Military News

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Greenert: Naval Coalitions Can Benefit Maritime Security



By Nick Simeone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2014 – The U.S. Navy encourages increased collaboration with other navies to secure the high seas, an idea that should be part of a comprehensive discussion within the defense community about how and where the U.S. wants to project naval power in the future, the Chief of Naval Operations said today.

The Navy is the most capable it’s ever been, but with growing demands, its nearly 300 ships -- about 100 of which are forward deployed -- cannot be everywhere, Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert told an audience attending a conference on maritime security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here.

“To do more is going to be very difficult so we need to have a conversation,” Greenert said. “How much sea power do you want, where does it matter, and how much does it matter around the world?”

An informal collaboration of navies

Greenert said naval leaders who attended last month’s International Sea Power Symposium at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, discussed an informal collaboration of navies, an arrangement that would not depend on or be driven by treaties or other formalities that could serve to restrict operations or dissuade capable nations now operating on the high seas from taking part.

“I think in the reality of the world we need to look to the global network of ships around the world,” he said, noting that there are already hundreds of warships from other countries patrolling the high seas, capable of keeping shipping lanes safe, or responding to natural disasters and other crises that could be pulled into such an informal coalition.

“They’re not all high-end ships,” Greenert said, “but they’re ships available to do even those low-end missions where we can match up the ships and their capabilities with the mission. All it takes is a willingness to collaborate.”

The idea is “in everybody’s best interest,” the admiral said, and should be part of a conversation involving how the United States wants to best-manage its naval force.

“The global network has to be tapped into and we have to bring as many coalitions to bear as possible,” Greenert said.

CMSAF brings vision, priorities to Seymour Johnson

by Airman 1st Class Brittain Crolley
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/11/2014 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, wrapped up a two-day, jam-packed visit to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Oct. 10.

The Air Force's top enlisted leader paid visits to several units throughout the 4th Fighter Wing as well as the base's Reserve component, the 916th Air Refueling Wing.

The base theater was at max capacity for two all calls where Cody discussed force management, professional military education, the enlisted evaluation and promotion system, and the challenges ahead for the Air Force.

"It's important for our Airmen to hear how what they do at the tactical and operational level affects the broader Air Force mission at the strategic level," said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Craver, 4th Fighter Wing command chief. "The initiatives and programs Chief Cody touched on during his all calls will shape our Air Force for years to come. The Air Force is undergoing a transformation that hasn't happened on this scale since the end of World War II. The information provided by the Air Force's senior enlisted leader provides valuable insight and clarity to the direction the Air Force is headed."

Cody said Airmen in every wing have been impacted by force management programs, but it's important to remember these Airmen are still a part of the Air Force.

"Those Airmen are still here, sitting and working next to you," he said. "They're valuable parts of our teams, they're important people, and they deserve our respect and support. We should do everything we can for them until the very last day they're allowed to wear the uniform. We owe them that."

Cody also shed light on the Air Force's current professional military education philosophies.

"If you don't invest in education, you're not developing the right type of Airmen over time," Cody said. "What we're seeing right now, especially on the enlisted side, is a move toward blended learning for professional military education. All the top educational institutions around the world use blended learning because it's proven as a better method of educating. It's both learner-centric and instructor-centric. Whether it's a brick and mortar learning environment or an online learning environment, both offer unique and significant benefits. We can raise the education level of all Airmen via distance learning as well as in-residence opportunities."

Cody touched on the frequently referenced suggestion of doing more with less; a challenge Cody says the Air Force must meet head on with hard work and dedication.

"The American people expect us to work hard," he said. "At the end of the day, you likely should be tired because you've worked hard. When we're talking about doing more with less, I think what we're really talking about is work-life balance. We're always going to work hard, and that's what our nation expects. Doing more with less is our badge of honor. We have an incredible asset of innovative Airmen. Doing more with less; that's what innovative Airmen do. How can I do it better? How can I do it faster? How can I save resources? You should be asking yourself those questions every day."

A current topic trending among most of the enlisted ranks is the new enlisted evaluation and promotion system. Cody highlighted the changes and provided his vision for the freshly minted program going forward.

"This is huge," Cody said. "This is the biggest change in the enlisted evaluation system since its inception. Everything is changing. The most important thing that has happened for each and every one of you is the Airman Comprehensive Assessment. I know you're very interested and excited about the new EPR and how that affects WAPS. You're excited about it because you know it impacts your career."

The chief also stressed meaningful, purposeful feedback is going to help Airmen understand what the expectations are of them and where they show potential.

"We want you to sit down and have a conversation built on respect and trust; a professional relationship where you can get to know that person and help them achieve their goals and clearly communicate what the expectations are," he said. "That's how you get better; that's how you reach your full potential."

Cody closed out his day-one all call by bringing the current state of the Air Force in sharp historical focus.

"The 4th Fighter Wing has a rich history," he said. "It's always inspiring and motivating for me when you connect with that history and you think about the legacy of those that came before us--those giants and those heroes--all the things they did so we could sit here today.

"Never in the history of our country have we been more globally engaged. We're experiencing the longest sustained combat operations in the history of our country. Never has our country been engaged in combat longer than those men and women who serve in uniform today. And this is the first time this has ever been done in history with an all-volunteer force. That's your legacy. The giants and heroes of our Air Force are in this room, the fellow women and men that you serve with, supported by amazing families that are willing to go through this with us."

The chief's visit continued with a trip to the 4th Security Forces Squadron's shoot house where he donned full battle rattle and experienced a tactical operation first-hand.

"We showed the chief what we do both at home and deployed," said Staff Sgt. Justin Hovis of the 4th SFS. "We got him geared up, we took some fire, returned some fire, and cleared a few facilities, and the chief led us in the clearing of a few of the rooms. He did a great job staying with the team, keeping up with it. He was moving fast."

Cody said the 4th SFS did a phenomenal job setting up the training.

"It was a great experience," Cody said. "I really appreciated the opportunity to go into the shoot house with our defenders and experience how they maintain their edge."

Before departing Seymour Johnson AFB, Cody highlighted the importance of the 4th FW and its Airmen.

"When you think about the 4th Fighter Wing and you think about the combat capability of the Airmen here and the F-15E, it's all absolutely necessary for air superiority," Cody said. "This wing has time and time again proven itself a valuable asset to combatant commanders around the world. The Airmen here should be extremely proud and motivated by what they do for our nation."

Texas Air Guard represents US in Chile's Salitre exercise

by Capt. Bryan Bouchard
12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs


10/14/2014 - CERRO MORENO AIR BASE, Chile -- Chilean president Michelle Bachelet was on-hand today to officially kick off Exercise Salitre 2014 at Cerro Moreno Air Base on the northern coast of Chile.

The exercise includes air forces from Chile, the U.S., Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and centers around enhancing multilateral interoperability between nations.

"The primary aim of this exercise is to prepare our Air Forces to work together in the future," said Lt. Col. Raul Rosario, deployed detachment commander from the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas Air National Guard. "Whether this eventuality is during a natural disaster or something else we need to practice together so we can work well together when needed."

More than 80 Airmen, along with six F-16 Fighting Falcons from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and a KC-135 Stratotanker from Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio, represent the U.S. contingent.

"This exercise provides an opportunity to strengthen our military-to-military relationships with regional partners," said Col. Mike Torrealday, Reserve Advisor to the 12th Air Force Commander at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. The colonel also acted as exercise co-director along with representatives from the other nations.

"Participating in events such as Salitre helps strengthen our relationships and increase operational capabilities within the Western hemisphere," he said.

The Airmen and F-16s from the 149th FW were selected as participants in this engagement because of Texas's link to Chile through the National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program. SPP matches a National Guard state with a partner country to exchange military skills and experience, share defense knowledge, and enhance partnership capacity and further mutual security cooperation.

Earlier this year, Texas Air National Guard Airmen traveled to Santiago to take part in FIDAE, Chile's premier airshow and aviation expo. They also held exchanges between various specialties, further strengthening relationships between the two nations.

"We had a great encounter with the Chilean air force at FIDAE," said Master Sgt. Kyle Kuhlman, a crew chief with the 149th FW. "If we needed something, they were able to provide it to us and if they needed something, we were able to help them."

Continued interactions between the countries build upon each other to establish understanding and good relationships. At Salitre, Kuhlman represented the U.S. in ensuring proactive preparations were made in case of aircraft accidents or incidents.

"Each country had a representative for crash recovery, so I had to work with the Chilean airmen to find out what capabilities they had and work through what we'd need should something happen," he said.

Ultimately, it's the human interaction that makes exercises like Salitre worthwhile.

"The cultural exchange in the best part," Kuhlman added. "We're able to see how similar and how different we all operate, and make the mission work."

Top Enlisted Airman thanks Tyndall during visit

by Airman 1st Class Alex Echols
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/10/2014 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.  -- Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody and his wife, retired Chief Master Sgt. Athena Cody, visited here Oct. 7 and 8 to say thank you and provide a senior enlisted perspective to Airmen's questions ranging from promotions to performance reports.

"The purpose for Athena and I's visit was to thank the men and women of Team Tyndall for what they do every day and to make ourselves available to them to answer questions," Cody said. "We have a lot going on in our Air Force, and I think it's important, as does all of our senior leadership, to make ourselves available whenever we can. The views and insights of our Airmen are very important and clearly shape our perspective on the decisions we make as an Air Force."

While here, Cody held two-all calls to discuss issues Airmen are facing and to show his gratitude to the men and women that serve at Tyndall.

Among the topics discussed were Career Development Courses, professional military education and a heavy emphasis on the new Enlisted Performance Reports and the Weighted Airman Promotion System.

"We need an evaluation system that will drive meaningful, purposeful conversations with our Airmen to clearly establish the expectations for them, talk about their opportunities and ensure that we're doing our best to help them meet their full potential," he said. "The new system is going to value performance first and foremost."

The adjustment to the values of performance in the point's structure will drive a change in the WAPS, said Cody.

"The idea is not that we will promote different people," he said. "Over time we will promote the same people, but the order in which we promote will change when we make performance the heaviest weighted factor that it has always been designed to be."

After the all calls, Cody and his wife stayed behind to meet with Team Tyndall's Airmen one-on-one to shake their hands, thank them for their service and answer any personal questions they might have.

"He was very straight forward when it came to answering people's questions," said Airman 1st Class Deseree Spaide, 325th Communications Squadron Official Mail Center technician. "I feel pretty lucky that I had the opportunity to meet someone that is important to us all. Hearing all the different things he's done in his career makes me excited and proud to wear this uniform."

The Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force also toured the base visiting Tyndall's Airmen in their work centers.

"The base is excellent," said Cody. "Both Athena and I are continually inspired by our Airmen in their work ethic, their professionalism and their exceptional attitude toward the mission. We saw a lot of motivated Airmen, a lot of great people doing great work here."

Holly-Graham Comes to MHAFB

by Airman 1st Class Jeremy Mosier
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/14/2014 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Airmen arrive to work out at the gym in the early hours of the morning with sleep still in their eyes. The first thing they hear when entering the front doors is, "hey you, come over here."

A new member of the Gunfighter family, Holly-Graham - a projected hologram - arrived here approximately two weeks ago to share her knowledge on healthy living.

"She definitely catches people's attention," said Tech. Sgt. Demetrius N. Long, the sports director at the Health and Wellness Center with the 366th Force Support Squadron.

Her first impression immediately draws individuals in to see she is nothing more than a hologram. When approached, she offers a number of options for gym visitors to improve their health.

"Holly-Graham is a motion activated system that came here with the intent to increase awareness of healthy eating, tobacco cessation, fitness and staying active," said Mark Tschampl, 366th Fighter Wing HAWC director and Healthy Base Initiative point of contact. "We hope she generates interest and brings those individuals to the HAWC so we can help them specifically."

Thanks to Mountain Home's leadership and Tschampl pushing to have a healthier base, MHAFB was selected to be part of HBI and the first Air Force base to receive Holly-Graham.

"The bottom-line is we have the leadership and personnel who want to make a change," said Tschampl. "As an isolated base we have higher health risks than other bases."

Holly-Graham brings something new to Mountain Home by being more verbal, visual and interactive than a brochure.

"It's more of an innovative way to catch people's attention," said Tschampl. "When we have a healthier population we're better able to accomplish the mission."

Holly-Graham not only gives individuals the means to accomplish the mission but also provides the tools for a higher quality of life through real-world examples. She gives facts about fruits and vegetables and healthy eating habits. Other facts she is able to give are the benefits of tobacco cessation by showing you an image of a smoker's brown lung compared to a non-smokers lung.

With the ability to peek one's interest, Holly-Graham is programmed to share the knowledge of many things giving service members and their families the drive to seek information on how to change their life.

Aircrew members go behind-the-scenes of 735th AMS

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


10/10/2014 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- The first Operation Aircrew Orientation took place here Oct. 9.

The half-day information exchange hosted by the 735th Air Mobility Squadron gave members of the 535th Airlift Squadron a look at the squadron's day-to-day operations.

"This is an opportunity for locally stationed aircrew members to be educated on how aerial port and maintenance functions in the 'en route' environment," said Maj. Lloyd Richardson, 735th AMS director of operations.

Richardson said the orientation was especially important considering the unique relationship the squadrons share. Though the 735th AMS often provides service for the aircraft and aircrews from the 535th AS, the two squadrons belong to separate major commands and parent units.

During the tour, aircrew members from the 535th AS were educated on the inner workings of an air mobility squadron including passenger services, air freight, the Air Terminal Operations Center and the Air Mobility Command Control Center.

Richardson said the purpose of the event was to build relationships and strengthen partnerships, increase cross-organizational job awareness and reduce mission delays through education.

"We wanted to paint a picture of what the 735th AMS does," Richardson said. "We work so closely together every day and we live in the same spot, but I think right now there's only a loose understanding of the difficulties and successes we share. We are a multifaceted squadron but a lot of people have trouble understanding the moving parts."

Richardson said the interactive walking tour was also a chance for the group to put names with faces.

"This is a chance for both sides to see and talk about what's really going on behind-the-scenes of each operation and increase understanding about how things really operate," he said. "You have an easier time relating to someone you know. If you don't know what someone's job is your expectations of what they should be doing are made up, but if you understand their role and what they do you can manage your expectations."

Richardson, a seasoned C-17 Globemaster III pilot, said the idea for the aircrew orientation began to form when he moved from the 535th AS to the 735th AMS and realized just how little he understood about the organization.

"When I moved into this job from the 535th I didn't know what I didn't know," he said. "I realized I didn't have a firm grasp on the lingo or the challenges the squadron faced or even what all of the functions did. The aerial port and maintenance was always something I took for granted, so the info we wanted to passed on today hopefully equipped the aircrew with the tools they need to better under understand how we operate or why certain decisions are made."

For Staff Sgt. Daniel Thompson, 535th AS loadmaster, the orientation proved to be just what he needed to see the bigger picture.

"I actually learned a lot today, it's good to see the way each part of the puzzle fits together," he said. "It was interesting to see who I am talking to and how all of that plays a part in the bigger picture."

Thompson said he hopes the orientation becomes a permanent part of acclimating new Airmen into the squadron.

"From an Airman's perspective I would think this is right on the money," he said. "It's hard sometimes to understand supporting something when you don't understand what's going on behind-the-scenes. It can be hectic, but something like this is eye opening. I was impressed with this event."

Laughlin pilot receives highest aviation safety award

by Keith Wright
Air Force Safety Center Public Affairs


10/14/2014 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III presented the service's top safety award, the Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy, to a pilot from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, during a ceremony Oct. 8, at the Pentagon.

The recipient, Lt. Col. William E. Lee, received the honor for his actions during a solo T-38C Talon functional check flight in March 2013.

Lee is the functional check flight branch chief for the T-38, 96th Flying Training Squadron, 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB, Texas.

During the flight, the rear cockpit multi-function display dislocated and became wedged between the control stick and the instrument panel. This caused the aircraft to pitch upward and roll violently left. After executing a controllability check, Lee was able to maintain control and fly back to base with minimal controls.

Just before landing, he experienced an un-commanded roll that required an increase in power, which brought the aircraft to a stop only a few feet from the raised barrier.

"This year's honoree, Lt. Col. William Lee, truly showcases the precision, professionalism and performance that embody the spirit of Koren Kolligian," said Koren Kolligian II, a nephew of Kolligian.

During the ceremony Lee told the audience that it wasn't his normal "stick and rudder" training that prepared him for the emergency. Instead, he credited past personal and professional relationships that prepared him with the tools he needed to fly the T-38 and recover it safely in March 2013.

It began with his grandparents, who raised him, and taught him to "be the best he could be in any endeavor" as well as the importance of persistence in achieving goals. His relationships in the Air Force were forged by mentors as a young aircraft maintenance officer, pilot training instructors who challenged him, and flying peers who always pushed him to be a better F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot.

He said they imparted in him a sense of determination, in-depth aircraft systems knowledge, excellent flying skills and critical analytical skills needed for him to become an exceptional functional check flight pilot.

Lee's immediate actions and quick decision making skills diverted a major catastrophe and prevented the loss of his aircraft, lives and property.

The Kolligian Trophy is presented each year to an Air Force crewmember that shows extraordinary skill, alertness, ingenuity, or proficiency in averting or minimizing the seriousness of a flight mishap. It was established in 1958 in the name of 1st Lt. Koren Kolligian Jr., an Air Force pilot declared missing in the line of duty when his T-33 Shooting Star disappeared off the coast of California in 1955.

The Kolligian family continues to sponsor and attend the award presentation which maintains a rich heritage dating back 57 years to the first decade of the Air Force.

Hagel, Honduran Counterpart Discuss Security Issues



DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 14, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met Oct. 11 with Honduran Defense Minister Samuel Reyes Rendon on the sidelines of the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Arequipa, Peru, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Kirby said the discussion covered a wide range of security issues of mutual concern, including the threat to stability posed by narcotrafficking, natural disasters, and the importance of a holistic approach to the security challenges facing Central America.

“Secretary Hagel thanked the minister for his support of the strong relationship between our two militaries and for Honduras' contributions to regional security,” the admiral said. “The secretary reaffirmed the United States' commitment to our security obligations in Latin America.”

Both leaders agreed on the need for continued dialogue and cooperation across the region through exercises, exchanges and operations, he added.

AMXS Airmen launches perfect C-130J

by Airman 1st Class Jordan Castelan
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


10/10/2014 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- On Oct. 7, Airman 1st Class Christopher Torres, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, released a C-130 under black letter conditions; a condition stating that the specific aircraft is operating without any discrepancies, due inspections or maintenance problems.

For the first time since rolling off the delivery line Torres' C-130J took flight with a black letter designation.

"Today we had the opportunity to a launch an aircraft on a black letter initial which is unique and exciting," said Chief Master Sgt. Robert Spychalski, 86th AMXS superintendent. "In my career dating all the way back to 1983 I have never experienced this."

Spychalski said that the reason this achievement was accomplished was due to Torres' pride in his aircraft, work and active attitude to aggressively trim the fat and work the issues ahead of him.

"I made sure I always stayed on top of the forms, the aircraft itself when it went in for maintenance, coming in on my spare time to accomplish tasks that couldn't be done otherwise and staying with the aircraft as much as possible," said Torres. "It's your plane, your responsibility. It's me and an assistant dedicated crew chief. Work becomes personal, the plane becomes personal, you even get to the point where many will name their aircraft."

The launching of the C-130 wasn't the only item being celebrated on the day's agenda. Torres was coined by the 86th AMXS commander, the 86th Maintenance Group superintendent and awarded two patches from the 37th Airlift Squadron commander.

"He's really put his nose to the grindstone to not only accomplish this black letter but to also ensure this aircraft is the most fit in the fleet," said Capt. Tyler Gross, 86th Aircraft Maintenance Unit OIC. "He's the pinnacle of dedication and perseverance as a crew chief."

Whether it's Airmen or aircraft the Air Force continues to look toward working in black letter designation conditions.