Military News

Monday, December 15, 2014

436th SFS reins in three AMC awards

by Airman 1st Class William Johnson
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


12/9/2014 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The 436th Security Force Squadron is no stranger to winning awards and 2014 was another year in which the squadron was recognized. Three individual Air Mobility Command level awards were hauled in by three of Team Dover's defenders.

The 436th SFS Airmen went up against 14 other AMC bases and won awards in the Outstanding Security Forces Flight Level NCO, Outstanding Security Forces Support Staff Airman and the Outstanding Security RAVEN Team Leader categories.

Senior Airman Joli Franicevich, 436th SFS supply custodian, won the Outstanding Security Forces Support Staff Airman award. As an Airman, Franicevich holds a NCO in charge position and manages more than $12 million worth of deployable assets.

"I was surprised and shocked when I found out that I won," said Franicevich. "Other than my family, this squadron is a huge support system for me. My leadership and co-workers are definitely the reason why I got any sort of recognition and I can't thank them enough."

The 436th SFS Raven section was also recognized by AMC and Staff Sgt. Shane Howard, 436th SFS Phoenix Raven team leader, won the Outstanding Security Forces RAVEN Team Leader award.

Phoenix Ravens are teams of specially trained security forces personnel that provide armed security for AMC aircrafts as they transit to high terrorist and criminal threat areas.

One of Howard's deployments to Southwest Asia resulted in 23 missions that safeguarded $60 billion worth of Department of Defense assets, 2.3 million pounds of cargo and security for 3,000 personnel.

"There are a lot of Raven team leads around the Air Force that are doing some amazing work so for me to be selected was a shock and a honor," said Howard. "Everybody in this section has been working extremely hard this entire year. This group of Ravens has been phenomenal at working whenever we're called to and I think that helped a lot with me winning this award."

The Military Working Dog section also brought home an AMC award and Staff Sgt. Nicholas Lewis, now assigned to the 802nd SFS at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, won the Outstanding Security Force Flight Level award while he was assigned to the 436th SFS as a MWD handler.

Lewis developed the K-9 Random Anti-terrorism Measure program that helped secure 67 aircraft and $10 billion in combat assets.

Lewis said he was surprised to be recognized with such high honors and wanted to thank his first Kennel Master at Dover AFB, Tech. Sgt. Ryan Walker, for molding him into the Airman he is today and for changing his outlook on the Air Force.

"My fellow MWD handlers helped me out tremendously to win this award," said Lewis. "I really owe this accomplishment to my chain of command within the 436th SFS for allowing me the opportunities to accomplish the things that I did."

All three award winners will now go forward to compete at the Air Force level for their respective categories.

17th AS assists S.C. National Guard in locating downed Black Hawk

by Trisha Gallaway
628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


12/9/2014 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- What began as a local training mission for an aircrew from the 17th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., quickly turned into a search for a downed helicopter.

When Maj. Matthew Scheulen and Capt. Nicholas Coblio, 17th AS pilots, climbed into the cockpit of their C-17 Globemaster III, on Dec. 3, 2014, they were prepared for a mission that included an aerial refueling, an assault landing and airdrop training. What the crew was not prepared for was that they would soon be called upon to assist in the search for a downed South Carolina National Guard Blackhawk helicopter.

"Around the time of the incident, we had just completed our airdrop training and were preparing to land [at North Field] to pick up our passengers." said Scheulen.

According to Scheulen, aircrews listen to a number of radio frequencies while flying, and one of those is the Columbia Approach Control when operating locally. It was on this frequency the aircrew heard a call go out.

"We heard a South Carolina National Guard helicopter calling in with some in-flight malfunctions," said Scheulen. "We offered to assist in any way possible, but at that time our assistance wasn't needed."

But shortly after that initial call, Scheulen and his crew heard a much different transmission go out over the radio.

"We heard the helicopter pilot make a radio call with a very different tone of voice; that he would not be able to make it to an airport and was 'going down' in a field near a highway,"  said Scheulen.  "We again offered our assistance and this time Columbia Approach Control gave us an immediate vector to his last known position."

After 30 to 40 minutes, the aircrew, along with another aircraft in the area, located the helicopter at the same time.

"From overhead, it looked like the helicopter hit quite hard, digging a trench in the field ... but no debris or fire," Scheulen said. "As we were departing the area, after we were no longer needed, we overheard from another S.C. National Guard helicopter that the crew was okay, which of course was a relief to us."

According to the S.C. National Guard, the UH-60 Black Hawk, assigned to Detachment 2, Company F, 1-171st General Support Aviation Battalion, made an emergency landing after experiencing a main rotor blade malfunction.

While first responders were en route to the landing site, the S.C. National Guard brought in another helicopter to airlift the helicopter crew out of the area.

"They were able to quickly identify the crash site by identifying our aircraft circling overhead," said Scheulen.  

C-17 aircrews do not typically receive search and rescue training, so Scheulen and his crew had to rely on their combined experiences to complete this unexpected mission.

"Our entire crew was highly experienced in a number of different aircraft, and looking back on it, I was almost surprised at how quickly and seamlessly everyone just made it happen," said Scheulen.  "Even without any truly formal training for something like this we came up with a plan and executed it well."

Mentoring event expedites knowledge transfer

by Senior Airman Ashley J. Thum
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/15/2014 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- "You have 2.5 minutes. Ready, go!" "And ... switch!"

What might sound like commands for a physical training exercise were actually the instructions given to Airmen and NCOs at a unique mentoring event held here, Dec. 11.

The Airmen Mentoring Network hosted more than 20 participants who came face-to-face for what could only be described as "Speed Mentoring."

The function featured NCOs seated at tables with one to two Airmen who then switched tables every 2.5 minutes.

Members of two organizations, Exceptional Airmen Gaining Leadership and Expeditionary Skills and Group 5/6, collaborated to provide a venue for Airmen to ask questions of NCOs quickly and informally.

Senior Airman Wendy Fisher, 4th Force Support Squadron readiness journeyman, said she came to Speed Mentoring looking for answers, adding that she feels she received them.

"I wanted to know more about how enlisted people feel about commissioning," Fisher said. "I'm still eligible for the United States Air Force Academy, but I've also been told there are a lot of good aspects about ROTC programs. I can do research on the topic myself, but it's nice to know the opinion of real people."

At the start of every switch, volunteer mentors shot to their feet to shake hands with their Airman for the new round and immediately got down to business. While the atmosphere was hectic, Airmen said the reality in the room was that important advice was sinking in.

Tech. Sgt. Adrienne Jenkins, 4th Security Forces Squadron flight chief, said some of the most frequent questions weren't what she had expected.

"I was surprised at how many Airmen didn't know how to apply for a new assignment," Jenkins said. "As an NCO, you think some things are common knowledge, but that's not always the case. This helped me understand some of the things that I need to work on with my own subordinates and make sure they know."

Other topics discussed included raising a military family and the difficulties associated with discharging an NCO's duties.

"Some Airmen don't talk to NCOs for a variety of reasons, but it's important to open that rank barrier," Fisher said. "I think this was a good experience, and I learned a lot about different career fields in the process."

Speed Mentoring was the second event put on by the Airmen Mentoring Network that plans to host more in the future. The network was created to give Airmen increased opportunities to interact with leaders and learn from their experience.

For Jenkins, the event held special significance, since one of the organizers was her former trainee when Jenkins was a military training instructor for Air Force basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

"I think she and everyone else did an impeccable job," Jenkins said. "Things like this help everyone understand where the other one is coming from and really help bridge the gap between NCOs and Airmen."

Mutual-aid HAZMAT exercise strengthens response capabilities

by Senior Airman Mary O'Dell
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


12/12/2014 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE-Wash. -- Team Fairchild hosted it's first-ever mutual-aid hazardous materials emergency response training exercise with members of the Spokane, Wash. emergency responders here, Dec. 8-11.

Agencies involved include Spokane City Fire Department, Kootenai County emergency management, Spokane City EM, a 92nd Medical Group bioenvironmental engineer team, 92nd Medical Operations Squadron medical technicians and a 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management team.

Each day, around 40-60 individuals were participating, preparing responders in the Eastern Washington region for a potential HAZMAT situation.

Scenarios practiced during the exercise included a train derailment and hazardous gas leak through the heating a ventilation system of a building on base.

"Being able to come together and work in this capacity, utilizing all of our resources as a team is instrumental in preparing us for potential real-world situations," said Kimo Kuheana, 92nd CES fire chief. "This training and others like it help us to keep Fairchild and the community safe."

IMA leads on the links, wins sixth international gold medal

by Master Sgt. Timm Huffman
HQ RIO Public Affairs


12/15/2014 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- For most, a day on the links is a way to pass the time. For Maj. Linda Jeffery, her passion for golf builds diplomatic relationships with foreign militaries.

Jeffery, an individual mobilization augmentee to the Air Force Pacific Command's exercise division, is a long-time member of the U.S. Armed Forces Golf Team and recently returned from her sixth Conseil International du Sport Militaire World Military Golf Championship.

She has won gold six times.

But the win is not what's important to her in a golf tournament where 15 different militaries are represented. She says it's all about building relationships with other countries.

"My job [on the Armed Force Golf Team] is to be an ambassador and build allies," she said.

Winning the 8th annual CISM golf tournament, which was held in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Nov. 13-21, was no easy task. In order to play for the Armed Forces team, the only non-Olympic team which can officially be called Team USA, she first had to earn a spot on the Air Force golf team. After that, she had to compete against the other service teams in the Armed Forces Golf Championship, held at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 5-10.

"I always find it challenging to play in the Armed Forces Golf Tournament because the competition is tough and only two women get to go on to the international competition," she said.

She said the Navy's golf team is particularly good. But, while the Navy's women did take gold in the team event, Jeffery shot 306 strokes, earning herself an individual gold medal and a spot on the Armed Forces team.

To prepare herself for this level of competition, Jeffery, who is an elementary school teacher by day, hones her golf skills after hours and on the weekends as an amateur. During the spring and summer, she spends nine to 15 hours a week on the links. To really fine-tune her skills, she prefers competitive practice rounds.

"You want practice to be like competition so that competition feels like practice," she said.

And while she doesn't visit the driving range, she will force herself to spend up to an hour at a time practicing putting on the green.

Jeffery's golfing career started long before she began competing in military competitions. She took up golfing in high school, where she became the top golfer by her sophomore year. She continued playing at Hardin-Simmons University and was named an All-American athlete. Following her studies, she spent time as a professional golf instructor.

Once she secured her spot on the Armed Forces women's golf team, she was off to the four-day CISM tournament the following week. This year's tournament had teams from Thailand, Germany, South Africa, Canada, Uganda, Botswana and Namibia. Despite the various nationalities, the love for golf served as a universal language, said Jeffery.

This year's international military tournament was held on a challenging course in the desert. The 18-hole course was wide open and presented plenty of opportunities for lost balls and less than favorable playing surface.

"If you were off the maintained grass, you were playing on dirt and the ball acts a lot different, "said Jeffery. "It makes it more difficult."

Despite these difficulties, the IMA excelled, shooting an average of 1 over par each day, netting her the gold medal in the women's individual category.  Along with the Navy's Johnson, Jeffery also secured gold in the women's team competition - her sixth in that category as well.

As a long-time member of the Armed Forces team, Jeffery takes a leadership role on the team, which features many new faces each year. She reminds them that the point of the competition is to build esprit de corps with military allies and encourages her team mates to get to know the other athletes.

"I tell the guys and gals, 'yes you want to win, but the real role is to build relationships and make friends through sport,'" she said.

When she's not taking the lead in military tournaments, she plays in the U.S. Golf Association Mid-Amateur league. According to the USGA Mid-Am webpage, the league is "for amateur golfers of at least 25 years of age and provides a formal national championship for the post-college amateur." She recently made it to the third round of the Mid-Am Championship, which featured the top 16 amateur golfers. She has also represented her home state of Alabama in the USGA's state event and, in September, she qualified to play in a new event - the 2015 USGA Amateur Four-Ball Women's Championship.

Her victory at CISM closed out three grueling weeks of back-to-back military golf tournaments. She said that the pressure of going from the Air Force championship, to the Armed Forces championship, to the CISM championship builds up and is draining, not just on her, but also her family. And while she's glad for a break, she also takes great pride in representing the red, white and blue out on the green.

"Representing the USA as a military member is something I'm extremely proud of," she said. "However, representing our country as an official military member on Team USA is a feeling that very few people ever experience. Hearing the Star Spangled Banner being played while on the award podium because of both my individual and team efforts is an overwhelming feeling of joy and pride."

IMAs are Air Force Reservists assigned to active-duty units and government agencies. They are managed by Headquarters Individual Reservist Readiness and Integration Organization, located at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, and serve over 50 separate major commands, combatant commands and government agencies.

Unlike traditional Reservists, who are assigned to Reserve units that regularly perform duty together, IMAs work with their active-duty supervisors to create a custom duty schedule that helps their unit meet mission requirements.

AFSPC commander visits Buckley

by Senior Airman Phillip Houk
460th Space Wing Public Affairs


12/15/2014 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- General John E. Hyten, Commander of Air Force Space Command, visited Buckley Air Force Base Dec. 10 for the first time after assuming command of AFSPC on August 2014.

During his visit, General Hyten toured several agencies and units across the base and received a mission immersion into the 460th Space Wing and its base partners.

At the end of his tour, General Hyten shared his priorities, concerns and vision as commander in the fitness center filled with Team Buckley members.

"The missions that are going on here are very critical," General Hyten said at the commander's call. "You here at Buckley are doing some spectacular work, and I got to see a bit of that this morning."

General Hyten's priorities include winning today's fight, preparing for the fight tomorrow, and taking care of Airmen and their families.

"Priority number one is to win today's fight, and that's what you guys are doing here every day. At the 460th, (you make) sure the warfighters ... and operators around the world get the information they need, that it is coming right to them when they need. It's accurate, it's timely all the time, and you never make a mistake; it's always hard to work in a mission where you can't make a mistake," he said. "The second priority is to prepare for the fight that is coming tomorrow. What's going to happen in the 460th, and it is coming fast, is a lot of new capabilities are going to be coming into the operations floor. We are going to have to figure out how to take all of that information and get it out.

"Priority three is we have to take care of our Airmen and our families," he continued. "That's what we have to do, and right now we've been going through some difficult challenges."

General Hyten addressed ongoing issues and changes during the commander's call to include the scheduled move of the Buckley clinic onto the base from the VA Joint Venture Clinic.

The clinic presents an ongoing issue on Buckley as members are required to drive more than 15 minutes to the clinic and return to the base for pharmacy services. Members are also required to park blocks away from the clinic due to ongoing construction, which requires a shuttle service to and from the facility. As a result, patients are required to set aside large portions of time for each visit.

"We have to figure out how to fix the Buckley medical problem," he said, referring to the separation between the base and the clinic. "We are going to get medical capabilities onto this base before I get out of the Air Force," General Hyten exclaimed.

Another issue the general discussed was the need to ensure all major commands had a greater understanding of space-based missions and how they can be applied to missions in the air and on the ground around the world.

"It was just two months ago, we sat down and figured out that was a huge problem we hadn't addressed," he said. "(All major commands and missions) need this kind of expertise and capabilities, so they are going to get it."

General Hyten shared his view of the future, where space will no longer be an uncontested environment, but a place needing constant protection. He said we need to realize that the satellites we are operating today are threatened and it is important how to recognize and act upon those threats.

"To be honest, the folks who work here on our operations floor and the folks who work at the (50th and 21st Space Wings), don't think very much about these threats today because we still have a mindset that space is a benign environment. It is not," he said.

Threats to air, space and cyberspace missions extend beyond the adversarial type. AFSPC mission sets also come under threat during sequestration, budget concerns and government shutdowns.

The general expressed his concerns over the changing budget scene and how that will affect every level of Airmen; but General Hyten also expressed his confidence in 460th SW service members and civilians to successfully fight through any challenges the future may bring.

"The bottom line is that I have no idea what tomorrow is going to bring; I am not clairvoyant," he said. "Tomorrow could be bad or tomorrow could be great; but I tell you what, I am excited about tomorrow."

Overall, even with looming budget concerns and potential future threats, the general said he is excited about the future of AFSPC and the Air Force and is confident in the professionalism of the force as a whole to withstand upcoming difficulties, as well as celebrate victories, together.

Reserve colonel makes swift water rescue, awarded Airman's Medal

by Staff Sgt. Devon Suits
Air Force News Service


12/15/2014 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- As then-Lt. Col. Richard Poston came around the bend while biking on the Mount Vernon Trail off Gravelly Point July 6, 2013, he could see something floating out in the water, but couldn't quite make out what it was.

He continued down the path, only to have his recreational bike ride interrupted by a crowd of people looking out across the Potomac River.

"I slowed down and came to a stop ... and I asked a lady what was going on," said Poston, an Air Force Reservist who has since promoted to the rank of colonel and is the assistant deputy director for political military affairs, strategic plans and policy, J-5 DD-Africa. "She said, 'a boat sank and some people are trying to get to shore.'"

As he stood there, he saw five people stranded in the water, about 125 yards from shore. Furthest from him were three people yelling for help as they hung onto a life jacket to stay above water. Between the group and Poston were two younger females, slowly swimming to the shoreline.

Shocked to see that no one had made their way into the water, Poston reacted quickly, taking off his shirt and shoes and crawling down the river bank.

"I never really thought about endangering myself when I went out there," Poston said. "I grew up around the water. My family water skis and all three of my boys have been lifeguards. I am comfortable in the water and knew how to do rescue swimming."

Before he could get into the water, Poston said another biker followed him down the bank and offered his assistance, but he couldn't swim.

"OK, don't go out over your head and make sure you can touch," Poston told him.

The man agreed and said that if Poston could get them close enough, he would help get the others to shore.

Entering the water, Poston headed toward the group of three. As he swam past, he checked on the first female, who continued to swim toward the shore. As he continued toward the group, Poston noticed that the second girl had stopped swimming.

"I was about 15 yards from her at that point," he said. "She was yelling, 'I can't make it! I can't make it!'"

Assessing the situation, he noticed that the group of three appeared to be safe for the moment, so he changed course.

As he approached the girl, Poston understood that one of the most dangerous parts of a water rescue is when the victim tries to grasp hold of the rescuer. He did what he could to calm her down.

"I asked her if she could float on her back and she said, 'yes.' She rolled on her back really quickly and I grabbed her ... (with) a cross-chest carry. I started towing her in, but about every third stroke, a big wave would wash over us and she would cough and panic," he said.

To keep her calm, Poston assured her that she would be fine and that he wouldn't let her go.

As they both swam back, Poston said that another man had gone in to assist the first girl while a third man was already swimming out to the farthest group. As Poston got closer to the shore, the guy who originally offered to help Poston was waiting to pull them to safety.

Once he made it to land, Poston noticed that the third man had reached the farthest group at about the same time as a Washington D.C. police boat. The police lowered their bow door, helped the stranded people aboard and brought them ashore.

Recognizing Poston for his act of heroism, Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein, the director of the Joint Staff, presented him with the Airman's Medal Dec. 10, in a ceremony held at the Pentagon.

"This is a rare opportunity to highlight the courageous efforts of an Airman," Goldfein said. "This medal is the highest recognition for an act of heroism outside of combat. There are only a few of these given out each year.

"Col. Poston performed a courageous act. ... As a result, a young girl is still with her family today," Goldfein said. "It is an honor to have the privilege to present this decoration to Col. Poston."

Even though Poston said he is honored to be recognized, he is convinced that most military members would have done the same thing.

"I am just the old guy that jumped in the water," he said. "I just happened to be the right person that happened to be there at the right time."

An Air Force dynamic duo

by Senior Airman Shannon Hall
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


12/12/2014 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas- The shop is full of constant howling, bones and bouncy balls scattered on the floor, a pungent smell and the king of this domain is a four-legged creature that lies on a couch and greets people with a slobbery lick.

It's just another day for Staff Sgt. Andre Hernandez, 7th Security Forces Squadron handler, a quiet and reserved Airman and his black, thick haired German shepherd military working dog, Ivan.

Hernandez has been a handler at the Dyess kennels for three years. He started out as every other defender does, performing normal security forces jobs like checking identification cards at the front gate and conducting routine patrols around base. In 2010, he attended his 7-level training school and then K-9 training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

"In order to become a handler," Hernandez said. "I had to apply for a re-train, ensure I had adequate enlisted performance reports, recommendations from my leadership and a physical exam."

Only a select few get the opportunity to work with canines in the Air Force. Hernandez has always been a fan of man's best friend and is grateful for this opportunity.

"What really made me want to be a handler was how well trained the military working dogs were and the amount of obedience they have," Hernandez said. "I always loved dogs and actually getting paid to work and train them every day is very rewarding."

Most of his days are spent training on their course, working on commands and obedience, providing security and explosive and narcotic deterrence for the base. When tasked to deploy, the pair takes on a different mission.

"While at home station the mission is more focused on security, law enforcement, explosive and narcotic deterrence, locating suspects and educating the public through demonstrations," Hernandez said. "While deployed, my mission is to provide counter improvised explosive device and narcotic protection to the U.S. and coalition forces and we have the capability of locating high value targets or suspected personnel."

Hernandez and Ivan received special training at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. Once their training was complete, they deployed to an undisclosed location for the first time together.

"When deploying we go through a specialized training course at a Regional Training Center," Hernandez said. "The training received ultimately depends on the environment we will be operating in."

While deployed, special precautions are taken to ensure Hernandez and Ivan can efficiently accomplish their mission.

"One of the most important things we make sure of is that we have adequate living conditions for the canine," Hernandez said. "They also ensure we have proper heating or air conditioning depending on the environment we are going to."

Although this is his first time deploying with his current dog, Hernandez has been on many other missions throughout his career.

"I went on a USSS mission to Natal, Brazil, Guatemala City in support of the vice president and for the FIFA World Cup," Hernandez said.

When deployed, or on any type of mission, the canine is always with their handler. Ivan is Hernandez's wingman. By being together at all times, the handler and their dog create a remarkable bond.

"Having a good bond with my dog is one of the most important things I want as a handler," Hernandez said. "At the end of the day, we are a team and working together is what makes us an effective threat to our enemies."

Although handlers are taught at the same school, each one has their own way of building a good rapport with their military working dog. Just like people, no dog is the same, and it's important for handlers to know that, as they can have different canines throughout their career.

"I have had five dogs throughout my time as a handler and patience and consistency in my opinion are very important," Hernandez said. "Setting a schedule and sticking to it gives the dog something to look forward to every day. Building that strong rapport also builds trust. Most importantly, I always try to play with him and let him be a dog."

Working outside, getting a little dirty, teaching and training man's best friend every day, Staff Sgt. Andre Hernandez is living the dream.

"Staff Sgt. Hernandez if very knowledgeable when it comes to training and understanding military working dogs," said Staff Sgt. Timothy Castillo, 7th Security Forces Squadron kennel master. "He has already passed many handlers and continues to strive to be the best. In one word, he's suave."

"I work outside, I train dogs who are always forgiving and never talk back, air conditioning is a must wherever we go and there is always something new to teach my canine," Hernandez said. "I plan on making this a career and working with canines for as long as I can."

Face of Defense: Soldier Credits Army Career to Basketball



By Tim Hipps
U.S. Army Installation Management Command

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 15, 2014 – Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Bartley credits military basketball for making him a soldier for life.

The Army's "Soldier for Life" campaign is designed to ensure that soldiers start strong, serve strong and reintegrate strong so they remain "Army Strong" when they leave service or retire and return to their communities.

Bartley already has run youth basketball camps in Colorado Springs while stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, and said he intends to coach throughout the remainder of his military career and beyond.

As a 38-year-old All-Army starting point guard competing with and against some of America's best military basketball players, Bartley has more than met the Army's vision of a balanced, healthy, self-confident soldier whose resilience and total fitness enable him to excel in an era of high operational tempo and persistent conflict.

Contributing to a Championship

As the oldest player on the team, he helped the All-Army men strike silver at the 2014 Armed Forces Basketball Championships in November at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. He led All-Army with 17 points in a 103-88 victory over eventual gold medalist All-Air Force, on Nov. 11. Two days earlier, Bartley tallied 11 points to help All-Army to an 84-71 victory over bronze medalist All-Navy.

In 2004, Bartley helped All-Army win the Armed Forces Championship at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. He returned for the 2005 tournament at Camp Pendleton, but was deployed to Camp Liberty in Iraq throughout 2006 and 2007. He rejoined the All-Army squad for the 2008 Armed Forces Championships at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, where he was named to the All-Armed Forces team.

Bartley returned for the 2009 tourney at Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tennessee, and he helped All-Army secure silver at the 2010 Armed Forces Championship, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia. He missed the 2011 tournament while stationed in South Korea, but was back on the court for the black and gold at the 2012 Armed Forces Championships at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base, where All-Army failed to reach the title tilt. He announced his retirement as a player that day.

Retirement Announcement That Didn’t Stick

"This is it for me," Bartley said following a 73-67 loss to All-Air Force, which knocked All-Army out of medal contention. "This is my last year. I'm going to try to get into the coaching ranks. I'm going to give my spot to the young guys."

Bartley was 36 then, already an aging player clinging to a young man's game. He sensed that it was time to start giving back. The furthest thing from his mind was another comeback. He did not, however, have it in his heart to walk away. The 2013 Armed Forces Championships were cancelled because of sequestration, but the annual tradition resumed in 2014.

When Bartley, at Fort Gordon, Georgia, learned that longtime basketball friend Army Capt. Carl Little of Fort Benning, Georgia, was named head coach of the All-Army team, he was determined to take one more shot at his elusive second Armed Forces gold medal.

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Bartley played for Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, Virginia. After two years at Allegheny Community College, he transferred to NCAA Division II Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he played two seasons. He left school without his degree to play two years professionally in Lisbon for Portugal Telecom in the Portugal B League.

After getting cut, he joined the Army in 2003. Had he not discovered All-Army and Armed Forces basketball, Bartley said, he would no longer be in the military.

"Oh, no," Bartley said. "I wouldn't have been aiming for 20 [years of service]. I would have done my four, finished getting my degree, and got out. But because of the basketball, it has allowed me to stay in."

Beyond the Armed Forces Championships, Bartley has represented the Army on Conseil International du Sport Militaire, or CISM, squads at the annual Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe tournament, and in other international military tournaments. He helped Team USA win the 2008 CISM Basketball Championship at Lackland.

"The whole experience, I would never change it for the world, anything,” he said. “It's been great."

Basketball Contributed to Army Career Decision

Along the way, Bartley said, he realized how to better move about the Army system and to better live military life.

"You're networking," he explained. "You're meeting people in higher ranks, and they're giving you insight on different things, military experience and things that help, so definitely, basketball has made me decide to go ahead and do my 20 years."

Bartley and Little played together in the Hampton Roads Pro-Am League, and later waged on-court battles in South Korea while Bartley was stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan and Little, then with the Air Force, was at Osan Air Base. When Bartley was playing for Shaw University, Little was playing in the same conference for Virginia State University.

"Once Ron heard I had received the [All-Army] head coaching job, he said he wanted to give it one more run," Little said. "I told him what I expected of him. I told him, 'I don't expect you to carry the load. I'm going to bring weapons around you so you don't have to do as much. Just bring that veteran leadership.' He was the only one on the team that has won a gold medal with the Army."

Little also knew exactly how to employ Bartley.

"He's been a point guard all his life -- I knew what he needed to be done to get the best out of him," said Little, who monitored Bartley's minutes to around 20 per game. "He had a breakout game against the Air Force, when we won by 15 points."

From the Court to the Bench

Now that Bartley's run is truly done, Little plans to add him to his bench as an assistant coach. "He knows what the guys need to be successful," he said.

Bartley, in turn, believes soldiers need these kinds of programs.

"I appreciate All-Army Sports from a soldier aspect," he said. "This right here makes being in the military, being in the Army, that much better because now you don't just say, 'I'm out here fighting wars and protecting my country.'"

Bartley said he believes the morale boost makes Army sports worthwhile. He also points to team-building and esprit de corps at international competitions as positive aspects of the program when people question why the military provides sports and entertainment opportunities for service members and their families.

"I would tell them they need to come and enjoy," Bartley said. "Come see what's really going on, instead of just reading about it or hearing about it. … No budget cuts. We need this. This right here is what takes us as soldiers to another level. The camaraderie with the other forces, you can't beat it.

"Without this, I would not be going for my 20,” he continued. “I would have been out eight years ago. This has been the best."

317th AG delivers during massive JFE

by Airman 1st Class Autumn Velez
7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


12/12/2014 - DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- On Dec. 6, eleven C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 317th Airlift Group participated in a joint forcible entry exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. That same morning, a combined 24 C-130 H and J models from the 317th AG and multiple Air National Guard Bases from across the United States took off from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B is a U.S. Air Force Weapons School large-scale mobility exercise in which participants from various units throughout the Air Force execute a complex air-land operation on a simulated contested battlefield. The exercise tests the ability of the weapons school participants to synchronize aircraft movement from geographically-separated bases, command large formations of dissimilar aircraft in high-threat airspace, and tactically deliver and recover combat forces via airdrops and combat landings on a degraded landing strip.

The 317th AG's role in the event, which featured 100 aircraft, was to inject soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division via airlift.

"The JFE is the final project for the weapons school," Capt. Tyrel Lyon, 317th Operation Support Squadron said. "It is their chance to integrate with different air frames and the Army. By bringing in these aircraft and actual paratroopers, it makes the exercise realistic."

Flying in formation with aircraft and aircrew from other units provided 317th AG pilots with integration opportunities, preparing them for the large-scale event.

"While flying in formation, there is mutual support because the guy in the back is just as invested as the guy in the front," Lyon said. "Rather than only have one crew's set of minds, there are now multiple, working together, allowing the mission to be quicker, more efficient and more effective."


As the formation of J's and legacy aircraft reached their target near Creech Air Force Base, Nev., loadmasters from the 317th AG had their chance to shine.

"We are on the 'get it done' end of things," said Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Patton, 317th Operation Support Squadron loadmaster. "We made sure that whatever was supposed to go out of the aircraft did, in a safe and timely manner."

In this particular exercise, loadmasters were faced with the challenge of ensuring a safe and successful extraction of a combined total of more than 60 paratroopers.

"Dropping anything is always exhilarating," Patton said. "Personnel are intense because the jumpers are depending on us for their safety."

With only two windows to drop their paratroopers, the C-130Js circled over their target. After their second rotation, every jumper was on the ground safely.

"Seeing each jumper leave successfully is a great feeling," Patton said. "Seeing such a vital part of their mission be successful makes it that much better."

The JFE's impact went further than providing a final test for weapon's school attendees; it and similar events provide much-needed opportunities to prepare for real-world operations.

"It's always a blast to be able to participate in large exercises like the JFE," Patton said. "We are able to put what we practice to use while preparing for actual missions we may face in a deployed environment."

For Lyon, the JFE served as a look into his future. He has been selected from amongst his peers to attend the weapons school in 2015.

"Participating in this JFE has set me up to see what I will be doing at the weapons school before I leave Dyess," Lyons said. "There are so many players that go into the actual integration of these aircrafts. Flying is the smallest factor; it comes down to why, when and what way."

Innovation: It's not always obvious

by Airman 1st Class Erin R. Babis
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


12/12/2014 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England  -- The obvious solution isn't always the right solution.         

"In the military, we all operate in a similar manner: we see a problem, and we typically try to address it right then and there," explained Capt. Zach Martin, co-facilitator for a recent Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century event. "Sometimes we get lucky, and it works, but most of the time we don't."

Subject matter experts from the scheduling office of each fighter squadron and the 48th Munitions Squadron came together to find a solution to reduce the amount of unscheduled work that has been causing instability and undue stress for the Airmen of the 48th MUNS.

Martin explained that, on day one of the AFSO21 event, members of the group were already trying to offer solutions to a problem that hadn't yet been identified.

"Our job as facilitators was to rope them back in and say, 'Hey, the first part of AFSO21 is to understand the current process how it exists right now,'" Martin said. "'We will get to solutions later.' The reason why that's important is, all the solutions people were saying, when I compared them with our final task list, none of them were on there."

The AFSO21 method lays out a process from beginning to end as it currently exists. Then, a team identifies the redundancies and shortcomings of the process that can be refined or innovated.

Master Sgt. Forrest McCracken, director of AFSO21 for the 48th Fighter Wing, explained that the role of facilitators is, "making sure everyone considers all the aspects, not only in their process, but the effects of their changes that they'd make as well. It's very important that you don't make a quick decision on a change before considering the outcome and the knock-on effects of that change within your unit and within other units."

"I'm asking you to really take a good look at this process," briefed Col. Scottie Zamzow, 48th Operations Group commander, before the team began the event. "Let's see what we can do to make it as efficient as possible and ultimately it's going to help the MUNS team. They don't have the manpower to do all the scheduled work plus 27 percent unscheduled work."

The group discovered that flying schedule deviations created unscheduled work orders, which accounted for 27 percent of all MUNS work orders.The flying schedule process was not created with munitions scheduling timelines in mind.

The team's goal was to reduce the unscheduled workload from 27 to nine percent.

"We used to have 600,000 people in our Air Force and now we have 317,000 people in our Air Force," Zamzow said. "So, a process that used to be pretty smart back when we had twice the amount of people that we have now, maybe is not the most efficient and effective. We are looking for efficiency, but not at the expense of effectiveness. If I can get the same effectiveness and, instead of 27 percent additional work, we are only doing nine percent additional work, that's money. Stability is the key."

"There were some big light bulbs that came on, on both sides, in terms of how each side operates," Martin said. "All the OPS guys in the room, I think they were humbled by the fact that things we took for granted and changed were causing dozens and dozens of Airmen to work significantly longer days and essentially wasting their time."

Both facilitators, Martin and Tech. Sgt. Jason Harlan, explained that a large part of figuring out a solution was having all the different squadrons educate each other on how they operate and what their different requirements are.

"We came to realize that the problem was far more complex than we originally thought," Harlan said. "With complexity comes problems, so we identified more shortcomings in the process and came up with an ideal state."

The team created a new scheduling process that includes 48th MUNS and a new operating instruction will be written on the process of creating a flight schedule. New measures are being taken to ensure that, if a change has to be made, the people making those changes are held accountable for them.

Martin explained, when we immediately address a problem without the process of identifying the root cause we're just putting a Band-Aid on it.

"The AFSO21 process was systematic," Martin said. "It took three full days, but the task list we created here addresses the root cause, not what was on the surface."

"The goal was to get that 27 percent down to nine percent no later than February 2015," said Capt. Brutus White, team lead for the AFSO21 event. "I'm confident that what we have created has the ability to achieve that goal if not exceed it."

Developing Airmen ethos

by Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


12/11/2014 - LAJES FIELD, Azores, Portugal -- Ethos is a Greek word meaning character. The Air Force has a strong interest instilling ethos into Airmen and helping them develop strong character.  One way Lajes hopes to accomplish this mission is through a new program and website that offers a variety of ethos-building classes.

"The Airmen Ethos Page is a one-stop shop for all professional development," said Master Sgt. Craig Preston, 65th Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor. "Not only does it include classes from the Lajes Professional Development team, but it also includes Airman and Family Readiness Center classes and resiliency training. However, it does not include mandatory training like the First Term Airmen Center, Airman Leadership School and Noncommissioned Officer Professional Enhancement Courses; only optional courses are included."

The idea for this "one-stop shop" came from Chief Master Sgt. David Klink, 65th Air Base Wing command chief.

"Coming from Air Mobility Command, they had something called 'Leadership Pathways,' which is a sharepoint-based system that they were using to consolidate professional development," Klink said. "So as soon as I got here, I realized we didn't have anything like that."

Klink linked up with Tech. Sgt. Lavaughn Hardy, 65th Communications Squadron section chief of knowledge operations, and his team and they created a website following Dover's template and made changes to fit Lajes' demographics and private organizations.

Not only does this provide a place for Airman to find professional development opportunities, but it also gives supervisors a source to direct their Airmen to.

"A lot of people try to build their record and their repertoire for Below-the-Zone," Klink said. "It's one of the most common questions for Airmen holding the rank of Airman 1st Class, ask their supervisors. This program gives them a meter. If there are two A1Cs and one of them attended 10 of these classes and the other attended one, then they themselves, peer to peer, can identify that they may need to do more of what the other Airman is doing."

As the Airman is responsible for their own career, this gives them another outlet to develop themselves and possibly fill out another bullet on their Enlisted Performance Report or their Officer Performance Report.

"One of the things that I noticed is people like the carrot in front of the cart, not everybody, but some people have that checklist mentality," Klink said. "When they look at professional development, they may say, 'I am going to get five courses this quarter' and that is their personal goal. I want a way to reward and reinforce that."

One way to reinforce that mentality is that after attending 10 and then 20 of these classes, Airmen are rewarded certificates from Wing leadership.

When someone thinks of professional development, they may think of things like resiliency or bullet writing; things that are Air Force specific. The idea behind this program was to develop Airmen and their character and that doesn't have to be strictly Air Force material.

"We are open to any topic," Preston said. "We aren't constrained only by the typical Air Force courses, although they are important and we will continue to offer them, but we are also looking for 'personal-skills' type classes. If you want to showcase your flight or section to the Airmen of the Wing we are looking for people willing to do that as well."

One of the features of this program is that it is request-driven. Airmen can log onto the sharepoint site and click the "wanted" button and email the Professional Development team to request what class they want to see taught.

"I believe that there is a class in there for everybody and most importantly, if there's not, they need to get on there and request it," Klink said referring to the Airmen Ethos site. "If they look through this month's list and there's not a single thing on there that doesn't bore them to tears, then they need to get on there and request what interests them."

People come into the Air Force with different backgrounds, some of them very different from their fellow Airmen. Whether these Airmen have skills from a previous job or a hobby, they can teach these skills to others through this Airmen Ethos program. Knowing this, there is probably someone at Lajes who has the knowledge to teach what an Airman wants to learn.

Celebrating the Groundbreaking of a New CDC at Pearl Harbor

By Denise Emsley, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Peltier Child Development Center (CDC), National Atmospheric and Oceanographic Administration (NOAA) Wing on Oahu, Hawaii, Dec. 11.

"The project will enable childcare for an additional 122 Department of Defense (DoD) children," said NAVFAC Hawaii Commanding Officer Capt. Dean Tufts. "While I am happy that the building is to be designed to LEED Silver standards and will employ energy saving features including a 30-kilowatt photovoltaic system, I really love that it will give our Sailors and airmen another option, and maybe a better option, for their kids."

The new wing will be located on the northwest corner of Peltier Avenue and Nimitz Road next to the current CDC. Funded by NOAA, it is designed to meet the DoD Unified Facilities Criteria. The new structure will provide space for the care of children from the ages of 6 weeks to 5-years old.

"We are committed to our collaboration with the Navy and look forward to the construction and management of the new wing," said NOAA Chief Administrative Officer Ed Horton. "NOAA employees that have recently been consolidated into the new NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center on Ford Island are looking for relief in finding childcare facilities near work or on the way to work. By creating more space within the Navy's CDC system, both the DoD and NOAA personnel will benefit."

The project includes a reception area, staff/break room, storage, restrooms, kitchen, laundry, and janitorial space as well as two outdoor activity areas for four age groups.

Construction is expected to be completed by November 2015.

NOAA funding for the new wing was made possible through the efforts of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, whose championship and vision brought the Navy and NOAA together in renovating two historic aircraft hangars and incorporating them into a single, integrated world-class federal facility on Ford Island.

NAVFAC Hawaii awarded an $11.3 million contract Oct. 23, 2013 to RORE-ITSI, JV LLC (small business), San Diego, for a firm-fixed task order to construct a CDC at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.