Category: Military News and Support
By unitedweroll on Mar 6, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Blog Note: We salute Master Sgt Jennifer Glaspell on mentoring Maintainers and offer our deepest gratitude for her 30 years of service!
by Staff Sgt. Maria Bowman
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
3/5/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Many teachers spend their days mentoring students in a classroom, focusing on math, English and science. Master Sgt. Jennifer Glaspell's classroom is an airplane.
Glaspell, a 30-year veteran with the 932nd Airlift Wing (Reserve), is the only female instructor for the C-40 Engine Operator's Course at Scott Air Force Base. She has been teaching military students how to work on the engines for five years, providing them the knowledge to troubleshoot and check repairs to the engines prior to a flying operation.
"I am in charge of teaching the brand-new Airmen basic tasks," Glaspell said. "As a maintainer, we are responsible for preflight inspections, which is checking the entire aircraft to make sure it is safe to fly. We check the tires, inside and outside of the airframe, the hydraulics, instruments and the lights."
In her teaching career, she has taught around 150 students in eight different courses for the C-9C and C-40 B/C aircraft.
Glaspell said she has an impact on all Airmen and the mission that they will do after completion of their training. She is one of four C-40C engine run certifiers in the group and the primary initial engine run qualification trainer. The flying crew chiefs are required to be engine run certified in case the planes have problems anywhere in the world.
She isn't only concerned with operating an engine. As the NCOIC of the 932nd Maintenance Group Maintenance Qualification Training Program section, she teaches a variety of C-40C aircraft maintenance courses, including the 3-skill level awarding follow-on technical school for C-40B/C crew chiefs.
While some Airmen prefer working in a temperature-controlled environment, this maintenance instructor said she loves her job because it doesn't involve sitting at a desk all day.
"I love being outside and doing something physical, as opposed to sitting at a computer tracking data," Glaspell said. "We don't know what we're going to do every day. We have a routine that we do, but we don't really know, day-to-day, what it's going to be."
When she joined nearly three decades ago, the Air Force put her in the maintenance career field. According to Col. James McDonnell, 932nd Maintenance Group commander, women are out-numbered by men in the Air Force by about 4-to-1. In the 932nd MXG, the ratio of male to female maintainers is closer to 12-to-1. Even in a male-heavy career field, he says gender doesn't really play a role in performing the job well.
The 932nd MXG, currently has a total of 27 females across all Air Force Specialty Codes, 16 of which are aircraft mechanics of various specialties, including crew chiefs, propulsion technicians, Aerospace Ground Equipment mechanics and Non-Destructive Inspection technicians.
"Glaspell is a highly experienced crew chief," McDonnell said. "She takes her instructor duties seriously, and conducts herself both in the classroom and on the flight line in a highly professional manner. Excellence in one's profession is not gender-dependent; I'm fully confident she is teaching our Airmen the right way to perform maintenance tasks on our aircraft. Noncommissioned officers of her caliber are a perfect example of how we're lucky enough to be members of the world's greatest air force."
Glaspell said being a woman in her job has never been a hindrance; in fact, it has benefitted her and the mission. She said she accomplished things that her male counterparts couldn't do, including having to crawl into a small space while flying in Germany during Operation Allied Force.
"Behind the pilot's seat, there was this little, tiny door that led down into the electronic department. The pilot came back before we went into Bosnia and said, 'I need you to go down in there and put in the (IFF) identification, friend or foe code,' So, I went down there and did it. The code enables military interrogation systems to identify the aircraft as friendly. It was the one time being little was a good thing. I don't think the pilots could have fit down there."
The maintenance instructor said that regardless of being male or female, both genders bring skills or assets to the team. While someone might have more strength than another, someone else might be smaller and be able to complete tasks that no one else can accomplish.
Glaspell said, "This job really has nothing to do with male or female. Overall, realize that you are doing the same job, and so you just go do it. You will get the respect based on what you do."
New Airmen are welcomed into the Air Force family every day. Glaspell said she would advise the young women who might be considering whether to become a maintainer, to really look at themselves and decide if this career is the right fit for them, as it is for her.
"Not all women or men belong in this career field," she said. "Some people are mechanical and can understand certain things, or like working outside. If that's who you are, then this is a great career field.
"Maintainers work on every Air Force plane," Glaspell added. "Without the maintainers, the mission wouldn't be possible or planes couldn't fly. We try to teach them the foundation the best we possibly can, so they can be reliable as soon as possible."
Ref: original article and photos - http://www.amc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123402412
By unitedweroll on Mar 6, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Death on Call: Joint Terminal Attack Controllers Act as Translators
by Air Force Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera
JBER Public Affairs
3/4/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- "Kodiak, this is Scarface, in from the east."
"Scarface, this is Kodiak ... cleared hot."
Hot lead from the U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet's Vulcan 20-mm cannon strafe 200 feet away from friendly position; striking the enemy position dead on.
It's death on call - wherever and whenever needed.
But the troops on the ground can't exactly radio an F/A-18 pilot. There's a "language" barrier and an entirely different view of the battlefield.
In that gap stands the joint terminal attack controllers, a subset of the tactical air control party community. After a rigorous qualification course, they can direct combat aircraft, calling in air strikes and close-air support.
The 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron is home to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's JTACs.
"We're subject-matter experts who bring close-air support to the ground fight," said Air Force Capt. Jack Fine, the 3rd ASOS assistant brigade air liaison. "We try to integrate our air support into the ground scheme of maneuver, to provide the air-ground support when organic fire units aren't enough to win the fight."
As the sole representative of air power to the ground commander, the best way to work with other services is to know each other's capabilities and help the ground unit understand what JTAC can do.
"Regardless what uniform we wear, we want them to understand how we can contribute to the mission," Fine said.
The JTAC personnel recently returned from Exercise Cobra Gold 2014 in Thailand, where they worked hand-in-hand with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, as the brigade demonstrated their unique ability to rapidly deploy and conduct a forced-entry airborne assault.
Once on the ground, the 4-25th IBCT faced a fictional scenario in which they began taking enemy small-arms fire. The JTAC called in two Hornets to provide close-air support and eliminate the threat.
"We're a big force-multiplier," Fine said. "It's not just dropping bombs. Having that eye in the sky directly overhead, to see what else is going on around the battlefield, is what we bring to the fight. That's how we bring the joint picture."
Army doctrine and Air Force guidelines can differ radically. Part of a JTAC's job is to make those methodologies work seamlessly together.
"We're the conduit between the [Air Force and] Army, or any other supported service," said Tech. Sgt. Clayton Davis, TACP noncommissioned officer-in-charge. "We're the middlemen, communicating with guys on the ground and the guys in the air. We have to be flexible enough to operate within the Air Force constraints and the Army constraints, and find that middle ground so we can do our job and execute."
Joint basing helps with the job.
"A lot of our support is during Army exercises, so we tend to focus primarily on the Army," Davis said. "At the end of the day, we're still Air Force, but we can lean on the Army if we need something, and vice versa."
It's a team effort when the JTACS learn how their Army ground tactics work out on the battlefield.
"As a JTAC, your primary responsibility is to advise the ground commander on proper utilization of air power," Davis said. "With that comes a lot of responsibility. When you speak, you need to know what you're talking about, because you're the Air Force representative to that commander. The impact of that for a lower-ranking person is pretty substantial."
JTACs work to be "quiet professionals".
"The reason a lot of people don't know about us is because we typically don't go around talking about ourselves," Davis said. "Most importantly, we have to be approachable to outside people, and we have to say what we mean and mean what we say. We have to know what we're talking about - the worst thing we could do is say the wrong thing and lose our credibility."
Despite the need to be low-key and approachable, JTACs have a lethal job and must keep that in mind.
"We have to have an aggressive mindset," Davis said. "Our job is different, and we need a certain level of aggressiveness to be able to do what we do."
By unitedweroll on Mar 6, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Published September 06, 2005
The F-22 Raptor is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. The Raptor performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions allowing full realization of operational concepts vital to the 21st century Air Force.
The F-22, a critical component of the Global Strike Task Force, is designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation's Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft.
A combination of sensor capability, integrated avionics, situational awareness, and weapons provides first-kill opportunity against threats. The F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected. Significant advances in cockpit design and sensor fusion improve the pilot's situational awareness. In the air-to-air configuration the Raptor carries six AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders.
The F-22 has a significant capability to attack surface targets. In the air-to-ground configuration the aircraft can carry two 1,000-pound GBU-32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions internally and will use on-board avionics for navigation and weapons delivery support. In the future air-to-ground capability will be enhanced with the addition of an upgraded radar and up to eight small diameter bombs. The Raptor will also carry two AIM-120s and two AIM-9s in the air-to-ground configuration.
Advances in low-observable technologies provide significantly improved survivability and lethality against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats. The F-22 brings stealth into the day, enabling it not only to protect itself but other assets.
The F-22 engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine. The combination of sleek aerodynamic design and increased thrust allows the F-22 to cruise at supersonic airspeeds (greater than 1.5 Mach) without using afterburner -- a characteristic known as supercruise. Supercruise greatly expands the F-22 's operating envelope in both speed and range over current fighters, which must use fuel-consuming afterburner to operate at supersonic speeds.
The sophisticated F-22 aerodesign, advanced flight controls, thrust vectoring, and high thrust-to-weight ratio provide the capability to outmaneuver all current and projected aircraft. The F-22 design has been extensively tested and refined aerodynamically during the development process.
The F-22's characteristics provide a synergistic effect ensuring F-22A lethality against all advanced air threats. The combination of stealth, integrated avionics and supercruise drastically shrinks surface-to-air missile engagement envelopes and minimizes enemy capabilities to track and engage the F-22 . The combination of reduced observability and supercruise accentuates the advantage of surprise in a tactical environment.
The F-22 will have better reliability and maintainability than any fighter aircraft in history. Increased F-22 reliability and maintainability pays off in less manpower required to fix the aircraft and the ability to operate more efficiently.
The Advanced Tactical Fighter entered the Demonstration and Validation phase in 1986. The prototype aircraft (YF-22 and YF-23) both completed their first flights in late 1990. Ultimately the YF-22 was selected as best of the two and the engineering and manufacturing development effort began in 1991 with development contracts to Lockheed/Boeing (airframe) and Pratt & Whitney (engines). EMD included extensive subsystem and system testing as well as flight testing with nine aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The first EMD flight was in 1997 and at the completion of its flight test life this aircraft was used for live-fire testing.
The program received approval to enter low rate initial production in 2001. Initial operational and test evaluation by the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center was successfully completed in 2004. Based on maturity of design and other factors the program received approval for full rate production in 2005. Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command and Pacific Air Forces are the primary Air Force organizations flying the F-22. The aircraft designation was the F/A-22 for a short time before being renamed F-22A in December 2005.
Primary Function: Air dominance, multi-role fighter
Contractor: Lockheed-Martin, Boeing
Power Plant: Two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles.
Thrust: 35,000-pound class (each engine)
Wingspan: 44 feet, 6 inches (13.6 meters)
Length: 62 feet, 1 inch (18.9 meters)
Height: 16 feet, 8 inches (5.1 meters)
Weight: 43,340 pounds (19,700 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 83,500 pounds (38,000 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: Internal: 18,000 pounds (8,200 kilograms); with 2 external wing fuel tanks: 26,000 pounds (11,900 kilograms)
Payload: Same as armament air-to-air or air-to-ground loadouts; with or without 2 external wing fuel tanks.
Speed: Mach 2 class with supercruise capability
Range: More than 1,850 miles ferry range with 2 external wing fuel tanks (1,600 nautical miles)
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Armament: One M61A2 20-millimeter cannon with 480 rounds, internal side weapon bays carriage of two AIM-9 infrared (heat seeking) air-to-air missiles and internal main weapon bays carriage of six AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-air loadout) or two 1,000-pound GBU-32 JDAMs and two AIM-120 radar-guided air-to-air missiles (air-to-ground loadout)
Unit Cost: $143 million
Initial operating capability: December 2005
Inventory: Total force, 183
By unitedweroll on Mar 6, 2014 | In Military News and Support
The F-22 Raptor is the Air Force's newest fighter aircraft. Its combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability, and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability, represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities.
Get ready for the return of the raptor!
55th Wing Public Affairs
3/4/2014 - OFFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team will perform on base for the first time since 2010 as part of the Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show on July 19 - 20.
The official announcement came last week from Air Combat Command and by adding the F-22 to the previously announced Blue Angels, this year's air show has the makings to be one of the biggest in its 41-year history.
"If you were to ask any air show director what performers they'd like to have at their show, they'd say the Blue Angels and the F-22, so we've nailed it," said Maj. Brian Burger, Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show director.
The F-22 is the world's most advanced operational aircraft. During its performance, it will demonstrate precision aerial maneuvers that only a fifth-generation fighter aircraft can.
"We're pleased to have the most sought-after single ship demonstration act in the world scheduled for our show," said Col. Gregory Guillot, 55th Wing commander. "The F-22 has a unique combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability. It truly represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. We are anxious for our community to see what the Raptor can do."
"If you've never seen the F-22 live, you really need to make sure and be here for it," Burger said. "It's absolutely incredible."
With the addition of the F-22 Raptor, air show attendees will also be treated to a heritage flight, which demonstrates the proud heritage of military aviation over the past 60 years.
Burger said the full schedule is still being worked on, but he did say that his team has also confirmed appearances by Matt Younkin's Twin Beech 18, Randy Ball's MiG-17, Michael Goulian, Ace Maker Air Shows T-33 and Michael Wiskus among others.
"We're also very excited to have the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, known as the Leap Frogs, as part of our show as well," said Maj. James Lee, Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show air director. "They are comprised of Navy SEALS and will be a great way to start our show both days."
Also new to the Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show this year will be the Flight Deck. This is a pay tent that puts attendees right on the flightline, close to show center.
"Admission is still free to the event, but we wanted to offer something new to folks who are looking to get a little closer to the action, so we've introduced the Flight Deck," Burger said. "A lot of other shows have offered something similar and it's been pretty popular, so we wanted to do it here as well."
As always, the show will once again showcase multiple exhibitors that will give those in attendance unfamiliar with the United States military a deeper look at the day-to-day life of a service member.
In addition to air power, the open house will also feature a kid's zone, which will offer plenty of rides and games for children throughout the weekend.
To keep up with the latest on the air show, please visit www.offuttairshow.com.
By unitedweroll on Mar 4, 2014 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio Network Inc www.stardustradio.com
Tuesday 03/04/14 1:00pm - 4:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 03/05/14 6:00pm - 9:00pm Central (Repeat)
Welcome Stardust Listeners -
We thank you for joining us on Tuesday, March 4th of 2014.
This week we bring you four visits with deployed members which are sure to offer you some new and interesting information about their missions while away from home and other military service experiences.
The taped visits contained in this show were recorded last week (2/24-28/14) and represent our 1,225th through 1,228th interviews with deployed members. We cannot begin to express the honor we have felt while talking with each and every one of our guests. The comments we receive from our guests, family members and the unit members with whom we work are our reward and that also has been more than words can express. No profit has been received in conjunction with our interviews.
The first two of our visits this week come from Southwest Asia and "The Rock" as the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing is known. Our first guest is Staff Sergeant David G Reckling of the 386th EFSS or Expeditionary Force Support Squadron. Imagine if your grocery list, your refrigerator and your kitchen pantry were all big enough to take care of thousands of people. In a small way, this is similar to the job that SSgt Reckling does for the 386th as he orders supplies for three dining facilities and all the bottled water to be used everywhere on the base. In addition, food supplies must be kept in properly maintained refrigeration/freezers as well as on shelves. This is a huge responsibility that impacts every member of the 386th AEW. We salute and thank SSgt Reckling!
Our second guest is SrA Aaron Haga, who is also with the 386th EFSS, but in a much different area as he is involved in an administrative area called "knowledge management". Organization and detail awareness while multi-tasking are just a few of the many skills required to handle the duties that SrA Haga performs every day. Getting the mail from home out to his fellow EFSS members surely makes him popular with them! Beginning with High School ROTC to serving with the Reserve today in a country far from home, to plans for a career of serving our country, the words "Thank You" will never be big enough for all that SrA Haga is doing and will do for our country.
Our third visit of this week comes from the Transit Center at Manas in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan which is currently home to the 376th AEW and is where we catch up with Staff Sergeant Jessica F. De Casper. As a member of the 376th ESFS (Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron), SSgt De Casper is the non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of TASS or the Tactical Automated Security System. Not only will we learn about the TASS system, we will also hear much more from SSgt De Casper whose dedication and enthusiasm for her job, country and family just might set the bar higher for many of us. Like an F-16 on afterburner, SSgt De Casper's desire to go forward in her career is clear and we wish her great success.
I am sure you have all heard of NCIS as made popular through the television series, but are you familiar with the OSI? Our fourth guest for this week comes to us from the 379 AEW /the Grand Slam Wing and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations or OSI. Major/Special Agent Tai Shpak is an 11 year veteran of this unit that covers a wide variety of missions to include federal & criminal investigations, assisting commanders and providing counterintelligence services around the world. Stay tuned as Major Shpak gives us an educational and most interesting look into the world of serving with the OSI. I would be willing to bet many of you will do as I did and, after hearing from Maj Shpak, you will be looking for more information on the history of this most elite service.
As always, we believe you will find our visits today to be informational, inspirational and a wonderful opportunity to meet members who are currently standing guard over our freedom. We hope that you will join us again next Tuesday, March 11h, for more new visits with members from our units.
(NOTE: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME STARTS MARCH 9, 2014)
United We Roll World Tour at Stardust Radio Network, Inc
www.stardustradio.com - click Listen Live button
Tuesday 3/04/14 1:00pm
Wednesday 3/05/14 6:00pm (repeat)
1:00pm - Introduction / Announcements
386 AEW / The Rock
Interview #1 (appr 1:10pm/6:10pm) - SSgt David G Reckling
Interview #2 (appr 1:41pm/6:41pm) - SrA Aaron Haga
376 AEW / Liberandos
Interview #3 (appr 2:10pm/7:10pm) - SSgt Jessica F De Casper
376 ESFS / Transit Center at Manas
Republic of Kyrgyzstan
379 AEW / Grand Slam Wing
Interview #4 (appr 3:01pm/8:01pm) - Maj/Special Agent Tai Shpak
AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations)
Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar
Live show on Tuesday ends at appr 4:00pm Central
Repeat show on Wednesday ends at appr 9:00pm Central
If you are not able to stay through the show on Tuesday, it will repeat on Wednesday,
March 5th 6:00pm Central. After the repeat show has been broadcast, an MP3 copy
will be posted on the Stardust Radio Network Inc Archive site at www.stardustradio.info.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MAY GOD BLESS THE USA!
Qatar and Southwest Asia are 9 hours ahead of US Central.
The Republic of Kyrgyzstan is 12 hours ahead of US Central.
To Our Military Members And Families
Who Serve To Protect Our Freedom...
To Our First Responders And Families
Who Protect Our Families & Communities…
The words Thank You will never be big enough,
for all that you do every single day!
Stardust Radio Network Inc
Supporting Our Military
Since November 11, 2001
Broadcast & MP3 Listening Instructions
How To Listen to Live Stardust Radio Broadcasts:
1) Local Area Riverside, Iowa - Tune in to 1690 AM radio
2) Listen Live From Website - Go to our website at www.stardustradio.com Click on the Listen Live button in the center of the screen which will connect you with the Live 365 listening service at no charge. You may need to click on the settings button to select whether you prefer to listen through Windows Media Player or Flash Player. You will immediately be able to listen to the broadcast at any hour of the day or night.
To Listen & Download Previous Episodes Of United We Roll World Tour Shows
Tapes are in MP3 Formats - No Streaming
1) go to http://www.stardustradio.info
2) Click on United We Roll button top left
3) Scroll down to desired show date
4) double click with LEFT mouse button on download line to listen to tape
5) click once with RIGHT mouse button on download line to download tape to your computer
6) In the box that opens, left click on SAVE TARGET AS and choose your folder on your computer where the tape will be saved
We hope you enjoy the show! Please feel free to sign our guest book on our website. Your feedback is very important to us.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance
For more news & articles on current happenings, please visit our United We Roll sites at:
Stardust Radio – www.stardustradio.com
United We Roll Blog – click World Tour blog button on United We Roll page at www.stardustradio.com
Stardust Archive Site for MP3 Copies of Shows - www.stardustradio.info
United We Roll Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/UnitedWeRoll
Twitter – www.tweeter.com/JudiBUSA
FREEDOM IS NOT FREE
Thanks To our Our Listeners
for 12 Years of Tuning In and Supporting Our Troops!
Judi & Jeff
Stardust Radio Network Inc
Start of Watch 11/11/2001
By unitedweroll on Feb 26, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Blog Note: This article should light a fire under all of us to become more educated about suicide and the signs that someone is feeling desperate enough to consider taking their life. We applaud everyone who steps up to help, rather than to think that someone else will help or that the person is really just talking about suicide for attention. We owe our very freedom to our Veterans. We can certainly afford to make time to give back to them through support for their needs here at home.
Suicide prevention rests on everyone’s shoulders
By Staff Sgt. Deante Brooks, 51st Security Forces Squadron / Published February 20, 2014
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea (AFNS) -- At approximately 5:08 p.m., Dec. 30, 2013, I was checking my Facebook messages and I noticed an alarming post from an Airman I knew, stating "F*** life, I'm tired of trying."
At that point, I began to read her previous posts. There was a lot of troubling information in them that led me to believe something was seriously bothering her.
"I would rather kill myself and be done," read one of her statuses.
After seeing that, I immediately tried to contact her via Facebook messenger, but she didn't respond. At approximately 5:15 p.m., I called her base's defense operations center to notify the desk sergeant of what I had read. I felt the signs the Airman was displaying were serious enough to require action on my part, so I requested that a patrol be sent to check on the Airman.
When security forces responded they found the Airman nearly incapacitated in her room. She had attempted suicide by taking a mixture of pills and alcohol. The Airmen was then taken to a local hospital by ambulance to receive the care that would save her life.
I have also been credited with saving this young Airman's life due to my quick response to the telltale signs of suicide ideation. I was asked to tell my story with the hope that it would encourage other supervisors and wingmen not to hesitate to take action if faced with a similar situation.
Throughout my eleven years as a security forces member I have responded to many situations where an Airman has called the law enforcement desk feeling like they want to harm themselves. I have also attended briefings and completed numerous suicide awareness training courses. The combination of these three things has made me more aware of how people act when they are thinking about committing suicide. Without the training and personal experiences on this subject I would not have acted the way I did.
I strongly encourage supervisors to get to know their Airmen so they can better recognize behavioral changes in them. When behaviors outside of the Airman's normal day-to-day routine occur this could be a sign something is not right. At this point the supervisor should ask questions to see what is going on with the Airman. By getting to know what drives your Airmen, what their hobbies are, things they like to do on their off-duty time and their family situation, you will learn how they normally behave.
If you feel your Airman needs help, know what agencies to get in contact with. If you don't know what agencies to contact, ask someone in your chain of command to assist you. When in doubt, call security forces, and they will respond immediately and get you the help you need.
The responsibility to pay attention to the signs of a distressed Airman not only belongs to the supervisor, but to everyone in the Air Force family. The responsibility also lies within ourselves to seek help when we are feeling distressed. Stepping forward to acknowledge your problems can be very stressful, but it is a sign of strength, not weakness.
(For those who find themselves in a predicament they cannot figure out on their own or find themselves in need of direction, there are several options available: Contact your supervisor, chaplain, first sergeant, mental health clinic or primary care provider.
Military Crisis Line
• If you’re a service member in crisis or know a service member who is, confidential support is available online at http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ActiveDuty.aspx, or by phone at 800-273-8255, or send a text to 838255. The service is available 24/7/365.
Military One Source
• Military One Source is a free service provided by the DOD to service members and their families to help with a broad range of concerns including money management, spouse employment and education, parenting and child care, relocation, deployment, reunion, and the particular concerns of families with special-needs members. They can also include more complex issues like relationships, stress, and grief. Services are available 24/7 online at http://www.militaryonesource.mil/ or by phone 1-800-342-9647.)