Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: June, 2011 (30) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 30

June 1, 2011 at 7:21am

Military training leaders shape future through special-duty assignments

Staff Sgt. Jessica Nienhueser (center) and Staff Sgt. Ali Bueshi, 373rd Training Squadron military training leaders, inspect Det. 3 Airmen's appearances May 24, 2011, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The MTLs assure that Airmen in technical training retain t

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- In order to fill its mission requirements, the Air Force employs service members in specialized positions to perform a specific duty. These special duties allow Airmen to step outside their conventional roles and experience a completely new side of the Air Force.

One such position is the military training leader, a position held by Staff Sgt. Ali Bueshi, the 373rd Training Squadron Det. 3 flight chief, and Staff Sgt. Jessica Nienhueser, the 373rd TRS Det. 3 assistant flight chief.

"The MTL is responsible for constantly enforcing high standards of conduct, accountability and discipline for Airmen completing technical training," Sergeant Nienhueser said. "(The MTL) serves as the middleman between the basic military training environment and regular Air Force life."

Both Sergeant Bueshi and Sergeant Nienhueser have served as MTLs for approximately one year here, supervising dozens of Airmen training to become C-5 Galaxy crew chiefs.

"One of the main benefits of being an MTL is learning to deal with many types of different personalities and challenges," Sergeant Nienhueser said. "A typical supervisor might manage a handful of Airmen per year; we've handled more than a hundred."

MTLs are involved in nearly every aspect of the Airmen's training process, from drill practice to course studies.

"One of the most important duties of the MTLs is overseeing the Airmen's physical training regimen," said 1st Lt. Ben Derry, the 373rd Training Squadron Det. 3 commander. "Sergeant Bueshi possesses a Level 1 Cross-Fit Certification, so the Airmen receive a better fitness experience than most service members on base."

However, MTLs here had to follow before they learned how to lead.

The first step to becoming an MTL begins with the submission of a special-duty application. Applicants must submit a photo of themselves, their past enlisted performance reports and must have served 48 months time-on-station. A two-week training course is conducted at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where MTLs learn the essentials of their new duty.

"(MTLs) must be able to demonstrate what they expect out of their Airmen," Sergeant Bueshi said.

MTL training teaches a number of important skills, including drill and ceremony procedures, scenario-based counseling, public speaking and human resource management.

Yet training is not enough to become a successful MTL, Sergeant Nienhueser said.

"Those who aspire to become an MTL shouldn't do it for the assignment location or incentive pay," Sergeant Nienhueser said. "With the job comes long hours, 24/7 on-call status and the challenge of helping many Airmen with personal issues. It is tough work, especially if your heart isn't in it."

Yet in the end, MTLs at Dover AFB can say they have played a key role in the careers of dozens of Airmen. Their hours of mentoring and supporting are rewarded by a "thank you" and a handshake from graduating Airmen, soon departing to their first duty station.

"The job satisfaction is what keeps you coming back to work each day," Sergeant Bueshi said.

"When the Airmen leave Det. 3, they are 100-percent squared away and prepared, thanks to the efforts of their dedicated MTLs," Lieutenant Derry said. "MTLs exhibit and instill the demeanor of success."

June 1, 2011 at 7:29am

446th Reserve aeromedical team trains at Global Medic

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Martin Duran, an aeromedical technician with the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, checks the status of a simulated casualty during an aeromedical evacuation mission aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft at Schoonover Field

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill -- He "deployed" to Fort Hunter-Liggett, Calif., to help "save lives" - in practice of course.

Staff Sgt. Martin Duran, an Air Force Reserve aeromedical evacuation technician with the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., was one of many Airmen supporting Global Medic 2011 and Warrior 91 11-01 at Fort Hunter-Liggett in May 2011.

According to an Air Force news report, Global Medic "is a joint field training exercise for theater aeromedical evacuation system and ground medical components designed to replicate all aspects of combat medical service support."

Deployed aeromedical evacuation, or AE teams, work to evacuate patients from combat theaters to hospitals close to their home of record where further care will be provided, if necessary, Air Mobility Command officials said. These often lengthy airlift transports are when the AE teams must be the most vigilant.

AMC aircraft transport patients with an AE crew on board, typically consisting of two flight nurses and three medical technicians like Sergeant Duran. The AE crew is responsible for caring for and monitoring each warfighter by helping alleviate pain, administering medications and providing nursing care during the transport. A Critical Care Air Transport Team, or CCATT, is added to the crew for all critical-care patients. The CCATT consists of an intensive care physician, critical care nurse and respiratory therapist.

Sergeant Duran is trained in more than AE as part of his career field; his official Air Force job description shows for the aerospace medical service career field. However, for his tasks in performing AE duties, he is trained to prepare patients and equipment for flight and to prepare aircraft for patient enplaning.

AE technicians like Sergeant Duran also enplane and deplane ambulatory and litter patients, inventories loads and unloads baggage, functions as an AE crewmember, and assists flight nurses with in-flight patient care and documentation. AE technicians also monitor safety and security of patients, crew and the aircraft during in-flight or ground operations, and they operate specialized aircraft life support equipment, medical devices and aircraft systems related to patient care.

Furthermore, AE technicians provide emergency care for patients in event of medical or aircraft emergency and perform, when tasked, as a member of a mobile aeromedical staging facility during field training and deployment for contingency operations, the job description states.

As part of requirements for his Air Force specialty, Sergeant Duran has to maintain mandatory job knowledge in many areas to include medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, nursing theory, techniques and procedures and team nursing.

He also has to know patient needs, emergency medical treatment to include cardiopulmonary resuscitation, aseptic technique, medical ethics and legal aspects. AE technicians also have to know about prescribed drugs and their administration, operating and maintaining therapeutic equipment, military hygiene and sanitation, risk management, contingency operations and transportation of sick and wounded.

AMC officials said AE missions already in execution in theater can be re-tasked when necessary. "The process normally takes 20 minutes to identify the appropriate mission and averages six and a half hours from initial notification to wheels up for urgent cases and priority cases averaging nine hours," officials said. (Staff Sgt. Donald R. Allen contributed to this report.)

June 1, 2011 at 7:31am

Don't be shocked: 446th electricians find the spark

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dwayne Lee (sunglasses) and Senior Airman Ernest Munns from the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron discuss an electric schematic on a primary distribution panel used to supply power to lights and air conditioning units for bare base

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Sparks are flying at the Silver Flag training site here, but not the romantic kind. It's the electric specialists from the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron, keeping the juice flowing for more than 170 trainees, including 30 Reservists from the 446th CES.

The Reservist from McChord Field, Wash., are here for a week-long training exercise designed to improve the readiness capability of Air Force civil engineers. The electricians are learning and polishing skills involved in taking a bare base and setting up all the essential electricity requirements needed to support Airmen in a deployed environment.

"We go from ground zero to everything electrified," said Master Sgt. Dwayne Lee, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the 446th CES electric shop.

That means power for lighting, air conditioning, kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities, and potable water tank circulation pumps.  It all originates from the know-how of specialists like Sergeant Lee. The Silver Flag training exercise is proving to be an ideal way for senior NCOs like Sergeant Lee to mentor up-and-coming electric wizards.

"The most rewarding part of this exercise is watching our younger Airmen train and excel," said Sergeant Lee, a native of Rochester, Wash. "Here, the focus is on true skill training instead of a deadline, and having fun while doing it."

Those younger Airmen are being put to the test in the hot Florida sun, installing and configuring primary and secondary distribution centers, which provide power to tent cities. They're also responsible for the installation of emergency airfield lighting systems and remote area lighting systems. The get-your-hands-dirty approach is proving popular among younger Reservists.

"This exercise gets you up to skill and prepares you for a wartime situation," said Senior Airman Ernest Munns, 446th CES electrician. "I feel like I'm getting more proficient, improving my technical skills and figuring out different ways of getting the job done more efficiently while still following our technical orders."

And it's not just the younger Airmen who are learning from the training provided during the Silver Flag exercise, which occurs every three years. Sergeant Lee, a veteran of about 10 deployments, said he and other senior NCOs are learning new management styles from each other. That, in turn, he hopes will make him a better supervisor and NCO for his troops. He's also soaked up new superintendent knowledge this week by working in a unit command and control center.

But the biggest benefit of Silver Flag training is arguably the new-found confidence among Reservists, knowing they've put their skills to the test in a training exercise intended to simulate the real deal: deployment to a theater of operation.

"I feel a lot of people get out of the military because they don't feel they're properly trained," said Airman Munns, a former security forces officer and resident of Vancouver, Wash. "This changes all that... it gives you confidence in your skills."

June 1, 2011 at 7:34am

446th engineer speaks softly, carries big influence

U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Jennifer Greer from the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron uses surveying equipment to calculate the height of a base water tower during a field exercise at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. on May 26, 2011. Sergeant Greer is one of 30 Rese

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Tech Sgt. Jennifer Greer is quiet and unassuming. Her colleagues tease her about her small stature. She looks young enough to be mistaken for a recent graduate of basic training. But nine years on Air Force active duty, two years in the Reserve, and two deployments to Iraq tell another story. When it comes to the importance of her job and what she brings to the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron's engineering assistance shop, her presence looms very large indeed.

As an engineering craftsman, Sergeant Greer is trained to survey a bare base, testing things like topography and soil density to determine how best to lay out base resources and structures.

"My career field is very rewarding and challenging because there's such a broad spectrum of things we do," said Sergeant Greer. In fact, her work delves into contracts, mapping programs like AutoCAD and GIS, construction management, and surveying.

"And everything we survey, we download to a program because we map the end product."

When damaged runways are repaired by heavy equipment operators, Sergeant Greer and her team essentially becomes quality control specialists, ensuring the soil supporting the concrete is tested to meet certain criteria for strength and composition. And of course, said Sergeant Greer, there are different criteria for different-sized aircraft.

Sergeant Greer and her team may appear to fly under the radar at times, but their work certainly does not go unnoticed.

"They pretty much do it all," said Maj. Andy LaFrazia, 446th CES assistant commander. "When I was in Iraq, EA (engineering assistance) was responsible for construction surveillance, materials inspection, concrete slump tests and soil testing, just to name a few."

Major LaFrazia said EAs like Sergeant Greer "show everyone else in civil engineering where things go."

For example, they show electrical specialists where the precision approach positioning indicator equipment should be stationed to assist pilots on landing. They also tell power production specialists where to position the mobile aircraft arresting system to help stop aircraft landing on short runways.

Sergeant Greer's colleagues are quick to recognize the leadership qualities she brings to her team of Reservists.

"She's great," said Staff Sgt. James Stuart, an engineering craftsman with the 446th CES. "She's working above her pay grade as a team leader and she inspires us."

Sergeant Stuart was stationed in Korea for a year with Sergeant Greer. He said she's sharp when it comes to delegating tasks among the team. He also joked that she makes great coffee.

Sergeant Greer said she's thankful for the growth she's experienced as a result of training opportunities provided by the 446th Airlift Wing. The Puyallup, Wash. resident and San Diego native is temporarily deployed for a week-long training exercise at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.  Known as Silver Flag, the exercise provides field training and classroom instruction to improve deployment readiness for civil engineers.

"Everything we're doing here, the surveying and setting up, we did in Iraq," said Sergeant Greer. "So this is all very real, and great refresher training."

Sergeant Greer is married with a young son and works in the engineering division of the public works department at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lewis Main, Wash. in her civilian life. When she's not attending her son's numerous sporting events, she enjoys working out and shopping.

June 1, 2011 at 9:55am

Please help the family of an injured McChord Airman

WE HAVE A MCCHORD AIRMAN AND HIS FAMILY IN NEED OF HELP!! PLEASE CONTACT US TO HELP (PUBLISHER@FTLEWISRANGER.COM)

The situation:

An Airman and his family from the 627 Civil Engineer Squadron on McChord Field needs assistance. 
The 627 CES received word on Friday morning, one of their EOD members, a SSgt, was injured in an IED explosion.  The blast severely damaged his lower legs and he was MEDEVACed quickly to Kandahar for surgery.  The docs did a great job and was able to save most of one leg while the other leg sustained multiple fractures.  He is now at Brooks Army Medical Center.  His wife, 4 kids and a family member is with him.  Tentatively the member is scheduled to remain at BAMC for an extended period of time for immediate treatment to his amputation.  The process through Tyson and the Casualty Affairs here has been pursued to its fullest, which is the travel and per-diem for 3 personnel.  The family elected to pay out of pocket for the air fare for the other three people (2 kids + family member).  The reason for the family member accompanying the Airman's wife is that their oldest child, age 7, is autistic and requires a familiar face and someone knowledge to the child's condition.  

The EOD community does have a wounded warriors program which they were able to provide a grant to the family to cover partially the out of pocket expenses for getting the family to San Antonio.  The unfortunate fact is that the program does not cover the expense of a rental vehicle, and with four children with medical needs they will need transportation while they are in San Antonio.  The timeline for his stay is very fluid right now with even discussion of possible PCS to BAMC.  Pending that decision the family will have a very hard time staying financially capable and is one less expense that they need on top of the care and recovery.
A current plan is to get their vehicle over to them so a rental car expense is taken out of their life.  The cost to get the car there ranges from $850.00-$1250.00 to move the vehicle.  
 
PLEASE HELP THIS FAMILY.  CONTACT US AT (publisher@ftlewisranger.com), or mail donations to 627 CES c/o The NW Airlifter, P.O. Box 98801, Lakewood, Wa 98496.

June 2, 2011 at 5:57am

Air Force clubs offer Airmen road to education

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- The road to higher education can be a little easier for members of Air Force clubs around the world, or their dependents, through the 2011 Club Membership Scholarship program, officials said.

"Twenty-five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to club members or their families attending or accepted to attend a college or university," said Shelta Reese, of the 902nd Force Support Squadron. "Current Air Force Club members and their family members who have been accepted by or are enrolled in an accredited college or university for entry during the fall-of-2011 term as a part-time or full-time student are eligible."

She said that includes dependent grandchildren of members, spouses and children. It also includes graduate and undergraduate students.

"We want to help club members with the costs of higher education, and this is a way for the clubs to reward their members," Ms. Reese said of the annual scholarship, now in its 15th consecutive year. "We consider it a benefit of membership."

To apply for the scholarship, applicants must submit a written essay of 500 words or less on the theme, "My contribution(s) to the Air Force." To qualify, the essays must conform to a standardized style, including the applicant's name, date and a word count.

The applications need to be in Microsoft Word format in 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font, single spaced in the paragraph but double spaced between paragraphs. A one-inch margin must be on the top and bottom of the paper with one and a quarter-inch margins on the sides. Essays must be submitted both on CD and in printed form. In addition, applicants must provide a copy of their college or university acceptance letter for new students or the latest transcript for continuing students.

Examples are provided on the application form.

Application forms are available at www.afclubs.net, and application packages need to be turned in to your base force support squadron office by July 1.

Final scholarship awards for the upcoming school year will be announced in mid September.

June 2, 2011 at 10:23am

446th AW set to welcome new wing commander

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash.- Almost four years after taking command of the 446th Airlift Wing back in September 2007,  Col. William Flanigan will be passing the wing flag to Col. Bruce Bowers in the middle of June.

Colonel Flanigan will serve as the Crisis Action Team director at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Colonel Bowers is currently the deputy director, Air Space and Information Operations, Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

"Working here didn't feel like work," said Colonel Flanigan. "In fact, it was more fun than anything. I really loved being here."
 
Brig. Gen. Mark Kyle, 4th Air Force commander, March Air Force Base, Calif., will bestow Colonel Bowers the responsibility of organizing, training, equipping, and readiness of the wing with nearly 2,100 people and Reservists who are capable of deploying anywhere in the world, 365 days a year for combat, training and humanitarian efforts.

"(My wife) and I are thrilled beyond words for this assignment," said Colonel Bowers. "It is truly a dream come true. I look forward to working with the Airmen, Soldiers and civilians of the 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The mission assigned to these great Americans is vital to this nation and to our way of life. I am truly honored."

Colonel Bowers entered the Air Force in 1981 and was commissioned though Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. A senior command pilot, he has more than 9,000 hours flying military aircraft, including the C-17.

The official assumption of command is scheduled for the morning of July 9 on the Reserve weekend.

June 3, 2011 at 6:02am

First Servicemember Fired Under DADT Since October

FROM MILITARY.COM ...

WASHINGTON -- The Air Force has discharged an Airman under the law banning gays from serving openly in the military, the first firing since President Obama signed legislation aimed at ending the ban.

The ban, laid out in the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law, is just months from being lifted.

The servicemember was discharged April 29, Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician said late Thursday.

"The Airman in the case asked to be separated expeditiously," Vician said, adding that he didn't know other details of the case, nor the gender of the servicemember. The Air Force uses the term "Airman" for both men and women.

SEE THE REST OF THE STORY HERE

June 3, 2011 at 6:10am

446th Airlift Wing commander to pass torch in June

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash -- Almost four years after taking command of the 446th Airlift Wing back in September 2007, Col. William Flanigan will be passing the wing flag to Col. Bruce Bowers (pictured in the center) in the middle of June.

Colonel Flanigan will serve as the Crisis Action Team director at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Colonel Bowers is currently the deputy director, Air Space and Information Operations, Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base, Ga.

"Working here didn't feel like work," said Colonel Flanigan. "In fact, it was more fun than anything. I really loved being here."

Brig. Gen. Mark Kyle, 4th Air Force commander, March Air Force Base, Calif., will bestow Colonel Bowers the responsibility of organizing, training, equipping, and readiness of the wing with nearly 2,100 people and Reservists who are capable of deploying anywhere in the world, 365 days a year for combat, training and humanitarian efforts.

"(My wife) and I are thrilled beyond words for this assignment," said Colonel Bowers. "It is truly a dream come true. I look forward to working with the Airmen, Soldiers and civilians of the 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The mission assigned to these great Americans is vital to this nation and to our way of life. I am truly honored."

Colonel Bowers entered the Air Force in 1981 and was commissioned though Officer Training School, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. A senior command pilot, he has more than 9,000 hours flying military aircraft, including the C-17.

The official assumption of command is scheduled for the morning of July 9 on the Reserve weekend.

June 7, 2011 at 6:11am

Congratulations to McChord Field's newest NCOA graduates

 JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Congratulations to the 13 individuals who graduated May 26 from the Forrest L. Vosler NCO Academy at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Distinguished graduate:
Tech. Sgt. Clayton Helm, 627th Security Forces Squadron

The remaining graduates are:
Tech. Sgt. Celso Aguilar, 627th Civil Engineer Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Gregory Arbogast, 22nd Special Tactics Squadrons
Tech. Sgt. Grant Bailey, 62nd Operations Support Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Leeann Bledsoe, 62nd Medical Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Matthew Challinor, Det. 12, 373rd Training Squadron,
Tech. Sgt. Ronald Cockrill, Det. 12, 373rd TRS
Tech. Sgt. Troyann Ernle, 627th Civil Engineer Squadron
Tech. Sgt. Keith Grant, 62nd Operations Group
Tech. Sgt. Byron Johnson, 62nd Maintenance Operations Squadron
Staff Sgt. Duvall Perry, 446th Maintenance Operations Squadron
Tech. Sgt. David Taitague, 627th CES
Tech. Sgt. Scott Tirevold, 10th Airlift Squadron

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