Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Special Tactics Officer to be Presented Air Force Cross

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz will present the Air Force Cross to Capt. Barry F. Crawford Jr., during a ceremony at the Hall of Heroes, Pentagon, April 12, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

Crawford is receiving the award of the Air Force Cross for taking decisive action to save the lives of three wounded Afghan soldiers and evacuate two Afghan soldiers killed in action.

Crawford will be available to media for on-camera interviews in the Pentagon’s small television studio (2E963) on Wednesday, April 11, from 8 a.m. to noon.  Additionally, there will be a media roundtable scheduled on April 11 at 1 p.m. in the Pentagon Press Briefing Room (2E973).

Media wishing to attend any of the events should RSVP, with Air Force public affairs at 703-695-0640.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of press affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  For more information about the Air Force Cross, please visit http://www.afpc.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7726 .

Kosovo: Wisconsin National Guard members march in memory of POWs

Wisconsin National Guard Courtesy report

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo (4/10/12) -- Twenty Wisconsin Army National Guard members - joined by service members from the U.S, Poland and Ukraine - recently honored the victims of the Bataan Death March by walking in a memorial endurance event in Kosovo.

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Hudson, a Wisconsin National Guard member assigned to Task Force Falcon, played a key role organizing the 13.1-mile march at Camp Bondsteel on March 26, complete with gravel, paved roads and large hills.

He also took part in the heavy category which required participants to carry at least 35 pounds on their backs.

"Participating in the Bataan Memorial March was a fitting way to pay tribute to all the heroic service members who made the ultimate sacrifice defending the Philippine Islands during World War II," Hudson said. "All those who entered and took part did so out of sheer preservation and determination - not unlike the Soldiers who marched in the actual Bataan Death March."

Ninety-nine members of Company A, 192nd Tank Battalion, Wisconsin National Guard, fiercely defended the Bataan peninsula in the Philippines for more than three months alongside fellow American and Filipino forces, until disease, lack of supplies and hunger compelled their surrender to the Imperial Japanese Army seven decades ago April 9.

The Soldiers who served in one of two National Guard tank battalions - comprised of companies from Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri - deployed to the Philippines shortly after the United States entered World War II.

Approximately 76,000 prisoners endured the harrowing "Bataan Death March," an 80-mile forced trek to Balanga, the capital of Bataan. Prisoners of war who did not die of exhaustion, wounds or illness were stabbed, beaten or killed along the way - between 5,000 and 10,000 Filipinos and as many as 650 Americans before reaching Camp O'Donnell, where the death toll continued to mount.

Only one third of the National Guard unit survived until their liberation three years later.

Wisconsin honors the service and hardship of these and other prisoners of war every April 9, designated since 2001 as Prisoner of War Remembrance Day.

#SAAM: Sexual Assault Awareness Proclamation Signed at Naval Base Guam

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Corey Hensley, U.S. Naval Base Guam Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) and the Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) teamed up in April to promote Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness.

NBG Commanding Officer Capt. Richard Wood, helped kick off the month by signing a proclamation, April 2, for child abuse prevention and for Sexual Assault Awareness month, April 9. The proclamation declared child abuse and neglect at NBG a community responsibility that depends on everyone's involvement.

"Throughout the year FFSC encourages individual and community organizations to take an active role in making Naval Base Guam a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for children and families," said Erlinda Montecalvo, FFSC Family Advocacy Educator. "Public awareness is important to helping prevent child abuse and neglect."

Montecalvo was at the Navy Exchange (NEX) main complex April 4, promoting child abuse prevention by handing out information and talking with parents interested in the subject. Montecalvo employed an offshoot of silent witness silhouettes. Using the color blue, which is the color of child abuse prevention, the silhouettes are people-shaped standees with stories of inspiration and survival posted on them.

Evangeline Cabacar, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) coordinator for FFSC was at the NEX April 6, to display the teal-colored silent witness silhouettes, bringing attention to the cause.

"Everyone who hears the message of sexual assault prevention and response will benefit," Cabacar said. "Sexual assault can occur without regard to gender or spousal relationship, or age of victim. We are all potential victims of sexual assault."

Cabacar encouraged people from the community to take advantage of programs that educate Sailors, families and friends on how to look out for one another and make a difference.

"Protect yourself and be safe when you go out," Cabacar said. "Let someone know where you are going and what time you will be home. Whenever you go out, refrain from taking rides from anyone you don't know, never go out alone, travel and socialize as a group and make a pact to stick together for the evening. Never accept a drink from anyone you do not know and completely trust, never share or exchange drinks and never leave your drink unattended."

During the month of April, FFSC will be hosting many events that will raise awareness and educate people on sexual assault awareness and child abuse prevention.

"If I can prevent child abuse, one child at a time, through education, assist parents to connect to essential services, offer appropriate encouragement to seek help early and provide resource materials to guide and support parents needs, then I have helped in some way to ensure the safety and well being of children," Montecalvo said.

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is an important element of the readiness area of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to aggressively to prevent sexual assaults, to support sexual assault victims, and to hold offenders accountable.

Help raise awareness by joining the conversation on social media using #SAAM.

Military medical professionals arrive in Alaska for Arctic Care 2012

By Air Force National Guard Maj. Guy Hayes
Alaska National Guard

CAMP DENALI, Alaska (4/10/12) — Military aircraft carrying participants for Arctic Care 2012 arrived in Alaska today for the largest recurring joint military medical readiness and logistics training exercise.

Medical professionals from the Arizona and Colorado National Guard, Army Reserves and Navy Reserves began arriving from the lower 48 states as early as April 2, with the majority arriving Monday.

They are joined by active duty military, Alaska National Guard members and host support from the Norton Sound Health Corporation.

With more than 250 military medical professionals travelling to Nome to provide care in 16 remote locations to underserved populations, accountability of personnel is crucial to ensuring safety during the two-week mission and is accomplished through the Joint Reception Staging Onward Movement Integration or JRSOI.

"The objective is to in-process the personnel for accountability before they travel to the various villages in support of Arctic Care 2012," said Army Lt. Col. Don Mercer, JRSOI commander, Alaska National Guard.

"We accomplish this by conducting briefings, answering questions and providing support to all the participants involved in this operation," he said.

The JRSOI centralizes and controls the movement of all service members arriving in Alaska and provides accountability to the joint task force commander.

As the service members arrive in Nome, they receive a welcome message from Gov. Sean Parnell and an overview briefing that covers the exercise along with safety, legal, public relations and community information.

"It's very important that we have visibility of all service members flowing in to Alaska in support of Operation Arctic Care 2012," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Deborah McManus, chief of joint staff for the Alaska National Guard.

"They are performing a vital mission in support of rural Alaska residents, and it's our job to ensure that we account and take care of every service member coming to Alaska for Arctic Care," she said.

Operation Arctic Care, led this year by the Alaska National Guard, will bring health care and veterinary support to residents in the Bering Strait and Norton Sound regions of western Alaska.

Sponsored by the Innovative Readiness Training program under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, Arctic Care is scheduled from April 9 to 23.

Texas Air Guard member named top Air Guard recruiter

By Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Phil Fountain and Master Sgt. Vince Madrid
Texas National Guard

CAMP MABRY, Texas - In March, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jennifer A. Joubert, a production recruiter with the 149th Fighter Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, was recognized by the Air National Guard as one of the nation’s top recruiters during the 2012 Air National Guard Recruiting and Retention Workshop in Louisiana, her native state.

 The Air National Guard annually recognizes its best performers nationally for recruiting and retention efforts. Joubert’s performance at the San Antonio-based F-16 combat fighter training unit during Fiscal Year 2011 earned her the distinction of being the nation’s top Air Guard recruiter in both “Prior Service Qualified Accessions” and “Critical Accessions.”

Earning two of the distinctions in one year is considered to be a unique accomplishment, as there are only four categories of annual awards for production recruiters in the Air National Guard. The other categories are for top non-prior service and overall accessions, or recruiting.

“An accession happens when a person actually enlists and is successfully gained into the unit,” Joubert said. “Prior service recruits can be from any branch [of the armed forces], and includes transfers from one [National] Guard unit to another.”

Joubert further explained that critical accessioning involves placing airmen into difficult to fill positions, which “are designated annually by [the National Guard Bureau] for the fiscal year.”

The Air National Guard award categories highlight a production recruiter’s dynamic recruiting ability, exceptional technical expertise, and steadfast focus on mission accomplishment. Additionally, this particular recognition builds upon Joubert’s record as having been previously named the Texas Air National Guard’s Rookie Production Recruiter of the Year for 2011.

Although relatively new to the Lone Star State and the recruiting field, Joubert has extensive military experience which she can share with potential recruits, including service in Masirah, Oman, while she was in the active-duty Air Force as a member of the Security Forces. Additionally, she has served in administrative positions within other units of the Air National Guard.

“None of the awesome capabilities provided by the Texas Air National Guard could exist without Airmen,” said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Michael E. Fruge, superintendent of recruiting and retention for the Texas Air National Guard. “We could not have Airmen without outstanding recruiters like Tech. Sgt. Joubert.”

During the 2011 fiscal year, Joubert was directly responsible for bringing in 62 new Lone Star Gunfighters, which members of the 149th Fighter Wing are known as, and “90 percent of her accessions were in critical vacancies,” according to the award nomination package.

Joubert credits her success with finding the best possible fit for each new Airman. She said she’s most rewarded “when recruits go off to training and come back transformed and proud. I try to make sure I’m giving them what they’re looking for while fulfilling the mission of the unit.”