All posts by Tanya Schusler


Countdown to Discovery launch


By 1st Lt Trisha Eldrege, Public Affairs Officer
45th Space Wing

The Air Force supports NASA’s Space Shuttle program from when the shuttle is on the ground until it leaves the launchpad. The 45th Space Wing provides NASA with launch weather forecasts, launch and range operations, and safety and public affairs support. Lt Eldrege was the media spokesperson for the 45th Space Wing at today’s Discovery launch from Kennedy Space Center (KSC). She shares her experiences from KSC’s press site as she eagerly awaits the countdown.

I’m at KSC’s press site, and we’re only about 15 minutes  from today’s Discovery launch. I’ve worked a dozen or so launches, and it never gets old. It’s always AMAZING! I’m surrounded by about 300 media. So far, no weather problems, so the AF weather officer sitting next to me isn’t  the focus of their attention. I’m looking at the countdown clock, and the shuttle is on the pad, only 3 or so  miles away. People have come from all over the world to watch this launch, and the Cape coastline is packed – very fun and festive. I can’t believe I get paid to do this job. Go Discovery!

PHOTO: NASA’s Shuttle Discovery sits on the launchpad ready to go. Photo courtesy NASA.


Happy New Year!

By Tech. Sgt. Karen J. Tomasik
and Tanya Montgomery
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As the end of 2010 approaches, everyone and their father, mother, veterinarian, whoever, is getting reminiscent about the past year and releasing their top 10 lists. We haven’t compiled any lists — just yet. We’re just happy that we made some top 10 lists.

In this blog post, we’re taking the easy path and in turn, making it easier for you to have access to our 2010 CliffsNotes version of the top 10 lists the United States Air Force made. Is this laziness, you wonder? No, it’s being efficient and smart :-)

Check out numbers 8, 7, 4 and 1 at the Ten for ’10: Top Armed with Science Videos of the Year.

See the mentions for entries 10, 5 and 3 at the Ten for ’10: Top Armed with Science Podcasts of the Year.

We made numbers 10 and 7 in the Top Blog Posts on DoD Live in 2010.

We’d like to invite you to view our Photos of the Year for 2010, which were selected based on the number of views they received. Let us know what you think and what types of photos you’d like to see in the future.

Thanks to everyone who has taken time to follow what we have been working on and participating in this year. We strive to continue bringing you great technology while serving our country around the world in the years to come!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful 2011 to all of our service members and supporters!

PHOTO: A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft from the 335th Fighter Squadron releases flares during a local training mission over North Carolina, Dec. 17, 2010.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller)


Tops in Blue auditions – cherish, remember each day

By Senior Airman Chadwick McGuire

Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas

An early morning and eventful day comes to an end. A sense of accomplishment and anticipation fills the air for more reasons than one.

Today we got a taste of what the stage will be like on the night of the performance upon completion of our technical rehearsal and preparation with the band.

For some, this was an all too familiar feeling, but to others it was an experience like no other. Fine tuning is the key to the ultimate performance, and the days are flying by as our schedules are filled with appointments, rehearsals, auditions and other preparations.

The highlight of the evening was the evaluation of the contestants’ dancing abilities.

At first, some contestants seemed uncomfortable, but as the music plays and they hear the other contestants rooting for them, they loosen up and break out of their shells. Bonds are being created, friendships are in the making, and a chance of a lifetime is within each contestant’s grasp.

Time will tell what the future holds for each of us, but each day here will definitely be one to be remembered and cherished for a lifetime.

PHOTO: Senior Airman Chadwick McGuire, Goodfellow AFB, Texas, poses for a portrait during the Air Force Tops in Blue audition.  Senior Airman McGuire is one of many instrumentalists auditioning for the 2011 Air Force Tops in Blue worldwide tour. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Vernon Young)

Fairchild Trophy

First-Ever Global Strike Challenge Recognizes ‘Best of the Best’ Bomb and Missile Wings

By Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs

Nov. 19, 2010

Air Force Global Strike Command’s first-ever Global Strike Challenge concluded on a high note with the presentation of the Blanchard and Fairchild trophies for the best Missile and Bomb Wings. The competitors energized the crowd with loud cheers and display of their mascots, proudly showing them off throughout the score posting. After months of preparation by the teams, the competition ended as the best of the best were recognized.

Whiteman’s 509th Bomb Wing took home the Fairchild trophy in what proved to be a tough race for the best bomb wing.

F.E. Warren’s 90th Missile Wing was the night’s other big winner and was awarded the Blanchard trophy.

The competition served a dual purpose of training and recognizing Airmen throughout Global Strike Command.

PHOTOS: (Top) The 509th Bomb Wing from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., was awarded the Fairchild Trophy for best bombardment wing during the Global Strike Challenge score posting events at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 17, 2010. The trophy is named after Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, former U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, and is one of the competition’s two top awards. For Global Strike Challenge, teams had mascots and spirit uniforms to show esprit de corps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Corey A. Clements)
(Bottom) The 90th Missile Wing from F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., was awarded the Blanchard Trophy for best missile wing during the Global Strike Challenge score posting events at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Nov. 17, 2010. The trophy is named after Gen. William H. Blanchard, Strategic Air Command’s Director of Operations in the early 1960s, and is one of the top two awards for the competition. For Global Strike Challenge, teams had mascots and spirit uniforms to show esprit de corps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Chad Warren)

Part of the solution

By Capt. Chris Sukach

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

We’ve all done it.  Encountered a problem or frustration and said, “This is messed up.  Someone should fix it.”  And maybe we’ve complained about the frustration and possibly even offered up solutions, but how often do we see those solutions through?

Ken Fisher, Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation, is a person who not only provides solutions to problems, but sees those solutions through to fruition.  Just seven months ago he learned that families who travel to Dover Air Force Base, Del. to witness the dignified transfers of their loved ones sometimes had difficulty finding lodging when hotels in the area were fully booked.

Even though they were in the midst of building 14 other Fisher Houses at the time, Ken and his team leapt into action to build a unique Fisher House, one that would provide families with not only a place to stay, but a place where they could gather, pray and reflect. 

Mr. Fisher said that he and his team chose to take responsibility for fulfilling a need they knew existed.

“It’s so easy to say it should be someone else’s problem,” he said.  “But while you’re doing that, the problem grows.  The need grows.  So we chose to be part of the solution.”