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One million thank yous for one million fans

Airmen hugs his 20 month old daughter before deployment








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

The U.S. Air Force Facebook page recently reached one million likes. We, here at the Air Force Public Affairs Agency, are really excited about reaching this milestone. We’ve been counting down for weeks.

Why is this number so important to us? To tell you the truth, there isn’t much difference between 999,999 and 1,000,000. We aren’t celebrating our millionth fan — we’re celebrating our first fan, our hundredth fan, our millionth fan and everyone in between.

U.S. Airman participates in women's shura in Afghanistan









As an Air Force public affairs specialist, my job is to tell the Air Force story. I want to help every U.S. citizen understand our mission so they can make an educated decision about supporting us. I write stories about the wonderful things my fellow Airmen are doing. These stories help to put a face with the uniform that sacrifices for freedom. These stories also help servicemembers’ families understand the important work that takes their loved ones away from them. I tell the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ll keep telling the Air Force story, because I believe in it.

I believe the Air Force plays a vital role in stifling global threats to freedom and human rights. I have no doubt most people in the Air Force are here to serve the public in an effort to make their communities and the world a better place. I believe the rebuilding efforts and the humanitarian missions we take part in are a reflection of those efforts.

Yokota Airmen deliver school supplies to Indonesian school

This is why one million fans is worth celebrating. It’s one million people who can see the Air Force through my eyes. One million people who are learning about the Airmen who attended a women’s shura in Afghanistan or provided school supplies for kids in Indonesia. More people will understand the resilient military kids and spouses who sacrifice in support of the men and women who love America and freedom so much they took an oath to defend the Constitution at all costs.

Thank you a million times. Thank each and every one of you for supporting my fellow Airmen every day. Thank you for telling our stories to your friends and family. Thank you for trusting us with your freedom.

Photo 1: U.S. Air Force Capt. James Salazar hugs his 20-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, prior to the 15th Airlift Squadron’s departure Aug. 27, 2008 at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. Captain Tarkowski is assigned to the 15th AS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Taylor)

Photo 2: Indonesian schoolchildren receive school supplies and sports equipment from Airmen during a goodwill visit to an elementary school in Binguang district, Indonesia, as part of Cope West 11. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Raymond Geoffroy)

Photo 3: First Lt. Emily Chilson interacts with the girls April 25, 2011, in Urgun, Afghanistan, during the first women’s shura. Lieutenant Chilson is the Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team public affairs officer and female engagement team member. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Stacia Zachary)

AF security forces officer discusses countering corruption on Iraqi police force

Maj. Joseph A. Musacchia, participated in the DoD Bloggers Roundtable on April 17, 2009. TSgt Monique Randolph provides an account of the discussion below. Click the link above for an audio transcript, as well as more information about Bloggers Roundtable.

Maj. Musacchia is currently deployed as the deputy director of the special staff for the Ministry of the Interior transition team in Iraq. Members of the transition team serve as mentors to the Internal Affairs and Inspector General divisions, and assist with the court systems legal branch. One of his team’s major roles is to assist with anti-corruption efforts within the ministry, which includes the Iraqi police force.

To gain the trust of the Iraqi people, the Iraqi police force must identify and eradicate corruption within its ranks. Major Musacchia referenced an article that divides police corruption into two categories: meat-eaters and grass-eaters. Simply put, the meat-eaters are the police officers who go out looking for bribes, while the grass-eaters are those who will accept bribes if offered.

Both types of corruption must be met with appropriate levels of discipline and punishment, the Major said, and the officers on the police force have to know that “there is no rule that should not be followed.” Iraq’s police force is essentially trying to catch up with years of technological and moral police evolution.

Major Musacchia said he’s had nothing but positive encounters with members of the departments he mentors, especially the younger members. They are enthusiastic and eager to learn and help move Iraq into the international community and modern world of law enforcement, he said.

“These are the people you see the fire in their eyes,” he said. “These are the young men who want to bring Iraq forward. [They want] to create transparency in their government; to show that they’re fair, not corrupt. That they’re ethically driven.”

The major said their enthusiasm does not surprise him. In fact, it helps to restore his hope as the U.S. prepares to return the country over to Iraqi control. Major Musacchia said his team’s focus is to teach them how to “fish” at this point.

Air Force professional military education has been invaluable in that process, the major said. He and the other Air Force security forces members on the transition team have begun incorporating problem solving skills and leadership training taught in Air Force professional military education in their mentoring of ministry personnel.

“It may sound like I’m towing the party line, but I truly believe in what I’m saying,” Major Musacchia said. “I have learned and applied more of my Air Force squadron officer school and Air Command and Staff College training in this assignment. And if you truly take what the U.S. Air Force teaches you in their PME, you embrace it, you internalize it; it is something you can use in any assignment, but in particular here.”

The U.S. has made significant progress in the Iraq theater, Major Musacchia said.

“We’re making that stride to where we can set this country up to be successful,” he said. “The desire is there. It’s our job to capture that desire, and to channel that effort. And to teach them the essential tools and skills they need to be a successful nation in the modern world. I believe in my heart of hearts that the people here want that to happen. They want to learn, and we’re willing to teach them.”

by TSgt Monique Randolph, AFPAA