Page 1

Vol. 6, No. 17

Serving Southern Arizona’s military community, including Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

May 10, 2013


755th keeps Compass Call jamming Airmen from the 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron re-attach the leading line on a wing of an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft. This EC-130H is one of 14 aircraft in the Air Force with the ability to find radio signals and has computer operators onboard with the knowledge to block these signals (Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Airman 1st Class Daniel J. Boutwell and Corey B. Sweeny-Morehouse, 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electronic warfare technicians, connect an air-conditioning hose to cool down an EC-130H Compass Call aircraft. The aircraft must maintain a cool temperature, so the computers in the back do not overheat.

Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

How do you get a plane that weighs more than 100,000 pounds to get off the ground and keep flying? The 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here has been doing just that. The unit’s mission is to provide a safe, reliable, mission capable EC-130H Compass Call aircraft to the 55th Electronic Combat Group for training and executing electronic warfare. The 755thAMXS, a unit owned by the 55th Fighter Wing out of Offutt AFB, Neb., spends hours at a time fixing these planes to ensure they can accomplish their mission. Compass Call is an airborne tactical weapon system that uses a heavily modified version of the C-130 Hercules airframe. The system disrupts enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination essential for enemy force management. In simple terms, the aircraft jams enemy radio signals. In the flight of 14, there are currently four aircraft deployed, four are at home, and the rest are undergoing regular

inspections. “There are only 14 planes in the whole word that do this,” said Airman 1st Class Daniel J. Boutwell, 755th AMXS electronic warfare technician. “All of these are assigned to D-M.” The 755th AMXS is the longest deployed unit in the Air Force, supporting deployed missions for more than nine years. Airmen deploy for approximately five months at a time. Certain crew chiefs are assigned to specific planes and often become attached to their aircraft. “I love having my name on a plane,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Williams, 755th AMXS crew chief. “My plane is deployed right now and I miss seeing my name on that plane.” As a staff sergeant, Williams has more responsibilities than lower ranking airman. The plane displays his name and a few crew members’ names as well. There are many different jobs in the 755th AMXS. One of the big ones is a crew chief. A crew chief’s main duties include taxiing the plane for take-off and landing, as well as refueling. They also work on the plane to take apart what is broken and

put it back together. The biggest difference between a C-130H aircraft and the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft is that the EC-130H aircraft has multiple computers. Because of this, there are specific people who work on these computers. They maintain all subsystems in the back end of the EC-130H aircraft to make sure that operators have an aircraft that is going to fulfill mission requirements. “The temperature of the plane must be less than 81 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Boutwell. “If the plane is too hot, then the computer network will burn up.” The planes computer systems make up an essential part of this plane’s mission, which has helped this squadron to achieve many awards throughout the years. There is a quote on a wall at the 755th AMXS that reads “Through these halls walk the world’s best maintainers.” With constant deployment and all the hard work that goes into maintaining a 40-year-old aircraft, this squadron works hard to prove that this statement is true.



May 10, 2013

Desert Lightning News

Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center seeks patients Airman 1st Class Nicole Leidholm 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Airmen who are sick of living day to day with their glasses or contacts have an opportunity to leave them behind. The Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center at the David Grant USAF Medical Center here currently has no waiting list for laser eye surgery. Airmen in the western region who want to eliminate their dependency on glasses or contacts are encouraged to travel to Travis for laser eye surgery. According to Air Force Instruction 48-123, active duty members may be authorized a unit-funded or permissive temporary duty for treatment. For Airmen to receive the surgical benefit under the U.S. Air Force Refractive Surgery program, they must be treated at a Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center located at select Department of Defense facilities world-wide. If an active duty member wishes to receive the treatment outside of a DoD facility, the member will incur all outof-pocket costs and will not be authorized convalescent leave, as the surgery itself is considered an elective procedure. By having the surgery at an approved facility, Airmen avoid surgery costs of more than $3,000, ensure a permissive or unit funded TDY status to receive the treatment, and guarantee the benefit of convalescent leave following the procedure.

Lt. Col. David Simon, Laser Refractive Center cornea and refractive surgery chief, said the DGMC at Travis has highly experienced and qualified surgeons on staff as well as state-of-theart equipment, not yet available at other bases. The laser refractive center surgeons have a combined experience of more than 10,000 cases. “Any member on active duty over the age of 21 may have a consult to see if they qualify and are a good candidate for the surgery,” said Simon. “Airmen must have six months retainability or one year for members of the Navy and Marine Corps and 18 months for Soldiers.” Simon said, although laser eye surgery has been around since the 1980s, the military didn’t support the idea until about 15 years ago. Aviators and troops on the ground who required glasses were having difficulties in deployed environments, as night-vision goggles were difficult to use when glasses and gas-mask inserts fogged. Such limitations created ineffective warfighters, causing the military to support laser-eye surgery, Simon said. The Warfighter Refractive Surgery Center at DGMC offers two types of refractive surgery: laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis and photorefractive keratectomy. Both surgeries change the way images are focused on the retina to improve vision quality. Individuals must have a commander’s authorization, because LASIK patients are non-deployable for at least 31 days following surgery and

PRK patients can be non-deployable for up to four months, Simon said. “There are subtle differences between LASIK and PRK,” said Simon. “We refer to LASIK as ‘flap and zap’ and PRK as ‘zap’ so images focus better on the back of the eye.” The recovery time of the two procedures varies as well. The recovery time for LASIK is about one week with some discomfort, while PRK is a couple weeks with more discomfort. One of the biggest differences is that LASIK creates a potential weak point in the eye. It is not for individuals who are in hand-to-hand combat, which is why PRK is now the military standard, Simon said. “Three months after surgery, patient results are the same,” Simon said. “The average vision outcome for individuals is that 95 percent of them have 20/20 vision or better six months after treatment.” Senior Airman Jeremy Daniel, 60th Maintenance Squadron inspection section, recently underwent laser eye surgery to correct his vision. “For me, the whole process was quick and painless,” said Daniels. “I noticed a difference in my vision right away. I love that I got the surgery. I would do it again in a heartbeat no questions asked. It was definitely one of the best things I have done.” Airmen interested in laser eye surgery should call DGMC at 707-423-3146 or visit

DLT raises money for the AFEV Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Desert Lightning Team is one of many sponsors raising money for the Air Force Enlisted Village at the upcoming 10th Annual Bob Hope Memorial Charity Golf Classic tournament at Eglin AFB, Fla., May 17-18. The Desert Lightning Team began collecting money in February. So far they have collected $1,000 from professional organizations around base, as well as an additional $500 in ticket sales offering individuals a chance to win a trip to the U.S. Open golf tournament. The Bob Hope Memorial Charity Golf tournament is the AFEV fundraiser. The AFEV is a nonprofit organization and has a goal to provide financial assistance and a place to call home for widowed spouses of former military veterans. The AFEV was founded in 1967 to provide a safe, secure and dignified place for indigent surviving spouses of retired Air Force personnel, according to the Village’s website. Through group donations, DLT members can register eight golfers through the gold sponsorship which is $5,000; four golfers through the silver sponsorship which is $2,500; and finally two golfers through the bronze sponsorship which is $1,000. Each sponsorship also includes the sponsors banner displayed at one of the holes. “We’ve actually collected enough money for a bronze sponsorship,” said Senior Master Sgt. Walter Fortenberry, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron and point of contact for fundraiser. “This pays for registration for two golfers. Since we’re not sending golfers to the charity golf tournament, we are going to pay for two participants from the AFEV, they were unable to pay for themselves.” The money being collected will go towards various projects to improve the widows’ lifestyle. “The money collected goes into various parts,” Fortenberry said. “Things like repairs, transportation, upgrades, and entertainment, just

U.S. Air Force Airmen representatives from the First Sergeants’ Council, Air Force Sergeants Association, Top Three, First Six, and Chiefs Group pose with donated money for the Air Force Enlisted Village here May 6. Each Professional Organization donated $200 which resulted in raising $1000 toward a Bronze Sponsorship at the 10th Annual AFEV Bob Hope Memorial Charity Golf Classic held at Eglin AFB, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths)

anything to enhance their lives, that the Air Force Assistance Fun can’t be used for.” Donating money isn’t the only way Airmen can help. “AFEV is always looking for help,” Fortenberry said. “If anyone wanted to put on a golf tournament for them or put on some other fundraiser, where half the proceeds go to their organization and half go to the AFEV. It’s one of our greatest causes out there and it would really be worth the time.” Airmen can also donate by entering in a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the 2013 U.S. Open Championship. A $20 minimum entry fee is required. Airmen can enter by contacting their first sergeants. A drawing will be held May 18 and the winner will be notified by phone. The final day to donate will be May 10. To register for the golf tournament, please visit If you have any questions or would like to donate or purchase a raffle ticket, please contact your first sergeant or Fortenberry at 228-4503.

Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --  Internet posts making the rounds claiming that the Defense Department will court-martial service members who espouse Christianity are not true, a Pentagon spokesman said today. “The Department of Defense places a high value on the rights of members of the military services to observe the tenets of their respective religions and respects, (and supports by its policy) the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen said in a written statement on the issue. “The department does not endorse any one religion or religious organization, and provides free access of religion for all members of the military services,” he added. Internet posts are attributing a statement that superior officers who try to convert those under their command should face court-martial to Mikey Weinstein, president of the Albuquerque, N.M.-based Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and are identifying him as a Pentagon advisor, Christensen noted. “Mr. Weinstein is not part of any DOD advisory group or committee, nor is he a consultant to the Defense Department regarding religious matters,” Christensen said. “Mr. Weinstein requested, and was granted, a meeting at the Pentagon April 23, with the Air Force judge advocate general and others, to include the deputy chief of chaplains, to express his concerns of religious issues

in the military.” Some bloggers have taken sections of Air Force Instruction 1-1 “Air Force Standards” -- specifically, the section titled “Government Neutrality Regarding Religion” -- out of context in supporting their take, Christensen said. “Leaders at all levels must balance constitutional protections for an individual’s free exercise of religion or other personal beliefs and the constitutional prohibition against governmental establishment of religion,” the instruction states. Air Force leaders at all levels “must avoid the actual or apparent use of their position to promote their personal religious beliefs to their subordinates or to extend preferential treatment for any religion. Commanders or supervisors who engage in such behavior may cause members to doubt their impartiality and objectivity. The potential result is a degradation of the unit’s morale, good order, and discipline,” the instruction goes on to say. The instruction further says all Airmen “are able to choose to practice their particular religion, or subscribe to no religious belief at all.” It tells Airmen to practice their own beliefs while respecting differing viewpoints. The right to practice religious beliefs does not excuse Airmen from complying with directives, instructions and lawful orders, the instruction says. It adds that Airmen “must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.”


DOD counters Internet posts on religion issue

New mobile app calculates torque settings on the fly Kevin Spalding 367th Training Support Squadron

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- The Air Force’s leading Instructional Training Unit (ITU) recently presented their newest product to Col. David W. Murphy, commander, 782nd Training Group, Air, Education and Training Command. Torqued, a mobile app The Griffin developed, allows Air Force maintainers, or anyone who uses torque wrenches, to calculate complicated torque settings on-the-fly. “It will help the maintainer on the flight line, it will make it easier,” said Murphy. “It is something that the young maintainer can connect with easily. It is quicker and more efficient than current processes, and it is exactly what the Chief of Staff of the Air Force is looking for.” Currently, when an extension is required with use

of a torque wrench, a calculation is required to determine the proper torque settings. This calculation is intricate, and requires the use of a calculator. With the Torqued app, individuals will be able to use mobile devices to calculate the proper torque settings without error. This app is designed to not only help minimize wasted time, but to ensure accuracy of torque settings on critical components. “This is just the first of many apps we will build to make the difficult work of aircraft maintenance and AMMO more effective. We have some ideas for future apps, but we really want to hear what the Airmen doing the job want,” said Maj. Michael Bliss, 367th Training Support Squadron commander. Torqued is available now for download through the Android market and iTunes apps. Airmen across the Air Force can use their mobile devices, go to their associated app marketplace, and search for Torqued

from Griffin Mobile, to find the app. For additional information on offerings from The Griffin, contact Staff Sgt. Kevin Spalding at 801-586-4014 or via email, The 367th Training Support Squadron is the leading ITU in the Air Force today. They have been a training support squadron since 1992, and focus on innovating the way Air Force maintainers get the mission done. With over 20 years’ experience, The Griffin has produced countless training aides, interactive multimedia, and analyses on maintenance procedures in an effort to streamline and increase productivity in the maintenance community. The Griffin currently supports the Mobile Air Forces (MAF) and the Combat Air Force (CAF), with a staff of highly trained performance analysis personnel. They can help identify the root cause of problems, offer solutions, and even develop state of the art Interactive multimedia training to tackle issues.

SecDef calls for culture of dignity, respect Jim Garamone American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (AFPS) --  Allegations of misconduct against an Air Force officer in charge of the service’s sexual assault prevention and response effort underscored the importance of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s effort to prevent sexual assault across the military. Hagel began his Pentagon news conference Tuesday by discussing the incident in which the officer was arrested by Arlington County police and charged with sexual battery. “He’s been removed from his position pending the outcome of this investigation,” the secretary said. “We’re all outraged and disgusted over these very troubling allegations.” Hagel called sexual assault “a despicable crime” and said it is a serious challenge to the department. “It’s a threat to the safety and the welfare of our people and the health, reputation and trust of this institution,” he said. He shifted to the annual report on sexual assault within the military

the department delivered to Congress today. “This department may be nearing a stage where the frequency of this crime and the perception that there is tolerance of it could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out the mission and to recruit and retain the good people we need,” he said. “That is unacceptable to me and the leaders of this institution. And it should be unacceptable to everyone associated with the United States military.” Hagel called for a cultural change in the military with respect to sexual assault. He announced initiatives so “every service member is treated with dignity and respect, where all allegations of inappropriate behavior are treated with seriousness, where victims’ privacy is protected, where bystanders are motivated to intervene and where offenders know that they will be held accountable by strong and effective systems of justice.” Hagel wants leaders to take this seriously and stressed the department will hold them responsible for putting in place programs to prevent sexual assault and to treat victims of the crime with compassion and justice.


May 10, 2013

Desert Lightning News

Deployed Airman loses 40 pounds, scores 99.8 on fitness test each other. 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity While I attribute much of my success to SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- You want exercise, I had to do my part in the dining to get in shape during your deployment, but facility as well. I drastically cut carbohywhat does that mean? Do you want to lose drates, ate smaller portions and made betweight or score better on your fitness test? ter choices. I didn’t starve myself and yes, I Before I left Keesler Air Force Base, had a cookie or two once in a while. Miss., for this deployment, I promised myDid I have setbacks? Yes, I was down for self, and my leadership, I would return a new person. I set a lofty goal and told anyone who would listen, which initially helped me be accountable for my choices. I predicted I would lose 40 pounds. People encouraged me, but still pointed out it was a lot of weight and it would be tough. After allowing myself a couple weeks to get acclimated, I began the  battle on my waistline. I kept hearing about early risers who participated in an exercise regimen that was intense, awful, awesome and fun all Master Sgt. Shane Sullivan works out on a rowing machine at the same time. I decided to try it. Just be- May 2, while deployed to Southwest Asia. Sullivan lost more than 40 pounds, scored a 99.8 on his fitness test and won the fore Thanksgiving, I went to my first class. wing’s Biggest Loser contest. Sullivan is assigned to the 380th Three days later, I regained movement and Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity office. (U.S. Air was able to go back. I scaled my workouts Force photo/Staff Sgt. Timothy Boyer) and tailored them to my abilities. The more I focused on skill work and a few days with arthritis pain and there was proper form, the more my body responded. at least one week, during which, I gained I was running faster, lifting more weight and weight instead of losing it. I didn’t let it disrecovering quicker. When I needed motivacourage me. I used those moments to motition, my workout brothers and sisters were vate me to work harder. there to encourage and inspire me -- and Commentary by Master Sgt. Shane Sullivan

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I was also able to compete in the wing’s Biggest Loser competition. By the time it started, I had already lost 13 pounds and was entrenched in my routine. When the contest was over, I had lost an additional 30 pounds and placed first. I scheduled my fitness test with the hope that having lost more than 40 pounds and having worked out for five months I would be ready. I could never have predicted just how ready I was. I scored better at  40 years of age than I ever have, a 99.8. Twenty years ago, I ran my 1.5 mile test in 10:24. This time I ran it in 10:06. I reached my goal of losing 40 pounds., took 7 inches off my waist and I’m in the best shape of my life. I set a specific goal, set my mind to it and stuck to it. I know I am not alone. Miracles do not happen overnight; they can take days, weeks or months depending on the goal. Now it is time for a new goal. I have to promise myself I will never look like I did five months ago ever again. You, too, can accomplish your goals. Dream big and work hard to achieve that dream, you can do it. Air Force fitness centers offer a variety of workouts, just visit your local staff and find out which one is right for you.

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Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


Diamond Sharp Name/Squadron: Airman 1st Class Hughes, Ryan Matthew/ 755 AMXS First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Brian Young Duty title: Aerospace Maintenance Apprentice When joined the AF: Jan. 17, 2012 Hometown: San Jose, Ca Hobbies: Corporate/Business aviation, Currency in Private Pilot Training, Muscle Car restoration, Mountain biking, and Hiking Selection Reasons: Airman Hughes has set himself apart from his peers with the knowledge and experience that he brought from his previous career field in civilian aviation, always striving to excel in his current job as a Crew Chief. To document his thirst for excellence, he has had three Quality Assurance evaluations since his arrival in September 2012 resulting in three perfect passes by QA. Continuing the whole airman concept, Hughes is currently finishing his last three classes through Pima Community College towards his CCAF degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology while maintaining a 3.8 GPA. He is also the Secretary for the 755 AMXS Booster Club, which has generated, in the first quarter alone, $15K towards the annual holiday party and squadron functions. He has also been nominated as the Airman of the Quarter for the first quarter of 2013, pending board results.







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May 10, 2013

Desert Lightning News

CoRC holds free event for DLT also provided for free. “I loved seeing all the kids with blue cotton candy on their faces,” said Hudson. “It was like a mini-carnival for the kids.” Hudson and her husband served cotton candy at the event, while their kids played all the games. All of the children received a prize for playing the carnival games. “Let kids be kids,” said Hudson. “They could run around and you didn’t have to worry about them. It was a great experience that I would definitely volunteer for again.”

Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Culture of Responsible Choices provided a free Movie-in-a-Park event for Desert Lightning Team members here May 4, at Bama Park. The event was designed to provide an alternate fun activity for the DLT and their families. The CoRC tries to provide free, non-alcoholic events once a quarter. “The CoRC does a free event once a quarter,” said Tech. Sgt. Latoya Hudson, a mother of two and volunteer at the event. “It’s not always going to be a Moviein-a-Park event, it just depends on what’s determined on during the quarter.” These events are put on to represent what CoRC is all about, which is showing people that safe fun can be had without alcohol or drugs. The CoRC raises money for these events, but the Air Force Assistant Fund helped with funding the event. “We would like to do more Movie-in-the-Park events, but we would need a lot of participation,” said Master Sgt. Deametreyess Simmons, CoRC president. The event started at 5:30 p.m. with carnival games, followed by a screening of the movie, “Monsters Inc.” More than 120 people attended the carnival and more than 20 families watched the movie. Games included a ring toss, a bean bag toss and a bouncy castle. Cotton candy, water and popcorn were

Families get comfortable in Bama Park while anticipating the start of “Monsters Inc.” May 4. The Movie-in-a-Park event was put on by the Culture of Responsible Choices to give families an alternate, fun activity. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Griffin)




Henry Coch eats cotton candy with his mom, Staff Sgt. Caitlin E. Jones, 355th Fighter Wing broadcast journalist, at Movie-in-aPark event May 4. The base event was free to all Desert Lightning Team members and included games and a screening of “Monsters Inc.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Camilla Griffin)


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Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


Airman earns four CCAF degrees in single year Brandice J. O’Brien Tinker Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --  Tech. Sgt. William Woltmann achieved something rare. In fact, he is the first Tinker Air Force Base Airman in a Community College of the Air Force graduating class to do it. At the May 8 ceremony, Woltmann will accept four associates degrees, which were completed in a single graduating class. From August 2012 to February 2013, Woltmann simultaneously pursued four degrees -- Instructor of Technology and Military Science, Information Management, Information Systems Technology and Avionic Systems Technology. “When I look at it now, I see that I accomplished a lot in a short period of time and it reinforces to me that people who think they can’t get it done, can. If you just apply your-

self, you can get it taken care of,” said Woltmann, 966th Airborne Air Control Squadron flight chief and airborne mission systems specialist. When Woltmann received his assignment to the 966th AACS in January 2012, he learned it was mandatory that he complete one CCAF degree within the next 12 months. Having already worked in two other career fields -- communications navigation for the C-5 Galaxy and a special duty assignment as an overseas military postal worker -- prior to transferring to the 966th AACS, the sergeant was eligible to pursue two CCAF degrees. Upon cross-training into AWACS, he received eligibility for a third CCAF degree. Finally, the ability to pursue his fourth degree came when he became an instructor for the 966th. “I didn’t actually start pursuing my CCAFs until my 10-and-a-halfyear mark in the Air Force,” he said.

“I just never had a strong desire to do it. “I procrastinated. I had a myriad of excuses -- when I was younger, I got married and had three children. Then my focus became studying for promotion,” the sergeant said. “The catalyst to really make me get it done was going to the 966th.” After Woltmann began pursuing his first Air Force specialty code CCAF, he said he wondered what it would take to get his second, third and fourth degrees. For many of his degrees, the required credits were mirrored in the other degrees. “I started the ball and after it got going and I was in the habit of taking college classes, I just kept doing it,” he said. Woltmann completed his degrees through Rose State College and American Military University, both regionally accredited universities. “The fact that Sergeant Wolt-

mann was able to fulfill his duties as a flight chief and a formal training unit instructor, while at the same time completing multiple advanced degrees is truly impressive,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Brant, 966th AACS commander. “This accomplishment speaks very highly of Sergeant Woltmann and his commitment to professional growth and development.” With 149 credit hours between the four CCAF degrees, Woltmann said he is now pursuing his fifth degree, an Associate of Arts degree in Enterprising Development from Rose State College. Through the state-funded Reach Higher program, the credits for the associates’ degree will be applied toward a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Central Oklahoma. He anticipates finishing the fifth associates’ by spring 2014.


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We’ll see you, at any of the four local Best Buy stores, May 19th 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. For directions to your closest Tucson area Best Buy, go to BEST BUY, the BEST BUY logo, and the tag design are trademarks of BBY Solutions, Inc. © 2013 Best Buy. All Rights Reserved.


May 10, 2013

Desert Lightning News

May is Career Month at Davis-Monthan AFB The DMAFB Annual Career Fair will be held on Tues, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mirage Club. Representatives from numerous local and national companies, including state and federal government agencies, will be on hand to provide information on career opportunities with their respective organizations. The Airman & Family Readiness Center will be offering the following “Career Month” activities in May to help

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Wednesday Bible Study • 12:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m. Faith & Family Night and Mid-Week Service •

1st Wednesday Dinner at 5:00 p.m. - Service at 7:00 p.m.

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Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


Test center welcomes new commander; praises ‘Total Force Integration’ Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith 162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

An Air Guard command pilot took the reins as commander of the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) at the 162nd Fighter Wing after a change-of-command ceremony here May 3. Col. Matthew J. Manifold replaced Col. Richard J. Dennee, who retired after 30 years of combined military service in the Air Guard and Air Force. In his speech, Col. Manifold outlined his primary purpose as the new head of the AATC. “As a test center commander, I’ll make sure that Airmen in the field are going to have the best equipment available to prosecute the enemy. And in the next war, we’re going to take all that equipment, and do it all over again,” he said. “That’s my promise.” Col. Manifold arrived in Tucson from Nellis Air Force Base, where he served as Air National Guard Advisor to the Commander, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center. He previously held the position of Director of Operations for the AATC. Col. Manifold praised the test center as

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a mecca of collaborative efficiency and wartime relevancy. “We (AATC) knew what ‘Total Force Integration’ was before anybody else, and we’re a family,” he said. “I can do all the testing I want right here, but until I get it in the hands of the warfighter, it does me

no good. That’s why we have a saying: ‘It doesn’t count until they’re flying and sustaining it in the field.’” Though the 162nd Fighter Wing is widely known in Air Force circles as a world-premiere, international F-16 training unit, the AATC is unique as it serves as a tenant of

Brig. Gen. James C. Witham, Deputy Director, Air National Guard, the Pentagon, (left) passes the command flag to Col. Matthew J. Manifold, who will head the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center (AATC) at the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Ariz., May 3, 2013. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Amie Neighbors)

the wing with the primary mission of keeping the Air Reserve Component function on par with its active-duty counterpart. Retired Air Guard Col. Paul H. O’Donnell, the AATC’s first commander, said the presence of older aircraft and equipment justified the need to establish a highly functional test center. “We had aircraft that were no longer in the active inventory,” he said. “What we wanted to do was have a way to implement minor-level modifications so that we can continue to have a viable weapons system.” Thus, the Fighter Weapons Office - which would eventually be renamed the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center - became a reality in 1981. Col. Dennee, the departing commander, said the AATC will move forward in its steadfast commitment of “keeping the mission objectives focused and giving the tools our warfighters need to do their jobs.” “The relationship we (AATC) have with the 162nd Fighter Wing is great,” said Col. Manifold, who has logged over 800 combat flying hours during such operations as Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. “They let us hang our hats and park our airplanes here, and even though we are a tenant unit, this wing has never made us feel that way.”



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Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


The primary instructor Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force is filled with opportunities to have unique experiences by performing special duties. Be it a postal worker, military training instructor or recruiter, each duty comes with its own set of challenges and benefits that can help Airmen grow as members of the United States Air Force. In this series, Airmen who have held special duties talk about their experiences. When a new recruit arrives at basic training, their first introduction to what an Airman should be is their military training instructor. They teach them everything from customs and courtesies, to uniform standards, to drill. Master Sgt. Tibetha Pascal, 355th Force Support Squadron acting first sergeant, spent five years shaping the future of the Air Force as an MTI at Lackland AFB, Tex. Beginning her Air Force career as a services Airman, Pascal made the decision to submit her MTI package in 2004. “I loved my job as a services apprentice, but I knew that there was more out there in the Air Force for me to see,” said Pascal. “I’m all about personal and professional growth, and I knew becoming an MTI would push me out of my comfort zone and help me realize some of the goals I had for myself.” Pascal, who was then Staff Sgt. Williams, arrived at Lackland where the first step on the road to receiving her MTI hat, called a campaign hat, was an intense 14-week training course. During this program, she learned everything she would need to know to take on her own flight of trainees.

“The first seven weeks is geared more towards academics,” Pascal said. “You learn exactly what the trainees are going to learn so you can be that example for them.” The training period not only tested her ability to adapt, but her ability to endure. “The last seven weeks is when you get your first flight as an MTI student,” Pascal said. “I struggled with drill. I struggled with teaching. I struggled with everything. I will admit there was a point where I tried to quit. I was like, ‘Ok, I’m throwing in the towel. You can have this. Send me back to services.’” After a particularly hard week, she was ready to admit defeat. “I will never forget,” Pascal said. “I went to the commandant and said ‘Sir, I’m giving my all, but you know how some jobs aren’t for everybody? Well, this one is not for me.’ He looked at me and he said, ‘I hear what you’re saying Sgt. Williams, but you’re not quitting.’” The commandant’s belief in her and refusal to let her give up pushed Pascal to take a hard look at her approach to training. “I had to ask myself what I was going to do to prove that I could get through this and become an MTI,” Pascal said. “It was a great struggle for me. I think what I went through as an MTI student made me the senior non commissioned officer I am today.” After earning her campaign hat and “cookie,” a moniker for the MTI occupational badge, she spent the next three years as a “street machine,” pushing flight after flight through the then six and a half weeks of basic training. “I instructed more than 20 flights while I was at Lackland,” Pascal said.

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When an MTI gets a new flight, they can work anywhere from a 16 to a 24-hour day. Long days can cut into time with family, something the Pascal was very familiar with. “My husband actually got his campaign hat about six months after I got mine,” she said. “I will say that you and your partner have to have a solid relationship before you go into the program. It is hard work to maintain that relationship with all the other demands you have on you, but it is doable. People say you shouldn’t become an MTI if you’re married or if you have children. We were both MTIs and had two children, but we made it work. You have to want it all and be willing to work at getting it.” The last two years of her time as an MTI, Pascal worked in an instructional capacity. “I learned so much from each flight I encountered,” Pascal said. “Once you get past the yelling part and you start to have conversations with the trainees, you get insight into who they are. You may not have realized that this person had leadership qualities, but then you find out they’ve been helping another trainee with his duties the whole time. They have hidden talents and qualities you didn’t notice upfront.” To Pascal, the experiences of an MTI are unlike anything else she’s encountered in her Air Force career. “To be an MTI you have to be truly passionate about your job,” Pascal said. “We are the beginning. It says it right there on your way into Lackland. We are the ‘Gateway To the Air Force’. When they step off that bus, how they see us and how we train them can make or break it for the future of the force. To me, the MTI is a pivotal stepping stone for the next great leaders in our Air Force.”

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May 10, 2013

Desert Lightning News

Faith in captivity: Vietnam War POW inspires Airmen Staff Sgt. Jenna Hildebrand 128th Air Refueling Wing

MILWAUKEE (AFNS) --  With his hands bound in manacles, an imprisoned Air Force pilot watched from his bamboo holding cell as North Vietnamese soldiers moved a wounded American prisoner into the cell across from his. The pilot was shocked at the man’s appearance; his fingers were raw and his body was emaciated. His whole body was covered in wounds; he had been pushing through the jungle for 45 days without food. The pilot did not recognize the new prisoner. The next morning, the guards had the pilot and his cell mate pick up the new prisoner to take him to the bathroom. The withered man looked over at his fellow prisoner and said, “Aren’t you Guy Gruters?” “Yea, who are you?” Gruters responded. “Lance Sijan.” Oh no. Not Lance... not Lance, thought Gruters. Air Force veteran and Vietnam War prisoner of war, retired Capt. Guy Gruters, spoke of his tragic yet inspiring experience in captivity to Airmen and civilians assembled in Sijan Hall at the 128th Air Refueling Wing April 25. Gruters told the audience that he and Sijan were in the same squadron at the U.S. Air Force Academy for three years. Sijan, a Milwaukee native, was solid as a rock at 210 pounds and had played football for the Academy. “To see him hurt so bad was really difficult,” Gruters said. “They would torture him, and we would scream in

our cells to get them to lay off him and they’d come beat us.” Gruters continued to specify the harsh treatment they received where they were moved to at Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi. Their manacles were on 24 hours a day. They were beaten constantly on their wounds. They were only allowed to wash themselves once a week. Parasites, malnutrition and heat rash deteriorated the prisoners’ health. Though Sijan’s wounds and health worsened, Gruters said he was always asking what the escape plan was and what he could do to help. “He was always ready to escape,” Gruters said. “We’d always come up with plans just so Lance was satisfied.” Sijan succumbed to the harsh treatment and died of pneumonia January 22, 1968. “Lance’s leadership of resistance was perfect,” Gruters said. “He fought them until he died. His story was spread throughout the camps over and over again, and I think that’s what was responsible for a lot of the resistance in the camps.” In the more than five years Gruters spent in captivity, he and his fellow prisoners devised a way to communicate to keep their faith alive. The tap code, which is now taught in military intelligence schools, is based off of the alphabet in a grid system. One person would kneel on the floor to ensure the guards were nowhere nearby while two would tap on the wall to send messages back and forth. “We did texting,” Gruters said. “You know how all the kids do texting now. Every night we tapped GNGBU.

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Good night, God bless you.” The punishment for communicating was three days and three nights of torture, but the prisoners communicated for hours using the tap code to raise their morale and hold on to their faith. “The North Vietnamese couldn’t conceive of how we did this,” Gruters said. Gruters told his audience that he had the best leadership in that prison camp. The higher ranking officers often took the brunt of the beatings for their men. They encouraged subtle resistance and mandated that they take part in church services within their cells. Their primary order was to return with honor. After Gruters and 590 POWs were released during Operation Homecoming in 1973, Gruters was instrumental to officials posthumously awarding the Medal of Honor to Sijan in 1976. Gruters’ message to the Milwaukee audience was that leadership and teamwork will prevail. Communication was a key component in the prisoners’ survival and in Gruters’ presentation. After much applause, Walker, the Wisconsin governor, stood up and thanked Gruters for his great contribution and commitment to his country and his faith. Then he addressed the audience. “Freedom. It’s a simple word. It’s endowed by our creator,” Walker said.  “Defined by our constitution more than 225 years ago, but it’s defended by men and women like you.”

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Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


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May 10, 2013

Desert Lightning News

Local Briefs NARFE Association, Chapter 55, to meet The National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Association, Chapter 55, will hold their monthly luncheon meeting on May Summer Camp for Youth with 13 at the U-Like Buffet, 330 South Autism There is still time left to regis- Wilmot Road, Tucson, AZ 85711. The ter for Tucson Alliance for Autism luncheon starts at 11:00 AM and ends Summer Day Camps. The Explorer about 1:30 p.m. There will be a presenCamps are for children ages 7 to 14 tation followed by a business meeting. with high functioning autism.  The Current and retired Federal employfocus will be on leisure skills, social ees, their spouses, guests and visitors communication, friendship and fun.  are welcome. Attendees pay for their The Wildcat Teen Camp is for teens lunch, usually less than $10. For furages 15-25 with high functioning ther information please call 751-2017. autism or Asperger’s.  The focus is Heart Link Thurs, May 16 - 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. to work on the transition from high school to college.  For more informa- Mirage Club Heart Link is a fun, interactive tion, visit  There is funding available spouse orientation program for new for military families, so the total cost Air Force Spouses and/or new D-M is only $75.  To register, contact Al- spouses.  Learn about base services and programs and find out about your lison at 319-5857. benefits and entitlements. Continental  Changes to Early Intervention The referral process to the Arizona breakfast and lunch provided. Need Early Intervention Program (AZEIP) Childcare? We have several options! has changed.  Families who have a For more information, call 228-5690.  Legal Office Closure The Legal Office will be closed May 17, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The Legal will also be closed May 23 – 27.

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be a special event for our deployed spouses. Come have lunch with us at Texas Roadhouse! After lunch, we will head over to the mall for some retail therapy! Please call 228-5690 by May 10 to sign up. Note: This is an adultsonly event. We have conveniently scheduled this day out in conjunction with Give Parents a Break. If you need child care, please be sure to stop by the A&FRC on Wed, May 8 to get your GPAB voucher and sign-up at the CDC. Baby Basics Wed, May 15 – 9:30 a.m.-noon Airman & Family Readiness Center Military members and their spouses in third trimester of expectancy are invited to attend. Topics include: the importance of budgeting, parenting skills, child safety and more. Participants will receive a free baby bundle full of items. Please RSVP at 228-5690. Heart Link Thurs, May 16, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mirage Club Are you a newly assigned or newly married spouse who would like to learn more about the Air Force and Davis-Monthan AFB? Join us for food, fun activities, games and giveaways.  Information is given from various organizations. Please RSVP at

228-5690. Smooth Move Relocation Program Attention service members! Did you know that moving during the summer season (May-July) presents unique challenges, especially from mid June through July 4th. Prepare for your next PCS assignment by attending one of our “Smooth Move” relocation program workshops at the Airman & Family Readiness Center. Our next workshop is Mon, May 20 from 9-10:30 a.m. For more information or to reserve your seat, call 228-5690 or stop by and see us in Building 2441. Money on the Road Program Money on the Road is an Airman & Family Readiness program designed to bring financial readiness/counseling TO YOUR unit! Our counselors can teach classes and be available for one-on-one counseling or to answer general questions. We tailor our visit to your unit specific needs. You provide a temporary location for us and we provide efficient financial counseling services. If your unit is interested in our Money on the Road program, please call us at 228-5690. PLAYpass available at the Airman & Family Readiness Center The PLAYpass Program provides

Desert Lightning News

May 10, 2013


Local Briefs

deployed/remote Single Airmen and Air Force families respite from the challenges of deployment. Single Airmen returning from deployment and families of deployed members can receive special discounts and rewards to help make their deployment easier. PLAYpass offers discount cards that provide members and eligible family members the opportunity to participate in Force Support Squadron programs (e.g., Outdoor Recreation, Youth Programs, Bowling, Golf) for free or at a reduced cost. Each card is valued in excess of $500. PLAYpass cards may be picked up at the Airman & Family Readiness Center, Bldg 2441, from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon-Fri. For more information or to find out if you are eligible for PLAYpass, visit or call the A&FRC at 228-5690.

Attention all Airmen -- Volunteers Needed! Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas on D-M and in the local community. Volunteering is an excellent way to become involved with the community, increase mentorship skills and enhance career growth. Find out some of the volunteer opportunities available by visiting https://dm.eim.acc. For more information, call 2285690. Stay and Play Wednesdays, 9:30-11 a.m. - Desert Dove Chapel This is a new program for parents and children ages birth to five years. Features open play-time, parent-child activities, circle time, parenting support and education. Registration is not required. For more information, call 321-1500.

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Publisher ........................................................... Paul Kinison Business Manager ..............................................Lisa Kinison Managing Editor ........................................... Stuart Ibberson Advertising Representative..................................Diane Hasse Subscriptions and Delivery ................................ Chris Ramos Editor ...........................................................Jennifer Vollmer Layout ...............................................................Eric Jackman Printed by Aerotech News and Review, Inc. (877) 247-9288 • Aerotech News and Review prepares all editorial content for Desert Lightning News. The editor will edit or rewrite submitted material for clarity, brevity or to conform to the Associated Press Style Guide, local policy and Air Force style as required by Air Force Instruction 35-101. Contributions for Desert Lightning News can be e-mailed to the editor at Submission deadlines are noon Monday’s for Friday’s publication. If submissions are publishable, they run based on space available and priority. Desert Lightning News uses information from the Armed Forces Information Service, Air Force News Service, Air Combat Command, staff writers and other sources. All advertising is handled by Aerotech News and Review, 456 East Ave. K-4, Suite 8, Lancaster, CA 93535. For business advertising, call (520) 623-9321 or e-mail For classified advertising, e-mail Military members must call the 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office at (520) 228-3406 for all submission requests. Desert Lightning News is published by Aerotech News and Review, a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Air Force, under written agreement with the 355th Fighter Wing. Contents of Desert Lightning News are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense or the Department of the Air Force. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force or Aerotech News and Review, of the products or services advertised. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor of the purchase, user or patron.

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MSRP (5)

2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited, 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid, 2013 Mazda5 and 2013 Jeep Patriot

5,000 OFF MSRP(5) 4 000 OFF MSRP(5) $3,000 OFF MSRP(5)


(1)Jeep Patriot / Diamond Giveaway: No Purchase necessary. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Winner responsible for all taxes, title fees, license fees on prize vehicle, diamond ring or all taxes on cash option substitute for vehicle. Drawing winner does not need to be present to win. Contestants must be 18 years or older and have a valid Unites States Driver’s license. Odds of winning Jeep Patriot, cash substitute or diamond ring are based on number of contestants registered during event. One entry per person. Employees and relatives of sponsors and affiliates of the Jim Click & Holmes Tuttle Automotive Team are ineligible to participate. See dealer for complete contest rules, or visit (2) More than five available at this offer at start of Event. Valid during TCC Sale Event only. All prices plus tax, title, license and $399 doc fee. (3) 0% APR available for 24 months to qualified buyers on select pre-owned vehicles with 25% down on approved credit. Available on 2012-2013 models only. Maximum amount financed is $15,000. 760 FICO score required. (4) Valid only on Used Cars. 1/2 Off $9,999 vehicles are excluded from License fee offer. License fee offer equals Arizona license and registration fee (AZ lieu Tax). (5) Discounts are a combination of manufacturer rebate with no eligibility restrictions and dealer discount. Sale price does not include $995 Desert Protection Package and $399 tint. All prices plus tax, title, license and $399 doc fee. All prices plus tax, title, license and $399 doc fee. All vehicle illustrations approximate. All offers begin 5/9 and end 5/11. Available only at TCC CARNIVAL Event.



. Church St

d na PA FRE Gra RK E IN G


El Paso


Congress St. Broadway



Road I-10 Frontage


Av enue




2 Days Left at the Tucson Convention Center!

Desert Lightning News - May 10, 2013  
Desert Lightning News - May 10, 2013