Friday, July 31, 2015

TOP STORY >> LRAFB supports Airborne Students

A student paratrooper exits a 913th Airlift Group C-130H as part of the Basic Airborne Course. Students must make five jumps at 1,250 feet from a C-130 or C-17 aircraft during the third and final week of the course.

By Capt. Casey Staheli 
913th Airlift Group

Members of the Air Force Reserve’s 913th Airlift Group supported the Army’s 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s Basic Airborne Course July 13-17. 

The mission was a Total Force effort of one C-130H and 15 Total Force crewmembers from the 327th Airlift Squadron, 50th Airlift Squadron and 913th Maintenance Squadron from Little Rock Air Force Base.  

The crew, led by Maj. Claude Smith, 913th Operation Support Squadron chief of tactics, flew 20 sorties, 67 airdrop passes and dropped a total of 866 jumpers over the four-day period. In addition to supporting a class of 352 basic airborne students, eight C-130 loadmasters and two navigators from the 913th AG received Actual Personnel Airdrop re-currency training from Tech. Sgt. Nick Crawford, 327th AS evaluator loadmaster and noncommissioned officer of training.

“We had a very productive week with a fully integrated team of Reserve and active-duty crewmembers doing what we do best-- operating the C-130H,” said Smith. “We can stand up a fully cohesive crew and tackle any mission the National Command Authority can throw our way.”  

The 1-507th, located at Fort Benning, Georgia  trains Paratroopers, Jumpmasters, and Pathfinders in order to provide the Department of Defense with Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines to conduct airborne operations anywhere DOD-wide.  

TOP STORY >> Education Center continuously learning

By Tammy Reed
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Base education center officials are continuously studying how to best deliver the services and programs students need and want in an ever-changing landscape of learning. 

The center serves a diverse community by providing educational opportunities and counseling services to active-duty personnel, Guard and reserve members, DOD Civilian employees, adult family members and military retirees, as well as off-base civilians. 

Since taking over as Education Services Officer in April, Gina Thursby has been ramping up the University Center’s presence through outreach programs around the base to let people know the center is there and what it offers. She is actively engaging people to find out their education needs. 

“Getting an education is why some people join the military, and it changes their lives. Some of them are the first in their family to get a degree, and that is just a stepping stone for the next, and the next and the next level -- the sky’s the limit. Some people come here lost. We provide them the direction they need,” she said. 

One of her heartfelt goals for the colleges at the center is getting a huge response from their upcoming needs assessment survey. 

“When you do needs assessments, if there is an overwhelming response for a particular program that we don’t currently offer, that’s what helps us bring those new programs onto the base,” Thursby explained. “Without that response, without showing a need, then we really don’t have the opportunity to reach out to any other colleges or to the colleges we already have to bring those additional programs here.”

The key for Thursby and her staff will be turning the survey feedback into cutting-edge programs and services for students. They are taking their message of change to the Airman Leadership School, First Term Airmen Center and commander’s calls, just to be visible to as many Airmen as possible.

“Master Sgt. Shawna Budde and one of our new counselors set up at the last newcomer’s orientation just to be right there visible and available to the brand new people that come on base,” Thursby said. “We’re partnering more with our on-base schools to educate them, as there have been a lot of changes in education over the last couple of years.  I think there’s some confusion and ambiguity on what they can and can’t do with their marketing, so we’re increasing our relationship with our local schools.”

The center includes six colleges which offer associate through master’s level degrees in a variety of programs to the both military and local civilian population. They are also responsible for professional military education offerings and proctoring testing for enlisted promotions.  

She said there’s more initiatives on the horizon such as an education fair, CLEP-A-Thons and an education tour, all with the goal of not just increasing enrollment at the schools, but helping them stay relevant.

Some improvements Thursby and her staff are working include streamlining promotion testing by making some of the steps electronic instead of paper and using e-documents to help Airmen save valuable time. 

The University Center staff also helps Airmen move on once their time with the Air Force is done. Mike Jones, a newly-hired education specialist, offers the educational track for the Transition Goals, Plans, Success curriculum as part of his duties. 

Transition GPS is a five-day workshop all service members attend when transitioning back to civilian life and, at the end, they have the option to go one of three tracks: technical training, entrepreneurial and educational tracks.

Jones explained that what’s been found in the past is there are many veterans who are jobless, and we want to combat that by making things available to them to help them move smoothly away from the military.

“We try to set them up for success by transitioning them; by them choosing which track they want to take. The one I teach is a two-day course called Accessing Higher Education, and what we do in this track is find the right career choice for that former Airman.”

He added that although a member may have been a mechanic while serving, their goals may be different now.  

“We have ways of finding what the best career opportunities would be for them now, and we try to guide them down that path,” he said. “Then we find the right school and program for them to apply to.”

He also works with transitioning Airmen on funding for school and then on actually applying for college.  He believes the two-day course is a great help for those wanting to pursue their higher education after the military. 

“I’m really passionate about education and learning, and I don’t think it should be something that ends,” Jones said.  “Learning is a lifelong thing; it is something we should always be pursuing.”

TOP STORY >> Back-to-School Brigade set for Aug. 7

By Senior Airman Scott Poe
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Operation Homefront’s Back-to-School Brigade returns to give away school supplies for military children from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7 at the Walters Community Support Center. 

The event is for DEERS enrolled military children who will be in kindergarden through 12th grade this school year. Identification of all children registered will be required the day of the event.

By reaching out to active-duty families of E-1 through E-6 members, Operation Homefront hopes to relieve some of the financial stressors associated with military family life.

“Our mission is to serve military families and the Back-To-School-Brigade EXPO is one of our many programs designed to help alleviate financial stress for service members,” said Cecil Ennett, an Operation Homefront Arkansas community liaison. “Come out and visit with our community and installation partners and get a free backpack with school supplies.” 

It also saves military family members time that would normally go shopping for supplies.

“The Back-to-School Brigade was extremely helpful,” said Brandi Anderson, a military spouse. “My husband was out of town last year and the program saved me a lot of time and money, especially since I have three kids.” 

According to the National Retail Federation, $669.28 is the average amount spent on back-to-school apparel, school supplies, and electronics per family. 

Last year at the event on base Operation Homefront was able to serve over 250 children, representing 117 families at Little Rock Air Force Base with over $7,300 worth of school supplies and backpacks.  

Nationally, Operation Homefront hosted 109 distribution events, distributed more than 38,000 backpacks, along with over $5 million in school supplies. They were collected by nearly 2,000 volunteers at Dollar Tree stores nationwide ensuring 38,631 children were given filled backpacks at Operation Homefront events. 

Operation Homefront is a nonprofit national organization that helps military families and wounded warriors.

To register for these giveaways, go to:; or visit their website: for more information. 

TOP STORY >> Deployed Family Dinner planned for Aug. 4

By Senior Airman Kaylee Clark
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The quarterly Deployed Family Dinner, sponsored by the Chapel, celebrates the sacrifice of families while their loved one is downrange. The next DFD is 6-7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at Hangar 1080 with a Picnic theme.

The dinner provides a forum for spouses to network and glean from the many different resources provided by Team Little Rock’s helping agencies, community partners and squadron leadership. 

“Deployed Family Dinners are important because they illustrate TLR’s emphasis on “taking care of Airmen” and give families an opportunity for connection and community while separated from their deployed loved ones,” said Chap. Randy Sellers.  

The helping agencies provide many support programs that can aid families that are separated by deployments. Spouses also have a first-hand opportunity to talk with squadron leadership in a relaxed setting. 

Each dinner is designed around a casual meal, light entertainment, booths to liaison with people from the base and local community and opportunities to have fun.

Spouses will also be able to benefit from booths by the chapel, Airman and Family Readiness Center, 19th Force Support Squadaron, Military One Source and others who desire to help our military deployed community.

“In addition to providing connection, DFD provides community,” said Sellers. “It is a relaxed atmosphere for spouses and children alike to share community with other families that are going through the same experience.” 

Friday, July 24, 2015

COMMENTARY >> Commitment, pride, discipline: Staples of the profession

By Col. Charles Bolton
314th Operations Group commander

These three words (commitment, pride, discipline) are staples of our military profession, but do we actually understand and live them each day? 

As Airman, we must exhibit these in every facet of what we do. Without them, there is nothing setting us apart from the rest of society. 

Commitment. Our society’s sense of commitment is waning. Permanence has been subtracted from our definition of commitment. Instead, we have replaced it with the amount of willpower an individual is willing to put forth in a given situation. 

This new definition of commitment may work for someone not wearing a uniform, someone ready to change his or her beliefs for convenience, someone ready to throw away important things in life for comfort or pleasures’ safe, or someone who runs away from tough situations and looks for the easy way out. However, for those of us in the military, we do not have that luxury of cheapening commitment. Our wingman, our coworkers and our peers count on us to do what you are supposed to do…all the time. 

Gen. George Patton Jr. once said, “I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.” That is commitment. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that we are still at war and maintaining a high ops tempo. Although our nation may be fighting about budgets, elections, etc., we have to focus on the mission at hand. That means constantly working to better yourself and the mission, no matter the difficulty we face. 

What does commitment mean to you? Does it mean, “I’ll see something through to the end, no matter the cost”; or does it mean, “I’ll do something, but only until it no longer benefits me, or gets too hard for me to handle”? 

Commitment starts with taking pride in the fact you are a member of our nation’s greatest profession, the profession of arms. 

Pride. Pride exhibits itself in many ways: through the uniform, physical appearance, customs and courtesies and work ethic. I have been in organizations that were on the brink of failure due to the lack of pride. I witnessed that same organization go from the bottom to the top when they began to take pride in everything they did and said. Our core values ask for excellence and you can only get that by being committed and taking pride in everything you do. 

John Stuart Mill, the English philosopher, once said, “A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” 

When you do not care about what you are doing, it shows. The sad part about is, someone else has to pick up your slack. So look around and use opportunities to boost pride. Thank people for what they do. Coach, teach and mentor our young Airmen. Moreover, be a good example. How can we expect to see pride, if we do not show pride? 

Discipline. Commitment and pride are born out of discipline. Discipline involves abiding by standards whether you like them or not. It means taking personal responsibility to do what is right (even when no one is watching) and not whining about it. Today, there is this natural tendency to complain or argue about what we believe to be right or wrong. Imagine how productive we could be if we got committed to standards and stopped spending time dwelling on policies or issues we may not like. Our mental and physical ability to tackle any situation will be enhanced through the discipline we exhibit in our daily tasks and will better prepare us to take care of the mission, as well as each other. 

We marvel at the discipline involved with professional athletes, but do we exhibit the same discipline it takes to be the professionals we are supposed to be? Think about that the next time your stomach hurts on a run, the next time you have to get up at 5:30 a.m. for PT, or after working a 14-16 hour day. Remember we do it for a reason; to protect the freedoms we enjoy each day and ensure others can enjoy them as well. It takes commitment, pride and discipline from each individual Airman to guarantee we can keep the freedoms we cherish.

TOP STORY >> Singles bowl free Mondays

By Senior Airman Stephanie Serrano
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs 

On a quiet Monday night, a ball moves swiftly down the shiny yellow lane, and a noise like 10 champagne bottles popping at once suddenly breaks the silence of the base bowling center. 

The Strike Zone Bowling Center now offers free bowling for single active duty members – enlisted and officers – on Monday nights.  

The program is a hit with Airmen. 

“I love bowling and a lot of us will be back,” said Airman 1st Class Nicholas Chisler, a 19th Maintenance Squadron fuels systems operator. “The program is awesome. I really appreciate the fact that they do not forget about us single airman.”

The program is a way to give Airmen something to do on a weeknight and give the bowling center foot traffic.

“We started out with maybe 15-20 people, but now we are having upwards of 40 people showing up every Monday night,” said Kelly Kret, a 19th Force Support Squadron recreation assistant. “I love to see people come in and have a good time.” 

It started with the Single Airmen initiative. The 19th FSS is given funds from higher Air Force levels to disseminate among various recreational organizations throughout the base. 

“It’s a wonderful program for the Airmen,” said Kret. “It’s a good way for them to meet people, even if they don’t bowl. It’s all about fun.”

The Strike Zone Bowling Center is open Monday-Wednesday from 6-9 p.m. Thursday from 5-10 p.m. Friday from 5-12 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. 

The bowling center offers as many bowling specials throughout the week. Other specials include dollar days, Cosmic Bowling, league bowling, Colorama, Family Fun Day and more. 

For more information, contact Strike Zone Bowling Center at 987-3338 or visit

TOP STORY>> Snapshot: Col. Charles Brown Jr.

By 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

(Editor’s note: 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander Col. Charles Brown Jr. talked about his vision, goals and plans for the wing in an interview July 15 with Senior Airman Scott Poe and Tech. Sgt. Jason Armstrong, 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs. An edited transcript follows.)

Q. How did it feel to be selected to come back to Little Rock AFB as the installation commander?

A. It was definitely humbling. The thing that I probably thought about the most in the lead up to taking command is ‘what is the best way I can take care of that wing and the installation and really share what the base has to offer to the community and what the community has to offer to the base?’ 

[I didn’t have] a lot of sleepless nights, but I definitely had a lot on my mind as to not wanting to fail. [I have] so much passion and love for the mission and the Airmen here that it’s a lot of weight to put on one person’s shoulders. I’m the commander by position, and that comes with its own scope of authorities and responsibilities, but it’s actually a team. That was the part that really was the ‘warm blanket’ that brought me in and took some of that pressure off of me. You would think the pressure got greater when I took command, but it actually was lessened when I saw the quality of our Airmen and the quality of the mission—the genuine trust I could have in the Airmen to do their jobs day-to-day and see them well-balanced and fit. I saw families out doing things together and saw the community rallying around them. 

It’s really hard to describe what it feels like for someone who hasn’t had a genuine home in over 21 years to actually come back to the place that feels like home, live on the installation and be reunited with friends and family. 

You know, if my career were to end today, I wouldn’t be happy about it, but it would definitely be at my high point being here. 

Q. What is your vision for Little Rock AFB under your command?

A. To do the mission day-to-day, and not have to worry about [those little details] at my level. I don’t need to dive down into the lowest tactical levels to find out if people are doing their jobs. Knowing those questions are already answered probably saves me six months [of time] so I can do things like reach out to the community, and I can host civic leader tours. [This allows us to] expand our horizon by transforming the wing into a C-130J wing, ensuring it’s right-sized and that it’s resourced to be combat effective. We’ll be first to get there, in what has been an 11-year transformation of transferring C-130H and E aircraft either into retirement or into the Reserve or Guard components. By producing combat aviators and C-130J’s that come together and go out into the far reaches of the globe and execute that mission comes a new paradigm, if you will, of looking at the way we do business. Being able to ensure that from the flightline to the front gate we’re resourced properly, our personnel are here properly, and that our infrastructure is right-sized—we don’t have excess capacity where we don’t need it. 

What that means to us is we are being good stewards of taxpayers’ [money] when we’re doing everything we can, and we’ve ensured we have all the resources and training that we need. We trust our civilian leaders, and they trust us back; we have confidence they have our back, and we will do what we’re asked when called upon. Then to know I don’t have to worry about unit level dynamics: one, because I have great group commanders and unit level commanders, but, two, because the Airmen know what they’re doing and the pride they have in mission success goes beyond any need for me to ever micro-manage them. 

Q. How would you describe the importance of our relationship with the Central Arkansas community?

A. What I see is not necessarily a ‘need’ to have an Air Force base here, but a true desire to have the Air Force base here. There are a lot of other places where you could fly C-130s, and we exhibit that in the state of Texas and Japan and Germany, but the reason we’re home to Combat Airlift and the center of all things C-130 is because we have a community that’s embraced our mission. 

We have a partnership with the 314th Airlift Wing, 189th AW and the 913th Airlift Group that they find value in being in Arkansas; they genuinely enjoy being in Arkansas. When you have the perfect combination of an ‘at-home’ advantage, as well as mission impact, and then you have people who want to be here and people who strive to stay here and [thousands] who decided to retire here—I think that’s a testament to the community. Their desire to keep the mission here and the advantage we have is that we are much more effective through the community support we have–from all the way down to Hot Springs, north up to Vilonia and Russellville and across the state. 

Q. What are your thoughts on leading Combat Airlifters?

A. I tell you, the thing that has made me put my uniform on every day and gotten me out the door is the Airmen. Whether I’m in the position to lead or whether I’m being charged to follow, the folks I have worked with over the last 21 years are the best people I’ve ever met. 

The leadership part is an honor. It’s really sad when it goes away. I hope to lead every day; I hope to end each day thinking to myself ‘did I make a difference in anybody’s life today?’ Did I stop and talk to an Airman who I thought could use a ‘hello’ whether they were in a good mood or bad mood? And so, if I can’t find time in my day to do that, I regret it at the end of each day. I do my best to get out there and genuinely thank them, because as far as I’m concerned, I have the best job in the Air Force and if I can’t share that and make this tour as valuable for everybody on this base as it is for me, then I don’t feel like I did my job to its fullest. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

TOP STORY >> For the birds

By Tammy L. Reed
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Little Rock Air Force Base pilots invest a lot of time in flight training assessing and mitigating risks they will face delivering beans and bullets to warfighters downrange. 

One of the biggest risks aircrews face, no matter where they are flying, are the risks of bird strikes. Bird strikes are just that: A bird, or birds, striking a plane in flight causing damage to the engines, windshields and other parts of the plane; they are a major risk and can be costly in aircraft damage and human lives. 

It’s a serious safety issue for Air Force pilots in general and Little Rock AFB in particular. The base’s very location puts it right on the convergence of the Central Flyway and the Mississippi Flyway; two major corridors birds use to migrate twice a year in the spring and fall.

Limiting exposure to bird strikes is a full-time job for base safety and airfield personnel.

“We have a lot of birds that come right over central Arkansas, right when and where we’re flying all the time, and that’s why we’ve led the Air Force in bird strikes,” said Kimm Hunt, USDA wildlife biologist.   

It’s also one of the reasons why Hunt works with Team Little Rock in the 19th Air Wing Safety office.  He runs the Bird/wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard, or BASH program, and his work helps reduce the number of bird strikes affecting Little Rock’s pilots. 

“When I first got here (eight years ago), the bird strike rate was about 17 bird strikes per thousand hours of flying, now we’re down to less than 10,” Hunt said. “We’ll never get rid of bird strikes … but we can try to reduce their number as much as possible, and keep it at a manageable level.  Our goal is to keep it under 10.”

One of the tools the base uses to reach that goal is one Hunt developed himself, called the Bird Strike Threat calculator, or BST.  

Mission planners use the calculator to answer five questions: date, time, altitude they are flying, weather pattern and route they are flying.  All questions directly related to a pilot’s chance of running into birds. Their answers give them the bird strike threat level for that plan. 

“The threat levels are from one to five, with one being low. What this allows them to do is if they come up with a four or five, they can change one or more of those five parameters to reduce that number down to a one or two,” Hunt said. “They can look ahead and determine how much of a threat they’re going to have on that mission and mitigate from there.”

They use the BST in addition to the Avian Hazard Advisory System and Bird Avoidance Model tools used Air Force wide, further reducing the chance of bird strikes.

Base leadership made that addition here, as it has been proven to be effective for the local BASH program. 

BASH isn’t just for the birds, as deer and other animals often run across airfields to collide with the planes moving there, causing as much damage as avian collisions.  

Hunt has a number of tools on the ground he uses to make the airfield safer both for the pilots and their planes and those animals. 

One is the 5 miles of electric fence that surrounds it.  Hunt is in charge of maintaining the fence and keeping animals on the other side of it.  There’s a lot of animal psychology used in training the deer to maintain a healthy fear of that fence.

He explained that deer’s hair is hollow, and they are fairly well insulated, so they don’t feel the non-lethal shock from the fence unless they touch it with their nose or mouth.  They get to where they will go in and out of the fence, or run right through it.  He has to retrain them to stay away.  

“Maybe four times a year, I’ll go along the hot wire about every few one hundred yards, and put some peanut butter on there…They can’t resist licking the peanut butter. Obviously they get shocked, and it reteaches them to not go through the fence.”

He has to watch his results though, as he wants them scared of the fence, and not of peanut butter.

Other methods he uses to keep animals away involve shooting pyrotechnics into the air, firing air cannons and just running at them or harassing them.  

Another is as simple as the height of the grass bordering the airfield itself.  He explained years of experience and research has shown that keeping grass around the airfield mowed between 7 inches and 14 inches is the ideal vegetation height to reduce large numbers of wildlife.  

Boiled down you get this: Above 7 inches, flocking birds won’t use the area because they can’t see each other and predators. If grass gets higher than 14 inches it goes to seed, providing a food source to the field and a place to hide for a number of creatures who are then food sources to raptors and coyotes. 

“If we are going to err, I tell the airfield personnel and the mowers to err on the high side, as there are way too many bird species that like the low grass,” Hunt said. 

Airfield Manager Kerry Miller said he and his crew work hand-in-hand with Mr. Hunt on BASH. 

“We discuss the grass heights and the management proposals as well as the BASH plan for how we handle the birds on the airfield, so it’s a joint environment.”

When it comes to harassment and dispersal of wildlife from the airfield, Hunt gets help from Miller’s front counter personnel.

“I train them to use techniques such as the pyrotechnics and the air cannons. They take care of it when I’m not around.” 

Unfortunately the dispersal techniques don’t always scare the birds and other animals away, and the wildlife biologist has to resort to more lethal methods. 

“On occasion depredation is a necessary evil though, because after a while they get used to the dispersal techniques. They run off for a while, then they come back.”

He said you have to retrain the animals to be afraid of the noise, so they don’t come back to your airfield. “They need to see that some of them don’t make it, and that there are consequences to staying.

“Depredation is always the last resort, the last thing we want to do,” he said, “But it is a necessary step.”   

Pointing out a deer stand right outside the fence, he added that LRAFB allows and encourages hunting to help manage the animal population. He uses hunting as another tool to help with BASH, as hunters help keep animal numbers down and they use the animal as well.

If Hunt does have to put an animal down such as a deer or goose, he will donate the meat to the “Hunters feeding the Hungry Program” to utilize them, too. 

One of the more personal tools Hunt uses in his work to keep pilots and aircraft safe, is talking directly to the pilots in aircrew awareness. He teaches pilots what to look for and what to avoid when they are flying. 

“For example, if they see a bird ahead of them the pilot needs to pull up because the bird will normally dive. It’s little techniques like that,” he said.

The techniques Hunt imparts and all the tools he uses for the BASH program has made a difference to LRAFB. Miller considers all of this integral to keeping the airfield safe. 

“We don’t have that many strikes actually on the airfield, and he’s a very big reason that we don’t.” 

TOP STORY >> Congratulations Master Sgt. selects

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. — Sixty-nine  Team Little Rock technical sergeants were selected for promotion to master sergeant Thursday. Overall, he Air Force selected 5,301 technical sergeants, 22.4 percent of the 23,619 eligible, for promotion to master sergeant during the 2015 E7 promotion cycle.

This is the first master sergeant promotion cycle to incorporate a two-phase selection process.The two-phase process included a Phase I score based on Weighted Airman Promotion System factors (enlisted performance reports, time in grade, time in service, decorations points, promotion fitness examination and skills knowledge test scores). Eligible Airmen whose Phase I scores met the Phase I cutoff for their control Air Force specialty code are considered for promotion during the Phase II central evaluation board.

Airmen selected for master sergeant will be promoted in order of promotion sequence number beginning Aug. 1. Selections are tentative until the data verification process is complete, which is normally within 10 days of the promotion release date.

Congratulation to the selectees:

19th Airlift Wing

Michael  Barrows
19th Maintenance Squadron

Christina Belles
19th Force Support Squadron

Mark  Benavidez
19th Maintenance Group

Takia Braddy
19th Maintenance Squadron

Mark Brown
19th Maintenance Squadron

Roshawndra Brown
19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Justin Buchholz
19th Security Forces Squadron

Robert Campbell
19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Jonathan Castleberry
19th Civil Engineer Squadron

Phillip Chappell
19th Maintenance Squadron

Jeffery Clouse
19th Medical Support Squadron

Kevin Cruz
50th Airlift Squadron

Micheal Elliott
19th Maintenance Squadron

Paul Evans
19th Security Forces Squadron

David Fernandez
19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Christopher Flores
19th Security Forces Squadron

Mario Frank
52nd Airlift Squadron

Anthony George
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Donald Gettman
19th Force Support Squadron

Michelle Griffin
19th Maintenance Group

Thomas Grover
19th Operations Support Sqaudron

Bradley Guffey
19th Maintenance Squadron

Duane Harris
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Shannonlee Hill
19th Force Support Squadron

Travis Hudson
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Daniel Insurriaga
19th Operations Groups

Joseph Isaac
19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Joseph Joson
19th Communications Squadron

Joshua Larson
19th Security Forces Squadron

Jesse Lesko
19th Maintenance Group

Justin McCaffrey
19th Operations Support Squadron

Robert Miller II
19th Security Forces Squadron

Shalenna Mitchell
19th Comptrollers Squadron

Daniel Osorio
52nd Airlift Squadron

Kevin Peaslee
19th Security Forces Squadron

Nicole Perez
19th Civil Engineers Squadron

Cedric Perkinson
19th Force Support Squadron

Joseph Phelps
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Jason Pierpoint
19th Comptrollers Squadron

Michael Raver
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Celina Schilling
19th Logistics Readiness Squadron

Tasha Sheerin
19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron

Brandon Shook
19th Operations Support Squadron

Jacob Silvia
19th Civil Engineer Squadron

Justin Stanford
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Butch Stewart
19th Civil Engineer Squadron

Kelley Tolbert
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

John Torres II
19th Civil Engineer Squadron

Tobin Walton
19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

George Wild
19th Aerospace Medicine Squadron

Tony Winkler
19th Maintenance Squadron

Diego Yoshisaki
19th Medical Support Squadron

Stacia Zachary
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

314th Airlift Wing

Casey Auvil
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Richard Badger
314th Maintenance Squadron

William Chesnutt
48th Airlift Squadron

Zachariah Edwards
314th Maintenance Squadron

Kristopher Hodges
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Theodore Holliger
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Leif Kuester
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Aimee Lakin
314th Maintenance Squadron

William Oxenford
62nd Airlift Squadron

John Recinos
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Justin Reese
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Kristofer Reyes
62nd Airlift Squadron

Scott Shields
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Mark Smith
62nd Airlift Squadron

Stephen Smith
714th Training Squadron

Arron Stanley Jr.

314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Friday, July 10, 2015

TOP STORY >> EES/WAPS briefing team visits LRAFB

Personnel from Headquarters Air Force and the Air Force Personnel Center will visit Little Rock Air Force Base on Tuesday to share information about the Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted Airman Promotion System changes. 

The meeting with unit representatives is scheduled for 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Hangar 1080. During the briefing, EES/WAPS subject matter experts will speak about changes that have already been implemented, those slated for implementation in the months ahead, and the reasons and philosophy behind the changes. 

“This is one of the most significant changes to the enlisted evaluation and promotion system in a generation.  So, we feel it’s important to bring this information directly to Commanders and Airmen and allow them to ask questions and get immediate answers from the experts,” said Maj. Gen. Peggy Poore, AFPC commander.”

For more information about EES/WAPS changes, go to the myPers website, select “enlisted” under the active duty, Guard or Reserve drop down menus, and then select “evaluations” in the left hand column.

For more information about the briefing, contact 2nd Lt. Brittany Jones, 19th Force Support Squadron Manpower and Personnel Flight Chief, at 501-987-7159.

TOP STORY >> The final flight

By Senior Airman Harry Brexel 
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs 

The C-130H has been a Herculean workhorse for the Air Force since it was first obtained in the mid-1970s. 

Airmen from the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base have been training aircrews and maintenance on the basics of the C-130H airframe for more than a decade.  

Air Force active-duty squadrons are transitioning from the older H-model aircraft to the newer J-model in the coming years. The 314th AW will focus on J-model training and the Arkansas Air National Guard will fully take over all future training of H-model students in less than three months. 

The C-130J Super Hercules offers a variety of benefits over the legacy H-model. C-130Js fly faster, can carry more cargo, travel further and require a minimum crew of three instead of five due to advanced computer technology. 

Recently, the final H-model training flight for the 314th AW took flight. The mission involved maintenance students who were taught by active-duty instructors from the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. 

Training for H-model pilots and loadmasters has already transitioned to Arkansas ANG Airmen and maintenance training is the last to be handed over completely. 

Though the J-model is more advanced and has improved capabilities, some Airmen have mixed feelings about the transition.

“I grew up on the older H-models,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Elmore, a 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-130H dedicated crew chief. “It’s a sad day for me; the maintenance for these planes is more hands-on and these Hercs have more character.” 

The remainder of active-duty 314th AMXS C-130H instructors will re-train to the C-130J, after training for Arkansas ANG members is complete.  

“I’ll miss the old-school legacy models,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Manning, a 314th AMXS dedicated crew chief. “We now need to learn a whole new system, though it won’t be the first time transitioning to a new aircraft for most of us.” 

Airmen from the 314th AMXS started advising Arkansas ANG instructors on H-model operations in October 2014 and will continue to do so for approximately another year.  

“This is a great step for the Guard,” said Staff Sgt. David Rogers, a 189th Arkansas ANG crew chief. “It means bigger responsibility and a larger footprint for us.” 

The 189th Airlift Wing has the largest C-130H fleet in the Air Force. Ongoing upgrades to the C-130H will add an additional 40,000 hours of flying time to the plane. The unit will have more than 20 of the legacy models and various ANG and Reserve units across the country will receive additional H-models. 

While the book has closed on active-duty training of the legacy C-130s, the next chapter in the long history of C-130H instruction at Little Rock Air Force Base continues with the help of Airmen from the Arkansas ANG. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

TOP STORY >> Pharmacy makes improvements to lobby

By Tammy Reed
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Although there are some processes pharmacists can’t change to make filling your prescription faster, staff at the 19th Medical Group pharmacy are changing what they can to make the wait shorter and more comfortable.

Capt. Andrew Tate, director of pharmacy operations, and his team members recently collected surveys from patients and added ideas and concerns from the pharmacy comment box to get feedback on pharmacy operations and customer satisfaction.  

“Overall we received a lot of positive feedback...but we also received comments and suggestions on ways we can make it better and more friendly to our patients. One of the biggest comments was long wait time and how can we shorten it,” Tate said.  “Our new prescription drop box was one result from that survey.”

Tate said this is a great option for patients, as they don’t have to wait in the pharmacy lobby to pick up their prescriptions. He explained that they can fill out the information on the envelope, put the prescription in the envelope, drop it in the box, then come back when they can to pick it up.  

“Barring any issues with their prescription, it should be ready. One thing to keep in mind is this is for chronic medications and not for anything like an antibiotic for yourself or your child; nothing that you need immediately, but that you can come back to pick up.”

The drop box is located on the main check-in desk in their newly rearranged lobby.    

The changes to the lobby centered on patient comfort and efficiency during their wait, the captain said. They rearranged the seating from rows of chairs to small groups of seating around tables. This makes it easier and more accessible for patients to sit and read or talk during their wait. 

They also moved the pick-up line from window No. 4 to window No. 1, and made a serpentine line allowing more space for patients to pick up their prescription without blocking the main walkways to the rest of the clinic.  

Tate said they made those changes because it was often confusing to patients when the pharmacy was busy, as the pick-up line for the main pharmacy would run into the pick-up line for the refill pharmcy.

Another change patients can see is new signage throughout the clinic and pharmacy. Tate said they have ordered new signage to clearly communicate where patients need to go when moving throughout the clinic and pharmacy.  

By implementing these changes, he hopes to make customers’ visits a nicer experience and increase pharmacy efficiency to reduce wait time.  

“Although we think we made the best use of the space we currently have, we are always open to suggestions and comments from our patients, to better serve them.”

One suggestion he has for patients is to visit the pharmacy earlier.  

“To cut down your wait time, we always suggest that you come in as early as you can. Our peak volume time picks up around 10-10:30 a.m. in the morning and lasts through 2 to 3 p.m. in the afternoon, and we are extremely busy. We open at 7:30 a.m., and our lobby is fairly empty for a while.”