Military News

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Parachute water survival moves to Fairchild

by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Strang
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

8/18/2015 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) -- Detachment 2, 66th Training Squadron, 336th Training Group at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, relocated to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.

Detachment 2 was responsible for conducting the three-day Parachute Water Survival Course that provides training to aircrew members who fly in aircraft with parachute egress capability and teaches crews disentanglement, drop and drag, and descent into water procedures.

In the current flying training pipeline, personnel attend survival, evasion, resistance and escape training at Fairchild AFB. In the past, individuals would go TDY to NAS Pensacola for water survival training.

Lt. Col. Clint Rea, the 66th TRS commander, said the 66th TRS consolidated the course with the existing non-ejection water survival course currently taught at Fairchild AFB.

"Foundational water survival training is a core function of the 66th Training Squadron and a key part of our heritage," Rea said. "Having this course at Fairchild will ensure this legacy of excellence continues with robust training, readiness and combat capability not only for the Air Force, but combatant commanders as well."

The move is projected to save the Air Force approximately $4.6 million annually in TDY funds and operating expenses.

The first course at Fairchild AFB began Aug. 10.

The 66th TRS is also responsible for Detachment 1, which conducts arctic survival training at Eielson AFB, Alaska.

Face of Defense: Military Helps Launch Soldier’s Dream of Helping Veterans

By Army Maj. Wayne Clyne 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT IRWIN, Calif., August 18, 2015 — U.S. Army Reserve warrant officer candidate Sofia Olds credits the Army National Guard with a lifetime of success. She started her military career in the Florida Army National Guard at age 20 as a motor transport operator.

Olds, now assigned to the 787th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Dothan, Alabama, became interested in joining the National Guard by hearing her husband’s stories of travel and exciting work.

She joined the 144th Transportation Company, in Mariana, Florida, and stayed there for 12 years, working her way up to the rank of staff sergeant, and earning a position in the Active Guard Reserve program as a company supply sergeant. While working full time, then-Staff Sgt. Olds deployed to Iraq, she earned an undergraduate degree, and then she continued her education and earned a master’s degree in social work.

With her master’s degree in hand, she set her sights on fulfilling her dream of helping fellow veterans. To meet this goal, Sofia obtained a conditional release from her AGR position and transitioned to a part-time position at the 787th CSSB as a warrant officer candidate.

Olds said she believes the Army National Guard was critical to her success. She said the main thing she has gained from her service is time management and the ability to deal with stress.

“I could not have worked full time and went to school without the discipline learned with the Guard,” she said.

Olds said she also benefited from using the GI Bill and the Florida National Guard’s state program "Educational Dollars for Duty" to help pay 100 percent of her education costs. To top it off, she and her husband just purchased their dream home with the help of the Veterans Affairs’ Home Loan Program.
Now she spends her days working in her social work field of study to obtain the 1,500 hours required to become a licensed clinical social worker. Once she fulfills the requirement, she said her goal is to work for the VA helping veterans as a re-adjustment counselor.

USS Santa Fe Visits Japan during Western Pacific Deployment

By USS Santa Fe Public Affairs

FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan - The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Santa Fe (SSN 763) arrived at Yokosuka, Japan Aug. 17 for a visit as a part of its deployment to the Western Pacific.

With a crew of approximately 150, Santa Fe will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the endurance and flexibility of the submarine fleet.

"Santa Fe is proud to contribute to the 7th Fleet commander's initiates," said Cmdr. Timothy Poe, Santa Fe's commanding officer.

Santa Fe is making its 2nd deployment to the Western Pacific in the last three years. Combining stealth, fire power and persistence to remain on station indefinitely, Santa Fe is crucial to the U.S. Navy's, and its allies' underwater dominance in the region.

"This port call is important to the crew of the Santa Fe as a well-deserved reward for their hard work and dedication over the last several months," said Senior Chief Electronics Technician Juan Gonzalez, the chief of the boat aboard Santa Fe. "The crew has been put through their paces and has stood tall and strong through all challenges. This is also a great opportunity to show military presence and foster a stronger relationship between our two countries."

Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,000 tons when submerged, Santa Fe is one of the stealthiest submarines in the world. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions. Commissioned on Jan. 8, 1994, Santa Fe is the 52nd ship of the Los Angeles-class and is based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission Visits USS Blue Ridge

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Karsten

BUSAN, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- Swedish and Swiss major generals of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) visited the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19), Aug. 17, as part of an observation tour.

The visit included a tour of the ship and an office call with 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Robert L. Thomas to discuss regional issues and 7th Fleet's mission.

Blue Ridge arrived in Busan, Aug. 13, in support of embarked 7th Fleet's participation in exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), an annual training event designed to ensure readiness to defend the Republic of Korea (ROK) and strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance.

Swedish Maj. Gen. Mats Engman, head of Policy and Plans Department for the Swedish armed forces and Swedish NNSC Member, and Swiss Maj. Gen. Urs Gerber, head of the Swiss delegation to the NNSC, will observe ROK-U.S. interactions over the next two weeks, meet with leadership, review operational briefs, and monitor joint operations watch floors.

The NNSC observes and evaluates exercises to ensure planning and operations are conducted in a "defensive and deterrent" nature. Their presence provides international transparency to the United Nations Command and the Republic of Korea.

The NNSC was established by the Korean Armistice Agreement signed July 27, 1953. The term "neutral nations" includes nations whose combatant forces have not been involved in the hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. The primary role of the NNSC today is to maintain relationships with both the North and the South and facilitate open channels of communication between them.