Tag Archives: NATO

Medical assistance to Libya


By Tech. Sgt. Karen J. Tomasik
Air Force Public Affairs Agency

The U.S. Department of State requested assistance in evacuating wounded Libyan fighters to medical facilities outside the country that could treat their injuries. See additional information in the photo caption below and see additional photos here. We’ll be updating the set as more imagery from the mission becomes available.

Photo: Airmen from the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and a Critical Care Air Transport team from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center unload wounded Libyan fighters from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft Oct. 29, 2011, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. At the request of the Department of State and directed by the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Africa Command is supporting U.S. and international humanitarian relief efforts in Libya. Specifically, the U.S. military transported four wounded Libyans for treatment in medical facilities in Europe and 28 to facilities in the United States.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chenzira Mallory)

Sixty-Three, and Still Flexible

By Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, U.S. Army, Commanding General of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan

On the 63rd birthday of the Air Force as an independent service, I am reminded of one word – flexibility.  The Airmen serving in Afghanistan as a part of the NATO Training Mission prove this concept.  Air Force personnel are providing a critical capability for their Afghan partners– performing administration for the Coalition and Joint force, being advisors to the Ministries of Interior and Defense, and being instructors for English, airframe maintenance, and flight operations.

The efforts and impacts of this incredible service by our Airmen have created dividends that can be seen not only inside Afghanistan, but throughout the region as well.  As adverse weather caused the rivers to rise, flooding Southern Afghanistan, it was the Afghan Air Force that provided search and rescue and humanitarian support.  When the waters rose in Pakistan to kill thousands and displace millions, the Afghan Air Force sent four helicopters to support their brothers and sisters to the East.  Completely independent of Coalition personnel, they planned and executed 377 sorties, transported 1,904 passengers to safety, rescued 120 flood victims, and transported 188.5 tons of relief supplies.  All together, their support saved thousands of lives, feeding 200,000 families for a week. NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Change of Command Ceremony
As professional and dedicated professionals, our Airmen are serving as an example for leadership and mission accomplishment.  These efforts show that the U.S. Air Force is more than merely about traditional air power.  This evolution was identified by the father of the modern Air Force, General Billy Mitchell, 86 years ago.  He said that “In the development of air power, one has to look ahead and not backward and figure out what is going to happen, not too much of what has happened.”  The future that we see today in Afghanistan is the development of the Afghan National Security Force.  Only when they are a professional force that can serve and protect the Afghan people will our mission be accomplished. 

The tip of the spear in this effort are trainers like those Airmen developing the Afghan Air Force – as the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said recently, “no trainers, no transition.”  Our Airmen are critical to this effort, adding to the distinguished history of their Service.  This is truly the mission of our generation, and the Airmen of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan are rising to the occasion.  Happy Birthday Air Force, and well done.

PHOTO: Brig. Gen. David W. Allvin, Commanding General, Incoming Commander, NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan, left; Brig. Gen. Michael Boera, Outgoing Commander, NATO Air Training
Command-Afghanistan; Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage, Commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command; and Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, Commanding General, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Change of Command Ceremony, Sep 7, 2010, US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Quillen.

Blog Spotlight: Daily Gingerbread

*Occasionally, Air Force Live puts the spotlight on individual blogs written by Airmen or their family members. These blogs provide an unofficial glimpse into the various aspects of Air Force life. Opinions expressed are those of the bloggers and are not endorsed by the US Air Force.

Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown in Afghanistan

Even though she’s a writer by trade, Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown has found that some things are best said through pictures.

That’s why she posts a mix of photos and articles on her personal blog, Daily Gingerbread, about her second deployment to Afghanistan. She’s currently serving as a Public Affairs Airman for the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan.

On the blog, she records her life in Kabul, sharing her experiences with the Afghan people in a war environment while supporting NATO forces as they train the Afghan military.

“This is a land of vast differences,” she wrote recently. “Rugged terrain and tenuous beauty, all surrounding a fragile hope for the future. We came to make it a better palce for the people who live here, to give them a sense of the world around them and let them know that there is more to life than just survival, that with hard work and determination (and maybe a bit of luck) anything is truly possible.”

To follow Sergeant Brown’s deployment, visit Daily Gingerbread.




Airmen set bar for cyber journalism during trek through Afghanistan

By Tech. Sgt. Phyllis Hanson, Air Force Public Affairs Agency

100201-F-7734R-001Deployed to Afghanistan since October 2009, Tech. Sgts. Ken Raimondi and Nathan Gallahan came up with what they called a “pipe dream” which turned out to be an innovative way for an Air Force photojournalist and a broadcaster to share “big picture” Afghanistan first hand with readers and listeners, with immediacy, emotion and truth.

With a surprisingly quick approval from leadership, a thought in January became reality by February as the two Airmen, assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Public Affairs, set off on their mission “to travel Afghanistan for 30 days to share the stories, meet the people and experience firsthand the counter insurgency.” Their cyber journalism journey, “30 Days through Afghanistan” had begun.

During a long-distance interview, March 26, for DoD Live Bloggers Roundtable the two Airmen shared their perspective of that journey and the difficulties, challenges and rewarding satisfaction they felt.

Over the course of what turned out be to 35 days, the Airmen vlogged (video broadcast) and blogged daily, covering the human perspective of what they encountered while covering all of ISAF’s five regional commands in Afghanistan.

What impressed me the most was that they did this day after day, camp after camp, making sure the communication kept rolling even if it took them into the wee hours of the night, to find a place to prepare and then tell their stories of that day’s adventure. Imagine the difficulties of getting an Internet connection there!

I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual travel with them. Although there were quite a few were “heart tugging” stories, they were able to mix in a little humor, too. It is also a good reminder that America isn’t fighting this battle alone as many of the stories focus on what American and Allied forces (NATO) see and do each day over in Afghanistan.

I look forward to seeing more of this type of reporting from our Air Force journalists and broadcasters in the future.

Air Force Colonel discusses Heavy Airlift Operations from Hungary

For the first time ever, 12 nations have come together, independently of NATO, to fly in support of their national requirements for Strategic Airlift Capability. “While we don’t take operational directions from [NATO], our nations are free to use their flying hours to support NATO missions,” U.S. Air Force Col. John D. Zazworski, Jr., commander of the Heavy Airlift Wing, Papa, Hungary, told bloggers during a Department of Defense Bloggers Roundtable teleconference July 29.  You can hear the audio from the teleconference here.

During the official activation ceremony of a first-of-its-kind multinational Heavy Airlift Wing at Papa Air Base, Hungary, July 27, U.S. Air Force Col. John Zazworsky gives thanks to the 12-nation team who, during the last 10 months, stood up the organization that will provide strategic airlift worldwide for humanitarian, disaster relief, and peacekeeping missions in support of the European Union, United Nations and NATO. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Scott Wagers)