Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Face of Defense: Airman Thrives on Responsibility, Sets the Example

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Delaney Gonzales, 325th Fighter Wing

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- After college graduation, Dannyel Butte worked as an admissions counselor. However, she wanted a more fulfilling career, something that made her feel like she was a part of a team.

After waiting nearly two years for a spot in a police academy, she decided to pursue other options. At age 24, her journey landed her in an Air Force recruiter’s office.

Now she’s an Air Force senior airman, and her life has changed.

Selfless Service

“My perspective on life has transformed from not only myself, but to service,” said Butte, who serves as a bioenvironmental engineering journeyman with the 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron here.

“My goal is to do everything I can to better myself in order to be an effective member in the United States Air Force,” she said.

Butte has worked in the bioenvironmental engineering field for more than two years. Bioenvironmental engineering airmen help reduce workplace health concerns throughout the Air Force. They help to establish the proper personal protective equipment that should be worn, develop safety procedures, and ensure Air Force facilities are in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

Butte said she puts her best foot forward when accomplishing demanding tasks.

Thrives on Responsibility

“I would say you get a lot of responsibility early on in the bio [environmental engineering] career field,” said Butte, who hails from Findlay, Ohio. “This pushed me to live up to that and achieve more than what is expected of me. I’m motivated by work, so if work presents itself, I want to perform my best.”

Although Butte has served in the Air Force for less than three years, she has accomplished much.

She has been awarded one wing and several group quarterly awards. Butte also received a merit promotion to senior airman’s rank in 2017.

“Butte is by far one of the sharpest airmen I know and she will continue to strive for excellence,” said Air Force Senior Airman Gabriel Albano, Butte’s supervisor.

As a result of her outstanding performance, Butte was selected to participate in the Airman Shadow program here, whereby airmen demonstrate their job duties to the base commander.

‘She Constantly Takes the Initiative’

“Butte was my first choice for the Airman Shadow program,” Albano said. “She constantly takes the initiative to become proficient in her job duties, applies her expertise to the programs she manages, and mentors others on- and off-duty.”

One of her career accomplishments helped improve the Air Force by creating safer work centers for airmen. She led the Department of Defense’s first rapid airfield repair process evaluation, where she identified a carcinogen or cancer-causing agent.
“I ask myself, ‘What can we do to protect them?’” Butte said.

Soldiers, Airmen Conduct Nuclear Disaster Response Training

By Army Spc. Jarod Dye, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

JOINT BASE CAPE COD, Mass. -- Soldiers from the 521st Troop Command Battalion of the Maine Army National Guard took part in a nuclear disaster response training exercise here, May 14-17.

The Maine guardsmen trained with hundreds of other National Guard soldiers and airmen from Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

To pass the training evaluation, the guardsmen had to first successfully travel to the disaster site and set up their search-and-extraction and decontamination teams.

They then were required to find, recover, transport, decontaminate and medically treat mock patients.

The soldiers and airmen participated in a CERFP training and certification exercise, which they must conduct every three years. CERFP stands for CBRN Enhanced Response Force Package and CBRN stands for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear.

Certifying Disaster Response Teams

The exercise not only certifies the CERFP teams, but also enables them to work out any issues that might arise in a real disaster.

The Maine 521st Troop Command Battalion is responsible for command and control of the exercise. The team is responsible for overseeing the progress, communication, and operations of each subsidiary unit.

“They’re testing us on our proficiency with the factor of time,” said Army Maj. Michael Gary, the administrative officer for the 521st Troop Command Battalion, which is additionally tasked with the CERFP mission. “The most drastic purpose that we would be needed for would be a nuclear weapon.”

Gary cited the importance of joint training with local first responders, and Air National Guard and Army National Guard units from other states.

“When you get together with Air, Army and different units, you can unify to solve a problem,” he said. “It also brings us closer to the first responder community; one thing we always hear from our evaluators is how quick we are to come together, unify, problem solve and make connections.”

Some local citizens participated in the event as mock casualties that the CERFP teams could then recover and treat.

Mattis Welcomes 983 New Lieutenants Into Air Force

By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told the 983 graduating cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy that now their missions commence and he expects them to follow in the footsteps of giants.

Mattis was the commencement speaker at the Colorado Springs, Colorado, school.

The secretary told the graduates that they must make the Air Force better every day. “You must make it into your own image and you have a legacy to carry forward,” he said.

The retired Marine Corps general told the cadets that they must lead by example as they enter the force. “More than any other piece of your leadership, it will be your example that most inspires and shapes our Air Force for the future,” he said.

While the new lieutenants will be the future of the force, they should look to the past for examples, the secretary said. He pointed to the Doolittle Raiders of World War II who lifted the spirits of a shocked country by launching a bombing attack on Japan from an aircraft carrier. He pointed to the bombing attacks against oil production targets in Ploesti, Romania, during World War II that sought to strangle the Nazi war machine and which took incredible casualties to accomplish the mission.

The secretary also pointed to the 41 Air Force aerial aces from the Korean War, and the graduates of the class of 1968, who a few short months after graduating, found themselves flying high-performance jets over North Vietnam.

The members of the class of 2018 may find themselves flying in defense of America and its values in the complex skies over Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, he said. “I share this because of the legacy that is now entrusted to you: the warrior ethos and the fierce character that you now inherit as your own character will now have to stand between us and some of the forces that would take our democracy and liberty away,” he said.

For decades, American ground and naval forces could operate knowing that the United States Air Force was overhead “protecting them like guardian angels,” Mattis said.

Air Superiority Survives

“Each of you is now responsible that American air superiority survives in a world of renewed competition,” the secretary said.

The cadets could have gone to any other college in the country, but they chose the academy and the Air Force. “You now stand ready to hold the line to protect America’s experiment in democracy with all the cunning, ferocity and grit you have inside you,” he said. “As you step into your new roles, my expectation for you is quite simple – always be ready to fight and to win. There is no room for complacency as our adversaries will do everything in their power to erode our military’s competitive edge and even less room for a sense of cynicism or victimhood.

“It is now your responsibility that our adversaries know they should always prefer to talk to our Department of State rather than face the U.S. Air Force,” he said.