Friday, September 25, 2015

If You Are Considering Purchasing A Gun, Please Read This

If you are considering the purchase of a gun in order to protect your home and property, as well as your family members, please read through this present article. It may help you to set some things straight in your mind regarding whether or not to go ahead with your initial plan. Please know also that, whatever decision you ultimately come to, it is your right to make the decision for yourself, based on its own merits, rather than the right of someone else to make that decision for you.

If Safety Is Your First Concern, You Have To Consider All Options

In the first place, if safety is your first concern, then you have the right to consider all of the options that are at your finger tips. If purchasing a gun is the choice that you arrive at, then you have every justification for making use of your Constitutional right to own one. If you live in a high risk area that is becoming more and more prone to outbreaks of violence, such as muggings, rapes, or home invasions, then it is up to you to secure yourself and your family as best as you can.

99 Percent Of All Gun Owners Are Responsible, Law Abiding Citizens

99 percent of all gun owners are responsible, law abiding citizens. There is no need to protect yourself from your average gun owner, but every need to protect yourself from lawless criminals who seek to do you harm, with no regard for the mayhem and damage they cause to society while doing so. If all guns were outlawed tomorrow, these miserable criminals would still find a way to obtain them.

In The End, The Decision Is Yours - And Yours Alone - To Make

Of course, in the end, the decision you make can have serious repercussions on how you choose to arrange your security for yourself and your family members. It is not a decision to make lightly or without considering all of the possible pros and cons. However, it is a decision that is yours, and yours alone by right, to make. Never let anyone shame or discourage you from handling your own affairs, especially in a sensitive area such as this one. If you would like more information that could help make this very important decision, please feel free to log on to

Making history: forming the Association of African Air Forces

by Master Sgt. Chrissy Best
U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

9/25/2015 - NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania  -- The vibrant, white room, lined with the colorful flags of the United States and 18 African nations, along with the 2015 African Air Chiefs Symposium banner, seemed to welcome those bearing witness to the signing of the charter formalizing the Association of African Air Forces in Nouakchott, Mauritania,  Sept. 17.

Designed to foster and strengthen the bonds of friendship, cooperation and mutual support among its members, the charter outlines the continued exchange of experiences.  The charter encourages members to seek opportunities to cooperate and collaborate to improve and support air operations across Africa.

"This underscores the U.S. commitment to security and stability in Africa.  It is very important," said Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray, 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander.

"As airpower leaders, we can bring together our collective capabilities and do great things for Africa," said Ray.  "As an Airman, I can't think of a more ideal location to foster air power capabilities.  Africa is tailor-made for air power solutions."

The Mauritanian Air Force co-hosted the 5th annual African Air Chiefs Symposium alongside U.S. Air Forces Africa, Sept. 14 to 17.  The forum gives air chiefs from the United States and Africa the opportunity to discuss topics pertinent to the future of the second largest continent in the world and the role of air power in addressing African challenges.

"We are very grateful to have the opportunity to be able to co-host this year's AACS event." said Mauritanian Air Force Chief of Staff Col. Mohamed Lehreitani. "We are looking forward to continually improve our positive relationships and partnerships between countries and have meaningful discussions in this forum."

The four nations that signed the charter, the United States, Mauritania, CotĂȘ Ivoire, and Senegal, will have an equal voice within the association, and will be recognized as the air forces or the equivalent service of every other signing country.  Other African nations in attendance expressed willingness to sign but are still awaiting necessary approval from their leadership.

"We are here to continue to grow and strengthen some of our existing relationships and possibly grow new ones," Ray said. "The problems in front of us all really take a lot of teamwork, so those relationships are essential."

Throughout the symposium, there were round-table discussions and numerous break-out sessions on specific regional issues.  Topics included conversations on peacekeeping operations, countering violent extremist organizations, air force development strategies, airfield security and formalizing a network of African airmen.

"What we are having is an honest dialogue that leads to a partnership we can all stand behind as airpower leaders," Ray said. "Together, we can move forward from this symposium and bring those capabilities to accomplish great things for Africa."

For some of the air chiefs it was the first time they have had an opportunity to talk to their counterparts from other African nations.

"As we continue to hold these symposiums we'll get to know one another more and more in the process," said Air Commodore Morgan Nyadodui, Chief Staff Officer for the Ghana Air Force. "You'll get to trust one another more eventually to alleviate suspicion."

Along with fostering multi-national trust, the symposium also gave U.S. Service members a unique glimpse into the diverse culture of the various African nations.

"In order to ensure that we continue to foster our relationships, we had events planned not only in the conference room during the day, but also had social events in the evenings," said U.S. Air Force Col. Stephen Hughes, the Air Forces Africa International Affairs division chief.  "One evening meal was hosted by the Mauritanian's, giving them the opportunity to share their culture with all participants from across the continent."

Hughes said it is essential for the United States to continue working alongside African partners.

"By continually building relationships and engaging in open discussions, we will see this partnership pay dividends when the time comes and they have to work together."

Preventing suicide: Reaching out, saving lives

by Senior Airman Areca T. Bell
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

9/24/2015 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- As the U.S. Air Force gets smaller and areas of responsibilities grow, Airmen are encouraged to take care of themselves to successfully complete the mission.

"Our job is to fight and win the nation's wars. We'll never be good enough at it; we've got to get better every day. It's not an easy task, which is why Comprehensive Airman Fitness is so important," said U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. "Our focus is on the well-being and care for ourselves, each other and our families so we can be more resilient to the many challenges military service brings."

"Mental," one of the pillars of CAF, plays an important role in suicide prevention, the second leading preventable cause of death for all service members. It remains a major concern since 59 active-duty members and 36 Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilians committed suicide in 2014. So far in 2015, there have been 58 total force suicides, according to the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program manager.

"The Air Force counts on people to be [well-balanced], that's why we have so many resources to help people improve their lives," said Capt. Derandoria Young, 31st Fighter Wing suicide prevention program manager. "I think the Air Force requires a lot of us and so they invest a lot in us as well. You can't help anyone else or be effective toward the mission or your family if you're stressed out or tired."

In addition to discussing suicide prevention during annual face-to-face and small group training, Airmen can use the Wingman Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to ensure Airmen have quick and easy access to the latest CAF resources. The toolkit is also available as a mobile application. It includes videos, stories and testimonies to help users improve mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness. Airmen can also track physical training workouts, set up spiritual reminders and track their sleep patterns.

Although resources are available, Airmen should remain alert for risk factors and warning signs, to render assistance when needed.

Some risk factors include:
- Existing mental health conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder
- Alcohol, drug or substance abuse
- Serious or chronic health conditions or pain
- Exposure to someone else's suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of suicide
- Access to lethal means to commit suicide, including firearms and drugs
- Prolonged stress factors which may include harassment, bullying, relationship problems or unemployment

Some warning signs include:
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Acting recklessly
- Changes in appetite, sleep habits, mood or energy levels
- Looking for ways to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
- Withdrawing from activities
- Isolating from family and friends
- Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
- Giving away prized possessions

Airmen are encouraged to use the acronym ACE if they witness the above changes in their wingman.

"We have the acronym ACE--ask, care and escort. I would say the biggest part is care. If you care you're going to ask. If you care you're going to escort or make sure they get the help needed," Young explained. "Taking the time to care is really hard sometimes because we're all so busy and everybody's got a million and one things to do, but to ask you have to know a person; you have to care to intervene."

Service members are also reminded to put the fear of hurting their careers aside and seek the help they need.

"For the most part, I think people are really good about coming in when things start to get out-of-hand. Most people come here and their supervisor never knows unless they tell them," said Young. "The earlier they seek help the better. When your stress levels are at a moderate level, then things tend to be more manageable."

For assistance, call the Aviano Mental Health Clinic at 632-5321 or the Chapel office at 632-5211.

For additional information and support, the following agencies can also be contacted:
- Military and Family Life Consultants at 632-5029
- Airman and Family Readiness Center at 632-5407
- Family Advocacy at 632-5667
- Alcohol And Drug Abuse Prevention And Treatment at 632-5321
- Military One Source at (800) 342-9647
- Confidential chat at or (800) 273-8255

Malmstrom's warrior chefs hungry for Global Strike Challenge win

by John Turner
341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

9/24/2015 - MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Three NCOs from the 341st Force Support Squadron will demonstrate their culinary mastery Oct. 7 as they represent the 341st Missile Wing in Air Force Global Strike Command's first Global Strike Challenge 2015 Outstanding Chef Competition at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

Staff Sgts. Justin Reynolds, Stephen Marvin and Derek Cruz will have three hours to prepare a main course and dessert as they compete against six other teams in an outdoor venue. The primary ingredient required in each dish will be revealed the night before, allowing each team to develop a strategy. A panel of ten judges will grade each plate on taste, texture, tenderness, creativity and overall presentation.

The winning team will be revealed Oct. 21 during the Global Strike Challenge score posting event.

While creating a meal guaranteed to impress ten different palates is a tall order, Reynolds, the team's captain, is confident Malmstrom will whisk away the inaugural victory.

"If all three of us agree on a flavor and we can execute it, I think we'll have a winning product," he said.

The team advanced to the Outstanding Chef Competition team through the wing's 3rd Quarter Warrior Chef Competition Aug. 24. Together, Reynolds, Marvin and Cruz wowed local judges by planning and preparing tri-tip roast with roasted leeks, loaded mashed potatoes and blackberry crepes within an hour and a half and incorporating three ingredients revealed at the start of the event.

"In a way, the actual (GSC) competition may be easier," Reynolds said, noting that the team will have several hours instead of mere minutes to plan an approach. "We can sit around and ponder what we're going to make and throw some ideas at each other."

All three members have broad experience with food preparation and bring diverse culinary knowledge from all over the world through their individual cultural upbringings as well as from various military assignments and deployments. As teammates, they bring all that together to create unique flavors.

"We've all been to a lot of different places in the world," Reynolds said. "And you're always around different types of chefs from around the world and you get to pick up on a lot of different things."

Cruz said his parents taught him how to cook starting at a young age in Puerto Rico. His style is influenced by Spanish and Caribbean flavors, and he has an encyclopedic knowledge of spices.

"The sun never set on the Spanish Empire at one point so you can imagine the variety of flavors they brought to the culinary aspect of things," Cruz said. "Anywhere from Southern Spain to Northern Africa, Morocco, those flavors captivate me."

Cruz has been in the Air Force for seven years--his anniversary date coincides with the GSC competition--and at Malmstrom for a year and a half. He is married and has a daughter, and plans to someday commission as an Air Force officer.

Despite his passion for cooking, Montana is Cruz's first Air Force assignment working in food service. He is currently the NCO in charge of training missile field chefs.

"I've been waiting for this chance to show what abilities I hold," Cruz said.

Marvin is from Colorado and has been in the Air Force almost nine years. He recently transferred from the 819th RED HORSE Squadron to the 341st FSS to become the morning shift supervisor at the dining facility. He has been at Malmstrom three years, is married, and plans to open a restaurant after he retires from the military.

"Most of my career has been cooking," Marvin said, adding that before he came into the Air Force his original passion was preparing sushi. His style is influenced by recipes and garnishes of Asia, especially of Korea through his family, and Europe. He said he learned most of what he knows about cooking at Little Rock, Arkansas, where the focus was on the flavor and tenderness of meat and the quality of the product as a whole.

"I have an appreciation for learning different techniques and concepts of cooking from all these different people, and for turning food into art while making it delicious at the same time," Marvin said.

Reynolds is from Ohio and has been in the Air Force 11 years, three at Malmstrom. Most of his Air Force career has been in food service including recent duties in the missile complex. He is married and has three children.

He said he learned a lot about cooking while in Japan and Korea. But if the theme of the GSC competition leans toward Louisianan cuisine, he's ready for that--he prepared many seafood specials while assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

"I think the team we have is really going to pose a problem for younger teams," Reynolds said. "Being able to have this experience and know we can step out of the box on any variety of food is a benefit."

Cruz agreed, joking that he was surrounded by water for 20 years and is not a stranger to seafood either.

"That's where we're strong, being so diverse and growing up in different parts of the United States," Cruz said. "We have a working knowledge of growing up with these flavors and tastes."

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.

Nellis holds first NCO induction ceremony

by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Kline
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

9/24/2015 - NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. -- The first NCO induction ceremony at Nellis AFB was held recently at the Thunderbird hangar here Sept. 18.

There were approximately 380 staff sergeant selects in attendance, not including Airmen assigned to Creech Air Force Base.

"When I first got to Nellis AFB I found out that we didn't do (NCO induction ceremonies). We do Senior NCO induction ceremonies, but there wasn't anything for the new staff sergeants selects," said Tech. Sgt. Robert Yarnes, 328th Weapons Squadron NCO in charge of space operations. "When I took over as the president of the Nellis 5/6, I decided that creating an NCO induction ceremony would be one of my initiatives."

The day prior to the ceremony, the inductees participated in seminars with various briefings to help guide them onto the path to becoming successful NCOs.

"We developed a course with the career assistance advisors to highlight topics and get Airmen talking and listening," said Yarnes.  "Courses ranged from professional relations to a followership group exercise to a career progression brief."

An important part of the transition is for NCOs to learn how to professionally handle the close ties they may have with the Airmen they work with.

"The transition from the Airman to NCO tier is an important step in their careers," said Tech. Sgt. Tyler Meyenburg, 99th Medical Group NCOIC of nutritional medicine. "They need to know how to go about managing those relationships and what changes are going to happen when you put on that one extra stripe."

Meyenburg and Yarnes agreed, the transition from Airman to NCO is an important milestone in an Airman's career.

"There is the transition from being an NCO to being a Senior NCO, but at that point you're going from being a leader of a few to being a leader of many. So that change might be a little easier," said Yarnes. "You're going from being a follower to all of a sudden being in charge of other Airmen and ensuring that the mission gets done. That can be a hard change for a lot of people to make."

Yarnes hopes that those participating in the NCO induction seminar and the ceremony take away that they are becoming an NCO so they need to be ready to take on increased responsibilities and need to know what people will expect from them as NCOs.

"The rewarding part is helping these new NCOs learn the roles and responsibilities of becoming an NCO," said Meyenburg. "As soon as you get that stripe or go through Airman Leadership School, you're going to be somebody's supervisor.

C-5 performance 100 percent on time for fourth consecutive year

by Jenny Gordon
78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs Office

9/25/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- In the current sustainment environment, there are military aircraft flying worldwide missions every day protecting American interests.

Their sustainment is crucial.

One of those airframes is the C-5 Galaxy - one of the world's largest airlifters - which was first deployed more than 45 years ago and is maintained right here at Robins Air Force Base.

For all its capabilities transporting large cargo such as mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles, helicopters and heavy battle tanks, it has remained one of the world's most called-upon aircraft for transporting outsized cargo.

"The Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is one of three Air Force ALCs that focuses on sustainment," said Dave Nakayama, 559th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron director.
"Sustainment is more critical than ever simply because our equipment is getting older, and we're not replacing it as we did during the Cold War. We don't have the luxury of new equipment anymore.

"Bottom line is we want to keep the C-5 fleet like new, all the while improving our efficiency and reducing our cost," he added. "Not everything can be easily, feasibly replaced, so that's when sustainment becomes critical. We're principal players."

And playing that key role is something Team Robins takes seriously.

That means the squadron has produced a total of 30 PDM aircraft and 21 unscheduled depot level maintenance C-5s from fiscal 2012 through fiscal 2015, which closes out Wednesday.

With those aircraft returned on time, that's another C-5 that can transport troops as well as much-needed equipment and material downrange, or move special space mission payloads for NASA or Air Force Space Command to their launch site.

In the business of aircraft maintenance and modification at the ALC, the processes come straight out of the pages of the Air Force Sustainment Center's "Art of the Possible," which describes reaching beyond today's limitations to grasp previously unimagined heights of performance.

It's not about settling for what already exists, but to challenge one another in order to recognize opportunities, eliminate constraints, improve processes and optimize resources to achieve world-class results.

All production machines have an average throughput, work-in-progress (in this case, the number of aircraft on station) and flow time. According to AoP, AFSC production machines must be designed to exceed customer expectations and reduce WIP. With reduced WIP comes reduced infrastructure and reduced resource requirements, creating capacity for additional workload and reducing costs.

By reducing its WIP and flow days in the C-5 squadron, Robins has arrived at a crucial juncture. That reduction allows additional resources, such as time, manpower and equipment to be used to complete work on other aircraft.

Looking at C-5 PDM performance over the last several years, PDM WIP has improved significantly, from a WIP of 12 aircraft in the first quarter of fiscal 2011, to a WIP of four in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. C-5 A-model retirements contributed to those reduced numbers, as well as process improvements.

The flow-day trend dating to fiscal 2011 was around 420 days for a completed PDM. Today, that number averages about 280 days. The goal is to continue to drive that number down, reducing it to 220 days. But it doesn't stop there.

"We keep improving our processes," said Nakayama. "We keep realigning things so they flow together better. Our Art of the Possible goal is 180 days."

While that may take a few years, it took just as long to see numbers level off to where they are today.

"With our flow days coming down, it allows us to do more in PDM. That way it helps with our aircraft availability rate going even higher," said Nakayama, referring to the overall fleet AA rate in fiscal 2014 being the highest in the last 22 years.

From the time an aircraft touches the flight line until it leaves, squadrons such as the 559th AMXS have laid out their entire production process, known as value stream mapping.

In essence, you look at everything you do to an aircraft in order to eliminate constraints and waste and make improvements.

It's helped shape how the production machine functions, especially when a C-5 PDM includes some 14,000 operations as part of a 70,000-hour work package.

That work happens across eight gates, or production segments created to monitor performance over the 280 days a C-5 is in PDM. In the 559th AMXS, that includes pre-dock operations such as de-fuel and de-paint; build-up and disassembly for inspections; and paint and functional test.

"We began our value stream mapping in 2009 and are about to do our fifth iteration in the near future. Using this mapping, combined with continuous process improvement tools, lean concepts and the Art of the Possible, and most importantly involving our mission partners, has gotten us to where we are today," said Kevin Hamilton, 559th AMXS deputy director.

There's consensus that the squadron is not alone in achieving its latest results. Originating with customer requirements from the C-5 System Program Office at Robins, to the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Support Squadron, 402nd Commodities, Electronics and Software maintenance groups, supply chain groups such as Defense Logistics Agency and 638th Supply Chain Management Group, 339th Flight Test Squadron and 78th Air Base Wing, everyone's participation is a direct contributor to this success.

Looking ahead, sustainment and safety of the fleet will remain priority one.

With a small and aging fleet, parts availability issues, and incorporating more complex technology into an older airframe, challenges will remain as the aircraft is scheduled to remain in the inventory for the next 20-plus years.

"We're still not satisfied and we still want to improve," said Nakayama. "What we're doing at the depot is contributing to the good things that are happening in the fleet, yet the airplane has never been older than what it is today.

"The depots are really the 'crown jewels' in sustaining an aging fleet," he added. "The repairs, overhauls, modifications and upgrades we make here, all these keep the fleet operating as if they're new. I think we're a very good strategic value for the Air Force and the taxpayers because we provide this capability that otherwise wouldn't be there."

F-22 Raptor runway use; EIS public scoping meeting

Release Number: 020915

9/25/2015 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska  -- The United States Air Force has issued a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and to hold a public scoping meeting on the Proposal to Improve F-22 Operational Efficiency at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Alaska

The Air Force needs to evaluate the distribution of F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft take-offs and landings on JBER's runways to: 1) improve efficiencies in F-22 flight operations; 2) respond to FAA 2014 guidance on the use of one runway for opposite direction flight operations; 3) address public/agency concerns regarding safety in the airspace around Anchorage; and 4) address constraints on operations resulting from the 2011 F-22 Plus-Up environmental analysis; and 5) address off-base noise south of JBER. There is no proposed change in aircraft numbers or to training in existing Alaskan airspace. Changes to F-22 runway operations could potentially affect on-base infrastructure, airfield snow removal, on-base terrain, altitudes overflown of on-base areas, and off-base noise. The Air Force is preparing the EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to analyze potential environmental consequences associated with the proposal to improve F-22 operations efficiency at JBER.

Alternatives currently identified to be addressed in the EIS include six variations of F-22 runway use, modifications to infrastructure, and changes in airfield snow removal. The required No Action Alternative includes operational constraints associated with the 2011 F-22 Plus-Up Environmental Assessment and its Finding of No Significant Impact.

During the public scoping meeting, the Air Force will solicit comments from the public and from local, state and federal agencies to effectively define the full range of alternatives and issues to be evaluated in the EIS.  Public input supports the Air Force in making informed decisions.

All members of the public are invited to the scoping meeting where the Air Force will describe the NEPA process and outline opportunities for public involvement. The scoping meeting will include an approximately 25-minute Air Force presentation and approximately two hours of an open house.  The presentation will provide information on the purpose and need for F-22 runway use changes.   During the open house, Air Force representatives will be available for one-on-one conversations with community residents about the alternative runway uses and the EIS process.  The meeting format will not have an open microphone session. Community members will be encouraged to provide written comments on the alternatives and the analysis proces