Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Indiana National Guard Soldiers Will Lead Pacific Pathways Exercise

INDIANAPOLIS -- Approximately 1,400 soldiers with the Indiana Army National Guard's 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered near here in Lawrence, will train overseas this summer in a series of exercises known as Pacific Pathways.

This marks the first time in the four-year history of Pacific Pathways that a National Guard unit will lead and have command and control of all units training in the exercises that run from June to September.

"Our participation in Pacific Pathways addresses a number of important challenges for the military, including the coordination and logistics necessary to move troops, equipment and supplies into the Pacific theater from the heart of the continental United States," said Army Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, the adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard and former commander of the brigade.

"Camp Atterbury [Indiana] ramped up to serve this mission, and we will use this exercise to test our soldiers’ ability to sustain the readiness they achieved during training last summer at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana," Carr added.

Supporting Indo-Pacific Command

Pacific Pathways is a yearlong series of exercises that support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command with allied and partners militaries into a single operation. Pathways builds foreign partner interoperability, capacity, cooperation and relationships.

Guardsmen are uniquely postured for this mission with years of training with partnered nations and bringing civilian-acquired skills to their military training.

"Participation in Pacific Pathways is a once in a life time opportunity for our 76th IBCT soldiers to interact with coalition partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region," said Army Lt. Col. Mike Grundman, the brigade’s deputy commander. "Our citizen-soldiers, available to support our communities in times of crises, continue to prove their value as ambassadors of our nation and as an integral part of our nation's defense structure."

For nearly 25 years Indiana National Guard soldiers and airmen have trained alongside Slovak armed forces members as part of the Defense Department State Partnership Program. Hoosier National Guardsmen also picked up another partnership in 2017 with the country of Niger in Africa.

Face of Defense: Air Guard Twins Serve Together for Nearly 20 Years

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Amber Mullen, 178th Wing

SPRINGFIELD-BECKLEY AIR GUARD BASE, Ohio -- Serving in the Air National Guard can oftentimes be a family tradition. Many people follow in the footsteps of their grandparents, parents or siblings, and sometimes serve alongside them.

However, it is not very often that people get to say that they are serving alongside their twin.

With strikingly similar facial features, it is easy to see how one might confuse this set of identical twins. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Tabatha King, newly selected chief enlisted manager of the 178th Communications Flight; and Air Force Master Sgt. Tammy Remley, senior noncommissioned officer in charge of inspections for the 178th Inspector General Office, have been serving together at the 178th Wing for the past 19 years.

King enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard Jan. 29, 1995, after graduating from high school. She joined for the education benefits in order to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

‘I Have Always Been Very Goal-Oriented’

“I have always been very goal-oriented, and have had things I wanted to achieve because I joined the guard for my education,” King said.

Through the Air National Guard, King has earned an associate’s degree in applied science/information management, and an associate’s degree in applied science/information systems technology. She will earn a bachelor’s degree in applied management this fall.

After seeing her sister thriving in the military and doing well for herself, Remley decided that she needed to change her life as well. Remley enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard on Sept. 29, 1999.

“I was pregnant in high school so I couldn’t join,” Remley said. “I had no intention of ever joining the military. But, three years later, I needed to do something to better my life and my son’s life.”

Being able to serve side by side has been extremely beneficial for both twins during their careers. Throughout different career changes during their time in the military, the twins have always been each other’s biggest supporter.

“We push each other constantly,” King said. “She’s my go-to person all of the time. Every time I question or doubt myself, she’s always there encouraging me and picking me up.”

Close Sisterly Bond

The twins said they inspire and motivate each other.

“She has been my rock,” Remley said of her sister. “She just [gives me] ways to look forward and get past the obstacles I may be dealing with. It’s great that she’s just a phone call away or even just 10 to 15 steps away.”

Airmen build strong bonds with one another throughout the course of their careers, creating a family atmosphere within the Air National Guard. For King and Remley, this family bond extends beyond the workplace.

“I have been enlisted for 23 years,” King said. “I’ve loved every aspect of being in the guard, and being in it with my sister. When they say the guard is family oriented, it truly is.”