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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.

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.

 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.

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.

 Two P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5), the “Mad Foxes,” joined several partner nations to kick off multinational anti-submarine warfare exercise Sea Dragon 2021, Jan. 12.

11 January 2021 - From CTF 72 Public Affairs

Two P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5), the “Mad Foxes,” joined several partner nations to kick off multinational anti-submarine warfare exercise Sea Dragon 2021, Jan. 12.

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – Two P-8 Poseidon aircraft from Patrol Squadron 5 (VP-5), the “Mad Foxes,” joined several partner nations to kick off multinational anti-submarine warfare exercise Sea Dragon 2021, Jan. 12.

The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance aircraft (MPRA) with VP-5, traveled to Andersen Air Force Base in Guam to hone their skills with members of the Royal Australian Air Force, Canadian Air Force, Indian Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Space Force 2nd Lts. Amy Coba and Elizabeth Kowal, graduates of Air University’s Officer Training School Class 20-08, recite the Space Force oath of office at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Oct. 16, 2020.Space Force 2nd Lts. Amy Coba and Elizabeth Kowal, graduates of Air University’s Officer Training School Class 20-08, recite the Space Force oath of office at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Oct. 16, 2020.

The development of the culture of the Space Force, the training Space Force personnel (now called guardians) will receive, the balance between enlisted and officer ranks in the new service, and how the force will be constituted were among the issues that Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman, the new service's first senior enlisted advisor, discussed in a recent interview.

The U.S. Space Force celebrated its first anniversary on Dec. 20. There are now roughly 2,300 uniformed members of the new force and it is projected to grow to around 6,500. Currently, there are about 100 new accessions in the service, and the remainder of the military members transferred from the Air Force. This year, the service will transfer about 3,500 more members from the Air Force and begin merging personnel from the other services into their units. There are currently 16,000 military and civilians assigned to the Space Force, and that number is expected to grow to about 20,000 in the next couple of years.

A third of the assigned force today is enlisted personnel, and typically the non-commissioned officers are the custodians of a service's traditions and culture.

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