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Posts made in: 'News To Us' (49) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 49

January 7, 2011 at 11:43am

Gates outlines cuts in Air Force operations

This from Air Force Times: The Air Force plans to consolidate several units, reduce fuel consumption and implement an array of other cost-cutting measures over the next five years to save $34 billion, money that would be poured back into acquisitions - including a long-range bomber.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced the proposals Jan. 6 as part of a sweeping package of reforms that he wants all in place by fiscal 2016. The Air Force refused to add to the comments made by Gates until after he officially rolls out the military's budget next month.

"Our nation and this department are facing fiscal challenges and growing operating expenses for fuel, maintenance, health care, salaries and training," Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said in a joint statement released after Gates made his announcement.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: News To Us, U.S. Air Force,

January 4, 2011 at 8:53am

Airman finds help for disabled Afghan boy

This from Air Force Times: OLYMPIA, Wash. - The father's request was simple, yet desperate.

Could Sean Roehrs, a captain in the Air Force stationed in Afghanistan, help the man's 8-year-old son who had a mental disability fly from war-torn Afghanistan to the United States for medical treatment?

"I said, 'Let me see what I can do,'" Roehrs said.

So began the unlikely journey that brought Khaled a shy, lovable Afghan boy who speaks only a few words, has seizures and needs constant care to Olympia.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," said Roehrs, who grew up in Olympia.

But before Khaled would attend a kindergarten class at Pioneer Elementary School, before he'd receive medical exams that determined that his disability was genetic and couldn't be corrected by surgery, Roehrs contacted people for months about Khaled coming to the United States. Solace for Children, a relief agency based in North Carolina, was a major player in opening the door for Khaled coming here.

To read the complete story, click here.

December 20, 2010 at 11:44am

C-17 surpasses 2 million flight hours

LONG BEACH, Calif., — The worldwide fleet of C-17 Globemaster III airlifters built by The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] surpassed 2 million flying hours during an airdrop mission over Afghanistan on Dec. 10. Reaching 2 million flight hours equates to 1.13 billion nautical miles - the equivalent of a C-17 flying to the moon and back 2,360 times.

The representative mission, flown by a U.S. Air Force C-17, airdropped 74,000 pounds of jet fuel in support of U.S. and coalition troops just south of Kabul.

The C-17 has a mission readiness rate of more than 85 percent. It is the world's only strategic airlifter with tactical capabilities that allow it to fly between continents, land on short, austere runways, and airdrop supplies precisely where they are needed.

"There's tremendous satisfaction in knowing that in those 2 million hours, the C-17 fleet has saved countless lives around the world," said Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 program manager. "Boeing congratulates the U.S. Air Force and our international C-17 customers on reaching this milestone. We're very proud that the C-17 continues to exceed expectations for performance and reliability."

The C-17 fleet, now in its 17th year of service, has supported humanitarian and disaster-relief missions worldwide. With 226 airlifters in service around the world, the C-17 fleet continues to operate at an accelerated rate due to the recent troop surge in Afghanistan, reaching the 2 million flight-hours milestone less than five years after reaching 1 million flight hours in March 2006, when 152 C-17s were in service. This year, lifesaving aeromedical evacuations of wounded troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, along with relief missions for natural disasters such as earthquakes in Pakistan, Chile and Haiti, have intensified the C-17's normal workload.

Boeing helps keep the C-17 flying through a worldwide support and sustainment program. "Boeing has had the honor of supporting the entire C-17 fleet since the delivery of the first aircraft to Charleston Air Force Base in 1993," said Gus Urzua, program manager for the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership. "Through innovative Performance-Based Logistics contracting and partnering with the Air Force, we have maintained the highest level of aircraft readiness while continuously reducing the cost of ownership."

While providing relief to Haiti in January and February, C-17s delivered nearly 14,000 short tons of cargo and transported some 25,000 passengers and 280 patients. C-17s also played a key role in a record year for airdrops in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. As of Oct. 31, C-17s and other airlifters have airdropped more than 45 million pounds of cargo to troops in remote locations.

Boeing has delivered 20 C-17s to international customers. The U.S. Air Force -- including active duty, National Guard, and Air Force Reserve units -- has taken delivery of 206. Other customers include the U.K. Royal Air Force, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, the United Arab Emirates Air Force, the Qatar Emiri Air Force, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. India is expected to be the next C-17 customer.

(Courtesy Boeing)

December 14, 2010 at 10:32am

Nurse commissioning program seeks enlisted applicants

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Air Force officials are seeking active-duty enlisted Airmen to apply for the fall 2011 Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program.

The program offers enlisted members an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in a high-need academic major. 

Air Force Personnel Center officials will conduct the annual NECP board May 9 to 13 and select up to 50 enlisted members.

NECP students will complete their degree at a college or university with an Air Force ROTC detachment or a college or university with a cross-town agreement. 

Students will commission after passing the National Council Licensure Examination and then attend commissioned officer training and the nurse transition program. Students will attend school year-round for up to 24 consecutive calendar months, including summer sessions.

A cross-town agreement is an agreement between a host school and an ROTC detachment and another school in the local area that contains a clause allowing students to attend a school while tuition and fees are paid by the ROTC detachment.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be active duty, E-4 and above 
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be commissioned by age 42 
  • Be worldwide qualified 
  • Meet all of the requirements for commissioning 
  • Meet all prerequisites to complete an academic review 

Applicants should have completed 59 semester hours of graded college coursework from a regionally accredited college or university and completed general psychology, nutrition, statistics, anatomy and physiology I and II with labs, microbiology with lab and chemistry I and II with labs.

Interested Airmen must notify AFPC officials of intent to apply no later than Feb. 28. Transcripts for an academic evaluation should be sent no later than March 28, with a final application submitted by April 25.

For more details on application procedures, visit a local base education office.     

December 13, 2010 at 9:51am

AF officials release findings on Alaska C-17 fatal mishap

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- Officials at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces released the results of their investigation Dec. 10 into a fatal C-17 Globemaster III aircraft mishap July 28 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

Gen. Gary North, Pacific Air Forces commander, directed an investigation into the incident which resulted in the deaths of the four crewmembers aboard, the destruction of the $184 million aircraft and damage to part of the Alaska Railroad.

The accident investigation board found clear and convincing evidence the cause of the mishap was pilot error. The investigation revealed the pilot placed the aircraft outside established flight parameters and capabilities. During the mishap sortie, the pilot aggressively flew the aircraft in a manner inconsistent with established flight procedures, resulting in a stall. The pilot failed to take required stall recovery actions. 

Furthermore, the board concluded the co-pilot and safety observer failed to recognize or address the developing dangerous situation. As a result, the C-17 stalled at an attitude and altitude from which recovery to controlled flight was impossible.

Brig. Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, served as the Accident Investigation Board president. General Everhart is vice commander of the 618th Air and Space Operations Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The general is a command pilot with more than 4,400 flight hours in a variety of aircraft, including the C-17.

The mishap occurred as the C-17 -- tail number 00-0173 and call sign Sitka 43 -- practiced for the Arctic Thunder Air Show scheduled for the weekend of July 31 at Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson.

For a copy of the Accident Investigation Board report, visit: http://www.pacaf.af.mil/library/aibreports/index.asp. Video footage of the mishap flight is also available at that website. The footage has been edited to cut off just prior to the aircraft's impact out of consideration and respect for the families of the deceased.    

December 9, 2010 at 4:14pm

Reservists save Lakewood resident's life

JOINT BASE LEWIS - MCCHORD, Wash. -- Some quick thinking and vital medical training by two Reservists helped save a man suffering from an apparent cardiac arrest on Dec. 3 in Lakewood, Wash. 

While driving near Farwest Drive and Military Road at about 9 a.m., Senior Master Sgt. Bill Robison, a 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron medical technician here, saw an unconscious man lying on the side of street with several people standing nearby.
 
Sergeant Robison, who is also a nursing student at a local university, abruptly stopped his vehicle and stepped directly into action by performing CPR.

"I was on my way to school to take a test," said Sergeant Robison. "I pulled over and got out of my car and people were just standing there." 

Sergeant Robison said one of the bystanders told him the man "just went down" and another individual called 911.

"I checked his pulse and he had no pulse," said Sergeant Robison. "I rolled him onto his back and put my ear on his chest and I didn't hear anything, so I started chest compressions and rescue breathing."

As Sergeant Robison continued to administer critical CPR for the man, he heard the distant sirens signaling arriving help. 

Answering the call for help was yet another Reservist from the 446th Airlift Wing here. Lt. Col. Dennis Woxen, 446th AW Inspector General, also a firefighter and paramedic for the Lakewood, Wash., Fire Department, Station 22 in his civilian job.

"We got toned out to go out on call for cardiac arrest - man down," said Colonel Woxen. "I was the lead medic on call and when we arrived at the scene there were a couple of folks doing CPR on a middle-aged male patient who had no pulse."

After instructing his team to take over CPR, Colonel Woxen said he recognized Sergeant Robison.

"It was good to see another Reservist there," said Colonel Woxen. "Sergeant Robison's skills in emergent care were evident and the extra hands on scene were a great help."

Colonel Woxen said he and his team of medics continued to administer care for the patient until his pulse and breathing resumed, before transporting him to a local hospital. 

"Bill performed extremely well," said Colonel Woxen. "Most folks in the medical field don't know emergent medicine, but out in the field when things go south and somebody needs help, having that extra set of hands that can assist with CPR correctly clearly made a difference in this individual's outcome."

Training for any job is important, but learning life-saving skills like CPR is critical. 

"When you're in the medical field the training component is so important because if we go to battle, we're trained to use the wingman concept to save our partner," said Maj. Cory Myers, 446th AMDS nurse, who works with Sergeant Robison. "It's nice to know that one our own, in or out of uniform, is doing their job and doing it well."     

December 7, 2010 at 10:53am

President extends stop loss claims deadline

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Airmen, veterans and their beneficiaries now have until Dec. 18 to apply for retroactive stop loss special pay.

The new deadline is the second extension to the original Oct. 21 cutoff and comes as a result of a continuing resolution signed by the president Dec. 4.

Airmen eligible for the benefit include active, retired and former members as well as Reserve and Guard component members who served on active duty while their enlistment or period of obligated service was involuntarily extended, or whose eligibility for separation or retirement was suspended as a result of stop loss. Legally designated beneficiaries for Airmen affected may also apply.

To file a claim, eligible individuals may download a stop-loss claim application at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/stoploss. Applicants who were serving in the Reserve or Guard at the time of stop loss may apply by visiting the Air Reserve Personnel Center website at https://arpc.afrc.af.mil/vPC-GR.

Those found to be eligible are entitled to receive $500 in retroactive special pay for each month they were affected by stop loss. Those who accepted a selective re-enlistment bonus subsequent to being affected by stop loss are not eligible for the special pay.

Air Force officials used stop loss for Operation Enduring Freedom from Oct. 2, 2001, through Jan. 31, 2003, and Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2 through Dec. 31, 2003. 

Individuals who were deployed during either operation may be eligible beyond the inclusive dates, depending on their Air Force specialty and deployment return date.    

November 17, 2010 at 5:42pm

Military says jet wreckage found near Denali

This from the AP: JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Search and rescue aircraft discovered what military officials believed to be the wreckage of a missing Air Force F-22 jet on Wednesday south of Denali National Park in Alaska.

The wreckage was spotted at 10:15 a.m. about 100 miles north of Anchorage, but a helicopter crew could not land, according to Air Force officials. A rescue team was still looking for the pilot, said Col. Jack McMullen, 3rd Wing Commander at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

"We're still doing an active search for the pilot," McMullen said. "Perhaps he ejected."

The jet had been in the air about an hour and 20 minutes and was nearing the end of a training run at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday when ground radar lost track of it and another pilot on the mission lost communications, McMullen said.

The pilot, whose name has not been released, had split off from the other jet and was about to do a "rejoin" before they returned to Anchorage as a unit flying about two miles apart, McMullen said.

The other pilot refueled in the air and began searching for the missing aircraft.

The Alaska Air National Guard aircraft joined the search and continued until about 5 a.m. Wednesday. New crews picked up the search.

McMullen said he had no details on the terrain where the crash was spotted.

A helicopter was nearing the crash site as he spoke, McMullen said, and likely will confirm whether the pilot was with the jet.

"We have not confirmed that he is with the plane, so we're going to continue looking for him until we have confirmation of where the pilot is," McMullen said.

If he ejected, he would be prepared for subzero weather.

"They have survival gear," McMullen said. "He's Arctic trained to survive in that environment. He's got the gear on. He's got stuff in his survival kit, so that he could hunker himself down and fight the extreme cold."

The twin-engine F-22 Raptor entered service in the mid-2000s and arrived at Elmendorf in August 2007. It's far more maneuverable and stealthy than earlier jets and can cruise at more than 1 1/2 times the speed of sound without using its afterburner. Its top speed is confidential.

Congress last year stopped production of the plane, built by Lockheed Martin Corp., by eliminating $1.75 billion that would have added seven F-22s to the Air Force's fleet.

An F-22 crashed in March 2009 near Edwards Air Force Base in California, killing the pilot. In July, a C-17 cargo jet from the 3rd Wing at Elmendorf crashed during a training demonstration for an air show, killing all four crewmen aboard.

Filed under: News To Us, U.S. Air Force,

November 2, 2010 at 12:47pm

Amputee to return to pilot training

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFPS) - A Laughlin officer who lost much of his right leg after a boating accident got word last week that he'll soon return to pilot training here.

Since his accident nearly 14 months ago, Air Force 1st Lt. Ryan McGuire has completed rehabilitation using his prosthetics, completed the Air Force Marathon and competed in the Warrior Games. Since July, he's been back on duty here, but not in pilot training.

"When I first lost my leg, I never dreamed this day would come," McGuire said. "But leadership here has supported me every step of the way, and honestly, they're the ones who gave me this dream to come back."

Air Force Col. Michael Frankel, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, said it was a no-brainer to support McGuire in his efforts.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: News To Us,

November 1, 2010 at 5:02pm

Air Guard adds mental health professionals

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Air National Guard leaders have created a new, wing-level position to provide mental health support to Airmen and their families before and after deployments.

"The Air Guard is the only service component that does not have military members who are mental health professionals or technicians," said Maj. James Coker, the chief of public health and prevention for the Air Guard surgeon's general office. "We do not have that career field in the Air Guard, so (employing) someone who can direct those types of programs is very important."

In addition to the mental health and non-medical support services, these wing directors of psychological health are set to be the point of contact for the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics program, the Yellow Ribbon program, Air Force suicide-prevention programs and the Air Force resiliency program, when it is fielded.

"These duties, and several others dealing with mental health, will depend upon the needs of the wing and its mission," Major Coker said. "The WDPH will take into account Air Force-unique missions as well as Guard domestic operation issues on an individual basis."  

For more on the story, click here

Filed under: News To Us,

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