P3 News

From Haiti To The Greatest Air Force In The World

Story by SSgt Joshua Edwards on 02/10/2019

For Master Sgt. Larwens Subtil, 8th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant at Kunsan Air Base, his Air Force story begins in Haiti.

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1-43 Ada Defends Adab's Skies

Story by TSgt Darnell Cannady on 02/09/2019

Their soldiers are trained to maintain and operate the Patriot launchers used to intercept any airborne threat.

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Joint Base Charleston Wins Aeroflow Breastpumps' Pumping Room Makeover

Story by A1C Allison Payne on 02/08/2019
Joint Base Charleston's Air Base Child Development Center was selected by Aeroflow Breastpumps as the winner of their first-ever pumping room makeover' contest. The makeover, revealed Jan. 11, 2019, consisted of a complete room transformation, including comfortable furniture for moms, a side table, organizational areas, room accessories and breastfeeding artwork.
Cheri Hoffman, Mom & Baby Brand manager at Aeroflow, a provider specializing in helping pregnant and nursing women qualify for their breast pump through insurance, said they received more than 550 contest entries in a one-month period and selected the winner based on a variety of criteria, such as the number of breastfeeding families who would benefit from the room, finding an organization which was just as passionate about supporting breastfeeding moms and a compelling story overall. Hoffman said it was a tough choice, but JBC stood out because she saw it as an opportunity to not only provide a makeover, but to also raise awareness around the benefits of supporting breastfeeding moms in the military community.
"On behalf of the Air Base Child Development Center, I want to thank Cheri for selecting our facility to receive their first room makeover," said Judith Jackson, Air Base CDC director. "I also want to recognize Mamie Futrell, a parent of children enrolled in our program, who submitted our facility for this contest. With this new pumping room, our military and civilian mothers have a modern and comfortable place to support their breastfeeding requirements for their newborns. We are honored to receive this generous gift and very grateful for Aeroflow Breastpumps' support of our military community."
JBC's child development centers are nationally certified and strive to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The program's mission is to assist military and civilian personnel in balancing the competing demands of the accomplishment of the Department of Defense mission and family life by managing and delivering a system of quality, available and affordable programs and services for eligible children. Providing moms with a safe and private room to pump is one of many ways the DOD mission is reflected in the center.
"It's so important to have a consistent space to pump in so we can keep a steady milk supply," said Staff Sgt. Jozi Erdman, 628th Communications Squadron quality assurance evaluator. "Any small or inconsistent change can have a major effect in milk production, so the new room will not only help combat that, but it will also allow us to relax in a space that's specifically designed to accommodate a pumping or breastfeeding mom. It has lifted a weight off my shoulders knowing that I won't have to worry about a proper pumping space versus a room that's been magically' turned into a pumping room and doesn't provide any real benefits for me."
Upon completion, the newly decorated room was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. With smiles on their faces, moms filled the room, discussing the before and after' and how excited they were to use it.

"I think what Aeroflow is doing with this contest is beyond encouraging and amazing," said Mamie Futrell, 628th Air Base Wing sexual assault response coordinator for the Air Base. "It really opens your eyes to the fact that you don't need a lot of money or even a big space to make a pumping room. When moms feel supported throughout their motherhood journey, they're happier and more productive employees. Oftentimes, not having a private space to pump or nurse is a barrier to mothers wanting to breastfeed, so having a private, comfortable room is extremely important for them. When you can comfortably nurse your baby, your milk supply comes in a lot faster and fuller, versus using the machine, which can cause a decrease in your milk production. Without this pumping room, I don't know if I would have been able to nurse as long as I did. I am forever thankful and hopeful that this will support moms who want to nurse their babies when they return to work here at JBC."

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Serving, Saving, Shaping

Story by Joseph Eddins on 02/08/2019
In December 2018, Airman magazine interviewed Maj. Gen. Mark E. Smith, the Civil Air Patrol's 24th national commander. He leads CAP's more than 60,000 members across the United States in fulfilling the U.S. Air Force auxiliary's Congressionally chartered missions of emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education, in addition to the organization's steadily increasing role in U.S. homeland security as the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force.

Airman Magazine: You've had a very long and varied career. What sparked your interest in aviation and the Air Force and how did that lead to becoming the national commander of the Civil Air Patrol?
Maj. Gen. Smith: From the time that I was a kid, I told the family that I wanted to grow up and be an Air Force fighter pilot. That was my dream as a kid and there was always interesting things going on at Edwards Air Force Base (California). I grew up not too far from Edwards (AFB) and from China Lake Naval Air Station. In the days of the X-15 and sonic booms and all sorts of fun stuff going on, I said, "That's what I want to do."
But, the reality was that I lived in a little-bitty camping trailer behind an auto garage in a town that if you counted all the ranches was about 135 people out in the desert of California. The family dynamics were not particularly healthy, so there was not going to be any way that these types of dreams we're going to be realized.
Near where I went to high school, in the town of Lone Pine, California, 23 miles away, there was a fellow who was a Korean War era veteran, an Air Force fighter pilot. He found out what my interests were and he was the area liaison for the Air Force Academy.
He mentored me through the process to apply to go to the academy. I was accepted, graduated and went to pilot training. I started out in the F-4 (Phantom II) and then ultimately into the F-15 (Eagle), where I spent most of my time. So I love to talk to young people about the power of mentorship because it's something that made a fundamental difference in my life and being able to achieve my life goal.
Airman Magazine: Who was that F-86 Sabre pilot?
Maj. Gen. Smith: He was Air Force Reserve Maj. Ray Powell. He ultimately became Lt. Col. Ray Powell. He was the positive influence in my life, of course, up until I got married, but he was the positive in my life through when I was promoted to colonel within the Air Force just before he passed.
We all have people that we can go back and say, "that person made a fundamental difference in my life." Ray Powell was that person for me. I spent 26 years in the Air Force, then I was in industry afterwards, other nonprofits, served as my wife's caregiver for several years and was doing CAP on the side; a wing commander, region commander and then into this job.
It was not on my radar scope to do the job. I was, you might say, "encouraged" to apply for the position, and I was finally beaten into submission, put a package in and here we are in the best job in the world.
Airman Magazine: You kind of breezed past those 26 years in the Air Force, but that included a combat tour and I am sure a lot more. Could you tell me about that?
Maj. Gen. Smith: My combat time was in Desert Storm as part of the 1st Fighter Wing; Desert Shield and Desert Storm operating out of Dhahran (Saudi Arabia). I was, at the time, the assistant chief of stan/eval (standards and evaluation) leading up to Desert Shield. One of our additional duties, if a contingency comes up, is getting the deployment gone, the airplanes and the pilots.
So we deployed 48 aircraft and my boss, the chief of stan/eval, wrangled his way on the flight line. They go and I'm still sitting at Langley (AFB) saying "something's wrong with this picture." It took me a couple more weeks to actually get over there to the desert.
They gave me some folks and said, "Okay, turn them into a flight. A four-ship flight that's combat ready." We did that over the course of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We employed as a four ship or multiples of four ships during the course of Desert Shield as well.
Airman Magazine: Please tell me a little bit about what your duties are now. What it is that you do for the CAP?
Maj. Gen. Smith: I'll first say, we have people from absolutely every walk of life; it is amazing! That's one of the riches of this organization. When I first joined, based on my background, I wasn't sure if this was going to be a good fit for me. And what happened is I fell in love with the people.
These are amazing people who are giving of their time, treasure and talents to serve community, state and nation and doing a wide variety of amazing things. So, you know, what's not to like about that? Then the stick and rudder flying, of course I love airplanes, love flying and it's nice to still do that.
But for me, and I would say really for everybody, those of us who have worn the uniform with whatever branch of service it might be, it's a way that we can continue to serve. So that's number one.
You know, I bleed Air Force blue. I've got the core values that are burned into my DNA. That service, that excellence, that integrity, the moral framework and the fabric that we have within the CAP is something that, certainly those of us who were or are in the Air Force, can easily identify with.
So back to your question, first, remember that CAP is fully the auxiliary of the Air Force and it is fully a congressionally-chartered nonprofit corporation, as well.
So in my position, I am the national commander, the person in charge of this military-looking type of structure, but I'm also the chief executive officer for this large nonprofit corporation, as well. From the business perspective, I'm working with the chief operating officer, and with 135 paid employees and about another 75 to 80 volunteers at the national level for the staff.
All the resources that we have; the budget team, the strategic planning and then the volunteers, is a one-team concept in our pursuit of excellence in performing our missions - those three Congressionally-chartered missions, as the Air Force auxiliary, the federal level and state and local level where we can help make a difference.
Airman Magazine: Could you tell me about the history and the origins of the CAP?
Maj. Gen. Smith: It's a wonderful story. The individuals who played a key part of starting the CAP had their beginnings as war fighters in the First World War.
Gill Rob Wilson and his brother were World War One-era aviators for the US. Gill Rob Wilson saw his brother go down in flames and that burned into his psyche; what war is all about.
He and folks like him between the wars, with the rise of Nazi Germany and fascism around the world, became concerned about the United States' entry into conflict. They could see no way that the U.S. would not be involved in some sort of global conflict and they said, "there's got to be a way that we can help."
Then there's a name that a lot of folks have heard, (Fiorello H.) La Guardia, who was mayor of New York.
He was also in charge of the federal level civil defense efforts. Back in the day of the civil defense, it's a bunch of volunteers; folks like a Gill Rob Wilson, folks like Secretary Wilson's grandfather (George G. "Scotty" Wilson) who said, "what can we do as aviators to help the cause? If we get into conflict, what can we do to help to relieve the pressure on military, to put their resources where they need to be".
So they worked with La Guardia and the CAP was chartered on December 1, 1941, just six days before Pearl Harbor. From that day on through World War II, through those darkest times, CAP was performing missions with people paying their own way, providing their own aircraft and doing amazing things to help.
The next year, October 1, 1942, it was recognized that there were a lot of young people wanting to be involved in helping as well. So that day was the start of our cadet program within CAP and young people were actively engaged to make a difference for that war effort.
They were wearing CAP uniforms, learning the basics, and many of them going on to serve in the military. We had individuals that went on to be a Tuskegee Airmen, ladies who flew with the WAAFS (Women's Auxiliary Air Force).
Later in the war, Col. Gail Halvorsen, who everybody knows from the Berlin Airlift, the Berlin Candy Bomber, had his start as a CAP cadet.
Especially during the initial dark days when we were building up our resources on the military side of the house, one of the biggest things was German U-boats would come right in close to shore and would be sinking the oil tankers. We were losing significant numbers of tankers to these U-boat attacks.
CAP was asked to perform coastal patrols looking for these German U-boats and attacking many of them with 100-pound bombs mounted on private planes, but the bottom line result was the German U-boats were forced offshore which resulted in being able to solve that problem of all these ships being sunk.
Lots of other missions as wellsearch and rescue, fire courier service, towing targets for gunnery practiceanything that we could do to help with the war effort and that degree of service has gone all the way up to the present.
Airman Magazine: Do those same types of missions still exist today?
Maj. Gen. Smith: Absolutely. You can see those early missions still being done today. The technology has changed a lot, but a lot of those missions are the same. The people are not the same, but the spirit of service is the same.
We may not be towing targets anymore, but we are still helping with air defense. One of the most challenging things that the F-15 and F-16 Fighting Falcon (pilots), who are in the air defense mission, practice is (intercepting) low and slow flying targets. We're a perfect choice for that.
Multiple times a week throughout the course of the year, we'll act as an intruder in a low and slow airplane going into airspace where they shouldn't be. It's an opportunity to exercise that air defense capability, not only for detection, but the scrambling and the vectoring of the fighters and ultimately the intercepting.
We have missions that happen right here in the national capital region that help exercise the resources who are responsible for the defense of this particular airspace.
Every 10 months, out at Fort Bliss, Texas, we do a similar thingFalcon Virgo is the name. It's preparing the air defenders, getting them trained up and they deploy here to the national capital region to perform those air defense missions.
Search and rescue has certainly come all the way from World War II to the present as well.
During World War II, there were border patrol missions along our southern borderthat has not stopped. We work with Customs and Border Patrol agents, multiple times a week, at different times to keep it unpredictable, but we'll fly border patrol missions all the way from Texas to New Mexico, Arizona, California with a Customs and Border Patrol agent on the plane with communications to the ground helping to safe guard the border.
Then there is the basic theme of relieving the Air Force from the use of their resources, and in a much more cost efficient manner. We have aircraft that are modified with a Predator sensor ball to provide that intelligence feed data and communications to our battlefield warriors for the training that they need. The actual unmanned aerial systems are a precious resource being used elsewhere.
Also, (CAP performs) surveys of military low-level flying routes, range sweeps (and) chases unmanned aerial aircraft from their National Guard base through controlled airspace into the military operating areas.
The Federal Aviation Administration still wants a "see and avoid" set of eyeballs going through that controlled space.
So that's just a sampling of some of the different Air Force related missions that we continue to do. You can trace the lineage all the way back to what we did in World War II.
Airman Magazine: I would imagine that it is a lot cheaper to fly a Cessna 172 than a Predator.
Maj. Gen. Smith: Absolutely. If you look at a disaster response and search and rescue and the hourly cost of operating anything from a C-130 (Hercules) to a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to different helicopters, the cost is pretty significant and that's just making the resource available in first place plus the operating and maintenance cost.
On an hourly basis, on average, it's about $165 (in flight and maintenance costs) for a CAP airplane. It varies a little bit on the type of airplane.
Of course the volunteers are volunteers. They're unpaid professionals who are passionate about going out and doing these types of things.
So we're a very cost-efficient option for the Air Force and for other agencies that may need some of those types of capabilities that we can bring to the table.
Airman Magazine: Does CAP participate in Air Force exercises?
Maj. Gen. Smith: Aircraft that we have modified with the Predator sensor, and the data link and communications that go along with that, are used in Green Flag East and Green Flag West out of Louisiana and Nevada. These airplanes emulate a Predator aircraft and provide training that's needed, especially for those battlefield warriors.
We are able to serve as targets, if you will, on the air defense side, the penetration of airspace, those types of things range all the way from a Red Flag or a Green Flag all the way to Super Bowl.
They have the controlled airspace and before the Super Bowl the defenders will want to exercise their procedures, while we are (portraying) somebody who's trying to penetrate (that airspace).
Even on a presidential visit to a particular location, (the Air Force is) setting up that secure airspace and then using CAP to help to calibrate the defense of that particular airspace.
Also, on the test and evaluation side of the house, with new radars, new sensors or new capabilities that the Air Force is interested in, they need an airplane to fly different places, altitudes, airspeeds, so they can do their data collection for tests and evaluation. We're a particularly affordable option for that type of thing.
Airman Magazine: One of the other large issues the Air Force has been facing is getting pilots into the pipeline. How does CAP assist in increasing the supply of pilots; not only traditional cockpit pilots, but also RPA pilots?
Maj. Gen. Smith: It's a great topic. Certainly for the chief, that's one of his top priorities. The Air Force pilot shortage, of course, is a subset of the larger worldwide shortage of pilots.
So what can the Air Force do about it?
As the civilian auxiliary, we have a seat at the table for helping to think this through and to be part of the solution as well. Imagine feeding a funnel, if you will, it's not a linear pipeline.
We can start right down there with kids and get them excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related materials, (building) a broad base of excitement and engagement with STEMrelated things with an emphasis on aviation and aerospace.
As that bubbles up, we have kids who are interested in flying as CAP cadets and they have the opportunity to receive orientation flights, both powered and gliders, at no cost to them.
For the kids who are really motivated, they have the opportunity to attend one of our flight academiesagain, powered or glider.
For the young people who have done well, shown the aptitude, they get a physical and do the ground test for the FAA ticket. We have the means to take them all the way through and fund them for getting their private pilot's license and continue to fly them as they work towards getting into an accession program, whether it's ROTC or the Air Force Academy or into OTS (officer training school) and then ultimately into the Air Force.
The Air Force is invested in us to help make that happen. The flight academies provide opportunities for kids who are underprivileged, underserved, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to go to a flight academy or learn to fly.
Airman Magazine: How does the CAP address Air Force needs in other career fields?
Maj. Gen. Smith: CAP has those three missions - emergency services, the cadet program and aerospace education. So when it comes to STEM and career areas of emphasis for the Air Force, they are parts of two mission areas, aerospace education and cadet programs.
We work with the cadets and really get them fired up about aviation and aerospace. They're exposed to everything that's related to areas of interest to the Air Force. We work hard with teachers in schools, providing STEM related materials to teachers that they use in the classroom. That expands our reach.
It's part of the charter that we have to have an impact nationwide to the best of our resource abilities. We have 15 different STEM kits, 40 different aerospace education materials and resources that they can use.
The STEM kits range all the way from fluid mechanics to robotics, computer programming, rockets, airplanes and unmanned systemsall sorts of things because different people get motivated by different things. There's something there for most everybody to get them excited.
For aerospace education, we currently have an impact of some 400,000 young people per year through teachers and the classroom. Our five-year goal is to exceed 1 million kids who are benefiting from these things.
So that's the aerospace education piece. For the cadet program, the program basics are leadership, character, aerospace education and physical fitness, but there are also about 50 different types of what we call National Cadet Special Activities that are available.
They run a huge spectrum in career areas that are of interest to the Air Force; mechanics, cyber defense, robotics, civil engineering and introductions to pilot training and even pararescue.
The PJs (Pararescue Jumpers) are a wonderful community and very inspiring to our cadets. We have a basic course and an advanced course where the PJs and our staff have put programs together to where these cadets can get a flavor of that PJ experience; from the medical aspect to being inserted out in the woods and having self navigate and take care of yourselfthe complete spectrum of the PJ experience.
Airman Magazine: Do cadets have any opportunities for international experience?
Maj. Gen. Smith: One of the most amazing programs that CAP gets to participate in is called the International Air Cadet Exchange Program. There are something like 17 different participating nations involved, ranging from Australia to China, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Israel, Canada; a wide variety of countries participate in this partnership.
CAP cadets are the folks who participate on behalf of the United States.
It's a very selective process because we only have about 30 to 35 young people that we are able to send. Other countries will be sending the same number of cadets, young people who are into aviation, to all these different countries. We (hosted) cadets from seven different countries last year. It's an amazing, life-changing experience for these individuals.
They are not only serving as ambassadors of the United States, but developing lifelong friendships.
There's one individual who reached the highest levels of achievement as a cadet and is still an active supporter of CAP. His International Air Cadet Exchange exposure was in one of the Scandinavian countries.
He developed friendships with folks from a number of different countries and has continued to work with them over the course of about 40 to 50 years; not only in the Air Force, but also in the business and the political world.
Airman Magazine: What is the CAP's role in search and rescue operations, whether they be local, state or federal level and what kind of technologies you employ to accomplish those missions?
Maj. Gen. Smith: The technology has come light years. Back in the day, it was needle, ball and compass for flying the airplane and it was eyes outside the cockpit for trying to find what you're looking for. The technology has come along which really enables us to provide a level of support and service to Air Force, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and other emergency response and search and rescue, that just wasn't possible before.
Now what we have today is radically different, in large degree, because of technology that's been brought to bear by CAP volunteers in two key areas.
One is what we refer to as the National Radar Analysis Team. These are a group of volunteers who have developed software that takes the FAA radar returns and is able to fine tune that from the time that radar returns are lost to really narrow down the box to where they have a higher degree of confidence, where that missing airplane might be.
The relationship they have with FAA, based on proven performance, is so good that there is a direct linkage between FAA and our National Radar Analysis Team to get them the information they need.
We can provide that information back to the folks looking for that missing airplane and it (has) helped to find those folks much quicker than in the past.
The other part is what we call the Cell Phone Forensics Team. These are volunteers who, because of their great relationships with cell providers, have been able to get proprietary data from the cell providers to do triangulation.
Based on those little bread crumbs, a ping off a particular cell tower, they are able to fine tune, down to a pretty small box, where a missing person is. That could be a missing hiker, a missing boater or ship or someone who's wandered away from a care facility who perhaps has dementia.
Every agency involved in finding someone is working through the Air Force to get the use of cell phone forensics.
With this technology we're able to normally find the folks within hours instead of days, with much fewer resources incurred. It has resulted in many more saves. Last year, 158 saved lives, which is, since modern records have been kept, the largest number of saves that we've had.
More than 90 percent of those had either or both Cell Phone Forensics and the Radar Analysis Team involved in making that happen.
Every time there's a national disaster, whether it's a hurricane, a tornado, a flood or earthquake, CAP is involved.
There is a good chance that the aerial imaging has been taken by CAP.
We have folks in the air and we have ground teams supporting shelters and handing out goods.
But let me talk about the airborne part of it again. With GPS, we can stitch the cameras together to get a mosaic. Our biggest user of those capabilities is FEMA. We're able to provide the imaging so FEMA knows where they need to put their resources.
Now, in more recent years, the types of technology that have come on board are spectacular. These are commercial off-the-shelf too, so it's very affordable for FEMA and the Air Force to be able to put onto our aircraft.
(This technology) is able to provide a three-dimensional video. It can be manipulated around. You can see, all the various angles and aspects of buildingsfront side, backside. All that as the airplane's doing its race track pattern up and down; not only with visual imaging, but also with infrared capabilities.
The IR (infrared) is helping us to understand the level of damage, so it's useful both on the search and rescue side of the house, as well as disaster response.
In the geospatial imaging approach, there are software tools and methodologies to analyze thousands and thousands of images more quickly and more effectively than what you could back in the day.
Airman Magazine: How are the search and rescue requests from federal, state, local agencies issued to the CAP?
Maj. Gen. Smith: The Air Force has the Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base (Florida), part of First Air Force. The requests will come in from the local level or through a state, but for us, as the Air Force Auxiliary, they come to the Air Force and ask for CAP to get involved in that particular mission.
Whether it's in support of FEMA in the case of a disaster response or in support of a sheriff's department search and rescue folks. The requests come up to the Air Force.
Airman Magazine: Could you talk more about Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson's relationship to the CAP?
Maj. Gen. Smith: I'm a big fan. She was previously the congresswoman from New Mexicothat's where I live. I was the New Mexico wing commander. One particular time, I went out to a little bitty squadron in the middle of nowhere for one of their meetings. Who was there in the middle of nowhere handing out the awards to our cadets? None other than Heather Wilson.
She knows a lot about the CAP. Her grandfather, who was a World War I aviator for the British, immigrated to the United States after the war and settled in New Hampshire. In the World War II era, he became a volunteer for CAP and became the New Hampshire wing commander.
He played an important role Heather Wilson's life as she was growing up. He really inspired her towards aviation. He's the one that she, as she tells us, talked to about the Air Force Academy.
She went (to the Air Force Academy) and is now serving as our secretary and doing wonderful things for the Air Force and the Airmen, to include the volunteers as well.
Airman Magazine: Is there a monetary figure that illustrates what the Air Force gets in return for funding the CAP?
Maj. Gen. Smith: Yes. It's about a four-to-one return on investment. Using the same type of methodology that volunteer nonprofit organizations use nationwide as a metric - what's the monetary value of volunteer hours?
Of course, when you look at specific platforms and missions, you have the relative operating and maintenance costs between one of our platforms versus an Air Force or a Coast Guard platform. There's a huge difference there.
It's hard to quantify some other thingsthe cost versus benefit of a life saved with 158 lives saved this last year, or the cost versus benefit of preparing young people for success as the next generation of leaders. I would highly encourage people to look for an opportunity to get engaged with our cadets.
Airman Magazine: Can you tell me about the experience of CAP Legislative Day for the staff, volunteers and cadets?
Maj. Gen. Smith: On Legislative Day, which is roughly the end of February, beginning of March, each year, we will bring about 500 CAP folks, here to D.C. (District of Columbia). That includes a bunch of cadets as well.
It's an opportunity to have a contingent of CAP folks, both adults and youth, talk with elected officials in the House and Senate. The primary goal is to educate and inform those elected officials on what CAP is about, if they're new. If they and their staffers are well versed about CAP, it's about what's going on back in their home districts and what CAP is doing.
That's an opportunity for us to advocate.
Now for the cadets, it's a unique insight to get to a basic understanding of the budget process.
Cadets get to learn of differences in how the budgets are put together and (they) get a feel for how their elected officials fit into that process and which committees are working different things both on the House and the Senate side.
They have an opportunity to make an impact in that and they are wonderful ambassadors. When you get a cadet in their uniform, the lawmakers can see what good is coming out of this investment in the CAP.
Airman Magazine: What didn't I ask you that you think we should know?
Maj. Gen. Smith: In broad-brush terms, I'll say that the Civil Air Patrol is proud to be a member of the Air Force Total Force. We have 61,500 volunteers who are passionate about being volunteer Airmen and making a difference for community, state and nation.
We have tremendous support both from the Air Force and Congress, but it boils down to the spirit of the volunteer.
CAP is unlike any other volunteer organization I've ever seen. They're doing things that are helping on an operational level, whether it's disaster response or search and rescue or developing young people to be highly successful and ethical leaders for the next generation.
It's an honor for me personally to be able to serve these folks in this particular capacity.

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Troops To Teachers Guides One Soldier From Battlefield To Classroom

Story by MAJ MICHAEL PETERSEN on 02/08/2019
For years, Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Simon wanted to be a teacher.
Simon certainly took the long way, but the Senior Pubic Affairs NCO assigned to the Connecticut Army National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters in Hartford has finally found himself in a classroom he can call his own, teaching 10th grade at Achievement First Hartford High School.
And he has Troops to Teachers to thank for the mentorship and guidance that helped steer him into a career field he always has a passion for.
"Troops to Teachers helped to provide me the mentorship and guidance I needed to stay motivated throughout this entire process," Simon said. "Being able to speak to likeminded individuals who followed similar paths certainly helped me stay committed to one day becoming an educator."
Simon, now 36, joined the military out of high school, beginning his career on Active Duty as a Veterinary Food Inspector Specialist stationed in Washington state. After just over two years on active duty, he decided to come back home to Connecticut and join the National Guard. During his transition brief, he learned about Troops to Teachers.
He took college classes while on Active Duty, and finished his Associates Degree at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich before earning his Bachelors at the University of Connecticut's Avery Point Campus in Groton in 2008, and Masters of Fine Arts at Western Connecticut State University in 2011.
But military life came first, and his dreams of becoming an educator had to wait. While assigned to the 1-102nd Infantry Regiment as an Indirect Fire Infantryman, he was twice deployed to Afghanistan once in 2006, and then again in 2010.
"Those experiences certainly interrupted the flow of my personal educational progress, but a deployment is a sacrifice you are destined to make when you choose the military as a lifestyle," Simon said.
But through it all, Simon kept in touch with Troops To Teachers advisors and personnel who were able to lead him to where he is today. Advisors, Simon says, who went through similar experiences.
"It was important to take advice from likeminded people," Simon said.
After his second deployment, Simon served as a substitute teacher in elementary schools in southeastern Connecticut as a way to make a little extra money. He took an internship at UConn, serving as an Assistant Teacher at UConn Avery Point in the English Department.
Meanwhile, he kept focused on his education. Simon started a second Master's Program at Trinity College in 2011.
He also had the opportunity to work as an associate instructor at the Capitol Regional Education Council's Polaris Center in East Hartford. Each classroom, according to Simon, had two teachers to help support the students' needs.
"I got a lot of one-on-one time with those kids," Simon said. "Working there really showed me how compassionate and caring you have to be to be an educator. If you don't have that, then you're going to be really challenged [as a teacher]."
He also worked in the public relations field, taking jobs as a press secretary for the House Republican Caucus at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford and then as a communications specialist for CTtransit (The state-owned public bus company).
It was during his time with CTtransit that he decided to hone in and focus on his teaching certification. Through Troops to Teachers, he learned about Connecticut's Alternative Route to Certification, better known as ARC. While working with one of his mentors, he decided to apply.
"(ARC is) a fantastic program," Simon said. "For just under a year, I spent every Friday night and all-day Saturdays, plus a six-week student teaching assignment working toward my certification," he said.
"Coming back from the public relations field, student teaching was a difficult transition for me. I had to build relationships with kids in an extremely short time frame. Classroom management was tough. This was also the first time I had to really put lesson plans together, which meant a lot of late nights. It was hard to get into the swing of things," he said.
Simon said that the experiences he had student teaching reminded him of training exercises he's taken part in while in the military
"Student teaching was a lot like (the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, La.)," Simon said with a laugh. "I went in the classroom every day with a plan and had to adjust, and sometimes start from scratch."
Just like those training exercises, Simon adapted and learned from his experiences adding more skills to his toolkit to help deal with the numerous variables that come with teaching.
"It's impossible know how to deal with certain things until you actually are presented with the situation," Simon said.
As he neared earning his certification, Simon began applying for full-time teaching positions, which led him to the Achievement First Network. He said the process was competitive, and that his natural instinct was to see if he had what it took to get selected.
Turns out: He did.
"I sent in an application, a recruiter got in touch with me and led me through the process," he said.
Simon applied for a Literature position but was offered a position in Composition Writing. He accepted.
After many road blocks and detours, Simon now teaches four daily classes: three on pre-Advanced Placement Seminar (the finer points of argumentative writing, according to Simon) and a tutorial math class, where he has the opportunity to step outside his comfort zone and work with kids who benefit from extra support in mathematics.
"Teaching is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life," Simon said. And that's coming from a guy who completed his first-ever 50-mile "ultra" marathon at the age of 36.
Throughout the entire process, Simon remained in contact with his Troops to Teachers mentors, and credits them for connecting him to the ARC program. He speaks highly of the program's expertise and mentorship, but has one critical piece of advice for service members who may want to follow a similar path: prepare to work extremely hard.
"You have to be dedicated, and you have to have thick skin. There's a lot of trial and error," Simon said. "Composure is so important. You have to understand you're working with kids. These aren't NCOs and Privates who have gone through Basic Training. Every child has different sensibilities, different backgrounds, different learning styles and it's on you as a teacher to mold yourself to meet their needs."
"Kids need adults in their lives, and teachers can be that constant, positive presence," he said. "If you think teaching is for you, contact Troops to Teachers, and get in touch with a military mentor that can help you through the process."
Maybe one day, it will be Sgt. 1st Class Simon who responds.
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West Point Samc Welcomes Newest Members

Story by SFC Josephine Pride on 02/07/2019

The inductees were 1st Sgt. Michael P. Kearny, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Military Academy; Sgt. 1st Class John R. Bartley, Company D, 3rd Regiment, U.S. Corps of Cadets; Sgt. 1st Class Mario J. Espinoza, Brigade Tactical Department, USCC; Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Higgs, USMA Preparatory School; Sgt. 1st Class Cesilio Martinez, Department of Military Instruction, USCC; Sgt. 1st Class Michael Mullins, Company H, 4th Regiment, USCC; and Sgt. 1st Class Joshua White, HHC, USMA.

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Visit Your In-Service Recruiter, Boost Your Income, Serve In The Af Reserve

Story by Christian DeLuca on 02/07/2019

Less than one percent of the public serve in the military and only a fraction of them stay in active duty until retirement. When a member is ready to separate, a visit to an in-service recruiter can be a valuable resource to make sure they're ready for the transition, and learn about the benefits the Reserve has to offer.

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Honolulu District U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Employee Spotlight: Shannon Sauter

Story by Bryanna Poulin on 02/06/2019
Employee Spotlight: Shannon Sauter
Job Title: Honolulu District Quality Management Chief/ Training Coordinator

How long have you been at Honolulu District or with USACE?
I wear many hats: Knowledge Management and Quality Management Officer as well as District Training Coordinator. If someone can come up with a snappy acronym let me know.

What did you do before you arrived at POH?
I was a Strategic Planner for US Army Garrison Fort Hood.

Briefly describe your daily routines?
Always learning and looking for ways to improve or streamline a process. I'm a big fan of working smarter. Keeping track of ongoing training and future training needs.

What's the best thing about USACE?
To me it is a hybrid of a private engineering firm and the Army the best of both worlds.

What does your workspace look like?
I'm upstairs in the command suite with a window adjacent to the elementary school. I love hearing the kids laughing while they're out at recess.

What do you like to do when you're not at the office?
Go to the beach!

Fill in the blank: I once met
I once met Gordon Cooper, one of the Mercury 7 astronauts.

If you could pick one superpower, what would it be?
I'd love to be able to fly.

Before working at USACE what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
I worked as a consultant and went to Air Force bases all over the United States and Europe. Went into all the NASA buildings at Cape Canaveral, Florida and up into the cockpit of the Stealth Bomber.

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
I'd be a high school science teacher and spend my time showing the kids awesome experiments and telling them how cool it is to study physical sciences.

Why did you choose your career path?
I keep following opportunities to learn and challenge myself.

What do you find the challenging aspect of the job?
Learning all of the USACE lingo!

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
As the training coordinator, I like knowing I can help folks grow in their jobs and show them what opportunities lie ahead.

What is the best advice you can give to a new employee arriving to USACE?
Be nice to the Training Coordinator!

Why did you choose your career path?
I keep following opportunities to learn and challenge myself.

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Honolulu District U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers Employee Spotlight: Vicky Cummings

Story by Bryanna Poulin on 02/06/2019

Major General Michael Eyre (Retired) in Kabul, Afghanistan and he personally presented me with his coin during a Town Hall Meeting held in September 2012.

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For Marine Corps Chef, Cooking Is The Spice Of Life

Story by LCpl Carlin Warren on 02/06/2019

Brandle's craftsmanship and attention to detail is a product of the years he spent in his family's kitchen in Fresno, California. He learned how to cook at an early age by catering events alongside his parents. Now at age 29, Brandle continues to refine his culinary skills by pushing himself in a way he had never planned onby cooking for the Marine Corps.

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New Marine Finds Path To Success, Earns Ega

Story by SSgt Terence Brady on 02/06/2019

The desire to change is often sparked by a challenge that inspires action. For one Albany, New York, native, that desire led to the Marine Corps.

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Grand Forks AFB Earns 2018 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Story by SrA Elijaih Tiggs on 02/06/2019

General James M. Holmes, commander, Air Combat Command, recently announced the 319th Air Base Wing among the winners of the 2018 ACC Air Force Outstanding Unit award and Air Force Organizational Excellence award for June 1, 2016 May 31, 2018.

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First Metallic 3d Printed Part Installed On F-22

Story by Ronald Bradshaw on 01/17/2019

However, 3D printing is becoming more common place in the Air Force's supply chain when it comes to its fifth-generation aircraft. In December, a metallic 3D printed part was installed by 574th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron maintainers on an operational F-22 Raptor during depot maintenance here.

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