The Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Norton A. Schwartz, updated his reading list in an e-mail to all Airmen with three additional reads: The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power; Thinking about America’s Defense: An Analytical Memoir and; Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda ( See review here ).
Although I haven’t read the first two, I’m reading Not a Good Day to Die by Sean Naylor right now while in A-CST training and agree that it’s well worth the read. It’s somewhat of a line by line account from various sources of combat, joint command and control, personnel recovery, the give-and-take that is staff work and the inner opinions of leaders in the military. There’s quite a few references to our fellow Airmen in AFSOC as well. The book discussed leadership and how close our forces were to dealing with “disaster” in Afghanistan — all in all, great read so far.
Sean Naylor wrote on Strategty Page: “In January of 2002 American intelligence became aware of a sizable concentration of Al Qaeda fighters in the Shahikot valley in Southeastern Afghanistan. Planning began for an operation to strike at the Al Qaeda troops. But the tribes in this part of Afghanistan were considerably less friendly to America than the Northern Alliance that had played such a vital part in defeat of the Taliban in 2001. Indeed, the lack of reliable Afghan fighters in that part of the country was partly to blame for the failure to trap the Al Qaeda forces in Tora Bora. Thus the decision was made to use American infantry for the first time against the terrorists.”
General Schwartz said about the update: “Dominating the air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace guarantees the security of our Nation. As adaptive warfighters and global thinkers on the Joint team, we must continually look for ways to expand our horizons. One way to do this is by reflecting on the lessons of history. With this in mind, I recommend three books from the 2009 Reading List for your professional development.”
Have you ever experienced a policy or legislative problem in your career?
Have you worked with your chain of command to address it?
Want to fix the process?
Well, here’s your chance!
A View From Below
Continuum of Service (CoS) is designed to assist Airmen in building a lifetime of service to the nation. To better explain CoS, check out this video–it helps describe exactly what CoS is and how it can help you.
To help Airmen submit issues and concerns, the Air Force developed the CoS Submission and Tracking Tool (CoSTT). All Airmen can log into the tool (access requires a .mil address and CAC card) to submit an issue, track its progress and view other issues in a variety of categories.
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Rodney McKinley supports CoS saying, “Continuum of Service is a vitally important initiative and seeks to remove barriers to service, enabling us to reach the right Airmen, with the right skills, at the right time.”
Help us help you – send us your issues and suggestions today!
Thanks to SAF/MR – Manpower and Reserve Affairs for providing the information in this guest post.
Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff sends us more news of life and events at Ali Base, Iraq.
This past week has been a busy one for Airmen of the 407th Air Expeditionary Group at Ali Base, Iraq. On April 23, four original members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen accompanied Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central Commander, and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Russell C. Davis, president of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. They received a mission briefing and paid their respects to the Airmen’s Memorial in the Bedrock community of the base. Afterward, group members attended an Airmen’s Call where they met and asked questions of the distinguished visitors, and had their pictures taken.
“We are impressed with your national service, your contributions and the pride we have in your accomplishments because we know that you are the leaders of today who will lead the leaders of tomorrow,” said Maj. (ret.) George Boyd, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. “And I thank you from the folks back home because they love you. They support you and are dedicated to your service.”
April 29 was another big day for the 407th AEG as it underwent a change-of-command. Col. Glen A. Apgar took command of the group from Col. Mark Ware. Stormy weather moved the planned outdoor ceremony to the Big Top. Despite the last-minute change, everything went off as planned. Colonel Apgar expressed his pride in becoming the new commander of the 407th. “There is nothing
Brig. Gen. Brian T. Bishop, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, presents the 407th AEG guidon to Col. Glen Apgar.
more humbling than the honor and privilege to lead these great American heroes in this combat zone.”
The USAFCENT Combined Air and Space Operations Center Public Affairs Office produces a weekly product titled “AOR Week in Photos.” This week, the 407th AEG Public Affairs Office photographer had three photographs selected for display. They were photos of the Tuskegee Airmen visiting the Airmen’s Memorial, an Ali Base firefighter conducting training and Airman 1st Class Daniel Roberts singing with musician Nell Bryden.
For more on these stories, including additional photos, click below
Original Tuskegee Airmen, General North visit Ali Base
407th AEG changes hands in ceremony
The past two training days opened eyes to what American servicemembers are experiencing in deployed locations supporting contingencies around the world. However, specific details like tactics, techniques and procedures learned during these parts of the training will not be discussed due to their sensitive nature and potential for being used against our men and women in uniform. Only generalities will be discussed.
The urban training for Airmen was primarily for familiarization to what other services do. Average Airmen aren’t experts in this type of combat, nor are they normally trained or equipped to be experts in this for this is not their primary mission. The training we went through provided basic insight into how this type of combat is conducted. The training solidified more teamwork and had our small teams moving, shooting and engaging in unison. It was interesting, intense, stressful and fun and we have a deeper respect for our forces who do this mission.
Unlike engagements in an urban setting, many Airmen do find themselves in convoys, whether as riders or active gunners. Our instructor reflected on the more than 300 missions he performed while in Iraq and discussed a lot of the pressures and scenarios as they happened to him when he rolled out the gates of his FOB.
So are Airmen in convoys? Yes. Some may think that America’s airpower only comes from the skies supporting Soldiers and Marines on the ground with smart bombs, but Airmen do perform and are in convoys being hit today. See how Air Force Airmen are engaged here and past accounts here, and here.
It was even more real when the instructor stated that all Airmen will land at an airfield somewhere, then will have to get to their base and “may need these skills to convoy.” This couldn’t have been more true.
This is an on-going series about the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Contingency Skills Training at Ft. Dix, NJ. More than 9,000 Airmen come through this course annually.
We’re physically beat and have a greater appreciation for our friends in the U.S. Army who are being such great hosts here at Ft. Dix; so for now, here’s a few photos from today’s classes. This is an ongoing series about a few hundred Airmen attending the U.S. Air Force’s A-CST training at Ft. Dix. The class is designed to teach skills to Airmen deploying in the coming months.
Teamwork, Communication, and Commitment are a few principles stressed during today’s training of shooting popup targets during livefire and learning how to exit a Humvee after it had flipped over. The Humvee rollover simulator (H.E.A.T.) was a lot of fun and a great learning tool. We’ll post video on our Youtube channel when we get back: www.youtube.com/afbluetube.
Tech. Sgt. Sarah Jenkins, a member of Hotel Flight, fires at her target. Yes, that tiny little green thing way in the distance is a target - 300 meters.
TSgt. Craig "Spoonman", a contracting NCO, prepares for the Humvee rollover.
Hotel Flight spins in the Humvee rollover simulator. Wicked fun. All photos courtesy of SSgt. J.G. Buzanowski.