Friday, March 7, 2008

EVENTS >>2-29-08

Finance will close

Finance will close from 1-3:30 p.m. today for a squadron function. If there are any emergencies contact 501-425-7006.
College registration in progress

ASU-Beebe has extended registration to March 7 for classes both on-base and online. Park University’s cut-off without late fees is March 14. For more information, contact the on-base offices for ASU-Beebe, Park University, Southern Illinois, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Webster University or University of Arkansas-Fayetteville at the Education Center, Bldg. 840 Leadership Drive or call 987-3417 for general information.

AMU representative to visit base

Learn more about on-line college classes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. An American Military University representative will be at the Education Center to meet with interested students. In addition on-line classes are also available from on-base universities located in the Education Center.

Registration is in progress now. For more information, call 987-3417.

Services openings

Current job openings for Services are: Hangar 1080, club operations assistant, NF-II, flexible hours; Skills center, tools and parts attendant, NA-02, flexible hours; Bowling Center, custodial worker, NA-02, flexible hours and Outdoor Recreation, stable operator, NF-II, flexible hours. Services employees are required by Public Law 104-134 to have salary payments made by electronic funds transfer/direct deposit.

For more information, call 987-6440.

New Air Force requirement

All active-duty members enrolling in college courses using AF tuition assistance for the first time must schedule for a one-time briefing at the education center.

Registration for class is currently underway. To schedule, visit the education center or call 987-3417 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Fridays or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Free marriage seminar

A free one-day marriage seminar titiled, “Home Improvement,” will be held in the Little Rock Air Force Base Chapel Annex March 15. The seminar will begin at 8 a.m. Child care will be provided.

Seating is limited, call the chapel at 987-6014 or mental health at 987-7338 to make your reservation.

TOP STORY >> New CDC opens its doors

By Staff Sgt. Juan Torres
314th Airlift Wing public affairs

Little Rock Air Force Base’s newest Child Development Center officially opened its doors with a ceremony Feb. 20.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Sen. Blanche Lincoln; Rep. Vic Snyder (D-AR); Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Schatz, 314th Airlift Wing commander, and various community leaders and representatives. During the ceremony, General Schatz and Sen. Lincoln said they were both grateful to the child caregivers in attendance for the nurturing they provide to the children under their care.

“You are really the ones that make this happen,” said General Schatz. “It’s your hearts and your care that ensure our children are well cared for while our Airman are at work.”

“We have jobs to do, we want to do them, we want to give 150 percent, but we also know we can’t do that unless we know our most treasured blessing in this world is being cared for,” said Sen. Lincoln.

Rep. Snyder (D-AR) also applauded the base's goal of providing the highest standards of childcare.

“There is nothing that gets a parent more than dropping their kids off at a facility and getting a feeling of uneasiness that the quality is not where it should be,” he said. The new CDC’s construction was overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers’, Little Rock District, and was designed as a friendly, home-like environment, includes a full kitchen and is arranged for future growth and additions.

The facility also includes many safety and security features including rubberized playground safety surfaces, rounded edges on all interior surfaces to prevent injuries and a closed-circuit security system that will be used to monitor children’s activities. “Parents at Little Rock should be proud of their CDC,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Collins, 314th Services Squadron commander. “This new facility is a big step toward taking even better care of our people and one of the chief of staff's highest priorities. This is a very big deal for parents.”

TOP STORY >> Transcendent teamwork

By Lt. Col. Nate Allerheiligen
314th Airlift Wing director of readiness

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King

Three events conspired this past week to divert me off my list of “Dazzles:” Last Friday, I had lunch with two original Tuskegee Airmen; Saturday, I took my kids to the Central High Museum; Monday, I hosted a missionary from South Africa in my home—he’s a survivor of Apartheid.

Through these discussions of race and relationships, two powerful images came to my mind. First, I felt an overwhelming sense of remorse for the poor behavior my fore-fathers exhibited—many times in the name of religion. The drive for power, money, and control has often led societies to oppress ethnic groups.

It is tragic, it is real and it is inexcusable.

The second and more powerful notion that came to mind is the depth of teamwork that we see day-in and day-out here at Team Little Rock. Consider that a mere 50 years ago that you would never see the diversity of race and national origin that is now common place in our Air Force.

In our small office, we have people who are Latin-American, African-American, Native-American, Asian-American, European-American, men, women, officer, enlisted, single, divorced, married and even a father of triplets.

Every day, we seamlessly operate and execute the mission without any regard to our variances. We are all teammates. We are all Airmen. We all gladly serve together.

I am very proud that it was in the U.S. military, thanks to pioneers such as the Tuskegee Airmen, that our nation has been able to move out of a legacy of discrimination and segregation, to a place of transcendent teamwork where we all strive together to achieve a better life for all. The Global War on Terror is an extension of that same sentiment.

Our nation has pledged to attack tyranny and spread the hope of freedom to all peoples.

Look around you today.

Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful canvas of color that decorates our Air Force. Every person is another pixel in the picture that creates a sea of vibrant hues, an image of strength and an enduring resolve to ensure that all peoples shall come to know “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Combat Airlift!

VIEW FROM THE TOP >> Staff Sgt. Slaydon: Keeping the faith

By Chief Master Sgt. Brooke McLean
314th Airlift Wing command chief

Staff Sgt. Christopher Slaydon knows what it is to keep the faith. He answered the call of his nation as an explosive ordinance disposal technician and nearly gave his life in the process.

On his third tour of duty in Iraq last year, Sergeant Slaydon was injured during a mission to clear a convoy route. I was honored to meet him and his wife, Annette, last week when I visited the Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio and, like many before and many yet to come, I was amazed at his devotion to duty dedication.

On varying levels, we all answer the call of our nation and it's not difficult to ring the bell of patriotism and service when life is going our way. But what about when the storm clouds of tragedy roll in and we’re faced with the harsh realities that the Air Force is a service that makes war and can be dangerous? If you want an answer to this tough question…if you want an example of how we should conduct ourselves, ask Chris Slaydon.

Because of an improvised explosive device, Sergeant Slaydon lost his left arm and is now blind. His life forever changed in ways too complicated to even start discussing.

His wife Annette stands by his side, her hand resting on his arm providing the constant touch and reassurance. Her life, too, is forever changed. Together, they keep the faith of service to our nation and provide a living example of what it means to serve in the good times and the difficult times.

The Slaydon family keeps the faith with our service and our nation, and we will keep the faith with them. It’s a vital part of our culture. When we recite the Airman’s Creed and declare “I will never leave an Airman behind” that means we will keep the faith.

VIEW FROM THE TOP >> Last chance to scrimmage, then Championship!

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz
314th Airlift Wing commander

Here it is – ROCKEX, the last chance to get down with a good scrimmage just one more time and practice what we do best before Air Mobility Command and Air Education and Training Command come to inspect our level of mission readiness and response in April.

However, don’t think of it as just a scrimmage. It’s time to be real, to get the last of the kinks out of the system and to get it … and get it right. Over the next few days next week, we will be checking your game and seeing if you’re ready for our Championship game: the ORI. There will be long hours, stress and lots of going through our playbooks and checklists, but it’s worth all of the effort to finish, and to finish well and with honor, knowing you practiced hard, got down and dirty, and played your best.

That being said, remember and follow a few things these next few weeks as we head toward the goal line and the ORI:

1. Stay focused on the mission. Don’t let the fact that this is an exercise keep you from doing your jobs to the fullest and playing it as if it were real. Sometimes it is easier to simulate situations in exercises, but when it comes down to the real-world situation, there is no simulation, no second chances, no time put back on the clock nor any extra innings.

2. Remember to help others. With our Air Force resources and people reduced in numbers, now is not the time to let your Wingman suffer. If you see someone struggling, figure out a way to fix the problem, or find someone who can fix it.

3. Take the time to do it right; build it to last. You’ve all heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” You’ve heard of the Egyptian pyramids and Machu Picchu – “The Lost City of the Incas” in Chile, South America – among other ancient marvels that still exist hundreds of years later. The engineering still evidenced in many parts of the world showcase exactly what our predecessors in from many cultures and regions did correctly – they took the time to build it to last. While it shouldn’t take you decades to finish preparing a flight plan, or going through that checklist to do it in compliance with safety and regulations, or check that extra detail that could cost you points, it should be done with care and a sense of pride and ownership. Treat it as if it was yours, because it is. Treat it as if you were the coach wanting your team to win … and win without a doubt! When we play the real game, we need to play it to win…and win decisively.

4. You are the best asset the Air Force has. Take care of yourself – remember to eat, get some sleep and take the time to unwind every night, whether that includes reading a book, watching your favorite sitcom on TV or playing a game with your children, spouse or friends. If you’re not in top shape and mentally sharp, you’re not going to be able to do your best, and you’ll make mistakes. Strategically, we need to be ready for anything the “other team” throws at us and come back with innovative responses reflecting the way we play to be on this All-Star team: Team Little Rock! Let’s all shoot for MVP across “The Rock” among all our units and players; MVPs know the value of balance, making each shot count, and not making mistakes. If you do happen to make a mistake along the way, learn from it and recover, and when it comes to game time, hit it, hit it hard and make every shot count.

We know you all are working hard here every day and are feeling the strain of hard practices coupled with real-world plays. You all have what it takes to stay focused in the coming weeks. It is that focus which will help us score big on our version of the Championship game…our ORI. Go, Team Little Rock! Shoot for Outstanding! Combat Airlift!