Military News

Friday, June 20, 2014

DOD Ethics Adviser Focuses on Trust, Accountability Issues



By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2014 – “I don’t know of an institution in the world that has higher personal standards than the military. We want to keep that,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in March as he announced the appointment of a Navy admiral to be his senior advisor for military professionalism following a series of highly publicized incidents that he said called for reinvigorating “our ethics and character.”

Three months after taking that job, Rear Adm. Margaret “Peg” Klein has arrived at some tentative conclusions not always easily recognized within the ranks of the bureaucracy of the world’s largest public employer.

“I have to look at the components of trust and make sure we are training our people on how important trust is and what goes into trust,” Klein said today in an interview with American Forces Press Service.

Accountability is at the top of her list, she said.

Klein’s mission is to coordinate with the Joint Staff, the combatant commands and the military services to determine how each can better focus on ethics, character and competence at every level.

“Every once in a while, humans make mistakes and so the goal of my office is to look at the best practices across the services and up our game,” she said.

Department officials point to several instances of ethical lapses in particular that led to the creation of her post, including the case against Army Gen. William “Kip” Ward, the former commander of U.S. Africa Command who was demoted two years ago after the Pentagon’s inspector general found he had improperly expensed travel and misused aircraft assigned to his command.

Earlier this year, the Air Force relieved nine officers, allowed a commander to retire and disciplined nearly 100 others after airmen in charge of the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missiles were found to have cheated on a proficiency exam. That came on the heels of allegations that Navy personnel at the Charleston Nuclear Power Training Unit in South Carolina had cheated on a qualification exam.

“I think there were a series of incidents that happened in fairly quick succession that told the secretary he needed someone to singularly focus on this,” Klein said. Hagel has said the department needs to determine whether there is a deeper, wider problem than these instances alone and has said addressing the matter remains the department’s top priority.

Since becoming the secretary’s senior advisor on ethics, Klein says she has met with a diverse set of academics and practitioners with the goal of further developing the professional military and in the process has discovered a common leitmotif.

“Very important is the culture of accountability,” she said. “We have to make sure that across the department that that culture is understood and reinforced at all levels.”

It’s fundamental issues such as these, she said, that go to the heart of what puts the U.S. military in a class all its own.

“We see trust as a foundation that makes us an effective fighting force,” Klein said. “I have to look at the components of trust and make sure we are training our people on how important trust is.”

Some observers have wondered whether a military under stress from 13 years of continuous war has contributed to some of the ethical issues affecting the force. “It’s not about the war itself,” Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in March.

“It’s about the pace at which we’ve been operating and the fact that we’ve neglected some of the safety nets that we’ve traditionally relied upon to make sure we’re living up to the values of our profession,” Dempsey added.

Klein says Hagel has given her two years to carry out her mission of determining the most-effective programs for improving the level of professionalism within the military.

“Once we’re able to institutionalize these best practices across the services, I’ve achieved success by working myself out of a job,” she said.

Nepalese Army Soldiers attend WLC at JBER

by Army Master Sgt. Jennifer K. Yancey
USARAK Public Affairs


6/20/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Scores of junior-enlisted leaders enter the Sgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Brevard Noncommissioned Officer Academy to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for training and leading Soldiers.

What they may not expect is to share a classroom with soldiers from partnering nations from around the Pacific region.

What these visiting soldiers gained from the experience was invaluable training as well as strong bonds with their American counterparts.

Through the Regional Partnership Program, U.S. Army Alaska and its partnering nations are able to take full advantage of a number of training opportunities that will help further cultivate these growing relationships.

Five noncommissioned officers from the Nepal
Army - Sgt. Basnet Jayaram, Sgt. Giri Upendra Lal, Cpl. Khadka Jeewan Kumar, Sgt. Shrestha Dilip Kumar and Cpl. Shrestha Mangal - attended the Warrior Leader Course on JBER to not only further develop their leadership skills, but to use those skills to stand up their own NCO academy in Nepal.

"These are my diamonds," said Nepal Army Capt. Adhikari Bikash, Nepal Rangers Battalion. Bikash went through the training along with his NCOs, as he will oversee the training back in Nepal.

Once the Nepalese soldiers completed WLC, they moved on to the Foundation Instructor Facilitator Course. This week-long course teaches students basic facilitation and instruction techniques through interactive multimedia instruction and lessons given in U.S. Army schools.

The instruction also allowed for the Nepalese students to hone in on their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses prior to taking on a class. Bikash said that before FIFC, "We had no idea what our mannerisms were, we never thought about that."

"It's the soldiers that are going to benefit from you and your experience," said Army 1st Sgt. Jennifer Myers, NCOA deputy commandant. "As an instructor, you are now the subject-matter experts. People are going to come to you, (asking), 'Hey, what's the best way I should give a class?' or 'How can I conduct the training, how can I prepare
for it?'"

Introduction of this newly-acquired training to the Nepal Army will be gradual. An inaugural class will be given to the other instructors back in Nepal by the five NCOs who attended the course here. If the class proves successful, it will be added to the curriculum.
"For our rangers, our main job is to 'train the trainer,'" Bikash said. "It is a force multiplier for what we do over there."

These successful partnerships enable the U.S. to develop a greater appreciation for the unique cultures of each partnering nation, as well as an appreciation and understanding for the professionalism of their leadership.

"(We) saw a different aspect to training, different techniques other cultures use as a method," said Sgt. 1st Class Ernest Moore, Instructor Training Course instructor at the academy.

During training, the Nepalese students demonstrated to an Army staff sergeant - an American military policeman - how their enemy prisoner of war search-and-seizure techniques differed from his.

Alaska's unique terrain did not pose a threat to the Nepalese: while they are unaccustomed to arctic temperatures, they were familiar with the mountainous terrain, similar to that of their homeland.

Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Hyatt, also an ITC instructor, noted how the student-instructor interaction took on a different dynamic than what the Nepalese were used to.
"It's more relationship than power," Hyatt said.

"If I need some help, (the instructors here) are ready to help," Bikash said.
This unique training environment also comes with challenges, such as the language barrier.

"It takes you outside of your comfort zone," Hyatt said. "You're teaching not only to the American students but also the Nepalese. You're training skill level one tasks while also trying to meet the intent of the lesson."

Bikash said the positive rapport between the Nepalese soldiers and their American classmates helped diminish some of those challenges.

"We are so proud to be over here and we feel lucky that our country has a good relationship with the U.S.," he said.

The multiple levels of partnership within USARAK also include humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief efforts. But Bikash said there may come a time where the U.S. and Nepal join forces for other purposes.

"(The U.S.) has been doing a lot outside the country to help keep the peace," Bikash said. "One day, we may find our two countries working side-by-side to keep the peace, so what we are doing here is a good start to that."

Fighting prejudice with a passion

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


6/20/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- An equal opportunity specialist, a sexual assault response coordinator and a deputy inspector general walk into a base social event. What sounds like the beginning of a joke takes a sudden, very different turn. The event, a burger burn and fundraiser for an Airman injured in an accident, comes to a grinding halt as those in attendance recognize the newcomers joining them.

The three get their food, donate to the cause, and take seats by themselves.
The EO specialist could easily name several cases where her work helped improve lives. She had put an end to cases of sexual harassment involving unit leadership, helped complainants be comfortable in their workstations by ending discrimination, and helped someone who didn't know better by educating them as to how their actions were a violation of the commander's zero-tolerance policy.

But there was no way the crowd could know any of that.

Like a driver who instinctively slams on the brakes when he sees a police car, what the crowd did know - or what they thought the case to be - came through in their silence when they saw the 'police' among them.

"[That was] at my previous base," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Tabor, a 673d Air Base Wing EO specialist. "We found it amusing, but it happens often that we'll go somewhere and the seat next to us is empty. When people see us, they automatically think something is wrong."

The native of Papillion, Neb., described how people would often whisper "Hush - EO is coming," amongst each other.

She would take it light-heartedly and reply, 'I heard what you said anyway.'
"They want to play around and I'll play a little bit," she said with a wink. "But it can be aggravating. We're real people, too."

The infamous complaints are just one part of the EO job, Tabor said. She loves to teach, and uses her passion in her job.

"That's one of the things that really drew me to this career field," she said. "The education is the piece that I really enjoy, giving the briefings. It's something I do have a passion for. I really believe in this job."

EO briefings vary to include one-on-ones, First-Term Airman Center briefings, newcomers briefings, commander's calls and more.

EO specialists can also visit work centers and various establishments on base on out-and-abouts, such as checking the toiletry section of the exchange to see if products are offered for a variety of people's needs.

They are responsible for ensuring everything remains in compliance with a commander's zero-tolerance policy.

To become an EO specialist, Tabor had to meet certain requirements.

While every branch of service has the job, the Air Force is the only one to make it a career instead of a special duty, and the only one to have an E-5 position in an otherwise E-6 and above job.

"I think it's beneficial for us because we can relate to the lower-ranking [personnel]," she said. "Both Airmen and senior noncommissioned officers are comfortable talking to us."

Tabor had to cross-train into the field.

She started her career working in medical administration for six years, but when force management hit, she was forced to retrain to another career field or separate.

"Ultimately, I felt that EO was a good fit," she said. "I was really mad at the Air Force at first because I loved doing medical [administration]. Once I realized this was what I should really be doing, I embraced it.

"Looking back, it was nice that I was able to share that experience with people who came into this office, to help them make the most of their situations and do the best they can. Do what you need to do to prepare yourself."

The EO specialist also had to undergo a 20-day internship where she was evaluated by the EO director to see if she was 'EO material' because of the sensitive nature of the job.
The internship included public speaking to ensure she could articulate well in front of people, including impromptu speeches to train for short-notice briefings, and writing either newsletters or articles to assess writing ability.

Once she was approved to enter the career field, she went to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida.

The joint school's schedule fluctuates based on career field updates, making the length of the school vary.

"You learn about yourself and what baggage you bring to the career field," Tabor explained. "They teach us to leave our baggage at the door. How can you help others if you have your own baggage, bias and prejudices?

"We're all prejudiced and we all have stereotypes, but when you recognize them, you can push them aside. We learn how to be neutral; we look at the facts."

Tabor has been an EO specialist for more than three years now, and at JBER less than a year.

While she loves and has a passion for her job, the work also comes with challenges.

"My job is not the most rewarding out there," she said. "It can be hard knowing the injustices some people go through on a daily basis. That's why some people come to us; something is wrong in their work center."

Being specially trained helped her to open up the barriers in her comfort zone, allowing her to be sensitive to respecting others.

While she is trained to leave her emotional baggage at the door, she is also trained to leave her barriers down.

"EO [mindset] can't ever turn off," she said. "It can be aggravating - I can't watch television, I can't watch movies, I can't listen to music; eavesdropping on conversations - please turn it off. Our media portrays stereotypes and prejudices, our movies do that, our lyrics and music use disparaging terms. It's hard to not put those barriers up, but I'm trained to keep them down."

The benefits outweigh the costs, the staff sergeant said. She gets to teach people how to treat themselves and others with dignity and respect.

It's a simple concept, she said, but, "sometimes people let their personal views and biases effect how they treat people. That's why it's important for people to address concerns."
"I pride myself on changing lives," the EO specialist said.

"As cliché as that sounds, I say that every time I go to a briefing. That's why I take pride in my job. I hope that when I teach classes, at least one person has that 'ah-ha' moment.
"Maybe they realize that we all have different perspectives on how we view things, and recognizing those differences is what makes us the best force in the world. They become more accepting of those around them," Tabor said.

"We talk about comfort zones. How do you increase the size of your comfort zone? You take one step outside of it by getting to know somebody, and you've made it that much bigger. The world becomes that much bigger. When I give a briefing, maybe I can change someone's life."

"Staff Sgt. Tabor is a phenomenal EO specialist and I value her tremendously," said Barbara Green, 673d ABW EO director. "[She] is an excellent instructor; she has the ability to interact well with a diverse audience and maintain her composure when contending with contentious participants.

"She has initiative, drive, motivation and an uplifting positive attitude, which I truly appreciate. She truly makes coming in to work a joy, which is admirable since our job can be challenging."

As Tabor moves forward, she said she'll stay optimistic.

"I have to be positive because the things we hear are hard, and I'll continue to be positive about how people really are," she said.

"This job can weigh a lot on the mind and heart because of how people can treat each other poorly. I just look for the best because everyone is good; it's just a matter of finding the good in them. I like to believe I'm changing lives."

Tabor said her mission is to build towards a better future.

"I hope there's no need for this office someday," she said.

2014 Air Combat Command Strategic Plan

by Gen. Gilmary M. Hostage III
Commander, Headquarters Air Combat Command


6/17/2014 - Langley AFB, Va.  -- I am pleased to announce the publication of the 2014 Air Combat Command (ACC) Strategic Plan, Securing the High Ground.

This 2014 Air Combat Command Strategic Plan is my two-fold guidance, both asCOMACC and as a Core Function Lead (CFL), to: optimally organize, train, equip, and provide combat ready forces and manage, and develop the capabilities required to secure the high ground for our military forces to deliver dominant combat airpower for our Nation.

As Air Combat Command confronts challenging fiscal limits, we will stay the course of accomplishing the mission and investing in our most valuable asset, our Airmen. Our Airmen make us the most dominant and capable air force on the planet and ensure we can meet our Nation's security needs and sustain our ability to fly, fight, and win ... today and tomorrow.

I have attached an electronic copy of the plan and you will receive printed copies early next week.

Thank you for your service to our Nation and all that you do for Air Combat Command.

GILMARY M. HOSTAGE III
General, USAF
Commander

'Workhorse' becomes first F-35 to achieve 1,000 flight hours

by Kenji Thuloweit
412th Test Wing Public Affairs


6/18/2014 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- AF-2, the second production F-35 Lightning II for the U.S. Air Force, became the first F-35 to reach 1,000 flight hours.

Paul Hattendorf, Lockheed Martin test pilot, was flying an Airframe Loads Envelope Expansion mission June 11 when the fighter reached the milestone.

"AF-2's nickname is 'Workhorse,'" said Randy Thompson, F-35 Integrated Test Force, Government Air Vehicle lead. "It continues to carry the Flight Sciences testing load executing its primary mission of loads envelope expansion. Every AF-2 flight-test hour moves the JSF enterprise closer to providing our warriors with the Air Force Initial Operational Capability and final System Development and Demonstration maneuvering envelopes.

Thompson added that data collected from all Flight Sciences aircraft help refine the airframe usage spectrum, which in turn allows for a more accurate fleet life determination.

The 412th Test Wing is home to 15 Lightning IIs. The Edwards F-35 ITF has nine F-35s assigned for developmental testing -- representing all three variants of the fifth-generation fighter: six F-35As, two F-35Bs and one F-35C.

Additionally, Edwards AFB's Operational Test units have six F-35As assigned.

"AF-2 is the 'Pull G's jet.' It was the first aircraft to hit plus-nine-G and negative-three-G and to roll at design-load factor. In addition, AF-2 is the first F-35A to intentionally fly in significant airframe buffet at all angles of attack," said Thompson.

Both AF-2 and AF-1 ferried to Edwards from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, May 17, 2010.

Thompson said AF-2 has specific instrumentation and was calibrated for in-flight loads measurements prior to ferrying to Edwards. In addition, it is instrumented to execute airframe buffet testing; landing, braking and arresting hook testing; and ground and in-flight gun testing.

The Lightning II software has 24 million lines of code, which is continually being updated and improved. The ITF team, AF-2 and the rest of the Edwards F-35 test fleet, continues to get closer in getting the world's most advanced fighter into the hands of the warfighter.

"The entire F-35 Edwards ITF team and the 412 TW are pressing hard to complete testing required for the 2B fleet release (Marine Corp IOC mission systems software release and AF IOC maneuvering envelope release). As aircraft complete their slated 2B testing, the team moves ahead with testing required for the final SDD clearances. Post 2B testing milestones include putting the final SDD talons on the Lightning II with the first flight of the Small Diameter Bomb, first gun fire and continued external GBU-12 envelope expansion, as well as beginning to test the final SDD mission systems suite," concluded Thompson.

The planned date for Air Force Initial Operational Capability of its F-35As is August 2016.

Obama: Investment in Veterans Produces Tomorrow’s Leaders



American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2014 – The promise of a better tomorrow made to U.S. military veterans of World War II seven decades ago with the signing of the original GI Bill is the same promise the nation is keeping with its newest veterans and their families through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, President Barack Obama said in an opinion piece published today on the website of the Military Times.

And, such investment in today’s military veterans will produce the leaders America needs tomorrow, the president observed in his op-ed.

Today, the president also proclaimed June 22, 2014, as the 70th Anniversary of the GI Bill of Rights.

The text of the president’s op-ed follows:

“You pick the school, and we’ll help pick up the bill.

“That’s the basic promise America made to our veterans of World War II seventy years ago with the signing of the original GI Bill. It’s the same promise we’re keeping with our newest veterans and their families through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Now as then, investing in the education and skills of our veterans is one of the smartest investments we can make in America.

“For some eight million World War II veterans, the original GI Bill meant the chance to realize a college education, get on-the-job training or buy their first home. They became teachers and small business owners, doctors and nurses, engineers and scientists. One of them was my grandfather. A soldier in Patton’s Army, he came home, went to college on the GI Bill and raised his family. In his later years he helped raise me, too.

“The GI Bill also transformed America. With the careers it sparked, the homes it helped our veterans buy, and the prosperity it generated, it paid for itself several times over and helped lay the foundation for the largest middle class in history.

“Like generations before them, our men and women in uniform today deserve the chance to live the American Dream they helped to defend. That’s why, under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, we’ve already helped more than one million veterans and family members pursue their education.

“Now, with our troops coming home from Afghanistan and a new generation of veterans returning to civilian life, even more will be eligible for this opportunity in the years to come. As Commander in Chief, I want everyone who is eligible to know what the Post-9/11 GI Bill can do for them. A good place to start is benefits.va.gov/gibill/, which has important information on the benefits available, including assistance to help pay for tuition, housing and books, and how to transfer benefits to a family member.

“As veterans and their families think about which school is right for them, it’s worth considering several factors.

“Does the school adhere to our Principles of Excellence? We created these standards to protect our veterans from dishonest recruiting and predatory practices. For example, does the school provide students with a clear statement of all costs? Does it provide students with a point of contact for financial advice? Does it provide a clear educational plan, so you get what you pay for? So far about 6,000 colleges and universities have signed on to our principles and pledged to do right by our veterans and their families.

“Does the school foster an environment that supports veterans? Under the “8 Keys to Success” we unveiled last year, there are specific steps colleges and universities can take to truly welcome and encourage veterans on campus. For example, is there a culture of inclusiveness that invests in veterans’ academic success? Is there a centralized place on campus that coordinates services for veterans? Are faculty and staff trained to understand the unique needs of veterans and how to best serve them? So far nearly 400 colleges and universities have joined this effort to help our veterans complete their education and get their degree.

“Even with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, will you still need student loans? The high cost of college is leaving too many students, including veterans, in debt. That’s why, even as we work to make college more affordable, we’re doing more to protect students from crushing debt. We’re making it easier to automatically reduce the interest rates our service members and veterans pay on their student loans. Congress can also do its part by passing legislation that would allow veteran attending a state college or university to pay in-state tuition, regardless of their residency.

“Finally, when you go looking for that civilian job, are you taking advantage of the latest resources? Our improved transition assistance program helps our newest veterans and their spouses plan their new careers. We’re making it easier for veterans to transfer their military training to the licenses and credentials needed for civilian jobs. We’re matching veterans looking for jobs with companies looking to hire veterans and military spouses through our Veterans Employment Center, online at ebenefits.va.gov. Every company in America needs to know -- if you want someone who will get the job done, hire a veteran.

“The original GI Bill helped produce a generation of leaders, including three presidents, three Supreme Court Justices, more than a dozen Nobel laureates, and two dozen Pulitzer Prize winners. Once again, the investments we make in our newest veterans today will produce the leaders America needs tomorrow. On this 70th anniversary, we pledge to uphold that promise once more and keep our veterans and our country strong for decades to come.”

76th Port Dawgs prep humanitarian cargo for shipment to Guatemala

by Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr.
910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office


6/20/2014 - YOUNGSTOWN AIR RESERVE STATION, Ohio -- Citizen Airmen from the 910th Airlift Wing's 76th Aerial Port Squadron here played an important part in building a pediatric hospice in Guatemala without ever leaving Northeast Ohio.

The squadron lent a hand to the Austintown, Ohio, nonprofit Mission of Love Foundation, in transporting a wide array of much needed medical equipment, furniture and other supplies for the Central American country. The organization collected several tons of materials to be sent to the impoverished nation. Mission of Love and other non-governmental organizations are able to use military airlift to move humanitarian cargo under the Denton Amendment.

Kathleen Price, Mission of Love Foundation founder, director and spokesperson said her organization could not accomplish their goals without the assistance of the 76th's Citizen Airmen.

"The bottom line is none of this could be done in order to help the people of Guatemala without the help and aid we get here at the 910th," said Price.

The "Port Dawgs," as Aerial Port Sqaudrons are nicknamed throughout the Air Force, built up 22 pallets, weighing 60,800 pounds, for shipment to Central America.

The real world mission experience is invaluable to the APS team since the wing does not have an active cargo mission at YARS.

"Our (members) get hands-on training in cargo build-up, load planning, loading the airplanes, and our ramp section gets to drive the vehicles," said Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Massie, 76th APS superintendent. "It comes down to... training... and camaraderie, getting to work with people you might not usually get to on a regular basis. We really benefit because there is a huge training piece to it."

While the APS team is quite adept at loading the wing's C-130s, these Denton missions give them a chance to practice loading other aircraft in the Air Force's airlift fleet.

"We do between three and six Denton missions a year," said Massie. "It gives us work on the C-5, we've also had C-17s and KC-10s come in."

Massie said these Denton missions also help the squadron prepare if they are ever called upon to support wartime or emergency operations in the United States or overseas.

"This builds our readiness piece... if we are called on to deploy, we have to be able to do our job."This is the training that gets us ready," he said. "This stuff gets us ready, it shows we're capable of taking bare bones cargo, building it up, preparing it for air shipment and getting out to the location it needs to go to in a matter of a couple of hours or a couple of days."

Additionally, the fact the work APS is doing here will ultimately benefit children thousands of miles away is not lost on Massie's team.

"(Our members) get out here, put their gloves on, get a little dirty and it means something to them because they know it's going to a good cause," said Massie. "It makes us feel great. It helps our unit and our base show the local community that we have an impact on what's going on in the world environment... the world community, I guess you could say. "

Gen. Carlisle visits JBER

by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs


6/20/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Pacific Air Forces commander, visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, June 18, 2014.

During Carlisle's time at JBER, he spoke to Airmen about challenges the Air Force is facing and how the military is finding ways to overcome them.

"This is going to be a tough time," said Carlisle. "We have all seen the things that have been going on, we have lived through sequestration 2013 and force management challenges that we are facing, but this is going to be a challenging time."

Carlisle focused on many issues, but one was prominent-- force management.

"The answer of how we are going to get through this challenging time is you," Carlisle said. "I truly wish we did not have to do force management; I wish we didn't have to do involuntary separation action; I wish we didn't have to do reduction-in-force ... I wish we didn't have to do any of it. Unfortunately, we had no choice, and there was nowhere else to go."

Carlisle encouraged supervisors to watch out for Airmen and give them options. "Everyone needs to know what their options are, and you need to know where you are at and where you are headed," Carlisle said. "I will say this a million times; if you served in our Air Force honorably, we owe you a debt of gratitude."

Not only did Carlisle emphasize the importance of Airmen's roles in the Air Force, he also addressed the importance of being a good wingman and not being a bystander who does nothing.

He ended the commander's call with gratitude to the Airmen and Soldiers and appreciation for how they fulfill the mission for the Pacific Air Forces and the Air Force as a whole.

"Thank you again for what you are doing, you are simply a fantastic organization and I can't thank you enough for being such great total force Airmen and civilian Airmen across the board, " Carlisle said.

JASDF visit with 909th ARS



by Airman 1st Class Keith James
18th Wing Public Affairs

6/20/2014 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan --

A group of more than 80 Japan Self Defense Force students and instructors participated in an orientation tour of Kadena's 909th Air Refueling Squadron to learn about the 909th's mission and capabilities June 19.

The orientation consisted of a mission briefing, static display of a KC-135 Stratotanker, one of six fixed-wing aircraft with over 50 years of continuous service, and a windshield tour of the base. Tours of the 18th Wing and its units help JASDF members gain a better understanding of how the U.S. military operates and fosters good community relations with the host nation.

During the tour the members got a chance to learn about the Stratotanker's many features from the huge engines to the refueling boom.

"It's great to have a chance to visit Kadena," said Master Sgt. Satoshi Fukutoku, JASDF armament and equipment worker. "I was impressed with the aircraft, its mission is so sophisticated yet it accomplishes it even with the aircraft being very old."

The 18th Wing supports about 20 visits from Japan Self Defense Force units and educational schools in the Ministry of Defense annually.

 "They're great," said 1st Lt. Tyler Witt, 909th Air Refueling Squadron chief of intelligence. "It's an awesome tie that we have with JASDAF, and events like these give us the opportunity to further strengthen those ties."

At the end of their visit, the JASDF members thanked all the various squadrons who helped make the tour happen and expressed their hope to visit again before they departed.

"All the different squadrons bringing the collective pieces of the puzzle together and sharing their experiences and their knowledge with JASDF is the key to making events like these a success," Witt said.

With more visits to come in later this year, the 18th Wing is hoping to ensure bilateral relations continue to grow and flourish.

McConnell EOD team uncovers 70 year-old weaponry

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


6/20/2014 - MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- It's not every day antique military ordnance is found where it has been lying in wait for decades in a farmer's field, but on May 30, that's exactly what happen in Russell, Kansas.

The 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Standby Team was dispatched to check on a rusted Browning M2 machine gun that was found along with 12, 50-caliber rounds linked together by rust.

The parts came from a B-29 Superfortress, which crashed during a training mission near Russell, Kansas, almost 70 years ago. Eight crew members were lost in the crash and ensuing fire on approach for landing caused by a catastrophic failure on Engine No. 1.

"This is not a typical situation," said Staff Sgt. Patrick McKee, 22nd CES Explosive Ordnance Disposal Operations NCOIC. "Very rarely do you get to work with found ordnance and weapon systems from an aircraft incident that happened that long ago."

After checking the weapon to ensure there were no hazards present, the team promptly disposed of the ammunition and left the gun with the university personnel that discovered it.

"After I checked the chamber and deemed it to be clear, I returned it back to the guys," added McKee. "They're currently trying to put it on display in a museum and are working the proper channels through the military. You have to understand, this was in 1945. The Air Force didn't technically exist, so this will be fairly complicated on their end."

Finding old war items is not anything new to the EOD unit, but finding possibly hazardous parts from a 70-year-old crashed aircraft in Kanas is. The team was still able to easily handle the situation.

When they respond to a call in the community, whether it be in support of local law enforcement or other military units, the area and items found must be cleared using the proper equipment and know-how to minimize hazards present and avoid making an inherently dangerous situation any more so.

"It can be difficult sometimes, but we have technology on our side," said McKee. "We have x-ray equipment that we can use to see into items to assess the hazards more thoroughly, robots and bomb suits to distance ourselves from the damaging effects of a detonation, metal detectors to locate unseen dangers and a vast library of publications to reference for specific techniques and procedures required for a myriad of military and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs."

The items were found along with numerous other B-29 parts to include 4-inch thick laminated windows from the cockpit, landing gear, and a ladder from the front wheel well. In the initial accident report from 1945, this ladder was cited by all the survivors as their final avenue of escape from a crippled plane as it rapidly descended towards the farmer's field.

"We dealt with it on the property of one the guys who found it," added McKee. "If they do find something else, they know who to call".

Carpenter Joins Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes



By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2014 – Medal of Honor recipient retired Marine Corps Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter embodies what American society is all about and he reflects the quality of its people, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during Carpenter’s Hall of Heroes induction ceremony at the Pentagon here today.

Carpenter was honored at the Pentagon a day after receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony. At today’s Pentagon ceremony, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos, Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Micheal P. Barrett, and Carpenter’s family, friends and comrades looked on.

“President [Barack] Obama talked about the different dimensions of Kyle Carpenter’s life -- where he came from, how he was raised, recognition of his parents who are with us today, his two brothers … relatives, friends and as General Amos noted, those yesterday who served with Kyle,” Hagel said at the Pentagon ceremony.

“But it is a recognition, as General Amos said and the president said yesterday, of who we are,” the secretary said. “And what Kyle Carpenter did, what he represents, what he embodies and what he reflects is about our society … the quality of our people.”

Hagel said this recognition is an indication of “the strong beliefs our people have in each other,” and Carpenter’s “act of heroism” is a “pretty clear sampling of who we are as Americans.”

“It doesn't mean we're better than anybody else, the secretary said. “But we have a unique way of taking care of each other.”

In explaining the level of heroism required to become a Medal of Honor recipient, Hagel cited the requirements for earning the medal which was established 153 years ago.

The deed must be proved by incontestable evidence, at least two eye witnesses, he said, and it must be so outstanding that it clearly distinguishes the recipient's gallantry beyond the call of duty from lesser forms of bravery.

“It must involve the risk of one’s life,” Hagel said, “and it must be the type of deed which if the honoree had not done it, would not subject him or her to any justified criticism.”

And as the commandant noted, there aren’t many Medal of Honor recipients still living today, the secretary said.

“But this man is one of the unique people who will continue to shape and influence and impact our society for many years to come,” Hagel said of Carpenter.

The defense secretary said Carpenter’s family, over the past few days, heard many of the things their Marine had done, but “they didn’t hear anything new that they didn't already know about their son.”

Hagel also acknowledged the service and sacrifice of Marine Corps Cpl. Nick Eufrazio, Carpenter’s best friend in the Marines who is “a wounded warrior who is recovering from his wounds,” and all the Marines who served with him.

“Yesterday, as I noted, when President Obama read the citation and told a story about what happened on November 21, 2010 at Patrol Base Dakota in Afghanistan,” Hagel said.

While the president laid out the specifics, Hagel read a journal entry from Marine Corps Sgt. Jared Lilly and Navy Hospital Corpsman Chris Frend, who helped Carpenter and Eufrazio onto the medevac helicopter following being injured.

“‘It’s been seven days now since the worst day of my life, when all hell broke loose,’” Hagel read. “‘The sight was horrific. He lays there lifeless as I put tourniquets on his arms. When ‘Carp’ resumed consciousness he asked, ‘Am I going to die?’ I told him no, he was too strong for that. I almost broke down several times, but I couldn't let my friend down.’”

The defense secretary continued reading the journal entry describing how the two wounded Marines were placed on the helicopter after it took an “eternity” to arrive.

“‘As we loaded him on the bird, I yelled that I loved him,’” the secretary read. “‘I was a zombie -- a complete, broken down zombie -- walking back. And sat down and broke down in tears. Began to yell about how we did it all wrong, how we had failed him. I felt helpless and all I could do was pray.’”

Hagel noted that Carpenter, in discussing his service and his injury, hopes to remind people that “things like this happen -- they happen every day, and people just don’t see it.”

“Well, Kyle’s work and dedication have helped him with all that,” the secretary said. “And he’s helped make an awareness of what happens in war very real.”

His recent marathon, his “Tough Mudder” event, and his parachute jumping, Hagel said, reminds all citizens of the resilience of more than 52,000 American service members wounded in America’s wars since Sept. 11.

Hagel also spoke of the “devotion of Kyle’s family to his recovery,” noting “his mother, Robin, trudging through the snow ... across a base to get a vanilla milkshake when that was the only thing Kyle could taste.”

This devotion, Hagel said, reminds people of the service and sacrifices that all military families make, and the skill and dedication of Kyle’s military medical team -- some of whom attended the ceremony.

“I want to add my thanks on behalf of our country and all the Department of Defense for what you did for Kyle,” the secretary said.

Hagel said Carpenter has “acknowledged many times” the medical professionals for “putting him back together pretty well.” And they’ve expressed their excitement at Carpenter’s recovery, the secretary said, as he made that first lap around the hospital ward.

“It does again remind us of the extraordinary talent and support of all of our people, in particular, our medical services and our medical providers,” the secretary said.

Hagel also lauded Carpenter’s new life following his military service, where “we see the enormous potential of a new generation of veterans.”

“Last fall, in his first semester at the University of South Carolina, Kyle earned a 3.9 grade point average,” he said. “In pursuing higher education and advanced job training, Kyle is joined by more than one million veterans, service members and their families who have taken advantage of the post-9/11 G.I. Bill.”

In discussing this “next great generation,” Hagel quoted President Harry Truman, saying, “‘“We’ll do in peacetime for this great nation what they did for us in wartime.’”

“But just as we honor Kyle’s valor and his sacrifice, we also remember the fallen,” the secretary said. We remember those who we lost from this war -- we remember the 453 Marines and all 2,362 American service members who have given their lives in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom.”

The defense secretary also quoted poet Carl Sandburg regarding valor, noting that those who possess have received a gift.

“‘Valor is a gift. Those having it never know,’” Hagel said. “‘They never know for sure if they have it ‘til the test comes.’”

“Today, by inscribing Kyle’s name in this Hall of Heroes, we honor that gift,” the secretary said. “We honor all who serve, we honor the Marine Corps. We honor the Marines. We honor Kyle’s family, and we honor a hero -- William Kyle Carpenter.”