Tuesday, November 22, 2011

COMMENTARY>>AETC commander wishes safe, joyous Thanksgiving

By General Edward A. Rice Jr.
Commander of Air Education and Training Command

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Thanksgiving is a holiday of reflection, a look back at the many things we are thankful for, and Teresa and I want to first thank each of you and your families for the great things you do for our nation. It is your commitment and professionalism that allow Air Education and Training Command to develop the next generation of Airmen.

The First Command is an organization of wingmen dedicated to seeing each other succeed. One such example was Brad Shimp, an Air Force Recruiting Service Internet advisor, who took actions to save an Airman’s life when his resilience was at its lowest. Brad could have passed the Airman off to another hotline or professional, but he stayed on the line, made the connections to save the Airman’s life and in less than an hour, his first sergeant was knocking on his door to help him through the trying times.

We saw it again when 1st Lt. Ryan McGuire graduated pilot training – the first officer to do so as an amputee. Through his own sweat and determination, he overcame and succeeded, but he could not have done it without his wingmen there to support and encourage him.

We also have countless mission successes to be thankful for. For instance, two AETC C-17 crews from Altus AFB supported combat operations in Libya as part of Operation ODYSSEY DAWN. On a moment’s notice, they were ready to transition from their day-to-day training operations to real-world contingency operations.

Also, due to the motivated street and specialty recruiters of our Air Force Recruiting Service, we met 100 percent of the active-duty enlisted and line-officer recruiting goals for the fiscal year. In addition, we graduated the first class of combat systems officers, our Air Advisors taught countless Iraqi and Afghan Airmen to lead their services, and we welcomed the arrival of the first F-35ALightning II joint strike fighters to Eglin AFB. With too many to recount here, these are just a few examples of our successes and each is a testament to the dedication of the professionals within The First Command.

Lest we forget, there were sorrows this year as well. For some AETC families, this Thanksgiving will never be the same as they mourn Airmen who lost their lives. May we never forget them and may we continue to keep faith with their families as they will always be part of our Air Force family.

As you take this opportunity to recharge and relax with family and friends, I ask each of you to use good judgment and make sound choices. Watch out for your wingman. Have a plan...don’t drink and drive. Use caution when travelling and don’t overextend yourselves. Our nation needs all of you back safely, ready to continue the mission.

Teresa and I thank each of you and your families for your service to our nation and we wish you all a safe and joyous Thanksgiving holiday.

COMMENTARY>>AMC commander: ‘Thank you for serving others’

By Gen. Ray Johns
Commander, Air Mobility Command

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – As we gather together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, this is the perfect time to reflect upon how much we have to be thankful for. For one, I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with all of you – Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, Civilians and Commercial Partners. Serving selflessly, you all demonstrate tremendous commitment and dedication every single day. When the nation calls, you never hesitate. You say “goodbye” to your loved ones instead of “good night” and you go forward to deliver hope, fuel the fight and save lives. You answer the call so others may prevail.

Whether that call requires you to airdrop critical supplies to a remote post in Afghanistan, refuel aircraft to fight a ruthless dictator in Libya or provide aeromedical evacuation support in the midst of the Antarctic winter, you find a way to answer it with a “Yes.” Mobility aircraft often represent the first sign of hope for both warfighters on the ground and victims of natural disasters. But we must always remember, the aircraft itself has no heart – it’s comprised of cold steel and titanium. The heart of the aircraft is found in the Airmen who make the mission go – aircrews, maintainers, porters, security forces, intel analysts, communications technicians… all of you!

Each and every one of you represents an integral part of this command and an indispensible part of our Air Force. As such, it’s vital that safety remain a priority throughout the holiday season. The Air Force has designated Nov. 18 through Jan. 3 as its Holiday Safety Campaign to help raise awareness of personal risk management.

You may be driving across the country to spend time with loved ones – or just going a few blocks down the street – but in either case, it’s critical that you maintain situational awareness of road conditions and keep distractions toa minimum. Hazardous conditions, fatigue, speeding, alcohol and cell phone use can all make navigating the roadways very challenging. Plan accordingly, get plenty of rest, and have a Plan B ready, just in case.

Of course, for many of our deployed members, driving home for the holidays is not possible right now. Diana and I would ask that you hold all of our deployed Airmen in your hearts and remember them and their families this holiday season. Their wartime mission is a noble and necessary sacrifice to ensure our great nation can live in peace and security. We look forward to their safe journey home.

We wish all of you, at home and abroad, a very safe and happy Thanksgiving.

TOP STORY > >SecAF addresses current, future challenges for Air Force

By Tech. Sgt. Richard A. Williams Jr.
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley addressed approximately 300 Airmen, industry officials and Air Force Association members in a keynote speech at the AFA’s Global Warfare Symposium in Los Angeles, Nov. 18.

During his remarks, the secretary provided symposium attendees with an update on the Air Force today and its future budget outlook.

Donley said part of the Air Force’s planning for a more constrained defense budget started with former Secretary Gates’ initiative to root out waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness. Through this effort, Air Force officials identified $33 billion in efficiencies, which the service was allowed to reinvest across the future years defense plan.

“The planning behind these efficiencies is coming to fruition with the start of fiscal year 2012, and we are depending on Airmen in every command and activity, and on every contractor with whom we work, to help us reduce our costs of operation and make us more efficient in what we do,” Donley said. “But in this budget environment, we know that efficiencies will not be enough.”

Donley said though it will be tough to achieve the $450 billion in defense spending reductions over 10 years required by the Budget Control Act, they are considered achievable as Defense Department officials review the department’s roles and missions and examines all areas of the budget for savings.

“To get these savings, we will need to accept greater risk in some areas, terminate some lower priority programs, streamline others, continue driving efficiency in our operations and make some tough choices about the core tenets of our national security strategy,” he said.

The secretary acknowledged that there’s a great deal of uncertainty right now as the Air Force moves through the budget reduction process, but assured the audience that multiple leadership meetings are taking place throughout the Pentagon at the highest levels to discuss the matter. Furthermore, he said that President Obama, the Secretary of Defense, combatant commanders and the service secretaries and chiefs are discussing future national security requirements.

“We are working through the implications that budget reductions and shifting priorities will have on our national security strategy,” Donley said. “While there are many unanswered questions right now, and no final decisions have been made, a number of alternative plans and options are being considered.

“It’s safe to say that every single line of the budget is under scrutiny,” he said. “We are approaching the conclusion of our strategic review and will shortly begin finalizing major program decisions thatwill be consistent with the revised strategy and will get the most out of available resources.”

Donley also said, importantly, both Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey have made a commitment to ensure the U.S. military has everything it needs to protect national security at a time of considerable fiscal challenges.

In his remarks, the secretary also addressed the importance of supporting Airmen and their families while at the same time protecting the ability of the Air Force to sustain its core missions and capabilities.

“Despite the daunting strategic challenges and uncertain defense funding outlook ahead, the Air Force is committed to charting a path that fulfills vital Air Force missions today and in the future while staying true to our Airmen and their families,” he said.

Donley said there are certain capabilities the service will protect and that he and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz are determined to set the right course to make the right investments so that the Air Force evolves in positive directions, even with limited resources.

“First and foremost, we must continue to support our military personnel and families who serve this nation,” he said. “But with about 35 to 40 percent of our Air Force budget committed to personnel costs, and with areas like the cost of medical care of growing concern, everything needs to be on the table for consideration. Our obligation to those who serve is to ensure that the compensation and benefits they earn are sustainable for the Air Force over the long haul.

“Any potential changes to our military retirement system must be carefully considered to make sure we retain the highly motivated and experienced workforce necessary to execute the Air Force mission,” Donley said. “As Secretary Panetta has indicated, this would include grandfathering the current force where appropriate.”

Donley also took a moment to address concerns about the care of fallen service members at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operation at the Dover Port Mortuary.

“The proper care of our fallen service members and their families is more than a critical mission -- it is a sacred trust,” he said. “The Air Force is accountable to our joint teammates and to the families to carry out this mission with dignity, honor, respect and reverence. The highest standards of mission performance are required and expected by the American people.”

After reports by employee whistleblowers alleging improper handling and preparation of remains at Dover Port Mortuary, the Air Force inspector general initiated an investigation in June 2010.

Donley said he and General Schwartz take personal responsibility and sincerely regret the lapses in standards at the Dover Port Mortuary.

“We deeply regret the pain this has caused to the families,” he said. “There is no question that the system was broken. It is our responsibility to fix, and I can attest that corrective action is well underway.”

He said a new commander has been in place at Dover mortuary for the past year, policies and procedures have been improved, and internal labor relations are being rebuilt.

“These changes will put this mission on a better path for the future,” Donley said. “I have also been directed by Secretary Panetta to ensure that appropriate disciplinary action was taken in regard to the Dover mortuary -- a charge I take very seriously. Our review will be exceedingly thorough and rigorous, as our fallen and the families they leave behind deserve nothing less.”

In addition, an independent panel of the Defense Health Board will review the adequacy and effectiveness of the Air Force’s corrective actions and will make recommendations for further improvements.

“The professional staff at Dover takes great pride in their solemn duty to care for America’s fallen,” Donley said. “I want to assure all Americans -- most particularly service members and military families -- that our fallen are being treated, and will continue to be treated, with the utmost reverence, dignity, and respect.”

The Air Force is committed to earning and rebuilding the public’s confidence in its stewardship of this sacred mission, he said.

TOP STORY > >Tricare data breach deemed low risk

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Science Applications International Corporation is mailing letters to affected military clinic and hospital patients regarding a data breach involving personally identifiable and protected health information.

On Sept. 14, SAIC reported the loss of backup tapes containing electronic health care records used in the military health system to capture patient data from 1992 through Sept. 7, 2011, in San Antonio-area military treatment facilities.

This includes patients filling pharmacy prescriptions and other patients whose laboratory workups were processed in these same MTFs, even if the patients were receiving treatment elsewhere. The data may include Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, and some personal health data such as clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions. There is no financial data, such as credit card or bank account information, on the backup tapes.

The risk of harm to patients is judged to be low since retrieving the data on the tapes would require knowledge of, and access to, specific hardware and software and knowledge of the system and data structure. As a precaution, the assistant secretary of defense (health affairs) determined that SAIC should notify potentially impacted persons or households of this incident by letter.

As directed by Tricare Management Activity, SAIC will provide credit monitoring and credit restoration services for one year for patients requesting them. The credit restoration services being provided exceeds current industry standards for responding to a data breach.

SAIC’s Incident Response Center is available to answer patient’s questions, including helping with signing up for credit monitoring, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Concerned patients should call the response center to ask questions and verify authenticity of the letter:

- United States, call toll free at 855-366-0140

- International, call collect at 952-556-8312

For more information, visit http://www.tricare.mil/Breach/.

(Courtesy of Tricare Public Affairs.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

TOP STORY >> Avoid safety-awareness hibernation this winter

By Staff Sgt. Jacob Barreiro
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

After navigating through the scathing cauldron that was the summer weather at Little Rock Air Force Base, Team Little Rock members are probably ready to simmer down, cool-off and enjoy the hopefully more amiable conditions in the fall.

However, TLR members shouldn’t let brisk weather, pleasant gusts of wind, and resplendent foliage lull them into a stupor. Safety measures should be a priority at all times of the year, and the weather changes in November and December prove no exception. Safety hazards at the end of the year include strong winds, heavy and frequent rains, surprisingly low-temperatures for those unprepared and the ever-present driving hazards constantly plaguing Arkansas.

“Driving has always been a problem around here,” said Tech. Sgt. Ricky Carroll, 19th Airlift Wing ground safety technician. “Fall driving particularly presents a lot of obstacles for drivers. Some of them are the driver’s fault, and some are the work of mother nature, but drivers need to remember to be cautious at all times.”

Driving accidents are indeed commonplace in Arkansas, said Joe Wooding, 19th AW safety specialist.
Despite being the 14th least populated state, Arkansas has the sixth most traffic fatalities in the United States.

This staggering statistic means that Team Little Rock members should be extra cautious when driving and particularly conscious during dangerous time periods.

Two of the most hazardous times for drivers are sunrise and sunset, said Carroll. Sudden changes in the lighting or glare from the morning sun can present special problems for some drivers.

“It seems obvious, but sunglasses are a big help in getting rid of the sun-glare that pops up during these hours,” he said. “Although people need to use common sense and know when to take the glasses off, obviously you shouldn’t have the shades on at night time, this is especially dangerous.”

While dawn and dusk are hazardous times for drivers, the most hazardous time is in the dead of the night, said Carroll. The long stretches of rural roads with sparse surrounding and occasionally no street lights can turn a car into a midnight-motorized menace.

“You are twice as likely to have a fatal accident during night as during the day,” Carroll said. “The sudden appearances of street lights or bright lights from other cars are real problems. The problems are only amplified when the road is slick from rain, snow or ice.”

Along with being cautious for weather changes, drivers should also remember to be on the look-out for pedestrians, said Carroll. Also be advised of school-children, driving in school zones and above all, be aware of the other drivers on the road.

“It’s always best to practice defensive driving,” said Carroll. “Just take the steps to be courteous to other drivers even if you think they aren’t being courteous to you. Nobody wins when there’s a car collision or a pedestrian gets struck because two drivers were going at it.”

Driving may be one of the biggest hazards in Arkansas, but the season changes can present other, more predictable problems that can be overcome by simply planning ahead, said Carroll.

Watch the weather forecast, he said. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a good indicator of what’s going to happen in the area, and can give people a heads up on preparing for snow, ice and inclement weather.
“We can get some chilly weather up here,” Carroll said. “Being the south, it seems like people aren’t always as ready for the snow, or when the snow comes, they aren’t always sure how to react to it. Cold weather can be dangerous, heaters can break, cars can break down, accidents happen and cold weather can make it worse.”

It’s good to keep a stock of warm items in the car, he added. Flashlights, blankets, water, and extra warm gear can be helpful in the event of an ill-timed breakdown. It’s always prudent to think safety first no matter the time of year or place.

“Extra batteries are important in the winter time, and even a generator may be helpful if power is lost,” Carroll said. “The important thing is to think ahead and always try to be prepared. That way the odds of situations catching you unaware and leaving you in a bad situation are less.”

So, even when the scorched earth of the summer is a thing of the past, TLR members shouldn’t go into safety-awareness hibernation, but should always stay vigilant for those safety stumbling stones that could lead to pitfalls and bring on a winter of discontent.

TOP STORY >> Black Knights receive Meritorious Unit Award

The 19th Airlift Wing was awarded the Meritorious Unit Award Monday for exceptional conduct and outstanding service to the United States in direct support of combat operations from Aug. 1, 2009 – July 31, 2011.

“The Black Knights make no compromise when it comes to war fighter support,” said Col. Mike Minihan, 19th Airlift Wing commander. “Our Airmen and their families worked incredible hours to ensure those in harm’s way have the Combat Airlift they deserve. Combat Airlift is our mission, and nobody does it better than the Black Knights.”

During the time period, the wing deployed the most aircraft and Airmen for Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn out of the entire Air Force. Throughout the time period, the hard work, dedication and resiliency of Black Knights resulted in more than 10,000 sorties being flown, 100,000 passengers being transported, and 25,000 tons of cargo being shipped in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Responsible Drawdown, Coronet Oak and OEF – Horn of Africa.

 In addition to providing service to the nation abroad, Black Knights also responded to crisis at home when a tornado tore through the base, damaging more than 270 homes, several aircraft and caused more than $80 million worth of damage. In spite of the destruction and devastation all around the base, the wing was able to deploy 16 aircraft and more than 400 personnel within 48 hours, and continued to support overseas contingency operations while simultaneously beginning to repair the base.

According to an Air Force Personnel Center fact sheet, in March 2004, the secretary of the Air Force approved the Meritorious Unit Award to recognize organizations for outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations.

The MUA is given to Air Force active duty, Reserve and Guard units for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations for at least 90 continuous days during the period of military operations against an armed enemy of the United States on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

The unit must display such outstanding devotion and superior performance of exceptionally difficult tasks as to set it apart and above other units with similar missions. The degree of achievement required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Legion Of Merit. Superior performance of normal mission will not alone justify award of the MUA. Service in a combat zone is not required, but service must be directly related to the combat effort. Squadrons, groups and wings may be recommended for this award.

The MUA is not awarded to any unit or unit component previously awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award or unit awards from other service components for the same act, achievement or service. The base MPF will be updating the award for everyone attached to the 19th AW. The records should be updated within a couple of weeks, and if someone finds the award is not reflected in their records at the end of the month they should contact the MPF.

(Courtesy 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs)

Thursday, November 17, 2011



Anyone having claims against or indebted to the estate of Airman 1st Class Kyle C. Truitt should email 1st Lt. Kris Yarlett, at kris.yarlett.1@us.af.mil.


The base chapel invites all members of the base and community to join them each Sunday in the month of February to celebrate black history month. This year’s theme is “Black Women in American History and Culture,” and the chapel will be hosting different events each Sunday to honor this occasion.

Feb. 5 – Hat and Glove Sunday, any style, color or shape. Speaker: Sister Teresa Baker Street

Feb. 12 – Youth Sunday (Marching in cadence for Jesus) Speaker: Sister Alicia Golden

Feb. 19 – Warrior Sunday (We’re requesting active duty members to support us in uniform on this Sunday) Speaker: Sister Ella Colvin

Feb. 16 – All Women Gospel Choir (Rehearsal Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m., Chapel) Guest speaker will be Mr. and Mrs. Massie Street, Jr. Speaker: Sister Cassandra Swift.


Crossroads Café hours are Mon.-Fri. 4-10 p.m. Weekend hours will remain the same, Sat. and Sun. 12-12 a.m.

Crossroads Café needs volunteers. Everybody is welcome to volunteer: officers, enlisted, retired and spouses. For more information, call Rachael Deason Lewis at 987-5051.


Effective Jan. 1, the 19th Medical Group campus became tobacco free. All tobacco use will be discontinued upon entering and prohibited from being used within the defined medical campus. The defined medical campus includes all space in and around building 1090 (main clinic) within the boundaries of Texas Ave., Arnold Dr. and hole number 3 of the golf course. Medical group parking lots are considered part of the medical campus. Tobacco use will not be permitted in private vehicles on the medical campus. This policy is consistent with current Arkansas state law that prohibits smoking on medical campuses and most importantly promotes healthy lifestyles for our Airmen and all our beneficiaries. If you have a desire to quit tobacco use, contact Ms. Kim Dean, Health Promotion Educator, from the Health and Wellness Center at 987-5960.

TOP STORY > >Panetta urges leaders in budget decisions

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (AFNS) — In his strongest language to date, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta called on Congress Nov. 8 to “show some leadership” in the budget process.

Panetta, speaking at the National Guard’s Joint Senior Leaders Conference here, said that the sequester mechanism built into the Budget Control Act is “like shooting yourself in the head.”

Defense Department officials understand there must be cuts and $450 billion in cuts is already factored in over the next 10 years. If Congress does not agree on further cuts, the sequestering mechanism will kick in, doubling the amount that must be cut from defense.

“What they are basically saying,” Panetta said, “is that if they don’t do the job they are supposed to do, if they don’t provide the leadership that they are supposed to do, they are going to allow these cuts to take place across the board.”

The cuts, he said, would cripple the ability of the department to protect America.

“I have said to members of Congress, ‘Look, my friends. I have men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to sacrifice for this country,’” the secretary said. “’You sure as hell can sacrifice and provide a little leadership to get the solution we need in order to solve this problem.’”

The DOD is united in approaching fiscal issues, Panetta said, noting there are parameters that DOD leaders will follow. The first, he said, is the United States will maintain the best military in the world in the years to come.

The secretary vowed not to hollow out the force. Through history, he said, this has been the effect of reductions in defense spending. He cited the experiences following World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War. Across-the-board cuts that were made then, he said, reduced the effectiveness of the military.

The scope of demobilization following World War II was so precipitous, the secretary added, that the military went from the strongest and best equipped in the world, to one that barely survived the North Korean attack a mere five years later.

“We have to learn the lessons of the across-the-board cuts approach,” Panetta said. “It is not the way to do this, as it weakens everything in defense if we do it that way.”

This doesn’t mean there cannot be cuts, Panetta said. DOD leaders are looking at every area in the budget to find efficiencies, duplications and programs that must be cut.

“The Pentagon is a big, damn bureaucracy,” Panetta ruefully said. “Going from the CIA to the Pentagon is like going from the corner hardware store to Home Depot.”

Procurement reform is another area of attention, Panetta said, and the department is looking for ways to streamline its procurement systems and reduce the time taken to develop and field new systems.

“We also have to look at the area of compensation,” the secretary said. “We have to look at those areas for savings. Health care, alone, in my budget is almost $52 (billion) to $53 billion.

“But in doing that ... I’ve got to maintain faith with those who are serving,” Panetta continued. “We have promised them benefits and we need to stick to it.”

Any changes adopted – like proposed changes to military retirement – will be grandfathered for those in service today, the secretary said.

TOP STORY > >Looking for some hot stuff

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Stop, drop and roll...out the red carpet for the base’s fire department.

Not only does this highly decorated department of 55 employees respond to 300-400 emergencies a year that aren’t fires and carry out education programs on fire prevention, but they also work along with medical agencies, the department of emergency management and several fire departments in-state and out to gain experience and share training with each other.

“Our mission is protection of the forces, aircraft and people associated with Little Rock Air Force Base,” said Don Smart, Little Rock Air Force Base’s fire chief. “It goes a lot further than just responding to emergencies. We’re dedicated to training people on safety and technical engineering, which include making sure fire prevention is enforced throughout the base. Additionally, as an emergency response entity, we work routinely with the other agencies surrounding the base. Fire departments in general tend to work together so we can bring additional resources to the table when necessary.”

Smart said by training together, each group can share their experiences and build rapport with each other.

“The department has a limited number of people, and if we have a large event or emergency, the only way we can truly sustain a response is to rely on our partners,” said Smart. “Those partners happen to be outside the gate. We are a support agency to medical responses on the base. The Jacksonville fire department is the medical responder for the base, so we work hand-in-hand directly with them, almost on a daily basis.”

The give and take method is one that works well with the base’s fire department and its joint partners.

“We have mutual aid agreements with Jacksonville, North Little Rock and Little Rock,” said Smart. “We also get involved as much as we can to support these other agencies. In some cases we have a training mechanism that we can bring to the table to help them out. For instance, the firefighters that are on standby at the Little Rock National Airport, receive their annual live-fire training that’s required of them to maintain certifications on the base. We not only support them, but we support everyone that flies in and out of Little Rock National Airport.

“The specific resources that we have contain a capability that not all fire departments have,” said Smart. “Because of the support of our aircraft, we have some vehicles that are equipped with foam which have a capability of fighting certain types of fires, such as large flammable liquid spills containing gasoline or diesel. Most fire departments don’t have the quick capability to produce enough foam to fight fires such as those. When other agencies outside the base request assistance from us or need us, it’s typically because of what we can bring that other agencies can’t.”

By working together jointly, Smart said they can bring different visions of firefighting together and improve and increase their capabilities beyond what one department alone is capable of.

“When they bring their experiences to us, we get trained and that makes both groups better at what we do, which is better for the community and safer for our fire fighters,” said Smart.

The fire department is not only highly trained, but they are highly decorated. In the past year they’ve received 65 different types of individual and team recognition, awards and decorations from various groups throughout the Air Force.

“With only 55 people, the fact that we’ve received 65 types of recognition, I think, is pretty significant,” “Last October we had a 40-acre fire on the base during the air show,” said Smart. “It was threatening to stop the air show. It was also threatening to get into the woods across the runway. Had it done that, it would have been absolutely devastating. Fortunately, we were able to fight that fire and put it out in a very quick time frame, which allowed the show to continue and allowed us to protect the environment on that side. It’s very rare for a fire fighter to get a decoration for fighting fires-that’s what we do. The event was so significant, ten fire fighters plus other volunteers were decorated because of it.”

The fire department also received achievement medals and recognition from Air Force leadership throughout year. They received the 2010 Fire Prevention of the Year award from Air Mobility Command and were AMC’s 2010 fire department of the year.

Smart said the first goal of the department is fire prevention. They strive to prevent fires through education, technical engineering and a lot of code enforcement. That effort to prevent fires puts them in a position where they respond to very few fires annually. There have been six reported fires this year. That’s the lowest number they’ve had since 2005.

“All our fire fighters have to be trained and certified in different areas,” said Smart. “In those areas, we maintain a 10 percent average above the rest of the Air Force’s Career Development Course program and the rest of the Air Force’s fire services as well. That 10 percent average has been maintained for seven years. Without a doubt, I believe that Little Rock Air Force Base has the most successful training program in the fire service. Our fire fighters are instilled with the motivation to succeed.”

Smart is not the only person who displays pride and utter respect for the fire department due to their work ethic and honorable discipline.

“Team Little Rock benefits from a highly skilled and motivated group of fire fighters who selflessly stand ready every day,” said Lt. Col. Lance Clark, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “They’ve proven their ability on big stages such as the pyrotechnic fires and off-course paratroopers during the 2010 air show. Also during the base’s worst tornado ever, they fought their way out of their damaged fire station to rescue our Airmen and their families and began clearing lines of communication to recover the base and keep injuries to a minimum. They’ve established benchmark relations with the surrounding community and Team Little Rock’s first response teammates. It’s no wonder they’ve been AMC’s most highly decorated fire department over the past year.”

In addition, they were recently recognized as one of 19th Airlift Wing’s 10 outstanding teams during the recent operational readiness inspection, said Clark.

The alliances between the base’s fire department and other agencies have shown to be successful due to the low numbers and preventions of devastating fires throughout the base and community. That in return melts fears and flames up confidence in their services. If one can’t stand the heat, call the fire department because they can.



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 combatairlifterclassifieds@arkansasleader.com 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 (cacmoaa@aol.com).


DRIVERS: $1,200 Orientation Completion Bonus! OTR Openings! CDL-A OTR experience required. Koch Trucking, 1-800-213-7696.

CUSTOMER FRIENDLY person needed to conduct demos at LR Commissary. Must be at least 18 with base access. Excellent compensation. Call Calvin (407) 722-9085.

DRIVERS: $1,200 Orientation Completion Bonus & make up to .43 cpm! CDL-A OTR. Experience required. Many routes available! Call now: 1-800-213-7696.

FULL-TIME HAIR Stylist needed in Gravel Ridge salon. Commission paid weekly. Call Tina 834-2204.


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.


55 GALLON aquarium w/black stand, light etc. Stand has some peeling on bottom, tank is excellent condition, $200 obo. (501) 941-8595.

FREE TO good home, lg. 4 yr. old orange tabby cat. 988-0524.


2011 CAMARO ILT/RS, victory red, 4,500 miles, tons of options, 3.6L V6 eng., must see! $28,500. (989) 820-8205.

ENCLOSED CARRY-ON trailer, 6'x12', white, interior lights, loading ramp, side door, like new, comes w/mounted trunk & accessories, $2,500. Call or text (828) 302-7366.

2003 HONDA CR-V EX 4WD, silver, 4-cyl., 2.4L, 132K miles, all power, sunroof, towing pkg. lots of extras, runs great, $8,500. (501) 238-0078, Allen.


1999 HONDA Shadow VT1100CT, 37K miles, windshield, hard case saddlebags, luggage rack, backrest, Vance & Hines pipes, new tires, $4,500. (501) 773-3336.

14' FLAT bottom boat, $100. (501) 902-9243.


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

COLLEGE BOOKS: Portfolio Keeping, 2nd ed. $4; Easy Writer, 4th ed, $17; 50 Essays, 3rd ed. $17; The Craft of Revision, 5th ed., $40. (501) 786-3803.

CRAFT FIREPLACE insert with blower & heavy duty grate, good condition, $250 cash. 843-7939.

NEW, NEVER opened black 16 gb iPad 2 wifi, $479. (304) 541-0164.

54" RCA, blk. floor model TV, not working, $50. You must pick up. (501) 247-8130.

MODERN WARFARE 3, excellent condition, $50 obo. (501) 786-3802.

50" SAMSUNG DLP HDTV model HL-S5086W w/black glass TV stand, $500 obo. (281) 919-7745.

ELLIPTICAL, 2011 Pro-Form 785 F, like new, barely used, $600 new, asking $300 obo. 410-2752.

WINE STORAGE rack, 50 bottle, metal, lockable, 44" high, 22" wide, $45. (501) 837-2906 or e-mail flyingherk@comcast.net.

5-PC. CB drum set w/pedal & cymbals, Zildian, great condition, $200 obo. (501) 941-8595.

COMPAQ/HP laptop, 2006, Word, DVD player/ripper, etc. Runs a little slow, needs a little TLC but everything functions, $60. (501) 410-2752.


Sherwood/Jacksonville areas. Beautiful 2, 3 & 4 Bedroom Mobile Homes. Large lots, in quiet safe park, close to LRAFB. Clean, quiet, & safe park. $450-$695 plus deposit. (501) 835-3450.

CABOT: 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2-car garage, hardwood/tile floors & new fixtures in 2010. $1,075 month, $1,000 deposit, 1 year lease, no smoking, no pets. (501) 628-1225.

STUDIO APARTMENTS - Jacksonville. Cozy 1 bedroom apts. Bed pulls down from wall in living room. Wood burning fireplace, $275 mo. & util. Military discount available. No children, no pets. Camp Construction, 982-0434.

3 & 2 BEDROOM, 2 bath mobile homes, central heat & air, newly remodeled. Hwy. 107, 3 miles north of back gate. No mowing, water & gas paid on 1. (501) 988-5187. Ask for Ed.*

CABOT SCHOOL District, 1,800 sq. ft., 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 15 minutes to base, large lot, covered patio. $1,000 deposit, $1,300 month rent, no pets. (501) 681-8400.

JACKSONVILLE: 1 bedroom duplex, carport, storage area, washer/dryer hookups, $395 rent, $300 deposit. (501) 833-3781.

319 WEATHERING Lane, Austin. Custom built in 2007, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, split bedroom plan, separate laundry, 2 car garage, deck, privacy fence. Washer, dryer & refrigerator included. $124,000. (501) 416-2331.

3 BEDROOM, 2 bath, 16x80 mobile home with 8x10 storage building. New carpet, new paint, new linoleum. Approximately 5 miles from back gate. Nice quiet community park. $500 month. (501) 833-0307.


FOR SALE: Jackonville, 2 BR, 1 1/2 bath, kitchen, dining room, den w/large play area. Large fenced backyard. Owner finance w/down payment an option. Call 983-9000.

FOR SALE by owner. Priced to sell $199,900. 188 Obsidian Drive, Sherwood. Min. to LRAFB. 2K sq. ft., 3 bdrm./2 bth., 2-car garage. Spacious floor plan, crown molding w/built-in shelves, fireplace, fenced yard w/covered porch. Buyer's agent welcome. View at militarybyowner.com, MBO214165. Call (501) 251-7200. OPEN HOUSE: Feb. 4 & 5.

Friday, November 11, 2011

TOP STORY >> Little Rock AFB commander, wife nominated for O’Malley award

Col. Mike Minihan, 19th Airlift Wing commander, and his wife, Ashley, were nominated for Air Mobility Command’s 2011 General and Mrs. Jerome F. O’Malley award for distinguishing themselves in the performance of outstanding service to the base for the year of 2011.

The O’Malley Award annually recognizes the wing commander and spouse team whose contributions to the nation, the Air Force, and the local community best exemplify the highest ideals and positive leadership of a military couple in a key Air Force position.

“While Ashley and I are humbled to be AMC’s recipient and Air Force nominee for this award, our nomination is really recognition of everything the Airmen of Little Rock Air Force Base have done this year,” the colonel said. “This award really belongs to each Airman and their family. I want to thank each of you for the privilege of being your commander.”

The dedication shown by Team Little Rock members over the past year was highlighted by their rapid response to a disastrous tornado with determination and commitment to the mission. Despite the tornado causing more than $82 million worth of damage, affecting 273 homes, 60 buildings, five aircraft and causing a power failure on base, Team Little Rock members placed service before self and were able to provide immediate shelter and relief for 54 displaced families and had the base operational again within 12 hours, launching aircraft and deploying more than 400 Airmen to support the Air Force’s needs in the area of responsibility within 60 hours.

Team Little Rock members also worked together to prove their mettle during the Air Mobility Command Logistic Compliance Inspection Program and the wing’s first ever Operational Readiness Inspection as the host unit. The hard work of the Airmen and civilians impressed the LCAP and ORI inspectors as the wing received a grade of “Excellent” for the LCAP, and a grade of “Satisfactory” for the ORI, certifying the wing is war-capable and mission-ready.

Additionally, the base opened the $14.5 million Jacksonville-Little Rock AFB University Center in January, a first-of-its-kind education center at the base’s perimeter that was funded in part by a $5 million donation from the city after it taxed residents over a two-year period.

Also on the education front, a partnership with local community leaders resulted in Flightline Academy, a Jacksonville public charter school, opening on base in August, giving area on- and off-base residents an alternative education choice for children in fifth through eight grades.

(Courtesy of 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

COMMENTARY>>Relationships generate results

By Chief Master Sgt. Brian Stevens
314th Maintenance Group

Recently I found myself at the barbershop and realized how long I had been going to the same place and the same barber (almost 15 years). The thing is I know there are closer and cheaper places to get my hair cut, but we have built a relationship of trust over time. He knows how I like my hair cut and that I’m usually in a hurry, we Americans tend to be very bottom line orientated and mission focused. Then it dawned on me, these types of committed relationships bring results that produce success in every aspect of life.

I continued to think about this as I recently attended a noncommissioned officer academy graduation at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. I was running the track around the flightline, affectionately known as I-81, and my mind started pondering this relationships-equals-results hypothesis.

For example, the first time I was at Keesler AFB was in the 1980s when I attended a six-week communications school. It was a great time, and I also learned a few things and built up my network of contacts. Fast forward a few years to Operation Desert Shield, and I’m at King Khalid International Airport north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, when I get a phone call from my old school instructor. He’s gone back to his original career field, and is now part of the Gen. Charles Horner’s, the then U.S. and Allied Air Operations commander, flying crew. My contact says his aircraft has a navigational aid problem he’s trying to fix, found out I was in the area, and said he needed my help. I immediately got to work, and a little while later I was able to get him the parts and test equipment he needed to fix the aircraft. Relationship = results.

The next time I was at Keesler AFB was 1997, and I was attending the Mathies NCO-Academy. Once again I learned a few things, had a great time and built even more contacts. Fast forward a few years again, and now I’m at Osan Air Base, Republic of South Korea. One of the folks I worked with had a death in her family. We needed to get her on an aircraft back to the states as soon as possible. I called over to the transportation squadron to see if we could get her to the airport quickly and discovered one of my former classmates was the NCO in charge of the office. With no hesitation, he was able to delay a truck heading to the international airport while my Airman packed, and in less than 20 hours, she was back home. Relationship = results.

By the time I had gone through these memories in my mind and finished my run, a light bulb came on in my mind. Without these connections I wouldn’t have been able to help or be helped. It became very clear that the relationships we make during our lifetimes help us succeed and produce the results we are looking for. Relationships = results!

One of my favorite relationships is with a great American we have right here at Little Rock Air Force Base, retired Chief Master Sgt. Wayne Tucker, 314th Airlift Wing Cost-per-Flying Hour program manager. This man has been a tremendous mentor and resource to me and many other folks here at the base – without him, many things wouldn’t have happened as smoothly or at all.

At the end of this month Tucker will have served our nation as an active-duty Airman and civil servant for 50 years. In that time he has cared for Airman of all ranks and their families.

He still keeps giving, and what he gets in return is fellowship and the knowledge that his relationships are strong enough to help him succeed in whatever needs to be done. Relationship = results.

What relationships do you have in your life and career? Are they strong? Can you rely on your contacts to help you out? Can they rely on you for the same reason? You never know who’s on the other line to help you see results.

COMMENTARY>>2011 year in review

By Col. Mike Minihan
19th Airlift Wing commander

To say that 2011 has been a significant year in the lives of Team Little Rock Airmen, their families and our community would truly be an understatement. Ashley and I thank you and your loved ones for your service and recognize the sacrifices each of you have made to ensure the success and growth of all three wings here at “The Rock.”

This year has been one of unprecedented challenges and achievements. Some of the significant events this year include opening of the Jacksonville-Little Rock Air Force Base University Center, 314th Airlift Wing’s “Excellent” Unit Compliance Inspection, and the 19th Airlift Wing’s March ROCKEX. The 22nd Air Force Detachment 1 stood-up on base and now gives Team Little Rock members a new opportunity to continue answering their nation’s call to service as reservists. An incident that will continue to impact the base for years to come was April’s tornado and the amazing Team Little Rock and community recovery efforts in the aftermath of the estimated $82 million worth of damage. The 41st and 50th Airlift Squadrons also deployed 48 hours after the twister with eight C-130Hs models, eight C-130Js and more than 180 personnel -- no small feat. The 189th Operations Group transitioned to the Avionics Modernization Program flight training unit in May and in June the 189th Air Wing Rapid Augmentation Team won the Air National Guard and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Team Award. In June, the 19th AW geared up for inspections with an operational readiness exercise. The 314th AW returned from the July RODEO highly decorated as the Best Air Mobility Wing.

Any of these accomplishments singularly would be the sole significant event at any civilian business or other base for the entire year; however, at Little Rock AFB, we have risen to each occasion. Operations tempo like this has brought out the best wingmen, leaders and supportive friends and family the Air Force has to offer.

August and the months following brought on a whole new definition of operations tempo. The 314th AW finished their 2011 LCAP with flying colors, the Jacksonville Lighthouse Charter School Flightline Upper Academy opened its doors to middle schoolstudents, the 53 AS deployed to support OEF and OIF, and the 19th AW scored an “Excellent” on their LCAP. In September the 19th flew away to Volk Field for their last practice before the operational readiness inspection. The base was awarded $100,000 as the AMC runner-up for the Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Award for quality of life improvements. October winds brought with it the 19th AW’s dominating performance during the AMC ORI and the celebratory Air Force Ball for all of TLR; it was undoubtedly a world-class event!!

Combat Airlifters will continue to make a global impact in the weeks, months and year ahead. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 1, 2011, 371 TLR personnel deployed to the area of responsibility. The deployments show no sign of stopping, more than 220 Airmen are scheduled to deploy in the upcoming months.

The dedication and attitude of each and every Airman on this base is what makes the difference. That infectious, can-do spirit leaves a lasting impression on every IG inspector, competition judge or community neighbor you meet – Team Little Rock Combat Airlifters are second to none.

It’s truly an honor to serve alongside the Airmen and families of Little Rock Air Force Base at home and abroad.

TOP STORY > >Black Knight Truth No. 5: Black Knight physical fitness

By Lt. Col. Jon Landis
19th Airlift Wing Director of Staff

- PT Generates Courage

- PT Generates Confidence

- PT Generates Air Power

- PT is My Responsibility

If you happened to check out the current Fitness Program AFI (36-2905), you may have noticed something new just after the Table of Contents … Commander’s Intent:

“It is every Airman’s responsibility to maintain the standards set forth in this AFI 365 days a year. Being physically fit allows you to properly support the Air Force mission. The goal of the Fitness Program is to motivate all members to participate in a year-round physical conditioning program that emphasizes total fitness, to include proper aerobic conditioning, strength/flexibility training, and healthy eating. Health benefits from an active lifestyle will increase productivity, optimize health, and decrease absenteeism while maintaining a higher level of readiness…” (General Norton Schwartz, CSAF)

You may be wondering, “How does physical training generate confidence and courage?” I can think of many examples but the one that stands out is that of Capt Lance P. Sijan, Medal of Honor recipient, and one of my personal heroes. If you haven’t read the book Into the Mouth of the Cat by Malcom McConnell, make it a priority. It is well worth your time.

Sijan was an athlete, most notablya football player in high school and college. He also enjoyed swimming, baseball and various other physical activities. While deployed to Vietnam, he employed a rigorous regimen of strength training. He was keenly aware that he might have to depend upon his physical fitness to survive. When his aircraft went down over enemy territory, Lance P. Sijan was prepared for an ordeal that would go down as one of the most heroic accounts in Air Force history.

Despite numerous injuries sustained during bailout (a compound fracture to his leg, fractured skull and mangled hand), Sijan spent 45 days post-crash in the jungle surviving and evading. No doubt, his unshakable character and physical training enabled such a remarkable feat. He was initially captured when an enemy convoy discovered him lying unconscious near their route of travel. After receiving some food, water and rest, Capt Sijan overpowered his guard and escaped, only to be captured again hours later. He was transported to two prison camps where he was tortured, starved and his injuries were neglected. During this time, he continued his efforts to escape and never once gave sensitive information to his captors or broke faith with his fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen.

So how does PT generate Air Power? Simply stated, it enables you to do your job, and do it better! It’s a scientific fact that fit individuals are better prepared to be productive in accomplishing daily tasks. Whether you maintain, sustain, support, operate or provide care, Black Knights are Combat Airlift. When you show up to work trained and physically fit, you generate Air Power.

Finally, each of us must take personal responsibility for our fitness. The long and short-term benefits are indisputable (increased energy, more alert, improved memory, combats stress and depression, improves sleep, extends life expectancy), but that isn’t my focus. It’s important for all of us to understand that it’s not just required by AFI, but it’s essential. It’s an integral part of what we do every day. It makes us better than our adversary and ensures we are able to answer the call, no matter when or how great the challenge. Lance Sijan did that. So instead of “adhering” or “incorporating” it, we need to own it. See you at the gym.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

TOP STORY > >Turning trash into treasure

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

In one year, the base’s recycling center saved the base $625,646 and made $270,715 more by recycling nearly 5 million pounds of would-be trash, which would have been rotting in a landfill, into recycled treasure.

While the prospect of recycling seems easy, there’s a lot more that goes into winning the war against waste other than dumping plastics, glass and papers into a couple of green bins.

“It’s a federal-environmental law and an executive order that we recycle,” said Lynn Shaw, 19th Civil Engineer Squadron recycling manager. “Due to the size of our facility, we are supposed to do a minimum of recycling newspaper, office paper and metal.” Our current Air Force goal is to have a 50 percent diversion rate by year 2015. Out of all the solid waste we generate on base, at least 50 percent of it we’re supposed to recycle. We finished this fiscal year at 51 percent, so we are usually ahead of the curve.”

Recycling conserves natural resources, saves energy, and it’s cheaper than sending garbage to the landfill, said Shaw. “When we recycle, 60 percent of the time, we get money back for it.”

“For aluminum cans alone, weighing one half ounce, (30 cans equal 1 pound), we are only earning around $5,310 each year,” said Shaw. “According to the Little Rock Air Force Base factsheet, we could be making much more. With the base population at more than 7,000 active-duty military and civilian members, and about 5,500 family members, assuming that only half of the total population, (6,250 people), drink soda and if each person recycles one can per day, (208.3 lbs of aluminum), if the conservative numbers were $0.50 /lb, the base could make: $104.16 per day, $520.83 per week, $2,083.33 per month and $25,000 per year. There is lots of room for growth.”

Money gained from recycling programs helps the recycling center buy equipment, pay for the labor to run the center and bring down the cost of the program and its operation, said Shaw.

Recycling not only gives green dollar bills back to the base but it also helps keep the earth green by diverting waste from the landfill, said Shaw. Landfills are piled with garbage that just rots away. Two Pines landfill is where the base takes trash that can’t be recycled. Its south cell is closed and another cell north of I-440 has been opened. It is projected in 2020 the new landfill will be completely filled.

“Anytime we recycle, we’re diverting stuff from the landfill and doing our part,” Shaw said. “The landfill is like a prison, we have to have them but nobody wants them in their backyard. It is also a strain on our natural resources. It takes less energy to make aluminum cans out of an old aluminum can than to process oil and then make the aluminum to make a new aluminum can. The same thing holds true with paper, cardboard and glass.

Recycling has been incorporated in the environmental management system, said Shaw. “EMS is a tool/process to identify and mitigatethreats to the environment. In this sense our environment includes everything around us enabling us to carry out the Air Force mission. Each threat is labeled as an aspect. An aspect that can interfere with the mission or subject the base to legal/regulatory actions from outside is elevated to a significant aspect. Little Rock Air Force Base included recycling as a significant aspect which ensures program awareness by senior base leadership,” he said.

Sorting out different types of paper before just tossing them in the recycling bin is a great help for recycling employees, said Shaw. If recyclers know exactly how and where to recycle certain items, it could cut down a lot of wasted time at the recycling center.

“The whole facility is set up to maximize our man hours and cash flow,” he said. “If ou have to handle material more than once, then you’re wasting time. That’s the point of having everyone sort their papers out in the three bags that should be located in their office. Cardboard boxes are to be broken down and together. Aluminum cans and plastic bottles are to be separate so when it gets to the center, it can be put in its right place to be processed with like material. That would cut down on the labor cost and up the profit.”

Locations for recycling on base are at the old Base Exchange, the family readiness center, the small base lake and the recycling center. At the recycling center there is a drive-through service available Monday – Friday that accepts plastic, newspaper, junk mail, office paper, magazines, scrap metal electronics, batteries, cooking oil, cardboard, phone books, glass and metal/aluminum cans.

The 19th CES recycling site manager, Gary Kohrs, urges each generation to teach the next that recycling is not only good to do, but it’s important and needed. “Sooner or later,” Kohrs said, “there’s going to be no more room for landfills. The trash is getting into the water and our vegetation. The more people know about recycling the better things will be,” he said.

For more information on recycling, call the recycling center at 987-661 or for additional recycling facts, please visit The National Recycling Coalition at http://nrcrecycles.org.