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Video: Today's Air Force: 21 March 2014

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This week on Today's Air Force the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force gives his take on force management, Airmen plan recovery operations for NASA's Orion spacecraft, and an Air Force First Sergeant learns how to let go. Script: THIS WEEK ON TODAY'S AIR FORCE, THE CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT OF THE AIR FORCE GIVES HIS TAKE ON FORCE MANAGEMENT ... AIRMEN PLAN RECOVERY OPERATIONS FOR NASA'S ORION SPACECRAFT, AND AN AIR FORCE FIRST SERGEANT LEARNS HOW TO LET GO. WE'LL HAVE ALL THOSE STORIES AND MORE RIGHT NOW, ON TODAY'S AIR FORCE. SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE DEBORAH LEE JAMES AND THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE AIR FORCE GENERAL MARK WELSH THE THIRD MET WITH THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF THE AIR FORCE UNDER FISCAL CONSTRAINT. SENIOR AIRMAN JAMIE JAGGERS HAS MORE. SRA JAMIE JAGGERS: THE SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE AND THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE AIR FORCE HAVE SPOKEN BEFORE THE HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2015 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BUDGET REQUEST. SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE DEBORAH LEE JAMES OPENED WITH HER THREE MAIN REQUESTS. JAMES: FIRST OF ALL I HAVE NOTED LEADERS AT ALL LEVELS, AND THESE ARE OUR OFFICER LEADERS AS WELL AS OUR ENLISTED LEADERS, AND THEY ARE TAKING ON TOUGH ISSUES IN A TOUGH BUDGETARY ENVIRONMENT BUT THEY'RE DOING IT WITH A CAN DO SPIRIT AND THEY'RE GETTING THINGS DONE DESPITE DIFFICULTIES. SECONDLY I HAVE SEEN SUPERB TOTAL FORCE TEAM WORK AND HERE I'M TALKING PARTICULARLY WITH OUR NATIONAL GUARD RESERVE FORCES OPERATING WITH OUR ACTIVE DUTY AIR FORCE - AND THIS IS FROM HEADQUARTERS RIGHT ON DOWN TO THE UNIT LEVEL - I'VE SEEN THEM GET THE JOB DONE. AND NUMBER THREE ACROSS THE BOARD JUST AMAZING AMAZING AIRMEN WHO ARE ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING IN SERVICE TO OUR NATION. EVERYWHERE I GO I DO TOWN HALL MEETINGS - WITH THAT ENTHUSIASM THEY ALSO ARE LOOKING TO US, THEY'RE LOOKING TO YOU, THEY'RE LOOKING TO OUR NATION'S LEADERS FOR DECISIONS, SOME GREATER STABILITY IF WE CAN GIVE IT TO THEM AND ... LEADERSHIP IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES. CHIEF OF STAFF GENERAL MARK WELSH ALSO EMPHASIZED THE DIFFICULTY OF BUDGET CONSTRAINTS. WELSH: THERE ARE NO MORE EASY CUTS THAT'S JUST WHERE WE ARE. AND WE CANNOT IGNORE THE FACT THAT THE LAW SAYS WE'LL RETURN TO SEQUESTERED FUNDING LEVELS IN FY16. TO PREPARE FOR THAT THE AIR FORCE MUST CUT PEOPLE AND FORCE STRUCTURE NOW TO CREATE A FORCE THAT IS BALANCED ENOUGH THAT WE CAN AFFORD TO TRAIN AND OPERATE IT IN 16 AND BEYOND. WE STARTED OUR BUDGET PLANNING BY MAKING TWO SIGNIFICANT ASSUMPTIONS. FIRST IS THAT THE AIR FORCE MUST BE CAPABLE OF FIGHTING AND WINNING A FULL SPECTRUM FIGHT AGAINST A WELL-ARMED, WELL EQUIPPED, WELL TRAINED ENEMY. SECOND - IS THAT "READY TODAY" VS. "MODERN TOMORROW" CANNOT AN "EITHER-OR" DECISION - WE MUST BE BOTH. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2015 BUDGET, HEAD TO OUR FEATURED LINKS ON AF.MIL. FROM WASHINGTON, I'M SRA JAMIE JAGGERS. IN RESPONSE TO FISCAL CONCERNS VOICED BY AIRMEN, THE UNDERSECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE, ERIC FANNING, HAS ALSO PROMISED AIRMEN THAT LEADERSHIP WILL REMAIN TRANSPARENT IN ITS DECISIONS. FANNING DISCUSSED EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL BUDGETS CITING CONCERNS FROM AIRMEN THAT SUGGEST THE AIR FORCE CARES MORE ABOUT ITS AIRCRAFT AND GEAR THAN ITS OWN PEOPLE. THE SECRETARY ASSURED AIRMEN THAT THIS IS NOT THE CASE BUT RATHER THAT THE AIR FORCE IS CONCERNED WITH PROVIDING THE BEST EQUIPMENT FOR ITS AIRMEN, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT THEY ASK TO GO INTO HARM'S WAY. WITH THAT BEING SAID, AIR FORCE OFFICIALS HAVE RESUMED FORCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS AFTER ENDING A STRATEGIC PAUSE. CHIEF MASTER SERGEANT OF THE AIR FORCE JAMES CODY, FIELDED QUESTIONS REGARDING RUMORS AND SPECULATIONS SURROUNDING FORCE MANAGEMENT ISSUES ON SOCIAL MEDIA. SO FOR THIS WEEK'S STRAIGHT FROM THE TOP WE'LL TAKE A PEEK AT WHAT THE CHIEF HAD TO SAY DURING THE LATEST EDITION OF CHIEFCHAT, A MONTHLY SHOW WHERE THE TOP ENLISTED LEADER ANSWERS TOUGH QUESTIONS FROM AIRMEN ... WHO WANT TO KNOW. SRA ALINA RICHARD: BACK TO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR ANOTHER QUESTION - FROM FACEBOOK. THIS ONE IS FROM ADAM WRIGHT. HE SAYS THAT THERE ARE ALOT OF RUMORS ABOUT THE DELAY ON VSP AND TERA. FOR EXAMPLE IT'S RUMORED THAT TOO MANY FOLKS VOLUNTEERED TO SEPARATE IN THE FIRST STAGES OF THE FORCE MANAGEMENT PROCESS, CAN YOU CLARIFY THE FACTS FROM FICTION. CMSAF JAMES CODY: SO THAT WOULD BE ALL FICTION. WE HAVE NOT HAD TOO MANY PEOPLE APPLY FOR THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS. WHEN WE SENT OUT THE ININTIAL NOTIFICATIONS IT WAS OVER 80,000 PEOPLE THAT WERE NOTIFIED OF THE POTENTIAL - EITHER FOR THEM TO VOLUNTEER OR INVOLUNTERAILY BE PART OF THE FORCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS. TODAY WE'VE HAD ABOUT 11,000 AIRMEN WHO'VE APPLIED OUT OF THAT 80,000. BUT TO BE HONEST - IT WASN'T ALL FROM THOSE 80,000. WE ONLY HAD ABOUT 5,000 FROM THAT 11,000 THAT WERE ACTUALLY ELIGIBLE FOR ANY OF THE PROGRAMS THAT WE SENT OUT. SO YOU HAD AIRMEN THAT ACUTALLY WEREN'T ELIGIBLE FOR PROGRAMS VOLUNTEERING BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE GUIDANCE WAS OR WHAT NOT. SO REALLY NO - NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM HAVE WE HAD TOO MANY PEOPLE VOLUNTEER. IN FACT, QUITE THE CONTRARY. PEOPLE ARE REALLY LOOKING FOR ANSWERS TO YOU KNOW ... "ARE WE REALLY STILL ON TRACK?" "WHERE ARE WE GOING?." AND THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR VULNERABILITY WHILE CERTAINLY 5,000 AIRMEN THAT ARE ELIGIBLE - WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE UNDER THOSE PROGRAMS. TO CATCH THE FULL EPISODE OF CHIEF CHAT YOU CAN VISIT AF.MIL OR CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AT FACEBOOK-DOT-COM FORWARD SLASH AIR FORCE T-V - WHERE YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR OWN QUESTIONS TO THE CHIEF. BIG NEWS FOR LUKE AIR FORCE BASE. THE FIRST F-35 LIGHTING II ARRIVED IN ARIZONA EARLIER THIS MONTH. TECH SERGEANT XAYVER ORTIZ HAS MORE. TSGT XAYVER ORTIZ: LUKE AIR FORCE BASE'S FIRST F-35 LIGHTING II ARRIVED HERE MARCH 10TH. THIS IS APPROXIMATELY 144 TOTAL AIRCRAFT LUKE WILL RECEIVE IN THE COMING YEARS. LT COL MIKE EBNER: THIS IS THE FIRST AIRCRAFT OF ABOUT 16 OR SO THAT WE EXPECT TO RECEIVE OVER THE CALENDAR YEAR 2014. AND THEN OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS OR SO - WE EXPECT TO ACHIEVE THAT NUMBER OF 144 AIRCRAFT. ORTIZ: THE LIGHTNING II BRINGS CAPABILITIES THAT WILL STRENGTHEN LUKE'S MISSION. COL JOHN HANNA : HAVING F-35S HERE ON THE RAMP ENSURES THE LONG TERM VIABILITY OF OUR MISSION AND SAFEGUARDS THE LONG-TERM PRESENCES OF OUR BASE. ORTIZ: TECH SERGEANT XAYVER ORTIZ, LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, ARIZONA. WELCOME BACK - LET'S GET STRAIGHT TO IT AND TAKE A LOOK AT THE HEADLINES. WITH THE HEADLINES, I'M STAFF SERGEANT ALINA RICHARD. AIRMEN WILL BE REQUIRED TO REVALIDATE DEPENDENTS WITH THEIR FINANCE OFFICE BY DECEMBER 31ST THIS YEAR. THE ONE-TIME AIR FORCE-WIDE RECERTIFICATION PROCESS WILL ALLOW THE AIR FORCE TO VALIDATE BASIC ALLOWANCES AND HOUSING ENTITLEMENTS TO ENSURE EVERY DOLLAR IS ACCOUNTED FOR AND AUDITABLE. U.S. F-16 FIGHTING FALCONS ASSIGNED TO THE 31ST FIGHTER WING BEGAN OFF-SITE AERIAL TRAINING IN POLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE TRAINING IS MEANT TO ENHANCE INTEROPERABILITY BETWEEN THE U.S. AND NATO PARTNERS. THE TOP CADET AT THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY'S AERONAUTICS DEPARTEMNT WAS RECOGNIZED FOR BEING AMONGST THE BEST AEROSPACE GRADUATES IN THE COUNTRY LAST WEEK. CADET FIRST CLASS CHRISTOPHER SHANNON RECEIVED THE TWENTY FOURTEEN "TOMORROW'S LEADERS AWARD" FOR HIS OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP AND NASA RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS - CONGRATS! THAT DOES IT FOR THE HEADLINES, I'M STAFF SERGEANT ALINA RICHARD. WITH NEW AIRCRAFT LIKE THE F-35 TAKING TO THE SKY, IT'S IMPORTANT TO ENSURE AIRMEN ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE ANY EMERGENCIES THAT MIGHT SURFACE. FOR THIS NEXT STORY TECH SERGEANT COLLEEN URBAN TAKES US BEHIND THE SCENES TO SEE HOW AIRMEN YOU NORMALLY WOULDN'T EXPECT TO RESPOND TO IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCIES HELP TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE. ("FIRE IN THE HOLE! FIRE IN THE HOLE! FIRE IN THE HOLE!") TECH SGT. COLLEEN URBAN: THIS MIGHT BE WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN HEARING "EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL", OR EOD. HOWEVER, AIR FORCE EOD HAS AN ADDITIONAL--DISTINCTIVE MISSION. SRA WILIAM RIDDLE: AIR FORCE EOD SPECIFICALLY RESPONDS TO ANY KIND OF AIRCRAFT OR AIRFIELD RESPONSES. WHETHER, THAT BE POST-ATTACK OR JUST IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCIES, WE'RE THE ONES WHO HANDLE THAT. URBAN: EOD TECHNICIANS FROM THE 380TH AIR EXPEDITIONARY WING FOCUS THEIR TRAINING ON THAT VERY MISSION SET CENTERED ON THE AIRFIELD AND AIR OPERATIONS. ("SAFE") TECH SGT. KENNY GUINN: OUR MISSION HERE IS COMPRISED OF THREE MAIN COMPONENTS. THE FIRST IS LAUNCH AND RECOVERY OF THE AIRFIELD OPERATIONS, THE SECOND IS FORCE PROTECTION - SO THAT'S LIKE IF SOMEBODY HAS SUSPECT PACKAGES OR IF THERE IS A VBIED AT THE FRONT OF THE GATE AND THE THIRD PART IS THE RECOVERY OF THE AIRFIELD DENIED BY ORDNANCE. URBAN: IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT'S AIR FORCE, ARMY, MARINE, OR NAVY EOD ALL TECHNICIANS HAVE A HIGHER OBLIGATION AND RESPONSIBILITY. GUINN: IT'S UP TO US TO MAKE THE SOUND DECISIONS TO KEEP EVERYBODY SAFE AND KEEP EVERYBODY ALIVE. URBAN: REPORTING FROM SOUTHWEST ASIA, I'M TECHNICAL SERGEANT COLLEEN URBAN. IN FLIGHT EMERGENCIES AREN'T THE ONLY POTENTIAL DISASTER AIRMEN TRAIN TO RESPOND TO ... AIRMAN FIRST CLASS JARROD VICKERS SHOWS US HOW AIRMEN WORK TOGETHER TO PREPARE FOR MOTHER NATURE'S WORST. A1C JARROD VICKERS: A TORNADO HAS JUST ROLLED THROUGH MCCONNELL AFB, LEAVING IN ITS PATH DEATH AND DESTRUCTION. BUT TODAY IT'S ONLY AN EXERCISE... AN EXERCISE THAT CAN EASILY BECOME REALITY HERE IN TORNADO ALLEY. LT COL DAVID MAZZARA: IN KANSAS IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO PRACTICE, ESPECIALLY SEVERE WEATHER TYPE SCENARIOS - AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE TODAY. VICERKS: SO WHEN THE ALL CLEAR WAS GIVEN DURING THE CITY WIDE TORNADO DRILL... THE AIRMAN OF THE 384TH AIR REFUELING SQUADRON WENT TO WORK TREATING THE WOUNDED. FROM BROKEN BONES TO SHRAPNEL WOUNDS, THEY DID WHAT THEY COULD TO SAVE LIVES. AIRMEN HAVE TO BE PREPARED TO TREAT ANYTHING. AND WITH ROUGHLY A THOUSAND TORNADOES TOUCHING DOWN IN THE UNITED STATES EVERY SINGLE YEAR IT NEVER HURTS TO BE PREPARED. WITH THE SELF-AID BUDDY CARE DONE, THE FIRST RESPONDERS ARRIVE ON THE SCENE AND TAKE CHARGE. IT'S ALL DESIGNED SO MCCONNELL AIRMEN KNOW WHAT TO DO IF AND WHEN A TORNADO STRIKES. MAZZARA: LIKE I SAID THERE'S A HIGH PROBABILITY OF SEVERE STORMS AND TORNADOS AROUND HERE - WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SURE WE CAN ASSESS THE DAMAGE AND THE INJURED AND GET THE BASE BACK ON MISSION READY AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. VICKERS: MISSION READY, NO MATTER WHAT MOTHER NATURE THROWS THEIR WAY. AIRMAN FIRST CLASS JARROD VICKERS, MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, KANSAS. AIRMEN AREN'T JUST WORKING TO SUPPORT OPERATIONS ON THE GROUND. NOW THAT SHUTTLE FLIGHTS FOR NASA HAVE ENDED, THE ORION MULTI-PURPOSE CREW VEHICLE WILL SERVE AS THE PREMIERE VEHICLE FOR DEEP-SPACE EXPLORATION. TO ACHIEVE NASA'S GOALS, AIRMEN FROM THE FORTY-FIFTH OPERATIONS GROUP AT PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA HAVE WORKED HAND IN HAND WITH THE U.S. NAVY TO PLAN AND TRAIN FOR ORION RECOVERY OPERATIONS ... AS THE FIRST LAUNCH DATE FOR THE SPACE CRAFT APPROACHES THIS FALL. STAFF SERGEANT PETE ISING SHOWS US JUST HOW WELL THE AIR FORCE'S PRE-PLANNING PAIRED WITH THE NAVY'S RECOVERY MISSION. NASA'S SPACE CAPSULE ORION NEEDS TO GO THROUGH RIGUROUS TESTING BEFORE ITS TEST FLIGHT SHCEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER. BUT BEFORE IT CAN TAKE TO THE SKIES THE AIR FORCE AND THE NAVY NEED TO DO SOME TESTS ON THE GROUND. STAFF SERGEANT PETE ISING HAS THE STORY. STAFF SGT. PETER ISING: THIS IS ORION, AND ORION IS AMERICA'S NEWEST SPACECRAFT THAT WILL TAKE ASTRONAUTS TO DESTINATIONS NOT YET EXPLORED BY HUMANS, INCLUDING AN ASTEROID AND MARS. IT'S FIRST UNMANNED TEST FLIGHT IS SCHEDULED FOR THE FALL OF THIS YEAR, SO MANY OF THEIR PROCEDURES ARE BEING TESTED IN THE ACTUAL ENVIRONMENTS THE SPACE CAPSULE WILL ENCOUNTER. NASA AND A JOINT SERVICE TEAM LEAD BY THE US NAVY TESTED RECOVERY OPERATIONS IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN. SPCO JUSTIN MILLER: WE'VE SPENT ABOUT THE LAST 8 OR 9 MONTHS WORKING WITH NASA, AND H-S-F-S DET 3 PLANNING THIS MISSION. ISING: AFTER ORION IS FINISHED IN DEEP SPACE IT WILL RE-ENTER EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE A LOT LIKE BACK IN THE OLD APOLLO DAYS. BACK THEN THE SPACE CAPSULE WAS RECOVERED BY AIRCRAFT, BUT WITH THIS CAPSULE THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE. MILLER: THE CAPSULE NOW IS BIGGER THAN IT WAS BACK IN THE APOLLO, GEMINI MERCURY DAYS. AND SO THAT ELIMINATES THE ABILITY OF THE AIRCRAFT, OR ANY AIRCRAFT TO PULL IT OUT OF THE WATER LIKE WE USED TO. ISING: NOW, NASA PLANS TO USE A SAN ANTONIO-CLASS AMPHIBIOUS TRANSPORT DOCK, LIKE THIS ONE, THE U.S.S. SAN DIEGO, TO PULL THE CAPSULE INTO ITS WELL DECK. MILLER: THIS SHIP IS DESIGNED TO LAUNCH MARINES AND SEND THEM TO A BEACH TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR MISSION. THE ORION MISSION SET REQUIRES FOR THE SHIP TO SINK ITSELF AND PULL THE CAPSULE INTO THE HANGAR BAY HERE OR THE WELL DECK AND ACQUIRE AND RETRIEVE THE ASTRONAUTS AND CREW. ISING: RIGHT NOW, NAVY DIVERS ARE ON HIGH ALERT AND TRAINING WITH THE U.S. AIR FORCE TO RECOVER OTHER PIECES OF THE ORION CAPSULE THEY'LL NEED TO FIND IN THE OPEN WATERS OF THE PACIFIC. FOR NAVY DIVERS THIS PARTICULAR SCENARIO PRESENTS SOME UNIQUE CHALLENGES BECAUSE THIS ISN'T THEIR TYPICAL MISSION. SPCO TIM ROFF: COMING UP WITH DIFFERENT WAYS AND PROCEDURES ON HOW TO RECOVER THIS. A LOT OF OUR JOB THAT I'M NORMALLY DEALING WITH HAS TO DO WITH SALVAGE AND RECOVERY OF SUNKEN OBJECTS. SO IT'S SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT IN THAT THIS IS A LITTLE MORE CRITICAL ON HOW WE RECOVER IT TYPICALLY IF WE ARE RECOVERING SOMETHING FOR A SALVAGE JOB THE CONDITION IN WHICH WE BRING IT UP ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT. BUT HERE, THAT'S THE MOST CRITICAL FACTOR IS TRYING RECOVER THE OBJECT WITHOUT PUTTING OUR HANDS ALL OVER IT AND DAMAGING IT. ISING: AFTER A WEEK OF TESTING AND LOOKING AT THE DATA, NASA, AND THE US AIR FORCE, AS WELL AS THE NAVY STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO WITH THE LAUNCH DATE QUICKLY APPROACHING. COL SHANE KIMBROUGH: WE HAD SOME SUCCESSES AND SOME FAILURES IN THE TESTS THAT WE DID BUT THAT'S WHY WE TEST. SO THE ONES THAT DIDN'T GO PERFECTLY - THOSE ARE THE ONES THAT WE LEARNED A LOT. HOPEFULLY A FEW MONTHS FROM NOW WE'LL DO MORE TESTING ON A SHIP LIKE THIS AND HOPEFULLY IRONED OUT - GET IT ALL WIRED TIGHT SO THAT WHEN IT HAPPENS FOR REAL IN SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER, THAT WE DON'T HAVE ANY SURPRISES. SO THAT'S THE WHOLE GOAL OF THE TESTING. ISING: DURING EXPLORATION FLIGHT TEST-1, AN UNCREWED SPACECRAFT WILL TRAVEL TO APPROXIMATELY 3,600 MILES IN ALTITUDE BEFORE RETURNING TO EARTH AT SPEEDS AS FAST AS 20,000 MPH AND TEMPERATURES ABOVE 4,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT TO EVALUATE THE SPACECRAFT'S HEAT SHIELD AND OTHER SYSTEMS. ORION'S FIRST MANNED FLIGHT IS SCHEDULED FOR 2017. REPORTING FROM NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, I'M STAFF SGT. PETE ISING. NOW ... LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THE AIR FORCE - THIS WEEK IN PHOTOS. STAFF SERGEANT SHELESE GARCIA PERFORMS A DAILY INSPECTION DURING THE FUELS OPERATIONAL READINESS CAPABILITY EQUIPMENT COURSE AT SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS. AIRMAN 1ST CLASS CURTIS DOHERTY, A 374TH MAINTENANCE SQUADRON AIRCRAFT METALS TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST, WELDS A SECTION OF A METAL RACK AT YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN. AIRMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES, ALONG WITH OTHERS FROM DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, DELAWARE, PARTICIPATE IN THE 15TH ANNUAL 436TH SECURITY FORCES RUCK MARCH. SENIOR AIRMAN SETH ALLEN OPERATES A CARGO LOADER AS AIRMEN MOVE EQUIPMENT IN PLACE ON A C-17 GLOBEMASTER III AT TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, KYRGYZSTAN. AND THAT'S THIS WEEK IN PHOTOS, I'M STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL BRADY. WELCOME BACK TO TODAY'S AIR FORCE. I'M STAFF SERGEANT SHAUN HOSTUTLER. THROUGHOUT OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, AIRMEN HAVE WORKED HARD TO ENSURE THE AFGHAN AIR FORCE IS TRAINED AND PREPARED TO TAKE THE REINS IN THEIR OWN OPERATIONS AND MISSIONS. BUT NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE TRAINING IS ON THE PART OF THE U.S. - THE SUCCESS OF THE AFGHAN AIR FORCE IS FUNDAMENTALLY INFLUENCED BY THE ATTITUDE AND DETERMINATION OF ITS AIRMEN. SENIOR AIRMAN BRANDI HANSEN SHOWS US HOW - DESPITE CULTURAL DIFFERENCES - WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER, PROGRESS CAN BE ACHIEVED. THE 438TH AIR EXPEDITIONARY WING IS TASKED WITH THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ADVISING MISSION. THIS MISSION IS TO ADVISE OVER SIXTY SEPERATE CAREER FIELDS WITHIN THE AFGHAN AIR FORCE. ONE OF THESE ADVISORS IS SENIOR MASTER SGT. CARMELO VEGA-MARTINEZ. MARTINEZ: I HAVE A RECRUITING TEAM ASSIGNED. THE AFGHAN AIR FORCE RECRUITING TEAM THAT WAS CREATED ABOUT SIX MONTHS AGO TO BUILD, BASICALLY, A SUSTAINABILITY INTO THE AFGHAN AIR FORCE PERSONNEL - BRINGING IN THE RIGHT PEOPLE, WITH THE RIGHT SKILLS, AT THE RIGHT TIME. I HAVE A 7-YEAR-OLD AND ... SHE'S VERY SPECIAL. SHE HAS THIS LITTLE STUFFED ANIMAL. AS I WAS MAKING MY WAY TO AFGHANISTAN - EVERY STOP, EVERYWHERE I STOPPED - I'VE TAKEN PICTURES WITH HIM. THAT'S A WAY FOR ME TO CONNECT WITH MY DAUGHTER BACK HOME. I TELL HER STORIES ABOUT IT - TO THE POINT WHERE I BROUGHT HIM HERE, TO THIS CLASS ROOM AND I GOT A COUPLE OF PICTURES WITH OBI. HANSEN: SGT. VEGA MET OBI DURING A VOLUNTEER ENGLISH CLASS. OBI IS A 22-YEAR-OLD AFGHAN PILOT. AND THEIR CONNECTION STARTED WHEN HE CAME TO THE CLASSROOM WITH A REQUEST ... AND A STORY. ONE DARK NIGHT IN KABUL, AS OBI WAS WALKING HOME, HE CAME ACROSS A GROUP OF PEOPLE BURNING AMERICAN LITERATURE. ALTHOUGH INTERVENING WAS DANGEROUS, THE YOUNG PILOT STEPPED IN. OBI: HE SAID THAT "IF YOU RESPECT THE AMERICAN'S BOOK, AMERICAN'S FOLLOW THIS BOOK, IT IS NOT GOOD." I SAID "NO. WE RESEPCT THEM." BECAUSE OF THIS I SAID "GIVE THIS TO ME" AND HE STARTED ALSO SOME FIGHT TO ME. NOT THAT MUCH - TO HIT ME OR PUNCH ME. BUT I HAVE THAT AND I ESCAPED FROM THAT AREA. HANSEN: THE NEXT WEEK OBI BROUGHT THE BOOK TO SGT. VEGA. VEGA: THAT'S WHEN THAT SPECIAL CONNECTION CAME INTO PLAY. AND I THOUGHT - YOU KNOW OUT OF EVERYBODY HE INTERACTS WITH HE CHOSE ME, HE CAME TO ME. HE COULDN'T HAVE PUT IT IN A BETTER WAY - HE SAID "WE MAY BE, WE MAY HAVE DIFFERENT RELIGIONS BUT WE'RE ALL BROTHERS. WE'RE ALL CONNECTED IN A WAY." AND THAT TELLS ME THAT WHAT WE HAVE DONE HERE, WHAT WE HAVE INVESTED HERE - FOR YEARS - WORKING WITH THE AFGHAN PEOPLE - THEY SEE IT. YOU KNOW? THEY SEE THE VALUE OF IT. AND THEY KNOW WE'RE HERE TO HELP AND THAT WE WANT THEIR COUNTRY TO SUCCEED. HANSEN: THE STORY BETWEEN OBI AND SGT. VEGA SYMBOLIZES A DEEPER IMPACT. THE ADVISORS' MENTORSHIP ROLE CARRIES FURTHER THAN JUST THE CLASSROOM OR THE FLIGHTLINE. IT SPREADS THROUGH THE AFGHAN PEOPLE. ADVISING THE AIR FORCE TO BUILD A SUSTAINING FORCE IS A TOP PRIORITY OF THIS WING. BUT IT'S ALSO ABOUT THESE PEOPLE WHO MENTOR, LEARN, AND HELP ONE ANOTHER ON A DAILY BASIS - BUILDING CONFIDENCE IN THE AFGHAN PEOPLE'S HEARTS AND IN THEIR AIR FORCE. SENIOR AIRMAN BRANDI HANSEN, KABUL, AFGHANISTAN. WHEN YOU'RE AN AIR FORCE FIRST SERGEANT - SAFETY AND RISK MANAGEMENT ARE ESSENTIAL TOOLS YOU WANT ALL OF YOUR AIRMEN TO USE TO ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION. BUT AT NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NEVADA, ONE FIRST SERGEANT AND HER FAMILY GAUGE RISK WITH BECOMING FASTER AND STRONGER. STAFF SERGEANT CHRIS PYLES HAS MORE. MASTER SGT. CRISTY ANDERSON: DECISIONS WE MAKE NOW COULD AFFECT SOMEONE LONG-TERM CAREER AND EVEN THE AIR FORCE CAREER AND THEIR LIFE AND ALL THE THINGS THAT PLAYED UP TO THAT MOMENT; IT HAD TO BE SAFE FOR THE MEMBER, THE UNIT, AND FOR THE AIR FORCE AT ALL TIMES. WE'RE NOT JUST AFFECTING OURSELVES. WE'RE AFFECTING MANY PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES." PYLES: FIRST SERGEANT CRISTY ANDERSON TENDS TO THINK OF HER AIRMEN AS HER OWN CHILDREN. CRISTY ANDERSON: I HAVE TO… I THINK OF THEM AS… I MEAN I'M OLD ENOUGH TO BE THEIR MOTHER (LAUGHS) MOST OF THEM. PYLES: LARGELY FOCUSED ON HER AIRMEN'S SAFETY, IT'S KIND OF IRONIC... SINCE HER OWN 17 YEAR OLD SON, IAN, COMPETES IN SOMETHING MOST OF OUR MOTHERS WOULDN'T EVEN DREAM OF LETTING US DO AS KIDS. AND MOST OF IAN'S FRIENDS DON'T EVEN KNOW HE DOES IT. IAN ANDERSON: I DRIVE A RACE CAR AND I'M A NATIONAL CHAMPION. YOU'RE NOT JUST GONNA WALK UP TO SOMEONE AND GO, "WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE-TIME?" "WELL, I'M A RACE CAR DRIVER!" WHO GONNA BELIEVE YOU IN THAT? IT'S NOT WHAT PEOPLE THINK IN VIDEO GAMES OR THAT YOU PASS THEM BECAUSE YOUR ENGINES SUPERCOOL OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. MY DAD TEACHES ME A LOT JUST BY SAYING THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE DOING THIS… AND, THE FACT THAT I'VE BEEN DRIVING THESE THINGS SINCE I WAS 5. THAT'S TWELVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. AND THEN I DIDN'T REALLY MATURE AS A DRIVER UNTIL LIKE TWELVE. I'VE DRIVEN GO-CARTS, AND LEGENDS CARS… BANDALEROS. YOU HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT. YOU HAVE TO TIME YOUR APEX; YOU HAVE TO HIT THE GAS IN THE RIGHT SPOT. YOU HAVE TO FIND WHERE THEY'RE SLOW SO YOU CAN BE FASTER THAN THEM. YOU CAN'T JUST WILL YOURSELF THROUGH THEM. CRISTY ANDERSON: WHEN HE GOES ON THE TRACK, I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE I'M GONNA GET SICK. I MEAN, THAT'S THE FIRST THING I TELL HIS DAD, "I FEEL LIKE I'M GONNA THROW UP." AND I GENUINELY TRULY FEEL THAT WAY. I FEEL LIKE I'M GONNA BE SICK CAUSE I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO WRECK HIM, I DON'T WANT HIM TO GO UP OVER THE WALL. I DON'T WANT ANYTHING BAD TO HAPPEN. BUT I ALSO KNOW, IT'S WHO HE IS. IAN ANDERSON: THERE IS NOTHING TO COMPARE IT TO. IT'S A SPORT ON ITS OWN. I JUST WANT TO BEST MYSELF. IT'S ALL ABOUT BEING BETTER THAN THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY. PYLES: MOTHERS CAN BE FORGIVING; WALLS ARE QUITE THE OPPOSITE. CRISTY ANDERSON: THERE HAS BEEN A MOMENT WHEN WE DIDN'T KNOW SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH THE CAR THAT WE LET HIM GO ON THE TRACK AND IT PROBABLY WASN'T THE SAFEST THING TO DO BUT WE JUST DIDN'T KNOW. AND YOU'RE GOING OVER 100 MPH AND SOMETHING GIVES OUT… THAT'S NOT VERY SAFE. SO OCCASIONALLY THINGS SLIP BY. IT'S HUMAN NATURE. WE'RE NOT PERFECT. PYLES: FOR IAN, RACING IN THE THUNDER ROADSTER CLASS ISN'T FOR FAME OR FORTUNE. IT'S FOR THE SPORTSMANSHIP. THIS YEAR IAN EARNED THE TITLE OF THUNDER CAR NATIONAL OVAL CHAMPION. AND THAT'S JUST SO FAR THIS YEAR... WITH ALL OF THOSE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, IAN STILL REMAINS A HUMBLE TEEN AND CHALKS THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE UP AS FAMILY TIME. IAN ANDERSON: IT'S THE MOMENTS THAT YOU GET THE TROPHIES MORE THAN THE TROPHIES. THE TROPHIES JUST REMIND YOU OF THE MOMENTS. I THINK THAT I GET TO KNOW MY PARENTS MORE BECAUSE OF THIS RACING. BECAUSE A LOT OF TIMES FAMILIES CAN'T CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER AND THIS IS SOMETHING WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE WITH. WE ALL HELP AS A FAMILY, BECAUSE IF WE DIDN'T I WOULD NOT BE THIS SUCCESSFUL AT ALL. PYLES: DON'T EXPECT TO SEE IAN ANDERSON SHOW UP ON THE NASCAR CIRCUIT, OR EVEN IN THE AIR FORCE FOR THAT MATTER. HE HAS HIS MIND MADE UP. IAN ANDERSON: COLLEGE. I'M GONNA DO SOMETHING IN BUSINESS, THAT'S WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE. I MEAN, I MIGHT DO THIS IN MY SPARE TIME. I MIGHT NOT. IT'S FUN BUT IT'S NOT WHO I AM. IT'S NOT LIKE EVERYTHING THAT MAKES ME. CRISTY ANDERSON: IAN WOULD SAY I SHIRT HIM A LOT. WHICH I DON'T THINK THAT'S NECESSARILY A BAD THING. I WANT HIM TO BE SUCCESSFUL THE SAME WAY I WOULD GO OUT THERE AND WANT ALL MY AIRMEN TO BE SUCCESSFUL. YOU JUST HAVE TO HOPE YOU ARE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN AS A PARENT AND SUPPORT THEM IN WHATEVER IT IS THAT THEY LOVE; EVEN THOUGH IT SOMETIMES MAKES ME ILL. PYLES: REPORTING FROM NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, NEVADA. I'M STAFF SERGEANT CHRIS PYLES. THAT DOES IT FOR THIS EDITION OF TODAY'S AIR FORCE. FOR ALL OF US HERE AT DEFENSE MEDIA ACTIVITY AT FORT MEADE, MARYLAND, I'M STAFF SERGEANT SHAUN HOSTUTLER. THANKS FOR WATCHING. Available in High Definition.


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This work, Today's Air Force: 21 March 2014, by SSgt Michael Brady, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:03.21.2014

Date Posted:03.21.2014 2:43PM

Category:Newscasts

Video ID:324044

VIRIN:140321-F-SR967-001

Filename:DOD_101189127

Length:00:28:54

Location:FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MD, USGlobe

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