Military News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DoD Spokesman: Russia Continues to Arm, Train Separatists



By Nick Simeone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 – Despite questions about its possible role in last week’s downing of a commercial airliner over Ukraine, Russia continues to arm and train pro-Russian separatists in the region and has dispatched more than 100 additional pieces of military equipment across the border in recent days, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

“We know that they sent, for example, last week a column of over 100 vehicles which included tanks, artillery, multiple launch rocket systems,” Army Col. Steve Warren said, adding that these actions are consistent with Moscow’s behavior in eastern Ukraine for several months.

Warren spoke as an international investigation was just beginning into the downing of a Malaysian airliner over rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine on July 17. U.S. and European officials have said a Russian-made, anti-aircraft missile fired from the region brought the plane down, killing all 298 people on board, an attack that President Barack Obama has described as “an outrage of unspeakable proportions.”

In an exchange with reporters today, Warren said the United States does not know who, in particular, fired the missile that blew Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 out of the sky, but he made clear Russia must share in the blame.

“There is no question that the Russians are backing these separatists and they bear responsibility … for what happens in eastern Ukraine,” he said. Moscow, he added, continues to maintain as many as 12,000 troops along the Ukrainian border.

Russia has denied involvement in the downing of the airliner.

Warren said he was aware of fresh reports from Ukraine that two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down today over an area held by separatists.

“We are continuing to work with the Ukrainians and through our own channels to determine the exact circumstances surrounding that incident,” he said.

Senior Defense Officials Attend Aspen Security Forum



By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

ASPEN, Colo., July 23, 2014 – Over the next four days, U.S. defense, security and diplomatic leaders are gathering in Aspen, Colorado, for the annual Aspen Institute Security Forum.

Attendees include Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Events like the Aspen Security Forum provide the chairman an opportunity to listen to key thinkers grappling with some of the most-pressing issues facing our military and our nation, as well as to share his own thoughts," said Army Col. Ed Thomas, the chairman’s spokesman.

The forum is held every summer on the campus of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies organization. It consists of panel discussions as well as in-depth conversations with leaders involved in security issues across government.

"General Dempsey's hour-long moderated session with CBS's Lesley Stahl will center on how we use our military as a national instrument of power in a world marked by terrorism and failing states in some regions and rising nationalism in others," Thomas said.

Dempsey is scheduled to speak tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

The forum starts tonight at 8 p.m. EDT, with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno discussing the Army’s role in defending the nation against today’s security and fiscal challenges.

Other slated speakers at this year’s forum include: Michael Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence; Jeh Johnson, director of Homeland Security; and representatives from the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Transportation Security Agency, as well as numerous senior defense officials.

BM 14-03 simulates aircraft mishap

by Senior Airman David Owsianka
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/22/2014 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Fighter Wing conducted a simulated aircraft mishap here today as part of Beverly Midnight 14-03.

The simulated mishap took place to ensure Airmen are ready to handle an emergency management scenario in a real world situation.

"The overall purpose of today's exercise was to test the wing's readiness...we tested the medical group, fire department, security forces and other emergency services," said Capt. James Brown, 51st Fighter Wing Inspector General Inspections team member. "It's important for us to be ready in peace time and war time to be able to fight tonight. We're focusing on 24/7 readiness."

One team that responded to the scene is the 51st Medical Group Field Response Team that is a designated on-scene medical response team for large scale medical emergencies.

The FRT focuses on three "T" aspects: Triage, Treat and Transport.

The triage aspect concentrates on identifying immediate patients. The treat aspect focuses on checking the patients' airway, for bleeding and spine to prepare them for transport. The transport aspect ensures a timely extraction of casualties to the medical building.

"Participating in exercises allows the FRT to prepare for responding to wartime and peacetime scenarios," said Captain Michael Yim, 51st Medical Group flight medicine commander. "During a wartime response we put emphasis on immediate and quick extraction while minimizing the team's exposure to enemy fire. During a peacetime response the threats are limited or non-existent which gives us the ability to focus on patient comfort when transporting."

The simulated aircraft mishap was designed to test contingency emergency operations, one of five priorities identified by the 51st FW IGI team. The priorities include readiness orientation; contingency emergency operations; effective installation command and control, recovery and defense; surge operations; and lessons learned.

BM 14-03 is a modular type exercise that began July 21 and runs through July 25.

Airmen and Soldiers conduct joint training

by Staff Sgt. Russ Jackson
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


7/16/2014 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Airmen and Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord participated in a water training exercise at American Lake here July 14 and 15, 2014.

Airmen from the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron's Red Team practiced helocasting alternate insertion and extraction training with Soldiers from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

Helocasting is an airborne technique used by special operations forces units for amphibious insertion into a military area of operation. The unit is flown in by an aircraft, in this case an MH-47 Chinook helicopter, to an insertion point above the water where the STS members jumped out of the helo and into the water.

The 160th SOAR was tasked with AIE training and called the STS in hopes their Airmen would have the training requirement to take part in the exercise. Red Team had not practiced AIEs in some time and agreed to join in the two-day training.

During that span, the group conducted 10 daytime helocast iterations and eight nighttime helocast iterations. Their operations included soft duck insertions, which involved personnel pushing an inflated zodiac boat out of the back of the helicopter into the water and jumping in after it, ladder training and hoist training.

"As combat controllers, we can attach to Navy [special operations forces], Operational Detachment Alpha, or Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, so we have to be smart on every type of infil and exfil," said Staff Sgt. Dallas Stoll, 22nd STS combat controller. "This is why we practice fast roping, helocast master, and repelling which are all counted as AIEs."

As one of the most currently trained helocast masters available, Stoll was chosen to be the STS team leader for the exercise to ensure the members of Red Team could get the proper upgrade training.

To become a helocast master, an Airman must be an E-4 or above, signed off by the unit commander and have two daytime iterations and two nighttime iterations, one with non-combat equipment and one with combat equipment each.

"As a helocast master, it's my responsibility to ensure my Airmen don't jump from the aircraft unless we're 10 feet above the water and moving no faster than 10 knots of airspeed," Stoll said. "Once we're in that profile, I ensure my guys unhook, get out and get accounted for in the water as safely as possible."

Soldiers from the 160th SOAR needed to accomplish the upgrade training for helocasting special operations forces members out of their aircraft. They used this opportunity to train for extracting members from the water via a rope ladder and hoist methods as well.

The 22nd STS is a unit of the 24th Special Operations Wing based at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The primary mission of the 24th SOW is to provide special tactics forces for rapid global employment to enable airpower success.

The 24th SOW is U.S. Special Operations Command's tactical air and ground integration force and the Air Force's special operations ground force to enable global access, precision strike and personnel recovery operations
.
In addition to AIEs, STS members train in high altitude low opening and static line parachute jumps, demolition, controlling landing zones and helicopter landing zones.
Airmen from the STS can attach to numerous outside units across the Department of Defense and must be proficient in just about everything.

This exercise proved, once again, that Soldiers and Airmen from Joint Base Lewis-McChord can train together, fight together and run a base together.

1st SOSFS honors fallen defenders

by Senior Airman Krystal M. Garrett
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


7/14/2014 - HULRBURT FIELD, Fla.  -- Two Security Forces Air Commandos raised money and spent time putting together a fallen defender memorial wall at the 1st Special Operations Security Forces Squadron on Hurlburt Field, Fla., May 16.

Tech. Sgt. Timothy Lloyd, 1st SOSFS security manager, and Staff Sgt. Toni Dudley, 1st SOSFS desk sergeant, came up with the fallen defender memorial wall and design while one day reminiscing about fellow defender Airmen they had lost in action.

"We wanted to keep their memory alive," said Lloyd.

Overall, the project which consists of photos of fallen defenders, dog tags with the defenders' name, death date and death place, a narrative, and the heroic actions, took a month to accomplish.

The wall doesn't only recognize Air Commando defenders, but all Air Force defenders.

In order for the project to be a success, Lloyd and Dudley raffled off leadership parking spots in order to raise money. The 1st SOSFS Defender Association also donated money.

Lloyd and Dudley utilized the Security Forces Center to obtain defenders killed in action since 9/11.

"The memorial was a way to pay homage to the fallen heroes in the Security Forces career field and to give passage for us as defenders to remember the true sacrifice they gave," Dudley said.

Around the world in 27 days

by Airman 1st Class Shelby Kay-Fantozzi
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


7/14/2014 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The first continuous mission around the world for the MC-130J Commando II, Air Force Special Operations Command's newest platform, ended successfully July 9 with the aircraft's safe return to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

The MC-130J's historic mission, which spanned five continents and approximately 28,000 miles, was to escort single-engine AFSOC aircraft to a destination in the Pacific Area of Responsibility.

"This journey included several long flights, so the purpose of our aircraft was to ensure personnel recovery in case anything went wrong," said Lt. Col. Nathaniel Jones, 522nd Special Operations Squadron acting operations officer.

A diverse group of Airmen had to work together to safeguard the aircraft and keep the mission running smoothly.

"We had a team of 26 all together," said Capt. Mary Spafford, 522 SOS combat systems officer. "We had our aircrew, maintainers for the 522nd, pararescuemen from the 308th Rescue Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base [Florida], and the crews from the aircraft we were escorting. All of those packages--maintenance, ops, and rescue--came together to get the mission done."

The true triumph of the mission, according to Jones, is the teamwork it took for units from the 27th Special Operations Wing and the 1st Special Operations Wing to support each other.

"The planning efforts of the crew were a major highlight of the mission," said Jones. "They had to marry up two sets of plans, and staying aligned was key. Crews were focusing down to the hour to work within clearances to fly over certain places."

Clear communication was essential in the air and on the ground, as landing in countries all around the world called for renewed attentiveness and flexibility at each destination.

"It definitely required everyone to be vigilant and understand their respective roles," said Capt. Cooper Livingston, 522 SOS pilot, and the copilot for this mission. "With so many different groups and agencies working together, we had to stay on the same page."

Learning how to interact with other countries was both a challenge and a learning experience for the crew.

"We encountered so many different cultures and perspectives," said Livingston. "It was a really interesting dynamic. Depending on where you were, you had to tailor your mannerisms and way of speaking. It definitely required close attention."

Stops for rest and refueling allowed the team to explore locales that many never get a chance to see.

"A lot of people join the Air Force to see the world," said Senior Airman Tyler Julyan, 522 SOS MC-130J loadmaster. "We actually got to do it."

The crew collectively cited Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Japan as some of their favorite stops overseas.

"Riding an elephant in Sri Lanka was the highlight of my experience," said Livingston. "As an Alabama grad, being able to see our mascot up close was just really cool."

The crew also climbed Mt. Fuji, toting hiking sticks that were stamped from bottom to top with elevations to mark the climbers' progress up the mountain.

In spite of the adventures the crew found overseas, the high point of the trip remained the high points of the mission itself--the first day, and the day all three aircraft were successfully dropped off at their final destination.

"We got to see and do some amazing things, but the point was the escort," said Maj. Matthew Weinschenker, 522 SOS pilot and mission commander.

By all accounts, the MC-130J's escort mission was a success.

"It's almost unheard of for an aircraft to go around the world with no major breaks or delays," said Spafford. "Every time the mission called for it, the crews just got up and pushed. We had a lot of different squadrons with a lot of different objectives, but we all pulled together to achieve the main objective of the mission."

The crew made the best of their rare opportunity not only to work with various squadrons around the country but also to demonstrate the capabilities of the US Air Force around the world.

"For 27 days we were out there doing the mission," said Weinschenker. "We all made it back safe and people all over the world saw what we're capable of."

After nearly four weeks of constant motion, the crew was relieved to return to Cannon.

"It was a long trip, but it was definitely worth it," said Spafford. "It's great to be back on U.S. soil."

Heithold new leader of Air Commandos

by 1st Lt. Brionna Ruff
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs


7/3/2014 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Lt. Gen. Bradley A. Heithold assumed command of Air Force Special Operations in the Freedom Hangar July 3, becoming the 10th commander of AFSOC.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presided over the ceremony where Heithold replaced Lt. Gen. Eric E. Fiel, who also retired after 33 years of service. Also participating in the ceremony was Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command.

"Over the past three years I have had the privilege of watching Eric work," said McRaven. "He drove the SOCOM staff to be better by asking all the hard questions, by forcing us to make decisions at the speed of Fiel for the benefit of his Airmen and the greater SOF enterprise."

McRaven spoke about the qualities Fiel portrayed, which paved the way for AFSOC success.

"He will not accept mediocrity, and he will not accept anything, anything that does not contribute to the mission," said McRaven. "These qualities matched with his professional impatience have transformed AFSOC and its magnificent Air Commandos to meet the demands of the 21st century."

McRaven praised Fiel for his hard work and dedication over the past three years and welcomed AFSOC's newest commander who previously served as U.S. SOCOM's vice commander.

"You are coming into AFSOC at the perfect time," said McRaven. "Your experience in the air, on the ground and in the foxholes of Washington, D.C. will serve this command exceedingly well."

As the ceremony progressed, Welsh spoke to Air Commandos about the importance of the command and the global impact it's had since 9/11.

"Today, we get to acknowledge the profound impact of a great leadership team and welcome another one to the job," said Welsh. "This command, this commander and the 19,000 active, Guard and Reserve Airmen who populate it are an integral part of Bill McRaven's U.S. Special Operations Command -- the most feared, and the most respected special operations team in the world."

AFSOC's mission is to present combat-ready Air Force Special Operations Forces to conduct and support global special operations missions. The command consists of highly trained, rapidly deployable Airmen, conducting global special operations missions ranging from precision application of firepower, to infiltration, exfiltration, resupply and refueling of special operations forces' operational elements.

"There are thousands of heroes in this command the American public will never know about," said Welsh. "It's important they know that when the world's best special operators answer the bugle's call, Air Commandos are always, always there. You're the epitome of quiet professionals, and I'd just like to personally thank you for that."

Before passing on the torch, Fiel left Heithold with a small piece of advice.

"Brad, your new command is now globally postured, and the Air Commandos of AFSOC will never, ever let you down," said Fiel. "But there is still more work to be done and I know you'll take on that challenge. All I can say is that AFSOC stands ready to meet any challenge, at any time, at any place."

Heithold inherits three active-duty wings, one Reserve wing, one National Guard wing, two overseas groups and several direct reporting units.

"The men and women of AFSOC are best equipped right now and have the best readiness posture that we have ever had in the history of the command," said Heithold. "I'm fortunate to take a command that's in the shape that it is."

Heithold pledged to take care of his Airmen and reminded them of three things important to AFSOC's continued success. He stated that the mission is paramount, patriotism ties us all together and excellence is only achieved when you plan for it.

"So let us not focus on our differences, but let us serve together as a team to crush those who would do harm to our country and to our cherished freedoms and our way of life," said Heithold.

AFSOC begins spotlight series, reflects on lessons learned from Tora Bora

by Matt Durham
Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs


6/25/2014 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- "On 10 September we thought we had everything we needed. It's September 10th again."

Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, said this to a packed auditorium of Air Commandos attending the first in the "Spotlight on AFSOC" series of panel discussions designed to educate current AFSOC personnel on past dynamic missions and how to overcome operational challenges in the future.

The date was a reference to the attack on Sept. 11, 2001, and how many thought the American military was prepared for an attack. Fiel talked about the reason for the series and the dangers of always following the status quo.

"We thought we had the right equipment on 9/11, but after 13 years of war it turns out we didn't. Never get caught in the 'this has always worked' trap."

The June 19 discussion, titled "The Road to Tora Bora," examined the unique experiences of four Air Commandos during the 2001 operations across Afghanistan. The panel of retired Col. Ken Poole, Col. Kurt Buller, Lt. Col. Allison Black and Master Sgt. Marcus Millard gave personal accounts of their roles in the planning room and on the battlefield, and how they constantly had to readjust.

Each of the panel member's accounts wove a thread allowing attendees to learn real-world lessons, and illuminated the untold stories of Air Commandos. Buller and Millard were Special Tactics Airmen and talked about closing with the enemy and overcoming physical and equipment challenges. Poole examined the demands of integrating into the air operations center, and quickly establishing relationships to allow our Airmen to safely operate in Afghan airspace.

"Everybody wanted to be in the fight. Nobody wants to be left behind," said Buller, then a member of the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron and one of the lead special tactics officers during the beginning phases of combat operations in Afghanistan. His actions included interfacing, coordinating and planning with sister service special operations task forces to bring our Airmen to the fight. Additionally Buller led a Special Tactics team on an airdrop to seize and subsequently control a key airfield in western Afghanistan.

Buller's main focus during the panel, however, was on telling the stories of the many Air Commandos that led the charge across Afghanistan on the way to Tora Bora. Embedded within multiple task force teams, these Air Commandos proved to be the missing link in taking down Taliban strongholds across Afghanistan, culminating with the Battle of Tora Bora in December 2001.

The battle gets its name from the mountain region where the Taliban had reinforced fighting positions and an extensive cave network. Although hundreds of terrorists were killed, the battle is also remembered as a missed opportunity to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden.

Millard, a combat controller with the 23rd STS, was embedded with a team at Tora Bora and controlled hundreds of aircraft and millions of pounds of ordnance in the hunt for Bin Laden.

Black was named the "Angel of Death" by an Afghan warlord while flying as a navigator in an AC-130H Spectre gunship. The warlord heard her on the radio and was surprised that the Air Force sent a woman to fight the Taliban. He immediately contacted an opposing Taliban commander and mocked him by saying that the United States knows that women can kill his troops. The same northern alliance warlord later gave Black an AK-47 automatic rifle and called her the now-famous "Angel of Death."

"Since 9/11 we have not reflected quite as much as we should have," said Maj. Gen. Norm Brozenick, AFSOC vice commander. "It is absolutely critical we learn these lessons and pass them on."

The Spotlight on AFSOC series will offer quarterly discussions with firsthand accounts focused on AFSOC's role in the planning and execution of combat operations in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The series is timed to the command's 25th anniversary in 2015.

"This is worthy work," said Poole.

Duffy says farewell to JBER, Alaska

Commentary by Air Force Col. Brian Duffy
JBER and 673d ABW commander


6/26/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Arctic Warriors,

As my family and I prepare to bid our farewell in the next few days, I'd like to express my sincere appreciation for your tireless and dedicated efforts. It was an honor to serve with you all while operating on and supporting the many missions and people of the Pacific Air Force's largest, most diverse joint base.

As a direct result of your demonstrated leadership, we stand as a model for how joint basing can work and is working. The success is both founded and seen in many areas. We operated many services "jointly" before joint basing was envisioned, namely fire emergency services and many of our medical services.

We live, work, and play on a contiguous land mass with a single fence line and the notion of "distances" between our installation's long ago, former independent elements, are quickly fading.

Our housing areas are blending to a greater degree than ever before, and we recently began our new combined, Joint Newcomers' Orientation Sessions, ensuring all newly arriving service members and families are introduced to the "JBER Community" from day one.

We've amended our installation access procedures, providing greater visibility into who's coming on the base and why. In the first year, we limited access to almost a thousand people with demonstrated histories of criminal conduct.

We've taken our monthly Community Action Council to a new level, alternating venues on the installation every other month, to help attract and inform our very diverse population.

We're sharing Enlisted Professional Military Education experiences through an agreement between our two outstanding commandants, cross-pollinating top graduates to audit their sister services' program. We continue to build tactically and technically proficient joint enlisted leaders early in their careers.

We move people and equipment daily through our Joint Mobility Center, in response to training requirements of the needs of combatant commanders across the globe. We're strengthening our joint venture with the Veteran's Administration and growing our relationship with the Alaska Area Native Health Services, providing health care to a very deserving population.

These are just a few examples of many out there that have this installation - our combined team - in the forefront of the minds and words of people who speak of the successes of joint basing. Simply awesome.

These successes notwithstanding, we've certainly endured our share of challenges, but we have and will continue to work through each. We've stood up our Joint Wellness Action Council to help guide our efforts in support of our combined Comprehensive Airmen Fitness and Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness programs, launching our very own "Soldier and Airmen" fitness page, accessible from our JBER home page, which outlines programs and services available.

We've combined efforts under JBADD to ensure, if all else fails, our dedicated team of volunteers are able to provide a safe trip home to those whose primary plan got off track.

We conducted a very successful "Thanks for Asking" campaign, testing the limits of our Bystander Intervention Program and inviting our team to take action when there are obvious signs that "something is different."

We've seen our dedicated and professional civilian teammates endure the adverse effects of two furloughs and a government shutdown, more than any of us would've expected to have to deal with. We're working through force management programs now as our Air Force adjusts in one of the only ways it can, to our new fiscal realities, while preserving near term readiness and weapons system procurement actions critical to our future. With your collective help and leadership, I remain confident we will continue to move forward.

Finally, a note to our community partners in the greater Anchorage area and across Alaska. You've opened your arms to our service members and their families, helping them feel welcome in their new home, and provided myriad forms of support during their stay. For this, we are truly thankful and greatly appreciate all "The Last Frontier" has and continues to provide.

Joint basing is a journey, founded in transparency, trust, and time ... and, now over four years in, we are hitting our stride, moving diligently toward becoming exactly what was envisioned when this concept was first developed. We have the mission focus, extraordinary leaders, and supportive community that will help keep us on a path to success.

Farewell, JBER. You will have a special place in our hearts always.

Fuels management flight takes on Red Flag 14-3 full force

by Airman 1st Class Rachel Loftis
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


7/23/2014 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev.  -- Just like the human body relies on the heart to pump the life sustaining blood to every cell to function, the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Management Flight pumps nourishing fuel to keep aircraft functioning. The role of the fuels flight is critical during Red Flag exercises.

"During a regular day the 99th LRS fuels flight pumps approximately 150,000 gallons of fuel a day to keep the aircraft functioning; however, during Red Flag it easily exceeds 500,000 to a million gallons a day," said Senior Airman James Crandle, 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight fuels accountant

"This [exercise] is the closest you can get to a deployed environment; we have numerous people and personalities, numerous airframes typical bases don't see, as well as [numerous and] different operations," Crandle said. "Not only is it good for our pipeline teams to learn and see all this diversity, it's also good for all the people from other bases who may not get to see this kind of operations tempo or these operation [types]."

"With Red Flag, the day-to-day operations (increase significantly)," Crandle said. "There are a lot of different people, a lot of different moving parts, and we coordinate all of that."

During Red Flag, the 99th LRS fuels flight received 30 different petroleum oil and lubricant augmented troops from the reserve, guard and active duty components from different bases around the world.

"We integrate the POL troops into our flight," said Staff Sgt. Roberto Flores 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight fuels distribution supervisor. "We have a 24-hour period to get [POL troops] competent and up to speed with the operations here; to be able to support the Nellis mission."

Nellis AFB has 169 assigned aircraft; however during this Red Flag that number is increased by approximately 115.

"We're [responsible during Red Flag] for a lot of (people), trucks and fuel, so it's a lot of different components we have to make sure are in the right place at the right time," Flores said. "With more people, comes more personalities, with more personalities, means more attention [to detail] that we need to possess."

Due to the fast-paced environment of Red Flag, there is a lot of movement and personnel to coordinate on the flight line. The 99 LRS Fuels Management Flight has to ensure delivery of fuel to every aircraft, as well as ensure ground vehicles have fuel support.

Red Flag is a prime example of well-rounded training for possible deployment scenarios for the 99th LRS fuels flight.

The 99th LRS fuels management flight is an integral part of the functionality of Red Flag as well as everyday flight line activities. The world's premier combat training exercise wouldn't be possible without the hard work of the 99th LRS Fuels Management Flight.

Red Flag 14-3  will conclude July 25th.

Air Forces Southern medics arrive in Belize to facilitate obstetrics course

by Tech. Sgt. Heather Redman
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs


7/23/2014 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz. (AFNS) -- Three international health specialists and three nongovernmental organization personnel supporting the 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern, or AFSOUTH, arrived in Belize recently to facilitate the Global Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics Instructor Course.

As partners in international health, AFSOUTH teamed with Belizean health care providers to increase medical capabilities in the country.

The need for the instructor course came about during New Horizons Belize 2013. During that time, a group of international health specialists along with the nongovernmental organization Project HOPE conducted a one-week maternal health assessment across the regional hospitals, clinics and health posts. The observations from the assessment enhanced the course discussions the following week when 30 Belizean healthcare providers from around the country went to Dangriga, Belize, to attend the two-day Global ALSO Provider Course.

Eight members who attended the provider course will receive the Global ALSO Instructor Course. The new instructors will then provide the Global ALSO Provider Course to a new group of Belizean healthcare providers, facilitated by Airmen and civilian specialists July 23-24.

"We are excited to provide the Global ALSO Instructor and Provider Courses in collaboration with the Belize Ministry of Health and greatly appreciate the support and interactions from the U.S. Embassy, 12th Air Force/AFSOUTH, and the American Academy of Family Physicians," said Col. (Dr.) Lyrad Riley, a faculty member with the Eglin Air Force Base Family Medicine Residency Program.

The goals for the course are to help prepare the Belizean providers to train others within their country and improve overall obstetrics care throughout Belize.

7th SFS takes charge of Air Force's newest $4.3 million indoor combat range

by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


7/23/2014 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- The 7th Security Forces Squadron is now the caretaker of a $4.3 million state-of-the-art combat range that opened here July 18, 2014.

The indoor range can accommodate 21 shooters at once, which is three times the amount the old facility could handle at one time.

"This range is the newest in the Air Force and, in my opinion, the best," said Maj. Sarah Babbitt, 7th SFS commander. "It allows us to fire indoors 24/7, 365 days a year. We don't have to worry about the Texas heat or freezing in the winter."

Being indoors adds the extra benefit of shortening the amount of time security forces must spend at the range to complete their required training.

Airmen originally had to come to the range around 4 a.m. to complete the night-fire portion of their qualification and then return a few hours later to complete the training in the light of day.

"With this new range, we don't have to do that. We can get it all knocked out, so it shortens the classes and gives Airmen some time back," Babbitt said.

The indoor combat range contains multiple features such as track-riding targets, a programmable target computer system and a reinforced bullet-stop that is rated to withstand up to a .50 caliber round.

"I like the fact that we can move the targets to the shooters," said Staff Sgt. Luis Fontanez, 7th SFS combat arms training and maintenance instructor. "It takes away the danger of having our instructors and students walk down the firing lanes to go inspect their targets."

The range allows use of different weapons, but to ensure the longevity of the bullet-trap at the end of the firing line, the instructors will stick to smaller-caliber firearms and will also refrain from firing fully automatic.

"We'll generally be using M4 carbines, M9 Beretta pistols, and M870 shotguns," said Staff Sgt. Clint Sullins, 7th SFS CATM instructor. "The larger caliber weapons will deteriorate the range faster so we won't really be using them here."

All these added features and benefits have left the 7th SFS Airmen excited about having the newest combat range in the Air Force and the training Team Dyess will get to have in the future.

"We are absolutely excited because we have been waiting for this range to open for more than a year," Babbitt said. "It's a team effort out here. We have to train all of our Airmen to go downrange, so this is a big deal for Team Dyess," Babbitt said.

JBER Security Forces personnel prepared for Arctic Thunder

by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs


7/23/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- This Saturday and Sunday morning, families will flock to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to take in the sights and sounds of the many events during the biennial Arctic Thunder Open House. This is the second open house since the merger of Elmendorf Air Force Base and Fort Richardson in October 2010.

JBER Security Forces are working hard to ensure safety and security is at its highest standard during the Arctic Thunder Open House.

"We expect roughly 250,000 people from all over Alaska [to come] on the installation," said Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Centeno, 673d Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer-in-charge of operations and one of the lead coordinators for the security and parking of the ATOH.

The gates open to the public starting on July 26, at 9 a.m. through the Richardson and Boniface gates. The Boniface Gate however, will only be used as a straight route for the open house during the hours of operation.

When the public goes through the Fort Richardson gate, they will enter through Check Point Pride where they will be separated from ATOH traffic and installation traffic.

This process is different from the day-to-day system JBER's base access personnel use.
The responsibility of base access is to process individuals through the Defense Biometric Identification System at the visitor control centers, process restricted area badge requirements and Wing Form 22's. "For the open house, that's just what it means; open house and everyone will be available to come on base without coming to the visitor control center to get a one-day pass," said Air Force Master Sgt. Tammy Miller, 673d Security Forces Squadron noncommissioned officer-in-charge of base access.

From the gates, roads will be coned off for the routes to the designated parking areas located on the flight line. Non-Department of Defense personnel coming to the open house will go through designated routes to parking areas, where they will be led through entry control points and screened with metal detectors for any of prohibited items.

Items prohibited on the flight line during the open house include; coolers, alcohol, backpacks, duffel bags, large purses, camelbacks, umbrellas, paint, balloons, large camera bags, bicycles, scooters, skates, skateboards and wagons. Individuals must wear a helmet and appropriate reflective gear when riding bicycles, scooters, skates, skateboards or motorcycles in other areas of the installation. Pets are also prohibited, but official service animals are authorized. Items that are strictly prohibited on the installation are illegal drugs, weapons, go-carts, military uniforms worn by non-military members, gang or motorcycle club affiliated colors or clothing.

After passing the initial screening, non-DoD personnel are directed to the ramp leading toward the parking areas. The vendors arriving to the ATOH have the same screening as well as other non-DoD personnel, but their vehicles are screened at the same time when they do their commercial vehicle requirements upon arriving at the Post Road Gate before coming onto JBER. "The individuals will be screened a second time when they come to our entry control points before entering the flight line," Centeno said. "The vendors also have a designated area for parking along Sijan Avenue." Once the open house is finished on July 26 and July 27, traffic patterns will be reversed due to the amount of drivers leaving JBER at the end of the events.

On Saturday and Sunday at approximately 3 p.m., access to the installation will no longer be authorized due to a change in the direction of traffic through the Richardson, Post Road and Boniface gates, Centeno said.

"Every gate is open to DoD card holders, but not every gate will get you where you need to go during the open house hours," Centeno said. "We will still have our normal day-to-day operations for anyone that is not going to the open house and are coming on the base for other reasons, they can do so," Miller said.

96th ARS refueling capability keeps planes flying high during RIMPAC 2014

by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden
15th Wing Public Affairs


7/22/2014 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- With more than 200 aircraft participating in Rim of the Pacific 2014, the 96th Air Refueling Squadron will play an integral role in this year's exercise.

The 96th ARS is partnering with the Hawaii Air National Guard's 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, as well as the 465th Air Refueling Squadron from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., the 909th Air Refueling Squadron from Kadena Air Base, Japan, and the 117th Air Refueling Squadron from Forbes Field Air National Guard Base in Topeka, Kan., to provide air refueling support to all RIMPAC air assets.

RIMPAC is a U.S. Pacific Command-hosted biennial multinational maritime exercise designed to foster and sustain international cooperation on the security of the world's oceans. This year's exercise includes units or personnel from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The People's Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States.

"The KC-135 Stratotanker plays a very essential role in RIMPAC," said Lt. Col. Reese Evers, 96th ARS operations officer. "The projection of air power is vital, especially in the Pacific theater and that couldn't happen without the air refueling capability."

With so many aircraft involved in the exercise, Evers said the KC-135s will be needed on a daily basis since the versatile aircraft can be reconfigured to refuel most airframes.

"If it happens that a foreign aircraft ends up on our tasking order for the day, then we will refuel it," said Evers. "That is our mission and we know the procedures to safety get our mission accomplished, regardless of what kind of aircraft it is. If we do have the opportunity to refuel a foreign aircraft I would also consider that to be another RIMPAC success."

In addition to providing the unit with the opportunity to strengthen their total force relationships and the chance to refuel a number of different airframes, flying training missions for RIMPAC will also give a few pilots in the 96th ARS the opportunity to upgrade their flying status.

"We're going to use RIMPAC flying hours to upgrade a few co-pilots to aircraft commanders," said Maj. Kelly Church, 96th ARS assistant director of operations. "We're using this opportunity to cultivate our young captains and grooming them to command a jet."

Church said RIMPAC is an opportunity for pilots to get a broader training experience than they might get doing their daily training missions.

"This is a really good experience for them," he said. "Flying during RIMPAC, the airspace will be busier than anything they've ever experienced due to the number of aircraft that are here now."

Extra flying hours aside, Evers said RIMPAC is really about the 96th ARS doing their part to support the mission.

"During the largest Navy exercise in the world it would be easy for the Air Force aspect to get overlooked, but every day there is a KC-135 launching in support of RIMPAC and this is just an extension of what we do every day, which is projecting combat airpower throughout the Pacific region," he said.

New Superintendent Takes Command of U.S. Naval Academy



By Jessica Clark, U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (NNS) -- The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA) held a change of command ceremony July 23 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Vice Adm. Walter E. "Ted" Carter Jr. relieved Vice Adm. Michael Miller, becoming the 62nd academy superintendent.

Carter, a native of Burrillville, Rhode Island, served as president of the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, before he was nominated in June as the next superintendent. A career naval aviator, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1981.

Miller, a native of Minot, North Dakota, and 1974 USNA graduate, retired at the ceremony, completing 40 years of active duty naval service.

"Every change of command is a bittersweet event, mixing the achievement of what has been with the promise of what is to come," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, the ceremony's keynote speaker. "Our Navy and our nation face some significant challenges in the coming years and decades, and our ability as a naval service to meet these challenges in a very real and a very central sense begins here at the academy."

Mabus spoke about the advancements the Naval Academy has experienced under Miller's leadership, including the increase in diversity within the Brigade of Midshipmen, improvements in admissions standards, and the development of the cyber security curriculum and founding of the Center for Cyber Security.

"During his four years as superintendent, Mike has put the academy on a 21st Century footing, with a firm sense of what the future needs of the naval services will be," said Mabus.

In his speech, Miller also emphasized the importance of the cyber security curriculum as well as the enhancement of the Naval Academy sports programs, the expansion of the Stockdale Center for ethical leadership, the creation of three new majors - operations research, nuclear engineering and cyber security - and the selflessness of the midshipmen who volunteered 25,000 community service hours in the last year.

"It's a winning brand, one that young people want to join and in turn be challenged to the limits of their endurance," said Miller. "None of this would have been possible without the finest faculty, staff and coaches this school has ever enjoyed.

"I take credit for none of it," he added. "But I'm oh so proud to say I was a witness to the history as it was being written."

Cyber will continue to be a focus, said Carter.

"Our nation is pivoting toward potential adversaries and perilous challenges. Technologies are advancing at a frightening, dramatic pace. Our training, our facilities and our curriculum must evolve rapidly."

Carter also stressed the importance of character development in the training of future leaders.

"Character matters. It is the most important element of ethical leadership. It is needed today more than ever before," said Carter. "Building a strong foundation of character will shape the midshipmen's individual decision making. It will prepare them to become the next great generation of Americans who will persevere where and when America needs them the most."