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Archive for the ‘Air Force’ Category

AFOSI Presents Chief of Staff with General Officer M18 MHS

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Air Force Office of Special Investigations HQ at Joint Base Andrews recently hosted AF senior leaders including the CSAF and VCSAF for their training and proficiency on small arms. While there, they presented Gen David L. Goldfein his new M18 Modular Handgun System, manufactured by SIG SAUER. Above, SSgt David Taylor familiarizes Gen Goldfein with the weapon.

According to AFOSI, the serial number for Gen Goldfein’s M18 is GO5021.

Additionally, Special Agent Justin Anderson demonstrated the Heckler & Koch MP5-K to the CSAF.

Here’s the Combat Arms Training & Maintenance Team who assisted Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. David L. Goldfein during his training and proficiency on small arms.

Photos by OSI SA Robert Davis

Tactical Air Control Party

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Feel like overcoming a tremendous challenge? Do you want to work with the Army, but be in the Air Force? Would you like to designate targets and guide aircraft in, to destroy our nation’s enemies? Then TACP is for you.

Visit www.airforce.com for more info.

24th SOW Mission Video

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Comprising the Special Tactics Force, Air Force Special Operations Command’s 24th Special Operations Wing is dedicated to tactical air-to-ground integration force and is the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.

No More ‘Flight Suits,’ the Integrated Aircrew Ensemble Makes Debut

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Representatives from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, visited Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam July 8-12 to introduce fighter pilots and aircrew flight equipment professionals to some of the newest developments in flight-suit technology.

Team Hickam’s Hawaiian Raptors, comprised of members from the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons, have been selected to be the first aircraft operators to bring the gear, called the Integrated Aircrew Ensemble, into an operational capacity.

The visiting project managers from the Human Systems Program Office provided demonstrations, fittings and on-the-job training to F-22 Raptor pilots and the AFE Airmen who will maintain the state-of-the art ensemble.

“Being selected as the first unit, and also as the Air National Guard, over any other [major command] is definitely something to be proud of, said Senior Master Sgt. Michelle Davidson, 154th Operations Support Squadron AFE superintendent. “I think it says something about our work ethic and our integrity down here; that we’re willing to take on the challenge and be a part of this new process.”

Hawaii Air National Guard and Active Duty pilots were provided demonstrations and were individually measured for custom-fit equipment.

Unlike the currently used ‘legacy’ equipment, which had been piecemealed with additional support items over several decades, each component of the IAE has been designed to complement all other items. The IAE is built to support aircrew in all ejection-seat aircraft, to include fighters, trainers and bomb carriers. Its material has been influenced by recent advancements in sports technology to aid aviators who endure harsh flight conditions.

“It’s all strategically placed so items are not on top of each other; it minimizes the occurrence of friction, hotspots or wear-down on the system,” said Carl Medeiros, IAE program manager. “The material is also moisture-wicking, so it pulls moisture away from the body, removing and reducing thermal burden, while increasing mobility and comfort levels. When it all comes together, there’s a direct correlation and improvement to the physiological effects on the pilot.”

A combination of four layers can be used to support pilots in the face of natural elements and a wide range of mission sets. This includes a thermal undergarment for cold weather protection, a water-resistant environmental protection layer, a chemical/biological/radiological resistant layer and the coverall, which provides heat and flame protection.

While the new system will require additional familiarize training events for AFE Airmen, less man hours will be required to sustain and service the equipment. Developments, such as the new floatation device, make this possible, as it does not require sensitive munitions to activate and can be transported and handled without risks of explosive reactions.

According to Medeiros, the Hawaiian Raptors are projected to receive the IAE during the first half of 2020.

“Initially I think the buildup process is going to be quite tedious,” said Davidson. “It’s a big task to take on, but I think once the supplies are delivered and we’re all set up it’s going to be an amazing product for us to use.”

Story by SrA John Linzmeier 

154th Wing Public Affairs

563d RQG Airmen Rescue Injured Mexican Fishermen

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. —

Airmen from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base’s 563d Rescue Group traveled more than 1700 miles, to save two critically injured Mexican fishermen onboard the Mazatun fishing vessel, July 10, 2019.

 The fishermen were injured when their vessel’s crane collapsed more than 1300 miles southwest of San Diego in international waters at approximately 8 p.m., July 9. Fishing nets obstructed Mazatun’s propellers during the incident making the boat unable to transit under its own power. The two severely injured fishermen were transferred to Mazatun’s sister ship, Tamara, who began making the three day journey to the nearest land, a Mexican naval outpost on Socorro Island located more than approximately 840 miles away.

 Due to the severity of the injuries and the ship’s isolated location, an urgent request was made for the specialized skills of U.S. Air Force Rescue. In response, the 563d RQG deployed multiple HC-130J Combat King II aircraft from the 79th Rescue Squadron to Tamara as it sailed to Socorro Island, July 10. Pararescuemen from the 48th Rescue Squadron parachuted from the HC-130J into the ocean. They intercepted and boarded the Tamara, and provided trauma care for the injured fishermen. They quickly stabilized the patients and offered continued care for the rest of the voyage to Socorro Island.

 “The relationship that was built with the captain of the ship allowed a seamless integration of our PJs medical capabilities to be able to provide the best treatment for the two injured fishermen,” said Capt John Conner, 48th RQS flight commander of flight 3. “It also allowed us the opportunity to work how we were going to transfer the patient on the ship to Socorro Island. That relationship was key.”

 Tamara reached Socorro harbor Friday evening, July 12. The pararescuemen transferred the fishermen to the Mexican naval medical clinic on the island where they would stay overnight. The next day an air ambulance transported them to Mazatlan, Mexico for further treatment.

 “The unsaid skill Air Force Rescue offers is the ability to solve difficult problems in a timely fashion. This mission highlights rescue professionals’ ability to network within the 563d RQG, 355th Wing and a greater Tucson medical community to solve an incredibly difficult problem, and continue solving problems throughout the mission’s execution which can be seen by the infil methods, follow-on aerial resupply, and transfer of care/exfil conditions,” said Captain Michael Erickson, 48th RQS director of operations. “Air Force Rescue’s successful execution of the mission demonstrates one of the ways Davis-Monthan’s culture of readiness and problem solving skills can support the greater joint force and our mission partners.”

 “This is the longest domestic rescue the 563d RQG has accomplished,” said Lt. Col. Scott Williams, 79th RQS commander. “The unique nature and location of the accident required specialized care, and I’m proud of the job our entire team did to ensure these men returned home to their families.”

By A1C Kristine Legate, 355th Wing Public Affairs

Tyndall AFB leads way in authorizing shorts on flight line

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. —

Working any job on the flight line can be an arduous task, but scorching heat and thick humidity can easily raise the temperature to triple digits along the long strip of pavement before sunrise.

Chief Master Sgt. Brent Salvadori, 325th Maintenance Group (MXG) superintendent, devised a way over the past 18 months to keep Airmen comfortable in the heat, without sacrificing mission accomplishment.

The 325th MXG Airmen are officially approved to wear shorts on the flight line when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees outside of a climate controlled area.

“When asked the question, ‘Should I?’ my response is simple, ‘It’s what my Airmen want, and this is what Chiefs do,” said Salvadori. “We make things happen for our Airmen. This who we are, and this is what we do.”

The idea originated from the 95th Aircraft Maintenance Unit deployment to Al Dhafra Air Base in southwest Asia, said Salvadori. The AMU was permitted to wear shorts while they were deployed and upon return Salvadori reached out for the local guidance authorizing Al Dhafra’s shorts to integrate them at home station. 

“After review, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” said Salvadori. “It was a long journey, as with any time you try to change something this drastic. But, when you peel the onion back, our fellow aircraft maintenance contractors and depot civilians have been wearing shorts in the same industrial environment while performing the same maintenance actions. So, why not Airmen?”

The shorts are incredibly beneficial and serve as a cooler alternative to wear during the day while the heat and humidity is unbearable, said SrA Michael Conard, 325th MXS Aerospace Ground Equipment journeyman.

Through this effort other bases, such as Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, Beale AFB and Edwards AFB in California and Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina are utilizing this idea for their flight lines.

This new attempt at innovation for flight line Airmen embodies their motto of #AWESOME: Always With Excellence Supporting Our Mission Everyday.

By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum, 325th Fighter Wing

USAF Officer Training School Braces For “Godzilla” Class

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

I attended a reasonably sized OTS class in 1996. We were organized into only three trainee Squadrons and we lived in the dorms which I later stayed in for Squadron Officer School. Even though here were only two to a room, it was pretty tight.

In the early 2000s, OTS got its own compound out on the old flight line at Maxwell AFB. Even so, I don’t know how they’re going to house a class this size.What’s more, OTS is set up in a “inmates running the asylum” scheme. This requires the upper class, which is halfway through OTS, to assume many of the duties normally fulfilled by a training cadre. If the upper class is substantially smaller than the lower class, supervision will suffer. Granted, over half of the new OTs will be prior service, but even then, the number of those right off the street will be larger than an average class.

The undertaking is so big, as of last week, many did still not yet have orders to attend OTS.

It’s going to be a tough go; for everyone involved. I wish everyone good luck!

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. —

This past March, Air University’s Officer Training School celebrated the graduation of its largest class in school history: 340 officer trainees. Just a few months later, though, the radar is reading a class more than twice that size.

What is being dubbed the “Godzilla” class, OTS Class 19-07 will push the school to its maximum capacity by tipping the scales with the expected arrival of 800 officer trainees in mid-July.

OTS is considered the “shock absorber” for Air Force officer accessioning, said Lt. Col. Erick Saks, 24th Training Squadron commander. The school works with the Air Force manpower directorate and Air Force Recruiting Service to meet any projected shortfalls in the number of commissioned officers from the service’s other commissioning sources — Air Force ROTC and the Air Force Academy — based on the needs of the Air Force.

For the Godzilla class, OTS nearly tripled the typical number of seats allotted for active duty line officers, going from about 170 to 500, the majority of the increase. The 800 officer trainees coming in will be split between OTS’s two training squadrons, the 24th TRS and Det. 12. Previously, each squadron typically received a class of 250-300 OTs.

OTS leadership, however, does not expect the increase in trainees to cause a decrease in quality of training.

“It’s not just about getting numbers out, it’s about making sure our trainees leave here with the skills they need to be great officers,” said Capt. Kaitlin Daddona, 24th Training Squadron assistant director of operations for training. “That’s what we’re really focusing on with this many people in one class.”

In order to make sure operations continue to run smoothly, communication and coordination have been key in preparation of the class, Daddona said.

With the abnormally high number of trainees coming in, otherwise routine aspects of the OTS schedule, such as meal times and lectures, have required more forethought and planning due to the nature of the beast.

Communication and coordination are important, especially when there are only six military training instructors to take on Godzilla.

Master Sgt. Bobby Johnson, OTS MTI, said that tackling this monster of a class will help develop himself and his team into “masters of controlled chaos” and make them gain the ability to problem solve while in the presence of hundreds of future Airmen.

Molding almost a thousand civilians into Air Force leaders at once can sound like a daunting task, but the OTS team sees it as an opportunity to become laser focused on cohesion and developing into better leaders right alongside their very own Godzilla.

“The best part of this has been being able to open up those lines of communication so that we can connect and build relationships with the partners that we have, whether it’s here on base or within Montgomery,” said Daddona.

The team at OTS believe that they are up to the task, but they fear the class will take a major toll on the school’s facilities.

Capt. Curan Clonch, 24th TRS assistant director of operations for standardization and evaluations, said that the facilities are going to take the biggest hit from Class 19-07.

“We can anticipate all of the things that may happen, but there’s not much we can do as far as preventative maintenance,” he said.

While the hype of this class has created a paradigm shift in the OTS staff’s mindset, the school’s goal remains the same.

“Even though Godzilla seems like a terrifying beast, we recognize the importance of getting these officers through and giving them the training that they need,” said Daddona. “As long as our trainees are leaving pumped and ready to be officers, then we did our job.”

By Senior Airman Alexa Culbert, Air University Public Affairs

Aircrew Gets New Anti-Smoke Goggles

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) —

If smoke starts filling up a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, the aircrew reach for their anti-smoke goggles. For more than 20 years the ASGs have been a basic four part system, until now.

With innovation, the new ASGs are now a three-part system. The suspension frame itself is still made the same with the nape pad attached, while the goggles and oxygen mask portion have been upgraded.

“The ones that we are replacing have the same basic frame, but the goggles and the oxygen mask are two separate pieces,” said Tech. Sgt. Ronald Patton, 403rd Operation Support Squadron aircrew flight equipment craftsman. “Before, you would need to put the oxygen mask over your mouth and nose, then pull the frame up and place the nape pad at the back of your head. Once that was in place you would put the goggles on and pull the straps on both sides to tighten them.”

The way the new ASGs work is still the same concept, except now the goggles and oxygen mask are one piece, so when you place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth, the goggles are put on at the exact same time, saving time and making them quicker to put on and operate.

“The new masks are made similar to ones that firefighters use,” said Master Sgt. Ray Reynolds, 403rd OSS aircrew flight equipment supervisor. “The older goggles had a narrower field of view, while the new ones allow the aircrew to be able to use their peripheral vision.”

As a part of the AFE duties, they are required to make sure the equipment operates the way it is supposed to, be able to fix the equipment and replace any parts as needed.

Patton said that when the new ASGs came in, the manufacturer sent a ‘fix’ in with the mask to ensure they operated as designed. This ‘fix’ was a single screw that needed to be replaced on the front of the mask.

“Every part on the ASG system is replaceable, which helps to make sure they last,” Reynolds said. “Looking at the order of parts that could be damaged from easiest to hardest. The first thing is the hose, the second thing being the communication cord and the third is the microphone and then onto the remaining parts.”

AFE technicians are also required to test the pull disconnect on the air hoses to ensure that they will not come unattached from the oxygen hose on the aircraft too easily. This pull test requires a minimum of 12 pounds to a maximum of 20 pounds of pull before the hose on the mask would release, ensuring that there is some resistance before it disconnects.

If the disconnect is not between the 12 to 20 pounds of pull, then they have to fix the connector to correct the amount of pressure to meet the requirement, Patton said.

“We are also required to conduct pre-flight, post-flight, periodic maintenance, 30-day and 120-day inspections on the ASGs,” Patton said.

The 30-day inspections consists of basic checks. A visual examination is conducted and they look for cuts, tears, abrasions, discolorations, rust, anything other than normal, looking for anything that is obviously defective. A cleaning is done and the components are tested to ensure they work.

The 120-day inspection is the same inspection, but with a full break down of all of the components and a deep clean, checking the integrity of the components that you cannot see, Reynolds said.

“It is not that the old ASGs were replaced because they were faulty, they worked exactly as they were designed to. It seems like they just needed to improve on the integrity of the system itself,” Patton said. “Will it operate better under stressful situations, will it be easier to repair if it does break, does it have as many subcomponents that can break, does the aircrew member find it easier to don, and can the aircrew operate better in the environment, were questions that they asked when designing the new system.”

To improve the ASG system, they took a mask similar to a firefighter’s mask and the quick don suspension frame and made it one system, then they added the communications portion, Reynolds said.

“So they are doing something right, because if they hadn’t created this one, the ones that we have still work. I have been in this career field for more than 30 years and this is only the third version that I have seen,” Reynolds said.

“While the older ASG masks still work and some are still located on our C-130J aircraft, we are working to replace them on all of the aircraft” Patton said. “We currently have six sets in service and have replaced more than half of the 815th Airlift Squadron’s ASGs with a new quick don system and we expect to have them all of our aircraft by the middle of August, after the current inspection cycles are complete.”

By Jessica L. Kendziorek, 403rd Wing Public Affairs