Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wolf all call: Be mission ready

by 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

5/27/2015 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea  -- The 8th Fighter Wing commander and 8th FW command chief held all calls here May 22 to introduce themselves and their vision to the Wolf Pack.

"I've been waiting over 20 years to be a part of the Wolf Pack, and I'm so excited to be your new Wolf," said Col. Jeremy "Wolf" Sloane, 8th FW commander. "This base has a long, rich history in defending the peninsula, and we will continue serving that mission here together with our ROK allies."

During the all calls, Wolf emphasized how Wolf Pack Airmen need to work together to be ready to fight at a moment's notice.

"You're all part of a team--whether it's at the unit level or the Wolf Pack team itself," he said. "Being part of a successful team means knowing what you bring to the fight and capitalizing on those strengths. It also means knowing the strengths of your fellow Airmen and looking out for each other. Teamwork makes a sharp, combat-ready unit."

Chief Master Sgt. Daniel "Wolf Chief" Simpson, 8th FW command chief, echoed Wolf's sentiments, stressing how combat readiness depends on accountability, ultimate respect for one another and strengthening relationships.

"Take care of yourselves and each other," said Wolf Chief. "This could be the team you go to war with someday."

In addition to maintaining constant mission readiness, Wolf expressed how important it is for Airmen to stay connected with their families back home.

"I married my high school sweetheart 21 years ago," he said. "Since then, we've been blessed with twin boys, and I miss them all very much. This is a demanding assignment, and I'm going to stay connected with my family. Make sure you are staying connected to your loved ones."

Kunsan's specific mission of defending the peninsula requires each Airman to be a leader.

Wolf challenged each person to focus on instilling core values and continuing an enduring culture of dignity and respect within the Wolf Pack.

"Leadership occurs at all levels," he said. "We need to empower those under us, lead at our peer level and expect those above us to lead as well. Be that example to follow--not just to build Airmen today, but leaders 20 years down the road."

Wolf Chief added that practicing good leadership starts with taking ownership of one's sphere of influence, both on and off duty.

"Set standards in your own duty areas and enforce them," he said. "Keep yourself physically and technically fit. Finally, take care of this base like you own it."

Wolf reminded Airmen that all of their efforts make the 8th FW ready to ensure peace and stability on the peninsula as one sharp, lethal Pack.

"Our mission is to make sure all the lights in Seoul and to the south stay lit," said Wolf. "And one day, we hope the lights in the north will turn on too."

Work, Tunisian Defense Minister Discuss Issues at Pentagon

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2015 – Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and Tunisian Minister of Defense His Excellency Farhat Horchani discussed issues of mutual concern during their meeting at the Pentagon today, according to a DoD news release.

The two leaders discussed the importance of the U.S.-Tunisian defense partnership, Tunisia’s security situation and counterterrorism assistance, the release said.

Partnership With Tunisia

Work committed to continuing to grow a military relationship with Tunisia, according to the release.

Both leaders stated that they look forward to working together well into the future, the release said.

Tunisia’s minister of defense is visiting Washington, D.C., to attend the 30th U.S.-Tunisian Military Commission, which deepens cooperation and addresses common security challenges, according to the release.

Carter Meets With Philippine Counterpart in Hawaii

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2015 – The United States stands by its pledge to defend the Philippines, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told his Philippine counterpart during their meeting in Hawaii today, according to a DoD news release.

During Carter's meeting with Philippine Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin, the two leaders reaffirmed the strong and enduring ties between the two nations, the release said.

Carter welcomed the opportunity to discuss regional security issues with one of America’s closest allies in the Asia-Pacific, the release said, and stressed that the U.S. commitment to defend the Philippines is ironclad.

Mutual Defense Treaty

The U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty has bound the two countries for more than 60 years, according to the release.

President Barack Obama said in Manila last year that the agreement pledges the two nations' "Common determination to defend themselves against external armed attacks, so that no potential aggressor could be under the illusion that either of them stands alone," the release said.

In Hawaii, Carter and Gazmin agreed that all parties involved in the South China Sea should seek a peaceful resolution of disputes, immediately halt land reclamation, and stop further militarization of disputed features, according to the release.

The two leaders also agreed to hold, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department and Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, a 2-plus-2 meeting as soon as possible, the release said.

The 2-plus-2 will meet at the assistant secretary-level to consult on regional security issues of mutual interest, including the South China Sea, according to the release.

AFGSC member selected to attend Navy commander's course

by Carla Pampe
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

5/27/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- In a continuing effort to further the professional development of Air Force Global Strike Command personnel, the Command will send its first member to attend the Navy's Submarine Ballistic Missile Nuclear Powered commander's course beginning June 8.

"Maj. Termain Atwater, 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, was hand-selected by the AFGSC vice commander and approved by Lt. Gen. Wilson to attend a five-week TDY with the U.S. Navy," said Maj. Marcus Hampton, deputy chief, force development division with the AFGSC personnel directorate. "The classroom portion of the SSBN Command Course convenes in Kings Bay, Georgia, and culminates on an SSBN toward the end of the month."

Atwater is looking forward to the opportunity.

"Any opportunity to test decision-making ability in a controlled environment is always beneficial, but learning from and being mentored by leadership from a sister service at this juncture in my career is special," he said.

According to Chuck Hasbrouck, course senior instructor, "The first week of the course is Nuclear Command Control and Communications--certainly professionally relevant for USAF officers. The at -sea portion of the course consists of five days on an SSBN, almost entirely focused on the nuclear deterrent mission, conducting at least two full days of strategic scenarios."

Atwater hopes that he will be able to learn command, control and communications, weapons and navigation systems from the experts at the course while learning and sharing leadership lessons.

"One of the most interesting aspects of this course is the ability to go underway for a week and be afforded the opportunity to act as CO or XO during strategic scenarios," he said. "To be able to learn the decision calculus of a submariner captain and return to intelligently discuss with peers is what I plan to bring back to the command."

Hampton said the course will give the major insight on how the Navy operates, and in turn, "they'll look to him to fill in some gaps on how AFGSC operates our deter and asssure mission from a field grade 13N perspective."

Atwater said the opportunity is two-fold.

"Most importantly is my ability to represent AFSGC to our Triad partners and secondly, to step outside of my comfort zone, take my lumps and grow as a leader," he said.

Face of Defense: Sailors Conduct Night Operations at Sea

By Navy Seaman Jessica Gomez
USS George Washington

AT SEA, SOUTH OF JAPAN, May 27, 2015 – After sunset, the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington steams on into the night. All the while, the movement of aircraft never stops and aviation boatswain's mates (handling), or "ABH" night-check crew, make this possible.

All ABHs wear yellow or blue shirts to indicate their responsibilities. As the day winds down, the ABH night shift "yellow shirts" and "blue shirts" are ready to start their day and work until the job is done.

All hangar bay ABHs start out wearing blue jerseys, holding the “chock and chain” position of securing aircraft to the deck. Upon completion of various qualifications that include fire watch, tractor driver, elevator operator and "hot suitman," an ABH will earn a yellow jersey and become an aircraft director.

"At night, hangar bay [sailors] conduct movement operations for aircraft, and more importantly, the maintenance we provide for the squadrons," said Navy Chief Petty Officer Terrell Jones, an aviation boatswain's mate and hangar bay chief on the George Washington. "The most challenging part is not being able to accommodate every squadron, every night. We want to make sure everyone gets a fair share of maintenance and attention, but sometimes there's just not enough time."

Dangerous Situations

ABHs are constantly in dangerous situations, and inclement weather can make the job of hangar bay night workers even more challenging.

"Being on the [aircraft] elevators is a very dangerous part of the job," said Navy Airman Elijah Vann, an aviation boatswain's mate from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. "You can't see anything. It's dark, raining and foggy, and sometimes waves can reach us on the elevator."

The night crew may not always get recognized for their work because it is usually unseen, but they know that what they do is important to the ship's overall mission.

"The crew works extremely hard, night in and night out, to help with the ship's mission," Jones said. "Their job is just as important as anyone else's, but sometimes it goes unnoticed because it's not seen. I tell my guys they're doing an amazing job, and as long as they know, that's all that matters."

"The daytimers could not run without us," Vann said. "The night-check crews are pure animals. We train the blue shirts, then the yellow shirts get briefed on the movement for the night. We move aircraft all night until the sun comes up, and sometimes even after that."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, are on patrol in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.