Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Building bombs, camraderie

by Airman 1st Class Erin R. Babis
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/11/2015 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Aircrew from the 492nd Fighter Squadron participated in a munitions immersion event with the 48th Munitions Squadron to build low-level, laser-guided bombs, May 4.

"The concept of the bomb-build immersion was to provide the aircrew participants with a cradle-to-grave understanding of the weapons they utilize while promoting synergy between the operations and maintenance groups," said Capt. Nathan Cosker, 48th MUNS materiel flight commander.

The aircrew gained a unique perspective on the work required to prepare the weapons. They usually see the weapons already built and ready for use when they step to their jets.

"Everyone talks about how much work goes into these weapons," said 1st Lt. Dash Dalrymple, 492nd FS F-15E Strike Eagle weapon systems officer. "But to actually see it firsthand, how much work goes into preparing and making sure they do things by-the-book, step-by-step, to make sure they give us a flawless product; for me, it expanded my appreciation for the 48th MUNS and the entire maintenance group."

The 48th MUNS Airmen also enjoyed the opportunity to talk to the aircrew about the weapons they build.

"We always build the assets but a lot of times we don't always get to talk to the people actually doing the dropping," said Staff Sgt. Seth Johnston, 48th MUNS conventional maintenance crew chief. "The reverse is also true. All they see are bombs on aircraft. It's cool to see the whole process through from start to finish."

By the end of the munitions immersion event, 48th MUNS Airmen and 492nd FS aircrew had worked together to successfully build eight Guided Bomb Unit-24 bombs.

Search Continues for Missing U.S. Helicopter in Nepal

From a Joint Task Force 505 News Release

KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 13, 2015 – The search is continuing for a U.S. Marine Corps UH-1Y Huey helicopter reported missing in Nepal with six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese service members aboard, Joint Task Force 505 officials reported today.

The aircraft, which was delivering humanitarian aid, went missing yesterday near Charikot, Nepal, while conducting humanitarian assistance in support of JTF 505 supporting Operation Sahayogi Haat.

As part of the search, two UH-1Y Huey helicopters with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 and two MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 flew nine sorties and about 21 flight hours in search of the missing aircraft. Flight operations are still ongoing.

A battalion-sized Nepalese ground force has also moved into the area to assist with the search.

The 36th Contingency Response Group, also with JTF 505, is continuing to support civil aviation authorities offloading humanitarian aid at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

Air Force recognizes nurses and medical technicians

by Airman 1st Class Michael Cossaboom
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/12/2015 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C.  -- Running from May 6-12, nurses and medical technicians throughout the Air Force were recognized for the care they provide to Service members and their families.

The theme of the week "Ethical Practice and Quality Care," serves as a platform to celebrate the ways nurses and medical technicians provide safe, efficient, and high quality healthcare to their customers.

The Air Force has approximately 3,000 nurses and 5,000 medical technicians charged with maintaining the well-being and health of approximately 2.6 million beneficiaries worldwide.

"Nurses and technicians provide cross-functional collaboration to improve patient care delivery," said Lt. Col. Heather Perez, 20th Medical Group chief nurse. "They assess individual's and the population's health needs through collecting, recording, and analyzing health data from nursing history, physical examinations, preventative health assessments and other sources."

Nurses and medical technicians can serve in a multitude of medical areas such as ambulance services, family health, pediatrics, flight medicine, and intensive care units.

"As nurses and techs, we have to be versatile," said Debra Green, 20th Medical Operations Squadron pediatrics nurse. "You never know when you'll have to fill another nurse's or tech's position, so we have to be capable of performing various tasks."

Providing care for Service members and their family's is an important aspect of their mission, and the skills they are able to provide in a deployed environment are equally as imperative.

"Air Force nurses and medical technicians play a tremendous role in the defense of our nation," said Perez. "Both work aeromedical evacuation with a 98% patient survivability rate from combat wounds, transporting patients from the battlefield to advanced treatment both in Europe and the U.S."

Nurses and medical technicians across the Air Force are charged with keeping Service members healthy and fit so that they can continue to fly, fight, and win.

"The cost-effective, safe and quality healthcare services Air Force nurses and technicians provide is a critical component of the U.S. Military Health System and will continue to be so as we forge our way into a healthier, stronger future," said Perez.

Misawa unveils new refueling system

by Airman 1st Class Jordyn Fetter
35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/12/2015 - MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- After a two-year process, the installation of a Type III hydrant system was officially recognized during a ribbon cutting ceremony here May 11.

The system upgrade allows R-12 fuel servicing vehicles to refuel aircraft at Misawa via an underground constant pressure fuel system that transfers fuel directly from an underground tank to the aircraft -- a massive improvement from the previous system.

Lt. Gen. Sam Angelella, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander, conducted the ribbon cutting ceremony alongside base leadership to unveil the new system.

Before the construction of the Type III hydrant system was completed, the aircraft refueling process here involved driving four to six R-11 fuel servicing vehicles back and forth from fuel tanks to the aircraft. It was time consuming and largely inefficient for operational demands.

"The R-11s can only issue so much fuel before they have to be disconnected and replaced with another vehicle," said Staff Sgt. Derek Schmidt, 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron field hydrant supervisor.

Since only a handful of R-11 trucks are kept on base, Misawa's ability to refuel aircraft was limited by the number of trucks and the time needed to drive back and forth to refill them. For 70 years, this was the only way Misawa refueled aircraft.

The system, which was previously approved by Angelella during his time as the 35th Fighter Wing commander from 2005-2007, was first used in February 2015. Angelella was able to see it come into fruition in front of a crowd of Airmen involved with the hydrant system.

Compared to an R-11, the R-12s can continually fill an aircraft without stopping, said Schmidt.

Comparable to pumps at a gas station, hydrants were placed at strategic parking stations on the flight line, bypassing the need to ferry the fuel in trucks. Because of the efficiency created by this system, Misawa is now able to serve as a high-volume and high-speed pit stop for transport aircraft moving people and cargo through the Pacific theater.

"We're now able to support heavier aircraft so they don't have to fly to other bases," Schmidt added.

Additionally, the new system saves both time and manpower because it only requires one Airman to refuel aircraft in almost one-third of the time, whereas the previous system required up to four Airmen and took up to four hours to refuel.

"Despite personnel and budget cuts, we'll still be able to refuel five to seven big airplanes with half the people and probably half the time," said Angelella. "The money and efficiency to be able to do our contingency missions will really pay off."

Update: JSTARS Recap moves to next phase

by Justin Oakes
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

5/12/2015 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- A senior Department of Defense official signed a key acquisition memo May 7 that will allow the Joint STARS Recapitalization program office here to begin awarding contracts.

Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, signed a Materiel Development Decision Acquisition Decision Memo officially ushering the program into the Materiel Solution Analysis phase.

JSTARS Recapitalization will replace the aging fleet of specialized, E-8C reconnaissance aircraft, which have flown more than 13 years in continuous overseas operations and accumulated more than 100,000 combat flight hours.

The new JSTARS weapon system will be comprised of four integrated components including: a business-class, commercial-derivative aircraft; radar subsystem; a communication subsystem; and an integrated battle management command and control suite.

With the memo signed, JSTARS Recap officials are able to release and competitively award up to three firm, fixed-price contracts in support of pre-Engineering and Manufacturing Development risk reduction. The contracts will be specifically focused on refining requirements, identifying costs and reducing top risks.

"This activity is a significant move toward assessing subsystem technology maturity, reducing weapon system engineering, reducing risk and lowering life cycle cost by design," said Col. Mike Harm, acting JSTARS Recap senior materiel leader.

On May 8, Recap officials issued a request for quotation to contractors identified by earlier analysis, in an effort to communicate their pre-EMD requirements; responses to the RFQ will include a technical proposal as well as an official bid.

The pre-EMD risk reduction contract, or contracts, will entail a base period for completing initial requirements analysis, which includes a full system requirements review, technical reports and analysis and an option period to complete a system functional review, preliminary design review and subsystem prototype demonstrations.

However, the decision to exercise the contract option is contingent upon a successful Milestone A review. The purpose of a Milestone A review is to make a recommendation or seek approval before entering the Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase.

"This is one of the Air Force's top acquisition priorities, and we're motivated and extremely pleased to be moving forward," Harm said.

Pacific Submarine Force Hosts 115th Navy Submarine Birthday Balls

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink, Submarine Force Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Submariners past and present gathered at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki May 8-9, to celebrate 115 years of distinguished U.S. Navy Submarine Force service.

This year's milestone birthday galas recorded the largest crowds ever in the storied history of the event. With enlisted submariners celebrating on Friday and the officers attending Saturday, a combined crowd of nearly 3,000 guests packed the ballroom during the weekend's festivities.

Speakers during the two-day event included Rear Adm. Phil Sawyer, commander of Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and retired Navy Capt. Bruce Smith, a former commanding officer of the most highly decorated vessel in U.S. history, the submarine USS Parche (SSN 683).

Smith said because of the rich naval history of Pearl Harbor, it is the ideal setting to celebrate a submarine birthday ball.

"Pearl Harbor is and always will be the heart and soul of our Navy's submarine force," said Smith. "The war in the Pacific began with a crushing surprise attack on Pearl Harbor; our submarine force survived the blow and took the fight to the enemy."

Smith continued, quoting Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, "It was to the Submarine Force that I looked to carry the load until our great industrial activity could produce the weapons we so sorely needed to carry the war to the enemy. It is to the everlasting honor and glory of our submarine personnel that they never failed us in our days of peril."

"Let's be mindful of our legacy and of the cost," said Smith. "We do know that freedom isn't free, many of our submarine force men and women stand the watch this evening."

During the balls on each evening, ceremonies honoring 65 boats and crew lost at sea during war and peacetime reminded attendees of the sacrifices and courage of undersea warriors.

"Tonight is a celebration about us, it is a time for us to spend with our friends, with our shipmates and our loved ones," said Sawyer. "It's a chance for us to tell sea stories and remember the past, and just as importantly to celebrate the present."

Sawyer recognized the submarine veterans in attendance and said although submarine force accomplishments remain largely unknown to the public, their contributions over the years have molded the force into what it is today.

"The nation expects the military and the submarine force to be ready," said Sawyer. "Ready for whatever, whenever, like our predecessors were. You can be justifiably proud of what you have accomplished this last year."

Pacific Submarine Force Master Chief Russ Mason, expressed his appreciation for the Sailors and the year they have had, including the stand-up of Submarine Squadron 21 in Manama, Bahrain, and the missions executed by submarine crews stationed here and in Guam.

"It's been a great year," said Mason. "You have done a lot of awesome things; I am truly proud of each and every one of you and appreciate your families."

Retired Rear Adm. Lloyd "Joe" Vasey was honored as the most senior qualified submariner in attendance, having earned his dolphins in 1942.

"Dolphins" are the submarine warfare insignia worn by both enlisted personnel and officers signifying proficiency in using all on-board submarine systems.

Vasey was honored by Sailors and spouses throughout the evening. A pioneer in the submarine force, Vasey served as a submarine officer throughout World War II, including the invasion of North Africa and later in the Pacific theater.

Submarine Ball events commemorate the anniversary of the U.S. Navy's Submarine Force. Since April 11, 1900, when the U.S. Navy first purchased John Holland's revolutionary submarine and dubbed it America's first commissioned submarine, USS Holland (SS-1), submariners have been patrolling the depths of our oceans, taking the fight to enemies and providing maritime security around the world.

Beale Airmen selected for Air Force Volleyball Trial Camp

by by Airman 1st Class Taylor A. Workman
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

5/13/2015 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.  -- Two Beale Airmen have been selected to participate in the All-Air Force Men's Volleyball Trial Camp at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., May 4 to 21, 2015.

Senior Airman Jan C. Flores, 9th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron radio frequency technician, and Senior Airman Michael, 13th Intelligence Squadron geospatial analyst, are two of the 21 Airmen chosen for the trial camp, which promises to put their skills and physical stamina to the test.

Airmen who earn a spot on the final team will go on to represent the Air Force at the Armed Forces National Men's Volleyball Championship in Detroit, May 22 to 27, 2015.
Flores has been training for the trial camp for nearly a year.

"I'm nervous for the trials, but I prepared my body for the intensity of the camp," said Flores. "I've been eating right and getting my body in peak physical condition with concentrated exercise. In my spare time, I find pick up games throughout Sacramento to sharpen my skills."

The trial camp is short in duration but physically demanding, mentally challenging and highly competitive according to the Air Force Sports Program.

"I'm very proud of Airman Flores," said Capt. Troy H. Shettlesworth, 9th AMXS ground communications officer in charge. "We have a very demanding mission in our shop, it can be exhausting. Flores manages to not only excel at his job, but also provide inspiration for everybody around him, including me."

Airmen selected are expected to arrive in good physical shape to ensure the team's selections are based on skill rather than conditioning.

"I had to be very strict during training to get the results I wanted," Flores said. "Once your body can accomplish what you want it to, you have to rely on pure mental strength to assure yourself that there are no limitations to your success."

However, being physically fit isn't just for Air Force sports; it is an essential part of Comprehensive Airman Fitness according to Shettlesworth.

"Flores is an exceptional Airman," said Master Sgt. Sonjia Rodriguez, 9 AMXS lead production superintendent and Flores' section chief. "In his short time on station, he has assisted with more than 300 RQ-4 Global Hawk flights, devoted a year to the base honor guard, he volunteers at a local food bank and homeless shelter, and continuously excels in physical fitness."

Rodriguez said that she is not surprised Flores has been chosen to be a contender for the Air Force volleyball team.

"My main goal now is to be the best I can be," Flores said. "And no matter what, to have fun."

Flight tests conclude for shape changing aircraft flap

by Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate

5/11/2015 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- A team of researchers from Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA and FlexSys, Inc., accomplished a long sought goal in aviation research April 22 with the last flight of the Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge Flight Research program.

A radically new morphing wing technology called Flexfoil TM exceeded all expectations in flight testing. The ACTE program completed 22 research flights between Nov. 6, 2014, and April 22 at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif.

Positive results from the flight tests indicate that Flexfoil TM, which can be retrofitted to existing airplane wings or integrated into entirely new airframes, is ready to revolutionize aircraft wing design. The technology enables engineers to reduce wing structural weight and to aerodynamically tailor the wings throughout the flight envelope to promote improved fuel economy and more efficient operations, while reducing environmental and noise impacts.

AFRL began work with FlexSys, of Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1998, through the Small Business Innovative Research program. AFRL and FlexSys developed and wind-tunnel tested several wing leading and trailing edge designs for various aircraft configurations through 2006.

In 2009, AFRL and NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation project agreed to equip a Gulfstream III jet with new flap surfaces designed and built by FlexSys, incorporating its proprietary Flexfoil Variable Geometry technology.

After seeing a morphing wing demonstration, AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello said, "Here's another example of a successful government research partnership with small business to advance a very exciting aerospace technology for transition."

Flight-testing was key to proving the concept's airworthiness. The G-III was flown with its experimental surfaces at flap angles ranging from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees. Initial ACTE flight testing supported one of ERA's eight integrated technology demonstrations to explore design improvements for reducing drag, weight, noise, emissions and fuel consumption.

"The purpose of these tests," said ERA project manager Fay Collier, "was to see if flexible trailing edge wing flaps could improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce the noise generated during takeoffs and landings."

Pete Flick, AFRL Program Manager at Wright-Patterson AFB, added, "We are thrilled to have accomplished all of our flight test goals without encountering any significant technical issues. These flights cap 17 years of technology maturation. The technology is now ready to dramatically improve aircraft efficiency for the Air Force and the commercial aviation industry."

Sridhar Kota, inventor of FlexFoil technology and founder of FlexSys Inc., was equally enthusiastic.

"Thanks to AFRL for its vision and leadership in recognizing the merits of our technology 17 years ago and supporting the development all the way through these flight tests, and thanks to NASA for its expertise and contributions in conducting the flight test," said Kota, who is also a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan.

Armstrong project manager Thomas Rigney said, "Our success was the result of a terrific partnership with the Air Force and FlexSys to flight test this promising new technology. I'm very impressed with the hard work and dedication of the team that made this possible, and I look forward to continuing our research."

President Nominates Milley, Richardson to Lead Army, Navy

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2015 – President Barack Obama has nominated Gen. Mark A. Milley as the next Army chief of staff, and Adm. John M. Richardson as the next chief of naval operations, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said here today.

If confirmed by the Senate, Milley would replace Gen. Ray Odierno and Richardson would replace Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert. Milley and Richardson would be members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Army Secretary John M. McHugh, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accompanied Carter at the lectern.

Milley is currently serving as the commander U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and Richardson now is the director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.

Nominees to ‘Build the Force of the Future’

Carter called Milley a warrior and a statesman.

“He not only has plenty of operational and joint experience in Afghanistan and Iraq and the Joint Staff, he also has the intellect and vision to lead change throughout the Army,” the secretary said. The secretary said Milley was a clear choice for the job.

Richardson is the first officer to be nominated for chief of naval operations from the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. He assumed duties as the program’s director in 2012 and it is usually an eight-year term.

Carter called the admiral a “bold thinker” and tremendous leader. The admiral was “the go-to officer for many of the Navy’s tough issues in recent years,” the secretary said.

Richardson has been instrumental in handling issues such as the replacement of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine and dealing with problems of integrity and ethics.

Carter looks forward to working with both men “as we drive change, build the force of the future and help the president with real solutions for the national security challenges we face.”

Outgoing Chiefs ‘Performed Magnificently’

Carter thanked both Odierno and Greenert for their contributions.

“Both Ray and Jon have been tremendous leaders for their respective services over these last four years -- four years that have been critical for the military and the country,” the secretary said.

Carter said both officers faced an ever-changing security environment and an uncertain fiscal situation, and the men and women of the Army and Navy performed magnificently.

“President Obama, Chairman Dempsey and I could not have been better served,” the secretary said. “And the same is true of the American soldiers and sailors and their families across the country, and across the world.”

Milley, Richardson Accomplished Leaders

Milley is a 1980 ROTC graduate of Princeton University. Before commanding Forces Command, he commanded the Army’s 3rd Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, and in Afghanistan headed the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command. The general commanded the fabled 10th Mountain Division and he served as the deputy commanding general for the equally fabled 101st Airborne Division. He wears the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Special Forces Tab and Ranger Tab.

Richardson is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds three master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National War College.

A submariner, Richardson served on USS Parche, USS George C. Marshall and USS Salt Lake City. He commanded USS Honolulu in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He received the James B. Stockdale Leadership Award.

Richardson also served as commodore of Submarine Development Squadron 12 in Groton, Connecticut and the commander of Submarine Group 8.