Thursday, January 28, 2010

TOP STORY > >Team Little Rock unified in Haiti relief effort

By Capt. Joe Knable
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- An augmented crew from Little Rock Air Force Base’s 41st Airlift Squadron flew the base’s eighth C-130 Hercules transport airplane into Haiti Jan. 20 as part of Air Mobility Command’s participation in Operation Unified Response, the Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

The airplane, a C-130J model that flies higher, faster, farther, carries more cargo and requires fewer crew members to fly than legacy C-130 aircraft, was the fifth plane to join the relief effort from the squadron. The other three C-130s were sent by the 50th, 53rd and 61st Airlift Squadrons.

The 41st AS is the first active duty C-130J squadron in the contiguous U.S. states. It’s the only unit to man the 772nd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, which it has been continually supporting since February, 2009. More than 50 percent of the squadron is currently supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Including Operation Unified Response, the squadron is now more than 75 percent tasked.

“We have a very solid (training) system in place, so when something like this happens, we just go out there and execute it,” said Maj. Gary Penna, who is coordinating the squadron’s efforts with OUR. “We take a lot of pride in what we do, we’re very good at what we do, and we want to help out as much as we can.”

“Even though it says it’s a 41st Airlift Squadron mission, it’s a ‘Team Little Rock’ effort,” said Lt. Col. Gilberto Martinez, the squadron’s commander. The crew includes a loadmaster from the 34th Combat Training Squadron, a pilot from the 19th Operations Group, and two crew chiefs from the 19th Maintenance Group.

Normally, a C-130J can fly with three crewmembers: two pilots and one loadmaster. This particular mission called for a crew of eight, including an additional loadmaster, the maintenance crew chiefs, and two Fly Away Security Team (FAST) Security Forces Airmen from Pope Air Force Base, N.C. In addition to the FAST. Airmen at Pope, the crew picked up medical supplies, an Army Humvee, and a few dozen Army Rangers from the 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment from Fort Bragg, N.C.

The Rangers were brought in to deliver security and resupply the Haitians, said 1st Lt. Fredrick Lough, the platoon’s commander.

After another short stop at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., the C-130 touched down at the Port-Au-Prince international airport at 12:05 a.m. Jan. 20. The crew was in and out in a hurry; these parking spots are prime real estate. All of the Soldiers and cargo were unloaded in approximately eight minutes. The plane was on the ground in Haiti for about an hour.

The airport was a beehive of activity. While the C-130 was being unloaded, a marshaller started to direct a large commercial airplane about 100 feet too close to the C-130. Tech. Sgt. Steve Nader, a loadmaster on the crew from Little Rock AFB’s 34th CRS, recognized the hazard and ran at the marshaller to redirect the jumbo jet off its collision course, sparing the planes untold damage, the crew from being stranded in Haiti and a potentially devastating delay at the airport. At Sergeant Nader’s warning, the marshaller immediately waived the incoming aircraft away from the C-130.

“The mission went really well; we got everything turned over really fast,” said Sergeant Nader. “I’m just doing my part to help out.”

“It was great flying into Haiti because this is really why I chose (tactical) airlift; I really wanted to do the humanitarian aid and relief (missions),” said Capt. Cory Waldroup, the mission commander. “It’s definitely a milestone in my career. I’ll always be able to look back and say I took part in the relief efforts in Haiti.”

After this mission, the crew remained on stand-by at Pope AFB, ready for another mission to Haiti. “We’ve only just begun (to help),” said Capt. Waldroup.

TOP STORY > >AF officials return high-year tenure rates to previous

By Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – Air Force manpower and personnel officials announced Thursday a return of enlisted high-year-of-tenure limits to their pre-2003 levels.

“We’ve considered returning HYT limits to their normal levels for several years. Now that our Air Force end strength is stabilizing, it is an appropriate time to return back to the pre-2003 levels,” said Mr. Tom Voegtle, chief of the retirements and separations policy branch at the Pentagon.

High year of tenure is the maximum years of service a member may remain on active duty in relation to his or her enlisted grade.

The HYT for senior master sergeant, master sergeant, technical sergeant and senior airman will return to 26, 24, 22 and 10 years, respectively. The HYT limits for both chief master sergeant (30 years) and staff sergeant (20 years) will remain the same since they were not raised in 2003, Mr. Voegtle said.

The change will initially affect approximately 2,500 Airmen; 500 senior airmen, 400 technical sergeants, 1,200 master sergeants and 400 senior master sergeants.

The new HYT effective date for master sergeant is April 1, 2011; for technical sergeant, Aug. 1, 2011; and, for senior airman, Sept. 1, 2011. The effective date for senior master sergeant is Jan. 1, 2012. The timeline provides Airmen additional opportunities to compete for promotion or plan for separation or retirement from active duty.

All Airmen who separate due to HYT will receive involuntary separation pay. Technical, masterand senior master sergeants may apply for full retirement if leaving active duty due to reaching their HYT just as they would under existing policy.

While the new HYT is applicable now, Airmen who will be “over” their HYT as the policy is normalized will be allowed to remain on active duty until no later than the effective date for their corresponding grades.

An Airman’s total active federal military service date will determine whether he or she is under the old or new HYT limit. For example, a senior airman whose TAFMSD is Aug. 31, 2001, or earlier would separate under his or her original HYT date or Sept. 1, 2011, whichever comes first.

If the senior airman’s HYT date is after Aug. 31, 2001, that Airman’s date would be adjusted to the new 10-year limit. In other words, the Airman will now be required to separate at the 10-year point rather than the 12-year point if he or she is not promoted to staff sergeant.

Airmen overseas who will reach HYT before they are scheduled to return will receive new dates in accordance with the revised policy, Mr. Voegtle said. Also, deployed Airmen and those soon to deploy who are affected by the policy change will return no later than 30 days before their new HYT date.

The new HYT requirements will not affect the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

Airmen opting to transfer their Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to family members will still be able to transfer these benefits even if their new HYT dates prevent them from completing the required active-duty service commitments.

Extensions of HYT are still applicable under existing guidelines.

These include reasons, such as extreme personal hardship or when an extension is clearly in the best interest of the Air Force, Mr. Voegtle said.

This change to policy will not affect Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard members.

The Air Force has a longstanding tradition of taking care of its people, and will continue this tradition through this process and beyond, Mr. Voegtle said.

“There will be no change in retirement or separation pay benefits, and the Air Force is committed to providing our Airmen and their families with an open and transparent process,” he added.

Individuals who have questions regarding this policy change or any personnel issue can contact the 24/7 Total Force Service Center toll-free at 800-525-0102 or visit

COMMENTARY>>War stories

By Chris Rumley
314th Airlift Wing historian

I recently had the privilege of spending some time with some World War II veterans from the 62nd Airlift Squadron. This group of veterans and their family members get together during the first week of December each year to reminisce. Just by being around and listening in as they talked to each other, I picked up little tidbits of history that otherwise might have gone unrecorded. Here is what I learned this year from “the guys,” as everyone likes to call them. I was talking with Jack Downhill, a tall, lanky fly-boy in his day, about the time President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited the 314th Troop Carrier Group at Castelvetrano, Sicily. If anyone was to play Jack in a movie about the airlift operations it would have to have been Jimmy Stewart. Jack has that same instant likeableness that draws people around him- I doubt he has ever met a stranger. All the squadrons had built their own Officer’s Club and each wanted the president to have his evening reception at their O’club. The 32nd Troop Carrier Squadron won the honor, but the 62 TCS doctor, who had a knack for such things, was called over to tend bar. Jack told the story,

“Dr. Mahoney was his name – he was called to go tend bar for the president. He came back and told us all about it. Apparently, after Mahoney served the president his martini- that’s all the president drank you know – the president, in the way he talked with that rising and falling timber to his voice, said, ‘Mr. Mahoney, this is the best damn Martini I’ve had since I left Washington,’ well that’s what he came back and told us all anyway – and you can just imagine it – he [Mahoney] was quite excited about it.”

Coincidently, the 314 AW recently came across a photo of the 314th’s World War II commander, Col. Clayton Stiles, escorting the president in a jeep specially designed for the occasion. It’s thebest picture of the event located to date.

Here’s another story I heard from several of the guys. In mid-December 1944, the Germans, taking advantage of some bad weather, attacked the weakly held Allied position in the Ardennes Forest. This is the battle we know as the Battle of the Bulge- named for the bulge in the Allied line created by the German advance. Finally, on Dec. 23, the weather cleared and air power entered the fight. The guys talked about flying in reinforcements and supplies to these hard-pressed Allied forces. On Christmas Eve 1944, the 314th transported reinforcements from the 17th Airborne Division to a small airfield in Belgium. After dropping off the paratroops, the guys pulled out their sleeping bags and spent that Christmas Eve of 1944 sleeping in their C-47s. As Chet Ross, a 62 TCS crew chief, remembered, they didn’t get much sleep, “It was so cold on the floor of those airplanes, and the sleeping bags were so thin,” he said, “that you had to lie on one side for awhile and then it would get so cold that you would wake up and have to flip over- and this went on all night, so we didn’t get much sleep at all.”

Lastly, I had the privilege of meeting for the first time and talking with David Mondt. He was 19 years old when he joined the Army Air Corps and had the nickname “baby.” When looking at his photo, with his leather flying helmet and jacket, you can see why. It’s hard to believe this young kid was flying combat missions and getting shot at by enemy troops, but he had a certain swagger that didn’t match his youthful looks. The guys like to tell the story of how they were in formation one day as a visiting commander conducted an inspection. When he came to Dave Mondt, he leaned over and asked, “Does your Mom know you’re over here kid?” Of course they all got a big kick out of that one – and still do.

The weekend was filled with stories like these and kept me busy writing in my notebook and running my recorder. These guys, “the guys,” of the greatest generation don’t always open up and let us know all the details of their war-time experience, but I am always thankful when they do, thankful to know them, and thankful to tell their stories.

COMMENTARY>>Helping out one plane at a time

By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing command chief

Recently I, like many of you, was overcome with emotion due to the immeasurable plight placed upon the people of Haiti after the earthquake. I then connected with a great group of combat airlifters and embarked on a mission to deliver much-needed personnel and equipment to the tropical island.

Our crew consisted of Capt. Sean Callahan and 1st Lt. Kevin Bailey, pilot and co-pilot respectively. Master Sgt. Patrick Drozd and Tech. Sgt. Elvis Hendricks performed loadmaster duties.

Maintenance aspects of our mission were left in the hands of Staff Sgt. Jordan Cote and Senior Airman Travis Donaway. The first thing I noticed about our team was that they were anxious to complete our assigned mission.

Immediately I became aware of the focus and dedication these professionals had toward this opportunity to assist others. From the mission planning, preparing the aircraft for departure, and loading of equipment and personnel from Fort Bragg, this crew operated as a seamless team. There was an unspoken anxiousness to complete what was started.

The anxiousness was not based on when we would get back to Little Rock; it was more on not being able to get to Haiti soon enough. I did not travel as the command chief nor did the crew travel primarily by their titles. We all traveled as human beings and as Airmen. Each person pulled their weight and then some, and it made me feel humbled to be a part of an exceptional organization.

Eventually, I had to come back to The Rock to tend to matters on this end, but I will tell you it was difficult to leave my crew.

The crew I was with was not special; they did what many others are doing today, representing our nation. Even as I type this, crews from Team Little Rock are going into challenging places, bringing hope and relief to people around the world -- one plane at a time.

Combat Airlift!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

TOP STORY > >Little Rock AFB C-130s continue Haiti relief efforts

Eight C-130s and more than 40 Airmen from four base squadrons are part of the massive Air Mobility Command airlift mission to support Haitian earthquake relief as part of Operation Unified Response.

Aircrews and C-130s from the 41st, 50th, 53rd and 61st Airlift Squadrons are flying missions to Haiti as part of an operation that has delivered more than 1,500 tons of supplies to the region.

Little Rock Air Force Base’s C-130 Combat Airlift mission has been crucial to the relief operation. An aircrew from the 41st AS was one of the first called Jan. 13 to support the Haiti relief operation. That aircrew launched from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., near midnight Jan. 13, loaded personnel and equipment before dawn Jan. 14 at Biloxi-Gulfport International Airport, Miss., and delivered them to Port-au-Prince the morning of Jan. 14. That crew is still forward deployed as part of the Herculean airlift effort.

“This is what we train to do,” said Maj. Lewis Messick, 41st Airlift Squadron director of operations. “Anytime we can be of assistance in cases like this, we’re ready to do our job.”

Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley, 19th Airlift Wing command chief, lauded the motivation of the Little Rock AFB aircrews and the impact they are having on Haiti relief operations.

“They feel that they can’t get in there enough. They are chomping at the bit to do what it takes to take care of people and save lives,” he said. “They all want to make a difference.”

“The aerial delivery they have provided is the difference between life and death,” he added. “Besides tangible food and water, we are providing hope.”

AMC aircraft and personnel continue to support the international effort to increase the velocity with which aid is flowing to those in need.

(From compiled reports)

TOP STORY > >Base personnel celebrate the life of Dr. King

By Airman 1st Class Rochelle Clace
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

On Jan. 18 the nation celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, activist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience and a prominent leader of the American civil rights movement.

Members of Little Rock Air Force Base commemorated his life at a luncheon Jan. 14 at Hangar 1080.

At the luncheon, base personnel took time to capture Dr. King’s power of influence and actions that created change in a nation.

“Today is a day to reflect on the outstanding achievements of Dr. King, and to pay tribute to this great man,” said Chief Master Sgt. Frankie McGriff, 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron first sergeant. “I believe that we’re all indebted to Dr. King because [he] was a catalyst for justice and [racial] equality for our nation.”

According to Chief McGriff, Combat Airlift and Doctor King can be tied together. “In myresearch of Combat Airlift and Dr. Martin Luther King, the common thread that I see between the two, is that both were heavily involved in peace and humanitarian efforts,” he said.

“Whenever there’s a catastrophe where people need help, usually the C-130 aircraft is almost always the first aircraft to land, to bring in supplies and bring out the sick and the wounded,” said Chief McGriff. “Likewise, Dr. King would see a need in a city and mobilize to that city to bring them the leadership to help with justice and racial equality.”

People around the world will always remember the positive actions of Dr. King and the impact he made on America. “Dr. King died for the cause of justice,” said Chief McGriff. “There have been many Combat Airlifters who have died for freedom.”

Dr. King put his life on the line for justice, equality and ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.

According to, Dr. King, was a vital figure of the modern era. His lectures and dialogues stirred the concern and sparked the conscience of a generation. The movements and marches he led brought significant changes in the fabric of American life through his courage and selfless devotion. This devotion gave direction to thirteen years of civil rights activities. His charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world.

COMMENTARY>>Nonjudicial punishment for November and December

During the months of November and December, 2009, 28 members of Little Rock Air Force Base were punished under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

An airman from the 714th Training Squadron touched another Airman, was drinking while under the legal drinking age and failed to go at the time prescribed to their appointed place of duty. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman basic, forfeiture of $500 pay and 15 days extra duty.

An airman from the 19th Security Forces Squadron previously received a punishment of a reduction to the grade of airman basic with reduction below airman suspended, forfeiture of $699 pay per month for two months with one month suspended, restriction for 14 days, 14 days extra duty and a reprimand. This member’s reduction to airman was set aside.

An airman first class from the 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron slapped their spouse. The member received a suspended reduction to the rank of airman, forfeiture of $300 pay per month for two months and a reprimand.

An airman first class from the 19th Component Maintenance Squadron used their cell phone on an aircraft and negligently failed to follow specific maintenance procedures on two occasions. The member received a suspended reduction to the rank of airman, 30 days extra duty with 15 days suspended and a reprimand.

An airman first class from the 19th Civil Engineer Squadron was drinking while under the legal drinking age and wrongfully used a false ID card. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman and a reprimand.

An airman first class from the 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron was drinking while under the legal drinking age. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of airman, restriction for 45 days with 15 days suspended, 45 days extra duty with 15 days suspended and a reprimand.

An airman from 19th LRS was drinking while under the legal drinking age. The member received a reduction to the rank of airman basic, restriction for 30 days, 30 days extra duty and a reprimand.

An airman from the 19th Medical Operations Squadron was drinking while under the legal drinking age. The member received a reduction to the rank of airman basic and suspended forfeiture of $699 pay.

An airman from 19th LRS was drinking while under the legal drinking age. The member received a vacation of the previously suspended restriction for 15 days and 15 days extra duty.

An airman first class from the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron failed to go at the time prescribed to their appointed place of duty. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of airman, forfeitures of $250 pay per month for two months with one month suspended, 14 days extra duty and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 19th EMS didn’t properly inspect aerospace ground equipment, used a cell phone while driving in a maintenance area; drove with an expired registration and made a false official statement to a senior noncommissioned officer and a noncommissioned officer. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman basic and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 19th EMS failed to go at the time prescribed to an appointed place of duty and was derelict in the performance of their duties by willfully failing to obey their duty limiting condition report. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman basic with reduction below airman suspended, forfeiture of $699 pay per month for two months suspended and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 19th CES failed to go at the time prescribed to an appointed place of duty and was also found drunk while on duty. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman and a reprimand.

An airman first class from the 19th Force Support Squadron left work without authority, was drinking while under the legal drinking age and struck another airman. The member receiveda reduction to the grade of airman basic, forfeiture of $699 pay per month for two months with one month suspended, restriction to Little Rock Air Force Base for 30 days and a reprimand.

An airman first class from the 19th Operation Support Squadron willfully damaged military property of the United States. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman.

An airman first class from the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assaulted another person. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of airman, 30 days extra duty and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 314th AMXS didn’t obey a no contact order, was sleeping while on duty, and made a false official statement to a noncommissioned officer. The member received a reduction to the grade of airman, 30 days extra duty and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 714th TRS failed to go at the time prescribed to work, was drinking while under the legal drinking age and didn’t fill out a log book required of all non-prior service students, and was drunk and disorderly. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of airman and forfeitures of $300 pay per month for two months.

An airman first class from 714th TRS didn’t abide by the training phase program and made a false official statement to a noncommissioned officer. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of airman and forfeiture of $300 pay per month for two months with one month suspended.

An airman first class from 19th AMXS operated a vehicle while drunk. The member received a reduction to the rank of airman, suspended forfeiture of $500 pay per month for two months and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 19th EMS was drinking while under the legal drinking age and committed adultery. The member received reduction to the rank of airman basic, suspended forfeiture of $699 pay per month for two months and a reprimand.

An airman first class from 19th EMS made a false official statement to a senior noncommissioned officer and didn’t ask for an extension of leave with enough time to permit a timely return to duty. The member received a reduction to the rank of airman basic with reduction below airman suspended, suspended forfeiture of $699 pay per month for two months and a reprimand.

A staff sergeant from 19th EMS made a false official statement to a senior noncommissioned officer and advised another member to make a lie about the incident. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of senior airman, forfeiture of $300 pay per month for two months, 45 days extra duty and a reprimand.

A staff sergeant from 19th EMS used a government travel card while not on official duty and failed to pay a just debt. The member received a suspended reduction to the grade of senior airman and a reprimand.

A staff sergeant from 19th EMS committed adultery. The member received reduction to the rank of senior airman and a reprimand.

A technical sergeant from the 19th Operations Support Squadron violated a general order by wrongfully visiting the sleeping quarters of a person of the opposite gender, was derelict in the performance of their duties by engaging in an unprofessional relationship and committing adultery. The member received a reduction to the grade of staff sergeant.

A technical sergeant from 314th AMXS behaved disrespectfully toward a commissioned officer on two occasions, was disrespectful in deportment toward a senior noncommissioned officer and was derelict in the performance of their duties by making degrading comments. The member received a reduction to the grade of staff sergeant, 45 days extra duty and a reprimand.

A captain from the 50th Airlift Squadron violated a general order by visiting the sleeping quarters of a person of the opposite gender, was derelict in the performance of their duties by engaging in an unprofessional relationship and committing adultery.

The member received forfeiture of $2,474 pay per month for two months and a reprimand.

(Courtesy of the 19th Airlift Wing Legal Office)

COMMENTARY>>Back to basics takes more than words

By Col. Donald Dickerson
314th Maintenance Group commander

Here we stand at the start of a new year, a natural point for people and organizations to pause, assess their priorities, and set goals for the year to come. Our most significant goals in the 314th Maintenance Group this year revolve around a back-to-basics approach to the tasks essential to our mission: providing mission-ready aircraft to support the training of the world’s greatest C-130 combat airlifters.

I believe getting back to the basics is a goal shared by many organizations around the base. It’s a common theme across our Air Force these days. Our chief of staff has directed us to make assertive efforts to return to the fundamentals of discipline, compliance with directives, and involved leadership that made us the most respected and capable Air Force in the world. The issues driving this move are well-known and well-publicized. Too many mistakes have had too much impact on our credibility and mission effectiveness.

When a sports team isn’t playing to the best of its ability, we often hear coaches tell the media they’re going back to the basics. By that, they mean focusing on the key fundamentals of their profession; getting the basics right. The most successful teams usually don’t have a thick playbook full of fancy, complicated plays. They have a few basic plays that they execute to perfection every time. More importantly, they play as a team, communicate well and are disciplined enough to execute plays without costly penalties.

The same philosophy applies in our organizations. Every unit has certain fundamental actions they must do well in order to be successful. Doing so takes attention to detail and discipline. Typically, units make mistakes because their members are trying to save time and get the job at hand done quickly. Unfortunately, this undisciplined approach costs everyone involved more work in the long run because of the need to re-do tasks done improperly the first time, and often, to fix things damaged in the process.

Bringing an organization back to the basics requires more than just words. It requires leadership from all levels, commitment from all personnel, and a constant focus on setting and enforcing the highest standards. Every member of the organization with officer’s insignia on their collars or NCO stripes on their sleeves needs to play an active role in ensuring compliance with those standards and cannot overlook incidents where those standards are not met. Quite frankly, in this era of high ops tempo, limited manning and experience, we have time for nothing less than doing it right the first time, every time.

All units have goals, and I’m certain many of you as individuals have set resolutions for things you hope to achieve in 2010, too. If back to basics is on your goal list, make sure it’s a concept toward which you apply more than words. Back up those words with leadership, discipline, and commitment to help yourselves and your units be successful in the future.

COMMENTARY>>19th OG prepares for Aircrew Standardization and Evaluation visit

The 19th Operations Group is revving up for an Aircrew Standardization/Evaluation Visit scheduled next week through Feb. 6.

The purpose of the ASEV is to evaluate the 19th Operations Group’s ability to safely perform the mission. During the visit, Col. Michael Cassidy, Air Mobility Command A3V, and his team will evaluate the 19th OG flying squadrons’ standardization/evaluation, training, tactics and aviation resource management programs.

“The ASEV validates the mission ready status of the 19 OG,” said Maj. Jimmy Smith, 19th OG chief of standardization and evaluation division. “It is AMC’s stamp of approval certifying we can go out and execute our mission safely and effectively.”

AMC ASEV teams normally visit units approximately every 40 months for unit-equipped active-duty units. The last ASEV was in December of 2006.

According to Air Force Instruction 11-202V2, titled Aircrew Standardization/Evaluation Program, ASEVs are the principal tool for evaluating aircrew flight operations and verifying safe and effective mission accomplishment. This is achieved through aircrew testing and flight evaluations to ensure compliance with approved operational procedures and applicable special interest items.

ASEV team will also administer a closed book examination to all available flying personnel in the grade of O-5 and below who are qualified to fly unsupervised in unit aircraft. A unit-level overall ASEV grade of Mission Ready or Non-Mission Ready will be awarded.

Major Smith said that the group has been working to ensure all our programs and flight operations comply with AFI guidance.

“We have reviewed all our 19 OG supplements, released updated guidance for our programs and conducted numerous squadron SAVs,” he added.

“Our stan/eval team has been working hard in preparation for the visit,” said Col. Michael Zick, 19th Airlift Wing vice commander. “Over 160 check rides have been completed, with nearly 190 to be complete by the time the team arrives.”

Additionally, the effectiveness of individual unit aircrew standardization/evaluation, training, tactics, and aviation resource management programs will be evaluated to ensure compliance and standardization among flying units, and provide meaningful feedback to unit commanders.

The grade scale ranges from outstanding for programs that exceed all requirements with no significant discrepancies to unsatisfactory for programs with major discrepancies that degrade program effectiveness. Major Smith expressed confidence that the group will pass the ASEV with flying colors.

“The 19th Operation Group is ready for the ASEV,” said Major Smith. “Our group and squadrons have great programs in place and great people ready to show the outstanding work we do everyday.”

(Courtesy of the 19th Operations Group and 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

TOP STORY > >Commander gets first glimpse of 19th Airlift Wing

Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., AMC commander, makes stop at Little Rock Air Force Base Jan. 11-12

By Capt. Joe Knable
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr., commander of Air Mobility Command, visited here Jan. 11 – 12 to meet the Airmen behind the largest and busiest C-130 wing in the Air Force, the 19th Airlift Wing.

General Johns was joined by his wife, Diana, and Chief Master Sgt. David E. Spector, AMC’s command chief master sergeant, for a full itinerary of meetings and events ranging from a tour of base housing renovations to a town hall meeting with Little Rock Airmen.

The 19th AW has already flown more than 5,000 sorties this fiscal year and 57 percent of AMC’s total C-130 hours last year.

The wing is fully invested in the fight, with nearly 650 warfighters currently deployed in support of ongoing operations and another 600 Airmen tasked to deploy soon.

At Little Rock General Johns, joined by leaders and representatives from the base and the wing, received a mission briefing from Col. Greg Otey, the commander of the 19th AW. Leadership of the 153rd and 302nd Airlift Wings, in Wyoming and Colorado respectively, were also in attendance to represent the 19th AW’s two geographically separated squadrons – the 30th and 52nd Airlift Squadrons.

During the mission briefing, Colonel Otey highlighted several of the 19th AW’s accomplishments, such as the base’s seven RODEO 2009 trophies, including best C-130 wing, the 19th Airlift Wing; the AMC 2009 Maintenance Excellence Award winner, the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron; and the thousands of convoy vehicles the wing has helped remove from the dangerous roads in the deployed environment by providing combat airlift.

“These awards reflect how you’re treating each other and what your commanders, chiefs and supervisors are doing with the resources you’ve been given,” said General Johns. “It’s you who are making a difference for these Airmen.”

General Johns lauded the Airmen on their proven ability to provide combat airlift support. “Your airdrop and airland is keeping this operation going,” he said.

“Out of more than 60 countries that fly C-130s, no one does it better than you,” General Johns said during the commander’s call. “You are the very best C-130 operation in the world. You’re making a difference, and no one does it better than you.”

COMMENTARY>>New year…Fresh look

By Chief Master Sgt. Richard Turcotte
314th Airlift Wing command chief

Isn’t it funny how the New Year brings excitement, new challenges, a sense of renewed purpose and an opportunity to make a fresh start? It’s like setting the game clock back to zero for the chance to win.

For most of us, 2009 brought many challenges and success stories in and around our Air Force. However, I believe most of you will agree that as the premier Air, Space and Cyberspace force, we can and must do better. In my opinion it’s a simple
“resolution” of maintaining discipline. No, I do not mean discipline in the derogatory sense. I am referring to discipline as Airmen.

More specifically, we need to maintain discipline in the three P’s – personal, professional, and performance. As Airmen, we sometimes get sidetracked in our day-to-day lives completing the mission. We may settle for a minimum passing score on our fitness test. We may put off completing that Community College of the Air Force degree for another semester. We may overlook someone’s substandard performance. We may forget to provide valuable feedback to those we lead. We may take for granted the metrics we follow to ensure performance. We may even find an excuse to delay a class start date for professional military education because we are busy with other things but at what cost? In my opinion, the cost is exponential.

As we enter 2010, we must continue to develop our personal discipline and hold ourselves accountable. Every time we fail to accept or execute our duties, fail to follow an instruction or technical data, or fail to correct conduct or behavior that places ourselves or others at risk we jeopardize our mission success. With regard to professional discipline, we must excel in and demonstrate those items that reinforce and validate our institutional and occupational competencies.

An example is by following instructional guidance, completing career development courses with an above average score for that respective Air Force specialty code or securing PME within the required time. We must seek out opportunities for growth and not become complacent in our roles. We must continue to see every challenge as an opportunity to succeed. Performance discipline will only happen after deliberate repetition of known and accepted skills. Accepting these disciplines will drive performance and ensure our success as the premier Air, Space and Cyberspace force.

Our strength comes from our people, not our technology. My challenge for 2010 is simple. Embrace the three P’s. Strive for personal discipline...get in the books and know what is expected, grab a friend and get to the fitness center and be the standard for others to emulate. Increase your professional discipline by completing that CCAF degree within your Air Force specialty code, taking the time to train and educate the force, and always thirsting for development opportunities.

Be a factor in driving positive performance instead of chasing negative indicators, and by all means have fun doing it.

COMMENTARY>>Excellence is a state of mind

By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing command chief

After a busy day on the job recently, I decided to go by Anthony’s Pizza and take a break. I was then overwhelmed by the pride displayed by Sherry and Carmen. These two ladies were working behind the counter and inspired me with their commitment to excellence. I quickly began to internalize the concept that excellence is conceived in your mind and then birthed through your actions.

These two ladies told me they produced the world’s best pizza. Now you can debate this matter if you’d like, but I took it to understand that they took every task associated with making pizza personally. I’ve eaten my share of pizza, and I’m partial to New York style, but I have never seen an attitude in a pizzeria such as theirs. My question to you is, do you look at each opportunity personally and professionally as reflections on your attitude on excellence? Excellence is simply not accepting mediocrity when you have it within you to do better.

It has to be a state of mind, because there are many parts of our profession that aren’t glamorous, yet they are is vital to our mission. So how do you handle the tasks that may not appeal to you? Excellence demands that each task isn’t looked at differently, but approached with the same positive attitude coupled with dedication. Sherry and Carmen have internalized the concept of excellence of mind.

Whether it’s sweeping up, prepping a pizza or greeting a customer there was no change in attitude or energy. I think we can all learn from these two ladies. So do you need a check up from the neck up, or is your mind in the right place at all times?

As I enjoyed my slice of pizza, I must admit, they did a great job preparing it. So never forget that excellence is a state of mind.

Combat Airlift!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

COMMENTARY>>379 ELRS in-theater distribution saves lives, money

By Senior Airman Michael Matkin
379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

SOUTHWEST ASIA – The missions of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing are broad and diverse. One of these missions is to be a hub for Air Force personnel, Department of Defense civilians and contractors deploying downrange. Before they leave the 379 AEW they typically must make a stop at the 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron expeditionary theater distribution center to receive personal protective equipment.

Before PPE was housed and distributed in-theater, the cost of excess baggage for deploying Airmen was in excess of $51 million. It was determined that using ETDCs was the solution. The redistribution of PPE saves millions a year in excess baggage charges, aircraft fuel expenditures and movement costs. Master Sgt. Calvin Webb, 379 ELRS ETDC noncommissioned officer in-charge, deployed from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., said that the 379 AEW ETDC saves the U.S. Air Force more than $7 million a year alone.

The 379 ELRS ETDC is the largest in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Its mission is to manage, issue and account for the more than $4,700 worth of required individual protective equipment per person according to the reporting instructions of Air Force personnel, Department of Defense civilians and contractors supporting Air Force missions. They also maintain all reporting instructions so they can ensure personnel receive the required equipment they need for their deployment.

“It is important to ensure everyone gets the proper equipment, which is another reason we have a distribution center in the AOR. This allows for AOR redistribution and reach-back capability within theater versus going back to the [Continental U.S.] for equipment. This is important not only to help defray the costs, but also to support more than 25 forward operating bases,” said Tech. Sgt. Marcus Wilson 379 ELRS EDTC, issue tent noncommissioned officer in-charge, deployed from Holloman AFB, N.M.

More than 3,000 personnel deploying to these FOBS come through here and one of their first stops before continuing downrange is the issue tent, Sergeant Wilson said.

The issue tent operates out of two large conjoined Alaskan shelters. Although the tents are relatively big, because of the amount of the gear they issue, there are limits to the amount of personnel they can process, Sergeant Wilson said. However, officials adjusted the process and have streamlined the configuration of assets in the tent to increase flow, thus enabling customers to process more than 60 personnel at a time.

All of the personnel who process through the issue tent and are issued items must return the ETDC issued assets to an EDTC return center before redeploying.

“Everything issued [from the 379 ELRS ETDC] is accounted for and must be returned upon redeployment,” said Tech. Sgt. Tina McCabe, 379 ELRS ETDCreturn center noncommissioned officer in-charge, deployed from Langley AFB, Va.

Regardless of the equipment’s condition, it must be returned for accountability purposes as well as tracking the respective shelf life, Sergeant McCabe said.

“We ensure the equipment hasn’t expired and is still serviceable,” said Senior Airman Kelli Mitchell, 379 ELRS ETDC return center journeyman, deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. “Every piece of equipment has a shelf life with a date. Anything due to expire within the deployment timeframe will not be issued, and that item will be replaced in the bag.”

One of the steps personnel must go through when returning their gear is reconstituting their helmets. However, sometimes personnel do not understand why they are required to clean them, Sergeant McCabe said.

“It can be challenging. We know they are tired and are just looking forward to going home, so we brief them when they first come in as to why it is required,” Sergeant McCabe said. “We tell them they are not just doing it for themselves, they are doing it for the next person who will be wearing that helmet. Once they hear this, they are pretty good about getting it done.”

The ETDC doesn’t just store and account for its own equipment, it also provides courtesy storage for personnel who are going home on emergency leave or rest and relaxation, Airman Mitchell said. In addition, if someone received gear from another base, but are returning home through the 379 AEW, they will take their equipment and ship it back to where it was received.

Whether someone is deploying or redeploying the ETDC ensures mission success by ensuring all personnel have the correct, serviceable equipment to accomplish the mission no matter where they may be deploying to, as well as accounting for those items so they are available to protect the personnel replacing them,” Sergeant Webb said.

COMMENTARY>>Yacht club reunion

By Lt. Col. Charles Brown
62nd Airlift Squadron commander

Airborne assault and resupply operations have proven to be an indispensible asset to combatant commanders, dating back to the development of the Parachute Test Platoon at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1940.

Airborne forces proved their merit during successful WWII operations in the Sicily and Italian campaigns, but it was the invasion of Normandy that brought the value of these forces -- and their airlift brothers -- to the forefront. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower implemented the invasion of France, codenamed Operation Overlord, in June 1944, with a key supporting operation named Operation Neptune, providing the insertion of airborne forces behind enemy lines. Comprised of 925 aircraft and six regiments of paratroopers from the 82nd and the 101st Airborne Divisions, more than 13,000 men took off from England to conduct what would be the first night-time airborne insertion of troops. Included in this mass operation were 18 C-47 aircraft, 78 commissioned officers and 241 enlisted men of the 314th Troop Carrier Group, 62nd Troop Carrier Squadron, operating out of Saltby Field, England.

On Dec. 4, the 62nd Airlift Squadron hosted its annual “Yacht Club” reunion. Originating in 1971 as a means to bring the members of the 62nd TCS together, it has since opened its alumnus to the men and women of the 62nd AS who have participated in combat and contingency operations, ranging from World War II to Korea, Vietnam and up through and including current operations, including the Airmen whose current mission is to produce the finest legacy C-130 combat airlift aircrews in the world.

It was a distinct pleasure to see the warriors who laid the foundation of combat airlift regale the newest generation of airlifters with their memories of flying in Operations Overlord, Neptune, Market Garden and in support of the airborne resupply of surrounded allied forces in the Battle of the Bulge, named for the bulge in the allied line created by the German advance. In turn, the newest generation explained to these heroes how the lessons, tactics, techniques and procedures, developed during the past 69 years, evolved with technology to enable the aerial delivery of supplies from more than 10,000 feet with a delivery precision of up to 50 meters through the advent of GPS guided parachutes. Listening to the various generations of airlifters compare notes, it became apparent technology was the only difference in the ability to provide time-critical supplies to airborne forces whether they were surrounded by the German army in the Ardennes forest, or U.S. Special Forces operating in remote locations in Afghanistan.

The heritage of the United States Air Force, though in its infancy compared to sister services, is one full of warriors, tales of bravery, and as shown by the gathering of six brothers of the 62nd TCS who travelled as far as 1,000 miles to gather with Combat Airlifters of the past, present and future - a testament to the profound legacy and importance of the mission of tactical airlift.

We extend a special thank you to Jack Downhill, Bill Hyden, David Mondt, Chester Ross, Ben Setliff and Ted Walters - original members of the 62nd TCS who made the trip to spend time with the men and women of the 62nd AS. Lastly, a special thanks to Rosie Thompson, daughter of a local establishment near Saltby Field, who claimed the 62nd TCS as their own while they conducted combat operations out of England. It was a true honor to host such a fine group of warriors, friends and guests who travelled great distances to not be thanked, but to say “thank you” for allowing them to be a member of the Yacht Club.

COMMENTARY>>Looking ahead, not back

By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing command chief

As I tried to utilize some of the exercise equipment at the fitness center, a couple of thoughts came to mind. First, I noticed I was surrounded by many unfamiliar faces in the fitness center. I guess they figured out that they had packed on a little too much fat reserve for the winter hibernation and were trying to make an adjustment.

Secondly, many people spend this time of the year looking back at what they accomplished last year. Some even say that because they broke their commitments from the prior year they won’t set any goals for this year. My response to you is that your past doesn’t have to be an indicator of what your future can be. So this week, I want you to look ahead to doing things, within your control, that will help you improve personally.

The first thing is to look inward, and not focus on what others are doing. Sometimes we accuse others of things they are not doing while excusing ourselves of the same thing.

Take the time to do an honest self assessment to see if you are putting your best foot forward each day.

Once you have done that, then you must simply hold yourself accountable to meeting your goals. I don’t like to run a great deal, yet I understand the positive attributes of running. I also detest running in cold weather, so those are two reasons that I could avoid activities associated with running this winter. To hold myself accountable, I purchased a treadmill and have been putting it to good use. Accountability may not feel good, but it produces great results.

My challenge to each of you is to look ahead to be better in 2010. Don’t blame others, don’t make excuses and hold yourself accountable. Your goals are your goals and let this be the year that you start and finish strong.

Combat Airlift!

TOP STORY > >HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Nearly 160 Airmen return to base Christmas Day

By Bob Oldham
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Two-year-old Cassandra Guerra received perhaps the greatest Christmas present ever of her young life when her dad, Airman 1st Class Michael Guerra, a 53rd Airlift Squadron loadmaster, returned home Dec. 25 from a deployment in Iraq.

Airman Guerra was one of nearly 160 base Airmen who returned Christmas Day to nearly 200 friends, family, base leaders and co-workers who showed up early Christmas morning to welcome the mobility Airmen home.

“I told (Cassandra) that Santa called me and that (Daddy) was still coming, and he was going to bring presents,” Elisa Guerra said.

Asked if she was happy her daddy was coming home on Christmas Day, Cassandra replied, “Uh-huh.”

The Guerras have been assigned to the base three years, and this was his second deployment.

While the 53rd had the largest contingent of aircrews, it was augmented with aircrews from the 30th AS from Cheyenne, Wyo.; the 154th AS of the Arkansas Air National Guard here; the 50th and 61st AS here, and the 19th Operations Support Squadron.

Airmen were also deployed from the 19th Maintenance Group and the 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron, many of which were deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq.

At Balad, Airmen flew nearly 630 combat missions, consisting of 3,740 flying hours. During the 2,624 combat sorties flown, crews hauled 45,700 passengers and nearly 4,100 tons of cargo, according to Lt. Col. Sean Bordenave, 777th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander. A mission could have several legs or sorties. A sortie is a takeoff and landing.

During the four-month stretch from mid-August to mid-December, the unit’s airlift operations reduced the need for 1,653 convoy vehicles to be on the road, significantly reducing the risk to American and coalition troops on the ground.

“These mobility warriors have done their nation’s bidding, and they’ve done it well,” said Col. Greg Otey, 19th Airlift Wing commander. “For the past four months they’ve proved their mettle in the heat of battle, much like a knight - Black Knight - from years past.”

While these Airmen returned home to their families at a special time of the year, about 600 base Airmen are still deployed to points all across the globe.