Tag Archives: training

Week in Photos, Jan 4, 2013

Staff Sgt. Delia Marchick

Air Force Public Affairs Agency

This is how our Airmen across the globe ended 2012 in the new year’s first Week in Photos.

 

A C-130 Hercules taxis to its parking spot in Southwest Asia, on Dec. 28, 2012. Snow removal teams used specialized equipment to clear the runways and taxiways after an overnight snowfall covered the flightline with more than three inches of snow. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chris Willis)

 

Airman shows skills as F-22 demo pilot

 by Airman 1st Class Austin Harvill
633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/2/2013 – LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (AFNS) — (This feature is part of the “Through Airmen’s Eyes” series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

The serenity of a sleepy, morning sky broke as a dark form rose from the ground and blotted out the sun. An F-22 Raptor maneuvered through the dawn, banking and rolling, rising and falling at impossible angles. Through the cockpit window, a faceless visor disguised the pilot’s exertion.

He angled the jet into a vertical climb as the engines roared to defy gravity. His plane leveled out, and he slowly spun to the earth.

Such complex maneuvers become routine for one pilot at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

Capt. Patrick Williams, the new Air Force F-22 Raptor demonstration pilot, practiced these maneuvers to give crowds worldwide a taste of both the Raptor’s, and the Air Force’s, capabilities.

“People typically see the Air Force on the news, and that’s it,” said Williams. “The air show is the best way we can say ‘Hey America, look at this awesome airplane you’ve given us. This is why we are so successful at what we do.'”

Before taking the controls of the world’s premier, fifth-generation jet fighter, Williams honed his skills in the back-country skies of Idaho at the age of five.

“I still remember my very first log-book entry,” said Williams. “My dad let me sit on his lap during a flight, so he wrote down the entry. It said ‘we saw horses and cows in the Salmon River valley.'”

After speaking with his father about the future of flying as a career, Williams embraced his desire to fly fighters by joining the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co., as a prospective pilot.

During his tenure at the academy, Williams participated in the glider program, became a cadet instructor and graduated with a degree in Astronautical Engineering. Upon completion of his academy training, he travelled to Mississippi to begin basic fighter training, after which he began training to fly the F-15C Eagle.

Williams was assigned to the 12th Fighter Squadron in Alaska, and then transferred to the Raptor once the 90th Fighter Squadron stood up. After showing his skills in the cockpit at both Alaska and Hawaii, the Air Force selected him to become the next Raptor demo pilot.

With the new Raptor demo season quickly approaching, Williams said he was excited to show the world the power of the jet. The demo team plans to tour across the country and hopes to make some international stops as well.

As a demo pilot, Williams said he is honored to be the face of both the Raptor and the Air Force.

“I have to pinch myself every time I get out of the jet,” said Williams. “You land, look back and think ‘I can’t believe I get to fly that airplane.'”

Williams shares his passion for flying with the awestruck audience each time he hops into the cockpit to perform. His life in the sky inspires those watching to reach up and grab their own goals, even if they are small boys from Idaho.

Success through leadership

 

Master Sgt. Christopher Riffle

By Master Sgt. Christopher Riffle
27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron


Having served 18 years in the Air Force, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to learn from and work beside some of the greatest leaders the military has ever seen. I do not claim to be a subject matter expert on leadership, nor do I consider myself to be a great leader. However, I know enough about the subject to share my thoughts on how great leadership can result in a successful unit.

The Air Force defines leadership as the art of influencing and directing people to accomplish the mission. This very difficult task can be accomplished if leaders at every level keep two very important elements in mind, successfully completing the mission, and taking care of their people.

Great leaders know the importance of their unit’s personnel and their role in mission success. Gen. Curtis E. Lemay, former Air Force Chief of Staff stated, “No matter how well you apply the art of leadership, no matter how strong your unit or how high the morale of your men, if your leadership is not directed completely toward the mission, your leadership has failed.”

I’ve always believed that this meant that, as a leader, if I was taking care of my Airmen and their needs it would ensure that the unit’s mission would be successful.

All Airmen are able to be leaders regardless of position or rank. Leadership isn’t something everyone is born with; it’s learned and developed.

How we develop ourselves and our Airmen will determine if we’ll ever truly become effective leaders. It’s important that we continue to add to our leadership toolkit by seeking professional military education, on-the-job training and professional development.

A great leader will ensure that his or her subordinates are given the opportunities to learn leadership traits through deliberate development. It’s through these experiences that we gain the qualities it takes to be a great leader.

Although there are many leadership qualities to speak of, there are a few that I have seen make lasting impacts on personnel and units across my career.

I believe enthusiasm is the most contagious of all. Throughout time the most successful leaders have demonstrated enthusiasm for the mission and their people. A leader’s enthusiasm is contagious and will spread through a unit to motivate others to adjust to the unit’s needs.

As leaders we must demonstrate a commitment to the Air Force, our unit’s mission, and our subordinates. If we do this, our Airmen will want to follow us.

As leaders we must do not only what we ask our Airmen to do, but also more. We must be credible at all times. Remember that we all are on parade and must avoid showing stress when dealing with challenging situations.

Communication is a two-way process. Listen to what your people are saying, because they often have great ideas. Share the importance of the mission and its impact on national interests. A well-informed Airman recognizes the importance of his or her job and will be more effective.

Leaders are responsible for the unit’s mission; if it fails we must accept the consequences. Accountability is also essential. Reward a job well done and hold those who fail to meet the established standards accountable.

Throughout my time here at Cannon, I have witnessed the many successes the 27th Special Operations Wing has accomplished.

I believe this is a direct correlation to the great leadership we have developed. These are Air Commandos at all levels, not just senior officers or NCOs but Airmen as well, those who want this wing to be successful not for personal gain, but because it is expected.

I challenge you to find leadership opportunities that will provide you with additional professional development. Make time to take advantage of educational opportunities at Cannon. Taking these actions will ensure the wing continues to develop leaders needed for its continued success.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Christopher Riffle, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron first sergeant, takes a proud stance just outside the Security Forces building at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., March 21, 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Carlotta Holley)

Week in Photos, Feb. 24, 2012

By Airman 1st Class Christopher Gere

Whether they man the gate, respond to an installation distress, or go outside the wire, Security Forces Airmen make sure they know how to get the job done. Thanks to their constant training, they can mix in with Soldiers and Marines to take the fight to the enemy. If you like this picture, you should like the rest in the Air Force Week in Photos.

Photo: U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 169th Security Forces Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., respond to security threats to an aircraft during joint exercise Operation Rita February 2, 2012. Security forces members were transported by South Carolina Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawks to a destination near the alleged activity to begin their reconnaissance mission. Operation Rita was conducted to emphasize the importance of security forces members’ need to be familiar with Army aviation as well as loading and unloading from active helicopters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Cook)

Week in photos, Feb. 3, 2012

 U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft By Airman 1st Class Krystal Tomlin
U.S. Air Force Public Affairs

With a wing span a great as four F-16s the C-130 is a massive aircraft. To see such a huge piece of equipment take-off is a mesmerizing site. In this photo the Hercules soars above the cloud deck followed by the smoke of flares swirling in a frenzy of displaced air.

This photo says “The sky is the limit and the U.S. Air Force goes beyond that.” Whether we’re bringing troops and supplies into a hostile area or aid to a disaster torn nation, the Air Force gets the job done.

Jump on over to our Flickr site to see more examples of awesome airpower in our most recent Air Force Week in Photos set.

Photo: A U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules cargo aircraft from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, conducts flare training off the Ventura County coast Jan. 10, 2012. The flares are used as tactical infrared countermeasures to confuse and redirect heat-seeking missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dave Buttner)