Military News

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

PACAF SAPR training focuses on victim response, changing culture

by Staff Sgt. Amanda Dick
Headquarters Pacific Air Forces


5/5/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii  -- Headquarters Pacific Air Forces members participated in sexual assault and prevention response training April 28 here as part of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in April.

The training focused on proper victim response and changing the Air Force climate toward sexual violence.

"The theme of this month is 'Eliminate Sexual Assault. Know your part. Do your part,'" said Gen. Lori J. Robinson, PACAF commander. "That second part is huge and important to internalize -- do your part. We should all create a climate of dignity and respect. We have made huge strides, but we still have a way to go to continue communication."

After the general presented opening remarks, Machelle Terrell, 15th Wing installation sexual assault response coordinator, led PACAF in interactive training that included scenarios designed to showcase how members should respond to someone who is a victim of sexual assault or rape.

"How you respond makes a difference," she said.

Ways to positively respond include being willing to go with them to get help, being non-judgmental, providing helpful tools and resources, not asking a lot of questions and using encouraging words.

To drive home a vital point, Terrell asked audience members to turn to the person next to them and share their best sexual experience, stopping them before actually sharing the experience.

"How difficult was it to tell someone your best experience? Now, think about how difficult it would be for a victim to tell their worst sexual experience," Terrell explained.

As part of sexual assault prevention, both Robinson and Terrell highlighted the importance of changing the Air Force climate and culture.

"We need a climate that addresses the different attitudes, beliefs and interactions of Airmen," Terrell said. "We need to operate outside the continuum of harm and create healthy environments that are conducive with respect and dignity. Ending sexual violence means going to the source and stopping it before it begins."

Providing an example to help Airmen envision the proper climate, Terrell asked members to imagine a bridge representing Air Force culture and climate. If the bridge is deteriorating, it means the climate is not a safe environment.

To help determine if the bridge is safe, Airmen need to gauge the climate and know whether they are operating in the "danger zone" or not. To keep the bridge intact, Airmen need to make the culture and climate safe for victims and one in which perpetrators can't easily operate in.

According to the Department of Defense annual report of sexual assault in the military, about 1 in 3 Airmen, or 33 percent, reported experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2014. There were 1,350 sexual assault reports and prevalence for and estimated 2,400 victims of sexual assault.

This is compared to the following numbers in 2012 -- about 1 in 6 Airmen, or 16 percent, reported experienced unwanted sexual contact; there were 1,050 sexual assault reports and prevalence for an estimated 3,200 victims of sexual assault.

Victims have several resources and tools at their disposal. For restricted reports, victims can talk with their local chaplain, SARC or victim's advocate (security forces, OSI and Airmen's chain of command are legally obligated to report sexual violence).

Each Air Force base has a 24/7 hotline which can be reached by dialing the base prefix followed by SARC -- example 448-SARC (7272) -- or victims can call the DoD Safe Hotline at 877-995-5247.

Pacific Agility builds partership through subject matter expert exchange

by Staff Sgt. Joshua Turner
354th Fighter Wing


5/5/2015 - JAKARTA, Indonesia -- The Indonesian air force hosted a Pacific Agility international subject-matter expert exchange April 20 through 24 to help build partnerships across the Pacific region and promote interoperability.

The five-day event included Indonesian air force and U.S. Air Force service members from several different F-16 aircraft maintenance career fields.

Pacific Agility is a bilateral humanitarian assistance civil military operation that builds partner capacity through medical and health outreach, engineering civic projects and subject matter exchanges. This event is intended to build strong personal relationships and foster the exchange of information on how F-16 maintenance operations are conducted within the USAF and the IAF.

"We exchange information on how we [perform] F-16 maintenance operations within each of our respective air forces," said USAF Capt. Bryn Sowa, Pacific Air Forces directorate of logistics, engineering and force protection. "This engagement is very special -- it marks the first time we've ever had an engagement with Indonesia in this aspect, under the umbrella of Pacific Agility."

During the exchange, attendees spent the week side-by-side, sharing F-16 maintenance experiences and creating strong relationships through friendly conversation.

"The thing that makes this event the most meaningful is the relationships we've built with our Indonesian counterparts," Sowa said. "The conversations we've had focused not only on F-16 maintenance but talk about their families, their hobbies and getting to learn about their culture. I've learned so much and built some really strong relationships in a matter of days."

"The exchange was very useful," said IAF Maj. Andy Sukmawan, 16th Squadron Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base. "We hope it can be followed by another."

Multiple events such as Pacific Agility occur yearly throughout the year. Pacific Air Forces continues to plan and coordinate with Asia-Pacific partners and will release information as planning is finalized and operations are scheduled.

VE Day Marked End of Long Road for World War II Troops



DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2015 – When President Harry S Truman, British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin simultaneously announced that Nazi Germany had surrendered on May 8, 1945, the joy Americans felt was tempered by where they were.

The war that began with Germany invading Poland Sept. 1, 1939, ended with the total defeat of the Nazi menace and the unconditional surrender of the German military.

In New York, London and Moscow the eruption of joy was instantaneous. Men and women rushed to the streets to hug and kiss and dance. The war against Nazi Germany was over. The killing had stopped. A great evil ended.

The End of a Long Road

On the front lines deep in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, the celebration was more muted, with soldiers gradually realizing they were not going to be shot at anymore and were going to go home.

Their joy was further tempered because, while Germany was defeated, Japan fought on. The soldiers realized their divisions, brigades and units would be part of the invasion of Japan.

In the Pacific, there was a brief acknowledgement that the European battle was over, but it didn’t really matter to the soldiers and Marines who were still attacking Japanese positions on Okinawa or to the sailors who were fending off kamikaze attacks on ships off the island.

VE Day signified the end of a long road. Just between June 1944 and May 8, 1945, there were 552,117 U.S. casualties in the European theater of operations. Of those, 104,812 were killed in action.

In January 1945, many believed the war in Europe would last much longer.

In January, U.S. Army soldiers were still battling against German forces that had launched the Battle of the Bulge. That battle was the largest the U.S. Army ever fought and out of the 90,000 casualties around 19,000 soldiers were killed.

Events accelerated from there.

The War Moves into Germany

Bombing missions continued over Germany and every B-17 or B-24 lost over the Reich meant a loss of 10 Americans. On the ground, Allied troops mopped up German resistance on the west bank of the Rhine River.

On March 7, 1945, soldiers from the 9th Armored Division secured the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River in Remagen, Germany. The U.S. 1st Army vaulted the water barrier and struck deep into Germany. The 3rd Army also crossed the river and moved on. On March 22, U.S. and British forces launch a massive operation over the Rhine in Oppenheim.

On April 2, U.S. forces surrounded 600,000 Germans in the Ruhr Pocket. Throughout the month, American forces begin discovering the consequences of the Nazi ideology as they liberated death camps like Buchenwald, Ohrdurf and Dachau.

On April 12, Americans were shocked by the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Harry S Truman was sworn in and vowed to continue Roosevelt’s policies.

On April 21, Soviet forces began their assault on the German capital of Berlin.

With the Soviets closing in, Hitler committed suicide on April 30 and turns power over to Admiral Karl Donitz.

Surrender

On May 2, German forces in Berlin surrendered to the Soviets.

On May 7, formal negotiations for Germany’s surrender began at the Supreme headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force headquarters in Rheims, France, and the Germans surrender unconditionally the next day.

At the conclusion of the surrender, the allied staff attempted to write a message for General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower to send to allied leaders. He opted for “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, May 7th, 1945.”

Air Force Small Business program drives competition, develops industrial base

by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs


5/1/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Hanscom Air Force Base specializes in acquiring and managing weapons systems used by U.S. warfighters. And like other acquisition-centered installations, there are many aspects that go into developing, deploying and sustaining these vital assets.

As the Air Force works to enhance its capabilities and plan for the long term, the Service recognizes the need for innovative solutions at affordable prices -- and to aid in this effort, the Air Force is looking to small businesses.

During a visit to Hanscom AFB last week, Mark Teskey, the Air Force's Small Business director, engaged with Life Cycle Management Center program managers, engineers and contracting Airmen, reinforcing the branch's stance on small business participation.

"The federal government overall is focusing on small business participation, not just the Air Force and Department of Defense," said Teskey, who is responsible for policy, advising and executing all Small Business program matters for the department. "For us, it's all about developing our industrial base and creating competition.

"Simply put, small businesses are key to driving competition."

But how does competition relate to the bigger picture?

According to Teskey, it's directly tied to the country's national and economic security.

The purpose of the Small Business program is to develop that aspect of the industrial base so there's competition -- a duty levied by Congress on the government.

"If we don't have a competitive industrial base, we can't affordably produce the things that keep us economically and nationally secure," Teskey said, in an interview during his visit to Hanscom.

Currently, the Air Force has approximately 170 Small Business specialists spanning the country, who advise program managers on what is available and what can be done within the commercial marketplace. In addition to advising Air Force program managers and leadership, specialists conduct outreach and act as the liaison between the department and industry.

"A large part of our job is advising, developing policy for programs, market research and outreach," said Bill Donaldson, Small Business director at Hanscom AFB. "We have to understand what the programs need, and we have to understand what industry can deliver, then try to pull it all together."

For the Battle Management and Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorates managed at Hanscom, there was a combined small business obligation to the tune of $214 million in fiscal year 2014.

Both directorates significantly surpassed their goals.

"Mr. Wert and Gen. Olson have had some very good successes, and they're driving a culture change that is really valuable," Teskey said. "They're developing the requirements in a different way in concert with industry and setting a great example."

According to Teskey, not all programs are well-suited for small businesses, but for those that require agility as well as innovation, there can be great value added.

"Small businesses are not constrained, they rebound faster when changes are needed," Teskey said. "They're more nimble, mostly capability with little overhead and they can react quickly and responsively.

"We need to crack the code on trying to create more competition, which I believe is at the small business margin on a lot of these large proprietary programs."

While driving competition was certainly a key component of his discussions during the visit, Teskey also made note of several current and upcoming initiatives within the Small Business field.

Among those is creating a new Small Business career field, updating both Air Force and DOD instructions and formation of Defense Acquisition University courses, with the first set of classes slated for FY16.

"I think we need to continue to foster an environment where we collaborate internally in the government and with industry," Teskey said. "We have to immerse ourselves in the programs and understand what we need and what industry can deliver. The Small Business program is an industrial base development program, and we have a responsibility as an institution to develop our competition so that we can get what we need. We have a responsibility to tend to the entire industrial base, the small and the big, and create competition that makes sense so that we have a healthy, competitive base that protects our economic and national security."

Area Flyover to Commemorate World War II Victory



By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2015 – America will remember the millions who helped make possible the European theater victory in World War II with a flyover of the Capitol and National Mall area by historic aircraft Friday.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of fighting in Europe, or VE Day, aircraft from all periods of World War II will take to the skies over the nation’s capital during the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover.

Organizers expect hundreds of World War II veterans to gather at the National World War II Monument for ceremonies before the flyover.

The flyover -- coordinated by the Commemorative Air Force based in Dallas -- will feature more than 50 aircraft representing the evolution of aviation technology throughout the war. The aircraft will fly in historically sequenced formations signifying the decisive battles of the war. Led by trainers, the aircraft will represent battles from Pearl Harbor and Midway to D-Day and Iwo Jima, with a final missing man formation.

The fighter aircraft will fly out of Culpepper, Virginia, and the larger transports and bombers will stage at Manassas Regional Airport, Virginia.

The aircraft will be over the Capitol at 12:10 pm Friday.

‘Educational and Historic Value’

This is the first time civilian aircraft will be allowed to overfly the National Mall since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Reagan National Airport will be closed to incoming and outgoing flights from noon to 1 p.m.

A slew of federal agencies cooperated to make the VE Day flyover possible. Organizers worked with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the National Park Service, the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Capitol Police to receive clearance.

“The public interest is served by the educational and historic value of this single signature event in commemorating this significant milestone in history,” an FAA official wrote in approving the event.

The aircraft will fly at a minimum of 1,000 feet from west to east along Independence Avenue on the south side of the National Mall, and there will be a 30-second interval between flights.

America Enters the War

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on America to become the Arsenal of Democracy during a speech in December 1940. At the time, Germany’s triumph seemed inevitable. The Nazi regime had taken Poland, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg and France. Hitler had signed a pact with Soviet leader Josef Stalin to divide Eastern Europe, making the Nazis look unstoppable.

Britain, chased from the continent in May 1940, stood with Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other commonwealth countries against the Nazis.

The United States was still recovering from the Great Depression when Roosevelt called upon America to support its allies. In five years, the United States did become the arsenal of democracy and much more.

The United States produced around 6,000 military aircraft in 1940. In 1944, it produced just short of 100,000. In total, the United States produced more than 300,000 military aircraft during the war and launched 27 full-size aircraft carriers and 107 escort carriers.

U.S. workers produced 60,000 tanks, compared to fewer than 20,000 turned out by German production lines. Americans also produced 13 million rifles and carbines.

In 1939, there were 334,473 personnel in all the U.S. armed forces. By VE Day, there were 12,209,238 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen under arms.

AF celebrates Public Service Recognition Week



By Master Sgt. Les Waters, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information
Published May 05, 2015

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force is honoring its civilian Airmen, as part of the weeklong Public Service Recognition Week, May 3-9.

PSRW is a nation-wide campaign to recognize people who serve the nation as federal, state, county and local government employees. It's to highlight their contributions and to say “thank you for your service.”

“There is no doubt we could not accomplish what we do around the world without our civilian Airmen,” said Chief Master of the Air Force James A. Cody. “They epitomize the spirit of creativity and innovation, and they address incredible challenges in defense of our nation. They deserve our gratitude this week, and every week.”

Civilian Airmen are enabled to perform all government functions with the exception of command of military forces. This includes things like direction and control of intelligence, crafting budgets and strategies, developing cutting edge technologies, maintaining aircraft, training new Airmen and teaching them the technical skills required for their jobs, humanitarian relief mission support. Performing these roles allows uniformed Airmen to be focused on warfighting.

“We are not motivated by fame or money, but a desire to serve our country,” said Patricia J. Zarodkiewicz, the administrative assistant to the secretary of the Air Force. “Too few Americans see the federal government as an incubator for innovation and discovery. The Air Force is an organization that embodies innovation, agility, and adaptability. Interestingly, one-fourth of Nobel Prize winners have been federal employees.”

Last year, two Air Force Research Laboratory engineers were recipients of the 2014 National Security and International Affairs Medal. Ben Tran and Sean Young saved service members' lives in Afghanistan by creating and deploying a new aerial sensor system to help military units detect and destroy improvised explosive devices.

“Federal employment doesn't need to be a 30 year career,” Zarodkiewicz said. “Enhanced workplace flexibility offers you the ability to serve across the spectrum of the federal government, as well as delve into private sector ventures. Whether you serve for 30 years or four years, being a civilian Airman is about meaningful work in the service of your country.”