Thursday, August 06, 2015

Certified to save lives

by Airman First Class Cheyenne Morigeau
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8/5/2015 - TUCSON, Ariz.  -- Twenty-one U.S. Air Force Airmen graduated from a paramedic training course at the Pima Community College Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute July 31.

The course is a four-month accelerated paramedic certification that is usually 10 months to complete and consists of classroom and field experience training created specifically for Airmen. This was the third class of Airmen to graduate from the PSESI paramedic training course.

"These Airmen go through 57 chapters and get certified in pre-trauma life support, advanced medical life support, pediatric care, pediatric life support, advanced cardiovascular life support and toxicology," said Chris Christensen, PSESI course manager. "They also complete close to 500 hours of hands on experience."

To gain field experience, the paramedic students spend four hours at the Tucson Fire Department dispatch center and ride along with TFD ambulances. The students also spend time in intensive care units, pediatric ICUs, labor, delivery and emergency rooms.

"The course is rigorous," said Staff Sgt. Brendon Baez, 60th Aerospace Medicine Squadron hyperbaric medicine technician and student. "It's six days a week for four months with over 1,200 hours of class time and clinical rotations."

Upon completion of this course, the Airmen will receive a National Registry Certification.

"Every student can meet with the student services advisor and she performs a degree check and gives them their degree plan pathway," Christensen said. "They will walk away with 57 college credits that they can apply to an associate, bachelors or their Community College of the Air Force degree."

The paramedic training course offered through PSESI is the only course that medical Airmen can take to become nationally registered paramedics.

"This is the only college that the Air Force is working with to train Airmen to become paramedics," said Shane Clark, PSESI advanced program manager. "The partnership between Pima and the Air Force is an incredible privilege. We love supporting our local first responders, but now we have the ability to train paramedics that belong to our Air Force and will use those skills not only at their home station, but also when they deploy to hostile situations."

This course is only available to ranks airman first class through  technical sergeant who fall under the 4N0X1 and 4N0X1C Air Force specialty codes, have less than 14 years of service and have an Advanced Life Support platform. If they do not have an ALS platform, they must be eligible to make a permanent change of duty location upon completion of the course.

For more information and to find out if you qualify to take the course, contact your local 4N functional manager.

Helicopter operations team sets course for Global Strike Challenge sweep

by John Turner
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

8/5/2015 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- True to the "Pathfinders" logo painted on the tail of its UH-1N Iroquois aircraft, Team Malmstrom's helicopter operations team is leading the 341st Missile Wing into Global Strike Challenge 2015.

The helicopter operations competition Aug. 9-11 at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, is the first event for the wing as teams representing Malmstrom's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile operations, maintenance and security missions prepare to show they are the best in Air Force Global Strike Command.

Four aircrew members from the 40th Helicopter Squadron and two tactical response force members from the 741st Missile Security Forces Squadron comprise Malmstrom's helicopter operations team. They will be competing against similar teams from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.

This will be the first Global Strike Challenge since helicopter squadrons at the three ICBM bases became part of the 20th Air Force's 582nd Helicopter Group based at F.E. Warren.

There will be three events, each designed to test a different aspect of the helicopter operations and tactical response force combined mission.

An emergency security response will test the team's ability to rapidly react to a hostile security incident at a missile launch facility. The TRF members must accurately assess the situation, identify all threats in the area, and decide where to insert a responder to eliminate the biggest threat. After a lane is cleared for a second landing, the other TRF member will assault the site.

A night time, low-level flight will test the crew's ability to navigate using night vision goggles. Aircrew will have to demonstrate aircraft control by maintaining flight altitudes between 100-200 feet above ground, avoiding simulated threat engagement areas, and managing speed and timing to pick up their TRF team at one site and infiltrate them to another site at an exact time to simulate assaulting and regaining control of a critical component, also under night vision devices.

The final event is a daylight search and rescue scenario. The aircrew must find the TRF members at each of two sites and maintain a precision hover 100 feet above ground while lowering a litter to each simulated casualty within a target ring. The crew will then return to hoist the TRF members aboard.

All events are graded based on overall time, keeping to prescribed altitudes and speeds, and the tactical and technical abilities of aircrew and TRF.

Capt. Gregory Johnston, 40th HS, is the team's aircraft commander. He has been at Malmstrom two years, the longest of the team's aircrew.  He said he considers it an honor that a young crew was selected to represent Malmstrom.

"None of us are instructors," Johnston said. "We're a little bit more junior (than the competition) so we're looking to show them that you don't have to be an instructor to be super-awesome, and prove that Malmstrom has the best crew no matter their crew position or experience level."

Johnston said that daily operations over Malmstrom's 13,800 square mile missile complex will give his team a slight advantage, since Camp Guernsey's terrain, altitude and temperatures are similar to central Montana. The 40th HS is also very proficient in tactical and night operations because of the security mission here.

"If you look at what the competition is, it's all stuff we do daily and quite frankly the 40th is expert at, especially search and rescues," he said. "That's kind of our bread and butter."

In his off time, Johnston enjoys bicycling, spending time with his wife and dog, and "tasting the finest coffees in the land" around Great Falls, Montana.

Capt. Donald Feely, 40th HS, is the team's co-pilot. He has been at Malmstrom for a year and a half. Like the other aircrew members, this is Feely's first Global Strike Challenge competition.

"It's great to be selected, and especially to send a bunch of younger guys," he said. "It says very highly about all of us."

Feely loves the outdoors and enjoys mountain biking with Johnston in his leisure time.
Staff Sgt. James McMullen, 40th HS, is one of the team's two special missions aviators. Their role is to operate the helicopter's hoist, secure everything in the cabin and manage passengers.

"We still call ourselves flight engineers," he said, noting that the old duty title is still deeply ingrained within the career field. And, he jokes, "It's easier to say than special missions aviator."

McMullen is confident that his team will perform well at the competition.

"I think we're going to give it our all," he said. "If you're not first, you're last."

McMullen hails from Alaska and has been at Malmstrom for less than a year. He says he spends most of his free time "hanging around the house" with his wife and child.
Staff Sgt. Eric McElroy, 40th HS, is the team's other special missions aviator and will work hand-in-hand with McMullen during the competition.

"My role in the team is I keep the morale up," McElroy quipped. "If we're having a bad day, I usually crack a joke or tell a story and it makes everybody happy again."

He joked that the team does group calisthenics and has a bagel eating competition each morning to prepare for the competition. In a more serious moment, McElroy positively appraised the team's readiness.

"In our hearts we are the best base," he said. "They can grade us however they want to but we know we get the saves, we have the best crew, we have the best pilots and best flight engineers that these three bases have to offer. So regardless, in our hearts we're going to win."

McElroy is originally from Kansas and owns a Great Dane named Choncho. His small family is about to increase as he and his wife are expecting their first child.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Hart, 741st MSFS tactical response force flight chief and flight trainer, brings Global Strike Challenge experience to the team. He was on last year's helicopter operations team when Malmstrom won Best Tactics. That was the first year security forces were integrated into the events, he said, and this time he knows better what to expect. He thinks this will help him assist the aircrew and his security forces partner in making sound tactical decisions.

Hart has been a TRF member at Malmstrom for three and a half years.

"We have a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience when it comes to emergency response criteria and launch facility recaptures as well as basic helicopter cop tactics," he said. "Our role is to provide the security aspect for the aircraft and to provide the lethal edge for the team wherever they decide to put us in at or for whatever we're called to do."

Hart says that while the team is training day and night for the competition, most of the events are within the realm of what he does every day at Malmstrom. Learning to ride the hoist for the search and rescue evaluation is a unique experience for security forces, he said, but it has been fun.

"I refuse to go down and come back with anything less than first place," he said. "This year we're going to beat Minot and F.E. in all three categories and come home with the big trophies."

Hart is originally from Colorado and enjoys outdoors activities, especially shooting and snowboarding.

Staff Sgt. Steven Trantham, 741st MSFS tactical response force trainer, is from Oklahoma and also enjoys snowboarding.  He has been at Malmstrom for five and a half years but this is his first Global Strike Challenge competition. Trantham and Hart regularly work with the 40th HS to plan training and exercises, and this operational familiarity is beneficial.

"Malmstrom's going to win," Trantham said. "We're definitely going to win across the board this year."

Global Strike Challenge is the world's premier bomber, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and security forces competition. Through competition and teamwork at various locations throughout the country, the event looks to foster esprit de corps, recognize outstanding AFGSC personnel and teams and improve combat capabilities. More than 450 Airmen from across AFGSC, as well as the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Air Combat Command will take part in Global Strike Challenge competitions at various locations throughout the country, culminating in a symposium and score posting event at Barksdale Oct. 20-21.

The wing's Global Strike Challenge 2015 kickoff activities will be Aug. 28 at the Grizzly Bend.

Be true to yourself

by Tech. Sgt. Mike Slater
Air Force Space Command Public Affairs

8/6/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- 31 years, 28 days. Chief Master Sergeant Doug McIntyre, Command Chief, Air Force Space Command, has served a long career.

"I've been extremely blessed to love what I do for my entire adult life," said Chief McIntyre. That's why it's important to him not to short those 28 days. Those 28 days have been productive, too.  The Air Force recently announced the Education with Industry program would be open to the enlisted force.

Education with Industry is a program that dates back to the beginning of the Air Force, starting in 1947.  The program has long placed Airmen with the Defense Industry to expand their knowledge. Commissioned Officer Airmen, that is.

"Opening Education with Industry to the enlisted force just reinforces what I think is the thing that has been the most positive change since I've been in the Air Force and that is the growth of the professionalism in the enlisted force," said McIntyre.

"I have been reflecting lately on what I have seen these last 31 years, 28 days and what I have really seen is a transformation in the enlisted force. When I came in we were not the professional force we are today. Today's enlisted force is highly educated and to see the jobs and responsibilities that enlisted people are tackling now compared to when I came in has just been an honor to see."

Chief McIntyre said another positive change the Air Force has made is in equality.

"When I came in, there was just all kinds of tension, racial tension, gender tension, there was officer and enlisted tension. Just tension," said McIntyre.  "Today's Air Force, I like to call it the Equal Opportunity Air Force, because anybody who comes in, regardless of their background, has a shot to go as far as they want to."

Chief McIntyre has some simple advice for Airmen that may find themselves on a path preventing them from reaching their professional or personal goals.

Be true to yourself.

"My first base was Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. I was far from home for the first time and I kind of fell into a pattern of partying.  That wasn't who I was, I was just going along with my peer group," said McIntyre.

Chief McIntyre said after a weekend of partying and feeling sick he sat down and wrote a 2-page letter to himself.

"I still have it. It was about who I was going to be and what I was going to stand for.  I was challenging myself; I had the ability to great things, but I was going through life easy, half-stepping. So I challenged myself to not settle and really put in the effort to be somebody," said Chief McIntyre.

"Be true to yourself, that goes for Airman Basic all the way to 4-star General. Be true to yourself."

Finding a mentor is also an important step to becoming the person Chief McIntyre wanted to be.

"Mine at that time was Darryl Tabor, he was a Senior Airman and it was his second base, so to me, he knew everything."

Tabor got the young McIntyre out of the dorms and into athletics and other things.

After leaving Alaska, McIntyre got to go on temporary duty to an Operation Bright Star exercise in Egypt.

"That was the first time I really knew and could feel the whole big picture," said McIntyre. "To watch us fall in on a bare runway and within a week we were flying sorties; seeing the ability of the Air Force to go anywhere and project this power was amazing and it brought it all together for me."

Chief McIntyre said there is one torch he would like the Air Force to carry forward after his 31 years and 28 days are up, stability.

"If I could wish for one thing for the force it would be stability. There have been many, many changes just in the time I've been AFSPC Command Chief. Between sequestration, force shaping, changing promotions, changing Enlisted Performance Reports, Professional Military Education.  The Air Force is constantly changing and the Airmen are used to change," said McIntyre. "But what I'd like to see is stability. I think the Airmen want it and they need it."

"Let's sit back a bit and see if all the changes we've done are going to yield what we think it's going to yield. If there's a major change needed to something we've done, tweak around the edges, but we need to steady the force."

When asked what he will miss most, Chief McIntyre's answer was easy and quick.

"The Air Force is full of amazing people at all ranks. That's what makes us World Champions, it's not the equipment, it's not the technology, there's not anything that makes the United States Air Force the World Champions, other than its people," said McIntyre. "That's the one thing I'll miss the most, the people."

In retirement, Chief McIntyre will move to North Carolina with his wife and daughters.

"As anyone who serves with a family knows, it's a family affair. The family definitely makes sacrifices. I owe my family, but especially my wife and my daughters, a huge thanks for their support and sacrifice," said McIntyre. "The hardest day I ever had in uniform was leaving the Azores to deploy for a year to be a deployed Command Chief. My daughters were 7 and 9 and they were literally hanging on to me, trying to stop me from getting on the plane."

Chief McIntyre will continue to mentor through the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in North Carolina. But he will always cherish his Air Force career, all 31 years and 28 days of it.

Gunfighter recognized as one of the Air Force's Outstanding Airmen

by Staff Sgt. Roy Lynch III
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8/5/2015 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho  -- Since its inception in 1956, the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year award has recognized superior Airmen for their leadership, job performance, community involvement and personal achievements.

This year Mountain Home Air Force Base has the pleasure of recognizing one of our own Airmen, Staff Sergeant Lindsey Fuentes, 366th Medical Support Squadron biomedical maintenance equipment technician.

Col. David Iverson, 366th Fighter Wing commander, lauded Fuentes' service to the nation.

"Because of the outstanding efforts of men and women like Staff Sgt. Fuentes, the 366th FW is successful at providing combat power to fight and win our Nation's wars," Iverson said.

Raised in Peachland, North Carolina, Fuentes enlisted in September 2008 to serve her country and to complete her education.

Fuentes was shocked when she heard the Air Force selected her as one of the 12 Outstanding Airmen for 2015.

Fuentes humbly remarked it was an award in itself just to be submitted.

"This award is a reflection of my co-workers, leadership, and the whole Medical Group," she said.

Col. Andrew Moore, 366th Medical Group commander, is proud of Fuentes' accomplishments as a Gunfighter.

"NCO's like Staff Sgt. Fuentes are what make the backbone of our Air Force," Moore said. "I couldn't be prouder to serve with her."

One specific accomplishment stuck out in Fuentes' mind--the ability to execute multiple roles in the shop during a time of decreased manning.

"I was constantly looking for ways to improve processes," Fuentes said, "because those [processes] lead to saving time, which proved to be very valuable [in times of reduced manning]."

Not only was Fuentes enhancing her work area, but she was applying her experiences to develop fellow Airmen as well.

"Opportunities such as Airmen Leadership School class leader and my volunteer efforts were challenging," Fuentes said. "But they really pushed me to improve in various facets of my life."

This leadership experience set her above her peers, earning her the John L. Levitow Award. This award is given to the student who displayed all the characteristics of an effective leader and fostered teamwork within the ALS class.

The John L. Levitow was not the only award she received in 2014.  She also earned the 12th Air Force Junior Enlisted Professional of the Year and the Air Combat Command Airman of the Year; and her efforts helped the 366th MG earn the ACC Best Hospital of the Year award.

Fuentes continued setting the example by completing 15 semester hours and obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management.
She didn't stop there.

Fuentes completed her 7-level upgrade training eight months ahead of schedule while volunteering and leading multiple food drives both on and off base.

Now that she's received one of the Air Force's highest recognitions, is Fuentes' taking a break?  Not even close.

"I would definitely be interested in becoming a professional military education instructor," Fuentes said. "Also, I'm considering commissioning and starting my master's degree in business."

Fuentes is thankful to the many people who have guided her on the path to this honor.

"I couldn't do my job without the great people that I work with every day."

Deterrence Still Cornerstone of U.S. Strategy, Haney Says

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2015 – Even in an age of terror groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Qaida, deterrence remains at the heart of America’s security strategy, said Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command.

The key to deterrence is any adversary has to understand “that they cannot escalate their way out of a failed conflict,” he said during an interview at the Washington Navy Yard Aug. 4.

The admiral spoke following a stakeholders meeting at the Navy’s Strategic Systems Program -- the folks who maintain the Navy’s submarine-launched ballistic missile program.

Any attack directed at the United States “would be very costly for them and they will not get the benefits they are trying to achieve,” he said.

Successful deterrence, he said, compels an adversary to acknowledge that “restraint is a much better option.”

Nuclear Deterrence

Nuclear deterrence is the one aspect that most people are familiar with and that is a main concern for Haney.

“We have to be aware of the fact as long as we have countries like Russia and China that have developed this kind of nuclear capability and are deploying this kind of capability,” the admiral said.

Haney emphasized that deterrence is more than nuclear weapons or even the military. “We are not locked into one domain thinking,” he said. “If you take on the United States of America, we will use the appropriate tools out of our kit to associate with that particular business.”

Sometimes a response will be diplomatic, the admiral said. Other times it will be economic or informational. All “are backed by sufficient military capability,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it is my job to deter a strategic attack against the United States of America and its allies,” Haney said, “and to provide the president the decision space and options if deterrence fails.”

Improvements for Nuclear Enterprise

Some past issues involving the nuclear enterprise have been reviewed and improvements are being implemented, Haney said.

“We were able to identify specifically each area we needed to improve in,” the admiral said. Stratcom has been working with the Air Force and Navy in all areas, he said, to institutionalize the improvements suggested by the reviews. These run from changes in training, manning and equipping the associated forces and how the services employ them.

There is no end point to these improvements, the admiral said.

“You have to continue to assess where you are and to work on improving things, either because your adversaries are improving or because you want to do it in a more efficient and effective way,” he said.

All components and members of the nuclear enterprise will build this continuous improvement into their battle cycle, the admiral said. Since the reviews, the command has done another review of the nuclear command and control capability. That review pointed to areas that needed attention, and the command and the services are addressing them, he said.

Nuclear Triad

The nuclear triad of ICBMs, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and manned bombers needs attention, the admiral said. These systems need to have the right attributes and performance factors to work today and in the future, Haney said.

Looking ahead, the peak funding for the nuclear triad will be in the mid-2020s and should constitute about six to seven percent of defense total obligation authority, Haney said.

There really isn’t a choice, he said. Haney used the ballistic missile submarines as an example.

“When we decommission it, [the Ohio-class submarine] will have 42 years of service life -- well beyond the 30 years it was designed for,” Haney said. “The good news is we’ve been able to extend that platform, but we can’t do it any further so it has to be replaced.”

There’s a program for the bomber and for the ICBM force, he said.

“As we work these, we still have to be thoughtful and look at our requirements to ensure we can save where we can,” he said. “One area is the commonality that we can have, and generate a synergistic effect … in looking at what things we can have that are common between the intercontinental ballistic missile and the submarine-launched ballistic missile program.”

Haney said a letter signed by himself, Navy Assistant Secretary for Research, Development and Acquisition Sean J. Stackley and Air Force Assistant Secretary for Acquisition William A. LaPlante, highlights this move to commonality and savings.

Warhead fusing components are a collaborative effort between the Air Force, Navy and Department of Energy labs, he said.

“It doesn’t mean they all look the same, but there are common parts and pieces and common methodologies so we can avoid paying bills twice,” Haney said. “Where we can have common designs that makes sense given the technological and advantages we have today.”

Visiting ‘Strategic Warriors’

Haney spends a lot of time visiting what he calls “the strategic warriors” in their foxholes -- the silos, subs and planes.

“These folks are passionate about getting the mission right for the United States of America and I’m proud of each and every one of them,” he said. “I find in my frank discussions with them … that they are in there to serve our country, do the mission right and I do sense an improvement in morale.”

Haney addressed deterrence in the cyber world, saying it is much like any other realm of combat.

“Any adversary that wants to take us on in [cyber or space] domains must understand that we not only work on the defensive aspect, but our national leaders can pick what methodology they want to use, not restricted to a particular domain,” he said.

They need to understand, they won’t get the benefits they hope to achieve with a cyber or space attack, the admiral said.

“We have to be able to differentiate between working against a cybercrime that occurs rather than a strategic attack using the cyberspace domain,” he said.

The United States will not spell out what will happen to those who launch cyberattacks, the admiral said, and that is fine because some ambiguity is necessary.

“The whole of government approach that our country uses has to be thoughtful and tailored to the right answer,” he said.

Combat crew communications: Taking care of aircrew, ensuring mission security

by Senior Airman Christine Halan
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

8/5/2015 - RAF MILDENHALL, England  -- Whether assisting transient aircrew members or 100th Air Refueling Wing aircrew members, the 100th Operations Support Squadron's combat crew communications Airmen have it covered.

Their main mission is to ensure all KC-135 Stratotanker crew members have the required communications security material required for their training, along with the correct materials and equipment for secure communications while flying missions.

COMSEC is cryptographic material, both electronic and physical, that is used to communicate via secure means.

"We provide COMSEC material to all 100th ARW aircrew members," said Senior Airman Brett Leary, 100th OSS combat crew communications technician from Hohenwald, Tennessee. "If they have a mission that requires them to communicate securely, they have to get a kit and take it with them. We train them on how to use those kits when they're in the air, so that they can communicate and identify themselves in a secure manner."

Each kit consists of a security key loader, fill cable (to connect the SKL to the actual radios) and a binder containing all relevant books, paperwork and checklists.

The three-man shop is tasked with a variety of responsibilities, including giving annual training to 351st Air Refueling Squadron Airmen on how to use their communication kits.

Providing the correct material to aircrew members is vital in helping aircrew members, communicating securely or identifying themselves correctly as a friend or foes to other U.S. air NATO forces.

By trade, these Airmen are specialists, but at RAF Mildenhall they work solely alongside 100th OSS and 351st ARS aircrew. This allows them to focus all their attention here, rather than making it an additional duty.

Acting as a COMSEC responsible officer, an individual appointed by the commander of a unit to manage the local COMSEC material, the Airmen are responsible for maintaining and disposing of all COMSEC material and paperwork, such as hand receipts, destruction reports and inventories, which are issued from the base COMSEC office.

"Our job as crew communications is as detailed as a COMSEC-responsible officer, which is essentially what we are," Leary said. "In most units, the job is very involved but it would usually be an additional duty as a COMSEC custodian. Here, they wanted people to actually deal with COMSEC on a daily basis, which means we just take care of the aircrew. Having that specific knowledge and experience means there are fewer issues."

Every day, the communications trio ensures all kits are in place, inventories are checked and correct, and paperwork is updated.

Being in the 100th OSS means the communications Airmen see the real impact of their job.

"I enjoy the direct mission involvement here," Leary said. "At my last base I worked in the communications squadron, and although we supported the entire base, we didn't always see the big picture.  Working in the 100th OSS means we work directly with the boom operators and pilots, see the missions going out and coming back, and have a better idea of what's actually going on."