All posts by mpatten

What’s behind the name of an Air Force Base?

By Senior Airman Michelle Patten
Air Force Social Media

Unless you’re a history buff, you may serve for years at a location without thinking about the story behind your Air Force base’s name. You might have some vague idea that the name comes from some general who served long ago, but who was that Airman?

  • Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington
Base dedication ceremony
Gen. Nathan F. Twining, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen Gen. Curtis E. LeMay and Brig Gen. C. J. Bondley Jr. step off a plane at Spokane Air Force Base to attend the dedication ceremony July 20, 1951. Spokane Air Force Base was officially named Fairchild during the base dedication ceremony. The base was named for Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, former Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force and a Bellingham, Wash., native. (Historical photo)

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Sexual assault survivor: One Airman’s story

By a Survivor

Sexual assault is a hot topic — one addressed in annual training and at commander’s calls throughout the Air Force — yet the details of victims’ stories are seldom mentioned. This is understandable. These crimes against service members are intensely personal. Also, as many survivors have learned, listeners don’t always know how to respond appropriately, which can make sharing one’s story awkward, even painful.

This is unfortunate. As humans we are drawn to stories. We reflect upon them and even internalize some of their values, ideas and attitudes. Stories communicate with extraordinary effectiveness, enabling us to learn not only from personal experience but also from others’ experiences. Are we missing out on a potentially powerful tool in the world of sexual assault prevention? Perhaps calling on survivors to bravely share their stories holds real potential for making those serving alongside them more aware of sexual assault and of ways they can prevent it in their spheres of influence. To that end, here is my story.

Like most men I know, I never really thought much about sexual assault. I saw the issue as predominately a female problem that only happened to males under highly unusual circumstances and in unusual settings, such as prison. So, each year I endured the Air Force’s mandatory sexual assault training but never examined people in my life for indicators of predatory behavior, or spent any time considering issues like stalking, grooming, or consent. Little did I know that, like many other victims of both genders, I was oblivious to the impending threat until it was too late. Continue reading Sexual assault survivor: One Airman’s story

ALS: “Airmen Locating Success”

By Senior Airman Michelle Patten
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Airman Leadership School can be viewed a few different ways. For some it is just another box to check in order to be able to wear their staff sergeant stripes. Others see ALS as the transition from Airman to non-commissioned officer. Another group of Airmen are just glad to have a break from the daily grind of their regular missions.

Tech. Sgt. Jamie Kienholz, non-commissioned officer in charge at Joint Base San Antonio Airman Leadership School, talks to Airmen from ALS Class 15-3 during the Introduction to Negotiation lecture at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, March 19, 2015. Kienholz has served as NCOIC for the past year and says the change to the developmental special duty process has brought sharp and motivated NCOs to the schoolhouse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Strang/Released)
Tech. Sgt. Jamie Kienholz, non-commissioned officer in charge at Joint Base San Antonio Airman Leadership School, talks to Airmen from ALS Class 15-3 during the Introduction to Negotiation lecture at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, March 19, 2015. Kienholz has served as NCOIC for the past year and says the change to the developmental special duty process has brought sharp and motivated NCOs to the schoolhouse. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua Strang/Released)

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10 Common Myths Surrounding GPS

By Brian Hagberg
50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, has been broadcasting signals for nearly 40 years. During that time, a number of myths, misconceptions, conspiracies and falsehoods have been raised. Let’s examine 10 common myths surrounding GPS.

Satellite system operators monitor during a satellite launch
Capt. Jared Delaney, right, and Senior Airman Bryan Wynkoop, 19th Space Operations Squadron satellite system operators, monitor telemetry during the GPS SVN-69 launch Oct. 29, 2014, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers/Released)

1. The U.S. military owns GPS
GPS is operated by the 2nd and 19th Space Operations Squadrons at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. However, the U.S. government owns GPS, and the program is paid for by U.S. taxpayers. According to GPS.gov, GPS receives “national-level attention and guidance from a joint civil/military body called the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing.” The committee is co-chaired by the Deputy Secretaries of Defense and Transportation.
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Following dad’s advice

By Bo Joyner
Headquarters, Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs

What’s your story? Brig. Gen. Richard Scobee likes to ask this question to every Airman he meets, and he encourages others to do the same.

“The next time you see an Airman, ask what his or her story is,” Scobee said. “I guarantee you will come away inspired and impressed.”

Brig. Gen. Richard Scobee and his son, Andrew, kneel near the grave of Dick Scobee earlier this year during the NASA Day of Remembrance. Dick Scobee was the commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded shortly after launch in 1986. His grave is near the memorials to the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia in Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 46. (Courtesy photo)
Brig. Gen. Richard Scobee and his son, Andrew, kneel near the grave of Dick Scobee during the NASA Day of Remembrance Jan. 31, 2014. Dick Scobee was the commander of the Space Shuttle Challenger, which exploded shortly after launch in 1986. His grave is near the memorials to the Space Shuttles Challenger and Columbia in Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 46. (Courtesy photo)

Scobee, commander of 10th Air Force at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, has an inspiring story of his own to tell. He’s the son of astronaut Dick Scobee who commanded the Space Shuttle Challenger that was destroyed after takeoff in 1986.

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