All posts by Tanya Schusler

Thunderbirds AF Wk

Air Force Week: it’s about what we do, Aug. 21, 2012

By Tanya Schusler
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Day three of Air Force Week in New York City will start in just a couple hours. It’s actually the last day of nearly a week of pre-event activities, flyovers, musical performances, displays and appearances. This has been a chance for Airmen to show off what they do with pride and to also make connections with supporters. To catch up on the highlights of Air Force Week, see our story on Storify.

Photo: The Air Force Thunderbirds fly across the New York skyline in preparation for Air Force Week.

F-22

Week in Photos, July 13, 2012

Tanya Schusler
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Get excited for the weekend by checking out our Week in Photos! Tell us which one is your favorite.

F-22

Photo: A pair of F-22 Raptors pulls away and flies behind a KC-135 Stratotanker after receiving fuel off of the East Coast on July 10, 2012. The 1st Fighter Wing at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., received their first two Raptors in January 2005 and the wing’s 27th Fighter Squadron was designated as fully operational in December 2005. The Raptors belong to the 27th FS and the KC-135 belongs to the 756th Air Refueling Squadron at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility, Md. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock)

B-1 Lancer

Week in Photos, May 25, 2012

By Tanya Schusler
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

It’s the best time of the week because we have the Week in Photos, and the holiday weekend is finally upon us. Take a short break from your fun to check out our photos. What are you doing this weekend to honor Memorial Day?

 

 B-1 Lancer

Photo: Weapons load crew Airmen, assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, load GBU-54 laser joint direct attack munitions into a U.S. Air Force B-1 Lancer aircraft during the Combat Hammer exercise at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., May 12, 2012. The LJDAM is a 500-pound, dual-mode guided weapon equipped with a laser seeker, which aids in the ability to engage both stationary and moving targets on the ground. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada)

U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation

Libyans, Airmen: the Bond of Freedom

By Maj. Michael Meridith
18th Air Force

As members of the greatest military on the planet, we recognize and honor those who are willing to make great sacrifices in the cause of freedom. On Saturday in the same place that the American republic was born, I was privileged to come face to face with a group of Libyan fighters who had made those sacrifices.

At the request of the Department of State, the Secretary of Defense had directed two medical assistance missions in Libya. In the first mission, four wounded fighters were transported to medical facilities in Europe by a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

A C-17 Globemaster III aircraft assigned to the 172nd Airlift Wing out of Jackson, Miss., carried out the second mission, landing at Boston Logan International Airport in the midst of a massive winter storm after a nearly 13-hour flight from Libya. As the senior Air Force representative sent to the location, I had the honor of greeting the flight.

The Libyan Transitional National Council had requested the transport of fighters to American medical facilities because their injuries could not be treated in Libya. This is a testament to the esteem in which American medical professionals are held. This esteem holds true for the unsung aeromedical evacuation (AE) professionals that ensured the safe, comfortable transport of these wounded warriors.
U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation

I saw that esteem firsthand in the emotional hugs and handshakes shared between the Libyans and the AE crew as the patients departed. In those farewells I saw more than just a physician-patient relationship; I saw respect between two groups of individuals who had made the conscious decision to put everything on the line for the cause of freedom.

We often speak of how air mobility “answers the call” and “delivers hope.” AE crews are hard at work across the globe every single day, answering those calls and saving lives, whether thousands in the case of major humanitarian crises or the 22 that debarked the aircraft at Logan. These professionals will humbly tell you, as one did that evening, “we’re here to help out … that’s what we’re called to do. We bring the guys back safely.”

While their modesty does them credit, it’s important to recognize the contribution of AE professionals is far-reaching. In fact, these experts have conducted more than 179,000 patient movements and 36,000 sorties since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 19, 2003. That averages out to nearly 12.4 potentially life-saving missions a day.

While no one can predict exactly what the future of Libya holds, I wonder what the wounded warriors will think about America when they return home. I don’t doubt they will be thankful for the care they received, but I wonder if they will also recognize that at least part of that care was provided by warriors like themselves … linked by a common bond: the willingness to sacrifice for freedom.

Photo: U.S. Air Force aeromedical evacuation crews, along with local emergency medical personnel, assist Libyan fighters off of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft at Boston Logan Airport Oct. 29. At the request of the Department of State and directed by the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. military is supporting U.S. and international medical assistance efforts in Libya. Specifically, the U.S. Air Force transported 22 wounded Libyans to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. (Photo by Walter Santos)

110919-F-IV091-0042-300x202

Command Chief Master Sergeant Forum: professionals, leaders, wingmen

By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
Air Force Public Affairs

Chief Master Sgt. Pat BattenbergIn attending Air Force Association’s 2011 Air & Space Conference & Technology Exposition, I had the opportunity to sit in on the Command Chief Master Sergeant Forum where the chiefs answered questions from the participants on any topic relating to the Air Force and leadership.

A number of interesting questions were brought up. What’s the biggest challenge to the enlisted force? How can supervisors best lead millennial troops? Do you have any advice for junior enlisted Airmen?

As I was listening to the responses to these questions I began to notice that from the day we receive that cherished Airman’s coin and the even greater treasure of being called an Airman each one of us has the answers.

When asked if all Airmen are professionals, all of the chiefs agreed without a doubt that we are absolutely professionals. Command Chief Master Sergeant to the Director of the Air National Guard Christopher Muncy said that with all of the training and education requirements that Airmen have to maintain we may even be more professional than our civilian counterparts. This professionalism is something that we learn in basic training and solidify throughout our career.

Another recurring theme was taking care of each other and trusting leadership. These were part of nearly every topic, and though they were usually brought up as two separate things, I believe that they go hand in hand.

Chief Master Sergeant William W. Turner, Command Chief Master Sergeant for Air Force Special Operations Command, said that one of the biggest stressors for the enlisted force is uncertainty of the future. Chief Master Sergeant John T. Salzman, Command Chief Master Sergeant of the U.S. Air Force Academy, followed that up by saying Airmen know with certainty that they will deploy, but they don’t know what will happen to their family. The solution they offered was to trust that leadership will make the right decisions.

A piece of advice that Chief Master Sergeant Pat Battenberg, Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force District of Washington, gave to Airmen might also help leaders at all levels gain the trust that will help alleviate some stress, and it involves taking care of one another. He said to try to find a way to say yes even when it may be easier to say no.

Munsy wrapped it up nicely when he reminded us that the first thing we were ever issued in the military was a wingman.

We keep our uniforms, equipment and personal appearance in inspection order, so ask yourself, are you taking the same care with your wingmen?

Photo: Chief Master Sgt. Pat Battenberg, Air Force District of Washington command chief, answers a question from a member of the audience Sept. 19, 2011 at the Command Chief Master Sergeant Forum during the Air Force Association 2011 Air & Space Conference & Technology Exposition in National Harbor, Md. The forum was an opportunity for Airmen to have a direct line of communication with top leaders in the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melissa Goslin)