Military News

Monday, March 16, 2015

Program Provides Emergency Medical Technician Training

By Lori Newman
Brooke Army Medical Center

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas, March 16, 2015 – Brooke Army Medical Center here currently has the only Joint Emergency Medical Technician Sustainment Training within the Defense Department.

Known as JEST, the joint program delivers emergency medical refresher training to more than 550 Army health care specialists and Air Force aerospace medical service technicians each year through a combination of classroom instruction and field training.

“We are proud to host this invaluable joint sustainment training at BAMC,” said Army Col. Evan Renz, BAMC commander. “It helps to foster teamwork and keep our skills sharp.”

Training Together

Army and Air Force personnel train together to meet the annual requirement set forth by the Department of Transportation and the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. The sustainment training also meets respective Army and Air Force regulations.

“The Army does everything the Air Force does, and the Air Force does everything the Army does,” said Army Staff Sgt. Brian Cummings, noncommissioned officer in charge of the course.

“Everybody gets a taste of what the other service is doing,” he said.

Students receive 48 credit hours for the training. Five days of PowerPoint, lecture and hands-on in the classroom at BAMC and one day of field validation at nearby Camp Bullis.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Heidi Quigley, 959th Medical Group EMT/RSV coordinator said she is the “go-to” training scheduler for almost 300 assigned Air Force medics. “The JEST programs primary focus is more tactical field care and evacuation, which I feel is a definite plus,” she said. “It’s more realistic. It adds that stress factor to it.”

Course Participants Train as Teams

At Camp Bullis, the students are divided into teams of four or five. They must move tactically through wooded terrain while encountering simulated artillery fire. Once the team reaches the casualties they must provide tactical field care, call for evacuation, move the casualties to an evacuation site and brief the ambulance team on the status of each patient.

“The goal is to get that all done and get each patient to any definitive care within an hour. We call it the golden hour of care,” Cummings said.

Following the tactical field exercise, instructors brief the students on their performance.

Army Sgt. Malourdes Galusha, a reservist with the 5501st U.S. Army Hospital said she really enjoyed the training because of the field experience.

‘Eventful and Knowledge-enriching’ Training

“It was very eventful and knowledge-enriching,” Galusha said.

“The benefit of training jointly is that the different forces will always be on the same page, train on the same equipment and follow the same procedures when we are in a combat zone in theater,” said Army Staff Sgt. Juan Leyva, who went through the JEST course for the first time.

Air Force Senior Airman Lucas Reaume agreed.

“It’s a lot more in depth,” he said. “It allows us to come out in the field and learn how to treat [trauma], things we would see in the field on a deployment.”

Reaume added, “It’s a confidence booster knowing that you can perform under stress and take care of your patients.”

BAMC has conducted the joint EMT sustainment training program since August 2013.

“This is a unique and ever-changing program. We are constantly doing something different, trying to make it better,” Cummings said.

He added, “This could be a great pilot program for other joint bases to follow. It works and we have received a lot of great feedback about the program from both Air Force and Army personnel.”

USAF, U.S. Army host 15th annual NCO exchange for JASDF

by Staff Sgt. Marcus Morris
18th Wing Public Affairs

3/14/2015 - KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- U.S. Air Force and Army service members hosted an NCO exchange here March 3, giving seven Japan Air Self-Defense Force members a chance to work with their U.S. counterparts.

The JASDF Airmen were each paired with Kadena Airmen or Soldiers in their respective jobs for almost two weeks. This allowed the JASDF Airmen to learn firsthand about their job here and practice their English.

"During these exchanges, JASDF members report for duty at Kadena Air Base and spend the day learning and experiencing the personal and professional lifestyles of our U.S. members," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Erick Lizarraga, 18th Wing assistant JASDF bilateral coordinator. "The objective is to give our NCOs an opportunity to create long-lasting relationships with the JASDF members and experience similarities or differences that exist between our host nation self-defense and our military system."

One pair of Aerospace Ground Equipment NCOs during the exchange found their jobs had more similarities than they would have thought originally.

"Our job is basically the same with a few small differences. We maintain nonpowered and powered AGE, while they only work on powered AGE, but we could both work on a generator together easily," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Blocker, 18th AGE craftsman. "The language barrier was an issue at first, but we quickly worked out key words to talk to each other to accomplish our tasks."

In order to be chosen for this program, JASDF members submitted a package, which was then sent to a review board to ensure requesters met proper rank and job requirements. Finally, the top performers were selected to participate in this exchange.

While the program was mainly about JASDF and U.S. military working together, they also found time during the weekend to connect and get to know each other better at a local indoor sports and gaming complex and by playing volleyball together.

At the end of the exchange, JASDF Tech. Sgt. Daisuke Mitsunaga, Iwo To Air Base Group AGE craftsman said, "I've enjoyed being able to work together with my counterpart and be able to accomplish a similar mission. The exchange has been a good experience."

The NCO exchange program between Kadena Airmen and JASDF started in 2001. Now, after 14 years, it has grown to encompass the Army and may soon add U.S. Navy and Marines to the program.

"NCO exchanges with JASDF members are not new to the wing," Lizarraga said. "We've had exchanges with JASDF for more than a decade now; however, they are beginning to increase in volume and diversification."

Lizarraga went on to say the goal is to host two exchanges annually at Kadena, and  JASDF, in-turn, will host two to three exchanges each year. JASDF recently hosted one exchange at Naha Air Base, Japan, and last year, members were sent once to mainland Japan for NCO exchanges with JASDF, which were great successes.

Aero India 15 showcases India-U.S. partnership

from PACAF Exercises and Readiness Division

3/16/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- From Feb. 18 through 22, more than 95 U.S. military personnel and Department of Defense civilians were among the thousands assembled from around the globe to participate in Aero India 2015, the region's largest tradeshow.

"The tradeshow allowed the U.S. to strengthen its ties with India while furthering military to military relationships," said Maj. Gen. Kevin Pottinger, Pacific Air Forces commander mobilization assistant and lead U.S. Pacific Command representative at Aero India 15.

This year's tradeshow featured the largest and most significant cross-section of U.S. military aircraft and equipment since its inception in 1996, totaling seven aircraft.  Support included the US Air Force's F-16 and C-17 Demonstration Teams and F-15D Eagle and KC-135 tanker static displays.  The U.S. Navy also supported the event with a P-8A Poseidon static, while the U.S. Army Special Forces led multiple combined personnel jumps during the event.

During Aero India, PACAF's F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team, stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan, electrified over 200,000 spectators in nine separate aerial demonstrations, expertly showcasing the capabilities of one of the U.S. Air Force's leading fighters.  In addition, the C-17 Globemaster III, stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii, took to the skies and impressed all with its exceptional large-aircraft climb, turn and short-field landing capabilities.

An Aero India favorite was the combined U.S. Army and Indian Special Forces free fall jumps from a PACAF C-17, which was the first time the two units jumped together.  The jumps demonstrated U.S.-Indian interoperability and provided a unique training opportunity for more than forty Special Forces personnel.  

"Aero India was a great opportunity to expand U.S. ties with our Indian counterparts," said U.S. Air Force Col. Keith Gibson, U.S. forces air boss for those participating in the event.  "We are honored to be here to demonstrate our partnership with India and remain committed to strengthening our military relationships."

The partnership between India and the United States was on full display at the tradeshow.  Many Indian military personnel had the opportunity to view U.S. military aircraft up close through demonstrations, orientation flights and static displays.

Military members were available to explain aircraft capabilities, highlight the diversity of U.S. military missions, and share their varying experiences with enthusiastic foreign military personnel and visitors to the air show.  Notable visitors included the U.S. Ambassador to India the Honorable Richard Verma and Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey, Director of Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

"This airshow came at a critical juncture to the US-India relationship.  President Obama's January visit to New Delhi and Secretary Kendall's robust engagement to energize the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) reflect India's growth as an important and capable strategic partner with like-minded objectives for regional growth and stability," said an official spokesperson.  " The U.S. was the largest foreign contingent at the show, with 64 companies represented, eight senior leaders and seven of the 11 foreign aircraft.  It was clear to those on hand that the Indo-US relationship is an important pillar in our Pacific rebalance strategy."

USS Lassen Tests Improved Husbanding Agent Payment Process

From Commander, Task Force 70 Public Affairs

DONGHAE, Republic of Korea (NNS) -- USS Lassen (DDG 82) conducted a proof of principle (PoP) for the Secretary of the Navy's initiative to pay husbanding service providers using a new procure to pay (P2P) process during a March 12-14 port visit to Donghae.

U.S. Navy ships use husbanding services during port visits for necessities such as fresh water, electricity, phone lines and transportation. As part of the Navy's Financial Improvement Audit Readiness (FIAR), once the ship verifies appropriate services were provided payments are made electronically through DFAS. The new process helps to remove payment burdens from ships in a manner that is flexible and scalable to fit all ship classes while still allowing for effective delivery of port services.

"The P2P proof of principle will aide in achieving maximum fiscal accountability and audit readiness, and help to develop Navy procedures to ensure bill payment is done efficiently, accurately and on-time," said Capt. Paul Filardi, Commander, Task Force (CTF) 70's assistant chief of staff for Maintenance, Materiel, Logistics and Readiness.

The new procure to pay process is part of a larger value stream improvement effort providing end-to-end acquisition support for port visit husbanding services. The process emphasizes financial management and connects back to funding and requirement identification activities integrated with the contracting support processes. Lassen's procure to pay demonstration was the second in a series of tests to be conducted in each of the numbered fleets.

The HSP P2P procedures, "will give the Navy a more transparent process at all levels and support attaining Financial Improvement Audit Readiness", said Cmdr. Michael A. Smith, Lassen's commanding officer.

"Over the last few years the Department of Defense has implemented quite a few changes to government spending and record keeping," said Lt. Michael Valle, Lassen's supply officer. "This new initiative furthers that goal while ultimately reducing the burden placed on deployed personnel. I'm excited to be a part of the proof of principle and look forward to the end result of a more accountable execution of tax payer dollars."

Lassen is currently on patrol in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations promoting maritime security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Lassen is one of seven Arleigh-burke class guided-missile destroyers assigned to Destroyer Squadron 15 and is permanently forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.

Report details causes of December accident

by Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

3/16/2015 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Air Mobility Command released the results of its accident investigation board regarding a Dec. 1, 2014,  mid-air collision near Pope Army Airfield, Fort Bragg, N.C.

A C-130H assigned to the 440th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve Command), and a C-27J assigned to the Army Special Operations Command Flight Company, both at Pope Army Airfield, collided approximately 8 miles south of Mackall AAF, N.C. Both aircraft declared emergencies and landed safely, the C-27 at Mackall AAF and the C-130 at Pope AAF.  There were no injuries to the eight C-130 crewmembers or the five C-27 crewmembers. 

The investigation identified several relevant human factors in the mishap:  a breakdown in visual scan resulting in insufficient clearing of the aircraft flight path by both aircrews; both aircrews were over-reliant on Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems to alert them to potential traffic conflicts; and both aircrews exhibited complacency due to the routine nature of the mission profiles, despite the inherent risk associated with night, low-level visual flight rules operations on night vision goggles.

The AIB report is the result of an investigation that included witness testimony; input from technical experts; review of planning, maintenance, and training records; and review for compliance with Air Force directives and guidance. 

The full report is available on the Air Mobility Command Freedom of Information Act site: .

For more information regarding the AMC AIB, contact Public Affairs at (618) 229-7839. For information on the Army investigation, please contact the Army Special Operations Command at (910) 432-7585.

627th CES Airman wins IMCOM firefighter award

by Alexandra Kocik
Northwest Guardian

3/16/2015 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD,Wash. -- A Joint Base Lewis-McChord firefighter was chosen as one of nine for the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Service Awards.

Airman 1st Class James Salazar of the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron was selected as the 2014 military firefighter to receive the IMCOM Fire and Emergency Service Award. Salazar is the third consecutive Air Force firefighter from JBLM to win the Army Major Command's award.

The award is open to all branches of service from joint installations. Salazar and the other competitors are judged based on their volunteerism, training and overall job experience.

The former commercial fisherman from Forks, Wash. said he was looking for a change when a family member encouraged him to join the Air Force.

"My brother's in the Army, so he had interactions with Airmen and knew what it was like on both sides from spending time on Air Force bases," he said. "It seemed like the best fit."

Salazar said he feels lucky to be stationed close to home at JBLM. He said he is also thankful to his superior officers for their support during his time here.

Staff Sergeant Sergio Villela, NCOIC of health and safety at the fire department and Salazar's supervisor helped put together the application package. Villela said Salazar always pushes himself to the next level when learning new skills in the job.

"He's a smart kid off the bat, but he definitely puts in the time and effort," he said. "It stands out to me and others in the department."

He also puts in a lot of time doing volunteer work.

"A lot of the time it's difficult to get the younger members to do volunteer work, but it's something he likes to do," he said. "This reflection of the whole person concept is why he was selected both in firefighting and the Air Force."

These qualities also led to Salazar's nomination for 2014 Airman of the Year. Although he did not win, he was selected for below-the-zone promotion to senior Airman six months before the usual three years to earn the rank.

Salazar said his work ethic helped him achieve what he has so far.

"Work hard and strive to be the best and always stand out," he said. "Do your work and always continue your education. If you feel comfortable in this job, there is a lot more for you to work on and learn."

Face of Defense: Marine NCO Saves Lance Corporal’s Life

By Marine Corps Sgt. Sarah Dietz
U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, March 16, 2015 – A lot ran through Marine Corps Sgt. Michael Joseph’s mind when he saw the body of a lance corporal on the pavement outside the movie theater here, Feb. 17.

Joseph recognized the victim exhibited signs of cardiac arrest. He knew if cardiovascular resuscitation wasn’t conducted immediately, the Marine would die.

Joseph began CPR. The lance corporal recovered.

That’s why, on March 13, Joseph received the Emergency Cardiovascular Care Heart Saver Hero Award from the American Heart Association at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“It is interesting to me that we have young men and women who step up and take action when action is needed,” Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan said at Joseph’s award ceremony. Toolan, the commander for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, called Joseph “the epitome of who we are as Marines.”

‘God Sent You to My Son’

The morning of the incident, Joseph, a 25 year old assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, attended annual training with his squadron at the base theater. Feeling tired and not wanting to fall asleep, Joseph headed out to his car to grab an energy drink.

That’s when he heard a thud, a car alarm and noticed a Marine roll on the ground and suddenly stop. He rushed over and realized the Marine had stopped breathing.

“I called 911 and saw two sailors around me and told them to start CPR,” Joseph said. “They said they weren’t trained, and I knew I had to.”

Joseph’s 18-year-old brother, Robert, had died from cardiac arrest. When it happened, no one in the vicinity knew CPR and that’s why Joseph soon made it a point to become CPR-certified.

“I wanted to know why he died,” Joseph said. “Everyone should know CPR. I am familiar with what could happen without it.”

The Ritchie County, West Virginia, native said he was amazed at the timing of the incident. He had completed a CPR refresher course the Friday before the Tuesday incident. He recalled the lance corporal’s mother telling him, “God sent you to my son.”

‘Just What We Do’

“To me, it’s just what Marines do,” Joseph said. “It’s a big deal to everyone else, but to me, it’s just what we do. It means a lot more that he is a Marine, after the fact, because of the brotherhood, but I would have done the same thing if he were anyone else.”

Joseph’s wife, Nicole, and their son, Miles, 3, came to the award ceremony.

“I’m so proud of him,” Nicole said of her husband. “He is very humble and didn’t expect anything in return. Miles [is proud of him, too]. He says he wants to ‘fix helicopters and fight bad guys with my dad one day.’”