings was just the opposite…not normal.  

With that said one of the most significant challenges for anyone exiting the military is effective communication—verbal and nonverbal. In the private sector, you may run across someone who is “thin-skinned.” Generally, this refers to someone who is sensitive and a direct, open and honest approach may seem a bit hard. How these types of individuals interpret your communication style can have negative results for you. Just as cross-cultural competence is important, effective communications is paramount to building positive and strong relationships. Learn how people like to receive information by listening and watching how they communicate with others. Or, if you learn that someone is sensitive, invite them to lunch and ask them how best to communicate with them so that the end result is always a positive one.     

Tackle these three hurdles early on in your transition process and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it will be to face any other challenges.  

To my brothers and sisters who have served or are now serving in the United States Armed Services—you know more than you think you do. These are just a few tips from someone who made a successful and positive transition! 

John W. Phillips, LTC (Ret.) has had a distinguished career in both military and civilian service. He is a retired U.S. Army Field Artillery officer and Comptroller with 20+ years of service in Corps Artillery, Division Artillery, Army Headquarters and Forces Command. After retiring from the military in 1999, LTC Phillips immediately started a new career with The Coca-Cola Company and, currently, is a mid-level finance executive. In addition to his position, he is also the founder and chairman of The Coca-Cola Company annual Veterans Day program and Co-founder and President of The Coca-Cola Company Military Veterans Business Resource Group. LTC Phillips is the author of Boots to Loafers: Finding Your New True North. For more information, please visit www.bootstoloafers.com.