Categories
News

Guard nerve centers prove key to inaugural, national missions [repost]

This 2009 feature I wrote on the Obama inauguration gave good insight on how the National Guard coordinates with Secret Service, DHS, FEMA, the police, and other organizations to ensure public safety and security at the Capitol, during the inauguration, and at other national events. There are a lot of smart and dedicated Guard members to it, and this one will not be much different.

eartheditor

When National Guard soldiers and airmen show up for the thousands of missions they perform, they know they’re part of the right unit, in the right place, at the right moment. But, getting them to a mission does not happen by chance.

That’s partly because the joint staff at the National Guard Bureau, along with the Army and Air Guard’s readiness centers work behind the scenes with the states and territories to put the Guard’s best foot forward.

The National Guard’s support to the current presidential inauguration is no different, but its footprint is nearly four times larger than any in previous inaugurations.

View original post 1,216 more words

Categories
News

Air National Guard training and education center reviews 2020

By U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith
I.G. Brown Training and Education Center

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — Taking a look back at a jarring 2020, the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center staff said that they faced extraordinary challenges with bold ideas, innovation, and teamwork amid isolation and unfamiliarity.

Like past national crises, the COVID-19 pandemic made a demarcation line, but with an impact like no other. The year was marked by before health protection conditions and after.

TEC is now into its 10th month of the deadly virus that suspended most in-resident classes in March and pushed staff and faculty to rethink every facet of meeting, teaching, and serving in uniform.

Categories
News

Education center releases board game ahead of year in review

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — The Air National Guard’s training and education center in East Tennessee has released its year in review feature article every year for some time. Still, for this challenging 2020, it is adding a fun twist ahead of that review of accomplishments.

TEC released its Year in Review Board Game ahead of the standard writeup as the organization’s way to put a lighthearted end to a year of home isolation and COVID-19 stress.

“The game, if played widely through the holidays by our staff, families, and alumni, may help alleviate the pandemic life of monotony and social distancing as something that gathers most families to the table,” said TEC officials. “We hope that our customers and others across the services give it some play too, and learn a bit about our organization.”

You can download the 11″ x 17″ board game at www.angtec.ang.af.mil/News/Art/igphoto/2002550525/.

Categories
commentary

Commentary: Experiences step up our insight

One of the biggest things you hear around the U.S. Air Force these days is accelerating change, so you read stuff like leveraging inclusion, innovation, and diversity.

We’re talking about open-minded approaches that welcome the input of all service members.

But how do you get that insight? We may repeatedly be looking at issues and asking ourselves, “How can that person, just because they look different than me, possibly influence this mission?” Maybe it’s unanswered because we don’t take the time to appreciate personal experiences.

Categories
News

Lankford EPME center reflects on fiscal year’s adversity, agility, victories

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. — The U.S. Air Force’s enlisted professional military education center in East Tennessee looked back at the Fiscal Year 2020 this week to reflect on the adversity, innovations, and accomplishments, perhaps like no other during its 52 years.

The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center is the Air National Guard’s total force PME center that graduated thousands of students since last October, despite pandemic restrictions.

They reported 1,411 NCOA graduates and 397 Airman Leadership School graduates during the fiscal year. That involved 11 classes, including six newly designed virtual in-resident-remote EPME classes and five traditional EPME classes.

Categories
Short stories

the Dig

the Dig
a short story

They told us not to go into the DYE site during our initial briefing because it was unsafe. There were other reasons given; although, I can’t recall them. Radiation? Monsters? But after we got stranded, we wandered. Thirty minutes of snowshoeing on the hard snow seemed little distance away from the camp, still on the flat horizon. I followed Neil in a sliding tumble, up and over the bank, down to the ladder. When we stood hunched at the bottom of a snow bowl, the sudden, dim light temporarily blinded me after coming out of the bright arctic landscape. Neil snickered at the metal ladder leading up to a steel hatch as every rung except the top four sunk into the miles of solid ice below. There was no telling how far it descended. Before climbing, I took one last look at a snowy circle surrounding the raised structure and steel support columns like an oil rig on a frozen ocean. My thick boots barely fit between the rust-layered, round, metal rungs, up through the opening at shoulder height into a black hallway full of musty chilled air and snowdrifts.

Categories
News

Future cyber defenders graduate to shape total U.S. Air Force

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – U.S. Air Force students ready to cross the stage, September 22, 2020, during the U.S. Air Force Cyber Protect and Defend Course graduation ceremony held at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee. The ceremony broadcasted online and featured guest speaker Brig. Gen. Keith G. MacDonald, director of Air National Guard Operations. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – Graduating students of the U.S. Air Force Cyber Protect and Defend Course took hold of diplomas, September 22 at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base while those present and online celebrated the completion of the first class with the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center.

What they learned would undoubtedly defend the nation from cyber-attacks, officials said.

“What you are going to do is as important as in any mission that we do in the Air Force today,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Keith G. MacDonald, director of Air National Guard Operations.

The featured graduation speaker, General MacDonald, congratulated the 18 students and recognized the organizations, leaders, and people who worked together to bring the course to TEC for the Air Force. A recording of the ceremony is available online at https://vimeo.com/460674186.

Categories
News

Virtual USAF marathon runners cross the chalk in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Airmen assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee and their families cheered for each other at the Knoxville Greenway on September 19 during the full, half, 10K, 5K, and 1K race of the Virtual Air Force Marathon.

TEC’s Morale Committee sponsored the event as a means to get together outdoors safely during the pandemic and to celebrate the Air Force’s birthday.

Categories
News

Air Guard’s Lankford EPME Center graded HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in Program Management

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – The Air National Guard’s primary campus for training and education in East Tennessee recently achieved the highest grade awarded after a U.S. Air Force review of its enlisted education for total force Airmen.

The Chief Master Sergeant Paul H. Lankford Enlisted Professional Military Education Center, a division within the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, earned HIGHLY EFFECTIVE by the U.S. Air Force’s Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education in a Program Management Review.

“COVID-19 can’t stop the passion and energy of Team TEC!” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kenneth Lozano, the commander, in an email to faculty and staff.

Categories
Uncategorized

Purple Heart Hall of Honor opens [Repost]

Today being Purple Heart Day, I’m reposting my 2006 coverage of the opening of the Purple Heart Hall of Honor that November. Thank you to all those who served and suffered an injury to receive this medal, it’s one that no one wants to earn but is the most respected. It was a grand event, and the institution’s history displays are worth the trip. The site also records the stories of the medal’s recipients on-site for the national archives. This was also my first remote assignment when I started serving at the National Guard Bureau Joint Staff in DC.

eartheditor

By Tech. Sgt. Mike R. Smith, National Guard Bureau

NEW WINDSOR, N.Y. – Thousands of people, including members of the National Guard, gathered under a bright autumn sun here Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, to dedicate a lasting tribute to the nation’s recipient of the Purple Heart Medal.

Active duty, Guard and Reserve members, past and present combat veterans and their families, and political dignitaries gathered to dedicate the $6.5 million National Purple Heart Hall of Honor with patriotic speeches, historical music, tours, a ribbon cutting, and a fly-over by Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters.

View original post 801 more words