Friday, February 28, 2014

TOP STORY >> Proper procedures for taking prescriptions

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit
19th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

The 19th Medical Group at Little Rock Air Force Base fills an average of 300 prescriptions a day, often reaching more than 700 after one weekend.  

With all the medication prescriptions requested, every pharmacist and pharmacy technician plays a vital role in ensuring medication is properly dosed and given to the appropriate customer. 

Along with accepting medication prescribed by a physician, every patient must remember that responsibilities come with taking prescription medication. 

Certain procedures must be followed in order to properly use prescription medication. Taking  the proper dose is the first step to ensure there is no misuse of prescription medication. The dosage amount is always located on the label of the prescription. 

Along with taking the correct dosage, ensuring the dosage is taken on schedule will play a key role in the proper use of prescription medication. 

“It is imperative that any patient on a prescription medication should follow the instructions of the prescribing provider, dispensing pharmacist and the product label in order to ensure safe and effective use,” said Capt. Elizabeth Saltz, a 19th MDG pharmacist. “The patient prescription information sheet included with the medication contains information for safe use as well.”

Safely using prescription medication does not stop at taking the medication and instructions on how it is taken. Every prescription has an expiration date that should be acknowledged during the use of medication. Once treatment is completed, any extra medication should be properly disposed of. 

Disposing medication is an easy task as well, but should be done in the correct manner.  Medicine take-back programs are available for returning unused prescription medication. The Little Rock AFB pharmacy staff along with the 19th Security Forces Squadron participates in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. This event is held twice a year. During this event, people can turn in expired prescription meds. The next event is scheduled for April 26. 

Disposal is also available 24/7, year-round at the Jacksonville Police Department at 1400 Marshall Road. 

Prescription medication can not only be dangerous to the patient to whom the medication is prescribed to, but also to anyone who misuses the meds by taking them without a prescription.

Never share prescription medication. According to the Food and Drug Administration, prescription drug misuse involves taking a medication incorrectly or offering your own prescription medication for someone else’s use. Prescription medication should only be taken as directed by the prescriber. 

“Sharing prescription medication is a violation of federal law and can be very dangerous,” said Saltz. 

For more information on prescription medication or questions regarding a prescription medication, contact the base pharmacy at 501- 987-7446 or contact your prescriber.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TOP STORY>>Having a strong Spirit: Little Rock Nine daughter follows mom’s legacy

19th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

Minnijean Brown-Trickey, an Arkansas resident, is mostly recognized for her teenage years as one of the well-known Little Rock Nine.

In her adult life, Brown-Trickey is still an activist for minority rights, and her daughter, Spirit Trickey, carries the baton for the next generation.

For 10 years Trickey worked at the Central High School Historic Site, which is across the street from the place where her mom and eight other students fought for racial equality.

Though very proud now and devoted to the same causes as her mom, it wasn’t until her adolescent years that Trickey realized just how big the Little Rock Nine’s influence was and still is on the world.

“I really didn’t know about her history until eighth grade,” she said. “I had no clue what my mother went through until I saw a Disney movie about it. It really sank in when my mom was invited to the Oprah show when I was 16.”

Trickey said her mom didn’t speak about that part of her life because it was so painful. She said it was a common thread with the other members of the Nine, also. Children of the other members said they didn’t know as well.

“Once the nation acknowledged what the Little Rock Nine did, my mother said she felt it was to okay to begin talking about it,” said Trickey. “And she did.”

After finding out that her mother was one of the Little Rock Nine, Trickey became interested with the group of students who broke the trend of segregation at Central High and focused her attention on conveying the importance of the group and the outcome of their perseverance.

Working at the museum across the street from Central High School, Trickey said she felt a sense of pride retelling the history of her mother and the other eight African-Americans who attended school there in 1957.

She recalled how working there helped her to realize how the people involved in the Little Rock Nine shaped the identity and views of the world today and felt it was the most powerful 10 years of her life.

“Every day I went to work feeling like I was a part of history,” said Trickey. “I felt like the baton was passed on to me. The people visiting made it sink in for me that what happened had a global impact.”

Trickey said listening to Nelson Mandela speak about the Little Rock Nine and hearing other countries like Sri Lanka speak about it helped her to understand just how much of an impact her mother and the others had on the world.

The impact her mother had on the world was no match, however, to the influence she had on Trickey.

Trickey said her mother made sure that her children were never without the things they needed. From clothing to education, she gave them the best she could.

“She models social responsibilities for her children and is an advocator of social justice,” said Trickey of her mother. “Everything she could not do, she made sure we could do.”

Trickey said she loves listening to her mother speak, whether at large meetings or just at home with her children.

“She would always tell (her children), ‘We were just ordinary people, not celebrities,” said Trickey. “You have the power to create change and pave your own way.’”

Trickey delivers that same message today to students she comes in contact with.

“You have it in you,” she said. “Don’t think you can’t do what (the Little Rock Nine) did. Rise to the occasion. An opportunity presented itself to my mother and the others. They rose to the occasion, and did it with the utmost dignity and grace.”

Working across from Central High for many years, Trickey has embraced the sentiment of what happened. She encourages people to be more conscious of the general knowledge of the school and dive deeper than just the surface of Central High’s history.

“The story is so deep and lessons are abundant,” said Trickey. “I wish people would have a greater appreciation of the event, especially the students in the school. It is a really powerful story.”

While Trickey no longer lives in Little Rock, she does not forget where she came from or the history of her family.

“I hope to pass the story on to my daughter one day,” said Trickey. “My mother had a strength that was not in an ordinary form. It was more of a streak of resistance.”

Trickey expressed the confidence her mother had to go to school and the sense of worth and self-love they needed to be strong enough to make it through that time in their lives.

“The story of the Little Rock Nine belongs to all of us,” said Trickey. “It’s not just black history but American history and world history.”

The courage and spirit of Minnijean Brown-Trickey and the Little Rock Nine has been passed down to the next generation and generations to come to make a difference for the world today, not just in civil rights, but the rights of all human kind.

For more information about Central High School or the Little Rock Nine, visit the National Park Service website at

TOP STORY>>Looking back at 50 years of service

19th Airlift Wing, Sexual Assault Response Office

Being the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator at Little Rock Air Force Base for the last eight-and-a-half years has been the most satisfying of all my jobs. Today at 3 p.m., I will complete a working career spanning 50 years with my retirement ceremony and party at Hangar 1080.

After completing a tour in Vietnam in the Army, I came back to civilian life in 1970 to begin various careers in sales, home building, plumbing supervisor, owning a vending business, entering the ministry at age 31, re-entering college, and graduating and pastoring churches for the next 19 years. I have only been unemployed one time in my life for six weeks in 1970 after completing my career in the United States Army.

I moved my family to Arkansas in 1988 to pastor a church here in Jacksonville, where I stayed until 1998. After that, I became a civilian employee at the Family Support Center (Airman and Family Readiness Center now) at Little Rock AFB in 1991 and provided support to Airmen and their families concerning family life issues, financial management, Air Force Aid Society assistance, VITA volunteer doing taxes, relocation assistance, transitioning from military to civilian jobs, finding spouse jobs, working with volunteers, and deployment readiness until June 2005.

In 2005, I became the first Sexual Assault Response Coordinator for Little Rock AFB. It has been one of the most demanding jobs in my whole life, but the most satisfying. We have provided support to more than 120 victims.

We have provided annual Sexual Assault Prevention training to the Team Little Rock population every year, and have trained more than 48,000 individuals. I have been privileged to work with the best people in the world, the Air Force community and family.

I believe in and have lived the Air Force Core Values. It is part of my moral compass. I believe in the professionalism of our Airmen. You deserve the best you can give to each other as you give your best to our nation. I love your families as I love my own.

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for almost 47 years. I am looking forward to traveling with her for the next year or so as we tour all the parts of the U.S we haven’t seen. We plan on returning to Arkansas and buying a home to settle down.

You may see me around the base or local area in a year or so, volunteering, helping with taxes or financial counseling or maybe on the golf course.

Thank you all for your service and your family’s dedication. Thank you Air Force for letting me be a part of the best Air Force in the world. Thank you Team Little Rock for a great time supporting and serving.

TOP STORY>>SecAF outlines top priorities during ‘State of AF’ address

Air Force News Service

ORLANDO (AFNS) – After her second month in office, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James laid out her top three priorities as part of a “state of the Air Force” address, during the final day of the 30th annual Air Force Association Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition on Feb. 21.

James laid out the path she, and other senior leaders, feel the Air Force needs to pursue, both in the short term, as well as the years ahead, basing her priorities upon an Air Force that faces dwindling budgets, resources and people.

She feels the Air Force’s No. 1 priority, above aircraft, weapons or equipment, is its people. “Having the right people in the right job at the right time, who are trained and developed should be our number one priority.”

The Secretary added that, “taking care of people means to me recruiting, retaining and reshaping our force, so that we have the right people in the right jobs for the immediate future, as well as thinking ahead to the longer term. We are going to be smaller. We will be going through a force-shaping set of procedures, which will include mostly voluntary measures. We may do some involuntary as well, but this will be a big deal over the next year or two.”

James said the other part of taking care of people is compensating people fairly. She believes compensation has escalated over the last dozen years or so, but she expects to see a leveling off in the years ahead. She also believes that to grow Airmen, the Air Force needs to be more diverse.

“Taking care of people also means growing our leadership, developing our people, and getting more diversity of thought at the table. That includes people who come from diverse backgrounds. People with diverse backgrounds have different approaches to problems, and I’m convinced we will get better solutions if we have that diversity of thought.”

James also stressed that family programs, along with a good balance of work and family time are key to growing better and more productive Airmen.

“It means protecting family programs, achieving a work-life balance, which is hard for a lot of people in the Air Force, because there is a lot of work and it’s hard to get that work-life balance in there. It means leveraging the best talents of our active, Guard, Reserve and civilian teams. We also need to ensure a climate of dignity and respect for all, all of the time, period, whether you are on duty or off duty.”

While most of what she sees in the Air Force is extremely positive, James said there are important Airman issues that need to be improved. In the past two months, she has traveled to eight states, as well as the District of Columbia, and has put time and effort into addressing some of those issues

“One of the things I’m tracking on is sexual assault and sexual harassment. I’m listening and watching to see what changes have been made over the last year or two, and I’m impressed with what I’ve seen. I get that our top leaders, without question, get the importance of it; they’re on it, we’re working it and that’s the way it needs to remain – persistent focus will create an atmosphere throughout the Air Force that that behavior won’t exist.”

The second Airman issue involved 92 missile crewmembers at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont, who had some level of involvement in the cheating incident involving a monthly proficiency test on nuclear weapons.

“Some of these officers were directly involved with the cheating, others knew something about it, but for whatever reason, they failed to stop it and they failed to report it. I went out to the missile fields because I wanted to talk to some of the people involved and learn more about it.”

James traveled to the missile bases, along with the Global Strike Command headquarters, and came away with a sense that the Air Force nuclear mission is in good hands, after receiving command briefs, tours, and more importantly talking to Airmen.

“I am convinced after all of this that, number one, our nuclear mission is safe and secure. One test does not make or break anything, and there are plenty of outside evaluations and inspections which demonstrate to me that these Airmen know their job, they are performing it well, so our nuclear mission is safe and secure”

James’ No. 2 priority is balancing today’s readiness with tomorrow’s modernization. “When it comes to today’s readiness, I have the utmost confidence in our Air Force. If they are called upon tonight to do a mission half way across the globe, they will step up and do a magnificent job.

“With that said, I wouldn’t be truthful with you if I didn’t tell you readiness has slipped in recent years. Last year, during sequestration, was a particularly difficult time. We had to stand down some of our flying squadrons. So readiness has slipped. And we need to reverse this. The Chief is committed, I’m committed, we are all committed to returning the Air Force to higher levels of readiness than we have today. We owe it to our Airmen, we owe it to our country and that’s what we’re going to do.”

James said that with the immediate relief the Air Force has been provided in fiscal years 14 and 15, “we’re going to take most of that and we’re going to beef up our readiness. It doesn’t mean it will be perfect, it doesn’t mean that will fix it, it doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t like to do more – but it will be a top priority moving forward.

“That’s today’s readiness. Then there’s tomorrow’s readiness, which is my way of talking about modernization and the need to recapitalize our platforms to ensure we stay ahead of the threats, and be able to control the skies, project power and extend global reach for the years to come.”

The Secretary said the top three priorities for modernization remain the newest fifth generation fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, the new KC-46 tanker, recently named the Pegasus, and the Long Range Strike Bomber.

James third priority is to make every dollar count, and said added value to the taxpayer is important in everything we do. “We need to make sure our programs are on budget and on schedule. We need to be able to deliver auditable books of how we allocate and spend our money.”

She said the details on how she plans to advance these priorities will be revealed as early as next month.

“The details on how we’ll do all that will be rolled out in March in the 2015 budget. Shortly thereafter, General Welsh and I will go to Capitol Hill and we’ll start the posture hearings, talk to Congress and explain our point of view.”

She mentioned that like all give and take, there may be things we don’t like, with hard choices that have to be made, citing possible retirements of complete fleets of aircraft among others. “I mentioned force shaping measures, there will be headquarters reductions, there will be a number of areas where we will be reducing. I’m telling you this now to get you prepared and ask for your help in telling the total story on how we can achieve these savings, sometimes in very unpopular ways. So we can take some of those savings and reinvest them in some of the key areas –people, readiness and modernization.”

While there will be tough decisions to be made in the months and years ahead, James looks at the Air Force in a positive light. ‘Our future is very, very bright…whether we’re flying an aircraft to project visible airpower capability, or launching a satellite from Florida to provide GPS for the nation, or whether we’re guarding a missile silo in the Great North, or refueling an airlifter over the Pacific, or providing close air support in Afghanistan, our security depends on these amazing Airmen.

“And, the more time I spend with them, the more I see them carry out these indispensable missions, the more proud of them I am, and of their families. From the sacrifices they endure, sometimes in remote locations around the world, our Airmen are very dedicated professionals, they are steadfast to their commitment to America, and they are living our legacy every day.”

Friday, February 21, 2014



THE COMBAT AIRLIFTER CLASSIFIED DEPARTMENT will take ads by phone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 982-9421, or you may mail your ad to 404 Graham Rd., Jacksonville, Ark. 72078. You may also e-mail them to Deadline to advertise in Friday's issue is 5 p.m. Tuesday.

HURRY! Only  FIVE MORE HOMES to advertise siding,windows or roofs for  upcoming brochure. Save hundreds of dollars. No money down EZ financing. Home owners only. 1-866-668-8681.

WERE YOU IMPLANTED WITH A ST. JUDE RIATA DEFIBRILLATOR LEAD WIRE between June 2001 and December 2010? Have you had this lead replaced, capped or did you receive shocks from the lead? You may be entitled to compensation. Contact Attorney Charles Johnson 1-800-535-5727.


Keep your pet Happy, Healthy, and Protected. Get a FREE Pet Insurance Quote for your Dog or Cat. Choose Up to 90% Reimbursement. Call 1-800-517-0839.

DIVORCE WITH OR WITHOUT children $125.00. Includes name change and property settlement agreement. SAVE hundreds. Fast and easy. Call 1-888-733-7165, 24/7.


$725 A week. No experience. Air quality testing. 10-15 openings. Must be 18 & have reliable transportation. Paid weekly. Call for interview, Mon.-Fri. 9 am-5 pm. (501) 605-1303.

WANTED: PART-TIME optometry technician. Willing to train the right candidate, any computer accounting or optometry experience a plus. Fill out application or leave resume at BX Optometry clinic in BX mall. No phone calls, please.

Heating And Ventilation Technicians in Demand Now! Fast Track, Hands On Certification Training Provided. National Average is $18-22 Hourly. Veterans with Benefits Encouraged to Apply! 1-877-994-9904.

Heating And Air Conditioning Technician Training! Fast Track, Hands On, National Certification Program. Lifetime Job Placement. VA Benefits Eligible! 1-877-994-9904.

Can You Dig It? Bulldozers, Backhoes, and excavators. 3wk Hands On Training. Become Nationally Certified. GI Bill Eligible! 1-866-362-6497 (Allied Career Training, AL Licensed: SBPCE).

Luv Home's in Bryant will take ALMOST ANYTHING on trade-in for a new home. RV's, Car's, 4 wheeler's, boat's, or anything with value. Call 501-407-9500.

DRIVERS - TRUCK DRIVING OPPORTUNITY! Become a new driver for USA Truck! NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! USA Truck can help you get your CDL now! New drivers can earn $750/week! Call for Pre-Hire and details! 1-888-528-7112.

15 DRIVER TRAINEES NEEDED - NOW! Become a driver for Empire Express., NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED! New Drivers can earn $800+ per week! Call for details! 1-888-778-0465.

DRIVERS - Tango offers up to $.42 cpm to start plus home most weekends. Family Medical/Dental, 401k, Paid Vacation. CDL-A w/1 yr OTR req'd. 877-826-4605.

DRIVERS - CDL-A SOLO & TEAM DRIVERS NEEDED. Top Pay for Hazmat. OTR & Regional Runs. CDL Grads Welcome. 700+ Trucks & Growing! 888-928-6011.*

DRIVERS - EXPERIENCED DRIVER OR RECENT GRAD? With Swift, you can grow to be an award-winning Class A CDL driver. We help you achieve Diamond Driver status with the best support there is. As a Diamond Driver, you earn additional pay on top of all the competitive incentives we offer. The very best, choose Swift.‚ Great Miles = Great Pay‚ Late-Model Equipment Available‚ Regional Opportunities‚ Great Career Path‚ Paid Vacation‚ Excellent Benefits Please Call: (866) 201-1406.

DRIVERS - AVERITT APPROVED NEW PAY INCREASE FOR ALL REGIONAL DRIVERS! Get Home EVERY Week + Excellent Benefits. CDL-A req. 888-362-8608. Check Out the Pay Increase for Students! Apply @ EOE - Females, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

DRIVERS - Drive-away across the USA even if you don't own a car. 22 Pickup Locations. Call 866-764-1601 or

DRIVERS - "Partners in Excellence" - OTR Drivers APU Equipped. Pre-Pass, EZ-pass, passenger policy. 2012 & Newer equipment. 100% NO touch. Butler Transport 1-800-528-7825.

DRIVERS - FedEx Ground Contractor Seeking Class - A Drivers - Teams Only! Great Pay Package‚ Health Insurance‚ Paid Vacation‚ Excellent Hometime‚ No Touch Freight‚ All Drop/Hook. - 901-687-5298,


LARGE GARAGE sale, 4/11 & 12, 7 am-? 8628 Yellow Oak Dr., 4.5 miles north of back gate of LRAFB. Something for everyone.


HORSES: LUCKY Acres Boarding Stable, TLC for your horse, box stalls and paddocks, clean pastures, indoor and outdoor arenas, riding instruction and training program. Dressage our specialty. (501) 988-2458.


2006 HARLEY Davidson Sportster, 1200cc w/Screaming Eagle pipes, $5,850. (501) 238-2067.


PCS SALE, everything must go, ALL furniture, lawn care, desks, tables, futon, treadmill. (501) 835-4559.

STEEL BUILDING BLOWOUT! Perfect for Homes & Garages! Amazing savings on possible clearance buildings. LOW PRICES, LOW monthly payments various sizes available. Call 1-800-991-9251 Lindsay.


Sherwood/Jacksonville areas. Beautiful 2, 3 & 4 Bedroom Mobile Homes. Large lots, in quiet safe park, close to LRAFB. Clean, quiet, & safe park. $425-$650 plus deposit. (501) 835-3450.

Jax. - April Special - Half Deposit on 3 bd/2 bath MH in park. $500-$550 per month. Call Wendy at (501) 744-4668.

JAX.: $0 deposit. 1 bedroom camper in mobile home park, all utilities paid except propane. $350 per month. (501) 744-4668.

4 BEDROOM, 2 bath house in El Paso, 2600 sq. ft., stainless appliances, recently updated, huge family room, open floor plan, lots of storage, $1,200 mo., $600 deposit. Available April 15. (501) 259-0735.

CLEAN, 3 bedroom, 2 bath on Jacksonville cul-de-sac, Stonewall. All appliances,  washer/dryer, fireplace, deck, HOA pool & T-court, 2-car garage with opener. $975 month. (805) 402-7424.

CABOT: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2-car garage, fresh paint, new laminate floors, gas fireplace, all kitchen appliances available, fenced backyard. $1,050 month, $750 deposit. Call (501) 773-7741.

FOR SALE or rent: Cabot School District, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1204 sq. ft. on 3/4 acres. Asking $96,000 or $875 month with $875 deposit. Located at 14472 Hwy. 31 North, Ward. (501) 941-0372.

BRIEFS >> 041114

Commander’s Calls set for Tuesday

Col. Patrick Rhatigan, 19th Airlift Wing commander, will be conducting commander’s calls Tuesday at building 980, the Herk Hall. Time frames are broken into groups as follows:

 6 – 6:30 a.m.: 19th Maintenance Support Group and 19th Medical Group

 11 – 11:30 a.m.: 19th Mission Support Group

 2:30 – 3 p.m.: 19th Operations Group and Wing Staff Agencies

Pharmacy entrance closure begins April 21

The pharmacy entrance will be closed April 21 to May 2 to install handicapped ramps. Additionally, the handicapped spaces will be moved immediately following the installation from May 5 to 16. Completion dates are approximate due to possible weather delays.

Street Smart demonstration

Street Smart will be putting on a demonstration Wednesday, April 30, at the Herk Hall. The demonstrations will be at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6 p.m. Presented by experienced firefighters and paramedics, Street Smart is a real-life program demonstrating the consequences of poor choices such as drunk driving, drug abuse, eating, and texting and talking on the phone while driving and not wearing seatbelts. Come learn how you can become Street Smart, and be on the front line of safety. For more information, contact Master Sgt. Albert Beckwith at (501) 987-6377.

Drug take-back April 26

The next DEA Take Back event is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, at the Base Exchange. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs, while also educating the beneral public about the potential for abuse of medications. For more information, visit

Voting Assistance Program

The Federal Voting Assistance Program works to ensure service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote while providing the tools and resources to successfully do so from anywhere in the world. The FVAP encourages those who are eligible to submit a new federal postcard application every January to ensure participation in upcoming state and federal elections. This year federal elections will be held on November 4. State elections will vary, with primary elections starting as early as March. To learn more about the voting requirements of your state, contact your unit voting assistance officer, the installation voting assistance officer,, 987-VOTE or 987-8812). Additional information can be found at FVAP.GOV. Even though you’re not home you still have a voice. Voting assistance is available to help provide you with tools and resources to be heard...register today!

TOP STORY >> Marines take the plunge for morale

By Senior Airman Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 40 Marines ran to the Little Rock Air Force Base lake and took a rather cold dip for their second annual Polar Bear Plunge Feb. 13.

The two-mile, 10 a.m. run was led by their commanding officer Lt. Col. Jaime Gutierrez.

“The Polar Bear Plunge is something that we do to build morale in our unit,” said Sgt. Adam Miller, KC-130J airframes instructor. “We are a small community here, so it’s a chance for us to get together and do something out of the ordinary where everybody will have a good time.”

As the Marines ran to the lake, they reassured themselves with motivated Marine Corps cadences the whole way there. When they arrived, some Marines had to brace themselves before coming into contact with the freezing water, while others dove right in. Master Gunnery Sgt. David Clark, the senior enlisted Marine in charge of CNATT Marine Unit, did a cannonball. His face and body language upon surfacing defined without words just how cold the partially frozen lake was. 

They walked through the mud and partially-frozen mucky water, and the lower they got, it was obvious by the expressions and the sudden change in color on their faces, that the water indeed got colder. 
“It was extremely cold,” said Miller.

Though very cold, in true Marine fashion, they didn’t dwell on the water’s temperature; instead, they focused on the purpose of such a mission to bring unit cohesion. 

While in the water, the Marines lined up in formation as Gutierrez spoke a few words to his staff. Upon the completion of his words, Gutierrez had every Marine completely douse themselves from top to bottom.   

Right after being submerged in the water, before heading back to their barracks, the Marines formed up on ground, and Gutierrez presented a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal to Gunnery Sgt. Chad Debruyne for his leadership and accomplishments while serving in his unit.  

Once the awards presentation was over, the Marines headed back to the barracks wet, cold, without any loss of motivation.
Miller said the Polar Bear Plunge enhances the unit’s cohesiveness and allows them to share experiences together.
“I had a great time, like always,” said Miller.

A few Marines ended the morning, not only enthused, but with a few battle scars to take away. The water was so cold, sheets of ice formed and created havoc for the Marines, as they broke through the ice.
An emergency medical team was on standby if needed.

 When asked about ignoring the pain and bruises until the end of the activity, Miller just smiled and replied, “That’s just what we do… that’s just what we do.”

TOP STORY >> Little Rock Central High School 57 years after desegregation

By Senior Airman Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Fifty-seven years ago, nine brave African American high-school students endured crowds yelling, spitting, picketing and threating their lives and the lives of their families day after day, all for the chance to be educated with the same equality as Caucasian students.  

Today, the same hallways of Little Rock Central High School, where those nine African-American students were bullied and walked to class with fear, are now crowded with students of numerous races walking to class laughing and chatting as friends.  

“If you come into Central High School today and look around, you’ll see all kinds of ethnicities here,” said Kim Dade, Little Rock Central High School drama one teacher. “What the Little Rock Nine did not only changed the history of this state, it changed the history of the United States.” 

Dade, who’s been in education for 29 years and at Central High for 14, said she has taught students from Italy, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, Sweden and various other countries. She said she’s also had the opportunity to teach the niece of Thelma Mothershed, one of the Little Rock Nine.

Central High is one of the only present active high schools noted for such a historical fact: desegregating black and white schools.

Dade recalls special moments during her time at the school such as: appearances from some of the Little Rock Nine members like Elizabeth Eckford and the 50th anniversary of the Nine where former President Bill Clinton held the door open as all nine former students walked through for the ceremony.

“I am extremely honored and privileged to teach here at this school,” Dade said. “I start off every year by taking my students across the street to the exhibit. I do this to remind all my students that this didn’t come easy. I try my best to keep the feeling alive that somebody paid the price for this equal education that we all receive. Those people’s lives were changed forever. This school is not like any other. We are privileged to be Tigers. Don’t take it lightly.”

Dade and her students are preparing for their Black History Month program, “Celebrating Black History Month,” scheduled for Feb. 25. It includes a play, “The Reasons Why,” a Q&A section, spoken word poetry by students and more. For the ending, which Dade said she loves, all races come together for a finale performance. 

“Black history is everyone’s history,” she said. “That’s why I think the ending is great.”

Nancy Rousseau, 12-year principal of Central High, said she is very honored to be there and feels a tremendous amount of responsibility. 

“Little Rock Central High has become ‘many cultures, one world,’” she said. “We are a far cry from what happened in 1957. As the educational leader, I feel a great deal of pressure and responsibility to model and promote positive interaction between all our students.”

Rousseau said she feels very strongly about continuing to make sure Central High has a healthy and inclusive climate. 

“There are 27 different languages spoken by our students at this school. That alone points out how far we’ve come. We need to make more of an effort to embrace, learn about and respect our differences. Central High needs to lead the charge…because of our great history.”

TOP STORY >> CBRN Defense: From boots to mask

By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 19th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management flight teaches eight CBRN defense classes every month to active-duty Airmen and mission-essential civilians.  

Knowing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense is a vital part of being a warrior Airman. This potentially life-saving class teaches protection measures against the many threats that are present in today’s evolving warfare.

Flying and maintenance squadron members take the CBRN defense class every two years. But the classroom usually consists of people who are preparing to deploy, as it is a requirement.

In early January 2014, the class relocated to building 538. Along with the building move, changes to the curriculum were made as well. 

“The class is now more interactive and evaluation-based than before. It is more hands-on,” said Tech Sgt. Nicole Perez, 19th CES emergency management noncommissioned officer in charge.

Ten 19th CES emergency management Airmen alternate on instructing the class. They are quickly learning and implementing the new curriculum. More than 120 people each month are being taught the new CBRN defense class.

Staff Sgt. Nathan Williams, a 19th CES emergency management journeyman, highlighted some of the skills learned in the roughly two-hour long class. 

“The class is student-driven,” said Williams. “We learn about the M50 gas mask, MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) gear, marking contaminants, how to decontaminate and identify unexploded ordnances.” 
 Donning the MOPP gear is one of the main skills covered. 

 “We want them to get comfortable with the suits,” Perez said. “You won’t have a CBRN instructor downrange. The suit can protect you from nuclear fallout, biological agents and nerve blister agents.”

The CBRN defense class is just one of many classes that the 19th CES emergency management flight teaches. 

“We also conduct shelter-in-place, emergency operations center, unit control center and emergency management representative classes,” said Perez. 

The CBRN defense class is held twice every Wednesday at 9 a.m. and at 1 p.m. Contact your unit deployment manager or unit training manager to schedule your next appointment. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

FEATURE >> Reflecting on change

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit
19th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs     

Following a long family tradition of military service, Chief Master Sgt. Eric Rower, the 19th Mission Support Group superintendent, joined active-duty military service Aug. 2, 1985. 

Although Rower has not experienced the acts of segregation in his 28-year military career, he has witnessed many other equally important changes that have affected African-Americans during his time. 

“What I’ve noticed is more opportunities,” said Rower. “More opportunities are available for African-Americans to move up to the key positions whether they are at the squadron level, wing level or MAJCOM level. From a standpoint of African-Americans in specific, when I first came in I noticed there weren’t as many in the positions that there are today.”

Segregation in the Air Force was resolved in the early 1970s. With the changing Air Force, the Equal Opportunity offices were and still are a key role in assuring Airmen, regardless of race or ethnicity, were treated with respect.  Concerted efforts were emphasized by leadership at all bases to ensure equal opportunity was promoted.

Rower also reminisced about his dad telling stories of his military service experience in the Army during the end of World War II.  Rower’s father, along with several of his uncles, was in the Army before desegregation. 

Before desegregation in the military, most of the positions delegated to African-Americans were behind-the-line cooks and similar jobs, said Rower. 

“My father and my uncles were not afforded the same opportunities that I have been afforded in the military today, and that was a reflection on society at the time,” said Rower. “He grew up in a time where racism was strong and the opportunities for minorities just weren’t there.”

Rower emphasizes the point that the military has grown with society. He also points out that the Air Force was one of the first branches of service to provide equal opportunity to all Airmen regardless of race. 

“It makes me feel good to be in an Air Force today where everyone is being treated equal,” said Rower. “Everyone is being given a chance to take their abilities as high as they will get them.” 

Rower encourages people to always follow their dreams whatever they may be. He said we are in an Air Force now that you can do anything and be anything that you want to be as long as you’re willing to work hard and do the things that are asked of you. 

Rower also added that staff sergeants and technical sergeants are pivotal roles to the enlisted force. He said Airmen need to be strong noncommissioned officers and senior NCOs to help guide others through the impending drawdowns and help take the Air Force through the next big change. 


Thursday, February 13, 2014



THE COMBAT AIRLIFTER CLASSIFIED DEPARTMENT will take ads by phone from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday 982-9421, or you may mail your ad to 404 Graham Rd., Jacksonville, Ark. 72078. You may also e-mail them to Deadline to advertise in Friday's issue is 5 p.m. Tuesday.


$725 A week. No experience. Air quality testing. 10-15 openings. Must be 18 & have reliable transportation. Paid weekly. Call for interview, Mon.-Fri. 9 am-5 pm. (501) 605-1303.*


HORSES: LUCKY Acres Boarding Stable, TLC for your horse, box stalls and paddocks, clean pastures, indoor and outdoor arenas, riding instruction and training program. Dressage our specialty. (501) 988-2458.


4 USED tires, Hankook Ventus V2, 225/50R17, good condition, $20 for all 4. (352) 208-3785.

2010 DODGE Nitro ST, clean, good condition, V6, 3.7L, hitch kit, Carfax avail., pics avail. (501) 310-2078.

SET OF BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires, 215/70/R16, 25k miles left, $150 cash. (501) 749-7423.

2008 F250 super duty 4x4 w/4X-4 pkg., 6.4L diesel engine w/56,600 miles, 4-door, Supercrew, red, $29,500. Call/text (501) 516-1736.


2001 MAXUM 1900SC ski boat, 4.3L, 190 hp, less than 40 hrs., needs new starter, has Cuddy cabin & is Bimini top ready, $6,000. Pics. avail. Call/text (501) 772-5318.

1998 CARDINAL 5th wheel 27RK camper, sleeps 5, 4 new 10-ply tires, A/C, furnace, fridge, water heater - all work as they should. Nice awning, $8,000. Call/text (501) 516-1736.


ICON SQUAD II motorcycle backpack, orange, like new condition, $75. Call/text (501) 772-5318.

LOGITECH Z5300 THX 5.1 surround sound speakers for computer, gaming console, smart phone or tablet, $110. Call/text (501) 772-5318.

LADY RIDER full leather 2-pc. motorcycle suit, sz. 12, can be zipped together & has removable jacket liner, $250. Call/text (501) 772-5318.

WEDDING DRESS, strapless David's Bridal gown, slip & bra, sz. 10, $500 obo. Call/text (501) 992-7259.


CHERRY CONVERTIBLE crib w/attached changing table, used condition w/scratches, easily fixed, $50. (479) 223-2336.

CHERRY CONVERTIBLE crib w/attached changing table, used condition w/scratches, easily fixed, $50. (479) 223-2336.

TWIN-SIZED MATTRESS & box spring w/metal frame, perfect condition, very clean, $200 obo. (501) 247-0653.


WANTED: MEN'S mess dress, 42 reg. coat, 34x32 pants. (707) 398-1514.


Sherwood/Jacksonville areas. Beautiful 2, 3 & 4 Bedroom Mobile Homes. Large lots, in quiet safe park, close to LRAFB. Clean, quiet, & safe park. $425-$650 plus deposit. (501) 835-3450.

JANUARY SPECIAL, $100 deposit! Jacksonville: mobile home in park. 3 bedroom/2 bath. $500-$575 per month. 501-744-4668.

JANUARY SPECIAL, $100 deposit! Beebe: mobile home subdivision, 3 bedroom/2 bath on 1/2 acre lot, $550 per month. 501-744-4668.

Jax: $100 deposit, 1 bedroom camper in mobile home park, all utilities paid except propane. $350 per month. (501) 744-4668.

Jacksonville 3 bedroom/2 bath MH in park. $500-$575 per month. $0 deposit and 1st months rent free for active military. Move in today with $0 down. Call Wendy at 501-744-4668.

3 BEDROOM, 2 bath, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer/dryer connections, extra clean, large lot, private, 3 miles north of air base off Hwy. 107. Rent $550, deposit $500. (501) 837-5490.

JACKSONVILLE: 3 bedroom, 1 bath, completely remodeled & updated, new cook stove, new bathroom items, carport, big garage, fenced-in backyard. 5 minutes from base front gate. Rent or buy. (501) 988-2458.


JACKSONVILLE - FOXWOOD: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, brick home, master suite, Jacuzzi, walk-in closets & shower, fenced-in yard, approximately 2100 sq. ft., 5 minutes from LRAFB. 830-734-5682.

BRIEFS>> 2-14-14

Fitness Center program suspended
The Fitness Center 24/7 program will be inoperable until further notice. The Fitness Center will operate under normal business hours Monday through Friday 4 a.m. to midnight. and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For questions, contact the Fitness Center at 501-987-7716.

Globetrotter to visit base
Globetrotter Media Day will be Feb. 19, from 4-5 p.m. at the Youth Center gym. Wun (The Shot) Versher will be throwing shots in the court and performing basketball tricks for the children.
If you have any questions, contact the Youth Center at 501-987-6355.

Arkansas Air National Guard looking for Maintainers
The 189th Airlift Wing, Mission Support Group currently has full-time position opportunities as Federal Technician, and drill status guardsmen (part time) and will hold an open house recruiting event for active-duty service members looking to continue their military career and stay in the Little Rock area.
The open house event will be held at the 189th AW maintenance hangar, building 207 Feb. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Food and refreshments will be available.
If you have been considering what to do after the Air Force, come and see what the Arkansas Air National Guard has to offer.
Recruiters and other maintainers will be on hand to answer questions about Guard service, benefits and opportunities available.
For more information, contact Senior Master Sgt. Brad Orr at 501-987-6227, Staff Sgt. Caleb Powell at 501-987-7618 or Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Fry at 501-212-5294.

Thrift shop reopens Feb. 18
The Thrift Shop will reopen in the same location Feb. 18 for shopping and donations. Consignment begins March 1. For more information, visit

Parenting class offered
A 1-2-3 Magic Parenting Class is set for Feb. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Family Advocacy Office.
To register, call 501-987-7377.

Munitions Storage Area closure
The Munitions Storage Area will be closed for semi-annual inventory March 3 through 14. Only emergency issues will be processed during this time frame and must be approved in writing by the maintenance group commander. Please direct any question to Master Sgt. Patrick Dunlap at (501) 987-6031.

Military Saves Week Starts Feb. 28
The 2014 Military Saves Week will kick off Feb. 28 through March 1. The week will feature a Financial Literacy Single Elimination Tournament.
The first portion of the campaign requires your squadron to complete a survey online:
The tournament will be held Monday through Thursday at the Thomas Community Activity Center from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The final round will be conducted Feb 28. at Hangar 1080 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Awards and final comments will be presented by Col. Patrick Rhatigan, 19th Airlift Wing commander.
Contact the Airmen and Family Readiness Center at (501) 987-6801 if you have any questions.

TOP STORY>>Tricare goes completely online

Courtesy of 19th Airlift Wing Medical Group

The walk-in service at the Tricare Service Center located at the Little Rock Air Force Base medical clinic will no longer be available as of April 1. Keeping up with the rapidly increasing number of Tricare beneficiaries who most often turn to a laptop or cell phone when they have questions.

Little Rock AFB medical clinic patients will still have a wide variety of secure, electronic customer service options available through The new “I want to…..” feature puts everything beneficiaries want to do online right on the home page.

When walk-in service ends April 1, beneficiaries who want to get personal assistance can call 1-800-444-5445 for enrollment and benefit help. All health care, pharmacy, dental and claims contact information is located at

Beneficiaries can receive 24/7 Tricare benefit information online and make enrollment and primary care manager changes and more online at

Rather than driving to an installation TSC, Tricare beneficiaries can download health care forms online and send them in the traditional way through the U.S. mail at a cost of less than 50 cents.

Walk-in customer service is the most expensive customer service option. By eliminating walk-in customer service at TSCs, the Department of Defense estimates savings of approximately $250 million over five years. The change does not affect Tricare benefits or health care delivery.

Find out more at

TOP STORY>>Winter Wingman Day wrap-up

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit
19th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

Little Rock Air Force Base celebrated Winter Wingman Day Friday, holding classes throughout the base and education center to focus on the four domains of resilience.

Team Little Rock members were able to choose any three classes from the approximately 50 courses offered. The day was created for Airmen to be provided the opportunity to work on resilience.

Changes in the Air Force have brought new ideas and concepts to each base, encouraging Airmen to make their lives and the lives of the people around them better. In order to assist the Airmen in taking advantage of achieving their goals, the Air Force has created Wingman Day.

“We focus on all four domains during Winter Wingman Day,” said Stephanie Wynn, the 19th Airlift Wing community support coordinator. “The focus is individual resilience. We allow Airmen the opportunity to choose the classes and the domains they feel they need additional focus on.”

Friday, the entire base went to minimal manning, allowing maximum participation in the events throughout the day. A variety of classes were being offered. Airmen could sign up for anything from a nature walk to a fitness course. The class options were all over the board.

Although all classes were beneficial, some classes were more popular than others. The classes offered at the Health and Wellness Center provided opportunities for Airmen to obtain better physical health habits.

“The most popular classes are all of the classes offered by the Health and Wellness Center staff, from Vital 90 to Improving Running Efficiency to Super Foods,” said Wynn.

Among the classes offered were some that assisted Airmen in preparing for a life outside of the military. With recent force management programs, Airmen want to be prepared for any scenario including separation from the Air Force.

Classes such as Applying for a Federal Civil Service Position and the Transition Assistance Program: Post Service Educational Benefit were some of the classes offered for transitioning Airmen.

While Winter Wingman Day was a success and focused on all four domains of resilience, the mental domain is the focus for the first quarter of calendar year 2014. Mental resilience is important for the health and strength of every Airman in the Air Force.

“Focusing on the mental health domain is important because emotions and stress are part of our everyday life experiences,” said Maj. Ebon Alley, 19th Medical Group mental health flight commander. “Emotions and stress have the ability to take us to the highest highs and the lowest lows, and being able to bounce back from those low points is a key part of the Air Force’s focus on resilience.”

Winter Wingman Day offered several classes that encouraged Airmen to focus on mental health, such as a Sleep Enhancement course and Anger Management. Overall more than 20 courses were offered that involved the mental domain of resilience.

Airmen can practice mental resilience athome and on a daily basis to ensure mental readiness as well as physical, social and spiritual readiness at all times.

“I’m a huge fan of incorporating all the domains,” said Alley. “I exercise routinely, enjoy as much time as I can with the family, gain happiness through perpetual growth and learning, and play guitar at church. As long as you can keep at least three domains going, then you ‘ve got a triad, and that’s a stable base from which to work.”

The Wingman Day concept has kicked off in the Air Force. The designated day provided ample opportunity for Airmen to gain the knowledge desired and needed in order to be a more effective Airman and leader and a more resilient person altogether.

TOP STORY>>The frontline of security

By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A team of select Airmen from the 19th Security Forces Squadron make up the first layer of Little Rock Air Force Base integrated defense. The group works around the clock at the visitor center ensuring that no unauthorized guests gain access to the base.

Little Rock AFB conducts 100-percent identification checks on anyone who enters the base. Although the full ID check may be more work, Staff Sgt. Gina Way, noncommissioned officer in charge of the visitor center, ensures it is worth it.

“We want people to feel safe,” said Way. “Every month, we apprehend an average of 150 people for having warrants out for their arrest.”

The visitor center ensures safety in a couple of ways. Not just anyone can walk onto Little Rock AFB.

“No registered sex offenders are allowed on base, nor is anyone who has had a felony in the past ten years,” Way said.

More than 11,000 visitor passes are issued to people every month. Security Forces Airmen must constantly run background checks on all guests to the base.

All base events that bring civilians onto The Rock must have all parties involved register and be cleared by the visitor center as well. It takes around five to 700 access rosters each month for the events to be approved. Along with safety, it ensures that long lines do not form at the gate.

“I have a fantastic group of 11 Airmen who know their job inside and out,” said Way. “Working at the visitor center is not something that all Security Forces Airmen can do. I have to be selective when choosing who should work at the VC. They (the Airmen) must be personable and quick decision-makers.”

The newest visitor center clerk, Airman 1st Class Ashlee Salato said, “I feel very luck for being selected to work here. Staff Sgt. Way is a good NCOIC, and she trusts us.”

“My favorite part about this job is being able to meet people,” said Senior Airman Jordan Hatton, 19th Security Forces squadron visitor center clerk.

Unlike larger bases, the Airmen working at the Little Rock AFB Visitor Center greet all guests.

“We don’t just focus on getting people in and out,” Way said. “We want people to leave with a smile.”

Way said she feels privileged to work on an Air Force base that is much smaller than her last.

“Little Rock AFB enables visitor center Airmen to get to know people,” said Way.

19th Security Forces Airmen will continue to maintain a constant shift at the visitor center. Not only will the team ensure base safety, but they will welcome all guests to the home of C-130 combat airlift. The visitor center can be reached at 501-987-3425.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

TOP STORY>>Sexual harassment can happen with the click of a button

By Senior Airman Kaylee Clark
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

With virtually unlimited access to people and information online, unfortunately one can become an easy target for predators.

Children, teenagers and adults alike may find themselves in situations where sexual harassment occurs more often through media rather than face-to-face encounters.

The Air Force defines sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination involving unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

“If you have to question it, you probably should not be doing it,” said Staff Sgt. Jessica Mathes, 19th Airlift Wing Equal Opportunity noncommissioned officer in charge.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, sexting is sending sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone.

“It is illegal, but if it were not, doing it would not be a smart decision,” said Mathes.

Despite the trust one may have with the recipient of the sext message, those messages, once sent are not private. As soon as you send a sext message the receiver of the message has the opportunity to send it to whomever they choose. It could be forwarded to the web.

“Be cautious about what you put out there because there are no mulligans when it comes to posting things on the web; it is out there forever,” Mathes said.

No one can stop sexual harassment online except the offenders, but individuals have a responsibility to educate themself and talk to their children about being approached online. Also, changing the privacy settings on devices where the internet is available can limit access to websites where there are possible predators.

“It does not matter if you are saying or doing things face-to-face or over the internet, harassment is harassment,” said Mathes.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Lisa Dicus 19th Medical OperationsSquadron Family Advocacy Outreach manager, wants Team Little Rock members to be aware of the implications sexting can have on dating.

“A common misconception is that ignoring harassment will actually stop it. It can be more proactive and productive to tell a harasser to STOP than to act like it’s not happening at all,” said Dicus.

For safety reasons, determine when it’s appropriate to engage a harasser and when it’s best to ignore them, but also, sometimes it’s best to not even put yourself in that situation in the first place, said Dicus.

If anyone is being harassed online, remove one’s self from the situation. Report the situation to a wingman, leadership or the EO office.

To contact someone at the EO office call (501) 987-8629. The office is located at 842 Leadership Drive 1st floor, rooms 101-105.

TOP STORY>>Little Rock Air Force Base will celebrate Black History Month

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit
19th Airlift Wing, Public Affairs

The course of American history has been directed and redirected by people from all walks of life. From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism, the men and women protecting our freedom work hand in hand to accomplish the mission.

Although the cohesion that our servicemen and women portray, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity stands strong today, this has not always been the case. The military and our nation as a whole have come a long way in acceptance and understanding of the differences that make us unique.

The month of February commemorates Black History Month and pays tribute to the African-Americans who have contributed to the political, social and integral ideals of the American people and to the desegregation of our nation.

During the month of February, in order to bring awareness and celebrate, we will highlight several significant individuals who contributed to the history of African Americans.

From African-Americans who have contributed to our military to those who have risen among the ranks in education and politics, the features will highlight African-American contributors whose persistence has paid off and who have obtained the recognition for their efforts when it was the hardest time to do so.

Little Rock, Ark. embraces black history and proudly stands out as one of the nation’s greatest influences in the long process of desegregation. The Little Rock Nine, with the help of the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, attended Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., for the first time, breaking the trend of segregation and laying a path for others to follow. This thought-out yet bold action broke down the barriers that inhibited African-Americans from following their educational goals and dreams and started a positive trend that provided equal opportunity for all people to follow.

This month, take the time to reflect on the sacrifices that were made for the right cause and remember the brave men and women who supported the cause any way they could. Discover Little Rock and get to know the history surrounding the city.

TOP STORY >>Training opportunities soar for the Afghan Air Force

By Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

“Out of my six deployments, none compare to my most recent assignment to Afghanistan,” said Maj. Ryan Hayes, former 62nd Airlift Squadron director of operations.

For his last deployment, Hayes was among the few to receive the unique opportunity to advise and train Afghan aircrews. The assignment offers many rewards, but it comes at a cost, requiring a 365-day stint in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Hayes left his job at Little Rock Air Force Base and headed to Kabul. In a little under a year’s time, he would become a very important figure in the U.S. Air Force’s training of the Afghan Air Force.

It was not an easy position to attain, Hayes said.

Hayes was initially slated to work as a C-27 instructor pilot but was soon qualified on a C-208 aircraft. Hayes eventually moved up to fill the job of the advisor to the Afghan Air Force Operations Support Squadron commander, as well as running the OSS for the coalition.

Hayes’ experience at Little Rock AFB played an important role at his new Afghan assignment.

“The stream of pipeline students that come through Little Rock have to be taught everything about the C-130,” said Hayes. “Kabul was very similar, as it also had people who were completely new to the C-130 cargo plane.”

Being an advisor to the Afghan Air Force is unique because Airmen give hands-on training to the Afghan troops.

Senior Master Sgt. Michael Falcho, a member of the 62nd AS, is currently deployed and is serving as the 538th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron superintendent.

According to Falcho, the Afghans now have two C-130s and six C-208s stationed in Kabul. Members from the 538th AEAS are aircrew members who assess, advise, train, assist and equip the Afghan partners.

“We work with them ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ standing up a Fixed Wing Aircraft Squadron to give them a sustainable airlift capability to meet the needs of their military,” he said.

Hayes and Falcho, both Little Rock Airmen, noticed improvements while overcoming challenges in Kabul.

“A typical challenge that advisors face is trying to overcome the language difference,” said Falcho. “Our Afghan partners speak Dari and Pashto. Advisors receive some language training, however, the language training is more survival or oriented towards an emergency situation. Some of our Afghan partners receive English training as well. We work quite a bit using interpreters to communicate.”

Hayes said he saw the Afghans come a huge way in the year that he had been there.

“The C-130 is the biggest aircraft they’ve ever owned and operated,” said Hayes. “Before I left, the first C-130 arrived with an Afghan tail flash and ‘Afghan Air Force’ written on the side in Pashto.”

Not only did the Afghans show pride in the acquisition of the C-130, but they have adapted quickly according Falcho.

“They are making strides in using the C-130 platform,” he said. “They have only had this aircraft for four months, and are learning very quickly how to use it for medevac and a medium airlift platform.”

Training Afghans to fly requires more than one would think. Advisors and the Afghan partners establish personal relationships before using a systematic approach. U.S. and Afghan troops are benefitting from the aircraft training as well as building invaluable partnerships.