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Grateful for our Airmen

By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr. Air Force Social Media

Unofficially Thanksgiving is the kickoff to the season of gratitude and thankfulness expressed during the holidays. The Air Force social media team would like to say that we are grateful for the opportunity to highlight and share the stories of our most valuable assets in the Air Force’s inventory. That’s our Airmen! We would like to take a moment to express our thankfulness to the Airmen for all your hard work supporting the mission of the Air Force, to fly, fight, and win; in air, space, and cyberspace. You continue to demonstrate with confidence our Air Force core values: Integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all you do.

The First Sergeants Council made 125 Thanksgiving baskets Nov. 20, 2015, inside the Chapel Activity Center on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., for Airmen selected by the first sergeants around base. After making the baskets, the first sergeants delivered them to the Airmen while they worked. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle/Released)
The First Sergeants Council made 125 Thanksgiving baskets Nov. 20, 2015, inside the Chapel Activity Center on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., for Airmen selected by the first sergeants around base. After making the baskets, the first sergeants delivered them to the Airmen while they worked. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle/Released)
Airman 1st Class Natalie Corona, 99th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, prepares garlic bread to be served for dinner at the Crosswinds Dining Facility on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 18.  The Crosswinds DFAC will be serving Thanksgiving meals to Airmen and Department of Defense ID cardholders on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mikaley Kline/Released)
Airman 1st Class Natalie Corona, 99th Force Support Squadron food service apprentice, prepares garlic bread to be served for dinner at the Crosswinds Dining Facility on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Nov. 18. The Crosswinds DFAC will be serving Thanksgiving meals to Airmen and Department of Defense ID cardholders on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mikaley Kline/Released)
Senior noncommissioned officers and officers serve food to Airmen during the 2013 Thanksgiving luncheon at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photos/Airman 1st Class Sandra Marrero/Released)
Senior noncommissioned officers and officers serve food to Airmen during the 2013 Thanksgiving luncheon at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. (U.S. Air Force photos/Airman 1st Class Sandra Marrero/Released)
Desserts and breads line a table during the annual Thanksgiving meal Nov. 27, 2014, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The base dining facility staff prepared Thanksgiving meals more than 9,000 servicemembers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins/Released)
Desserts and breads line a table during the annual Thanksgiving meal Nov. 27, 2014, at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. The base dining facility staff prepared Thanksgiving meals more than 9,000 servicemembers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins/Released)

Air Force Cycling Team takes on RAGBRAI

By Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo
Air Force Cycling Team

I just went back and re-read my daily post from a year ago when we were on the road to the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa.

Life seems to come full circle as I’ve done the same things at the same time for the last 10 years like attending RAGBRAI. The only things that change are the faces of the people sitting behind me in the van. This year, we have 17 people who are riding with us in a convoy, and only three of us have returned as riders. These people will plug into the larger group totaling 125 riders.

You can see the excitement and some anxiety on the faces of the newbies as they ponder how they will hold up during a week of riding.

Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo, the executive director of Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, takes a selfie with members of the Air Force Cycling Team. (Courtesy photo by Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo/Released)
Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo, the executive director of Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, takes a selfie with members of the Air Force Cycling Team. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Larry Gallo/Released)

Each year, I look in the rearview mirror of the van we are traveling in, and focus on the faces of the riders coming out of Texas. I feared for some of them may not being able to the finish the 500+ miles on their bicycles.

So far all of them have succeeded. This year’s group has some of the same anxieties, but I believe they will divide and conquer. Mainly because I have watched them take care of each other on training rides, and I saw how they have gotten stronger and more confident.
The first three days of RAGBRAI is the test. The first day has its challenges of climbs and the third day is the mandatory century (100 miles) day for the Air Force riders since the distance gives us more opportunities to assist other riders with maintenance and first-aid issues.

Making it through the mental dealings of forcing your body to obey you with three consecutive days of riding is a challenge.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the highlights from our trip to RAGBRAI last week.

Continue reading Air Force Cycling Team takes on RAGBRAI

How to become an Air Force pilot

By Senior Airman Soochan Kim
Air Force Social Media Team

Many of us imagine it at least once: As a five-year-old child sitting on a chair playing pretend, as a teenager playing flight simulator video games, and in my case whenever I start the engine of my car (yes, I still play pretend when I’m by myself).

A fan watches the demonstration during the Dayton Airshow, June 21, 2015, at Dayton, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rachel Maxwell/Released)
A fan watches the demonstration during the Dayton Airshow, June 21, 2015, at Dayton, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rachel Maxwell/Released)

 

I’m talking about becoming a pilot. Not so surprisingly, many people choose to join the United States Air Force in hopes of becoming a pilot.

While we all dream of flying the multimillion dollar metal bird and delivering freedom to the enemies below in a form of explosives, let’s hold that thought and ask: how DO you become a pilot in the Air Force?

As many may find this surprising, it’s definitely not by wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses and growing out a Burt Reynolds mustache (not to mention that his mustache would be pushing it against the regulations). Rather, it requires an extensive amount of training and education to be selected as a pilot.

Continue reading How to become an Air Force pilot

Nose art isn’t just for humans

By Staff Sgt. Jarrod Chavana
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

Since the conception of war planes, Airmen have figured out ways to personalize these aircraft and make them their own. During World War I, the artwork focused on squadron pride. During World War II and beyond, these paintings became more intricate and personal. I would call some of them masterpieces because they reflect the creativity and craftsmanship of the pilots and aircrew who flew these aircraft. During World War II, some Airmen and artists would make additional money and boost morale by incorporating these murals onto the noses or bodies of aircraft.

I thought I would go through some of the Air Force’s archives and find some great examples and share them with you. I will say, some of the nose art from World War II and later could make our mothers blush.

 

Nose art called "Lets make a deal"
“Lets Make a Deal” nose art from a Boeing B-52G that flew in Operation Desert Storm is on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Released)

Continue reading Nose art isn’t just for humans

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

By Staff Sgt. Antonio Gonzalez
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

According to the Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, more than 83,000 Americans are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. In observance of National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we remember some of these brave men and women who served and were listed as Missing in Action or who became Prisoners of War, and we share their stories. To all American military prisoners of war, missing, or unaccounted for…we will never stop searching for you. Continue reading National POW/MIA Recognition Day