Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Military Families are Resilient

The June 25, 2015, episode of American Heroes Radio features a conversation with Erica Trejo the Director of Military Families are Resilient at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services. 

Program Date:  June 25, 2015
Program Time: 1500 hours, PACIFIC
Topic: Military Families are Resilient

About the Guest
Erica Trejo is a Licenses Family Marriage Therapist and the Director of Military Families are Resilient at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services.  She is also a recent recipient of the National Council for Behavior Health’s Rising Star Award.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life.  Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.
About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles Police Department for 24 years.  He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant.  He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University.  He has experience teaching upper division courses in law enforcement, public policy, law enforcement technology and leadership.  Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One.  He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in law enforcement.

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

Carter: NATO's Unity 'Critical' for Future Challenges

By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2015 – NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force has the speed to respond to future crises such as those involving hybrid warfare, space and cyber activities that can evolve and unfold in Europe, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters yesterday in Munster, Germany.

Carter spoke to members of the media following a multilateral meeting with German Defense Minister Ursula Von Der Leyen, Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide and the Netherlands’ Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert.

The VJTF is a component of NATO’s Response Force that has responsibility for deploying troops to the Baltics in a crisis, according to DoD officials.

The secretary is in Europe this week to focus on the new security environment and NATO challenges stemming from Russia and the continent’s southern flank.

Next week’s NATO defense ministerial in Brussels -- his first since taking office four months ago -- will be Carter's final stop.

NATO Unity is Critical

NATO’s unity is critical going forward, Carter said.

“And that requires us to be attentive to the problems and challenges that affect all of the members,” he said.

In addition to challenges from Russia, various regions of Europe and its southern tier in particular are also affected by factors such as instability in Northern Africa and the Middle East, the secretary said.

“There is more than one challenge for Europe,” Carter said. “A unified Europe can do more than one thing at one time. That's required now … and it's showing … all the resolve and unity that it always has had over many decades.”

In new domains such as cyber, Carter said, speed and agility of forces are important ingredients and are among a portfolio of steps NATO is taking "to ensure the security of all of its partners."

Nondefense Security Dimension

Carter emphasized that the “new playbook” has a number of different dimensions.

“There's an important nondefense dimension to security today, both in respect of so-called hybrid warfare, but also in respect [to Europe’s] southern tier,” he said.

“That's something which is a whole-of-government … kind of difficulty,” the secretary noted. “Where the habits of cooperation among the militaries, illustrated by NATO, can be and actually [are] matched with other agencies of government that are necessary to deal with those other challenges.”

188th builds camaraderie, unity, resilience through Wingman Day

by Staff Sgt. Hannah Dickerson
188th Wing Public Affairs

6/10/2015 - EBBING AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ar. -- Airmen from the 188th Wing challenged each other in friendly competitions here, June 7, 2015, to promote camaraderie, unity and focus on resiliency as a part of Wingman Day.

Wingman Day is designed to encourage Airmen to build and foster positive relationships not only in their work area, but throughout the wing with events included a 1.5 mile run, volleyball, horseshoes, a mile relay, free-throw competition, golf pitching, a casting contest and a safety obstacle course.

"The Wingman Olympics are competitions designed to encourage team building in the different units," said 2nd Lt. Jake Tidwell, 188th Wingman Day coordinator assigned to the 188th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group. "Fun events such as this help boost morale and offer a chance to get out of the office to spend time with our fellow wingmen."

Maj. Sara Stigler, 153rd Intelligence Squadron commander, noted that she's seen increased improvements in her unit and how they've worked together as a team through the Wingman Day activities.

"It's only been a year since the conversion and I can already see how the 153rd has united with Airmen coming from different backgrounds," Stigler said.

The "wingman concept" promotes an environment of supporting and helping one another, no matter what situation may arise.

As the wing moves forward in the conversion process from a manned flying unit to an ISR mission, it is vital that unit members build valuable relationships that help strengthen the mission.

"I think it's important that we spend time with members outside of our career fields," said Tidwell. "This event allows us to work on team building and resiliency among wing members as we begin a new mission and as new squadrons are established."

In each event, 1st place received 25 points, 2nd place received 15 points and 3rd place received 5 points. Col. Bobbi Doorenbos, 188th Wing commander, presented a trophy to the squadron finishing in 1st place.

"It is such a proud moment to see all our Airmen come together for some friendly competition to not only challenge one another, but to also push and encourage each other to grow as individuals and a team," said Doorenbos. "Resiliency and unity, across the board, is something that is at the heart of building a strong family, which is what we are at the 188th."

Wingman Day Olympics results
Team results
1st place: 153rd Intelligence Squadron
2nd place: 188th Civil Engineer Squadron Team 1
3rd place: 123rd Intelligence Squadron

Individual results
1.5 mile run (men): Airman 1st Class Dylan Lindley, 153rd Intelligence Squadron, 9:09
1.5 mile run (women): Tech. Sgt. Rachel Ponder, 188th Communications Flight, 10:08
Volleyball: 188th Security Forces Squadron
Mile relay: 188th Civil Engineer Squadron Team 2
Free throws: Master Sgt. John Ashworth, 188th Medical Group
Golf Pitching: Ian Bellisario, 188th Student Flight
Horseshoes: 188th Civil Engineer Squadron Team 1
Casting contest: Master Sgt. Jodie Haralson, 188th Communications Flight
Safety obstacle course: Lt. Col. Keith Brannon, 188th Wing

LEADing the way

by 1st Lt. Valerie Harwood
166th AIrlift Wing Public Affairs

6/16/2015 - NEW CASTLE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Delaware -- Three Delaware Air National Guard Airmen will be departing this June to receive a free world-class education.

Airmen 1st Class Sharon Dominguez and Luke McFadden have been accepted into the 2019 United States Air Force Academy graduating class, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Airman 1st Class Ryan Weber has been accepted into the USAFA Preparatory School. Upon completion he will be eligible to apply for the 2020 USAFA graduating class.

Dominguez is a North Hagerstown, Md. native. She graduated from North Hagerstown High School, Md. and is currently enrolled at the University of Delaware in Newark. Dominguez enlisted in the Delaware ANG in August 2012 and is a certified radio frequency transmission systems technician.

McFadden is a Bear, Del. native. He was home schooled and graduated high school from the Powle Institute and is currently enrolled at the University of Delaware. McFadden enlisted in the Delaware ANG in January 2013 and is a certified aircraft environment and electrical systems apprentice.

"I joined the Delaware Air Guard because it seemed like a good opportunity and I recommend it to anyone," said McFadden.

"I want to major in electrical engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy."

Weber is a Newark, Del. native. He was home schooled and graduated high school from the Mount Sophia Academy and is currently enrolled but on military leave from the University of Delaware.

Weber enlisted in the Delaware ANG in April 2013 and is a certified metals aircraft technologist.

"I heard about the Air Force Academy on base through a meeting Col. Castaldi [166th Maintenance Group commander] held and he explained there were opportunities for Delaware Guardsmen age 23 years old and younger to attend the Academy through the Leaders Encouraging Airmen Development program," said Weber.

The LEAD program was developed by Air Force leaders to encourage aspiring enlisted Airmen to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy. Upon completion of the program, LEAD Airmen are commissioned as second lieutenants with a bachelor's of science degree.

Airmen applying to the USAFA through the LEAD program have an advantage compared with high school applicants because Airmen do not need to obtain a nomination from a U.S. senator or congressman. In place of a nomination, enlisted Airmen only need to receive an endorsement from their local  commander.

According to the USAFA, they receive more than 12,000 applicants each year, and admits just over 1,000 as cadets.

In order to be eligible to apply to the USAFA all three Airmen had to be of good moral character and meet basic eligibility requirements. Also, each service member must be at least 17 years old but not past their 23rd birthday by July 1 of the year they enter the Academy, be a United States citizen, and unmarried with no dependents.

The USAFA is a challenging environment by design. Their mission is to inspire and encourage excellence in their applicants, and competition for an appointment is highly competitive.

The USAFA assesses potential cadets through academics, athletics, character and leadership potential as demonstrated by the life experiences and achievements of each applicant.

"The Academy is an amazing opportunity and I would encourage every young Airman to apply, I mean it's a $435,000 education, for free essentially!" said Dominguez. "Of course you pay with your time in service but that is the ultimate goal here, to become an officer in the world's greatest Air Force."

If Weber is accepted into the Academy after Preparatory School, the three Delaware ANG Airmen combined will receive a free college education worth over $1,248,000, not including Weber's 10-month USAFA Preparatory School.

The preparatory school accepts only 240 cadet candidates annually and is designed to academically, physically and militarily prepare qualified young men and women to enter the Academy.

"I could see myself making the military a career after my five year commitment," said McFadden. "I have two older brothers in the Delaware Army Guard and I joined the Air Guard because I was interested in doing hands-on electrical work."

USAFA cadets can choose from majors in aeronautical engineering, astronautical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, engineering mechanics, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, computer science and management.

The USAFA will develop cadet skills, character and motivation. A cadet's future with the Air Force will allow for focused ambition, purposeful self-discovery and impactful study during their college years.

If you are interested in the LEAD program contact your supervisor and base education office for guidance.

To learn more about the U.S. Air Force Academy, visit www.usafa.af.mil.

Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for ISR, visits 102nd Intelligence Wing

by Mr. Timothy D. Sandland
102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs

6/16/2015 - OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Lt. Gen. Robert P. Otto, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance for the U. S. Air Force visited here, June 3, to learn more about the mission of the wing and the Airmen who make it possible.

Otto is the U. S. Air Force's senior intelligence officer and works directly for the Director of National Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

It was the general's first visit to the 102 IW, and the second distinguished visitor in a month, following Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, Director of the Air National Guard's visit in May.

Otto received a mission brief from Col. James LeFavor, 102 IW Commander, on the broad scope of the federal and state missions the wing is responsible for. They include providing worldwide precision intelligence and command and control as well as expeditionary combat support, homeland security and numerous domestic operations support.  The wing, as with any Air National Guard unit, has both a federal and state mission.

Discussions revolved around the potential challenges of mobilizing a predominately part-time force to Title-10 Active Duty and how the 102nd balances the appropriate status of personnel who support the warfighter.  The general also shared his thoughts on the wing's potential of gaining an additional mission set in the Cyber ISR realm.

"It was a huge honor because General Otto is the lead officer of all United States ISR for the Air Force and former commander of AFISRA," said Col. Virginia Doonan, 102 IW Vice Commander. "It is a real rarity for someone of his position to take the time and speak to our relevance as an intelligence wing and the potential of standing up a new Cyber ISR mission in the near future."

After the mission brief, Otto visited the Distributed Ground Station-Massachusetts (DGS-MA) facilities and the Airmen who directly support the ISR mission - Airmen who are an integral part of the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS), the information fusion center for collected data that is provided to the warfighter in the field.

During the facility visit, Otto took time out of his schedule to have lunch with some of the wing's outstanding and award-winning personnel. The general finished up his day with a tour of the new intelligence facility, as well as learning about the other intelligence missions the unit conducts within the Air Operations Group.  He recognized the enthusiasm and professionalism of our Airmen conducting the mission and presented several top performers with his personal military coin.

During an Air Force Times interview in 2014 Otto was quoted as saying, "The Air Force is investing quite heavily in cyber, in support of these national mission forces that we are standing up for U.S. Cyber Command," and went on to say, "there are assets and capabilities in space that we have been either underutilizing or that we have not integrated as well as we could into this holistic [ISR] picture."

The U.S. Air Force ISR enterprise is vital to the national security of the United States and its allies, providing an unrivaled capability; focused, integrated ISR is inseparable from operations and enables mission execution.

The Air Force operates the world's premier ISR enterprise with unique capabilities that are fundamental to the nation's security and defense.

Air National Guard units such as the 102nd Intelligence Wing are vitally important to that mission.

Ga. Guard certifies 80+ during training at Robins

by Tech. Sgt. Julie Parker
116 ACW Public Affairs

6/17/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The Georgia Air National Guard's 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron recently capped off a weeklong training exercise here certifying more than 80 Airmen in career-field tasks crucial to their deployed and homeland missions.

As one of 15 engineering installation squadrons throughout the ANG, the Airmen of the 202nd are trained and experienced at designing and installing communications infrastructures around the world.

"In addition to supporting the state of Georgia, our unit has a federal mission and a continual deployment responsibility," said Lt. Col. Fred Walker, the 202nd EIS commander. "We have to ensure our Airmen have the training and tools they need to operate successfully in the field."

With a unit of more than 100 personnel; predominantly part-time Guard members, finding the time to get everyone trained and certified has been a challenge, according to Walker.

Walker made the decision to set aside a week for the entire unit to come together and knock out as much training as possible.

"In an effort to be adaptable and flexible," said Walker. "Members of the unit also cross-trained each other on their different career field tasks during the week."

"We're running every piece of equipment we have out here in the field, getting all the guys trained," said 2nd Lt. Dylan Young, officer in charge of cable and antenna.

Four career fields were focused on for this training event: radio frequency transmissions, cyber transport, airfield systems, and cable and antenna. Additional personnel from supporting career fields in the 202nd provided planning and logistical support, in addition to training in their career field.

"Although our unit consists of four different career fields that comprise our installation branch, they are all inter-dependent," said Walker.  "In order to be as effective as possible, everyone on the team needs to be familiar with what the other team members do because when we are out in the field, it's all hands on deck."

During the weeklong event, crews from the 202nd were seen across Robins Air Force Base operating tractors and trenchers, hoisting telephone poles with a medium-profile truck, and climbing and repelling from a 30-foot tower.

"This week has been a really good opportunity to get everyone fully involved, practice all the safety, all the mechanics," said Young. "This event has been a big team building exercise. We're coming away from it feeling a lot more trained and ready for the field."

In addition to supporting the 116th Air Control Wing, the unit is responsible for the fixed-communications infrastructures for 27 other locations, including the 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah, Georgia, and Air National Guard units in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Athletes Take to the Field at 2015 Warrior Games

By Karen Parrish
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2015 – Motivational posters throughout the Pentagon depict people with prosthetic limbs –- even one small boy with two “blade” legs -- engaged in athletics, with the sentence, “Your excuse is invalid.”

That spirit helps explain the Defense Department’s 2015 Warrior Games held at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia. The Games bring together wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans from across the U.S. military, and also include troops from the United Kingdom.

The Olympic-style event opened June 19 and continues through the 28th, with about 250 athletes competing in eight events: wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, cycling, archery, shooting, track and field, and wheelchair rugby. Competitors represent the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the British Armed Forces.

Basketball and volleyball events, still underway, are tournament-style, while cycling races and archery matches took place earlier this week.

Field Events

Field is composed of seated shot put, standing shot put, seated discus, and standing discus. The men’s shot weight is 6 kilograms for standing and 4 kilograms for seated. The women’s shot weight is 3 kilograms for standing and seated.

The men’s discus weight is 1.5 kilograms for standing and 1 kilogram for seated. The women’s discus weight is 1 kilogram for standing and seated.

U.S. Army Reserve Spc. Sydney Davis competed in the field competition and earned a gold medal in discus. She spoke to DoD News’ Shannon Collins on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, the site of this year’s Games.

“Gosh, it felt amazing,” Davis said. “[To] think about getting here, and doing really well, and then it actually happening.”

Davis said while today’s distance didn’t match her personal best, she felt she did well -– as her first-place showing attests.

The soldier said the “Army team in general –- we’re just screamin’ at the competition.”

Also a winner for the Army today, Spc. Haywood Range III earned his first gold medal in his first Warrior Games competition, beating the field in standing shot-put.

Range told Collins the victory “feels great.”

“I’ve only been to a couple meets,” he said, “trying to get the ‘nerves out’ in each meet I go in.”

The Army leads this year’s overall standings to date, with most medals earned and most gold medals: nine, versus four each for the Marine Corps, U.S. Special Operations Command and United Kingdom.