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April 23 – Pulse on AF force management
The latest news on Air Force force management.

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:00:00 GMT
Altus, McConnell AFBs selected to receive KC-46A Pegasus aircraft
Air Force officials announced April 23, that Altus Air Force Base, Okla., is the Air Force’s KC-46A Pegasus formal training unit and McConnell AFB, Kan., is the first active duty-led Pegasus main operating base.

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:10:44 GMT
Trial by fire, SecAF marks first 100 days in office
In late March, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James dusted off her desert boots after her first troop visit to Europe and Afghanistan. While the trip allowed her to get a feel for the global reach of the force under her command, James also celebrated a tacit career milestone, when she passed her 100th day in office March 30.


Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:56:00 GMT
Earth Day: 'Conserve Today - Secure Tomorrow'
Every April 22, Air Force installations around the world observe Earth Day by taking actions to enhance sustainability and support the Air Force's Earth Day theme of "Conserve Today - Secure Tomorrow."

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:53:00 GMT
AF wounded warriors selected for Warrior, Invictus Games
Air Force Wounded Warrior program officials announced the names of the athletes to represent the Air Force during the 2014 Warrior Games and the Invictus Games at the closing ceremony for the Air Force Trials, in Las Vegas, Nev., April 11.

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:43:00 GMT
Air Force Week in Photos
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:20:00 GMT
Air Force researchers test Google Glass for battlefield use
Researchers with the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are looking to make missions for Airmen a whole lot lighter and faster by testing Google Glass and its head-mounted optical see-through display technology, for potential battlefield use.


Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:56:00 GMT
Culture change is key to sexual assault prevention
Air Force senior leaders discuss the importance of creating environments that promote dignity and respect and how it relates to sexual assault prevention and response. Read more.


Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:01:00 GMT
SecAF: AF committed to preventing sexual assault
In observation of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James released a video charging all Airmen to join senior leaders and take action against sexual assault.

Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:45:00 GMT
AF receives top honors for Special Victims’ Counsel Program
The Air Force Special Victims’ Counsel Program received the Federal Service Award April 9 at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. The Federal Service Award honors individuals for their direct service to victims of federal crime.


Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:01:00 GMT
 
Finding light through darkness
By Senior Airman Dennis Sloan Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs Keeping a secret that defines you, that has shaped your life for nearly three years now and is sure to shape the rest, a secret that you go to sleep with every night and wake to every morning is sometimes hard to keep trapped inside. […]

By Senior Airman Dennis Sloan
Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

lightindarknessKeeping a secret that defines you, that has shaped your life for nearly three years now and is sure to shape the rest, a secret that you go to sleep with every night and wake to every morning is sometimes hard to keep trapped inside.

I could probably go my entire life without revealing the sad truth that I was raped, but to stay silent is to allow individuals who prey upon the innocent to flourish.

Exactly one day after photographing Airmen proudly marching through the streets of a city receiving joyous responses and unanimous support for their sacrifice of service to the United States of America, I was sexually assaulted by a male Airman.

That secret is one that took me nearly a year to even reveal to my mother and I have yet to reveal to the majority of my family or friends. The Airmen I serve alongside every day have no idea that I’m a victim of sexual assault - until now.

Some people may wonder why I would reveal my story in such a public forum, and the truth is I hope this story reaches a person, a son, a friend or even an Airman who has been sexually assaulted, and it allows them some peace in knowing they are not alone no matter how dark their days may seem.

In my case, I reported my assault within a matter of days because I knew if I buried the truth it would overcome me and the result would be fatal. I initially filed a restricted report, but once I gained strength and understanding of my situation I then filed an unrestricted report.

After being sexually assaulted, many victims, including myself, are very confused about the situation and blame themselves for what happened. Large amounts of alcohol, isolation and subduing played a huge factor in my sexual assault. You can imagine waking to this reality the next morning as if it were a nightmare, but this nightmare was real and would continue to play over and over again in my head for months following the assault.

Filing an unrestricted report opened me up to a world of re-victimization. The Office of Special Investigations called me within hours of filing my unrestricted report to conduct an interview. The interview consisted of me recounting my sexual assault down to the minutest detail. I understood the interview must be done to gather evidence to potentially bring the perpetrator to justice, but no matter how many people warned me of that interview I could never have been prepared.

I am not discouraging victims from filing an unrestricted report, but they shouldn’t walk in blindly. Reliving one’s experience is painful. Yet, by involving law enforcement, you just might prevent another sexual assault.

The effects of my sexual assault, filing an unrestricted report and knowing the perpetrator was still at the base I lived on started to pour into my work. Less than six months prior to my assault I was chosen by my office to sit in front of the Below the Zone board with the intent to achieve the rank of senior airman well before others because of my dedication to service and my craft. You can imagine how strange it may seem to leadership that an Airman who was considered one of the best in an office could all of a sudden change.

There was a large amount of misunderstanding between me and my office. I was not willing to reveal my situation to them and in return it left them with little knowledge of why I was not performing as well, coming in late and almost not there, in a sense, even when I was.

I struggled to find sleep every night, and even when I did, I would wake hourly from a dream relating to my sexual assault. When I would try and do my job, my mind was always replaying the incident over and over again. I became isolated and constantly worried people knew about my situation, which caused me a great deal of anxiety.

I cannot lie, I did think about suicide for some time, but it never came to that thankfully.

One day while photographing a flying squadron at my base I had what I call a moment of clarity. I spent the majority of the day photographing Airmen fixing engines, marshalling aircraft and everything in-between. It wasn’t until I returned to my dorm at night that I realized I had not thought once about my sexual assault or even the struggles in my office. I was free for a day.

That day didn’t last very long though. Once I laid my head down that night all of it came roaring back into my brain. A short amount of relief, but still it was a silence I had not heard in so long. That night, I decided if I wasn’t sure if I wanted to live, but knew I could not take my own life, that I would give myself to the one thing that silenced it all … photography.

I started slow, and when I arrived at my new base thanks to a humanitarian assignment, I still had some hurdles to overcome. But, through counseling and a steady diet of photography, I was moving forward for the first time in a long time. Even now, years after being sexually assaulted and dealing with being misunderstood, every time I raise the camera up to my right eye I feel peace, I hear nothing and see everything.

Life is definitely different for me now. When I devoted my life to photography nearly three years ago, I wasn’t quite sure what that meant and still don’t. But, photography keeps me breathing, keeps me feeling, keeps me alive. I constantly search for the light that brings silence to my pain.

Being a victim of sexual assault is not something that is easily described, but to put it into perspective, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder not only from the assault, but the prolonged exposure to a hostile environment at my base that plagues me to this day. I still struggle to find sleep, struggle to communicate with others and most of all I struggle with the idea of sharing my life with another person.

The person who raped me had no regard for how the assault would affect me. The crime he committed has little to do with passion and a lot to do with control, manipulation and taking power away from someone. Through this commentary I hope to regain some of that power and control he stripped from me and give other victims of sexual assault some as well.

Very few men report being sexually assaulted and I believe that is because they fear how society will view them, how they’ll be judged and how they even may be considered less of a man. So I ask everyone who reads this: I am a male and I was sexually assaulted — do you think less of me?

PHOTO: Senior Airman Dennis Sloan walks on the flightline in search of a photo May 5, 2013 at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. A victim of sexual assault, Sloan says his passion for photography keeps him breathing and offers solace from his otherwise painful memories. Sloan is a 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs photojournalist. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman George Goslin/Released)


Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:03:18 +0000
 
Air Force Week in Photos
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:20:00 GMT
Air Force Week in Photos
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:12:00 GMT
Air Force Week in Photos
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


Fri, 04 Apr 2014 16:59:29 GMT
Air Force Week in Photos
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:49:31 GMT
Air Force Week in Photos
This week's photos feature Airmen around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.


Fri, 21 Mar 2014 16:34:00 GMT
 
A4A to show new Airmen the Incirlik AB ropes

From every Airman's first assignment to their last, moving to a new duty station presents a whole new environment and culture to settle into. To help Airmen under the age of 26 arriving at Incirlik Air Base, the 39th Air Base Wing is getting ready to launch a new initiative named Airmen 4 Airmen May 9, 2014.

The program recognizes that newcomers know the basics of being Airmen, and now need grow and learn how to be Airmen at Incirlik AB. To achieve this goal in a way that connected with the target group, the program was developed under testing and feedback from Airmen of all age groups.
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Thu, 24 Apr 2014 08:56:26 EST
100th AMXS maintains all night long


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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:40:54 EST
100th CES maintains safety barriers


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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:41:28 EST
USAFE-AFAFRICA leadership team visits 501st CSW

The U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa leadership team visited with the 501st Combat Support Wing during a base tour April 15.

Airmen from six of the seven 501st CSW installations in the United Kingdom and Norway came together to brief the USAFE-AFAFRICA leaders and highlight the diverse and innovative nature of the wing.

"During my tour here, I saw a lot of innovation," said Gen. Frank Gorenc, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander. "People taking it upon themselves to go to their supervisor and say 'I think we can do this better, and this is what we should do to get the job done.'"
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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 11:05:14 EST
Pararescuemen preserve proficiency with patient evacuation


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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:28:21 EST
Top enlisted leader shares Afghan experience


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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 09:55:50 EST
Combined celebrations bring nations together at Incirlik

If April showers bring May flowers then Turkish and American citizens who attended the first ever joint Spring Fling and Children's Day event April 19, at Arkadash Park should be looking forward to a colorful month.

The joint Turkish air force and United States Air force event brought in attendees of multiple nationalities determined to have a good time despite the light rain that that persisted throughout the day. Organizers from both nations filled the park with foods, games and stage performances that cemented the cohesion of the previously separate celebrations.
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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:25:27 EST
 
Alcohol: More than a fun night out

After a long series of months working 12-hour shifts, they finally had a full weekend off.

Naturally, the Airmen couldn't wait to unwind from the stress of work and head downtown for a fun night of drinking.

"Drink moderately and have a plan" is likely to be the first thing Airmen heard in a safety briefing from their supervisor that afternoon before leaving work. However, what often tends to be neglected from the typical safety briefing are the negative implications of heavy alcohol-use, including social and health-related repercussions.
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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:37:15 EST
Cyber warriors brief Pacific defense capabilities to JASDF

Japan Air Self-Defense Force commanders visited the 35th Communication Squadron during a bilateral exchange at Misawa Air Base, Japan, April 22, 2014. The JASDF commanders visited different sections of the 35 CS to learn how they detect and defend the base's infrastructure from malware and malicious intent. The tour allowed a free flow of information to help strengthen the defense of the Pacific, which is a responsibility shared by the U.S. and JASDF cyber warriors.
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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:37:03 EST
Generating Airpower: Weapons bring the bang

(This article is part of a series featuring the 35th Maintenance Group on their ability to generate airpower for the 35th Fighter Wing's Wild Weasels. The 35 MXG is compiled of 22 career fields that support the mission of the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, the only SEAD wing in Pacific Air Forces.)

Loaded with radar-guided and heat-seeking missiles, bombs and a sniper targeting pod, the look of a fully loaded F-16 Fighting Falcon can be downright intimidating. But for a certain group of people here, it's an empty one that sends chills down their spine.
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Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:36:46 EST
JBER Celebrates Easter in 2014


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Tue, 22 Apr 2014 17:40:16 EST
JASDF demonstrates air defense capabilities


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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:42:26 EST
Brain injury can be treated effectively at JBER clinic

'Traumatic brain injury' has become a buzzword in the military with the Department of Defense deeming it the "signature injury of the war on terror."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a bump, blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury which disrupts the normal function of the brain.

Symptoms include headaches, sensitivity to noise or light, nausea, vision problems and dizziness, just to name a few.
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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:39:57 EST
VCO's keep 'em moving

Keeping up with maintenance of a privately owned vehicle can be time consuming and tedious. Most people are usually only concerned with a one or two cars, perhaps three, but the 673d Logistics Readiness Squadron Vehicle Management Analysis maintains more than 1,900 vehicles assigned to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, making their mission a daunting task.

The LRS established a vehicle control officer program as a liaison between VMA and units who have government-owned [GOV] or General Services Administration vehicles.
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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:31:26 EST
SERE builds partnerships one bug at a time

Airmen from the 8th Operations Support Squadron survival, evasion, resistance and escape office built partnerships between the Republic of Korea and U.S. Air Force one bug at a time. The SERE specialist demonstrated survival techniques and evaluated and provided recommendations to improve the overall course taken by ROK survival students.
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Mon, 21 Apr 2014 01:23:51 EST
Photo Essay: Pacific Thunder search & rescue

Pacific Thunder was a week-long exercise hosted by Osan Air Base featuring multiple operations from United States and RoK forces.
A particular function of the exercise was to test the U.S. and RoK's abilities in contingency situation, including search and rescue missions.
Flying aboard HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape forces practiced their capabilities during PAC Thunder.
For the exercise, a SERE Airman and simulated casualties were dropped off in a remote location, simulating an emergency environment. They then had to find a way to communicate with friendly forces, while trekking through rough terrain to an appropriate rendezvous destination.
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Sun, 20 Apr 2014 21:05:21 EST
Singer’s viewpoint: Air Force band performs at American Samoa

We piled into the blue Air Force 15 passenger van March 25, after stacking our luggage and gear in the back, partly obstructing the view through the rear window. We were on our way to the Honolulu Airport to fly to a place I knew little about.

After the six-hour plane ride, we landed in American Samoa. It was evening and the air was thick with humidity. We were herded through the customs as we felt the heat hitting us like a Mack truck. We finally arrived at our hotel, checked-in, and unloaded our gear. Tuckered out from the day's travel, I fell asleep as soon as my face hit the pillow.
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Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:58:33 EST
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