The combat effective couch commando

FRIENDSVILLE, Tenn. – “I forgot how to do homework. My back is killing me. I need to get off of this old couch.”

“Then you need to take care of that,” my wife recently told me over the phone from Missouri. “There’s no one there besides you to see it and point that out.”

“You’d think for a writer that I’d have telework down,” I replied. “I need to use a desk and a good chair. I’m too old to get by long with poor posture.”

Alright. In perspective, my aches and pains are small potatoes in this terrible pandemic. Hardship and suffering are rampant. And I was not battling the virus or at any significant risk, unlike our courageous health care workers and essential services workers. I was working from home, writing an article about how U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center are teleworking.

As it turns out, that and my hurt back all got me thinking about ergonomics. Continue reading “The combat effective couch commando”

Vigilant Guard managers put the KaBOOM in terrorism exercises [repost]

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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Video highlights Airman’s ‘interesting’ resilience

LOUISVILLE, Tenn. — A video feature that highlights an Airman’s setback and recovery from open heart surgery was published online recently by the Air National Guard’s training and education center.

“I had wanted to produce a feature video about overcoming adversity this year and found Sergeant Wither’s story compelling,” said Master Sgt. Kelly Collett, a videographer assigned to the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center in East Tennessee.

Continue reading “Video highlights Airman’s ‘interesting’ resilience”

Air National Guard chief inspired by mother

Chief Master Sgt. Paula C. Shawhan is not the type of woman to wait idly for her stars to align.

Two months out of high school, Shawhan decided to follow her mother’s military success and enlist in the Air Force Reserve. Now she’s forged 22-years’ service as a medical technician but broadened herself beyond stereotypes as well as with the Air National Guard.

“No women should ever say, ‘I can’t do that because I’m a woman,’” said Shawhan. “I take my experiences, and I find a way to apply them. That’s one of the great things someone can do for themselves and for the Air Force – don’t get pigeonholed.”

Continue reading “Air National Guard chief inspired by mother”

Airmen Train with South African military

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

PRETORIA, South Africa – Getting the opportunity to train in South Africa seems like a lifetime experience for any National Guardsman. So when South Africa, New York’s partner in the National Guard State Partnership Program, was chosen for European Command’s MEDFLAG 2004 exercise, Airmen jumped forward to participate.

Continue reading “Airmen Train with South African military”