Friday, January 23, 2009

Top Story>>Hero of Hudson River crash landing got start in Air Force

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

The pilot who crash-landed a crippled airliner in New York's Hudson River Jan. 15, saving 155 lives on board, is an Air Force Academy graduate who received his pilot training in the Air Force.

Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger steered US Airways Flight 1549 toward the river when both engines failed less than five minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. All 150 passengers and five crew members survived the incident.

The Academy graduate served in the Air Force from 1973 to 1980, according to his resume. He was an F-4 Phantom II fighter pilot who served as a flight leader and training officer in Europe and the Pacific. He also was the Blue Force mission commander during Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

Former President George W. Bush and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg were among the first to publicly laud Mr. Sullenberger last week for quick thinking and heroism that averted a catastrophe.

Mayor Bloomberg noted during an early evening news conference Jan. 15 that Mr. Sullenberger did not leave the aircraft as it floated in the river until he had confirmed that every passenger had been safely evacuated.

"It would appear the pilot did a masterful job of landing in the river and making sure everybody got out," the mayor said. "I had a long conversation with the pilot. He walked the plane twice and made sure that everybody was out."

President Bush, in a statement released by the White House, said his administration is coordinating with state and local officials to respond to the incident as they monitor
the situation.

"Laura and I are inspired by the skill and heroism of the flight crew as well as the dedication and selflessness of the emergency responders and volunteers who rescued passengers from the icy waters of the Hudson," he said. "We send our thoughts and prayers to all involved in the accident." (Courtesy of Air Force News Service)

Top Story>>General Lew Allen MXS award goes to base officer

By Senior Airman Nathan Allen
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A Little Rock maintenance officer has been named the winner of the General Lew Allen Jr. Trophy for Air Mobility Command.

Capt. Jeffrey Fogle, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge for the Red and Silver Aircraft Maintenance Units, received the honor in recognition of his outstanding performance involved in aircraft sortie generation.

Captain Fogle is responsible for approximately 420 maintenance personnel, 26 C-130 aircraft, scheduling maintenance personnel, meeting the flying schedules for four flying squadrons, and ensuring aircraft are available to support deployments to Balad Air Base, Iraq, and Southwest Asia.

“It’s a direct reflection on the performance of all the people in my AMU. I [alone] didn’t win the award. They did all the things that I was able to help take credit for. They’re the only active-duty H and J [model] maintainers who can do the things that they do,” he said.

Some of Captain Fogle’s accomplishments, which contributed to winning the award, were his team’s ability to meet the deployment requirements, their performance in the operational readiness inspection and their ability to keep the old 463rd, now the 19th Operations Group, flying and meeting its training lines. According to Captain Fogle the Red AMU earned a grade of excellent for leading the maintenance effort for the ORI in April 2008.

“Leadership is my favorite aspect of this job. On a day-to-day basis, I get to make decisions that directly impact 420 people. Operations have their requirements, but it’s always at the expense of the hours that it takes to generate an airplane and maintain an airplane, so the leadership aspect of making those decisions and seeing the benefits of that is what I get the greatest joy out of,” he said.

He explained that being a prior enlisted maintenance Airman gives him a better understanding of what the Airmen he’s responsible for are thinking, which allows him to more effectively accomplish the mission.

Captain Fogle came in the Air Force as an enlisted guidance control troop with one year of college. He finished his undergraduate degree in 2002 and applied for Officer Training School, to which he was accepted. After OTS, he performed five years as an aircraft maintainer and then retrained to become a flight engineer for six years, flying C-130s.

“That operational experience, that maintenance experience, is definitely what put me in the position to be able to win this award because I can see both sides of the fence,” he said. “I can see what the maintainer needs, I understand what the operator requirements are, and I can balance those two and make decisions as seamlessly as possible and as painlessly to both sides, even though sometimes it’s at the expense of one or the other.”

Captain Fogle emphasized that without the help of his team, he would have never been in a position to receive the award.

“It’s a direct reflection on how hard my guys work and their ability to get the job done. I just get to stand in front of 420 people and say: ‘We all did this together.”

Commentary>>Words to live by

By Col. Donald Wilhite
314th Maintenance Group commander

Gen. Stephen Lorenz, Air Education and Training Command commander, visited the 314th Airlift Wing back in late September 2008. He held a commander's call in the base theater. Do you remember what he said? I don't remember all of it, but I do remember one point he emphasized: Never give up.

He cited Winston Churchill, prime minister of the United Kingdom during World War II.

Mr. Churchill experienced failure many times in his life. He ran for parliament and lost, but was elected two years later. When he was the British equivalent of our secretary of the Navy, he planned the Gallipoli campaign, which was a failure, and he was fired. During the early 1930s, he railed against Nazi tyranny, but nobody listened. Then in 1940, he became the prime minister and led the U.K. in the war against Adolph Hitler. After the defeat of Germany but before the war against Japan ended, the British held an election and voted him and his party out of office. Five years later, in 1950, he became prime minister for a second time. Now that's perseverance and grit.

I have a poster in my office that states the same message in a different way: "The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running."

Don't worry about winning, being first or finishing at the top. Sometimes you might be a distinguished graduate, and sometimes you might be in the middle of the pack. In either case, don't pull up or give up. Run the race, and keep on running. Commit yourself, work hard, do well.

Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know what you're good at and what you're not. Focus on your God-given talents, what you naturally enjoy. Then go out and do it.

You won't accomplish your goals overnight. Take life one step at a time. Look ahead. Make plans. Then go for it.

There's a truism in life -- the person who finishes at the bottom of his class is exactly the same as the person who finishes at the top: a graduate. It really doesn't matter if you finish last, first or in the pack. But you must finish, then continue. Build on your character, experiences and accomplishments, and go onward and upward.

Winston Churchill never gave up. Neither should you. Long may you run.

Commentary>>So that others might sleep safely

By Col. Chris Hair
19th Maintenance Group commander

The people I work with got me the other day. They scheduled my boss to come in and present my medal from my last duty station. I didn’t find out until the day before and I grumbled a little bit. I’m sure many of you have done the same. Just then, the chief’s voice boomed out of his office, “It’s not for you, sir. It is for your family and the troops!” Ouch, I winced. Of course, he was right and I had said the exact same thing to many people over the years—often over a retirement or a promotion ceremony. Similarly, I am sure that you have had people approach you and thank you when you happen to be out in public in uniform or if they just find out you are in the Air Force. I am also sure that you, like me, were usually a little embarrassed by the attention and reply with something like, “I’m just doing my job, sir.”

While humility is appropriate, we must never allow ourselves to forget that belonging to the United States Armed Forces is different and unique. The manner in which we wear the uniform and uphold our customs and traditions honors those who have gone before us and those who are making sacrifices this very day. The simple ceremonies that we follow such as retreat are rooted in traditions passed down through the years. We will observe another traditional ceremony very soon – the change of command for the 19th Airlift Wing. As is often read during change-of-command ceremonies, the tradition passes down to us from the time when soldiers followed their unit’s flag into battle. The change of command provided them the opportunity to see their commander take hold of that flag as the one who would lead them into battle.

There will be many preparations in the coming week for the wing’s change-of-command ceremony. Many of you will have the opportunity to participate in the formation. If you do, remember that you stand for all of us in this time when our nation is at war as the flag is passed

George Orwell once said: “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

View from the top>>The Air Force, is it in you?

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

I can walk around and clearly determine who is in the Air Force by looking at their uniform. Although, there are many who don’t wear the uniform that clearly are a vital part of our organization. But my question to you is, is the Air Force in you? You see there is a difference in being in the Air Force and the Air Force being in you.

Being in the Air Force means you are showing up to work and doing exactly what is being asked of you, no more but in some cases less. Yet the Air Force and its leadership is doing all it can to ensure you have the best work, living and family environment possible. Some of the folks who have had challenges with maintaining standards are in the Air Force, but not fully invested in our organization.

On the other hand, those who strive for excellence on and off duty are allowing the Air Force to live within them. People like Chief Master Sgt. James Sargent who could have passed on a deployment, but went a few months before he retires after 30 years. Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr., will be handing over the wing in a couple of days, yet he continues to work tirelessly to ensure he has given our base his best efforts. Senior Airman Teresa Davis who works in finance, yet spends numerous hours working with our 5/6 council are a few examples of living the Air Force core values.

Our retiree and volunteer communities understand what it means to be committed to something greater than themselves. If I were to be honest, I would tell you I was a staff sergeant before the Air Force was in me. I had been selling the Air Force short, while it had been taking care of me and my family. So I encourage each of you to ask yourselves: Is the Air Force in me?
Combat Airlift!

View from the top>>Thank you for the great memories

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
19th Airlift Wing commander

Tonight we will gather to recognize our outstanding Team Little Rock Combat Airlifters during the Annual Awards Banquet. This promises to be a fun evening as we celebrate the incredible mission success, professional development and community support that our superstar Airmen accomplished in 2008. I look forward to seeing everyone there to cheer on our nominees who are all winners!

Reviewing the annual award packages was a useful way for me to reflect on the past year. That reflection was timely because this is my last article in the Combat Airlifter as installation commander. Kim and I will depart Little Rock AFB for the Pentagon after a change-of-command ceremony next Wednesday when we welcome Col. Greg and Lisa Otey to take command of the 19th Airlift Wing.

As we depart, we simply wish to say thank you for the great memories and friendships we made during our 20 months as the first family of Team Little Rock. We thoroughly enjoyed every single day we served alongside this great team in this great community and are blessed to have had the opportunity to call The Rock home.

It’s not easy for us to leave. We will really miss the Airmen, family members and community leaders we’ll leave behind. I’ll miss flying the C-130 and being in command of the greatest wing of Combat Airlifters in the world. But it’s time to go since we’ve been called to serve elsewhere.

Chief Brinkley likes to use the saying, “Plant a tree so your successors can sit in the shade” when he talks about leadership. It’s a long-term viewpoint that matters. It is easier for Kim and me to leave knowing that we have a fantastic leadership team in place here at The Rock with phenomenal wing, group and squadron commanders, chiefs and first sergeants. They’ve internalized the Combat Airlift vision and will finish some things we’ve started, making Team Little Rock better and better.

I’m often asked why we change commanders every two years in our Air Force. I’m a believer that two years is about right for command tour length. We have many talented leaders in our Air Force who deserve the opportunity to command. Units grow from changing leaders too.

How does this work? We’ve accomplished some great things these past 20 months, but I’m sure we’ve fallen short in a few areas too. Colonel Otey will come to Little Rock and see things a little differently than me. This is good because that different angle and focus on things I missed will help make Team Little Rock better…which is the ultimate goal.

Kim and I know you will embrace Colonel Otey, his wife, Lisa, and their children with the same warm Little Rock hospitality you embraced us with the past 20 months. We know Team Little Rock will continue to excel under their leadership. We look forward to reading news stories about your future successes.

I admit we’ll be a bit misty eyed as we drive to Virginia immediately after the ceremony on Wednesday, but our sadness will be quickly overcome by the joy of the memories we’ll share of the great Americans we had the honor and privilege to serve with at The Rock. God bless you, and God bless America!
Combat Airlift!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

TOP STORY > >Call protects Airmen, families

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

More than 8 million people a year have their personal identities taken from them. This needs to be taken into consideration with regards to the Air Force mission. The same way people protect their own personal identity is the same way we need to protect the mission.

Mr. Gregory Call, 19th Plans and Programs chief of inspections and wing Operations Security program manager, protects the identity of military personnel everyday he steps into his office.

Part of his job is to prepare the wing for higher headquarter inspections, such as Operational Readiness Inspections, Unit Compliance Inspections and the Logistics Standardization and Evaluations visit from Air Mobility and Command.

“As chief of wing inspections, I work with all the AMC squadrons to ensure the semiannual inspections are completed, as well as providing lessons learned from previous [inspections] and exercises from other AMC bases,” he said. “I work with a network of squadron self-inspection managers to ensure processes, people and resources are ready. Additionally, our office has the primary communication with visiting inspection teams, working with Team Little Rock to provide billeting, vehicles, work center and reception.”

Also, being the Operations Security program manager for the wing, he trains and educates Little Rock Air Force Base personnel through squadron visits, email and briefings at Commander Calls.

“I maintain a very detailed list of OPSEC professionals with every squadron. Weekly, I provide OPSEC tips, awareness and education. In turn, these key OPSEC leaders within the squadrons provide real-time data to their personnel. In addition, once a week I randomly visit different squadrons to see first hand how OPSEC is being integrated on a day-to-day basis,” said Mr. Call.

Operations Security is an analytical process used to deny an adversary critical information about the militaries planning process and operations. The OPSEC process is to identify critical information, analyze the threat, analyze vulnerability, assess the risk and apply countermeasures.

One way Mr. Call assesses the riskis by going around the base acting as an adversary who wants to exploit or take advantage of certain situations.

“I do surveys, kind of like dumpster diving around the base, seeing what I can find out, what type of information that our military members or civilians are putting out into the trash that myself or an adversary could happen to come upon,” he said.

Mr. Call explained that OPSEC is mainly about awareness. It’s not only something to consider on duty but also something to keep in mind off duty. Base personnel and their families should always consider what information they are releasing and what normal profiles they create at home and work that an adversary could track.

Mr. Call was recognized for his accomplishments within his career by being presented the AMC OPSEC Officer of the Year Award in December 2008. Shortly after earning the award, he was informed that he had also won the Air Force OPSEC Officer of the Year Award.

As the national authority for OPSEC, the Interagency OPSEC Support Staff administers the National OPSEC Program and understands the importance of acknowledging exemplary accomplishments made by Government employees within the field.

The Interagency Operational Security Support Staff hopes to encourage the development of new and exciting OPSEC programs and awareness products and share proven OPSEC expertise with others by providing annual awards to government organizations and employees who have excelled. The criteria considered include, but are not limited to evidence of individual ability to identify and solve significant OPSEC problems, threats or vulnerabilities; demonstration of outstanding leadership and knowledge in the application of OPSEC; innovative and creative use of resources to successfully accomplish OPSEC-related goals and missions.

The program starts at the group level, wing, major command, Air Force then IOSS for the nation. The national level awards will be announced at the OPSEC conference this spring, which Mr. Call will also be competing for.

“[Having earned these awards] makes me feel proud to be a part of Team Little Rock. I am very fortunate to have a great team of OPSEC Professionals in each squadron. These honors are for the base and how every person is aware that OPSEC is personal.

Little Rock has been leading the command in protecting our critical information and using email encryption,” he said.

“This award is well deserved. Mr. Call is a very motivated individual who always goes above and beyond what is required of him. He works very hard and produces only the highest quality of work,” said Lt. Col. Philip Clinton, 19th Airlfit Wing Plans Office Chief.

“It reflects extreme honors on the 19th Airlfit Wing Plans office and Little Rock AFB. It shows that we at LRAFB take OPSEC seriously and our programs and Mr. Call's efforts prevent vital information from falling into the wrong hands. This information is extremely important in protecting our troops and not giving the enemy any advantages in the Global War on Terrorism,” he said.

COMMENTARY>>A story of one man's appreciation and gratitude

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

Welcome back Team Little Rock! While reading Colonel Hyde’s article on “What to Do in 2009,” I found myself recalling a story that was shared with me many years ago by a fellow Airman. What drew me to this story was Colonel Hyde’s third and final what to do…take care of our Airmen.

This story is about a Navy pilot, and as this pilot would find much later in life…his Wingman.

Charles Plum, aka Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist prison. He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!” “How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!” Plumb assured him, “It sure did—if your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform – a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trouser. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning. How are you,’ or anything, because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time, the fate of someone he didn’t know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute? Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.” Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory – he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute.

He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead. From the life support technician, to the spouses and family members who take on the burden alone while our Airmen are defending freedom around the world, to the defender at the gate; e all must recognize and be gracious to people who provide that support in our lives.

Take the time in 2009 to train, equip, and support those who pack your parachute!

COMMENTARY>>19th Contracting Squadron provides contingency support

By Lt. Col. Mitchell Appley
19th Contracting Squadron commander

It’s probably a little known fact that Air Force Contracting Professionals are the first in and last out on any contingency mission. Air Force Contracting Professionals are the only ones with the capability, expertise and depth to execute the contingency contracting war effort. Along with Security Forces, Civil Engineers, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, Intel, Public Affairs, the Office of Special Investigations and some of the other Air Force support career fields, Air Force Contingency Contracting deployments are filling joint taskings with longer than standard Air Expeditionary Force tour lengths and dwell rates at 1:2 or lower. In fact, last month the Chief of Staff of the Air Force approved re-banding or re-posturing the contracting career field to Tempo Band Echo. For over two years now, Air Force Contracting has moved off the established AEF system and made all of our taskings, both Air Force and Joint Task Forces around the globe, 179 day tour minimums and established 365 day tours for several key positions.

The Gansler Commission, an independent Commission established by the Secretary of the Army to review Army Acquisition and Program Management in Expeditionary Operations, said, “although providing contracting support to the Army and the Marine Corps is not an Air Force Mission…the Air Force provides over 67 percent of the Joint Contracting Command Iraq/Afghanistan, JCC-I/A, contracting resources supporting ground forces and is handling the most complex contract actions such as reconstruction operations.”

Over 26 percent of contingency contracting officers assigned to Little Rock AFB are deployed at any one time and this commitment will continue to increase as Air Force contracting support, as a percentage of the joint fight, is expected to grow significantly over the coming months. Our enlisted force is at 72 percent manning and 30 percent of our overall force are lieutenants or senior airmen and below. The demands placed on Air Force Contracting are high but the honor and importance associated with what we are doing to support the joint fight; ensuring Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines will have the equipment and supplies they need to complete their daily mission, is without comparison. Air Force contracting is proud to be part of the joint fight. I am very proud of the 19th Contracting Squadron’s enlisted and officer personnel who are currently deployed or have been deployed as well as our civilian workforce who carry the burden here at home.

VIEW FROM TOP>>Where do your passions lie

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

Often times we spend our energies around reminding people of things that should be second nature. These things range from eating right or exercising regularly, to following proper procedures on and off duty. Yet, if these things are second nature because of our disciplined environment, then why do we continue to discuss them? My opinion is that it may be because some of us feel obligated to them and some don’t.

My question is where do your passions lie? True professionals don’t need reminding of things like being technically and physically fit. A good friend of mine said we are only issued one body during our lifetime, and we need to do all we can to take care of it. Another great sign of a professional is involvement in professional organizations like Air Force Sergeants Association, Top III, Company Grade Officers and civic programs to name a few.

A good senior NCO realizes that membership in the Top III is not because you pay dues, it’s because you are involved in the development of those around you. What do you feel obligated to do to improve your environment? It’s good to get encouragement from those around you to get involved, but it’s even better that each one of us look to move out on our own to make a positive impact on our community.

Today I witnessed Mrs. Martha Gilmore who won Volunteer of the Quarter for our base. I clearly saw a person who feels obligated to putting service before self. Martha does not need someone to tell her that being involved is a great thing; she and the many others who volunteer on our base do so out of a sense of duty, and for no pay. So as you reflect on your service, please remember that some things are demanded because of our vital mission. The key is to make a difference every day.

Combat Airlift!

VIEW FROM TOP>>"Huah" Team Little Rock

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
19th Airlift Wing commander

Team Little Rock, as most of you already know, Kim and I received notification of our new assignment to the Pentagon last week. While we are excited about the challenges ahead, it is with sadness in our hearts that Kim and I are departing The Rock.

We have a very special connection with the base and the local community. I can’t say enough about the many, many great things Team Little Rock has accomplished in partnership with our local community.

Whether it was through the Airman’s council, the action line, wingman day discussions, commander calls, or through your change of command, your commanders and I solicited your feedback and heard your concerns about quality of life issues at The Rock. As a result of your feedback, the Warfit track is being renovated; our fitness center changed its hours to better accommodate the needs of shift workers; fitness center showers have been repaired; six dorms are receiving new washers and dryers; and our child development center is providing a second session of free childcare every month for parents with deployed spouses through the “Give Parents a Break” program. It is through this communication that we have strived to provide you the support necessary to build a healthy, happy, and productive team. You, in turn, have worked hard to give combatant commanders the Combat Airlift support that is vital to their missions. Each of you have taken up the mantle of what it means to be a Combat Airlifter and I am proud to have served with you.

Col. Greg and Lisa Otey will be arriving soon and will take command of the 19th Airlift Wing in a ceremony on Jan 28 at 10 a.m. in Hangar 276. Col. Otey has the right background to successfully command this wing, having helped stand up the C-130 Weapons School here in the 1990s, serving as commander of the 41st Airlift Squadron while at Pope Air Force Base, S.C., and then as the vice commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center. Team Little Rock will continue to shine under his leadership.

As we prepare to depart, we will definitely leave a part of our hearts behind. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Combat Airlift!

Friday, January 9, 2009

TOP STORY>>Little Rock Airman performs lifesaving CPR

By Senior Airman Nathan Allen
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

What started out as a late lunch for an Airman from the 19th Security Forces Squadron turned into a lifesaver for a man who suffered a heart attack during the icy winter weather Dec. 16.

While driving to a fast food restaurant in Cabot, Staff Sergeant Jessica Weverka, a desk sergeant for the 19th SFS, first noticed an incident when she entered the
off-ramp of exit 19 off highway 67/167 North.

“I started taking the Cabot exit and I noticed there was a semi truck parked in the grassy median there. A guy popped out in front of the semi and started yelling at me. I rolled down my window and he started yelling ‘there’s a guy laying on the ground on the other side of the semi and I don’t think he’s breathing.’”

At this, Sergeant Weverka left her car and called 911 to report the incident and the unconscious man’s condition.

“When I talked to the 911 operator, I told him there was a pulse, but it was really weak,” she said. “His tongue was really swollen…my first guess was that he’d had a heart attack. His whole face was purple and the crown of his head was blotchy white.”

According to Sergeant Weverka, this was about the time a Cabot police officer arrived to help her perform CPR.

“Right before I started CPR, the Cabot police officer arrived on scene.

I quickly told him what was going on, he started with the chest compressions, and I started doing the mouth to mouth portion of it.

He did about 4 repetitions of 30 and I gave him 3 or 4 breaths.

He seemed like he took a couple gasps of breath and shortly after that, the ambulance arrived, put a mask on his face, lifted him into the gurney, electroshocked him once or twice to get his heart rate steady, and put him on a ventilator. It all happened pretty fast.”

Cabot Assistant Fire Chief Mark Smart confirmed that Sergeant Weverka’s diagnosis was correct.

The man, Mr. Gene Jones from Clinton, Indiana had suffered a heart attack.

Sergeant Weverka was already performing bystander CPR on Mr. Jones when Chief Smart arrived on scene. Though Mr. Jones remained in critical condition during and shortly after the incident, he is now stabilized and doing well.

“He probably wouldn’t be where he is today if not for her” Chief Smart said.

According to Sergeant Weverka, Major Chris Ford, 19th Security Forces commander gave her a tip on how to handle the attention her heroic actions have brought her.

“He said that I was gonna have to get a bigger beret because my head was gonna swell,” she said. “But he doesn’t have to worry about that.”

COMMENTARY>>What to do in 2009

By Col. Charles Hyde
314th Airlift Wing Commander

General Patton said “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” Airmen thrive on this principle; we are known as being an innovative and adaptive service that is willing to empower our people and embrace new technology. Armed with a vision and mission, Airmen will demonstrate ingenuity and figure out how to get the job done. As we look to the new year, I’d like to offer three “what to do” things for 2009 – it’s up to you to provide the “how” and apply them.

First, live the core values – integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. How we live out our core values changes with circumstances we encounter on and off duty, but the core values form an unchanging foundation integral to mission and life success. Over the holidays I read the obituary of Kevin McManus, an Airman who was shot down over North Vietnam and spent six years in the Hanoi Hilton. His F-4 pilot and cell mate described his response to difficult circumstances by saying he never shirked from his duty, never wavered from the Code of Conduct and lived the core values long before they were codified. Circumstances change, but our character and commitment to the core values will leave a lasting impact on our fellow Airmen and Air Force.

Second, set a good example. Field Marshall Erwin Rommel summed up this “what to do” by saying, “Be an example to your men, in your duty and your private life. Never spare yourself and let the troops see that you don’t in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well mannered and teach your subordinates to be the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man, who has shortcomings of his own to hide.” Attitude and performance follow leadership. Each and every one of us should be a leader by setting a good example.

Third, take care of Airmen. Be a good wingman, and help fellow Airmen watch out for unseen or hidden dangers. Our commitment to never leave a fallen Airman behind starts with a commitment to take care of each other in our daily activities. Next, take care of Airmen by taking care of their families. We have great family support programs that have grown over my career, but nothing can take the place of a visit, phone call, note or invitation from someone who cares. Finally, take care of yourself and your family. Our success requires vigilance and consistency over time. We can win battles and lose the war. Therefore, we must have balance in our lives – spiritual, physical, personal,
and professional – to stand the test of time.

I wish every member of Team Little Rock a Happy New Year! Use your ingenuity to live the core values, set a good example and take care of Airmen. If we do, 2009 will be a great year for Team Little Rock.

COMMENTARY>>10 Commandments for E-mail

By Maj. Constantine Tsoukatos
314th Maintenance Operations Squadron

When looking for process improvement events we typically focus on big ticket items, but I think little things matter, too. Take email for instance. One email by itself is very insignificant. But if we touched 10 emails per day, times approximately 320,000 Air Force members, that’s 3,200,000 emails everyday…and I’m being conservative. If we eliminate or reduce the number of emails, or improve the content/efficiency of emails, that’s time we can spend elsewhere.

These 10 commandments were presented by Mr. Wells, former Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command contracting director, which he gave permission to use. Here they are:
1. Use a meaningful subject line and put your bottom line first. Want people to read your email? Make it easy to read.
2. Don’t bury taskers in the text. Want something done? Short suspense? Put it in the subject line.
3. Shorter is always better! Give who, what, where, when and why. You know the saying, “If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter.”
4. Remember the telephone? Email is a terrible medium for two-way conversation – if you want dialog or quick reply, call.
5. Paper clips are a warning to the receiver – don’t open me, I will take more time to read than you have available. Attachments should be avoided or minimized when sending e-mails. If you include an attachment, explain the 5 W’s in your e-mail text. You can also paste items from Word or PowerPoint directly into a message, if necessary.
6. When you forward a message, delete redundant messages, responses, meaningless addressee headers and other non-value added content.
7. Limit recipients to those who really have an action. Don’t use a distribution list when individual addressing is appropriate. Remember that courtesy copy addressees may choose to delete without reading.
8. Have someone proofread what you’re sending. You may know what you’re saying, but will anyone else?
9. Don’t send poems, graphics, jokes, videos or junk mail. Others don’t have time to read. Freedom of Information Act probably makes your e-mail public info, so if it’s not fit for the Washington Post, better not send it.
10. Follow military and organizational protocol! If you would not call or write to the recipient, then don’t e-mail either. (BONUS 11th commandment: Never, never, never use “reply to all” unless all addressees need to receive your reply.)

VIEW FROM THE TOP>>Time waits for no one

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

The one thing that we spend that we can never get back is time. There are two easy ways to tell what is important to a person; how they spend their time and how they spend their money. Where are you putting your time into this year?

I think this is important because before you know it, we’ll be ringing in another year. It is important to set goals that help you spend your time wisely. However, it is just as important to establish milestones to ensure that you are on pace with your plan. So what will it be for you in 2009?

Is it getting rid of the spare tire that has developed around your waist? Could it be investing more time with your family and friends? Or maybe it’s finishing that project or school the keeps getting pushed to the back burner; the education center typically sees a rush to their office for the semester following the new year. These are all examples of things we set out to do.

I’ve heard it said it’s not what you start but what you finish that's important. My hope is that each of us determines to establish goals that appreciate or add value to our lives, versus doing things that depreciate or take away from us. Many people started 2008 but did not see its end. So just by the breath we breathe, we have opportunities to make things better.

Our wing is filled with people who push themselves to the limit to be better Airmen, wingmen and friends. So let’s continue to take advantage of the time we have to be good to each other, our mission and our nation. Team Little Rock, how we spend our time will continue to be essential to the defense of our nation and way of life. Thanks for taking time to be the best Airmen the world has seen.

Combat Airlift!

VIEW FROM THE TOP>>New horizons

By Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr.
19th Airlift Wing commander

Combat Airlifters, we had a great 2008! The mission was executed safely and successfully as we deployed and trained America’s finest to perform Combat Airlift, whenever and wherever we were called. I have every confidence that 2009 mission accomplishments will be even greater.

When you picked up the paper, you probably noticed that the name has changed from “Drop Zone” to “Combat Airlifter.” The change was made to make the paper more about you – telling your Combat Airlift story. What you will see in future issues is more feature stories about you and the important things you do to ensure a peerless Combat Airlift capability for America. Next week we will also launch our Combat Airlifter MySpace page as an interactive companion to the newspaper. This will be another way we can share information with you, get feedback from you, and a way you can share information and your Combat Airlift stories with each other.

As we enter 2009, we have some great quality of life initiatives underway.

We have a new privatized housing project owner – Hunt-Pinnacle. They have a great reputation and have a plan to get started with renovations and new construction early this year. We should see work starting in February.

We’ve turned the corner on our housing situation and things will get better for our Airmen and their families residing in base housing.

The Joint Education Center project with our City of Jacksonville neighbors is moving along nicely. The Joint Education Center project is a new base education facility that will offer educational opportunities for Airmen and local civilians alike. City of Jacksonville citizens donated $5 million of the $14.8 million facility construction cost. We should break ground in February or April of this year.

We broke ground on Dec. 11 for our new base exchange complex funded by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. This is a big quality of life improvement for our Airmen and their families, as well as our retiree population in Arkansas and joint partners at Camp Robinson. Couple this with our new Joint Education Center, improved privatized housing, a new child development center and dining facility that opened last year, and we have some real big, exciting quality of life improvements coming to reality here on the Rock.

Yesterday, my next assignment was formally announced...Kim and I are being reassigned to the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. Col. Greg and Lisa Otey will be coming to take command of the 19th Airlift Wing during a Change of Command ceremony scheduled for Jan. 28, at 10:00 a.m. in Hangar 276. Team Little Rock will continue to shine under his, Col. Hyde’s, and Col. Summers’ leadership. I know you will give the Otey family the same support and encouragement you provided the Schatz family. It has been an honor and career highlight for Kim and I to serve with you here at Team Little Rock.

2009 is going to be a great year for Team Little Rock! We have the people, training, processes, equipment, will and determination to successfully and safely accomplish Combat Airlift for America. Let’s fly, fight, and win in 2009!

Combat Airlift!