Military News

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

PACAF hosts Pacific Rim Air Power Symposium

Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

9/24/2014 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Pacific Air Forces hosted military leaders from 20 countries throughout the Pacific region during the annual Pacific Rim Air Power Symposium held here Sept. 22-25, 2014.

The PACRIM Airpower Symposium, previously known as the PACAF Director of Operations Conference, builds and improves multilateral relationships among air forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. This year's theme, "International Cooperation, a Capacity and Capability Multiplier," focused discussions on improving cooperation and coordination during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief crises, as well as enhancing the coordination of air assets during contingencies.

"PACRIM Airpower Symposium provides a platform that fosters international cooperation, strengthens partnerships, and builds understanding of our combined interests in the Pacific," said Maj. Gen. Paul McGillicuddy, the Vice Commander of Pacific Air Forces, and host of this year's Pacific Rim Airpower Symposium. "The symposium focuses on increasing interoperability and efficiency in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response.

"In a disaster response or humanitarian aid scenario, time saved means lives saved. Having connections in place with our partners throughout the region enables us to respond more rapidly and effectively when crises strike," McGillicuddy said. "Events like these lay the foundation for participation of our allies and partners in other events such as exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and subject matter expert exchanges."

The Senior Enlisted Leadership Conference, the largest multi-national air force enlisted conference in the Pacific, was held in conjunction with the PACRIM Airpower Symposium. First held in 2008, the conference complements the PACRIM Airpower Symposium, offering a forum for regional air force senior noncommissioned officers to assemble and discuss common topics of interest.

"In this forum we are able to discuss common issues that affect proper force development and force management of enlisted forces, with the goal of promoting interoperability and relationship building," said Chief Master Sergeant Harold Hutchison, the Command Chief Master Sergeant for Pacific Air Forces.

In addition to the discussions focused on this year's theme, leaders also discussed the UN Security Council's "Women, Peace, and Security" initiative, which promotes women's participation in conflict prevention, management, and resolution, as well as post conflict relief and recovery, advances peace, national security, economic and social development, and international cooperation.

The partnerships fostered through participation in the PACRIM Airpower Symposium have proven vital to the continuing peace and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. These symposiums aid in establishing and enhancing cultural understanding, information sharing and interoperability, and set the stage for participation by Indo-Asia-Pacific nations in other events such as exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, subject matter exchanges, and conferences.

Airmen participate in their first briefings at their newest base

by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs


9/24/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- A tidy classroom is almost dead quiet, with the rumbling sound of an air vent being the only noise heard. Suddenly the silence is broken with a vibrant discussion between Airmen and a teacher. These Airmen are progressing through a one-week training course new to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to familiarize them with the area and how to be an Airman in the operational Air Force.

This course at the First Term Airman Center prepares new Airmen for the road ahead on JBER. Airmen are required to attend the course within 30 days of arrival at their first duty location. The week consists of many briefs that prepare them for operational duty in the Air Force.

"This program is in place to reinforce lessons learned at Basic Military Training and technical school," said Air Force Master Sgt. Carrie Rowland, 673d Force Support Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of FTAC and JBER's career assistance advisor. "The course provides in-processing and transition of first-term Airmen to an operational mindset as well as a way to network and build relationships with other Airmen from different Air Force jobs."

The Airmen are in-processed through the FTAC course and begin their training on the first day.

"The Airmen learn dress and appearance," Rowland said. "A full service dress inspection is conducted on the first day of training."

Virtual Air Force, dorms, healthmart, emergency management, information assurance, operational security, education center, JBER wildlife, responsible wingman and many more briefs are given to the Airmen throughout the week of training.

"The briefings are mandated by Air Force instruction and memorandum guidance provided by United States Air Force Headquarters," Rowland said. "Briefings that are provided allow the Airmen to return to their work centers and their supervisors prepared for the mission."

One Airman's experience with FTAC helped her understand what resources are available to her before she started her operational job at the JBER-Elmendorf Fitness Center.

"I wasn't too sure what to expect going through FTAC, I just heard that it was mainly about wildlife and the precautions to take with wildlife," said Airman Tabitha Ellis, 673d FSS fitness apprentice. "When I got to the training, there was a lot of helpful information. One of my personal favorites was the Joint Base Against Drunk Driving hotlines and that you could volunteer for it, which I thought was incredible."

The FTAC training is available every other week, unless there is a holiday, in which case the classes will be back-to-back.

"Some classes, we will have 20 Airmen and others will be to our maximum capacity of 35," Rowland said. "We have had 410 first term Airmen attend FTAC already in this fiscal year of 2014."

FTAC provides agencies on JBER the opportunity to interact with Airmen in order to inform them on what resources are available to them and when they need to utilize them.

"Going through this training, I made a lot of great friends along with being more aware of what the Air Force provides," Ellis said. "There is so much information being thrown at you, but just absorb as much as you can though the training."

The information Airmen learn during FTAC, is information that can be useful no matter where they go in their careers.

"Our goal is to take care of the first-term Airmen by equipping them with the knowledge and tools to succeed at their first duty station and in the operational Air Force," Rowland said.

Contingency response Airmen conduct exercise at Vandenberg

by Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps
30th Space Wing Public Affairs


9/24/2014 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen from the 570th Contingency Response Group recently made a trip from Travis Air Force Base, California, to jointly conduct an Air Combat Operations Training Exercise led by the 60th Operations Group, also from Travis AFB, Sept. 15 through 17.

The 20-person team, comprised of Airmen from various career fields, aimed to effectively practice setting up an operational airfield in a deployed environment -- where resources may be scarce.

"We're demonstrating our capability to open up and operate airlift operations at an airfield," said Maj. Jeffrey Krulick, 570th Contingency Response Element commander. "We brought our command and control package, our air transportation experts, aerial porters and maintainers, all to be able to bring aircraft in and be able to get them out as quick as possible."

The CRG consists of Airmen with diverse backgrounds, in order to effectively accomplish a unique and dynamic mission at a moment's notice.

"We're charged with opening up a brand new airbase in the middle of nowhere, with minimal to no support," said Capt. Joshua Locke, 570th Contingency Response Element director of operations. "We can set up an operational airfield in an environment with no fuel, no planes, no vehicles, no buildings -- nothing. If we did it full-scale like that we would bring about 150 people from almost every career field in the Air Force. To set up everything from supply, to logistics, to maintenance, to airfield management everything that would be on a regular base."

Similar to any emergency responders, members of the CRG make a habit of routinely practicing for worst-case scenarios.

"Exercises like this are very important because when you're in a real-world situation you don't want to struggle getting everything set up," said Staff Sgt. David Morris, 570th Aerospace Ground Equipment mechanic. "We need to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible before we actually get tasked with a real situation. We never know where we may get sent, so it's important to conduct exercises in different locations like this. The wingman concept is big because we all come from very different career fields, and it's awesome to be able to get such a different perspective from the other career fields."

Remaining fiscally responsible, the team chose Vandenberg due to the close proximity to Travis as well as the willingness of Vandenberg's 30th Operations Support Squadron to support their training.

"It really helps us to be able to come down here with a small group to stay proficient," said Locke. "Vandenberg doesn't normally get a lot of aircraft because it's a space base but it enabled us to come in and utilize the capability that is already here as far as equipment. So, we ended up saving money by bringing minimal equipment and people while still conducting valuable training."

For those involved, the experience proved to be a pleasant one and members of the team hope to continue to utilize VAFB in the future.

"We were looking for areas close to Travis where we would be able to practice our mission," said Krulick. "The folks here have been great with supporting us and I really hope to continue our relationship."

Obama: U.N. Will Mobilize Countries to Fight Ebola Outbreak



By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2014 – In a speech this morning before the United Nations Security Council summit on foreign terrorist fighters, President Barack Obama likened this distant yet urgent problem to another remote but rising global threat -- the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa.

Each problem demands immediate attention, he told the council, and said the United Nations would continue “mobilizing other countries to join us in making concrete commitments, significant commitments, to fight this outbreak and enhance our system of global health security for the long-term.”

The president added, “We, collectively, have not invested adequately in the public health capacity of developing countries.”

As the council gathered in New York, Obama told the members, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa and threatens to move rapidly across borders.

The World Health Organization was first notified of the outbreak in March but investigations revealed that it actually began in December 2013. Between that time and Sept. 23, 5,864 cases and 2,811 deaths have been reported to WHO.

Experts at WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, expect many thousands more cases and deaths over the next several months.

Containing the outbreak, pursuing new treatments

“As we speak,” Obama said, “America is deploying our doctors and scientists, supported by our military, to help contain the outbreak of Ebola and pursue new treatments.”

In the days after Sept. 16, when Obama announced an expanded U.S. effort in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, U.S. Africa Command began setting up a Joint Force Command Headquarters in Monrovia, Liberia, to support U.S. military activities and help coordinate U.S. and international relief efforts.

Army Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the U.S. Army Africa commander who leads the U.S. military response, Operation United Assistance, arrived in Liberia on Sept. 17 with a 12-person assessment team to conduct on-the-ground planning and site surveys needed to build Ebola treatment units.

Today at the Pentagon, Army Col. Steven Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, said about 100 personnel are on the ground now in Monrovia conducting activities in support of the joint forces command.

The first flights carrying parts of a 25-bed field hospital that will be used to treat infected health care workers are expected to start arriving early next week. Once all the parts arrive, he added, the hospital should be set up within about 10 days.

Also helping with the effort in Liberia, Warren said, are three technical personnel working in laboratory facilities and the Defense Department has provided more than 10,000 Ebola test kits. Five military planners also are on the ground as part of a U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, Disaster Assistance Response Team.

The 28-member DART team, deployed to West Africa to coordinate and prioritize the U.S. government’s outbreak response, also includes staff from USAID, CDC and the U.S. Forest Service.

USAID has the lead for U.S. Ebola efforts in West Africa, Warren added.

A broader effort is needed

At the United Nations, Obama told the council that a broader effort is needed “to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders.”

Later this week, also in support of global health security, Obama and National Security Adviser Susan Rice will host a ministerial-level White House event with leaders from nations that have made commitments to an initiative launched in February called the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA.

The GHSA is an international effort to accelerate progress toward developing capabilities to counter worldwide biological threats to security so a global health crisis in one area can’t expand to overwhelm national governments and destabilize nations and regions.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will participate in the White House event.

During a Sept. 16 visit to CDC, Obama spoke about the dangers of the Ebola epidemic.

“Today thousands of people in West Africa are infected. That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands. And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected, with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us,” he said.

“This is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security,” Obama added, “it’s a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic. That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease.”

188th Airman honors supervisors, University of Arkansas with Patriot Award

by Maj. Heath Allen
188th Wing Executive Officer


9/23/2014 - FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- One 188th Wing Airman recognized her employer with a Department of Defense Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Patriot Award during a presentation ceremony held at the University of Arkansas Center for Multicultural and Diversity Education Sept. 19.

Maj. Danielle Wood, 188th Wing Equal Opportunity chief, honored Dr. G. David Gearhart, UA chancellor, and Dr. Charles F. Robinson, UA vice chancellor for diversity and communication, for exhibiting exceptional support of her more than a decade long Air National Guard career.

Dr. Wood is also the UA Office of Equal Opportunity & Compliance director in her civilian capacity.

"The University of Arkansas has been very supportive of my career at the 188th Wing," Wood said. "I'm proud to work for an institution that values military service and affords me the honor and privilege of serving my country in the Air National Guard."

Kyle Fisher with Arkansas ESGR presented the accolades and Col. Mark W. Anderson, 188th Wing commander, addressed the gathering.

"Our drill status Guardsmen are essential to the 188th Wing's success," Anderson said. "These members often have to leave their civilian jobs to help the wing complete its mission."

Anderson said many times civilian employers have to fill workload shortfalls when their employees are on duty with the Fort Smith, Arkansas-based 188th serving their country.

"We want the University of Arkansas and all civilian employers of our members to know how much we appreciate their support," Anderson said. "We couldn't do the mission without the support of organizations like the University of Arkansas and strong leaders and patriots like Dr. Gearhart and Dr. Robinson. When your nation calls, it's so important to have an employer that supports your ability to serve your country, knowing that you're going to be able to come back to your job."

The Air National Guard cannot succeed without civilian employer support of its drill status Guardsmen.

AFSPC uses wind to power PAVE PAWS

by Kevin Elliott
AFCEC Public Affairs


9/24/2014 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- A wind turbine at Cape Cod Air Force Station, part of Joint Base Cape Cod, Mass., is partially powering one of the largest ground-based missile warning radars in the United States.

The 6th Space Warning Squadron at JBCC operates the Phased Array Warning System, named PAVE PAWS. The radar operates around the clock and has a 3,000-mile reach down the east coast and over the Atlantic Ocean.

Although its main purpose is to detect submarine-launched ballistic missiles, PAVE PAWS also tracks satellites in low-Earth orbit. To achieve this range, the radar requires massive amounts of energy, amounting to a $1.6 million annual electric bill.

"We are one of the largest energy consumers on the Cape," said Stephen Mellin, support officer for the squadron. "Most of the energy used on the site is directly related to the radar itself."

In an effort to reduce its energy intensity, the 6th SWS partnered with Air Force Space Command and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center to install two 1.68 megawatt wind turbines on the site.

"Cape Cod is a really good place to put wind turbines," Mellin said. "Our wind resources are some of the best in the country."

The energy produced by the turbines is sold directly to the local utility company and, in return, the 6th SWS receives energy credits back on its bill.

"In the first six months of operation, the project generated $668,068 in credits," said Fox Theriault, energy analyst at AFSPC. "When you look at this project and the money it is saving, the impact is huge. Projects like this help us achieve energy goals with visible savings."

The $8.5 million project was funded by the energy conservation investment program, a subset of the military construction program. ECIP was created to fund military projects that save or produce energy on military sites, thus reducing Department of Defense energy costs.

The payback period for the PAVE PAWS wind turbine is 8 to10 years. The lifespan of the turbine is twice that.

"The wind turbines have a 20-year life expectancy," Mellin said. "So we're looking at half of their time up here being past the payback period."

The 6th SWS and AFSPC also worked with Cape Light Compact and the local utility company to complete a site energy audit in order to identify other energy-saving opportunities.

"We changed light bulbs from T12s to energy-efficient T8 bulbs, we put variable-frequency drives on our equipment to save energy, and even changed out the old exit signs with new LED signs," Mellin said.

"Space Command was the first in the Air Force to replace old technology parking and roadway light fixtures with new state-of-the-art LED fixtures," Theriault said.

"The 6th Space Warning Squadron was one of the recipients of these fixtures and the installation could not be happier.  The fixtures have been 100-percent maintenance-free and provide much better lighting for the security personnel."

The effort has helped the 6th SWS achieve its energy goals.

"We conducted $300,000 worth of energy-efficiency upgrades that have saved more than $150,000 annually, which amounts to a 2-year payback period, all at no cost to taxpayers," Theriault said.

Even with all of these successes, the 6th SWS is always looking for new ways to save energy.

"We are trying to be very proactive about energy savings, looking for whatever conservation measures we can find to do," Mellin said. "We're working prudently to save money for taxpayers."

Former Kingsley dependent returns, wearing four stars

by 173rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs Staff
173rd Fighter Wing


9/23/2014 - KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. -- The commander of the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command made his first official visit to Kingsley Field Aug. 27, a base he is very familiar with.

Gen. Robin Rand remembers the time he spent here long before his acceptance to the Air Force Service Academy in 1979 and long before he earned his place in the cockpit of the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft.

This visit took him back to 1962 when his father, Col. Phil Rand, commanded the 408th Fighter Group at Kingsley Field.

"I played basketball in this gym and this court hasn't changed one bit," he said. "The base theater hasn't changed much either. I remember coming in here as a child to watch 25-cent movies."

The base's history has a few twists and turns and in those days it was an active-duty air force base, but was originally constructed as a navy base during WWII to train naval aviators.

Today a training mission is alive and well, and though designated an Air National Guard base, Kingsley Field is responsible for training every single F-15C Eagle aircraft pilot who enters the cockpit whether they are from the reserve or active components. For this reason, the AETC commander visited the base to see first-hand the work the 173rd Fighter Wing does.

But beyond his familiarity with Kingsley's picturesque setting the changes to the mission over the years are monumental. Since Rand's childhood days here, the mission adopted new aircraft from the F-101 Voodoo aircraft, the F-4 Phantom II aircraft, the F-16, to the F-15.

The mission has also changed several times but when the base joined the reserve component it returned to its roots--training. The 300-days of sun a year and proximity to large flying ranges make it an ideal location for just that.

Kingsley Airmen from maintenance to operations showed the general an organization flying more aircraft and more hours than any other guard unit in the country. With 32 F-15s assigned, flying logs tallying 4,730 flight hours last year alone, and a planned increase in sorties  the base has never been busier.

Keesler hosts diversity, STEM outreach for JROTC students

by Airman 1st Class Duncan McElroy
81st Training Wing Public Affairs


9/24/2014 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- A diversity outreach and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics program was held Sept. 19, in the fuel cell hangar here.

Approximately 250 Junior ROTC cadets from 10 different area schools attended the day to learn how the Air Force and Keesler apply the latest technology on a daily basis to complete different missions.

STEM is an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to learning about real world applications of its four core concepts. The Air Force has always been on the cutting edge of the latest technology and science, and hosting this event allowed Keesler to show off how STEM applies in the military.

Diversity Day was one of several events held in celebration of the 67th Air Force birthday and Wingman Day.

"STEM is one of the hot topics in schools right now; it's huge," said Gerald Cross, school liaison officer at the Airman and family readiness center here. "Everything we do in the Air Force is tied to STEM, and this gives kids a chance to come inside the gate and see how we apply it every single day."

Ten different Air Force careers were represented at the event. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations, medical laboratory, medical simulations, security forces, fire department, cyber warfare, weather, air traffic control, Air Force recruiting services and aircraft maintainers and loadmasters with a C-130 static display shared their careers with the cadets.

Each career field gave a presentation featuring an overview of the job, hands-on demonstrations and a question and answer segment. Varied activities like studying crime scene photos with AFOSI agents, breaching a door with security forces, looking through microscopes with lab technicians, donning fire retardant gear and doing pushups with firefighters and climbing into the cockpit of the C-130 static display helped show off the diversity of the Air Force's careers and people while keeping the students active and engaged.

"This was important for Keesler because they were able to see exactly what some careers do on a day-to-day basis," said Staff Sgt. Clifford Roy, 331st Recruiting Squadron recruiter, Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, Ala. "The 81st [Training Wing] was able to showcase many things that aren't seen regularly such as AFOSI, security forces, and the medical laboratory. It was great for the Air Force because it showed the overall support for the mission."

"The Air Force is a varied group of people who all work together," said Cross. "We want to help maintain and increase the diversity in the Air Force, which is why we have events like this with recruiting services there to help us out."

In addition to the presentations, other activities included a military working dog demonstration during lunch, presentations of robotics kits for each JROTC group to work on and a pushup/pull-up contest complete with trophies for cadets to take back to their schools.

"This was an easy event to put together," said Cross. "We had great support from the schools and motivated career field presenters. Everyone had a high level of motivation."

"I think it's awesome how they put this on for everyone," said Navy JROTC cadet Luke Miller, Gautier High School senior and recent Navy enlistee. "It's really good for all the schools. My favorite part was the security forces exhibit."

Though the event was only a day long, the JROTC students were able to see how their applied STEM skills apply directly to the Air Force; potentially inspiring them to join the ranks of future Airmen.

"It was nice to show the students of the Gulf Coast that we all bring unique efforts to the mission and we are all equally important to the world's greatest Air Force," said Roy.

Obama Calls on Russia to Renounce Use of Force



By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2014 – In a speech at the United Nations General Assembly today, President Barack Obama called on Russia to stop its journey down the path of force and embrace diplomacy and peace with respect to Ukraine.

While the United States wants Russia to renounce violence, Obama said, it is under no illusions.

“America and our allies will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy,” the president said. “We will reinforce our NATO allies, and uphold our commitment to collective self-defense.” The United States has participated in exercises throughout the Baltic republics and Poland, American aircraft have flown Baltic air policing missions, and American ships have increased patrols in the Black Sea.

Countering falsehoods with truth

Obama promised to impose a cost on Russia for its aggression in Ukraine, and vowed to counter falsehoods with the truth. “We call upon others to join us on the right side of history -- for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions,” he said.

Russia’s actions in Ukraine counter the trend in Europe toward diplomacy and negotiations, the president said.

Russia acted after the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, Obama said, and their corrupt president fled the country and took asylum in Russia. “Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed,” he added. “Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands. When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days.”

When the Ukrainian military began reasserting control over portions of the nation under separatist control, “Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border,” the president said.

The recent cease-fire in Ukraine gives Russia an opening to move off the path of force. “If Russia takes that path -- a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people -- then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges,” he said.

U.S.-Russian cooperation

Obama pointed to efforts such as nuclear weapons agreements and getting chemical weapons out of Syria as examples of what the United States and Russia can accomplish when they work together.

“This speaks to a central question of our global age: whether we will solve our problems together, in a spirit of mutual interests and mutual respect, or whether we descend into destructive rivalries of the past,” Obama said. “When nations find common ground, not simply based on power, but on principle, then we can make enormous progress. And I stand before you today committed to investing American strength to working with nations to address the problems we face in the 21st century.”