Military News

Monday, June 09, 2014

Wright-Patt Reservists return from deployment

by Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris
445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/9/2014 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Members of 445th Airlift Wing, family and friends gathered at the Dayton International Airport May 3 to welcome home four Airmen from the 87th Aerial Port Squadron. The Airmen returned from an eight-month deployment at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan.

While serving at the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing, these aerial porters, along with 28 others from the 87th APS, facilitated the movement of more than 180,000 passengers, 17,000 short tons of baggage, nearly 14,000 short tons of cargo. They also supported 3,400 aircraft missions.

From 2001 to the present, 445th wing members have deployed to various regions around the globe to include Bagram Airfield, Kandahar Airfield and Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan; Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar; Camps Bucca and Victory, Iraq; and other Areas of Responsibility (AOR) in Southwest Asia.

According to Staff Sgt. Dennis Kimble, 445th Airlift Wing Logistics Readiness Squadron, logistics planner, the wing deployed nearly 3,100 Airmen between 2001 and 2014. The average length of those deployments was 185 days.

Throughout the last several years, Airmen who deployed from the 445th Airlift Wing consisted of security forces, aerial porters, personnelists, civil engineers, maintainers, medical personnel and others in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and other missions.

Deployments have been a part of the everyday life for many in the unit. And while sacrifices are made when the reservist is away from home and their civilian employment, supporting America's war efforts is well worth the sacrifice.

"Having recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan, I have a true appreciation for the sacrifice the men and women of the 445th made while deployed. During my deployment, I was extremely impressed in the quality of people in our U.S. and coalition country military organizations. I was proud to serve with the soldier, sailors, Airmen, Marines, civilians and contractors," said Col. Michael Major, 445th Airlift Wing vice commander.

The commander of the 445th expressed his gratitude to the unit's Airmen who have supported the nation's war efforts for more than a decade.

"I'm extremely proud that the men and women of the 445th have directly supported war efforts around the world for the last 13 years. They have worked side-by-side with their active-duty counter-parts to care for our wounded and bring them home, and provide security, transport and numerous support functions to the warfighter," said Col. Jeffrey McGalliard, 445th Airlift Wing commander.

The wing currently has more than 30 members deployed.

Active duty Airmen joining Team Kingsley

by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar
173rd Fighter Wing


6/3/2014 - KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. -- The 173rd Fighter Wing mission here is set to grow by an estimated 84 active duty personnel this fall.
The Total Force Initiative is designed to augment Kingsley's mission with Air Force active duty airmen stationed at the Air National Guard base in order to increase the number of pilots trained in a given period of time.

"We expect 84 Airmen will be phased in to Klamath Falls over a six month period beginning this October," said Col. Jeremy Baenen, 173rd FW commander.

Total Force Integration describes a military organization which has both reserve and active component members working side-by-side in the same organization for a common mission. According to Baenen, there are various models of TFI's, this one constitutes an "active association" where the 173rd FW retains principal responsibility for the mission, equipment, and base infrastructure, while active-duty personnel are integrated in the 173rd's existing organizational and command structure.

Of the 84 Airmen, eight are pilots, 68 are maintenance personnel, and an additional eight will provide base operating support. The first Airmen are scheduled to arrive in Klamath Falls in October of this year.

In addition to personnel, the 173rd will continue to expand its growing fleet of Air Force F-15 Eagle aircraft with the addition of seven aircraft that began arriving six months ago. The aircraft additions will grow the unit from 25 aircraft to a total of 32 aircraft by the end of this summer. Even with the addition of these aircraft, the 173rd will still be able to operate within the limits of existing environmental impact studies.

The TFI was initiated after the Chief of Staff of the Air Force directed increased production of F-15C pilots. To achieve this goal the Air Force recognized the need for additional aircraft and manpower at the 173rd FW, the sole F-15C training base for the USAF.

Kingsley is an ideal training facility due to excellent flying weather, including an average 300 days of sun per year and extensive military operating areas located in the eastern part of the state. The Oregon ANG is currently examining plans to possibly expand that airspace; however, in the interim they will continue utilize only current approved airspaces to train.

The TFI represents a significant economic impact for Klamath Falls and the greater Klamath basin, said Baenen. The addition of 84 active duty families is estimated to bring more than $7 million annually in direct salary, as well as certain indirect job creations. Additionally, the TFI will result in numerous multi-million dollar construction projects awarded to local businesses.

The additional experienced work force will be a great benefit to the 173rd FW, Baenen noted.

"In order to meet the nation's need for increased pilot production, additional resources and personnel are an absolute necessity," said Baenen. "This TFI will create operational efficiencies, saving money and resources, and, above all, increasing Air Force combat capabilities. Additionally, a TFI significantly helps ensure longevity of Kingsley Field."

Baenen noted another advantage for the active duty. Currently there are no active-duty continental United States based F-15 units, with the exception of the Weapons School and test bases. Because of this, active-duty F-15 maintainers and pilots may spend most of their careers on extended overseas tours; Kingsley Field will afford active-duty personnel an opportunity to be stationed here in the U.S.

"Further, the active duty can rapidly gain experience from ANG personnel who have been operating and maintaining this aircraft for many years," said Baenen.

Baenen did note one negative effect of this growth.

"Due to this no-notice increase in the operations tempo of our civil engineering unit; volunteer projects such as the Mazama High School turf project had to be delayed a year because of engineering manpower constraints," Baenen said. "Although the TFI has brought over $12 million in short-notice construction projects throughout the summer and into next year which benefit local businesses, it came at a cost to our ability to provide volunteer support to the local community."

Airmen train in international exercise

by Staff Sgt. Matthew Burke
914th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/9/2014 - EDMONTON/COLD LAKE, Canada  -- Leaders in the 914th Airlift Wing wanted to showcase the wing's capabilities, so they sent some of their most experienced Airmen to Maple Flag, a combined exercise at Edmonton International Airport and Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, Alberta, Canada.

Several other Air Force Reserve Command units took part in the exercise May 24-June 7.

Participation in the exercise presented unique challenges for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y., unit because the 914th AW had reservists returning from an overseas deployment at the same time.

"Most of the team we brought (to Maple Flag) are instructors or evaluators," said Maj. Trent Gilmore, a 914th AW pilot. "We've done things our own way for a long time, and it's good to get an interflow of ideas from the other wings and AFRC."

Aircrews and maintainers with eight C-130 aircraft from Niagara Falls ARS; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia; Minneapolis Air Reserve Station, Minnesota; and Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; took part in the exercise. They were joined by airlift control flight Airmen from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, and March Air Reserve Base, California.

Maple Flag prepares participants for global operations, enables joint operations training and fosters multi-national coordination and cooperation. The exercise includes command and control, air-to-air and air-to-surface operations, air-to-air refueling, airborne early warning and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, tactical airlift and tactical aviation.

"It's a very rewarding and challenging environment," said Maj. Richard Konopczynski, a 914th AW pilot. "To be able to plan, prepare and go fight the mission, in a group setting like this is very beneficial for us."

The Niagara Falls aircrews are experienced in Canadian airspace because of their proximity to the Canadian border, but the landscape in other parts of Canada is different from that of local training areas, making for a more realistic training experience. In addition to vast unrestricted airspace and modern training facilities, Cold Lake Air Weapons Range offers mountains, plains and tundra that crews must all become familiar with when conducting tactical airlift missions.

Navigating the environment is designed to be a challenge for any aircrew. The team from Niagara Falls used the exercise as an opportunity to enhance its interoperability by incorporating a navigator who is not assigned to the unit.

"They asked for an experienced navigator," said Maj. Sam Kraemer, a navigator from 22nd Air Force Detachment 1 from Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. "Their crews just returned from the deployment, and the entire unit was great to work with."

Maple Flag provided many opportunities for interoperability during the two-week training period. For example, maintenance crews were interspersed between the four C-130 units for Maple Flag providing each wing's members a unique opportunity to work on aircraft they've not seen before. The prevailing theme is that although instruction and manuals are standardized, occasionally procedures can vary.

"When you jump into your car and drive from Point A to Point B you have a certain way of doing that," said Kraemer. "Now imagine you have someone else drive the car, and their different habits start to come out."

Regardless of the crew configuration Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station brings to Maple Flag, everyone was excited about the challenges the training provides.

"We're looking forward to getting good tactical training; working with larger formations, flying at lower levels and integrating with the Canadian fighters," said Gilmore. "(Maple Flag) increases our overall knowledge of fighting ops because we face different threats than we did a decade ago."

PRA community launches 65th CAP, meets SecDef initiative

by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey
432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing


6/9/2014 - CREECH AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- The Remotely Piloted Aircraft enterprise reached new heights as the community pulled together to launch the 65th combat air patrol on May 28, 2014.

Reaching 65 CAPs by fiscal year 2013 was a Secretary of Defense initiative put in place by then Secretary Gates Dec. 23, 2009.

The constant growth of CAPs, from 33 in 2008 to 65 in 2014, is just one example of the untapped capabilities of the RPA platform and provides insight into where the future of the program can go.

"This feat illustrates the professionalism of our Airmen, and the hard work and dedication they have for the mission 24/7, 365 days a year, in order to ensure the safety of ground forces across the globe," said Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander.

Reaching the 65 CAP milestone means the RPA community has almost doubled the amount of assets available for intelligence gathering, while also safeguarding more deployed service members. Each CAP covers a specific area of operations and requires multiple RPAs and can include up to 180 people, such as maintainers, communications experts, pilots, sensor operators, and several other Airmen to operate successfully.

"I am able to provide constant vigilant support for the men and women [deployed overseas], said Capt. Andrew, 18th Reconnaissance Squadron pilot. "We watch over them as they bed down for the night and make sure no threats are pushing them. It's a gratifying feeling."

"This represents a series of extraordinary sacrifices by Airmen across the RPA enterprise," said Col. Cameron, former 42nd Attack Squadron commander. "A few short years ago, many thought this goal was unattainable.

The aircrew members who worked together to make the CAP possible were hand-picked by commanders from each unit that participated in the flight.

"I was honored to be selected for this goal-setting mission," said 1st Lt. Erick, 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron pilot. "I think I speak for all 18X (Air Force Specialty Code prefix for RPA pilots) pilots when I say that we are ready and willing to take on the responsibility of moving the RPA community forward, and this launch exemplifies that sentiment. "However, we couldn't have accomplished our goal without the tireless work of maintainers, communications personnel, and all the other Airmen involved in this sortie, especially our 42nd Attack Squadron brothers and sisters back home," Erick said.

Mission success on the communications side of the operation relies heavily on experienced, expertly trained personnel to ensure all systems are working correctly. That capability is provided by the 432nd Aircraft Communications Maintenance Squadron, which is responsible for maintaining the ground control stations from which pilots and sensor operators fly RPA missions.

Airman 1st Class Ryder Luzadder, 432nd ACMS communications technician, was one of the Airmen who ensured the GCS was prepared and ready to fly the 65th CAP.

"If we don't do our job exactly it could mean that the mission is canceled, or in a worst case scenario an aircraft could crash," Luzadder said. "It takes about one year of on-the-job training to be able to do any task that we are presented with. There are always new things that pop up all the time that you just don't expect. We're unique from other communications Airmen because we see the missions that are flying worldwide every day. We play a direct role in the effort to save lives."

Meeting the initiative was no easy task and was made possible by a whole-team effort across the board.

"This is a culmination of an Air Force-wide effort to achieve Secretary of Defense Gates' initiative of 65 combat air patrols," said Col. James Chittenden, 432nd Wing and 432nd AEW vice commander. "We are incredibly proud of the Airmen of the 432nd AEW and their critical service to our nation's security."

USS Constitution Gets Underway to Commemorate D-Day, Battle of Midway



By Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Peter D. Melkus, USS Constitution Public Affairs

BOSTON (NNS) -- USS Constitution Sailors conducted an underway demonstration aboard America's Ship of State in Boston Harbor in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Midway June 6.

More than 400 guests, including several World War II veterans, embarked Old Ironsides for the ship's first underway of 2014. During the three-hour underway, Constitution Sailors conducted a 21-gun salute off Fort Independence on Castle Island in South Boston, followed by an additional 17-gun salute off U.S. Coast Guard Base Boston before returning to the ship's berth in Charlestown Navy Yard.

During the underway, a wreath-laying ceremony was performed in honor of those who fought and lost their lives during the allied invasion of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, and the Battle of Midway, June 4-7, 1942, a naval engagement in which the U.S. Navy sunk all four Japanese aircraft carriers that participated in the battle. Both events played major roles in helping to turn the tide in the Allies' favor in both the European and Pacific fronts of World War II.

The memorial wreath was dropped into the waters of Boston Harbor by retired Chief Boatswain's Mate Daniel James Coyle, a 90-year-old D-Day veteran from Mansfield, Mass. who participated in naval amphibious operations aboard LST-281, a tank landing ship. Coyle was assisted by Director, Navy Staff, Vice Adm. Scott Swift during the ceremony.

"This is the greatest honor I've ever had," said Coyle. "The crew and officers have all been so welcoming - this day couldn't be any better."

The underway was also a special day for 94-year-old Fred Schleipman, of Norwich, Vt. Schleipman finally fulfilled his dream of riding aboard Old Ironsides 85 years after he contributed 2,000 pennies as a 9-year-old to Constitution's 'pennies campaign' in 1929 - where school children across America donated their spare change to raise more than $154,000 to help restore Constitution, which was in critical need of repairs at the time.

"Today was one of my greatest lifetime experiences," said Schleipman.

Though remembering and honoring the sacrifices made by service members who fought in World War II were the key themes of the underway, there were also moments of joy and celebration.

"(The underway) was amazing and unforgettable - unlike anything I've ever done before," said Amanda Kennedy, an English teacher and Constitution guest who was proposed to by her boyfriend, Andrew McDonald, on Constitution's spar deck during the cruise.

After she said "yes", Kennedy and McDonald's engagement was announced over the ship's speaker system by Lt. Cmdr. Eric Coop, Constitution's executive officer, which was met with cheers and applause from the crowd.

"I was totally surprised, happy and shocked all at the same time," said Kennedy.

Following the conclusion of the underway, an additional D-Day commemoration event was held aboard the decommissioned World War II-era Fletcher class destroyer USS Cassin Young at her berth in Charlestown Navy Yard, with a large number of World War II veterans, active duty service members and their friends and family in attendance to show their collective support.

Amongst the speakers was Daniel Coyle, who read several excerpts from a journal he kept on his recollections of D-Day aboard LST-281.

Other speakers included Bill Needham, a retired member of the Army Air Corps who assisted with establishing the first air landing strip in Normandy, and Christian Frehr, a resident of Normandy during the war who witnessed the aftermath of D-Day firsthand.

The ceremony concluded with the laying of another wreath in Boston Harbor, followed by a moment of silence and the playing of taps in remembrance of the fallen.

"I cannot think of a more prestigious honor then to go underway aboard Constitution and be here aboard the USS Cassin Young to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-Day," said Coop, who served as master of ceremonies for both events. "Hearing these gentleman talk about their experiences on that day really helps one to put into perspective what it was like to be a part of the landing."

Constitution's remaining 2014 underway demonstrations, which will be her final underway events in Boston Harbor until 2018, are scheduled for July 4, Aug. 22, Aug. 29 and Oct. 17.

USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat, actively defended sea lanes against global threats from 1797 to 1855. Now a featured destination on Boston's Freedom Trail, Constitution and her crew of U.S. Navy Sailors offer community outreach and education about the ship's history and the importance of naval seapower to more than 500,000 visitors each year.

Peleliu Hosts Amphibious Squadron 3 Change of Command Ceremony



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Viramontes, USS Peleliu Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The staff of Commander, Amphibious Squadron (CPR) 3 held a change of command ceremony on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) on aboard Base San Diego, June 6.

During the cermeony, Capt. Clint A. Carroll relieved Capt. Shawn W. Lobree as commodore.

Lobree will report next to the University of Oklahoma Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit.

The ceremony included remarks from Lobree, Carroll and Rear Adm. Fernandez L. Ponds, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group Three.

Lobree talked about how shortly after he reported aboard COMPHIBRON 3, the staff helped to decommission USS Dubuque (LPD 8) and USS Cleveland (LPD 7).

"Both ships had long and distinguished histories of supporting our nation's interests and will be well remembered by the Sailors who served in them" said Lobree. "Shortly afterwards, our staff gained two new warships, USS Rushmore (LSD 47) and USS Green Bay (LPD 20), both of which would continue on to become integral parts of our 2012-2013 Western Pacific deployment with Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (ARG)."

Some of the Peleliu ARG participated in Exercise Red Reef in Saudi Arabia, Exercise Leading Edge in United Arab Emirates and Exercise Crocodilo in Timor Leste.

"I never ceased to be impressed by the ability of our Sailors and Marines to meet and exceed any expectation that was pressed upon them" said Lobree."

The ARG and accompanying Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) comprise a team of 5,000 Marines and Sailors who must learn to work together to accomplish any thing that is asked of them.

"The Navy and Marine Corps team that deployed as the Peleliu ARG/15th MEU in 2012 and 2013 are a group of professionals that I am proud to say I was a part of. We met and exceeded every challenge and brought everyone home safely."

Carroll shared his thoughts with the Peleliu ARG thus far and the skills of the crew.

"To the CPR 3 staff and our ships: Thank you for all of your hard work. I'd like to specifically thank Capt. Paul C. Spedero Jr. and the entire crew of USS Peleliu for the hard work in supporting today's ceremony," said Carroll. "The youngest Sailors serving on our staff and ships ... were born in 1996. In the years since then, six new nations have emerged in the international community and they have largely done so peaceably due in no small part to the stability you help create. Our nation and our world are better because of your service and your leadership."

Farewell gifts were presented to Lobree during the ceremony by Master Chief Electronics Technician Daniel D. Shuksta, CPR 3's senior enlisted advisor, to include an ornamental command pennant.

Following the ceremony, Carroll hosted a farewell reception in the hangar bay.

Peleliu is preparing for an upcoming scheduled deployment.

Navy League Honors Battle of Midway Veterans



By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Wiss, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East, Detachment Southeast

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (NNS) -- Hundreds of guests honored World War II veterans at the 17th Annual Commemoration of the U.S. victory at Midway Memorial Dinner held June 7, at the World Golf Village Renaissance Resort in St. Augustine, Fla.

The event, sponsored by the U.S. Navy League, was intended to pay homage to veterans who fought so valiantly at the Battle of Midway. The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific in World War II. Approximately one month after the Battle of Coral Sea and six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy decisively defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy and turned the war in U.S. favor. According to Navy league member Bill Howard, these great veterans are responsible for the freedom we enjoy today.

"We need to recognize that freedom is not free," Howard said. "It takes a lot of good people, such as the veterans we are honoring tonight, to provide the freedom we enjoy today."

The guest speaker for the annual event was Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Strategy Vice Adm. Michelle J. Howard. She is the first African-American woman to command a U.S. Navy ship, USS Rushmore (LSD 47). According to Howard, it was a great honor to recognize those who truly represent the Navy core values of honor, courage and commitment.

"We are in the presence of the defenders of American freedom, democracy and the American way of life," she said during her speech. "We cannot not be offered a more precious opportunity to express to the Midway veterans, what their contributions mean to us."

Other highlights of the event was a special full service color guard presentation by members of all six services including the Merchant Marine and a moving six person POW/MIA table by those same service members. According to Howard, this was a night to remember the sacrifices these veterans made for us 72 years ago.

"To be able to honor these battle of Midway veterans is a privilege," she said. "The biggest part of this event is being able to talk to the veterans and say thank you for their service."

CAP's training benefits with Total Air Force campus

by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
I.G. Brown Training and Education Center


6/6/2014 - MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn.  -- The Civil Air Patrol adds value to the Air Force's integrated missions, and its training benefits from reciprocal help and support, a top CAP official said during a training event at the Air Force's largest EMPE center here.

CAP Lt. Col. Dent Young, director of the CAP Southeast Region Staff College, spoke June 4 during the CAP's school for senior officers here at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

"We have constant contact with the Air Force at a lot of levels, and we are very much aware of the need to foster and strengthen that relationship, and this is one of the places that we do that," said Young.

Young said that many CAP members, volunteers in its 52 wings at eight regions, hold their training through the help of military installations across the nation, each year.

"What we get from the partnering, which we have with the TEC facilities and instructors, helps make this class that we teach so much better," said Young, a retired Air Force major who volunteered with the CAP since 1962.

"It's to a point to where our school has a nationwide reputation.

Young highlighted the Southeast Region's week-long event. It included more than 50 staff college adults, cadet leadership youth, and honor guard. Their seminars, case studies and exercises involved management, leadership and communication skills, among other events.

"Every course that was not specific to Civil Air Patrol was taught by Air Force instructors," said Young.

"All the instructors this year are master sergeants and above.

The TEC offers more than 18 enlisted professional military education courses and more than 40 professional continuing education courses annually to a Total Air Force student body.

"This gives them an opportunity to try out a course they are developing," said Young.

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Andrew Traugot, chief of TEC's Media and Engagement Division, said that he taught a lesson on supervision and discipline.

"I made a lot of Air Force references in the way I taught that lesson," said Traugot.

"I think it's a good opportunity to share what we know with the CAP and for them to experience the Air Force, so to speak.

Traugot, a former EPME instructor, said he tried to explain to the CAP's cadet leadership youth the different definitions of discipline and, more importantly, self-discipline or what drives people to do the right thing.

He also received some special recognition from a cadet.

"I got a green card, which was pretty interesting," said Traugot.

Traugot explained that the CAP holds a tradition of writing appreciation notes on a green index card when a member of the audience wishes to recognize a speaker. The card is given to the speaker.

The cadet told Traugot that he appreciated the way he addressed the audience members with respect.

"The interest that TEC's instructors have shown in us is very encouraging," said CAP Lt. Col. Jeff Wreyford, deputy director for the CAP Southeast Region Staff College.

"We have eight CAP regions and eight different staff colleges, but we usually have people from all the different regions coming to this one because of the excellence in the relationships that we have with the instructors here.

Young elaborated on the CAP's operational relationships with the Air Force, not including its missions in homeland security, youth and public aerospace education and cadet leadership programs, among many others.

"We're tasked with [much of] the inland search and rescue for lost aircraft by the Air Force. We report to 1st Air Force [Air Force North, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center] in our role as the Air Force's auxiliary," said Young.

Officials said the CAP saves about 100 lives a year in that congressionally mandated mission.

That is one reason why training new generations of CAP volunteers, with the help of Air Force Airmen, is important, said Young.

"It's always been a good relationship, and we're moving into a phase right now where that relationship is actually strengthening," said Young.

America's Navy Makes Impact at 2014 Summer X-Games



By Burrell Parmer, Navy Recruiting District San Antonio Public Affairs

AUSTIN, Texas (NNS) -- Sailors from Navy Recruiting District (NRD) San Antonio, Navy Information Operations Command-Texas, Navy Special Operations teams, Navy STEM tour, and a social media team made their presence known at the Summer X-Games held at the Circuit of the Americas, June 5-8.

The Navy, supported by the its advertising agency, Lowe Campbell Ewald, targeted young athletes and attendees with location-based social media efforts, while increasing Navy Awareness.

Additional participants included Sailors from Navy Recruiting Command's (NRC) Warrior Challenge, Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Training and Evaluation Unit-2, Special Boat Unit-22, and the Navy Parachute Team, the "Leapfrogs".

Thousands of attendees visited America's Navy's area and took the opportunity to man a special operations craft, pose with the Navy's chalk art, don an EOD suit and accept the Warrior Challenge, along with many other activities.

Everarvo Galvez of We Talk Chalk, Inc., maker of the Navy's 3-D street painting traveled from Los Angeles to install the chalk art.

"Seems that everyone is enjoying it," said Galvez. "Not only is it fun for the family, but it helps promote Navy Awareness of one of the Navy's special programs."

One of the major events was the Warrior Challenge, were hundreds of men, women and children signed up to demonstrate their strength and endurance by performing maximum pull-ups.

"With more than 450 participants in this year's Warrior Challenge at Summer X-Games, the pull-up contest has led to more than 100 qualified leads into any one of the five Warrior Challenge programs," said Senior Chief Master Diver Joe Cannon, Center for EOD and Diving liaison for NRC. "This year's number have proven to mean money well spent here in Austin."

In addition to the pull-up competition, 2013 BMX big air gold medalist, Morgan Wade and 2013 Skateboard big air gold medalist, Elliot Sloan were on-hand for autograph signings and photos at the Navy's booth.

During X-Games, the Leapfrogs took to the air and provided a patriotic parachute jump into the MOTO X area. Additionally, they perform a combined jump with the GoPro Skydive Team.

As part of X-Games, Chief Navy Counselor Orlando Bullock, a division leading chief petty officer with NRD San Antonio, presented medals to the winners of Men's Enduro X and Cannon awarded medals to the winners of Skateboard Big Air.

"X Games Austin was a dynamic way to communicate about today's Navy through national and social media," said Cmdr. Corry Juedeman, commanding officer, NRD San Antonio. "Our presence significantly increased Navy awareness and provided thousands with information about our programs."

According to Cmdr. Brent Phillips, NRC marketing and advertising director, the Navy's presence at the X-Games has been very successful in reaching young adults interested in opportunities with the Navy.

"This was the Navy's 14th year in partnering with the X-Games," said Phillips. "It was our intent to showcase America's Navy at one of the top athletic events of the summer."