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Airman earns ‘Ultimate Champion’ title at Warrior Games

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:38pm
Medically retired Master Sgt. Reese Hines earned the “Ultimate Champion” title and bragging rights at the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Archers compete in first visual impairment category at Warrior Games

Mon, 06/20/2016 - 9:17am
Wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans continue to break personal records and show fans and friends amazing feats and June 17 was no different, as archers competed in the first-ever visual impairment category at the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy.

AF Week in Photos

Fri, 06/17/2016 - 4:50am
This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

Blended retirement system training now available

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 2:19pm
Online training designed to educate Airmen about the new Blended Retirement System, the Defense Department system with changes on the current military retirement system, is now available via Joint Knowledge Online course number P-US1330. The course is also available to those without a Common Access Card -- to include family members -- via an alternate website.

Goldfein testifies at CSAF confirmation hearing

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 12:43pm
The Senate Armed Services Committee held a confirmation hearing June 16 for Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein on Capitol Hill, following his presidential nomination for the position of the 21st Air Force chief of staff on April 26.

Standing tall: Amputee Airmen seek to defy odds in therapy sessions

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:53am
After a sprint around an indoor track with her prosthetic running blade, Heather Carter stopped, visibly tired. She smiled and began to sprint another lap. The medically retired senior airman once rounded the bases for the Air Force softball team until a freak accident severely injured her left leg as she raced to first base during a game in 2010. Four years and many surgeries later, she chose to have the leg amputated.

Welsh: Joint force in excellent shape, but needs resources, prioritization

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 10:29am
The joint force is in excellent shape, but leaders must pay attention to it, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III told the Defense Writers Group on June 15 in Washington, D.C.

Torch lighting, honoring Vietnam vets kicks off 2016 Warrior Games

Thu, 06/16/2016 - 7:14am
The 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games began June 15 at West Point, New York, when Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger, with help from comedian Jon Stewart, lit the official torch during the event’s opening ceremonies at the U.S. Military Academy.

AF recovers data after Automated Case Tracking System outage

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 9:32am
After aggressively leveraging all vendor and department capabilities, the Air Force made a full recovery of the Automated Case Tracking System database, the Air Force inspector general system of record for all records related to IG complaints, investigations and appeals.

BLUE: Charlie Mike to Recovery

Wed, 06/15/2016 - 7:07am
Through the fog of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic injuries, and illness, American veterans realize that the ability to regain control of their minds and bodies lies within their own hands.

No limits: Airman pushes past near death experience

Tue, 06/14/2016 - 1:01pm
Staff Sgt. Sebastiana Lopez Arellano was riding a motorcycle when an animal scurried onto the road, causing her to swerve and hit a curb. As she high-sided over her bike, the momentum catapulted her body into a tree. The impact severed her right leg. As she recovered, she found comfort in sports and fitness. A year after her crash, she competed in the Air Force Trials for wounded warriors and gained confidence by earning invitations to the Invictus and Warrior Games.

A backseat view of combat airstrikes

Mon, 06/13/2016 - 8:26am
Throughout the month of May, the air coalition has been able to strike lucrative targets including: logistics lines, command and control and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant financial resources through more than 1,800 strike sorties.

AF Week in Photos

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 9:21am
This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

Beale takes next step in energy resilience

Fri, 06/10/2016 - 8:17am
The Defense Logistics Agency and the Air Force released a request for information regarding the pursuit of energy resilience at Beale Air Force Base, California, on June 8.

Carter announces new Force of the Future initiatives

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 3:07pm
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced two new links of his Force of the Future initiative during remarks delivered at the Pentagon June 9.

Tuskegee Airman laid to rest

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 3:00pm
The Air Force paid its final respects to former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, June 8. Whitfield distinguished himself as the first U.S. military member to win Olympic gold medals while serving his country. Whitfield joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II.

Airmen Powered by Innovation projected to save over $120M

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 1:02pm
The Air Force secretary, while championing change across the service, has made the Make Every Dollar Count campaign one of her top three priorities. At the heart of the campaign is the Airmen Powered by Innovation program. <br /><br />Since 2014, API has received 6,791 ideas from Airmen. Of those submissions, 192 have been approved by Air Force leadership and have accumulated $121.3 million in projected savings. Several of the approved initiatives have allowed Airmen to concentrate on their core missions, thus saving invaluable resources beyond budget figures.<br /><br />“Harnessing Airmen’s creativity has always been vital to the Air Force’s ability to improve our enterprise,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. “Through API, we aim to capture our Airmen’s spirits by fostering their ideas with the leadership support and oversight necessary to achieve success.” <br /><br />The program, founded by retired Gen. Larry Spencer in April 2014 and now sponsored by the secretary and vice chief of staff, is intended to be an engine for innovation across the Air Force. To encourage innovation, the Air Force challenges Airmen to find new innovative ways to improve and challenge legacy processes. <br /><br />Operating under the theme “encourage innovation, empower Airmen and implement efficiencies,” API is geared toward empowering Airmen to share innovative ideas that affect cost savings, quality, productivity, cycle time, process improvement, and morale from the ground up to Air Force senior decision makers. These ideas are evaluated and potentially implemented, helping make the Air Force more efficient and effective.<br /><br />"I am continually inspired by the creativity and ingenuity of our Airmen across the total force. The technicians, the Airmen really doing the work at the base level, can make remarkable changes in processes Air Force-wide," said Gen. David L. Goldfein, the Air Force vice chief of staff. "They continue to be our most valuable resource."<br /><br />All ideas, ranging from minor process improvements to large organizational changes, contribute to the API program’s success.<br /> <br />“It’s an incredible opportunity for Airmen to make a difference in their organization,” said Maj. Kevin Etherton, the chief of secretary of the Air Force programs and initiatives. <br /><br />For example, Erik Figi, who works for the Space and Missile Systems Center History Office at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California, came up with the idea to modify the pins used to playback 16 and 35mm film for digital preservation. The film, dating back to 1954, experienced levels of degradation and shrinkage that caused the existing pins to pick at and break the perforations within the film. Figi’s idea was to modify the pins and taper them to compensate for the shrinkage in the film. The idea was adopted and the Air Force was able to avoid the cost of purchasing new equipment representing a $200,000 in projected savings. <br /><br />Another innovative idea approved through the aircraft maintenance community was submitted by Brian Grissom and Eugene Peabody from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Their submission suggested employing hardness critical items from various aircraft to supplement B-2 Spirit aircraft requirements. Understanding the B-2 and certain F-15 Eagle modules are built by Raytheon at the same time, on the same line, with the same components, all to HCI Level 1 standards, Grissom and Peabody submitted their idea to leverage F-15 stocks. Using a flowchart and visual inspection criteria to verify critical hardness standards, this process would enable the use of on-hand items to sustain the B-2. The proposed process change is projected to save $63 million.<br /><br />At the tactical level of the program is the API cell, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The API cell manages and tracks every idea from submission through evaluation and implementation. <br /><br />A common question from the field is, “I submitted my idea and it was returned as commonly received -- what does that mean?” This means the idea has already been submitted or closely resembled a previously submitted idea. In many cases, the Air Force is aware of the issue and has already taken steps to address the issue.<br /><br />“One of the ideas we’ve seen submitted by several Airmen is using solar panels to save energy,” Etherton said. “We’ve also had over 30 submissions with ideas to change format, layout, and content of the enlisted and officer performance reports.”<br /><br />Some other examples of commonly received submissions include: 21 ideas to allow females to wear “locs” style hair; 17 ideas to transition to LED light bulbs; 17 ideas to adjust computer equipment replacement cycles; and recommendations to cancel Tops in Blue because of the required manpower and associated cost.<br /><br />“I recommend using the search function on the API portal site before submitting an idea,” Etherton said. “You can do a keyword search and see if your idea or similar idea has already been evaluated. Many of the commonly received ideas have been addressed or are being reviewed at the senior Air Force levels, and, in some cases, ideas are governed by policy external to the Air Force.”<br /><br />Air Force senior leaders encourage every member to continue to submit ideas and suggest smarter ways to do business. <br /><br />"The success of money and time-saving innovations is critical to the Air Force's ability to operate in this fiscally constrained environment," James said. "Through the Airmen Powered by Innovation program, we continue to harness innovative ideas and reinvest in our Air Force's most critical assets -- our Airmen."

James on LGBT Pride Month: ‘Now is the time; let’s celebrate’

Thu, 06/09/2016 - 7:40am
This month is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. The following message by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James recognizes Airmen, other service members and civilians for their dedicated service to the nation.

Minot B-52s begin Baltops 16 flying ops

Wed, 06/08/2016 - 8:54am
A B-52H Stratofortress aircrew from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, conducted their first flying training mission in support of the multinational exercise Baltops 16 on June 7 from Royal Air Force Fairford.