Cargo flight to Saint Croix – enlisted leader, spouse find new assignment

Sassy, a Yorkshire Terrier, awaits a flight out of Savannah Air National Guard Base to St. Croix, Sept. 24, 2017, along with three other pets. (U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith) 

SAVANNAH AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Ga. – The National Guard hit the ground running this week to bring disaster response to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but getting off to a quick start is an understatement for Batina “Blue” Wesson and her husband, Army Sgt. Maj. Derwin Wesson.

Sergeant Major Wesson is the incoming U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard Command Sergeant Major. Hurricane Maria hit before he could arrive to take the position as the senior noncommissioned officer for all enlisted Soldiers.

“We’re going in with boots on the ground and get in,” said Blue.

She sat outside the door of an Air National Guard airlift hub and contingency processing center Sept. 24 at Savannah Air National Guard Base in Georgia. The sergeant major checked on their flight to Saint Croix. Accompanying her were their pets, Zoo, a Bengal cat, as well as three dogs – Sassy and Pinky Winky – both Yorkshire Terriers – and Mr. Biggie – a Miniature Pinscher.

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Airport name honors Guard general’s son, who enlisted into Great War 100 years ago

(Image: A Curtiss H-16 patrol seaplane on a reconnaissance flight from U.S. Naval Air Station, Killingholm, England, Nov. 06, 1918. Photo courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command.)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. – This July, 100 years ago, Charles McGhee Tyson, a Princeton University Graduate and a successful textile businessman in Knoxville, Tenn., enlisted as a seaman, second class, into the U.S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps. His service and sacrifice in the Great War would make him one of the area’s more memorialized service members.

Those who ever served at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base or flew into McGhee Tyson Airport probably know the name, but some are not aware of the man and the family behind it.

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Faculty’s formation

Faculty and staff assigned to the Air National Guard’s I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee formed ranks during a retreat ceremony with others at the Class 17-4 NCO Academy graduation May 16, 2017.

Military retreat ceremonies pay respect to the Flag when it is lowered at the end of a duty day and can include group formation, bugle call, salute and flag folding, among other traditions. TEC service members recite the Airman’s Creed at the end of their flag ceremonies.

TEC includes the Air Force’s largest enlisted professional military education center, which educates thousands of active duty, National Guard, Reserve Command and international students every year.

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

(A CH-47 Chinook from the Army Aviation Support Facility 2 lands at Whiteface Mountain Sep. 29, 2004, to lift a 19,000-pound spool of power-cable to the mountain’s summit. Photo 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.

“They should arrive soon, I called…” said Rand.

As if in reply, and barely audible, the double thump-thump sound of a CH-47 Chinook slowly emerges through the fall foliage and cold morning air. The NY Army National Guard has arrived, and although their progress grows slowly louder, the helicopter breaks the tree line suddenly and unexpected. It cuts toward the clearing, hovers above the spool, then turns toward the mountain’s peak, climbing and shrinking until it blends and disappears. But soon it returns, this time to land. Kicking up soil and debris, the wheels touch ground and the propellers start to slow, then stop altogether.

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