Military News

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Team McChord executes missions during JOAX

by Senior Airman Divine Cox
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs


11/3/2015 - Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and flight crews from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., flew to Pope Army Air Field, N.C., Oct. 26, in support of the Joint Operational Access Exercise 16-1.

JOAX was a nine-day combined military training exercise designed to prepare Airmen and Soldiers to respond to worldwide crises and contingencies. JOAX prepared air mobility forces along with Army and Canadian paratroopers, to respond as part of the Global Response Force.

The GRF is a joint force that can deploy and have service members on the ground within 96-hours on short notice anywhere in the world.

"The main purpose of the exercise from the Air Force perspective was to safely execute Global Response Force training," said Col. David Owens, 62nd Operations Group commander. "We wanted to conduct large formation operations and insert the 82nd Airborne Division."

Team McChord loadmasters were tasked daily to load cargo and personnel onto C-17's for the upcoming mission.

"I am responsible for every load that enters and exits the aircraft," said Staff Sgt. Eric Hatchey, 8th AS loadmaster. "I wanted to make sure I did everything right to ensure safe delivery of all cargo and personnel."

Not only did McChord support the exercise with aircrew and aircraft, Airmen on the ground worked nonstop to ensure operations went smoothly.

"I'm very proud of everything these guys did," said Capt. Justin Jarrell, 62nd Operations Group weapons officer and JOAX lead planner. "They worked hard every day and every night to get the aircraft ready to go."

Daily the loadmasters had to configure and reconfigure the aircraft to support each mission for that day.

"Once the engines started and the aircraft took off, I knew it was game on," said Staff Sergeant Jose Montoya, 8th AS loadmaster. "This was my first personnel drop and seeing cargo and personnel leave the aircraft safely was a good feeling. The attention to detail and hard work the crew put in made this experience enjoyable."

In addition to the crews in the air, Airmen from the 62nd Maintenance Group at McChord Field also supported operations by providing maintenance support. In all, approximately 35 McChord Airmen played a role in the success of the exercise.

"From day one, I preached safety, mission and execute," said Owens. "Daily, these Airmen impressed me by safely executing every mission."

Exercises such as JOAX give Team McChord Airmen the opportunity to train as a team with other military branches.

According to exercise planners, the joint team successfully met all of their training objectives.

"McChord's involvement in the joint exercise was a success," said Jarrell. "All of the paratroopers landed safely and we met our objectives. It was a relief to know that all the effort we put in and the coordination with the 82nd ABD was successful.

''It's good to come out here and see how the Army and Air Force coordinate, he added. Both branches worked together to ensure training requirements were met."

"I feel confident in our Airmen and our Army counterparts," Jarrell said. "Because of this continuous training, as a force, we will be ready to respond when called upon.

Work Applauds Defense Funding Agreement



By Terri Moon Cronk DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, November 3, 2015 — The recent budget agreement between Congress and the White House for two-year Defense Department funding will help strike a balance between needs and resources, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said yesterday at the 3rd annual Defense One Summit here.

Work spoke to about 600 senior military, government and political leaders at the forum.

“We crave stability,” Work said, quoting Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

“Trying to balance between demands and ends with constant resource uncertainty is keeping us from creating a coherent program that stands the test of time,” he said.

“We applaud what Congress has done, coming together in a bipartisan nature … with a budget deal that gives us clarity for two years,” Work said.

A Grand Strategy Era

The “Age of Everything” was the theme for the summit and is based on an era of grand strategy to ensure defense needs are met and resources balance, Work said.

“The first rule of strategy is all resources are scarce. You must make prioritization within your budget. That is exactly what Secretary Carter has charged us to do in this fiscal year and the Presidential Budget Review for [fiscal year 2017], which will be reflected by our budget submission in September,” he said.

In an overview, the deputy said between the end of the Cold War and 2001, the U.S. military’s “relative strength was enormous.”

Then, DoD global concerns were more regionalized and focused on potential “contingencies” such as a resurgence of Iraq, a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and a North Korean invasion of South Korea, he said.

“But because we were way ahead in the application of conventional guided munitions and the networks that deployed them,” Work said, “we didn't really worry about how we could prevail against the three regional contingencies.”

Changing DoD Concerns

But between 2001 and 2015, the capacities and capabilities of America’s closest allies uniformly started to decline, while the capabilities and capacities of potential competitors began to rise dramatically, he said.

The department now faces concerns over “two great powers in the world,” Work said, referring to China and Russia, and said DoD would balance strategy with needs.

Today’s U.S.-coalition campaign against global terrorism is increasingly highlighted by fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, he said.

Meanwhile, other, more traditional, adversaries “are now gaining parity with us in guided munitions warfare, which [had] given us such an operational and tactical advantage for the past 25 years,” Work said.

DoD’s global concerns also now extend to pandemics, potentially destabilizing effects of climate change and possible cyberattacks on the homeland, Work said.

“All these problems are interconnected,” he added.

DoD Honors Top Employees at Disability Awards Ceremony



DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, November 3, 2015 — The 35th annual Department of Defense Disability Awards ceremony was hosted by Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson in the Pentagon Auditorium Oct. 29.

This annual event was organized by the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity as part of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month observance, which takes place each October.

2015 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and department’s 20th anniversary of the Workforce Recruitment Program. The event provided an overview of DoD disability initiatives and policies as well as a forum to recognize award recipients.

Nineteen service members and civilian employees with disabilities were recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to advancing DoD’s mission. Additionally, four DoD organizations were recognized for adopting and implementing exemplary practices in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of individuals with disabilities.

DoD commemorates this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, “My Disability is One Part of Who I am.”

Carson addressed the importance of diversity to the DoD mission and the critical role that service members and civilian employees with disabilities play in the defense of the nation.

“The range and types of achievements and contributions our recipients have made to the Department of Defense demonstrates -- better than words could ever say -- that each of us is truly made of many parts,” he said. “And that the Department of Defense needs each of us -- in all of our aspects -- to fulfill our mission today and tomorrow.”

Claiborne D. Haughton Jr., former acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for equal opportunity, delivered the keynote address. Haughton highlighted the skills and talents people with disabilities bring to the workforce and noted that DoD serves as a leader in the employment of individuals with disabilities. Haughton emphasized that personnel at all levels have a role to play in advancing employment for individuals with disabilities.

“Disability is one aspect of diversity and one part of what makes a person who he or she is. It is the breadth of skills that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace that truly define how we advance the DoD mission and defend our nation for all Americans,” said Randy Cooper, director of DoD disability programs.

The following DoD employees and service members with disabilities received Secretary of Defense awards for their outstanding achievements and contributions to advancing the DoD mission:

Department of the Army:

Elham Williams, Department of the Army;

Army Staff Sgt. Jorge G. Haddock-Santiago; and

Army Capt. Mary J. Hubbard

Department of the Navy:

Anne K. Ng, Department of the Navy; and Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Ralph B. DeQuebec

Department of the Air Force:

Stacy Gatling, Department of the Air Force; and

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian A. Williams

Defense Agencies and DoD Field Activities:

Patricia M. Barson, Army and Air Force Exchange Service; Alexander Culbreth, Defense Commissary Agency; Francis H. Gilroy, Defense Contract Audit Agency; Anthony E. Labath, Defense Contract Management Agency; Jeffrey Kasting, Defense Finance and Accounting Service; Kameelah N. Montgomery, Defense Human Resources Activity; David R. Andrews. Defense Intelligence Agency; Pearl Pearson, Jr., Defense Logistics Agency; Mamie Rush, Department of Defense Education Activity; John E. Lawson, Missile Defense Agency; Chad D. Dennis, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; William R. Sciannella, National Security Agency

The following four DoD components received Secretary of Defense Awards for their outstanding achievements in the employment of individuals with disabilities:

Best Military Department: Department of the Air Force

Best Mid-Sized Component: Defense Finance and Accounting Service

Best Small-Sized Component: Department of Defense Office of Inspector General

Best Intelligence Component: National Security Agency

The ceremony served as a reminder to those in the audience that all people have a right to dignity, respect, and an equal opportunity to succeed in the workplace.

Running in a Desert Boneyard

by Airman Basic Nathan H. Barbour
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


10/31/2015 - DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz.  -- 
The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group "Boneyard"  held the third annual Desert Boneyard 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk today.
The courses navigated through hundreds of historic military aircraft stored and maintained by the 309th AMARG. The more than 2,600 acre facility provides depot-level maintenance, aircraft regeneration, storage and preservation, aircraft parts reclamation and disposal for nearly 4,000 aircraft in support of the U.S. Department of Defense, allied war-fighters and other government agencies.
This event gave the general public a rare opportunity to access a site usually only available for authorized personnel and guided bus tours.
"Doing this exclusive event where people can really explore and see the boneyard in a way that they can't do at any other time, makes it a very special event," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jonathan Paz, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron engineering flight chief.
Participants experienced many improvements to the run this year including a new course and professional timing.
"We created a new 5K and 10K course that allowed the participants to see more planes than they've ever seen before," Paz said. "This year in particular the 10K runners zigzagged and went in and out of a very up close and personal experience with all the airplanes."
The event concluded with an awards ceremony where participants received medals for different age groups. 
"This is the first year where everyone was chipped and timed," Paz said. "All those results will be populated into the event website; where it can be used and shared with people."
With nearly twice the turnout of last year this event had more than 1,000 people register. The 309th AMARG plans to continue to host the event annually.
"It's one thing to drive by, but it's another to actually (run) up and down and see all the history," said Matt Cobb, Tucson resident.
All of the event proceeds go to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base morale, welfare and recreation fund that directly support service members and their families.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel visits Blue Flag

by 2nd Lieutenant Kellie Rizer
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


11/2/2015 - Uvda Air Force Base, Israel -- The U.S. Ambassador to Israel visited the Blue Flag exercise at Uvda Air Force Base, Israel, Oct. 26.

Ambassador Daniel Shapiro arrived in Uvda to observe U.S. participation in the multinational exercise, which included air forces from Israel, Greece, Poland and the U.S.

Blue Flag, modeled after the Red Flag exercise at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, allows Airmen from ally nations to train together in realistic war scenarios to build partnerships and increase interoperability.

"Every time the United States military and the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) train together, we learn how to operate together more effectively and observe the techniques that each military uses while deepening the relationships and the support we have for each other," Ambassador Shapiro said. "That's a very important function for strengthening the military alliance between the United States and Israel."

Ambassador Shapiro met with Lt. Col. John Stratton, 493rd Fighter Squadron commander, and thanked Airmen from the 493rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, for their participation in this year's exercise.

"I'm incredibly proud that U.S. Air Force pilots are here training with their Israeli counterparts to learn from each other and deepen their relationships, to learn how to operate together against common adversaries and ultimately, to strengthen the alliance between our countries," Ambassador Shapiro said. "I don't think it happens anywhere as well as it happens when our militaries train together."   

General Lance W. Lord Award recognizes top 21st OG Airmen

By Senior Airman Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs

11/3/2015 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  -- The 2014 General Lance W. Lord Awards for Superior Space Operational Leadership was held Oct. 26 at the Peterson Club to recognize members and units for going above and beyond.

The General Lord Award annually recognizes an outstanding unit, civil service employee, enlisted member and company grade officer assigned to the 21st Operations Group who performed ahead of their peers in job performance, professionalism and dedication, resulting in successful completion of the group's mission.

Col. Troy Endicott, 21st OG commander, began the event reminding us of a General Lord quote that said "if you're not in space, you're not in the race." He added it's not the older generation of Air Force commanders and senior level leaders who are going to come up with new changes to how things are done in space. It's the young Airmen and NCOs who will do so.

General Lord, who retired in 2006 as the commander of Air Force Space Command, was in attendance to present the awards. Before recognizing the award winners, Lord took time to share stories of his experiences and highlight the importance of each Airman, no matter the rank.

"This is not a top-down organization - it's front to back," he said. "Whether you're a civilian, an Airman or an officer, you're in an important position,"

The 2014 General Lord Award winners for each category include: Ken Stahura, 7th Space Warning Squadron, civilian category; Staff Sgt. Robert Lammi, 16th Space Control Squadron, enlisted category; 1st Lt. Benjamin Brinich, 6th Space Warning Squadron, officer category; 20th Space Control Squadron, unit category.

Stahura directed four main projects worth $45 million and were key to the unit's "highly effective" wing inspection team rating. He executed the budget of $234,000 for 21st OG's newest training detachment and locked in $30,000 for a new classified computer switching system, which improved the secure communications for a 40 percent increase in capability.

Lammi supported a U.S. Embassy evacuation mission by protecting eight Rwandan Patriotic Army links within the Libya area of responsibility, allowing 100 State Department members to return safely from the country. He also supported the first ever F-22 Raptor combat sorties by protecting vital targeting links, resulting in the destruction of an Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham Headquarters facility.

Brinich directed a subject matter expert team to produce 78 hours of advanced training to instruct operations personnel on adversary threats. He built 18 mission plans and custom tactics for high-interest launches, which resulted in the optimal tracking of 15 foreign threats. Brinich also developed a 260-hour mission commander program for experienced operators, which allowed for 18 successful launches.

The 20 SPCS collected 11 million observations on earth-orbiting satellites, including debris, allied systems and adversary systems. They increased lost object detection by 200 percent by creating specialized radar search fences based on orbital predictions and founded a multi-national space situational awareness working group, which identified more than 30 cutting edge initiatives and optimized space operations for the joint fight.

Wrapping up the awards ceremony, Col. Douglas Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander, talked about his experiences working with Lord at a previous assignment and how the space world is still reaping the benefits of Lord's initiative and innovation.
Lord, the nominees and each award winner set the bar high for others following in their footsteps, making excellence the standard in space.

Beale: The maintenance depot for the USAF's Global Hawks

by Airman 1st Class Ramon A. Adelan
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs


11/3/2015 - BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, California  -- Airmen at Beale Air Force Base, California, work around the clock to ensure the U.S. Air Force's fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawks are prepared to support mission objectives.

The RQ-4's mission is to provide a broad spectrum of high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance collection capability to support joint combatant forces in peacetime, contingency and wartime operations worldwide. The Global Hawk provides near-real-time coverage using a variety of sensors.

"Beale has been established as the unofficial depot for the Global Hawk program," said Master Sgt. Wes Sullivan, 12th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent. "The stations where aircraft are located take care of standard maintenance, but we provide the large scale inspections."

Sullivan added, just like motor vehicles, aircraft require servicing periodically after certain intervals. For vehicles its miles, for aircraft its flights.

It takes a team of crew chiefs, avionic specialists, fabricators, and non-destructive inspection (NDI) specialists to ensure the integrity of the aircraft meets flight requirements.

"We work 24-hour operations to provide the [forward operating location] a serviceable aircraft to continue the mission," said Staff Sgt. Derek Harris, 12th AMU RQ-4 dedicated crew chief. "It's a constant struggle to coordinate everything between different back-shops, but somehow we find the efficient and effective way to balance it to provide a safe and reliable aircraft to FOLs in a timely manner."

The aircraft starts it's inspection by being disassembled, so parts can be inspected by the NDI section. NDI interprets and evaluates defective anomalies on parts using magnetic particle, ultrasonic, eddy current, radiographic, liquid penetrate and other emerging technologies.

"While NDI has their tasks, the crew chiefs and avionic specialists complete the delayed discrepancy write ups and replace parts that are faulty," Sullivan said. "We basically re-service the aircraft and send it to its next mission."

The re-servicing can be anything from replacing engine components to updating parts of the avionics system.

The 12th AMU communicates with commands around the world to keep an update on the status of each RQ-4. This gives both parties the ability to continue meeting mission demands.

"When you look over fleet dynamics you need to consider the command's mission demands and how we accommodate that while getting jets here to inspect," Sullivan said. "It's like a choreographed routine; we plan out the pieces to make the proper movements because the mission never stops."

As numbers shrink, AF can do more with better



By Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Saunders, First Term Airman Center / Published November 02, 2015

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- I am happy to say that over the past eight years I have served in the world's greatest Air Force. I attribute that accolade without hesitation as I think about why it is true.

New recruits go to basic military training shedding a lot of whom they are to become disciplined Airmen. Next, most spend several months in technical training to become proficient Airmen in their Air Force specialty code. Then they go to their first duty station and begin honing their new skills. Subsequently, the Air Force is full of great engineers, mechanics, medics, etc., but alone that is not what embodies the greatness of the Air Force.

This is the world's greatest Air Force because it has the world's greatest Airmen and we are always improving. Supervisors keep in mind that as they mentor and train their subordinates, they are not training them to be "good enough" to perform their task. They are developing them to accomplish the mission better than themselves and the process continues as the subordinate becomes the leader.

When I came into the Air Force, and sometimes even today Airmen mention the need to do more with less. The size of the military has been shrinking in numbers but the mission must go on. Air Force Continuous Process Improvement, once known as Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century, emphasized that as we downsize in material and manpower in some areas, we can be more efficient with what we have. Despite the youth of this program officially, its philosophy seems to be have been the practice for Airmen all along.

Although, my tenure as the First Term Airman Center leader has been brief, it has been very fulfilling. I have seen so many Airmen completely motivated, still fresh from formal training and ready to take on as much as will be thrown their way. While FTAC introduces the concepts of networking and mentorship, I remember back when I was an airman first class. Neither of those concepts were a part of my vocabulary. Although the gravity of mentors and networks will develop further in their careers and as their leadership skills grow, at least now it will be as common during conversations as career progression.

John C. Maxwell tells us that "leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others." Let's remember that it's not just about us doing more with less, but training, organizing and equipping our Airmen, so that the Air Force can do more with better.