Military News

Monday, June 16, 2014

Texas mobility Airmen impress AFRC logistics director

by Tech Sgt. Carlos J. Trevino
433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/9/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND -- Brig. Gen. Gary Blaszkiewicz, director of Logistics, Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, visited the 433rd Logistics Readiness, 26th and 74th Aerial Port Squadrons, June 7-8.

His tour began with a mission briefing at the 433rd LRS. Afterwards, he addressed the Airmen and presented Senior Master Sgt. Elizabeth N. Lopez, 433rd LRS Quality Assurance superintendent, with one of his coins.
Lopez rebuilt a program that had failed a recent inspection. When the program was re-inspected it became a candidate for benchmarking across Air Force Reserve.

"I was very impressed that he made a conscientious effort ensure that Airmen are recognized," Lopez said.

In addition, members of the 26th and 74th APS demonstrated their skills for Blaszkiewicz on using and loading vehicles to place palletized cargo on aircraft.

"You seem to managing it pretty well," Blaszkiewicz said after watching the port dogs, as they are known, demonstrate their talent.

"I am glad he took the time to come see us. Out of all the units, he picked ours," said Senior Airman Orlando Garcia, 74th APS. Garcia, who flawlessly placed a loaded pallet on a K Loader, was under the watchful of the general during the demonstration.

"I was nervous because I had so many people watching me, but it was good to practice our skills and show that we know safety and procedures," he said.

"It was good to see effective training for what they do on a day to day basis, I enjoyed it a lot," Blaszkiewicz said.

"I am very proud of the port dogs and the LRS, they continue to be battle ready," he said.

African Partnership Flight takes off in Senegal

by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane
USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs


6/16/2014 - DAKAR, Senegal -- More than 40 U.S. Air Force Airmen arrived here this week to participate in African Partnership Flight, co-hosted by Senegal and the U.S.

The opening ceremony, held June 16, marked the first day of instruction and partnership with the attending African partners.

This event will feature Airmen from eight African countries including, Senegal, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria and Burkina Faso.

"African Partnership Flight is used to develop interoperability and regional cooperation between African countries," said. Maj. James Renfro, APF mission commander. "We want to develop communication between the separate countries so that if something does happen they are already familiar with each other and can assist their partners in a time of need."

African Partnership Flight is a collaborative learning environment, which helps air forces from the U.S. and partner nations in Africa work better together. The first APF was hosted in March 2012 and the program has since become a premier program for U.S. Africa Command to help foster security and stability throughout Africa.

This APF includes classroom discussions as well as hands-on experience with topics including mission planning, aeromedical evacuation, cargo loading, base defense and ground and flight safety.

Throughout the week of APF, the USAFE Band will be performing outreach events for the community and local schools.

The overall goal of APF is to strengthen the partnerships between the United States and air forces in Africa to continue building regional air force cooperation capabilities.

An 'Honored' Flight

by Staff Sgt. Abigail Klein
931st Air Refueling Group Public Affairs


6/16/2014 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Nineteen Korean and two World War II Veterans returned home to Wichita, Kansas, to a hero's welcome, including a display of gratitude from family and community members as well as more than 40 McConnell Airmen, June 13, 2014. 

The veterans had traveled together to Washington, D.C., as part of the Honor Flight Network. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created to honor World War II, Korean and Vietnam Veterans for their service. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. The Honor Flight Network provides opportunities for these veterans to travel to the nation's capital to visit their war memorials, as well as other sites. 


The trips are funded through donations from each state's Honor Flight Network, with top priority is given to the senior veterans - World War II survivors, along with other veterans who may be terminally ill.
The 931st Air Refueling Group community saw this flight as a chance to give back.
"In the past several weeks we have had the opportunity to participate in several events designed to honor veterans," said Col. Mark S. Larson, 931st Air Refueling Group commander. "In all cases a grateful community demonstrated their overwhelming support and gratitude for us as military members. This Honor Flight homecoming provided us a unique opportunity to thank those who have so nobly passed the baton of defending our nation's freedom to us."

Larson and several members of the 931 ARG greeted the veterans immediately after their return to Kansas at welcoming ceremony held at a local Wichita hotel. The event provided McConnell Airmen a chance to personally thank and honor those who served before them.

"Both of my grandfathers served in the Korean War and I felt this was the best way I could honor them," said Tech. Sgt. James Lucas, 931st Ground Safety Technician. "I don't think they have ever seen this many people welcome them back, so I really think it means a lot to them that we were here."

The greeting was an emotional one for U.S. Army Korean War Veteran Jim Stoecklein, who, in addition to the military members on hand, was greeted by 10 members of his family. This was Stocklein's first experience with the Honor Flight Network.

"I just really wanted to go and the opportunity finally came up, so I grabbed it," he said. "It was really special seeing the various memorials. I will never forget this experience."

For more information about the Honor Flight Network, visit the official website at http://www.honorflight.org.

McConnell NCO wins Father of the Year

by Airman 1st Class Colby L. Hardin
22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


6/16/2014 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Not only is Tech. Sgt. Terrance Williams the NCO in-charge of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing base honor guard, but he's also the American Diabetes Association "Father of The Year."

The ADA recognizes men who excel at balancing fatherhood with a demanding career. The honorees also help sell tickets and tables for the awards dinners, in which the funds raised are used to help cure diabetes.

Managing a family and military career can be difficult. There are long days at work that can keep a parent away from their family.

"Making time is the biggest challenge," said Williams. "It seems like there's just not enough time in the day to be able to balance each child that you may have."

The council receives nominations from the honoree's family members and peers. The award is focused on what the nominees do as fathers, rather than their accomplishments at work.

"One of the unique things about me is, I like to be on the child's level, probably more than I need to be," added Williams. "I think I can relate a lot with the kids, especially my kids. I think you need to have that childish persona, you just need to know how to turn it on and off."

It's not just an award to Williams. It's a chance to fight back against a disease that burdens many people.

"Unfortunately, my wife's side of the family has been stricken with diabetes," said Williams. "It means a lot because I'm able to bring awareness and possibly raise funds to help. The biggest thing to me is knowing that I contributed to the cause in a major way."

Westover airlifts 26 tons of aid to Nicaragua

by Staff Sgt. Kelly Goonan
439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/16/2014 - MANAGUA, NICARAGUA -- A training mission this month doubled as a humanitarian relief effort for Reserve Airmen from the 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts Thirteen Airmen delivered 26-tons of cargo to Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport in Nicaragua, June 10.

This Denton Amendment mission delivered one Ford Horton Ambulance, a Ford 8000 Pierce Pumper and a Ford C-8000 Pirsch Pumper on behalf of the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners (W/NP) of the Americas, Incorporated. The W/NP is a humanitarian services organization implementing programs in both Wisconsin and Nicaragua.

With 15 established fire stations throughout Nicaragua, the W/NP recognized, nearly 50 ago, the importance of assisting a country which doesn't manufacture fire trucks or ambulances. On average, three emergency vehicles are shipped each year, as well as other necessary firefighter equipment such as boots, helmets and air packs. These newly delivered vehicles will be placed under the control of Nicaraguan governmental agencies, such as the Bomberos, and will service more than 250,000 men, women and children. The Bomberos maintains an emergency center for the country and also provides fire service for the capital city of Managua. Twenty-nine fire trucks and 13 ambulances, with a collective value of over $1,000,000, have already been delivered using the Denton Amendment Program.

The 1985 Denton Amendment makes possible the delivery of donated humanitarian relief on military aircraft with available space, according to the Defense Department. This program saves humanitarian aid agencies untold dollars in transportation costs, which could be debilitating for small, nonprofit groups.

Airmen regularly take part in humanitarian missions like this. The Air Force has hauled millions of pounds of relief around the world free of charge to the donors, according to the Defense Department, which administers the Denton program with the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.

"I can't remember how many of these I've done," said Master Sgt. Michael Pasternak, 337th loadmaster. "We fly them so regularly that it's hard to keep track."

Saber Strike 2014 confirms U.S. commitment to Baltic States

by Maj. Edward Shank
Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National Guard


6/16/2014 - FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa.  -- On the wall of the town hall building in the Lithuanian capital city of Vilnius there is mounted a bronze plaque with a quote from President George W. Bush circa 2002. The statement reads: "Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America."

Now, more than 20 years after the last Russian troop was pulled from the Baltic States, Lithuania and it's neighboring countries, Latvia and Estonia, Mr. Bush's statement is being put to the test.

While the youth the Baltic countries were raised knowing only freedom, recent hostilities between Russia and Crimea are a vivid reminder to older generations of a time when the extent of their freedom was dictated by others.

According to Maj. Dennis Philapavage, a C-5 pilot of Lithuanian descent who serves in the West Virginia National Guard, the importance of freedom has been imparted on the nation's younger generations.

"I remember my grandmother was very conscious and very proud of the fact that [Lithuania was] an independent country and instilled that in her sons -- my father and uncle -- which is still something they talk about," Philapavage says.

On June 11, the 39-year-old flight instructor visited his ancestral homeland on a mission to help protect the independence his grandmother felt was so important.

In a joint mission Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Maj. Philapavage's C-5 Galaxy landed in Lithuania filled with American Soldiers and Stryker Combat Vehicles participating in Exercise Saber Strike 2014. Though this was Philapavage's first trip to the Baltic, it was familiar territory to the members of the PA Guard's 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Following the Cold War, Lithuania and other former Soviet-occupied countries were paired with National Guard units from various states and territories in an effort to strengthen bonds between the United States and its new allies. Due, in part, to the large number of Lithuanian immigrants residing in the state, a partnership between the Pennsylvania National Guard and Lithuania was established.

In the 21 years that have followed, the Pennsylvania National Guard and Lithuania military have forged a relationship unrivaled by the average state partnership, conducting more than 500 exchanges that have led to huge advancements for both countries in such diverse areas as professional military development, strategic planning, and cyber defense.

Since the Global War on Terror began, Pennsylvania and Lithuanian Soldiers and Airmen have deployed to Afghanistan as members of a joint Police Operational Mentor and Liaison Team, training Afghan soldiers the tactics, techniques, and procedures necessary to defend their nation. Pennsylvania also provided Soldiers for nine rotations to the Lithuanian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Gohr Province, Afghanistan, fighting side by side and defending one another with their lives.

After years of such cooperation, to Pennsylvania Soldiers and Airmen, returning to Lithuania is a chance to reunite with old friends and train together using techniques developed over years of practice. This is the fifth "Saber Strike" -- an international military exercise that rotates from one Baltic state to another -- in which elements of the 28th Infantry Division's 56th Stryker Brigade has participated, but, as 2nd Squadron, 104th Cavalry element's troop commander, Capt. David Fittipoldi, points out, this year's exercise in significant in many ways.

"The scope of Saber Strike has increased," says Fittipoldi. "With recent events in Crimea, the need and desire to increase our training focus with our NATO allies in the Baltics has increased as well."

Elements of the Pennsylvania National Guard have traveled to Latvia and Lithuania to join forces with Danish, British, Australian and a number of other allied countries for Saber Strike 2014, which is expected to last about two weeks.

"Our relationship with Lithuania is extremely strong," says Capt. Fittipoldi. "It's been forged over the last 21 years ... and it's specific training instances and training exercises like this that has made our relationship so strong."

727th AMS ensures D-Day success

by Staff Sgt. Rachel Waller
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


6/16/2014 - RAF MILDENHALL, England  -- Military units from across the U.S. participated heavily in events held throughout France June 6 to 8, 2014, to remember and honor the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

As the only Air Mobility Command presence in the U.K., the 727th Air Mobility Squadron played a vital role for service members and aircraft transiting through England for the events. The unit is comprised of American and British nationals working together to support the defense of both nations.

"The 727th AMS is the administrative control for all Tanker Airlift Control Center (TACC) controlled en route crews and missions in the U.K.," said Maj. Frank Livingston, 727th AMS commander, from Oceanside, California. "We support local U.S. Air Forces in Europe aircraft, visiting foreign national airlift and refueling aircraft."

During D-Day commemorative events, the 727th AMS supported 20 C-130 sorties from the Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Additionally, the 727th AMS Passenger Terminal processed more than 600 passengers.

"I am proud of the service and commitment the men and women of the 727th AMS exhibited not only during this period but every day," Livingston said. "Without these professionals, our mission can't happen."

U.S. Air Force C-130’s to land at Lielvarde Air Base for the first time

by Kristal Gault
U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa


6/16/2014 - RIGA, Latvia -  -- On June 17, 2014, three U.S. Air Force C-130J's from the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will land at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, making them the first U.S. Air Force aircraft to land at the newly renovated installation.

The aircraft will bring equipment and approximately 92 Airmen from the 435th Contingency Response Group to participate in Air Force-specific training as part of Saber Strike 2014, as well as support the ground forces of the exercise with cargo drops at the Ādaži Training Area.

The 435th CRG is comprised of 42 career fields and is U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa's only "open the air base" force, capable of establishing contingency airfield operations and initial command and control to enable global reach and power. Additionally, the 435th CRG provides theater-wide design, construction and technical assistance, as well as delivers multi-functional expeditionary force protection forces.

During this final week of Saber Strike 2014 the 435th CRG, in conjunction with the 37th AS, will train on the full capabilities to open the air base at Lielvarde. They will provide airfield operations, command and control of air and space forces, weather support, protection of operational forces, aircraft maintenance and aerial port services.

In preparation for the main body arrival, the 37th AS performed an aerial drop of 28 435th CRG Airmen and equipment at Lielvarde Air Base on June 16. This team of paratroopers along with a select few CRG members already in country performed airfield surveys to ensure safe arrival of the main body of aircraft and personnel.

Exercising these unique capabilities at Lielvarde Air Base provides the opportunity to develop the skills required to open the base and receive aircraft. Conducting this exercise with Latvian partners also represents a step toward further development of the air base's infrastructure and operations.

Members of the media are invited to watch the C-130J aircraft arrive at Lielvarde Air Base on June 17 followed by an opportunity to interview the pilots landing the first U.S. aircraft at the installation and representatives from the 435th CRG. Transportation to the air base will depart the Ministry of Defense, Riga, Latvia, at 10 a.m. for an 11:30 a.m. arrival at Lielvarde Air Base.

Interested media should contact Daina Ozolina, Latvian Military Public Affairs, at +371 67335224 or +371 26174707, or daina.ozolina@mod.gov.lv. Please send Ms. Ozolina the following credentialing information by 8 p.m. Eastern European Time on June 16: name, surname, personal identification number, affiliation, email, and press card number (if applicable), as well as vehicle information if arriving by private transport. All attendees must have valid identification to access the installation.

Media organizations interested in additional U.S. Air Force participation in Saber Strike 2014 should contact USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs at +49 162-425-5428 or kristal.gault@us.af.mil.

Nations Join Forces to Conduct VBSS During BALTOPS 2014



By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) DJ Revell, Navy Public Affairs Support Element - East

BALTIC SEA (NNS) -- Danish, Georgian and U.S. visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) teams conducted Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) training during exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014 June 13.

The teams boarded FGS Spessart (A1442), a Rhn-class tanker of the German Navy. During the boarding, VBSS teams executed tactical team movements, climbing and rappelling techniques, self-defense tactics, and weapons handling. After completion of the exercise, the teams analyzed and accessed tactics, techniques and skills. The crux of training focused on partnership.

"With this training we hope to become better and build a sturdy working relationship with each other," said Royal Danish Navy Military Police Chief of Operations, Lt. Claus Rasmussen. "You will never know if we will have to conduct an operation like this in the future."

BALTOPS provides a unique opportunity for dispersed nations to collaborate together, in close proximity, on strategy and processes to enhance safety and effectiveness. VBSS operations are designed to support MIO through non-compliant and compliant boardings in order to combat piracy and smuggling, conduct counterterrorism missions, and perform customs and safety inspections.

"Each country has their own communication and standards," said Danish VBSS squad leader Petty Officer Mike Joergensen, embarked onboard Danish ship, HNLMS Friesland (P842). "This is why we perform these exercises; to improve and learn from one another."

BALTOPS is an annual, multinational exercise to enhance maritime capabilities and interoperability with partner nations to promote maritime safety and security in the Baltic Sea. This year's iteration of the exercise hosts 30 ships, 50 aircraft and approximately 3,000 people from 14 nations, including NATO.

Participants exercise, create and sustain partnerships, knowledge and skill sets across a broad range of mission areas to strengthen capabilities of both individual services and the international force.

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is Ready to Deploy



By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brent Pyfrom, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Carrier Strike Group 1 (CSG 1) successfully completed Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) off the coast of Southern California June 9, marking the final step in the strike group's preparation for its upcoming deployment.

JTFEX is an integrated battle force exercise designed to test the capabilities of carrier strike groups operating within a joint environment. The culmination of months of training, the exercise presented scenarios and situations the strike group crew may face while deployed.

JTFEX provided the opportunity for more than 8,000 service members to sharpen their skills, to practice operations, techniques, and procedures and to improve command, control and communication relationships.

"CSG 1 completed their integrated and advanced training during a single underway period," said Capt. Patrick Keyes, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, assistant chief of staff for plans, policy, training and readiness. "Carl Vinson Strike Group's fleet readiness training plan included incorporation of a pilot program that leverages a single underway period to seamlessly transition between COMPTUEX [composite training unit exercise] and JTFEX. CSG 1 is fully certified to deploy and conduct operations across all mission areas."

The exercise tested CSG 1's ability to perform strike warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-air warfare. Elements of CSG 1 consist of Carrier Air Wing 17 (CVW 17), Destroyer Squadron 1 (DESRON 1) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Mobile Unit 3.

Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, assisted by CSG 15, led and evaluated the strike group's performance.

"JTFEX is our final certification as a battle group," said Capt. Matt Leahey, commander, Carrier Air Wing 17. "It's a strategic-level exercise where everyone from the carrier strike group staff, air wing staff, to individual squadrons are tested in their ability to integrate in a joint exercise."

"The Sailors assigned to the ships in the strike group are true professionals. They know the game and integrated well with the air wing," said Commander, CSG 1 Rear Adm. Christopher Grady. "CSG 1 staff was outstanding and I know a lot of planning and turning it into execution occurred from all units during JTFEX."

Upon return to its homeport of San Diego, CSG 1 Sailors will take an opportunity to spend time with their families before the strike group's deployment late this summer.

"I'm proud of the way the crew of Carl Vinson met all challenges head-on, and exceeded expectations at every opportunity," said Capt. Kent Whalen, commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson. "There were many long days, many difficult examinations, inspections and certifications, but we remained focused on the task at hand and the team did exceptionally well."

JTFEX featured nearly 40 participating units. The Carl Vinson Strike Group comprises Carrier Strike Group 1, USS Carl Vinson, CVW 17, DESRON 1, EOD Unit 3, USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105).

U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy.

Pennsylvania Gold Sets New Record for Longest Ohio-Class SSBN Patrol



By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ahron Arendes,
Submarine Group 9 Public Affairs

BANGOR, Wash. (NNS) -- USS Pennsylvania (SSBN 735) with its Gold Crew aboard, returned home to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor June 14 following a 140-day strategic deterrent patrol, setting a new record for the longest patrol completed by an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine.

Pennsylvania Gold's patrol, which began in January, is not only the longest for an Ohio-class submarine, but the longest since beginning of the Poseidon C3 ballistic missile program in the early 1970s, according to records maintained by the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile Weapon System Evaluation program.

"It's an honor. It was a challenge. The job kept calling for us to stay at sea, but we were ready, willing and able, so we stayed at sea and finished the mission," said Cmdr. Tiger Pittman Pennsylvania Gold commanding officer. "I'm incredibly proud of my crew. I've been amazed by their resiliency throughout the entire time, and not only the crew, but the families. We leave and we serve, but they stay home and they serve as well."

As Pennsylvania emerged from an extended maintenance period in 2013, the patrol had originally been planned to be longer than is considered normal for an SSBN. The crew spent nearly the entire patrol underway, since unlike most other Navy vessels, SSBNs don't make routine port visits except when returning to homeport.

"USS Pennsylvania Gold's patrol is an exceptional example of the flexibility and capability of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine. We had always expected this to be a longer than normal patrol and a highly capable crew made it happen," said Capt. Mark VanYe, chief of staff at Commander, Submarine Group 9. "When operational commitments changed, we knew the exceptional Sailors serving on Pennsylvania and their families back home were up to the task.

"They have excelled across their entire mission set," he said. We are glad now to have them home and congratulate them on a job well done."

Upon their return home, Pennsylvania Gold was greeted by Commander of Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet Rear Adm. Phillip Sawyer, who wanted to personally thank them and congratulate them on a job well done.

"The SSBN strategic deterrent patrol is the most important unit mission in the Submarine Force and vital to the defense of our nation," said Sawyer. "The Pennsylvania Gold Crew was on the front line of deterrence, conducting critical missions from the time the ship got underway until returning home, and I couldn't be prouder of what they have accomplished."

Pennsylvania is one of eight Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines homeported at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, providing the survivable leg of the nation's strategic deterrent forces.

Chaplains Strengthen Partnership with Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor



By Christianne M. Witten, Chief of Chaplains Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- A dozen chaplains from Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) met with regional directors and staff from Navy Wounded Warrior (NWW), Safe Harbor for a training to advance success in warrior care at the Washington Navy Yard June 11-13.

This was the first time so many chaplains have participated in a comprehensive NWW training, which also highlighted the key role chaplains play as referral partners to increase awareness of the program.

The training also coincided with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) Awareness Month.

On the final day of training, NWW Non-medical Care Manager Lt. Chet Frith shared his personal PTSD struggles, sparking new ideas among the chaplains on how to enhance support for service members diagnosed with the condition.

"As we look at the comprehensive recovery of our seriously wounded, ill, and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, we need to address the hidden wounds of warfare, the emotional and spiritual trauma resulting from over a decade of sustained combat operations and high op tempo," said Capt. Brent Breining, director of NWW.

"Chaplains are experts in these areas, and NWW is excited to explore an increased partnership as we seek to provide the best care for our wounded warriors," Breining added.

During the three-day training, chaplains learned about the breadth and depth of non-medical support services NWW provides Sailors and Coast Guardsmen dealing with both combat and non-combat related injuries and illnesses. They also learned about the case management review process to understand the wounded warrior journey within the program.

Capt. Johnny Poole, chaplain for CNIC, briefed on the many areas where chaplains can serve as partners in care for these Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, families, and staff by providing them completely confidential counseling and a listening ear.

He went on to discuss the spiritual tools chaplains bring to bear to help service members manage depression and reframe traumatic experiences, while also highlighting opportunities for wounded warriors and families to help others through peer-to-peer and caregiver support groups.

Poole also shared the importance of the sacred relationship that chaplains can develop with the wounded warriors and their loved ones, and "the power of the spoken word to transform the way a person thinks, acts, feels, and lives."

The chaplains in attendance represented various Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operation (CREDO) centers across CNIC regions. They discussed ways to further their partnership with NWW staff, especially non-medical care case managers and recovery care coordinators.

CREDO programs offer pastoral care retreats, seminars, and workshops that help increase resilience and can foster healing with the wounded warriors and families.

"Across my career, it has been a great privilege to serve on a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to the treatment and support of our wounded warriors, our members who are ill or injured, and their families or caregivers. It is an awesome responsibility to minister to them and their families in the hope of not simply survival or endurance, but restoration," said Cmdr. Philip King, deputy chaplain for CNIC, when asked about the role of the chaplain to care for the Navy's seriously wounded, ill and injured.