Wednesday 20, February 2019

Langley crier spring2018 icon
The Langley Crier
Spring 2018

"Spring Chapter Meeting Highlights"


Meeting2 imageAFA Langley Chapter kicked of the year at our January meeting with keynote speaker Colonel Jason Hinds, 1st Fighter Wing (1FW) Commander. Col Hinds reflected on the Wing’s rich heritage and track record as well as its current operations tempo and readiness to fulfill the Nation’s Air Dominance needs.

During his presentation, Col Hinds recognized the 1FW’s recent centennial celebration and historical 1FW fighter aces / Medal of Honor recipients Edward Vernon Rickenbacker (WWI) and 2nd Lt. Frank Luke (WWII). The Wing’s Airmen continue to live up to the legacy of all 1FW Airmen that came before them. This is demonstrated by a long legacy of "First to the Fight” events; the first to cross the Atlantic ocean, first to receive F-15s, first to receive F-22s, first to take the F-22s to combat operations and first to employ the small diameter bomb in combat (F-22).

Col Hinds stated that the 1FW continues to provide the highest levels of service and commitment. Steady and demanding operations tempo and readiness remain intense as the 1FW and 192 FW work together to accomplish the mission. Readiness is key for all Airmen, whether pilots, maintainers, intel professionals or mission planners to prepare the Wing for high-end fights with increasingly more capable adversaries.

Meeting1 imageDuring the February Chapter Meeting, AFA Langley was honored with two guest speakers. Our first speaker, Purple Heart recipient SMSgt Angela Blue, call sign "Witch Doctor", recounted her June 2011 deployment to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Sweeney in Shinkai District, Afghanistan, as an aeromedical technician for Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul. Sergeant Blue's vehicle struck an IED. She sustained combat-related injuries and was medically evacuated. Sergeant Blue was awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal for her actions while under enemy fire and a Purple Heart for her injuries during combat. Additionally she was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Combat Action Badge, and Army Combat Medical Badge for her actions while deployed. Currently six Purple Heart recipients are stationed at JB Langley-Eustis. If you get an opportunity to attend a speaking engagement presented by one of these recipients, we strongly encourage it. Additionally, you can support the Wounded Airman fund through many events in our local area throughout the year. For additional info contact SMSgt Chwalik, Langley AFA's VP, Wounded Airmen at www.LangleyAFA.org/ContactUs.

Our second speaker at the February meeting was Lt. Gen. John N.T. "Jack" Shanahan, Director, Defense Intelligence (Warfighter Support). The DDI (WS) ensures combatant commands have the intelligence policy, processes and resources they need to plan and conduct successful operations and campaigns. As lifetime member of AFA since 1985, Lt Gen Shanahan emphasized the importance of AFA's role, its relationship with the "Hill" and the significance of AFA National Symposiums as well as the efforts of local Chapters. He encouraged attendees to join the AFA organization and become actively engaged in their local chapter.

Lt Gen Shanahan discussed the National Defense Strategy relative to the US Air Force. The USAF has had continued success for many years, however he cautioned the audience not to take this success forMeeting3 imagegranted. In support of Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, he discussed current challenges to U.S. security; the roles military force will play in protecting against those challenges, and the priorities for spending and activity to strengthen the enterprise. Echoing SecDef Mattis, Shanahan stressed that the USAF needs to be preparing for the fight - "COMPETE, DETER, AND WIN". All precautions will be taken to avoid a war, but the USAF must be prepared if it is warranted. Equally critical is a strong, cohesive partnership between the USAF Chief of Staff and Secretary of Defense. The two must be aligned to send a message that we are one united Force - we are one team. Lt Gen Shanahan believes Secretary of the Air Force Wilson and SecDef Mattis are demonstrating this message.

Three lines of effort must be accomplished in order to be prepared for the fight:
  • Build a more lethal force
  • Strengthen alliances and attract new partnerships
  • Reform the way USAF does business - FASTER!
Lt Gen Shanahan spoke about the game changers. The U.S. is losing its technological edge compared to China and Russia, this could undermine our ability to deter aggression and coercion in key strategic regions. Significant documentation since the Cold War indicates China and Russia have developed into peers/ competitors and are capable adversaries. Additionally, China is investing heavily into its military and artificial intelligence capabilities. The USAF (and US military as a whole) needs to change the pace to, at a minimum match, but more specifically, surpass our adversaries. Revolutionary capabilities will need to be fielded, for example artificial intelligence. US must relentlessly pursue innovative solutions.

Lt Gen Shanahan expanded on what he feels needs to change in order to achieve the three lines of effort. Maintaining the department's technological advantage will require changes to industry's culture, investment sources and protection across the national security innovation base. The current organization structures, planning, budgeting and acquisition process lack agility. We need to expand the competitive space through a more lethal, rapidly innovating Joint Force and Defense Enterprises. Prototyping and experimentation should be utilized prior to defining requirements. And, finally, we must reduce the time it takes to field military capabilities.

Colonel Jonathan C. Rice, IV, Commander of the 363rd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing joined our March Chapter Meeting as guest speaker. Col Rice is responsible for personnel conducting all-source intelligence analysis, targeting operations, and special operations ISR. The 363rd ISR Wing headquartered at JBLE.

"We solve problems. Therefore by nature, we are problem-centric” stated Col Rice. This globally focused wing has almost 1,500 active duty and 1,700 ARC Airmen stationed across 15 states, England, and Japan. Meeting5 imageThe Wing includes the 361st ISR Group, the 363rd ISR Group, and the 365th ISR Group. Each group consists of highly professional airmen, working in very high operation tempo areas using leading edge technology and sensors. Col Rice introduced ISR Airmen representing each group as well as acknowledged the strong turnout of Airmen attending the luncheon. AFA members and guests noticed a very high level of mutual respect between Airmen and Commander. Col Rice’s leadership and commitment to his Airmen is an example for future leaders.

The 363rd ISRW is the U.S. Air Force’s premier precision targeting production, special operations ISR and full-spectrum analytical unit supporting the tactical warfighter and enabling combat power in air, space and cyberspace. The wing provides operations planning & execution support to MAJCOMs, C-NAFs & theater Air and Space Operations Centers. Additionally, it provides tailored geospatial and comprehensive threat analysis products to USAF units employing airpower worldwide. 363rd ISRW organizes, trains, equips andMeeting4 imagedeploys airborne/ground tactical ISR professionals to conduct sensitive operations in response to national tasking.

Col Rice highlighted the 363rd IRSW mission and capabilities by providing detail on the mission and capabilities of each of the groups assigned to the Wing. The 361st Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance Group deploys Airborne Linguist and Tactical System Operators for Special Operations; provides Precision Geolocation, Specialized Maintenance, Logistics, Communications and Cryptologic Expertise to HQ AFSOC; and provides Adversary Tactics and Analysis products. The 363d Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance Group is heavily involved in operations in Asia and the Middle East and flew more combat sorties than the entire rest of ACC in 2017. The Group provides Target Materials, Analysis and Geospatial Intelligence Products, Cyber Assurance, and Target System Analysis Studies to users across the DoD. Lastly, the 365th Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance Group provides ISR for Realistic Exercise, Training, & Tactics Development; performs Threat to Air Operations Analysis; does AFCENT Analysis & Targeting; and, provides Intelligence Mission Data for 5th Generation Weapons Systems.



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The Langley Crier is a publication of the Langley Chapter 323 of the Air Force Association, P.O. Box 7370, Riverdale Station, Hampton, VA 23666

For Information or Questions:
contact@LangleyAFA.org
Buster Douglas: 850.218.4015 or Steven Bryan: 757.880.6540

 


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