Military News

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Operational mission complete for Screaming Eagles

by Tech. Sgt. Aaron Oelrich
15th Wing Public Affairs


6/16/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Members of the 96th Air Refueling Squadron launched four KC-135 Stratotankers to conduct their final mission, or "Fini" flight, here June 11.

According to Lt Col. Jason Work, 96th ARS commander, due to the upcoming deactivation of the squadron, this was the last operational mission for them.

To mark the historic final mission, the Stratotankers showed a range of KC-135 capabilities by conducting aerial refueling and defensive maneuvering as a four ship.

"It was a unique opportunity; we do not get to go up in a four ship very often," Work said. "Hawaii offers a great training opportunity, because there is so much air space, and [maintenance] was gracious enough to generate all four aircraft, so we could go out and fly."

Each KC-135 executed refueling operations for six F-22 Raptors from the 199th Fighter Squadron. The four ship also completed defensive maneuvering by practicing how to react as a four ship to an air-to-air or surface-to-air threat. The defensive maneuvering included in-place turns, scatter turns, combat descends and defensive climbs maneuvers, rejoining at the end of the training to the four-ship formation.

"This is one of those times when you really show the merits of a squadron and how disciplined they are, when you do large ship formations," Work said. "This is the first opportunity that most of the aircrews have had to operate as a four ship, performing defensive maneuvering and everyone performed perfectly. All the maneuvering was very safe."

Once on the ground, their families and the squadron leadership greeted the aircrews with leis, water guns and water hoses to celebrate the final mission.

"It is nice to get all of the squadron together to fly as a four ship; we don't get a lot of opportunities to do that," said Capt. Britton Adamson, 96th ARS pilot. "We had the new pilots flying with the older pilots and landing was great seeing all the families and leadership coming out to the flight line as we parked. It is bittersweet leaving, but it was a gratifying thing to be a part of as we finish our mission."

The 96th ARS will hold a deactivation ceremony in September, marking the end of their five years of service as a total force integration squadron at the 15th Wing.

When tour guides become tourists

by Airman 1st Class Zachary Cacicia
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


6/16/2015 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- A group of volunteers, used to teaching the air mobility mission, were recently given the opportunity to learn about advancements in Team Dover's largest aircraft.

A group of 16 volunteers from the Air Mobility Command Museum toured a static C-5M Super Galaxy airlifter with 9th Airlift Squadron crew members providing their knowledge June 13, 2015, on the flight line at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

"This was a great opportunity for the volunteers to learn more about the new C-5M," said Mike Leister, AMC Museum director. "When giving visitors a tour of our C-5A [Galaxy], they can tell the differences between the older aircraft and the new more capable C-5M."

Since October 2013, the AMC Museum has housed a C-5A Galaxy. This tour gave the museum volunteers a valuable learning experience, teaching them about the new capabilities of the "M" model aircraft. This will allow them to better educate the general public when museum visitors ask questions when touring the museum's C-5A.

The C-5 series of aircraft have been in service for over 40 years, and has been upgraded to be able to continue its service for the next 40 years. With the addition of the new Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP), older C-5 "A" and "B" models have been re-equipped with four General Electric Aviation CF6-80C2 engines, a modernized digital cockpit, communications, enhanced navigation and safety equipment, and an all-weather flight control system. After these upgrades are made, the reequipped aircraft is re-designated as a C-5M Super Galaxy.

Many of the museum volunteers are Air Force veterans, and a few of them served as pilots, loadmasters and flight engineers on C-5s during their time in the military. One former flight engineer, Paul Roy, a retired chief master sergeant, was one of the volunteers who toured the C-5M.

"It was a privilege to be a crew member on these wonderful airplanes," said Roy.

Roy spent 20 years of his Air Force career stationed at Dover AFB, 18 of which he worked as a flight engineer on board "A" and "B" model C-5s and he logged nearly 11,000 flight hours.

Speaking about the C-5M model, Roy said that he was impressed with the upgrades that have been made, and  that the flight deck is vastly different from when he served.

"Well, I sure wish we had back then, the engines they have on this thing now," Roy said. "The capability of this airplane is so much better and all of the automation in the cockpit is fascinating."

Compared to the C-5 Galaxies, the C-5M Super Galaxies have a greater dependability, efficiency, maintainability and accessibility. This has decreased the total operating costs of the heavy strategic lift aircraft.

Many of the volunteers now believe that they have a greater knowledge of the "M" models and will be able to pass along the educational experience to museum visitors.

"When we do tours of the C-5A at the museum, a lot of folks are asking us what are the differences between this "A" model and the "M" model on the other side of base?," Roy said. "Well, now after today, I feel like I'm coming away from the 'M' model with a lot more knowledge then I had before."

The primary mission of the AMC Museum is to collect, preserve and exhibit the artifacts and human stories significant to the development and employment of military airlift and refueling in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army Air Force. The second closely aligned mission is to portray the rich history of Dover AFB and its predecessor, the Dover Army Airfield. The museum makes this history available and attractive to both civilian and military personnel, so that in an increasingly complex society, the role of total force, veterans, operations and equipment is understood and appreciated for their value to the nation.

The volunteers were very impressed with the tour that they were provided. They have wanted to do it for a while and would like to thank everyone that was involved.

"Every one of the volunteers was very enthused with the level of information they got," Leister said. "The fact the flight crew tailored the tour to meet what they needed to help our visitors; it was a great win-win situation."

Asian American, Pacific Islander event highlights heritage

by Senior Airman Sam Fogleman
92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs


6/15/2015 - FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- In 1978, Congress established Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans to U.S. history and culture. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush extended the celebration to the entire month.

On Oct. 23, 1992, Congress officially designated May of each year as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of Americans of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry to the rich heritage and cultural fabric of the U.S.

The theme for 2015 is "Many Cultures, One Voice: Promote Equality and Inclusion."

Congress selected May for this celebration because it includes the anniversaries of the arrival in the U.S. of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and the completion of the first transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869, partially by the labor of thousands of Chinese immigrants.

The term "Asia-Pacific Islands" includes the continent of Asia; the Pacific island groups of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia; the island groups of the Western and Central Pacific, such as the Philippines and the Marianas; and Hawaii, the 50th state of the U.S. About 5 percent of the population of the U.S. is of Asian or Pacific Islander descent.

Team Fairchild hosted an Asian American, Pacific Islander Heritage Month event at the Red Morgan Center here May 19 that highlighted aspects of their culture.

Guests were treated to food, martial arts demonstrations and a hula dance.

(Dr. Robert B. Kane, Air University, director of history, contributed to this story.)

Guam Sailors Impress Admiral with Process Improvement Strategies



By Jennifer M. Zingalie, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam Public Affairs

AGANA HEIGHTS, Guam (NNS) -- During his annual command visits throughout the region, Rear Adm. Bruce Gillingham, commander, Navy Medicine West, made it to U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam just in time to participate in its semiannual Process Improvement (PI) Fair, June 16.

The fair proved to be a segue for him to discuss military medicine's goal of fostering High Reliability Organizations (HRO).

"I was impressed by all the projects, in fact some of them provided some great lessons learned that I am excited to take back with me and share throughout Navy Medicine West," said Gillingham.

According to Gillingham, being an HRO does not mean a command is perfect, but rather provides a climate in which people are not afraid to speak up, regardless of their rank, when something does not seem right. It also means every member is constantly aware, and continuously examining their processes and environment for possible safety issues. In turn, they recognize how something minute could turn into something catastrophic, which empowers them to correct it before that ever becomes a possibility.

For the PI Fair, approximately 20 departments submitted their projects that ranged from reducing no-show rates to improving diabetic hemoglobin.

The hospital recognized five specific departments; Safety Department, Best Presentation of Data; Pediatrics, Best Use of Methodology; Multi-Service Unit, Greatest Contribution to Safety; Dental Department, Greatest Impact on Command Priorities; and the Quality of Care Committee for the Commanding Officer's Excellence Award.

"We worked very hard to improve our dental index and are humbled to receive this award," said dental hygienist Tiffny Kuper. "Our hospital is located in a heavily deployable area and so ensuring our dental readiness is high helps ensure our warfighters are mission ready."

In fact, the USNH Guam dental index is one of the highest in all of Navy Medicine. While readiness is a part of the command's mission, its vision is to "Lead Navy Medicine in safe, quality, and high-value care," and they have seen this become a reality in many of the Navy Medicine metrics through ongoing PI.

"During my visit I have seen some very motivated Sailors, dedicated to the mission of providing high-quality and safe care," said Gilligham. "This is exactly the kind of thing that fosters a culture of safety and allows us as a whole to become leaders in the HRO concept."

During the visit Gillingham also held an Admiral's Call where he discussed different topics related to military medicine, including the upcoming U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery reorganization. He also took time to answer Sailors' questions and concerns.

Navy Commands Performing Community Service Recognized for their Work



By Ed Wright, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Each year, in neighborhoods and towns around the globe, Navy volunteers partner with their local communities, reaching out to provide support.

The mission of the Navy's Community Service Program (NCSP) is to help build stronger communities and to develop mission-ready personnel through outreach activities.

"The Navy Community Service Program represents volunteerism at its finest and in taking seriously the meaning of 'my brother's keeper' always stands ready to give a helping hand to the communities in which we live and work," said Olivia Hunter, Naval District Washington Regional community service coordinator.

Your Navy team's volunteer work may qualify them for one or more of the Navy Community Service Program Awards, which is divided into five flagship sponsor categories.

The flagship sponsor categories are:
- Project Good Neighbor - serves as the basis for developing a good relationship with the surrounding community.
- Personal Excellence Partnership - strives for excellence in developing the youth of surrounding communities by promoting academic achievement, healthy lifestyles and civic responsibility.
- Health, Safety, and Fitness - promotes healthy and fit lifestyles for military members and the surrounding civilian community.
- Environmental Stewardship Program - joins forces with the local community, schools, and other military commands in educating the community in how to preserve, protect, restore and enhance our environment;
- Campaign Drug Free - focuses on educating surrounding communities and schools on the dangers of drugs and substance abuse. This flagship also develops youths through drug education, leadership and character development, positive role model mentoring, and community outreach.

There is an overarching award to recognize the command volunteer program that has proven overall excellence in community service. In order to receive the USS Bainbridge Award, a command must qualify in at least three of the five flagship categories.

The NCSP is designed to foster a sense of community service and friendship, and serve as a vehicle for volunteers who are role models in promoting good citizenship. It provides Sailors the opportunity to give something back to the community where they live and work, while at the same time providing support and resources for established programs.

"Observing our volunteers working side by side with community residents is an impressive example of commitment to selfless service," said Hunter. "Many members of the Navy community have a strong desire to be an uplifting influence in the surrounding civilian community. The evidence is shown through the tremendous amount of volunteerism by Naval active duty and civilian personnel for myriad projects that help communities and private citizens who need a helping hand."

All Navy commands are eligible to compete for the 2015 Navy Community Service Awards. The deadline for commands to submit nominations to the NCSP Geographic Regional Coordinator (GRC) is July 31. The volunteer service must have occurred from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

See NAVADMIN 130/15 for more information on NCSP, or contact your command coordinator or GRC for details on applying for nomination.

Individuals Recognized For Community Involvement with Local School Distric



By Katherine Mapp, NSWC PCD Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) employees logged over 3,000 volunteer-service hours with Bay District Schools during the 2014-2015 school year.

The 5th Annual Educational Partnership Awards was held at Naval Support Activity Panama City (NSA PC), June 9.

At the ceremony, NSA PC Commanding Officer Cmdr. Christopher Serow, along with Bay District School Board Superintendent Bill Husfelt, recognized military members and civilian employees who have served as both mentors and volunteers in the public schools. Educators were honored as well after being nominated by military members for going above and beyond for their military-dependent children in Bay District Schools.

"I continue to be impressed with the character and commitment of our people," said NSWC PCD Deputy Division Technical Director Dave Tubridy. "This year we had over 35 individuals who met the 10-hour volunteer hour criteria for recognition in the Education Partnership Awards."

Tubridy said there is no doubt the NSWC PCD workforce has had a profound and lasting impact on the students' lives within the local school district.

"Honestly, it is this kind of volunteerism that makes our community so rich and the command so very proud," he said.

According to Lynda Brown, NSA PC school liaison officer, all of the base employees who were recognized have positively impacted the lives of more than 8,400 children this school year.

Brown said these individuals have gone the extra mile to contribute their personal time to volunteering with children in our community and encouraging the learning process, as well as reiterating the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Serow and Husfelt expressed their sincerest gratitude throughout the ceremony.

"Supporting military dependents who attend our schools is of utmost importance," Husfelt said. "Teachers, with the support of our administration and staff throughout our school district, recognize the special challenges for those who serve in the military and we understand that it is the entire family that serves."

Lisa Miller, a teacher from North Bay Haven Charter Academy, was recognized at the ceremony for her hard work and determination as a hospital home-bound teacher for the son of Brenna Williams, NSWC PCD strategic analyst. In January 2015, Williams' son had major surgery and was out of school for almost two months. As a home-bound teacher, Mrs. Miller went above and beyond to ensure that Williams' son understood all of the material and was up to date on all of his assignments. As a result of Miller's contentious efforts, Williams' son earned straight A's on his report card.

"Without Mrs. Miller's professional and extra effort, his academic success would not have been possible," Williams said. "We are very grateful for her efforts to ensure his learning continued during that difficult time and also to ensure his goal of attending the university of his choice was not impeded."