ICBM Security Forces Implement Changes to Improve Readiness, Morale
Security forces at the Air Force’s three missile fields recently implemented a new operating concept, which creates a new squadron at each base to better rotate forces and provide more regular schedules for airmen. The change is the latest in a series of improvements to the service’s nuclear weapons community, which was faced with a morale crisis in recent years. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.
Combat Photographer Awarded Bronze Star With Valor
A combat photographer from JB Andrews, Md., recently received the Bronze Star with Valor for his actions during a 2011 battle in Afghanistan. SMSgt. Kevin Wallace, currently the public affairs chief for the 89th Airlift Wing, was deployed as a 4th Infantry Division combat photographer in 2011 when his team was performing a night patrol through villages in the Badghis province. The team was detected by enemy forces and ambushed, sparking a several hour long firefight, according to an Andrews release. During the fight, Wallace alternated between engaging the enemy and taking pictures of his teammates. He took more than 400 photographs during the battle, which were then used for operational analysis, battle assessment, intelligence, informational operations, historical records, and public affairs needs. “Eleven men were out there and 11 men were heroes,” Wallace said in a release. “There were men on the outpost providing overwatch who were the heroes. Men on the quick-reaction force providing cover fire during our exfiltration were heroes. I don’t think anyone out there was less than a hero that day.” —Brian Everstine
Former Academy Superintendent Goes Pro, Takes over NBA Officiating
Retired Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, who retired from the Air Force earlier this month after leading the US Air Force Academy, has been hired to oversee the National Basketball Association’s officiating. Johnson, who was a notable basketball player while attending the academy, will begin this week and oversee referee recruitment and development as well as replays for the league. Read the full report by Brian Everstine.
Former 12th Air Force Command Chief Pleads Guilty
The former command chief master sergeant of 12th Air Force pleaded guilty on Oct. 12 of several violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including sexual misconduct charges stemming from indecent recording of a woman without her consent. CMSgt. Jose A. Barraza pleaded guilty in front of a military judge at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to charges of willfully disobeying an order, dereliction of duty, making false official statements, indecent recording, and obstruction of justice, according to an Air Combat Command release. Barraza was sentenced to 10 months of confinement, reduction in rank to E-4, and a reprimand.
Space Wars in 2027
The 11th annual Schriever Wargame kicked off on Oct. 13. Set in the year 2027, the exercise scenario is centered around an adversary operating in the US Pacific Command area of responsibility who is attempting to exploit the space and cyber domains. “The scenario will also include a full spectrum of threats across diverse operating environments to challenge civilian and military leaders, planners, and space system operators, as well as the capabilities they employ,” states a USAF release. Some 200 military and civilian personnel are slated to participate in the exercise, including representatives from 27 US commands and agencies. International participants include, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The goal of the exercise is to example various multi-domain “command and control frameworks to employ and defend air, space, and cyberspace capabilities,” and to test space resiliency and deterrence concepts, states the release.
Ramstein, Minnesota C-130s Deploy to Poland
Airmen and C-130s from USAF two units are in Poland for a month-long training exercise with the Polish Air Force. Two C-130Js and airmen from the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein AB, Germany, and two C-130Js and airmen from the 934th Airlift Wing at Minneapolis-St. Paul ARS, Minn., deployed to Powidz AB, Poland, for Aviation Rotation 18-1 in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The deployment began Oct. 13 and runs through mid November. During the training, the airmen with fly alongside the Police air force, with support from the 52nd Operations Group’s Det. 1—the first permanent operational US military presence in Poland. The detachment includes squadrons or detachments from both the Active Duty and Air National Guard, according to a Ramstein release.
—The Romanian air force received its final three F-16s from Portugal earlier this month, completing the first F-16 squadron in the country: USAF release.
—The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that “poor design and construction, contractor noncompliance, and unauthorized product substitution” during phase four of the Kabul Military Training Center potentially wasted “as much as $4.1 million in taxpayer funds:” SIGAR report.