Military News

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Keeping it 100

by Staff Sgt. Robert Hicks
36th Wing Public Affairs

1/13/2015 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam  -- When the Air Force changed its physical fitness testing program in 2004, one Airman from the 36th Medical Support Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, started an unbelievable streak.

Lt. Col. Christine Stabile, 36th MDSS Commander, has earned 14 straight perfect scores on her physical fitness test since the Air Force eliminated the cycle ergometry test in 2004 and implemented a new testing program.

"I was thrilled when they started the new fitness program in 2004," Stabile said. "It was good to see the Air Force holding Airmen accountable for being fit."

The test, which includes a waist measurement, push-ups, sit-ups and a mile-and-a-half run is currently required once a year for testers in the "excellent" category. Before the current test standards were implemented, tests could be administered several times a year which is how she earned 14 "perfect" scores.

She added the physical fitness test wasn't a challenge for her until 2010 when the Air Force changed the standards from less than 20 push-ups to 38 in her gender/age group and lowered the run time by more than a minute.

"In 2010, when the standards changed, I wasn't going to give up," Stabile said. "It was like the Air Force put a challenge there for me, and I was going to rise to the occasion and get that 100 to keep the streak going. I refuse to let the changes beat me or prevent me from having continued success."

When she first saw the new standards, she felt it was near impossible to score 100, until a wingman introduced her to a program that would keep the streak alive.

"I remember saying to my chief 'this is going to be really hard,' but he motivated me and said 'all you have to do is use the (100 push-up program).'" Stabile said. "So every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, people came to my office to do the push-up sets. I went from being able to do 17 perfect push-ups to 168 in six weeks."

The push-up program isn't the only thing Stabile takes pride in; she also swims every day for 30 minutes and rides her bike all around base instead of driving throughout the week to help her relax and maintain her physical fitness.

"It doesn't matter if it's sunny, cloudy or raining Lieutenant Colonel Stabile shows up every day at the same time ready to swim her laps," said Josh Reyes, Andersen life guard.

The squadron commander believes to be successful you must find something you love doing and stick with it until you get the results you're looking for.

"People don't like to do push-ups, sit-ups or running, but neither do I," Stabile said. "But, you can still be fit by finding an activity you love doing and sticking with it. I love going on hikes in the jungle, and I want to be able to do these types of things when I'm 90 and not only when I'm 48."

Simulated aircraft accident tests Wolf Pack response

by Senior Airman Divine Cox
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

1/13/2015 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Airmen here were tested by the wing inspection team Jan. 12 during a simulated aircraft accident that occurred near the north end of the runway.

The exercise kicked off at approximately 8:30 p.m. when a pilot called in a simulated engine failure to the air traffic control tower while 30 miles out.

As part of the exercise scenario, base leadership and responders were notified that the pilot attempted a flame-out landing 350 feet from the runway before successfully ejecting. The scenario continued with the jet crashing along the runway and traveling out of control before coming to a stop near the end of runway, where it then began to ignite.

When responders arrived on scene, they found clouds of smoke around a single parked jet. Further down the runaway, 8th Medical Group Airmen responded to a role-player posing as the pilot who was injured when landing following ejection.

"The purpose of this emergency management exercise was to test the wing's ability to respond to an emergency situation," said Master Sgt. Justin Carlton, 8th Fighter Wing inspection manager. "We fly planes like these every day, and exercises like this ensure that in case of a real-world accident, the Wolf Pack will be able to respond quickly and proficiently."

Inspectors watched and waited as they evaluated the base's ability to take the necessary steps to safely and quickly respond to the incident.

"The members reacted phenomenally," Carlton said. "The first responders communicated well with one another, and everyone moved with a sense of urgency."

Aside from alerting first responders, Airmen were also tested on their ability to care for the injured pilot and provide basic life-saving techniques learned from self-aid and buddy care.

"My job is to save lives and protect all structures on base, to include the airfield, at all times," said Staff Sgt. Cody Williams, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron lead firefighter. "All Airmen should be able to respond to any emergency situation, and assist victims before emergency personnel arrive -- not just first responders."

From what he observed, Carlton believes the Wolf Pack is ready to tackle any situation that is thrown its way.

"It's through realistic training scenarios that the Wolf Pack is able to prepare for any contingency," Carlton added. "It's just another way we keep ourselves ready to fight tonight."

DoD Seeks Strides in Contracting, Sustaining Infrastructure

By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2015 – The Defense Department continues to gauge its commercial capacity requirement, business base and the evolution of that base, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics said here yesterday.

Speaking during a conference on lessons learned in military transportation, Alan F. Estevez said the Pentagon is aiming to create incentives for optimal contractor performance.

“We consider all that so that we can come up with a coherent defense seal of policy,” he said, “and if we need some legislative changes around that, we’ll present them.”

Making Contract Support Part of the Thought Process

Officials also are building contract support considerations into curriculums, war colleges, schoolhouses and even in war games so that operational contract support becomes a part of the thought process, Estevez said.

Meanwhile, Estevez said, adaptability in airlift and sealift requirements has continued to improve since the Gulf War. “You are inside the wire, [and] you also have contractors that are outside the wire, and that becomes a different dynamic,” he said. “We have a much more flexible capability today than we used going into Desert Storm.”

Ultimately, Estevez said, he’d like to see the streamlining of contracts, commercial partners and various combinations of assets offering the Defense Department the greatest flexibility to operate in multiple war zones. “Clarifying how we do that is critical for us right now, so that we have that playbook and learn when to apply those [strategies],” Estevez said.

Strides in Infrastructure Sustainability

Estevez also noted that DoD is making strides in sustainability of its infrastructure. As an example, he cited efforts in Fort Irwin, California, a region that enjoys relatively high levels of sunshine year-round.

“Commercial providers come in, set up power grids [and] sell us the energy at cost or cheaper, because we’re letting them use our land,” he explained. “What we get is not only a better sustainability -- we get inside our own wire of power, so if the grid gets tampered with, that base has its own power capability.”

18th AF commander visits 437th AW at JB Charleston

by Senior Airman Jared Trimarchi
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

1/13/2015 - JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Air Force Lt. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, 18th Air Force commander, his wife Michele and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Rodewald, 18th AF command chief, visited Airmen, families and civilians from the 437th Airlift Wing Jan. 8-9, 2014, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

To get a first-hand view of JB Charleston's unique mission, Everhart was given a mission overview from the 437th Airlift Wing, the 315th Airlift Wing and the 628th Air Base Wing leadership.  However, the key reason for his visit was to interact with the Airmen of the 437th AW who work to provide precise, reliable airlift worldwide every day.

"This is my opportunity to personally see and hear from the Airmen," Everhart said. "I also get to recognize the accomplishments of some incredible Airmen and civilians."

At one point during his visit, Everhart's sat down for breakfast with a group of Airmen to hear about what was on their minds, and in return, gave them words of advice, wisdom and encouragement.

"The best part of any visit is when I get to talk face-to-face with Airmen," Everhart said. "We are a collaborative team. They're out there accomplishing a difficult mission, and I want to know what I can do to help. I need to understand what is on their minds so I may advocate for them.
Everhart cited the partnership between the three wings at JB Charleston, as the foundation of accomplishing the mission in an outstanding manner.

"Charleston has a fantastic relationship between the 437th AW, the 628th ABW, the 315th AW, the Naval component and the Army component, and seeing how the base runs the mobility requirement is outstanding," Everhart said.

The general invited Airmen and civilians from the 437th AW to an all-call during which he thanked them for their commitment to serving their country, talked about the future of the 18th Air Force and discussed his command priorities.

"The mission of the 18th Air Force is not going to change," Everhart said. "We will always be prepared to the utmost of our ability to answer our nation's call; no matter where it is globally."

He also discussed some of the issues the Air Force is facing today.

"Certainly, one of the biggest challenges the Air Force faces today is how we, as a service, continue to provide combat-ready Airmen and platforms to face an uncertain, rapidly-changing environment," Everhart said. "Our Airmen can't be afraid to think outside the box, and they must be bold enough to take the steps necessary to make change.  Most importantly, make every dollar count.  Let's ensure that every dollar we spend is a dollar of added value to the taxpayers."

At the end of his stay, Everhart reflected on his impressions of the Airmen who call Joint Base Charleston home.

"I'd like to say thank you to our Total Force mobility Airmen and families for their dedication to delivering our country's rapid global mobility, day in and day out," Everhart said. "I talked to many Airmen during this trip and I've tried to emphasize to them the Air Force cannot do its job without them."

Hagel Underscores Nuclear Mission Importance at B-2 Base

By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2015 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today opened his final domestic trip with a stop at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, home of the 509th Bomb Wing -- the world's only B-2 Spirit stealth bomber unit.

With a T-38 Talon trainer aircraft to either side, Hagel told the airmen their military service plays a critical role in the nation's security and that service will shape their lives.

The defense secretary said while he'd served "when dinosaurs roamed the Earth," his Army service informed every part of his life that followed.

"It probably did as much to shape me and mould me and affect me as any one experience I ever had in my life," the secretary said. "... Everything I have done in my life, I have drawn from that experience in the military."

Nuclear Triad

The nuclear triad is "always about strategic deterrence," Hagel told the airmen. "It is about staying ahead, technology-wise, of our adversaries -- those who would want to do great damage to this country and our way of life and our allies'."

Modernization -- particularly of the nuclear enterprise -- is the key to national security, the defense secretary said. Military modernization, Hagel added, was interrupted by sequestration and other fiscal difficulties. "That hurt us in many ways," he said, noting that modernization is the one area in which the United States cannot afford to fall behind.

"We have paid a lot of attention to that -- especially the last year," Hagel said. "We're committing more resources in our budget that we'll be presenting to Capitol Hill here in the next few weeks, so I want to assure you of that component of your job."

People Are Important

The Defense Department cannot afford to lose good people, he said. "We have to continue to assure that we are recruiting and we're bringing good people in to this business, because technology, modernization -- all the components that are critical for our national security -- are only as good as the quality of the people that we have behind those technologies."

Everyone in the military is linked, the defense secretary said. The success of any one service member is tied to the ability of every other service member to succeed, he explained.

"If one of you is weak, or if one of you falls down, or if one of you is not capable, it will affect the entire effort," Hagel said. This is true in every challenge service members face, he said, from flying 36-hour missions in a B-2 bomber to confronting the problem of sexual assault.

DISA Director Discusses Reorganization Efforts

By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2015 – The reshaping of the Defense Department’s premiere information technology agency is vital to how it will improve its agility and employ its capabilities for the future, the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency said here yesterday.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr. discussed the agency’s reorganization and the five “C’s” of the capabilities and services DISA provides during a panel discussion with the local Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association chapter.

“We believe we’ve got to be agile in how it is we move about and employ our information technology for the future for the Department of Defense,” he said. “That is the primary reason for what it is we are doing, how it is that we’re doing it, and where it is that we will go.”

Four Areas of Focus

The general discussed four areas DISA’s senior leadership has looked at based on issues he observed both internally and externally: a singular point of entry to engage the organization, speed to market, adaptability and agility.

“Some of the things that I’ve heard [are] that DISA costs too much and DISA is too slow delivering speed to market,” Hawkins explained. “So those are the things that we have been working on, and when I say ‘we,’ I mean the entire agency.

“The speed to market we have to have,” he continued. “The adaptability and the agility, … we want to make sure that we’re doing that within the Defense Information Systems Agency.”

Hawkins said the agency has been working on these areas since June to ensure DISA remains competitive in how it provides “superior” information technology to the warfighter, and that that the agency is the “first place that they’re going to come from within the Department of Defense to deliver those IT capabilities.”

Five “C’s” of DISA

Hawkins said when he thinks of DISA he categorizes what the agency does into five “C’s,” the first one being “cyber.”

“And when we start looking at what we have to do in defense of cyberspace operations,” he said, “we’ve got to have that cyber sovereignty that the Department of Defense expects from us.”

The next C, Hawkins said, is “cloud,” acknowledging that DISA still has areas to deliver on in that area. The third is “collaboration,” which he described as “everything that we’re doing in the mobile and collaboration environments and unified capabilities -- all of those things are tied into that third C.

The fourth and fifth C’s are command and control, Hawkins said. “We are not going to get rid of that,” he added. “We are the premier organization that does that for the Department of Defense.”

Other Realignments

Additionally, Hawkins said, DISA has aligned its contracting organization under its component acquisition executive to streamline the agency and all that it has to do from a requirements perspective, and to align with the Defense Department’s Better Buying Power initiative.

The general cautioned that the reorganization will not done overnight.

“While we snapped the chalk line and said, ‘We’ve started this on Jan. 11,’ we believe we are on a journey here to get this done,” Hawkins said. “We do not believe that we’re going to get it done in the next month. Although we do believe we’ve got some time ahead of us to make that work, I would tell you by the end of this calendar year, we should be solidly ensconced into this reorganization such that we are working at cyber speed for where we want to go.”

The general said he has studied numerous organizations that have undergone reorganization.

“We believe we’re in that same lane and timeframe,” he said, “and look forward to working with you as we move forward.”

Partnerships with industry are vital to the effort, he told the group. “We enjoy that, we believe in it and we know that is the way that we have got to go,” he added.