Friday, May 29, 2015

Brig. Gen. Keith Klemmer speaks about service before self at 188th Prayer Breakfast

by Senior Airman Cody Martin
188th Wing

5/11/2015 - EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ark. -- Airmen from the 188th Wing congregated at the Citizen Airmen Dining Facility during the May unit training assembly for a prayer breakfast hosted by the 188th Chaplain's Office here.

Brig. Gen. Keith Klemmer, Arkansas deputy adjutant general, was the guest speaker at the event and spoke of the importance of serving and putting others before oneself, exemplified by how his kids chose to volunteer overseas.

"It's not about money, it's about being happy with what makes us happy," Klemmer said. "There's a lesson that my kids taught me and what's ironic is that I've drilled it in their heads their whole life, to serve your country and to serve others. That's where happiness is."

Lt. Col. Herb Hodde, 188th Wing chaplain, spoke of how significant it was to have Klemmer speak to the Airmen.

"I think it is phenomenal," Hodde said. "Anytime you have an individual who is high in rank, people will listen to them speak because they have worked hard to achieve that rank."

The chaplains' goal is to support Airmen in their spiritual beliefs, whether they have a religion or not. The prayer breakfast is one way the chaplains help provide that aspect.

"When you look at an Airman, there are four components: spiritual, physical, mental and social," Hodde said. "Regardless of an Airman's religious beliefs, the chaplain staff wants to support that 100 percent."

Hodde also wanted to thank all of the group and squadron commanders at the 188th for their support of the breakfast, as well as the 188th Services Flight for their work at the event.

"We would never have done it without [the 188th Services Flight]," Hodde said. "This exemplifies the 188th as far as a team effort. They are the ones that really put it on and made it very beneficial for us."

Army Pacific Helps Nations Cope With Natural Disasters

By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii, May 29, 2015 – Since the April 25 magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal that claimed the lives of about 10,000 people and left thousands more injured or missing, U.S. Army Pacific Command has dedicated significant resources to disaster response in Nepal.

Maj. Gen. James F. Pasquarette, USARPAC’s deputy commander, said in a recent interview that of his command’s many operational, humanitarian and disaster response measures, a series of disaster management exercises and exchanges called Pacific Resilience is key to helping partner armies and various nations, including China, respond and rebound more independently after natural disasters.

This can also “build trust and confidence that U.S. Army is able to come in and work with them if invited,” the general added.

USARPAC conducted disaster response exchanges and exercises with Nepal in 2011 and 2013, with another planned for this year, Pasquarette said, but real-life events have called for real-life response.

Humanitarian Assistance Support Teams

“It was a significant earthquake, so I don’t think any nation would be ready for everything. That’s why they have outside assistance,” the general said. “We have humanitarian assistance support teams that are on a rotating basis and can go out in a matter of hours [and] make an on-the-ground assessment.”

USARPAC also brings service-unique capabilities such as expeditionary engineering, aviation, command and control, civil affairs, water purification and mortuary affairs that can support the joint effort in other countries upon request and approval, Pasquarette said.

Disaster management exchanges with the People’s Liberation Army have yielded trust and confidence with China, he noted, and the Chinese military is operating side by side with USARPAC in Nepal.

“We are able to coordinate our activities based on our past experiences working with these disaster management exchanges,” the general said. “We’re proud of how we’ve done. … We think it’s important, given the high likelihood of disasters in the Pacific, [and] this is something we want to sustain.”

Pacific Pathways

USARPAC and its partner nations also have benefitted from Pacific Pathways, an initiative in which the Army develops small units that to be forward-deployed for quick response to humanitarian emergencies or regional threats.

By chance, USARPAC Pacific Pathways already had a forward deployed aviation unit in the Philippines when the Nepal earthquake struck, Pasquarette said, adding that the aviation unit had previously operated in austere environments in both South Korea and the Philippines.

Though Marine Corps Forces Pacific provided the air support for the Nepal response, Pasquarette said, USARPAC stood ready to push the aviation capability into Nepal if called upon.

“That’s some of the capability that Pacific Pathways provides –- another tool that [U.S. Pacific Command] can consider in case of something unforeseen.”

JBLM and NPS conduct mountain rescue training

by Staff Sgt. Tim Chacon
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

5/29/2015 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash -- The close proximity and beauty of Mount Rainier often hides its difficulty and dangers for people living in the Puget Sound. Experienced and non-experienced climbers alike at times can find themselves in need of rescue support from the mountain.

This is where the National Parks Service and the DoD team together to help those in need. The NPS typically handles rescues below 10,000 feet and calls on Joint Base Lewis-McChord when the mission is difficult at altitudes above that level.

Army and Air Force from JBLM practiced those types of rescue operations during training, May 15. Soldiers from Bravo Co. 1-214th Aviation Regiment and Special Tactics Airmen from the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron conducted hoist training to hone their skills for the upcoming climbing season.

"This is a really positive mission where we get to give back to the community," said David McCrumb, 214th AR CH-47 Chinook instructor pilot. "Everybody contributes, the Air Force, Parks and Army Reserve all have a role to play."

Tech. Sgt. Dean Criswell, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron pararescueman, NCOIC of rescue operations, led the training for the Air Force. With 12 years as a tactical rescue specialist and multiple trainings on Mount Rainer, Criswell is well-suited to tackle the difficult scenarios the mountain can present.

"Training is important to be able to work with our Army partners and Parks {counterparts}," said Criswell. "We all bring different aspects to the rescue, and this training helps bring it all together."

Soldiers from the 214th AR flew Criswell and Master Sgt. Kim-Xuan Brewer, 22nd STS tactical air control Airman, into an area of the mountain and lowered them down to the site where they simulated a rescue.

"I am lowered down and then secure myself to the mountain to assess the situation," said Criswell. "As Master Sgt. Brewer is coming down, I am securing an anchor point for him. Then we would tend to the patient as needed and load them on to a litter to be hoisted up to the helicopter."

The process of mountain rescues can be broken down into three steps: going down to the site of the patient, tending to the patient and then hoisting them up. However, a mountainside rescue is anything but basic.

"Every time you go out, there are inherent risks," said Criswell. "There is weather, crevasses, avalanches, ice fall, altitude, a lot of things come into play when you are determining the risk."

A mountain side rescue is not an ideal situation. Criswell offers some advice to help you if you find yourself in need of their assistance.

"A patient should be honest with us about their injuries and not try to hide anything," said Criswell. "Follow all directions and do everything in an expeditious manner."

Like Brewer, the 22nd STS Airmen on the Mount Rainer rescue team are volunteers.

"We currently have three fully-trained rescuers and three more in training," said Criswell. "For me, this is my job as a pararescuemen, but for TAC-Ps like Master Sergeant Brewer, it's not part of his training, he volunteers to put his personnel skillset to use in these rescues."

Brewer was actually one of the Special Tactics Airmen to originally set up this rescue training, using pararescuemen from the 304th Rescue Squadron in Portland, Oregon.

"It's great that we are given this opportunity to do this training and this mission," said Brewer. "We are thankful our leadership gives us a chance to use the skills we have to give back to people in our community.

A day of remembrance

by Senior Airman Melanie Bulow-Gonterman
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

5/29/2015 - MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. -- With a single American flag in hand volunteer Tina Lacey kneels down in front of the headstone belonging to a U.S. Army veteran who had served in Korea and Vietnam and whispers I miss you dad.

Lacey along with hundreds of volunteers from a variety of organizations across central Florida gathered May 24, 2015, at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida, to place American flags at the front of gravestones and niches belonging to fallen service members in honor of Memorial Day.

"It is incredible to see the support from the community on a day like today," said Lacey. "This is my first time participating in an event like this. So many emotions run through me. It makes me sad that he is no longer with us, but also happy that he fought for our country and complete strangers honor him for that."

Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of the month and is reserved as a day of remembrance for those who honorably served in the military.

"Today is about giving back and thanking each and everyone one of them for their service with each flag that is placed," expressed Air Force veteran Michael Rose. "It is a very humbling experience overall. My goal was to stay there until all the flags were placed to ensure each and every veteran received a flag."

When all was said and done, no headstone was forgotten and the lives of those that paid the ultimate price were remembered.

Veterans visit D.C. monuments, memorials through Honor Flight Network

By Senior Airman Hailey Haux, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Command Information / Published May 29, 2015

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Whether standing at the Air Force memorial or silently observing the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery, a program gives military veterans the chance to see monuments and landmarks in the Washington metropolitan area.

The Honor Flight Network flies veterans here to visit memorials that honor their service to the nation.

“I have never been to Washington and a few people who had been on this honor flight told me this is a big deal and it really means something to me now,” said former Army Air Corps 2nd Lt. Richard Kappel, a World War II prisoner of war. “The changing of the guard has been my favorite part of the tour; it was very touchy feely. I am so glad I came here.”

On a recent visit here, honorees of the Villages Honor Flight from North Central Florida had a jam-packed day visiting the Air Force Memorial, National Mall, U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, World War II Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

“I am really amazed at what I have seen so far and I have enjoyed every minute of it -- I would love to bring my grandkids down here some time,” said Daniel Keel, a Tuskegee Airman and a World War II veteran, flight officer, navigator, bombardier and B-24 pilot. “What I tell most youngsters nowadays is the Air Force is a good place to be.”

With hubs around the country and several trips here every month, the Honor Flight Network is dedicated to providing veterans with honor and closure.

Headquarters Air Force A4 changes to Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection

By Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, / Published May 29, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- As part of the Future Air Force Organization initiatives, the Air Force standard office symbol code title for the Headquarters Air Force A4 area of responsibility changed from "Logistics, Installations and Mission Support" to "Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection" May 22.

This title change is part of an effort aimed at better aligning the Air Force with the joint staff organization construct and is part of ongoing Air Force efforts to reduce overhead and achieve greater efficiencies through the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center.

“This is a small indicator to the bigger change that’s happening across the Air Force to ensure we meet the challenges outlined in our leadership’s ‘A Call to the Future’ 30-year strategy,” said Timothy Bridges, the assistant deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection. “

Bridges said this reorganization helps the A4 community build strategic agility to remain effective in an environment that is rapidly changing and has increased instability and unpredictability.

The A4 mission continues to focus on strategy, policy, oversight, career field management and some programming and budgeting within its four directorates, which are:

- Civil Engineers (A4C), which includes installation strategy and plans, facility management, energy and environmental management, readiness and sustainment. The directorate leads Air Force civil engineers in providing, operating, maintaining and protecting sustainable installations.

- Logistics (A4L), which includes logistics plans, logistics readiness, munitions and maintenance branches.  The directorate ensures the readiness of the single largest element of manpower supporting Air Force combat forces.

- Resource Integration (A4P), which includes portfolio advocacy management, information technology policy and strategy, resources, executive services, weapon system sustainment and logistics transformation.  The directorate is responsible for AF logistics, installations and mission support long-range planning, strategic support planning and associated policies.

- Security Forces (A4S), which develops security forces policy and strategy. This directorate has oversight for protecting Air Force resources from terrorism, criminal acts, sabotage, acts of war and ensuring Security Forces are trained, equipped and ready to support contingency and exercise plans. 

“We must align our efforts to be able to meet the demands of tomorrow,” Bridges said. “That means we must think differently about what we need to do, how we need to do it, and that may not necessarily be the way we’ve always done them in the past.”