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Warrior Games 2013: Wounded Academy grad uses Games to help recovery

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/10/2013 - 9:39am
About three years after a bullet in his head in Iraq dramatically changed the course of his life, Capt. Wes Glisson can put his sentences together again as he continues his recovery from traumatic brain injury. He's able to remember just about everything about his life except for the shooting, which he's perfectly happy to never recall.

Rehabilitation after he was shot in February 2010 came slow for Glisson. After he awoke in his hospital bed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda with his wife and fellow Air Force Academy graduate, Maj. Amy Glisson, at his side, he had to learn to talk and walk all over again.

F-35 fighter takes another step forward

US Air Force News - Thu, 05/09/2013 - 3:26pm
The Air Force took another step forward with its newest fighter jet when an advanced F-35 Lightning II landed at the service's lead training base, home to the largest fleet of F-35s worldwide.

The new stealth fighter kicks off a major training effort at the F-35 schoolhouse on an aircraft with unmatched capabilities.

The F-35 is the military's newest stealth fighter jet. Students from all military branches who are learning to fly the plane go through the schoolhouse at Eglin, including some from international services.

Warrior Games 2013: Airman gets second chance at life

US Air Force News - Thu, 05/09/2013 - 8:00am
You only live once, the saying goes. That may be true for most, but for one former jet engine mechanic that is not the case.

Former Senior Airman Darrell Fisher had been fascinated with aviation since he was a child growing up in Fayetteville, N.C.  After working in the civilian sector for a while after high school, he decided to join the Air Force to quell his curiosity about planes.

"I always wanted to know how does an airplane get off of the ground and stay in the air," Fisher said.

AF officials: Sexual assault has no place in the Air Force

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/08/2013 - 8:26pm
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A Welsh III presented the service's fiscal 2014 budget request to the Senate Armed Services Committee May 7, but much of the discussion focused on the recent sexual battery allegations involving Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the Air Force's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response branch chief.

"Both Secretary Donley and I were appalled at the deeply troubling sexual battery allegations," Welsh said. "As we have both said over and over and over again, sexual assault prevention and response efforts are critically important to us. It is unacceptable that this occurs anywhere at any time in our Air Force and we will not quit working this problem."

Warrior Games 2013: Retired Airman struggles with PTSD while in training

US Air Force News - Wed, 05/08/2013 - 8:27am
Second-year Warrior Games athlete George Stiltner recognized the look on retired Staff Sgt. Larry Franklin's face at the Air Force team's selection camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Stiltner had the same demeanor during his first year training for the Games. Now, he recognized a fellow former Airman struggling just as he was.

For more than three years, Franklin's struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder made coping with people, even family members, difficult. He was shot in the back of his head while on his third tour supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom on a quick response force mission at Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on March 21, 2007.

Warrior Games 2013: Games makes injured man feel like Airman again

US Air Force News - Tue, 05/07/2013 - 8:00am
Surrounded by his Air Force Warrior Games teammates as he trains to represent his service in archery, rifle shooting and sitting volleyball, Tech. Sgt. Axel Gaud-Torres feels like an Airman again.

Since his childhood in Puerto Rico, Gaud-Torres wanted to join the U.S. Air Force, a dream he realized when he enlisted after college in 1995.  He arrived at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., after space and missile maintenance training on his 21st birthday. But after he was injured by a car bomb while manning a checkpoint in Iraq in 2005, Gaud-Torres' feelings changed. He didn't feel he deserved to be an Airman anymore.

Warrior Games 2013: Track and field star has 'wings on her back'

US Air Force News - Mon, 05/06/2013 - 8:00am
Midway through retired Tech. Sgt. Katie Robinson's first track and field practice at the Air Force Warrior Games training camp, she pulled out a pair of butterfly wings from her workout bag and strapped them to her back. The wings were both comedy relief and symbolized a dramatic change several fellow wounded warriors noticed in her personality from her first Warrior Games last year.

"She's a little jokester, which is great because from what I understand, she was a little reserved last year," said Capt. Ben Payne, first year track coach. "But Katie doesn't have any reservations about being herself this year, either on the track or with the team. She makes it fun and goes out there and gives her all at everything she's doing competition-wise and makes everyone feel comfortable. She'll bring the butterfly wings out, and she'll bring out some laughs on the track."

Warrior Games 2013: Personal stories of adversity turned into triumph

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/03/2013 - 8:00am
Warrior Games, a spirited competition that pits wounded , ill or injured service members and veterans against their representative services continues into its fourth year as teams converge on Colorado Springs, Colo., beginning May 11.

This year, 50 Airmen or former Airmen will compete in individual and team sports that include archery, cycling, shooting, swimming, track and field, sitting volleyball and wheelchair basketball.
Over the next two weeks you'll get a close-up look at these warriors and the long road they've travelled from, in some cases death's door, to becoming some of the premier wounded athletes in the country.

Air Force Week in Photos

US Air Force News - Fri, 05/03/2013 - 12:33am
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.

View the slideshow.

Every Dollar Counts campaign to launch May 1

US Air Force News - Tue, 04/30/2013 - 5:00pm
Beginning May 1, Airmen can submit their cost-reducing ideas via the Airmen Powered by Innovation websites while at home, the office or on their smartphones.

With budgets shrinking, Air Force leaders are calling on Airmen to share their best money-saving ideas through the "Every Dollar Counts" campaign.

In the wake of sequestration, the initiative marks a cultural shift that empowers Airmen to find and recommend areas for savings that may be used to support readiness needs, said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer.

JSTARS: Connecting the dots on battlefield

US Air Force News - Tue, 04/30/2013 - 10:23am
After slipping by each other the narrow aisle of an E-8C Joint STARS aircraft, more than a dozen Airmen settle into their seats and begin to flip switches and work through checklists. Their olive-green headsets block out the roar of the jet engines and replace it with busy radio chatter as the crew prepares for the mission ahead.

Computer screens in front of them come to life, as their aircraft's radar returns a black and white image of lines, bumps and craters. Additional radar sweeps fill the screen with yellow dots. The clutters they form begin to trace the path of roads and highways.

New under secretary sworn in during Pentagon ceremony

US Air Force News - Mon, 04/29/2013 - 2:24pm
The Senate confirmed the nomination of Eric Fanning to become the next under secretary of the Air Force April 18 and he began his transition into the office after being sworn in April 29.

"On behalf of the more than 690,000 men and women of the U.S. Air Force, I want to welcome Eric to our Air Force family," said Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley. "He will be a tremendous asset to our Air Force and our leadership team. His diverse background in national security matters, coupled with this communications and congressional experience, will enable him to be a champion for our Airmen and their families during this challenging time in the Department of Defense."

SecAF announces departure

US Air Force News - Fri, 04/26/2013 - 2:26pm
Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley has announced his plan to step down June 21 as the Air Force's top civilian after serving for nearly five years.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to serve with our Air Force's great Airmen," Donley said. "Their accomplishments have been nothing short of impressive and I'm humbled to be a part of this team. The Air Force has been a way of life for so much of my career, I know it will be bittersweet to say farewell."

Donley was confirmed as the 22nd secretary of the Air Force Oct. 2, 2008. He served as the acting secretary since June of that year, as well as for seven months in 1993, making him the longest serving secretary in the history of the Air Force. He also served as the service's top financial officer from 1989 to 1993.

Air Force Week in Photos

US Air Force News - Fri, 04/26/2013 - 10:30am
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. View the slideshow.

Through Airmen's Eyes: The walk toward flight

US Air Force News - Thu, 04/25/2013 - 5:04pm
(This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

There's a saying -- "a journey begins with a single step."

For a flight engineer assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron here, even a single step seemed like a lofty goal at one time.

After Tech. Sgt. Christofer Curtis' CV-22 Osprey crashed during a mission in Afghanistan in April 2010, he was left with numerous serious injuries and uncertainty surrounding whether he would walk again.

Air Force Week in Photos Special Edition: Angel Thunder 2013

US Air Force News - Fri, 04/19/2013 - 1:55pm
This week's photos feature Airmen participating in the joint service, multinational, interagency combat search and rescue exercise, Angel Thunder.  Angel Thunder 2013 is a personnel recovery exercise designed to provide training for participants using a variety of scenarios to simulate deployment conditions and contingencies.

View the slideshow.


Senate confirms Fanning as next Air Force under secretary

US Air Force News - Fri, 04/19/2013 - 10:31am
Eric Fanning will be the next Air Force under secretary, according to a Senate confirmation vote April 18.

Fanning provided testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee Feb. 28, before the full Senate voted on his confirmation. Now the president must appoint him before he can assume his new position.

"I have been immensely proud to serve these last four years with the men and women of the Navy and the Marine Corps. I very much look forward to becoming part of the Air Force family," he said during his confirmation hearing. "It would be my honor to play a role in making sure that the best men and women our country has to offer get all the support they need in undertaking the mission of defending our country, a mission for which they freely volunteer."

Reserve, Guard leaders discuss FY14 budget

US Air Force News - Thu, 04/18/2013 - 11:26am
The top leaders from Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Reserve and National Guard were on Capitol Hill here April 17 to provide statements and answer questions regarding their FY14 budget proposals.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., the chairwoman of the full U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense, and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., the subcommittee's ranking member, led discussions and listened to testimony from Reserve and National Guard leaders.

Air Force officials announce civilian Reduction in Force

US Air Force News - Wed, 04/17/2013 - 8:08am
In a continuing effort to meet the Department of Defense funding targets in the FY12 President's Budget and re-balance the civilian workforce, approximately 60 Air Force installations will implement civilian Reduction in Force authorities effective through about Aug. 23, to assist in the placement of employees not assigned against funded positions (termed "surplus employees").

These actions started in FY12 and are not related to the current sequestration actions.

To meet the funding targets in the FY12 President's Budget, the Air Force was required to reduce more than 16,000 civilian positions. The Air Force was able to successfully reduce approximately 15,000 positions minimizing adverse impact to civilian personnel, but now needs to use RIF authorities, which will provide options to help place most of the remaining civilians on unfunded positions.

Air Superiority: Advantage over enemy skies for 60 years

US Air Force News - Mon, 04/15/2013 - 11:34am
A few months after the D-Day invasion in June 1944, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower surveyed the Normandy beaches with his son. "You'd never get away with this if you didn't have air supremacy," then 2nd Lt. John Eisenhower told his father. "Without air supremacy," the elder Eisenhower replied, "I wouldn't be here."

The United States won air superiority in Europe by 1944 and the Pacific by the fall, won it in Korea in 1950 and hasn't lost control of the skies since. No American service members on the ground have died from enemy air attacks since three were killed during the Korean War more than 60 years ago.