Thursday, May 27, 2010

COMMENTARY>>Master Sergeant Promotion List

Sixty-seven Team Little Rock technical sergeants were promoted under the 10E7 Weighted Airmen Promotions System. The Air Force worldwide statistics for cycle 10E7 are: 21,829 eligible and 5,424 selected for an Air Force-wide selection rate of 24.85 percent.

The average score for those selected was 341.18, with an average time in grade and time in service of 4.49 and 15.88 years respectively. The average score was based on the following point averages: 134.27 for enlisted performance reports, 11.40 for decorations, 79.69 for the promotion fitness examination and 63.59 for the specialty knowledge test.

Those selected for master sergeant will be promoted according to their promotion sequence number beginning in August 2010.

As a reminder, selections are tentative until the data verification process is complete, which is no later than 10 days after the promotion release date. Air Force Personnel Center officials will notify Airmen through their military personnel sections if their selection is in question.

THE TEAM LITTLE ROCK SELECTEES ARE:

Arnold Aschenbeck, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Michael Barnes 62nd Airlift Squadron

Terry Benson, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Carey Billig, 19th Force Support Squadron

Craig Boyer, 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron

James Burnett, 19th Operations Group

Nicholas Burnett, 50th Airlift Squadron

Brian Butler, 19th LRS

Maurice Cazabat 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Christian Chacon 62nd AS

Christopher Chambers 314th AMXS

George Clemons, 19th LRS

Demond Conners, 41st Airlift Squadron

Daniel Cowart, 19th EMS

Dorothy Cox, 19th FSS

Jason Crumpton, 19th AMXS

Raymond DeGarmo, 19th AMXS

Jeffrey Duncan, 19th AMXS

Duane Farley, 19th Maintenance Group

Donald Foree, 19th Maintenance Operations Squadron

Michael Freeman 314th AMXS

Randall Galloway, 19th LRS

John Gardner, 19th AMXS

Daniel Gillert 373rd Training Squadron

Steven Gilbert, 34th Combat Training Squadron

Donald Gray, 19th Communications Squadron

Dennis Guidice, 19th Airlift Wing

Charles Hardin, 19th AMXS

Matthew Harms, 19th Operations Support Squadron

Jason Hook, 19th Component Maintenance Squadron

Peter Johnson, 19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron

Robert Kennedy, 52nd Airlift Squadron

Benjamin Lewis 48th Airlift Squadron

Raymond Lippard, 19th MOS

Johnny Lockhart 314th AMXS

Peter Long, 19th Airlift Wing

John McAlister 19th EMS

Brian McKinnon, 19th EMS

Robert Miles, 30th Airlift Squadron

Richard Miller 314th AMXS

Ian Morris, 19th EMS

Israel Navarro, 19th CS

Thomas Neville, 19th MXG

Brian O’Donoghue, 19th AW

Curtis Osolin, 19th AMXS

Natasha Pagan, 19th OG

Wesley Powell, 19th AMDS

Michael Rinaldi, 19th MXG

Marlin Roberts, 19th AMXS

Mark Rondez, 61st Airlift Squadron

Paul Rose, 19th AMXS

Diane Rouse, 50th Airlift Squadron

Erik Selisker, 34th CTS

Adam Sinclair, 19th LRS

Timothy Singer, 19th OSS

William Snyder, 34th CTS

John Stanford, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron

Robert Sunde, III, 19th CMS

Thomas Taylor, 19th AMXS

James Tkacik, 19th AMXS

Jason Trezza 314th AMXS

Lary Wade 314th AMXS

Derrick Walker 62nd AS

Terrance Whitehead, 19th LRS

Brian Williams, 30th AS

Derek Williams, 19th LRS

James Wolfingbarger, 19th LRS

COMMENTARY>>C-130 SCHOOL GRADUATES

E Model

Flight Engineer Initial Qualification

Tech. Sgt. Russell Hart

May 17

Tech. Sgt. Brandon Guthinger

May 18

Staff Sgt. Bobby Eaton

Staff Sgt. Kristopher Reyes

May 21

Flight Engineer Instructor Course

Master Sgt. Mark Williams

Senior Airman Michael Guerra

May 19

Navigator Initial Qualification

2nd Lt. Alexander Brannon

May 17

2nd Lt. Lance King

May 18

Navigator Instructor Course

Lt. Col. William Salvaggio

1st Lt. Matthew Howard

May 17

Capt. Robert Sloan

May 24

Loadmaster Instructor Course

Master Sgt. Scott Boyer

Tech. Sgt. Quinton Hunt

May 18

Master Sgt. William Goode

May 21

Loadmaster Initial Qualification

Airman James Spangler

May 14

Marine Sgt. Roger Palmer

Airman Anthony Lucas

May 21

Loadmaster Mission Qualification

Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Patton

March 31

Airman 1st Class Joshua Griffin

May 18

Pilot Transition Course

Capt. Chris Nance

May 18

Pilot Instructor Course

Capt. Jason Ahrens

May 21

Pilot Initial Qualification

1st Lt. Regan Tillman

May 18

1st Lt. Tyler Tipton

May 21

Pilot Requalification Course

Capt. Josh Sullivan

May 21

J Model

Loadmaster Initial Qualification

Airman 1st Class Austin Koester

Airman 1st Class Sandy Lee

May 14

Loadmaster Transition Course

Tech. Sgt. Shane McClanahan

May 19

Pilot Instructor Course

Maj. Richard Crist

May 20

Pilot Transition Course

Capt. John Poole

May 21

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 314TH AIRLIFT WING

The 314th Airlift Wing is the nation’s C-130 “Center of Excellence.” The wing is responsible for training C-130 aircrew members from across the Department of Defense, to include the Coast Guard, and 38 allied nations. Some of ways the 314th AW tracks its successes are through student graduation measured in days ahead or behind, aircraft availability and mission capable rates. Those metrics as of May 26 are:

Days Ahead/Behind

C-130E: +3

C-130J: -5 C-21: +1

Aircraft Availability

C-130E: (std 15): 19.4

C-130J: (std 5.2): 4.2

Mission Capable Rate

C-130E: C-130J:

(std 75%): 87.3% (std 80%): 75%

Abort Rate

C-130E: C-130J:

(std 13%): 14.6% (std 5%): 2.1%

COMMENTARY>>Sustaining a wingman culture

by Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz
Air Education and Training Command commander

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – On April 20, a 22-year-old man with a history of violence walked into a bookstore in Wichita Falls, Texas, and started shooting. He wounded four women, then drove to a bar and killed an employee outside before he drove home and took his own life.

This tragedy sounds like so many we hear about on the news each and every night. We’ve almost become desensitized to the horror and emotional aftermath, but this type of violence is something we cannot ignore - especially this event in Wichita Falls.

You see, this time it wasn’t just a news headline. It was an event that touched our Air Force family directly.

Wichita Falls is home to Sheppard AFB and much of our Air Force’s technical training. This particular bookstore offers a quiet environment that provides a peaceful and relaxing place to browse bestsellers ... and for some of the Airmen going through training, a quiet place to do some evening studying. On that April night, three staff sergeants sat in that very store reviewing study materials for an exam the next morning. Two were former security forces members and the third a former F-16 crew chief. They were all on temporary duty to Sheppard to cross-train into the medical field. These Airmen were three of our best, and competed against thousands just for the chance to transition into aerospace medicine. That evening, the silence of their exam preparation was shattered by a man with a shotgun who barged into the bookstore yelling derogatory racial remarks.

His remarks shocked them, and the shooting that followed terrified everyone. They scattered and tried to protect themselves. It happened quickly, although the moment would be frozen forever in their minds. As suddenly as it began, the gunman was gone. The bookstore’s peaceful silence, however, would not return. Four people had been shot and two of them were Jade Henderson and Deondra Sauls, our staff sergeants. Police and emergency medical personnel were on the scene within minutes.

Both sergeants were transported to a local emergency room, and later to Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital for care.

Thankfully, although their wounds were severe, Jade and Deondra will recover and return to training.

This is where the story ends for the local news media, but there are actually many lessons that can be learned from this tragedy. Although not wounded in the shooting, the third Airman, Staff Sgt. Tanya “Taye” Jesser, avoided the gunfire by hiding under a desk near the shooter’s feet. She watched his car drive away and yelled to the other victims that the gunman was gone. She was one of those who had the presence of mind to call 9-1-1, provide a description of the gunman and request ambulances for the wounded.

Sergeant Jesser then followed the screams to different parts of the bookstore and provided care. She directed first responders to the wounded while applying pressure to slow the bleeding from one of her fellow Airmen. After emergency medical personnel were caring for the wounded, she contacted family members, reassuring them that all would be all right. Sergeant Jesser called a fellow student not at the scene and asked for help contacting Sheppard AFB, the security forces and her first sergeant. After filing her report with the authorities, she gathered the personal belongings of her classmates and traveled to the local emergency room.

Sergeant Jesser didn’t get back to her room that evening until almost 3 a.m. She woke before the sun and was in class on time at 7:15 a.m. Despite her lack of sleep and all that she had just been through, she took the exam as scheduled. Sergeant Jesser scored a 94 percent on the test.

The next day I flew up to Dallas to see our injured staff sergeants at Parkland Memorial Hospital. I wanted to make sure they understood the Air Force family stood with them. Although Sergeant Henderson was in surgery, I was able to see Sergeant Sauls. I asked her if there was anything that I could do - whether it was help notify friends, get family members situated nearby, or even assist with medical issues.

Sergeant Sauls looked me square in the eyes and said, “Sir, don’t let them take my training slot. I don’t want to lose it.” I was really touched. With everything that she’d been through, Sergeant Sauls was most concerned about her future in the Air Force.

These three Airmen were among the many heroes of the evening. Jade and Deondra were worried about their classmates and their ability to complete training. Taye acted with a determined professionalism that facilitated immediate care and added stability to a horrific tragedy. When we talk about a wingman culture, these three Airmen personify such an ideal. They were concerned for others; they were selfless.

The lives of many were forever changed that evening. It’s not only the individuals who were directly attacked - it’s their friends and families too. In this disaster, it doesn’t stop with the wounded. You see, the shooter also killed one individual that evening - even more tragic for his family and friends. The man killed was an Army veteran and the son of one of our civilian employees at Sheppard AFB. Witnesses that evening said that his actions may have saved the lives of others. He had his whole life ahead of him.

No matter how hard we try to avoid or prevent it, this type of violence can occur at any time in almost any location. We must all do what we can to stay aware of how our family members and friends are doing. Look for times when they need a little more support or encouragement. Be there for them - even when they don’t think they need you. There are many heroes at Sheppard AFB and the surrounding community currently supporting those affected by this tragedy. Being a good wingman is something all of us need to try to do each and every day. Knowing that you’ll be there for others should give you the comfort knowing that others will be there for you - whether you think you need them or not.

COMMENTARY>>Embracing change a must

by Lt. Col. Mike Honma
314th Airlift Wing chief of safety

When it comes to long-term success, the only constant thing in life is change. Whether it’s organizational or personal, continuous improvement is a paradigm shift that doesn’t come easily to some people. In fact, our natural tendency is to resist change due to a fear of the unknown. Therefore, it’s incumbent on leaders at every level to proactively foster change and ensure future success of the mission, the unit and its members.

Changes in our work environment come in many forms. New technology (electronic performance report managing system), organizational structure (transition from host to tenant wing), and overall priorities and standards (new physical fitness program) can induce fear and discomfort in the workforce while manifesting apprehension and potential poor performance if not handled correctly. As leaders, there are things we can do to overcome such adversity when it impacts our people’s comfort zone.

First of all, a leader’s positive mindset is crucial to facilitating trust. Having a clear vision, infectious optimism, and honest emotional awareness of concerns resonates with a team. All of us desire to be motivated and inspired. If subordinates look at changes as new experiences instead of trials, they are more likely to take advantage of those change’s positive elements. A leader’s enthusiasm to grow and improve can encourage others around them to get better.

Secondly, leaders must communicate effectively. Experts say the lack of communication is the major stumbling block when it comes to implementing change in an organization. People are fearful of what they don’t understand, and hence their natural reaction is to resist. Regularly share updated information, explain how strategy meets goals and objectives, encourage questions, promote two-way feedback, and effectively listen. Helping personnel understand why the change is being made, their role in the change, and how their inputs matter, enables skeptics to move from feelings of resist, to accept, and then to embrace.

Finally, effective leaders are not only the mechanism for change, but the catalyst as well. People are more inclined to stick to old habits unless they see something different in their leaders. Positive influence exudes from those that initiate change from within. Leading by example, supervisors who personally explore new possibilities and clarity in their lives (completing an advanced academic degree or actively volunteering in the community) can positively inspire unit members to embrace improvement possibilities in theirs.

Change is good and vital for the health of a unit. All members must effectively embrace change to foster cultural transformation and realize their full potential. Successful people view change as a challenge and opportunity for something better and so should you and those you lead.

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 19TH MAINTENANCE GROUP

The 19th Maintenance Group measures a lot of data calculating its contribution to the 19th Airlift Wing’s success. The group uses control limits to measure most performance indicators. They are current from May 1 to May 23.
The mission capable rate represents the percentage of all possessed aircraft that are capable of fulfilling at least one of their wartime missions. The MC rates from are:

C-130E: 66.1%

C-130H: 66.2%

C-130J: 83.7%

Deployed aircraft: 82.1%

Control Limits: Upper – 77.6% Lower – 74.6%

The Air Abort rate is the percentage of missions aborted in the air and on the ground. An abort is a sortie that ends prematurely and must be re-accomplished. The abort rates are:

C-130E: 0.5%
n C-130H: 6.4%
n C-130J: 0%
n Control Limits: Upper – 1% Lower – 0.8%

The fix rate is a percentage of aircraft returned to a flyable status in a certain amount of hours. The common, standard interval for this metric is 12-hours. The fix rates are:

C-130E: 85.7%

C-130H: 80%

C-130J: 66.7%

Deployed aircraft: 81%

Control Limits: Upper – 79.3% Lower – 70.5%

The Home Station Departure Reliability rate represents the percentage of departures that did not delay for logistics reasons within the unit’s control. The rate is 96.6 percent. Control Limits: Upper - 95.6 percent, Lower - 93.8 percent.

Maintenance scheduling effectiveness rate measures success in the unit’s ability to plan and complete inspections and periodic maintenance on-time per the maintenance plan. The rate is 95 percent. The AMC standard is 95 percent.

The 19th Maintenance Operations Squadron is the maintenance training focal point for the 19 MXG. The squadron provides upgrade qualification instruction for tasks in six AFSCs through the Maintenance Qualification and Training Program, which provides hands-on certification for all core tasks needed in these. Additionally, the squadron trains key safety concepts to all operational levels through the maintenance resource management course.

MQTP students graduated: 40

MQTP tasks qualified: 516

MRM students graduated: 41

The 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron performed five isochronal inspections, with four aircraft returned to the flight-line on-schedule, resulting in 80 percent on-time ISO delivery and boosting Team Little Rock’s aircraft availability.

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 19TH MAINTENANCE GROUP

The 19th Maintenance Group measures a lot of data calculating its contribution to the 19th Airlift Wing’s success. The group uses control limits to measure most performance indicators. They are current from May 1 to May 23.
The mission capable rate represents the percentage of all possessed aircraft that are capable of fulfilling at least one of their wartime missions. The MC rates from are:

C-130E: 66.1%

C-130H: 66.2%

C-130J: 83.7%

Deployed aircraft: 82.1%

Control Limits: Upper – 77.6% Lower – 74.6%

The Air Abort rate is the percentage of missions aborted in the air and on the ground. An abort is a sortie that ends prematurely and must be re-accomplished. The abort rates are:

C-130E: 0.5%
n C-130H: 6.4%
n C-130J: 0%
n Control Limits: Upper – 1% Lower – 0.8%

The fix rate is a percentage of aircraft returned to a flyable status in a certain amount of hours. The common, standard interval for this metric is 12-hours. The fix rates are:

C-130E: 85.7%

C-130H: 80%

C-130J: 66.7%

Deployed aircraft: 81%

Control Limits: Upper – 79.3% Lower – 70.5%

The Home Station Departure Reliability rate represents the percentage of departures that did not delay for logistics reasons within the unit’s control. The rate is 96.6 percent. Control Limits: Upper - 95.6 percent, Lower - 93.8 percent.

Maintenance scheduling effectiveness rate measures success in the unit’s ability to plan and complete inspections and periodic maintenance on-time per the maintenance plan. The rate is 95 percent. The AMC standard is 95 percent.

The 19th Maintenance Operations Squadron is the maintenance training focal point for the 19 MXG. The squadron provides upgrade qualification instruction for tasks in six AFSCs through the Maintenance Qualification and Training Program, which provides hands-on certification for all core tasks needed in these. Additionally, the squadron trains key safety concepts to all operational levels through the maintenance resource management course.

MQTP students graduated: 40

MQTP tasks qualified: 516

MRM students graduated: 41

The 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron performed five isochronal inspections, with four aircraft returned to the flight-line on-schedule, resulting in 80 percent on-time ISO delivery and boosting Team Little Rock’s aircraft availability.

TOP STORY > >Little Rock AFB home of Total Force C-130 training

by Arlo Taylor
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Little Rock Air Force Base will continue to be the center of C-130 Total Force training for years to come as a result of a fore structure realignment announced by the Air Force May 11.

As a result, Little Rock’s C-130 training mission will reflect the Total Force Integration environment employed and deployed in C-130 operational missions around the world.

The move means the 189th Airlift Wing will take over legacy C-130 training, and it will be assisted by an Air Force Reserve Command associate unit. Air Force Reserve Command will provide manpower and 10 aircraft to establish a C-130H2 Formal Training Unit, starting this fall. Air National Guard units from around the United States will loan another eight C-130H2 aircraft to the unit. All of the aircraft are expected to be at Little Rock by the fall of 2011.

“We have had Total Force training at Little Rock for more than two decades with the 314th and 189th Airlift Wings and after these changes, we’re still going to have Total Force training centered on the 314th and 189th, said Col. C.K. Hyde, 314th Airlift Wing commander. “C-130 training is not moving. The training will still be done at Little Rock Air Force Base and will start in the 314th Airlift Wing’s C-130 Center of Excellence with academics, device and weapons system trainers.”

The 189th Airlift Wing will be the lead legacy C-130 training unit as a result of the announcement. Gaining of this important mission is a testament to the entire Team Little Rock community -- active duty, Guard, Reserve and the civilian community, said Col. Jim Summers, 189th Airlift Wing commander.

“It is a very important mission for the 189th. It is important because we share the same mission as our active-duty counterparts,” he said. “This base is known as the C-130 Center of Excellence because of the training mission and that reputation exists only because all three Wings on this base are truly partners. Everyone on this base, military and civilian, works to provide combatant commanders with the best C-130 combat airlift crews in the world.

“You can’t talk partnership and omit our community council and civilian supporters. The fact that that our community council was awarded the Abilene Trophy (which will be presented on June 15) speaks volumes,” Colonel Summers said. “The support they provide the military and this base has truly made LRAFB the Center of Excellence for C-130 Combat Airlift.”

The move also acknowledges the quality of the people who make the 189th AW mission happen.

“It recognizes the fact that we have recruited and retained a lot of very capable, talented and experienced individuals who are just as dedicated to mission success and Air Force core values as our active duty counterparts,” Colonel Summers said.

The Total Force Integration proposal would shift legacy training from the 62nd Airlift Squadron to the Reserve Component, retire 25 active-duty E-model C-130s and bring 18 loaner legacy C-130s from Air National Guard and Reserve units in to meet the Air Force’s Total Force training needs.

Today’s teamwork will be crucial to continued mission success during the transition of the legacy C-130 FTU program, Colonel Summers said.

Future training will reflect the composition of programmed C-130 force structure. The active duty will operate the preponderance of C-130 J-model aircraft and will conduct J-model training in the 314 AW. The Reserve component will operate most of the legacy and Avionics Modernization Program C-130s and will conduct legacy training. During the transition period, there will be a gradual hand off of legacy training from the 314th Airlift Wing to the 189th Airlift Wing and their Reserve partners. “A gradual phased hand off will provide stability, and if done right, it will be totally transparent to our students and their gaining commands” said Colonel Summers.

The phased transition from FY 2011 to FY 2014 will yield a legacy school house centered on the 189th Airlift Wing with an Air Force Reserve Command associate unit. The 314th Airlift Wing’s active duty cadre will provide Air Force, DoD and international C-130J training. The wing will also continue its oversight of students and the C-130 Center of Excellence including the ATS and JMATS contracts through its 714th Training Squadron.

As the transition proceeds, 62nd Airlift Squadron mission will gradually reduce. In fiscal 2011, the remaining 17 of the squadron’s E-model aircraft are slated be retired. Squadron personnel will continue to train through fiscal 2014. Personnel changes will be phased in a gradual transition, managed by the normal assignment process.

“The active-duty personnel positions aren’t being cut. They will be used in other active C-130 units,” said Colonel Hyde. “The
Air Force will use that manpower to help operational and training units cope with high ops tempos and emerging requirements.

“Active- duty members from the 62nd will still be involved in the legacy training mission to ensure the transition goes smoothly and make certain the formal training methodology, processes and structure are transferred seamlessly to the reserve component,” Colonel Hyde said.
Little Rock’s Total Force partnership is an extension of how the base builds, employs and deploys C-130 Combat Airlifters.

“You don’t build FTU’s and partnerships overnight. When you have been in the C-130 training business for as long as Little Rock Air Force Base personnel, you recognize where changes can be made for efficiency or more importantly where change will produce better combat airlifters,” Colonel Summers said. “Colonel Hyde and I know that if a student graduates from the 314th or the 189th, he or she has received the best training possible under the same strict standards of any AETC flying training unit.”

Officials project the recapitalization move to save $256 million in modification and operations costs while maintaining a large enough fleet to meet current and forecasted requirements. It also allows the Air Force to retire a portion of its oldest C-130Hs to avoid future required modifications and increasingly costly sustainment, as well as accelerate the planned retirement of C-130Es, whose average age is 46.0 years.

The changes are influenced by the recently released Mobility Capabilities and Requirements Study 2016 that showed the Air Force possessing more tactical airlift aircraft than required. The Air Force’s FY2011 budget proposal, which initially called for a permanent shift of the Reserve Component C-130s, drew fire from legislators from the states of affected units who voiced concerns regarding the concept that will shift Air National Guard and Reserve C-130s to Little Rock. As a result of an alternative brought forward by the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve during this review, and with Department of Defense concurrence, the Air Force will maintain the 18 C-130’s in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

“We have consulted extensively with the Adjutant Generals of the states providing the loaned aircraft in the development of this plan. Over time, as new C-130Js continue to enter the fleet, the legacy C-130 training requirements will decrease; this will allow C-130s from the Reserve Component to return to their home units,” said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. “This is an acceleration of a concept that has been envisioned for some time.

“We will continue to analyze the allocation of tactical airlift force structure between the Active and Reserve Components to ensure we have the best allocation of assets to meet the nation’s war fighting requirements and to meet the needs of the states,” the secretary said.

The concept aims to improve the balance between the operational requirements stated in MCRS 16, the mission needs of the states, and the formal training gap created by recapitalizing the service’s legacy C-130 fleet. This approach will allow the Reserve components, which maintain approximately 67 percent of the C-130 force structure, to perform a larger role in C-130 schoolhouse training, while providing the opportunity to retire older model C-130s and reallocate active-duty end strength from the C-130 schoolhouse to meet other emerging personnel requirements, according to officials.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

COMMENTARY>>Memorial Day – Take time to pause and reflect

by Gen. Raymond Johns
Commander, Air Mobility Command

As we all prepare to observe Memorial Day, let me first thank you for your extraordinary dedication and contributions to our nation and this Command. Whatever the challenge, you continually answer the call and perform your mission with incredible distinction and courage.

Speaking of courage, I ask that you take a moment and pay tribute to the generations of brave servicemen and women who helped secure the freedoms we all enjoy today. Please pause and reflect on the tremendous legacy of honor and service which these Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and Airmen have so generously given our homeland.

Today, you continue this proud tradition. As some of the finest Airmen in our Air Force, you make a difference when and where it matters most. Whether it’s providing Global Reach in Iraq and Afghanistan or humanitarian relief in Haiti, you answer an unyielding call to save lives and support our fellow service members.

Notably, we cannot perform this mission alone. Our long hours at work and time away from home are only made possible by the steadfast support we receive from our families. Like your service, their sacrifice and devotion play a key role in our nation’s defense. This is why I would like you and your families to practice good safety over the Memorial Day weekend. It takes all of us to accomplish the amazing work that has become the trademark of Air Mobility Command.

So please know I salute you, and I salute your families. Your contributions and sacrifices secure our freedom and for that America is grateful. Please enjoy this Memorial Day...be safe...and be good Wingmen!

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 314TH AIRLIFT WING

The 314th Airlift Wing is the nation’s C-130 “Center of Excellence.” The wing is responsible for training C-130 aircrew members from across the Department of Defense, to include the Coast Guard, and 38 allied nations. Some of ways the 314th AW tracks its successes are through student graduation measured in days ahead or behind, aircraft availability and mission capable rates.

Those metrics as of May 16 are:

Days Ahead/Behind

C-130E: +3

C-130J: -5

C-21: +1

Aircraft Availability

C-130E: (std 15): 20.9

C-130J: (std 5.2): 4.2

Mission Capable Rate

C-130E: C-130J:

(std 75%): 88.7% (std 80%): 65%

COMMENTARY>>C-130 SCHOOL GRADUATES

E Model

Pilot Requalification Course

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Menasco

May 4

Maj. Andrew Smith

May 7

Lt. Col. Travis Hill

May 13

Flight Engineer Instructor Course

Tech. Sgt. Raul Enchautegui

Staff Sgt. Undray Morris

May 11

Maj. Christopher Splees

Capt. William Burris

May 13

Staff Sgt. Robert Coyne

May 17

Pilot Initial Qualification

2nd Lt. Chad Drones

2nd Lt. David Stapp

May 6

2nd Lt. Brian Dendy

May 7

2nd Lt. James Kennedy

May 11

Pilot Transition Course

Capt. James Harmon, III

Capt. William Walker

May 12

Loadmaster Instructor Course

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Helm

Staff Sgt. Timothy Parritt

May 13

Loadmaster Initial Qualification

Airman 1st Class Robert Malone

May 13

Navigator Initial Qualification

2nd Lt. Elizabeth Deptula

May 6

Flight Engineer Initial Qualification

Staff Sgt. Mark Hanna

Tech. Sgt. Keith Lafontaine

May 14

Navigator Instructor Course

Capt. Justin Rigby

May 17

COMMENTARY>>314th delivers bridge to combat troops

by Chris Rumley
314th Airlift Wing historian

In November 1950, as the US Army’s Tenth (X) Corps and 1st Marine Division pushed north to the Yalu River in Korea, their commanders believed the war would soon be over. Eating that year’s Thanksgiving meal along a tiny mountain road in the northern portion of Korea, the troops were determined to be home by Christmas. Little did they know this tiny section of mountain road would soon become infamous. In many locations, bridges spanning deep drop-offs cut across the precariously narrow road. Heading up the route, enemy opposition had been light and morale was high.

All that changed on the night of November 26th, when 120,000 Chinese regular troops attacked the X Corps. The following night, two Chinese divisions attacked the 1st Marines and cut off their supply route to the south. The encircled units called upon Combat Cargo Command to airdrop ammunition and supplies needed to fight their way out from the Chosin Reservoir area. The stage was set for one of the most remarkable achievements in American military history – the resupply and evacuation of the X Corps.

On November 29th, 12 C-119s from the 314th Troop Carrier Group began delivering supplies to the surrounded units. Gen. William H. Tunner of Combat Cargo Command offered to fly the entire Marine division and most of the small vehicles out from Hagaru-ri, a small town at the southern tip of the reservoir. Maj. Gen. Oliver Smith, commander of the 1st Marine Division appreciated the offer. “Thanks,” he said, “I’ll need the whole fighting division to get everybody out ... But you take the sick, frost bitten and wounded.” C-47 crews flew out 4,689 casualties from Hagaru-ri in six days. Among the casualties were many Chinese regulars with frozen hands and feet who had crawled into the Marine perimeter to surrender and seek respite from the freezing temperatures. With the wounded safely removed, General Smith could now fight his way down the narrow path, and he would be taking his heavy equipment with him.

The procession of 10,000 Marines and 1,000 vehicles took 38 hours to maneuver their way down the 11-mile mountain path from Hagaru-ri to Koto-Ri. Four miles outside of Koto-Ri, they reached a dead end. The Chinese had destroyed a bridge traversing a 1,500 foot gorge in the Funchilin Pass. There was no way around the 16-foot gap. It was at this point that General Smith made an unusual request to Combat Cargo Command that eight sections of Treadway Bridge and plywood planking be dropped to his forces. If the bridge was blown out ... General Smith would build one.

The Treadway Bridge sections were each 16 feet long and weighed 2,900 pounds. A practice run before the actual drop, using 24-foot parachutes, destroyed a bridge section, burying it 6 feet into the ground. With no time for further testing, larger 48-foot chutes were brought in for the drop. On Dec 7th, eight planes from the 314th TCG, loaded with one bridge section each, took off from Yonpo and flew toward Koto-Ri. The planes decreased altitude to 800 feet in the mountain terrain and dropped the sections onto an unmarked drop zone. One section was destroyed on impact and one fell into enemy hands. Six of the sections, however, landed intact on the drop zone. Needing only four sections to complete the bridge, the Marines were in business. On the morning of December 8th, thanks to the only airdropped bridge in history, the Marines broke out of Koto-Ri and were soon out of harm’s way. “There can be no doubt,” General Smith acknowledged, “that the supplies received by this method proved to be the margin necessary to sustain adequately the operations of the division during this period.”

Once the isolated units fought their way out of the enemy trap, the problem of evacuating the X Corps from the Port at Hungnam remained. With the enemy closing in, and insufficient time for evacuation by sea alone, air transports were called upon to assist with the task. For three days, from Dec. 14 to 17, the 314th TCG was engaged in these evacuation operations. It dispatched a total of 176 C-119s. Flying through marginal weather, the pilots landed at an airfield just barely suitable for C-119 operations.

Throughout the mission, troop carrier units evacuated more than 4,000 patients and more than 2,000 tons of cargo. The 314th TCG brought in the replacements, weapons, ammunition, water, food and medical supplies needed to sustain friendly units near Chosin for 13 days and allowed them to fight their way out of the trap. By the end of December, all of the X Corps had been evacuated from its foray into the Northern sections of Korea. For its actions during the campaign, the 314th TCG earned a Distinguished Unit Citation – the first such combat award earned by any Air Force unit in the Korean War.

COMMENTARY>>The meaning of command

by Col. Patrick Mordente
314th Operations Group commander

In my two years as a group commander, I’ve had the opportunity to host a few squadron changes of command. Changes of command are described many ways … it is a time honored tradition … it is a visible sign of the passing of responsibility and leadership as the guidon passes from commander to commander. Only eight simple words are stated between the outgoing and incoming commanders, “Sir, I relinquish command … Sir, I accept command.” Eight simple words are at the heart of a ceremony that my good friend Col. Don Wilhite described as being, “As smooth as a gentle breeze over calm waters.”

With that, the change of command is complete. It all seems simple and sometimes we may wonder why we take the time to make a change of command so ceremonial. But those eight words and what they represent drive to the very foundation of our Air Force Core Values: Integrity first, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do.

A change of command is a visible sign to all that a new commander is in charge. However, what I find most impressive is how the outgoing commander simply fades into the background and quietly leaves at the end of the ceremony. It’s through that gesture that one realizes that command is not about the individual … it is about the people and the unit.

We can all learn from this ceremony and apply it to our own situation. If you are a frontline supervisor, flight, squadron, group or even a wing commander, one day you will have to pass the “guidon” and fade into the background and let the next generation take charge. Remember, every position of leadership requires us to live by our cores values while ensuring our Airman do also and train that next generation to take our place.

In two weeks, I will pass the guidon to the next 314th Operations Group commander. I will be sad to leave, but confident that the group is in the best of hands … and then I will take my family and quietly fade into the background.

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 19TH OPERATIONS GROUP

The 19th Operations Group measures lots of statistics that calculate their success. One such set of numbers is the number passengers and tons of cargo hauled.



In Iraq, the 777th EAS

has flown since 2006

l Passengers 448,499

l Tons of Cargo 73,732


In Afghanistan, the 772

EAS airdropped

l Tons of Cargo 2,395

COMMENTARY>>Are you a chronic complainer?

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

Personally, I witnessed my father go from being vibrant to being physically debilitated; through this period of transition I cannot remember him complaining once. Conversely, on occasion, I’ve found myself complaining about the smallest things in life. I believe the difference between my father and me was that he appreciated what he had in the form of family and friends, while I chose to take those for granted from time to time.

Often times, we focus on things we don’t have while not fully appreciating the gifts around us daily. My question is where is your focus today? Is it on things that drain you or things that can help you move forward?

I’ve found people who constantly complain can suck the energy out of those around them. I also believe if we looked for productive alternatives to the things that frustrate us, we can come out of our situations much more quickly. Worrying and complaining have never solved a problem on their own but they’ve caused many other problems, such as undue stress. Each day we’re challenged regarding whether to gripe about our lives or actively engage in ways to keep positive momentum.

I’m not suggesting the things we face aren’t real or should be ignored. I’m just saying that a positive outlook coupled with positive efforts will render good results. Don’t be that person who people try to avoid because you may be coming off overly negative. Our community is one that embraces each other when assistance is needed, and each of you is important. My hope is that you continue to look for the good in life, versus keeping a running tab on things not going well. At the end of the day your attitude will control your altitude, so dust yourself off and get back in the fight. Combat Airlift!

TOP STORY > >2 Airmen start fundraising trend

by Staff Sgt. Carolyn Viss
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan – Two young enlisted Airmen started a fundraiser last month that had a contagious effect, ending with $5,000 for the Manas Area Benefits Outreach Society children’s heart surgery fund.

Beginning with a goal of raising about $500 — enough to fund one surgery — the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron soon donated 10 times the original goal, thanks to the initial generosity of two men who saw the opportunity to save the life of a Kyrgyz child.

“I offered to match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $250,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Miles, an Air National Guard vehicle operator deployed to the 376th ELRS from Little Rock Air Force Base.
When he sent a squadron-wide email suggesting Airmen donate whatever they can, even if it was only a dollar, and offering to match funds to pay for a surgery, his co-worker, Senior Airman Armand Boddie, jumped on board. He hit “reply-all” and offered $250 right off the bat.

“That kind of set the pace,” Sergeant Miles said.

The MABOS heart program began in 2005 by Jim Carney, a retired Army first sergeant with a passion for helping Kyrgyz children, according to a MABOS representative. Mr. Carney established a partnership with a local surgeon, Dr. Samidin Shabraliev, who agreed to donate his services for free if others would pay for a device called an oxygenator (mechanical lung), which costs $560. Since then, through charitable donations, MABOS has paid for 152 life-saving/life-changing surgeries for indigent Kyrgyz families. The surgeries are performed at the Heart Surgery and Organ Transplant Research Institute in Bishkek. They are able to operate on approximately 15 children a week, but are restricted from doing more surgeries by the space, equipment and beds in the intensive care unit where each child spends their first two days after surgery.

As a father of five, Sergeant Miles said when he saw the opportunity to save a life he couldn’t resist wanting to donate.

“We do so many humanitarian assistance missions, but how often do we actually have the opportunity to save a life?” he asked.

“This is bigger than an ordinary HA mission. We will affect the child’s whole future, and their family’s future for the better.

Then they’ll be able to grow up and have their own families, just like we do.”

Both Airmen were modest about the success of the fundraiser, saying they didn’t do it for any recognition but rather because they felt it was right.

“What goes around, comes around,” Airman Boddie said. “I have four sisters and a brother, and I have friends with kids, too. I plan to have kids one day. This just grabbed me.”

With the bar set high, the squadron pitched in, contributing $2,500 within 30 minutes after Sergeant Miles hit “send” on the e-mail.

“This was way bigger than anything I expected,” Sergeant Miles said. “I just thought whatever people could spare would help so much, even if it was 50 cents.”
Within four days, $5,000 had poured in, and they decided to end the drive. About 75 percent of the total amount ended up coming in $100 increments or higher from technical sergeants and below, Sergeant Miles said.

“This speaks volumes about the future leaders of our Air Force,” he said. “If this is the kind of generosity they are showing at a young age, when they go through the ranks to become senior NCOs they will be great leaders.”

With a staff sergeant and senior airman setting the example for the Transit Center at Manas’ largest squadron, now the whole installation is getting on board with a new goal: 300 lives in 30 days. Airmen across the Transit Center are asking their friends, families, and co-workers to sponsor them in a “Bike Your Heart Out” bike-a-thon to raise money for the MABOS heart surgery fund, and the two Airmen who started a trend couldn’t be happier.

“Success is measured not by how much money you have but by how many people you bless,” Airman Boddie observed.

Personally, he said, he’d rather spend that $250 on a heart surgery than on anything else he could buy during his six-month deployment from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to the Transit Center at Manas.

When he redeploys, he doesn’t care about a medal or an award, he said. He just wants to know he made a difference.

“It’s a lot easier to move five people than it is to move millions,” Sergeant Miles said.

Yet, because of his matching offer, a squadron of 500 moved ... and then an installation of 1,100 ... to affect more than 300 lives of Kyrgyz children and their families - almost half of the total known number of children in Kyrgyzstan who currently need this operation.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

COMMENTARY>>C-130 SCHOOL GRADUATES

E-Model

Navigator Initial Qualification

Lt Col. Travis Buford

May 3

Pilot Requalification Course

Col. Paul Kucharek

May 3

Pilot Initial Qualification

2nd Lt. Kyle Smith

April 27

2nd Lt. George Williams

April 29

Loadmaster Mission Qualification

Lance Cpl. Michael Preuss

Private 1st Class Blaise Conway

April 29

Lance Cpl. Dustin Brown

Lance Cpl. Alexander Zemlick

May 3

Airman 1st Class Justin Nettles

May 5

Tech. Sgt. Robert Mitchell

May 6

Pilot Transition Course

Capt. Daniel Mendoza

May 5

Capt. Gabriel Frusha

May 6

Capt. Jeremy Burton

May 7

Navigator Instructor Course

1st Lt. Jack Talkington

2nd Lt. Briana Thompson

May 5

J-Model

Pilot Initial Qualification

1st Lt. Benjamin Spain

April 26

1st Lt. Austin Rust

April 27

1st Lt. Tyler P. Dohallow

1st Lt. Jonathan Slottje

May 3

Pilot Instructor Course

Maj. Franklin Rich

Maj. Joshua Rogers

May 5

Pilot Transition Course

Capt. Helen Tarantino

May 3

Capt. Wiley Harris

May 5

COMMENTARY>>714th TRS foundation for C-130 Combat Airlift

by Lt. Col. Phillip Everitte
714th Training Squadron commander

Today begins the last week of my tour as the 714th Training Squadron commander. The past two years have been the highlight of my 19 years of service, and looking back, I can certainly say the squadron and I enjoyed the best of times and on occasion endured the worst of times.

I was unaware of just how important the 714th TRS was to the success of the global C-130 mission when I took command; I suspect this is the case for most folks on the base. Over the past two years, I have learned much from the professional Airmen in my squadron as they have managed nearly $1 billion in aircrew training contracts for the C-130E, H, J and avionics modernization programs.

They, along with our Lockheed Martin partners, laid the foundation to infuse creative technology in C-130 training, enabling us to sustain schoolhouse output and quality. We accomplished this with fewer aircraft, allowing the Air Force to recapitalize formal training unit aircraft and instructors back into the operational force. Meanwhile, 3,600 students have qualified to fly the C-130 in one of 45 courses offered, each moving on to operational assignments to make a difference through combat airlift either at home or around the globe. We have grown to host the Air Force’s largest international flight and maintenance training center, qualifying and providing field studies for 400 new combat airlifters on behalf of 12 partner nations.

While I could go on and on about numbers and accomplishments, I never cease to be impressed by the Air Force’s people – whether leading a wing project, mentoring a student, deploying in support of contingency operations or answering the call during the middle of the night on weekends to take care of fellow Airmen. The men and women of our Air Force take pride in what they do and that’s why we are so successful. Without a doubt, people are the Air Force’s No. 1 resource.

As I mentioned, we did endure some tough times and I would be remiss if I did not mention 1st Lt. Jesse Alne, a student pilot who died in a motorcycle accident Nov. 19, 2008. While the accident was a monumental tragedy for the Alne family, Jesse’s fiancĂ©, classmates, friends and the squadron, I was amazed by the strength demonstrated by those who had lost so much.

There are many hurdles ahead with legacy C-130s heading off into the sunset and tomorrow’s uncertain force structure. The C-130J program is just beginning to fully ramp up and AMP is on the horizon. These new platforms will drive new simulators, facilities and training technology, and of course a never-ending stream of C-130 students who will need to be trained to become the next generation of combat airlifters ... but these are challenges for my successor, Lt. Col. Mark Livelsberger, and the great team he’ll lead.

Best wishes and Godspeed to the 714th TRS and Team Little Rock.

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 189TH AIRLIFT WING

Enlisted Aircrew Academic School students

training: 127

Program and Non-Program Flying Training

students trained this fiscal year: 321

Days since an engine FOD incident:

2,367 days as of May 7

Flying Time Summary for the fiscal year:

Scheduled 3,146.9

Actual 3,155.7 = + 08.8 hours

Mission Capable Rate:

C-130E 78.78 %

C-130H 71.81 %

Combined = 74.49 %

COMMENTARY>>Think about family members if you are considering suicide

by Capt. Shannon Collins
8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KUNSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) – Thirty years ago, my father forever changed my life, as well as the lives of his other family members. He took a shotgun and shot himself in the head. His death certificate reads, “Self-inflicted gunshot wound.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people joke about something being so bad, “that I should just shoot myself.”

As I hear songs like “Butterfly Kisses” and “Daddy’s Hands,” as I watch a movie like “Father of the Bride,” that phrase, “self-inflicted gunshot wound,” echoes in my mind.
I’ll never have that special relationship between a father and a daughter. I won’t have anyone to walk me down the aisle or to celebrate Father’s Day with. And it isn’t because of a tragic automobile accident or a physical disease. It’s because of suicide.

The American Association of Suicidology’s Web site states that suicide ranks second as a cause of death among young Americans, age 18-24, behind accidents and homicides. It’s the 11th leading cause of death overall.

In 2008, the Air Force had 38 suicides, which equates to 11 suicides for every 100,000 Airmen. This matches the Air Force average for the past five years – since the beginning of OIF. Of those Air Force members who committed suicide in 2008, 95 percent were men and 89 percent were enlisted. Army officials reported 140 confirmed or suspected suicides in 2008, a rate of 20 per 100,000 Soldiers, twice the national average. Army experts attribute the increase in suicides to the frequency at which Soldiers deploy.

In March and April of this year, I worked at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Office at Dover Air Force Base, Del. It’s the final stop for military menand women who die overseas, primarily those who sacrifice their lives for our freedom while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The remains are processed and sent home to loved ones for burial and last rites. I witnessed more than a few who came back, not because of an improvised explosive device or mortar attack, but from suicide.

My father served in the Air Force in the late 1960s as an enlisted aircraft maintainer here in South Korea. He served in a remote location during the Vietnam War and went into the war. His letters say he missed his family but that he was proud to serve. When he returned home from the war, he wasn’t quite the same. He had lost many friends and may have suffered survivor’s guilt, something many Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines face nowadays while serving back-to-back deployments. He was 30 when he shot himself. He was buried New Year’s Eve. His sister found his body.

Those who consider suicide need to remember the family members they leave behind, the ripple effect they have on the lives around them. The AAS Web site states that the survivors of suicide, the family members or friends of people who have committed suicide, represent “the largest mental health casualties related to suicide.” For every suicide, the Web site states that there are at least six survivors. Based on this estimate, approximately five million Americans became survivors of suicide in the past 25 years.

“Suicide, being such a low frequency event, is extremely difficult to predict,” said Dr. (Maj.) Leigh Johnson, a psychologist and flight commander for the Kunsan Air Base Mental Health Clinic.

“More than 90 percent of all people will think about suicide at some point in their lives, but very few will actually complete suicide,” she said. “Suicide prevention is an area where the Wingman concept really is critical. Co-workers and peers, who see each other day in, day out, are truly those who are best positioned to identify when someone is struggling, when his or her behavior has changed. Having the courage to reach out to another Airman who is having a difficult time is the first and most critical step toward suicide prevention.”

Each military base offers a range of support agencies with people to help, such as mental health clinic professionals, the chaplain staff, the sexual assault response coordinator, and the military family and life consultant.

“We have a range of helping agencies on base available to Airmen but these agencies are powerless to help until someone self-identifies or is brought in for help,” Major Johnson said. “It really comes down to looking out for each other and having the courage to access one of the support agencies if you’re struggling.”

Major Johnson is well aware of the stigma that is associated with the use of mental health services among military personnel.

“The reality is that 95 percent of the time, if an active-duty member comes to the mental health clinic of his or her own accord, there is zero career impact,” she said. “We’d prefer that people use the resources available to them rather than allowing things to snowball. It’s when things snowball that they start to spill into work performance, and that’s when visits to mental health translate into duty restrictions.”
She also said that coming to the mental health clinic doesn’t mean that an individual is “crazy” or “broken.”

“The Air Force recruitment system filters out those who have significant mental health disorders,” Major Johnson said. “So, the majority of what we deal with are problems in life that many of us face and can use help with from time to time: mild depression or anxiety, difficulties at work, marital problems. We know that it takes courage for people to walk through our doors; it’s hard to admit when we’re struggling and to reach out for help.”

My father struggled for years over the effects of war, over family trials and tribulations. The family jury is out on why my father did what he did. We always will wonder. Photos and memories of him from others, his dog tags, a medal – these will be all I ever have of him.

My sister, brother and I never really will know who our father was or what he could have been. No matter how overwhelming a situation can be, whether it is financial difficulties, receiving punishment in the military or personal life’s twists and turns, people who consider suicide as the only way out should think of their parents, of the family and friends who may be far away but who care for them. Chaplains, mental health representatives, co-workers and supervisors are there to listen.

For more suicide statistics, visit the AAS at www.suicidology.org or the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program Web site at http://afspp.afms.mil. Visit www.survivorsofsuicide.com for more survivors of suicide information or to join a support group.

For immediate help, call a base chaplain or a staff member in the mental health office.

TOP STORY > >Cancer survivor is once again ready to fly, ready to ride

by Capt. Joseph Knable
19th Airlift Wing public affairs

One year ago, Senior Amn. Brian Petras was flying C-130 missions around the world. In less than a year, the flight engineer was diagnosed with cancer, underwent extensive surgery, recuperated, returned to all duties except actually flying in the plane, and passed his physical fitness test with no score adjustments.

And he passed with just one foot.

At just 24 years old, Airman Petras, is a Bloomsbury, N.J., native with 700 deployed flying hours from two deployments, and he’s a cancer survivor.

Last summer, after icing his sore foot for a month and seeing no improvement, he went to the doctor. “It started out as kind of like a lump on my foot,” he said, “like a swelling and I just thought it was sprained muscle or something.”

After a month and a half of tests and treatments, “the doctors told me ‘this is a malignant tumor and we’re going to have to amputate your foot’,” Airman Petras explained.

“I was shocked,” he continued, “But since I found out about it and I knew it was definitely going to happen, I just decided I could either stay positive or feel sorry for myself. I’ve just been trying to go on as normal as possible.”

Before his surgery, Airman Petras was an active 23-year-old who enjoyed biking, running and snowboarding. Now, after his surgery, he enjoys all of the same things he did before and is even more active. He recently rode his bicycle 350 miles across Texas in six days, and later this month he will begin a two-month, 4,000-mile coast-to-coast bike ride from San Francisco to Virginia. The trip, organized by World Team Sports, is called “The Face of America: Sea to Shining Sea Ride.” Airman Petras will join about five to six injured service members from each of the military branches, along with a few civilians, to raise money for charities.

Returning to flying was a major factor that motivated Airman Petras to recover and return to work so quickly. “I just enjoy flying,” he said, “I can’t stand sitting around. I like traveling. I like just being on the flight and I like the challenge of it.” “As of right now, I’m 95 percent back to normal; there’s really not much holding me back,” Airman Petras explained. “I can run, snowboard, ride a bike - pretty much do anything. I can doeverything I could before. I feel 100 percent confident I can go back and do my job, without any problem.”

Despite his remarkably positive attitude, the road to recovery hasn’t been easy. “The first couple of months were pretty rough,” Airman Petras explained. After the amputation Aug. 24, they gave him six weeks to heal before he got a prosthetic leg. In the middle of September, he started his first of four rounds of chemotherapy, which spanned three months.

“It was one week on, then three weeks off to recover,” he explained. He got his prosthetic leg shortly after his first round and began rehabilitation between subsequent rounds. “That was pretty rough. The chemo pretty much knocked me out. I had almost no energy. I felt sick. I really couldn’t do much. I could barely take care of myself. Luckily, I was able to get a prosthetic and walk around without crutches and still do certain things, but I was still really tired.”

Airman Petras went home for Christmas after his final chemotherapy session and in January went to The Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. “It specializes in care for amputees and burn victims,” he said, “It’s mostly guys coming from Iraq and Afghanistan that are there. But they do a really good job.

“That place kind of helped put things in perspective because here’s me with a below-the-knee amputation, rehabbing and getting done in three months, and there are guys who’ve been there for years. They’re missing both of their legs, they’re missing (legs) above the knee, they’re missing arms and hands, or 90 percent of their body is burned, and me coming in there is like a scratch; it’s not a big deal at all.

“Those guys are very inspiring. Some of the guys, with the stuff they’re going through, have just as good an attitude as I have, so we all kind of helped each other. To (the other patients), you’re no different; you don’t get treated any different.”

Airman Petras was very pleased with the care he received at the center: “The people who worked at the CFI, they’re just really good at their jobs, from the physical therapists, to the occupational therapist to the psychologist there. Everybody cared about us and made sure we got the best training possible or the best rehabilitation possible. They did a really good job.”

Airman Petras is especially grateful for the care he received from John Wood, his recover care coordinator, and Lauren Palmer, his medical case manager. They “were two people that helped me out immensely. Not even just medical stuff, but anything,” he said.

“I don’t like to consider myself handicapped … I feel normal,” Airman Petras emphasized, looking to the future. “The biggest thing I want to convey is that I don’t see it as a serious problem right now; I see it as a minor inconvenience and I want other people to treat me like that. I think of this thing as a pair of glasses. For me, it’s something that takes me five extra minutes to get out of bed in the morning … The biggest challenge for me is taking a shower standing on one leg … Some people have injuries that are not as visible as mine, yet they’re not even as mobile as me. I don’t limp, I can run, I can do whatever.

“I don’t want my accomplishments to be thought of as ‘Brian the amputee’ did something. I don’t like that. I want it to just be ‘Brian’ did something. I want to be treated like it’s not that big of a deal. I don’t feel handicapped … As far as I’m concerned, I was ready to (return to flying) in January.”

Thursday, May 6, 2010

COMMENTARY>>Logistics readiness Airman drives ahead, wins AF-level award

by Senior Airman Steele C. G. Britton
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs photographer

A Little Rock Air Force Base Airman was recently named the Air Force’s 2009 Logistics Readiness Vehicle Maintenance Airman of the Year.

Senior Airman William Caram, 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance customer service journeyman, distinguished himself as a top performer in the logistics readiness career field after the recent Air Force-level recognition list was released to Air Mobility Command wing commanders.

Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice, 18th Air Force commander, shared the good news in an e-mail written in mid-April, “It is a great honor to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of your troops. Their integrity, service and excellence are the reason AMC is so successful in what we do!”

Airman Caram provides customer service to government vehicle operators and ensures a two-hour turnaround on the vehicles he personally maintains. He takes pride in his job, and his enthusiasm easily lends to his recognition at such a high level.

“I was excited when I found out I received the award,” said the three-year vehicle maintainer. “It blew my mind to be able to achieve something like this so early in my Air Force career.”

In 2009, Airman Caram served nine months in Iraq conducting convoy operations where he ensured proper vehicle maintenance on Humvees and tractor-trailers, all while traveling a total of 8,000 miles in the country.

Airman Caram, who had no mechanical experience before joining the Air Force, gives credit to his mentors and leaders he has worked with both at Little Rock AFB and in Iraq.

“My NCOs have always showed me the right way of doing things, which has certainly helped me out a lot,” he said.
Along with fellow top performers in the logistics readiness career field, Airman Caram will be recognized in a Washington,
D.C., ceremony at the end of May.

Airman Caram continues to maintain vehicles with dedication to the job and enjoys his position.

“I love what I do and continue to work hard. Without vehicle maintenance, the Air Force would eventually come to a stand-still.

I continue my dedication to the job and ensure I’m providing quality service to my country,” he said.

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 314TH AIRLIFT WING

The 314th Airlift Wing is the nation’s C-130 “Center of Excellence.” The wing is responsible for training C-130 aircrew members from across the Department of Defense, to include the Coast Guard and 38 allied nations. Some of ways the 314th AW tracks its successes are through student graduation, aircraft availability and mission capable rates. Those metrics for April are:

Days Ahead/Behind

C-130E: +4

C-130J: -2

Aircraft Availability

C-130E: (std 15): 19.2

C-130J: (std 5.2): 5.1

Mission

Capable Rate

C-130E:

(std 75%): 86.5%

C-130J:

(std 80%): 85.9%

COMMENTARY>>AETC commander selected for Order of the Sword

by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Lindsey
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Education and Training Command enlisted members recently selected Commander Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz for induction into the Order of the Sword. The Order of the Sword is the highest honor and tribute
NCOs can bestow upon an individual.

General Lorenz is set to accept the honor in a formal ceremony in Lackland Air Force Base’s Gateway Club July 16.

“Two of AETC’s chiefs initiated the nomination, and that nomination was quickly approved by AETC’s Command Chiefs and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force (James) Roy,” said AETC Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Tappana.

The Order of the Sword is based on The Royal Swedish Order of the Sword, a medieval ceremony in which commissioned noblemen, who were the equivalent of today’s non-commissioned officers, honored and pledged loyalty to a trusted leader by presenting him with a special sword. It is said in the presentation, the sword, symbolizing truth, justice and power rightfully used, serves as a token for all to see and know that “here is a leader among leaders.”

General Lorenz’ support of initiatives designed to ease the challenge of earning a higher education degree during a time of frequent deployments and high operations tempo made him an ideal nominee for the honor, the AETC chief said. Such programs include the Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative and the Community College of the Air Force General Education Mobile.

Chief Tappana also noted the general’s dedication to meeting and speaking with enlisted people to identify their challenges and assist in getting them resolved. In addition, the “Lorenz on Leadership” series of articles and speeches set the standard for caring for Airmen across the command, the chief said.

The ceremony is open to all AETC Airmen. Reservation information will be shared via e-mail soon.

COMMENTARY>>AETC commander selected for Order of the Sword

by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Lindsey
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Education and Training Command enlisted members recently selected Commander Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz for induction into the Order of the Sword. The Order of the Sword is the highest honor and tribute
NCOs can bestow upon an individual.

General Lorenz is set to accept the honor in a formal ceremony in Lackland Air Force Base’s Gateway Club July 16.

“Two of AETC’s chiefs initiated the nomination, and that nomination was quickly approved by AETC’s Command Chiefs and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force (James) Roy,” said AETC Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Tappana.

The Order of the Sword is based on The Royal Swedish Order of the Sword, a medieval ceremony in which commissioned noblemen, who were the equivalent of today’s non-commissioned officers, honored and pledged loyalty to a trusted leader by presenting him with a special sword. It is said in the presentation, the sword, symbolizing truth, justice and power rightfully used, serves as a token for all to see and know that “here is a leader among leaders.”

General Lorenz’ support of initiatives designed to ease the challenge of earning a higher education degree during a time of frequent deployments and high operations tempo made him an ideal nominee for the honor, the AETC chief said. Such programs include the Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative and the Community College of the Air Force General Education Mobile.

Chief Tappana also noted the general’s dedication to meeting and speaking with enlisted people to identify their challenges and assist in getting them resolved. In addition, the “Lorenz on Leadership” series of articles and speeches set the standard for caring for Airmen across the command, the chief said.

The ceremony is open to all AETC Airmen. Reservation information will be shared via e-mail soon.

COMMENTARY>>C-130 SCHOOL GRADUATES

E Model

Loadmaster Mission Qualification

Airman 1st Class Benjamin Smith

Airman 1st Class Sarah Taylor

April 29

Pilot Instructor Course

Capt. David Jeffers

April 26

Loadmaster Instructor Course

Staff Sgt. Kevin Cruz

April 26

Navigator Initial Qualification

Capt. Scott Dickerson

April 2

2nd Lt. Joshua Swann

April 22

2nd Lt. David Price

April 27

Flight Engineer Initial Qualification

Capt. Ricardo Lopez

Tech. Sgt. Penny Lopes

Tech. Sgt. Mark Rondez

Staff Sgt. Christopher Langbehn

April 27

Tech. Sgt. Trey Norris

April 28

Staff Sgt. Benjamin King

April 30

Pilot Initial Qualification

Capt. Hans Eggers

April 26

Capt. Jason Tingstrom

1st Lt. Robert Strzelec

2nd Lt. Jeffrey Copeland

April 27

Capt. Jeffrey Cretz

1st Lt. Richard Winfield

2nd Lt. Christian Rotter

April 29

Navigator Requalification Course

Lt. Col. Dennis King

April 28

COMMENTARY>>Lorenz on Leadership – Motivation

by Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz
Air Education and Training Command commander

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – These are challenging times for our Air Force. We have been engaged in combat operations since 1990 and are balancing limited resources against an aggressive operations tempo. We are once again adjusting to maintain our authorized end strength while juggling priorities within a leveling budget. Many of our aircraft are beyond expected service lives and current operations are aging them even faster. Handling all these demands will be challenging - it will not be fun.

This is where leadership comes into play. Whether at work or at home, everyone has issues. As some issues are resolved, others are always waiting in line to take their places. The “pay me now or pay me later” mindset is exhausting. It is up to each organization’s leadership to set the tone, motivate the workplace and create a sustainable culture of success. After all, we want our Airmen to invest themselves in our service and our mission.

So, how can a leader attack such challenges and create sustainable excellence? We all know that it isn’t easy to do. It will take dedication and objectivity ... and a lot of patience and perseverance. Along the way, tough decisions will be required and each will call for a tailored approach. In otherwords, leaders must adapt differently to each situation. Situational leadership is how we keep our organizations motivated and headed in the best direction.

We all have unique leadership styles. Some of us probably smile a little too much while others not quite enough. We all fit somewhere along a leadership continuum, where the ends are defined by the extremes. Although you may feel most comfortable in one region of that continuum, realize that every leader will have to utilize approaches from the full range of the continuum in response to different challenges. A career brings many leadership challenges and leaders must adapt to meet each one.

After all, some challenges will require leaders to soften their approaches. For example, someone in the organization may be directly affected by our end strength reductions. Maybe the unit will suffer the loss of one of its members. Other situations will require a stern approach. This may be necessary when accountability and disciplinary challenges confront the organization or some of its personnel. Effective leaders must be able to approach difficult decisions or situations with the entire continuum at their disposal.

In the end, a leader must approach a challenge with an eye toward crafting a solution to meet their organizational needs. They should consciously select a leadership style or customized approach in order to create a certain effect. For most situations, mission accomplishment will be the effect, the end goal. However, before one can achieve such an effect, situational leadership must be used to motivate others toward success. After all, a motivated force can move mountains.

Motivation is an interesting concept. In some situations, motivation is more spontaneous and flows from the heart. In others, motivation is far from intrinsic and needs a little added emphasis from the top. I call it “added emphasis” because sometimes your organization won’t be too thrilled with the changes after they’re announced. It may feel like you are marching your team uphill and into the wind.

A leader must look at each challenge, develop a plan and push for success. As part of their plan, leaders must develop the motivation necessary to assist their organizations through the challenges. In the end, people don’t quit their jobs (despite all the challenges we face each and every day) - they quit their bosses. The art of motivating organizations through challenges is one of the keys to any leader’s success.

Today, more than ever before, we need leaders of intellect who value the power of thought and innovative approaches. After all, having leaders who think, assess challenges objectively, and motivate their teams to succeed is what makes us the formidable fighting force we are today.

COMMENTARY>>SCORECARD: 19TH MEDICAL GROUP

The 19th Medical Group offers family practice, pediatrics and flight medicine clinics that provide the bulk of Little Rock Air Force Base Airmen’s care. They also offer early detection and prevention for a number of cancers.

Prevention and early detection are the keys to early detection and reducing death related to cervical, colorectal and breast cancers.

The best way to detect breast cancer is with a mammogram, which is recommended for females between 40 and 69 years of age.

A pap test can detect cervical cancer early, significantly increasing the chance for a cure.

Regular colon checks can detect and allow removal of precancerous growths before the cancer has time to form.

However, at LRAFB:

Only 66 percent of eligible females had a mammography within the last three years. The AMC average is 74 percent.

Only 80 percent of our female population is current with cervical cancer screenings. The AMC average is 83 percent.

Only 66 percent of our population is current with colon screening. The AMC average is 69 percent.

Patients are encouraged to be proactive and ensure prevention screenings are up to date.

COMMENTARY>>Wingman Day Stand Down

by General Raymond E. Johns, Jr.
Air Mobility Command commander

To all Air Mobility Command Airmen,

First, let me say how proud I am of you and for all your contributions to our nation and this Command. Every member of the AMC family is vitally important to our team and to the success of our mission. Unfortunately, we have recently lost many of our teammates due to an alarming rise in suicides and motor vehicle accidents. For this reason, I have directed our Wings to pause all operations May 10 so each of you may participate in a Command Wingman Safety Stand Down.

Through dynamic group discussions, enhanced by an interactive video, we will reemphasize the importance of awareness, accountability, communication and team building. This will not be a day of lectures, but rather an opportunity for you to discover new ways to reverse this deadly trend.

Please know each of you possess an essential piece to the solution – a solution that is not dependent on rank or position. That said, it is our hope that by giving you this time you may discover new ways to look after each other, and perhaps, even save a life.

So please join me on Monday, May 10, and let’s renew our commitment to being good Wingmen.

TOP STORY > >189th Airlift Wing responds to tornado damage

by 2nd Lt. Chris Nelson
189th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Nearly 40 Airmen from the Arkansas Air National Guard’s 189th Airlift Wing Rapid Augmentation Team deployed May 1 to East End in Saline County to help residents recover from tornado damage.

RAT Bravo is one of three 50-person teams comprised of drill-status Guardsmen. It’s a volunteer force the wing developed to more efficiently respond to state natural disasters.

“We’re doing all of this while we’re also deploying Airmen to support the overseas war effort, while our day-to-day C-130 training mission continues uninterrupted,” said Col. Jim Summers, 189th Airlift Wing commander. “This is a prime example of how flexible our Air National Guard is, but it takes the support of those external influencers – employers and a Guardsman’s family – for it to continue to work. I can’t say enough about how employers and families have stepped up to the plate to support their Guardsmen when they’re needed most.”

The RAT commander commented on the team’s deep commitment and capabilities.

“This outstanding effort began [April 30] when we started calling all of the bravo team members around 10 p.m. and everyone arrived in East End ready to go work between 1:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.,” said Lt. Col. Phillip D. Moorehouse, 189th Airlift Wing RAT commander.

“These folks are volunteers and they all want to be here,” said Colonel Moorehouse. “It is such a privilege to be a part of a team of professionals that truly place others first.”

The RATs receive extensive training to include the two hours of refresher training once they are notified and before they deploy. The training consists of chainsaw operations, power line safety, self aid and buddy care, traffic control and how to perform safety and welfare checks.

“The First Electric Co-op in Jacksonville has been heavily involved with the RATs by providing a safety line training course that has overall amplified the wing’s safety mindset,” said ColonelTraditionally, the Arkansas Army National Guard has been responsible for deploying first responders for natural disasters. Now the Air National Guard also has the opportunity to help Arkansans in their time of need.

“We’re seeing downed power lines and large trees, 18 to 36 inches in diameter, that have fallen across roads,” said Maj. Scott C. Simms, the officer in charge of the Guardsmen’s operations in Saline County.

“This is what we are trained to do, and it is simply an organized effort of Arkansans helping Arkansans,” said the major.

There was an overwhelming outpouring of community support in East End. Local Cub Scout Troop 801 served hot meals and cold drinks to all. East End Baptist Church provided a place to set up the 189th Airlift Wing Emergency Management Center and also provided sleeping quarters. Even East End community members themselves were there asking how they could help.

The origin of the RAT team concept’s roots evolved from one Guardsman’s experiences of being called to state active duty under similar circumstances and seeing room for improvement. Master Sgt. Charles D. Snelson, NCO in charge of Plans and Integration for the 189th Logistic Readiness Squadron, is credited with the RAT’s concept.

Lt. Col. Dean B. Martin, 189th Airlift Wing plans officer, and 1st Lt. Kenneth O. Simon, 189th Airlift Wing deployment officer, both worked with Sergeant Snelson on the RAT’s development.

“Sergeant Snelson saw, through previous activations for state active duty, a need for a more streamlined system to recall, process and deploy our personnel in an expeditious manner to support the governor and citizens of Arkansas,” said Colonel Martin.

Lieutenant Simon stated, “Master Sgt. Snelson not only came up with the concept, but through his development efforts, we identified paperwork and equipment, prepositioned to expedite the deployment process.”

He also applauded Sergeant Snelson for the team construct and it being an ideal situation for volunteers.

“The team rotation cycle gives commanders and supervisors the ability to know when their members will be available for other duties,” said Lieutenant Simon.

Teams are rotated seasonally, which allows for some members to deal with snow, ice, heat or whatever issues a season may bring. This means that no one person will be out of their duty section for the whole year, said the lieutenant.

RAT team members recently deployed to support relief efforts in northern Arkansas after devastating ice storms hit the region.

“The cornerstone of the 189th Airlift Wing’s success to develop and implement this type of program is teamwork. The way our wing communicates internally and externally was essential in producing an amazing way to efficiently help out your neighbor,” Lieutenant Simon said.