Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Friday, April 30, 2010

Magazine Recognizes Airman in Top 100

By Air Force Maj. David Small
Air Force National Media Outreach Office

April 30, 2010 - Time magazine editors have named Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Antonio D. Travis to the 2010 Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most-influential people in the world, for his efforts after the Haiti earthquake. Travis was one of the first U.S. military members on the ground at the Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, only 30 hours after the Jan. 12 earthquake and less than 12 hours after the nation's president requested U.S. assistance. The chief led a team of special tactics airmen from the 23rd, 21st and 123rd special tactics squadrons.

With his team of combat veterans, Travis led the largest single-runway operation in history, using hand-held radios to control thousands of aircraft. Their air traffic control tower was a card table set up next to the airport's runway.

"Twenty-eight minutes after touchdown, we controlled the first air landing followed immediately by a departure, and we did not slow down for the next 12 days," said Travis, who hails from Nelson County, Ky.

After establishing control of the airfield there, his team orchestrated an orderly flow for incoming aircraft and dealt with the constraints of the inadequate airfield, which potentially could have limited relief operations.

Facing 42 aircraft jammed into a parking ramp designed to accommodate 10 large planes and untangling the gridlock was the first of many seemingly insurmountable challenges necessary to facilitate the flood of inbound relief flights.

In the dawn of the U.S. response to the Haitian crisis, Travis coordinated with Miami-based Federal Aviation Administration officials via text messaging on his BlackBerry. His ingenuity paid massive dividends as priority aircraft transited the small airport, delivering lifesaving water, food and medical supplies in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led international humanitarian effort.

From chaos, Travis established order as his combat controllers reduced a four-hour hold time in the air on Day 1 to less than two hours on Day 2 and less than 15 minutes by Day 3.

For 12 days, 24-hours-a-day, the airfield team ran the international airport in Port-au-Prince. Together with more than 200 other airmen from Hurlburt Field, Fla., they tirelessly ensured the safe and effective control of more than 4,000 takeoffs and landings, an average of one aircraft operation every five minutes, and enabled the delivery of 4 million pounds of humanitarian relief to the people of Haiti.

Without computers or electricity, Travis and his team controlled as many as 250 aircraft daily, exceeding the normal capacity of the airfield by 1,400 percent without a single incident. By Jan. 25, his team was able to hand operations over to Air Force air traffic controllers with a portable control tower.

While directing the airfield operations, Travis also supervised a group of pararescuemen, known as PJs, and medical technicians who augmented a search-and-rescue team from Virginia. These teams were credited with 13 technical rescues and 17 additional saves. Additionally, the special tactics airmen he led surveyed nearly 100 sites for use as potential humanitarian relief supply delivery sites.

His teams' technical expertise and unflagging commitment ultimately led to successful air deliveries by C-17 Globemaster IIIs of humanitarian aid that included more than 150,000 bottles of water and 75,000 packaged meals that subsequently were delivered to earthquake victims by helicopter.

Travis is the chief enlisted manager of the Air Force Special Operations Training Center at Hurlburt Field. He served seven-and-a-half years in the Marine Corps before transferring into the Air Force as a combat controller in 1993.

As a senior combat controller, he has supported combat, combat support, humanitarian, and search-and-rescue operations throughout the United States, the Pacific and European theaters, and at many austere locations across the globe.

Travis is married to the former Andrea Lawrence of Bardstown, Ky. Their children are Brittany, 21; Amanda, 19; and Emily, 15.

Like Army Rangers and Navy SEALS, Air Force special tactics airmen are an elite force of special operators. They are combat controllers, who conduct tactical airfield operations and close air support; PJs, who conduct combat search and rescue; special operations weathermen, who provide tactical weather forecasting and environmental reconnaissance; and tactical air controllers, who integrate close air support into special operations missions. Time's full list and related tributes of all those honored appear in the magazine's May 10 issue, available on newsstands and online.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gen Lorenz on Leadership -- Leading Airmen through force management

By Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz
Air Education and Training Command

April 29, 2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Chief of Staff of the Air Force recently announced that our service must reduce its personnel end strength to meet congressionally-mandated limits. Air Force retention is currently at a 15-year high, which is a testament to the tremendous dedication of our Airmen serving during a time of unprecedented deployments. However, the high retention means our end strength is above the limits set by Congress, and we have to take steps to reduce the number of Airmen on active duty.

Normally we are able to adjust our recruiting and accessions so the number of new Airmen generally equals the number of separating or retiring Airmen. We have already reduced the number of new recruits and officers entering the service this year, but there is a limit to how much we can cut incoming year groups before we start damaging the future Air Force. We have also implemented voluntary options for Airmen such as enlistment contract waivers, limited active-duty service commitment waivers, and voluntary separation pay. So far not enough Airmen have taken advantage of these programs to get us under the Congressionally-approved end strength, and other involuntary programs such as selective early retirements of some officer ranks are being implemented.

The numbers this time around are much smaller than in the past, but for Airmen faced with force management it will be a stressful, possibly life-changing event. I expect the leaders -- officer, enlisted and civilian -- in Air Education and Training Command to help each individual facing this uncertainty with the support they need and deserve.

I urge leaders to be empathetic to the turbulence these decisions cause in the lives of Airmen -- and the lives of family members too. Be engaged in their decision-making processes, be attentive to their concerns, be assertive but fair advocates for their contribution to today’s fight. And be ready to help Airmen who leave active duty -- whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Fully participate in their transition, whether they return to civilian life or choose to serve in the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve or another branch of the armed services.

If you have questions about the upcoming force management process, please visit the Air Force Personnel Center Web site, https://gum.afpc.randolph.af.mil/ or contact your military personnel flight.

The decision to undertake these measures was not made lightly by our leaders. But in the end the Air Force, like all the services -- and indeed, like all of us -- must live within its means. You have my pledge that we will do everything we can to make this process as fair as possible and to help Airmen affected by force management as they start the next phase of their lives.

TIME magazine recognizes Airman in top 100


by Maj. David Small
National Media Outreach Office

4/29/2010 - NEW YORK (AFNS) -- TIME magazine editors have named Chief Master Sgt. Antonio D. Travis to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world for his efforts after the Haiti earthquake.

Chief Travis was one of the first U.S. military members on the ground at the Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport in Port au Prince, Haiti, only 30 hours after the earthquake and less than 12 hours after the nation's president requested U.S. assistance. The chief led a team of special tactics Airmen from the 23rd, 21st and 123rd special tactics squadrons.

With his team of combat veterans, Chief Travis led the largest single-runway operation in history, using hand-held radios to control thousands of aircraft. Their air traffic control tower was a card table set up next to the airport's runway.

"Twenty-eight minutes after touchdown, we controlled the first air landing followed immediately by a departure, and we did not slow down for the next 12 days," said Chief Travis, who hails from Nelson County, Ky.

After establishing control of the airfield there, his team orchestrated an orderly flow for incoming aircraft and dealt with the constraints of the inadequate airfield, which potentially could have limited relief operations. Facing 42 aircraft jammed into a parking ramp designed to accommodate 10 large planes, untangling the gridlock was the first of many seemingly insurmountable challenges necessary to facilitate the flood of inbound relief flights.

In the dawn of the U.S. response to the Haitian crisis, Chief Travis coordinated with Miami FAA officials via text messaging on his Blackberry. His ingenuity paid massive dividends as priority aircraft transited the small airport, delivering lifesaving water, food and medical supplies in support of the U.S. Agency for International Development-led international humanitarian effort.

From chaos, Chief Travis established order as his combat controllers reduced a four-hour hold time in the air on day one to less than two hours on day two and less than 15 minutes by day three.

For 12 days, 24 hours a day, the airfield team ran the international airport in Port au Prince. Together with more than 200 other Airmen from Hurlburt Field, Fla., they tirelessly ensured the safe and effective control of more than 4,000 takeoffs and landings, an average of one aircraft operation every five minutes, and enabled the delivery of 4 million pounds of humanitarian relief to the people of Haiti.

Without computers or electricity, Chief Travis and his team controlled as many as 250 aircraft a day, exceeding the normal capacity of the airfield by 1,400 percent without a single incident. By Jan. 25, his team was able to hand operations over to Air Force air traffic controllers with a portable control tower.

While directing the airfield operations, Chief Travis also supervised a group of pararescuemen, or PJs, and medical technicians who augmented a search and rescue team from Virginia. These teams were credited with 13 technical rescues and 17 additional saves. Additionally, the special tactics Airmen he led surveyed nearly 100 sites for use as potential humanitarian relief supply delivery sites. His teams' technical expertise and unflagging commitment ultimately led to successful air deliveries by C-17 Globemaster IIIs of humanitarian aid including more than 150,000 bottles of water and 75,000 Meals Ready to Eat that was subsequently delivered to earthquake victims by helicopter.

Chief Travis is the chief enlisted manager of the Air Force Special Operations Training Center at Hurlburt Field, Fla. He served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps before transferring into the Air Force as a combat controller in 1993.

As a senior combat controller, he has supported combat, combat support, humanitarian and search and rescue operations throughout the United States, Pacific and European theaters and many austere locations across the globe.

Chief Travis is married to the former Andrea Lawrence of Bardstown, Ky. Their children are Brittany, 21; Amanda, 19; and Emily, 15.

Like Army Rangers and Navy SEALS, Air Force Special Tactics Airmen are an elite force of special operators. They are combat controllers, who conduct tactical airfield operations and close air support; PJs, who conduct combat search and rescue; special operations weathermen, who provide tactical weather forecasting and environmental reconnaissance; and tactical air controllers, who integrate close air support into special operations missions.

TIME's full list and related tributes of all those honored appear in their May 10 issue, available on newsstands April 30 and online.

The list, now in its seventh year, recognizes the activism, innovation and achievement of the world's most influential individuals. As TIME's managing editor Rick Stengel has said of the list in the past, "The TIME 100 is not a list of the most powerful people in the world, it's not a list of the smartest people in the world, it's a list of the most influential people in the world. They're scientists, they're thinkers, they're philosophers, they're leaders, they're icons, they're artists, they're visionaries. People who are using their ideas, their visions, their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people."

NROTC Viable, Financially Sound College Choice

By Cathy Kempf, Naval Service Training Command, Public Affairs

April 29, 2010 - NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) is an excellent choice for college-bound students and those looking to serve their country as officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

The NROTC program, overseen by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values. The program enables qualified young men and women to attain a college education leading to a commission in the Navy or Marine Corps, and offers scholarship and non-scholarship opportunities for future Navy and Marine Corps officers.

"The NROTC scholarship is an outstanding opportunity that pays full tuition, provides a $750 a year book stipend as well as a monthly stipend that ranges from $250 to $400 per academic month," said Dr. Jill Stein, NROTC program director at NSTC's Officer Development directorate in Pensacola, Fla.

NROTC program participants must complete specific academic courses as well as participate in drill and other military training.

"In addition to the challenging curriculum of their major area of study, midshipmen develop a strong foundation of Navy and Marine Corps history, traditions and ethics," said Capt. Dell Epperson, professor of Naval Science at Auburn and Tuskegee Universities in Alabama. "Just as importantly, they develop a culture of fitness, and have numerous leadership opportunities, both of which prepare them for service in the fleet and throughout their lives."

NROTC program participants find the scholarship and academic benefits rewarding.

"I was a part of a team that pushed me to do things I never thought I could," said Ensign Nick Boyer, a 2009 graduate from NROTC Vanderbilt. "As part of the NROTC unit at Vanderbilt University, I was empowered to apply and improve on my leadership skills through a variety of opportunities with my fellow midshipmen. The interactions with my instructors and peers spurred me on to achieve greater physical fitness, academic excellence and increased discipline that I never thought I could reach on my own. Through our experiences, we forged a camaraderie that will continue to be a defining factor in my life." This year, the NROTC program received more than 6,500 completed applications for the four-year national scholarship to start school in the Fall of 2010. This is an increase of 1,100 applications over last year.

NSTC oversees NROTC units at more than 150 colleges and universities that either host NROTC units or have cross-town enrollment agreements with a host university. The variety of institutions is a major reason for the remarkable flexibility and responsiveness of the NROTC program.

NROTC graduates are commissioned as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. The Navy ensigns will serve in surface, sub-surface, aviation and special warfare communities, with a few exceptions, such as those selected for the Navy Nurse Corps option. Additionally, there are limited opportunities each year for a few of the Navy graduates to attend medical or dental school through the Navy's Health Professionals Scholarship Program.

More in depth information on the NROTC program, and the universities and colleges that host NROTC units, can be found on the NROTC Web site at https://www.nrotc.navy.mil.

From this Web site, individuals interested in the NROTC program can initiate an application. Applications for the Fall 2011 school year are now being accepted.

Once the application is completed, individuals will be contacted by a Navy recruiter to complete the necessary signature forms and set up an appointment for an officer interview. The recruiter will collect the required teacher evaluations and transcripts, SAT or ACT Test scores, and with the completed officer interview will forward the application to Navy Recruiting Command.

Navy Recruiting Command processes the applications, ensuring applicants meet all required eligibility standards, then forwards the applications to NSTC for assignment to the selection board. Selection boards are held beginning in August through April.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leadership Strategies for Community Risk Reduction - P200

New August 2010 First Pilot Offering

The United States Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy is conducting the first pilot class at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, MD for its newly developed 6-day course Leadership Strategies for Community Risk Reduction.

The pilot class is scheduled Sunday, August 15 through Friday, August 20, 2010, with students arriving on Saturday, August 14 and departing on Saturday, August 21, 2010.

Course Description:
This course is designed to enhance knowledge and skills necessary to lead and manage fire prevention, community risk reduction initiatives, illness prevention and health promotion at the local level. This course will give students tools and techniques to raise the level of importance for prevention within their organization. The course will demonstrate how fire prevention and other risk reduction initiatives can benefit them directly and individually in providing a safer work environment. Students will be guided through a process that shows how to strategically build support internally and externally for community risk reduction, the steps and activities necessary to sustain programs and how these come together to create effective risk reduction programs. The ultimate goals of the course are to develop fire and EMS leaders and managers who are committed, in word and deed, to comprehensive multi-hazard community risk reduction.

Course units include:
• Leading the Process of Strategic Community Risk-Reduction – examination of individual perspectives toward risk and LODD deaths in the United States versus other countries.
• Assessing Community Risk – identification of leading community risk issues through an assessment process.
• Community Risk Reduction as a Strategic Process – the science supporting how risk can be prevented and/or managed. Identification, justification and application of intervention strategies and the development of an implementation/evaluation plan.
• Challenges of Organizational Change - Identifying when change is needed, what type of change is required, and the best strategy for creating and sustaining the change.
• Building Organizational and Community Equity - How to build support inside the organization for risk reduction and how to build a positive relationship with the community.

Pre-course assignment: There is an assignment due before class which involves identifying local risks and reading assignments.

Student Selection Criteria: Individuals in emergency services, especially those in fire and EMS operations, such as company officers or field supervisors who have responsibility for fire or injury prevention and community risk reduction initiatives at a local level. Individuals assigned to fire/injury prevention or community risk reduction divisions/bureaus who are new to prevention or those who would like to enhance their skills.

Application Procedure:
• Students must complete FEMA General Admission application (Form 75-5, 2-page ) available on the USFA website – http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fire-service/nfa/nfa-abt1c.shtm#75-5
• Completed applications should be mailed or faxed by Tuesday, June 1, 2010 to:

National Emergency Training Center
Office of Admissions, I-216
16825 S. Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727

• Completed applications may also be faxed to the Admissions Office at (301)447-1441.
• Applicants should not make plans to attend the pilot until notified by the NETC Admissions Office.
• Stipends for eligible students are available for attendance at pilots. Attendance at pilot courses does not prevent an eligible student from obtaining another stipend within the same fiscal year.

EHR Lessons Learned: Week 5

Navy Capt. Michael Weiner
DHIMS Deputy Program Manager and Chief Medical Officer

April 28, 2010 - In my previous blogs, I’ve emphasized the work flow many times now and covered the advantages of an intuitive system. This week let’s examine training means we know health care providers are most comfortable with.

The See One, Do One, Teach One Training Philosophy

Those in a medical profession have often heard the philosophy of see one, do one, teach one. The reason is because it works. From an educational perspective, this method addresses the needs of visual and auditory learners and those requiring a hands-on, kinesthetic approach. Knowing how to train is great, because no matter how intuitive an EHR system is, proper training remains critical.

Proper training to get the most from an EHR and to increase provider satisfaction seems like a given but getting to the right mix of training within the Military Health System led us down some bumpy roads. The key lesson we learned was that maximum success and rapid adoption come from a hybrid mix of classroom, one-on-one, over-the-shoulder and computer-based training. This mixtures gets the staff up and running faster than standard institution-led training from my experience. Even training in short bursts at busy military treatment facilities (comparable to civilian doctors offices and hospitals) provides each user with an adequate amount of knowledge. Computer or Web-based training provides early familiarization before purchasing a new system, and removes some of the fear factor.

Early introduction combined with reinforcement through the classroom, one-on-one and hands-on learning seem to lead to greater satisfaction and as a result, the ability to maximize the benefits of the EHR increase tremendously. Regardless of the fact that EHRs usability and benefit increase with the right mix of training, at the end of the day, my primary concern is the welfare of my fellow service members who are risking their lives for our country. A successful EHR helps me to ensure they get the best that I can give.

Getting the training right needs to be high on your list of priorities for your EHR community, but you also need to consider the speed of the Web. Next week, I will offer more insight into the Web as it relates to EHRs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sixteen Individuals Recognized for Outstanding Service to Crime Victims

April 27, 2010 - PORTLAND, ME—United States Attorney Paula D. Silsby announced today that 16 individuals were recognized for their outstanding service to crime victims in an awards ceremony hosted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on April 23, 2010.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office annual awards are presented in conjunction with the nation’s observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. It is a time to raise individual and public awareness about the rights and needs of crime victims, the challenges that victims face in seeking help and hope in the aftermath of crime, and the positive impact individuals and communities can have by providing services and support to victims and survivors of crime.

The recipients of this year’s awards were Sheriff Donna Dennison and Detective Kirk Guerrette of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office; David Tibbets and Matthew Pryor of Lighthouse Teen Center; Paul Connair and Susannah Fuentes of the Preble Street Resource Center; Officers Jay Twomey and Joseph Ezepek of the Portland Police Department; Assistant District Attorney Katherine Tierney and Victim-Witness Advocate Kathy Stock of the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office; Special Agent James Lechner and Victim-Witness Specialist Jennifer Keyes of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Detective Laurie Northrup of the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit; Electronic Court Filing (ECF) System Specialist Michelle Mitchell of the U.S. District Court; and Paralegal Specialist Nancy Evans and Information Technology Specialist Karen Dube of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Pace of Changes Clouds Future, Mullen Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

April 27, 2010 - The pace of changes in the military and in the world has made looking ahead a difficult proposition, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told members of the Air National Guard's 140th Wing during a town hall-style meeting at Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., that they're part of a rapidly changing world.

"Things are changing so fast, particularly in the Guard and reserves, to keep up with the missions we have," Mullen said. "I'm not sure exactly what [the future] looks like."

Mullen also spoke of the pace of changes in medical treatments and technology, and the demands that have been placed on military families. "The relationship and integration of our families is more important than it's ever been," he said, adding that his wife, Deborah, met with the servicemembers' families during their visit.

"I believe we're changing in ways – medically, and in the [intelligence] world – where we don't know exactly how it all ends up, and we need to," the chairman said.

Mullen said he is especially grateful for the high rate of recruitment and retention since 9/11 from servicemembers who understand the demands ahead of them. Many are driven by the loss of Americans on 9/11, he said, adding that he is as well.

"This is personal to me -- the plane flew in under my office," Mullen said of the attack on the Pentagon. "I lost people there. It hasn't happened since, not because people haven't tried, but because of the extraordinary effort of our whole government.

"It was these wars that focused us," he continued. "I drive by the Pentagon Memorial almost every day I'm there, and I'm reminded of the 3,000 people who died" at three sites during the terrorist attacks.

"Al-Qaida is still out there and they don't want to just kill 3,000 people," Mullen said. "They'd like to kill 30,000 or 40,000 if they could. The ability to defend against that is why we're here. It's what you're about."

The chairman said it's not enough that recruitment and retention are at record highs. The military still needs the right people with the right skills and the right leaders, he told the airmen.

"When people ask me about betting on our military for the future, I'm betting on you," he said. "But I'm not just interested in keeping the numbers up. We need the right people with the right skills."

Mullen challenged the airmen to live up to their own leadership potential while also growing new leaders. The need for leadership at such a time of change presents great opportunities, he said. "There's nothing more difficult, and yet it is the most-exciting form of leadership," he said.

The focus on retaining the right servicemembers and growing leaders "is the people side of this, and we've got to make sure we get this right," the chairman said. "Lead well and mentor well. Someone mentored you, and I would expect you to do the same."

Diversity will continue to be important in the military, Mullen said.

"In the long run, our military must represent America," he said. "To the degree that we don't, we will drift away."

Mullen thanked the airmen for their service, noting that the Guard and reserves have been critical to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today's military, he said, is the best ever.

"Thanks for what you're doing," Mullen said. "You're the best I've ever seen. You've made a difference in two wars we didn't anticipate, and you've adjusted incredibly well."

Mullen noted the greatly extended length of deployments and decreased time at home that servicemembers have experienced since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. And, he said, the Guard and reserves were "nowhere near where they are today" in capabilities 10 years ago.

During a question-and-answer session with the airmen, Mullen was asked about the trend toward using more unmanned aircraft. Air Force leadership, he responded, should take note of how the Navy moved toward modernizing its fleet. Although newer manned aircraft are much more capable and fewer are needed compared to older models, they are very expensive, he said.

"The hard facts are, the only possible way to [recapitalize] your Air Force is to decommission airplanes," Mullen said. "It's not going to start raining money here. That's very upsetting, and I understand all that. But the recapitalization requirement is very real, and we're trying deal with what the balance will be. In the end, for the health of the military, it's going take tough decisions on the part of the leaders."

Air Force officials should know in the next 12 to 24 months what the future balance of manned and unmanned aircraft will look like, the chairman said.

Mullen also spoke of tough decisions regarding future military budgets, noting rising U.S. budget deficits.

"We're not an insignificant part of that," he said. "We've got to spend the money well."

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lieutenant Gives Back to College

By Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross
3rd Wing

April 26, 2010 - The commander of the 3rd Comptroller Squadron Financial Management Flight here has provided a $750 scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage's ROTC program.

Air Force 1st Lt. Christina Geller presented her first check for the scholarship April 23 at the ROTC's leadership lab.

The lieutenant said she wanted to give back to the school that had helped to kick off her career.

An Anchorage native, Geller started UAA's ROTC program in May 2004. She graduated in 2006, and then was assigned here. She said she plans to continue the scholarship for 10 years.

Nobody from her family had attended college, Geller said, so the odds were stacked against her. But she was able to attend college by receiving numerous scholarships.

"Not having money to go to college should not be a reason," she said. "By providing a scholarship, it enables somebody to potentially to go to college and earn a degree and do something they are passionate about."

Geller said the ROTC program did great things for her, allowing her to gain the self-confidence and leadership skills she needs as she pursues her Air Force career.

The Air Force ROTC detachment commander at the University of Alaska Anchorage expressed gratitude for the scholarship.

"This scholarship is great," said Air Force Lt. Col. Doug Smith. "It serves two purposes. First, it will help offset college expenses for a hard-working and deserving underclass cadet who is pursuing a commission in the Air Force. This will, in turn, allow our program at the university to retain high-quality candidates as future Air Force officers. Second, it helps fortify the efforts to maintain an active and involved ... alumni association."

Geller said she hopes the financial help will influence others to consider signing up for the ROTC program, and that they'll be up for the challenge.

The scholarship's first recipient will be chosen in time for the fall semester.

Wisconsin Guard leaders share importance of enlisted leadership with Nicaraguan military

By Army Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell
Wisconsin National Guard

(4/23/10) -- Enlisted leaders from the Wisconsin Army National Guard traveled to Managua, Nicaragua in mid-April to emphasize the importance of enlisted leadership in the Nicaraguan military.

Four sergeants major from the Wisconsin Guard, with more than 80 years of combined military leadership experience, visited with students and staff of the Andres Castro National School of Sergeants in Managua to talk about the significance of non-commissioned officers and the important role they play in the U.S. military.

"We coordinate exchanges between members of the Wisconsin National Guard and other government agencies, like Wisconsin Emergency Management," said State Partnership Program (SPP) coordinator Capt. Joe Davison. "The program is about sharing experience and exchanging information on the techniques each force uses in a variety of focus areas.

During the visit, State Command Sgt. Maj. George Stopper, and Command Sgts. Maj. Brad Shields, Paul Easterday and Ralph Rosemore, gave presentations about rank structure, non-commissioned officer (NCO) development, mentorship and counseling techniques.

"We train them on our basic NCO skills, support channel and what we do as NCOs," said Easterday, of the 426th Regional Training Institute Regiment. "We share information overall about our techniques, tactics and skills that we teach our NCOs."

Stopper has participated in several SPP exchanges and says he has seen a lot of progress in the organization and utilization of the Nicaraguan NCO corps, but recognizes there's still a lot of work ahead.

"When this program started, one of the goals was to convince senior leaders of the net-worth and value of a non-commissioned officer and how they could assist the leaders in running the military.

"I think that goal has progressed greatly and is evident by the way the [academy] commandant and other officers at the academy treat us," Stopper continued. "They treat us with a high degree of respect and always welcome us and continue to ask us for more training and different topics.

Almost all of the topics are dealing with leadership and how to mentor soldiers into developing the skills they want to see in the future."

The National Guard has 373 years of experience to share and the Nicaraguan Army is just over 30 years old as an organization. "We have experience and knowledge that can make their lives a little simpler," Stopper said.

"We have a system that works and NCOs are absolutely a necessity to have a well-run and effective military," Stopper added. "That's what we're trying to share with them, how we make leaders: effective counseling, mentorship and how to get the most out of our people."

For the first time, the Nicaraguan Army is proposing three new senior non-commissioned officer ranks. Currently they only have three NCO ranks which are the equivalent to the Army's sergeant, staff sergeant and sergeant first class. They are considering applying three levels of sergeant major to their military.

"We're not trying to change them or make them mirrored to us," Stopper explained. "However, after several hundred years of experience this is where we've ended up. If we can help them avoid some of the wrong turns in getting from point 'a' to point 'b' I think it's our duty and obligation to try and help them."

Members of the Nicaraguan NCO academy staff as well as students recognize the significance of the partnership and hope to develop more exchanges in the future where Nicaraguan soldiers can attend U.S. Army schools to train in specific areas and receive hands-on training.

"I hope that we can get support for the Nicaraguan Army to train at the Wisconsin Academy," said ENSAC Deputy Commandant Col. Julio Rodriguez. "It is important to us to learn how the U.S. Army conducts business. There's a lot we've received from each exchange and it's important to continue training the NCOs to develop them in their career. They are the backbone of our Army and it's important for them to know everything they need to perform their jobs."

Each year, nearly 1,200 Nicaraguan service members attend the non-commissioned officer school which has approximately 50 instructors, half of whom are officers and the rest civilian contractors.

"I value the experience that the [Wisconsin National Guard] has gained through their deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and value the time they take to come to Nicaragua to share that knowledge with my soldiers," said ENSAC Commandant Oscar Solorzano. "Even though we live in a time of peace, they're required to be ready to take any action any time, so this [partnership] is invaluable."

The state partnership program was established following the National Guard Bureau's 1993 proposal to match State National Guards with countries to provide military-to-military support and mentorship to developing countries.

With strong civilian ties already in place from an existing partnership established in 1964 through Partners of the Americas, the Wisconsin National Guard applied for partnership with the Republic of Nicaragua, under the National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program, in 2003.

For seven years the Wisconsin - Nicaragua SPP has flourished as it gains more support from NGB and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in the goal to share knowledge, best practices and experience while building closer ties between the two militaries.

State Partnership Program Coordinator Capt. Joe Davison explained that after the Cold War, the U.S. European command wanted to engage with developing countries - whose democracies were fragile - and help them develop their military in a way that was suitable to their democracy, free from corruption. Through a program called "Partners of the Americas," Wisconsin and Nicaragua have forged one of the strongest relationships through the city-to-city pairing of Wisconsin and Nicaraguan cities.

"The National Guard is unique in its ability to do a military exchange because of its longevity where the same people can participate year after year, and build long-term relationships," Davison said. "We have experience working with civilian agencies within the state and those relationships are important for our partner countries to develop as well."

"The State Partnership Program is an awesome program," Stopper said. "The Nicaraguan Soldiers, Airmen and [Sailors] are great people - very dedicated and hard working. It's good to have the information exchanged between the two countries because I think we can learn from them as well as pass on our years of experience."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Importance of Enlisted Leadership

Wisconsin Army National Guard leaders visit Nicaraguan military, share importance of enlisted leadership


By Army Staff Sgt. Emily J. Russell

Wisconsin National Guard

April 23, 2010 - Enlisted leaders from the Wisconsin Army National Guard traveled to Managua, Nicaragua in mid-April to emphasize the importance of enlisted leadership in the Nicaraguan military.

Four sergeants major from the Wisconsin Guard, with more than 80 years of combined military leadership experience, visited with students and staff of the Andres Castro National School of Sergeants (ENSAC) in Managua to talk about the significance of non-commissioned officers and the important role they play in the U.S. military.

"We coordinate exchanges between members of the Wisconsin National Guard and other government agencies, like Wisconsin Emergency Management," said State Partnership Program (SPP) coordinator Capt. Joe Davison. "The program is about sharing experience and exchanging information on the techniques each force uses in a variety of focus areas.

During the visit, State Command Sgt. Maj. George Stopper, and Command Sgts. Maj. Brad Shields, Paul Easterday and Ralph Rosemore, gave presentations about rank structure, non-commissioned officer (NCO) development, mentorship and counseling techniques.

"We train them on our basic NCO skills, support channel and what we do as NCOs," said Easterday, of the 426th Regional Training Institute Regiment. "We share information overall about our techniques, tactics and skills that we teach our NCOs."

Stopper has participated in several SPP exchanges and says he has seen a lot of progress in the organization and utilization of the Nicaraguan NCO corps, but recognizes there's still a lot of work ahead.

"When this program started, one of the goals was to convince senior leaders of the net-worth and value of a non-commissioned officer and how they could assist the leaders in running the military.

"I think that goal has progressed greatly and is evident by the way the [academy] commandant and other officers at the academy treat us," Stopper continued. "They treat us with a high degree of respect and always welcome us and continue to ask us for more training and different topics.

Almost all of the topics are dealing with leadership and how to mentor soldiers into developing the skills they want to see in the future."

The National Guard has 373 years of experience to share and the Nicaraguan Army is just over 30 years old as an organization. "We have experience and knowledge that can make their lives a little simpler," Stopper said.

"We have a system that works and NCOs are absolutely a necessity to have a well-run and effective military," Stopper added. "That's what we're trying to share with them, how we make leaders: effective counseling, mentorship and how to get the most out of our people."

For the first time, the Nicaraguan Army is proposing three new senior non-commissioned officer ranks. Currently they only have three NCO ranks which are the equivalent to the Army's sergeant, staff sergeant and sergeant first class. They are considering applying three levels of sergeant major to their military.

"We're not trying to change them or make them mirrored to us," Stopper explained. "However, after several hundred years of experience this is where we've ended up. If we can help them avoid some of the wrong turns in getting from point 'a' to point 'b' I think it's our duty and obligation to try and help them."

Members of the Nicaraguan NCO academy staff as well as students recognize the significance of the partnership and hope to develop more exchanges in the future where Nicaraguan soldiers can attend U.S. Army schools to train in specific areas and receive hands-on training.

"I hope that we can get support for the Nicaraguan Army to train at the Wisconsin Academy," said ENSAC Deputy Commandant Col. Julio Rodriguez. "It is important to us to learn how the U.S. Army conducts business. There's a lot we've received from each exchange and it's important to continue training the NCOs to develop them in their career. They are the backbone of our Army and it's important for them to know everything they need to perform their jobs."

Each year, nearly 1,200 Nicaraguan service members attend the non-commissioned officer school which has approximately 50 instructors, half of whom are officers and the rest civilian contractors.

"I value the experience that the [Wisconsin National Guard] has gained through their deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and value the time they take to come to Nicaragua to share that knowledge with my soldiers," said ENSAC Commandant Oscar Solorzano. "Even though we live in a time of peace, they're required to be ready to take any action any time, so this [partnership] is invaluable."

The state partnership program was established following the National Guard Bureau's 1993 proposal to match State National Guards with countries to provide military-to-military support and mentorship to developing countries.

With strong civilian ties already in place from an existing partnership established in 1964 through Partners of the Americas, the Wisconsin National Guard applied for partnership with the Republic of Nicaragua, under the National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program, in 2003.

For seven years the Wisconsin - Nicaragua SPP has flourished as it gains more support from NGB and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in the goal to share knowledge, best practices and experience while building closer ties between the two militaries.

State Partnership Program Coordinator Capt. Joe Davison explained that after the Cold War, the U.S. European command wanted to engage with developing countries - whose democracies were fragile - and help them develop their military in a way that was suitable to their democracy, free from corruption. Through a program called "Partners of the Americas," Wisconsin and Nicaragua have forged one of the strongest relationships through the city-to-city pairing of Wisconsin and Nicaraguan cities.

"The National Guard is unique in its ability to do a military exchange because of its longevity where the same people can participate year after year, and build long-term relationships," Davison said. "We have experience working with civilian agencies within the state and those relationships are important for our partner countries to develop as well."

"The State Partnership Program is an awesome program," Stopper said. "The Nicaraguan Soldiers, Airmen and [Sailors] are great people - very dedicated and hard working. It's good to have the information exchanged between the two countries because I think we can learn from them as well as pass on our years of experience."

How Can A Leader Challenge His / Her Own Mind To Outsmart The Challenges Posed By Twentieth-One Century? Are there some creative tips to this end?

Friday, April 23, 2010 (NEW)

1.- Picture mentally radiantly. 2.- Draw outside the canvas. 3.- Color outside the vectors. 4.- Sketch sinuously. 5.- Far-sight beyond the mind’s intangible exoskeleton. 6.- Abduct indiscernible falsifiable convictions. 7.- Reverse-engineering a gene and a bacterium or, better yet, the lucrative genome. 8.- Guillotine the over-weighted status quo. 9.- Learn how to add up—in your own mind— colors, dimensions, aromas, encryptions, enigmas, phenomena, geometrical and amorphous in-motion shapes, enigmas, phenomena, methods, techniques, codes, written lines, symbols, contexts, locus, venues, semantic terms, magnitudes, longitudes, “knowledge-laden” hunches, challenges, so forth. 10.- Project your wisdom wealth onto communities of timeless-connected wikis. 11.- Cryogenize the infamous illiterate by own choice and reincarnate (multiverse teleporting out of a warped passage) Da Vinci, Bacon, Newton, Goethe, Bonaparte, Edison, Franklyn, Einstein and Feynman. 12.- Organize relationships into voluntary associations that are mutually beneficial and accountable for contributing productively to the surrounding community. 13.- Practice the central rule of good strategy, which is to know and remain true to your core business and invest for leadership and R&D. 14.- Kaisen, SixSigma, Lean, LeanSigma, "Reliability Engineering" (the former as conceived and developed by Procter & Gamble and Los Alamos National Laboratories) it all unthinkably and thoroughly by recombinant, a là Einstein Gedaken-motorized judgment. 15.- Provide a roadmap for drastically compressing (“crashing”) the time’s “reticules” it will take you to get on the top of the job, nonetheless of your organizational level. 16.- With the required knowledge and relationships imbedded in organizations, create support for, and carry out transformation initiatives. 17.- Offer a tested pathway for addressing the linked challenges of personal transition and organizational transformation that confront leaders in the first few months in a new tenure. 18.- Foster momentum by creating virtuous cycles that build credibility and by avoiding getting caught in vicious cycles that harm credibility. 19.- Institute coalitions that translate into swifter organizational adjustments to the inevitable stream of changes in personnel and environment. 20.- Mobilize and align the overriding energy of many others in your organization. 21.- Step outside the boundaries of the framework system when seeking a problem solution. 22.- Within zillion tiny bets, raise the ante and capture the documented learning. 23.- “Moonshine” and “Skunkwork” all, holding in your mind the motion-picture image that, regardless the relevance of “inputs” and “outputs,” the highest relevance is within the sophistication within the throughput.

By (c) Copyright 2010 Andres Agostini

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Four Airmen receive Sijan award


by Tech. Sgt. Amaani Lyle
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

4/22/2010 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force's 2009 Capt. Lance P. Sijan Award recipients were honored in a ceremony April 21 in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

The Sijan Award annually recognizes four Airmen who demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities. Officer and enlisted honorees are chosen in senior and junior categories.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz served as host and speaker for the event honoring the recipients and their families. Gen. C. Robert Kehler, the commander of Air Force Space Command; Lt. Gen. Donald C. Wurster, the commander of Air Force Special Operations Command; and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy also attended.

General Schwartz stressed the importance of the award and its namesake to the Air Force.

"Truly, character is at the base of all this," General Schwartz said. "It is the character of Lance Sijan and the character of these four wonderful Air Force leaders who we honor today. "Because of their character, our Air Force remains the reliable and trusted partner that we are for the other members of the joint team. That's what you represent, and it's something very special."

The general also noted the role family members play in supporting the Air Force mission.

"Clearly service in the nation's cloth is a team sport," he said to the spouses, children and other family members present. "We appreciate your contribution, your sacrifices to enable your spouse to accomplish those things for which they're recognized today."

The senior officer recipient is Lt. Col. Roger Sherman, who is assigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. While deployed as an electronic warfare officer, Colonel Sherman led the 82nd Airborne Division's first electronic attack missions in Iraq against enemy forces. Additionally, he controlled and detected early warning networks that led to the prevention of five rocket attacks against coalition forces. He also created a key leader engagement strategy for two Iraqi provinces, to include building partnerships and increasing security, that completely eliminated rocket and militia attacks.

The junior officer recipient is Capt. Rachel Phillips, who is assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Det. 502 at Sembach Annex, Germany. She developed, planned and executed strategic-level counter-intelligence operations to neutralize hostile intelligence and terrorist groups. During her last deployment, Captain Phillips led more than 50 missions into hostile territory in Afghanistan that resulted in the elimination of seven Taliban extremists from the battlefield.

She was unable to attend the ceremony due to air travel delays caused by volcanic ash, so her brother accepted the award in her stead.

The senior enlisted recipient is Senior Master Sgt. Jesse Schraner, a vehicle operations superintendent assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla. While deployed, he led 223 convoy missions in Iraq and Kuwait that safely transported 300,000 tons of supplies over 4 million miles, providing war-making and life-sustaining material to approximately 100,000 warfighters. He also prevented battlefield complacency through hands-on leadership that resulted in no Airmen killed or wounded despite 17 small-arms insurgent attacks.

The junior enlisted recipient is Staff Sgt. Gino Kahaunaele, who is assigned to Pope AFB, N.C. As a special operations force pararescueman, Sergeant Kahaunaele's heroism and bravery in the midst of direct and accurate enemy fire resulted in eight American lives being saved. With total disregard for his own safety, he sprinted into a hail of gunfire to drag a pinned-down, wounded teammate to safety where he used his advanced trauma medical skills to stabilize and save the operator's life. Additionally, Sergeant Kahaunaele led a combat search and rescue team through 45 combat sorties over the world's most hostile terrain.

Sergeant Kahaunaele shared his reaction to the award.

"There's really no fathoming this; it's incredible to be here," he said. "My teammates and I always said to ourselves, 'Just show up and be better than the enemy.'"

The Lance P. Sijan award was first presented in 1981. It is named in honor of the first U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Medal of Honor. Captain Sijan was shot down over Vietnam Nov. 9, 1967, and evaded capture for 45 days despite severe injuries. He later died while in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroism.

Caring for People Forum wraps up

by Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

4/22/2010 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The 2010 Caring for People Forum concluded here April 21 with the presentation of a list of proposed initiatives from attendees focused on a range of issues affecting Airmen and their families.

Approximately 250 active-duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen and civilians gathered for this second annual forum.

Their initiatives focused on educational support for school-age family members, and Reserve and Guard members; funding base support agencies; outreach through social media; preventative health care; post-deployment reintegration; housing; spouse communication; single Airmen issues, and Airmen and their families in the exceptional family member program.

Their initiatives go before the Air Force Community Action Information Board members this summer, said Lt. Col. Karen Terry, the forum coordinator.

The significance of the initiatives was reflected in the remarks made by Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, who emphasized the importance of a word found in the forum's name.

"It's important to focus on what the word 'care' really means because it is much more than sentiment," Secretary Donley said. "It involves action.

"Concern for people is certainly positive but concern only becomes meaningful when action is taken," he said.

The secretary praised the input of forum attendees, which included family advocates, chaplains, housing specialists and medical service providers, in developing ideas to help Airmen and their families.

"To ensure we are doing all that we can for Airmen and their families, we need to build a resilient force through multiple avenues of approach," Secretary Donley said. "And this can be done in a number of areas that you've been discussing during the past couple of days."

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy reinforced this building upon success concept.

"As you come together, your energy, your thoughts, and most importantly, your suggestions on how we can improve things for our Air Force family are so important, Chief Roy said. "We are right now focused on what is next."

He assured forum attendees that their work at the forum would shape that definition.

This initiative has the support of Suzie Schwartz, wife of Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz, who also spoke on the closing day of the forum.

"I love the Year of the Air Force Family, but we need to find a new name," Mrs. Schwartz said. "It needs to be continuing. It's really grown so much in one year."

Mrs. Schwartz, a former special education teacher, said she appreciated the emphasis on improving school interaction and the exceptional family member program. She said family issues are of key importance to Airmen, and noted getting spouses involved is helpful on many levels.

She credited Honey Jennings and the Hurlburt Field, Fla., spouses club with helping her transition to an Air Force life 29 years ago.

Don't overlook the spouse's network, she said. Base key spouse programs are very valuable, and fast, in sharing information.

In seeking a solution to a problem, Mrs. Schwartz encouraged people to keep pressing on despite obstacles.

"Don't take the first 'no,'" she said. Be polite but "if somebody says no, I just kind of say, 'Well maybe I can go somewhere else.'"

Attendees Brad Quarnberg, a retired security forces and aerial port Airman and Senior Airman Hansel Orozco, a 433rd Air Wing chaplain assistant from Lackland AFB, Texas, enjoyed the opportunity to participate.

Mr. Quarnberg said he was excited about "being part of Air Force change."

"Taking care of people is awesome," he said. "That's my passion."

Airman Orozco said he appreciated how Air Force manpower and personnel officials organized the forum to listen to Airmen.

"It's good seeing them reaching out to people," Airman Orozco said. "It was really comforting to see them willing to listen."

U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, from Texas, who attended the forum's out-brief, expressed the importance of caring for Airmen and their families.

"I believe it is vital to provide the necessary resources for the whole Air Force, both men and women; resources for the battlefield and for them to live a better life," said Congresswoman Lee, who serves on the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Homeland Security. The Caring for People Forum was "smart, timely and very positive" for the Air Force family.

Peterson lieutenant to compete in Warrior Games

by Elton Price
Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center Detachment 4

April 22, 2010 - PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- (Editor's note: Peterson's 2nd Lt. Marc Ward was one of 20 Air Force members recently selected to participate in the Warrior Games scheduled May 10 to 14 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. About 200 wounded, ill and injured active duty, Guard and Reserve members, as well as retired personnel and veterans, from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard will compete.)

In the blink of an eye ...

Just ask 2nd Lt. Marc Ward how fast everything can change. In the blink of an eye, his drive toward a national championship with the U.S. Air Force Academy rugby team came to a crashing end.

May 3, 2003, the Zoomies were facing the No. 1 ranked team in the nation -- the University of California, Berkeley -- in the college rugby semi-finals. Up until that day, the Bears had racked up 12 consecutive national championships, were ranked No. 1, and trailed the 4th ranked cadets by a single point, 8-7.

And then came "the" stick.

About 20 minutes into the game, the Bears were running a sweep right, when the solidly built, 6-foot-1, Ward zoomed out of nowhere to lay a ferocious stick on the ball carrier. The ball went flying, and the Academy's Josh Dean picked it up and scored as Ward crumpled face down on the ground.

"I was left unconscious on the field for five minutes," Ward said. It took the medical crew 30 minutes before they could cart him off the field. "I was hospitalized for four days, none of which I remember."

As he lay on the field, his stunned family could only look on.

"My dad, brother, sister, both grandmas, uncles, aunts -- my whole family was there," he said, explaining that the game -- at Stanford University's rugby pitch -- was only about a 30-minute drive from his hometown of Alamo, Calif.

He was taken by ambulance to Stanford University's medical center, which -- luckily for him -- had one of the top neurological teams in the nation. Coincidentally, Stanford's chief of neurology -- Dr. Larry Shuer -- was also a family friend. The doctor's daughter and Marc's sister, Marcie, played soccer together on the Stanford University soccer team.

For the first couple of days, because of all the pain medicine, Marc couldn't even tell the doctors exactly what was wrong. They conducted a battery of tests -- X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs -- but couldn't find anything conclusive.

For four days, his family stayed at his bedside as the medical team continued to try to find out exactly how badly he was hurt. Finally, his father was allowed to take him home. He stayed at his father's house on convalescent leave for about three months, not knowing it'd be more than two years before he'd make it back to the Academy for his sophomore year.

Tests finally revealed he had "completely avulsed (tore) two nerves between the C-5 and C-6 vertebrae."

The injury left his right arm pretty much useless.

"I had pain that started near my shoulder and kind of moved down my arm," he said, describing the pain as kind of a prickly feeling. "With nerve injuries, they heal themselves about an inch or so a month."

He began rehab while convalescing at his father's house. It took nine months before he could even move his arm, and more than a year before he had much range of movement at all.

Gradually though, he did get better.

That fall, he attended St. Mary's College, just east of the San Francisco Bay area. Later that year, he found his Academy rugby coach -- Rob Holder -- had taken a job as the head rugby coach at Stanford University. When Holder asked Marc to be one of his assistants, Marc jumped at the chance.

By June, 2005, he'd recovered enough to return to the Academy. The injury still limited some of his activities -- he couldn't do pull-ups as part of his physical training test -- but he made up for it by maxing out on other parts of the test.

"I don't think the muscle will ever completely come back," he said, flexing his right arm.

Back at the Academy, he maintained his ties with the rugby team. He served as an assistant coach, and even tried to play some his junior year, but hung up his cleats after suffering a few minor concussions. His senior year -- even though he didn't play -- he served as team captain.

Despite all of his injuries, Ward still loves rugby.

This past November, he scored a tournament best 54 points to lead the Air Force rugby team to a sixth consecutive gold medal at the annual Armed Forces Rugby Championship at Fort Benning, Ga. In the title match, Air Force soundly beat Army 34-0.

Playing a grueling five games in three days, the Air Force ruggers trounced their sister services by a combined score of 226-3. They didn't allow a single try.

Ward, a space-force-enhancement test analyst for Det. 4, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center, is looking to take that same intensity and passion to this year's Warrior Games. He'll compete in the 400- and 200-meter races.

Ward said he's training for the games on a four-days-on, one-day-off schedule.

"I sprint 500 or 600 meters, rest for three minutes, then repeat," he said. He completes five sets during each training session. He said he's also continuing his normal weight training regimen.

Despite not running track since his freshman year of high school, he'd like to run the 400 meters in under 50 seconds. That's a pretty lofty goal considering the current men's world record is 43.18 seconds set Aug. 26, 1999, by former Olympic great Michael Johnson.

But, as Ward well knows, miracles happen.

Just ask that U.S. Air Force Academy team playing Cal-Berkeley way back in 2003. Despite Ward's injury, the Zoomies upset Goliath that day, knocking off Cal-Berkeley, 46-28. They then beat Harvard, 45-37, the following day to win the national championship.

Employees Recognized

Employees were Recognized at the CBP Annual Award Ceremony Personnel from Area Port of Pembina, N.D. lauded for efforts


April 21, 2010 - Pembina, N.D. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees from the Port of Pembina, N.D. received a Special Recognition Award from the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their involvement in the Red River Valley Flood of 2009.

Employees from the Port of Pembina worked together to develop creative solutions and present a unified approach to respond to the spring flooding in 2009. Duties included: sandbagging homes, delivering supplies, providing port infrastructure protection, conducting daily patrols, welfare checks, working together with Border Patrol as part of Operation River Watch and supporting CBP officers detailed to FEMA ESF 13 Mission in Fargo, N.D.

Employees from the Port of Pembina along with other CBP employees from across the country were recognized at the annual Commissioner’s Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Four employees from the Port of Pembina were in attendance at the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. and received their award from the Acting Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection David V. Aguilar.

“I am so proud of the outstanding job our employees do from day to day in the performance of the CBP mission. The Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award is a tremendous honor and the employees that received this award should be proud of their achievement,” said Michele James, Director of Field Operations, Seattle.

The following employees from the Pembina service area were presented the Commissioner’s Special Recognition Award.

Barbara Hassler, Pembina, N.D.

Mary Delaquis, Pembina, N.D.

Jason Schmelz. Pembina, N.D.

Brent Beeter, Portal, N.D.

Shelly Kraft, Baudette, Minn.

Jonathan Turn, Pembina, N.D.

Christopher Misson, Pembina, N.D.

Brenda Masloski, Pembina, N.D.

Jeff Senkyr, Pembina, N.D.

Janet Hoffman, Pembina, N.D.

Mary Meyer, Pembina, N.D.

Jeffrey Peterson, Neche, N.D.

Gary Brevik, Neche, N.D.

Reid Chrest, Neche, N.D.

Gary Dietrich, Neche, N.D.

Roger Sumner, Neche, N.D.

Timothy Vetter, Neche, N.D.

Margaret Delude, Pembina, N.D.

Heidi Kihne, Pembina, N.D.

Cheri Askew, Pembina, N.D.

Gregory Volk, Pembina, N.D.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Hennessy Trophy winners announced

Air Force Services Agency Public Affairs

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Air Force officials recently announced the winners of the 2010 Hennessy Trophy awards.

The Hennessy Trophy is an annual award presented to Air Force installations with the best food-service programs. This year marks the 54th anniversary of the single- and multiple-facility category competition.

Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, is the winner of the single-facility category.

Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., is the winner of the multiple-facility category.

In addition to these categories, special awards are given to the best food service operations in Air Force Reserve Command and Air National Guard as well as special awards for U.S. Air Forces in Europe Small Site and Air Force Global Strike Command Best Missile Feeding Operation. The 2010 winners in these categories are:

AFRC - 914th Services Flight at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y.

ANG - 120th Services Flight at Great Falls, Mont.

USAFE Food Service Small Site award - 701st Munitions Support Squadron at Kleine Brogel, Belgium.

AFGSC Best Missile Feeding Operation - 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, N.D.

Awards are based on the entire scope of an installation’s food-service program. Winners must display excellence in management effectiveness, force-readiness support, food quality, employee and customer relations, resource conservation, training and safety awareness, officials said.

The Hennessy Travelers’ Association Award of Excellence is determined each year by Hennessy evaluators on the single and multiple teams. Each team selects an Air Force military food service person who exemplifies the highest standards of professionalism, attitude, and culinary skills as the recipient of the award of excellence.

HTA nominees for single-facility category are:

Airman 1st Class Audrey Collins, Luke AFB, Ariz.

Senior Airman Katrin Roberts, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

HTA nominees for multiple-facility category are:

Senior Airman Sarah Bruza, Eglin AFB, Fla.

Senior Airman Nicole Green, Kadena AB, Japan

Staff Sgt. Vilynthia Hawkins, Ramstein AB, Germany

Staff Sgt. April Pham, Offutt AFB, Neb.

Airman 1st Class Olegario Salas-Munguia, Fairchild AFB, Wash.

Airman 1st Class Candace Thompson, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The awards will be presented and HTA winners announced during the Air Force awards ceremony on May 21 in Chicago.

Alcohol Awareness Month

It’s Alcohol Awareness Month! 6 Ways You Can Get Involved


Posted by: Ana Tellez
HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

April 20, 2010 - The Bad News: According to recent surveys from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is linked to 79,000 deaths per year, 5,000 deaths of people under age 21 and hundreds of injuries such as falls, burns and drownings. This includes people in and around the military community.

The Good News: April marks Alcohol Awareness Month—a national health observance to raise awareness of alcohol abuse and encourage people to make healthy, safe choices. This is where you come in. Though the health observance is officially sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), numerous resources exist across government to support you in addressing alcohol awareness in your home and in your community.

Here are six ways you can get involved:

1.Encourage others. You can be a role-model and get others involved in alcohol awareness. Learn about ways to get involved and find online resources, tools, and more in healthfinder.gov’s Alcohol Awareness toolkit.

2.Know the warning signs of alcohol abuse. How you answer these six questions can help give you answers to your health. Be honest with yourself—it’s the first step to a healthier you. After all, you don’t want to become “that guy.”

3.Learn how to cut back or quit drinking. If you are drinking too much, these three steps can help you cut back and enjoy a healthier life. You may even need to consider quitting altogether.

4.Avoid alcohol while pregnant. This seems simple, but it’s vital to the health of the baby. Avoiding alcohol while pregnant helps prevent birth defects, developmental disorders and fetal alcohol spectrum syndrome. If you know someone who is pregnant, send them this e-card as a friendly reminder of this important health tip.

5.Talk to your family and kids. Research shows that kids do listen to their parents. Talk to your kids about alcohol, and while you’re at it, talk to them about tobacco and other drugs too. Knowing the facts will help your child lead a healthier lifestyle. For added support, look into the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s Rethinking Drinking campaign, SAMHSA’s “Talk Early. Talk Often.,” campaign, and StopAlcoholAbuse.gov to stay updated, informed and equipped on how to prevent underage drinking.

6.Seek support. Making a lifestyle change is hard to do on your own. If you want to take the next step in addressing the role of alcohol in your life or know of a friend or family member who wants to make a change and seek treatment, you can use SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator or call 1–800–662–HELP. The important thing is not to give up—on yourself, your friends or your community. We are in this together.

The 'X' Zone Radio & TV Show: Tue Apr 20 2010 : On The 'X' Zone Radio Show with Rob McConnell

The 'X' Zone Radio & TV Show: Tue Apr 20 2010 : On The 'X' Zone Radio Show with Rob McConnell

Monday, April 19, 2010

NAS Whidbey Island Commands Assist Local High School JROTC Championships

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tucker M. Yates, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

April 19, 2010 - OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Marines and Sailors representing three commands on Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island assisted Oak Harbor High School (OHHS) with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference Championships April 17.

In support of the program, more than 25 Sailors and Marines from Fleet Readiness Center Northwest (FRC NW), Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) 53 and Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Whidbey Island oversaw a physical readiness test-style competition, inspected drill teams and judged the color guard, armed and unarmed drill teams and the drill down competitions.

"[The JROTC] program really helped me out when I was in school. I have really fond memories of what I went through, so I figured it would be a really good experience, not just for myself, but to try to get different people from different ranks and different levels of experience to be on this side, which is totally different," said Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Pamela Velez, assigned to FRC NW, from Denver. "I talked to most of these people, and it just caught their interest. Most of them have never been part of JROTC, but they just wanted to help out, and I'm really proud of them."

"The Marines and the Navy from NAS Whidbey Island really helped out quite a bit. The Marines are experts at judging these contests because they do it all the time. This happens to be the big conference championships, so there's a little bit more significance to it, but they do it on a regular basis in our season meets as well," said retired Cmdr. Mike Black, OHHS senior Naval Science instructor. "We are particularly pleased to have them here today; we couldn't do this drill meet without them."

The event marked the conclusion of a season that started in December 2009 consisting of four regular meets and the final championship. More than 600 students in 28 teams from three divisions representing Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy JROTC programs qualified to compete in one or more of the 12 events held during the competition.

"The program isn't necessarily about putting kids into the military, but it's about good citizenship, leadership and healthy lifestyles. That's why I think it's important to do this, and this is the fun portion, the kids like doing this stuff. I think this is the kind of thing that keeps them coming back and getting involved in the program and because they do I think we can have a pretty good impact on them," said Black. "We're one of the few programs that without apologies teach values; honor, courage, commitment, teamwork, self-discipline, physical fitness, integrity, character, that's what we do and I think it's well worth it."

"The motivation of all the cadets was outstanding; everyone tried their hardest. It's a great thing for these kids to learn leadership and civic skills that they don't get normally," said Master Gunnery Sgt. Keith Summerill, acting sergeant major of MATSG 53 and Marine liaison for CNATTU Whidbey Island, from Apopka, Fla.

"I could see that they really were taking it seriously, and I think they appreciated all the hard work the kids were doing to get ready for them, too," said Dr. Rick Schulte, Oak Harbor School District superintendent.

"We get great help from the Navy partnership and we're pleased to have them on our campus when they can come," said Dwight Lundstrom, OHHS principal.

"These are the best of the best. It really made me proud to see all of the great things our kids are doing, not just the Oak Harbor kids, but the kids from all the different ROTC units across the area," said Schulte. "This today was really an example of the high caliber of kids we have in our schools. I think it's most impressive when you have a group of young men and women like that."

The overall winners of the competition were the team from Shelton High School in third, OHHS in second and South Kitsap High School in first. OHHS finish marked the highest placement in the last 10 years according to retired Chief Aviation Structural Mechanic-Hydraulics (AW) William Thiel, the event coordinator and an OHHS Naval Science instructor.