Thursday, June 25, 2009

TOP STORY > >Fourth of July message from AMC commander

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – With the 233rd birthday of our great nation’s independence rapidly approaching, we prepare to celebrate our freedom with family and friends. Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we have been vigilant in defending our ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Air Mobility Command is an integral part of that defense, both in the air and on the ground. Our tankers fuel the fight, creating unending global reach and persistence for the warfighter. In addition, our airlifters deliver supplies and personnel to the front lines with precision and velocity. Furthermore, our aeromedical evacuation operations rapidly transport wounded warriors around the world for treatment while caring for them in flight. Your great efforts also support critical humanitarian relief to those struck by disaster where and when needed.

I am extremely proud of all of you - active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen, civilian employees, retirees and contractors - each of whom make a difference every day as AMC conducts its mission. As I visit our operations around the globe, I am continually impressed by your hard work, dedication and professionalism.

Spouses and family members, please know it’s your support that helps makes us great. Without your constant love, friendship and sacrifice, AMC’s mission could not be accomplished. Thank you for all you do.

As the Critical Days of Summer progress, please continue your strong focus on safety, both at home and in the workplace. You and your family are important members of the Air Force team and we cannot afford to lose you. I challenge every commander, supervisor and wingman to ensure all of us and our families stay safe during this long holiday weekend. Please continue to stay focused and remain aware of the hazardous effects of fatigue, lack of seat belt and helmet use, speeding, and alcohol, whether it involves driving or other activities. Unfortunately, there have already been six Air Force fatalities from motor vehicle accidents since the start of Memorial Day weekend, one of which was in AMC.

The Lichtes wish you and your family a safe and relaxing Independence Day. It is an honor to be your commander as you continue to provide unrivaled global reach for America -- always.

COMMENTARY>>Preventing the next suicide

By Capt. Tom Hail
19th Medical Group
Mental Health social worker

In January 2009, the number of Army deaths from suicide outpaced the number of soldiers killed by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The Air Force has also seen an increase in suicides from the previous year.

Little Rock Air Force Base has had an increase in suicide-related behaviors since the beginning of the year. Life difficulties or emotional distress triggers an impulse to end their own lives for some of our vulnerable Airmen. Although most of our fellow Airmen recover from temporary stress, grief or depression, some tragically resort to suicide. A phrase from the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s April 24 Letter to Airmen sums up my conviction perfectly, “One suicide is too many, and we cannot let our guard down as we work to prevent the next.”

Suicide awareness programs have been re-emphasized in response to these troubling trends. Efforts have been doubled to train leaders and supervisors to be vigilant and act when they see early signs of distress. During safety day, our wing leadership dedicated time to brief every Airman on the principles of suicide prevention. Additionally, a host of medical and mental health professionals work hard every day to provide world-class care to those who are distressed. Even with all of these measures in place, we still lose members of our Air Force family to this alarming problem.

It is vital for each one of us to get involved to prevent the next suicide. Programs, training, briefings, and availability of professional services are practically useless without the personal involvement of each of us.

The key to preventing the next suicide is you. Will you take time to listen to a fellow Airman who has been discouraged lately?

Will you take statements of self-harm seriously when you hear them? Will you tell the person why their life is important to you?

Will you go with that person to get help instead of sending them to find help on their own?

As a mental health provider, I’m privileged to witness firsthand the lifesaving acts of good Wingmen on this base. They saved lives by simply identifying the danger signs and actively assisting their fellow Wingmen to get help. What could feel more rewarding than knowing you were instrumental in saving a life of a friend? We have all promised when reciting the Airmen’s Creed to “never leave an Airman behind,” and that’s what is required from each of us to prevent the next suicide.

The following is a list of suicide prevention resources:

Military Onesource at 1-800-342-9647 or online
Chaplain at 987-6014

Family Advocacy at 987-7377

Airman and Family Readiness at 987-6801
Primary Care Clinic at 987-8811

Mental Health Clinic at 987-7338

Bridgeway Hospital at 771-1500 (24 hour evaluation)

Call 911 in emergencies



COMMENTARY>>Gifts are for sharing

By Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley
19th Airlift Wing Command Chief

Today, after another busy day on “the Rock,” a few of us sat around the office and began to discuss what we respect in good leadership. Mrs. Cheryl Fraser, the 19th Airlift Wing commander’s secretary, made the point that the best leaders understand that their gifts and talents are to be used to take care of those around them. I believe each of us possess unique talents and abilities that set us apart from anyone else.

The best leaders understand they must model the behavior they want others to emulate. So are you letting your talents benefit your organization, community and family? If not, then we all miss out on the experience of learning from you. Never forget the gifts that reside within you are to help those around you. If you aren’t sure what your gifts are, then you may need a little self-exploration. But I can assure you of one thing, and that is you have talents unique to you.

Some of you have technical or mechanical talents, while others have administrative gifts that help people keep order in their processes.

Yet others have less tangible, but vitally important gifts. The gift of encouragement comes to mind for me. I have a dear friend, who has cancer, yet his faith and family are strong and he is demonstrating to me how to deal with adversity with dignity.

It’s amazing what sharing the gift of kindness and understanding can do for someone. Will you consider sharing those with someone today?

So I thank Mrs. Fraser for reminding me today that power is not about you feeling good, but it’s about using what you have to help others.

Some of the best leaders understand it’s never about them, but about others. I challenge each of you to continue to unwrap the gifts within you while we protect our nation and way of life.

Combat Airlift!

COMMENTARY>>Celebrate Independence Day safely

By Col. Greg Otey
19th Airlift Wing commander

As we celebrate our independence, I want to thank each one of you for bravely serving our country and providing this nation’s blanket of freedom. We all agreed to serve our country during a time of war, accepting the risks and dangers involved--and our country needs us now more than ever. As we celebrate our country’s 233rd birthday, we’ll take to the outdoors with family, friends and coworkers to enjoy the beauty of our great nation and all of the freedoms it affords. Barbecues, boating, fireworks and travel will be the centerpiece of holiday plans from coast-to-coast.

Recognized as a defining moment in American history, the Fourth of July also marks the mid-point of our summer safety campaign. The cornerstone of any safety campaign is sound risk management. Internalizing these principles is vital during this holiday weekend with so much potential for accidents.

Motorcycling, water sports, barbecuing, travel, outdoor activities and temperatures will all soar to peak levels. Understanding the risk associated with any activity and mitigating that risk to an acceptable level is a fundamental responsibility of Airmen.
Safety is ingrained in everything we do and should be a part of every plan and every action we perform.

In most cases, good common sense will mitigate the most obvious risks. Avoid firework hazards by attending a local fireworks show and leave the high-risk activities to the professionals. When participating in outdoor activities, utilize proper safety gear and recognize factors like weather, fatigue and your surroundings. No matter what you decide to do, be cognizant of alcohol use by yourself and those around you. The misuse of alcohol can make any activity dangerous. Be a true Wingman and do what it takes to keep each other safe!

Team Little Rock exists to produce Combat Airlift, but without you, that mission would falter. Your safety, and the safety of your friends and family is paramount during this joyous holiday.

I’m proud to serve with each of you, and would like to do so for a long time. My priorities are simple: Mission First, People Always, and Have Some Fun Along the Way. You work hard fulfilling the mission and deserve this long weekend ... have some fun! As you spend quality time with family and friends, enjoy this nations’ liberties you help secure every day, and continue to protect our nation by protecting its greatest resource - you.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

TOP STORY > >Lorenz on Leadership — develop your vision

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

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Imagine, if you will, an adaptive training environment that sits inside a bare room. This environment can be manipulated to simulate any task - from simple to complex. With the flick of a switch or push of a button, the bare room transforms into a living, breathing, interactive experience. Sounds and smells abound, people appear and interact, and objects can be held and manipulated. Once the training is complete, the same switch or button disengages the system, making the entire simulation disappear, leaving the original stark, bare room.

In the “Star Trek” series, such an innovation was part of their daily routine. The “holodeck” permitted personnel aboard the Starship Enterprise to experience an interactive learning simulation. Imagine how such an innovation could help members of our Air Force. Not only would it save space, but it would also help manage risk, reduce training costs and permit personalized learning programs built specifically for the individual. The holodeck would revolutionize all aspects of how we operate in the Air Force.

The holodeck is my vision of the perfect training and education aide. In fact, I wish every installation had hundreds of these interactive rooms throughout the base. The possibilities are endless. Sadly, I must temper my vision with reality and the realm of the possible. Although my vision may not be feasible today, it doesn’t mean that I should give up. Our job is to make dreams come true each and every day. I know you all have similar dreams, visions that could benefit our Airmen both today and tomorrow. Such visions must be pursued — you should never, ever, ever give up.

In order to realize a vision, several things need to happen. First, you must align the vision with one of our core service functions. The closer to the core, the easier it will be to gain support and, eventually, resourcing. Next, take the vision and develop a strategy. Depending on your vision, the strategy may involve acquisition, implementation, execution, modification or one of many other aspects. Let your strategy start at the 40 percent solution and then let it evolve to 80 percent and eventually to 98 percent. Realize that the process is continual — you will never get to 100 percent.

With the strategy in place, you can start socializing the vision. Socialization will also help your vision progress and grow roots through increased organizational support and understanding. The support will help you champion the concept for resourcing. After all, your vision must have resourcing in order to come true. Those resources will go to winners, not to losers — invest the time and energy to be a winner.

In life, and especially in the Air Force, priorities and personnel are always changing. Over time, your vision will need to adapt to the realities of change. It will require even greater persistence and objectivity. Giving your vision roots and aligning it with core functions will create something that can be handed off and sustained through change. The best ideas, sustained by hard work, can be carried forward by any leader.

You may also find yourself joining an organization and accepting someone else’s vision. In this situation, evaluate their vision against current realities and resourcing priorities. If they’ve done their homework, the project will be easy to move forward. If they haven’t, assess the vision to determine if it should move ahead or if its time has passed.

Last month, while visiting Fort Dix, N.J., and the Air Force Expeditionary Center, I came as close as I’ve ever been to a functioning holodeck. I watched in awe as deploying Airmen entered a series of rooms at the Medical Training Simulation Center. They fought through heavy smoke to reach bloodied bodies that littered the floor. Sirens wailed and explosions shook the room, all interrupting their efforts to save the simulated wounded.

Once their training was complete, instructors activated a switch that disengaged the simulation. In this situation, the switch did not make the entire interactive experience disappear. Although the smoke cleared and sirens stopped wailing, the ‘original stark, bare room’ still held the medical training dummies. It was more than enough to get my heart racing.

My vision still needs some time to evolve and mature. This doesn’t mean I’m going to give up — I simply need to work a little harder. Our Air Force needs you to champion your vision as well. Develop it along our service core functions and socialize it — let it grow roots and evolve. Don’t let your vision disappear like the end of a holodeck simulation exercise. Do your homework and the resources will follow. After all, it is your initiatives that fuel the positive change that makes our Air Force the finest in the world.

TOP STORY > >Are you growing Tiggers or Eeyores?

By Lt. Col. Jeffrey Collins
19th Services Squadron commander

President Obama recently thanked veterans of the D-Day landings in France saying “our history has always been the sum total of the choices made and the actions taken by each individual man and woman. It has always been up to us.”


Our lives and our organizations are what we decide to make them.

I have talked to people attending the same event, eating the same food, experiencing the same entertainment. Some will love it. Some will hate it. I recognize there are differences in tastes. But differences in attitude also play a part: Tiggers see the positives. Eeyores focus on the negatives.

The world needs both, don’t get me wrong, but here’s the thing — Tiggers tend to lift up others, lead longer, happier lives and act to make their lives better. I have seen parents teaching their kids to be Tiggers by re-focusing attention on what they have, what they can do and building positive memories. I have also seen parents growing Eeyores: complaining, ignoring the good and accentuating the bad. I’ve seen the same characteristics in fellow Airmen. Leaders, I argue, have the responsibility to grow Tiggers.

A wonderful thing about our Air Force is we get to grow our own replacements.

Are you bringing up Tiggers or Eeyores?

Your choices and the choices of the leaders around you determine our history, as the President told the D-Day vets.

Never leave your Airmen behind—grow them into Tiggers.

COMMENTARY>>When did you decide not to be an Airman?

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

I was talking to Mrs. Pat Sheppard, secretary for the 19th Airlift Wing vice commander, this week about how we can improve on being the best base in the Air Force. Her response was everyone needs to understand that service to our nation is vital. She further relayed that being an Airman is not just a statement, but a way of life.

Even though we have a tremendous heritage and enduring legacy for providing Combat Airlift, there have been a few who have not lived up to our Core Values as Airmen.

Lately, our legal office has been busy dealing with a few issues which could have compromised our mission. I am thankful to our investigators, personnel specialists and legal offices in expediting those from our ranks who violate the sacred trust between our military and our nation.

Can you remember when you decided not to be an Airman?

For some it is easy to remember. When you decide to drink and drive, you put all of us at risk. When you decide to use drugs, you put our mission at risk. Not making physical fitness a part of your lifestyle puts everyone around you in jeopardy during contingency operations. Taking shortcuts when it comes to training and safety goes against everything being an Airman is all about.

If any of the above applies to you, then you need to reassess what being an Airman is about.

No one is above anyone else on this base and I am grateful to the vast majority of our Airmen, civilians, family members and retirees who demonstrate exceptional teamwork.

But to those of you who don’t take these words seriously, we have the best investigative, judicial and administrative team in the business that will expedite your change in status. Our mission is too important to our nation and we will never compromise our values.

Combat Airlift!

TOP STORY > >Airman selected as Thunderbird flight surgeon

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

When the Thunderbirds, the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, announced officer selections for the 2010 demonstration season, a Little Rock Air Force Base captain was just what the doctor ordered … literally.

Capt. (Dr.) Thomas Bowden, 62nd Airlift Squadron flight surgeon, was picked to become the team’s new flight surgeon, or Thunderbird No. 9.

The doctor reports for training in early November and begins touring with the team in early 2010. His new position will require him to travel with the “Ambassadors in Blue” for the next two years.

“As the team physician, my primary responsibility is providing medical care for the 130-member team with a priority placed on keeping the pilots in optimum health to fly their rigorous year round flying schedule,” said Doctor Bowden. “I will also be providing pre-flight medical exams to the people selected for media and hometown hero flights.”

Doctor Bowden expressed how he felt when he found out he was selected for the position.

“It was a mixture of pride, exhilaration and relief of anticipation after an application process that lasted about six months,” he said. “It’s an immense honor to be selected for this position, especially given my background in the Air Force.”

The doctor entered the Air Force as an Airman Basic in 1991, serving as a C-141B loadmaster at McChord Air Force Base prior to returning as a physician. Being a Thunderbird is a dream come true for him.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of keeping the team healthy and fit for duty to meet the demands of one of the busiest schedules in the Air Force. I am also looking forward to traveling and meeting new people. I love being a physician and I love interaction with people. This duty will provide the best of both worlds and I’m excited to begin,” said Doctor Bowden.

Selection for the air demonstration team is competitive and the officers selected will be representing the Air Force in its entirety. The team is truly the “Best of the Best.”

In an article published by the Air Demonstration Squadron, Lt. Col. Greg Thomas, commander and Thunderbird No. 1 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. said, “All Thunderbirds are hand-selected based on a proven record of service, capabilities in their field and a demonstrated commitment to excellence that matches the Airmen we strive to represent daily.”

“Each year many great Airmen apply to serve with the Thunderbirds,” the colonel said. “We select the most qualified individuals to join the team based on their overall capabilities and ability to represent all Airmen.”

The Thunderbirds are presently touring in their 56th year as the Air Force’s premier jet demonstration team. Visit for more information about the Thunderbirds.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

COMMENTARY>>Mentor or 'tormentor' ... it's all supervision

By Chief Master Sgt. Randy Patrick
314th Operations Group superintendent

During your career you have heard what it is to be a leader and mentor, but at some point we may have needed that “tormentor.” The “tormentor” can change our behavior when we become complacent.

I remember back in the day when my first supervisor was not only a mentor, but an excellent tormentor. When I strayed off course, he was right there to put me back on the right track. I can honestly say I owe it to him for helping me understand the

Air Force way of life and how I should always be professional.

He made me understand the chain of command, as I had a hard time being told what to do by someone younger than I at the time, and he also sat down with me and made me understand the benefits the military offers. The pay was not that great at $448.80 per month, but he convinced me that with all the benefits we are afforded the Air Force is a great way of life. He taught me the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do, long before our Air Force formally implemented them.

Today, when I hear someone talking about leaving the Air Force, I reflect back to what my supervisor explained to me and I make it a point to explain the benefits to them. I’m proud to say I convinced some to rethink their intentions and they decided to stay. There were a couple who left the Air Force who came back to me later and wished they had paid closer attention to what I was explaining to them.

With the use of the Internet today, we can view all sorts of benefits the military has to offer. Supervisors at all levels should have a good understanding of our benefits to help our younger Airmen understand that the Air Force can provide an outstanding career.

As I approach my 30 year point and look back on my career, the most important career decision I made was due to my mentor and “tormentor” when he needed to be. He made it clear to me that we should never forget our number one priority is the protection of this great nation. The benefits are an added bonus.

COMMENTARY>>Ounce of creed, dose of humility go a long way

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

During our Commander’s Call last week, I had the privilege of reciting our Airman’s Creed with the men and women of the 314th Airlift Wing.

The next day, when I had time to reflect on what it meant to me, I recalled a statement made by the late and honorable Dr.

Martin Luther King: “If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving.”

Dr. King’s statement as profound as it was then, still holds true today in our perseverance as a society, as a free nation, and as members of our Armed Forces. It captures the essence of our Airman’s Creed in that it embodies the warrior spirit in everyone to never give up, to fight the good fight, to stand up against tyranny and defend those who can’t defend themselves, and to do it with integrity, honor and morale character.

As members of the Armed Forces, we are held to that exact standard every day, and in my opinion, no one comes closer to maintaining that standard than Airmen. What enables us to live this way, is our Core Values of “Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do,” and our willingness to truly be a selfless servant.

The road map to which makes this achievable is the internalization of our Airman’s Creed. For some, it’s just words on a piece of paper. For others it’s just something else to memorize. I would suggest it’s much more than that: it’s a doctrine of sorts that captures the essence of what an American Airman represents.

It captures the selfless act of an all volunteer force, it defines our mission and our commitment to service, our dedication and resolve to see justice prevail and our resolve to support those that support our way of life. It requires giving it your all on a daily basis with a great deal of humility.

Some would say humility is a sign of weakness... I would beg to differ. I have heard it said that “humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s about thinking about yourself less.”

It’s difficult at times to show humility, but if you take it within this context you can see that thinking about ourselves less, and placing the emphasis on others, affords us the ability to become selfless servants and better leaders. Not to mention the pride you feel when you see other Airmen succeed. I challenge all of us to show more humility as selfless servants.

Remember, we’re all part of something much larger and greater than any one of us. We must never leave those that support us behind. We must never falter in our pursuit.

After all, failure isn't an option.

COMMENTARY>>Each one teach one

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

Yesterday, I was talking to my neighbor, Senior Master Sgt. Mark Misewicz, and I was blown away by his concern for his fellow Airmen. While many people focus on their next promotion or things that bring personal accolades, Sergeant Misewicz focuses on developing those behind him.

I’ve heard it said that success is no good without a successor. My question to each of you is what kind of shadow are you casting with your life to those around you? Everyday we have the opportunity to influence those around us, whether it’s positive or negative. If all of us adopt the attitude of “each one teach one,” then our environment changes significantly in a positive way.

First, we view everyone around us as our teachers or students. What are you learning today, and what attributes are you teaching today? Learning is not looked at as a destination but as a never ending process. Each area of our base should be improving because each member of our team is improving.

Second, adopting this attitude puts us all on the same playing field. You see when you view everyone as a potential teacher it keeps you from judging people or putting yourself above others. Combat Airlift is all about helping others and reaching out to those around us. We train people from all over the world to operate the C-130, yet we view them as partners because we learn things about their culture and styles of leadership as well.

Those who work as janitorial custodians have taught me much about humility and kindness. They demonstrate it daily as they enter my office -- seeing their attitudes and professionalism makes my day go better. So I thank Sergeant Misewicz for the reminder that we all have a stake in each other’s development and care. Thanks for being great teachers and students!

Combat Airlift!

TOP STORY > >Residents begin moving into new base housing

By Staff Sgt. Juan Torres
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Residents are moving into the first new houses completed by Hunt-Pinnacle Communities housing privatization project here.

The 10 new homes were recovered from partially built units left behind by the former housing privatization contractor.

HP Communities, comprised of Hunt Development Group and Pinnacle AMS Development Company, estimates that phase one of renovations will be completed in late July.

Current plans are to build or complete 141 new homes and to renovate 834 homes. The planned end state inventory is 1,000 homes with all renovations and new construction to be completed by March 2012.

The renovated homes will receive interior and exterior improvements as well as new appliances. Those homes will also have heating and cooling ductwork replaced to improve ventilation issues.

The basic floor plans for the homes will stay the same with no square footage, garage and bathroom additions. Another major upgrade will move clothes washer and dryer hook-ups from the unit’s kitchens. Other upgrades include completely new cabinets as opposed to just replacing doors and hardware, and replacement of all outside doors and hardware.

Other quality-of-life initiatives to base housing include the construction of two new “tot lots” and the addition of 1,000 feet of walking trails. Surveys are also currently underway to alleviate drainage problems and reduce flooding of homes.

The second phase is estimated to kick off in the next few weeks and residents are currently being scheduled for moves in preparation for phase three. While residents of units scheduled for later phasing may have to move a second time, HP Communities expect to begin moving residents into renovated housing as soon as they are available.

Mary Holliday-Sopko, Pinnacle Community Director, said residents patience and understanding has made the moving process successful.

“While we are not sure if we will be receiving the renovated homes all at once or in blocks, we do plan to have families ready to move in when the homes are made available,” said Ms. Sopko. “The area is in a prime location on lake lots and close to the teen and youth centers.”

Mike Ramsey, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron, applauded the contractor’s efforts in providing housing residents exceptional services.

“The best thing is the service and maintenance work; people don’t have to worry that if something breaks they can get someone out their quickly to get it fixed,” said Mr. Ramsey. “Sometimes people think they can save a few bucks by going off-base but they may overlook all the other benefits and peace of mind that come with living on base.”

Thursday, June 4, 2009

COMMENTARY>>U.S. Air Force: A team sport

By Maj. Sean Robertson
314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander

Five…four...three…two...he shoots, he scores….the buzzer sounds and the pile on begins. How many times have we watched with excitement as this scene unfolds on the basketball court, football field or on the ice? The celebration of sports and the impact they have has always been a big part of our culture. In the Air Force, many of the same concepts that make a great sports team will make a great squadron. Concepts such as knowing and playing your role, the camaraderie that comes from being able to rely on one another, and finally, mentoring the younger players to someday step up to leadership roles.

These three concepts are all things we can apply not only on the intramural fields, but also in our daily work as we continue to fly, fight, and win.

Everyone knows the great players Michael Jordan, John Elway, Mario Lemieux, but what about players like Kurt Rambis and
“Moose” Johnston. Great players in their own right, they fit the particular niche the team needed and made the team better. As a member of a squadron with many moving parts, we too must find our niche. Whatever the need is, fill it to the best of our ability to make the squadron better. Sometimes that role might be stepping up to take the game winning shot (fixing the grounding write-up on a critical mission) or it may be making the pass (delivering the needed part). Either way, without both members working together the shot will never go up and the “W” will never be recorded.

Which leads right into the next critical part of playing team sports in the squadron - having each other’s back not only at the work place but off. On the court, you hear players talking, calling out picks, letting teammates know where players or hazards are and giving guidance and praise. As members of a squadron we must look out for each other.

The Air Force has adopted this concept in the form of the wingman concept. As a wingman and teammate, we must communicate to others in the squadron to make sure all members are aware of what is going on, what is expected, and to push and motivate our teammates to strive to be better. There is inherent risk in many of the jobs that we accomplish on a daily basis and in the activities that we participate in after work. As a wingman, we must communicate with those around us to identify those risks that in some cases may not be readily visible to the other members of the team.

By communicating and looking out for each other we can better accomplish the mission without hurting individuals or damaging equipment. As well as having each other’s back, great teams sustain greatness by continually teaching and molding the next generation.

There are two ways to gain experience – either through one’s personal experiences over time or by learning from the experiences of those who have come before us. In sports, it is not uncommon for great teams to bring in grisly old veterans to mold and teach the younger players. By doing this, the club hopes to increase the speed at which the younger players can step up into a greater role. The club also hopes to provide the next generation with a proven work ethic and attitude for winning that will push the team to new heights.

As a squadron, we must continue to grow our replacements. Personnel changeover is as much a reality in sports as it is in the squadron. The great sports teams such as the Patriots and Lakers maintain sustained greatness over the years through the establishment of a tradition of winning and hard work. Great players have left, new ones have come up behind them and maintained the tradition. Supervisors must continually challenge their Airmen and provide them opportunities to build those experiences that they will need down the road. Through a continual drive for excellence and focus on the future, a squadron will thrive as do the sports teams that understand and execute these principles.

Many of the same concepts that lead to excellence on the sports field also lead to excellence in the Squadron. Through knowing each other’s role, looking out for each other, and establishing a tradition of winning, a squadron can truly become great. Are you ready to play ball?

COMMENTARY>>Don't major in the minor

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

One of the greatest attributes I have witnessed from leaders that I admire is their ability to keep the main thing the main thing.

We are all challenged daily with multiple concerns that jockey for our attention and action. The key to keeping down stress while leading a productive professional and personal life is how we determine where to place our focus and energy.

I’d like to offer a couple of simple suggestions on ways of not majoring in the minor. First, ask yourself what is the most important task at hand, then continue to list your activities based on level of importance. This list will serve to keep you focused as you function daily. So now that you have your list of priorities, the next thing to do is to stick to the plan.

If you don’t have the discipline to follow your list of priorities to completion, you stand the risk of limiting your success in all areas. So ask yourself, “am I sticking to the plan or am I going with the direction the wind blows?” Fitness is a great example of where people drop off. Many of us made resolutions to get in better shape as the New Year kicked in. So now it’s time to go back and assess how well we are following through on the big projects in our lives.

You see, not majoring in the minor keeps the little irritants from causing distractions in our lives. Each time something comes our way, we need to assess does this add or detract from the goals ahead. Distractions come in the form of a noun; they can be people, places, or things. So my challenge to you is look at the people you surround yourself with, the places you invest time in, and the things that you value. Once you do that I hope that focus coupled with dedication will lead each of you to higher plateaus in life.

Combat Airlift!

TOP STORY > >Operation Air Force expanding the horizon

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

Approximately 25 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets arrived at Little Rock Air Force Base Monday to participate in the first session of a three-session, three-week program designed to introduce the cadets to the operational Air Force.

According to ROTC officials, the Operation Air Force program is designed to give Air Force Academy and ROTC cadets first-hand experience with everything an operational Air Force base has to offer. Cadets are immersed into the Air Force way of life through tours, hands-on experience and by shadowing Air Force personnel in a variety of career fields.

“The program is designed to immerse cadets into Air Force life, whether that is the mission, the facilities, different units or the people,” said Maj. Daniel Barrows, 61st Airlift Squadron assistant director of operations. “The idea is to give cadets an exposure to what a junior officer’s duties and responsibilities will be and prepare them for their officer duties once they do commission.”

Major Barrows is currently in charge of coordinating Operation Air Force.

Operation Air Force benefits both the cadets and the Air Force because the future officers are able to gain military experience before they become commissioned officers.

Major Barrows speaks from personal experience when he touts Operation Air Force. He had the opportunity to go on two Operation Air Force programs while he was a ROTC cadet at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“It introduced me to a lot of career fields. I have a better appreciation of the Air Force’s different missions and how they combine together to give us our total force capabilities,” he said. “I think if cadets come in with an open mind they can learn quite a bit.”

The program shows the cadets how the lessons learned in ROTC apply in the operational Air Force.

“It gives me an insight of what the actual Air Force does as a whole by allowing us to shadow different [career fields]. It gives us an understanding outside of what we’ll learn from the textbooks and we’ll actually be able to experience military life,” said Cadet Nicole Brewer, Clarkson University Detachment 536.

“I see it as beneficial to my career because it’s allowing me to see first-hand what the military is really like, where as in the ROTC we don’t get the full experience,” said Cadet Kirk Dial, Utah State University Detachment 860.

Major Barrows is proud the program gets plenty of support from Team Little Rock through people offering innovative ideas and volunteering their time to the cadets.

“We have over 45 officers and senior NCOs who volunteered to support the program from operations, mission support, logistics to medical. We have a broad range of career fields so it gives them a broader understanding of their career choice,” he said.

Operation Air Force has changed in focus throughout the years since its inception in ROTC and the Academy.

“It was more of a senior or junior-level program in the past,” said Major Barrows. “Now it’s turning into more of a sophomore, freshman-level program where they want to introduce the cadets earlier to what Air Force life is like. You can’t really make effective career decisions if you don’t know what’s out there, what the responsibilities are or even what the mission is.”

Many of the cadets came to the base already with an idea as to what career field they would like to get into and some of them are open minded to all the different careers the Air Force has to offer.

“[The briefers] have been really good about coming in and talking to us. It’s fun to see the passion on their face. It really makes you appreciate all their career fields and it gives you a better look at what you may want to do,” said Cadet Adam Niederhiser, Kent State University Detachment 630.

“At the moment, I’m just keeping my options open to get a full screen of what’s out there and what will work best for me and how I can most benefit the Air Force while doing what I want to do,” said Cadet Dial.

“My dad was a [police officer] in the military and it lead me towards actually wanting to pursue it as an Air Force career,” said Cadet Brewer.

Major Barrows explained that once the cadets get a broad introduction to the base through briefings they will spend the next three weeks experiencing the Air Force through activities like life-support training, orientation flights and simulator tours.

“[I’m looking the most forward to] the incentive rides. When they told us we were going to go up there I was pretty excited,” said Cadet Niederhiser.

“I’m looking forward to going up in the flights as well as just seeing the Air Force first-hand. I’m excited to be in Arkansas and learn more about the base and its aircraft,” said Cadet Dial.

TOP STORY > >AF Installations asst. secretary visits LRAFB, discusses housing

By Staff Sgt. Juan Torres
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Ms. Kathleen Ferguson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, visited Little Rock Air Force Base May 29.

Ms. Ferguson met with base leadership to discuss construction projects here to include the planned education center, the new base exchange and base housing.

During her visit, Ms. Ferguson discussed how Hunt-Pinnacle’s experience with housing privatization at other bases has impacted Little Rock AFB’s housing project.

“Hunt-Pinnacle runs approximately 40 percent of the Air Force’s housing privatization program and as we have traveled and conducted quarterly reviews we have seen that they have a great reputation,” she said. “I’ve been very impressed with the turnaround at Little Rock since the sale of the American Eagle project to Hunt-Pinnacle back in November.”

“They are also starting to make progress on turning over some of the partially built homes for family living; we saw one of the houses today that was started by American Eagle that someone will be moving into later this week,” she added.

Mr. Gordon Tanner, Deputy General Counsel Environment and Installations Division, Office of the Air Force General Counsel, accompanied Ms. Ferguson and discussed the impact that quality base housing has had for Airmen.

“What impresses me the most is the impact on the mission,” said Mr. Tanner. “We have military members that are deployed and have family members back home and they are confident their families are living in safe, secure and well-maintained housing.”
Since the Air Force started housing privatization in 1997, 27 deals have closed at 44 installations with the ultimate goal of privatizing 100 percent of houses at the 22 remaining bases by 2010. In addition to the impact on the mission, Ms. Ferguson said housing privatization has also been a financial win for the Air Force.

“The Air Force invested just over $400 million and we’ve saved approximately $6.4 billion for the development [of housing] for our military members,” she said. “For every dollar the Air Force puts in, we get $16 in development for our military members; we could’ve never done that by traditional methods.”

During the visit, Ms. Ferguson urged military members to consider privatized base housing while making the choice of where to live.

“Overall, we’ve seen very positive experiences across the Air Force when you start considering the benefits base housing provides: the security, the convenience to work and the closeness to the amenities to include child care, the BX and the office,” she said. “They have a variety of choices of where of live, and [privatized housing] is certainly not for everybody, but for a good majority of military members we feel it’s a great choice.”

Current plans for Little Rock AFB’s housing are to retain as-is the 24 homes built by the previous project manager, to build or complete 141 new homes, and to renovate 834 homes. The planned end state inventory is 1,000 homes with all renovations and new construction complete by March 2012.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



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

THRIFT SHOP open to the public. MWF, 10 am to 2 pm, first Saturday monthly. Great bargains. All revenues used to support mission. Volunteers and donations welcome. Jacksonville Care Channel, 201 Elm, 982-4647.

A free one-year membership in Military Officers Association of America is available for active, reserve, & national guard officers who are not prior members. Contact Central Arkansas Chapter Secretary (


State licensed, stay at home mom is looking to care for a child in my home in Cabot (15 mins. to Air Base). Full-time only. $125 per week. Christian environment & lots of fun & one on one. My 18 month old wants someone to play with! References available. Esther, (301) 418-8332 or (501) 286-7203.

Tiny Hands home day care. "Not your usual day care!" Loving environment. Evenings, nights, 1 day slot, TDYs (long & short). References available. Call (501) 765-0729 or (501) 834-0311.

"Simply the BEST house cleaner I've had to date!" - Property Manager (Century 21 - Jacksonville); COMPLETELY AFFORDABLE SERVICE - OH DUH! Over 10 years cleaning interior residential homes! Move-out Inspections GUARANTEED! Call BT House Cleaning Pro TODAY! (501) 716-7082.


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


FREE TO good home, 14 mo. old Lab., great, loving dog, needs more room than my yard allows. All shots, neutered. 773-7741.

BOXER NEEDS loving home. Great w/children, potty trained, neutered, current on all shots, 3 yr. old male. (501) 515-2864, Melissa.

FREE PUPPIES, mixed breed. 993-1617.

CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES for sale, papers & shots, $400 each. Also, miniature Dachshund, full grown, $100. Contact: (501) 786-3803 or (501) 786-3802.


1995 GMC Suburban 2500 4x4, 6.5 turbo diesel, 222K miles, runs great, all options, A/C & heat work front & rear, Southern Comfort Pkg., 17" Mickey Thompson wheels, new BFG all-terrains, clear title, $4,000 obo. (501) 658-7577. Text message preferred.

RENDEVOUS CX, V6, beige, cloth seats, removable 2nd row seats, good condition, 95K miles, $8,000 obo. (785) 317-4904.

'66 NOVA, 4-Dr., red/silver, 327, 750 cfm 4 bbl tops performer intake, torque cam, 2-speed power glide trans., super 40s, pos. rear end w/SS Cragar, $12,000 obo. (501) 681-5806.

1993 HONDA Civic sedan, 153,000 miles, runs great, $1,800 obo. Pics avail. (501) 813-7794 or (501) 993-1296.

1999 Buick Century, 125,000 miles, runs great, excellent maintenance. Beige, tinted windows, cloth interior, $2,950. (501) 605-1677, Dixie.

2009 DODGE Challenger, fully loaded, custom rims, cold air intake, GPS, custom computer tune, $35,000 firm. (501) 786-4914 or (501) 882-5141, Ali.


CHRISTMAS TREE, 6' artificial, $15. (501) 266-2704, Lonoke.

BEAUTIFUL 14K white gold diamond ring, total weight is 1/3 carats, barely worn, size 7, $250 obo. Call/text Nichole @ (501) 242-1981.

KEGORATOR, holds 1/3 & 1/2 size kegs, Co2 bottle included, $300. (501) 258-8216.

BALDWIN 45" upright piano w/bench, 88 key, maple. Can e-mail pics. (501) 743-8732.

PAINTBALL GEAR: Freak kit barrels, $90; pod packs w/pods, $20; Proto elbow pads, $15; knee pads, $10; gear bag, $10. (785) 317-4904.

MATCHING HIS & her 29" Jeep Comanche mountain bikes, 18-speed, storage rack & vehicle carrier, all for $250. (501) 825-7786 or (501) 580-1868.

KENMORE WASHER & electric dryer, work great, dryer is less than 1 yr. old, $300 firm. Call or text (217) 820-2036.

Proform 560 cross trainer treadmill, no room in new house, Pd. $850, sell for $400 obo. (501) 286-9774.

BABY BOY clothes, great condition, 0-24 mos.; exersaucer, car seat & base, stroller, swing, bouncy seat, front carrier & more. (325) 370-4562.

KENMORE DISHWASHER, white, 2 yrs. old, $125; over=the-stove Kenmore microwave, white, 2 yrs. old, $150. Both excellent condition. (501) 988-2603.

36" SONY Vega TV w/matching Sony stand, wireless headphones & remote, $200. (501) 551-4299.

ROYAL ELECTRIC typewriter, great condition, $45 obo.; Brother all in one multi-fax, great condition, $50 obo. (501) 941-8595.

MILITARY BLUES, lightweight jacket, size 42 short, new with tags, $65 obo. (501) 259-6330.

MEDICAL AIR mattress, for bed sores, fits standard hospital bed, $350 obo. 982-3405 between 9 am-9 pm.


ROLL TOP desk, solid oak, good condition, $500 obo.; scrapbooking desk w/built-in/removable paper trays, $75. (501) 626-5203.

CURIO CABINET, Pulaski Furniture, like new, $300; solid oak office desk w/file, $50. (281) 989-2462, Thomas.

WEST ELM wicker headboard & bed frame, like new, 6 mos. old, pics. available, mattress not included. $700 obo. Serious inquiries only. (954) 918-4124.

QUEEN BED includes cherry headboard, foot board & rails, good condition, $200 obo. (325) 370-4562.


Sherwood/Jacksonville areas. Beautiful 2, 3 & 4 Bedroom Mobile Homes. Pool, extra large lots, in quiet safe park, close to LRAFB. Newer carpet and appliances. Clean, quiet, & safe park. $325-$595 plus deposit. Get TWO WEEKS FREE RENT. (501) 835-3450.

2 bedroom near back gate, new carpet/ceiling fans, carport & storage building, large yard, lots of shade trees. No pets. $500. (501) 837-0264.

2 bedroom, 2 bath duplex, 1000 sq. ft., new construction, near back gate, $635 per month. (501) 425-6503.

3 bedroom, 2 bath on Hatcher Lake, $900 month, $400 deposit. Call Andy (501) 835-2095. No pets. 7 mins. to back gate. 1 year lease.

CABOT 1 BR apt., ceramic tile floors, gas & water paid, you pay electric. 702 N. 3rd St., $400 month, $300 dep. Call 259-6434 or 605-7120.

JACKSONVILLE - 2 bedroom duplex with utility room, stove, refrigerator, room for garden. $425 month, $425 deposit. 1 yr. lease. (501) 749-7575.

COMMENTARY >> Chance or choice?

By Master Sgt. Joel Sparta
314th Maintenance Operation Squadron, interim first sergeant

People say all the time, “life is short, make the most of it,” and it's easy to agree with that adage. Unfortunately, most people don’t take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them. I see many people every day who have a wide array of decisions they would like to make but are unsure of the outcome or too worried to take the chance.

It’s human nature to want to feel safe and secure. We do the same things with our careers as we do with our lives. It’s easy to take the path of least resistance. Many times we are faced with decisions that have us standing at a crossroad. Looking down that road is scary as sometimes we don’t know what is at the end.

On the other hand, I have seen decisions made for people, when they least expected it. For example: a set of orders, or an unplanned career change. Decisions you had decided not to make before because you were reluctant are now unobtainable or out of question.

I challenge everyone with this: don’t be afraid to take chances in life. Don’t be afraid to look down that road and make the tough decision. If you have always wanted to go to Europe, work the orders. If you have been meaning to go to school, get it started. If you want another stripe, go out and get it.

Education is paramount, information is key. There is an enormous amount available to you as a military member. The opportunities are endless! Don’t wait to take a chance and make a change. As someone once told me, destiny is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. Always make the most of your career and your life.

TOP STORY >> 373rd TRS, Det. 4: Birthplace of C-130 crew chief

By Staff Sgt. Juan Torres
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Little Rock AFB is known across the Air Force as “Home of the Herc.“ One organization that has contributed directly to this honor is the 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 4, and could be called “the birthplace of the C-130 crew chief.”

“Students first spend four months training at Sheppard AFB and then come here for 10 academic days,” said Senior Master Sgt. Paul Grau, 373 TRS Det. 4. “They go out to the flightline and gain first-hand experiences to include performing launch and recovery, towing aircraft and experiencing refueling.”

The 373rd Training Squadron is projected to train more than 690 mission-ready active-duty, reserve and guard Airmen this year alone. In addition to training pipeline crew chiefs, the detachment provides advanced training to local C-130 maintainers as well as providing TDY and international students specialized training.

The detachment is also a primary provider for J-model maintenance training.

“Most other bases are not set up with J-model qualified instructors,” said Capt. Francis Schillinger, 373 TRS Det. 4 commander. “We support other bases by providing support and training to instructors until they are self sufficient.”

Of the detachments 48 members, 44 are certified instructors from a variety of maintenance career fields. The instructors are primarily volunteers and have a minimum tour requirement of 48 months with maximum of 60 months.

“The instructors face a big adjustment from the ops tempo of flightline to the classrooms and go through some ‘decompression time’ during the certification track,” said Sergeant Grau. “They get a chance to get their heads thoroughly into the books and come out with a different level of understanding and system knowledge.”

One of the major challenges that the Det. 4 faces is every international customer who sets foot in their school require a different form of training.

“Their career fields are structured differently than ours, so they may have a crew chief that does sheet metal work, hydraulic work and certain portions of electrics,” said Capt. Schillinger. “We have to take what they are requesting and then dissect our curriculum so we are able to give their mechanics the training they need.”

The captain cited a visit by Norway as one of the most interesting training experiences for the detachment.

“Their maintainers were officers who had four-year engineering degrees,” said Capt. Schillinger. “They were asking some pretty tough questions, but we were able to come through, and when they left here they were extremely pleased with the training.”

The detachment’s superintendent and commander applauded the instructors hard work and dedication
“I hate to lose them at the four-year mark, but I also know that for the benefit of their career and the Air Force it’s better to get them back out there,” said Sgt. Grau. “As valuable as they are to us, I know it was hard for the flightline to give them up, but it’s a win/win for both, because the better the people they send up here, the better they are when they return.”

“One of the things you get from the staff here is that they are proud to be here and love what they do,” said Capt. Schillinger. “They will all tell you that they have worked to earn their instructor badges.”

COMMENTARY >> Loyalty up and down the chain

By Lt. Col. Jeffrey Gast
19th Operations Support Squadron commander

It never ceases to amaze me how successful the U.S. Air Force is. We have the most motivated and well-trained Airmen in the world. We are fortunate to have the support of our countrymen as well as incredible technology. Inherent in our ability to succeed is the loyalty that we must show both up and down the chain of command.

Webster’s defines loyalty as “faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc.” Singling out the word “leader” in that definition implies loyalty flows up the chain of command.

But how does a leader build that support and turn subordinates into devoted followers? By providing a vision, maintaining standards and proving him or her worthy of support.

Loyalty down the chain of command is as important as up the chain. Most of us have probably worked in organizations with bosses more concerned about their own career advancement than the welfare of their section.

What happened? Maybe a lot of grumbling, low morale and long days at the office. Those who have been fortunate enough to work for bosses loyal to them probably were excited to go to work and felt the days fly by.

In a former life, I worked for a company that had minimal loyalty up and down the chain. Management was all about the bottom line – a necessary reality in the corporate world.

Workers were mainly concerned about their paycheck and less concerned with company performance. Weekly, the two entities would send e-mail “blasts” highlighting the failings of the other side. Management berated the worker’s union for not being team players; the union highlighted management mistakes to the point of making them look criminal.

In the end, most workers didn’t think the managers were truthful and management didn’t trust the workers. Days were long and it became a chore to wake up every day to go to work.

That is absolutely not the case in the Air Force. Success starts with loyal bosses devoted to their Airmen and willing to do what it takes to get the mission done. It continues with dedicated, motivated Airmen who show that “faithful adherence” Webster talks about. Units that empower their people with responsibility give them the resources and the tools they need have the greatest success.

What’s the bottom line?

In the words of Donald T. Regan, 66th United States Secretary of the Treasury, “You’ve got to give loyalty down, if you want loyalty up.”

COMMENTARY >> Maintaining a proud legacy

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

As we have recently reflected on those that fought and died for our country during the Memorial Day weekend, my question is are you maintaining a proud legacy? We realize that our nation was founded and maintained by the lives of countless patriots. Each day we lace up our boots and put on our uniforms, or in some cases civilian clothes, we either honor or degrade the service of our predecessors by our actions.

Something as simple as the pride in which we wear our uniforms makes a statement about honoring those who served before us. Less than one percent of our nation serves on active duty and how you portray yourself is essential in instilling confidence in the public while paying reverence to those before us.

Those brave patriots before us made it their personal responsibility to ensure each person under their charge was ready to step in if called upon. A legacy is about passing on traditions and customs to those behind them. Are your people capable of stepping up and leading their sections in your absence? If you are not training to this level, I submit that your vision may be near sighted.

The greatest legacy that has been passed down to us is our oath to protect and defend our nation against all enemies. This means our training, conditioning, and focus must be exceptional. We must never forget that sacred trust between our nation and its military.

The tree of liberty has been sustained with the blood of our nation’s best.

We owe a great debt to those who have forged a trail of excellence in prior conflicts, and their records are clearly exceptional.
Each of our stories are still being written, and my prayer is that the conclusion will honor those before us while keeping our nation as the shining light on a hill for others to see.

Combat Airlift!