Military News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hickam C-17 dedicated in honor of late Sen. Daniel Inouye

15th Wing Public Affairs

8/21/2014 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- A C-17 Globemaster III from the 535th Airlift Squadron was dedicated "Spirit of Daniel Inouye" Aug. 20, 2014, in memory of local and national hero Sen. Daniel Inouye during a ceremony here at Hangar 19.

In keeping with Air Force naming tradition, aircraft tail-number 5147 received its "Spirit of" name to honor the late Senator's contributions to the state of Hawaii and the U.S. in addition to his extraordinary efforts in support of the military and pivotal role in bringing the C-17 program to Hawaii.

"The United States Air Force owns and maintains 223 C-17 aircraft and only five have been named after a specific individual," said Col. Randall Huiss, 15th Wing commander. "Senator Inouye is now part of this highly esteemed group, which now includes four Medal of Honor recipients, a USO hero and a 48-year member of Congress."

The formal naming process began here in March, and the Wing just recently received final approval from the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, after receiving lower-level approvals from Pacific Air Forces and Air Mobility Command headquarters.

"They [the honorees] all have different background and stories, but they all have this in common," said Huiss. "They are true American heroes and patriots."

Guest speaker Maj. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy, Pacific Air Forces vice commander, said the long list of Inouye's accomplishments showcase the fortitude and resilience he possessed.

"We are a nation bound by principles and ideas and Senator Inouye dedicated his life to those principles," he said.

This particular C-17 is also very characteristic of the spirit of service that Inouye represented, having been used to evacuate displaced persons and transport food, water and relief supplies to the Philippines during Operation Damayan last year.

Inouye's military service began in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service with this unit in the Rome-Arno Campaign of 1944 where he was nearly fatally wounded by a gunshot wound to the chest. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery and heroism for additional actions in 1945; though, it was later upgraded to a Medal of Honor in 2000.

Inouye swapped his military career for one in politics in 1954 when he was elected to serve in the Hawaii territorial legislature. He later went on to serve as Hawaii's first U.S. Representative, followed by nine terms in the U.S. Senate. From 2010 to his death in 2012, Inouye served as President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate, making him the highest ranking Asian-American politician in U.S. history.

The ceremony was hosted by Huiss and presided over by McGillicuddy. Other special guests included Irene Hirano Inouye, the late Senator's widow, and members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team with whom Inouye served during his time in the military.

Ulchi Freedom Guardian: RED HORSE brings comfort to augmentees

by Staff Sgt. Cody H. Ramirez
7th Air Force Public Affairs


8/22/2014 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- More than 3,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines from throughout the Pacific theater and the United States journeyed to Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 18 through 29 to take part in Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a command post exercise aimed at increasing the readiness and defensive capabilities of U.S. and Republic of Korea forces.

Many aspects varied between the travelers: their jobs, where they came from and their military experiences. But one thing remained constant for the group of military personnel ranging from young enlisted to field-grade officers, their need for beds, food and water.

Members of the 254th RED HORSE Squadron, an Air National Guard unit stationed at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, provided hundreds of augmentees with those needs. The 14-member team came to Korea weeks before to set up Rush Park, a small, deployment-like community containing tents, K-Spans and connexes.

Many military members have been in service long enough to have experienced multiple deployments, most commonly lacking hotel-quality facilities, but for a good number of the attendees of UFG, this was their first time away from the luxury of home. RED HORSE members kept this in mind while establishing tent city.

"We want to make sure people are comfortable while they are out here," said Capt. Patrick Sanchez, 254th RED HORSE member. Adding that shelter and basic needs are "something you should not have to worry about while you are out here, and that is something we try to provide ... a way for [exercises augmentees] to be comfortable."

RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers. The units are typically sent into a location where no facilities or structures stand and they are responsible for the initial foundation of a base. At Osan, the materials and foundation are there, so the team has a slightly different mission.

"When we first came out here, there were no tents, no [air conditioning units], everything is packed away in the K-Spans," Sanchez said. "We take out [the equipment and materials] and then make sure it is placed right and functioning. We make sure everything is ready for the people when they show up."

RED HORSE is made up of many smaller teams from a variety of civil engineer shops, and each team comes with its own specialty, Sanchez said. Everyone has their own responsibility whether it is construction, heating and air conditioning or heavy equipment.

"I check the water buffalos, make sure the water is safe to drink and maintain the bathrooms," said Senior Airman Barry Munoz, 254th RED HORSE member, who also assists with other sections and their duties.

Munoz said his experience in Korea has been unique.

"It is great to meet people from around the world, to get to know them and their concerns and make sure they are safe and happy," Munoz said.

Between establishing tent city and tearing it down, Sanchez, Munoz and the remaining 12 members of 254th RED HORSE, fill their time by handling work orders and doing handy-work to improve the quality of life around the expeditionary town.

Sanchez said he received outstanding support from the 7th Air Force and the 51st Fighter Wing during his stay in Korea.

"It is a beautiful relationship we have built," Sanchez said. "It is really great to deal with different types of leadership and make sure we get things done while we are here."

Sanchez said exercises like UFG remind him to "make the most out of every opportunity and to never stop learning. You may know your job, but every experience provides a new challenge."

UH-1: A history of the Huey at Yokota

by Osakabe Yasuo
374th Airlift Wing public affairs


8/21/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- More than half a century ago, the Bell Huey family of helicopters entered the Department of Defense inventory. The iconic helicopter became a symbol for the war in Vietnam, where the helicopter was a vital part of troop movements.

The UH-1 Iroquois first entered the Air Force inventory in 1964 and was used for Strategic Air Command missile support. The UH-1N model was brought into service in 1970 and one year later, the UH-1N's arrived at Yokota. Since then, these helicopters have provided humanitarian support, DV missions and search and rescue capabilities.

Yokota also uses the UH-1N to conduct bilateral training missions. Maintenance for the old, but reliable helicopters falls to the 374th Maintenance Group who ensures they continue to fly safely during any kind of mission.

Naval Special Warfare Group TWO Change of Hands, Plans, and Command



By By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Desiree D. Smith, Naval Special Warfare Group 2 Public Affairs

VIRGINA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group (CNSWG-2) TWO held a change of command ceremony at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Aug. 22nd.

Capt. Peter G. Vasely relieved Capt. Robert E. Smith, who served at the helm of CNSWG-2 since Aug. 2012. Rear Adm. Brian Losey, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, was the guest speaker for the ceremony.

"The change of command ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition, all hands would muster on deck and witness the formal transfer of authority from one commander to another," said Losey.

Rear Adm. Losey spoke to an audience of more than 350 Naval Special Warfare (NSW) personnel, family, and friends about the accomplishments of CNSWG-2 and the forward deployed forces during Capt. Smith's tenure as well as the shift in direction that he directly supported during his tour.

"He's done a tremendous job in realizing the vision of the continent of Africa," said Losey. "Capt. Smith not only postured there from a command and control standpoint but coordinated with the State Department in each of the countries to remain postured to respond to U.S. unilateral interest if, and when necessary."

Rear Adm. Losey continued, "He has put Group TWO out front in one of the most contentious conflict zones in the world and that's East Africa. Think Sudan, Somalia, and then all of the boundary states such as Ethiopia and Kenya and it's only 18 nautical miles away from where some of the most focused unspoken fighting is occurring in respect to Yemen."

"Admiral William McRaven's number one priority is to win the current fight, and the current fight is being manifested in Afghanistan and he kept the force to the fire and for the last 13 years NSW has been recognized with two Medals of Honor, 58 Navy Cross Medals, 94 Silver Star Medals, and over 2600 Bronze Star Medals with Valor," said Losey. "We've had 77 teammates killed-in-action and 270 wounded and that is no small amount of sacrifice or commitment."

Rear Adm. Losey closed his remarks by saying, "Capt. Smith has done a tremendous job helping evolve our force." Rear Adm. Losey then called the military personnel present to attention and asked the guests to rise as he awarded the Legion of Merit Medal to Capt. Smith for his accomplishments while in command of CNSWG-2. Rear Adm. Losey then turned the floor over to Capt. Smith.

Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group TWO's primary focus rested heavily on Afghanistan when Capt. Smith assumed command in 2012.

"Within the first six months Rear Adm. Sean Pybus and Losey, both challenged us as they challenged every major commander in NSW," recalled Smith. "The challenge was what do we do after Afghanistan, how are we relevant and how does this force continue to serve the American public to ensure security across the globe? It wasn't just the challenge but the empowerment, and they empowered us to reach out to the fleet and operational commanders to engage with them to find out what their needs were to shape our force to their needs, and as we did that, we leveraged that empowerment to make Group TWO relevant,"

Smith ended his remarks saying, "Pete, you're getting a great command, they are ready. I couldn't think of a better person to turn this command over to because from the Naval Academy to Coronado, the East Coast and to D.C., I think it made us both stronger people and this mission is going to continue forward and you're the right man to lead it."

Capt. Smith and Capt. Vasely then read their orders. The two then met in front of Rear Adm. Losey to ceremoniously execute the change of command before Capt. Vasely addressed the command for the first time as the commanding officer.

"As we look at this transition, it comes at a very challenging time and a period of great uncertainty where our country faces a multi-faceted series of threats from violent extremist organizations. One thing that is absolutely certain is the competence, capability of the force to fight, and willingness to win the hardest challenges that are thrown at it," said Vasely.

Capt. Vasely continued his remarks by stating, "I am honored that you and the NSW community have entrusted me with the responsibility to major command and I'm committed to the responsibility of being in command of Group TWO. I'm committed to the men and women of Group TWO to provide you with clear vision, guidance and direction so that you are enabled to continue to excel in executing this nation's toughest missions, and also to your families for being the rock and foundation of everything we do and the commitment they so justly deserve,"

Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group Heads Out on Deployment



By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James Bleyle, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Sailors on Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) manned the rails Aug. 22 as they headed out to the Pacific Ocean for a planned overseas deployment.

Carl Vinson will be accompanied by the rest of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group as it patrols both 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

"The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is a versatile and trained force that is ready to support the missions and needs of regional commanders," said Rear Adm. Christopher Grady, Commander, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group.

In preparation for this deployment, Carl Vinson's first since back-to-back deployments in 2011 and 2012, the ship underwent several rigorous repair, training and qualification periods, including Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), Tailored Ship's Training Availability/Final Evaluation Problem (TSTA/FEP), Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) and a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX). Each evolution is designed to prepare and qualify the ship and her crew to support the Navy's mission abroad.

"We have worked hard to ensure that our ship and crew are prepared with all the necessary resources to be successful on this deployment," said Capt. Kent Whalen, Carl Vinson's commanding officer. "Over the past year we have put in a tremendous amount of effort to get to this point, and I am incredibly proud of all that this fantastic crew has accomplished."

Carl Vinson and the more than 5,000 sailors living aboard have been tested and deemed certified for deployment. As she takes in all lines, the Carl Vinson stands ready to defend the nation and further its interests abroad.

The strike group's deployment is scheduled for nine and a half months. The Navy is in a period of aircraft carrier operation that has seen the USS Enterprise decommissioned after 51 years of service to the nation, and the pre-commissioning carrier Gerald R. Ford not yet fully online. Navy leadership is working hard to ensure this is a temporary situation.

Carl Vinson's deployment comes in advance of the Navy's implementation of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (O-FRP), scheduled for fiscal year 2015. O-FRP is designed to provide Sailors and their families with more predictability for when they will be at sea by standardizing the length of deployments to eight months.

USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 1 and her ships USS Gridley (DDG 101), USS Sterett (DDG 104), and USS Dewey (DDG 105) will deploy with Carl Vinson as part of the Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. Carrier Air Wing 17 will embark Carl Vinson with her aviation squadrons that include the "Fighting Redcocks" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, the "Sunliners" of VFA 81, the "Stingers" of VFA 113, the "Mighty Shrikes" of VFA 94, the "Cougars" of Electronic Attack Squadron 139, the "Sun Kings" of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 116, the "Red Lions" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15, the "Battlecats" of Helicopter Sea Maritime Strike Squadron 73, and Fleet Logistic Support Squadron 30. Elements of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 will also embark USS Carl Vinson.

The C-130 celebrates 60 years and still going strong

by Staff Sgt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs


8/22/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- In 1954, the song "Rock Around the Clock" was playing on the radio, Oprah Winfrey was born and the first issue of Sports Illustrated appeared on newsstands.

That same year, on August 23, the YC-130 Hercules made its maiden flight at the Lockheed Martin plant in Burbank, California, and the C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history.

The need for the C-130 came from Air Force's Tactical Air Command in 1951, after the Korean War, to fill a void for medium-cargo tactical transport.

"In its first six decades, the C-130 shaped aviation history, redefined industry standards and exhibited flexibility that other aircraft have yet to match," said George Shultz, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, C-130 Programs, in a Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company press release. "The C-130 remains the world's most proven airlifter because of its ability to adapt, remain relevant and deliver results no matter the mission."

The C-130 is the most modified aircraft in the Air Force with multiple variants and hundreds of configurations, according to the AMC Historian Office. The C-130 is used for airlift, aeromedical missions, personnel and cargo airdrop, natural disaster relief missions, Antarctic resupply to the National Science Foundation, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions and firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service. The C-130 can airlift 92 ground troops, 64 fully-equipped paratroopers, 74 litter patients or 45,000 pounds of cargo.

The C-130J, which is the latest version of the venerable platform, was introduced February of 1999.

To date, the Air Force has 145 C-130s in the active force, 181 in the Air National Guard and 102 in the Air Force Reserve.

Currently, two Department of Defense C-130 Hercules equipped with U.S. Forest Service Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems from the 153rd Airlift Wing, Cheyenne, Wyoming, are assisting with wildfire suppression in the Northwest, Great Basin, under the command and control of U.S. Northern Command.

DoD Registers Concern to China for Dangerous Intercept



By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2014 – The Defense Department has expressed its concern to Chinese diplomatic officials about an Aug. 19 incident in which an armed Chinese fighter jet conducted a dangerous intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters today.

The aircraft was on a routine mission when the intercept took place over the Pacific Ocean about 135 miles east of Hainan Island in international airspace, Kirby said.

“We have registered our strong concerns to the Chinese about the unsafe and unprofessional intercept, which posed a risk to the safety and the well-being of the aircrew, and was inconsistent with customary international law,” he said.

Kirby also noted that DoD officials believe the Chinese jet made several passes and crossed under the aircraft with one pass having only 50-100 feet of separation.

“The Chinese jet … passed the nose of the P-8 at 90 degrees with its belly toward the P-8 Poseidon, we believe to make a point of showing its weapons load out,” Kirby said. “They flew directly under and alongside the P-8, bringing their wingtips … to within 20 feet and then conducted a roll over the P-8, passing within 45 feet.”

The admiral asserted that the incident undermines efforts to continue developing military-to-military relations with the Chinese military.

“This kind of behavior, not only is unprofessional, it's unsafe,” Kirby said, “and it is certainly not keeping with the kind of military-to-military … relations that we'd like to have with China.”

On April 1, 2001, a Chinese fighter jet collided with a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance aircraft -- the P-8 Poseidon’s predecessor aircraft -- that was flying a routine mission in international airspace over the South China Sea. Wang Wei, the Chinese pilot whose fighter jet collided with the EP-3, was killed. The damaged EP-3 made an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island, where its crew was held by Chinese authorities and eventually released.

TN TAG marksmanship pistol match offers opportunity

by Master Sgt. Kendra M. Owenby
134th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


8/21/2014 - TULLAHOMA, Tenn. -- "Lock, load, watch and shoot ... fire" were the all too familiar commands at the 2014 Tennessee Adjutant General Marksmanship Pistol Match held at the Army National Guard Range here Aug. 14-17.

The match is the first of two marksmanship proficiency training exercises this year for members of the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard.

The second exercise will be held Sept. 24-27 and will test rifle skills of the Soldiers and Airmen. In past years both rifle and pistol matches were held at the same time, but this year they were scheduled separately so that more focus can be placed on training on each weapon system.

The purpose of the exercises is to provide training and promote marksmanship skills within the Army and Air National Guard. Service members from both branches come together to train with some of the most knowledgeable and talented marksmen in the nation. The match instructors are previous winners of state, regional and national championships making the training provided at the matches second to none.

Each match consisted of three days of training and competition. On the first day, the Soldiers and Airmen spent the morning in the classroom learning weapons safety, proper small arms techniques and fundamentals. They finished off the afternoon on the range with live fire exercises and hands-on training putting those techniques and fundamentals into practice. Shooting from different distances in the standing, kneeling, crouching and prone positions they were acclimated to the Beretta M9 pistol, which is the issued U.S. service pistol.

On the first day of training the Soldiers and Airmen were visited by the Tennessee Adjutant General, Army Maj. Gen. Max Haston, and Assistant Adjutant General, Air, Air Force Brig. Gen. Donald Johnson at separate times during the day. Both were excited to see the Soldier's and Airmen's participation in the program. Recent budget cuts have affected many programs across the military and this match has not been immune. Both generals spoke briefly on the importance of the future of the match to the Tennessee National Guard and how cuts have decreased funding for the program.

"I appreciate you guys and gals coming out here and taking part in this event. It is a very important event", said Haston.

He talked with the Soldiers and Airmen about the necessity of the training and the benefits of learning the fundamentals of marksmanship for all service members.

Johnson also stressed the high value of the training. He expressed his appreciation for the service members' dedication to making it to the event in spite of the funding cuts.

"Thank you all for coming out here and spending your weekend to take part in this event," Johnson said. "I know some of you came out here on your own.

Johnson joined the Soldiers and Airmen with his M9 for some range time during the first stage of live fire training. He received some pointers from one of the course instructors, Sergeant 1st Class Dave Keenom, a national marksmanship champion, on handgun techniques, fundamentals and range commands.

The second day consisted of a series of matches at different distances. During these matches scores are taken into consideration for qualifying service members for future invitational matches such as the Winston P. Wilson match and other similar events held throughout the year. Teams were formed and competition began with an Alternate Pistol Qualification Course.

Next came the Excellence in Competition match. The EIC match points can qualify service members for a permanent award in the form of a marksmanship badge that is authorized for wear in the service dress uniform. Finishing up the days competition was the Anti-Body Armor match that simulates engaging an enemy combatant wearing body armor and conducting rapid fire engagements on multiple targets. This is a fast paced match that raises the stress factor by testing marksmanship skills and the shooter's accuracy and timing simultaneously.

Brig. Gen. Terry Ethridge, director of the Joint Staff, Tennessee National Guard, visited the service members on the second day of the match. He echoed what Haston and Johnson had said during day one. He stressed the importance of marksmanship and how every service member should be proficient in these skills. During his visit, Ethridge was presented with the 2013 1st Place Team Combat Rifle plaque by the winning team to show their appreciation of his support of the program.

The third day consisted of a mini-Bianchi style match where teams are required to run a distance of 100 yards prior to assuming their battle positions and taking on the "enemy," which consisted of a series of steel targets, paper silhouette targets, and some long range targets thrown in for bonus points. During this timed match the Soldiers and Airmen were tested on their physical fitness, breathing control, and marksmanship skills in a battlefield environment.

Safety, which always takes top priority when dealing with weapons, was continually stressed throughout the course and there were many positive comments on how well the range was operated. Army Capt. Timothy Butler, the range safety officer in charge, stressed the importance of making use of the valuable skills and training that the service members had gained over the past few days.

"Take this new knowledge and training that you have learned back to your units and pass it on to the Soldier or Airman on your left or on your right," said Butler.

The idea behind the program is to train the ones who are available and then have those individuals carry their new skills and knowledge back to their units. It can only improve units as a whole since not every individual will be able to take advantage of the training first-hand.

Of the 12 Army and Air National Guard teams that competed this year, three took home awards to show for their efforts. The first-place trophy went to ANG in Nashville, second place went to ANG in Memphis , and third place was awarded to Army Guard in Nashville. There were individual awards as well for the top shooters with the highest aggregate scores in the matches. A new test portion of the program this year was the mini-Bianchi style match wherethe ANG in Memphis took first place, the Army Guard in Nashville placed second, and ANG in Knoxville captured third.

After the awards ceremony, Keenom addressed the Soldiers and Airmen before they departed for their home stations.

"I hope everyone here will leave today feeling more confident in their marksmanship abilities," Keenom said. "Feeling like they are leaving with better marksmanship skills than they came here with a few days ago."

The Tennessee Adjutant General Marksmanship Match is an outstanding opportunity for Soldiers and Airmen of the Tennessee Army and ANGto receive training from some of the best instructors in the military and strengthen their marksmanship skills. Joint-force events such as this match build camaraderie between the sister services making this a win-win program for all.

152nd AW hosts Kingdom of Tonga military members

by Master Sgt. Paula Macomber
152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


8/21/2014 - RENO, Nev. -- In an effort to build global relationships, the Nevada National Guard's State Partnership Program with the Kingdom of Tonga brought members of the Tongan military to the 152nd Airlift Wing here Aug. 20.

The 152nd AW opened thier doors to the Kingdom of Tonga's military leaders to include Brig. Gen. 'Uta'atu, Lt. Col. Lord Ve'ehala, and Senior Warrant Officer Kava.

'Uta'atu, Lord Ve'ehala and Kava received a capabilities brief by several members of the 152nd AW and were given a base tour.

The tour began with a brief look at a Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft, to include the flight deck; a tour of the 152nd Maintenance Squadron hangar and an airplane undergoing an isochronal inspection; a visit to the 152nd Civil Engineer Squadron's "Leed Silver" certified firehouse. The tour group then went on a walking tour of some Nevada Counterdrug equipment and a tent containing equipment from the Nevada Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives Enhanced Response Force Package unit.

The Counterdrug and CERFP stops were followed by a look at the 152nd Logistics Readiness Squadron's vehicle maintenance building. The tour concluded at the 152nd Security Forces Squadron's Modular Containerized Small Arms Training Set, a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range.

"Can we take this back to Tonga?" was 'Uta'atu's question after he was able to shoot an M-9 pistol with simulated rounds in the MCSATS simulator.

After the tour, 'Uta'atu, Lord Ve'ehala and Kava received tokens of appreciation, given by Air Force Col. Karl Stark, 152nd AW commander.

"Today's visit by the Tongan delegation symbolized the first step in a prosperous relationship by showcasing some of the unique capabilities that the 152nd Airlift Wing has to offer as well as discussing how those capabilities could possibly enhance future engagements," Stark said. "Today's visit left me with a pure sense of excitement and curiosity of what is in the realm of possibility for both parties to garner from our new partnership."

The Tongan delegates have been in the Reno area since Aug.16 touring various Nevada National Guard facilities and civilian businesses. They will travel on Aug. 21 to Chicago, Illinois, to attend the National Guard Association of the United States conference and trade show and meet with members of the National Guard Bureau before they head back to the Kingdom of Tonga on Aug. 26.

Through the SPP, the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government, economic and social spheres.

ACC loans Global Hawk to Global Vigilance Combined Test Force

by Rebecca Amber

8/22/2014 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The 412th Test Wing's Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command.

The aircraft, from Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, is joining the Block 20 and 40 aircraft at Edwards AFB to offer an additional platform for configuration-constrained testing, allowing the test force to balance their schedule.

The Block 40 aircraft will test upgrades for the diminishing manufacturing source, or DMS, - the loss or impending loss of manufacturers of items or suppliers of items or raw materials - and additional scope systems including Inmarsat and multi-platform mission control segment hardware and software integration. The Inmarsat I3 system will be upgraded with a more advanced Inmarsat I4 system.

The aircraft should be ready for use by the first week in September and is on loan through January. Though the Block 40 is not instrumented to collect telemetry data, it "fits perfectly" for testing the DMS upgrades.

"Air Combat Command was willing to loan us (the aircraft) to utilize a dedicated air vehicle due to configuration constraints incurred during Inmarsat testing," said Teresa Bennett, the GVCTF Global Hawk program manager. "The importance of Inmarsat testing is that in the end of calendar year 2016, if we don't make these modifications across the fleet, our fleet faces potential grounding."

The additional jet will allow GVCTF to press forward with current developmental testing as well as focusing on the new modifications that will support ACC in the long run. The modernization is part of an effort to prepare the Global Hawk as it enters a sustainment mode.

"The big picture is that we're finalizing our path to Initial Operational Test and Evaluation on the Block 40 air vehicle and sharing assets across the enterprise allows continuity of developmental test to ensure we provide improvements to the warfighter," Bennett said.

According to Bennett, the additional Block 40 will incur minimal costs for Edwards AFB because it will not increase the flight operations tempo. Instead, it will allow the jet to keep its configuration rather than having the maintainers swap back and forth between the various configurations.

Global Hawk is also being used as surrogate platforms to test software that the Air Force may not have purchased yet.

Currently, GVCTF is using its Block 40 Global Hawk to test maritime modes for NATO using targets from Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California. The newly loaned Block 40 will allow the NATO project to remain on schedule.

"There are a lot of projects using our current air vehicle, that's all the more reason why it's so valuable to have another air vehicle to allow deconfliction," Bennett said.

Previously, the GVCTF had an Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload Block 30, but it was given to the ACC when the operational need was deemed more important than testing. In addition to the ASIP Global Hawk, GVCTF also relinquished a launch and recovery element for operational use.

"ACC is offering out their hand saying, 'We understand you have a need, here, take an air vehicle and test the capability we desperately need,'" Bennett said. "The Global Hawk Program Office is doing a great job of working with Air Combat Command and developmental test to share the assets to ensure the warfighter is getting what they need in the time they need it."

Bennett said they hope to receive a launch and recovery element from Northrop Grumman's U.S. Air Force Plant 42 site in Palmdale, California in fall 2014, that will offer a longer term solution to scheduling conflicts.

The Northrop Grumman-built Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, designed for reconnaissance and surveillance. It was the first unmanned, powered aircraft to cross the Pacific Ocean in 2001, and holds the endurance record for a full-scale, operational unmanned aircraft with a 34.3 hour flight reaching altitudes up to 60,000 feet.

"We can fly at high altitudes so we're not as easily detected as some of the other platforms out there," Bennett said. "We can fly longer, up to 32 hours, without refueling. It's a great asset to the Air Force; it helps give an essay to the troops on the ground.

The military is not the only organization that has benefitted from the real-time updates. In recent times, a Global Hawk UAV aided in a search for Nigerian girls who had been kidnapped as well as assisting firefighters during the San Diego wildfires.

"Global Hawk is one of the top rated surveillance remotely piloted aircraft right now," Bennett said. "There's a lot out there. We don't have the same weapons systems that the other platforms have. But we are the leading platform for endurance and surveillance, providing precise weapons targeting and better protection of friendly forces."

Holloman AFB wing inspected using Air Force's new program

49th Wing Public Affairs Office

8/22/2014 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE N.M. (AFNS) -- Airmen from every specialty completed a four-day deployment exercise Aug. 20, here, as part of the Air Force's Commander's Inspection Program.

Air Force's CIP was rolled out 2013 and specifically focuses on the bases' ability to rapidly deploy combat-ready Airmen and equipment worldwide. It's designed to test a unit's ability to accomplish the mission with little warning, and provides timely constructive feedback on areas of excellence, or areas that need improvement.

Lt. Col. Cory Bennett, the 49th Wing Inspector General, created the exercise scenarios and managed the 190 inspectors that were charged with ensuring the base is ready to meet the mission head-on, 24/7.

"To successfully execute and sustain the new inspection system, all Airmen must mentally shift away from the outdated "Cold War" inspection process," Bennett said. "The previous system was ridged and inflexible. The new inspection process allows commanders the flexibility to shape the exercise based on objectives they set forth."

The CIP differs from traditional exercises or inspections by being an ongoing process that is always evaluating the bases performance, and capabilities.

To safely deploy 169 combat ready personnel and equipment takes the efforts of every Holloman Air Force Base Airman, both active-duty and civilian. Bill Guthrie, the installation deployment officer and the man responsible for coordinating the base's response, understands this more than anyone.

"We ensure our Airmen and their equipment reach their deployed location on time, every time," Guthrie said. "The process of moving cargo and personnel during a mass deployment differs greatly from what we do day to day, and without the support and teamwork we receive, we wouldn't be able to get the mission done."

Guthrie leads a team of 90 Airmen who manages the deployment process and ensures the right people are sent, at the right time, and with the right equipment to locations worldwide.

In total, Holloman AFB successfully processed approximately 300 tons of cargo which included everything from shower units and aircraft parts, to medical supplies and ammunition. Moving that much cargo is no small feat and it falls to the Holloman AFB's Installation Deployment Readiness Center to make it happen.

Master Sgt. David Loera, the IDRC superintendent said, "From cradle to grave, our team ensures our customers receive the right equipment, when they need it, to accomplish the U.S. Central Command's mission."

A few more exercises are expected in the coming months, but with scenarios focused on areas highlighted during this and previous training events.

"Gone are the days of focusing on deploying the entire wing," Bennett said. "Our focus now is flexibility; we can deploy in large numbers or in small groups to support efforts around the globe. The wing commander fully understands and supports our deployment mission. He is focused on ensuring every Airman that deploys from Holloman is properly trained and equipped to complete the mission and safely return home."

Medical squadron honors fallen heroes with 'selfless run' project

by Maj. Corinna Moylan
302nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


8/22/2014 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The 302nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron is going the extra mile to remember service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. Every member is running until one mile has been run for every fallen hero, totaling 6,777 as of January when the run began.

"We are running a mile for each of them as we commemorate them and remember what we stand for," said 302nd ASTS nurse Maj. Kim Cannella, who organized the run. "I came up with the idea, however this is a joint effort. Selfless service leads to organizational teamwork and encompasses discipline and control and incorporates one of our core values 'Service before Self.'"

The individuals who are unable to run are walking to ensure everyone can participate. According to Cannella, it takes every member in the unit, from the commander to the youngest Airman, to achieve this run's objective.

"It is not a race so it is not meant to be rushed. I know people run but the miles we log for the fallen are special because the runner is reflecting and remembering our fallen service men and women," she said. "The selfless run is a time for reflection, to think about why we do what we do when we serve in the military. Maybe we will push ourselves a little more to run a little further each time we get out and run."

Cannella said the first objective is to remember each of the fallen heroes in recent conflicts and create a piece of art that will serve as a memorial. The second objective is to build unit cohesion, improve morale and improve overall unit fitness.

"Several individuals in the unit have thanked me for starting this project and let me know how they were inspired and excited to be part of this run," Cannella said. "The core of selfless service is the commitment of each 302nd ASTS member to go a little further, endure a little longer and look a little closer to see how he or she can contribute to the effort."

The Selfless Run began after the January unit training assembly and is still ongoing. During each UTA members provide the mileage accomplished during the previous month. A bead is then stranded for each mile, representing a fallen hero, and the collection of beads will ultimately be placed in a customized glass case. The case will include the official colors of each service.

Cannella said the idea of the run and creating the memorial case evolved into a joint service effort. For example, a former Air Force flight nurse helped with the idea of the display while a former Navy corpsman is building the case.

"I think it is amazing that an Army Vietnam Veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder is helping with the stranding of the beads. It is proving to be very therapeutic for him to be able to do this," she said.

At the start of the run only 302nd ASTS members were participating. However, since the run began other units have requested to participate, to include visitors from the Cheyenne Air National Guard, totaling 89 participants. As of the May UTA, 4,359 miles have been accomplished.

This is a very moving way to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan, said ASTS commander Col. Christopher Ryan.

"Thanks to all who are participating. Remember, each mile you run or walk, think about each individual you run for. I was present when several of these hero's breathed their last breath and it is for them that I run," he said.

According to Cannella the idea of the run is beginning to catch on as word gets around.

"One of our NCOs went to school at the start of the run and they are now interested in doing something like this," she said. "It also has extended to my civilian job. They are excited to do a similar run in the near future."

Cannella works at for Veterans Affairs in San Diego and said she has the privilege of both taking care of and working alongside many prior service members.

"On days I do not feel like running or don't think I have the energy to complete a run, all I need to do is remember a severely injured warrior from one of my deployments who said 'All I want to do is be able to run again,'" she said. "Our fallen service members will never be able to run so if we do not run for ourselves, we can run for those who never will."