Military News

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMC command surgeon visits Fairchild Airmen

by Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


1/23/2015 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Kory Cornum, Air Mobility command surgeon, visited the base to tour the clinic and present command-level annual awards to Team Fairchild Airmen.

Cornum visited a number of clinics including: physical therapy, public health, flight medicine and family health.

During the visit, Cornum also held an all-call to present the following AMC awards to Fairchild Airmen:

-Physical Medicine Non-Commissioned Officer: Staff Sgt. Sean Devereaux

-Excellence in Nursing Leadership: Lt. Col. James Stryd

-Team Award- Small Dental Clinic of the Year: Fairchild Dental Clinic

During the all-call, Cornum emphasized that small improvements can make major organizational change. He encouraged Airmen by stating, "keep looking for better ways of doing things; we do not need to solve world hunger to decide that what we are doing is better for the organization."

Cornum said he enjoyed visiting the base, "(Visiting Airmen is) fun for me, I get to travel around and see different groups and see (the) ...great innovations that you all are making happen," he said. "I look around, I look at you and you're smiling; I look at the patients in the hall and they are smiling and that's (the way) it should be."

According to Master Sgt. Dawn Traurig, 92nd Medical Operations Squadron superintendent, it is important for senior leaders to view or experience the mission.

"An electronic picture can only take you so far into how we complete the mission," she said. "Senior leaders can only get a true sense of our daily operations by visiting the Airmen that make it all happen."

DoD Decides Against Sending Four Guard and Reserve Units to West Africa



By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2015 – Army National Guard soldiers who were set to replace forces in Senegal and Liberia fighting West Africa’s devastating Ebola outbreak will not be needed in that effort, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Adm. John Kirby said today.

Soldiers from four guard units would have joined more than 2,300 U.S. military personnel now serving in Liberia and Senegal in support of the U.S. whole-of-government response to the ongoing pandemic, he added.

“The decision has now been made that the ongoing work of Operation United Assistance does not require several National Guard units that were initially considered for deployment,” the admiral said. “We are confident that we can meet the continuing needs of this mission without activating these reserves.”

Kirby said roughly 350 guard troops from four states had been notified to prepare to deploy – about 280 from Minnesota, 14 from Ohio, 16 from Texas and 40 from Iowa.

Guard Troops from Four States

In November Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel signed an order authorizing the involuntary mobilization of about 2,100 Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers to support Operation United Assistance.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, as of Jan. 23 the total number of confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola virus disease in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are 21,797 with 8,675 deaths.

Outbreaks in Senegal, Nigeria, Spain, the United States and Mali have ended, the CDC says, adding that a national Ebola outbreak is considered to be over when 42 days have elapsed since the last patient in isolation became laboratory negative for the viral disease.

At the Pentagon, Kirby said DoD is providing critical support for the U.S. government Ebola virus disease response, bringing unique capabilities – specifically, speed and scale -- to support the civilian-led response in West Africa.

U.S. Whole-of-Government Approach

“At the request of the Liberian government, as part of this whole-of-government approach led by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense has mobilized and adapted its resources in a very austere environment, supporting a critical mission,” Kirby said.

The rapid deployment of military personnel, from engineers to logisticians, provided for the international civilian response by nongovernmental organizations, USAID and the United Nations to grow their capability and capacity on the ground, the admiral said.

“The United States is now backing more than 10,000 civilian responders on the ground in the various Ebola-affected areas,” he added, providing direct and indirect health-care support and many other functions that were being handled by Operation United Assistance.

Kirby added, “We will have more to say about the next phase of the operation in the weeks ahead, as more work is completed and as we press for additional progress against this epidemic.”

PACAF chief selects discuss leadership, gain insight from CMSAF

by Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick
Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs


1/23/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- Fifty two chief master sergeant selects from around Pacific Air Forces attended the PACAF 2015 Chief's Leadership Course here Jan. 13 through 16.

"The course is designed to bring in all the new chief selects and provide them with a foundation of strategic level leadership to add to their tool kit," said Chief Master Sgt. Buddy Hutchison, PACAF command chief. "They're not going to all of a sudden disregard the 20 years of leadership and experience they've gained; the course adds to the foundations of their leadership. It's another valuable course of instruction that provides senior enlisted leaders additional tools to use as they lead and mentor Airmen."

The four-day course covered topics such as suicide awareness, sexual assault, resilient Airmen, professionalism and ethics and senior leadership perspectives.

Hutchison said he received positive feedback from the chiefs-to-be on how appreciative they were to gain first-hand knowledge and perspectives from senior PACAF leaders, especially from Gen. Lori J. Robinson, PACAF commander.

For one course attendee, she said the lessons learned from the class mentors regarding their first few years as chiefs proved invaluable.

"The course also prepared me for what would be expected of me from an officer and enlisted level," said Senior Master Sgt. April Gaines, 15th Medical Support Squadron superintendent. "[I learned] the role of a chief is taking care of Airmen in order for them to effectively execute the mission."

During the course, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody provided insight and answered questions from the soon-to-be chiefs, ranging from leading through challenges, to his vision on joint fighting, to new professional military education requirements.

When asked what his number one hot topic was, his response was immediate.

"I want you to lead -- get out there and stay connected with our Airmen and their families," he explained. "Our Airmen and their families need their chiefs to think about them as people and not as a means to an end."

Cody stated courses like this give chief selects broad exposure to what their major command and the Air Force expects of them by giving them the opportunity to interact with different levels of leadership.

"Chiefs in our Air Force operate at multiple levels -- tactical, operational and strategic," he said. "This is an opportunity to bring them all together and give them a command perspective on what's going on and how critical their leadership is in moving the force in the direction they need to support that MAJCOM."

Mission complete: Netherlands finish air defense role in Turkey

by Senior Airman Krystal Ardrey
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs


1/22/2015 - INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey  -- In January 2013, the Netherlands sent two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey in response to a Turkish government request for air defense assistance from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to help protect its citizens from potential ballistic missile threats from Syria.

The United States and Germany also sent two Patriot missile batteries each to help bolster security along Turkey's border with Syria. These four missiles are based respectively in Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, Turkey while the two Dutch Patriot missile batteries are deployed to the city of Adana, one which is stationed at Incirlik Air Base.

While no missiles have been launched at Turkey during their stay, members of the Dutch army and air force have provided round-the-clock coverage for the last two years.

When asked about the ongoing NATO mission, Col. Niels Vredegoor, 1st Netherlands Ballistic Missile Defense Task Force commander, said, "No missiles came in but we showed some really strong resolve. For the soldiers, this is what you train for. Whenever we are called upon, then you just want to do what you have been training to do."

About 200 of the 300 Dutch forces who specialize in Patriot missiles are deployed to Incirlik at any one time. Due to such a high tempo of mission requirements, Patriot specific personnel have been opting for a shorter but more frequent cycle of deployments. This meant that many of the Patriot operators did not deploy with the same crew every time.

"The constant rotations turned out not to be that big of a deal because of our standardization of work processes," said Vredegoor. "Our training is so standardized that basically you can pick up anybody out of any Patriot crew and put them into another crew and they can perform the mission without error. They will just continue to work."

Last year, the Netherlands announced that it no longer had the resources to maintain the batteries on Turkish soil and soon after, the Spanish Air Force agreed to replace them. The NATO partners are scheduled to officially changeover next week.
"Our sole mission for the past two years has been to defend against ballistic missiles," said Vredegoor. "In doing so, we've run more equipment hours in the last two years than in the past 20; so we need to train up again. Not only against ballistic missiles but on air defense against UAVs, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. That way, we are prepped and ready for any air defense mission in the future."

The commander estimated that it will take about a year to fully clean and provide any needed maintenance to the equipment. He also projected that the Spanish Armed Forces will be able to take over the position with ease.

As parting words, Vredegoor left this last piece of advice for the newcomers, "Stay alert and stay focused."

Marine Corps Officer Takes Defense Intelligence Agency Reins



By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2015 – Surrounded by senior leaders in the defense and intelligence communities, the first Marine Corps officer to become director of the Defense Intelligence Agency took office here today in a ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart took charge of DIA and the Joint Functional Component Command for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

Michael G. Vickers, under secretary of defense for intelligence, called Stewart a “warrior intellectual.”

“Vince is strongly known for his leadership,” Vickers said. “He mentored a number of our intelligence officers, and he will be a great leader of the Defense Intelligence Agency.”

While DIA has endured a lot of change in the last few years, he added, Stewart “will consolidate that change and lead the agency to a new level.”

Dedicated Warfighter, Respected Leader

Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, called Stewart a well-known intelligence professional, a dedicated warfighter and respected leader.

“I look forward to your strategic thinking and critical thought, because you are taking command when we are facing a strategic and security environment that’s more complex, dynamic and volatile than perhaps any time in our history,” Haney told Stewart.

James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, noted that Stewart is the first Marine and the first African-American to lead a major intelligence agency.

“He’s always been a great champion of Marine Corps intelligence, which grew on his watch in size, capability and relevance,” Clapper said of Stewart. “Everywhere he’s gone, he’s perfected the basics of intelligence work.” He called Stewart an extremely competent intelligence officer, a great Marine and an inspired choice to lead the agency.

Stewart, who was promoted to lieutenant general this morning, expressed his gratitude for the leaders he’s had during his career. “I really am standing on the shoulders of giants,” he said.

“While I’ve had the opportunity to serve in many positions, … this is one of the greatest honors of my career,” Stewart said. “The opportunity to lead this magnificent organization is truly a unique and humbling experience.”

Building Upon the Path in Place

The new DIA director said his tenure will focus on striving for excellence in the intelligence profession, and building upon the path already put in place by his predecessors.

His leadership, he said, is about carrying out the legacy set forth since the agency’s founding 50 years ago, setting an even higher standard of excellence and moving the agency into the future by focusing on the most important and difficult defense intelligence issues.

“It’s about building on today’s successes for a greater tomorrow,” he added. “It’s about writing the next chapter, not a new book.”

Under his direction, he said, the agency’s focus will continue to be one that supports military commanders in the field and defense leaders at home.

“We must continue to meet new threats on the battlefield,” Stewart said, “and establish even better ways to outmaneuver our adversaries.”

Joint patrols tackle crime

by Senior Airman Armando A. Schwier-Morales
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/22/2015 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron executes U.S. Air Forces in Europe's largest law enforcement mission covering 1,100 square miles, providing police services to more than 57,000 Department of Defense personnel.

Weekly several members of the squadron head to downtown Kaiserslautern, Germany, to build relations, keep the peace and patrol the streets at night during high-risk time periods. These Airmen join the Kaiserslautern Ordnungsamt, or office of public order and Polizei, in walking patrols roaming the entertainment district from Wednesday to Saturday nights.

"(The patrols are here to) show, because of the presence of so many Americans, that the U.S. military is taking responsibility and supports the local government with their law enforcement duties," said Zivil Polizei-5 Gerhard Wessollek, 569th USFPS team leader.

The joint walking patrols in the downtown area started as a partnership and have now developed into a friendship built on by joint training and exercises. That friendship developed from shared experiences such as helping lost tourists, taking drugs off the street or breaking up fights.

"It shows (the German people) that we are here to not only help Americans and protect them, but working together with our host nation partners to make the community safer for all residents, Americans and local nationals," said Staff Sgt. Ryan Friend, 569th USFPS installation patrolman.

There may be translators around, but language is not a hindrance whether it's the Polizei or Airmen approaching a suspect. Both sides ensure the other is backed up and ready to help which instills a mutual trust.

According to the Polizei Kriminalhauptkomissar David Giesler the joint patrols have not only reduced the crime rate of the Kaiserslautern area, but have also created a better operating environment for first responders in downtown Kaiserslautern.

Wessollek and Friend along with the Polizei, hope to keep building a positive relationship and ensure public order. The 569th USFPS hopes to continue being a proven partner not only in Kaiserslautern, but also all over its area of responsibility.

Hagel Calls to Congratulate New Japanese Defense Minister



DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2015 – Defense Chuck Hagel called Japan’s new defense minister last night to congratulate him on his appointment and to express hope for continued growth of the U.S.-Japan alliance.

It was the first conversation between Hagel and Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, Defense Department officials said in a statement summarizing the phone call.

“Secretary Hagel told Minister Nakatani that we stand in solidarity with Japan regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's threat to murder two Japanese hostages, and pledged to continue to coordinate closely,” the statement said.

Both leaders agreed to intensify work to revise the guidelines for U.S.-Japan defense cooperation, reaffirmed their commitment to complete construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility and praised the bilateral cooperation that led to the deployment of a second missile defense radar to Japan last month, officials said.