By unitedweroll on Jun 19, 2014 | In Military News and Support
BMT quarters temporarily housing immigrant minors
By Mike Joseph, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Public Affairs / Published June 18, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- The only sounds heard inside the Hackney Training Complex at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland eight months ago were usually the commands given by military training instructors and the responses returned by trainees in Air Force Basic Military Training.
There has been silence at the Recruit Housing and Training Facility since the 321st Training Squadron relocated to Airman Training Complex No. 2 November 2013.
For the next 90-120 plus days, however, there are new reverberations within the confines of the 215,000-square foot BMT facility. The sounds are mainly the voices of 62 Spanish-speaking case managers and of the children they are trying to assist.
The former BMT facility was turned into a temporary shelter May 18 by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. The shelter is for unaccompanied Central American minors who have been caught illegally crossing into the U.S.
At HHS' request, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel directed U.S. Northern Command to provide a temporary facility at Lackland. U.S. Army North, USNORTHCOM's Army component command headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, has been coordinating the DOD support between HHS and Lackland.
A recent increase of Central American children trying to cross the border led the Department of Homeland Security to declare a level-four alert in mid-May. By declaring the highest alert condition for agencies handling children who cross illegally, it allowed Homeland Security officials to call on emergency resources from other government agencies.
During a June 5 tour of the shelter for local and national media given by HHS/ACF representatives, officials said 1,820 children ages 12 to 17 have been housed at Lackland since it opened while federal officials seek their relatives or sponsors.
Officials also said 840 children have been released to vetted family members or sponsors through June 3. The facility can house up to 1,200 children at one time.
Staffed by Baptist Child & Family Services Health and Human Services' Emergency Management Division, part of the BCFS system of health and human services non-profit organizations, children are served three meals and two snacks in the facility's dining hall.
Also within the screened, fenced-in area are soccer areas, a basketball court, arts and crafts, basic English and math classes, and religious studies. Each child at the shelter has a cot and locker, and is issued new clothes upon arrival. Laundry access for staff and children is also on site.
Ten security officers representing the Texas Department of Public Safety, San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sherriff's Office work in shifts to keep the perimeter secure and inaccessible to unauthorized personnel.
Children receive a medical screening, vaccination and treatment for lice or scabies before arriving at Lackland. They are also re-screened upon arrival and re-treated if necessary. There are 58 medical professionals who work at the shelter, including an emergency room pediatric physician and one on call.
Paramedics are stationed at each wing in the shelter and a mobile medical unit is parked right outside the shelter. The adult staffers work 12-hour shifts and the child to adult ratio is 12-to-1.
Children released to family members or sponsors are expected to appear at court proceedings. The court will decide whether the child stays in the U.S. or is eventually sent home.
By unitedweroll on Jun 18, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Our hearts and prayers are with all the families of all members who were aboard. We welcome home those who will soon be back on home soil and we continue to pray for the day when the remaining members will also be home, close to their loved ones.
DOD Recovers Remains of 17 From 1952 Aircraft Crash in Alaska
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 - The remains of 17 service members have been recovered from an aircraft that was lost in Alaska more than six decades ago, Pentagon officials announced today.
On Nov. 22, 1952, a C-124 Globemaster crashed while en route to Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, from McChord Air Force Base, Washington, with 11 crew members and 41 passengers on board. Adverse weather precluded immediate recovery attempts, officials said. In late November and early December 1952, they added, search parties were unable to locate and recover any of the service members.
On June 9, 2012, an Alaska National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew spotted aircraft wreckage and debris during a training mission over the Colony Glacier, immediately west of Mount Gannett. Three days later, another Alaska Guard team landed at the site to photograph the area and found artifacts at the site that related to the wreckage of the C-124 Globemaster.
Later that month, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and Joint Task Force team conducted a recovery operation at the site and recommended that it continue to be monitored for possible future recovery operations. In 2013, additional artifacts were visible, and JPAC conducted further recovery operations.
Defense Department scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used forensic tools and circumstantial evidence in the identification of 17 service members. The remaining personnel have yet to be recovered, officials said, and the crash site will continued to be monitored for possible future recovery.
The remains of the following service members have been recovered and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors:
Army Lt. Col. Lawrence S. Singleton; Army Pvts. James Green Jr. and Leonard A. Kittle; Marine Corps Maj. Earl J. Stearns; Navy Cmdr. Albert J. Seeboth; Air Force Cols. Noel E. Hoblit and Eugene Smith; Air Force Capt. Robert W. Turnbull; Air Force 1st Lts. Donald Sheda and William L. Turner; Air Force Tech. Sgt. Engolf W. Hagen; Air Force Staff Sgt. James H. Ray; Air Force Airman 1st Class Marion E. Hooton; Air Force Airmen 2nd Class Carroll R. Dyer, Thomas S. Lyons and Thomas C. Thigpen; and Air Force Airman 3rd Class Howard E. Martin.
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
DoD Announces Casualty Recovery
By unitedweroll on Jun 14, 2014 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
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Saturday 06/14/14 10:00am - 10:00am Sunday 06/15/14 Central
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Sunday 06/15/14 10:00am - appr 8:00am Monday
06/16/14 Central (Repeat Show Number 2)
Welcome Stardust Listeners -
We thank you for joining us on Saturday, June 14th of 2014.
Welcome to our first Saturday of our new broadcast schedule. We hope you will find this new arrangement to allow you all more time to listen to our fantastic visits with our deployed Heroes of Freedom and that you may enjoy having the ability to ask for a repeat performance of a show you have enjoyed to be played continuously on a Sunday.
As we transition into our new broadcasting time slot for United We Roll World Tour Show from Tuesday afternoons to 10am Central on Saturday mornings, we will do so by bringing you an encore presentation of our outstanding show from June 3rd. The schedule and information for that show follows below.
Next weekend (6/21-22/14), we will bring you a new show with brand new interviews from deployed members that will bring you a wealth of new information. Each of our Saturday shows will begin with a live show starting at 10am Central, then we will replay the same show until 10am on Sunday morning.
Each Sunday, we will select another one of our past shows to play in a continuous loop until appr 7am Monday morning. We invite all of you to contact us through our guest book on our website at www.stardustradio.com or on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/unitedweroll to request a show that you would like to hear in the Sunday time slot.
We hope that this new broadcast arrangement will make it easier for more family members to hear their loved ones as they speak from countries far from home. Please feel free to let us know how you feel about this new schedule as well.
For our show on Sunday 6/15, we will play an encore presentation of another wonderful show from May 27th, when we shared three interviews we taped with deployed members on Memorial Day. These guests included:
* Col Bradley T Hoagland, Vice Commander of the 386th AEW (Air Expeditionary Wing) located in Southwest Asia
* Specialist Richard Stillman, US Army Soldier and Combat Medic with 3-2 GASB in South Korea
* Sergeant Nicole Hall, a member of the Public Affairs Office with the 2CAB also
in South Korea.
For this Saturday's show, we bring three guests to visit with you. Two members are serving with units under the 386th AEW in Southwest Asia and the third is in the beautiful country of Qatar with a unit that is serving under the 379th AEW.
Coming from the 386th AEW, our first guest is Technical Sergeant Matthew Plunkett of the 386 ESFS (Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron) who has a very interesting job working with all Military Working Dog Teams (K9 and Handler) who go into or back from Afghanistan. With his own history as a Handler and Kennel Master, this is a visit that must not be missed by any dog lovers or anyone who is interested in the amazing accomplishments of these incredible K9's and their human partners. There is a lot to learn in this visit.
Coming from the 379th AEW located in Qatar, our second guest is Master Sergeant Brandon A Peterson of the 37th EAMX or Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit known as the "Tigers". As a "Specialist Flight Chief", not only does MSgt Peterson have many skills in his personal tool box, but he also mentors approximately 50 airmen on a daily basis on everything from aircraft maintenance training to personal issues and even staying healthy. This does not include the other approximate 80 airmen with whom MSgt Peterson also interacts. "We take care of them so they can take care of the mission". Very informational and inspirational visit.
Our third and final visit for this week goes back to the 386th AEW in Southwest Asia and is with yet another inspirational airman, SrA Jacob A Costello of the 5th EAMS (Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron). As a C-17 Crew Chief, SrA Costello receives the "keys" to the plane from the air crew upon landing so that any and all mechanical, electrical or other problems can be fixed and the plane returned for air duty. As you will hear, this may require repairs in a very tight time period. As you listen to SrA Costello speak, you can easily tell that it has been his goal to serve since he was a youngster.
The taped visits contained in this show take us up to our 1,275th interview with our deployed Heroes of Freedom.
We are extremely honored to bring these outstanding guests to you all. We cannot say "Thank You" enough for the service these members and their loved ones have already provided to our country and for their decisions to take on this most important job in the USA!
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386 AEW / The Rock
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386 AEW / 386 ESFS
379 AEW / Grand Slam Wing
Interview #2 (appr 10:45am) - MSgt Brandon A Peterson
379 AEW / 37 EAMX "Tigers"
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386 AEW / 5th EAMS
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By unitedweroll on Jun 10, 2014 | In Military News and Support
Blog Note: Ceremonies take place around the world between US military members and citizens of the nations where the members are stationed. The relationships and bonds that are made are just part of the foundation that is made more secure every day and from which peaceful unions grow. Perhaps some-day, the world will know more peace because of these relationships that grow with compassion and respect for each other.
B-29 Ceremony cultivates compassion, understanding
by 2nd Lt. Ashley Wright
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
6/9/2014 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Saturday was a dreary and rainy day for many at Yokota, but in Shizuoka, where the 42nd annual B-29 Memorial Ceremony was held on Sengen Hill, blue skies prevailed.
Every year, U.S. and Japanese service members hike to the Sengen Hill monuments in honor of those who lost their lives in a B-29 collision over Shizuoka City on June 19, 1945. The crash took the lives of both aircrews and resulted in the deaths of over 2,000 Japanese citizens.
Fukumatsu Ito, a Japanese farmer, came to aid of the U.S. victims-- managing to pull out two of the aircrew from the wreckage. The aircrew later died from their injuries but Ito respectfully buried them next to the Japanese citizens. He then built the Sengen Hill monuments in hopes of promoting peace between the U.S. and Japan.
"The actions of Ito-san serve as an example of the potential for compassion that exists in all of us," said Col Robert Blagg, 374th Operations Group commander. "Let us continue to strengthen the bond our two great nations share and ensure harmony and freedom for future generations."
Dr. Hiroya Sugano, who was 12-years-old on the date of the crash, was inspired by Ito's gesture of benevolence and began hosting the B-29 Memorial Ceremony in 1972. Without exception, 89-year-old Sugano makes the long trip up to the Sengen Hill monument every year to ensure the trail is in good condition before guests arrive for the ceremony.
"I am grateful to see a good relationship between the United States and Japan," Sugano said in his opening remarks. "I hope our ceremony can act as a step toward world peace."
This year's ceremony had two parts: the "Blackened Canteen Ceremony" and the "Friendship Blossom Dogwood Initiative" tree planting.
The Blackened Canteen is filled with bourbon that service members use to pour over the B-29 monument. The gesture symbolizes a final drink shared with their departed comrades.
"The Blackened Canteen is used in the ceremony as both a symbol of the horrors of war and a representation of the humanitarianism shown by Ito on the day of the B-29 crash," said Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Ronald Hays, who served as the unified commander in Hawaii during his naval career.
Hays said that during his many visits to Japan, he admired the lifestyle and culture of the Japanese people. That sentiment led to the introduction of the dogwood tree planting into the memorial ceremony this year. As a boy growing up in Louisiana, Hays was very familiar with the native Dogwood trees that populated the country landscapes.
"Just as the Japanese look forward to the cherry blossoms and ohanami each springtime, we always looked forward to the beautiful dogwood blossoms," Hays said.
100 years ago, Japan presented 3,000 cherry trees to America as a gesture of friendship and good will. In 2012, the U.S. returned that gesture by sending 3,000 dogwood trees to Japan.
"I don't know why it took us 100 years to return that gesture, but I am delighted to say that Japan is now the custodian of our dogwoods," Hays said. "We trust that when you view these trees in years to come, you will remember the act of friendship that brought them to your shores."
Ref: Original article and photos - http://www.pacaf.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123413926&source=GovD
By unitedweroll on Jun 10, 2014 | In Military News and Support
This article follows on the heels of other news reports regarding the large number of unaccompanied children from south of the USA who were being held at a border facility. You can see by this article and others that these numbers could increase substantially. More children have also been sent to Arizona and other stateside locations.
Fort Sill to House 600 Unaccompanied Alien Children
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – The Defense Department is loaning the facilities at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, to the Department of Health and Human Services to house about 600 unaccompanied alien children, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the use of Fort Sill for up to 120 days, Warren said.
“We anticipate the children will arrive at Fort Sill later this week,” he added.
This is the third DOD installation that HHS is using. Some 1,200 children are under HHS’s care at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, and Naval Base Ventura County in California.
Unaccompanied children arriving in the United States is a growing problem, Health and Human Services officials said. Department officials anticipate 60,000 of them will arrive in the country this year, up from 6,560 in fiscal year 2011. Rising levels of violence in Central America is driving most of the growth, HHS officials said.
DOD’s priority is to assist Health and Human Services in providing safe and secure temporary facilities for unaccompanied children, Warren said. “Our support is limited to the loan of vacant facilities, and this effort has no impact on DOD’s ability to conduct its primary missions,” he added.
The buildings housing the children normally serve as training barracks. They include beds, showers and office space. Health and Human Services representatives supervise the children and provide education and recreational opportunities until they can be reunited with families or placed in foster care.
Immigrant children who make the long and often dangerous journey to the U.S. alone represent some of the most vulnerable individuals who interact with the U.S. immigration system, DOD officials said.
The number of children coming on their own to the United States has grown significantly in recent years, officials said. Many are escaping abuse or persecution, others are fleeing criminal gangs and violence, some are victims of trafficking or abandonment, and others seek to reunite with their families in the United States.
Among the latest influx are growing numbers of girls and children under 12.
All told, the DOD facilities can accommodate 2,375 children.
By unitedweroll on Jun 9, 2014 | In Military News and Support
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