Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: December, 2011 (25) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 25

December 2, 2011 at 5:56am

McChord recruiters rewarded for efforts at conference

Master Sgts. Kenneth Ake, Edward Norris, and Charles Loftland, recruiters from the 446th Airlift Wing, are all smiles at the annual recruiting conference at the National Convention Center in Landsdowne, Va., Oct. 27. Team McChord cleaned house with awards

Recruiting in the Air Force Reserve is at an all-time high. People who want to better themselves and start a new career are enlisting every day. The results indicate that recruiters throughout Air Force Reserve Command are doing an excellent job, but there is one team that stands apart from the rest.

Team McChord cleaned house with awards at the annual recruiting conference at the National Conference Center in Landsdowne, Va. The team includes recruiters from the 446th Airlift Wing, and 477th Fighter Group at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

"I focus on taking care of Airmen so they can focus on their customers," said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Terpening, chief of recruiting for the 446th AW. "When the focus remains on taking care of the customers, then the mission will always win."

The Gold Level is the best in the command and the JBLM McChord Field team won the following awards:

The Top Health Professions Recruiter was given to Master Sgt. Mike Melendez, recruiter, 446th AW.

The Century Club is awarded to recruiters who achieve 150 percent above their zone classification. Master Sgts. Christopher Brown and Mike Melendez of the 446th AW reached this goal.

The Silver Level Awards are the second best in the command.

Master Sgt. Christopher Brown received the Rookie Recruiter award; based on a first-year recruiter with the most accessions in a fiscal year.

"I've been very busy this year working hard to achieve my goal," Brown said. "It is both a personal and professional goal, and I am now in competition with myself to break my own record next year."

Superior Achievement was awarded to Master Sgt. Yvette Larson of the 446th AW, and Superior Performer went to Master Sgts. Charles Loftland, Ken Ake, 446th AW, and Edward Norris and Brian Paavo from the 477th FG.

"The team and leadership here have been the best and most effective in bringing out the best in me," Loftland said. "Leadership really motivates me and makes it very easy for me to strive to be a superior performer."

Team McChord achieved 133 percent of its annual goal.


People of the PX

Welcome to the Neighborhood - Daily ideas on area outings

Senate says chaplains don't have to perform gay weddings

December 3, 2011 at 7:38am

446TH spouse, employer award nominations due Jan. 9

It's not hard to imagine that Reservists would have a very difficult time doing what they do without the support of their spouse, their employer, or both. Which is why the 446th Airlift Wing recognizes a spouse of the year and an employer of the year at its annual awards banquet.

The 446th AW Annual Awards Banquet will be March 3, 2012.

Nominations are now being accepted for the spouse and employer of the year. This program provides special recognition on a calendar year basis for exceptional performance and/or achievements by spouses and employers of assigned members to the 446th Airlift Wing.

"Reservists only need to draft an informal letter of nomination explaining the great support their spouse or employer has provided," said Lt. Col. Barb Henson, 446th AW executive officer. "Please include lots of details!"

Reservists should submit that letter to their unit commanders. The nomination, in a simple memorandum format, is evaluated in relation to other nominations by a board

Both spouses and employers must be connected to the Reservist for the entire reporting period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2011 Spouses who are also military are not eligible.

The nominations for both awards are due by close of business Jan. 9. Submit your nominations to Henson. The evaluation board will be in February and the winners will be recognized at the banquet.

This is a great opportunity to recognize those who support our military careers the most. For more information, contact Henson at 982-5527 or send her an e-mail at


Win a prime rib dinner

New quarters on JBLM

Seven things to do to make the holidays bright

December 4, 2011 at 7:04am

McChord spouse gives birth to Veterans Day baby

Perhaps Nora Lynn Mullen was predestined to be born on Veterans Day.

Her father, Staff Sgt. Clint Mullen, is an Airman in the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McChord Field. His father served in the Army, as did his paternal grandfather, who was a World War II veteran. Clint's maternal grandfather also served in the Army, while his sister served in the Navy and his brother is currently serving in the Air Force as well.

Both grandfathers on Nora's mother Melanie's side of the family both served in the Air Force, and Melanie currently has multiple cousins serving in all branches of the Service but the Navy.

"We both have a lot of military history in our family," Melanie said.

Nora was born at 12:57 a.m. at Madigan Army Medical Center on the morning of Veterans Day, after 20 1/2 hours of labor. Melanie's original due date was Nov. 19.

"I thought this one was coming early, like our previous daughter (sister Leilah, who is 21 months old)," she said. "I was surprised I made it into November."

While family members took joy in the fact Nora was born on the lucky date of 11-11-11, the happy couple was more excited with the fact she was born on Veterans Day.

"When midnight rolled around, (Clint) got pretty excited," Melanie said.

"I'm definitely one who gets choked up every time I hear the Star Spangled Banner," Melanie added. "I've also always enjoyed going to parades."

Patriotism is something that will likely be incorporated into many birthdays from here on out for Nora.

"Lots of red, white and blue," Melanie said. 

The couple met while Clint was stationed at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. and Melanie was living in nearby Fairfield. They found out they were pregnant with baby number two in March just prior to getting orders to McChord. They arrived at McChord in August.

"This has been different because at Travis I had my family living all around me for support," Melanie said. "But it really has been nice here because I get the chance to meet a lot of other military families."

Nora seems to also enjoy life at McChord.

"She's a really good baby," Melanie said.

December 4, 2011 at 7:07am

Altitude chamber training deprives Team McChord aircrew members of oxygen

Capt. Joel Oyama, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse (right), along with pilots from the 62nd Airlift Wing, perform written tasks in the high-altitude chamber at the Aviation Survival Training Center, Naval base Whidbey Island, Wash., Nov.

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Aircrew members from McChord Field prepared themselves for a light-headed day as they strolled through the entrance of the Navy's Aviation Survival Training Center at Whidbey Island, Wash., on a recent November morning.

The crew, consisting of active-duty pilots and a Reserve flight nurse, walked into the break room, coffee and soda in hand, and began filling out paperwork.

However, paperwork isn't why they travelled 126 miles to the Navy base.

Every five years, aircrew members and mission-essential and support flyers are required to attend high-altitude chamber training, said Capt. Dana Thomas, 62nd Medical Squadron, aerospace and operational physiologist here. It's to refresh the students' familiarization with their personal hypoxia, which is the diminished availability of oxygen to the body tissues, symptoms to make sure they can recognize them if involved in an in-flight incident.

But according to Thomas, Air Force Reserve Command was able to purchase a training unit, in order for Team McChord aircrew members to complete their high-altitude training at home station.

"The unit is a Reduced Oxygen Breathing Device," said Thomas. "It's a training device, which mixes (air, oxygen, and nitrogen) in programmed ratios to simulate the hypoxia effects of breathing air at altitude. It involves less risk than the traditional chamber method, while still allowing the training objectives to be accomplished. AFRC has funded two of them for McChord."

This may be good news for traditional Reservists like Capt. Joel Oyama, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron flight nurse here, who won't have to travel as far for the training.

"You're not going to actual altitude, so you could theoretically perform this training even if you have a minor cold or allergies," said the five-year Reservist. "It'll also mean we can offer more altitude-physiology training without the travel costs, the current setup allows. Being able to schedule and perform your altitude-physiology training during the (Reserve weekends) will be a huge benefit for Reservists."

But even with the current training being at Whitbey Island, Team McChord Airmen still take advantage of the Navy's hospitality.

"Attending the altitude chamber was a tremendous opportunity," said Oyama. "If I'm having problems with hypoxia, I can bet my patients are having an even harder time. Increasing oxygen delivery can influence what devices I need to use with the patients, to ensure they get enough."

The two-day training is composed of two parts.

The first day is a classroom session, taught at McChord Field, which covers physiological factors, such as situational awareness, spatial disorientation, human physiology in the flight environment, personal preparation, and risk reduction, said Thomas, who's been teaching the classroom portion for the last five years.

The second day is the Navy-instructed, hands-on portion in the chamber at Whidbey Island.

The ASTC Whidbey Island low-pressure chamber (or altitude chamber) consists of three separate sub-chambers which may all be opened or all isolated depending on the training configuration, said Cmdr. Richard Folga, ASTC director. A vacuum pump lowers the atmospheric pressure inside to achieve the desired training altitude, replicating conditions that may be experienced in flight, including rapid decompression.

After the students finished their necessary paperwork, they signed out Quick Don oxygen masks, and began their hands-on training.

"The chamber 'flight' started with checking emergency-oxygen equipment, to ensure it can operate effectively," said Oyama, who works as critical-care nurse for Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Ore. "This is similar to our preflight activities on the aircraft."

In order to ensure everyone kept a clear mind, the crew was given different tasks during the training.

"We were given written exercises, which tested map identification skills, simple math problems, and a device to measure oxygen saturations during the flight," said Oyama. "The written exercises were meant to help us see how our mental and visual skills could be impaired due to lack of oxygen at higher altitudes."

When everyone finished their exercises, the chamber engineers took the crew up to a simulated altitude of 20,000 feet.

According to Oyama, this is the level where he began to notice some hypoxia signs.

"At the later stages of the flight I noticed I had mild hypoxia symptoms which were, slightly harder breathing, sinus pressure, and fatigue," said the Portland resident. "I was more focused on looking for my hypoxia symptoms, so I can correct this if it seems like it's happening to me in (real-world) flight."

According to Thomas, the crew got certified on their training and the Navy was to thank for being gracious enough to offer their facility to the Air Force.

With the closing of the chamber at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., which is the one aircrews used to train in, Thomas was able to make arrangements with the Navy to use their facility.

"I worked with the ASTC staff at (Whidbey Island) and got permission from my leadership at (Air Force Medical Operation Agency) to accomplish the training using the current method," said Thomas.

Folga said, regardless of the service branch, aircrew members need this training.

"The Navy and Air Force encounter this hypoxia threat," said Folga. "Regardless of technology advancements, we still find that war fighters need to be familiar with their personal hypoxia symptoms and be reminded periodically of how hypoxia impairs their judgment and performance."

The joint relationship between the two branches is critical, according to Folga.

"We get more joint every day," said Folga. "This is just another example of how we're evolving as a military."

See also...

New Facebook page for JBLM families

New Facebook page for JBLM Single Soldiers and Airmen

What automtic cuts to defense spending looks like

December 5, 2011 at 6:15am

'Top Shot' becomes American on his McChord tour

Iain Harrison, the first season winner of the History Channel's "Top Shot," demonstrated to 446th Airlift Wing members how to use various weapons at the firing range Dec. 3, 2011 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Harrison first set foot on McChord Field

The first time British citizen Iain Harrison came to the Pacific Northwest, he landed at McChord Field, Wash. as a Royal Army infantryman. Twenty years later, the first season winner of the History Channel's "Top Shot" returned to become a U.S. citizen aboard a C-17 Globemaster III.

"It's a very cool way to do it," the sharp shooter said. "It beats the government office in Portland [Oregon]."

The former army infantryman said he was also proud to have the ceremony here, so he could convey his appreciation to the troops.

"The dedication and commitment they put into [military service] and their sacrifices are very much appreciated," he said.

On Dec. 3, 2011, Harrison took an oath "to bear arms and perform noncombatant service on behalf of the U.S. when required by law."

"I wanted to make this commitment to the country I love," he said, explaining that American values and way of life are the same as his own. "I'm very proud to be a U.S. citizen now."

Afterward, Harrison signed autographs and met with people at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's base exchange. He then gave an afternoon shooting lesson at the Lewis-Main firing range to about 30 Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing.

Citizen Airmen went to the firing range for various reasons, but for most, the opportunity to meet and interact with the top gun was the driving force.

"I came out today because I wanted to see who won the show," said Airman 1st Class Devin Britton, 446th Security Forces Squadron, who said he missed season one's ending and was happy to learn Harrison had won. "He was more of a silent knight on the show. He earned this."

Though Harrison did have shooting experience before serving in the British military as a recon army platoon commander, he said his infantry job gave him the opportunity to burn a lot of ammunition from service small arms to anti-tank missiles and cannons.

Saturday's demonstration, however, focused on the rifle, pistol and shotgun.

While meeting Harrison motivated many to participate, firing the weapons enticed others.

"Some of these weapons you can't buy in stores," said Tech. Sgt. James Martin, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "It was awesome to be able to come out and shoot with them today, especially with Iain. It's great to meet a genuine person from TV."

The "Top Shot" now resides in Oregon and is an amateur gunsmith, machining his own steel and aluminum on a milling machine and lathe. In 2009, he placed second in Trooper Class in the Mike Gibson Manufacturing Ironman multi-gun competition, using his homemade firearms.

He also works full time in media relations for the firearms industry and said he is elated he now earns paycheck for something that used to just be a hobby.


Winterize your boat of else

How to rent a JBLM community center

Holiday events on JBLM

December 5, 2011 at 8:18pm

Thunderbirds, Golden Knights scheduled for JBLM Air Expo 2012

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army's "Golden Knights" announced today they will perform at Joint Base Lewis-McChord?s "Air Expo 2012" July 21-22 at McChord Field. The announcement came today at the International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas, Nev.

"We're excited to have the Thunderbirds and the Golden Knights headline what promises to be an all-star lineup of performers," said Lt. Col. Jon Olekszyk, the Air Expo director. "We couldn't have asked for a better way to kick start our first official "joint? Air Expo than with the premier Air Force and Army demonstration teams."

JBLM was formed when Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base merged and became fully operational on Oct. 1, 2010. The Army and Air Force units here have a rich history of working together - long before the concept of joint basing was born. And that history, combined with current joint operations, played a large role in the theme of Air Expo 2012 - "One Team Defending Freedom."

"Events like our Air Expo and the July 4th Freedom Fest are in part our way of thanking the people around the Puget Sound area for their support of our Soldiers, Airmen and families," said Col. Thomas Brittain, the JBLM garrison commander. "We're very excited to have the Thunderbirds and Golden Knights, but we're also anxious for the public to see the capabilities of our Airmen, Soldiers and equipment right here at JBLM."

The Air Expo is free and open to the general public.

JBLM Soldiers and Airmen will be on hand with airframes and vehicles from JBLM as part of dozens of ground static displays. In most cases, people attending the Air Expo can not only see a C-17 Globemaster III and a CH-47 Chinook helicopter up-close, but they can actually go inside and speak directly with the aircrews who fly them.

The Thunderbirds and Golden Knights are just two of the more than 20 military and civilian flying performers who are expected to take to the air for breath-taking acrobatics or demonstration flights.

The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds, is an Air Combat Command unit, based out of Nellis AFB, Nev., composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and about 110 enlisted people performing in more than 29 Air Force specialties. A Thunderbirds' aerial demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The pilots perform approximately 40 maneuvers in a demonstration. The entire show, including ground and air, runs about one hour.

The U.S. Army Parachute Team, nicknamed "The Golden Knights," is the Army's official aerial demonstration team. The team includes more than 90 people, including jumpers, pilots, administrators, parachute technicians, and media relations and supply specialists. The Golden Knights perform more than 100 demonstrations a year with the help of the team's four dedicated aircraft. The team travels around the United States, performing parachute demonstrations at air shows, major league football and baseball games, and special events, connecting the Army with the American people.

As with any major event, business sponsorship opportunities are available to help offset the costs of the Air Expo. The 2010 Air Expo drew more than 250,000 spectators to the installation. Businesses interestedin being a part of this free, major family event can call the Air Expo 2012 office at 253-966-2256 to get more information. For more information, visit the Air Expo's website is at

December 6, 2011 at 6:47am

Transit Center, McChord K-9 teams train together

TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- After three years of working with the National Security Service of Kyrgyzstan working dog program, the 376th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron military working dog trainer is preparing to return to the States.

Joe Villalobos has been part of the program since he arrived at the Transit Center at Manas. He assisted the NSS in selecting most of their working dogs as puppies for the program and helped those dogs grow into skilled professionals.

The program began five years ago when the NSS asked the Transit Center MWD intructor for help in starting a working dog program. The NSS provides security for the Kyrgyz Republic president and other high-level dignitaries.

"Since we are subject matter experts and have been doing this for so long, they came to us for guidance," said Villalobos, a native of Sanger, Calif.

Kyrgyz Republic Lt. Col. Natalie Balavrikova has been part of the program since the beginning.

Initially the program stated with two dogs and today there are eight, Balavrikova said.

The Kyrgyz Republic does not have a K-9 academy.

"We did not have any programs or trainers who would help and assist us in training our dogs for detection," Balavrikova said. "That is why we are very grateful this program started and it has kept going. This is a very big asset for us to have these puppies trained by experts in order to prevent terrorist attacks in our republic."

Dog handlers from two organizations train twice a week. The NSS teams come here to work on explosive detection and the Transit Center teams travel to Bishkek to work on patrol skills.

"It is always a learning experience for both parties anytime you get a group of K-9 handlers together," Villalobos said. "There are always experiences others have had that they can teach to the group. We can learn from their experiences, and they can learn from our experiences. The goal is to keep advancing the dog teams."

Villalobos, who learned how to be an MWD trainer at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, said the NSS working dogs receive the same level of training as the Transit Center dogs.

"When our dogs come here, most of the time they are pretty squared away; if they have a deficiency we will correct it's but is nothing like starting with a puppy," he said. "After working with the same dog for three years you are going to see that bond and rapport (become stronger). The handlers are able to read their dogs and know what their dogs are thinking at every moment. So it is kind of cool to see them come together, especially seeing the puppies go from that 'little thing' to these big monsters that want to go out, find bombs and bite people. It is cool to know we helped accomplish that."

The program is mutually beneficial.

"When I came here and found out about this program, it was fascinating to me, because it is a great opportunity for us as trainers and kennel masters to work with other agencies," said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Esparza, the 376th ESFS kennel master deployed from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. "Doing this makes us stronger handlers, trainers and kennel masters."

Villalobos, who will leave the Transit Center this winter, is very proud of his work with the program.

"After I leave, I hope the training continues the same, if not better than what we have established," he said. "Their dogs are going to get old and they are going to need new dogs to come online. Hopefully the stuff we taught them carries on, so when they get a puppy they know exactly where to start and if problems arise they know exactly how to tackle them."

Balavrikova also wants to see the program continue.

"Thanks to the Transit Center we have a big number of working dogs that are trained to a very high level," she said. "The training is a very big asset for us. It is very important to improve and develop our dogs."


Thunderbirds coming to McChord in July

Welcome to the Neighborhood: A daily feature

The nails that female soldiers are allowed

December 9, 2011 at 7:32am

McChord workshop examines military justice

Col. R. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, gives opening remarks Nov. 29 to Air Force commanders at a UCMJ seminar.

The Uniformed Code of Military Justice is more than 14,000 words long ... in sub chapter 1 (there are 12 in all.) This newspaper article is roughly one-twentieth of that first chapter. When it comes to the legal rights of all involved in the system, knowing military rights and responsibilities, both as individuals and as leaders, regardless of the number of pages, may be a must for justice to prevail. Because of this ideal, 62nd Airlift Wing's Office of the Staff Judge Advocate held a military justice workshop at their wing headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Nov. 29.

The workshop was given to McChord Field commanders, first sergeants and other supervisors to better understand their roles and responsibilities in legal issues, focused on Article 15 proceedings and the court martial process under the UCMJ.

"There are issues that fall at the command's feet, such as putting members on administrative hold, what can cause delays... things like that," Capt. Michael Berens, 62nd AW deputy SJA, said. "It was to help commanders and leaders better understand the administration of military justice."

In depth, the morning Article 15 portion covered ideal timelines, as well as common offense scenarios and processing tips. In the late morning, they opened up a session on courts martial, and everything a leader should know during this type of proceeding. Instructors from 62nd AW/SJA went deep on courts-martial, explaining areas such as the different types of investigations which could occur, pre-trial confinement, and Article 31 Miranda rights of the accused, among other areas.

The second half of the day provided time for information on other adverse actions such as letters of reprimand and other administrative matters, and a round table discussion where students could turn questions back to the lawyers and share past experiences.

Berens said while the UCMJ is a universal document, invites to the workshop at the joint base were only extended to Air Force leadership teams because of subtle service differences in the military justice process.

"Some of the nuances of how we try the cases, based off of Air Force instruction, rather than Army regulation, come into play."

Workshop students also received video instruction about area defense counsels who hypothetically represented accused Airmen in the types of disciplinary proceedings they covered during the day's workshop. Berens, who's spent time as a defense lawyer, said defense counsels independence from installation legal offices is important for showing transparency.

"Having worked in the defense world, and now back with government prosecution, the bedrock of the military justice system is that it's going to be a fair shake for the accused, where honoring all of their rights will be adhered to," Berens said. "(Defense lawyers) have a separate chain of command than the lawyers in the legal office have."

Berens said that though some of the details of what was taught at the workshop may have been familiar to the students based off of their past experiences, as some were new commanders they now have a direct role in legal actions, so the knowledge base needed to expand.

"Largely, any new commander is going to have had a fair amount of exposure to the different military justice responsibilities," he said, "however until they're actually a commander, or a first sergeant responsible for advising that commander, where they can initiate proceedings, they need to know whether to move forward on something or not. We want to make sure they understand their responsibilities and the process. That does justice for both the command and the individual military member."

See these stories too...

Danny Bonaduce handing out trees to JBLM troops

A blog for JBLM spouses in business

A rundown of South Sound night clubs

December 13, 2011 at 6:33am

NASA seeking astronaut candidates

NASA is accepting applications for astronaut candidates via the USAJobs website, through Jan. 12, 2012, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.

"Applicants who submit an application through the USAJobs site, must also do a separate application for the Air Force nomination board," said Howard Peterson, AFPC special flying programs section. "Submitting an application through USAJobs also requires members have a USAJobs account and a resume on file."

To be eligible, members must be active duty officers or enlisted, be U.S. citizens, and have earned a bachelor's degree or graduated from an accredited institution in engineering, mathematics, biological science, or physical science.

"The quality of academic preparation is critical," Peterson said. "Astronaut candidates are challenged intellectually and physically, so applicants must ensure they are prepared for the challenge."

In addition to the right degree, Peterson said, members must have at least three years after degree completion of progressively responsible, professional experience or a minimum of 1,000 hours as pilot-in-command of a jet aircraft. Advanced degrees are desirable, but experience may be partially substituted.

Applicants must also have a current flying class II physical (completed on or after Aug. 31, 2011), be between 62 and 75 inches tall, have vision correctable to 20/20 in each eye, hearing within ISO standards and blood pressure of no more than 140/90.

Applicants selected for the candidate positions will enter a two-year training and education program, Peterson said. After the two years, trainees who are selected for the astronaut program will serve a five-year tour with NASA.

For information on the NASA program and openings, go to and search for NASA. For more information about the Air Force Astronaut Nomination program and for instructions to complete and submit an application, go to the Air Force Personnel Services' secure website at





December 14, 2011 at 6:35am

Air Force to lift hiring freeze Dec. 15

The hiring freeze implemented in August will be fully lifted Dec. 15, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced.

The freeze, preceded by hiring controls, was one of several measures implemented in 2011 to bring manning down to mandated 2010 levels. In addition, voluntary separation incentives were recently offered, with employees expected to separate by Dec. 31.

"We have made significant progress in reducing manning levels through various programs," said Michelle LoweSolis, the AFPC civilian force integration director. "But in some areas we are still short of the goal, so the freeze was extended in those targeted areas to help us work toward that end.

"Even with the hiring freeze being lifted Dec. 15, budget and funding issues are still fluid, so major command and wing leaders must be alert to changing conditions as they'll have the responsibility to control hiring to stay below targeted levels," LoweSolis explained.

Since the spring, nearly 9,000 positions have been trimmed from Air Force manning levels, but an additional 4,500 are necessary to reach required levels. Many of the positions identified for elimination are already vacant, and the hiring freeze resulted in more vacant positions, which will help the Air Force reach its goals, the director said.

"Nevertheless, our nation faces significant challenges and we all must remain firmly focused on force management," LoweSolis said. "Toward that end, a second round of voluntary separation measures is anticipated in January (2012)."

Voluntary separation incentives are "effective tools to help reduce our footprint without resorting to involuntary measures," LoweSolis said.

Once current voluntary early retirement authority and voluntary separation incentive pay actions are complete, Air Force leaders will be able to fully assess the manning situation and determine if additional measures will be implemented, she said.

Who will be able to apply for VERA and/or VSIP during the next round has not yet been determined.

"We at AFPC are committed to assisting the personnel strategic advisors in the field, and our benefits and entitlements team has been working round-the-clock to ensure Air Force employees get the best care possible," LoweSolis explained.

"There are many moving parts involved in this effort, and we are all working to ensure employees whose positions have been targeted for elimination are quickly placed in positions vacated by those who accepted VERA and/or VSIP, while keeping in mind the fact that we have a variety of mandatory placements to handle as well," she said.

Mandatory placements include people returning from overseas and outplacing centrally funded interns and employees in professional military education, LoweSolis said.

"In this difficult and challenging time, we are committed to making placement decisions that will benefit both our invaluable civilian employees and our critical Air Force mission," she said. "Nothing less will do."


January, February, March, April, May
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
November, December

Recent Comments

Jackson Williams said:

Thanks for listing down some of the things to consider when buying renters insurance. I totally...


abigail said:

you are say about this Air Force highly recommends absolutely right and i appreciate your...

about Air Force highly recommends renters insurance

nurisahi juan said:

This is real take it serious, my name is marian i, who will believe that a herb can Cure...

about JBLM soldier completes ALS

Ken Beseau said:

Its always a treat to be able to get on base and all of the planes from around the world come...

about AMC Rodeo to have new life

Electrician Rochester NY said:

Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.

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