Thunderbolt 3/07/2024

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News/Features:page3

MAREsaveslives

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Newdadtraining

Week in photos:page4

Images fromthe week

Community: page 11

Events, Chapel, more...

AnAC-130JGhostriderfromHurlburtField,Florida,fliesoverMacDillAirForce

BaseFeb.27.TheAC-130J isprimarily usedforcloseairsupport,airinterdictionandarmed reconnaissance,andprovidesgroundforcesanexpeditionary, direct-fireplatformthatisideallysuitedforurbanoperations.

Vol.52,No.10 Thursday,March7,2024 -
PhotobySeniorAirmanJoshuaHastings

NEWS/FEATURES Implementing AFFORGEN:labs

Whydodeployersneedtogiveblood?AccordingtoAir ForceStaffSgt. JonathanMoore, 6th MedicalSupportSquadron non-commissioned officerin chargeofshipping, bloodtellsastory.

Bloodcarriesmarkersforanarrayofgenetic andcontagiousdiseases. Fordeployers, the baselinetestisdesignedfortwopurposes:detectingHIVandstoringareservesampleasa partoftheDepartmentofDefenseSerumRepository.

WhileHIVisuncommonamongservicemembers, theAir Forcerequiresroutinetestsprior to andfollowingadeploymenttoproactively combatthedisease.

“WithHIV, ifyoucantestforityoushould,” explainedMoore. “Inthe1980stheprogram startedbecauseHIV wasarealconcernifcontracted.Now, wekeepthetestbecauseit’svery manageablewhentreated,especially ifcaught early.”

AlongsidetheHIVtestisasampleforthe DoDSerumRepository, acollectionofmore than74millionblood-derivedserumsstoredat Wright PattersonAir ForceBase, Ohio.

Thecollectionservestocontinuallygrowthe

U.S.AirForceSeniorAirman Ayisha Mercado,6thMedicalSupportSquadronlaboratorytechnician,collectsabloodsamplefromStaff Sgt.JonathanMoore,6thMSSnon-commissionedofficerinchargeofshipping,duringa routinetestatMacDillAirForceBaseFeb.29.The6thMSS laboratoryoverseestheshipmentofmorethan200healthcarediagnostictestsperday.

Armed Forces HealthSurveillanceDivision’s (AFHSD)database, allowingforaninformed viewofoperationalcapabilitiesacrossalldeployedlocations.

COMMANDER’SACTIONLINE

TheActionLineprovidestwo-waycommunicationbetweenthe 6thAirRefueling Wingcommander and theMacDillcommunity. Personnelmaysubmitquestions,concernsorcommentsviaemailto macdillwingcommander@us.af.milor Facebook @6thARWCommandTeam

MacDill Thunderbolt

The MacDillThunderbolt ispublishedby the Times Publishing Company, a private firm in no wayconnected with the U.S. Air Force. Thiscommercial enterprise newspaper is anauthorizedpublication for distribution to members of the U.S. militaryservices on MacDill. Contents of the MacDill Thunderbolt are notnecessarily the officialviews of,or endorsed by the U.S. government,the Departmentof Defense,

the Departmentof the Air Force or the6th Air Refueling Wing.

The appearance of advertisingin thispublication,includinginserts or supplements,does not constitute endorsement by the Departmentof Defense, the Departmentof the Air Force, 6th AirRefueling Wingor the Publishing Companyof the products or serviceadvertised.

For retail advertising, call (813)226-3318.

Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use, orpatronagewithout regard to race,color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap,politicalaffiliationor any other non-merit factorof the purchaser,user,orpatron.

“TherepositorystartedwithHIVtesting inthe1980sandhas developed intoagreat

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MacDillontheweb

Website: www.macdill.af.mil

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ MacDillAirForceBase

Instagram: macdill_afb

Twitter: @macdill_afb

Newsitems for the MacDillThunderbolt can be submitted tothe6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office,8208 Hangar Loop Dr., suite14, MacDill,FL 33621. Call the Thunderbolt at828-2215. : 6arw.pa.macdillthunderbolt@us.af.mil.

Deadline for articlesubmissions isnoon, Wednesdays to appear in the next week’s publication. Articlesreceived after deadline may be considered for future use. All submissions areconsidered for publicationbased on news value and timeliness.

Everyarticleandphotographis edited for accuracy, clarity, brevity, conformance with the “Associated Press Stylebook andLibel Manual” and Air Force Instruction 35-101.

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PhotobySeniorAirmanZacharyFoster

theirskillsduringMARE

Theproficiencyofa U.S. Air Forcemedicin amasscasualtyeventcanbethedifference betweenlifeordeathforthosethatareinjured.TheMajorAccidentResponseExercise, orMARE,trainsMacDillmedicstobereadyto performtheirdutiesandtomaintainthemaximumlevelofreadinessincasedisasterstrikes.

“Intheeventofamasscasualtyeventonor offbase, weneedtobeready,” said U.S. Air Force Lt.Col.Neha Patel,6thMedicalGroupfield responseteam chief. “Atanypointintime, an improvisedexplosivedevicecouldbesetoffor asimilardisastrouseventcouldoccur, causing harmtodozens, ifnothundredsofpeople Our missionisalwaysthesamenomatterwherewe are, sowealwaysneedtobereadytorespondin thecaseofanemergency.”

TheMAREheldon Feb. 28th,2024simulated amass-casualtyevent.Morethan30volunteers

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SimulatedcasualtiesawaittreatmentontheflightlineatMacDillAirForceBaseFeb.28.Emergencypersonnelassignsimulatedcasualties’injuriesinthedifferentcategoriesofimmediate evacuation,delayedcare,andminimalcaretojudgeifandwhenthecasualtywould needmedicalattention.

MacDillfirstsergeantleads, supportsexpectantfathers

Seekingtosupportmilitaryfathers, U.S. Air ForceMasterSgt.Craig Miller, the6thMaintenanceGroupfirstsergeant, recentlyledaDad’s 101workshopatMacDillAir ForceBase.

Tailoredformilitaryservicemembers, theworkshopdelvedintopracticalskillsforneworexpectantdads, includingcareforinfants, supporting partners, preparingforlaboranddelivery, andnavigatingthelifestyle changesthatcomewithparenthood.

Asafathertofive children,rangingfroma15-year-olddaughtertoa 1-year-oldson,Millerisnostrangertothefieldofparenting, explaining, “Ihavealways wantedtobeadad.”

“It’shardtodefinesuccess[asaparent],” hesaid.“Thisismysecond timeconductingafatherhoodworkshop IlovebeingafatherandI want toseegreatdadsintheworld.”

HannahHoffman,alicensed clinicalsocialworkerandfamilyadvocacyinterventionspecialistforMacDillAFB, arrangestheseeventsona

heldtoeducateneworexpectantdadsoncareforinfants,supporting partners,preparationforlaboranddelivery,andcopingwithlifestyle changes.

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PhotobyAirman1stClassDerrickBole
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PhotobySeniorAirmanLaurenCobin U.S.AirForceMasterSgt.CraigMiller,6thMaintenanceGroupfirstsergeant,leadsadiscussionaboutfatherhoodduringaDad’s101workshopatMacDillAirForceBaseFeb.28.Thefatherhoodworkshopwas

Panelmembersspeaktobase personnellduringtheBlackExcellenceSymposiumatMacDill AirForceBase,Feb.28.The themeoftheeventwas‘ShapingFutureLeaders’andincludedcareerprofessionalsin entrepreneurship,finance, education,civicorganizationsand thearmedforces.

U.S.AirForceAirman 1stClassKevinRenteria,6thOperationalMedical ReadinessSquadronbioenvironmentaltechnician,adjustshisgasmask duringafittestatMacDillAirForceBaseFeb.27.Gasmasksplayavital roleinprotectingservicemembersduringchemical,biological,radiologicalandnuclearattacksincontestedenvironments.

Squadron,isescortedtoanambulanceduringaMajor AccidentResponseExerciseatMacDillAirForceBaseFeb.28.Flowerswasgiven asimulatedinjurytoallowMacDillemergency responsetechniciansto exercisetrauma responseskills.

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WEEKINPHOTOS
PhotobySeniorAirmanZacharyFoster PhotobyAirman1stClassDerrickBole RussellFlowers,aneducationspecialistwiththe6thForceSupport Photoby Tech.Sgt.LutherMitchell

6thCommunicationsSquadron backboneofbaseoperations

Intheever-evolvinglandscapeofmilitaryoperations, the6thCommunicationsSquadronatMacDillAir ForceBasestandsasabeaconof innovation,dedication,andindispensablesupport.

Thesquadronoperatesattheintersectionoftechnologyandmission readiness, ensuringthe6thAirRefueling Wingandtheirmissionpartnersareabletoseamlesslycarryouttheirmission.

Atthecoreofthesquadronarecyberoperationsspecialistslike U.S. Air ForceSeniorAirman JaredGilbert,atechnicianstartinghismilitary careerinnetworkoperations, whonowassistscustomersdirectlybycompletingsupportticketscoveringawiderangeoftechnical challenges.

InnovationhasalwayscamenaturallytoGilbert Hequicklytookto creatingscriptsdesignedtoautomatesoftwareupdatesacrossthebase, determinedtodevelopamoreefficientandsecurestandardofoperation.

“Youhavetocontinuouslylearnandadapttonewskillsandmethods

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U.S.AirForceSeniorAirmanMalkielShimonar,left,SeniorAirmanJared Gilbert,middle,andAirman1st ClassDuarteLopez,right,6thCommunicationsSquadroncyberoperationsspecialists,collaborateon a programerroratMacDillAirForceBaseFeb.28.The6thCSspans a comprehensivespectrum,includingvulnerabilityassessments,network maintenance,anddirecttechnicalsupport, reflectingthesquadron’s critical roleinmaintainingoperationalintegrity.

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PhotobySeniorAirmanMichaelKillian

TwoC-17GlobemasterIIIs’tradeleadingandfollowingpositionswithintheirflight pathduringthe TacticsAdvancementCourseatJointBaseMcGuire-Dix-Lakehurst,N.J.,Feb.7.Airmenassignedtothe6thAirliftSquadron loadedcargoontotheC-17in ordertoprovide supportfor theF-22RaptorsatJointBaseLangley-Eustis, Va.The advancementscourse posturesAirMobilityCommandAirmentoexecuteagileoperationson a globalscale.

TACenhancesMobilityAirmen’s warfightingcapabilities

storyandphotosbyAirman1stClassAidanThompson 87thAirBaseWing

JOINTBASEMcGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST,N.J.—AC-17GlobemasterIIItakes low, evasivemaneuvers throughmountains, flyinglowerthanthepeaksonlytocrestthetopand dive again. Theaircrewsimulatescalls forsupportfromanalliedjet,andthecrewmakestheirfinaldescentonasmall,improvisedflightlinewherean F-22Raptor awaitsfuelandmunitionstransfer, readytocontinuethefight.TheC-17 crewthentakesoffand leavestheflightlinewithoutatrace. Thistraininginasimulatedcombatscenariohelpsprepareaircrewsforthe futurefight.

Airmenassignedtothe305thAirMobility Wing’s6thAirliftSquadroncollaboratedwithunitsfrom JointBase Langley-Eustis, Virginia,duringthe TacticsAdvancementCourse(TAC), Feb. 7-8. TACallowsaircraftmaintainerstogainexperiencewithaircrafttheydonotcommonlyworkwith,expandingtheirtoolkitformoreversatility infutureoperations.

“TACissupposedtobeabridgebetweentheupgradetrainingwedoatAltus(Air ForceBase),Oklahoma,at theformaltrainingunit,” saidMasterSgt. JosephBerglund,6thAS C-17evaluatorloadmaster. “Thismakesus moreadaptableand agilewhenitcomestocombatemploymentfortheC-17.”

Thefirststageofthecourse wasa formationflightoftwoC-17stradingleadingandfollowingpositionswithin theirflightpath.Afterlandingat JointBaseMcGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, thecrewconsolidatedequipmentandbegantheirflighttoJBLE.AfterlandingatJBLE, AirmenhelpedthecrewloadF-22 cargowhileutilizingtheflightline.

“Thebiggestthingtotake away isbeingabletothinkonthefly,” Berglundsaid. “Always maintainyoursituational awareness, makesurethatyoucanadaptandflextonewand evolvinginformationthatispassedtoyou atanyphaseofflight,andmakesurethatyou’rereadytoaccomplishthemission.”

Keepingthesamestringenttrainingenvironment,the6thASaircrewsetuptentsontheflightlinetoremain inthesimulatedexerciseenvironmentthroughoutthenight.Thisexercisehelpslay thegroundworkforcollaborationbetweeninstallationsAir Force-wide, improvingcohesionwhenworkingtoward a central mission.

“Wealwaystalkaboutjointenvironmentsandinteroperabilityand that’sexactly whatthisis,” Tech. Sgt.Eric McKinley, 6thASC-17loadmaster, said.“BeingabletoworkwithJBLE, you gettoknowtheirpeopleandwhatto expectfromeachother, whichisabsolutelypertinent. We needtounderstandwhatourcapability is. Doingthat nowversusinacontingentenvironmentis100%better. We’llcertainlybeaheadofthegame.”

ThisexercisefurtherimprovesMobilityAirmen’sadaptabilitybytrainingthemtoovercomeunexpectedobstacles. Pilotsweretaskedwithtakinglowair, evasive maneuverstoensuretheyhavetheskillsettoemployrapid, agile, and resilientsupport.Throughouttheexercise, Airmentestednewtacticsandproblem-solvingtechniques to enhancetheircapabilitiesagainstnear-peeradversaries, andthiscourseposturesAirMobilityCommandAirmentoexecute agileoperationsonaglobalscale.

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refuelsaC-17GlobemasterIIIduringthe Tactics AdvancementCourseatJointBaseLangley-Eustis, Va.,Feb.7.Airmenassignedtothe6ASloadedcargoontotheC-17inordertoprovidesupportforthe F-22RaptorsatJBLE.Theadvancementscourse posturesAirMobilityCommandAirmentoexecute agileoperationsonaglobalscale.

Va.,Feb.7.Airmenassigned tothe6thAirliftSquadronloadedcargoontothe C-17inordertoprovidesupportfortheF-22RaptorsatJBLE.Theadvancementscoursepostures AirMobilityCommandAirmentoexecuteagileoperationsonaglobalscale.

(Above)U.S.AirForceSeniorAirmanJordanLimberg,6thAirliftSquadronC-17flyingcrewchief, (Left)AC-17GlobemasterIIIsitsontheflightline duringthe TacticsAdvancementCourseatJoint BaseLangley-Eustis,

inthecyberfield,” saidGilbert. “A biginnovationIdid wasreducingman-hoursbyusing Power-Shell,whichisascriptinglanguage, toautomateatonoftedious choressuchas manuallyupdatingtrackersormanuallycompilingdata.”

Thesquadron’ssignificanceextendsbeyondtechnicalsupport; itservesastheinitial contactpointforanybasecommunicationissue. Whetherresolvingproblemsdirectlyor routingthemtotheappropriatedepartment,Gilbertandtherestofthe6thCSensure thateveryissueisaddressedpromptlyandeffectively.

“Wegetabout150troubleticketssubmittedeveryweek,” said U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. DanielAdames, 6thCSnon-commissionedofficerin chargeofcyberoperations. “Weget about1,200callsaweek,andthat’snotevenincludingemails.”

The6thCSisallaboutteamworkandcollaboration. TechnicianslikeGilbertand Adameswork closely, sharingknowledgeandsolvingproblemstogether, strivingtocreateasenseofcommunityandpurpose. ThiscollaborativespiritallowsforAirmento excelinthefast-pacedandever-changinglandscapeofcyberandnetworkoperations.

“Myteamhelpsmeeveryday. IfIcan’tsolvesomething, somebodyelsecan,” saidGilbert.“Weuplifteachother, notjusttogettheday todaytasksdone, butalsotoimprove everyone’sskills.”

Astechnologycontinuestoevolve, sodoesthesignificanceofcommunicationinthe workplace TheworkofGilbertandAdamescontinuallyensuresthatthebaseremains connected,secure, andreadytomeetany challenge.

FATHERS

quarterlybasistoprovidesupportfornewfathersnavigatingthecomplexitiesofparenthood.Sheoftenselects outstandingmentorswithintheunitstoleadtheseevents basedontheirexperienceandrelatabilitytoservicemembers.

SheknewMillerwouldbeanexcellentfittoleadthis class, sharing, “IhadtheopportunitytomeetandinteractwithMasterSgt.Milleronvariousoccasionsthisyear throughoutreachandpreventioneventsonbase.”

“Miller’sinfectiousenergyandpositiveattitudehasa wayofengagingwithindividualsinagenuine wayashe shareshisexperiencebeingafathertofive children,” she said.

WhilereflectingonhistwodecadesofservicetotheAir Force, Millersharedthatbeingadadhasshapedhiminto abetterAirman,aboveallelse.

Duringtheworkshop, Millercoveredmilitary-specific challengesassociatedwithfatherhood, andaddressed theimportanceofbeingagreathusbandandsupporter forservicememberstransitioningintofatherhoodforthe firsttime.

Milleradvisedthattimespent away fromhomeand overcomingpridearetwopotentialbarrierstohurdle whenparentingasanactivedutyservicemember. Heemphasizes, “buildtrustwithinyourrelationshipandpracticehumility.”

“The best partof beingadad is spendingtimewith themandteachingthemaboutlife,” hesaid.

Thissentimentfueledhispassionforteachingand guidingothersintherealmoffatherhood.Astheworkshopaimedtoempowermilitarydads, Millerexpressed, “Dadscanmakeadifferenceinthe world.”

Hoffmanshared,“Miller’spassionforhisfamilytranslatesintopalpableenthusiasmforthenewandoftennervousdads.”

Aspartofthelargerinitiativeofthe FamilyAdvocacy ProgramatMacDillAFB, Hoffmanhopesforattendeesto feelmorecomfortableandconfidentintheirrolesasnew fathers, withthehelpofMiller’s characterandvalues.

Miller’sfatherhoodworkshopprovidednotjustpracticalguidancebutaheartfeltperspectiveontheunique blendofmilitaryserviceandfatherhood.

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participatedinthescenario, with injuriesappliedusingmakeupand otherprops, tosimulateanaircraftcrashonbase. Eachvolunteer was instructedtoactouttheirinjurieswhileroughlytwo-dozenmedicalprofessionalsprovidedfieldcare.

“Weholdthisexerciseannually,” said WilliamHebert, 6thMDGmedicalemergencymanager. “Thepartwealways wanttofocusonisgetting thattriageareasetup, andgettingthosepeoplewithseriouslife-threateninginjuriesevacuatedassoonaspossible.”

Simulatedcasualtiesweresortedintogroupsdependingonthelevel of caretheywouldneedtosurvive. Thosewithlife-threatening injurieswere evacuatedviaambulance, medicaltransport bus, ortransporthelicopter.

Personnelfromthe Tampa FireDepartmentandacrew of flightmedicsfrom TampaGeneralHospitaljoinedtheexercisealongsidefirefightersfromthe6thCivilEngineerSquadronanddefendersfromthe6th Security ForcesSquadron,toworkandshareknowledge.

“Notonly wasthisexercisemeanttohonetheirskills,” saidHebert. “It wasgreattohavebothenlistedservicemembersandofficersworking side-by-side, justliketheywouldinthefield.”

Everymemberhadaroletoplay. Whethertheywere documenting patientsreadytobeevacuated,transportingvictimsincriticalcondition, orsupervisingthose withlesssevereinjuries, emergency personnelat MacDillworkedtogethertocompletetheMAREseamlessly.

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MARE

healthcareresource,” saidMoore. “Allbloodisstoredin largefreezersandcanberequestedbydoctorsandused forresearchstudies.”

HIVandrepositorysamplesarejustthestartforservicemembersontracktodeploy. AccordingtoMoore, certaincareerfieldsrequireadditionalteststotrackmission relatedimpactonthe healthofAirmen.

Careerslikesheetmetaltechniciansrequiretestingfor certainheavymetalstoensurepersonalprotectiveequipment(PPE)isproperlydefending Airmenfromhazardousconditions, Mooreexplained.Thesetestsalsoserveto addresshealth-relatedissuesonthehomefrontinstead ofthepotentiallydegradedorimprovisedsystemsincontestedenvironments.

Inordertoconductthesetests, laboratorytechnicians havetoexposethemselvestoanarrayofbacteriaanddiseases. To combat the spread,technicianswearcasespecificPPE.

AccordingtoMoore, day-to-dayblooddrawsonlyrequireglovesandalabcoatbutinfectiousdiseasesneed specialdirectionfromtheMedicalGroup’sPublicHealth division.

“Whenwearehandlinganybiologicalmaterialwetreat itasinfectious,” Mooresaid.“Wesetthathighstandard sowhenwedoencountersomethingdangerousithasno impactonourprocedures. Itdoesn’tmatterifthesample isinfectiousbecauseeverythingishandledwiththesame amountofcaution.”

ThenewAir Forcegenerationmodel(AFFORGEN)is preparingunitstotraintogetheranddeploytogether As aresult,base-wideresourcesareadjustingtheircapacitiestoaccountfortheincreaseindeployers.

Thelaboratoryalreadyservesthelargestgroupofretireesanddependentsinthenationwith200testsbeing processedandshippedperday. Accordingto Moore, the teamanticipatesthenumberofteststoincreasewithAFFORGEN, butareequippedtohandlethesurge.

The waveofpatients brought by AFFORGENisjust onesituationthatMooreandhisteamhavehandledover theyears Theirproblemsolvingcapabilitiesanddeterminationtocontinuallyimprovehaveplayedapivotalrole inthe6thMedicalGroup’sabilitytoadequatelysupport tensofthousandsofservicemembers, retirees, dependentsandforeignnationals.

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EVENTS

FamilyFunNight

TestyourluckonMarch8from 5–9 p.m.atMacDillLanesfor a familyfunnight,wheresuperheroesandleprechaunsunite. Wear yourbestgreenattireandget readytoenjoybowlingtothebeat withthelivelyDJ, meetyourfavoritesuperhero characters, indulge inadeliciousbuffet, anddon’t missyour chancetowinwithgiveawaysevery30minuteswhenthe “lucktrain”stopsonaluckybowler Foreventflyeranddetails, bit.ly/ MarchFamNight.

Outdooradventuretrips

Experiencethethrillofadventurewith6FSSOutdoorAdventure Tours. Frommasteringthe basicsofkayakingtoembarking onexhilaratingkayaktours, swimmingalongsidemajesticmanatees, andexploringthedepthsthrough scubadiving. Diveintonatureand creatememoriesforever. To view upcoming classesandunforgettabletrips, visitmacdillfss.com/ outdoor-adventure-tours/ tourssell outquickly. Signuptoday.

Flavorburst:Boomerscall-in deals

Cravingfreshsalads, mouthwateringwings, ordeliciousshareables?LooknofurtherthanBoomers!Callinyourordersevery Thursdayand Fridaybetween3– 7 p.m.andtreatyourselftoadelectablefeast.Dial512-8441toplace yourorderandpickituptogo, hassle-free. Formoreinformationvisit macdillfss.com/boomers/.

Findmoreeventsat:macdillfss.com

The Champ!

Membersofthe6thAirRefuelingWingcommandteamawardU.S.AirForceAirman1stClassSterlingSutton,6thARWpublicaffairsjourneyman,withtheChampofthe WeekawardatMacDillAir ForceBaseFeb.26.Suttoncoordinatedandledthearrivalofholidayeventsandcardsdeliveredto Airmen inthedorms,aswellasledmultiplecommunityoutreachprogramsthroughtheMacDillmascot,Champa Boom.

CHAPELSCHEDULE

Normal Hours- Monday - Friday - 9 a.m.to 3p.m. After hours chaplain, callthe Command Post at 828-4362/4361.

Monday-Wednesday Mass - 12:10p.m. www.macdill.af.mil/chapel

Catholic Mass - Sunday - 9:30 a.m. (confessionsby appointment)

Protestant services - Sunday - 11 a.m. Contact the Chapel at 828-3621or email at 6ARW.HCADMIN@us.af.mil for inquiries regarding Protestant religious education.

Jewish - Monthly Lunch and Learn: For schedule &tojoin distro,pleasecontactelimelach.estrin@us.af.mil

Islamic Service - Friday 1:30 p.m.(space reserved)

OtherFaith Groups - Pleasecontact the Chapelat (813)828-3621orviaemail at 6ARW.HCADMIN@us.af.mil

Formoredetailsandinformation,visittheChapelFacebookpageat http://www.facebook/6amwhc/or MacDill’s Chapel websiteis: https://www.macdill.af.mil/chapel

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