Thursday, September 25, 2014

Two AFRL researchers honored with 'Oscars' for public service

9/23/2014 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Two Air Force Research Laboratory engineers here were honored Sept. 22 with coveted Service to America medals.

Sean Young and Benjamin Tran were presented the National Security and International Affairs Medal in Washington, D.C., by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service.  Young and Tran are electronics engineers with AFRL's Sensor Directorate.

The two were honored as lifesavers for leading the development, testing and deployment of a cutting-edge aerial sensor used to locate and destroy improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. IEDs have historically been the number one threat to American forces in region.  

In their words, working as a collaborative team with AFRL's Center for Rapid Innovation, Young and Tran took existing capabilities and combined them in a new way to create a game-changing technology so  fielded Army, Marine and Special Forces units can find IEDs, as well as the individuals manufacturing and placing them.

Young and Tran were honored along with eight other Service to America Medal recipients, who were nominated by colleagues familiar with their work and selected by a committee that includes leaders in government, academia, the private sector, media and philanthropy. Nearly 400 nominations were submitted for consideration this year.  The awards have been likened to the "Oscars" of government service.

"This is a huge honor for the U.S. Air Force and reflects the creativity, skill and dedication of AFRL people to solving urgent warfighter needs" said Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello, AFRL commander.  "These young men incorporated sensing technology aboard remotely-piloted aerial vehicles in a truly innovative way to help American warfighters identify and destroy IEDs before they could cause harm."

For profiles and videos of each of the medalists, visit

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals program is named in memory of business leader and philanthropist Samuel J. Heyman, who in 2001 founded the Partnership for Public Service to revitalize federal government and to inspire a new generation to serve.

Air Force leaders sign Total-Force Aircrew Management charter

by Jennifer Cassidy
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

9/25/2014 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Senior Air Force leaders signed a Total Force Aircrew Management charter Sept. 18, during the Aircrew Summit at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III , Director of Air National Guard Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke, and Chief of Air Force Reserve Lt. Gen. James A. Jackson, signed the TFAM charter, establishing a new total force division.

Under the Operations, Plans and Requirements (A3) directorate, TFAM will integrate the management of the active-duty, Air Guard and Reserve aircrew resources to maximize total force readiness.

"TFAM will provide cost savings and efficient solutions like continuum of service and more balanced allocation of resources and training," James said. "This will allow more effective use of our Guard and Reserve, which is critical to meeting our nation's needs."

Before TFAM, each component used its own model, in separate locations, to manage officers and career enlisted Airmen who fly and make up the aircrew force. TFAM will enable use of a single agreed-upon model, in one office, to make training and resource decisions, provide policy guidance, and make integrated recommendations to solving problems like aircrew shortfalls.

"This just makes good sense," Welsh said. "TFAM will allow us to manage our aviation career field, ensuring a return on investment on training and experience of this important resource across the components."

The Aircrew Summit convenes annually to review progress of ongoing initiatives and make strategic planning and resource allocation decisions. The theme of this year's summit was 'Managing the Air Force as a Holistic System.' Welsh chairs the summit, which is attended by the flying major command commanders, the ANG director, Chief of the Air Force Reserve and select air staff senior leaders.

Hill AFB in midst of robust F-35 preparation

by Nathan Simmons
388th Fighter Wing

9/24/2014 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Aggressive renovation and modification is in full swing at Hill Air Force Base in preparation for the military's newest multi-role fighter aircraft.

Hill's preparations for the F-35A, total more than $100 million, with 23 projects to be completed between now and July 2015. Thirty-six total projects will be finished once construction concludes in 2019.

Hill's 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve 419th Fighter Wing will become the Air Force's first operational units flying the F-35A, with the first jet projected to arrive in September 2015. The 388th became the first fully-operational F-16 Fighter Wing in 1979, and was the first unit to fly the F-16 into conflict with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night system through the skies of Iraq and Kuwait during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Earlier this month, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program leader Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan warned there is danger of missing deadlines if F-35 jets aren't flying regularly by the end of September.

"I need all of [the test airplanes] back to full envelope by the end of this month," Bogdan said at a recent conference in Washington. "Otherwise we will start seeing some delays in future milestones."

Col. Lance Landrum, 388th Fighter Wing commander, said the challenges the F-35 program is facing aren't affecting how the 388th is preparing for the new fighter's arrival.

"We're currently in the most invasive phase of the construction, and our mission hasn't slowed down at all in the process - we're still flying as many sorties as we can, maintaining our fleet of F-16s, and staying combat ready all while making huge adjustments in preparation for the F-35," Landrum said.

The 388th FW is scheduled to receive 72 F-35A jets total. The wing will get an initial cadre of pilots from the F-35 test and training units at Eglin AFB, Fla., Luke AFB, Ariz., and Nellis AFB, Nev., while also gaining F-35 qualified pilots from other fighter wings, and retraining some F-16 pilots currently in-house.

Hill will likely receive 83 F-35 qualified maintainers by December 2015 and transition more than 100 legacy technicians to F-35 maintainers within the first year of operations. Team Hill collectively will gain roughly 475 members, both active duty and civilian during the transition to the F-35.

The timeline to renovate facilities has been compressed significantly, as the start time to base the jet was pushed back by the delayed record of decision. However, base officials have full faith that Hill will be ready for the F-35, when the base receives the first jet in September 2015.

"We're confident the construction will be on time for the first aircraft arrival, even with our late start after the record of decision was made," said Ron Stonebreaker, chief of design and construction management in Hill's civil engineering sector.

Stonebreaker said the projects aren't steady state - there is constant evolution in preparing for the F-35. His team developed a floor plan for one major hangar that will house the aircraft maintenance units, but then learned there were special requirements for communications rooms - connectivity between the maintenance and operations teams built around the new jet's automatic logistics information system, which ties those two functions together. His team had to modify the contract and adjust the floor plan to accommodate that requirement.

F-35 sustainment is already in place at Hill's Ogden Air Logistics Complex; the ALC is currently converting dock space used to modify the F-16 to depot maintenance space for F-35. Stonebreaker said post production modifications will likely be a critically important component, as the aircraft is still in development. The Ogden ALC completed the Air Force's first organic depot modifications on an F-35 earlier this year.

CMSAF visits Keesler

by Airman 1st Class Stephan Coleman
81st Training Wing Public Affairs

9/24/2014 - KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.  -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody, the service's highest ranking enlisted leader, visited Team Keesler Sept. 22-23.

During the visit, Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, toured base organizations, met with the Airmen who train and work here, hosted two all calls and spoke about the changes and constants of today's Air Force.

"The main purpose for our visit is to come out and thank our Airmen, to let them know that while we certainly have a lot going on in our Air Force, we're still thinking about them," Cody said. "It's also extremely important that we have the opportunity to interact with them and establish a dialogue where we get straight, candid feedback about what is going on where they operate in our Air Force."

A common subject for discussion was the impending changes to enlisted evaluation and promotion procedures.

"Basically we're going to take the system and bring it to where it needs to be, and put the measures in place so it requires a level of discernment amongst our people, specifically when it comes to a promotion recommendation," said Cody. "We will decouple performance and promotion recommendations; performance will influence promotion, but they are not synonymous."

The new Airman Comprehensive Assessment, released in July, was the starting point of the enlisted evaluation system overhaul. The changes to the feedback form will help clarify expectations and strengthen the relationship between supervisor and subordinate, he added.

"Chief Cody explained how important the new feedback form is to the conversation between supervisors and Airmen," said Master Sgt. Brian Johns, 81st Training Wing career assistance advisor. "It's not just a form to fill out, it's a conversation. He also spoke to our NCO Professional Enhancement and Airman Leadership School students regarding the new EES, and they were very happy to have the new processes clarified."

Cody has been witness to many transformations in the Air Force, having graduated from technical training at Keesler in 1985.

"A lot has changed, for both Athena and me," said Cody. "I tell our story together because it has been a journey, a career and a lifetime together and it started for both of us here nearly 30 years ago."

The chief and his wife attended air traffic control school together and returned to Keesler several times throughout their careers.

"Technological advancements have nestled their way into Keesler over time, and a lot of the infrastructure has been dramatically updated," Cody added.

The historic importance of Keesler has been evident throughout the years since its establishment in 1941, said Cody.

Airmen train here for jobs across the entire Air Force, and that has been a constant in Keesler heritage. A big difference for today's generation, however, is the knowledge of new Airmen.

"Airmen coming in today are more capable," said Cody. "A lot of that has to do with the evolution of education in society. They come in with a higher intellect because they've grown up in this time where they have access to a plethora of information."

Today's Airmen are also trained slightly differently, technological advances aside.

"When Athena and I came in in the mid-80s, we were a cold-war-era type of force," said Cody. "We weren't teaching Airmen expeditionary skills. But the Airmen in our Air Force today are trained that way, so the idea of having a wingman to be there with you and to be able to rely on them takes on a different connotation. There was always this idea that it was important to take care of your fellow Airmen, but it has evolved over time."

Cody urged graduating Airmen to keep concepts learned in basic military and technical training, like wingmanship, as a part of their constant focus.

"They have to remember what it all started with -- this idea of being a part of something bigger than themselves and holding themselves to higher standards -- and have that at the forefront of everything they do."

Cody emphasized the Air Force core values as a foundation for a successful career.

"He explained that faith is a subunit of the Air Force core values," said Senior Airman Daniel Blas, 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator. "That faith in leadership and in our Airmen is a part of our creed, even though it isn't explicitly listed."

In the current Air Force climate of change, stability can be found in Airmanship and in the mission.

"It's appropriate and fair to have questions and want to know what might be happening in their Air Force, but first and foremost we need to stay focused on the mission we have been assigned to do," said Cody. "Do your best every day. You've worked hard to be an Airman thus far, and it takes hard work every day to earn the privilege to be here."

Nine warriors slated to represent Lackland in Warrior Games 2014

by Staff
59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

9/24/2014 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Nine warriors are slated to represent the 59th Medical Wing at the Warrior Games 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from Sept. 28 through Oct. 4, 2014.

"More than 200 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans will participate in seven sports (archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field and wheelchair basketball)," according to the Warrior Games' website. "Athletes represent Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations."

Competitors from the 59th MDW include:
Tech. Sgt. Leonard Anderson, native of Chester, South Carolina
Retired Staff Sgt. Daniel Crane, native of San Angelo, Texas
Retired Capt. Sara Evans
Retired Capt. Wesley Glisson
Tech. Sgt. Lara Ishikawa
Tech. Sgt. Chad Lukkes, native of New Prague, MInnesota
Staff Sgt. August O'Niell, native of Pembroke Pines, Florida
Scott Palomino, native of El Paso, Texas
Staff Sgt. Seth Pena, native of Medord, Oregon

Georgia goes to Georgia: breaching barriers and building relationships

by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons
116 Air Control Wing Public Affairs

9/25/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Imagine traveling to a foreign country, not speaking the language, and being tasked to teach some of the country's top medical professionals all through the use of translators.

For a team of eight healthcare experts from the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing medical group, that's exactly what the doctor ordered, and the doctor in this case was the U.S. European Command.

"We were invited to the Republic of Georgia by EUCOM to teach physicians, infectious disease experts and hazmat response teams about treating patients in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive environment," said Chief Master Sgt. Cynthia Haines, 116th Medical Group medical operations superintendent.

The team from the state of Georgia, based out of Robins Air Force Base, is well known for their expertise when it comes to disaster preparedness.

According to Col. Muriel Herman, the 116th Medical Group commander, her group has a proven record of success from which to share.

"In each of our last three Homeland Response Force external evaluations we received a perfect score," said Herman.

Overcoming barriers in language and culture, while speaking through translators, the Airmen shared practical experiences gained from years of training and real-life situations with a group of 35 professionals from the Georgian Ministry of Health and Ministry of Defense.

"In preparing for the trip we didn't have all the details about who our target audience would be so we brought subject matter experts from a number of different categories," said Herman.

"As it turned out, the group we were teaching not only included some of the top military and civilian physicians and first-responders, but also the Chief of Infection Control and policy writers for biological and chemical response for the country," said Herman.

Herman and her team shared a series of interactive presentations followed by biological, chemical, and radiological scenarios that they created with a personal touch.

"We did research about the area and people prior to the trip so we could make our presentations personal and realistic to them," said Lt. Col. Julie Churchman, chief nurse of the 116th Medical Group.

On the next to last day of class the roles changed and the Airmen put on headsets, listening through translators, as their Georgian counterparts explained how they would work through the scenarios.

"During the scenarios you could really tell they had thought it through and were getting it," said Herman. "All during the process we found they were amazing people with great ideas. It was a great learning experience for all of us."

Beyond the classroom, relationships were forged and camaraderie built that brought with it an opportunity. The team from the Georgia Air National Guard shared about an event that occurred on the third day of class that resulted in one of the most heartfelt moments of the trip.

"A physician approached our team about a patient she had a question about, wondering if we might have any resources that could help them," said Herman. "For two months they had struggled to diagnose this particularly difficult case."

Herman shared how the 116th Medical Group had the perfect resource that might be able to help. That resource came in the form of one the medical unit's physicians, Lt. Col. Anna Likos.  A part-time Citizen Airmen with the Georgia Guard, Likos works fulltime as the director for the Division of Disease Control and Health Protection for the Florida Department of Health in her civilian career.

A quick call to Likos resulted in a temporary diagnosis that pointed the Republic of Georgia physician and her colleagues in the right direction towards helping the patient.

"What started as a few members from both nations trying to come up with a solution, turned into the whole class working together excited about the possibility of being able to help the patient," said Herman. "The collaboration was even briefed at the Georgian Embassy."

The last day of class brought a surprise for the Airmen from Georgia that demonstrated the bond that had been built throughout the week.

"Our last day of class was on Sept. 11," said Herman. "We went to class as normal and didn't say anything about the day. The Georgian students stopped class on that day and wanted to have a moment of silence in remembrance of 9/11. It was a very touching moment for all of us."

"The Georgian people were very giving and compassionate," added Haines.

ANG Airmen inspire school children in Australian Outback

by Airman 1st Class Aaron Church
113th Maintenance Squadron

9/24/2014 - ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE BASE TINDAL, Australia -- D.C. Air National Guard Airmen took time to plant seeds of friendship with Australian youngsters during their recent deployment to Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal.       

Approximately 20 pilots, maintainers, medics and life support Airmen visited  McFarlane Primary School in Katherine in Northern Territory and told eager students about their jobs, and life in the United States.

RAAF Base Tindal is a remote base in the Australian Outback almost 400 kilometers from the nearest mid-sized city. Many children from the neighboring community of Katherine and the surrounding bush come from traditional Aboriginal families that often struggle to integrate with modern Australian culture.

"A lot of students think they're not going anywhere ... they don't take risks and they often give up on things very quickly," said McFarlane Principal Jenny Henderson, explaining the school's challenge. "At McFarlane, we focus on life after school and getting students to think beyond school [and] to set and achieve goals for their future."

The ANG Airmen stressed the value of hard-work, persistence, teamwork, mutual respect, and bouncing back from failure in addition to letting the children get hands-on with Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft survival equipment and other tools of the trade. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Haagenson, 121st Fighter Squadron pilot of the D.C. ANG, awed the youngsters by modeling his flight helmet, and medical technician Staff Sgt. Malcolm Williams taught the children some basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation, letting a very-eager schoolboy demonstrate on the dummy. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Smiley, the D.C. ANG's 113th Maintenance Group superintendent and deployment non-commissioned officer in charge, shared a lesson on core values, while Air Force Lt. Col. Jim Doyle, D.C. ANG's 121st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron flight surgeon, taught the kids a bit about U.S. geography.

Each of the Airmen took the chance to share what they do and where they are from, stressing how people from different communities and backgrounds come together as a unit to achieve an important mission for their country. In return, the students taught the D.C. ANG members a traditional aboriginal dance, getting the whole group keeping rhythm to the didgeridoo and clap-sticks.

The students were delighted to meet the Airmen and school officials said the D.C. ANG's visit was a first for RAAF Base Tindal, possibly laying a foundation for Australian Airmen to build a longer-term relationship with the school.

177th SFS hosts active shooter training

by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht
177th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/25/2014 - ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. -- The New Jersey Air National Guard's 177th Security Forces Squadron here hosted a mobile training team from the Air Force Reserve's 610th Security Forces Squadron, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 23-25 at the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base.

The team of instructors from the 610th SFS taught Active Shooter Level I training to a mix of ANG, U.S. Coast Guard, and civilian law enforcement officers.

"An active shooter call is the worst call possible," said lead instructor Master Sgt. Bruce Harris.

"Our course aims to aid first responders to effectively isolate, distract, and neutralize an active shooter," continued Harris. "Our goal is to save as many lives as we can."

The mobile training team taught two courses this week, each two days in length. The first day was classroom training on base, and the second day was practical training at Atlantic Cape Community College, in Mays Landing, where an empty building was used for tactical movements.

Tech. Sgt. James Armstrong, from the 177th SFS training office, not only helped to arrange the class, but participated as well.

"While we do our own training program here at the 177th, it is great to see what other agencies do, how they train, prepare, and respond," said Armstrong. "Working with other agencies gives us an opportunity to network and to exchange ideas with other military and law enforcement agencies. This is necessary because of the very dynamic, fluid nature of those we are trained to oppose in situations such as this. The tactics used by suspects are always changing, therefore our training must be designed to change and adapt to the enemy."

During the practical phase of the course, students were armed with Simunition rounds and protective gear, and participated in realistic active shooter scenarios.

"I found this training extremely helpful, useful, and realistic," said Staff Sgt. Stardust Santiago, a 177th SFS Airman who participated in the course. "This class should be mandatory for all first responders, period. The instructors were amazing, knowledgeable, and gave fantastic feedback. This is the best training experience I've had in my military and civilian law enforcement career to date."

"City, state, and federal law officers, they're all here to do what they signed up for, to protect their communities," said Harris.

Lt. Col. Harman takes command of Aviation Detachment in Poland

by Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/23/2014 - Lask Air Base, Poland -- U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Harman took command of Aviation Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group at Lask Air Base, Poland, from U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Spears Sept. 18, 2014 after serving two years as the commander.

"You've dedicated a year of your lives to improve the mission to increase NATO interoperability, support regional security and build a lasting impression on such a key area of the world," Harman said. "I look forward to working with you and our professional colleagues to continue building partner capacity."

The U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment in Poland, or Av-Det, is a nine-person team that facilitates the U.S. Air Force service members and aircraft in Poland. They continually train with Polish air forces to strengthen bilateral ties and increase interoperability.

Recent involvement in Exercises Eagle Talon and BALTOPS 14 in June 2014 was among many training opportunities aimed at fostering NATO partnerships and bolstering readiness for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa's "Forward. Ready. Now!" priority. The detachment completes four annual rotations primarily of F-16 Fighting Falcon, but also includes C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.

Harman shared his gratitude to his predecessor for creating the foundation as the first commander of the detachment upon assuming command. As for the next year, he will continue to establish a constant presence in Europe and execute the mission to foster bilateral defense ties, enhance regional security, and increase interoperability among NATO allies.

Foreign Attache Officers Visit Great Lakes Training Commands

By Lt. Adam Demeter, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs and Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- A group of foreign military officers toured the Navy's Recruit Training Command (RTC), Training Support Center (TSC) and its learning sites, Sept. 22.

The 16 Assistant Naval Attaches are on a weeklong trip, sponsored by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), to visit different Navy and Coast Guard commands. They are escorted by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Director of Intelligence Operations Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless.

"It's important for us to maintain relationships around the world and for our naval allies to get a first-hand look at some of the training, culture and diversity of our Navy," said Branch. "The key to success, like everywhere else in the Navy, is the people that perform the mission. It really is inspiring to come to a place like this and have the opportunity to show how well we're able to turn out a consistent, well-trained and well-motivated Sailor for the fleet."

Rear Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander of Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), hosted Branch, Loveless, and the 16 officers, all from different countries, as they toured the commands to observe training at RTC and the Navy's follow-on "A" schools.

The foreign attaches started at RTC, also known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy," and went aboard USS Trayer (BST-21), a 210-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator, the largest in the Navy.

Trayer is where recruits conduct Battle Stations 21, the capstone event that culminates their eight weeks of boot camp training. Each recruit must complete 17 scenarios during a 12-hour overnight period. The scenarios encompass all training learned during boot camp from firefighting to preventing and stopping flooding in a ship compartment. There are also casualty evacuations, watch standing, loading and unloading supplies, and line handling.

The guests also saw Freedom Hall, the command's state-of-the-art, 187,000 square-foot physical training facility; USS Arizona, a recruit barracks and galley; and the Golden Thirteen -- the in-processing building named after the thirteen enlisted men who became the first African-American commissioned and warrant officers in the United States Navy.

After their time at RTC, the group met with TSC leadership as they received an overview of the command.

The group then proceeded to the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) and Special Warfare Preparatory School to visit with the SEAL Pre-BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition) and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) preparatory schools. After completing boot camp, designated students are sent through the Navy Diving and EOD preparatory course to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous training they will experience during their next phase of training. The group saw the physical readiness qualifications in progress.

Next, they visited the Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit's (CSCSU) Operations Specialist (OS) and Quartermaster (QM) "A" school, which offered them a glimpse into the technical training in charting, radar scope operations, and other core specialties of the rates.

"It was great to meet Vice Admiral Branch, Rear Admiral Loveless, Rear Admiral Brown, and the Foreign Naval Attaches and to showcase CSCSU's teamwork as we train our young Sailors into apprentice-level technicians," said Cmdr. Gregory Ludwig, commanding officer for CSCSU. "As we engage in more operations with other navies, it's vitally important that we all understand the capabilities and limitations of our foreign partners. I hope that the Foreign Naval Attaches concluded their tour with a better understanding of our mission, purpose and our role in training Sailors."

The group then continued their visit at Surface Warfare Officer School Command Unit (SWOSCU) with the Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC) strand where they were shown the training facilities of BECC and computer-based training (CBT) classrooms and various labs where they observed the course features in detail. BECC balances CBT training with hands-on training labs, instructor-led classroom training, and the study of fleet equipment in extremely realistic simulations, creating an integrated learning environment (ILE). They wrapped up their visit with a tour of the flat panel diesel simulator and explained how SWOSU prepares students into becoming apprentice technicians.

"When you have a group such as this from different navies, it's interesting to note how some of the navies are very similar as to how we do business, but just use different terminologies," said SWOSU's commanding officer, Cmdr. David Dwyer.

RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. TSC is the Navy's premier technical training command, responsible for five learning sites that make up the Navy's largest technical training operation.

All enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their career at boot camp. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork, and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is the Navy's only basic training location. Approximately 37,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC to begin their Navy career.

NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC includes RTC, the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command Newport, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.

Surviving the altitude

by Airman 1st Class Erin O'Shea
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/23/2014 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England  -- Many issues may arise when flying as aircrew, including hypoxia, which can be life-threatening if the proper procedures are not taken to correct it.

Hypoxia is rare, but we have special training, unlike any other base in USAFE to prepare for these types of emergencies. The 48th Aerospace Medical Squadron instructs aircrew members using the only Hypoxia Familiarization Trainer 2.5 in the United Kingdom.

"We can provide all the organic training here within maybe five hours' time, versus two to five days of temporary duty that they would spend going to another location," said Maj. Shawnee Williams, 48th AMDS aerospace and operational physiologist.

Hypoxia is a condition in which the tissues of the body do not receive enough oxygen, causing the individual to lose consciousness while flying. Various organs in the body, including the brain, are impaired, causing the aircrew member to become dizzy and lose cognitive functions. This condition can impact aircrew if they are unable to recognize the signs and symptoms.

"We want them to be able to recognize their symptoms, see that something's wrong, then do their corrective procedures," Williams said.

After experiencing hypoxia symptoms, aircrew can take corrective procedures by increasing the airflow of oxygen into their masks.

An individual's body can physiologically change and alter between each refresher course, which is why the course is admitted every five years.

"Sometimes, they don't experience [hypoxia] in the aircraft during that time, so they can forget what the symptoms actually are," Williams said. "This is a good way to re-introduce them to that, and have a system that's applicable to what they fly and duties that they perform in the aircraft."

The aircrew members attend four hours of academic classes, followed by the hypoxia training, which takes approximately 20 minutes. Each aircrew member goes through specific academics related to the aircraft in which they fly. Once they progress to the hands-on training, a flight profile similar to their aircraft is pulled up on the hypoxia familiarization trainer and is used for their training. Aircraft such as an HH-60 or CV-22 Osprey can be simulated on a screen for the pilot's recognition when running the simulator.

"We can change it and have the stick and throttle, [or] have a yolk on there for the KC-135 Stratotankers or the C-130 Hercules; so we actually have the accoutrements allowing them to perform duties similar to their flight profile," Williams added.

The training is held on a weekly basis for nine different mission design series, including adjunct officers and individuals in specialty positions, such as aircrew, who require the training.

"We want something that's applicable to all of them, so when they recognize their symptoms, muscle memory is part of it too," Williams said. "The more realistic we can be, the more likely they are to recognize it in the aircraft sooner."

According to Williams, they are proud to have the first Hypoxia Familiarization Trainer 2.5 here in the U.K.

"It's the highest fidelity of training we can provide without them actually being in a simulator," Williams concluded.

Security, League of Women Tag Team to Teach Self-Defense

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Beverly J. Lesonik, USS George Washington Public Affairs

USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) participated in a three-day basic self-defense class, Sept. 22-24.

Members of Security department trained Sailors with George Washington's League of Women group on basic patterns and movements, how to properly move and maintain balance, how to execute blocks to defend themselves and basic strikes to create distance from an attacker who is trying to press in.

"A lot of the training we taught here are techniques that we teach to our own security forces," said Chief Master-at-Arms Kevin McCaslin, one of the self-defense instructors. "We get the curriculum from the Center for Security Forces and it is a highly effective means of using the least amount of force necessary to defend yourself until you can either get away or get assistance."

According to Chief Master-at-Arms Jeff Harris, a self-defense instructor, this is the first class they held that is open to anyone on the ship and they are expecting it to become a more common occurrence.

"This class originally began when the League of Women group approached us about the idea," said Harris. "However, the class is open to both men and women who want to learn basic self-defense techniques. We have used this training many times in the past and know that the techniques are effective. We want to provide Sailors the correct tools and confidence to limit and reduce the amount of vulnerability that they experience in today's society."

According to McCaslin, the lessons are defensive in nature and the training is meant to help develop muscle memory for Sailors to use effectively in real-life situations.

"These are good techniques to get away from an attacker without really hurting them," said McCaslin. "No one wants to cause serious injury, but [Sailors] do need to gain control. We are teaching these Sailors to create distance, facilitate an escape route or find someone to interfere."

Participants learned different strikes before practicing on one another and eventually the "Redman," an instructor in red padding that allowed participants to practice what they learned.

"I thought the class was great and it is one of those activities that creates self-confidence," said Lt. Lauren Specht, a participant in the class. "It is important that Sailors learn to be aware of their surroundings and be able to react to a threat. We should have more classes and I will be working with Security to, hopefully, develop a monthly schedule."

Specht played a key role in coordinating with Security to set up the class and get Sailors involved, starting with the League of Women group

"Knowing how to defend yourself gives confidence that can be seen by family, friends and even potential attackers," said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Downing, from Marissa, Illinois, a participant from the League of Women group. "I believe it's very important for men and women to know how to defend themselves and both can benefit from these self-defense classes."

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.