C E N T U RY
D E F E N S E
U.S. SPACE COMMAND Still Defining the Wild Blue Yonder
HIGH GROUND The Sky Isn’t the Limit, It’s the Beginning
P U B L I C AT I O N
K HKAHKAI KPI I LPO I LTOPT I O P IN OENEERE R M EMCEH CAHNAIN CIA CLAC LH CRHORN OO NG ORGARPAHP H S WS IW S SI S M S A MD AED E
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4 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Disclaimer: Air Power: 75th Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force is published by Professional Media Group, LLC with its registered offices located in Clearwater, Florida. Copyright 2022/2023. Neither the Department of the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Military, the Air Force Association (AFA) or any other government or military bodies, organizations or associations have approved, endorsed or authorized this product or promotion, serve or activity.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE
Dear Veteran, I salute you.
Gun Owners of America exists to protect the constitutionallyrecognized right to keep and bear arms of all Americans. Unfortunately, VA bureaucrats continue to follow the Clinton Administration “fiduciary rule” whereby veterans are wrongly reported to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used to prevent criminals from purchasing firearms in commercial sales. Thus, veterans are being disarmed - all for not being able to balance their checkbook! Gun Owners of America supports your right to keep and bear arms. We will never cease demanding that the Department of Veterans Affairs reform its financial incompetence adjudication procedure and cease the extralegal reporting of veterans who cannot balance their checkbooks to the FBI database of prohibited gun owners. In liberty, Colonel (Dr.) Val W. Finnell, USAF, Ret. Veterans Affairs Policy Advisor
DID YOU KNOW THAT OVER OF RECORDS SUBMITTED TO NICS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR MENTAL-HEALTH REASONS BELONG TO VETERANS?
Get your FREE REPORT on the VA’s unconstitutional gun ban procedures at
WWW.GUNOWNERS.ORG/VETERANGUNBAN FIND OUT HOW TO GET VA HEALTHCARE
LOSING YOUR RIGHTS
AIR POWER: 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE
22 U.S. SPACE COMMAND
AIR COMBAT COMMAND
70 106 122
THE USE OF CDB IN VETERANS
FOLDS OF HONOR
TAKING THE HIGH GROUND
46TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES JOE BIDEN
SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE FRANK KENDALL
THE USE OF CDB IN VETERANS HOW IT HELPS WITH PTSD AND PHYSICAL PAIN
GLOBAL STRIKE COMMAND
CHIEF OF STAFF, U.S. AIR FORCE GENERAL CHARLES BROWN JR.
THE FIRST THING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE SECOND AMENDMENT
CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT, U.S. AIR FORCE JOANNE BASS
AIR FORCE MATERIEL COMMAND
CHIEF OF SPACE OPERATIONS, U.S. SPACE FORCE GENERAL JOHN RAYMOND
THE THREE FOLD CORD FAITH, FAMILY, FREEDOM
A GUIDE TO THE BENEFITS OF VETERAN-OWNED BUSINESSES
FOLDS OF HONOR
THE POWER OF LOVE SERVICE DOGS HELP VETERANS MAKE THE LONG JOURNEY HOME
TAKING THE HIGH GROUND THE SKY ISN’T THE LIMIT, IT’S THE BEGINNING
VICE CHIEF OF SPACE OPERATIONS, U.S. SPACE FORCE GENERAL DAVID THOMPSON PG 20 U.S. SPACE COMMAND STILL DEFINING THE WILD BLUE YONDER
AIR COMBAT COMMAND
TRAUMA AFTER THE TRENCHES PTSD IN VETERANS
THE AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND THE FIRST COMMAND PG 52
6 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Meet Greg • • • •
Retired Army Green Beret 21 years of service 7 combat tours Founder of non-profit Blue Ridge Safehouse that assists veterans with re-integration into home and family life after being in active-duty Currently lives in North Carolina with his children
His Migraine Story • • • •
Greg Peterman Retired Green Beret and Actual Nurtec ODT Patient
Sustained traumatic brain injury during active duty, which led to chronic migraine Migraine disrupted all aspects of Greg’s life and even led to suicidal thoughts Spoke to a doctor about treatment options and found relief with Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant) Encourages others – including fellow veterans – to raise awareness about migraine See Important Safety Information below and Brief Summary of Prescribing Information on adjacent page
Nurtec® ODT (rimegepant) is available through the TRICARE health plan for military personnel, veterans and their families. It is the only calcitonin gene-related peptide (CORP) receptor antagonist for the acute treatment of migraine and preventative treatment of episodic migraine in an orally dissolving tablet offered on the healthcare plan. Talk with a healthcare professional to learn if Nurtec ODT is right for you. For more information, visit Nurtec.com. Nurtec® ODT 75 mg is a prescription medicine for the acute treatment of migraine and preventive treatment of episodic migraine in adults. Don’t take if allergic to Nurtec ODT or any of its ingredients. The most common side effects, in less than 3%, were nausea (2.7%) and indigestion/stomach pain (2.4%). For prescribing information visit Nurtec.com..
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Do not take Nurtec ODT if you are allergic to Nurtec ODT (rimegepant) or any of its ingredients. Before you take Nurtec ODT, tell your healthcare provider (HCP) about all your medical conditions, including if you: • have liver problems,
• have kidney problems,
• are pregnant or plan to become pregnant,
• breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.
Tell your HCP about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Nurtec ODT may cause serious side effects including allergic reactions, including trouble breathing and rash. This can happen days after you take Nurtec ODT. Call your HCP or get emergency help right away if you have swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat or trouble breathing. This occurred in less than 1% of patients treated with Nurtec ODT. The most common side effects of Nurtec ODT were nausea (2.7%) and stomach pain/indigestion (2.4%). These are not the only possible side effects of Nurtec ODT. Tell your HCP if you have any side effects. WHAT IS NURTEC ODT? Nurtec ODT orally disintegrating tablets is a prescription medicine that is used to treat migraine in adults. It is for the acute treatment of migraine attacks with or without aura and the preventive treatment of episodic migraine. It is not known if Nurtec ODT is safe and effective in children. You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088 or report side effects to Biohaven at 1-833-4Nurtec. Please see a Brief Summary of the Prescribing Information on the following page. © 2022 Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All rights reserved. NURTEC and NURTEC ODT are registered trademarks of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Ireland DAC. Biohaven is a trademark of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. US-RIMODT-2200700 06/23/2022
THE 46TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
s President, Biden will restore America’s leadership and build our communities back better. When Biden was Vice President, he continued his leadership on important issues facing the nation and represented our country abroad. Vice President Biden convened sessions of the President’s Cabinet, led interagency efforts, and worked with Congress in his fight to raise the living standards of middle-class Americans, reduce gun violence, address violence against women, and end cancer as we know it. Biden helped President Obama pass and then oversaw the implementation of the Recovery Act — the biggest economic recovery plan in the history of the nation and our biggest and strongest commitment to clean energy. The President’s plan prevented another Great Depression, created and saved millions of jobs, and led to 75 uninterrupted months of job growth by the end of the administration. And Biden did it all with less than one percent in waste, abuse, or fraud — the most efficient government program in our country’s history. President Obama and Vice President Biden also secured the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which reduced the number of uninsured Americans by 20 million by the time they left office and banned insurance companies from denying coverage due to preexisting conditions. He served as the point person for U.S. diplomacy throughout the Western Hemisphere, strengthened relationships with our allies both in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and led the effort to bring 150,000 troops home from Iraq. In a ceremony at the White House, President Obama awarded Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction — the nation’s highest civilian honor.
10 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Congratulations to the United States Air Force on 75 heroic years. And to each warrior, past and present, who has proudly worn its uniform, we thank you for your love of country and service to our nation. Your integrity, strength and fighting spirit inspire us all.
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SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE
rank Kendall is the 26th Secretary of the Air Force responsible for organizing, training, and equipping the U.S. Air and Space Forces. In this capacity, he directs the Department of the Air Force’s annual budget exceeding $168 billion, provides Air and Space forces to combatant commanders for global military operations, and is accountable for the welfare of nearly 700,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian Airmen and Guardians and their families. Mr. Kendall has more than 50 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs across private industry, government, and the military. He was a consultant to defense industry firms, non-profit research organizations, and the Department of Defense in the areas of strategic planning, engineering management, and technology assessment. Additionally, he is an attorney and was active in the field of human rights, working primarily on a pro bono basis.
M A J O R AWA R D S A N D D EC O RAT I O N S Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster Army Commendation Medal National Defense Service Medal Distinguished Public Service Award (four awards) Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive (Senior Executive Service) Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive (Senior Executive Service)
Earlier in his career, Mr. Kendall was Vice President of Engineering for Raytheon Company, providing management and direction to the engineering functions throughout the company and for internal research and development. He also served as a Managing Partner at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, a Virginia-based aerospace and defense sector consulting firm. Within government, Mr. Kendall held numerous posts including Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics as well as Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering for Tactical Warfare Programs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He is a former member of the Army Science Board and the Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Advisory Board and was a consultant to the Defense Science Board. Mr. Kendall is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served 11 years as an active-duty Army officer, including assignments in Germany, teaching Engineering at West Point, and in research and development positions.
12 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
CHIEF OF STAFF, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
eneral Charles Q. Brown, Jr. is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. As Chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Air Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping of 689,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve,
and civilian forces serving in the United States and overseas. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general and other service chiefs function as military advisers to the Secretary of Defense, National Security Council, and the President. General Brown was commissioned in 1984 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at Texas Tech University. He has served in a variety of positions at the squadron and wing levels, including an assignment to the U.S. Air Force Weapons School as an F-16 Fighting Falcon Instructor. His notable staff tours include Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force; Director, Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff Executive Action Group; and Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command. He also served as a National Defense Fellow
M A J O R AWA R D S A N D D EC O RAT I O N S
at the Institute for Defense Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia.
Defense Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
General Brown has commanded a fighter squadron, the U.S. Air
Distinguished Service Medal
Command. Prior to serving as the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen.
Defense Superior Service Medal
Brown was the commander of Pacific Air Forces, Air Component
Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters
Force Weapons School, two fighter wings and U.S. Air Forces Central
Commander for U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.
Bronze Star Medal
General Brown is a command pilot with more than 2,900 flying
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
hours, including 130 combat hours.
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters Aerial Achievement Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters Combat Readiness Medal National Defense Service Medal with bronze star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Korea Defense Service Medal Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal NATO Medal Republic of Korea Order of National Security Merit (Samil Medal)
14 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
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PROGRAM OPTIONS - Several 36-month degree programs - Niche programs in cybersecurity and healthcare fields - Relationships throughout the country for easy transfer of credits RESOURCES - On Campus VA resources (VITAL, VSOC) - Vets Success Program - Veteran's Rehab & Education - TA program assistance through Nellis Center
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CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
hief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass represents the highest enlisted level of leadership, and as such, provides direction for the enlisted force and represents their interests, as appropriate, to the
American public and to those in all levels of government. She serves as the personal adviser to the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, and proper utilization and progress of more than 600,000 Total Force Airmen. Chief Bass is the 19th chief master sergeant appointed to the highest noncommissioned officer position. Chief Bass was raised as an Army dependent, living in several overseas and stateside locations, prior to entering the Air Force in 1993. Throughout her career, she has held a variety of leadership positions serving at the squadron, group, wing, and major command levels. She has significant joint service and special operations
M A J O R AWA R D S A N D D EC O RAT I O N S
experience and has participated in several operations and exercises
Legion of Merit
WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM.
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Prior to this assignment, she served as the Command Chief Master
Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters
Sergeant, Second Air Force, Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi.
Joint Service Commendation Medal Air Force Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
16 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
as well as deployments in direct support of Operations SOUTHERN
CHIEF OF SPACE OPERATION, UNITED STATE SPACE FORCE
eneral John W. “Jay” Raymond is the Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force. As Chief, he serves as the senior uniformed Space Force officer responsible for the organization, training and equipping
of all organic and assigned space forces serving in the United States and overseas. General Raymond was commissioned through the ROTC program at Clemson University in 1984. He has commanded at squadron, group, wing, numbered air force, Major Command and Combatant Command levels. Notable staff assignments include serving in the Office of Force Transformation, Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Director of Plans, Programs and Analyses at Air Force Space Command; the Director of Plans and Policy (J5), U.S. Strategic Command; and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations,
M A J O R AWA R D S A N D D EC O RAT I O N S
Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
General Raymond deployed to Southwest Asia as Director of Space
Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters Air Force Commendation Medal French Order of Merit
18 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Forces in support of OPERATIONS ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM. Prior to leading establishment of the U.S. Space Force and serving as the first Chief of Space Operations, General Raymond led the re-establishment of U.S. Space Command as the eleventh U.S. combatant command.
VICE CHIEF OF SPACE OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES SPACE FORCE
eneral David D. Thompson is the Vice Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force. As Vice Chief he is responsible for assisting the Chief of Space Operations in organizing, training and equipping space forces in the
United States and overseas, integrating space policy and guidance, and coordinating space-related activities for the U.S. Space Force and Department of the Air Force. The U.S. Space Force organizes, trains, equips, and maintains mission-ready
space domain awareness, positioning, navigation and timing, communications and space electronic warfare for North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Space Command, and other combatant commands. General Thompson was commissioned in 1985 as a graduate
M A J O R AWA R D S A N D D EC O RAT I O N S Defense Superior Service Medal with oak leaf cluster Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal
of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a career space officer with assignments in operations, acquisition, research and development and academia. General Thompson has commanded operational space units at the squadron, group, and wing levels; he is also an Olmsted Scholar, graduate of the Senior Acquisition Course and Level III-Certified Program Manager. Prior to his assignment as
Defense Meritorious Service Medal
Vice Chief of Space Operations, General Thompson was the Vice
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Commander, U.S. Space Force.
Air Force Commendation Medal Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters
20 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
PRECISION REFLEX MANUFACTURER OF TACTICAL SHOOTING PRODUCTS
U.S. SPACE COMMAND:
By Arthur G. Sharp
hen the newly created U.S. Air Force adopted "The U.S. Air Force" as its official song in 1947 few people envisioned what
shape on September 1, 1982, when the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) was activated. They have yet to be defined finitely, although the AFSPC itself has disappeared into the sun.
its opening two lines, “Off we go into the
The possibility of using space as a battlefield—or anything
wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun” would mean in
else—was practically unthinkable until October 4, 1957,
the future. There was no concept of how far the “wild blue
when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial
yonder’s” parameters spread or how high toward the sun
Earth satellite. That achievement set in motion a race among
Air Force fliers would soar. Those parameters began taking
nations and commercial ventures to implement their own
22 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
STILL DEFINING THE
space programs. Their initial intentions were good but they
those satellites was not what the U.S. government had in mind
soon created problems, and space became a veritable junk
when it established the AFSPC.
yard for orbiting satellites.
Initially, the program was designed to explore space for
By 2018 the Air Force Space Command, the nation’s “space
peaceful reasons. It was inevitable, however, that military
cop,” which was responsible for tracking space junk, was issuing
planners would investigate space’s potential as a battlefield,
hundreds of alerts daily to warn satellite operators of possible
despite a Soviet Radio warning in 1966 that “All of mankind is
collisions. About 75 percent of the 1,400 satellites orbiting
interested in barring the road toward transforming space into
Earth at that time were maneuverable and were moved every
an arena of military rivalries.” U.S. political and military leaders
three days on average to avert potential collisions. Monitoring
saw a need for an agency to “police” space to establish g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 23
Some Air Force leaders in 1967 foresaw the day when America’s global striking force would be controlled from a huge maneuverable command post in space. 24 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
dominance in whatever it entailed. Enter the AFSPC, which did the job for 37 years until it was replaced in 2019. The original philosophy and mission of the command were simple. It was created to protect the U.S.’s interest in “near” and “orbital” space, protect its right to self-defense, and deter other countries from assuming military domination there. (“Near” space is an area up to about 80,000 feet above Earth, and is considered by the Air Force as part of a country’s sovereign territory. “Orbital” space, the next layer up, is open to everyone for any purpose. They are both part of “geopolitical” space, which entails the interests of the many countries represented above Earth.) The command’s founders believed, in theory at least, that the organization’s primary purpose was deterrence, not militarization. They had to walk a fine line to achieve that goal due to the constraints of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which conflicted with some Air Force visionaries’ concepts of a U.S. space center. Some Air Force leaders in 1967 foresaw the day when America's global striking force would be controlled from a huge maneuverable command post in space. Their views were more in line with early science writers like Jules Verne and H. G. Wells than reality. They saw the post as the only survivable command and control structure that could protect government and military leaders. Should such a space-borne command post become necessary, they speculated, it would have to be large enough to carry all electronic gear required to gather, process and disseminate operational information on a global basis. And, it would have to be capable of defending itself against any interference or attacks from the ground or in space. That may have been “pie in the sky” thinking, but they were not far off from the structure of the actual AFSPC when it became a reality fifteen years later—in line with the Outer Space Treaty’s guidelines. The agreement, officially known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, was a multilateral treaty that formed the basis of international space law. It had been negotiated and drafted under the auspices of the United Nations and opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on January 27, 1967. The agreement entered into force on October 10, 1967. As of February 2021, 111 countries, including all major spacefaring nations, had become parties to the treaty. Another 23 were are signatories. The treaty influenced the Space Command’s early operations.g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 25
AFSPC’s initial major responsibilities included overseeing
at several other air bases. The future was clear. The AFSPC had
the Air Force’s worldwide network of space surveillance and
taken root and its continued growth was a matter of certainty.
missile warning sites, supervising the research, development, acquisition, and launch of satellites, creating a technology center, conducting a space medicine study, and implementing
The command’s initial leaders were focused on the future from the moment they were appointed. They had to play catch-
a space education training program at the Air Force Academy
up from the beginning, since the Soviets had been operating
and other academic institutions. Prescient Air Force leaders did
their version of a space command for a decade already.
not have a proprietary interest in the mission. They planned at
Therefore, immediate plans in 1982 called for creating a new
the outset to develop a unified program with both the Army and
mission control center at the command’s Cheyenne Mountain
the Navy. That process did not always go smoothly.
complex in Colorado to control anti-satellite systems that
Two years into its existence the command was still hammering out agreements with the other services regarding who was responsible for which parts of the military space programs. Those disputes would be resolved in due time as the AFSPC continued
weren’t even expected to be operational for a few years. The command’s leaders hit the ground running as soon as its formation was announced—and they and their successors never looked back.
to grow. Within two years of its formation it expanded to four
The command took a major step forward in 1990 when it
bases and numerous ground sensor sites and satellite systems.
took control of all military space launches and of Patrick Air
The command also formed detachments called “tenant units”
Force Base and Cape Canaveral in Florida and Vandenberg
26 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Air Force Base in California. Patrick, which was developed as
In 1992 the command assumed responsibility for the
a Long Range Proving Ground in 1950, is a vestige of AFSPC’s
management of the National Test Facility at Falcon Air Force
heritage. To this day it is dedicated to launching missiles. The
Base in Colorado, which was subsequently renamed Schriever
base is the Department of Defense's East Coast Space Port
Space Force Base. Job one was to make sure that all military
and home to the 45th Space Wing and the Cape Canaveral
forces and their personnel understood and made use of rapidly
Space Force Station (CCSFS), the primary launch site for the
evolving available space systems, such as SDI, aka “Star Wars.”
Space Force's Eastern Range.
Another milestone occurred in July 1993 when ICBM forces
The command’s west coast home was Vanderberg Space Launch Delta 30, which supports launch activities for the
joined AFSPC. That success led to additional acquisitions by the command and a deviation from the original deterrence mission.
Air Force, Department of Defense, National Aeronautics and
Falcon was designed to handle Strategic Defense Initiatives
Space Administration, national programs and various private
(SDI), a proposed missile defense system intended to
industry contractors. The sagacity of the original command
protect the United States from attack by ballistic strategic
planners shone through in 1991, when satellites and other
nuclear weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles
space systems played a vital role in defeating Iraqi armed
and submarine-launched ballistic missiles. At the same time
forces in the Persian Gulf War. The war created an opportunity
the command took over the management of all Air Force
for AFSPC leaders to demonstrate the value of the connection
satellite communications and the nation’s intercontinental
between space capabilities and warfighters on the ground.
ballistic missiles. g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 27
GPS III SV 2 Launch A Delta IV carrying the GPS III SV2 satellite lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-37, Aug. 22. The satellite will become part of a 31 satellite constellation on orbit providing enhanced timing and navigation to civilians and the warfighter. (Photo courtsey of ULA)
Finally, organizers created the Space Warfare Center at Falcon
For the first twenty years of its existence the amoeba-like AFSPC
and renamed it the Space Innovation and Development Center.
had been adding responsibilities and agencies. In the aftermath
The agency was established to ensure that space capabilities
of the 9/11 terrorist attacks it gave some up as the amoeba
reached the warfighters who needed it. The command’s
split again. After President Bush ordered military action against
integration of existing systems and creation of new ones
Afghanistan and Iraq AFSCP provided extensive space-based
continued at a dizzying pace. The process was not easy. The
support to the U.S. Center Command in areas of communications;
command was expanding its defensive role into an offensive
positioning, navigation and timing; meteorology; and warning.
mode as well. It was also receiving a wake-up call about funding.
The U.S. Space Command that had existed for so many years
In the mid-1990s government “bean counters” looked closely at
was disbanded and replaced by a newly established U.S.
Space Command’s expenditures. They realized it was consuming
Northern Command that focused on homeland defense. Space
roughly one-quarter of the Air Force’s budget and wondered if
Command disappeared, although its functions remained. They
the government was getting its money’s worth, especially in a
were absorbed by the U.S Strategic Command. The changes
domain that was still not viewed as a war theater. That was at a
were for the most part cosmetic. The Air Force Space Command
time when the U.S.’s military budgets in general were shrinking,
survived the tinkering, albeit for only a few more years.
including the Space Command’s. That line of thinking lasted only as long as did the dearth of governments and private companies
The command retained its lead role in the military’s space
accelerating their space programs.
operations, although it had to share its responsibilities
As the turn of the 20th century approached space was becoming as crowded as an anthill when a new supply of food arrived. That engendered disputes over territorial rights, interference by one country over another’s satellite signals, and other unforeseen space matters. The increasing need for regulation and control renewed interest in the U.S.’s need to protect its space interests.
within a new joint entity. The good news was that it raised space to the same status as other headquarters, such as the U.S. Cyber Command, Special Operations Command and Strategic Command. The changes were in response to—and a sign of—the emerging geopolitical and technological trends of the future security environment in space. They didn’t stop there.
The 9/11 terrorist attack highlighted that need and demonstrated
In 2005, the Air Force expanded its mission areas to include
the command’s fluidity.
cyberspace. Concomitantly Air Force leaders assigned responsibility g
28 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
for conducting cyberspace operations to AFSPC and activated
Back to 2002. By then the command had an $8 billion budget
the Twenty-fourth Air Force to carry it out. Additionally,
to work with. There was a significant break in its leadership
Headquarters U.S. Air Force activated Air Force Global Strike
structure that year when the new general in charge, Lance Lord,
Command to consolidate all nuclear forces under one
took the reins of the Air Force Command, with no responsibilities
command. In concert, AFSPC transferred its ICBM forces to the
for other organizations. That was a first.
new command in December 2009. The changes were intended
All previous commanders had also led the North American
to show America’s strength and resolve in protecting its overall
Aerospace Defend Command and the U.S. Space Command. The
space interests—and its people.
split was intended to give the Air Force Space Command more focus.
Space Command leaders touted the need for a strong force
Moreover, the Space Commission, which studied military space programs for Congress, had concluded that the U.S. was growing
to control the nation’s vital security interests in the “new high
more vulnerable to a “space Pearl Harbor." That heightened interest
ground.” They undertook a campaign to convince the American
in appointing a commander who was well versed in technology,
public that sooner or later—most likely sooner—some nation
which accounted in part for Lord’s appointment.
was going to challenge the U.S.’s dominance in space, and that the country had to be prepared for it. They were cognizant that growth in military space operations depended on money,
Lord was the first non-pilot to be assigned to the job. He had spent 34 years in nuclear missile and space operations. That was a major change of direction in the command’s evolution.
politics, and technology. The leaders focused on the technology
The purpose was to ensure the command was tailoring satellite
aspect of the equation, recognizing that it was subject to
technology so it worked for the military units fighting wars. That
funding. Technology and its complementary training had been
entailed developing different programs and technologies for use
the primary factors in achieving their historical milestones since
in “near” or “orbital” space which varied in cost and adhered to
1982—and they would be in the future.
internationally accepted practices and law. g
30 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
The complexities of space command’s responsibilities had
assured, and had to assume that it was in fact impracticable.
changed considerably since its inception, and would continue
Large, complex systems that require many years of sustained
to do so. The command remained equal to the task as its
investment to design, develop, field and operate were no
guiding principles evolved. Its primary mission, as stated in
Space Command’s “Strategic Master Plan FY 04 (and Beyond)” remained, however: “Space superiority is essential to our vision
“Moreover, given the growing threat environment, they may place
of controlling and fully exploiting space to provide our military
a significant amount of national treasure at increased risk,” the
within asymmetric advantage over our adversaries."
producers of a 2013 “white paper” noted. “While astute mission
The primary mission did not change. AFSPC’s leaders acknowledged that the strategies and tactics relevant to carry it out had to though. They realized that the training and skills that sustained the
assurance measures have decreased launch failures to record lows, there is always the risk that a single launch failure, earlyorbit anomaly, environmental event or hostile act could result in the loss of hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars.”
command’s space operations for the last several decades were
Command leaders had to bear that fiscal reality in mind as they
not the same ones needed to fight through threats and win in the
planned their future strategies in the ever-changing space
21st-century’s contested, degraded, and operationally‐ limited (CDO)
domain of the future.
environment. To ensure that its forces were prepared to operate in the new reality, they believed that the AFSPC had to transform its
They characterized the new domain in terms of an increasing
culture and build the expertise and skills necessary for its space
private, industrial, and government presence, including the
forces to operate freely, and if necessary, defend themselves in the “global commons” of space. Realistically, changing the culture and meeting new challenges was precisely what they had been doing for years with positive results.
sustained commercialization of near-Earth space, the exploitation of space resources, an increased human presence in space, and the push to establish a long-term investment on the moon and beyond. It entailed a complex security environment defined by rapid technological change, global access to new capabilities,
Command leaders had to come to grips with a changing security
and the reemergence of strategic competition by America’s
environment, new fiscal challenges, and budgetary trends in
adversaries. In short, AFSPC had new challenges to meet. The
the opening decades of the 21st century. They realized that the
command that had been so smoothly integrated into the Air
continued funding of expensive space systems was no longer
Force over an almost four-decade span was itself integrated. g
32 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
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A major change, and a portent of the future, occurred in July
science. Command leaders recognized from the outset that
2018 when the Air Force cyber mission was transferred to Air
their ability to succeed in American space domination required
Combat Command, which generated the greatest capacity
for an integrated Information Warfare capability within the Air Force. This allowed AFSPC to focus on gaining and maintaining space superiority and outpacing its adversaries in the space
●• the foresight to recognize threats ●●• the capability to respond to them rapidly
domain. The most significant change came on December 20, 2019, when the Air Force Space Command was re-designated
•●● t he availability of in-space logistics enabling highly trained
as the U.S. Space Force, becoming the sixth branch of the U.S.
personnel to assimilate information from a multitude of
military. The name may have changed; the mission did not. The
interconnected systems that can operate autonomously
integration process began anew. The new service was still charged with protecting and defending U.S. national interests at all levels of space, from low earth to geosynchronous earth orbits. Its primary responsibility remained unchanged: provide the U.S. the freedom to operate in an expanded space domain while applying the technology and strategic reach necessary for national security and ensuring that the international commons of space remain free. Those were not easy tasks.
•●● a procurement process that enabled the command to acquire the weapons and materiel needed to eliminate them Command leaders have been able to apply these critical elements in their operations since 1982 regardless of the operational and name changes that have taken place since then. They, at least, have been consistent in the transition from the AFSPC to the present Space Force. True, the parameters of the space they have dominated for so many decades still have not been defined. But the goals of the U.S. Air Force Space
Continued space domain dominance does not—and never
Command and its successor are not. Different names, same
has—come without attention to a wide spectrum of fronts, e.g.,
dedication to the mission. That is the history of the command—
technology, policy, law, operational processes, and military
and its future.
34 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
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AIR COMBAT A
ir Combat Command (ACC), headquartered at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, is one of ten major commands in the United States Air Force. As a result of its lineal consolidation with Tactical Air Command in September 2016, ACC has performed a myriad of missions during its 72-year history ranging from counter-air, air interdiction and close air support to manned and unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, air battle management, and offensive/defensive cyber operations. For more than seven decades, ACC has served as the primary provider of air combat forces to America's warfighting commanders.
MISSION ACC organizes, trains, and equips Airmen who fight in and from multiple domains to control the air, space, and cyberspace. As the lead command for fighter, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, personnel recovery, persistent attack and reconnaissance, electronic warfare, and cyber operations, ACC is responsible for providing combat air, space, and cyber power and the combat support that assures mission success to America's warfighting commands. 36 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
FORCES AND ORGANIZATION The command has 1,097 assigned aircraft, with 27 wings, 1,122 units at more than 201 locations non-expeditionary and an additional eight wings, 222 units at 57 locations supporting expeditionary operations for a total of 35 wings, 1,344 units at more than 258 locations. The command’s active duty, civilian and air reserve component totals 19,847 officers, 115,063 enlisted and 22,639 civilians for a combined total of 157, 549. ACC's forces are organized under a direct reporting unit, five numbered air forces and one Air Force Reserve numbered air force. The command operates 14 major installations and supports tenant units on numerous non-ACC bases around the globe. ACC also has responsibility for inland search and rescue in the 48 contiguous states. The ACC commander is the component commander of U.S. Air Forces Joint Forces Command and U.S. Strategic Command.
AIR COMBAT COMMAND HISTORY In World War II as the United States and its allies gained air superiority in the skies over Europe, the multifaceted role of tactical air power proved pivotal. Allied pilots provided close air
T COMMAND A 493rd F-15C Eagle taxis at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. The F-15E is powered by two Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 or 229 engines that incorporate advanced digital technology for improved performance. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rhonda Smith.
support for ground troops, prevented enemy reinforcements from reaching the front lines through battlefield interdiction, attacked lines of communication and supply targets, gathered vital intelligence through reconnaissance and surveillance, and airlifted entire airborne divisions behind enemy lines. The War Department recognized tactical air as one of the three pillars of modern air power when it established the Tactical Air Command (TAC) on 21 March 1946, along with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the Air Defense Command. Tactical Air Command complimented Strategic Air Command’s strategic approach of delivering an allout nuclear punch with the tactical role of fighting limited wars with conventional arms. TAC Headquarters was initially activated at Tampa, Florida on 21 March 1946 but was moved to Langley Field, Virginia on 21 May. This move was directed by Headquarters Army Air Forces in order to locate the headquarters closer to the Headquarters Army Ground Forces at Fort Monroe and the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet Headquarters in Norfolk. By the late 1940s, TAC became a key element in supporting America’s national security and diplomatic objectives. With the
sudden outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the command came of age when jet aircraft battled each other for the first time and Air Force pilots, many of whom were TAC-trained, achieved overwhelming air superiority against their enemy counterparts. The command continued to grow after the war, adding a number of new weapon systems to its inventory such as the F-100, F-101, F-102, F-104, F-105, and the F-4. The command refined its mission as a force provider by ensuring it maintained a ready and mobile force. TAC developed the Composite Air Strike Force concept in the 1950s, the precursor to today’s Air Expeditionary Force construct. The tensions of the Cold War heightened with the growing presence of U.S. forces in Southeast Asia. Over 50 years ago, during the early years of the Vietnam War, nearly 1,000 TAC fighter, airlift, reconnaissance, and special operations aircraft were deployed along with thousands of pilots, maintainers and support personnel. As the war continued, the command trained and equipped thousands of aircrews who eventually employed their skills in the skies of Southeast Asia. Throughout g AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 37
U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, prepares to disembark an F-15E Strike Eagle at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Sept. 28, 2020. Kelly visited Tyndall as part of his tour as the new ACC commander where he was briefed on Tyndall’s rebuild status and plans for the future. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stefan Alvarez).
the remaining Cold War period, TAC focused its energy on maintaining the readiness of its forces, being prepared to gain and maintain air superiority, find and destroy enemy forces and their support elements, provide for the air defense of the American homeland, and support its joints partners of the Army and Navy. Following Vietnam, the command oversaw the development of new weapons systems such as the A-10, F-15, F-16, and F-117 that would help to guarantee airpower’s key role in meeting the nation’s defense and national security objectives. Just over 25 years ago, TAC forces were once again deployed overseas to help deter aggression as part of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In early 1991, about 470 aircraft and nearly 18,000 personnel from TAC formed the backbone and leadership of Air Force elements which conducted one of the most successful air campaigns in history. The hard work, innovative spirit, and highly trained skills the command honed in the years prior made it possible.
TAC. The term "strategic" had become almost totally linked to the notion of nuclear deterrence. The focus of "tactical" operations, on the other hand, was on a cooperative mission, with the Air Force working in tandem with ground and naval forces. The distinction, however, did not lend itself to a limited conflict. During the war in Southeast Asia, "strategic" B-52 bombers performed "tactical" missions (including close air support), while "tactical" fighter aircraft carried out "strategic" bombing deep in enemy territory. The conduct of OPERATION DESERT STORM in early 1991 further blurred the distinction between the two terms. Consequently, as senior Air Force officials sought to re-examine roles and missions, the redundancy of this former division came under their scrutiny.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991 led senior U.S. defense planners to conclude the Cold War structure of the military establishment which had continually grown over the past 44 years was no longer needed in a unipolar world. While the likelihood of a large-scale nuclear war seemed more remote, U.S. military forces would increasingly be called upon to participate in smaller-scale regional conflicts and humanitarian operations.
The birth of Air Combat Command (ACC) on 1 June 1992 took place amidst momentous changes within the Air Force and the Department of Defense. A brief ceremony at Langley Air Force Base marked the inactivation of TAC and the activation of ACC. As a new major command, it developed a new mission, not just as the successor of the former TAC and SAC. The command was responsible for providing combat-ready forces for deterrence and air combat operations. Upon activation, ACC assumed control of all fighter resources based in the continental United States, all bombers, reconnaissance platforms, battle management resources, and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Furthermore, ACC had some tankers and C-130s in its composite, reconnaissance, and certain other combat wings.
Consequently, the Air Force began to reconsider the longstanding distinction between two major commands: SAC and
Since its activation in June 1992, Air Combat Command has found itself in an almost constant state of flux. While eventually g
38 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
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returning its ICBMs and bombers to SAC in its recent incarnation as Air Force Global Strike Command, as well as transferring its theater airlifters and a part of its original flying training mission to other commands, ACC has gained the combat rescue mission and oversees an extensive intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) force. At the same time, sweeping changes in our nation’s military policy have imposed on ACC not only force structure reductions but a requirement for much greater flexibility than ever before. ACC’s forces remain “on call” to perform a variety of missions including support to international peace-keeping operations, to humanitarian needs at home and abroad, and protection of our nation’s interests around the globe. Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, ACC oversaw the development and implementation of the Air Expeditionary Forces (AEF) concept, which remains the primary method the U.S. Air Force uses to deploy its forces across the globe. The
During a visit to the 173rd Fighter Wing, U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Holmes, the commander of Air Combat Command, rides in the back seat of an F-15 Eagle at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jefferson Thompson.
40 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
AEF has played a major part in peacekeeping in the Balkans, in counter-terrorism efforts in Africa, and most especially in longterm operations in Southwest Asia since 2001. As the Combat Air Forces (CAF) lead, ACC continues to serve as the primary provider of air combat forces to America's warfighting commanders. In August 2016, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James approved a heritage action to merge the lineages of TAC and ACC. The decision to consolidate the two organizations came as a result of SAC’s return to active service as the Air Force Global Strike Command in 2009. In addition, ACC has continued to use the TAC emblem as its own since 1992, thus combining the two commands authoritatively recognizes that connection. The formal unification of TAC and ACC commands took effect on 26 September 2016 and now allows the command to promote and to display a continuous 70 year history of providing combatready airpower to our nation and its leaders.
Schroders is pleased to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force As a global asset management firm with over 215 years of experience helping our clients meet their financial needs, we truly value your service and are a proud employer of U.S. Air Force veterans. Learn more: Email: email@example.com
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42 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
TRAUMA After the TRENCHES PTSD IN VETERANS At first, everything seems dark and muffled. Slowly, the sights and sounds come into focus … the acrid smell of smoke, eyes stinging from the dust in the air, the deafening sound of artillery fire and the heart stopping bang of a grenade explosion. As the scene sharpened, Lieutenant Mark Sloane woke up screaming, with his pulse racing and ears ringing with the desperate cries of fallen comrades. He reached subconsciously for his service weapon, his hands clutching the cool wood of his bedside table. He woke up, crashing back down to reality as he emerged from a recurring nightmare that left him shaken and on edge the morning after.
ieutenant Sloane returned from the war in Afghanistan
scarred with invisible wounds from his experiences on the
battlefield. Once a calm, optimistic and patient man, he
was now a frightened, sleep deprived soldier with a short fuse, who couldn’t handle being around his wife or his family. He did
not know how many sleepless nights he could endure alone. He just wanted it all to end, because in his opinion, a life this painful was not worth living.
It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or
have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event. At first, it may be hard to get through the day. Even regular activities like going to work or spending time with family and friends are
overwhelming. However, most people start to feel better after
a few weeks. Others, like Lieutenant Sloane, experience these feelings months after the event. They are usually intense and persistent, occurring without warning and brought on by deep-
seated triggers. This condition is commonly referred to as Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder and is, unfortunately, seen often in the veteran population.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a chronic and
debilitating mental condition that develops in response to
catastrophic life events, such as military combat, sexual assault, and natural disasters. It was defined as an anxiety disorder until 2013 when the American Psychiatric Association categorised PTSD as a trauma and stressor-related disorder.
It affects 7-8% of the general U.S. population at some point
during their lifetime; however, the prevalence is much higher among certain subgroups, including active-duty military
personnel and veterans. Although estimates vary across
studies, evidence suggests that the prevalence of PTSD in deployed U.S. military personnel may be as high as 1416%. Veterans Affairs defines PTSD as the development of
characteristic, long term symptoms after exposure to a life-
threatening experience or one that led to serious injury, to themselves or others, which makes it difficult for the person to function in routine life. It is also commonly referred to as “shell shock” or “combat stress.” g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 43
PTSD affects 7-8% of the general U.S. population at some point during their lifetime; however, the prevalence is much higher among certain subgroups, including active-duty military personnel and veterans. ILLUMINATING THE INCIDENCE While PTSD has been common among veterans for years, the number of patients suffering from the condition have increased exponentially over the last few decades.
The diagnosis of PTSD was not adopted until the late 1970s, and it became official in 1980 when it was included in the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by doctors and psychiatrists.
Studies conducted on soldiers who survived the VIETNAM WAR, the GULF WAR and OPERATIONS IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF)
and ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF), have estimated that 12-30%
surviving with very significant injuries who would not necessarily have survived before. And they’re returning stateside with both the physical and psychological trauma.”
The military strategies used in current wars are ever-changing
and continuously getting more dangerous. From urban territories being used as battle grounds, intermittent terrorist attacks, blurred lines between safe zones and battle zones, the use of guerrilla tactics to the ever-present threat of roadside bombs, have led
to many civilian lives lost and served as additional burdens to soldiers who were facing multiple, lengthy deployments abroad away from their families.
of veterans suffer from PTSD. The U.S. Department of Veterans
Female soldiers have shown an increased risk of developing PTSD.
veterans, 20% of Iraqi war veterans and 11% of veterans from the
veterans reported Military Sexual Trauma (MST), which refers to
Affairs estimates 31% of Vietnam veterans, 10% of Gulf War war in Afghanistan live with PTSD.
The last few wars have seen an increase in the use of Improvised
According to a study performed in 2003, 22% of screened female sexual assault or recurrent, threatening sexual harassment that occurs during the person’s time serving in the military.
Explosive Devices (IEDs) which produce traumatic brain injury and
been improvements in battlefield medicine and protective gear, and
times and in different ways, there are characteristic features that
morbid conditions like severe burns or amputations. There have
While veterans may present with symptoms of PTSD at varying
survivability has increased, but these advances come at a price.
are seen often. These include:
Paula P. Schnurr, PhD, Executive Director of the VA National Center
Intrusion – Reliving the Event: Many veterans deal with
and responding to injuries on the ground, a lot of soldiers are
These memories can be very realistic and frightening, transporting
for PTSD said, “Between the way we’re protecting the troops
44 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
unwelcome memories that come up even years after the event.
the person mentally to the original scene of the traumatic
hard to enjoy time spent with loved ones and puts a strain on
may come after coming across certain triggers like the sound of
be unprovoked. It makes it hard for the veteran to develop
experience. These may occur as flashbacks or nightmares. They a car backfiring that may remind the veteran about the sound of
guns or bombs on the battlefield or watching a war movie with terrifyingly familiar sights and sounds.
Avoidance: Most veterans suffering from PTSD find it easier
to avoid their family, friends or acquaintances as they are not sure when they may begin to experience their symptoms. They
prefer to avoid discussions about their military life and therefore stay away from public or social events and from their familiar
surroundings. They also tend to withdraw even from close relationships as they feel like no one is capable of understanding what they are going through.
Negative Cognitions or Moods: Soldiers who survive and are able to get home, while many of their brothers and sisters in
arms could not, carry around feelings of overwhelming fear and shame, including a distorted sense of self blame or survivor’s
guilt. This makes them retreat further away from well-meaning friends and family as they are unable to experience positive emotions.
Hyperarousal or Feeling on Edge: Patients find it difficult to relax, they experience insomnia or difficulty in sleeping and are
unable to concentrate on work or daily activities. This makes it
relationships due to outbursts of anger or irritation that may meaningful or intimate attachments with other people and they begin to feel more isolated and alone.
These feelings may lead to an overwhelmingly negative state of mind, which in some severe cases result in acute depression with a tendency to resort to alcohol or drug abuse, suicidal tendencies and other self-destructive behaviors.
DEFINING A DIAGNOSIS The current clinical or psychiatric diagnosis of PTSD includes: • Exposure to a traumatic stressor • The development of a characteristic symptom involving re-experiencing, avoidance and hyperarousal
• Experiencing symptoms for a duration of at least 1 month • Significant distress, impaired social interactions or ability to function at work
PTSD may be further classified into acute stage if the symptoms last for less than three months; chronic stage if the symptoms last more than three months; and delayed onset if the onset of the symptoms occurs at least six months after the traumatic event. g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 45
Late-Onset Stress Symptomatology (LOSS): Older veterans can develop PTSD symptoms even 50 or more years after their wartime
experience. Without a multitude of tasks to distract them, retired
veterans find themselves with more time to reflect on past events. A combination of free mind space and health issues from aging leave
across response channels; and to use across different trauma
and cultures. These include structured interviews as well as self-report measures.
these veterans both physically and mentally vulnerable.
an opportunity to ask follow-up questions, to clarify items and
Clinical interviews provide psychiatrists and treating physicians
PTSD often goes hand in hand with other anxiety disorders and
clinical depression. These mixed symptoms make the diagnosis and treatment more challenging. Results from a large national survey revealed that people with PTSD are three to five times more
likely to develop Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) than those
without PTSD. The two conditions are known to occur together in almost 52% of cases. Substance abuse is commonly seen in veterans with PTSD. It is used as a coping mechanism or a way
to numb their overwhelming feelings. A modern study of recent veterans showed that 63% of the soldiers who were found to use and abuse alcohol or drugs had concurrent PTSD.
In addition, exposure to traumatic events increases the incidence
of poor physical health. It is often observed that patients with
PTSD are more likely to have co-morbid conditions like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and osteoarthritis.
Several measures are available to help diagnose PTSD and assess its severity.
to identify landmark moments that may have led to the development of PTSD in soldiers or veterans. These are also called Index Events, which are extreme traumatic events that they may have been directly exposed to either by witnessing it, experiencing it or hearing about it. The events trigger intense and emotional responses like fear, horror, or helplessness. Unfortunately, some veterans may have been exposed to multiple traumatic events. The challenge will be in identifying the target trauma in these cases, which is the one that is causing the most severe or the most frequent symptoms of PTSD in the patient. Some of the validated and frequently used assessment scales are:
was developed in 1989 at the National Center for PTSD, consists of 30 items that evaluate the onset, duration and severity of the symptoms of PTSD in patients. In addition,
PTSD assessments were developed to be psychometrically to
evaluation of the patient’s state of mind. It also helps them
1.) The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), which
GAUGING THE GRAVITY
responses, and to use their clinical judgment in making an
46 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
the CAPS also uses a Life Events Checklist which screens for Index Events. g
(continued on page 50)
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DSM-IV (SCID) is designed to diagnose all major disorders
identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV). 3.) The PTSD Symptom Scale–Interview (PSS-I) is a structured interview that evaluates the intensity and frequency of symptoms and corelates well with self-evaluation tests.
SELF-REPORT TECHNIQUES 1.) The Post-Traumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS) is a
self-report questionnaire designed to assess the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for PTSD. It has been translated into many
languages and has been used successfully in many countries and cultures.
2.) The PTSD Checklist (PCL) was developed at the National
Center for PTSD in 1990 and uses a simple five-point scale to analyze the severity of the symptoms as felt by the patients. It
has been widely adopted by Veterans Administration systems. 3.) The Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS) and the Mississippi Scale for
Combat-Related PTSD (Mississippi Scale) also use a five point rating scale for symptoms. In addition, The Mississippi Scale is commonly used to measure combat-related PTSD and was selected as the primary method used to evaluate PTSD in the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study (NVVRS).
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY Given the prevalence and potential consequences of PTSD, pre-
PTSD therapy has these main goals: • Improving symptoms
• Teaching patients skills to cope with it • Restoring self esteem These goals can be achieved through a variety of strategies
and treatment has shown remarkable improvements in patients. According to the National Center for PTSD, 53% of patients who receive these therapies will be able to recover well.
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT) CBT aims to help patients to change the way they think, which in
turn affects the way they behave. In patients with PTSD, it helps patients to develop alternative ways of thinking and behaving
in order to reduce their psychological stress. They learn to discriminate between their own thoughts and reality so that they
are able to identify their own unhelpful beliefs and change their actions accordingly. Following are common types of CBT: Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) Treatment begins with educating the patient about PTSD and the
relationship between thoughts and emotions. They begin to identify
“automatic thoughts” that may be leading to and worsening the symptoms of stress. The patient writes a detailed account of the traumatic experience, including why it occurred and the impact
it has had on the patient’s beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. These thoughts are explored and questioned by the
therapist who guides the patient in developing the mental tools required to cope with the trauma.
deployment counseling, active and continuous screening, and
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
catching early warning signs of the condition.
related memories, feelings, and situations, while working with g
mental health assessments made while debriefing may help in
48 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Prolonged exposure teaches patients to slowly approach trauma-
their therapist in a safe, graduated fashion to face their trauma instead of avoiding it and thereby reduce their fear.
1.) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) In EMDR, the care provider guides patients to make repetitive eye movements or follow hand taps, at the same time they are recounting traumatic events. In doing so, the patient is made to
focuss on other stimuli while revisiting the experience, which in turn helps them to reprocess the traumatic information until it fails to be disruptive.
2.) Medications Some patients do not respond adequately to therapy treatment alone and may prefer a combination of medication and
psychotherapy. Antidepressants like sertraline and paroxetine are approved for treatment, while adjuvants like SSRI fluoxetine and
(SNRI) venlafaxine are also prescribed for mood modulation. Anticonvulsants and anti-epileptic medications have also helped with the symptoms of PTSD.
Although controversial, medical marijuana has proven to be quite effective to deal with aggressive presentations of PTSD with a recent study showing a 75% reduction in CAPS symptom scores for patients using cannabis.
3.) Holistic Healing There are many practices advocated for the management of PTSD symptoms that are categorized as complementary and alternative medicine or CAM. These methods are gaining popularity with over 40% of PTSD patients
reporting the beneficial effects of CAM based treatments on their emotional and mental health. Mind-body treatments like
meditation, relaxation, acupuncture, and exercise therapy were commonly used.
In 2010 the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research and Development, requested a systematic review of CAM for PTSD
to investigate the evidence of these methods and their benefits. In 2012 the addition of mantram or mantra repetition found
modest improvements in symptoms of depression and PTSD. Another study researched the effects of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as an adjunct to usual care in veterans with
PTSD. This is a group-based intervention that includes meditation and yoga which researchers observed had a beneficial effect on the participants in the trial.
SUPPORT SYSTEMS: IT TAKES A VILLAGE While PTSD has detrimental effects on veterans’ emotional and
physical well-being, there is no doubt that these invariably affect the family members as well.
Family members caring for a veteran with PTSD symptoms may react
in different ways: Some may exhibit sympathy, confusion and anger;
others may feel unequipped to deal with the trauma and prefer to
detach themselves and avoid the situation with guilt and shame 50 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
adding to a complicated mix of feelings. The caregiver burden
CBT and narrative therapy using peer support groups along
societal, and financial load brought about by this condition.
guides. AI and NLP analytics are used to analyze the interaction
can be heavy in these cases as they deal with the emotional, Studies have found that partners of veterans with PTSD or any
combat stress reactions are more likely to develop their own mental health issues. These couples also experience a higher rate of marital or relationship discord.
While there can be challenges living with someone suffering from PTSD, it is important for families to take concrete steps to
with human facilitated asynchronous online discussions as with patients to provide insights and detect minor amounts of
personal change and post traumatic growth that may not be captured by traditional symptom measures.
“The great myth of war is that it can be left behind.”
seek help for themselves as well as their loved ones.
Patients can find comfort in spending time with a supportive circle of friends and well-wishers. Coping is easier with support from extended family, friends, church, community groups or support
groups. Maintaining family routines, such as dinner together, church, or sports or recreational outings may also alleviate some of the symptoms of PTSD and help the veteran to acclimatize
– Catherine Whitney.
PTSD in the veteran population continues to be an ongoing struggle both for the soldiers and their families. Holistic
approaches and further studies are required to bring more effective treatments and to raise awareness about the
issue. The brave men and women who protect their country deserve peace.
to life after combat. Family therapy sessions have also been beneficial in helping both parties cope with difficult situations.
A large part of recovering from a mental illness is understanding
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
observed every year on the 27th of June. It began in 2010 as a
Gates, M. A., Holowka, D. W., Vasterling, J. J., Keane, T. M., Marx, B. P., & Rosen, R. C. (2012). Posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans and military personnel: epidemiology, screening, and case recognition. Psychological Services, 9(4), 361–382.
it without misconceptions or bias. PTSD Awareness Day is day marked to spread awareness about the condition in tribute to
Staff Sergeant Joe Biel, a North Dakota National Guard member
Carlock D. A guide to resources for severely wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) veterans. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. 2007. [cited 2021 May 14]. Available from: http://www.istl.org/07-fall/internet2.html.
June is also PTSD Awareness Month and is intended to
Kimerling, R., Gima, K., Smith, M. W., Street, A., & Frayne, S. (2007). The Veterans Health Administration and military sexual trauma. American journal of public health, 97(12), 2160–2166. https://doi. org/10.2105/AJPH.2006.092999.
who committed suicide following two tours in Iraq.
destigmatize the condition, ensuring that those who do carry the burden of these invisible wounds receive the treatment t hey need.
TRIALS WITH TECHNOLOGY To manage a large number of patients presenting with PTSD,
Vieweg, W. V. R., Julius, D. A., Fernandez, A., Beatty-Brooks, M., Hettema, J. M., & Pandurangi, A. K. (2006). Posttraumatic stress disorder: clinical features, pathophysiology, and treatment. The American Journal of Medicine, 119(5), 383–390. National Center for PTSD. (2019). Understanding PTSD and Aging. Retrieved from https://www.ptsd. va.gov/publications/print/understandingptsd_aging_booklet.pdf.
technology has invariably been roped in to ensure that patients
Kessler, R. C., Sonnega, A., Bromet, E., Hughes, M., & Nelson, C. B. (1995). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of general psychiatry, 52(12), 1048–1060. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950240066012.
The Zeriscope system, Bio Ware, is a web-based mobile technology
Rytwinski NK, Scur MD, Feeny NC, Youngstrom EA. The co-occurrence of major depressive disorder among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder: a meta-analysis. J Trauma Stress. 2013 Jun; 26(3):299-309.
receive the help they need.
program that leverages live interactive video and streaming
real-time physiological and environmental data obtained from
sensors and cameras to enable mobile physiological monitoring
and momentary awareness during prolonged exposure therapy. It allows therapists and doctors to see what the patient is seeing
as they go through a stressful situation, while communicating
with them as well as monitoring heart rate and skin responses like sweat gland activity. The system is being tested on veterans at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).
Digital health company, Tiatros, was co-founded by a veteran
Rytwinski NK, Scur MD, Feeny NC, Youngstrom EA. The co-occurrence of major depressive disorder among individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder: a meta-analysis. J Trauma Stress. 2013 Jun; 26(3):299-309. Seal, K. H., Cohen, G., Waldrop, A., Cohen, B. E., Maguen, S., & Ren, L. (2011). Substance use disorders in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in VA healthcare, 2001-2010: Implications for screening, diagnosis and treatment. Drug and alcohol dependence, 116(1-3), 93–101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j. drugalcdep.2010.11.027. SCID-5. (2018, July 11). Retrieved May 10, 2021, from Columbiapsychiatry.org website: https://www. columbiapsychiatry.org/research/research-labs/diagnostic-and-assessment-lab/structured-clinicalinterview-dsm-disorders-11. Advancing science and promoting understanding of traumatic stress [Internet]. Ptsd.va.gov. 2012 [cited 2021 May 20]. Available from: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/publications/rq_docs/v23n2.pdf.
and explored the ability of artificial intelligence (AI) tools like
Reisman M. (2016). PTSD Treatment for Veterans: What’s Working, What’s New, and What’s Next. P&T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 41(10), 623–634.
behavioral health initiatives. These teach mindfulness-based
Greer, G. R., Grob, C. S., & Halberstadt, A. L. (2014). PTSD symptom reports of patients evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 46(1), 73–77.
natural language processing (NLP) to introduce digitally based
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 51
THE HISTORY OF THE AIR EDUCATION AND TRAINING COMMAND
52 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
DRILL DOWN Competitive drill teams from Air Education and Training Command technical schools traveled to Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, for the 37th Training Wing Invitational Drill Down, March 5, 2022. The competition showcased the precision and teamwork of the most lethal and ready Air Force in the world. The 81st TRW from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., took first place in the competition. U.S. Air Force photo by Christa D’Andrea.
ir Education and Training Command (AETC) predates the establishment of the Air Force.
The War Department activated AETC as the Air Corps Flying Training Command on 23 Jan 1942, redesignated it as the Army Air Forces (AAF) Flying Training Command in March 1942, added technical training to its mission in 1943 and redesignated the command as Army Air Forces Training Command on 31 Jul 1943. By the end of World War II, AAF Training Command had produced about 200,000 pilots, 48,000 navigators and air crew, 1.9 million technical training graduates, and a staggering 2.8 million basic military training graduates. On 1 Jul 1946, AAF Training Command became Air Training Command (ATC). Air University merged with ATC on 1 Jul 1993, and the command took its present designation of Air Education and Training Command. "The First Command," AETC is responsible for recruiting, technical training, flying training, and the continuing education of each generation of Airmen. Inspired Airmen are ready to perform the mission anywhere, anytime thanks to the dedicated professionals of AETC. The mission of the AETC History and Research Office is to inspire and inform Airmen to win any fight using our shared Air Force heritage and history. Their vision is to fortify resiliency in all airmen by providing history and heritage expertise and products. Air Education and Training Command, with headquarters at Joint Base San AntonioRandolph, Texas, was established and activated in January 1942, making it the oldest major command in the Air Force. AETC’s training mission makes it the first command to touch the lives of nearly every Air Force member. AETC was formed in 1942 as the Army Air Corps Flying Training Command with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Less than a year later, the headquarters moved to Fort Worth, Texas. During World War II the command provided technical and flying training at more than 600 installations, factories and institutions of higher learning. The
headquarters moved to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, in 1946, to Scott AFB, Illinois, in 1949, and finally to Randolph AFB in 1957. In July 1993, Air Training Command and Air University merged to form AETC. This redesignation allowed the command to retain all of its previous heritage and honors. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure plan renamed Randolph Air Force Base, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Over the years, more than 25 million students have graduated from AETC training and education programs.
MISSION Recruit, train and educate Exceptional Airmen. We take America’s sons and daughters – young men and women who have volunteered to serve their country in a time of war – and develop them into Airmen. Develop denotes more than educating or training them – it implies bringing them to embrace our culture, teaching them (by our example) our core values of integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do.
VISION The First Command: Developing Airmen of character—the foundation of a lethal force.
PRIORITIES • Advance Force Development • Enhance Lethality and Readiness • Transform the Way We Learn • Cultivate an Environment of Excellence
PERSONNEL AND RESOURCES More than 29,000 active-duty members, 6,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel, and 15,000 civilian personnel make up AETC. The command also has more than 11,000 contractors assigned. AETC flies approximately 1,300 aircraft.
ORGANIZATION AETC includes Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered air forces and the Air University. The command operates 12 major installations and supports tenant units on numerous bases across the globe. There are also 16 active-duty and seven Reserve wings.
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 53
HELP HEAL VETERANS
Celebrates 50th anniversary
First established in 1971, Help Heal Veterans has provided free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans for generations Help Heal Veterans (Heal Vets), a nonprofit that provides free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to veterans and active-duty military, is proudly celebrating its 50th anniversary. Much has changed since 1971 but Help Heal Veterans has remained at the forefront of using craft therapy to help veterans and active-duty military heal the invisible wounds of war. “Over the past 50 years, the Heal Vets team and our partners have made a huge impact in the healing process of our veterans.” says Joe McClain, retired Navy captain and Help Heal Veterans CEO. “Our partners, employees and volunteers have turned our vision into reality, in more ways than we could have imagined. Even though our mission has evolved, ‘helping any veteran or military member in need,’ very much remains at the core of what we do, and we are grateful to everyone who has joined us along our journey.” In 1971, Help Heal Veterans produced one of the first craft-related therapy programs for patients from various medical centers and military hospitals. From that experience, a big idea was made possible by thousands of caring contributors wanting to express their love and appreciation to America’s heroes. Now, the organization produces and ships nearly half a million kits every year from its Winchester, California workshop. Over the past 50 years, Help Heal Veterans has shipped millions of arts & crafts kits to hundreds of facilities. Indeed, since 2017, Heal Vets has worked with partner organizations to repurpose the extraordinary amounts of potential landfill waste, including: • 300,000 pounds of leather from airplane seats. Southwest Airlines and Arise Foundation have donated leather from
airplane seats since 2018. These materials are used to make wallets, footballs, and components for moccasins, such as liners and insoles. • 55,216 pounds of tanned deer skins. The Elks, a partner since 2002, donates tanned deer skins from Elks Lodge members around the country that are used to make moccasins, wheelchair gloves, dreamcatchers, pouches and more. • 454,500 pounds of upholstery. Since 2017, La Z Boy has donated upholstery fabric that Heal Vets uses in kits to make messenger bags, oven mitts, bowl cozies and more. • 112,416 pounds of cabinets. Since 2019, American Woodmark has donated cabinets, which have been repurposed for wood kits to make items like boxes and birdhouses. • 40,000 pounds of automobile seats. Since 2019, Magna has donated auto seats used to make purse kits. Help Heal Veterans is committed to healing and supporting veterans’ mind, body, and spirit. Studies show that crafting can provide therapeutic and rehabilitative benefits, including improving fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, memory and dexterity. It can also help alleviate feelings of anger and the severity of negative behaviors triggered by PTSD and TBIs, which is important considering the United States has suffered more than 100,000 military casualties of war since 1950 and lost more than 65,000 veterans to suicide in the last 10 years. Looking ahead, the organization plans to continue carrying out the values on which it was founded, while identifying innovative ways to support veterans throughout their healing process. To learn more about Heal Vets and explore an interactive map that includes 50 veteran stories over 50 years of impact across 50 U.S. states, visit HealVets.org/50.
About Help Heal Veterans First established in 1971, Help Heal Veterans has provided free therapeutic arts and crafts kits to hospitalized and homebound veterans for generations. These craft kits help injured and recuperating veterans improve fine motor skills, cognitive functioning, manage stress and substance abuse, cope with symptoms of PTSD and TBI, while also improving their sense of self-esteem and overall physical and mental health. Most of these kits are developed, manufactured and packaged for delivery at our production center headquartered in Winchester, California. Since inception, Help Heal Veterans has delivered nearly 31 million of these arts and crafts kits to veterans and veteran facilities nationwide, along with active duty military overseas.
Help Heal Veterans
CONGRATULATES THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ON 75 YEARS OF SERVICE
The use of
CBD (CARBIDIOL) in Veterans
HOW IT HELPS WITH PTSD AND PHYSICAL PAIN
56 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
mankind in 1940. It's an extract from cannabis or marijuana (botanically known as cannabis Sativa)
and it incorporates about 60 liquid cannabis compounds called cannabinoids found in Cannabis plants along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The chemical formula of CBD was proposed from a method for isolating it from wide hemp. Its structure and stereochemistry were determined in 1963. Scientists also believe that cannabinoids protect the cannabis plant itself from insects, bacteria, fungi, and environmental stressors. However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), You’re probably hearing a lot about cannabis and marijuana products as they become legal in more and more states. Two natural compounds are getting the most attention: CBD and THC. CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis products. It has been proven that it also serves as a great advantage to mankind, especially in treating some health-related issues which have been a great threat to humanity over the centuries CBD is not intoxicating. CBD is a chemical found in marijuana that doesn't contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. The usual CBD formulation is oil, but CBD is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid, and an oil-based capsule. Food, drinks, and beauty products are among the many CBDinfused products available online. CBD accounts for up to 40% extract of the plant and it has generated a great deal of attention. g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 57
58 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
It greatly prevents the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that helps control pain, mood, and mental function. A CBDbased only product has been proven to be safe. Based on the reports and research made on the uses of CBD, it has also been discovered that Cannabis also serves as a great advantage in solving some health-related problems, this is where Cannabidiol comes to light. Cannabidiol is proven, through various researches to be one of the active and essential ingredients in Cannabis. It literally has no effect and there are no scientifically proven risks or problems associated with the use of pure Cannabidiol (CBD). It is also legally approved in all 50 states in the U.S. but there are laws guiding the use and intake of CBD with different categories of limitations to reduce the risk of overdose and abuse. It has therefore been tested and proven to be the greatest solution and remedy to some world-known health-related issues. It has been the most effective in helping people deal with traumatic events and other disorders. What this means is that veterans, combat soldiers, or other people alike can probably use CBD within an hour of their experience, and significantly decrease the adverse effects of the disorders.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD is a mental health condition that leaves a person unable to function in their daily lives. It results from the brain's inability to process a traumatic event. PTSD often causes nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and withdrawal. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when they are not in danger. g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 59
The Military Veterans AND PTSD?
of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms often co-exist with other conditions such as substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, and physical pain. Approximately 30% of military veterans have had PTSD at some point in their lives. A
Research has shown that the U.S. veteran population totals 19
report from the veteran administration stated that the number of
million men and women living in the United States and Puerto
veterans with PTSD and physical pain often varies by the era in
Rico who have served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air
which they served. findings from the National Military Veterans
Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. These veterans served
Longitudinal Study show that about 271,000 veterans who served
for different lengths of time and during different wartime and
in Vietnam still suffer from PTSD and other major depressive
peacetime periods. They entered the military at different ages
disorders. It's quite a prevailing issue. Veterans suffering from
and came from different backgrounds. Some were drafted, while
PTSD and other mental health issues face difficulty in adjusting
to regular life and in many cases, end up on the street, addicted
Those veterans who served in the War are still suffering from PTSD almost 50 years later. Traumatic events such as an accident, assault, military combat, or natural disaster can have lasting effects on a person’s mental health. While many people will have short-term responses to life-threatening events, some will develop longer-term symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis
60 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
to drugs, or even end up committing suicide. Additionally, a survey found that 83% of all U.S. veterans, as well as active-duty servicemen and women, have experienced PTSD since the 9/11 attack, as a result of their military service. PTSD was the secondmost reported severe mental injury sustained during service, after sleep issues, in the veterans and active duty servicemen and women participating in the survey. The unfortunate part of g
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it is that not many people know much about it. Some do not even
of PTSD experience “flashbacks” in which they feel as if they are
know that they are going through it. Added knowledge on this
witnessing or reliving the traumatic event again.
condition will help one know the best treatment to take.
Unfortunately, there is yet another potentially traumatic threat to
Being aware of PTSD is important because it may lead to depression
those who serve in the military: sexual assault. Sexual misconduct
and suicide if untreated. And even with proper medication, the
is disturbingly common within the United States military. In
said mental illness may only be improved, not cured. With PTSD,
fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs coined the term
the patient may not be able to think properly because of the
“military sexual trauma” to describe all forms of sexual assault
trauma and fear that they have in their minds. Individuals with
or harassment experienced during military service. Survivors of
PTSD experience a diverse array of symptoms, and veterans
these acts of sexual aggression often experience PTSD, as do
with a diagnosis of PTSD may face several kinds of challenging
survivors of sexual assault in civilian life. Statistics about sexual
thoughts and feelings. However, PTSD is generally characterized
assault in the military are alarming, including the following data
by a few distinct categories of symptoms, which mental health
points: 23% of female veterans reported sexual assault while
professionals use to assess and treat the disorder. These symptom
serving in the military. 55% of female veterans and 38% of male
categories, as described in the American Psychiatric Association’s
veterans experienced sexual harassment while serving in the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5),
military. Though stereotypes suggest survivors of sexual assault
capture the kinds of mental health problems that veterans with
are predominantly female, more than half of veterans with
PTSD experience to differing degrees. These DSM-5 diagnostic
military sexual trauma are men. Trauma stemming from sexual
criteria for PTSD are widely accepted in psychiatry and related
harassment and assault can be no less devastating to veterans
mental health fields. To understand the daily struggles that PTSD
than experiences of combat, and prevention is a stated priority
can entail or to assess whether you might be experiencing this
for the U.S. Department of Defense. Additionally, VA health care
condition yourself consider the following: Intrusion of Thoughts,
facilities often offer services specifically designed for veterans
Memories, Flashbacks, and Dreams. This category, sometimes
who were sexually assaulted while serving.
called “re-experiencing symptoms,” describes any kind of repeated,
Also, recurring physical discomfort and PTSD can become deeply
unwanted recollection of the traumatic events in question. These
intertwined, especially for veterans who sustain injuries during
“intrusive” forms of thinking include memories and dreams, which
their active-duty service. In fact, among chronic pain patients,
can often be quite vivid. In some cases, individuals with a diagnosis
approximately 35% meet the criteria for PTSD. Unfortunately, g
62 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
G N I R O N O H EARS Y 5 7
e h t s t r o p p u S ly s. d e u c r o r o F P d g e n i m m r a A G s ’ l n a o n i t a tio N a r N u n O d n Pen a e c r m of o o d F e r e r i d the f e their US A t c e t ro rs and as p h embe e c m r o d F u r i ro e US A e its p t h t u l , a s r s yea ay we d o untry. T For 75 o . c n r o i u t nt to o eat na e m t i our gr m g com n i r e v unwa
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lingering pain can often serve to remind veterans of their traumatic
Anti-Anxiety Effects: Just like its counterparts, CBD can also
experiences, exacerbating their PTSD symptoms. Traumatic
bring relief to anxiety. This is why some people are using it as
Brain Injury (TBI): Due to the nature of modern warfare, military
an alternative treatment option for depression and other mental
personnel now experience high rates of traumatic brain injuries.
illness that involve anxiety.
While a TBI may be relatively mild (such as a minor concussion), some research suggests that suffering any TBI during active duty elevates a soldier’s risk of developing PTSD. Additionally, because the psychological consequences of a serious TBI can include disruptions in mood and memory, differentiating PTSD from these symptoms can be a challenge for clinicians.
Lessening The Harmful Effects of PTSD: Aside from being neuroprotective, CBD can also lessen the harmful effects that PTSD may cause. It protects the brain cells which you need to live a healthy life. Anti-Seizure: CBD has been in the news before, as a possible treatment for epilepsy. Researchers are testing how much CBD
The Use of
is able to reduce the number of seizures in people with epilepsy,
CBD TO CURE PTSD
as well as how safe it is. The researchers offer that there is hope in CBD treating epilepsy. On June 25, 2018, the U.S Food & Drug
If you are thinking about how effective CBD for PTSD is, then you
Administration (FDA) approved CBD oral solution for treatment of
are thinking in the right direction. Why? Because there are proofs
seizures associated with two epilepsy syndromes.
that it can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety which are PTSD’s primary symptoms. CBD also has neuroprotective qualities which may prevent mental illness from occurring in the future. Moreover, CBD is an effective treatment because it is a 100% natural product. This means that CBD offers no side effects.
Clinical Trials have shown that CBD ceased or significantly reduced flashbacks, nightmares, and persistent memories in patients with PTSD. It Prevents the Formation of Fear Memories. It Reduces Anxiety and Depression Symptoms.
You will not experience anything serious if you take this. The best
CBD has a range of calming effects that reduce anxiety, panic
part is, that even though PTSD and anxiety are different illnesses,
attacks, compulsiveness, and the long-term effects of stress. It
CBD can still provide relief to them both. It can bring relief to
Helps with Insomnia, CBD improves the quantity and quality of
people suffering from this condition.
sleep and reduces night sweats.
Researchers have discovered many promising benefits of CBD to alleviate the symptoms associated with the disorder especially
There are a lot of health rewards that one can get from CBD. However, the more common ones are as follows: Pain Relief:
in people that haven’t responded well to conventional therapies CBD disrupts the feelings of long-term fear memory processing, consequently reducing stress and anxiety.
CBD is known to contain painkilling properties. This is why
In Conclusion, the widespread PTSD and the symptoms among
some people use CBD for pain management. Moreover, this
U.S. Military veterans cannot be overlooked. So, it is high time to
component can also act as an analgesic which means it can
start to encourage the use of CBD with its benefit without side
relieve you of any type of pain, even mental illness-related pains.
effect to cure PTSD as early as possible.
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66 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
The 26th Operational Weather Squadron poses for a photo at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. Photo by Airman 1st Class Nia Jacobs
STRIKE A COMMAND
ir Force Global Strike Command, activated August 7, 2009, is a major command with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana,
community. AFGSC is responsible for the nation's three intercontinental ballistic missile wings, the Air Force’s entire bomber force, to include B-52, B-1 and B-2 wings, the Long Range Strike Bomber program, Air Force Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) systems, and operational and maintenance support to organizations
AFGSC is responsible for the nation’s three intercontinental ballistic missile wings, the Air Force’s entire bomber force, to include B-52, B-1 and B-2 wings, the Long Range Strike Bomber program, Air Force Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3) systems, and operational and maintenance support to organizations within the nuclear enterprise.
within the nuclear enterprise.
JANUARY 12, 2009 Air Force officials officially established Air Force Global Strike Command (Provisional) at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C. with supporting detachments at Air Combat Command and Air Force Space Command and commanded by Brigadier General James M. Kowalski. The provisional command was responsible for implementing the Secretary of the Air Force's Program Action Directive and Programming Plan.
AUGUST 7, 2009 Air Force Global Strike Command stood up and was tasked to oversee all of the U.S. Air Force's long-range nuclear-capable bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile forces in a ceremony at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 67
Tech. Sgt. James Bell, 7th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Metals Technology craftsman, uses new scanning equipment to scan an image of a small part on a B-1B Lancer. U.S. Airforce photo.
DECEMBER 1, 2009 The command assumed the U.S. Air Force's Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile mission with the assumption of 20th Air Force and the 576th Flight Test Squadron. These units were previously part of Air Force Space Command.
MARCH 28, 2013 Two B-2 bombers conduct a long-duration, round-trip training mission from Whiteman AFB to the Republic of Korea as part of the ongoing bilateral Foal Eagle training exercise.
OCTOBER 1, 2015 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas, and 28th
Force's strategic long-range nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress bomber missions with the assumption of the 8th Air Force mission. These units were previously part of Air Combat Command.
Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, (B-1B Lancer) and LongRange Strike Bomber Program transfer from Air Combat Command to Air Force Global Strike Command. The 377th Air Base Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, transfers from Air Force Material Command. The realignment enhances the Air Force’s global strike capabilities by placing all bombers under a single command.
FEBRUARY 2, 2011 New START signed.
OCTOBER 1, 2016 The United States Air Force Nuclear Command,
FEBRUARY 1, 2010 The command assumed the U.S. Air
MARCH 20, 2011 Three B-2s from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, flew a long-range strike mission to support Operation Odyssey Dawn.
OCTOBER 17, 2011 Units assigned to AFGSC awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for period covering June 1, 2008 May 31, 2010.
DECEMBER 1, 2011 USAF re-aligned the weapons storage areas from AFMC to AFGSC. 68 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Control and Communications Center (USAF NC3 Center) was established at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. USAF NC3 is a suborganization of Air Force Global Strike Command tasked to provide technical and operational support to maintain the health of communication links between the National Military Command Authority and the nuclear warfighters of the U.S. Air Force.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 USSTRATCOM designation of AFGSC as Air Forces Strategic - Air (AFSTRAT). AFSTRAT is the USSTRATCOM warfighting air-component.
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The First Thing You Should Know About the
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Amendment By Jim Lamb
he first thing you need to know about the Second Amendment is that without it there would be no Constitution and without a Constitution, there is no United States. It’s that simple. Everything else is garnish. That’s why President Donald J. Trump has made his stance on the Second Amendment direct and unequivocal: “The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.” Does everyone agree with that? No. The question is, “Why?” The answer is simple: Power.
“The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.” – Donald Trump
Don’t think so? Let’s see what three 20th-Century Tyrants, two Fascists and a Communist – said: Adolf Hitler: “History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.” Benito Mussolini: “On the morrow of each conflict I gave the categorical order to confiscate the largest possible number of weapons of every sort and kind. This confiscation, which continues with the utmost energy, has given satisfactory results.” Mao Tse Tung: “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.”
The three quotes above clarify the genuine threat gun-owners face; the three quotes below add depth and breadth to the conversation: “When the history of the 20th Century is finally written, one of its key features will be the wanton slaughter of more than 170 million people, not in war, but by their own government. The governments that led in this slaughter are the former USSR (65 million) and the Peoples Republic of China (35-40 million). The point to remember is that these governments were the idols of America's leftists. Part of reason for these and other tyrannical successes was because the people were first disarmed.” – Walter E. Williams, Author, Economist, Emeritus Trustee at Grove City College and the Reason Foundation. “Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Castro, Pol Pot, all these monsters began by confiscating private arms, then literally g AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force |
soaking the earth with the blood of tens and tens of millions of their people... There can be no free speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to protest, no freedom to worship your god, no freedom to speak your mind, no freedom from fear, no freedom for your children and for theirs, for anybody, anywhere, without the Second Amendment freedom to fight for it.” – Charlton Heston, Actor, Civil Rights Activist, President of the NRA from 1998-2003. “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” – Mahatma Gandhi, anti-colonial nationalist who used nonviolent resistance to help gain India's independence from Britain. Back to the point… The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It’s about the rights of individual citizens as well as the body politic. Here’s how Thomas Jefferson put it in a letter to James Madison in 1787: “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” To show Jefferson was consistent in his thinking later in life, after serving as governor of Virginia, minster to France, secretary of state, vice president, and president and here’s what he wrote in a letter two years before he died: “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” America’s third president also made it clear when and where he thought it appropriate to carry a firearm: “Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.” Doesn’t sound like he’s talking about hunting, does it? Which raises the question: How did America become so muddled on an issue specifically and deliberately written into the Bill of Rights to gain support for the ratification of the United States Constitution? Perhaps some context can help clarify the matter. After winning its independence from England, America crafted the Articles of Confederation, which were adopted on November 15, 1777, and went into effect March 1, 1781. It did not take long to find out that a loose confederation built on thirteen individual foundations was like constructing a house on shifting sands. The country needed something more substantial and
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stable, but there was a problem: Some feared a strong federal government as much as they had feared King George and his Redcoats. What to do? On May 25, 1787 America’s thirteen states sent representatives to Philadelphia with the stated purpose of trying to fix the Articles of Confederation. Eventually some delegates concluded that one degree or another, that they were better off starting from scratch than trying to fix the un-fixable. Heading this ambitious task was James Madison of Virginia, Father of the Constitution, who would go on to become the fourth President of the United States. The first public copy of the newly minted document was printed September 19. Copies were submitted on September 28 to the individual states for review. To drum up support, Madison and two others combined forces to promote ratification. They were Alexander Hamilton, a delegate for the Constitutional Convention from New York who later became the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, and John Jay, the nation’s first Chief Justice. On October 27, Madison, Hamilton, and Jay released Federalist No. 1 – published anonymously under the name Publius. It was to be the first of what would become 85 pro-ratification essays. It’s worth noting that the word “arms” appears more than two dozen times in what was ultimately referred to as “The Federalist Papers.” Here is an example from Federalist No. 46, written by Madison: “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” Hamilton had this to say in Federalist, No. 29: “If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights and those of their fellow citizens.” It should be noted that the word “hunt” does not appear in the Federalist Papers, and in Federalist 2, Jay puts the right to bear arms in the context of the recent Revolution and not a hunting trip.
“Who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence. Despite the efforts of their writing campaign, reaction to the Constitution was mixed, dividing the nation into two main camps: Federalists and Anti-Federalists, the former – generally from the merchant and plantation-owning class and were in favor of the Constitution with its strong federal government while the latter (primarily farmers and tradesmen) were against such centralized power and authority. At no point during discussion or debate did one side or the other take a position proposing gun control, registration, and/or confiscation. Both sides were for freedom; both sides were for the right to bear arms. Patrick Henry of Virginia, who was coined for saying he “Give me liberty or give me death!" was an ardent and outspoken AntiFederalist who publicly opposed the new Constitution. His intent was clear: “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force.” Henry wasn’t alone. Many forget that those who opposed the Constitution were articulate in their own right and compiled what came to be known as “The Anti-Federalist Papers”– a collection of writings and speeches with this provocatively titled introduction: “A Dangerous Plan of Benefit Only to The Aristocratick Combination.”
Here’s but one statement contained therein: “What then may we expect if the new constitution be adopted as it now stands? The great will struggle for power, honor and wealth; the poor become a prey to avarice, insolence and oppression. And while some are studying to supplant their neighbors, and others striving to keep their stations, one villain will wink at the oppression of another, the people be fleeced, and the public business neglected. From despotism and tyranny good Lord deliver us.” Sounds like something that could have been posted on a blog yesterday, doesn’t it? Motives of the Anti-Federalists varied: Some felt delegates to the Constitutional Convention overstepped their authority by proposing a replacement to the Articles of Confederation; others felt the new (and some said “illegal”) Constitution was crafted by wealthy special interests groups; some thought the document concentrated too much power in a federal government at the cost of the individual states. In an attempt to quell the concerns of the opposition, more than two hundred amendments were debated and proposed at the various state ratifying conventions. As expected, the right to bear arms was a key topic all around. As a side note, Pennsylvania debated more than a dozen possible amendments. Why mention this? Because the Keystone State’s own version of the second amendment does not contain the phrase: “A well-regulated Militia.” More about that later. g
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“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” Here’s what Samuel Adams said during the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention in 1788: “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
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Adams was a statesman and political philosopher as well as Founding Father. He was also second cousin to John Adams, second president of the United States and the only president elected to the nation’s highest office as a member of Federalist Party. During the first session of Congress the initial proposal for a bill of rights was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789. Here’s the passage relating to the right to bear arms: “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” (Some refer to the words “no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person” as the “conscientious objector clause.” That phrase was later removed.) A select committee reviewed Madison’s submission and returned a reworded version to the House:
“A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.”
to guarantee fundamental rights to individual citizens. It was a political heavy-weight fight if there ever was one.
The House debated and modified the wording. Here’s the result:
In his book Founding Rivals: Madison vs. Monroe, The Bill of Rights, and The Election that Saved a Nation, author Chris DeRose put that decisive and divisive congressional race into historical perspective:
“A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.” The next day, August 25, the Senate received the amendment from the House, added a comma before “shall not be infringed” and replaced the semicolon that followed with comma: “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.”
The outcome would define America’s future.
“Madison had been elected to the First Congress by only 336 votes. It was in that Congress that the Bill of Rights was passed, cementing the people’s confidence in the new federal government. And the Constitution was saved. All because of one election.” Think about the narrowness of that vote count 336 next time you clean your rifle.
Here is the final wording as it appears in the U.S. Constitution:
More than 200 amendments had been proposed at the various state ratifying conventions. The list was whittled down to the twelve that went before Congress. Those dozen were chosen to quell the concerns of the opposition without alienating supporters.
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Of the twelve amendments proposed, ten were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, later becoming known as the Bill of Rights.
It may be tedious to read, compare; re-read, contrast, then reread again the various versions, but think of it this way: The tedium is worthwhile and profitable in that it shows how serious those involved took their responsibility in an attempt to be deliberate and precise as they executed their task. Such intricate craftsmanship is a rebuke to 21st Century tongue-wagers who make casual quips mocking a generation that shed blood and lost family in creating a nation where glib critical remarks can be freely made without significant consequence.
By the way, the original Second Amendment had nothing to do with guns; it had to do with pay raises:
The Bill of Rights in general and the Second Amendment neither was nor is a laughing matter. The issue at the time and even now can pit friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. Here’s an example: James Madison’s fellow Virginian George Mason refused to sign the Constitution without a Bill of Rights. Future president James Monroe (also from Virginia) was an Anti-Federalist and chose to run against fellow Founding Father Madison for Congress, the only time two future presidents went head-to-head over a congressional seat. The Father of the Constitution vs. one of its leading opponents. The Federalist vs. the Anti-Federalist. One believing the nation could not survive without the Constitution; the other believing that same document granted too much power to the Federal government and, at the same time, failed
“No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” In the kind of twist that trivia buffs treasure, those twenty-four words finally made their way into the Constitution in 1992 as the 27th Amendment – 202 years, seven months, and 10 days after originally proposed. One additional note: First Amendment:
“After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred; after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every g
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fifty thousand persons.” What would have been the consequences if that amendment had passed? The House of Representatives would now have more than 6,000 members instead of the current 435. Imagine what that would be like. The Bill of Rights went into effect in 1791. You’d think that settled the issue of gun rights once and for all. Nope. Not even close. Let take just one quote from Thomas Jefferson as the line in the sand: “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” To see how Jefferson’s comment holds up, let’s place it on one side of the scale, then shovel a slew of statements on the other side and see how things balance out: President Barack Obama: “I don't believe people should to be able to own guns.” Source: John Lott Jr. in his 2013 book “At the Brink,” based in conversation the two had at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1990s. Rosie O'Donnell: “I don't care if you want to hunt, I don't care if you think it’s your right. I say, sorry, you are not allowed to own a gun, and if you do own a gun I think you should go to prison.” Source: Jason Mattera writing in Human Events March 19, 2012. Sen. Dianne Feinstein: “If I could have gotten 51 votes for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in,’ I would have done it.” Source: 1995 episode of “60 Minutes,” reportedly referring to assault-style weapons. Then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden: “The House better understand the power of an idea whose time has come. It still will be an uphill fight in the House, but I think the wave is moving.” Source: New York Times article headlined “Senate Approves Ban on Manufacture of Military-Style Weapons” by Clifford Krauss, published Nov. 18, 1993. Deborah Prothrow-Stith: “I hate guns and cannot imagine why anybody would want to own one. If I had my way, guns for sport would be registered, and all other guns would be banned.” Source: National Review, April 2, 2018. Deborah Prothrow-Stith is Dean and Professor at Charles R. Drew University College of Medicine in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Prothrow-Stith has every right to her opinion. After all, there is a First Amendment, but as comedian, actor, writer, and producer, Dave Chappelle once said, “The First Amendment is first for a reason. Second Amendment is just in case the first one doesn't work out.”
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Perhaps no phrase in the Second Amendment is more debated than its opening salvo: “A well-regulated Militia…” It pokes Second Amendment opponents in the eye, sizzles their brains, and shifts their vocal chords into high gear. What is the militia? Let’s jump in the way-back machine and gather up some opinions: “The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws.” – John Adams, America’s Second President. “For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a wellorganized and armed militia is their best security.” – Thomas Jefferson, America’s Third President. “A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country.” – James Madison, America’s Fourth President. “What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. Now, it must be evident, that, under this provision, together with their other powers, Congress could take such measures with respect to a militia, as to make a standing army necessary. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins. This was actually done by Great Britain at the commencement of the late revolution. They used every means in their power to prevent the establishment of an effective militia…” – Elbridge Gerry, Ninth Governor of Massachusetts and Fifth Vice President of the United States. And here is the punch-line… short, sweet, and right on target: “I ask you sir, who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people.” – George Mason, delegate to the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787, one of three who refused to sign the Constitution. Does everyone agree with those assessments? Of course not. Here are some other thoughts. “I'm tired of hearing about this 'well-regulated militia' that is so necessary for American freedom.” – Jay Parini, American Writer and Academic. “There is more hooey spread about the Second Amendment. It says quite clearly that guns are for those who form part of a well-regulated militia, i.e., the armed forces including the National Guard. The reasons for keeping them away from everyone else get clearer by the day.”– Molly Ivins, Newspaper Columnist, Author, Political Commentator, and Humorist. g
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“If the guy out in the woods with the Michigan Militia is a real estate negotiator, instead of some crackpot, and has a normal life, that's unnerving. You don't want to think it's as normal as the guy next door, hedging his lawn. It's easier to demonize or separate them off from ‘us’.” – Michael Moore, Academy-Award Winning Filmmaker and Best-Selling Author. “The Second Amendment is, of course, very much part of the American fabric. But the intent of the founders was that the amendment protected the rights of citizens to bear arms in a militia for their collective self-defense.” – Peter Bergen, American Journalist, Author, and Producer who serves as a CNN Colt's Manufacturing Company National Security Analyst. The question to ask yourself about the wording “well regulated militia” is this: Do you defer to the Founding Fathers and others who supported the Revolution against the British or do you accept the assessment of contemporary humorists, academics, analysts, and Oscar winners? Let’s move on. Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet. If you could pick just one word to describe him, you might chose “Individualist.” In 1836 Emerson penned what has come to be known as the “Concord Hymn,” written for the 1837 dedication of a monument that commemorated the Battle of Concord that took place on Wednesday, April 19, 1775, about 20 miles northwest of Boston. It was second in a series of clashes that day and resulted in victory for the colonists. The poem opens this way: “By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, here once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world.”
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What was the goal that day when 700 British Army regulars took up their arms? To capture and destroy military supplies reportedly stored by at Concord. Speaking of military supplies, let’s dispel a notion so drenched in current conversation that the casual observer can hardly tell warp from woof: The AR in AR-15 does not stand for “assault rifle.” It stands for ArmaLite, an American small arms engineering company founded in the mid-1950s in California. The AR-15 “Boogeyman” of the anti-gun movement is not an assault rifle. It’s a civilian (and legal) version of the M-16. It was designed as a lightweight, gas-powered, selective-fire rifle for the United States Military. It did not make the cut. (For comparison purposes, the AR-15 is heavier, with a shorter range, and a slower rate of fire than the M-16.) Here’s some background: In 1959, ArmaLite sold its rights to Colt's Manufacturing Company, which eventually modified the design and submitted to the military as the M-16, which was first shipped to troops in Vietnam in 1964. Five years later, the M16A1s replaced M14s as the U.S. military's standard issue rifle. The current standard bearer is the M4, a shorter and lighter variant of the M16A2, which is now the primary infantry weapon in combat units. That weapon helps makes the infantry strong and fully armed, a biblical principle that can be found in Luke 11:21 which says “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe.” Seems like great advice. Don’t like the Bible? No problem. How about Clint Eastwood? g
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe.” Luke 11:21 “I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.” Don’t like the guy who starred in “Fistful of Dollars,” “Dirty Harry,” The Outlaw Josey Wales,” “Pale Rider,” “Unforgiven,” and “Gran Torino”? What about the voice of Darth Vader, Mufasa, and CNN– James Earl Jones? “The world is filled with violence. Because criminals carry guns, we decent law-abiding citizens should also have guns. Otherwise they will win and the decent people will lose.” Maybe you prefer the literary type. If so, read the following warning from William S. Burroughs, Beat Generation author of eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays.
to do things you think you could not do before.” For those who’ve forgotten, Emanuel served as White House Chief of Staff under President Barack Obama. Let’s add another name to the pro-Second Amendment side, one unexpected and perhaps forgotten—she was an investigative journalist, anti-lynching crusader, civil rights leader, and one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Her name: Ida B. Wells. Here’s what she said: “A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.” In an article for National Review, David Harsanyi, author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun, argues that no American right (not speech, press, or religion) has a longer and more defined history than the right to self-defense. Harsanyi also wrote that: “The animating ideas of the Second Amendment – both as personal and communal protection are predicated on natural rights and English common law. And while nearly every intellectual, political, and military leader of the Founding generation stressed the importance of the right to bear arms as a means of preserving liberty, some of its most vociferous champions were against slavery.” Alan Dershowitz, scholar of constitutional law, had this to say:
“After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it.” – William S. Burroughs. As Rahm Emanuel who once said – “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity 80 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
“Foolish liberals who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of a safety hazard don’t see the danger of the big picture. They're courting disaster by encouraging others g
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to use this same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don't like.” There’ another, even more practical point, that has to do with common sense. It was made by President Ronald Reagan: “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” To put it another way, the vast majority of gun owners are lawabiding citizens who don’t get in trouble with law enforcement, according to Gary Kleck, criminologist and the David J. Bordua Professor Emeritus of Criminology at Florida State University. “Probably fewer than two percent of handguns and well under one percent of all guns will ever be involved in a violent crime. Thus, the problem of criminal gun violence is concentrated within a very small subset of gun owners, indicating that gun control aimed at the general population faces a serious needlein-the-haystack problem,” Kleck said. Economist, political commentator, and gun rights advocate John R. Lott, Jr., concurs. Lott is the author of “More Guns Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws,” now in its third edition. “Our most conservative estimates show that by adopting shallissue laws (concealed carry laws), states reduced murders by 8.5 percent, rapes by five percent, aggravated assaults by seven percent and robbery by three percent... While support for strict gun-control laws usually has been strongest in large cities, where crime rates are highest, that's precisely where right-tocarry laws have produced the largest drops in violent crimes.”
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It doesn’t take much digging to find scholars, lawyers, writers, and actors, who agree with the Founding Fathers about the Second Amendment. Let’s wrap things up with the opening words of “A Few More Rednecks” by Charlie Daniels on his album “Freedom and Justice for All.”
“Now they’re tryin’ to take my guns away And that would be just fine If you take ’em away from the criminals first I’d gladly give you mine” That won’t happen anytime soon. Why? Because President Donald J. Trump said so: “Gun and magazine bans are a total failure... Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like ‘assault weapons,’ ‘military-style weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.” – President Donald J. Trump
Jim Lamb is a retired journalist who went to college on the GI Bill. He served in the United States Navy and was stationed in Vietnam where he kept a loaded M-16 at his workspace.
eadquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) is a major command created July 1, 1992. The command conducts research, development, test and evaluation, and provides acquisition management services and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force weapon systems ready for war.
MISSION Powering the world's greatest Air Force...AFMC develops, delivers, supports and sustains war-winning capabilities. AFMC delivers war-winning expeditionary capabilities to the warfighter through development and transition of technology, professional acquisition management, exacting test and evaluation, and world-class sustainment of all Air Force weapon systems. From creation to disposal, AFMC provides the workforce and infrastructure necessary to ensure the United States maintains the world's most respected Air Force.
VISION One AFMC — Collaborative, innovative, trusted and empowered... indispensable to the nation, disruptive to U.S. adversaries.
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PEOPLE AND RESOURCES AFMC employs a highly professional and skilled command work force of some 87,000 military and civilian employees.
ORGANIZATION AFMC fulfills its mission of equipping the Air Force with cuttingedge weapon systems and technology through several unique centers which are responsible for the “cradle-to-grave” oversight for aircraft, electronic systems, missiles and munitions. The AFMC headquarters is a major unit located at WrightPatterson AFB. There are eight AFMC host bases: Arnold AFB, Tennessee; Edwards AFB, California; Eglin AFB, Florida; Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts; Hill AFB, Utah; Robins AFB, Georgia; Tinker AFB, Oklahoma;
COMMAND and Wright-Patterson AFB. In addition, the command has tenant units operating on several non-AFMC bases.
CORE MISSION AREAS AND AFMC'S SIX CENTERS • Discovery and Development • Air Force Research Laboratory • Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio • Test and Evaluation • Air Force Test Center • Edwards AFB, California
Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the Air Force's only organization wholly dedicated to leading the discovery, development and integration of warfighting technologies in air, space and cyber for the U.S. Air and Space Forces. AFRL leverages a diverse science and technology portfolio that ranges from fundamental and advanced research to advanced technology development. The lab also provides a wide range of technical services to joint acquisition, logistics, aerospace medicine and operational warfighting communities. AFRL’s technically-diverse workforce of more than 10,200 employees works across more than 40 operating locations worldwide. g
Sun’s out, guns out: An F-16C Fighting Falcon pilot with the 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., taxis during the Weapons System Evaluation Program East-22.08 at Tyndall AFB, FL. WSEPs are formal, two-week evaluation exercises designed to test a squadron’s capabilities to conduct live-fire weapons systems during air-to-air combat training missions. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Del Oso.
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Weapons load competition: Staff Sgt. Donoven Wright, 43rd Fighter Generation Squadron, checks AIM-120 fins during the unit’s weapons load competition at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. Two teams competed to see who could load an AIM-120, an AIM-9 and chaff and flares onto their F-22 Raptor the fastest and with the fewest errors. The winner will be announced at the unit’s annual awards ceremony. U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr.
AFRL's headquarters, 711th Human Performance Wing, Aerospace Systems, Materials and Manufacturing and Sensors Directorates are located at Wright-Patterson AFB. Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, is home to the Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Directorates. AFRL's Munitions Directorate is located at Eglin AFB, and advanced cyber technology research takes place at the Information Directorate in Rome, New York. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Virginia, manages the Air Force basic research program within AFRL, as well as cooperatively with industry and universities around the world. The Air Force Test Center (AFTC) conducts developmental and follow-on testing and evaluation of manned and unmanned aircraft and related avionics, flight-control, munitions, and weapon systems. It has flight-tested every aircraft in the Army Air Force's and the Air Force's inventory since World War II. AFTC also operates the Air Force Test Pilot School where the Air Force's top pilots, navigators, and engineers learn how to conduct flight tests and generate the data needed to carry out test missions. Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), located at Arnold AFB, operates more than 68 aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges, sled tracks, centrifuges and other specialized units. AEDC operating locations include Ames 86 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Research Center, Mountain View and Edwards AFB, California; Peterson AFB, Colorado; Eglin AFB; the Federal Research Center at White Oak, Maryland; Holloman AFB, Kirtland AFB, and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Wright-Patterson AFB, and Hill AFB. AEDC offers a suite of test capabilities to simulate speed, temperature, pressure and other parameters over a wide range to meet the needs of aerospace system developers. The facilities can simulate flight conditions from sea level to 300 miles and from subsonic velocities to Mach 20. The 96th Test Wing, located at Eglin AFB, is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, command and control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The wing provides expert evaluation and validation of the performance of systems throughout the design, development, acquisition, and sustainment process to ensure the warfighter has technologically superior, reliable, maintainable, sustainable, and safe systems. The 96th Test Wing is the principal Air Force organization for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) developmental testing. The 96th TW performs developmental test and evaluation across the complete system life cycle for a wide variety of customers including Air Force Systems Program Offices, the Air Force Research Laboratory, logistics, and product centers; major commands; other DoD services g
and U.S. government agencies (Department of Transportation, NASA, etc.); foreign military sales; and private industry.
26,000 is located at 75 locations across the globe — from Peterson AFB, to Oslo, Norway.
The 412th Test Wing, located at Edwards AFB, plans, conducts, analyzes and reports on all flight and ground testing of aircraft, weapons systems, software, and components as well as modeling and simulation for the Air Force. There are three core components for this mission: flying operations, maintenance, and engineering. Through a maintenance group of more than 2,000 people and an operations group of 3,000, the test wing maintains and flies an average of 90 aircraft with upwards of 30 different aircraft designs and performs more than 7,400 missions (more than 1,900 test missions) on an annual basis.
AFLCMC's portfolio includes information technology systems and networks; command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; armaments; strategic systems; aerial platforms; and, various specialized or supporting systems such as simulators or personal equipment. AFLCMC also executes sales of aircraft and other defense-related equipment, while building security assistance relationships with foreign partner nation air forces.
The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS), located at Edwards AFB, is where the Air Force's top pilots, navigators and engineers learn how to conduct flight tests and generate the data needed to carry out test missions. Human lives and millions of dollars depend upon how carefully a test mission is planned and flown. The comprehensive curriculum of TPS is fundamental to the success of flight test and evaluation. Upon graduating from TPS, graduates have earned a Master of Science degree in Flight Test Engineering.
LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT AIR FORCE LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT CENTER WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, OHIO The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) mission is to deliver affordable and sustainable war-winning capabilities to U.S. and international partners, on time, on cost, anywhere, anytime from cradle to grave. AFLCMC is the single center responsible for total life cycle management of all aircraft, engines, munitions, and electronic systems. AFLCMC's workforce of nearly
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AFLCMC is headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, where program executive officers oversee life cycle management of fighters, bombers, mobility, and tanker aircraft, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and special operations forces weapon systems, presidential and executive aircraft, as well as agile combat support systems, such as training aircraft and simulators. The Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate conducts the foreign military sales mission. AFLCMC directorates at Wright-Patterson AFB provide intelligence, engineering, budget estimation, contracting and other operational support. Program Office personnel located at the Hill AFB, Robins AFB, Georgia, and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, air-logistics complexes provide weapons system product support and report to respective AFLCMC PEOs. Tinker AFB is also host to AFLCMC's Propulsion Directorate which directs engine product support. AFLCMC's Armament Directorate located at Eglin AFB, manages aerial delivered weapons and armaments.
AFLCMC’s PEO Digital and C3I & Networks Directorate and supporting 66th Air Base Group are headquartered at Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts. Operational support information technology systems management is accomplished by AFLCMC's Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, Alabama.
SUSTAINMENT AND LOGISTICS AIR FORCE SUSTAINMENT CENTER TINKER AFB, OKLAHOMA The mission of the Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC) is to provide sustainment and logistics readiness to deliver combat power for America. The center provides globally integrated, agile logistics and sustainment to the warfighter through worldclass depot maintenance, supply chain management and installation support.
space systems - from circuit cards to aircraft - and provide support to other Defense Department services and allied-nation aircraft. Tinker AFB is home to the AFSC headquarters, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, 72nd Air Base Wing, and 448th Supply Chain Management Wing. Hill AFB is home to the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and 75th Air Base Wing. Additionally, the complex operates the DoD’s aircraft regeneration, storage and preservation facility at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, and additional maintenance operations in Japan, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, California, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana. Robins AFB is home to the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex and the 78th Air Base Wing. The 635th Supply Chain Operations Wing is located at Scott AFB, Illinois. g
The AFSC provides critical sustainment for the Air Force's most sophisticated weapons systems, including: A-10 Thunderbolt II, AC130, B-1 Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress, C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, E-3 Sentry, E-6 Mercury, E-8 Joint STARS, EC130, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Falcon, F-22 Raptor, F-35 Lightning II, HC-130, HH-60 Pave Hawk, intercontinental ballistic missile(s), KC-135 Stratotanker, MC-130, MH-53 Pave Low, RQ-4 Global Hawk, U-2 Dragon Lady, and UH-1 Iroquois as well as a wide range of aircraft engines and component parts. The Air Force Sustainment Center consists of more than 40,000 military and civilian personnel. AFSC provides installation support to more than 141 associate units with more than 75,000 personnel. The three logistics complexes are experts in world-class, comprehensive sustainment of air and
Airmen experience what it takes to keep the KC-135R Stratotanker in a ‘ready state’ in sub-zero temperatures: Working in minus 30-degree temperatures, aircrews from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and Wright Air National Guard Base, Utah, train in the same arctic conditions in Interior Alaska that aircrews at Eielson AFB, Alaska. The visiting Airmen experienced what it takes to keep the KC-135R Stratotanker in a ‘ready state’ in sub-zero temperatures. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Amber Bowers.
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Barrier analysis working group bridges gap between Air Force, installation barrier analysis efforts Two female Airmen work on engineering projects. A Women’s Initiatives Team is one of eight Barrier Analysis Working Groups under the Air Force Materiel Command Major Command Barrier Analysis Working Group umbrella, which was created as part of ongoing efforts to drive greater diversity and inclusion across the enterprise. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
INSTALLATION AND MISSION SUPPORT AIR FORCE INSTALLATION AND MISSION SUPPORT CENTERJOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Centralization of management support helps the Air Force
The Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) serves as the single intermediate-level headquarters responsible for providing installation and mission support capabilities to 77 Air Force and Space Force installations, eight major commands and two direct reporting units. The AFIMSC cross-functional team provides globally integrated management, resourcing and combat support operations for Airman and family services, base communications, chaplain programs, civil engineering, contracting, logistics readiness, public affairs, security forces and financial management. The center manages an annual budget of approximately $10 billion.
more than 150 capabilities at AFIMSC also helps commanders
AFIMSC activated April 6, 2015, reached Initial Operating Capability on Oct. 1, 2015, and a year later, achieved Full Operating Capability in October 2016. The Air Force stood up the center to make the best use of limited resources in managing and operating its installations.
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installation and expeditionary combat support capabilities to wing commanders and mission partners. The consolidation of focus on their primary mission areas. AFIMSC comprises its headquarters, one detachment that supports the Space Force, nine detachments collocated with the Air Force active-duty major commands and the Air Force District of Washington, and four Primary Subordinate Units. Those units are the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, Air Force Security Forces Center, Air Force Installation Contracting Center and Air Force Services Center. Headquarters directorates include Expeditionary Support, Installation
integrate operations across AFIMSC. The detachments serve as the liaison to the major commands they support, and the PSUs execute the center’s programs across the Air Force and Space Force enterprises.
NUCLEAR SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT AIR FORCE NUCLEAR WEAPONS CENTER KIRTLAND AFB, NEW MEXICO
which will upgrade the weapon’s reentry system. The directorate
The Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFMC), established
AFB, Minot AFB and Vandenberg AFB. It is responsible for
March 31, 2006, is the nuclear-focused center within AFMC
inception-to-retirement integrated management of the LGM-
synchronizing all aspects of nuclear materiel management on
30G Minuteman III ICBM system, the nation’s current backbone
behalf of the AFMC commander in direct support of Air Force
for nuclear deterrence. It develops, acquires and supports the
Global Strike Command. Headquartered at Kirtland Air Force Base,
continued operational viability of the silo-based Minuteman III,
the center has about 1,400 personnel assigned at 18 locations
and provides program direction and logistics support to AFGSC,
worldwide and consists of five major execution directorates:
the nation’s primary nuclear warfighter. It is responsible for
Air Delivered Capabilities; Ground Based Strategic Deterrent
acquisition, systems engineering and depot repair for all aspects
Systems; Minuteman III Systems; Nuclear Command, Control
of the weapon system. It works with supply chain management
and Communications (NC3) Integration; and Nuclear Technology
and depot repair centers to manage system spares, provide
and Integration. It also has several functional directorates and its
storage and transportation, and accomplish modifications or
commander is dual-hatted as the Air Force Program Executive
equipment replacement to sustain the Minuteman III.
Officer for Strategic Systems.
is accountable for the total life cycle of the GBSD weapon system. The Minuteman III Systems Directorate is principally located at Hill AFB, with operating locations at F.E. Warren AFB, Malmstrom
The center's mission is to deliver nuclear capabilities warfighters
Integration Directorate is principally located at Hanscom AFB,
use every day to deter and assure. This mission ensures the
Massachusetts, and Kirtland AFB. It includes personnel at
nation's most powerful weapon systems are never doubted,
Barksdale AFB, Louisiana; Fort Meade, Maryland; Los Angeles
always feared. The center’s strategic goals are: 1.) resource,
AFB, California; Hill AFB; Robins AFB; Tinker AFB; and Wright-
develop and care for a mission-driven workforce and 2.) time-
Patterson AFB. It is responsible for integrating the AN/USQ.225
certain delivery of capability to the warfighter.
NC3 Weapon System across the Air Force. The directorate advises
The Air Delivered Capabilities Directorate is principally located at Kirtland AFB, with operating locations at Eglin AFB; Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Ramstein AB, Germany; Robins AFB; Tinker AFB; and Wright-Patterson AFB. It also has positions for deputy program and product support managers embedded in program offices for the B-2, B-21, B-52, F-15, F-16, F-35 and authorized test
AFGSC on the NC3 Weapon System's technical architecture and informs key decisions regarding investment and modernization. The directorate is also responsible for the weapon system’s configuration management, system test, system verification, and system certification. In addition, its director is dual-hatted as the Air Force PEO for NC3.
systems and support equipment. The directorate is responsible
The Nuclear Technology and Interagency Directorate is principally
for delivering, sustaining and supporting air-delivered nuclear
located at Kirtland AFB. It is responsible for providing intelligence
weapon systems for warfighters to secure the future of the nation
support to AFNWC, analyzing the full spectrum of weapons
and its allies every day. Programs managed by the directorate
effects to support acquisition programs and inform tactics and
include: B61-12 Life Extension Program and Tail Kit, Long Range
procedures, and assessing current and future nuclear systems to
Stand-Off Weapon, W80-4 Life Extension Program, overseas
identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. The directorate is
Weapon Storage and Security System, Secure Transportable
also responsible for managing the Air Force's Nuclear Certification
Maintenance System, Protective Aircraft Shelter Interior Intrusion
Program, the Air Force Nuclear Red Team, and leading capability
Detection System, and Air-Launched Cruise Missile (AGM-86B/
development initiatives for all pre-Milestone A/B activities within
The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent Systems Directorate is
SPECIALIZED UNIT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE
principally located at Hill AFB, with operating locations across the nation, including at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot AFB, North Dakota; and Vandenberg AFB, California. It is responsible for modernizing or replacing Minuteman III flight systems, weapon system command and control, and launch systems, including missile silos, control centers, and other ground infrastructure. The directorate is also responsible for the Mark 21A Reentry Vehicle and Fuze Modernization programs,
The National Museum of the United States Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the Department of the Air Force’s national institution for preserving and presenting its story. Each year, more than 800,000 visitors come to the museum to learn about the mission, history and evolving capabilities of America's Air Force and new Space Force. g AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force |
The museum is the world's largest and oldest military aviation museum, featuring more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles on display amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Thousands of personal artifacts, photographs and documents further highlight the people and events that comprise the Air Force storyline, from the beginnings of military flight to today's current operations. The Air Force operates the museum complex through government appropriated funds. The commander of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base maintains operational oversight of the museum, with the History Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C., providing policy guidance.
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The museum's 96 federal civil service positions cover a variety of areas, including exhibits, collection, research, aircraft restoration, operations, education, special events, planning, public affairs and administration. More than 500 volunteers provide an important contribution in diverse areas from greeting and assisting visitors to leading tours and helping restore aircraft. The museum's galleries present many rare and one-of-a-kind aircraft and aerospace vehicles and thousands of historical items that chronicle the evolution of military flight from the Wright brothers to today's stealth aircraft, rockets, missiles, and spacecraft. Sensory-rich exhibits, featuring mannequins, artifacts, sound effects and theatrical lighting, place aerospace vehicles in context and bring history to life by
dramatizing and personalizing the events depicted. Visitors walking through the museum can view multiple galleries focusing on the various eras of military aviation and Air Force history, including the early years, World War I, World War II, Korea, Southeast Asia, the Cold War and the present.
provides no cost on-line educational resources that focus on K-12 student success. In doing so, the museum helps inspire the future workforce to pursue careers in STEAM and/or the Air Force, and advance Air and Space power in the years to come.
Animating the Air Force story and the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, behind the story, the museum offers a wide variety of special events and educational programs to connect the service with the public. Through its education office, the museum connects with thousands of students, teachers, youth groups and family members through hands-on learning activities, workshops, tours and curriculum materials. The museum also
The museum manages hundreds of special events each year. These include the biennial World War I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous, space and rocket events, the Giant Scale Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft Fun-Fly, concerts featuring the Air Force Band of Flight, “Plane Talks,” and a variety of fun family events. Information provided by AF.mil June 2020.
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Y, FREEDOM By Dr. Ben Graham, Senior Pastor Music City Baptist Church President – Graham Family Films
he Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:12 "And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken."
There are three prevalent aspects that have helped to shape and sustain America as the greatest nation that exists today and they are Faith, Family, and Freedom. Never before have they been under greater assault than they are now. President Trump was voted as the 45th president to lead our country back toward the very precepts that built this nation as a beacon of hope in a world of chaos and confusion. While many reasons brought people to this land, one of the great driving desires was to be able to express their faith in, and worship of God without fear of government overreach by trying to force a state religion on its people, rather to allow its citizens to follow soul conscience according to the dictates of Divine Scriptures. The great Judaeo-Christian precepts that led our founding fathers in the framing of our Constitution, make it clear that our Creator had guided them to establish this great nation. President Trump has been strong in promoting the cause of freedom of religion here and abroad. He has recognized that no nation will ever be great when the exercise of Faith in God is viewed as unnecessary or infringed upon.
Our founders were not afraid to acknowledge the absolute existence and involvement of Almighty God in bringing this nation together and President Trump has expressed his assurance that the hand of God is still essential in the preservation of this great land. The freedom of religion is at the very core of the rights protected by our constitution, and there has never been a time when our nation more desperately needed a true revival of faith in God than we do today. I am personally thankful to have as our President, Donald Trump, who recognizes the importance of the Bible to our society and desires to preserve the freedoms to express our faith in our Christ! The importance of the family to have and enjoy a great nation is also extremely vital to our success as a country. We must be vigilant to promote to our children an education that involves a knowledge of our history, both in success and failure, to embrace that which brought us greatness and refuse to repeat that which caused great harm. We will not develop strong families by ignoring the fact that traditional family values helped forge this great country and the demise of our homes has led to many of the conflicts and challenges we currently face. We must impart values that strengthen the homes of our people. We are living in a time when many have entrusted their children into institutions of higher learning, only g
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to find those whose salaries are paid by the taxes and tuition of parents are constantly assaulting the core values of this country by promoting socialism and secularism. President Trump understands how we can succeed as a country by innovation, proper education and true appreciation of family by encouraging principles that prepare the next generation to continue in the pursuit of building on the foundation of American values, and to protect our future generations from those who seek to destroy our families. The freedoms we are blessed with in America are so wonderful, and yet freedom comes with a great price. Some have mistakenly thought freedom is the right to do whatever they want. But that would lead to anarchy and mayhem. With Freedom there is great responsibility that includes following the rule of law. President Trump has recognized the
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great freedoms we have enjoyed as a nation for over 240 years and the tremendous sacrifices paid by those who came before us. He has endured criticism and constant attack, it seems in every direction, yet his resolve to make and keep America great continues on because the cause of freedom is greater than any one person, it affects us all. But the resolve of one man to stand for freedom can serve to encourage many to stand, and together we can make a difference in these challenging times. Our freedom as a nation is at stake and now is not the time to have a leader who is unsure on what they will do. We need a President who will take the bold, fierce, and necessary steps to preserve the very freedoms our founding fathers risked their lives for. Let's join our President and together through our Faith, and with our Families, let's do all we can to ensure our Freedoms, and keep America the great nation that symbolizes Freedom for all.
A Vision to Change the World Manna Church has been faithfully serving military families and their communities for over 40 years, equipping them to change their worlds! We are one church in many locations. Join us at a site near you!
A Guide to
BUS Veterans are twice as common to be entrepreneurs than other individuals. Their experience serving taught them tenacity and grit you cannot learn anywhere else.
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the Benefits of
eteran-owned businesses have access to a variety of benefits not available to other business owners.
Every person defines the American dream differently. For many, owning a home or property embodies the American dream. For others, creating wealth and starting a business is their American dream. One thing most Americans dream of is becoming their own boss. Owning a business is one of the best ways to achieve that goal. However, not everyone can handle the responsibilities of business ownership. Veterans are twice as common to be entrepreneurs than other individuals. Their experience serving taught them tenacity and grit you cannot learn anywhere else. Overcoming obstacles and staying on course are necessary ingredients for a successful business owner. According to the SBA, veterans own 2.52 million out of the 27.9 million businesses in the United States. Vets employ nearly 6 million employees and generate over $1.2 trillion in sales. Clearly, veteran-owned businesses are critical to the U.S. economy. So, how do you get started earning your share? As a veteran, you have two primary resources with benefits unique to you: the VA and the SBA. Business-startup does not have to be complicated. Still, the SBA has tremendous resources to help smooth your transition.
This article provides an overview of veteran-owned business resources, the advantages veterans have as entrepreneurs and other veteran-owned businesses' success stories.
VETERAN-OWNED BUSINESS While serving in the military, many members leave service and start their own businesses. Often, they identify a need during service that was not met by the military or private company. Other times, veterans start businesses to serve their community's needs, such as bakeries, lawn management, or construction. The federal government is famous for its acronyms. Here are 2 you should know: • VOSB - veteran-owned small business • SDVOSB - service-disabled veteran-owned small business
Veterans are equipped with a toolbox spanning technical skills to interpersonal skills. They have a depth of knowledge the average civilian does not have access to until they have been in business for many years. Leadership – All veterans have seen effective leadership at work, and many have participated in it. Veteran-owned businesses can lean on their military role models and apply similar techniques to their business development. g AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 99
Veterans with leadership experience obtained it through formal training in the service. Effectively leading and motivating employees is a critical factor in successful business models.
WHAT ADVANTAGES DO VETERAN-OWNED BUSINESSES HAVE?
Risk Management – Veterans had experienced situations when they had to take a risk to be successful. Or they determined action was too risky to move forward. Every military plan involves risk assessment, so analyzing risks becomes automatic to veterans. This advantage prepares them for business decision-making. Every business venture involves risk, particularly financial risk. Veterans are equipped to analyze them and find ways to minimize exposure.
Skillset – Veterans separate from service with skillsets key to running successful businesses: leadership, creative thinking, resourcefulness, and often, technical abilities.
Veterans' Benefits – the VA offers excellent resources to help veterans be successful in civilian and business life. The VA helps service members transition to civilian life by making plans and providing health care, mental health, career, and business support. GI Bill - helps veterans pay for college to learn new skills. DoD SkillBridge – learn skills and get experience in new industries where you plan to start your business. A Solid Start – provides resources to get started after separation. VA OSDBU – Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization guides you in starting your veteran-owned business. VR&E – Veterans Benefits Administrations Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment offer training for new careers or starting businesses regardless of disability. VR&E can also help you write a business plan, learn about marketing and business management. 100 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
Veteran-owned businesses can receive advantages and help that civilian-owned enterprises do not have.
Access to Government Contracts – The federal government budgets money for contracting with veteran-owned businesses with veteran status, disabled status, or women-owned status. Search Engine Badges – Google helps veteran-owned businesses with a "Veteran Led" badge on your business profile. Loans – The Small Business Administration offers favorable borrowing terms in the 7(a) Veteran's Advantage Loan program. You can access up to $5 million with up to 10-year terms. Franchising – Veteran franchising entrepreneurs are preferred in some organizations because of the training and skills they learn serving their country. Tax Benefits – Businesses that hire veterans may receive up to $1,500 income tax credits through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program. Veteran-focused Workshops – Many organizations like the SBA or Boots to Business offer specialized workshops to assist veterans in starting their own businesses. Veteran-owned Business Week – In November of each year, the SBA celebrates veteran-owned businesses and their accomplishments. They also provide resources, webinars, and other assistance to guide veterans to success. g
SBA Office of Veterans Business Development – The SBA dedicates a portion of its work to providing business and personal resources, grants, loans, and education. Veterans, servicedisabled veterans, reserve members, dependents, and survivors can all access the SBA OVBD. Surplus Equipment – The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act opens the door for veteran-owned businesses to acquire unused federal surplus supplies and equipment for free.
ARE GOVERNMENT BENEFITS AVAILABLE? Veterans can open millions of dollars’ worth of new business through government contracting. However, it is not an easy process. As a veteran, particularly a disabled veteran, your business could be preferred for eligible federal contracts and subcontracts. To qualify, you must register the business through Vets First Verification, certifying you are a veteran-owned business.
VETS FIRST VERIFICATION (VFV) VFV opens access to government contracts. Veteran-owned businesses complete a verification process through the VA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. The OSDBU maintains a directory of veteran-owned businesses. Their role is to help veteran-owned businesses network and gain government contracts.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR VFV? To qualify for Vets First Verification, you must register your VOSB with the OSDBU and meet all their requirements. They identify you as a veteran if you meet all requirements: Served active duty for any amount of time for the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, or Navy, and did not receive a dishonorable discharge or you served as a member of the National Guard or Reserves, and you were called to federal active duty and disabled in the line of duty or in training status. You or another veteran at your company must maintain control of the daily operation, decision-making, and management of the business. Own 51% or more of the business or work full time at the business. You hold the highest position in the company and/ or possess leadership ability to manage the business. Be the highest-paid person in the company (or affirm why your lower pay helps the business). Because government contracting can be a convoluted exercise, many vets are not interested in pursuing this avenue. Conversely, advertising your Veteran-owned business status on your social media, website, and storefront is sufficient to bring in business. As such, you do not need to waste time getting a VFV certification. SBA The Small Business Administration is a government organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.
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They offer a variety of programs from coaching to loans that give companies a boost upward. They can guide you from the concept phase into scaling a thriving business. Veterans have access to more extraordinary services through the SBA. After your VOSB is registered with the SBA, doors open, making it easier for you to bid on government contracts. Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) The OVBD is devoted to promoting veteran entrepreneurship. This office provides access to capital and business planning, such as supply chains or federal procurement. Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) All over the country to guide veteran business owners. Their services include a mentorship with other successful business owners, training, business plan workshops, and concept assessments. Lender Match SBA's website tool that helps veterans find capital lenders. In some cases, veterans can receive lower interest rates than civilians. Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) This program offers loans if an essential employee is called to active duty (Reserves or National Guard) and causes a loss in operating costs. Boots to Business DoD-sponsored entrepreneurial training program. Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP) Offers entrepreneurial training for women service members, veterans, and spouses who start or grow a business. Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP) Entrepreneurship training for service-disabled veterans wanting to start or grow a business. Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program (VFPETP) This training program guides VOSBs and SDVOSBs in attaining federal contract procurement. Veterans can increase their eligibility for government contracts if they have a service-connected disability. Surplus Personal Property for Veteran-Owned Small Business Programs Helps VOSBs receive federal property and supplies no longer needed. 8(a) Business Development Program Helps disadvantaged get the opportunity to bid on federal contracts when they otherwise would not. SBA Mentor-Protégé Program - Matches business mentors with protégés, where they work on business development with a mentor including: BUSINESS MANAGEMENT: accounting, marketing, and strategic planning.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE: Capital investments and loans. g
On behalf of
We would like to THANK and CONGRATULATE the
U.S. AIR FORCE For 75 YEARS of SERVICE and DEDICATION
WHAT INSPIRES US
TO BE OUR VERY BEST?
We are honored to serve those serving in our United States Armed Forces. Thanks for all you do!
FEDERAL CONTRACT ADVICE: Guidance on bidding, acquiring, and how the federal procurement process works.
to sell businesses and creative services such as marketing management, writing, taxes, and photography.
BUSINESS EDUCATION: Strategic planning, international trade, and finding markets.
K-9 Salute: Veteran-owned company that sells all-natural dog treats. Their proceeds are donated to military and police K-9 units for vests and other animal supplies. They also help disabled military veterans receive service dogs.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Including strategy and identifying contracting and partnership opportunities. PARTNERSHIP: Mentors may offer human resource sharing or security clearance support.
SUCCESS STORIES Veteran-owned businesses are thriving all over the country in a variety of industries: clothing, home furnishings, food and restaurants, jewelry, personal care, and gifts, to name a few. Grunt Style: An Army veteran founded this t-shirt company with its signature rifle logo. They have grown into a popular apparel store for patriotic gear and clothing. To date, they have over 1.1 million Instagram followers. She Swank: This is a "community-building" marketplace that supports local, independent, and military makers. Focusing on women and moms, this boutique curates apparel, stationery, home, baby, bath, and body goods. Order online to support military entrepreneurs and small business owners. Mason Chix: Taking a different approach, two military spouses founded this custom apparel company with Southern, state pride, or inspirational designs. They donate a portion of their proceeds to organizations that support military families. Spousely: Spousely is an Etsy-style marketplace for active military and veteran-owned sellers. Military families can support each other by buying products that range from jewelry, art, sweet treats, baby gear, and more. They also have a platform
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MilSO Box: Military Significant Other Box lets you choose a three-, six-, or twelve-month subscription of carefully curated gifts to send a loved one during deployment. As you start your business, you may still be an active-duty member or separated from service. First, find out if your business idea is going to work. Discuss the market need, do research, and make sure it is a viable plan. The SBA mentors are a great place to start. Have a conversation with your mentor, and they can ask hard questions that make you think about your business in different ways. Second, investigate funding. Will you start the business using your own money? Can someone loan you seed money? How much do you need to spend upfront to launch the business? If your business is online, you may not need to invest more than a few thousand dollars on a website, product photos, and some ads marketing your product. Alternatively, if your business requires big up-front purchases like equipment, consider if you could partner with someone before committing to it. Finally, tell everyone you know. Let your friends, family, social media followers, everyone know about your new business. Chances are, they will want to do business with you, particularly if you position your business as a veteranowned business.
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Charity Folds of Honor has Raised over $30 By Lt Col Dan Rooney, Founder, Folds of Honor
he origin of Folds of Honor began when I was on a commercial flight to Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was near midnight, and I was coming home on a late flight from my second tour of duty in Iraq. As an F-16 fighter pilot, I
knew one aspect of war, but right then I became painfully aware of the realities families face when a loved one in uniform is fallen or disabled.
somberly alongside the flag-covered casket to meet his family on the tarmac on, what, must have been the darkest night of their lives.
As my flight landed, the pilot announced they were carrying the remains of Corporal Brock Bucklin on board. I watched as Corporal Bucklin’s twin brother Brad, who had been seated in first class, walked
Among them was the deceased Corporal’s young son, Jacob. Despite the pilot of the flight asking that passengers remain seated while the casket was unloaded from the plane, many on the flight stood and began
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I N S TO RY
mil for military families since its inception deboarding. Right then I knew I wanted to find a better way to honor the sacrifice of that soldier and all those like him. Folds was born and is named for the creases in an American Flag. Since that night, me, my wife Jacqy, our family and a dedicated team have committed our lives – through Folds of Honor – to provide scholarships to
spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Jacob became the first Folds of Honor scholarship recipient in 2007. The mission of Folds of Honor was, and still is, to Honor Their Sacrifice. Educate Their Legacy.
Today, Folds has provided over 35,000 academic scholarships totaling about $160 million to deserving and qualified spouses and children of military members who have fallen or been disabled while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Among the students served, 41 percent are minorities. The educational scholarships support private school tuition g
AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 107
or tutoring in grades K-12, as well as two- or four-year college/ university, technical or trade school. Just this year scholarships for post-graduate work, including a master’s degree, doctorate, or professional program were added. Applications for a second bachelor’s degree or trade/technical program certification are accepted. In my best-selling book, Fly Into The Wind, one key topic I discuss is volition, which is the power of choice. Volition has truly altered my life. It is the most powerful tool human beings have. But engaging our volition isn’t always easy because, at its core, it’s about something much deeper than just making a choice. It’s about making an absolute commitment to a code of living.
It’s the path from “I won’t” to “I will.” The commitment to “I will” means a pledge to stay on that path no matter what, to open yourself up to all the joys, challenges, and unexpected surprises that are part of your ascent to greatness. The world is full of noise and excuses but armed with the power of volition you can break through it to become anything and to change anything. Your choices will culminate to write the legacy of your life. I encourage you to visit our web site www.foldsofhonor.org and follow us on our social channels. You can also follow me on www.danrooney.com. With your help, and the Lord’s blessings, we can make this journey together, and make it one we can be proud of.
RIVERNORTH IS PROUD TO INTRODUCE “FLDZ” A FIRST OF ITS KIND CHARITABLE ETF
By Patrick Galley, CEO & CIO of RiverNorth Capital Management Freedom isn’t free. It has a heavy price that is paid by our service men and woman, and most notably, by their families. Honor their sacrifice. Educate their legacy. That is the battle cry of Folds of Honor, a charitable organization founded by Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney. Its mission is to provide educational scholarships to the families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States armed forces. My true indoctrination to the Folds of Honor came through a visit to the Patriot Golf Club, where Taps is played each day at 1300 hours followed by the Folds of Honor bell ringing 13 times in reference to 13 folds in a flag. At this emotional moment, ALL activity stops to give honor to our fallen heroes. Experiencing first-hand the dedication and clarity of vision that the leadership team at Folds of Honor has for its mission and learning of Lieutenant Colonel Dan Rooney’s vow to leave no family behind, left me deeply moved. Inspired, I knew that we had to find a way for RiverNorth to make a lasting impact to support this honorable cause. Our response to their call to action was the creation of the RiverNorth Patriot ETF (NYSE ticker: FLDZ), a first of its kind, non-profit impact ETF. This is RiverNorth’s way of giving back and leveraging our platform, so that together we can go further than we could alone. The Fund is designed to provide an alternative approach to charitable giving, with the majority of advisory fees and all profits from managing FLDZ donated directly to the Folds of Honor. To
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ensure that a beneficial impact is being made with every dollar that is invested in FLDZ, RiverNorth is donating at least 50% of the Fund’s 70 basis point expense ratio. As the Fund’s assets under management (AUM) grows so will its corresponding donations. To illustrate this real impact, when the Fund’s AUM reaches $100 million, the resulting contribution would be at least $350 thousand per year. When the Fund reaches $1 billion, the estimated contribution would be more than $5 million per year donated to this unifying, patriotic cause. FLDZ is an actively managed ETF that invests in mid to large cap companies domiciled in the United States. Companies selected for the portfolio must have an operational concentration within the U.S. and generate at least 90% of their revenues domestically. At its heart, this U.S.-centric fund provides true impact investing, with real, ongoing dollars donated to help educate the families of our fallen and wounded soldiers. As investors we know that an equity allocation is a fundamental component in most portfolios. Many equity allocations are benchmarked similarly and could be seamlessly interchanged. Two-fold by design, FLDZ is positioned to deliver core domestic equity exposure while providing the opportunity to make a lasting beneficial impact for the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. We encourage each of you to consider FLDZ as part of your equity exposure. Volition is the power of choice, hear the call, please join us by investing in the FLDZ mission! For more information on FLDZ and Folds of Honor: RNpatriotfund.com, RNpatriotfund.com, Contact RiverNorth at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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THE POWER OF SERVICE DOGS HELP VETERANS
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By Jim Lamb Canine caregivers can learn specific tasks like assisting a Veteran prone to getting dizzy or suffering from PTSD. Properly trained service dogs can even alert veterans with diabetes when their blood sugar reaches high or low levels. In his poem “The Power of the Dog” Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Buy a pup and your money will buy Love unflinching that cannot lie.” Josh Billings, a 19th-century American humorist, put it this way: “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”
Meanwhile, IGDF describes itself as “the industry-elected body responsible for the development, monitoring and evaluation of the standards applied within all IGDF-member organizations, and to which all Enquiring and Applicant organizations aspire, in order to ensure equity of high-quality service to guide dog users and Handlers around the world.” Service dogs can be trained to do specific tasks. For example, they can pick things up, guide a person with vision problems, assist a person who has hearing impairments, or help people prone to getting dizzy, losing their balance, and falling. One Veteran even
Ronald Carney, a veteran living in Texas, can attest to what Kipling
reported that his service dog (without being told) would fetch him
and Billings wrote. In 2017 November, Carney’s dog went missing,
his prosthetic leg each morning when he wakes up.
perhaps even stolen. But Sampson wasn’t just a pet. Or even Carney’s “best friend.” He was a service dog.
Other impairments that can substantially limit mobility include anxiety, depression, bipolar/mood disorders, panic attacks, stress,
Eighteen months after he disappeared, Sampson was found, and
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), personality disorders, fear/
the two were re-united.
phobias, other emotional/psychological condition.
“After about 30 seconds or so, he just started jumping on me and
Specially trained service dogs can alert veterans with diabetes
walking in circles and whining, and I knew right away by seeing
when their blood sugar reaches high or low levels. Other dogs can
him, it was him," Carney told KCEN-TV following the reunion. “…it
be trained to remind someone to take medication. Service dogs
was pretty amazing that after 18 months, he remembered me.”
can even be trained to detect the start of a seizure and help keep
It should be noted that there’s a difference between service dogs
the veteran safe until help arrives or the seizure stops.
and emotional support animals, the former is formally trained and
The benefit of the relationship between veterans and dogs is
certified; the latter, not necessarily.
well-documented. For example, Christine Hassing in her book
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, service dogs are prescribed for Veterans diagnosed with having visual, hearing, or substantial mobility impairment. Specifically, 38 CFR 17.148 states that the “VA will provide to veterans with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments, benefits to support the use of a service dog as part of the management of such impairments. The benefits include assistance with veterinary care, travel benefits associated with obtaining and training a dog, and the provision, maintenance, and replacement of hardware required for the dog to perform the tasks necessary to assist such veterans.”
“Hope Has a Cold Nose” has put together a collection of heart-felt stories about veterans and their four-legged friends. Each chapter is dedicated to a different dynamic human-canine duo: Jacob and Tracer, Jennifer and Onyx, Kristopher and Shera, Desiree and Chunky, to name a few. The idea of dogs helping people is not new. According to IGDF, “The first special relationship between a dog and a blind person is lost in the mists of time, but perhaps the earliest recorded example is depicted in a first-century AD mural in the buried ruins of Roman Herculaneum. There are other records
That doesn’t mean the VA provides guide and/or service dogs.
from Asia and Europe up to the Middle Ages, of dogs leading
They do not; however, “Veterans approved for guide or service dogs
are referred to accredited agencies. Many of these organizations do not charge for the dog or the dog's training.” The VA does provide a veterinary health insurance benefit and other benefits in support of service dogs. To qualify, the dog must be trained and from an Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) accredited service dog organization. According to its website, ADI is “a worldwide coalition of not-for-
Other citations include: • A wall-painting (circa AD 79) of a blind man apparently being led by his dog was found during the excavations in Pompeii. • A Chinese scroll in the Metropolitan Museum (dated 1200) reveals a blind man being led by a dog. • An Irish reference from 1260 mentions a dog guiding a blind man.
profit programs that train and place Assistance Dogs. Founded in
The ballad "Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green" (1715) tells the tale of a
1986 from a group of seven small programs, ADI has become the
knight who becomes a beggar after losing his sight in battle. The
leading authority in the Assistance Dog industry.”
ballad’s lyrics include: g
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AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 113
“It was of a blind beggar, long time he's been blind,
services to the person without the animal present.”
He is called the blind beggar from Bethlehem Tyne,
By the way, “Disability” is defined by the ADA as a physical
And his marks and his tokens unto you I will tell; He's continually led by a dog, chain and bell.” With many soldiers blinded by mustard gas in WORLD WAR I, the role of dogs as helpers was put in the spotlight when the first canine was assigned to a German veteran, Paul Feyen, in 1916. Within three years, there were 539 trained guide dogs. According to the Service Dogs Registration of America, most service dog programs train Golden Retrievers and Labradors. Other breeds suitable for service include (but are not limited to) German Shepherds, Border Collies, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. It should be noted, however, that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) “does not restrict the type of dog breeds that can be service animals.” The ADA goes on to say that, “A service animal may not be excluded based on assumptions or stereotypes about the animal's breed or how the animal might behave. However, if a particular service animal behaves in a way that poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, has a history of such behavior, or is not under the
or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The American Kennel Club (AKC) points out that, “The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. A service dog is trained to take a specific action whenever required, to assist a person with their disability. The task the dog performs is directly related to their person’s disability.” The AKC also noted that “The ADA considers service dogs to be primarily working animals that are not considered pets.” The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, clarifies the distinction between service animals and animals that merely “provide comfort.” “If the dog has been trained to sense that an anxiety attack is about to happen and take a specific action to help avoid the attack or lessen its impact, that would qualify as a service animal. However, if the dog’s mere presence provides comfort, that would not be considered a service animal under the ADA.”
control of the handler, that animal may be excluded. If an animal
Some people may wonder, “How long does it take to train a
is excluded for such reasons, staff must still offer their goods or
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Great question. Here’s a great answer from Assistance Dogs
“Once registered, a referral to a specialist may be requested
through the assigned VA primary care provider. The Veteran's
“There is no specific time frame for training a service dog once they have completed their early socialization and basic obedience training. Service dog programs will have very clear training plans for every dog. In general, service dogs are placed with their
VA medical team will perform a complete clinical evaluation to determine how best to assist the Veteran. Each guide and service dog request is reviewed and evaluated on a case-bycase basis.”
future owners around the age of 2. Each service dog undergoes
If the veteran is eligible, “VA will pay for veterinary care and the
specific training (obedience, task work, etc.) for 1-2 hours a day
equipment (e.g. harness and/or backpack) required for optimal
for a period of 6 to 24 months before they are matched with their
use of the dog.”
future owner depending on the age of the dog when they start the training process.”
Veterinary care includes: “Prescribed medications, office visits for medical procedures, and dental procedures where the dog is
Little wonder, then, that the time and money invested in training
sedated (one sedated dental procedure will be covered annually).
certified service dogs are not inconsequential.
Vaccinations should be current when the dog is provided to the
“The cost of training a service dog can exceed $25,000,” says the
Veteran through an accredited agency. Subsequent vaccinations
AKC. “This may include training for the person with a disability
will be covered by VA. Prescribed food will be reviewed on a
who receives the dog and periodic follow-up training for the dog
to ensure working reliability. Some organizations provide service dogs to disabled individuals at no cost or may offer financial aid for people who need, but cannot afford, a service dog. Other organizations may charge fees for a trained dog.” The AKC offers this advice for choosing a service dog candidate. They should:
Veterinary care does not include over-the-counter medications, food, treats and non-sedated dental care. It’s also important to know that “Flea and tick medications are considered over-the-counter and are the responsibility of the Veteran along with over-the-counter dental care products. Grooming, boarding and other routine expenses are not covered.”
• Be calm, especially in unfamiliar settings • Be alert, but not reactive
Veterans with medically approved service dogs can be enrolled in a contracted veterinary health insurance policy to cover:
• Have a willingness to please • Be able to learn and retain information • Be capable of being socialized to many different situations and environments • Be reliable in performing repetitive tasks Of course, veterans should make sure they are actually eligible to receive medical services through the VA before they explore the possibility of obtaining a service dog. This can be done by registering at the Health Administration/enrollment section of a VA Medical Center. 116 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
• Comprehensive veterinary services for their service dog • Annual visits for preventive and maintenance care (i.e., immunizations, dental cleanings, screenings, etc) • Urgent/emergent care • Prescription medications • Care for chronic illnesses and/or disorders to enable the dog to perform its duties in service to the Veteran • Enrollment in VHIB (Veterinary Health Insurance Benefit) eliminates the need for VA pre-authorization g
VA policy states that “Service dogs are allowed on VA owned or leased property. Only dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability are considered service animals. There are no restrictions on the breeds of dogs that may be considered service animals.” Rules and regulations are key to facilitate matching up each veteran with an appropriate service animal and that means filling out the proper paperwork, getting involved in the selection process, and participating in the required training procedures. But, at the end of the day, it’s the relationship between the dog and the Veteran (and their ability to work together) that determines success. For example the case of Philip Bauer, who was interviewed for Westchester Magazine, based in Rye, New York. Bauer benefited from a program offered by East Coast Assistance Dogs (ECAD), a non-profit group that trains and provides service dogs. “We found out there were a lot of veterans who had a hard time getting out of their homes, being part of society,” says program director Barbara Jenkel. “So far we’ve given 20 dogs to veterans from all over the country. All of them have some form of PTSD, some have TBI (Traumatic brain Injury), loss of limbs, bad backs.” Bauer is one of those Veterans. He lost a leg after the helicopter in which he was flying was shot down on a flight to Baghdad. Eighteen died; 15 survived. Bauer’s right leg was too burned and broken to save, and it was amputated below his knee. “I became an amputee on Thanksgiving morning of 2003,” Bauer told Dana White of Westchester Magazine. “I took my retirement, went home, and spent the next five and a half years trying to kill myself in one shape or form.” Then, thanks to ECAD, Bauer met Reese, a Golden Retriever, who helped turned the Veteran’s life around, so much so that Bauer eventually joined ECAD’s staff. “Reese helps me go into public, to not feel quite so awkward. In crowds he blocks and covers for me,” Bauer told the magazine. “He picks things up for me, turns on the lights for me, brings me my leg if it’s across the room. He always looks like he actually cares.” Kendra Meinert of the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin spoke with Sylvia Bowersox, an Army Veteran who suffered from traumatic brain injury and severe post-traumatic stress disorder, among other diagnoses. “They had me on just bizarre, bizarre medications. I was a zombie. I was an absolute zombie. I wasn’t functioning,” Bowersox said. “I was just beside myself, because I am not bipolar. They kept upping my doses, so I did not have a quality of life at all. I was desperate.” Then Bowersox, thanks to Little Angels Service Dogs which trains canines on a ranch near San Diego, meet Timothy, a British Labrador. “Timothy is my baby. He’s my fur baby. He’s my child,” Bowersox said to Meinert. “He tells me when I’ve had enough and I have to go walk around the building. He paws at me when I’m freaking out.” g 118 | AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force
WICHITA STATE UNIVERSIT Y
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According to the National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report (2020) 46,510 American adults died from suicide in 2018, including 6,435 U.S. Veterans. Social Connection and Isolation are two of the societal factors involved: Isolation is a risk factor for suicide, which is a significant concern given social-distancing practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Among VHA patients, suicide rates are highest among those who are divorced, widowed, or never married, and rates are lowest among those who are married. Suicide rates are elevated among individuals residing in rural areas. But there’s a sliver of good news: “The data shows the rate of suicide among Veterans who recently used VA health services has decreased, an encouraging sign as the department continues its work and shares what we learn with those who care for and about Veterans,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. The fact that there’s a positive connection between using VA health service and declining suicide rates is a great reason for Veterans in need to do their homework regarding service dogs. Here is a key point to remember: Brandon Lewis served in the Marines a dozen years, which included three deployments in Iraq, but a traumatic brain injury and PTSD forced him into a medical retirement. “I was a little upset about it because I loved the Marine Corps,” he told Margaret Myers of The Renewal Project, which shares stories of individuals and organizations who solve problems in their communities. Lewis said he suffered from migraines and dizziness; he tried counseling and medication, but was unhappy with the results, then he met a black Labrador named Boothe. Since pairing up with his service dog, Lewis has been able to cut down on his meds, and the number of his migraines have declined. He’s now working as a liability claim adjuster. Army veteran Becca Stephens also has a story. She told it to Julia LeDoux. It was published on the Connecting Vets website. “I had a lot of great experiences, but Iraq really took the wind out of my sails,” Stephens told LeDoux. “It was kind of like a whirlwind for me.” The situation went from bad to grim but, eventually, there was a source of sunshine just around the corner. It came from a little service dog named Bobbi, who ending up making all the difference in the world. The stories of Stephens, Lewis, Bowersox, and Bauer are encouraging, they faced substantial obstacles, but each became an overcomer with the help of trained and certified service dogs: Bobbi, Boothe, Timothy, and Reece.
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Though VA does not provide service dogs, it does approve Veterans for referral to Assistance Dogs International accredited agencies or International Guide Dog Federation accredited agencies. Once referred, dogs and veterans must successfully complete a training program offered by these accredited agencies. (VA will recognize these completions for the purpose of paying stipulated benefits). Veterans with hearing, guide, and/or mobility issues should meet with their VA Clinical Care Provider to begin the application process for VA Veterinary Health Benefits. Veterans with mental health mobility issues should meet with a VA Mental Health Provider to begin the application process for VA Veterinary Health Benefits. Regardless of the service for which it is trained, whether to aid the seeing-impaired, help the hearing-impaired, or steady those suffering from dizziness or PTSD, properly trained and certified service dogs consistently under-promise and over-deliver. People who love dogs seem able to grasp the ability of canines to connect and make a difference. Best-selling author and selfadmitted dog lover Dean Koontz summarized it this way: “No matter how close we are to another person, few human relationships are as free from strife, disagreement, and frustration as is the relationship you have with a good dog. Few human beings give of themselves to another as a dog gives of itself.” That statement is even truer for service dogs. Jim Lamb is a retired journalist living in Florida. He has four dogs.
TAKING THE HI THE SKY ISN’T THE LIMIT, IT’S THE
The U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” fly past the tail of a C-5M Super Galaxy during the 2022 Thunder Over Dover Airshow, May 22, 2022, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The theme of this year’s event was “Reunite” and coincided with Armed Forces Day, the Air Force’s 75th anniversary and featured the co-headlining acts, of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Faith Schaefer.
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GH GROUND By Jim Lamb
t’s fitting that the National Security Act of 1947, which established the United States Air Force as an independent service, was signed aboard the first aircraft purposebuilt to fly an American Commander-in-Chief. The President was Harry S. Truman. The date was July 26. The plane was a Douglas VC-54C Skymaster, officially dubbed “The Flying White House,” but nicknamed “The Sacred Cow,” a reference to the high security surrounding the aircraft. The National Security Act restructured America's military and intelligence agencies, creating the office of Secretary of Defense, establishing the National Security Council as well as separate departments for each branch of the armed forces; it also provided coordination of the military branches with the Central Intelligence Agency. That restructuring prepared America for the dynamic and often dangerous political landscape that unfolded in the decades following World War Two. Who better to put the Air Force’s historic 75th anniversary into context than Charles Quinton Brown, Jr., the four-star general who serves as the 22nd chief of staff of the military branch whose duty it is to soar into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into the sun. It should be noted that Brown is the first African American to lead a branch of the Armed Forces; he’s also the first African American appointed as chief of staff. “Ever since the Air Force became a separate military service, empowered Airmen have pushed the boundaries of technology and innovation that have allowed the service to excel and keep pace with the rapid changes and the demands placed upon us,” Brown said, adding that, “I am confident that our Airmen will continue to innovate, accelerate, and thrive so that we can execute our mission to Fly, Fight, and Win… Air Power Anytime, Anywhere.” Ambitious words but words that have already proven their ability to inspire.
“All that I am… I owe to the Air Force.” — Chuck Yeager
Think back to 17 December 1903. South of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville and Wilbur Wright. Their heavier-than-air glider. A lightweight 12-horsepower engine. With a one-gallon gas tank. Sprocket chain drive. Hand-made twin propellers. All contained in a bi-plane configuration, with a wingspan of 40 feet 4 inches. Here’s what Orville Wright wrote in his diary that day: “When we got up, a wind of between 20 and 25 miles was blowing from the north.” On the aircraft’s fourth and final flight, the Wright Flyer soared 852 feet in 59 seconds. Rarely has a mere minute made such an impact on history. To emphasize the significance of the event, portions of the Wright Flyer’s original fabric and wood traveled to the moon on Apollo 11 in 1969. g AIR POWER: 75 TH Anniversary of the U.S. Air Force | 123
America’s first military aircraft was also built by the Wright brothers. It was sold to the U.S. Army Signal Corps in July 1909. Flight trials took place in Virginia during September 1908. After several successful flights, Orville crashed. He survived with severe injuries, but his passenger, Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, did not. He became the first fatality in a powered airplane. The legacy of the Air Force is a story of people and planes, conflict, and challenges. It entered World War One as part of the Army. It exited World War Two having earned its status as a stand-alone, fighting force ready to write its own heritage. Inbetween there were numerous stories of courage all the more intriguing when one considers it had entered World War One with no precedent in place, no patterns, no protocol of best practices. Airmen left the ground in contraptions and soared into the wild blue yonder with pistols, cameras, and bombs, determined to define and refine the finer points of combat and reconnaissance once they got into the air. If one were to pick a name from that First World War to exemplify an all -American Ace, Edward Vernon “Eddie” Rickenbacker would topmost lists a Medal of Honor recipient with 26 aerial victories. Rickenbacker was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross eight times, one of which was later upgraded to Medal of Honor. He was also awarded the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre by France. Another person worthy of recognition was William “Billy” Mitchell, who is regarded as “The Father of the United States Air Force.” Mitchell served during World War One. By the war’s end, he commanded all American air combat units in France. Afterwards, he was appointed deputy director of the Air Service and began advocating increased investment in air power. “The day has passed when armies on the ground or navies on the sea can be the arbiter of a nation's destiny in war,” Mitchell said in 1918. “The main power of defense and the power of initiative against an enemy has passed to the air.” Convinced that bombers had the ability to sink battleships, Mitchell tested the idea with a series of bombing runs against stationary ships. The tests were not without controversy. Though Mitchell’s firm belief in air power was eventually vindicated, he fell out of favor among some of his peers and many political power-players. Mitchell’s vindication was underlined and punctuated when a squadron of North American B-25 twin-engine bombers, named after him, completed an historic raid over Tokyo in 1942 in response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. That raid was led by James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle, an American military general and
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aviation pioneer. Doolittle received the Medal of Honor for his daring, risky, and historic mission. Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold was an aviation pioneer whose career reached a length and breadth few have achieved. Trained by the Wright brothers themselves, Arnold was one of the first three rated pilots in Air Force history and he reached those heights overcoming a fear of flying. He then went on to supervise the expansion of the Air Service during World War One and became a protégé of Gen. Billy Mitchell. During the course of his career, Arnold held the ranks of General of the Army and, later, General of the Air Force, Chief of the Air Corps, commanding general of the United States Army Air Forces, the only United States Air Force general to hold five-star rank, and the only officer to hold a five-star rank in two different U.S. military services. Another seasoned and battle-hardened officer was Curtis LeMay, who joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1929. By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he’d risen to the rank of major. Though he g
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began World War Two as an officer in the European theater, he was ultimately placed in command of strategic bombing operations against Japan, including incendiary attacks on 67 Japanese cities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war, he was assigned to command USAF Europe and coordinated the Berlin airlift, a creative and demanding solution to one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. The airlift lasted more than a year and resulted in the delivery of more than 2.3 million tons of food and fuel. LeMay served as commander of the Strategic Air Command from 1948 to 1957, where he presided over the transition to an all-jet force, and as Chief of Staff of the Air Force from June 1961 to January 1965.
Yeager is ranked fifth on Smithsonian Magazine’s “10 All-Time Great Pilots.” He broke the sound barrier on Oct. 14, 1947, when he flew the Bell X-1 at Mach 1. The man who had started out as a mechanic and reached the position of Brigadier General appreciated the opportunity he was given. “All that I am… I owe to the Air Force,” Yeager said. In 1962, Yeager became the first commandant of the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, which trained and produced astronauts for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as well as the Air Force. There are many names, places, planes, and events to flesh out the full story of this remarkable branch of service.
But it wasn’t just commanding officers and squadron commanders who left their mark on the Air Force. Consider the case of Charles “Chuck” Yeager who started out as an aircraft mechanic. In September 1942, he entered enlisted pilot training and upon graduation was promoted to flight officer. He went on to become a flying ace, and record-setting test pilot who became the first person to exceed the speed of sound, a story
“Our commemoration of this important anniversary provides a chance to reflect on the amazing accomplishments of our service
told with panache and vigor in the movie “The Right Stuff,” based by a book by Tom Wolfe.
Robin Olds was a "triple ace" with 17 victories in World War II and Vietnam. He devised a way to leverage the boldness of g
A CV-22 Osprey assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron and a KC-46 Pegasus assigned to the 349th Air Refueling Squadron conduct the first in-air refueling training operation undertook between the two aircraft, over Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., June 1, 2022. An advantage to the CV-22 being able to refuel the KC-46 is the capability for faster refueling during real-world missions. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Max J. Daigle.
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and those who have served among its ranks since 1947, while also celebrating the boundless future that lies ahead,” explained Air Force Chief of Staff Brown. The achievements are many and varied. For example:
Vietnamese pilots with “Operation Bolo,” which looked like a standard USAF F-105 bombing run into North Vietnam. MiG21s took a straight-shot for what appeared to be F-105 Thunderchief bombers only to find a fleet of F-4 Phantoms ready for air-to-air combat. Without suffering a single loss, the Air Force downed seven MiGs that day. In the following weeks, North Vietnam lost half of its combat planes to U.S. airmen. Here are more examples of “those who love the vastness of the sky”: Jacqueline Cochran wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, proposing the idea of a women’s flying division. By July 1943, Cochran was director of the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) and received a U.S. distinguished service medal. Ann Baumgartner broke barriers to become the first American woman to pilot a jet, having served in the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War. Growing up, Baumgartner’s passion for aviation was inspired by stories she heard about aviator Amelia Earhart. Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell was the first African American women fighter pilot in America’s history. During Northern Watch combat missions, she flew F-16 Fighting Falcons. She’s considered one of the best female fighter pilots in the United States. Capt. Kim Campbell, born in Hawaii, got a Bachelor of Science from the Air Force Academy. She flew an A-10 "Warthog” during the Iraq war and was hit by anti-aircraft artillery, but managed to bring her jet safely back to the base. She was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Jammie Jamieson was the first operational female pilot to fly the fifth-generation stealth F-22 Raptor. Born in Tacoma, she joined the Air Force Academy in 1996. She finished her F-15 training at Tyndall Air Force Base, completing the Transition Qualification Course of F-22A in 2008. Lt. Col. Christine Mau led the first combat mission planned, briefed, launched, and flown by women. That took place in 2011 flying the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle. In addition, Mau was the first female pilot to fly an F-35A, the Air Force’s fifthgeneration fighter.
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The Air Force routinely recognizes its past achievements even as it points to its future horizons. Consider the roll-out of the first T-7A Red Hawk training aircraft which took place this year at Lambert International Airport in Saint Louis. The aircraft featured the iconic “Red Tail” symbol of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The Air Force noted that, “The Red Hawk name is derived from the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, one of the aircraft flown by the 99th Fighter Squadron, the U.S. Army Air Force’s first African American fighter squadron.” Attending the official T-7A Red Hawk ceremony were retired Lt. Col. George Hardy, a Tuskegee Airman, along with Yvonne and Ron McGee, children of the late Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, who completed 409 air combat missions across three wars: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. “With this roll-out, we honor our storied history and the heroes who wrote the chapters,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent, “and we usher in an exciting new era of aviation and a new generation of heroes who will write the next chapters.” Those chapters will no doubt carry on the Air Force tradition that reaching for the wild blue yonder isn’t the end of the story but merely the writing of a new page. As noted in the Department of the Air Force Posture Statement Fiscal Year 2022, “Democracy is not a birthright, and neither is air dominance. And although airpower is our great comparative advantage, tomorrow’s competitive environment requires that we accelerate change or lose.” Jim Lamb is a retired journalist living in Florida. He specializes in writing about issues of interest to veterans and active military personnel.
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