Thursday, September 27, 2012



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 (

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.

NEEDED: VOLUNTEERS to sing for seniors. Call Herb, 681-3999.


ANGEL KEEPER'S home childcare has openings available for infants - 5 yr. olds. Licensed & insured, surveillance cameras installed. Jacksonville. Call Stephanie at (501) 457-7992.


CAE USA has an immediate need for a C-130J Pilot Instructor in Pisa, Italy.  This is a part-time position, usually with a 90-day rotation schedule.  Airfare, Hotel, Rental Car, and Per diem provided.  Interested candidates can apply by sending their resume to reference "Pisa".

DRIVERS, OTR Growing Fleet! Great miles, pay, benefits, home time! Clean MVR, 2 years experience, CDL-A. Karen: (636) 584-6073,

RSVP TEAMS & Solos: $4,000 sign on bonus. Weekly home time, pre-pass provided! No touch freight. Class A CDL. Hogan. Call Sandra (866) 275-8840,


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.


4 KITTENS, female, variety of colors, 8 wks. old. (501) 743-9463.


2004 FORD F150 Super Crew, black, 4.6L, 85K miles, runs great, new tires & brakes, $10,200. (501) 812-5205.

2012 SILVERADO pickup, LT, 4 Dr., black, chrome pkg., towing pkg., 7,200 miles, beautiful truck, perfect condition, $28,500. (501) 982-9279 or (501) 942-2311.

2009 CHEVROLET Suburban, 51K miles, excellent condition, loaded, leather, quad seating, black/black, 20" wheels, $32,000. (501) 454-2777.

2001 CHEV. Silverado Ext. Cab, black, only 110,000 miles, dual exhaust w/glass packs & echo tips, 3" lift kit, 16" chrome wheels, Cooper STT mud tires, grill guards, KC highlights, step bars, tailgate & gas tank locks, bed liner, super clean, recent tune-up, updated maintenance records, $9,500 obo. Serious offers only. Call/text (501) 258-5084, Cabot.

2002 CORVETTE coupe, torch red, both tops, HUD, 1 owner, always garaged, like new, 43,000 miles, $25,000. (501) 605-6321.

HONDA ODYSSEY EX-L 2008, 44,000 miles, lt. blue, heated leather seats, XM radio, sunroof, new tires, $18,000 obo. (618) 806-1553.

1994 CHEVROLET S10, blue, 4-cyl., LWB, 5-speed manual, new cold A/C, reliable pu, $2,000. (501) 538-5941, Cody.

2005 DODGE Magnum SXP, inferno red, 116k miles, $7,500 obo. (501) 281-5289.

2012 CHEVROLET Camaro LT, white, 18K miles, auto., 6-cyl., perfect condition, $23,000. Call/text (267) 229-1553.


2006 WILDERNESS camper, sleeps 6, queen-size bed, self contained shower tub, dual axle wheels, $8,000. (501) 837-7225.

2009 CAN-AM Outlander Max XT 500cc 4-wheelers, 2-up model, winch, handlebar & brush guards, 55 hours, $6,300. (501) 454-2777.

2008 ZX190 Skeeter bass boat, V150TLR Yamaha & matching trailer, garage kept, low hrs., excellent condition, many extras, warranty until 3/13, $24,550 obo. (501) 951-0018.

2009 KAWASAKI Vulcan custom motorcycle, 900cc, excellent condition, new tires, 20,200 miles, original owner, $4,700. (501) 941-9484.

AWESOME KAYAK, pd. $1,100, sell for $450 firm. (501) 416-2086.


MESS DRESS, 2 jackets, sz. 42 & 44 reg.; 3 pants, sz. 34, 36 & 38. All accessories included, $75. (501) 681-7926.

R/C AIRPLANE, high wing trainer w/40 size engine, includes flight box w/starter, battery, electric fuel pump & extras. Pics. available. $200. Call/text (501) 743-9228.

Men's LH Callaway X-14 irons, 4-PW, SW w/Callaway Great Big Bertha II driver, all w/graphite shafts. $85 firm. (501) 743-5947, Rick.

2 JAXX Jr. bean bags, like new, 1 red, 1 blue, $30 ea. or $50 for both. Call/text (501) 749-7423.

PT GEAR, 4 sets of new style shorts, 7 shirts, 1 long sleeve shirt, 2 old style pants & jacket, $50 for all. (501) 681-7926.

THE AIRLINES are hiring! Courseware for 737 type rating with Higher Power Aviation. Pd. $1,500+, asking $1,350. (501) 258-6698.

SCHOOL BOOKS, 50 Essays, 3rd edition by Samuel Cohen, $18; Easy Writer, 4th edition by Andrea A. Lunsford, $25. (501) 786-3803.

MUST SEE! 2 Tourmaster motorcycle jackets, men's XL & M; black & blue Tourmaster riding pants, XL; 1 pr. Motoboass riding pants, XL; black & yellow Honda Goldwing jacket, men's XL, $75 ea. (501) 416-2086.


FREE PIANO & bench, needs tuning. You pick up and transport. (501) 590-3917.

MICRO FIBER tan love seat, no tears but left arm rest sinks a little, $115. (205) 299-7104.

FULL-SIZE SEALY mattress, box spring, frame on wheels & brass plated headboard. Mattress is in excellent condition, stain free, $165. 352-7385.


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: 27 OAK Meadows, 3 bedroom, 1 bath, ceramic tile floors, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, disposal, garage, central heat & air, fenced backyard. All electric, $800 month, $500 deposit. Call (501) 605-7120.

MOBILE HOMES for rent: $510-$550 per month in Gravel Ridge (Sherwood) area, deposit $400. 2 bedroom, 2 bath, water paid. Homes are all electric. NO PETS. Application fee/background check required. Please call Paula Reed at (501) 551-8492 for more information.

CABOT SCHOOL District: 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, brick house, privacy fenced backyard, storage building, carport with extra slab, neat & clean. $650 month, $250 deposit. Call or text for pictures/information, (479) 831-9227.

ROOMMATE WANTED! Renting room in Cabot, residential furnished 3 bedroom house. Must love dogs. $600 month, utilities included. Call (850) 217-5214.

JAX., 3 BR, 2 BA, super size LR, lg. eat-in kitchen, gigantic patio with lg. yard, oh can u believe a washer & dryer equip. Must tell u that it is all electric. Come see. $850 mo., $700 dep., 1310 Captain Cove, Jax.

CABOT: 1330 Kerr Station, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, $750 month, $700 deposit. Also, 31 Paige, 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, $850 month, $700 deposit. All tile floors, all electric. No pets. 951-8096.

JACKSONVILLE: 3 BR, 1 BA, carport, fenced backyard. 904 McHenry St., 2 miles from LRAFB. $600 mo., $500 dep. (501) 593-7481 or (501)231-2122.


 3 BEDROOM, built 2006, 2 full baths, 2 car garage, fenced yard, walk-in closets, storage shed, $119,800, Austin. (501) 605-1422.

OPEN HOUSE Sunday, 12/9, 2-4 pm. FSBO, 616 Chaucer Court, Jacksonville (Stonewall subdivision), 1,733 sq. ft., price reduced $145,000. (501) 351-1227.



A seminar for couples will be held from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Thomas Community Activities Center. It’s open to all military couples regardless of marital status. Child care will be provided. Call 987-7338 or email for more information.


The Civilian Personnel Office will be holding a Health Fair for Federal Employees Health Benefits Open Season. The Open Season dates run from Nov. 12 - Dec. 10. GEHA, Mail Handlers, Qual Choice, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield representatives will be available.


The LRAFB Green Knights Motorcycle Club presents the first Raegan Whaley Memorial Diaper Run Nov. 10. The run starts 2 p.m. at the M and M Stop and Shop, ending at the LRAFB Education Center. Donations will be collected on and off base through Nov. 10. Donation collected will be presented to the LRAFB first sergeants to be distributed to Airmen and their families during Christmas. Donations can include, but are not limited to: diapers, formula, baby food, wipes, toys, children’s clothing and gift cards. For more information about donation locations, contact any first sergeant on base.


The base chapel offers Sunday School classes for children, teens, college/career and adults. Come out for Traditional Service at 8 a.m. or Contemporary Service at 11 a.m. Religious Education classes are held at 9:30 a.m. There’s something for everyone. For details, call Jo Ann Silvi at 987-7890.


Ladies’ Bible study is held on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. in the conference room at the Base Chapel. All women are invited to come in for the study of “Twelve Women of the Bible.” A children’s ministry is also provided for mothers with young children. For more information, contact Jo Ann Silvi at 987-7890.


The 19th Logistics Readiness Squadron offers training on the following subjects: Block I: General Supply Indoctrination, Block IIA: Bench Stock Management, Block IIB: Repair Cycle Management and Block III: Equipment Management and Deployed Equipment Management. For additional information or to be scheduled for training please contact customer service at 501-987-3034 or 501-987-6201.


For any questions regarding the Airman’s Attic call Gennifer Terry at 501-952-4649.


The Exchange Main Store has new hours.

The main store hours for Monday will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The following hours have changed in the Food Court area:

Anthony’s Pizza: Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Charley’s: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Taco Bell: Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Starbuck’s: Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Subway is here.

For more information contact Sandy Crowley at Visit their online store at

COMMENTARY>>Toeing the line on standards

By Master Sgt. Edward A. Dierkens
30th Intelligence Squadron

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) — For the past four years of my career, as a first sergeant, I have heard the words, “But Shirt, he’s a good guy,” far too many times.

Whether it was for a failed physical training test or substandard performance of noncommissioned officer responsibilities, the same statement would pop up time and again.

One would think these words would have been uttered by a young NCO, or maybe even a young officer; but more often than not, these words were coming from seasoned NCOs and senior NCOs as well as the occasional officer. Usually, the next phrase would be, “But we don’t want to hurt their career,” which is almost just as frustrating.

It’s all about the standards for 99 percent of what I have seen relating to commander-worked issues for the past four years. The one percent is usually the outlier, the very extreme situation where myriad things came together to form a perfect storm in which the service member could not prevent what was happening. However, the vast majority is the part that interests me most and how we hold service members accountable for their actions in accordance with the standards.

The first part of the problem is remembering the standards.

The Air Force asks its Airmen to be phenomenal, in accordance with AFI 36-2618, “The Enlisted Force Structure,” which states we are Airmen first, specialists second. There are times when Airmen forget this notion and think that all that is sacred is the mission, many times at the expense of other Airmen and their families. The half hour it takes to conduct a formal feedback, or the five minutes it takes to sit down and ask their subordinates how they are doing or how was your weekend is something often taken for granted. How do we hold supervisors accountable for not fulfilling their responsibilities as NCOs and senior NCOs? My blood pressure goes up a tick when I hear the words, “But he is a good Airman,” to which I rebut, “No, he is a good worker. If he were a good Airman, we would not be talking about what he did wrong but rather the great things he is doing.”

When do we say, “Now it’s time to hold you accountable”?

For some supervisors, the time to hold their Airmen accountable doesn’t come because they view it as hurting the Airman’s career. They do not acknowledge the corrosive effects it has on the Airmen who are doing everything right all the time, those Airmen who are “truly among the best,” as our performance reports reflect. This is a huge disservice to those that are getting it done every day. Not to mention, it’s not us who are hurting their career. Ultimately, it’s them. So how do you get someone to see the big picture? Sometimes getting people to realize that not everyone is a “5” takes some work.

In addition to job performance, another frequently worked issue is fitness.

Somewhere along the line, many supervisors seem to have forgotten physical fitness is a standard. AFI 36-2905, “Fitness Program,” states this fact as well as block three on all enlisted performance reports. The easy part of this standard is that the Air Force has taken all subjectivity out of it with the “Meets or Does Not Meet” options when the performance report closes out. The only problem with that is what do you do when there are one, two, or maybe even three failures in a twelve month period, then the member passes before an EPR closes out? How does that get documented? What exactly is the standard? Table A19.1, AFI 36-2905, has a guideline on what commanders could impose at each failure, but it is an illustrative table only, not binding.

Many discussions surface in which people think since block three on the performance report references fitness, it is, therefore, the only place where such ratings should be captured. In reality, the enlisted performance reports have several sections that should also be considered when dealing with fitness to include leadership, followership, mentorship and readiness. That being said, it would be very difficult to let fitness dwell in box three alone. Imagine for a moment that you are the young Airman, and your supervisor or mentor is the one not meeting the standard.

How would that make you feel?

Or imagine you’re the Airman who has to deploy on short notice because one of your peers has failed again and cannot deploy due to a control-roster action. Meanwhile, this Airman may be intent on passing his next assessment before his next performance report closes out knowing full well there won’t be any markdowns.

“But Shirt, it’s only PT,” doesn’t seem to fit, does it?

More often than not, a closed door mentorship session on holding our Airmen accountable for their actions across the unit is all it will take to get a supervisor to realize that a mark down is the right thing to do.

It’s not a career killer, the Airman can recover, and at this point and time they are not truly among the best.

Moreover, first sergeants are in the business of taking care of people, not just the ones getting in trouble, but the shiny pennies as well. Not giving a deserving member a markdown is disrespectful to the folks that are taking care of business every single day. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cookie cutter approach to how leadership at any level will handle any given situation, but if we cherish our Air Force standards and hold people accountable for their actions, everyone will be taken care of in the end.

COMMENTARY>>Committed to tolerance

By Col. Archie Frye
189th Airlift Wing commander

The subject today is tolerance. Tolerance grows through education and experience. With tolerance in your leadership, peer ship and follower ship tool box, you’ll add to an open environment where many different opinions can be shared, resulting in a much more effective team, where everyone is welcome to contribute to the mission.

What is tolerance? One of America’s most famous persons said this: “The highest result of education is tolerance.”

– Helen Keller

This quote describes tolerance from a choice point of view:

“Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.”

– Joshua Liebman

The great majority of people try to do what they think is right. Over my long career, rarely does that great majority fully agree on what is right, on any given subject. However, good things always happen because we listen to each other and are presented with an opportunity to learn a possible better way. We gain knowledge from others on a subject we thought we completely knew. That said, without tolerating another’s ideas, you will never learn more than you already know.

In the Air Force, we have entire functions dedicated to ensuring our Airmen follow our commitment to tolerate all races, religions, and gender. While we may not agree with everything others believe to be right. We are obligated to tolerate what they believe to be right, provided it’s legal, moral, fair and safe. We recruit and retain people from all walks of life, from every region of our country and from many different nations around this world.

Image how ineffective we’d be if only one behavior and belief was tolerated. There would be no communication, no capability and no growth as an Air Force, due to no growth in new ideas from our Airmen. So do yourself a favor and listen to something you don’t believe in. It’s OK to still not believe in it. Only this time… Try not to say you’re wrong or that’s crazy. Instead, try saying, that’s an interesting opinion, wow, I never tried to do it that way…etc. Surprisingly, the other person may ask, how do you do that or what do you think? You’ll rapidly see more good comes when we don’t unload our preconceived ideas or agendas on others, but we share our knowledge so we all benefit. Finally, please don’t offer to fix someone else’s beliefs and opinions. Doing so will hurt our Air Force, which hurts our country.

Thank you for making our Air Force the greatest institution in the world.

top story>>A Polish connection at Little Rock AFB

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

The 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base has a strong history with the government of Poland and their air force. Almost every year since 2008, Polish students come here to study both flying and maintenance of the C-130H at the “Center of Excellence”.

“The 314th mission pertaining to the Polish students is to train them as combat aviators/maintainers in the C-130H,” said Maj. Jason Oatley, International Military Student officer, C-130H instructor pilot. “Currently we have nine students, three pilots, four loadmasters, and two maintainers.”

“In general, the U.S. has an Office of Defense Cooperation located in each of our ally’s country,” said Oatley. “Depending on the needs of the country, the U.S. offers weapon systems and training to meet the needs of said country. In this case, Poland wanted an aircraft that allowed tactical airlift of troops and supplies as well as the ability to support humanitarian objectives. Countries set up visits with Little Rock Air Force Base if they are interested in purchasing the C-130 and training their aircrew and maintainers. We host visits regularly which allow countries to see the training available as well as the chance to talk with subject matter experts who can suggest specific syllabi that would best meet the needs of the country.”

Oatley said Poland started training aircrews at Little Rock AFB in 2008 in preparation for the delivery of their first C-130E in 2009.

“We have trained 111 students total, which allows Poland to autonomously maintain and operate their fleet of C-130s,” said Oatley.

Before the students make it to Little Rock AFB to train, they have to go through an English Comprehension Level course and are tested to make sure the language barrier is not a problem. Even if they do well in the course, they are sent to Lackland AFB, Texas for a nine week specialized English course. Depending on how well they did on the ECL, the course at Lackland can be expanded or shortened.

“That’s an agreement between the U.S. and Poland,” said Oatley. “In order for the student to be trained here, they have to obtain a certain level of English.”

Once the students are here, there are a range of courses they can take. The courses have to match what their country needs. Some of the courses that Polish students attend while here are: C-130E BASIC Navigator, C-130E/H Pilot, C-130E/H Flight Engineer and C-130E BASIC Loadmaster. Depending on the training program, Oatley said a student can be here anywhere from two weeks to six months.

2nd Lt. Lukasz Tylski, a Polish student pilot, is a part of the Pilot Initial Qualification course.

“He will be trained on visual formation, which is learning how to be a wingman and staying in position while flying with other aircraft, landing, airdrop and unaided night formation training,” said Oatley.

Tylski said his course is six months long. “I arrived here May 25. My graduation is Nov. 6, but it can change.

Factors that could change the date are weather and the holiday schedule.

So far Tylski said he has been having a good time during his training here.

“The first phase was academics,” said Tylski, “and I had a good time. There was a little language barrier because it’s easy to read something, but it’s difficult to learn to fly in a different language. The second phase was good, and I liked it. Now that I’m finished with the second phase I’m waiting for flying.”

When Tylski goes back to his country, he said he will be a copilot.

“Since this is my first time flying on the C-130 in the PIQ, I will be a copilot for some time,” he said. “I’ll have to get more experience, and then I can go to the left seat as an aircraft commander, which takes three to four years. After aircraft commander, you can become an instructor but it depends on what your base needs.”

To become an aircraft commander, the Polish students would come back here for that training as well, said Oatley.

The schedule for a student pilot fluctuates quite a bit, Oatley said. For Tylski’s simulator courses, he could have a simulator that starts at midnight and ends in the early morning. His daytime flight line schedule will beMonday through Friday from the morning to the midafternoon. If he does nights, he could start at in the afternoon and end sometime in the morning. Their schedule changes as they go through, but they’re given recuperation days.

The Polish students are given the same training as the American students and are held to same standards, said Oatley, but English is not their first language. Something that would take an American student one hour would take the Polish students two hours because they have to translate everything, so they don’t have a lot of time to do other things.

Though Tylski stays busy most of the time with his training, he said he does find leisure time now to relax and do things he enjoys like fishing and going to Graceland in Memphis.

Not only have the Polish students gained training from the 314th, but Oatley said each country they’ve interacted with in some way has taught them something in return.

“It would be foolish to say we haven’t learned anything from our international partners, including Poland,” said Oatley. “Each country brings a rich history with them to training and the 314th AW embraces each country for its uniqueness. Since the Polish are new to the C-130, it’s our job to expose them to all facets of operating it. The Polish brought a strong work ethic and willingness to learn. This work ethic has left a definite imprint on our instructors.”

This training is important, said Oatley, to build and strengthen partnerships both personally and professionally.

“By training the Polish Air Force we enable them to be a strong coalition partner as well as a key nation in responding to humanitarian crises worldwide,” he said. “Additionally, by training our partner nations we strengthen our ties by building both personal and professional relationships during the training process.”

TOP STORY>>Little Rock’s run and retreat for POW/MIA

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

Little Rock Air Force Base honored prisoners of war/missing in action with a 24-hour run, remembrance luncheon and retreat ceremony Sept. 20 and 21.

Over 81,000 service members are still missing. To show reverence to those service members, different squadrons on the base took shifts from 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 21 to run on the base track with someone always keeping the POW/MIA flag in motion.

“The run is an annual event to pay tribute to those who have gone before us,” said Master Sgt. Bryan Bissonnette, the 19th Component Maintenance Squadron first sergeant and main point of contact for the event. “It also reminds us of those individuals who are still missing and that the government will make every effort to bring them home.”

At the remembrance luncheon, Sept. 21, the honored guests were three former POWs, Wayne Elliott, Audrey Harris and Warren Taylor. Along with other Team Little Rock members, in attendance were the Airmen from First Term Airman Center. The purpose of the luncheon was to have the newest Airman experience firsthand the testimony of their fellow countrymen that have endured hard times while proving what it means to live by the code of conduct and core values, while serving the nation honorably. The Airmen sat and listened as these men told the stories of how they were captured and held captive. At the end, the Airmen were allowed to ask questions. One airman asked the men, “What was it that got you through those tough times?” Harris said it was his faith in God that kept him strong.

Later that day, Col. Brian Robinson, 19th Airlift Wing commander, took control of the flag for its final run. He started at the base track and headed to Heritage Park where the retreat ceremony took place. Also running with Robinson were other Team Little Rock senior leaders, Airmen and Marines. Along with the POW/MIA flag, there were flags being carried as well to represent each branch of service.

“It’s a privilege to honor those individuals who gave it all and to show the respect they deserve,” said Bissonnette. “For those former POWs with us today, it’s the smallest token of appreciation we can do as an active duty military to thank them for the sacrifices they have endured.”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

COMMENTARY>>Leaders issue Air Force birthday message

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy issued the following message to the Airmen of the United States Air Force.

As we celebrate the United States Air Force’s 65th birthday, we salute all of the dedicated Airmen who serve or have served in our Nation’s youngest and most innovative Service.

Throughout our proud history, the Air Force has embraced the technology that continues to revolutionize our capabilities in air, space and cyber-space. We owe an enormous debt to the ground-breaking visionaries and engineering pioneers who brought the technology of flight to life, and to the professional strategists and tacticians who imagined the military possibilities of these new technologies and propelled the science, theory and application forward.

While our Service enjoys an unbreakable connection to state-of-the-art technology, we must never forget that everything we do depends on our people, the living engine of our Air Force. Today, more than ever, the Air Force can take pride that our Service culture promotes and benefits from the know-how, determination, and commitment of a diverse group of men and women who embody our Core Values – Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do – while pursuing adaptive and innovative solutions for our Nation’s security.

Every day, our Airmen have an opportunity to add a bright new chapter to the Air Force story by serving our Nation in the world’s finest air force. The challenges confronting our country are great; but our active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen have never failed to answer our Nation’s call. Working together in common purpose as one Air Force, we will keep America secure today and for all the years to come.

Happy birthday, Air Force! Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win!

COMMENTARY>>Rememberance, thanks and commitment

By Lt. Gen. Darren W. McDew
Commander, 18th Air Force

To the Airmen of our great global air mobility enterprise: thank you!

Today, as every day, I am proud to be an American Airman. I have lived all but 13 years of our Air Force’s history and as the son of a Master Sergeant, I developed a love for our Air Force early in my life. It is a love that has never faltered.

A short 65 years have passed since the National Security Act of 1947 established the Air Force as a separate branch of the armed services. Our service has seen many changes during that relatively short amount of time, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to excellence. Today, across the globe, 18th Air Force Airmen continue to embody that core value, ensuring the rapid global mobility that allows our command to provide the right effects, at the right place, and at the right time. Never forget that what we do underwrites our Air Force’s ability to fly, fight, and win.

The Air Force’s birthday is the ideal time to consider not only our heritage and the people who paved the way for us but it is also a time to renew our own commitment to excellence. It is also a time to honor the members of our larger Air Force team whose support makes that commitment possible. In that spirit, we offer thanks to our friends, family members, and the communities who stand beside us in the defense of our Nation.

We are an essential member of the joint team. Your service and our mission are the foundation of our national security. No one else can do what we do.

I invite you to celebrate the Air Force’s proud history and its 65th birthday. I thank you for your continued service and dedication to our command, and I am honored to serve with you in the world’s finest Air Force!

TOP STORY>>Heritage and Heroes: most successful air show, open house in base

Little Rock Air Force Base announced today that the airshow and open house, hosted by the base Sept. 8 and 9, was the most successful air show the base has ever hosted. Preliminary estimates on attendance put the total spectator count at over 260,000, well above the previous airshow in 2010 that hosted 225,000 visitors. Additionally, the base exceeded the food and beverage sales in 2010. These numbers make the Little Rock Air Force base event the largest 2-day event in Arkansas and event organizers are already preparing for a bigger guest list in 2014.

According to air show director Lt. Col. Mike Kirby, “We will gear up for over 275,000 spectators on Oct. 17-18, 2014, and plan to provide an even better event. We are very proud of the smooth traffic flow, and the quality of event this year. Our number one goal was to showcase our Airmen, the military mission, and the pride we all have in protecting our nation and defending our freedom. I think it was mission accomplished.”

Finally, the weather helped support the largest airshow the base has ever seen, with clear blues skies, highs in the mid 80s and a slight breeze out of the north.

These factors, combined with detailed planning and preparation, reduced the overall need for medical assistance at this year’s show. Medical assistants reported that there was a 60 percent decrease in calls for assistance compared to the 2010 air show. This is just another indicator of why the 2012 air show will go in the record books as the best air show that Little Rock Air Force base has ever hosted. Updates and post comments can be tracked on the air show website,

TOP STORY>> 41st AS coming home to a full house

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

A lot of stray cats came home last week when Airmen from the 41st Airlift Squadron Black Cats here redeployed. The redeployment was a special occasion because it marked the first time in the squadron’s history that most of their aircraft and personnel were home.

“This is the first time we won’t have our aircraft and aircrew in the desert flying missions, since we stood up as a J-model squadron,” said Lt. Col. James Burgess, 41st AS commander.

The squadron was heavily tasked with deployments because it was until recently the only operational C-130J model squadron in the Air Force. At any given time, they could have roughly 40 or more people deployed, performing Air Force missions throughout the world, said Burgess. The return will have many benefits for the squadron.

“We’ll have more ability to get stateside missions done, more ability to train and we won’t have to worry about shops being manned and flying at the same time,” said Burgess.

Everyone being back together is the most exciting thing for Burgess.

“The fact that the whole unit is together means everyone will be able to focus on the same thing at the same time,” he said. “I’m excited about everyone being here at the same time so we can all get on the same sheet of music.”

Frequent taskings for the 41st meant frequent swapping of personnel, Burgess is hoping the time they’ll have together will not only give them some continuity, but also inspire camaraderie.

“Everyone’s going to be together, and hopefully everyone gets to develop a team mentality before we go out on our next deployment,” he said.

The 41st is able to have this homecoming because Dyess Air Force Base, in Texas, recently stood up an active duty C-130J model squadron, and they’re now shouldering the burden of taskings that was previously all on the 41st. While the deployments and taskings around the world won’t stop, as more J-model squadrons stand up, homecomings like these could be more common.

“For the last four years, these guys have really been the team that’s carried the load while the J model’s been in development,” said Burgess. “It’s a great reward for all the work that they’ve done that now they’ll get to be home. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they’re doing and what they’ve done. I hope they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.”

Thursday, September 13, 2012

COMMENTARY>>Is your name on the mailbox?

By Chief Master Sgt. Gregory McNeil
19th Medical Group superintendent

Have you ever wondered why some organizations seem to function better than others? I’ve thought about this many times and there are numerous reasons why some organizations are more successful than others. One thing that makes an organization successful are unit members who take pride and ownership within their work centers. These individuals have clearly put their “name on the mailbox”, and are engaged not only in conquering daily challenges, but focusing on making their work centers better than they were when they arrived.

I currently rent my house. There is nothing wrong with being a renter, but often times you can drive through a neighborhood and have a good idea of which houses are rental properties and which houses are being lived in by their owners by how they appear from curbside. In some cases, you can tell by how the property is being taken care of; has the lawn been mowed or is there trash in the yard? If the yard hasn’t been kept up, obviously there’s no pride or ownership there. Those mailboxes are only being used to collect the daily junk mail received there. Are you a renter at work just using your mailbox to collect junk mail, or are you taking pride and ownership in your work centers? Are you dedicated to making your work centers better than they were when you arrived? Since we in the military frequently move, our time can be short term and it can become very easy to fall into the “renter” mentality. Those folks tell themselves the next person can deal with the problems, instead of fixing them ourselves.

What about when you’re deployed? Do you take pride and ownership in theater? This mentality can be even more detrimental because the stakes are so much higher. Times can be tough when you’re away from home station, and with all of the rotations coming in and out of the AOR, it can be easy to let complacency take over. Would you want to fly on an aircraft the maintainer did not take pride and ownership of? How about our security forces protecting the base perimeter or our personnel performing TCN duty? A lack of pride and ownership in any of these areas can certainly degrade our ability to get the mission done.

There isn’t a job in the Air Force that someone isn’t depending upon you to do, and to do well. We have an enemy that will wait us out until a “renter” shows up and for them to become complacent. The results of this can be catastrophic and it is imperative that we have our names on the mailbox around the globe twenty-four seven. I challenge you…take pride and ownership, because your actions reach farther than you think!

It’s always easy to place your name on the mailbox when things are going well. But, do you as a leader have your name on the mailbox when things go wrong? At times you may see someone not taking responsibility for things that go off-track and that is simply wrong. When something derails take ownership! Figure out why it went wrong and find a solution! That’s ownership and having your name on the mailbox. If you as a leader don’t take ownership during the tough times, you certainly cannot expect anybody on your team to.

You never know the extent to which your actions will affect a fellow Airman or the mission. No matter what your task, or where you go, take pride and ownership in everything you do. Avoid the temptation to collect junk mail. Instead, take the opportunity to make positive and decisive changes. With our ops tempo and challenges we can’t afford anything less. Challenging times are the truest test of leadership, and ownership during difficult circumstances is the key to building cohesive teams. We are the dominate Air Force in the world and we didn’t get that way without having our name solidly on the mailbox. Team Little Rock is a highly successful organization and that is a direct result of the pride and ownership each one of you delivers in everything you do. Thanks for your service!

TOP STORY>>AF finishes strong at end of ‘critical days of summer’

By Natalie Eslinger
Air Force Safety Center Public Affairs

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) — The Air Force 2012 Critical Days of Summer campaign ended Sept. 4 with zero fatalities for the Labor Day weekend for the first time in five years.

“We at the Safety Center always have a Quest for Zero mission,” said Bill Parsons, Air Force Chief of Ground Safety. “It is, and always should be, our pursuit. Even if we suffer an always-tragic fatality, we strive to prevent another from happening, and we must continue to be aware of the risks associated with off-duty choices and to be the best wingmen possible.”

Parsons attributes the fatality-free holiday weekend to summer safety campaigns, and the contributions of the Airman to Airman Safety Advisory Council members.

“That program allows Airmen ages 17-26 to address their peers in commander’s calls and safety briefings to share their personal safety lessons so that others may be persuaded to make solid risk management decisions,” Parsons said.

While the Air Force had no a fatalities over the Labor Day weekend and zero on-duty fatalities during the 15-week CDS campaign, 16 Airmen died in off-duty mishaps; two of those involved alcohol.

According to safety reports, nine of the mishaps involved motorcycles. The other seven included sports and recreation, privately-owned motor vehicles and mishaps occurring at home. So far this fiscal year, the Air Force has lost a total of 44 Airmen in off-duty mishaps.

Air Force Safety Center officials remind all Airmen that most mishaps and fatalities are preventable, and that every Airman lost impacts many lives, including family, friends and colleagues.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

COMMENTARY>> Welcome to the air show

By Col. Brian Robinson
19th Airlift Wing commander

On behalf of the men and women of Team Little Rock, including 8,100 Airmen, 1,200 civilian Airmen, 54,500 retirees, 15,800 dependents and our amazing community partners; I would like to invite YOU to the 2012 Little Rock Air Force Base Open House and Air Show, held 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s open house and air show will be nothing short of spectacular and our Airmen and families look forward to showing the people of Arkansas our mission as the world’s largest C-130 base and home of “Combat Airlift.” You will see a glimpse of how our mission impacts operations in Southwest Asia during the C-130 capabilities exercise, entitled “A Day in Afghanistan.” Both days will also feature awe inspiring demonstrations by the world famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Also included in the air show portion of the day are demonstrations by the Canadian Forces CF-18 team the U.S. Navy F/A Super Hornet demonstration team, precision parachuting by the Army Special Operations Jump Team Black Daggers and the Canadian Skyhawks; daring aerobatics by Mike Rinker and Pink Floyd; and nostalgic B-25, F-4, P-47 and P-51 heritage flights.

The airfield will feature ground demonstrations including a security forces K-9 demonstration, static aircraft displays, a Kidz Zone play area, an Air Expo entertainment center, informational booths and many more activities.

There will also be plenty of food and refreshments for purchase. With free admission and parking, all you need to do is bring out your lawn chair, sunscreen and have a great Air Force afternoon.

Our goal is a safe, fun and interactive weekend. That means fighting the elements with plenty of fluids and sunscreen. And as always, there is a no tolerance for drinking and driving.

Gates will open to the public at 8:30 a.m. We recommend arriving early and carpooling to beat the afternoon rush for the headline performers.

For the latest open house updates, visit the base’s official web page,, or follow the base on Facebook,

Again, I want to personally say thank you for your unrivaled support of our Airmen and families. I look forward to hosting you at our open house and air show.

TOP STORY>>Your healthy pet: Stress and anxiety at the vet

By Staff Sgt. Jessica Condit
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Going to the doctor can sometimes be a difficult task for some, especially if they have an unbearable sense of fear of the doctor. Needles and other instruments the doctor may use can cause anxiety and stress in this type of environment. For pets, the reactions are the same. Whether it is an annual check-up or something more serious, anxiety in pets is no different. Animals feel the stress of the dreaded vet visit as well.

Walking into the vet, Charis, a seven year old 19th Security Forces Squadron military working dog being dispositioned after many years of faithful military service, already feels the stress of the veterinary office. She is one of two dogs retiring soon and is the only female military working dog assigned to the unit. Trained to fear nothing, she tugs at her leash, catching the attention of her handler, Staff Sgt. Anthony Sandoval. He turns around and gives her a command. With anxiety setting in, she has difficulty heeding the command. Coming around though, she lies down and prepares for the worst. As Capt. Courtney Wheeler, a veterinarian from Millington Naval Air Station, Memphis, Tenn., walks into the room, Charis starts feeling the pressure of her surroundings once again.

After several attempts, the veterinarian technician along with Sandoval is finally able to hold Charis long enough to obtain several vials of blood for sampling. Being dispositioned is no easy task for her. She must undergo a series of physical tests and examinations by the vet in order to retire.

After almost an hour of intense pressure and stress, Charis is finally free to leave. Jumping off the table, she happily walks to the door with her handler, tail wagging on the way out.

The base vet takes care of family pets as well. Making sure your animal is healthy is important to a long, happy life. Making sure your pet is spayed or neutered as well will help the well-being of your furry family member and the pet population as a whole.

“We highly recommend others spay and neuter, the sooner the better. An owner can spay or neuter their pet by five to six months of age” said Kelley Perry, an animal health technician.

Because of the high mosquito population in this area, Dr. Arnetha Brooks, DVM, also suggests a heartworm preventative, available at the base veterinary clinic, for pets. The supplies at the vet office on base are often cheaper than off base clinics, encouraging good pet owner habits.

The base veterinary clinic offers services from annual check-ups to intense surgeries. Scheduling an appointment for surgery is as simple as calling and speaking to the desk technician. Check-ups are made by appointment, and are scheduled for three days a week. Walk-ins for pet medication are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1 - 4 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call the veterinary office at 987-7249.

TOP STORY>> Blue Angels set to perform at 2012 air show

At the end of World War II, Chester W. Nimitz, then the Chief of Naval Operations, ordered the formation of a flight-demonstration team to keep the public interested in naval aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla., Flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat, they were led by Lt. Cmdr. Roy “Butch” Voris.

Only two months later on Aug. 25, 1946, the Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat. One year later, the 1947 team, led by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Clarke, introduced the now famous “Diamond Formation.”

By the end of the 1940s the Blue Angels were flying their first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. In response to the demands placed on naval aviation in the Korean Conflict, the team reported to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 (VF-191), Satan’s Kittens, in 1950.

At the end of World War II, Chester W. Nimitz, then the Chief of Naval Operations, ordered the formation of a flight-demonstration team to keep the public interested in naval aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla., Flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat, they were led by Lt. Cmdr. Roy “Butch” Voris.

Only two months later on Aug. 25, 1946, the Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat. One year later, the 1947 team, led by Lt. Cmdr. Robert Clarke, introduced the now famous “Diamond Formation.”

By the end of the 1940s the Blue Angels were flying their first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. In response to the demands placed on naval aviation in the Korean Conflict, the team reported to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 (VF-191), Satan’s Kittens, in 1950.

The team reorganized the next year and reported to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, where they began flying the newer and faster version of the Panther, the F9F-5. The Blue Angels remained in Corpus Christi until the winter of 1954 when they relocated to their present home base at NAS Pensacola, Fla. It was here that they progressed to the swept-wing Grumman F9F-8 Cougar.

The ensuing 20 years saw the Blue Angels transition to two more aircraft, the Grumman F11F-1 Tiger (1957) and the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II (1969).

In December 1974, the Navy Flight Demonstration Team began flying the McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II and was reorganized as the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron.

This reorganization permitted the establishment of a commanding officer vice a flight leader (Cmdr. Tony Less was the squadron’s first official commanding officer), added support officers and further redefined the squadron’s mission, emphasizing the support of recruiting efforts.

On Nov. 8, 1986, the Blue Angels completed their 40th anniversary year during ceremonies unveiling their present aircraft, the new sleek F/A-18 Hornet, the first dual-role fighter/attack aircraft now serving on the nation’s front lines of defense.

In 1992 more than one million people viewed Blue Angel’s performances during a 30-day European deployment to Sweden, Finland, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain.

This was the first European deployment in 19 years.

The 2007 show season brought out more than 15 million spectators. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 427 million fans.

(Courtesy of 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs)