Week in Photos, Sept. 14, 2012

F15E Strike Eagle 

By Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras

Air Force Public Affairs Agency

 

What’s up fans! Now let’s be honest, this has got to be one of the coolest jobs ever! To be able to fly one of these bad boys must be thrilling every single time. Check out the rest of the Week in Photos.

PHOTO: An F-15E Strike Eagle receives fuel from a 100th Air Refueling Wing KC-135 Stratotanker during an aerial refueling mission Sept. 10, 2012, over the Atlantic Ocean. The refueling was part of a training mission for the 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath and 100th ARW. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ethan Morgan)

Air Force core values should extend into our personal lives, Sept. 12, 2012

 

Air Force logo - white

By Lt. Col. Thomas J. O’Connell Jr.
4th Airlift Squadron commander

The Air Force core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do provide excellent guideposts on how to conduct our professional military lives. Because they are so closely associated with the Air Force, their application often stops there. In actuality, they are great guides for our personal lives as well.

This perceived limitation was highlighted to me a few weeks ago when I had the honor and privilege to address the Julius A. Kolb Airman Leadership School Class 12-F. During the discussion I used a quote from Abraham Lincoln, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

The majority of those in the room were not only Airmen, but leaders of Airmen. My point was to challenge the recent graduates, who are now leaders of Airmen, to be good ones. The message was not unique; in fact it is encapsulated in our core value of excellence in all we do.

Afterward, I was approached by Airmen, civilians and retirees who said they really liked the “whatever you are, be a good one” part of the talk. In particular, one Airman who had recently separated from the Air Force was worried about how she would adjust to being a full-time mother.

She said Lincoln’s quote inspired her to be a better mom. Whereas before she was driven to be the best Airman she could be, now she would redirect that energy at being the best mother she could be.

The theme of excellence was obviously not new to her, but by discussing it in its earlier form by Lincoln, the message actually resonated with a larger audience.

While the opportunity to bring Lincoln’s words to the audience was rewarding, it highlighted to me that the core values concepts have become so closely associated with the Air Force that somehow people perceive them as a “military thing” when their usefulness is much wider.

So, if you’re an Airman, I encourage you to continue to live and internalize the core values. If you’re a retiree, a spouse or a civilian, I encourage you to do the same, but if Lincoln’s words have more resonance, then use them instead.

Whatever you are, be a good one!

Week in Photos, Sept. 7, 2012

 

By Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras

Air Force Public Affairs Agency

 

Hey everyone! We hope you have a safe and fantastic weekend. Before you do that, tell us which photo is your favorite one and why!

 

Fly, Fight, Win!

 

Photo: Senior Airman Andrew Leal, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron, fuels technician, shuts off the valve of a fuel truck during a major accident response exercise Aug. 30, 2012, at RAF Mildenhall. The MARE simulated a fuel spill due to a cracked flange connection during a fuel transfer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ethan Morgan)

 

Diversity makes a stronger Air Force, Sept. 7, 2012

Diversity strengthens military

By Col. Rodney Bryan
927th Mission Support Group commander

The Air Force defines diversity as a composite of individual characteristics, experiences, and abilities, consistent with the core values and mission. Diversity includes, but is not limited to, personal experiences, geographic background, socioeconomic background, cultural knowledge, educational background, work background, language abilities, physical abilities, philosophical or spiritual perspectives, age, race, ethnicity and gender.

One of the strengths of our nation and the Air Force is this diversity, which includes and involves all of us. In Executive Order 13583, President Obama stated, “Our nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.”

As commander of a mission support group, I fully appreciate the importance of diversity. The nature of the various activities and operations directed and controlled by mission support groups worldwide make them the most diverse group within Air Force wings. Functions typically include personnel, logistics planning and readiness, civil engineering, security forces, communications and services. These disciplines are brought together under the mission support group to provide complete and responsive support to installations and the Air Force mission.

Diversity is vital to the successful accomplishment of the Air Force mission. The Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley stated, “Across the service, we represent a broad range of diverse missions, family situations, ethnicities, faiths, races and educational backgrounds. Yet together, this rich tapestry forms the world’s finest Air Force, drawn from the best talent that America has to offer.”

The Air Force must attract, recruit, develop, mentor, and retain the best possible talent to stay effective. Embracing each Airman’s strengths, perspective, and capabilities will help build and sustain a diverse culture that strengthens our service. To gain the most from diversity, Airmen must understand they are valued and have the opportunity to reach their full potential while contributing to the Air Force mission.

Air Force capabilities and war-fighting skills are enhanced by diversity among its personnel. Diversity provides the total force a collection of strengths, perspectives and capabilities that transcend individual contributions. Personnel who work in diverse environments learn to make the most of and combine individual strengths, abilities and perspectives for the good of the mission.

Lastly, diversity is a leadership issue. We who are leaders must be committed to building an Air Force reflects the best of our nation. In addition, we must create an environment that promotes mutual respect and trust while promoting the development and mentorship of Airmen with different backgrounds and perspectives. The message must be effectively communicated that diversity is integral to Air Force core values and enhances mission readiness.

Photo: The strength of the military is improved by the diverse backgrounds of those who make up the organization, a senior National Guard officer said May 3, 2010.

Week in Photos, Aug. 31, 2012

Week in Photos graphic

By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

As you enjoy this Week in Photos and the holiday weekend, remember you’re critical to the mission, so stay safe.

Whether you provide your serivice in uniform or as a family member it is absolutely invaluable. If you’re a citizen providing support to our troops, we couldn’t do it without you. As Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, said, “The nations military is only a strong as the support is recieves from its citizens.”

Happy Labor Day, everybody!

Photo: U.S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performs at a U.S. Air Force Band concert at the Air Force Memorial in Washington D.C., Aug. 24, 2012. Throughout the summer months of June, July, and August, the band’s performing ensembles present free outdoor concerts at historic venues in our nation’s capital for Washington area residents, as well as for visitors from around the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christina Brownlow)