Military News

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Shanahan, Senior Vietnamese Official Discuss Security Relationship

WASHINGTON -- Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan and Gen. Do Ba Ty, vice president of the Vietnam National Assembly, reaffirmed the long-standing defense relationship between the United States and Vietnam during their meeting at the Pentagon today, Charles E. Summers Jr., principal deputy assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, said in a statement.

The leaders discussed the regional security environment and highlighted historic progress in the U.S.-Vietnam partnership, said Summers, noting the two leaders agreed to increase cooperation in the areas of maritime security, peacekeeping, military medicine and cybersecurity.

Regional Security Environment

Summers said the two leaders also agreed that a strong and comprehensive U.S.-Vietnam partnership, particularly in the area of defense cooperation, promotes regional and global security and economic development, including in the South China Sea.

The U.S.-Vietnam partnership is based on mutual respect and common interests, particularly freedom of navigation, respect for international law, and recognition of national sovereignty, Summers said.

Face of Defense: Airman’s Lifesaving Act Leads to Physician Assistant Career

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Three years ago, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Julian Tayag was closing the pharmacy for the duty day with his wingman when tragedy nearly struck. Three years later, this event would culminate in his acceptance into the Interservice Physician Assistant Program.

“My wingman and I were just about to lock the doors for the day when we noticed a man exhibiting strange signs,” said Tayag, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group pharmacy. “We approached him and asked him if he needed assistance to his car.”

Little did Tayag know, the man would need more than help to his car. Before the man could answer, he collapsed -- falling lifelessly to the ground. The two airmen immediately searched for the man’s pulse, but had no success. Tayag immediately began CPR and instructed his wingman to call for emergency transport.

Fortunately, he was able to resuscitate the patient and keep the situation under control until paramedics arrived.

‘A Sign’

“Although I serve in a medical capacity, I have always wanted to pursue a career in higher levels of healthcare,” Tayag said. “That event left me feeling deeply rewarded and only furthered this desire. It is probably the catalyst of why I pushed myself to apply for IPAP. I took it as a sign.”

The program, which was created as a joint effort in 1996 by the Air Force, Army and Navy, serves as a bridge for service members to attend school with the end goal of becoming physician assistants, medical professionals who are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine with the supervision of a physician.

Based at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston's U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School, IPAP consists primarily of enlisted active-duty members who, upon graduation, are commissioned as first lieutenants into the officer corps of their respective service.


Tayag will enter the classroom and begin Phase One of IPAP. This phase includes a rigorous curriculum of 40 courses and 101 semester hours to be completed in just 16 months. He must complete courses in biochemistry, microbiology, orthopedics, rheumatology and dermatology.

Upon completion of Phase One, Tayag will receive a bachelor’s degree, and will immediately move to a master’s-level curriculum, which will culminate during Phase Two. During this phase, which spans 13 months, he will be assigned to an Air Force or Army hospital to gain specialized knowledge and experience during a series of clinical rotations.

While the act of saving a man’s life helped shape and fuel his vision of becoming a physician assistant, Tayag said his vision would have remained just that if not for a little bit of help.
“I have some amazing people in my life who helped me get selected,” he said. “I want to thank God, my beautiful wife, my family and supervisors, mentors, civilian instructors, professors, leadership, peers and coworkers who always pushed me forward. They helped me overcome my failures and only served to aid in my successes. My achievements are only possible because of them.”

Munition Inspectors Enhance Combat Capabilities

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver, Moody Air Force Base

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Thousands of pounds of munitions are stored behind a barbed-wire fence here in a place called “Ammo Country.”

Within these confines are the 23rd Maintenance Squadron’s munition inspection professionals who are responsible for a $54 million stockpile. With their inspection, packaging and upkeep procedures, they enhance Moody’s combat capabilities by providing safe and serviceable ammo.

“Without ammo, the warfighting effort would not happen for the Air Force,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. John Beeson, 23rd Maintenance Squadron munitions inspector. “All the way from pilots to battlefield airmen, it is our responsibility to make sure they have the sufficient munitions necessary to get their jobs done.

“When a pilot drops a bomb, they expect it to perform,” he continued. “We are often the first and last line of defense when it comes to ensuring airmen receive quality munitions.”

The squadron’s airmen are required to follow technical orders to complete their tasks, but munition inspectors have to take extra measures when dealing with explosives.

Essential to Operations

“Assurance of munitions reliability is essential to effective air and ground operations,” Beeson said. “Our shop performs continuous testing, analysis and quality assurance procedures such as serial number verification, structural damage examination and proper assembly. We can go from inspecting 100 crates of bullets to one joint direct attack munition at any time.”

Munition inspectors have to follow detailed instructions and measures because the consequences of a botched inspection can result in a loss of life.

“Mistakes are unacceptable in this career field, which is why safety and taking the necessary precautions is paramount when dealing with any munition,” said Air Force Senior Airman Travis Nelson, another munition inspector. “If one of our inspectors fails to perform at their very best there could be loss of equipment, injury to personnel or even death.”

The goal of the munitions flight is provide serviceable ammo and ensure confidence for their customers.

“It’s very important to have serviceable munitions to train with on a day-to-day basis,” said Air Force 1st Lt. Laney Schol, a 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot. “We can’t train to deploy without ammo, and training is where we build the confidence to complete our mission downrange.”

The reward of having customers like Schol confident and dependent on their services makes their hazardous mission gratifying.
“It feels good to know that when we do our jobs correctly, Moody’s airmen will be able to train to complete their missions downrange,” Nelson said. “When we inspect ammo, we understand the responsibility that comes with it, and that pushes us to do even better.”