Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Airmen Make it Rain Soldiers

By Air Force Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh, 62nd Airlift Wing

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --  Airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing and soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division participated in a joint exercise to airdrop equipment and personnel at two drop zones during Exercise Predictable Iron at Fort Bragg, North Carolina’s Pope Field, from Aug. 20-24.

Airmen from the 7th and 8th Airlift Squadrons crewed two C-17 Globemaster IIIs to carry aloft more than a thousand Army paratroopers.

“It is crucial that the Air Force and Army work well together, because without each other the mission fails,” said Air Force Capt. Jared Barkemeyer, a pilot with the 7th Airlift Squadron and the aircraft commander for one of the C-17s. “Without the reliable transport the Air Force provides, the Army could not execute their objectives in a timely manner via airdrop.

“The airdrop insertion at a mass scale is something no other nation in the world can provide,” he added. “But, without the Army, the Air Force would strictly serve an air-land mission and, as a service, we would become less flexible to user requests.”


The airmen worked alongside soldiers to load equipment onto the aircraft and helped jumpmasters and paratroopers to maintain their readiness requirements for airborne missions.

“Every jump I’ve been on, the Air Force has been extremely helpful, accommodating and willing to work with us,” said Army Maj. Brian Plover, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team’s operations officer.

A benefit of the joint exercise was determining where there may be shortfalls and strengthening those areas to become more efficient or effective.

“It’s important that the Air Force participate in these events to ensure that we are ready to do what our nation expects of us, which is to insert the 82nd Airborne anywhere in the world within a short time frame,” Barkemeyer said. “Also, during these events we identify shortcomings between the two services and eliminate them in order to strengthen our joint-force initiative.”

Over the course of three days, airmen and soldiers dropped 40 tons of equipment, including armored vehicles and resupply containers, and 1,005 airborne soldiers.

“Working with the Army was great,” Barkemeyer said. “Inserting hundreds of jumpers into an objective area tests the crew’s abilities, as well as strengthens our habit patterns. The 82nd jumpers are some of the toughest service members around and being able to airdrop them is an honor.

“The exercise was a total joint success,” he added. “The Army users received all the training they needed as scheduled, and the 62nd AW provided every lift on time, thanks to the aircrews as well as the outstanding 62nd AW maintenance support that kept the aircraft mission ready all week.”

Testing New Systems

During one of the personnel airdrops, the Army also practiced a new method of airdropping the Caster-Assisted A-Series Delivery System, which are wheeled containers of equipment pushed out the doors of an aircraft.

“It’s pretty much a door bundle on wheels,” Plover said. “It’s a new thing. Every jump we push out a CAADS. It holds supplies that are needed immediately, such as water, food or ammo.”

While the exercise provided the airmen and soldiers the chance to work together, it also provided a chance for Air Force crews from different squadrons to work together.

“I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this exercise all week,” Barkemeyer said. “Working with my crew from the 7th [Airlift Squadron], as well as the crew from the 8th [Airlift Squadron], was awesome. We worked really well as one unit and had fun doing it.”
Exercise Predictable Iron allowed airmen and soldiers to strengthen their skill sets together and work toward a common goal. Exercises such as this help accomplish the Department of Defense’s mission to provide the combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect U.S. security.

Navy, Army Commands Reflect, Support National Defense Strategy

By Jim Garamone, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- Last week’s ceremonies re-establishing the Navy’s 2nd Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia, and standing up the Army’s Futures Command in Austin, Texas, illustrate aspects of the National Defense Strategy.

The stand up of 2nd Fleet, under the command of Navy Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, represents “the United States and the United States Navy’s dynamic response to a dynamic security environment,” said Navy Adm. John M. Richardson, the chief of naval operations. The CNO spoke aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in Norfolk.

“Our nation and Navy are once again being challenged at sea,” Navy Adm. Christopher Grady, the commander of the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, said at the ceremony. “Our sea control and our power projection -- two vital elements of our national security -- are being challenged by resurgent powers -- namely Russia and China -- both seeking to supplant the United States as partner of choice among free and prosperous nations.”

New Security Environment

In this new security environment, Russia is a competitor and must be deterred, officials said. Studying the problem that Russia poses to the international order means understanding “what is called for in response to that environment, [and] to meet that environment at the relevant levels of speed, capability and capacity,” Richardson said. “It will require every ounce of our tenacity, ingenuity and fighting spirit to focus on this mission and focus on how we can best accomplish the mission. The 2nd Fleet will be our spearhead for doing that in the Atlantic.”

The National Defense Strategy stresses that the United States and Russia are competing once again, Richardson said. The U.S. Navy, he said, operates “from the sea floor to the stars and in the information domain” to deter crises and to peacefully resolve them.

“But make no mistake, if deterrence fails our fleet -- 2nd Fleet included -- will conduct decisive combat operations and bring them to a quick close,” Richardson said.

The 2nd Fleet is charged to “embrace every avenue to gain and maintain our competitive advantage -- to maintain our maritime superiority,” he said.

The Army’s Futures Command is another side to the defense strategy coin.

Army Gen. John M. Murray took the reins of this entirely different type of command for the service in Austin, Aug. 24. Army Secretary Mark T. Esper said the command will focus on meeting the challenges entailed with facing near-peer competitors.

The command will modernize the force by reforming the current acquisition system, and unifying the modernization enterprise under a single command, Esper said.

“Maintaining the Army’s overmatch requires a major shake-up in how we prepare for future combat,” the secretary said, adding: “We are bringing our Army’s entire modernization enterprise under one roof -- Army Futures Command.”

Esper continued, “The command will provide unity of effort and unity of command to the entire modernization process. It will synchronize the disparate elements and sets of entities to achieve a common purpose.”

Developing Army’s Future Warfighting Concepts

The command, he added, will also develop the Army’s future warfighting concepts, and generate innovative solutions through research and development.

“[The command] will ensure that we get our soldiers the weapons and equipment they need to fight and win,” Esper said.

The secretary said he likes the idea that Futures Command is not located on a traditional military base. “To do this right, we needed to immerse ourselves in an environment where innovation occurs at speeds far faster than our current process allows,” Esper said.

Army Futures Command’s location in downtown Austin allows the command to tap into top-tier academic talent, cutting-edge industry and an innovative private sector, he said.

Face of Defense: Reserve Hospital Corpsman Serves to Help Others

By Air Force Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman, 194th Wing

LANAI, Hawaii -- Navy Reserve Petty Officer 3rd Class Carlotta Howard, a hospital corpsman assigned to the Marine Forces Reserve’s 24th Dental Company employed her expertise as a dental technician to assist Air Force dentists with procedures and the handling of dental equipment during Tropic Care Maui County 2018 held in Lanai City, Hawaii, Aug. 11-19.

The health care clinic provided dental, optometry, medical, public health and pharmaceutical services at no cost to community members as part of the U.S. military’s Innovative Readiness Training program.

Howard said that she knew she wanted to be in the medical field ever since she was young.

‘I Like to Help People’

“I like to help people,” she said. “It was always interesting to me. I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Howard said she thought about joining the military when she was in college.

“To be honest with you, it was either the Air Force or the Navy. And at the time, I didn’t know anybody who was in the Air Force,” she said. “My brother was a chief in the Navy. So one day, I was sitting in my classroom in college, and I needed a kickstart because I was bored. I just hit my brother up and said I think I’m ready to join the Navy. I was in the Navy in like a week.”

With her brother’s help, Howard joined the Navy Reserve. She enlisted as a hospital corpsman, and has been serving for about eight years.

Civilian Work

In her civilian career, Howard works at a pediatrics doctor’s office, where she gives shots, performs electrocardiogram tests, finger sticks, chest X-rays and whatever else comes her way.

In the future, Howard wants to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and to work at the Atlanta Children’s Hospital.

During her free time when she is not at studying, attending class or working, Howard likes to travel and explore new places. She recently explored New York City. She also enjoys seeing her friends and eating out at different restaurants.