Friday, February 21, 2014

Keeping TR Connected to Family and Friends

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jenna Kaliszewski, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- Out to sea, after 8 p.m., the rapid clicking of keystrokes resounds through the ship's spaces as Sailors log into social media sites and personal email accounts to send messages to friends and family.

Electronic Technicians (ET) from Combat Systems' CS-9 division aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) help TR's Sailors stay connected with family and loved-ones ashore by keeping the ship connected to the internet.

"We supply the internet," said Electronic Technician 2nd Class Roy Harris. "We prepare, maintain, troubleshoot, and fix the electronic equipment that connects the ship to the outside world. We work on everything from the UHF (ultra high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) radios to the Global Broadcasting System that receives CNN on the ship."

Sailors rely on this equipment because it provides an instant link to loved ones back home through phone conversations, email and social media.

"It makes me feel like I'm not as far away from home," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate Equipment Airman Ashanti Conner. "It makes me feel good to actually be able to talk to them."

"It's a great escape from work," said Culinary Specialist Seaman Gregory White. "I get to talk to family and friends. It's as close to home as I can get."

Internet connectivity out to sea is a bit more complex than the simple high-speed internet access people are used to at home. The stable services people are accustomed to at home are much more difficult to maintain at sea.

The satellites WSC-6(Whiskey 6) and WSC-8(Whiskey 8) provide the ship's internet protocol(IP) address and the telephone connection Sailors use to call home, said Harris.

"There are a lot of things that can happen to affect the ship's connectivity," said Harris. "Weather can prevent the signal from transmitting or the satellite from receiving it. We have to deal with mechanical issues and electronic problems on the antennas and systems."

For Harris, his job is about more than just keeping his equipment up and running. It is about improving the morale of his shipmates.

"Our job has a lot to do with morale," said Harris. "If we don't have internet, people won't be able to e-mail their families. And if Whiskey 6 and 8 go down, we won't be able to make any phone calls home."

Being far from home can be difficult for Sailors and their families, but TR's ETs help bridge the gap by keeping TR's phone lines open and the ship connected to the internet.

2nd CES performs dumpster dive

by Senior Airman Joseph A. Pagán Jr.
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

2/20/2014 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- In 2013, Barksdale sent more than 1,535 tons of trash to local landfills. In addition, the 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron recycled more than 38,747 tons reducing the environmental impact on local communities.

With more than 52 refuse containers on base, the 2nd CES picked one container to empty and see where Barksdale stands in 2014 on recycling.

"We chose a refuse container that was being used by more than one squadron," said Alfredo Garza, 2nd Civil Engineer Squadron recycling manager. "Most containers are dumped everyday so we asked to keep this one filled so we could estimate the amount of recyclables it contained."

Dumpster diving isn't a typical duty. It's random and used as a gauge to determine where the base is on its knowledge of recycling.

"Fifty percent of what we found in this container was recyclable items," said Garza. "That was one day of inspection. Imagine every container, every day, populating the same amount of waste. The Air Force is losing money every day because people either don't care or don't know."

There are 52 refuse containers on base, each one having a recycling container next to it.

"A lot of people drink from plastic water bottles and canned beverages," said Garza. "We found more than 200 of these items in the bin which can take up to 10 years or longer to disintegrate in landfill."

Recyclables have no business in landfills added Garza.

People believe recycling is something someone else should do, but in reality, everybody needs to do it because it will make a huge difference in the long run.

Garza went on to explain that recycling is not just a duty, it's our job as good stewards of our planet.

"The recycling program is one of many programs under the Environmental Management System umbrella," said Bill Lee, 2nd Civil Engineering Squadron EMS coordinator and HAZ waste manager. "We are all expected to know how our roles and duties affect the environment."

As an EMS coordinator, Lee believes the largest area of focus is understanding your role in both the industrial and office work space and to take action to minimize impacts to the environment.

"It's easy to see what waste comes from the industrial workforce," said Lee. "An office worker who improperly recycles has the same effect on the environment as someone in the industrial force."

Understand that, no matter if you work in an office or out in the field, everything not recycled enlarges our environmental footprint and increases landfill space. It's as simple as properly throwing out the trash, said Lee.

Hydraulics Airmen keep B-52 in pneu condition

by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Raughton
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

2/20/2014 - Barksdale Air Force Base, La. -- The B-52H Stratofortress is a massive 185,000 pound aircraft, and each moving part is crucial to accomplishing the mission.

The 2nd Maintenance Squadron Pneudraulics Flight makes sure all hydraulic components and moving parts on the B-52 operate smoothly.

"The hydraulics backshop gets the [aircraft] parts directly from the jet, tear them down and get the parts back out within a 10-day time period," said Airman 1st Class Andrew Browning, 2nd MXS hydraulics systems journeyman. "We'll have it back in supply so that when the next part breaks or stops working, the one we assembled can be put right back on the jet."

The Airmen who work on these brake assemblies, actuators, landing gear and other hydraulic parts wouldn't be able to do their job efficiently without tools: some ordinary and some specialized.

"Our most common tools are the same as any mechanic would use, like wrenches and pliers," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Fenimore, 2nd MXS Hydraulics systems craftsman, "But there are a handful of special tools we use like a parts washer that pressurizes everything and gets the grease off."

The Airmen even get to use the hydraulic test stand: a machine that tests hydraulic parts in a simulated environment.

"It has air, nitrogen and hydraulic [fluid]," Fenimore said. "With this, we can change the temperature of the fluid itself, if we need to, and basically simulate the aircraft with all of our parts. We put them through more stressful conditions than it would be on the jet so we can guarantee their serviceability."

Working with tools and fluids creates risk, so the hydraulics Airmen protect themselves accordingly.

"Safety glasses are common here and hearing protection is very important," Fenimore said. "Since we work with hydraulics, you have to watch out for hydraulic fluid, which is a bio-environmental hazard. For that we have rubber aprons, gloves and goggles."

Hydraulics Airmen also require specialized training in order to maintain the intricate moving aircraft parts. The Airmen begin their journey in hydraulics education with a 10-week technical school at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. After arriving at their first duty station, hydraulics Airmen receive on-the-job training on aircraft parts.

However, training can be prolonged depending on what parts come into the backshop.

"It's not every day we receive every part off the jet, so sometimes it may take a few months to see a particular part, accumulator or control valve," Fenimore said.

One shift may disassemble and inspect a part, and the next shift may reassemble and test the part, he said.

By supporting phase Airmen and aircrew, the 2nd MXS pneudraulics flight keep all the parts moving.

Gettysburg Assists Mariners in Distress

By Lt. Ryan de Vera, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Public Affairs

GULF OF OMAN (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG 64) provided humanitarian assistance to three Iranian mariners on an adrift dhow in the Gulf of Oman, Feb. 16.

Gettysburg stopped to render assistance at approximately 7:30 a.m. after being signaled by the mariners aboard the vessel, approximately 45 miles north of Muscat, Oman. According to the mariners, they had run out of food and drinking water, and had an inoperable engine.

Gettysburg Sailors initially provided food and water for the mariners using a rigid-hull inflatable boat.

"Our ability to help our fellow mariners is absolutely vital," said Ens. James Barksdale, boat officer. "In this case, we were able to provide food and water to allow these mariners to return home safely. For that crew to know that they can trust us and that we are here to help means that we did our job today."

At approximately 5:30 p.m., the mariners were transferred to Gettysburg and seen by medical professionals to ensure their health and safety. The mariners were assessed as being dehydrated and given food and water. They were also provided facilities to shower and were given fresh clothing.

Capt. Brad Cooper, USS Gettysburg commanding officer, led the on-scene assistance efforts.

"Today is another great example of what U.S. Navy forward presence does to add to the stability of the region," said Cooper. "We are so pleased to have been in a position to help our fellow mariners who would otherwise have been in a potentially life-threatening situation."

The mariners will remain on Gettysburg overnight while arrangements for their safe return ashore are being made.

Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, commended Gettysburg for their efforts.

"This is another example of why U.S. naval presence in this region is so vitally important," said Sweeney. "Through humanitarian acts like this one executed so professionally by the crew of the Gettysburg, we continue to build trust and confidence throughout the Gulf region."

Gettysburg is currently deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation in the U. S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

CSAF: Taking care of Airmen, future roadmap key to AF success

by Rich Lamance
Air Force News Service

2/21/2014 - ORLANDO (AFNS)  -- Getting top performing Airmen promoted sooner, changing the EPR system, streamlining the enlisted and officer professional education programs and developing a roadmap for the Air Force for the next three decades were some of the topics discussed by the Air Force's top officer during the 30th annual Air Force Association Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition Feb. 20.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III spoke to an audience of Airmen, members of industry and AFA, providing an update on Air Force issues that ranged from fiscal realities over the upcoming decades to come to aircraft and equipment modernization to issues affecting Airmen today and in the future.

Welsh spoke to Airmen directly about several myths and misconceptions floating throughout the Air Force on the issue of education requirements, both private and professional. He emphasized the having a Community College of the Air Force degree will still be a requirement, but the requirement for bachelor's degrees and higher will be revised in the years ahead.

For professional military education, he said the current schools aren't going away, but there will be streamlined versions. "On the right hand side of the page, we're still going to require Airman Leadership School, we're still going to have the NCO Academy and the Senior NCO Academy," said Welsh .

"The only difference is that the NCO Academy and the Senior NCO Academy are going to be blended learning in the future. We're already doing the beta test on the Senior NCO Academy, and requiring the correspondence course before residency. It will actually shrink the length of the residence course, and it will not repeat the lessons found on the online version. It's not a CBT type of learning. It's more involved than that. So, that will be tested this fall, and we'll go fully operational next spring."

Welsh said that Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody and the MAJCOM chiefs are also looking into the effectiveness of the current EPR, with a primary focus on Airmen promotion into the senior NCO ranks.

"Let me tell you the guidance I gave him that started all this. I told them I was concerned that a really average tech sergeant can make master sergeant at the same time as a phenomenal tech sergeant. I was concerned that the reality is that your job performance doesn't have anything to do with it.

"As long as you don't shoot yourself in the foot, you're going to get a 5 EPR and it will be WAPS testing and time in service and time in grade that makes the difference. RAND did a study for us that showed a 1.4 or 1.6 percent difference, that's the impact of your performance when making master sergeant. There's something wrong with that."

Fundamentally Welsh said "I want our best tech sergeants to make master sergeant first. There needs to be logical time in service, time in grade requirements, but we need our best performers to be senior NCOs faster so we can use them longer to lead our Air Force. And I don't know any master sergeant who wouldn't agree with that. That doesn't mean we haven't had qualified people in the past get promoted, it means our best people aren't moving forward quicker."

Welsh said that during a mock board held last year, overseen by Cody, there was about a 25 percent difference between who was promoted by the mock board, handled more like a senior master sergeant board, where records are scored, and weighting is based upon job performance versus how the traditional board turned out. And in one career field, the chief of staff noted that the best performers were not promoted under the current system.

"Job performance is what we should value most. It's not quarterly awards, volunteer work off duty, although those things are wonderful, but when it comes to promoting people at the senior grades, both officer and enlisted, job performance is what should matter most to us."

In the officer ranks, Welsh said there is a misconception that a master's degree is required at a certain level for promotion. He believes many officers feel it is at the rank of major. He said currently there is no requirement for a master's degree at any rank.

Welsh said he is going to recommend to the secretary that there should be a requirement. "We're going to look at to get promoted to the rank of colonel would require a master's degree. If you get picked up at school, you'll get it at school,"

He would like to make it a requirement before you get considered for promotion to major, lieutenant colonel or colonel to have squadron officer school, intermediate service school or senior service school complete before you get promoted.

"Squadron officer school is changing - we're shrinking the course. There's going to be a 100 percent opportunity for active officers to go. Don't take it by correspondence. If you get within a year of the major's board and you've been operationally deferred, go take it then. We're going to give you a chance to go. For intermediate service school, or senior service school, don't take it by correspondence. In fact we're going to keep you from taking it by correspondence. Just wait and get it done when you go. You'll get a master's degree at the same time. Quit double dipping on everything. We do not have to operate that way. In fact it is our job at the front of the room, (talking about MAJCOM commanders) -- all our senior raters have to understand that we have to change this.

"It's about job performance, guys. I want young officers doing their jobs, doing as good as they can, then going home and be young husbands, young wives, young mothers and fathers, young friends, young buddies. Have a life. We can do that and still have a very good Air Force."

In terms of where we're headed as an Air Force during the decades ahead, Welsh feels it's important to look at where we've been for the last 70 years.

"The Air Force has had a lot of guiding concepts we've walked through. We've actually gone through strategic bombardment at end of World War II in the late 40s, early 50s, to nuclear deterrence after the Korean War, as we built up the Strategic Air Command and the world's greatest strategic force."

The chief of staff said we drifted to air land battle during the 70s and 80s, and "we picked up global reach global power and parallel warfare, counter-terrorism to support counter insurgency operations, global vigilance, global reach and global power - question for us now is, so what's next?

Welsh said the Air Force put out a vision document about a year ago that focused on Airmen and believes that, since 1947, they are the primary reason behind the service's success.

"They are the engine that drives this service. We put out a vision on global reach and power to remind Airmen that our core missions haven't changed since 1947. Airmen need to see where they fit, directly or indirectly in those core missions."

Welsh said that last year Air Force leaders worked on a resource strategy called Air Force 2023. It's not an Air Force strategy, it's a resource strategy designed to get us to the end of sequestration. We need a strategy...we're writing it. It will be done by June."

He said there's going to be a 30-year look to "make sure we don't get our feet stuck in today, and never get to the point where we can see over that 30-year hill." He added that the plan has to include strategic assessment and valid threat assessment, and "it has to include strategic priorities, different lines of operations, from science and technology to keep us moving in the right direction to stay on the leading edge of technology.

Welsh said that the second piece of this is a 20-year look. He said the idea is to bring the multiple master plans that we have that are done by our core function leads around the Air Force and integrate them into a single Air Force master plan.

"This is going to be important for us because it allows us to make those strategic trades across those portfolios that we have been struggling to get done for the past few years. Everybody's working hard at it, but the process doesn't make it simple. We're going to predict what our top lines are going to be for 20 years, then we're going to tie our hands and try to live within them.

"If a program succeeds, can we proceed? If it fails can we go to a plan B. Are there pivot points we can identity where we have to look at the world around us and make changes, and production buy numbers or technologies we're pursuing and look at our science and technology priorities, as well as what's going on around us in the world. And attached to that master plan are flight plans and road maps for such things as ISR, bombers or human capital development."

Finally Welsh said we have the 10-year look, our resource strategy "We're going to balance the budget for 10 years, we're going to try to hold ourselves to that. The first five years becomes the POM input (5-year budget), then we roll it up and do it again. Balance it again so we keep reality within our funding streams. And the projections we're making down the road."

Welsh talked about some of the aircraft, weapon and equipment priorities during the years ahead to maintain air superiority. He mentioned getting the F-35 fielded, getting 4th and 5th generation aircraft to share data between them, missile and weapons upgrades and space and cyber superiority as key issues. He said that while not always popular, it's not too early to look at the 6th generation of aircraft.

Welsh concluded his remarks with a simple bottom line for the success of the Air Force -- is its Airmen and the core values they represent.

"These core values are who we are. They are what we stand for and they are what this uniform represents. If there are people in the Air Force who don't think they stand for the same thing, if these don't represent their values, they need to find another profession."

Future bomber has legacy to uphold

by Senior Airman Zachary Vucic
Air Force News Service

2/21/2014 - ORLANDO (AFNS) -- With a proven history of success, today's bomber fleet has a reputation for excellence. It is, however, an aging fleet in need of a new addition, the deputy chief of staff operations, plans and requirements said during the 30th Annual Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition Feb. 20, here.

Throughout history, bombers have played an integral role in major conflicts and rose to the challenge of new threats, said Lt. Gen. Burton Field of Headquarters Air Force, Washington, D.C.

Major campaigns have been well documented, crediting their capabilities as both bombers and hostile act deterrents. As the technological climate of war advances, the new long-range strike bomber will need the capability to combat these new threats.

"Because of what (bombers) have done, they represent power, they represent potential ... and they have a proven record of effectiveness in conflicts going back to War World II, and in every (conflict) until today," Field said.

The LRS-B must continue the legacy by assisting with land, sea and even cyberspace warfare in the form of communications interception, said Dr. Rebecca Grant, the president of IRIS Independent Research, a small business that specializes in national security.

The bomber must be proficient in all theaters.

"We have a tremendously noble fleet that has performed beyond expectations in conflicts ranging from Iraq to Afghanistan," Grant said. "(However,) we are already short for today's current theater demands. Looking a little bit ahead, it's clear we don't have enough penetrating bombers for the threats and challenges of the 2020's and beyond."

Grant cited the U.S. has yet to face a modern surface to air, or SAM, missile threat with its current fleet and may not be adequately suited for combat against more advanced SAM sites. A new bomber would be up to the task of tomorrow's combat environment and possibly replace some of the more dated aircraft, especially during a time when forces are being rebalanced.

"In (the mid 2020's) ... our armed forces will face challenges for which it was not designed," Grant said, noting the way to mitigate that challenge is by beginning plans now.

The bomber fleet is important not only for its ability to get bombs on target, but as a show of force, Field said. He cited several examples of bombers used as deterrence, including flying B-26 Peacemakers over Russia in 1952 during a parade, a B-52 Stratofortress' flight over China, and the more recent B-2 Spirit flight over North Korea.

The inventory goal for the new long-range strike bomber is 80-100 bombers by the mid 2020's, Field said. Bombers must be able to reach deep behind enemy lines with sufficient numbers to to conduct operations across the depth of an entire theater simultaneously, the general continued.

The addition of a new bomber is paramount to maintaining this capability for tomorrow's conflict.

"Bombers can send messages," Field said. "They can influence or initiate action, and they are credible because of what they have done in the past."

Thousands ramp up for upcoming cooperative exercise: Alaska Shield, Arctic Edge

by Tech. Sgt. John Gordinier
ALCOM/JTF-AK Public Affairs

2/20/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- It happened in 1964 and it could happen again; a massive earthquake causing destruction, tsunamis, utilities and communications failures. For the 50th anniversary of the 9.2 magnitude earthquake, thousands of local, state and federal personnel will participate in a cooperative exercise called Alaska Shield March 27 - April 3.

The exercise scenario will mirror a situation similar to the events of the Great Alaskan earthquake of 1964.

The federal support of this exercise is known as Exercise Arctic Edge 14, which provides an opportunity for U.S. Northern Command, Joint Task Force - Alaska and supporting military units to practice emergency response procedures in conjunction with federal, state and local agencies.

If a state disaster occurs, when can DoD assist?

During natural disasters, DoD assets are employed to assist civil authorities only upon request and this support is called Defense Support of Civil Authorities or DSCA.

The DoD maintains many capabilities and resources that can be made available upon request of the governor of a state or territory, said Col. Kevin Masterson, U.S. Northern Command liaison officer to Joint Task Force - Alaska. If an incident occurs that exceeds or is anticipated to exceed state, local, or tribal resources, the federal government may provide resources and capabilities to support the response upon approval from the Secretary of Defense.

"DSCA is bringing military forces to bear, not in an offensive capability within the U.S., but in a support capability after a disaster," Masterson explained.

During DSCA, resources and capabilities can include logistics, command and control, search and rescue, emergency management, medical, communications and planning to name a few, he added. Civil authorities only ask for assistance when local and state resources and capabilities are exhausted because DoD assets are expensive.

"The Federal military is very expensive, so they are the last in and the first out," Masterson said. "When there is no more lifesaving or serious property damage to be prevented, or when local and State agencies have the ability to sustain life, DSCA will stand down."

DSCA is a unity of effort benefit and during the exercise another unity of effort benefit will be exercised--the Dual Status Commander.

A Dual Status Commander is typically a senior National Guard officer who may serve in two statuses simultaneously, Federal and State. The State governor can appoint a DSC for his or her State with approval of the Secretary of Defense. In State status, the DSC is a member of the State chain of command and, on their behalf, exercises command of assigned State National Guard forces. In Federal status, the DSC is a member of the Federal chain of command and, on their behalf, exercises command of assigned Federal military forces.

Currently, there are three that have the training in the State of Alaska, Masterson said. For this upcoming exercise, one will be chosen to be the DSC.

A benefit of DSC is the unity of effort between State National Guard forces and Federal military forces in achieving common objectives in response to a disaster, Masterson said. The DSC promotes synchronization between the two separate chains of command to achieve objectives more effectively and efficiently.

There are many benefits for personnel participating in Alaska Shield and Arctic Edge.

This large-scale exercise will reinforce working relationships and partnerships, Masterson said. When a disaster strikes it is the worst time to exchange business cards.

"If you know people you are going to be working with ahead of time, you will know their procedures, processes, routines and reporting methods," he explained. "You have those relationships built ahead of time so you know what your immediate actions are going to be, who you can expect to see, and you've worked with them before."

"Exercises like these also give us the opportunity to react to a simulated disaster in a joint effort to save lives, relieve human suffering and test our recovery efforts," continued Masterson. "JTF-Alaska, State and local agencies have a long-term commitment to train and to exercise together. Practicing our interoperability in recovery of a simulated natural disaster allows all of us to test and refine our plans and procedures so that if a real disaster takes place in Alaska, we will be better prepared to react, provide support and work together."

International relationship building, common thread at 2014 Singapore International Airshow

by Tamara Fischer-Carter
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

2/21/2014 - SINGAPORE -- 
Guarding Department of Defense assets is a large responsibility but none too large for joint coalition forces.  U.S. Air Force security forces teamed up with their counterparts from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to support the 2014 Singapore International Airshow with security from Feb. 5-18. 
"We brought security forces members from the 647th Security Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and from 18th Security Forces Squadron, Kadena Air Base, Japan, for airfield security," said Staff Sgt. Cayman Lee, 647th Security Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The two countries share a common goal of the defense of allies, promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and ensuring and enhancing unparalleled global engagement capability.
"We have a security detachment on the ground made up of three specializations; Airfield Defense Guards, Air Force Security and Air Base Protection personnel, all of which come under the collective name of Security Forces," said Flight Lieutenant Geoff Jarrett, officer-in-charge of the Australian Security Forces, from No. 3 Security Forces Squadron, RAAF.
The RAAF Security Forces deliver security across the full threat spectrum; from day-to-day air base security and policing tasks to defense of airbases from hostile ground attack. For the purpose of the airshow, the RAAF partnered with the U.S. to secure assets on the ground. The RAAF brought two F/A-18F Super Hornets and the U.S. Air Force brought one C-17 Globemaster III, two F-16 Fighting Falcons, and one KC-135 Stratotanker to participate this year.  
The U.S. Navy brought the P-8 Poseidon and the U.S. Marine Corps sent the MV-22 Osprey and KC-130 Hercules to participate in the show.
Their presence here demonstrates a focus on core tenets, a commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific region and preservation in interoperable partnerships and alliance commitment.
"I love the experience of a different country, different culture, and to see how other cultures operate," said Lee. "My job here is to maintain eyes on at all times to ensure no harm comes to our aircraft and capabilities. Our job is to alert our armed Singapore security counterparts on any incidents requiring a response and then they handle the situation."
"It strengthens our focus on peace and stability and provides a great opportunity to strengthen international partnerships as well," said Lee. "I enjoy that I get to hang out with my Australian counter parts and do what I can for international relations."
Combined and joint training is nothing new for Leading Aircraftsman Aaron Payne, No. 3 Security Forces Squadron, RAAF, who has deployed with U.S. forces before in Afghanistan but the airshow is a unique experience for him. 
"In the past our missions focused more on patrolling the Ground Defense Area and securing missile engagement zones during which we worked closely with the U.S. Army.  Here, it is interesting to see how Singaporeans and other countries operate and learn about their cultures and more from their military," said Payne.

Pilots showcase C-17 during Asia's largest airshow

by Capt. Tamara Fischer-Carter
Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

2/21/2014 - SINGAPORE -- 
"Are you a pilot?" This question was asked countless times of three U.S. Air Force captains at the 2014 Singapore International Airshow, usually followed by a look of disbelief and astonishment.
The airshow, held at Changi Exhibition Centre Feb. 11 to 16 provided an opportunity for these female C-17 Globemaster III pilots to showcase the capabilities of the aircraft and diversity of our military.
Captains Angela Kimler, Jenny Miller, and Jenny Partridge, all with the 535th Airlift Squadron, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, worked on building stronger relations among the international community in support of the airshow.
"It was a great opportunity to let everybody know that females do fly," said Kimler, aircraft commander for the airshow demo. "I guess we might take it for granted in the U.S. but many airshow visitors we talked to have never seen women in the military, much less female pilots."
Their squadron didn't try to send a female team, the rotation just worked out that way, Kimler said.
The Singapore Airshow is Asia's largest and serves as a global marketplace and networking powerhouse for the world's aviation community.
"The airshow is a great way to showcase the C-17 to more than100,000 people and a wonderful way to work on building our relationships with the Asia-Pacific," said Kimler. "It feels good to be able to show our skills to so many different countries and visitors and it's great to showcase our aircraft's capabilities."
All three women have been flying since 2006 and each have more than 2,000 flying hours.  Half of those hours were flown in combat.  They are instructor pilots at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, but came to the airshow as a part of the C-17 demonstration team.  
Kimler is the demo team pilot and showcased the tactical abilities of the C-17 while flying an eight minute profile.
Miller is the demo team narrator and brought the voice of the C-17 to 100,000 spectators highlighting its unique story of global reach and power.
"We've all been deployed multiple times down range, flying in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Miller. "However, it's important to note the C-17 also assists with humanitarian airlifts around the world in times of crisis and need.  It's great to be able to show the different opportunities out there in the aviation community to so many visitors."
Partridge is the instructor pilot on the static team showcasing the static display of the C-17 and brought a personal interaction to 100,000 visitors from all over the world.
"Seeing the visitor's enthusiasm and excitement to hang out with us, their interest to learn about the plane, as well as their fascination with us being female pilots is humbling," said Partridge.
"It's really about the aircraft capabilities and our opportunity to be out here at the airshow and represent the USAF and what we do --we are ready to take on global calling and maintain presence," said Kimler. "Not just related to military combat but also with humanitarian assistance. We can bring a lot of aid to countries in need."

Buckley bowlers win at Western Region Military Tournament

by Tech. Sgt. Rob Hazelett
Air Reserve Personnel Center Public Affairs

2/20/2014 - BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A four-person bowling team here won the first place team event and two other individual events during the 37th Western Region Military Tournament in Las Vegas Feb. 14-15.

Sherry Arnold, Steven Roskelly, and Tech. Sgts. Richard Grybos and Alejandro Sanchez, knocked down 2,673 pins and defeated 33 teams in the tournament.

"Our team rocked the house on the way to first place in the team event," said Grybos, Air Reserve Personnel Center recognition service team technician and a 23-year member of the Air National Guard.

Sanchez, who made his debut in a Las Vegas bowling tournament, agreed with Grybos.

"Our team performed to their highest capabilities during the team portion, as most of the team had their best performance during the tournament," said Sanchez, 310th Space Wing logistics supply manager. "After we finished our team event, we thought we had come in second place. We were surprised by the team outcome once we showed up to the awards presentation that's when we found out we had won 1st place."

Grybos, an avid life-long bowler, amassed 2,028 points that earned him sixth place overall in the singles event. This was the third Las Vegas bowling tournament for the Dundalk, Md., native.

"This was a tournament filled with great team and individual performances," Grybos said. "During the first day of the tournament, I was able to bowl my highest game to date, a total of 278 points, which came in the doubles event where we finished with a 663 series for three games."

Sanchez and Grybos teamed up to finish second in the doubles event.

"It was a good experience for my first time bowling in any Las Vegas tournament. We persevered through each game by producing enough points to keep up with some of the more experienced teams," said Sanchez, who hails from Albuquerque, N.M. "In the doubles portion, Grybos contributed in total points and we finished with a score of 1,396."

The team plans on returning to Las Vegas for the Military Team Classic Tournament, Aug. 11-14.

Face of Defense: New Marine Follows Father’s Footsteps

By Marine Corps Cpl. Pedro Cardenas
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 21, 2014 – Some kids dream of becoming like their parents in one way or another. Marine Corps Pvt. Thomas J. Shevlin patterns his life after his father’s.

Shevlin, a member of Platoon 3249, Company L, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion here, sets his life goals by drawing inspiration from his father’s life accomplishments.

His father left his home after being thrown out by his parents when he was a teenager. He was constantly on the move from house to house. Shevlin said his father made the choice to enlist in the Marine Corps, where he found a career.

For Shevlin, his father’s choice to become a Marine became his motivation.

“I was inspired by my father [to become a Marine]. I have never met a man better than my father,” said 19-year-old Shevlin. “He was able to make something of himself after going through a rough time.”

As a result, Shevlin, who hails from Bend, Ore., enlisted and shipped off to recruit training on Nov. 4, 2013. Before he departed for recruit training, Shevlin said his father told him, “I don’t know if you are trying to follow in my footsteps. If you are, you’ve made me the happiest and proudest father on the face of the earth.”

Shevlin grew up around Marines at different Marine Corps installations, including Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii and Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“The Marine Corps is embedded in me and it’s a part of my nature, how I grew up,” Shevlin said. “The Marine Corps is a lifestyle and it stands above the rest.”

Shevlin said his father, now a retired gunnery sergeant, deployed many times and was often absent. However, he added, his father always managed to spend time with the family regardless of his schedule; he was always present at his football games. His father was equally committed to his work and to his family.

According to Shevlin, he learned a lot from his father, not only about commitment, but also attention to detail. While growing up, Shevlin was indirectly being trained by his father. He instilled many traits and routines of a Marine such as proper customs and courtesies, discipline and leadership.

“He definitely had a good base when training started. He has the ability to lead from the front and that is important,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Elias R. Jimenez, a 26-year-old senior drill instructor. “People have to be able to trust you; they won’t trust you if you can’t do things you are asking them to do.”

For Shevlin, his father was not only a mentor, but also a friend.

“I’ve always had a close bond with him,” Shevlin said of his father. “Our relationship was close, as if I had come across somebody at school and knew I had found a best friend.”

Shevlin said his father now serves as a police officer, and he’s still very competitive, a trait which most Marines possess. According to Shevlin, even after retirement, his father aspires to be the greatest in everything he does. That’s something Shevlin said he also attempts to mirror in his life.

“I picked him to be one of my squad leaders because he stood out amongst recruits in the platoon. He is determined and you can tell he wants to be here,” Jimenez, who hails from Miami, said of Shevlin. “You can tell who is moving as fast as they can and who is giving 100 percent effort. He was one of those.”

For the next step in his training, Shevlin will attend the School of Infantry at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., to become a rifleman and continue in his journey to emulate his father.

“I have what it takes to be like my father,” Shevlin said. “I want to make it a full 20-year career because I’ve been around the Marine Corps my whole life and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”