Military News

Friday, April 10, 2015

AFMC activates 1st IMSC detachment in Pacific

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


4/10/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- Air Force Material Command activated the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Detachment 2 in a ceremony here April 9.

Maj. Gen. Theresa Carter, AFIMSC commander, presided over the ceremony as Col. Mickey Addison assumed command of the newly established Pacific detachment.

"I am proud the [Pacific Air Forces] detachment is the first to stand up [in the Air Force]. I feel very good that our team here has been helping lead the Air Force in this initiative at the detachment level," Addison said. "Our mission in the detachment is to synchronize and execute installation and mission support for Pacific commanders. I am very confident we are well positioned to execute that mission."

PACDET combines and overseas functions in the comptroller, civil engineer, communications, security forces, personnel and support career fields.

"I'm very proud of the teamwork and support our PACAF team provided to the AFIMSC Provisional Staff to achieve this milestone," said Gen. Lori Robinson, PACAF commander.  PACDET marks the beginning of the AFIMSC journey for PACAF, and the Airmen will lead the way."

While Airmen in the above career fields won't see a change at the base level in their chain of command, the funding and guidance flow will be impacted starting in fiscal year 2016, when AFIMSC takes control of installation and mission support funding.

Speaking to PACDET Airmen, Carter said though many changes will take place, there will be "more constants than change."

"You are still going to be there to solve problems, to secure resources, to take care of Airmen, to support commanders and to provide a great installation from which we can deliver airpower and our men and women can live, work and play," she added.

Addison agreed, stating PACDET would help to pave the way for how the 10 detachments would operate.

"We'll have 10 detachments going in the same direction, flying in formation," he added.

To help set the standard, Addison offered the following "guiding principles."

"A change in leadership is not a change in mission, so we'll continue the mission. We will establish processes and not depend on personality -- we're not going to have single points of failure," he said. "We are going to write the book -- we have a clean slate now to write new procedures to support Pacific commanders.

"We're going to be lean flat and responsive -- we're a small number with a big mission, and we're going to embody that responsiveness to our customers, our teammates and our colleagues," Addison added. "We're going to continue our partnerships ... with our joint and combined partners around the Pacific to get the mission done and support our commanders."

Looking to the future, Carter said she hopes to see the Pacific as a "very innovative and lean organization where detachment commanders like Colonel Addison have been empowered with the authority, the responsibility and the resources to very quickly embody that 'I'm supporting commanders' mindset ... that he's empowered to take action, make good decisions and support the folks who are down at the installation."

The Pacific detachment will include 60 Airmen who were formerly part of Headquarters Pacific Air Forces.

SECDEF visits, talks to Team Osan

by Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/10/2015 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Team Osan April 9 at Osan Air Base.

During the visit, Carter held a troop call in Hangar 1732 where he briefly spoke about the importance of the United States' role in Asia before taking questions from the crowd and then coining, and thanking, more than 200 service members.

Among the topics Carter spoke on were: the importance of the U.S.'s alliance with the Asia/Pacific region and Korea in particular, readiness, the DoD's priority of attracting and retaining the best service members possible, and the importance of security.

After speaking briefly, Carter took questions from the audience. The Defense Secretary addressed topics of rotating forces to Korea, retirement compensation for service members, and any forthcoming changes to the Korean theater.

On the rotating of forces, Carter said he is pleased with the new methods, but he is also open to feedback.

"I think right now that it's working out very well because readiness is at a premium," said Carter.

Retirement compensation will not be coercively changed for any active service members, said Carter. Although the Defense Secretary noted there are discussions about altering the military's retirement model, these changes will simply give service members a choice.

"We're not going to change the game for anyone that's already in the game," said Carter.

Ultimately, the Defense Secretary said that any change to the retirement system will be driven by a desire to recruit the best personnel possible.

"This isn't about saving money," said Carter.

Asked about the future of the U.S.'s role in Korea, Carter said that in the present and future, a lot of focus will be put into the Korean, and Asian/Pacific theater.

"A lot of newer capabilities will be flowing into here," said Carter. "This is a demanding theater with one-half of the world's wealth and population."

Above all, Carter said that the U.S. alliance with Korea and the rest of the Asia/Pacific region is pivotal and that the DoD needs to attract and retain the best people possible to work in this vital environment.

"Stay Safe" event educates JBPHH keiki on sexual assault prevention

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


4/10/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- The Hickam Library hosted a special "Stay Safe" story time for JBPHH keiki April 8.

In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Month of the Military Child and Sexual Assault Awareness Prevention Month, the hour-long event featured special guest appearances from the 15th Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator's office and the Federal Fire Department.

The interactive event highlighted the importance of the "Safe Touch Rule," and encouraged the group of 3 to 5 year olds to protect their bodies and report inappropriate touching.

According to Machelle Terrell, 15th Wing SARC, the training was created to complement the well-known "Stranger Danger" message and meant to raise the children's awareness to inappropriate behavior during every day interactions, not just in stranger situations.

With statistics showing only 10 percent of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are strangers to the child, Terrell said she and her staff want to be sure they are preparing children for the most realistic and common scenarios.

Chants such as, "my body belongs to me," accompanied by a puppet demonstration of appropriate places to touch and be touched were done to help the kids commit the concept to memory.

"This will help instill in them at a very young age things that are okay and things that are not okay," said Tech. Sgt. Christina Payton, a 15th Wing victim advocate. "If we start preventative training early, it may be easier for them to recognize and come forward when something bad has happened."

Payton said the wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office wanted to be sure prevention and response measures were provided to the entire community and not just to military members.

"It's important for kids to learn at a young age how to protect themselves and be safe when it comes to their body," said Sonja Dickinson, a parent at the Stay Safe event.

Dickinson said she found the environment to be age appropriate and fun, and the information uncomplicated for the children to understand.

"The format wasn't boring and the songs and repetitive chants make it easy for the kids to remember," she said.

The SAPR Office will be holding additional sexual assault prevention events for youth throughout the month of April. The Students Learning Attack Prevention Campaign will partner with security forces, police services, family advocacy and other base helping agencies to educate JBPHH youth on a variety of topics including internet safety and coaching respect.

Old-school teamwork produces state-of-the-art facility

by Wayne Amann
25th Air Force Public Affairs


4/10/2015 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - LACKLAND, Texas  -- There's truth to the iconic movie line "If you build it, they will come." Just ask the 'Silent Warriors' of 25th Air Force and others who teamed to construct a "Field of Dreams" of sorts for the intelligence community.

Rooms 214, 215 and 219 in the Numbered Air Force headquarters here were gutted, consolidated and renovated to form an operations center designed to integrate and synchronize 25 AF intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and electronic warfare.

"It's a one stop shop," said Col. Kyle Forrer, 25 AF Operations Center director. "This OC enhances our efforts to fully integrate into existing Department of Defense and service forums, planning and execution activities."

Twenty-Fifth Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. John Shanahan, joined Forrer in crediting the people who worked tirelessly for a year, to make the state-of-the-art OC a reality.

"It's truly an enterprise approach," Shanahan said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony March 25 at precisely 6:25 a.m., celebrating the facility's initial operating capability. "Just like you hear me talk about the ISR enterprise, this ops center happens ONLY because of everybody around here and a whole lot more that did it."

Teaming in the construction process were the leadership and members of the 25th Air Force staff, the 668th Alteration and Installation Squadron, 690th Intelligence Support Squadron, 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron and 502nd Communications Squadron.

"There was a lot of hard work people didn't see, late nights, extra hours, weekends," Forrer said. "It was a phenomenal effort to make this happen on March 25, at 6:25 a.m."

The date and time are significant because the Air Force has an Organizational Change Request and associated documents, which if approved, will officially designate the OC as the 625th Operations Center under 25th Air Force.

The OC is the Air Combat Command's execution arm for providing America's globally integrated ISR planning and direction, collection, processing and exploitation, analysis and production, and dissemination. The OC plans, schedules and assesses in support of ISR operations around the world. The facility gives the 25 AF commander a way to provide NAF-wide operational-level guidance and direction, and command and control of delegated forces.

"Gen., retired, Chuck Horner, who ran the war for Desert Storm said, 'Air Power without operational-level command and control is a flying club,'" Shanahan said at the ceremony. "What makes us different is our ability to take this great capability of the Air Force and do command and control of it. And that's the genesis for this operations center."

A recent road trip to the Pacific Air Forces convinced Shanahan this OC is a facility the Air Force will gravitate toward.

"Every senior leader I briefed on the concept of 25th Air Force, in particular the ops center, said I want some of that, I can't wait to work with 25th Air Force and the ops center to figure out how to make us better," the general said. "This is what they're looking for. This is what command and control is all about."

In the final analysis Forrer said the OC is a functioning entity thanks to the cadre of military, civilians and contractors doing the heavy lifting to complete the project.

"We benchmarked on lessons-learned from several other ops centers, but we were not following a precise blue-print for this effort," the director said. "Our teammates have all stepped up to solve a myriad of challenges, in many cases coming up with innovative solutions ensuring we stayed on-track and on-time. They have earned my personal gratitude and professional respect."

Day in the Life of a Military Police Soldier



By Army Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Burnett
21st Theater Sustainment Command

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany, April 10, 2015 – Army Spc. Brian Slocum’s mission is to serve and protect soldiers and family members on Army installations throughout the Kaiserslautern Military Community and beyond. Depending on the day, he could start as early as 2 a.m. and never know when his shift will end.

This is the life of a military police soldier.

The 21st Theater Sustainment Command’s 92nd Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, is responsible for security and law enforcement on U.S. Army installations in Kaiserslautern and other areas of Germany.

The company has three shifts each day. The soldiers begin physical readiness training four hours before their shift starts to ensure patrols begin on time. Every patrol can be called in at any time for a height and weight assessment.

“As military police on patrol, it’s important that we uphold the Army standard,” Slocum said. “If a soldier is overweight or can’t pass an Army physical fitness test, it would reflect badly on the MP corps and our unit. We just can’t have that.”

Routine Start of the Day

After physical training, Slocum’s shift begins as he draws weapons and ammunition at the provost marshal’s office on Vogelweh Military Complex, followed by a shift change and team briefing. The patrol leaders present a different law-enforcement topic each day.

“Sometimes the briefing will cover how to respond to a domestic dispute; others it will cover how to detain someone,” Slocum said. “Our noncommissioned officers want to keep our tactics and procedures fresh in our minds, so we are always ready on patrol.”

After the soldiers complete their briefing and sign for their patrol cars, they inventory their their equipment. They also conduct basic preliminary safety and maintenance checks on their vehicles before the patrol starts.

“These soldiers patrol all over Kaiserslautern and all the way into Mannheim. We have one of the largest patrol areas in Germany,” said Army Sgt. Kenneth S. Farrell, an assistant squad leader with the 92nd MP Co. “These vehicles have to take us to all these places, and we have to have the proper gear when we get there. Attention to detail is extremely important.”

12 Hours On, 12 Off

With maintenance and inventories complete, Slocum can begin his patrol route. While patrolling in the KMC, he is responsible for conducting perimeter and fence checks, random access inspections and responding to emergencies within the community.

“Some days we can patrol for an entire shift and not have a single incident,” Slocum said. “We conduct our perimeter and security checks and stay ready to answer a call. Other days we respond to multiple calls from the community ranging from domestic violence to driving under the influence.”

As each patrol ends, Slocum and his fellow soldiers fuel their patrol cars, brief the incoming shift and turn in their weapons. As they go home, they know in 12 hours or less they will be back on duty, serving and protecting the KMC again.

“It is hard at times, working the long hours and not getting the same days off that other soldiers do,” Slocum said. “But when you help out on something big, like a child missing or a domestic violence incident, it’s all worth it. It’s worth it to help my fellow soldiers in this community.”

SECDEF honors military children at Yokota AB

from DoD News

4/10/2015 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Behind those who make up the greatest fighting force the world has ever known are families, many including children, who serve the nation around the world just as their parents do, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said April 8 in Japan.

On his first official trip to Northeast Asia as defense secretary, Carter is visiting Japan and South Korea to focus on strengthening and modernizing U.S. alliances in that region.

In Japan, the secretary held a military family town hall at Yokota Air Base to celebrate April as the Month of the Military Child, established in 1986 by then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

The month recognizes nearly 2 million U.S. children who have one or both parents serving in the armed forces.

Military kids town hall

To an audience of service members and military kids of all ages, Carter explained why the U.S. military is the world's greatest fighting force.

"We have the best technology in the world and we have (many) friends and allies ... and by doing what you're doing here in Japan, you reinforce that. But that's not the secret," he said.

The people who make up the American military are the secret, the secretary said.

"Nobody else can compare in terms of the people who make up their militaries," Carter said. "We can ask you to do the most complex tasks, the most delicate things, the things that require the most smarts and savvy and strength -- and you do it."

Kids serve, too

And behind every service member is a family, and often, children.

To the military children in the audience Carter said, "Even as we can't do anything without your dad or your mom, they can't do anything without you. And so, to the kids who are here I want to say to you -- thank you for sticking with your folks as they serve our country. And that way you're serving our country too."

After a round of applause for the military kids, Carter said it's important for U.S. service members to be in Japan and in the region.

Peace and stability

In a world where many parts of the globe always seem to be in turmoil, he asked the audience why the Asia-Pacific region is "generally so peaceful and therefore so prosperous, raising their children in peace and dreaming their dreams?"

It's because the Asia-Pacific nations have had year after year of peace and stability, Carter said. That stability has allowed Japan, South Korea, China, India and others in the region to develop and prosper, he explained, "because of the peace that the United States, more than any other single factor, has created in this part of the world for decades.

"In a nutshell," the secretary added, "when we talk about (the United States rebalancing to the Asia Pacific), it really means focusing on this part of the world ... because half of humanity lives here (and) half of the wealth of the world is here."

The region wouldn't be so peaceful and stable, he added, "if it weren't for ... the longstanding presence of the U.S. military here in Japan and elsewhere. So you are part of a winning formula out there, and it wouldn't be this way without you."

Traveling and growing

To the kids, the secretary said he knows that being part of a military family isn't always easy.

"You move around a lot, much more than most American kids, because your folks have to move. So you have to get used to new schools and new friends, and that can be difficult," he added.

But the same conditions also give military kids more experience as young Americans because they have a chance to travel and understand different cultures and make friends around the United States and around the world.

"I think in the end you (become) stronger people for having done it," Carter said, adding that it's also hard when parents are deployed and are away from home for a long time.

"We know that people sacrifice in order to be in the military," he added, "and we know that they're not the only ones who sacrifice, that their children sacrifice as well."

Service and success

Military kids are some of the most successful citizens, he told the audience.

Military children who grew up on overseas bases and across the United States have gone on to win Heisman trophies and National Basketball Association championships, they've become Grammy-winning artists and Oscar-winning actors and actresses, they've written best-selling books like "The Hunger Games," and one former military child became an Army doctor and is now training to become an astronaut, according to military websites.

"You're going to go to great places in the future," Carter said, "and if that is some way that we pay you back for what you've given us ... I hope (your success) has something to do with the fact that you've been military kids."

He added, "Thank you on behalf of everybody in the United States. We don't take it for granted -- we really appreciate what you're doing out here."

12 AF Commander addresses Team Ellsworth

by Airman 1st Class Rebecca Imwalle
28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs


4/10/2015 - ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Lt. Gen. Chris Nowland, 12th Air Force Commander, visited several base units and agencies April 8, where he personally thanked Ellsworth Airmen for executing the 28th Bomb Wing's mission and serving their nation.

Nowland and Chief Master Sgt. Calvin Williams, 12th AF command chief, toured the base and focused on interacting with the Airmen across the installation helping to accomplish the mission each day.

"This visit is about the Airmen," He said. "I want to personally thank them for everything they do to support our command and our Air Force. My main objective during this visit was to meet and interact with all of the maintenance, operations and support Airmen who make the Ellsworth mission so successful."

While Nowland presented his coin to several Airmen for their dedication and work ethic, he also recognized their accomplishments as a standard to follow.

"I expect Airmen at the 28th Bomb Wing to put the mission first and execute it safely," Nowland said. "I also expect them to be good wingmen, to learn and display excellent communication skills and to be experts in what they do. The Air Force has always led the pack when it comes to technology and adaptability. It's important to maintain that edge as we grow and develop as a service."

Members of the 28th Maintenance Group, 28th Mission Support Group and the 28th Operations Group spoke with the 12th AF commander on a variety of topics to include cold spray, a technology used to repair surfaces on aircraft, the Bomb Wing's safety missions and flight operations. In addition, the 28th Medical Group demonstrated the capabilities of the Global Script Locator, a medication storage system used to dispense patient prescriptions, and an all-terrain ambulance.

Nowland later addressed Airmen at an all call in the Pride Hangar where he discussed operational and cultural excellence, mission accomplishment and execution, and the importance of taking care of our fellow Airmen.

"Taking care of our Airmen is key," Nowland explained. "We need to ensure our Airmen understand that each one of them is an important and valued member of our Air Force."

He also elaborated on the obstacles the Air Force will have to endure as it continues to face funding shortages and personnel constraints.

"We cannot allow these shortages and constraints to detract from the promises that we have made to the United States, its citizens and our allies," Nowland said. "You have my word that we will work through these challenges, and we will do it together."

The 12th AF commander thanked all Ellsworth Airmen for their unwavering dedication in supporting one another and for ensuring the 28th Bomb Wing continues to provide our nation's expeditionary combat power anywhere on the globe.

JBER parachute rigger always sure of responsibility

by Airman 1st Class Kyle Johnson
JBER Public Affairs


4/10/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- "Maybe it was the sound of the plane that freaked me out," said Spc. Brittany Williams. "It was really loud."

The C-130 Hercules began its short ascent to 1,200 feet while five noncommissioned officers attempted to placate Williams and the other trainees suffering a heightened understanding of their own mortality.

"Stand up and hook up," the jumpmaster shouted, his command competing with the roaring wind and whining engines, each fighting to be heard over the other.

"I was losing it," Williams said. "Why am I here? Why am I doing this? Why did I join the Army?"

"Stand by."

This is it. This is the moment, Williams told herself.

"Green light! Go!"

"When I heard that, my emotions froze," Williams said. "It was very surreal."

Williams handed her static line to the jumpmaster without fear and jumped out into the air. She trusted whoever prepared her parachute knew what he was doing; and that the security checks in place were sufficient.

As she plummeted toward the ground, she tried to count to four by thousands, but only managed a grunt before her parachute opened, suspending her in the air.

"That moment when my parachute opened," Williams said, "I was so happy."

Now, as a parachute rigger assigned to the 4th Quartermaster Company, 725th Brigade Support Battalion (Airborne), 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, Williams is the one making sure somebody else makes it safely to the ground. 15 'somebodies' a day to be exact.

The minimum time standard for packing a T-11 personnel parachute system is two per hour, and 15 is the maximum a rigger can pack in a day.

Riggers at the JMC always do the maximum.

"First, you have to breathe," Williams said. "That's what goes through my mind. Breathe, and pack each chute as if I were going to jump it myself."

Only after earning their wings in jump school can a trainee be accepted into rigger school.

During school, riggers spend weeks learning the intricacies of packing the T-10, T-11, and MC-6 parachutes.

They also learn the Rigger's Pledge, and one particular line manifests itself in a very real way during their training.

I will pack every parachute as though I am to jump with it myself, and will stand ready to jump with any parachute which I have certified as properly packed.

After they have been taught proper procedures, they jump using a parachute they packed themselves.

Williams said this cements the grave responsibility every rigger faces each time they pack a chute, and forces them to have confidence in their own competence.

"At first, it was mind-boggling," Williams said. "You really have to have confidence in yourself and your chute."

Williams said throughout their career as parachute riggers, they must maintain active airborne status by jumping a minimum of four times a year - once every three months.

"I trust that the other riggers know exactly what they are doing, and that the checks are secure," said Pfc. Luke Whittington, a parachute rigger assigned to the HHC, 725th Brigade Support Battalion. "They do their best on every chute, and they excel."

At the JMC, Soldiers surround long wooden tables covered with parachutes in various stages of packing.

Red-hatted NCOs - responsible for inspecting each chute at each step of the process - move through the facility.

Packing a T-11 main parachute requires 12 steps, and 12 inspections before the inspector allows the rigger to proceed.

"It was really hard at first," Williams said. "But you gain more confidence in yourself as you get inspected."

After the chute clears the scrutiny of the IP, it goes to a final inspector who checks it for malfunctions before it is placed in the parachute cage.

Once in the cage, the parachutes go through yet another check before being considered ready for issue.

Lastly, the jumpmaster checks each paratrooper's chute before they jump, consulting with the parachute riggers on standby to serve as subject matter experts should the jumpmaster have any concerns.

The T-11 main parachute is checked a minimum of 16 times before a paratrooper places his life in the harness.

"I feel confident about each parachute coming out of this shop," Whittington said."It doesn't matter who packs it."

"You have to have a strong mind and a strong body to pack parachutes," Williams said. "My muscles will lock up, my elbows hurt, and my fingers will bleed, but [I] just have to ignore it. The chutes still need to be packed with the same quantity and the same quality."

I will keep constantly in mind that until men grow wings, their parachutes must be dependable.

I will be sure - always.

Former military child cares for military children

by Senior Airman Sarah Hall-Kirchner
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs


4/10/2015 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Military children are celebrated each April during the Month of the Military Child. April is also Military Children's Health Month.

At the 375th Medical Group, four pediatricians and a nurse practitioner work each day to ensure the health of military children is maintained.

One of those pediatricians, Capt. Chauncey Tarrant, 375th Medical Operations Squadron General Pediatrician, is a military child herself.

"Being from a military family, I really wanted to give back to the families who helped to raise me and helped to take care of me," said Tarrant.

She said that when deciding what to do with her life, she wanted to do a job that she would do even if she weren't getting paid.

"I love children for their innocence, and I want to help them," she said. "I would definitely take care of children for no pay, so I decided to go into pediatrics, because I knew I would enjoy it every day. This is also a low stress job, and you get to help children. What could be better?"

She joined the Air Force to go to college and get training as a pediatrician.

"Medical school is really expensive," said Tarrant. "The Air Force offers scholarships like the Health Professions Scholarship Program, which is the program I participated in. It allowed me to finance medical school and serve my country at the same time, which was a win-win for me."

Tarrant has already begun to make an impact on the medical technician who works with her, Senior Airman Allison Medina.

"Dr. Tarrant is knowledgeable," said Medina. "She is willing to teach me and to show me how to do everything with the patients. She answers my questions patiently. She has an encouraging personality, and I like her positive attitude."

Through her work as a pediatrician, Tarrant helps military families and children to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

"A lot of what we do in pediatrics is preventative medicine," said Tarrant. "It is really important for people to have their kids seen on a regular basis so that we can ensure that they are growing and developing appropriately."

Well-child visits, conducted at set intervals during a child's early life, and then yearly visits throughout childhood and adolescence, can help doctors to more easily track a child's wellness.

"We, as a care team, stress the importance of good follow up care and good rapport with your provider and team," said Tarrant. "We try our best to incorporate your family into ours as a clinic. It's important to follow up with your provider. If there is a good relationship then it is easier to feel like you can reach out."

Getting children into the doctor on a regular basis to be looked at for common illnesses, or for preventative care, is important, because it can lead to wellness and a healthier child overall she said.

"It is really a key thing to stay on top of well visits, even if your child is doing great, just to check in with us to make sure there is nothing else we need to be doing to make sure they develop in a better way and make sure there is nothing else that is making them fall behind," said Tarrant.

If a child is not meeting developmental milestones, the pediatricians at Scott are able to get them the care that they need. Pediatricians can refer children directly to the specialists in the local community that can care for their specific needs.

"Pediatric care plays a big part in making sure military children have gotten everything they need as far as vaccines, specialty care, and care for any other illnesses that come up along the way," she said. "We help guide parents through the whole thing to keep their children well, or to get them on the road to wellness."

The pediatric clinic hopes to create an open environment where families feel like they can be seen and get answers to their questions she said.

"We are here to nurture and usher your child through childhood and adolescence without any problems," said Tarrant. "If you have any questions, I tell all of my families, no concern is a bad concern, so even if your child is well or if they are not doing great and may be ill, ask those questions."

Through her work as a pediatrician, Tarrant hopes she can make a difference.

"Hopefully when it's all said and done and they leave pediatrics, we've helped to nurture a healthy young adult into society."

Team Fairchild donates 'Welcome Boxes' to local foster children

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


4/10/2015 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Members from Team Fairchild donated more than 85 "Welcome Boxes" with essential items for local foster children to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Children Administration, in Spokane, Washington, April 7.

The boxes will be given to children ages 2 to 17 while they are waiting, some for hours, in a Department of Social and Health Services Office for placement in a foster home.

According to the Welcome Box brochure, this is usually a time of high anxiety for children as they've recently been removed from their home and are being moved to a new, unknown foster home.

Staff Sgt. Sheminka Jordan, 92nd Medical Group dental records and reception NCO in charge, along with Misty Ayres, 92nd Medical Group dental assistant, worked closely with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to organize this base-wide effort.

"I personally know what it feels like to be taken away from everything you know and have," Jordan said. "To some, this box may seem simple, but to those kids, it will mean the world. It lets them know that someone cared enough to take the time to think about them and make them a box especially for them."

The boxes were filled with age-appropriate essentials such as toothbrushes and snacks as well as some extra items like stuffed animals, card games or journals. They also included a note with an encouraging message, such as, "You are special," or "You are important."

"The boxes are neatly put away and awaiting the opportunity to brighten a child's day," said Shannon Boniface, Children's Administration supervisor and program consultant. "We are very fortunate to have had this opportunity to partner with Fairchild Air Force Base."

The city of Spokane shows a tremendous amount of support to the military community, Jordan said. This was the perfect opportunity to give back to the community and to help the children. We want to let these children know that they are not alone and have the support of many people.

Jordan and Ayres plan to make this initiative an ongoing partnership with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and will organize future Welcome Box drives.

"The boxes are made by volunteer efforts only and not funded by anyone or anything," Ayres said. "They are always in demand."

Carter, South Korea’s Han Solidify Alliance



By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2015 – The U.S.-South Korea alliance has a global reach based on mutual trust and common values, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a joint press conference after meeting with South Korean Minister of Defense Han Min-Koo today.

As Carter begins to wrap up his first official visit to the region as defense secretary, he met with his military counterpart in Seoul.

“We've worked together [with South Korea] to counter [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], combat Ebola and help rebuild Afghanistan,” Carter said.

“The gains for our national, regional and global security have been impressive, and I thank the Republic of Korea for all it’s doing to ensure peace and security around the world,” the secretary added.

Defense Secretary Reaffirms Resolve, Support

Carter reaffirmed the United States' resolve and support for the alliance and the defense of the Republic of Korea, and he emphasized America's unwavering commitment to its rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.

“In light of this, I assessed that the U.S. strategy to rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific will contribute to promoting the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia,” Han said.

The defense leaders reaffirmed their countries’ commitments to the strong alliance and to deepening their collaboration in the years ahead, Carter noted, adding there is particular emphasis on new domains such as space and cyberspace.

North Korea Threats Pivotal to Talks

North Korea’s threats were also key to the leaders’ talk. Carter said they made a candid assessment of the growing North Korean nuclear weapon of mass destruction and ballistic missile threats, “which continue to put at risk the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula, the region, and the U.S. homeland,” he said.

And as North Korea again demonstrated with its recent missile launches, the country is intent on continued provocation, Carter said.

Han added, “Secretary Carter and I reaffirmed that we will continue to work together on reinforcing the alliance's comprehensive capabilities in response to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile threats.”

Carter and Han also agree on the importance of trilateral information sharing to deter North Korea nuclear missile provocations, Han said.

South Korea, U.S., Japan Cooperation

“[Carter] concurred that Korea, the United States, and Japan should cooperate closely to contribute to peace and stability in Northeast Asia and the world,” the South Korean leader said.

“On the peninsula, deterrence and readiness are at a premium,” Carter said. “So, we're investing in advanced capabilities to make sure that our top, new investments are tailored to this dynamic security environment and can play a role in … assuring security here.”

To that end, he said, the United States is beginning to rotationally deploy Army brigade combat teams to Korea, providing a more ready set of forces for the peninsula.

“And we're working hard to ensure interoperability with our Korean allies, including thorough training and exercises, like Key Resolve and Foal Eagle,” Carter noted.

The defense leaders also talked about their decision to adopt a conditions-based approach to the transition of wartime operational control, Carter pointed out.

The secretary called it a significant alliance decision, and said both he and Han remain committed to the objectives their nations established at the last security consultative meeting in October 2014.

Looking at America's lasting presence in the Asia-Pacific region, Carter said, “As secretary of defense, I'm personally committed to overseeing the next phase of our rebalance to the region, which will deepen and diversify our engagement throughout the Asia Pacific.”