Military News

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Operation Pacific Unity 14-4 begins in Papua New Guinea

Release Number: 010814

8/5/2014 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- 
U.S. Air Force and the Papua New Guinea militaries will conduct operation Pacific Unity in Papua New Guinea Aug. 6 through Sept. 13, 2014.
Pacific Unity is a bilateral Engineering Civic Action Program conducted in the Asia-Pacific region in collaboration with host nation civil authorities and military personnel. This year marks the fourth iteration of the operation which began in 2010.
Approximately 30 U.S. Air Force construction craftsmen and support personnel from the Hawaii Air Nation Guard's 154th Civil Engineer Squadron will participate alongside active duty U. S. Air Force, host province officials, Papua New Guinea Defense Forces engineers and construction tradesmen.
This Pacific Unity mission will focus construction on two female dormitories at the Togoba Intermediate School in Mount Hagen. The project will include tear down of old structures, site preparation, and ground up construction of two dormitory buildings.
Pacific Air Forces and Papua New Guinea leaders chose to focus on this project due to the great need for access to intermediate education for girls in the central highlands area. The Togoba School is currently at capacity, forcing hundreds of girls to be turned away each year.  These two new dormitories will provide thousands of girls an opportunity to further their education.
This is the first time U.S. Air Force personnel are conducting an ENCAP in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Previous U.S. and Papua New Guinea exchanges in the form of Pacific Partnerships programs have regularly occurred between the U.S. Navy and PNGDF along coastal areas. 
Pacific Unity helps cultivate common bonds, foster goodwill and improve relationships between the U.S. and Papua New Guinea by conducting these bilateral humanitarian and civic assistance programs.

Guard Pararescuemen train to be prepared in any situation

by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs


8/5/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- In a quiet valley, an armored vehicle is upside down with a group of Soldiers inside. Suddenly a helicopter filled with pararescuemen flies in from over the horizon. The helicopter lands and the PJ's get to work making sure the landing zone is safe and clear to fulfill their mission: stabilize and evacuate the injured Soldiers as soon as possible.

The 212th Rescue Squadron, Alaska Air National Guard, on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, trains and prepares their 40 full-time team members and eight combat rescue officers to be ready for anything they may face in the line of duty including medical evacuations here in Alaska.

"Here on JBER, we are responsible for maintaining a full-time alert for the fighters that are constantly training both here and at Eielson [Air Force Base]," said Air National Guard Master Sgt. Kyle Minshew, 212th RQS director of training. "We always have two 12-hour shifts for the fighter period and for the state of Alaska. There is always a possibility we could get tasked to help out with performing a rescue, recovery or a medical evacuation mission for the state or base."

Their training illustrates how much work it really takes to be a pararecueman.

"If any male individuals want to be a pararecueman, all they would have to do is go to a recruiter and do a Physical Ability Stamina test. It is a base line physical test to measure if an individual has the baseline physical requrements, but currently this career field is only for male individuals," Minshew said.

The test is a mile and a half run, 500 meter swim, pull-ups, sit-ups and push-ups. For the team members here in Alaska, they have the opportunity to hold try-outs and have interviews to fill a position in the 212th RQS before they send a qualified individual to the pararescue course.

If pararescue prospects pass the PAS test then they will go on to basic training followed by the pararescue course.

"From basic training, we send these individuals straight to Combat Diver School, and from there we send them to Survival School with underwater egress, Airborne School, Free Fall school, paramedic classes-which is are a requirement for all pararescumen-and finally finishing with the actual Pararescue School, which is six months long," Minshew said. "At the Pararescue School, they will take all the skills they learned from the pipeline and the mental aspects that they have gained and being pushed into how to become a pararescueman."

Not only do the 212th RQS want to recruit someone they can count on for many years, but someone they can trust to always be physically fit.

"When I first learned about the career field, I didn't fully realize exactly how much PJ's do and how it is a career-long endeavor to be a well-rounded and solid operator," said California Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Caleb Kiley, 131st Rescue Squadron pararescueman.

Other requirements include passing flight physicals and meeting certain height requirements. The main training pararescue and paramedic schools are located in Albuquerque, N.M.

"If everything goes smoothly, the pararescue training, we call it 'the pipeline', can be done in two years," Minshew said. "Typically-with delays in training and courses-there is a chance individuals will get set back in another class; it will take them about two and a half years."

During the training, both in the schooling and on-the-job-training pararescumen must go through one of the most important parts of their job, which is jumping out of a HC-130 King.

"Jumping is one of the more dangerous capabilities that we offer, and I feel it is very important that we are proficient, so we can execute a jump mission as safely as possible," Kiley said. "In addition to maintaining our proficiencies, jumping allows us to work with the aircrew assets that we will utilize for real-world missions."

For Kiley, the opportunity to become a pararescueman was a way for him to experience something new and exciting.

"I wanted to become a PJ because of the search-and-rescue capabilities in both combat and civilian environments." Kiley said. "Being a pararescueman is exciting, challenging and incredibly rewarding. In addition to being able to rescue people in need, we have a brotherhood that takes care of each other to include our families, whether we are on a temporary duty, deployment or at our home station."

The majority of the pararescue career field is active duty, but there are some Guard and Reserve units in the U.S. All of the PJ's here in Alaska are with the Air National Guard.

For more information about how to become a pararescueman contact your local Air Force or Air National Guard recruiter.

513th provides AWACS support for RIMPAC 2014

by Staff Sgt. Caleb Wanzer
513th Air Control Group Public Affairs


8/4/2014 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma -- More than 60 reservists from the 513th Air Control Group and the 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron returned home last week after a nearly two-week mission to support the Rim of the Pacific 2014 exercise at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

The 970th flew the only E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft in the exercise, according to Lt. Col. Brent Vander Pol, the 970th commander and the detachment commander for the trip.

"What we were able to accomplish was huge," Vander Pol said. "We were able to get our secure link up and running, providing all of the other allied assets with everything we could see. For us to get and stay connected to the Navy, that's a huge win for us."

Navy communications Sailors flew on the E-3's first mission and worked directly with aircrew members to set up Link 16 capability.

"The Link 16 connectivity provides all the ships, aircraft and other coalition units the ability to exchange tactical data that enhances their situational awareness," said Navy Lt. David Hogg, a joint interface control officer with the Navy's Third Fleet, who flew on board the AWACS.

The link also allows the air operations center to see everything the AWACS radar detects in real time, he said. This allows U.S. and allied forces to share the same information securely.

Vander Pol said that the staff members of the air operations center were surprised by the amount of data that the E-3 provides.

"There was a huge gasp on the floor of the center when this massive amount of data they hadn't been seeing appeared on the displays," he said. "Everyone has to play his or her role in the exercise, and it was really good to see what we could provide."

Even though the E-3 Sentry wasn't the only AWACS to participate in RIMPAC, it provided the largest radar picture, Vander Pol said.

The Navy's E-2 Hawkeye, which provides a similar AWACS capability, also flew missions in RIMPAC. The E-2 is capable of launching from an aircraft carrier but has a smaller range than the E-3 Sentry. The E-3 is the largest AWACS in the U.S. military inventory.

In total, Airmen from the 970th flew five missions, totaling more than 33 hours in the air, where they controlled more than 50 fighter and refueling aircraft.

According to Lt. Col. Wayne Polinksi, the chief air battle manager for the 970th, RIMPAC involved many large-force exercises where U.S. and allied fighter aircraft split into teams and practiced combat maneuvers.

The Navy also contributed to the training, adding high-priority targets in the form of ships that needed to be destroyed in a short amount of time. This required the 970th air battle managers to work quickly with the air operations center and fighter aircraft.

"It was a pretty lean mission," Polinksi said.

The 513th Airmen weren't the only reservists to play a part in RIMPAC 2014. Four KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft and about 65 Airmen from the 507th Air Refueling Wing also at Tinker provided a vital capability to the exercise.

The 507th, along with six other refueling units from the U.S. and Canada, offloaded fuel to aircraft during the exercise, extending flight times for fighters and allowing for better training.

"We were able to work with the reservists from the 507th and had a lot of mutual support," Vander Pol said. "At the end of the day, it was just a bunch of guys from Oklahoma helping each other out."

For the 513th, the mission to RIMPAC was much more than just a routine training opportunity.

"Everyone in the unit realized that this trip was a chance for us to shine and to tell the story of the 513th," Vander Pol said. "We certainly got the attention of our joint and allied partners with what we were doing."

Twenty-two nations, more than 50 ships and submarines, about 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in exercise RIMPAC in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.

The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.

Face of Defense: Indiana Guard, FEMA Partner at Exercise



By Army Sgt. Brandon K. Anderson
13th Public Affairs Detachment

BUTLERVILLE Ind., Aug. 5, 2014 – Shortly after a 911 call is placed, a team of amphibious rescue firefighters arrive on the scene of a lake where a family member is frantically waiting for a loved one who has failed to return after swimming in the lake.

This was the scenario being played out on the shoreline of Brush Creek Reservoir here Aug. 4, when soldiers from the 381st Military Police Company, Indiana Army National Guard, and members of Ohio Task Force 1, combined in a joint training exercise as part of Vibrant Response 14 exercise held near Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.

Ohio Task Force 1, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's water rescue team for Ohio, made the trip to join in the multi-agency training exercise.

Ray Smith, a hazardous material and water team manager for Ohio Task Force 1, said the lake shore operation was meant to simulate what would happen if a team was called in to search for a possible drowning victim.

“Our team is conducting this mission as part of a search-and-rescue scenario,” Smith said. “We're launching four boats with two-man teams in them to search the shores of the reservoir and then will use GPS to mark the location of each victim.”

After recovering the “victims” they are delivered to soldiers waiting on the shore to be evaluated and evacuated for further treatment, he said.

Although this is part of the Vibrant Response 14 exercise, everyone on the rescue-teams are firefighters in Ohio and train for this type of scenario.

“Anytime there would be a flood in their local jurisdiction, these guys would be involved in this kind of operation,” Smith said.

The soldier charged with administering first aid for the simulated casualty, Army Pfc. David Ladd, a combat medic assigned to the 381st Military Police, said working with the rescue team has been a great experience for him.

“I just got out of advanced individual training and having this type of experience is great for me,” Ladd said. “I'm hoping to get a job as an emergency medical technician and I think this kind of training will help me in my job as a combat medic.”

Having the ability to train alongside different agencies like FEMA is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, Ladd said. One rescue team member, Josh Compton, agrees with him.

“I've been with the task force for seven years now and have been a firefighter for 13 and have noticed that over the years we're doing more and more with the military,” Compton said. “When I first got on, there was very little interaction between the two groups, but now it's pretty common.”

Compton, who has deployed in response to numerous hurricanes in the past, said the water rescue team is a new concept for FEMA, and he sees the benefit.

“You never know when you'll be in a situation where you'll not only need this type of team but also will be working with the military, and this training will go a long way for preparing them and us,” he said

Wright-Pat reservist share, learn with Ramstein maintainers

by Capt. Elizabeth Caraway
445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


8/4/2014 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- Europe's only fully maintenance-capable base benefited from an influx of experience as 20 maintainers from the 445th Airlift Wing traveled to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to serve annual tour, July 7-21. During their two-week stay, 445th maintainers launched, recovered, and repaired C-17 Globemaster IIIs and offered technical expertise on C-5 Galaxy aircraft to enable Air Mobility Command support for warfighting and humanitarian efforts.

"Our goal was seamless integration with the active duty maintainers," said Maj. Randy Gantt, 445th AMXS officer and en-route officer-in-charge.

That integration was clear from the start, as 445th maintainers dove in and immediately began volunteering for the more complex repair jobs. The 445th team included six crew chiefs and 13 specialists, many of them full-time Air Reserve Technicians. The Airmen represented a wealth of knowledge that they were able to share, as 721st maintainers observed the reservists and asked questions.

"This was an opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas," said Capt. Robert O'Day, 721st AMXS officer. "We exchange best practices and everybody wins."

"The presence of the 445th maintainers is mutually beneficial to us," agreed Senior Master Sgt. Brendan Hilton, 721 AMXS superintendent. "I want my maintainers to learn from the reservists, and our maintainers also have experiences to share."

Although they were there to assist with C-17s, 445th Airmen were also able to offer technical counsel on the many C-5s transiting the base. The 445th Airlift Wing was home to 10 C-5s from 2005-2012 before fully transitioning to the C-17 and many of the reservists had years of experience working on the Galaxy.

"It was easy to see that we made an impact," said Gantt. "Together with the 721st, we made a good, cohesive team and made our expertise clear."

The 445th maintainers were quick to acknowledge the difference in operations tempo. "The mentality here is 'hurry up and get [the plane] out,'" said Tech. Sgt. Keric Johnson, 445th AMXS crew chief. "At Wright-Patt, we generally get to take our time. But these planes are just passing through, and it's our job to get them on their way as quickly as possible. We also have a crew chief for every aircraft, and here, there's just not the manning."

In addition to sharing their on-the-job experiences, 445th Airmen also helped educate their active-duty counterparts on reserve service and the differences between traditional reservists, Air Reserve Technicians, and Individual Mobilization Augmentees. Many of the 721st maintainers were young in their careers and unfamiliar with the differences. Some assumed all reservists serve a sole weekend a month.

"They may have assumed that, as reservists, we don't know much, but then we get out there and show them and they quickly change their minds," said Johnson. "They were eager to learn from our expertise."

The support from the 445th AW afforded 721st AMXS Airmen the chance to take leave and catch up on training and maintenance requirements, said Maj. Sean Goode, 721st AMXS commander, who took command the day that 445th Airmen arrived.

The 445th maintainers ended their two-week stint feeling more capable and confident.
"It's been an excellent experience," said Staff Sgt. Matthew Brodarick, 445th AMXS pneudraulics specialist. "I feel as though I've contributed to the mission here."

"This two-week mission was about letting our maintainers shine," said Gantt. "We showed the active duty what we bring to the table."

Hill security forces Airmen train to take enemy prisoners

by Staff Sgt. Crystal Charriere
419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


8/4/2014 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Men and women in the 419th Security Forces Squadron encountered enemy combatants during an exercise here today.

"We simulated an overseas environment where we encountered adversaries," said Tech. Sgt. Steven Kooyman, 419th SFS. "We focused on swiftly and safely processing an enemy prisoner of war."

About 20 Airmen from the SFS participated in the exercise, which occurs annually. Members learn the proper procedure for taking on one or more EPWs, as well as how to patrol or go through an entry control point with an EPW.

"It's our duty to hone our expeditionary skills so we're ready when called upon in a deployed environment," Kooyman said.

Staying trained and ready to deploy is the primary mission of the Air Force Reserve. There are currently 4,800 reservists on active duty around the globe.

GW Departs Sasebo, Hosts Tiger Cruise



By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro, USS George Washington Public Affairs

EAST CHINA SEA (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) departed Fleet Activities Sasebo, Japan, with its crew, friends and family members for a scheduled four-day "Tiger Cruise," after a goodwill port visit, Aug. 4.

George Washington and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 arrived in Sasebo, Aug. 1, where Tiger Cruise participants joined George Washington for the carrier's transit to its forward-deployed location at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan.

"I would like to personally welcome aboard all of our "Tigers" for our journey back to Yokosuka," said Capt. Greg Fenton, George Washington's commanding officer. "This presents a great opportunity for them to see the carrier in action and get a greater sense of what George Washington Sailors accomplish on a daily basis."

During George Washington's stay in Sasebo, Sailors reunited with their "Tigers" and were able to explore Sasebo through a variety of tours offered by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), and participate in three community relations (COMREL) projects, including a visit to Kainan-so Nursing Home.

"Today's COMREL gave us an opportunity to really connect with the older generation," said Lt. Allan Bushnell, staff chaplain, destroyer squadron 15. "Especially here in Sasebo, a place we consider home here in Japan. It was really fun that we were able to do something in an area that has meant so much to the U.S. Navy."

George Washington hosted ship tours for more than 500 Sasebo natives during its three-day in-port period, as well as a welcome reception to commemorate the ship's first return to Sasebo in almost three years.

"Our port visit to Sasebo gave us a wonderful opportunity to further the ties between the United States and Japan, and bring aboard our "Tigers" for what's sure to be a memorable cruise," said Fenton.

Activities scheduled for the Tiger Cruise include a sea and air power demonstration, ship tours, and damage control demonstrations that incorporate live fire hose and pipe patching drills to give the friends and family members a taste of life aboard a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

"I'm incredibly excited to be able to join George Washington and spend time with my nephew [Quartermaster 2nd Class William Gillaspie]," said Bob Gillaspie, a "tiger" from Las Vegas. "I'm really looking forward to observing flight operations and I'm sure my time spent on board will be an unforgettable experience."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

USNS Mercy Concludes Participation in RIMPAC



By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin W. Galvin, USNS Mercy Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) successfully completed its inaugural participation in exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2014, Aug. 1.

Mercy departed San Diego June 16 to participate in RIMPAC marking the first time a hospital ship had been invited to join in the exercise. During the 37-day event, Mercy was an integral part of the exercise's medical, and humanitarian and disaster relief exchanges and subject matter expert lectures, in addition to serving as a host to military and civilian visitors from around the world.

Once in Pearl Harbor, Mercy joined with units from 21 partner nations, including another first-time addition, the People's Republic of China, People's Liberation Army (Navy) hospital ship Ark Peace (T-AH 866).

"The opportunity to work with our counterparts aboard Ark Pace was a rare opportunity to develop important processes and relationships needed to work together in the future," said Capt. Jeffery Paulson, commanding officer of the Medical Treatment Facility aboard Mercy. "Now we have something we can build upon as we work together in the future."

During the at-sea phase of RIMPAC, Mercy and Ark Peace personnel participated in the first-ever medical personnel exchange program; a series of three, four-day exchanges where each ship sent a team of ship riders to the other ship to participate in drills and observe day-to-day operations.

"Our goal was to look at best practices, how resources were being used, and at each host nation's capabilities" said Cmdr. Gregg Montalto, one of the officers who coordinated the exchange program. "With the common language of medicine, we are able to interact and engage with China in ways that we never have before."

Mercy also participated in various mass casualty drills with partner nations during the harbor and sea phase of the exercise.

"RIMPAC gave us an opportunity to train to our mission as a hospital ship," said Capt. Lynn Wheeler, executive officer of the Medical Treatment Facility aboard Mercy. "We put all the pieces together and really trained for trauma care because that's what this ship was made to do."

RIMPAC, which consisted of 22 nations, 49 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel operating in and around the California coast and Hawaiian Islands offered many opportunities for international cooperative efforts.

"I think we can use this as a stepping stone toward future engagements," said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Vincent Guerrero. "By working with other countries and being able to share our viewpoints, practices and techniques we were all able to learn and take something from this experience."

Duke reservist credits training, faith in rescue of local motorist

by Dan Neely
919th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


8/3/2014 - DUKE FIELD, Fla. -- Staff Sgt. Steve Hansen figured his recent combat first-aid training skills would be used in a deployed environment.

But that's not how things worked out for the Duke Field reservist.

On a recent commute home from Duke, Hansen, an air transportation craftsman and airdrop training specialist with the 919th Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron, witnessed a vehicle accident that instantly summoned those skills. Driving north on Florida's State Road 85 as he entered the Crestview city limits, the reservist glanced to his left toward southbound traffic. He was startled to see a pickup truck rear-ending another vehicle then becoming airborne for nearly 100 feet before rolling over and coming to rest on its roof.

"It was like watching an action movie," Hansen said, describing the dramatic accident events. "As I pulled off I saw some other drivers slow down and look, but not everyone stopped right away, so I got out of my truck and ran across the road to where the truck had landed."

There he was surprised to see two teenage boys who had somehow emerged relatively unscathed from the wrecked truck's passenger side. One ran to check on the other vehicle and its occupants - later reporting they appeared far less injured -- while the second stayed beside the truck.

"I heard there was someone still inside, so I looked down and found the (adult male) driver still upside down and still conscious, "Hansen said. "His arm was trapped beneath the steering wheel and the dash. He had his other free arm wrapped around the gear shifter trying to free himself.  "You could smell the gas fumes really strong and there were a bunch of dangling wires exposed, so I was obviously concerned there was a fire risk."

While the driver-side door was crushed, the passenger-side window was broken out but still accessible enough to allow Hansen to low-crawl inside toward him.

"I asked him if he was okay. He said he was, but his arm was stuck. I then wrapped one arm around his body. "I could hear the glass breaking, and metal collapsing as the truck kind of rolled back, so I looked at him and said, 'We've got to get you out of here now.' I wrapped my other free arm around him, we pulled as hard as we could together and freed his arm, then dragged him from the passenger side."

Once the crash victim was extricated, Hansen saw he had a very large open wound on his arm.

"He had a gash around 10 inches long, with some muscle removed, and it was pretty bloody, "Hansen said. " I pulled off my t-shirt, and used it to bandage his arm."

A Marine, who had arrived on the scene soon after Hansen, helped him move the injured driver away from the vehicle to an impromptu triage area using a two-man carry - a basic technique taught to all military members. The two continued to monitor the driver's condition, elevated his injured arm to control bleeding and coordinated additional help from other motorists arriving on the scene until police and an ambulance arrived.

"I had just gone thru the Air Combat Commando course at Hurlburt Field, "Hansen said. "It included much more in-depth medical training than the more general Self-Aid and Buddy Care course. It sticks out very vividly in my mind. The SABC was good training, but this one utilized training in chaotic, realistic scenarios using mannequins that would actually bleed."

The Airman said the most valuable training point was "to slow down to move fast."

"I did a lot of this by assessing the different situations. I smelled gas from a five gallon gas can that was in the pickup cab spilling its contents on the driver. I saw the live wires, the danger of sparks and potential fire and kept analyzing the situation as far as his arm and what he was trying to do to pull himself out. I also analyzed the hazards in how time-sensitive everything was. That's when I told him I had to get him out of there immediately."

"I give 100 percent credit to God for leading me to stop and help and Air Force training for helping me follow through quickly and precisely," Hansen said. "I think the training gave me the overall confidence, and I'm very pleased."

Hurricane Hunters fly into Tropical Storm Bertha

by Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens
403rd Wing Public Affairs


8/3/2014 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.  -- Aircrew members from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron "Hurricane Hunters" have been flying data-gathering missions into Tropical Storm Bertha out of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands since July 31.

According to Lt. Col. Jon Talbot, 53rd WRS chief meteorologist, the Hurricane Hunters flew their first low-level investigation into the storm July 31, to see if the winds on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean were starting to rotate in a circular pattern, which would indicate the storm was becoming more organized. Once they determine that, the Hurricane Hunters use further flights in the squadron's WC-130J aircraft to locate the low-pressure center of the storm.

"Our job is to provide the operational, day-to-day data collection for the National Hurricane Center," said Talbot. "So it's real-time important information that the hurricane forecaster uses almost like now-casting for projecting future events of a storm."

The Hurricane Hunters attempt to fly two six-hour storm fixes to determine the center of the storm. During the flights, the aircrews constantly transmit the information they gather via satellite to the National Hurricane Center, which uses the information to generate projected storm paths. As of Aug. 2, Bertha was approximately 100 miles southwest of St. Croix, with sustained winds of 45 mph.

According to the National Hurricane Center website (www.nhc.noaa.gov), Bertha is projected to curve north and head back out into the Atlantic Ocean during the middle of the week.

"It's very important information that we're trying to collect for the forecast, so we're proud to do it," said Talbot.

Hurlburt Field firefighters train on proper ventilation techniques

by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs


7/25/2014 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla -- Hurlburt Field firefighters conducted ventilation training at a new building located near the simulated fire training pit on Hurlburt Field, Fla., July 17, 2014.

Members from the 1st Special Operations Squadron Civil Engineer Squadron firehouse 1 and 2 got together to conduct training on how to respond to a structure fire and create proper ventilation for all personnel involved.

"We get together to do this to protect the lives of others, said Airman 1st Class Keith Fussell, 1st SOCES firefighter. "Hurlburt Field has a lot of assets such as planes, infrastructure, buildings and houses that we need to be ready to protect in case of an emergency."

These Air Commandos use the three-story building several times a month to ensure they are ready to put out fires and remove smoke by properly ventilating houses or buildings.

"This training prepares us to accomplish the mission," Fussell said. "You get the full realistic experience of getting our gear on and actually performing our job, but with added safety measure and proper supervision."

The firefighters trained on a two-story pitched roof using ladders and high-powered saws, which they used to cut away plywood training squares in designated areas of the roof.

"This is a great way for the Airmen in the department to begin their training," said Airman 1st Class Yul Prince, 1st SOCES firefighter. "We are right there training alongside our veteran firefighters; they are keeping their skills sharp, while mentoring and assisting us."

Ventilation training is an important tool the firefighters can use to help protect the infrastructure of a building as well as, people's lives. By cutting holes in the roof, it allows the smoke to escape and it reduces the temperature inside the building.

"I was explaining to my nephews about what we do during training and emergency calls," Prince said. "Now they want to become firefighters in the United States Air Force because I shared my experiences and stories."

Lt. Gen. Raymond visits Patrick-Cape, meets team

by Heidi Hunt
45th Space Wing Public Affairs


8/5/2014 - PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command; and his wife, Mollie, visited Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida July 28-29.

Raymond toured several units, met with hundreds of Airmen, civilians, received mission briefings and spoke at an all call.

Additionally, Raymond witnessed the launch of a Delta IV vehicle carrying the Air Force Space Command-4 mission.

Raymond said that while all launches are important, he shared that the AFSPC-4 mission is extremely critical.

"The satellite you [45th Space Wing] launched last night [July 28] was the first of a kind," Raymond said, during an all call.

The payloads include two satellites for the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program.

"What you [45th Space Wing] provide our nation and our joint coalition warriors is extremely important," Raymond said. "At no time in our nation's history have we been more reliant on the capabilities that you launch...and it's not just for our military; it's for our nation.

"There isn't anything that we do, as a military, that doesn't depend on those capabilities," Raymond said.

Raymond laid out three priorities of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, which are: perform warning and assessment, provide coalition forces and our national leaders space capabilities; and protect and defend those capabilities.

The priorities that Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, has laid out for Team Patrick-Cape align with the JFCC SPACE and 14th Air Force priorities.

Additionally, during the all call, Raymond presented and highlighted some Air Force level award winners and referred to 45th Space Wing members as 'crisp Airmen,' a term he refers to as model Airmen.

"When I think about the 45th Space Wing, I think of a crisp organization," he said.

"I ask that you keep focusing on your priorities," Raymond said. "We cannot afford to have satellites not make it on orbit. I thank you for your mission excellence and perfection."

Raymond also addressed sexual assault crimes in the Air Force and that it needs to be eradicated from our service.

"This crime goes against the Air Force Core Values and our priorities," he said. "There's no room for it."

Raymond encouraged everyone to take care of our Wingmen and teammates.

He spent the remainder of the all call fielding questions about: military space and commercial operations, the fiscal year budget, military and civilian reshaping, DODs role in supporting human space flight, the future of the western and eastern range, and the future of headquarters and wing interaction.

In Raymond's closing remarks, he reinforced the importance of the base's priorities and said he is extremely proud of the 45th Space Wing.

"Thank you for your service, your leadership and taking your job seriously," Raymond said.

Air Guard, Reserve engineers renovate Maine Boy Scout camp

by 1st Lt. Rebecca Garcia
161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


8/5/2014 - RAYMOND, Maine -- Air Guard and Reserve civil engineers from around the country are using their skills here recenlty to refurbish Camp William Hinds for the Boy Scouts of America.

Through the Department of Defense's Innovative Readiness Training program military construction units partner with civil organizations for military training projects that can benefit underserved communities.

The Camp Hinds project is a joint training effort led by the Air National Guard.

During the initial phase, military service members hauled 2,258 cubic yards of tree stumps, 3,501 cubic yards of boulders, prepared 9,813 meals, completed 29,112 training hours, moved 33,621 cubic yards of earth, and cleared 270, 938 square feet of land.

Construction at Camp Hinds began in April and will continue through August. More than 500 service members from ANG, Marine Corps Reserve and Army Reserve units will rotate through the project. Airmen, Marines and Soldiers are making the trip to Main from Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Washington.

"The main goal of the IRT is to prepare our service members for their wartime mission," said Michael Cain, IRT project manager from the North Carolina ANG. "In today's joint environment, this mission prepares different military branches to work shoulder-to-shoulder in preparation for deployments. Working with the civilian sector is rare and exposes our troops to local and state building codes, laws, and construction methods. This side of the construction industry broadens their experience to be better craftsmen."

The Arizona ANG's 161st Air Refueling Wing contributed more than 30 Airmen to the project including a civil engineer team and food services personnel.

"The best benefit for our Airmen is teambuilding while gaining specific skills related to our jobs," said Senior Master Sgt. Robert Boudro, a facilities manager from the 161st. "Helping other communities while team building is such a great reward."

"On drill weekends we are overburdened with computer based training and mandatory requirements, so there isn't a chance to have hands-on technical training," said Master Sgt. Redentor Felt, a structure superintendent from the 161st. "Our Airmen get to cross-train and work on various construction trade skills such as land clearing, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, building shooting ranges, and constructing roads and parking lots."

The Rhode Island ANG is leading the food service effort for the duration of the training mission.

"Working with different military branches from other states has been enlightening for me; seeing that joint teamwork and the unique qualities that each branch brings to the table is remarkable," said Tech. Sgt. Jermaine Lewis, a food services specialist from Rhode Island. "We are all out here to support the needs of Camp Hinds and get their facilities operating so the Scouts can enjoy their time here year after year."