Military News

Friday, January 15, 2016

DoD: Training, Awareness Critical in Human Trafficking Fight

By Lisa Ferdinando DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2016 — The signs of human trafficking could be all around Defense Department personnel: A subcontractor withholds passports and delays payment to its employees, or a company forces potential workers to pay a large fee to obtain a contract job on a DoD installation.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and DoD is highlighting the issue and its efforts to fight trafficking, said Army Col. Joshua Burris, deputy chief of staff for Mission and Installation Contracting Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Sam Houston, Texas, and the executive director for DoD’s Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise 2016.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, Burris said, adding that DoD has zero tolerance for violations.

DoD wants its service members, civilians, contractors and others associated with the agency to be able to recognize the signs of human trafficking and know how to report suspected violations, he said.

Worldwide Problem, Violates Basic Human Rights

Human trafficking includes using force, fraud or coercion to compel a person to provide labor, services, or sex, Burris said. It is a violation of basic human rights, he said. It is a global problem; it happens in the United States and around the world.

"This is a heinous, awful thing that happens. It's very important that we eradicate it," he said.

The three most common forms of trafficking, according to the DoD's Combating Trafficking in Persons office, are labor trafficking, sex trafficking, and child soldiering.

DoD relies on contractors at installations around the world, Burris said. The human trafficking violations the agency sees most often, he said, are labor abuses involving debt bondage.

Debt bondage is when a person is required to pay a large fee to obtain a job, putting the person in extreme debt in which the individual works a year or more just to pay off the debt, Burris explained.

The contract workers on bases are the ones who make meals, pump gas, or do other tasks to support the military, he pointed out. They face dangers as well, he said, including indirect fire at installations in warzones. They must be treated fairly and in accordance with laws and DoD regulations, he said.

Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking

Five-hundred people, including service members from Army and Air Force South, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the 1st Armored Division and Acquisition and Financial Management professionals, will take part in a joint, interagency exercise in March and April 2016 at Fort Bliss, Texas.

A focus of the Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise includes scenarios in human trafficking, Burris said. The exercise will evaluate current policies and approaches via the DoD supply chain.

"It's especially important because it is happening worldwide," Burris said. "It's something that we need to take a look at and make sure our people know."

The exercise includes Army South partner nations. They will observe human trafficking and Operational Contract Support training to incorporate lessons into next year’s U.S. Southern Command’s PANAMAX, he said. Scenarios are based on coalition forces responding to an armed conflict and follow-on stabilization operations.

The exercise will use role player scenarios so participants will better recognize signs of human trafficking, and what actions should be taken, Burris noted.

"We have to keep an eye out and be able to identify these signs, and that's why the training presents this in our exercise," he said.

The signs of labor trafficking include an employer confiscating identification documents or forging legal documents, subjecting a person to unsafe working conditions, providing inadequate living conditions, or denying the worker medical care, Burris said.

Training, Awareness Key in Fight

Members of the military and DoD civilian personnel are required to take at least one Combating Trafficking in Persons training course every fiscal year. Specialized training is available for service members, law enforcement personnel, senior leaders and contracting professionals.

Signs are posted around military bases so workers know their rights, Burris said. DoD has supplemental exercises each year on fighting human trafficking.

DoD says everyone can do their part in fighting trafficking. Incidents of human trafficking can be reported to the DoD Inspector General hotline at 1-800-424-9098, 703-604-8799 or DSN 664-8799, or at www.dodig.mil/hotline.

48th CONS goes local, works smarter

by Airman 1st Class Erin R. Babis
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


1/15/2016 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Working with the local community is vital in accomplishing the mission of the 48th Fighter Wing.

Case in point, the 48th Contracting Squadron saved $150,000 with just one transaction by contracting a local vendor.

"Our efforts to source contracts locally significantly improve our relationship with the U.K. and our local community," said Maj. Robert Yates, 48th CONS commander. "For starters, there's the economic impact of injecting over £16 million into the U.K. last year alone. However, it's not only the local business owners that benefit from money being spent locally; many people in the local community are contract employees that drive through the gates of RAFs Lakenheath and Mildenhall every morning to work.  These individuals are vested in what U.S. visiting forces do because they help contribute to our mission day in and day out."

The contracting squadron has been working to educate local vendors about the processes necessary to work with the U.S. Air Force by meeting up with them face-to-face at vendor fairs.

Setting local businesses up with the capabilities to work with RAF Lakenheath has opened up local vendors' options to work with U.S. agencies all across Europe.

Claire Hammond, 48th CONS contracting officer, experienced meeting, several years ago, with local vendors who had small companies that she has seen thrive from the business they were able to generate with the U.S. government, starting with RAF Lakenheath.

"They are not just getting business from us, they are sending orders out to Aviano [Air Base, Italy] and Ramstein [Air Base, Germany], but they are vendors who are 15 miles from the base here," Hammond explained.

"It's nice seeing these companies start from not much and then flourish because we have a lot of business we'd like to give them and they are willing to take it on," said Esther Hamilton, 48th CONS contract specialist.

In return for the benefits local companies have experienced, they have extended themselves to help the U.S. Air Force accomplish its mission at any hour.

"We've built such good relationships with local companies that they are willing to keep their doors open late," Hamilton said. "They're willing to stay till midnight in case we have any last minute things that we need to buy."

Maintainers clean before painting, inspecting

by Staff Sgt. Timothy Moore
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/15/2016 - RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany  -- "Clean before applying paint" is a direction many people have disregarded during a home improvement project, but they are words that are well-heeded by the members of the 86th Maintenance Squadron isochronal (ISO) inspection section.

Proper washing and painting can be crucial in maintaining the aircraft assigned to Ramstein Air Base.

"[It] is for corrosion prevention," said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Kohn, 86th MXS ISO dock coordinator. "You want to get all the grime and grit that gathered while it's out.

"We don't always land on international runways," Kohn added. "We land on dirt runways with rocks, so you're going to get nicks and things wrong with your plane."

For this reason, Kohn said they wash and paint the aircrafts in conjunction with the regularly scheduled ISO inspections.

An ISO inspection is a scheduled, extensive examination of an aircraft to maintain its functionality and perform preventive maintenance. The inspections can vary in time and complexity, with inspections categorized as either A, B, C-1 or C-2 checks.

"The C-2 check, which is the most in-depth, is what we're coming up on right now," Kohn said. "Anything and everything that you have on this aircraft is going to be touched by us."

This C-2 check marks the end of a 14-aircraft ISO inspection period for Ramstein. After this C-2 inspection, Ramstein will not be due for another one until 2020.

"For the 86th Airlift Wing, that means more reliability on the aircraft side," Kohn said.

The inspections involve Airmen from multiple shops in the 86th MXS, but each aspect of the process holds value to the getting the aircraft back into operations.

"I had never heard about having to wash an aircraft, and then I got here, in my second or third week I was told I was going to wash," said Airman 1st Class Ryan Kuiper, 86th MXS aerospace maintenance apprentice. "It's an experience I'll never forget, that's for sure."

The Airmen have one day to get the entire aircraft washed. As such, Kuiper said the wash day can be long and physically taxing.

"It's cool to see the plane go from dirty to clean," he said.

Though the painting is mostly just touch-up spot painting, it is still an important method to prevent corrosion and extend the life of the aircraft.

Once the aircraft is washed and painted, it then officially goes into inspection, which is broken up into a "look" and a "fix" phase.

"They are very in-depth inspections," Kuiper said. "The planes get taken apart and put back together."

The ISO section typically looks for the items that would cause mission stoppage first, but they check everything from burned-out light bulbs to cracked airframes.

"You learn how things operate, what goes wrong more than others" Kuiper said. "During the inspection, you learn why things are more important than other things."

Kuiper said the inspection is better than the wash because though they are still on a time crunch, they are allowed more than the one day that completing the wash requires.

Each C-2 inspection takes approximately two weeks to return the aircraft to operational status, but it all begins with a wash and paint job.

Operation Desert Storm: 25 years later, AMC doing more with less

by Staff Sgt. Stephenie Wade
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs


1/15/2016 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill.  -- Iraqi forces attacked Kuwait Aug. 2, 1990, setting into motion a massive military response from a coalition of nations to protect Saudi Arabia from invasion with Operation Desert Shield. After Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein refused to withdraw from Kuwait, Operation Desert Shield gave way to Operation Desert Storm Jan. 17, 1991 (Jan. 16 in the U.S.), and concluded with a cease fire Feb. 28.

Twenty-five years later, Mobility Air Forces are continuing to fuel the fight and provide airlift with most of the same airframes the Air Force used during Operation Desert Storm.

Jan. 17 marks the 25th anniversary of the total force performing the most rapid airlift movement in history. Nearly 472,800 people and approximately 465,000 tons of cargo were deployed to the Persian Gulf in eight months.

THE BUILD UP

Airlift and air refueling enabled the rapid arrival of the first U.S. forces in Operation Desert Shield. Two F-15 Eagle Squadrons from Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, arrived at Saudi Arabia Aug. 7, 1990.

Military Airlift Command launched its first airlift mission that day as well, a C-141 mission from Charleston AFB, South Carolina, carrying Airlift Control Elements.

Within the next 24 hours, ALCE's were in place in Saudi Arabia to manage the airlift flow. The ALCE personnel and cargo were carried on 37 C-141s, 10 C-5s and 10 C-130 missions. United States Transportation Command completed the largest unit deployment ever via air with 412 strategic airlift aircraft. From Aug. 8-26, the Strategic Airlift Command airlifted the 82nd Airborne Division to Saudi Arabia while simultaneously moving the 101st Airborne Division from Aug. 17-25.

In a little more than two months, the XVIII Airborne Corps, consisting of an airborne division, an air-assault division, two heavy divisions, an armored cavalry regiment, and the requisite array of combat support and combat service support assets deployed. The arriving inventory included more than 120,000 troops, 700 tanks, 1,400 armored fighting vehicles, and 600 artillery pieces.

Not long into the build-up, lack of spare parts impeded the build-up to Operation Desert Storm. To help cope with priority deliveries, USTRANSCOM established a special code 9AU and an airlift system to support. On Oct. 30, 1990, Mobility Air Forces began a special airlift operation called Desert Express to provide daily delivery of spare parts considered absolutely crucial to the war effort.

This was a new concept of airlift operations which involved C-141 deliveries from Charleston AFB to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. With a stop for refueling, the journey took about 17 hours one way, according to a document titled "So Many, So Much, So Far, So Fast: United States Transportation Command and Strategic Deployment for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm".

On Dec. 23, the airlift sustainment backlog peaked 10,300 tons. On Feb. 13, USTRANSCOM began flying a second C-141 flight per day to tackle the backlog until it was discontinued May 20, 1991. By the end of the war, Desert Express flew nearly 135 missions.

OPERATION DESERT STORM

Directed by USTRANSCOM, MAC managed the Desert Shield/Desert Storm strategic airlift.  Military Airlift Command's active duty force joined with MAC-gained aircraft and crews from the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard to make up a total strategic airlift force.

The "surge" of total force and the first activation of the Civilian Reserve Airlift Fleet was essential to the Operation Desert Shield/Storm success. There were 12,894 strategic airlift missions during both operations.

Commercial airline augmentation was also crucial to the airlift effort. The Civil Reserve Air Fleet was activated for the first time during Desert Shield-Desert Storm and flew 3,309 missions.

Altogether, commercial aircraft delivered 321,005 passengers and 145,225 tons of cargo, including 64 percent of passenger movements, according to the historical document "So Many, So Much, So Far, So Fast: United States Transportation Command and Strategic Deployment for Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm."

On the military airlift side, the C-130 supported intra-theater needs and is credited with 1,193 tactical airlift missions. More than 145 C-130 aircraft deployed in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. The C-130s flew 46,500 sorties and moved more than 209,000 people and 300,000 tons of supplies within the theater.

The C-141 was called the "workhorse" of Desert Shield and Desert Storm, according to the USTRANSCOM document. It flew 8,536 strategic airlift missions, followed by the C-5 with 3,770; the KC-10 with 379 and the C-9 with 209. The C-141 and C-5 accounted for 361,147 tons, or 66 percent of the cargo airlifted in support of the Gulf War.

Air Force Gen. Hansford T. Johnson, MAC commander at the time, compared the first few weeks of deployment effort to airlifting a small city.

"We moved, in essence, a Midwestern town the size of Lafayette, Indiana, or Jefferson City, Missouri," Johnson was quoted as saying in the MAC history book. "In addition, we've also moved the equivalent of all their cars, trucks, foodstuffs, stocks, household goods and water supply."

SAC led refueling mission during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

"Once the deployment order was given on Aug. 7, 1990, tankers played an integral role in getting forces and aircraft to the deployed theater of operations," said Air Force Gen. (ret.) Kenneth Keller, former SAC director of operations during a 2009 AMC Tanker Living Legends Speaker Series.

Seven B-52Gs from Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, dropped the first bombs to initiate Operation Desert Storm Jan. 17, 1991. The bombers launched 35 conventional air launch cruise missiles, flew 14,000 miles for more than 35 hours without landing.

These were the first combat sorties launched for the liberation of Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm, and it marked the longest combat sortie flight totaling 14,000 miles in 35 hours and 24 minutes. This mission required multiple four inflight refuels outbound and four returning, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

"Without the phenomenal tanker support we had for the war, we could not have accomplished what we did," said Air Force Lt. Gen. (ret.) Patrick Caruana in the Tanker Living Legends Speaker Series. Caruana was the U.S. Central Air Forces' air campaign planner and commander during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Tankers flew 4,967 sorties and off-loaded more than 28.2 million gallons of fuel to 14,588 receivers during the 132 days of Desert Shield build up, according to the Air Force History Office document "Sevety-Five Years of Inflight Refueling". The 43 days of Desert Storm included 15,434 sorties and dispensed 110.2 million gallons of fuel to U.S. and allied aircraft.

"Desert Shield and Desert Storm demonstrated the U. S. Air Force's capability to respond to crisis and contingency situations in times of intense demand with limited resources," said Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, AMC commander. "Today, Headquarters AMC planners evaluate these operations to determine more efficient methods of providing rapid global mobility and enhance AMC's agility."

EVOLUTION OF AIR MOBILITY COMMAND

Following Desert Storm, SAC and MAC merged to form Air Mobility Command. One constant through the years is the demand for rapid global mobility through aeromedical evacuation, airlift and aerial refueling. Today, AMC is meeting high demands with a smaller force and older fleet.

In the past 25 years, AMC retired the C-141B/C and the C-9A; made improvements to current airframes, C-5, KC-135, C-130 and C-17; and adopted a new airframe, the KC-46.

Mobility Airmen are off-loading more fuel now in support of the fight against the Islamic State than what was offloaded when U.S. forces were on the ground in Iraq, operating with only 27 percent of the KC-135 fleet size originally assigned to AMC in 1992.

During 2010, at the height of Operation Enduring Freedom, Mobility Air Forces moved 856,208 short tons of cargo -- the most in OEF history, compared to 543,548 short tons moved in the Gulf War.  That same year, AMC had 429 aircraft assigned, less than half of the number of aircraft assigned at its inception in 1992.

"For the past 25 years since Desert Storm and Desert Shield, the [United States] has been in a state of continuous conflict," said Terry Johnson, Air, Space, and Information Operations deputy director, Air Mobility Command on Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.

"As we come out of Southwest Asia and shift from a constant state of continuous conflict [Air Mobility Command's] focus needs to return to maintaining readiness especially after a period of fiscal austerity."

Today, there is one Mobility Air Force departure every 2.8 minutes, every day, 365 days per year.

"The Air Force puts the 'rapid' in global mobility," said Everhart. "AMC is still required to support an increasingly demanding operations tempo while preserving the capability to surge if called upon. Without our total force and Civil Reserve Air Fleet partners, surge operations would be almost impossible."

107th honors Millard Fillmore with presidential wreath

by Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell
107th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


1/8/2016 - NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- On a frosty winter's morning, the 107th Airlift Wing here honored the nation's 13th president with a wreath laying ceremony at his grave at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, Jan. 7, 2015.

Col. Michael W. Bank Jr, vice commander of the 107th AW, laid the wreath on behalf of President Obama in front of dignitaries and admirers of President Millard Fillmore. The ceremony, which is in its 51st year, is held by the University at Buffalo to mark the western New York native's birthday.

"The Air Force commemorates the Millard Fillmore memorial, and they have for many years," said Bank. "It's typically an Air Force representative. The Office of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense reaches out to us and they ask us if we would continue to present the wreath."

The wreath, which is adorned with red, white and blue flowers, is presented by the White House on behalf of the president, said Bank. Fixed to the top of the wreath is a bow in our nations colors with a card attached that simply reads "The President."

"Not only was he the 13th president of the United States," said Bank, "he served the state of New York in a legal capacity and as a congressman."

Fillmore was one of the founders of the University at Buffalo, of which he was the first chancellor, holding the position while he was vice president in 1849, and president from 1850 to 1853. He also helped to found the Buffalo Historical Society which today includes the Buffalo History Museum and Tifft Nature Preserve, in 1862.

When the Civil War broke out, Fillmore was the commander of the Union Continentals which was a militia of men from upstate New York. They were dedicated to the defense of Buffalo should the Confederate Army attack, which ultimately did not. Fillmore remained active with them after the war, and participated in guarding President Abraham Lincoln's funeral train when it came through Buffalo.

"We have a western New Yorker who served his nation, served his state, served his community till the day he died," said Bank. "That legacy still continues. It's our duty as Guardsmen who serve the nation, the state and the community in much of the same way to be able to commemorate this gentleman and what he's done for us."

That legacy began in 1828 when Fillmore was elected to the New York State Assembly. After serving one term, he was elected a representative in 1832. Serving in Congress until 1843, he was unsuccessful in running for governor, though he was elected as comptroller in 1848 and served until 1849.

When Zachary Taylor took office as president in 1849, Fillmore joined him as his vice president. A year later, Taylor died suddenly making Fillmore the president. Not able to secure the Whig Party nomination for the 1852 election, Fillmore left the White House as the last Whig president ever elected, and returned to Buffalo and lived out the rest of his life in service to the community until his death on March 8, 1874.