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Here is this week’s dispatch from Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff, who sends us more news of life and events at Ali Base, Iraq.
The theme plays like a broken record…it’s hot out there. One day this week we topped 123 degrees Fahrenheit! It’s probably hotter when one is standing on asphalt. The air feels like a hair dryer on hot blowing in your face. The hot air dries out eyes. The concrete seems to store up heat. Airmen can feel it still radiating at 4:30 a.m., even when the hand is six inches away.
Despite the hot temperatures, the Tuskegee Airmen of Ali are still doing their jobs. For example, security forces Airmen and special agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Detachment 2409 here conducted weekly training to keep their skills sharp. Recently, they trained on removing a “wounded” Airman from a damaged vehicle while others provided security. Participating in the training were Senior Airman Lionell Peake-Marshall and Senior Airman Terrence Jones (above left) and Special Agent Marcus (right).
Ali Base is full of hard-working Airmen. One organization is the 407th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron. According to Lt. Col. Kevin Gaudette, 407th ELRS commander, the squadron supports the 407th’s air operations mission, providing full-spectrum logistics services to Air Force, Navy, Army, contractors, coalition forces at Ali Base and supporting forward operating bases. Airman 1st Class Matthew Hunter (right) tightens the bolts on a harmonic balancer inside a pickup truck. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Marasky)
As Pakistan reaches a crossroads in its development, following years of militant presence, the United States is helping build relationships and create opportunities that will benefit the citizens. Whether providing citizen care, temporary housing, or in this case, helicopters, the U.S. and other foreign governments are offering support in numerous ways. Lt. Col. Don Langley (in photo) shares his perspectives in this story he wrote for PACAF Pixels about delivery of helicopters to the Pakistani Army.
PACAF is the Pacific Air Forces, one of the Major Commands of the U.S. Air Force. Lt. Col Langley is a Public Affairs Officer currently serving with the Office of the Defense Representative at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Local artist shines
Many facets of the military, particularly the Air Force, were on display last week in Salt Lake City, Utah. Air Force Week sheds light on another area of the Air Force which is not common knowledge to the public: the United States Air Force Art Collection. The Air Force Art Program began its extensive collection in 1950. This week’s display features unique, original artwork spanning from present day to one piece that dates back to 1963.
Air Force Week Salt Lake City was honored to have Air Force Art Program member, Richard “Buz” Sawyer in our area—both he and his own artwork were on display last week in the Salt Lake City library. The library sees many notable exhibits pass through its doors, and the work of Buz and his fellow artists were right on par with the best—a privilege for Salt Lake City area residents to view and appreciate.
Mr. Sawyer has had an impressive career in the Air Force, spending 34 years in the Reserves. He spent eight years as a weapons loader and well over 20 years working in the Intelligence career field. One significant point in his profession was being sent to the desert within a month of the September 11 attacks. Such a hearty career allowed many travels, and Buz claims he’s been “everywhere but Australia, Africa, and China.”
His artistic abilities allowed him to keep the military close; Buz was a technical illustrator at Hill Air Force Base for eight years. Today, his work goes far beyond technical orders and diagrams. Several of his displayed pieces depict the F-16s gained by the Air Force Reserves in 1984.
Sawyer retired from the Air Force Reserves on April fool’s Day, 2006, but he hasn’t strayed too far from his military roots. His talents portray the pride we all share as members of the United States Air Force.
Thanks to Jason Carrion, 75 ABW Public Affairs, for providing this story and James Arrowood for the photo.