Thursday, February 28, 2013

COMMENTARY>>The Air Force will make you better ... if you let it

By Lt. Col. Kelly Kirby
19th Operations Group

Why are you reading this article? Why did you pick up this paper and decide to spend your valuable time on this commentary? Just the fact that you read the paper puts you into a separate class of Airmen. According to, only 43 percent of U.S. adults read the newspaper each day and over two-thirds of those are over the age of 55. So, chances are, my target audience of younger U.S.A.F. Airmen is not even reading this. But just in case you want to improve your perspective on the Air Force, or influence an Airman to make themselves better, please read on.

Chances are you entered the Air Force because you were drawn to the service for several reasons, including the innovative reputation and the technological background of the Air Force. Maybe you are like me, and just wanted to fly airplanes while taking advantage of self-improvement options like scholarships or the GI bill. Many of us entered the Air Force because we wanted to serve, and we needed the boost to accomplish greater things in our lives--we started from meager backgrounds. If it were not for the Air Force, I would not have been able to afford college and would most likely be back in Iowa, working in a corn field. I took advantage of the Air Force’s good will, and there are even more opportunities within the Air Force for self-improvement that most Airmen overlook each day. If you open your perspective to the scope of what this institution has to offer, you will see there is a lot out there, every single day.

I just finished a command tour where I worked with 550 of the greatest maintenance professionals I have ever known, and they taught me a lot – every day. My command of the 19th Equipment Maintenance Squadron was the best assignment of my career, and it made me a better Airman, because I let it make me better. As the commander of a maintenance squadron, I was in a unique and challenging position as a C-130 career-long navigator, and had to rely on the senior non-commissioned officers and officers to teach me the art of maintenance from their perspective. Because I was open to learning a new skill set from a different side of the Air Force, I became a well-rounded Airman. That assignment made me better because I allowed the Air Force to shape my perspective, and I put my faith in the leaders who surrounded me. The Air Force is full of excellent leaders and role models, and if you are open to change, you can learn from each one of them.

There are other ways that the Air Force can make you better besides advancing your education through CCAF or through PME, but you have to be open to them. The most important thing is that you remain open to change, and avoid the thought that you already know everything. If you keep the attitude that every single day the Air Force can teach you something, you will continue to grow and improve as an Airman and as a leader. When you think you know it all, and start reading your own headlines, you are on a path to apathy and the future will continue to cause you greater and greater challenges. Every single day I can observe great leaders around me, and pick up tools from them, because I take the time to learn and observe.

I hope that even our youngest Airman realizes that they can become anything they want within the Air Force, or after the Air Force, as long as they continue to grow and learn from those around them. This can be as simple as watching an NCO deal with a crisis on the flight line during the morning launches or watching a supervisor calm a heated situation in the office. The Air Force is full of innovative leaders who have fostered our reputation in the joint arena as Airmen – we get the job done with new and innovative ideas and methods. Commanders across the combat zone, from the Army, Navy, and Marines look for Airmen on their installations to find new solutions. As an Airman, you need to develop that skill set, that ability to find new and innovative solutions, and the best way to do that is by observing those around you who already possess the skills. Watch how they solve problems, and put those tools in your kit, so you will be ready to continue our legacy. We make ourselves better every day so that we can make our service more capable of answering our nation’s call. Are you doing your part? If not, do you think you know it all?

TOP STORY>>2013 attractions of the Arkansas Timberlands region

Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources/
El Dorado Downtown

On January 10, 1921, near El Dorado a geyser of “black gold” spewed far over the 112-foot derrick of Arkansas’s first productive oil well. The town’s population quickly skyrocketed, creating the need for a new courthouse, more business space and larger churches. The prosperity would subsequently spread through 10 south Arkansas counties as more oil and natural gas was discovered. At the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover, the history of the state’s “oil boom” is told through films, historic photographs, geological and other exhibits, oil-era memorabilia and the Oil Field Park, which displays derricks and pumping equipment. Seven miles away, El Dorado’s downtown, centered around the Neo-classic 1928 Union County Courthouse, contains architecturally significant churches and other structures constructed in the 1920’s and 30’s and made possible by the new wealth. A diverse mix of shops, a variety of dining establishments and complementary landscaping and streetscape details add to the downtown atmosphere. The Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources is located at 3853 Smackover Highway. 870-725-2877. Contract information for El Dorado is Downtown El Dorado, 870- 863-6113; and Main Street El Dorado, 870-862-4747;

Camden/McCollum-Chidester House

Civil War artifacts and displays on two of Camden’s historic products, Camark pottery and Grapette soft drinks, are among exhibits housed in the Camden Visitors Center and Museum at 314 Adams S.W. 870- 836-6426. In the spring of 1864, the Union Army briefly captured the town of Camden during a failed Civil War campaign. Gen. Frederick Steele occupied the McCollum-Chidester House at 926 Washington Street, then the home of stagecoach operator John T. Chidester. Now hosting public tours, the house is mostly furnished with antiques original to the Chidester family, who moved into the home in 1857. 870-836-9243.

Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge

This 65,000-acre refuge in south central Arkansas is widely regarded as one of the state’s best fishing venues. Other recreational options include hiking, wildlife observation and photography. Among birders, the refuge is known as a place where the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker can be added to one’s life list. 870-364-3167;

Historic Washington State Park

The town of Washington was founded in 1824 on the Southwest Trail just 15 miles from the Red River, which then separated American lands from the Mexican territory known as Texas. Because of its border proximity, Washington played a role in Texas’s 1835-36 war for independence. Evidence suggests that Sam Houston and others discussed plans for the revolt while Houston resided in one of the town’s taverns in 1834. The town also served as Arkansas’s Confederate capital after Union forces captured Little Rock in 1863. Historic Washington State Park preserves and showcases the town’s architecture, history and pioneer culture. Park visitors can get a sense of 19th- century life in Arkansas by taking historic tours and experiencing interpretive programs and demonstrations throughout the town. There are over 40 structures that date from the 1830s into the early 1900s. Authentic and splendidly furnished historic houses provide a glimpse of domestic life and contain many 19th century treasures such as furniture and ceramics. Noted attractions include the 1836 Hempstead County Courthouse that served as the Confederate capitol, the re-construction of a period blacksmith shop where the original Bowie knife was forged, the B.W. Edwards Weapons Museum, and a print museum showcasing 19th- century printing techniques. In addition to daily tours, a variety of workshops and distance learning programs, the park offers 4 major events and rental facilities for group meetings, weddings and reunions. Williams’ Tavern Restaurant has country fare food daily with the capability of catering to various events utilizing park facilities. The park is nine miles northwest of Hope via U.S. 278. 870- 983-2684;


This small town has two claims to fame: it is the birthplace of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and it showcases some of the world’s largest watermelons. The town is located 25 miles northeast of Texarkana and 120 miles southwest of Little Rock. While here, check out the Hope Visitor Center and Museum. The museum is located in the restored 1912 railroad depot at Division and Main Streets. It contains exhibits on the town’s history as a railway center for the cotton economy in earlier times and its on-going production of giant watermelons.

(Courtesy of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism)

TOP STORY>>SecAF discusses sequestration impacts at AFA

By Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
AIr Force Public Affairs Agency

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) – Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley addressed more than 500 men and women on the final day of the Air Force Association’s 29th Air Warfare Symposium & Technology Exposition Feb. 22 here.

During his address, Donley spoke about several issues that are on the Air Force’s radar, including budget and planning challenges, and of particular interest, the looming sequestration.

“During over three decades now in Washington, I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed a budget process that is as dysfunctional as is the one we’re experiencing today,” Donley said.

Although the service has protected people and readiness to date, the impact of sequestration will ultimately force the Air Force to take actions that will impact readiness and its civilian workforce the secretary said. He also discussed the impact sequestration will have on Airmen’s professional development, due to non-mission essential travel being frozen.

The secretary said sequestration could “delay the promotions of Airmen who rely on that training as part of their preparation for higher rank. It could lead to a loss of certification for Airmen in technical specialties that require regular training such as firefighters or explosive ordnance disposal specialists.”

Donley also voiced his concern for the morale of the service’s civilian force should a furlough take place.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta notified Congress on Feb. 20 that the Department of Defense civilian workforce could face potential furloughs in late April. This could impact up to 180,000 civilian Airmen for up to 22 working days, resulting in a loss of 31.5 million man hours of productivity.

“We’re deeply concerned for our civilian Airmen and the mission,” Donley said. “We’ll keep working to prevent these actions, which would decimate morale and break faith with their service to our Air Force.”

Among other significant challenges that the service will face under sequestration is the impact to flying readiness.

“Reduction of about 200,000 flying hourswould impact our theater security packages,” Donley said. “Those combat units not expected to deploy, will only continue to fly until depletion of their flying hours funds, which could occur as early as mid-May.”

The secretary also spoke about the impacts to the defense industry, many members of which were widely represented in the audience at the symposium.

Impacts to the defense industrial base will grow in magnitude as reductions in resources ripple through the network of companies that support Air Force prime contractors and sub-contractors, according to Donley.

“We’re concerned about the capacity of smaller or more specialized companies to successfully negotiate this challenging environment,” he said, emphasizing the importance of their contributions to the Air Force. “What many of you do in industry is important to us. It makes a direct contribution to our capabilities.”

In addition to the impacts of sequestration, Donley discussed the Total Force Task Force, a group of active-duty, Reserve and Air National Guard members that he and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III assembled to discuss the right mix of Total Force capabilities for the service.

“The results of this task force will inform our strategic planning and programing for fiscal 2015 and beyond, and will also serve as a resource to the congressionally-directed national commission on the structure of the Air Force that will be examining total-force issues later this year,” he said.

Despite the current challenges facing the Department, Donley made one thing clear -- America’s Airmen are ready for any challenge.

“We came into this situation as the world’s finest Air Force, it is our intention to come out of this as the world’s finest Air Force, and we will,” Donley said. “If we back them, Airmen will back our Air Force, and they will help us get through these challenging times.”

Thursday, February 21, 2013

COMMENTARY>>Put down the phone, pick up a conversation

By Senior Airman Timothy Moore
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Albert Einstein said, “I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.”

I first saw this quote one day on a social networking site, and it was accompanied by several photos of people sitting in social settings with one or more people messaging on their phones. These people were at the beach, dinner, sporting events, and even the museum. Yet, they were on their phones. One picture showed a group of people in a convertible in which even the driver had her phone out. I think these people could be considered the idiots Einstein was talking about.

I do not consider these people idiots in the sense that they are stupid, but they are foolish. They are foolish in that technology has become more important than their humanity, which is defined as being marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for others. In that respect, many people are foolish as they show little or no consideration for others when they are on their phones in social settings.

I remember my adult family members reprimanding me for trying to watch TV while sitting at a dinner table, being on the phone when company was over or being rude in any social situation. That is what this situation is becoming. People are being rude.

Now, I understand that phones have become much more than a way to contact people, and I am not solely talking about cell phones as the only offending technology here. They are just the ones I see most at fault in this type of situation. I understand many people use their phones for checking emails, paying bills, texting, when calling is just not acceptable for one or both parties, and many other things. However, when those other things are not time sensitive or can just wait and you are in the company of other people, please be considerate and put down your phone. Put down your phone, have a conversation with the people around you, and get to know them.

Until very recently, I was becoming one of those foolish people Einstein was talking about. I would go to the Loft here on D-M to socialize with other Airmen in the dormitories, and I would end up on my phone sitting in my own little world. Then one Sunday at the Loft dinner, a person noted that out of 10 or so people sitting in the room seven, including me, were on their phones. I looked at those other individuals, and even though I had seen all of them multiple times at the Loft, I did not even know their names.

So, I started the process of putting my phone away more and talking to people, and I have been pleased with the results so far. I have had some great conversations. I have talked about things ranging from favorite childhood shows to working out. I have even started working out on a regular basis with some of those Airmen I have had conversations with.

I now know some of these Airmen›s quirks. I can sense when something is amiss with them, and I hope through more conversations that I can become more aware of that.

I hope that through these conversations, and the interactions that result from them, I can develop the lifelong friends I hear about so often at retirement ceremonies. I hope they will help me become not only a better human being, but also a better wingman.

TOP STORY>>Airman’s initiative soars

By Airman 1st Class Kaylee Clark
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen are always encouraged to set themselves apart from the group and think outside the “box.” They have been told to be innovative, an exemplification of the core values and a true example to the generations that will follow. Senior Airman Yolanda Gabriel, a 19th Comptroller Squadron financial technician, is doing just that.

Gabriel saw an opportunity to reach out to the younger generation, so she created the Soaring Stars Mentorship Program that tutors 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students who attend Arnold Drive Elementary School at Little Rock Air Force Base. The program is every Thursday from 2:45 – 3:30 p.m. Gabriel’s goal is to expand the program to even more schools in the future.

The Soaring Stars Mentorship Program, which started Nov. 2012 with only a handful of volunteers, now has more than 60. On average there will be about eight to 10 students per session, with eight to 10 volunteers each Thursday, allowing 1-on-1 interaction. Sometimes, depending on the amount of students that show up, there can be a 2-on-1 atmosphere (2 students to 1 volunteer or the opposite). Gabriel said the program’s initiative is to allow the kids to have fun while also learning their current studies without being in a pressured environment.

Volunteers help the students work on homework or a subject with which they may have difficulties. A 3rd grade student said, “I like the program. It helps me get caught up on my homework.”

Kristen Beach, Arnold Drive Elementary principal, said, “This is something that I feel the students have enjoyed, and they look forward to Thursday afternoons when they can stay afterschool and have some quality time with someone who truly cares.”

The mentoring program does more than just help kids withschool work; it also gives the volunteers a chance to act as a big brother or big sister.

“I love this mentorship program,” said Gabriel. “It’s feels good when the students smile when you walk through the door. Just recently a student came up to me and another volunteer who helped him out with his spelling. He was so excited to show us that he made a 94 on his test, and that made me excited as well. That really made me feel like what we are doing is not in vain.”

Although, the program has only reached Arnold Drive Elementary School, Gabriel’s future plans are to expand to local schools in and around Jacksonville, Ark. And with the volunteers rapidly expanding, Gabriel sees that as a big possibility. Beach hopes to see the program continue and grow. “Without a doubt, I can say that the impact provided by this volunteer effort has been nothing but positive. The parents are delighted with the time these mentors are willing to spend working with their children. The teachers are grateful for the extra support given and the opportunity for students to hear information from a

TOP STORY>>Keeping the faith

Base chaplains strengthen Airmen’s spiritual pillar

By Senior Airman Rusty Frank
19th Airlift Public Affairs

When someone hears the word chaplain most often what they think about is preaching, praying and counseling. What some people may not know is there’s more to an Air Force Chaplain than the pulpit on Sundays. The chaplain corps supports Airmen at Little Rock Air Force Base in several ways including providing council, dinner every Friday night at the Cross Roads Café and going out to the different units on base and visiting with Airmen.

Some of the services military chaplains provide are different from their civilian counterparts. Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Francis Lowe, 19th Airlift Wing wing chaplain, said chaplains protect the rights of the first amendment and the exercise of free religion through a couple different ways.

One way chaplains protect those rights are by helping out Airmen in different squadrons on base with any religious issues, and providing different ways for Airmen to learn more about their religion.

“We answer any religious accommodation issues that come up from the squadrons and the work place,” said Lowe. “We also provide worship and education opportunities at the chapel.”

Another way they help out the Airmen is by providing completely confidential counseling. This service is important because not only can Airmen talk to chaplains about anything, first sergeants and commanders can also talk to them and get advice on morale issues or on how to handle a situation with an Airman said Chaplain (Capt.) William Martin, a 19th Airlift Wing chaplain.

Chaplains do what regular ministers can’t do. They can to go an Airman’s place of work and visit with them one on one.

“One of the big things we do that we don’t do in civilian life is visit the work place,” said Lowe who has been a catholic priest for more than 30 years. “When I worked in civilian life I didn’t have that freedom, I couldn’t just walk into a clinic or a jail. We can do that because we are part of the Air Force Family.”

There is more to the chaplain’s mission at LRAFB other than confidential counseling and protecting Airmen’s rights to exercise free religion. Lowe said the main thing they provide is spiritual fitness to Airmen.

“Our mission is to prepare our war fighters to do a good job and meet their spiritual needs,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Randall Jamieson, 19th Airlift Wing deputy wing chaplain.

Chaplains cater to the spiritual needs of single Airmen as well as married through different events.

“We do lots of marriage conferences. We also do singles retreat,” said Martin.

The Cross Roads Café along with services such as the single Airman retreats are avenues chaplains use to reach single Airmen. At the Café, every Friday night the chaplain’s host a dinner for the single Airman, said Martin. The Café is a place where Airmen can connect with each other.

The main thing to remember with the chaplains on base and the services they provide through the chapel is they are here for the Airmen.

“Our desire is to serve our Airmen,” said Martin.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

COMMENTARY>>Opening combat positions for women essential to diversity, future Air Force

By Don Branum
U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

U.S. AIR FORCE ACAD-EMY, Colo. (AFNS) — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s Jan. 24 announcement he would lift restrictions on women in combat positions has stirred up quite a bit of discussion.

Anyone who wants a stronger U.S. military should welcome the lifting of combat restrictions and what that change means for readiness and diversity within the armed forces.

It’s important to note a couple of key facts: First, women have been involved in combat since well before the Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida attacks. Second, Panetta has made clear he does not expect the services to change the physical requirements for demanding jobs such as Air Force pararescue, Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets or other special operations programs.

One name comes immediately to my mind when I think of women who have seen combat: 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte, a 2006 Air Force Academy graduate who was killed in action while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2009.

Less recent names of note take a bit more digging, but they’re not hard to find:

 Retired Col. Martha McSally, a 1988 Academy graduate who flew in support of Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom;

 Lt. Col. Nicole Malachowski, a 1996 graduate who flew in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom;

 Lt. Col. Kim Campbell, a 1997 graduate who took part in air operations over Baghdad, Iraq, in April 2003.

While the physical requirements for pilots differ from those for many special operations career fields, flying in combat carries the significant risk of being shot down and either killed or captured.

More importantly, the strategy of asymmetrical warfare popular with the Taliban and al-Qaida doesn’t recognize “combat roles” or front lines. Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson and Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch were assigned to the Army Quartermaster Corps, but that didn’t stop Iraqi army forces from ambushing their convoy in March 2003. Johnson and Lynch were taken prisoner and later rescued, while Piestewa was killed.

Still, Panetta’s decision isn’t without controversy. On the Air Force’s official website, “Brandon” from Miami writes, in part, “Men are naturally hardwired to protect women even if it is with our lives.”­

COMMENTARY>>Editorial cartoons of life

By Col. Todd Pavich
314th Airlift Wing vice commander

Twenty Five years ago I was a political science student at school. I didn’t own a computer or a cell phone, the internet was not “invented” yet, and CNN was still in its infancy. For me the news came in a paper at the corner convenience store, and I generally only read the Sunday version to keep up on current events for school. After scanning through the headlines, checking the sports page, and reading the comics, I always ended with the editorials. I was specifically interested in the editorial cartoons. I collected them for many significant events, cut them out, and taped them to a wall. Throughout school I amassed quite a collection of editorial cartoons all for significant news stories of the day. Despite relatively limited access to news by today’s standards, my wall addressed very similar issues and events to today’s stories. Party politics, taxes, national debt, terrorist bombings, military response, nuclear tests, ethnic civil wars, environmental concerns, energy costs, crime, etc. were all captured on my wall in cartoon form. Most were funny, but others were quite serious. Anecdotally, the one I remember the most is of the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986 with the caption “Do not go friendly into that good night.”

Today, the news is everywhere. Information is everywhere and in multiple formats. I receive emails daily with headlines from multiple sources. I review an internet news aggregator every day and see what stories are popular or trending by readership. There is 24 hour news on several television channels, and a local newspaper still finds its way to my driveway. But with all these sources and with instant access to sites around the world, I wonder have the issues really changed. I watched the State of the Union Address Tuesday night and heard the President talk about party politics, taxes, debt, defense, renewable energy, environmental concerns, education, and gun control to name a few.

News affects everyone differently. Some worry, some plan, some don’t care, and some draw cartoons. There is a lot of negative and unsettling news out there today. Some may affect the military as a whole, and some may affect us as individuals. Events will occur and change will happen, but it’s not the event that defines life, it’s how we respond to the event. “Life is 10 percent what happens and 90 percent how we react” is a common inspirational quote I’ve seen several times. I’d like to think my focus is always on the 90 percent, but I know it’s not. Still, I choose not to worry too much about the news of events I have no control over. For me it is energy wasted. I much prefer to capture the event in a cartoon like drawing. If I’m affected, I’ve got a piece of memorabilia that may or may not bring a smile as I continue to pursue life. Maybe I’ll start a new wall of drawings.

“Your life is not a coincidence. It’s a reflection of you!”

— unknown author

TOP STORY>>Intramural Basketball: 19th OSS tops 53rd AS

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

The 19th Operations Support Squadron’s basketball team rebuffed the late-game advances of the 53rd Airlift Squadron’s team in an intramural matchup, defeating them 47-45 Monday in the Fitness Center gymnasium.

In an aggressive game featuring scoring swings and hard-nosed defense, the 19th OSS’s defense was able to stop the 53rd AS, which had two opportunities to tie the game in the closing seconds, but missed both shots.

The 53rd AS jumped out to a 6-0 at the start of the game, and looked to be in control of the tempo. Implored by their coach to “slow it down,” and control the ball, they out-rebounded and shot their rivals at the beginning of the first half.

Undeterred by their slow start, the 19th OSS regrouped and was able to take over the game, flipping a 6 -12 deficit into a 16-16 tie with 7:30 left in the first half. After getting beat on the boards at the beginning of the game, the aggressive play of the 19th OSS in the paint led them to a surge on offense, and they shot ahead of their opponent 26-21 at halftime.

Building on the momentum they captured in the first half, the 19th OSS shot out of the gates after halftime, racking up a 33-23 lead with 14:43 left in the game.

After exchanging some baskets, the deficit barely budged for the 53rd AS, but down 31-40 with only eight minutes remaining, they regrouped and charged back into the game.

Capturing momentum, as well as playing with renewed aggression, the 53rd AS executed masterfully on offense, nailing several three-pointers and closing the gap to 45-47 with 33 seconds left.

Their defense stopped the 19th OSS on two possessions, but was unable to tie the score at the end, and the 19th OSS celebrated with a hard-earned victory.

Free-throws were crucial to the outcome of the game. In the final three minutes of the game a 53rd AS player missed both of his free-throw attempts, a two-point difference that could have sent the game into overtime.

TOP STORY>>AF leaders: Sequestration, more budget cuts will be devastating

By Master Sgt. Jess D. Harvey
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Sequestration would leave the Air Force with untrained people, a lack of equipment and be “devastating” to the service, officials said Feb. 7.

The warning echoes what Department of Defense officials have stated for months about across-the-board defense cuts, in addition to an ongoing continuing resolution.

“Now that we’re staring at that possibility in less than a month, I can tell you, they were right,” said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. Larry Spencer, during a media roundtable at the Pentagon.

The meeting was aimed at discussing the toll that ongoing fiscal insecurity and looming sequestration are taking on the force.

“We understand the national imperative of economic strength and getting the fiscal house in order,” said Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Jamie Morin. “And we recognize that the Air Force is not going to be exempt from the sort of budgetary austerity that is a part of a balanced approach to getting the national fiscal house in order.”

Although Air Force leaders have already taken steps to meet budgetary reductions, the impacts that will occur from sequestration put the service at risk.

“Those cuts from sequestration, as has been said over and over again, are going to be devastating; they’re going to be dangerous,” Morin said.

Morin and Spencer, among others, laid out a set of near term actions the service is taking to hedge against the potential of sequestration. They included limiting training, facility maintenance and curbing spending.

“The actions we’re taking (now) are focused on things that we see as reversible and not damaging to direct combat capability,” Morin said. “Nevertheless they are disruptive to a whole host of Air Force priorities.”

According to Morin and Spencer, if sequestration does happen, the Air Force will have to take additional and likely irreversible actions. One such measure is to halt all but emergency facility repairs across the force.

“That results in a 90 percent reduction in those expenditures through the rest of the fiscal year,” Morin said. More than 400 projects across more than 140 bases are affected by this measure, but it only equates to about $2.9 billion in savings.

Sequestration, if it occurs, will cause a $12.4 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2013. That is compounded by a potential sequestration shortfall of $1.8 billion in overseas contingency operations.

“We’ve taken a series of initial actions, butthose actions don’t come close to covering $12.4 billion,” Morin said. “There’s a lot more we’d have to do.”

For example, Morin said the reductions to the weapons systems sustainment account is going to drive an approximately one-third reduction in depot workload in fiscal year 2013.

But, like many other actions that may take place under sequestration, depot maintenance is something that will have cascading effects. Aircraft overdue for depot maintenance will be grounded until funds become available to service them later on.

So it’s going to push back that maintenance into a sort of bow-wave that will continue into fiscal year 2014 and beyond, according to Morin, resulting in serious inefficiency and reduction in operational capabilities.

But of major interest to the sequestration is the potential furlough of civilian employees. The Air Force currently has more than 180,000 civilian Airmen, with many locations where those civilian Airmen make up the majority, if not all of the workforce.

Spencer related a conversation he’d had with a wing commander.

The commander was “extremely concerned about what will happen to his work force since his entire maintenance team consists of government civilians,” Spencer said.

The military relies heavily on the expertise of its civilian Airmen and furlough would seriously limit the Air Forces ability to do the mission and would have a hugely negative impact on morale.

“This sort of unprecedented furlough action would put at risk mission accomplishment in a whole host of areas,” Morin said. “It’s a breach of faith with the civilian Airmen who are critical to the success of the Air Force.”

They also stressed the woes sequestration will have for the already difficult modernization programs.

“Unless we get substantial reprogramming flexibility we will see damage to programs like the KC-46 tanker, the F-35 — all in an environment where we’ve been bending over backwards to try and create stability,” Morin said. “That means delayed capabilities to the Airmen who are waiting for it, and it means increased cost to the taxpayer.”

In the long term, Morin said, the nation is going to have “some pretty serious conversations about defense strategy, about what we ask of our armed forces and of what set of capabilities the nation needs to provide required national security.”

“Sequestration has us looking a month from now, a week from now, a day from now,” Morin said. “It’s like driving down a highway at 70 miles an hour, staring right in front of your hood ornament; it’s not a recipe for success.”

Friday, February 8, 2013



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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.


COUPLE OF lovebirds w/big cage, $150. Pics. available. (501) 286-9540.


FOUND: IN Jacksonville area, black, female Lab., white on chest, at least 6-7 yrs. old, very sweet & house trained. (501) 681-0207.


1990 Corvette, teal green, tan leather, black trim, EC, 77,000 orig. miles, rebuilt engine w/5,000 miles, only $6,800. (501) 606-6672, Steve.

1994 CAMARO, dk. green, V6, 5-spd., 117,000 miles. New battery, hubs, window motors, fuel pump & more. Runs fairly, $1,300. (501) 410-2752.


NEW 2013 Jayco White Hawk travel trailer, model 28DSBH, $22,500. (501) 835-6755, Sherwood.


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

WHIRLPOOL WASHER & dryer, good condition, about 4 yrs. old, $100 ea. or $150 for both. (719) 440-7582.

TILE, 18x18, 414 sq. ft. available, Orchid porcelain by Corona Tile, terra cotta color, $400 obo. Trades accepted. (501) 858-8651.


TWIN BED, girl's, white w/mattress & box springs, excellent condition, heavy & sturdily made, $325 (w/o $275). 743-8242.

FULL MATTRESS set, like new, w/frame, $180 & dresser w/mirror, $35. (501) 605-7859.

WOOD TABLE, round, 2 leaves, 4 chairs, $200 obo. (586) 557-8805.

6 OLD, newly refinished, distressed black chairs w/antique rose seat covers, $125. Can e-mail pics. or (501) 513-3939.


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.

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.

CABOT, VERY nice 1 bedroom apartment. 704 1/2 North 3rd. New appliances, recently renovated. Water & gas paid. You pay electric. $425 month, $300 deposit. (501) 605-7120.

RECENTLY RENOVATED: 505 Lynnewood, Sherwood. 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, 1 car garage, fenced backyard, sunroom, new appliances, $965 month. (501) 258-6698.

JACKSONVILLE, 3 BR, 1 BA at 203 Parker St. Furnished kitchen, 1-car garage, fenced backyard. Nice, quiet neighborhood. $750 mo., $500 dep. Discount for military. (501) 749-6963.

3 BEDROOM, 1 bath house: carport with shed, fenced backyard, deck, storage shed, recently remodeled, new kitchen. 1 block from front gate. No pets. $600 month, $500 deposit, 1 year lease. Call 681-0936.

3 BEDROOM, 1 bath, central heat & air, stove & refrigerator furnished. $495 month, $300 deposit. No pets. Furlow area. (501) 944-1905.

GRAVEL RIDGE: newly remodeled, 3 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, in good neighborhood. Living room, kitchen/dining room, bonus room, big closets, fenced, large storage shed, garden spot. $850 month, $750 deposit with background check. 3 miles to back gate of base. Close to schools, on bus route. (501) 615-4933 or (501) 400-4727.


HOUSE WITH separate apartment building on +/- 3 acres. Beebe, owner occupied house has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths with loft room 70% finished. Apartment: 2 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath, +/- 1 acre, fenced, new roof, shingles less than 1 year old. Asking $85,000. Minor work needed, sold as is. (386) 748-7149.



All chapel worship services are now relocated back into the Base Chapel sanctuary from the base theater. First worship services held will be this Sunday, March 10.


The Little Rock Air Force Base Teen Program at the Youth Center offers a wide variety of social activities for teenagers (ages 13-18), including a music room, computer lab, video game consoles, entertainment center and table top games.

From March 1 to 31, a survey is being conducted to determine usage of the Teen Program.

If you have teenagers in your household (whether they use the program or not), please take this quick survey at the following link: Your help is greatly appreciated in gathering this information.

For more information, call the Youth Center at 987-1510.


All active duty service members stationed on base who are not residents of Arkansas must file a special Arkansas tax form this year. The form is called the “AR-NRMILITARY Non Resident Military Personnel Exemption Form,” and it can be found online on the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website. (Google “AR-NRMILITARY” and it’s the first hit.)

If you have any questions, contact Capt Nicholas Peone by e-mail at


The Little Rock AFB Chiefs Group Scholarship is an award of $250 each, to two selected LRAFB junior enlisted members (AB-SrA). This award coincides with college course registration for Spring and Fall semesters.

Proof of current enrollment in college courses is needed.

Submit an application, with a narrative statement, of no less than 100 words, describing the manner in which the scholarship would enhance the applicant’s professional development as a member of the Air Force

Deadline for submissions for the April 2013 award is March 18, no later than 5 p.m.

Submissions will be sent, via email, to Chief Master Sgt. Sandra Davis.

Applicants must provide an approved Tuition Assistance letter or other proof of enrollment when submitting the application. Scholarships will not be awarded until proof of enrollment is verified.


Protestant Lenten Devotionals, preparing for Easter, will be held on Wednesdays 13 and 20, at 11:30 a.m., in the Chapel Annex. A potluck lunch follows at noon. For further details, call the Base Chapel, 987-6014.

Every Wednesday during lent - Ecumenical Lenten Luncheon at noon at the Chapel Annex. Fridays during Lent - Stations of the cross 6 p.m.


Impact of Military Personnel Data System (MILPDS) Downtime on your CCAF


During the scheduled downtime, Monday - March 27, CCAF will be unable to verify and update student records.

Contact Education Center at 987-3417 with any questions.



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.


MOMS HELPING Moms work from home. No Parties, No Inventory, No Risk! For more info.


YARD SALE, 3/9 & 10, 6 am-2 pm, 318 Fair Oaks Cv., Jax. Clothes for all ages, movies, games, etc.

ESTATE SALE, 3/9 & 3/16, 82 Krooked Kreek, Cabot. (919) 815-0303.

GARAGE SALE, 3/9, till noon, 5904 Base Meadows Dr., Jax., off Hwy. 107.

GARAGE SALE, 3/9, 8:30-? 14 Chad, Cabot. Furniture, clothes, scrubs, books, speaker system, teacher books & lots more.


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


FREE 3 yr. old Golden Lab. to good home. Great dog, housebroken, very loving, enjoys playing, neutered, trained. Call/text (501) 960-1294.


FOUND: IN Jacksonville area, black, female Lab., white on chest, at least 6-7 yrs. old, very sweet & house trained. (501) 681-0207.


1990 Corvette, teal green, tan leather, black trim, EC, 77,000 orig. miles, rebuilt engine w/5,000 miles, only $6,800. (501) 606-6672, Steve.

1988 HONDA CRX, runs & drives, $600. (501) 259-3709.


NEW 2013 Jayco White Hawk travel trailer, model 28DSBH, $22,500. (501) 835-6755, Sherwood.


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

TILE, 18x18, 414 sq. ft. available, Orchid porcelain by Corona Tile, terra cotta color, $400 obo. Trades accepted. (501) 858-8651.


TWIN BED, girl's, white w/mattress & box springs, excellent condition, heavy & sturdily made, $325 (w/o $275). 743-8242.

FULL MATTRESS set, like new, w/frame, $180 & dresser w/mirror, $35. (501) 605-7859.

WOOD TABLE, round, 2 leaves, 4 chairs, $200 obo. (586) 557-8805.

6 OLD, newly refinished, distressed black chairs w/antique rose seat covers, $125. Can e-mail pics. or (501) 513-3939.

KING-SIZE STERNS & Foster mattress, pillow top, good condition, used 2 years, downsizing, $600. (785) 317-4904.


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.

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 BEDROOM, 1 bath house: carport with shed, fenced backyard, deck, storage shed, recently remodeled, new kitchen. 1 block from front gate. No pets. $600 month, $500 deposit, 1 year lease. Call 681-0936.

GRAVEL RIDGE: newly remodeled, 3 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, in good neighborhood. Living room, kitchen/dining room, bonus room, big closets, fenced, large storage shed, garden spot. $850 month, $750 deposit with background check. 3 miles to back gate of base. Close to schools, on bus route. (501) 615-4933 or (501) 400-4727.

CABOT: LIKE new 3 bedroom, 2 bath, new carpet, new paint, central heat & air, laundry room, 2 car garage, excellent neighborhood, $925 month, 1 year lease, no smoking. Available 4/1. (501) 849-2512.

CABOT BETWEEN Greystone/Magness Creek, 2 bedroom, 1 bath, washer, dryer, storage bldg., fenced-in animal corral, 3 mi. from Hwy. 67/167. Pets allowed w/deposit. $600 mo., $350 deposit. (501) 941-8600.


FSBO: 3 BR, 2 BA, dining room, bonus room above garage, over 2,000 sq. ft. home in Foxwood, $164,500. Must be pre-qualified to view. 982-2231.

TOP STORY >> AFRC open house introduces revamped programs

By Airman 1st Class Cliffton Dolezal
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Airman and Family Readiness Center at Little Rock Air Force Base held an open house  Feb. 1 to show the Rock that they’re still rolling. The open house was held to bring awareness to the new AFRC team over a bowl of chili with a chance to win some prizes as well.

“With the open house we are giving the Little Rock Air Force Base community a chance to meet the new team,” said Sharon Thompson, chief of the Airman Readiness center. “People are coming in and getting a chance to look at our new programs, new facilities, and enjoy some chili on a cold day and win some prizes.”

One of the major changes that team Little Rock will see is a presence from AFRC in the units which was not possible in the past due to funding and hiring freezes.

“One of the things that happened years ago is that there were consultants that were assigned to every squadron, someone that could be a resource for a commander of a squadron, but when you have three people that’s not going to happen,” said Thompson. “So now that we’re up and running we will be ready by the 1st of March to start getting back into the squadrons and offering our services wherever we can help.”

The AFRC recently put up a new sign they hope will draw more attention toward their building and get more TLR members into their programs. The team has also made it their goal to make contact with the newest members of the Air Force family, the first-term Airmen, and show them the AFRC is a great place to come to get help whether it be financially or emotionally.

“The AFRC has been helpful giving me direction and information about programs and services that I can use on base,” said Airman 1st Class Alexis Self, 19th Logistic Readiness Squadron, who has been stationed on base for less than a month. “They have so many programs that are applicable to my situation.”

“The big thing for the AFRC is to make sure that all the service members, active, guard, reserve as well as retirees, spouses and dependents are taking advantage of the programs and services we have here that can relieve some of the burdens created by deployments, extended work hours and PCSing in or out; it’s really a team effort,” said Mike Rudsill, a community readiness specialist.

The AFRC is located on the corner of Sixth Street and Cannon Drive and is open from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Thompson said when it comes to the AFRC and the many programs offered, whether one is in a leadership role, a new airman, or a retiree, it’s not a question of if they are going to use their services, it’s a matter of when.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

COMMENTARY>>Act like a superhero

By Chief Master Sgt. Brian Bischoff
22nd Air Force, Detachment 1, Air Force
Reserve Command

I was recently picking up a few items at a local retail chain at lunchtime; everywhere I walked, someone wanted to shake my hand or say, “thank you for your service.” It made me proud to be wearing the uniform of the U.S. Air Force.

While waiting in the checkout lane, I noticed that a little boy shopping with his mom was staring at me from his perch in the cart. I smiled and said “hello,” but he just kept staring.

His mom apologized and explained that he was crazy about people in uniform, and that his hero was Captain America. She said he watches the movie over and over, and puts on a little uniform to “defend the house.”

“I think that’s a good hero to have,” I said. As I answered, it got me thinking that we need to act more like superheroes.

Ok, stick with me here. That doesn’t mean that we should put on capes and masks and climb to the top of the roof to see what dastardly deeds need to be thwarted. Your spouse will most likely be soon be telling you “get down before you hurt yourself,” and “take off that getup before the neighbors see you.”

What it does mean is that we need be worthy of kids’ admiration – like a superhero. So, here are a few things about superheroes we need to know:

1. Superheroes never believe their own write-up. They are humble (except when fighting a bad guy) and neither flashy nor boastful – they save the day and retreat to their secret lair (office or flight line in our case).

2. Superheroes help people. Whether it’s a neighbor needing help painting a fence or the lady in the grocery store that can’t quite reach that box of cereal, we need to lend a hand.

3. Superheroes are respectful towards the public. They use manners, say “yes sir,” or “yes ma’am,” and open doors for people at restaurants.

4. Superheroes live lives that kids can look up to. They don’t lie, cheat or misuse government credit cards. They set examples for other to follow, and they do the right thing even when no one is looking (sounds like “integrity” to me).

5. Superheroes are always there. They always have their friends’ backs no matter what else is going on, even in the dark of night (sounds like “service before self”).

6. Superheroes are in shape. Have you ever seen a chubby superhero? The bad guys would kick his butt! The public wouldn’t have much confidence in an out-of-shape superhero, would they?

6. Superheroes always do their best. You’ll never see a superhero slacking, or saving only enough people to make it look good. They give it their all every time, and people take notice (sounds like “excellence in all we do”).

If you have ever seen the movie Hancock, you have seen what a superhero is not. The protagonist, at first, is all about himself – he’s a drunk with a bad attitude, thinking he is above the law. The public has no faith in him, and he quickly loses faith in himself.

With the help of people who care about him he becomes the superhero that, deep down, he knew he was capable of becoming. Maybe you know someone who, with a little help and direction, can live up to their potential (sounds like “leadership” to me). Sometimes he or she is the person in the mirror. Realizing it, facing it, accepting it and working on it are often the most heroic actions of all.

The point is that when you’re off base and in uniform you are easily recognized as a member of the U.S. Air Force. Kids look at your uniform and are in awe; parents look at you and hope that their son or daughter will follow in your footsteps, and seniors thank you and appreciate that you’re continuing to carry the torch to keep our country safe.

We should all act as though we’re in uniform even when we’re not and display the same hero-like qualities we’re capable of, no matter what we’re wearing. Let’s all act like superheroes and truly earn the respect and admiration we’re given every day. Think about it.

TOP STORY>>Urgent or emergency?

If you or your child gets sick or injured, your first instinct may be to go to the emergency room right away or call 911. These are good instincts in an emergency, but many people use the ER when it is not an actual emergency. This contributes to long ER wait times, high costs and unnecessary medical care. Sometimes, using an urgent care clinic may be your best choice and can help responsibly preserve the TRICARE benefit for future generations of military families.

It can be difficult to know whether an illness or injury is really an emergency, but the judgment is yours to make. If the condition is obviously life threatening or causing severe pain and distress, then the need for an ER visit is clear. TRICARE views an emergency as a medical, maternity or psychiatric condition you believe could threaten your life, limb or sight without immediate medical attention. Other emergencies include severe, painful symptoms requiring immediate attention or when a person may be an immediate risk to self or others.

If you or a family member experience any of the following symptoms, go to the ER immediately:

 Chest pain or pressure

 Uncontrolled bleeding

 Sudden or severe pain

 Coughing or vomiting blood

 Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

 Sudden dizziness, weakness or changes in vision

 Severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhea

 Changes in mental status, such as confusion

You do not need authorization for emergency care before receiving treatment. However, if you’re enrolled in a TRICARE Prime plan, you must contact your primary care manager or regional contractor within 24 hours or the next business day after you receive emergency care.

Urgent care is when an illness or injury is serious enough to seek health care right away but not so severe as to require ER care. Some examples include earache, toothache, joint sprain, muscle pull or urinary tract infection. You can get urgent care from your PCM or from an urgent care center if your PCM is inaccessible. Urgent care can be quicker, with a lower cost and better results, compared to a crowded ER that may require unnecessary tests or hospital stays.

Many urgent care centers are open after normal business hours and on the weekend, so you can go at a time that fits with your schedule or when a health problem warrants. If you have TRICARE Prime, you need to get prior authorization from your PCM or your regional contractor to avoid additional costs for visiting an urgent care center. If you are traveling, you need to contact your home region for authorization. You can find contact information for your regional contractor at

According to the Urgent Care Association of America, 57 percent of visits to an urgent care facility have a wait time of 15 minutes or less. By comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports only 22 percent of visits to an ER have wait times of 15 minutes or less.

Getting urgent care instead of visiting the ER can also save money. ERs are required to run expensive diagnostic tests that may not be necessary if your condition is less serious. Being judicious with your health care spending can make your household budget go further, and cost-efficient urgent care will help protect your TRICARE benefits in these uncertain financial times.

It’s a good idea to be aware of nearby urgent care facilities in the TRICARE network, just as you would with the closest ER. To find an urgent care facility near you in the TRICARE network, visit and select the search tool for your regional contractor.

Courtesy of 19th Medical Support Squadron.

TOP STORY>>189th Airman receives Bronze Star

By Senior Airman Ian Caple
189th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Little Rock Air Force Base – Tech. Sgt. Will Earnhart, a ground radio communication craftsman at the 189th Communications Flight, was awarded the Bronze Star for his work in Afghanistan in 2011.

Earnhart deployed with the Arkansas Agricultural Development Team II to Southern Afghanistan in the Zabul Province, one of the poorest provinces in the country. He acted as an agricultural and business extension agent in cooperation with the Director of Agriculture Irrigation and Livestock.

The DAIL worked directly for the Provincial Governor of Afghanistan to improve agriculture in Afghanistan.

“Tech. Sgt. Earnhart did a great job on the Agricultural Development Team and represented the Arkansas National Guard in a superior manner,” said Col. Steve Eggensperger, 189th Airlift Wing commander. “I’m proud of his accomplishments, and I’m very happy to see him receive this prestigious award.”

He also conducted several training seminars for small farmers in various districts around the province.

These seminars covered orchard and pasture management, wheat and garden crops, irrigation and water management and soil improvement along with pest and disease management.

“We worked with the United States Department of Agriculture to develop irrigation levees and check dams to prevent erosion and preserve precious water resources,” Earnhart said.

The team developed a home garden project and provided training to farmers and villagers on planting and food preservation along with soil testing, fertilizing and mulching practices; they also worked with the small farmers and villagers to develop poultry production as a small-scale business for widows and orphans and for food supplementation.

Master Sgt. John Weston, 189th Civil Engineering Squadron, worked with Earnhart on planning and developing a demonstration farm owned and operated by the DAIL. On this farm they demonstrated the benefits of soil and water management both in an open environment and inside a large unheated greenhouse.

Earnhart was presented the Bronze Star in November of 2012.