Eartheditor

News and commentary by a National Guardsman

Vigilant Guard managers put the KaBOOM in terrorism exercises — July 18, 2019

Vigilant Guard managers put the KaBOOM in terrorism exercises

Here’s another flashback article, in Guam in 2008, at a national disaster exercise. What I remember was that it was not on my list of news coverage, but I could not pass up these guys filling balloons with explosive gas. They were happy to tell me what they were up to but did tell me I had to stay back quite away with my camera and flash (afraid it would trigger something). I was happy to comply, and a bit nervous myself. That’s where I came up with the clever “KaBoom!” lead. I also had to hold off on publishing, until the after the event took place, so it did not spoil the surprise for the first responders.

Eartheditor

GUAM – KaBOOM!

Exercise managers for the Vigilant Guard homeland security exercise added realism, Sept. 16, 2008, by blowing up balloons filled with explosive gas.

KaPOW!

They tested the balloons today. Tomorrow the noisemakers will prompt police swat teams to move in on a suspected fake terrorist hideout at a hotel. Along with phony blown up cars, it’s all been fabricated by the National Guard’s civilian exercise managers.

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Instruction on instruction is their function in demanding Air Guard course — July 12, 2019

Instruction on instruction is their function in demanding Air Guard course

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rachel Lewis led off a two-hour lesson July 9 on methods of instruction during the Instructor Certification Program at the Air National Guard’s primary education center located on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in East Tennessee.

“Our students put in a lot of hard work,” Sergeant Lewis said. “I love seeing the progression of those with or without training experience who learn that instructing is a whole different thing.”

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Why we should sing a loud service song — July 10, 2019

Why we should sing a loud service song

The playing of The U.S. Air Force song is one of the few moments we have to sing out with gusto for the service. In basic training, we sang loud in cadence, not only to keep in step but with a feeling of teamwork that the Airman next to us bellowed out “Mama, Mama, Can’t You See” or “Everywhere We Go.” A squeaky or off-key voice was of little attention. The mindset was to build confidence, so the louder we sounded off in rhythm, the better the formation looked.

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Campus billeting office construction shows progress — June 24, 2019

Campus billeting office construction shows progress

Construction of the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center’s new billeting office continued this week, with visible progress seen in some vertical steel structure raised, some initial concrete block laid, and from other work at the building site located on the eastern edge of the campus on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base near Knoxville, Tennessee.

Base Civil Engineer Squadron officials said last fall that an adequately designed billeting office under Air Force standards is required to provide customer service to all personnel attending enlisted professional military education in-residence training programs, professional continuing education, and base unit training assemblies.

Construction cost is about $1.39 million.

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Leadership students see the finish line — June 21, 2019
National Guard generals call all ranks to involvement in force’s strategy — June 18, 2019
Air Guard training and education center welcomes new commander — May 31, 2019

Air Guard training and education center welcomes new commander

LOUISVILLE, Tenn. — U.S. Air Force Col. Kenneth Lozano took command of the Air National Guard’s training and education center on McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base here as Airmen, family, and friends in attendance, and via live broadcast, watched and applauded May 31.

“We are extremely blessed in coming to this organization,” Colonel Lozano said about his family arriving for their new assignment. Continue reading

Airmen raise 54 flags for special events —

Airmen raise 54 flags for special events

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center campus operations office raised the nation’s state flags along Briscoe Drive here in East Tennessee this morning, May 30, 2019, in preparations for an Airman Leadership School graduation and a change-of-command ceremony.

Campus operations raise the flags for special events. They fold and store the flags on regular duty days, which helps increase their longevity. Continue reading

New York Army aircrew lifts 19,000-pound cable spool to mountain — May 21, 2019

New York Army aircrew lifts 19,000-pound cable spool to mountain

Looking back on this article I wrote 14 years ago (Wow!) – it was such a fun assignment, not to mention I got to meet Jay Rand, Olympic ski jumper who was such a nice guy. I genuinely miss these regular field assignments with New York’s Joint Force Headquarters and going across the state with its Soldiers and Airmen.

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By Staff Sgt. Mike R. Smith, Guard Times Staff

LAKE PLACID, NY – Whiteface Mountain manager, Jay Rand, stands in a clearing at the base of Whiteface Mountain on a September morning looking with anticipation towards the eastern Adirondack skyline. Directly aside Rand is a ten-ton spool of cable so thick in diameter, and you could not wrap both hands around it. Roughly eight miles away and 3000 feet above him is the summit of Whiteface.

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Base’s softball game a home run for camaraderie — May 20, 2019

Base’s softball game a home run for camaraderie

ALCOA, Tenn. — Airmen and their families from the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center and the Tennessee National Guard’s 134th Air Refueling Wing joined for a unit Vs. unit softball game Friday, May 17, at Springbrook Park in Alcoa, Tennessee.

“This is an opportunity to team build a bit, which does not happen enough,” U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Juan P. Castro, assigned to the education center, said.

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