Slide background

News

15 years later, pilots reunite for Mideast flight mission

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rich Adams and 1st Lt. Ernie Carlson flew 1500 hours-worth of combat missions in an AH-64 Apache helicopter during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. Fifteen years later, now Chief Warrant Officer 5 Adams and Maj. Carlson are back in the Middle East serving with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against Daesh, and Operation Spartan Shield. They recently had an opportunity to fly a mission together again, just like old times but this time in a UH-60 Black Hawk. (photo by Chief Warrant Officer 5 Rich Adams)Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rich Adams and 1st Lt. Ernie Carlson flew 1500 hours-worth of combat missions in an AH-64 Apache helicopter during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006. Fifteen years later, now Chief Warrant Officer 5 Adams and Maj. Carlson are back in the Middle East serving with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against Daesh, and Operation Spartan Shield. They recently had an opportunity to fly a mission together again, just like old times but this time in a UH-60 Black Hawk. (photo by Chief Warrant Officer 5 Rich Adams)

By Capt. Travis Mueller 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade

CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rich Adams and 1st Lt. Ernie Carlson flew 1,500 hours of combat missions in an AH-64 Apache helicopter during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2006.

Fifteen years later, now Chief Warrant Officer 5 Adams and Maj. Carlson are back in the Middle East serving with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the fight against Daesh, and Operation Spartan Shield.

They recently flew a mission together again, just like old times but this time in a UH-60 Black Hawk.

Continue Reading

600 Soldiers deploy in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa

U.S. Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment and H Company, 186th Brigade Support Battalion, leave for Fort Bliss, Texas, on March 10, 2021. At Fort Bliss, Soldiers will conduct mobilization training in preparation for their mission in Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa. (Staff Sgt. Katie Grandori)U.S. Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 102nd Infantry Regiment and H Company, 186th Brigade Support Battalion, leave for Fort Bliss, Texas, on March 10, 2021. At Fort Bliss, Soldiers will conduct mobilization training in preparation for their mission in Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa. (Staff Sgt. Katie Grandori)

EAST GRANBY, Conn. – Nearly 600 Soldiers assigned to the Connecticut National Guard’s 1-102nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) departed Bradley Air National Guard Base for Fort Bliss, Texas to begin mobilization training March 10, 2021.

The regiment is deploying in conjunction with other units under the 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team umbrella in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.

The 102nd will be trained and equipped to accomplish a wide-range of missions throughout the U.S. Africa Command area of responsibility, but its primary objective is to provide security for the various forward operating bases that the Department of Defense maintains to build partnerships with host nations and improve safety and stability in the region.

“The most important mission in any military operation is security and that’s what we’re doing,” said Lt. Col. Frank Tantillo, commander of the 102nd. “We’re going to secure key pieces of terrain in multiple countries on the continent of Africa. With that, we’ll be working with our partner nations, in those countries, to build capacity and relationships.”

Continue Reading

North Carolina, February 26, 2021

SOT stocks another pallet of requested care goods items at the North Carolina distribution center which supplies deploying units who pickup to stock their deployment CONEXs.

SOT stocks another pallet of requested care goods items at the North Carolina distribution center which supplies deploying units who pickup to stock their deployment CONEXs.

U.S. Naval Forces and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces Conduct Bilateral Mine Warfare Exercise

210203-N-ER806-1241ISE BAY, Japan (Feb. 3, 2021)Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 3rd Class Benjamin Loell, deployed with Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Company 1-1, attaches explosives to a training mine during Mine Warfare Exercise (MINEX) 1JA 2021. MINEX 1JA is part of an annual series of exercises between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force designed to increase proficiency in mine countermeasure operations. During the nine-day exercise, participants conduct unit-level mine warfare tactics to include mine hunting, detection, and prosecution. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nick Bauer)210203-N-ER806-1241ISE BAY, Japan (Feb. 3, 2021)Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 3rd Class Benjamin Loell, deployed with Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Company 1-1, attaches explosives to a training mine during Mine Warfare Exercise (MINEX) 1JA 2021. MINEX 1JA is part of an annual series of exercises between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force designed to increase proficiency in mine countermeasure operations. During the nine-day exercise, participants conduct unit-level mine warfare tactics to include mine hunting, detection, and prosecution. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nick Bauer)

The U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), began Mine Warfare Exercise (MIWEX) 1JA 2021 off the coast of southwestern Japan, Jan. 28

MIWEX 1JA is part of an annual series of exercises between the U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) designed to increase proficiency in mine countermeasure operations between the two forces.

Capt. Derek Brady, the commodore of Mine Countermeasures Squadron Seven, always looks forward to working with the JMSDF. “While it is always good any time we are able to practice interoperability with our allies, the true benefit of this exercise is the opportunity to employ new techniques and equipment like the Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures (ExMCM) Company, alongside more traditional methods,” he said. “The experience gained helps us better map the future for mine warfare in the Pacific.”

During the nine-day exercise, participants work together to clear a route for ships through a simulated minefield using unit-level mine warfare tactics to include mine hunting, detection, and neutralization.

Continue Reading

Desert Storm veteran influences daughter’s call to service

 Former U.S. Marine Larry Shanes poses for a family photo in the family home in North Carolina, Dec. 28, 2020. The Shanes family enjoyed a few last minute holiday festivities before sending daughter, A1C Chloe Shanes, back to Joint Base Langley-Eustis. (Left to right: Nathan Shanes, Chloe Shanes, Amy Shanes, Cooper Shanes, and Larry Shanes). (Courtesy Photo)Former U.S. Marine Larry Shanes poses for a family photo in the family home in North Carolina, Dec. 28, 2020. The Shanes family enjoyed a few last minute holiday festivities before sending daughter, A1C Chloe Shanes, back to Joint Base Langley-Eustis. (Left to right: Nathan Shanes, Chloe Shanes, Amy Shanes, Cooper Shanes, and Larry Shanes). (Courtesy Photo)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (AFNS) --  As I sit in my freshly furnished apartment in Hampton, Virginia, I think back on my first year of being in the U.S. Air Force asking myself, why am I here?

The 30th anniversary of Desert Storm was Jan. 17, 2021, and I have come to the quick realization that my biggest motivation for joining the military in the first place was my father, former Staff Sgt. Larry Shanes of the U.S. Marines.

I always wondered what motivated and pushed him to join the military, but the one question I constantly ask myself is, “Who was Larry Shanes before he was ‘Dad’?”

He served in the early 1990s during the Gulf War, but more specifically Desert Storm. I realized I didn’t know much about my father’s job.

My father was not adamantly driven to join the Marines, so he had to evaluate his options.

“I was talking to both Air Force and Marine recruiters at the same time, and the Marines could get me out of town sooner — he had a better job for me — the avionics guaranteed contract because of my ASVAB scores,” my father said. “The Air Force guy had me fixing helicopters, which I didn’t want to do, but it was the only job they could guarantee me. Plus, I was leaning towards the Marines anyway just because I wanted to be the best.”

He would go onto working in avionics, which was called aviation electronics — anything with a wire going to it on the OV10-Bronco as part of the Fixed Wing Marine Observation 1 (VMO-1) unit. Unbeknownst to him, his new unit would play an important role in Desert Storm

The forward-air-control plane was responsible for flying around the battlefield with a ground officer in the back, communicating with the troops and directing fire and troop movements.

Continue Reading

Australia native joins National Guard, becomes dedicated flight paramedic

Sgt. Abraham Boxx, a critical care flight paramedic with the 1st Battalion, 168th General Support Aviation Battalion, Washington Army National Guard, rides in a UH-60 Black Hawk during a medical evacuation drill at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo on Jan. 2, 2021. Boxx moved to the U.S. from Australia to become certified as a flight paramedic in 2016 and later joined the Washington Army National Guard.Sgt. Abraham Boxx, a critical care flight paramedic with the 1st Battalion, 168th General Support Aviation Battalion, Washington Army National Guard, rides in a UH-60 Black Hawk during a medical evacuation drill at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo on Jan. 2, 2021. Boxx moved to the U.S. from Australia to become certified as a flight paramedic in 2016 and later joined the Washington Army National Guard.

CAMP BONDSTEEL, Kosovo – The sound of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter rotors thrummed overhead as strong winds rocked the aircraft. On the ground, Sgt. Abraham Boxx, a critical care flight paramedic with the 1st Battalion, 168th General Support Aviation Battalion, Washington Army National Guard, prepared Soldiers for personnel evacuation during dynamic hoist training at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo, on Jan. 2, 2021. Over the noise, Boxx remained calm and gave clear instructions to the simulated evacuees. Moments later, the crew chief started an electric winch on the aircraft, lifting the Soldiers into the air.

Boxx is deployed with Regional Command-East, Kosovo Force 28, in support of Operation Joint Guardian. KFOR is a NATO-led, multinational organization tasked with maintaining peace and stability in Kosovo. Boxx said treating patients in the air is the pinnacle achievement of his emergency medical services career.

But the road leading him to a career in the skies began long before he joined the National Guard. When Boxx was a child growing up in Mudgee, New South Wales, Australia, his family suffered a medical emergency. The medical personnel who responded made a lasting impression on him.

Continue Reading

WANT TO RECEIVE CURRENT NEWS AND STORIES DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX? SIGN UP!

* Service members, please provide a non .mil address. Thank you.