Military News

Thursday, January 08, 2015

JBER saves through alternative energy

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


1/8/2015 - JONT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- In today's technological age, no matter what medium is used, most modern conveniences require energy to operate.

The U.S. as a whole largely relies on natural gas, coal and oil for energy. Alaska has fairly unique requirements due to the arctic environment.

The federal government has set goals to lower costs and save energy. Everyone can do their part to help, and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is taking steps to do its.
The Anchorage municipal solid waste landfill, adjacent to base, collects and burns landfill gas to comply with regulations in the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

The gas is primarily methane, and the JBER Landfill Gas Waste-to-Energy Plant generates more than 56,000 megawatt hours, or 26.2 percent of JBER's electrical load.

The plant ensures JBER will exceed renewable energy goals established by EPA executive order. These mandates require federal agencies use renewable energy to meet at least 7.5 percent of total electric consumption.

Because the generator plant is located on JBER, the installation is able to double-count credit at 52.4 percent, or nearly seven times the goal.

"We're looking at [future] options," said Richard Hiatt, 673d Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager. "We're looking into a means of getting wind power. There are also various ways to harness power from the tide. Solar power is an option, but it doesn't work well in Alaska; we've done studies to install solar panels - I did the calculations and the benefits are just not there."

"Right now, we're saving between a third and half of the electrical costs, just on the Richardson side," said Morgan Benson, 673d CES energy performance specialist. "The final goal is to create as much energy as you are using, called net zero energy use."

The goals are the same all the way up the chain, he said. Achieving those benefits more than just JBER. PACAF, the Air Force, the Department of Defense and the federal government as a whole benefit, Benson said.

"If one base does more than their fair share, it really benefits all the way around," he said. "That's why this methane gas was such a big deal - it's more than just one year of savings; it was about 30 percent of the base as a whole."

The federal requirement is to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent in 2015.

Currently, there is the capacity to generate 50 percent of the power requirements on JBER-Richardson and 25 percent of the needs for the entire installation. In the years 2016 and 2017, an estimated 1.4 megawatts of power will be added, and in the near future, another unit will add an additional 1.4 megawatts of power to the installation. It's going to continue to grow based on the rate of gas at the plant, Hiatt said.

"For example, many homes use 60 watt bulbs - I think JBER is using about 600,000 of those 60 watt bulbs annually," Benson said. "One megawatt essentially will run 1,000 homes that are consuming 1,000 kilowatts each."

Other means of saving energy include automating resources, such as motion-detecting lights and water faucets.

People tend to leave both running, which adds up in wasted energy and costs, and automating them to turn off when not being used removes the human error, ultimately making up for the cost of upgrading the equipment.

The energy team is looking at the insulation of existing buildings, Benson said. "We're [also] changing out lights as fast as we can. It's easy, convenient and [results in] big savings."

Residents of the installation can take some basic steps to help save costs and make energy go as far as it can. Facility managers, or other representatives designated by the squadron and tenant-unit leadership, will be responsible for ensuring compliance with JBER energy policies.

In the latest policy letter signed by Air Force Col. Brian Bruckbauer, JBER and 673d Air Base Wing commander, ways to conserve energy include setting building thermostats no higher than 70 degrees during duty hours and no higher than 65 degrees during off-duty hours in administrative buildings. In shops and warehouses - not hangars - set building thermostats no higher than 65 degrees.

Turn off all copiers, computer monitors, printers, computer speakers and other computer peripherals at the end of each duty day (but not) computers. Mission-essential computers and office equipment should remain in operation.

Personal refrigerators intended for only one person's use are prohibited in work/office areas. Large and old refrigerators should be retired or used only for large functions requiring temporary food storage.

Review procedures within your unit to turn off unnecessary interior or exterior lighting that may be left on routinely, especially during periods of extended daylight. End-of-day facility checks should include procedures to turn off any lighting not necessary to meet mission, safety or security requirements.

Turn off lights where possible in unoccupied areas during the day. Maximize ambient, outside light and task lighting to safely illuminate areas.

Exterior lights that remain on during the periods of daylight, called "day burners," are prohibited. If controlled by photocells which no longer shut the lights off during daylight hours, facility managers should report them to the 773d CES customer service office at 552-3726/3727.

Purchase only compact fluorescent lamps or LED lamps for replacement of burned-out incandescent light bulbs. Contact your energy conservation office before to purchasing any CFLs.

The use of portable space heaters is highly discouraged.

Facility managers should be aware that LED fixtures will be considered in new construction designs for office, warehouse and maintenance facilities, and exterior lighting.

Facility managers also have the option to produce a detailed list of the incandescent bulbs or CFLs in their facility. The 773d CES energy team will include that building in the next LED lamp purchase.

"I'm an Engineer - we build things. That's what we love to do," Benson said. "It stays challenging."

Life-changing steps through a life-changing class

by Airman First Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs


1/8/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The path to fitness is delineated by ideals, goals and aspirations. A fitness plan can help those looking to lose weight or live healthier lives navigate toward a better body. However, designing that path and getting to the goal is usually easier said than done.

The Health and Wellness Center provides the Better Body, Better Life program, which is available to military members, retirees, civilians and their family members on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The program consists of five classes with information on how to lose weight by eating healthier and learning to be physically fit.

"The Better Body, Better Life program has been around since 2011," said Lisa Schuette, 673d Aerospace Medical Squadron health educator and registered dietician.

"The Air Force decided to do trials on the program and asked for volunteers. I was one of about 10 other dieticians around the Air Force who volunteered."
During the trials, the dieticians got together to see what programs were in progress on military installations, such as the Army MOVE! program and combined aspects from each of them to greatly improve the orginal BBBL program.

"It was a long six to eight months of coming up with ideas, making sure it was consistent and finalizing it," the Michigan native said. The classes include information on portion sizes, sugar intake, hydration and stress levels as well as behavioral and nutritional changes.

The first lesson is about better nutrition, which includes information about portion sizes and calories.

"I also go over hunger scales, which is telling the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger, otherwise known as emotion cravings," Schuette said.

The second two-hour class is about carbohydrates. Schuette discusses sugars with her class and the difference between natural sugars and artificial sugars. Alcohol and how it affects the health of the body is also a part of the discussion.

"Our third class is about dining out and dealing with slips in the program," Schuette said.

In the fourth lesson, Schuette discusses meal planning, grocery shopping and looking at food labels and sleeping habits.

"The last class is all about relapse, and how to keep your body on the right track," Schuette said.

During each of these courses, the first hour and a half are discussions and the last 30 minutes are physical activity.

"This class really helps people learn about things they may never have thought about before, and having them in groups interacting with each other makes it even better for them.

They feel good learning about healthy living [in groups]," Schuette said. "We do get individuals who start in the middle of the program, but everyone is welcome because we go through it all over again when we start the next set of classes, which they are more than welcome to attend."

At each class, every individual participating is weighed and explains their reason for coming to the class.

During the discussions, individuals also write down goals for the week; for example, wanting to eat less fast food, or prepare healthier dinners.
The class impacted one Soldier's life, Spc. Adam Chavez, a food service specialist with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne).

"I heard about the class through my primary care physician due to health problems I was having," Chavez said. "My doctor recommended [I] come here to progressively get my health back to where it was one year ago."

Over the year, Chavez has suffered through a concussion and a car accident.

"I suffered from a severe hormonal and chemical imbalance due to the concussion I had," Chavez said. "Shortly afterward, I got ill."

Chavez gained weight, his immune system shut down, his sleeping became irregular and he experienced headaches constantly.

"My primary care physician decided to run blood tests after a car accident I was involved in because I wasn't healing like I should have been.

Sure enough, there was some kind of infection in my system," Chavez said. "Not only did they find an infection and cure it, but the blood tests showed I also had a serious depletion of vitamin D. I am now taking injections and supplements of vitamin D to get my health back to where it should be."
The class has shown Chavez what he can do to help himself get better.

"It has been really helpful for me," Chavez said. "Before the class I would have just eaten a cheeseburger without a second thought and felt horrible after eating it, but now [I know] that it isn't good to feel that way."

Chavez says he feels much better than ever, after learning simple tricks for eating healthier.

"Although this is my third class, I am able to make better choices about food and take notes from the bits of information I didn't even know before," Chavez said.

"Even as a cook, I thought I was eating healthy but [the instructor] specified there were a lot of things I was doing wrong, so my idea of healthy was not so healthy."

The class is currently available every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. for anyone with access to JBER looking for a better body and a better life.

"I highly recommend this class to anyone wanting to lose weight, or definitely trying to get into better health," Chavez said.

For more information about the Better Body, Better Life program, call 552-5029.

Hagel, Carter Discuss Wide-ranging Issues at Pentagon



DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2015 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Defense Secretary-nominee Dr. Ashton B. Carter discussed wide-ranging issues during a meeting at the Pentagon today, according to a statement provided by Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby.

Kirby’s statement reads as follows:

Secretary Hagel met at the Pentagon this afternoon with Dr. Ashton Carter, as Dr. Carter begins to prepare for the confirmation process. The meeting gave both leaders a chance to get reacquainted and to discuss wide-ranging issues of importance to the Defense Department. This was the first face-to-face meeting between Secretary Hagel and Dr. Carter since Dr. Carter's nomination as the next Secretary of Defense.

Airman continues the family business

by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs


1/8/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARSON, Alaska -- Dana Walker is from a family focused on science. Her father and her siblings have careers in different sciences and Walker herself chose to become a meteorologist in the Air Force.

"I could have done practically anything and I picked weather," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Walker, 3rd Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. "I was like 'atmospheric science - that sounds pretty awesome.'"

Walker said she welcomed the Air Force's opportunity to get out of her farming hometown, and instead found herself at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, for eight months of technical school. She then was stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The science-based job helped her keep a sense of the family business.

"My dad's kind of a rock nerd, or at least used to be, so he kind of had ground science covered," she said. "My dad's a geologist. He was always really enthusiastic about science career fields. He wanted us to grow up to be doctors, to look at the world in kind of a scientific manner and ask why."
Some meteorologists become Special Operations Weather Technicians, an expeditionary version of the career field known for keeping an eye to the sky in combat environments.

"I thought that's what I [would be] doing, and it's not," she said. "I had to start somewhere."

She gained job experience forecasting weather for the East Coast before applying for a special duty assignment with the Air Force Honor Guard.

"It was really interesting," she said. "I went to the D.C. area and could see the weather forecasts were true and I wasn't just making things up. I [served in the Honor Guard] for a few years, and then came back into weather. The honor guard was hard physically, but it was great."

Now stationed at JBER, Walker has had her first overseas experience.

"I just got back from a deployment in South America," she said. "We supported an intelligence unit for the Army."

Her mission was to watch for thunder storms. "Every time a storm would come through our little base, the power would cut off," she said. "We'd have to get a forecast from outside of the power grid.

We'd go outside, take observations and get elbow-deep in the rain and bugs and everything else out there.

"It's really an interesting mission because it's so different from [the Pacific Air Forces] and up here where we forecast predominantly for rain and we get maybe one thunderstorm a year.

Having a thunderstorm mission was really fun and exciting as far as the weather aspect goes."

Having returned to JBER, Walker has a fresh perspective on her mission.

"The really cool thing about this base is that you can really understand very small-scale effects because of all the mountains and the lack of data," she said.

"So if there's a helicopter in one of the valleys and it sits there running for an hour and a half, it disrupts the weather just enough that it might impact our base.

It's called the micro-scale effect of weather in this area."Winds greater than six knots normally come from a specific direction to funnel through the mountains, she said.

"It's really exciting for us. You might expect less fog or more fog, that type of thing. When Hilberg makes snow [they have snow cannons], it impacts the air field because of the extra moisture and ice crystals they drop in the air. If the wind's coming from the north, it'll move over our airfield and impact operations.

"Staff Sergeant Walker is one of the key players, one of only 11, to include myself and the rest of the leadership team," said Air Force Capt. Carl Densford, 3 OSS Weather Flight commander.

"When it comes to heavy snow, freezing rain, high winds, modern or severe turbulence that we could be seeing in the mountains or in the flying areas, the same thing with severe icing, our desk forecasters work directly with the supervisors of flying operations to make sure that the wing is protected. They help adjust the timing of when flights are going to happen based on the weather." Walker said she loves her career field. "This is my family business," she said. "My dad and I are the only earth-science-based people. That's me; I'm here and I'm learning about weather. I love logic and reason."

Dempsey hosts Israel's Lt. Gen. Gantz for Talks at Pentagon



By Lisa Ferdinando
Army News Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2015 – The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff hosted the Israel Defense Forces chief of the General Staff at the Pentagon today for talks on regional security and bilateral cooperation.

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey and Israeli Lt. Gen. Benjamin Gantz met with reporters today after more than an hour of talks.

When asked about the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Dempsey described the strategy with Iraq as a "drumbeat" of "building pressure" on ISIL along several lines of effort, including counter-financing, counter-foreign fighters and counter-messaging.

The strategy is for members of the Iraqi government to determine how to "best recapture their lost territory to form an inclusive government that includes the Sunni, the Shia, the Kurds and the other minority groups," he said.

The United States is working with Iraqi military and civilian leaders, Dempsey said, to determine the "pace at which we will encourage them and enable them to do a counter-offensive."

The United States, he said, is building the capacity of the Iraqi forces.

"We're where we need to be," the chariman said, adding that the U.S. is looking at other areas, including countering improvised explosive devices, to help Iraqi security forces reduce their causalities.

Dempsey said the Iraqi government will initiate, with the United States, "some kind of broad counter-offensive" once Iraq is ready militarily to recapture territory, and then follow that with humanitarian and reconstruction efforts.

U.S. Comments on Iranian Presence in Iraq

Dempsey said Iran has been "interested in and sought to influence the future of Iraq since Iraq's sovereignty was restored in 2004."

However, the top U.S. military leader said, the Iranian presence and any Iraq partnership with Iran is not troubling at the moment, since it is not threatening U.S. forces or the U.S. mission in Iraq.

"If it is a path that ties the two countries more closely together economically or even politically, as long as the Iraqi government remains committed to inclusivity of all the various groups inside the country, then I think Iranian influence will be positive," he said.

"But what really matters is where it all goes, and we're watching that very carefully," Dempsey said.

Israel 'Disappointed' By Palestinian Approach on ICC

Gantz said he is not worried about the Palestinians seeking war crimes charges against Israel through the International Criminal Court.

"It is an unnecessary, unilateral step by the Palestinians," he said.

The Israel Defense Forces are the forces of a democratic, lawful country and they abide by international law, he said.

"We do huge effort to prevent civilian causalities as much as we can, yet we still have to defend our own population," Gantz said.

U.S., Israeli Cooperation

Dempsey and Gantz both hailed the strong ties between their nations.

"I deeply respect his leadership of the Israel Defense Forces and deeply value our partnership with the Israel Defense Forces," Dempsey said.

Gantz acknowledged there is turmoil in the Middle East.

"It's a source of terrorism that might go anywhere," he said. "I believe the world, led by the United States, must continue to face it, to fight it, and to try to shape a better future."

After taking questions from reporters, the two generals continued their discussions in a working luncheon.

Oregon National Guard showcase critical roles to top enlisted leader

by Tech. Sgt. John Hughel
142nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


1/6/2015 - PORTLAND AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ore. -- Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell O. Brush, Senior Enlisted Advisor for the National Guard, visited the 142nd Fighter Wing and other hosts units, gaining a close-up perspective of various mission's sets here, while interfacing with Airmen about their work.

Brush is the senior enlisted leader for both the Army and Air National Guard, advising General Frank J. Grass, Chief of National Guard Bureau, on all enlisted matters affecting training, health of the force and professional development.

After an introduction and briefing by Chief Master Sgt. Julie Eddings, 142nd Fighter Wing Command Chief, a group of senior enlisted leaders began a concise tour to multiple work areas around the base.

Accompanying Brush and Eddings on the tour was Army National Guard Sergeant Major Shane Lake, senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon National Guard and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Roper, senior enlisted advisor for the Oregon Air National Guard Combat Operations Group.

During each area Brush visited, he handed out several of his 'Chief Coins' to commendable Airmen active in various duty stations.  As he presented one to Master Sgt. Anja O'Neil, assigned to the 123rd Fighter Squadron, and recently named the 142nd Fighter Wing's Wingman Award recipient this past year; he took the opportunity to define his philosophy of the full- time Guardsman.

"The reason we have a full-time forces for the National Guard is to support the drill status Guardsmen, period," said Brush.  "It is critical that when they [Drill Status Guardsman] come in on a drill weekend, they can come in at MACH 12 and dive right in."

Brush's tour included stops to the 142nd Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance hangar and base operations. He also received a hands-on demonstration from the Airmen of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron, one of only two National Guard units that are part of the Air Force Special Operation Command. On display was a variety of communication equipment, vehicles that can be delivered airborne and weapons used by combat controllers in the field.

As they toured the Combat Operations Group, Roper was quick to point out to Brush [that], "for three years in a row an Airman from the 125th has been selected as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year, including Tech Sgt. Doug Matthews chosen this year."

The 12 Airmen selected each year by the Air Force embody superior leadership, exceptional job performance and personal achievements.  In addition to Matthews selection, previous members of the unit designated for this honor were, Staff Sgt. Chadwick Boles (2013), Chief Master Sgt. Luke Thompson (2012) and Master Sgt. Scott Geisser (2008).

Brush also spent time with members of the Oregon National Guard's CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) team. The mission of the joint Army and Air National Guard group is to respond to man-made or natural events with quick-response search and extraction capabilities and medical triage, treatment and fatality recovery.

Senior Airman Korey Shinagawa, a medic assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing Medical Group and a member of the CERFP, detailed the latest training equipment to Brush and others touring the base.

"What I enjoy the most is coming in on a drill weekend and integrating my skills in nursing with the challenges of being a medic," said Shinagawa; who, after a 12-hour night shift at a local hospital, showed up on base to brief Chief Brush.

"This is the kind of dedication and character that I find continually displayed by members of the National Guard when traveling around the country," said Brush.

Concluding his visit on base, Brush took part in a town hall event, addressing the challenges and concerns for Guardsmen.

Brush tasked the Airmen attending to be advocates for the military and help tell their story.

"The country needs each of you, and to help the community where we live understand what they get from Guard, you need to talk about your role and mission," said Brush.

In closing his remarks, Brush emphasized his three P's: pride, professionalism and passion to those in attendance.

"Be excited, be passionate, I need you to be excited for our future, I need you to train the next generation; don't train them to your standards, train them to be better than you."

Face of Defense: Senior NCO Guides Soldiers, Ensures Readiness



By Army Sgt. Victor Everhart
U.S. Army Central Command

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C., Jan. 8, 2015 – Army 1st Sgt. Nathaniel A. Campbell is the senior enlisted advisor for Headquarters Support Company, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Central Command.

He is responsible for advising the commander and enhancing the force by ensuring readiness of all soldiers assigned to the command.

Campbell, a Houston native, has been the first sergeant for about 10 months, and he said he believes soldiers are his biggest priority in the upcoming year.

Helping, Mentoring, Guiding Soldiers

“It’s my job and business to help and mentor junior soldiers through tough times, as well as guide them in the direction that is most beneficial to them and their careers,” he added.

Being the first sergeant at U.S. Army Central is much different from being a first sergeant in other Army units. One of the prerequisites for the job is experience as a first sergeant at a lower-echelon command.

“I was a line-unit first sergeant for two-and-a-half years before reporting here,” Campbell said. “In a line unit, everything starts and stops with me. Here, I support USARCENT’s mission of ensuring the soldiers who are accomplishing the mission are deployable.”

Caring for soldiers is a leadership trait that should be integrated in the heart of any military leader, said Campbell , who noted that his background instilled this trait from an early age. As the oldest grandchild in his family, he said, he often had to help take care of his younger family members.

‘I Treat Everyone As If They Were My Own’

“When you care about a soldier, you have to remember they are someone’s son, daughter, mother or father,” he said. “It makes it much easier to do the right thing. I treat everyone as if they were my own, and improvement and progress are things we all want for our loved ones.”

Campbell said that part of his leadership philosophy is his core belief that soldiers should challenge themselves and constantly ask, “How can I make this better?”

“Leave it better than you found it,” he said. “It may not be perfect or squeaky clean, but at the end of the day, if you can leave something better than you found it, then you’ve really accomplished something.”