Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Training Expeditionary Airpower Experts
Chapel 1 rededication
All Tyndall personnel are
invited to the rededication
of Chapel 1 at 3:30 p.m.
today. The historic chapel
recently reopened after
months of renovation.
The next Heart Link is
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. to-
day at the Officers' Club.
Heart Link is an orienta-
tion offered to every Air
Force spouse to learn
more about the Air Force
mission, customs and
available resources and
services. For more infor-
mation or to make reserva-
tions, contact the Airmen
and Family Readiness
Flight at 283-4205.
Temporary library hours
Tyndall's library will
change its operating hours
temporarily starting Tuesday.
They will be closed Mon-
days, Thursdays and holi-
days. Hours ofoperation are:
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tues-
days; 11 a.m. to
6 p.m. Wednes-
days and Fridays;
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday
and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sun-
Two Airmen convicted
of cocaine use ... PAGE 5
bums ... PAGES 10 11
Military care package
ideas ... PAGE 14
Tech Sgt Edward Gyokeres
Base welcomes 19th Air Force commander
STAFF SGT. STACEY HAGA
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Maj. Gen. Irving Halter, 19th Air Force
commander, and his wife, Judy Halter,
were greeted by Team Tyndall here while
on their orientation visit Nov. 14-17.
While here, General Halter visited
the 2nd Fighter Squadron, 43rd FS and
325th Air Control Squadron, among
other facilities. Mrs. Halter visited the
325th Medical Group, Child Develop-
ment Center, Youth Center, Natural
Resources and the Combat Arms Train-
After visiting Sheppard AFB, General
Halter chose to visit Tyndall, because it is
one of the largest bases in his command
and has an advanced training program.
General Halter described Tyndall's
training mission as one of the most
advanced with the F-22 training pro-
gram and Air Battle Manager training.
He commended Tyndall on keeping a
strong training program while support-
ing the Global War on Terror.
"I have an appreciation of both the
personal and professional sacrifices
people make to be deployed," said
General Halter. "Over the course of a
year, this base has more than 400 people
deploy down range and that is a concur-
rent responsibility along with training
to send people to the fight."
General Halter and his wife have
experienced deployments, and they
want to make deployments as easy as
possible on families.
"We know what it is like to be sepa-
rated and off on long deployments. We
certainly look for signs that families are
being well taken care of and that they
are prepared for these deployments,"
he said. "Deployments are not going
to go away. This is something we will
do for awhile."
In regards to deployments and all
aspects of military life, General Halter
offered advice to young Airmen.
"Focus on the big things and your
job. The best thing you can do is come
to work ready to do your job," said
General Halter. "Have a good attitude
and work as hard as you can. If you
do, whether you stay for a short time
or a lifetime, you are going to do well
because the Air Force rewards people
who work hard and do good work."
General Halter also said it was great
"General Wolters and his team are
doing a great job," said General Halter.
"You can tell everyone here has a good
attitude and are working together."
Trst Temok Tranin
Vol. 65, No. 46
David Baptiste, the 95th Figh
er Squadron's "Pilot for a Day
operates an F-15 flight simul
tor with the help of Capt. D
Christensen, 95th FS instr
tor pilot Nov. 21. See the
story about the 14-year-
.Special day as a "Boneh
on page 18.
Brig. Gen. Tod Wolters, center, 325th Fighter Wing command-
er, gives Staff Sgt. Curtis Moore, left, a break while carving
the turkey for the Thanksgiving meal held Nov. 24 at the Berg-
Liles Dining Facility. Approximately 146 dormitory residents,
shift workers, active-duty and retired military members and
their families were served.
Can you identify this ob-
ject? If so, send an e-mail
with "Identify this" in the
Three correct entries will
be chosen at random and
drawn from a hat to de-
termine the final winner.
The prize can be claimed
at the Public Affairs of-
fice. Dan Albin, 325th Ser-
vices Squadron, correctly
guessed the "Identify
This" for Nov. 17 as a coin
Come claim your prize.
"AtAliAl Salem Air Base, Kuwait, I re-
member diving into a bunker shortly af-
ter a suspected break in the no-fly zone
STAFF SGT. LINELL McKISSICK
325th Communication Squadron
"During my deployment to
Baghdad, I remember too many
mortors and rockets in the air while
I was traveling in an aircraft."
STAFF SGT. JAMES MBRIDE
325th Communication Squadron
"While deployed to Tyndall
in 2004, I ended up talking to
Donald Rumsfield during routine
LT. COL. MICHAEL HARE
1st Air Force/Air Forces Northern
"My most memorable moment
was meeting Laura Bush overseas
while we were securing their
TECH. SGT. MIKE MELLEN
325th Security Forces Squadron
Gulf Defender Editorial Staff
Brig. Gen. Tod Wolters...........................325th FW commander
Maj. Susan A. Romano............... chief, 325th FW public affairs
Chrissy Cuttita................................ chief, internal information
Staff Sgt. Stacey Haga............................. .........editor
Airm an G lenn M oore ..............................................staff w riter
The Gulf Defender is published by the Panama City News Herald, a private firm in no
way connected with the U S Air Force, under exclusive written contract with Tyndall
Air Force Base, Fla This civilian enterprise Air Force newspaper is an authorized
publication for members of the U S military services Contents of the Gulf Defender
are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U S government, De-
partment of Defense or Department of the Air Force
The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements,
does not constitute endorsement by the DOD, the Department of the Air Force or the
Panama City News Herald of the products or services advertised
Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use
or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital
status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor of the
purchaser, user or patron
Editorial content is edited, prepared and provided by the 325th Fighter Wing
public affairs office Photographs are U S Air Force photos unless otherwise
The deadline for article submissions to the Gulf Defender is 4 p m Friday, prior
to the week of publication unless otherwise noted Articles must be typed and
double-spaced, preferably on a 3 5-inch disc Stories should be submitted di-
rectly to the public affairs office, Building 662, Room 129 or mailed to 325
FW/PAI, 445 Suwannee Ave, Tyndall AFB, FL, 32403-5425 or e-mailed to edi-
tor@tyndall af mil Public affairs staff members edit all material for accuracy,
brevity, clarity, conformity to regulations and journalistic style The delivery of
the Gulf Defender to Tyndall base housing sections is provided by the Panama
City News Herald
For more information, or to advertise in the newspaper, call (850) 747-5000
What was your most memorable
Dec. 1, 2006
Dec. 1, 2006 COMMMENARY
Armed with a smile: Making a difference without words
CAPT. KAREN KRAMER
325th Aeromedical-Dental Squadron
Recently, I was embedded with an
Army Civil Affairs unit in Afghanistan
for six months. When I arrived at the
base, the orientation briefing I received
my first week at work was filled with
ideas of how I could make a difference
with virtually no resources whatsoever.
I thought to myself, "Yeah! This
type of work is right up my alley!"
I love meeting new people in faraway
lands, absorbing their culture, getting a
taste of their lifestyle and seeing first-
hand what their daily lives entail.
I received orders to go to the city of
Kabul, meet Afghans in the health com-
munity and make some kind of positive
impact without any resources. This was
not an easy task to say the least. I knew
my deployment would be a challenge,
but it became evident that it would be-
come my greatest challenge since my
commission as a Public Health Officer.
Because of the potential threat to our
personal safety, we were required to
carry weapons with us everywhere we
went. To the military's way of think-
ing, it was a show of force to the 'bad
guys with bad intentions,' so we were
never without protection.
On one particular day, I was traveling
to the Ministry of Public Health located
next to the American Embassy, not too
far from my assigned compound to meet
with one of the top advisors within the
Ministry. Much to my surprise, the short
meeting went very well, considering
no one spoke a common language. I
attribute the success of this meeting to
one simple thing: a smile.
Before entering the meeting, I deftly
concealed my weapon and armed my-
self with the brightest smile I could
muster knowing I was going to enter a
frightening and unstable environment.
I extended my hand in friendship to
accompany my smile as I received a
warm but hesitant response.
The importance ofmy whole deploy-
ment was revealed to me in that very
My first impression to the host na-
tion was made with a smile, not a word.
In my heart, I knew my smile carried
an important message. My confidence
level increased as I observed the conta-
gious nature of my actions. I realized
I had a priceless weapon that did not
cost a dime, was not lethal, yet carried
an enormous amount of weight, and
even more importantly, provided its
own 'show of force.'
The rest of my deployment followed
suit. When I found myself in a situa-
tion where there was a language barrier,
or if the people I was treating seemed
apprehensive or somewhat afraid
(especially with the Afghan children I
had the opportunity to meet), I would
muster up a big smile and look them
square in the eyes. It's absolutely re-
markable that a smile truly speaks an
So, is there a lesson to be learned
here? Yes! Even in a combat zone,
a simple smile can become a secret
weapon one of hope, one of friend-
ship, and one that can build bridges
Sergeant's tough family love made "core values" seem easy
MASTER SGT. BRAD COON
325th Civil Engineer Squadron first sergeant
Where does time go?
It seems like only yesterday I was a little boy play-
ing in the front yard of my house in Wichita, Kan.,
watching B-52s fly overhead.
At the time, I had no idea what kind of plane
it was, but there was no doubt in my mind that I
would work on airplanes one day and make a good
living doing it. I have now surpassed 19 years in
support of our nation and will soon be eligible to
retire. I can tell you this ... I am living my child-
All of the successes I have had in my life and in
my career will be forever linked to my upbringing.
When I was a child, I did not fully understand
why my mother and father did the things they did.
I was like most children and thought I knew more
than they did and could do a lot better in deciding
what was best for me.
To this day, my parents remind me that I don't
know as much as I think I do ... my parents have
never quit guiding me. Long before I was in the Air
Force and long before I knew the service's "Core
Values," my parents enforced their own set of val-
ues. They are: image, integrity and accountability.
These are what I call the "Coon Values." I have
adopted the Core Values into my everyday life, but
my "Coon Values" are what I still rely on to guide
and ground me.
Integrity and character: Integrity and character
are what most people remember the most after initial
contact. For whatever reason, some fail to identify with
this and then wonder why they fail to advance in their
career or life. My parents put it like this: If you cheat,
steal or lie, then no one will trust you. Sounds kind
of harsh, but think about it. Would you trust anyone
who was a cheater, thief or liar? I bet not!
I was a typical kid and tried to get away with all
three. Each and every time I was caught, and my dad
made sure I understood his position on these issues.
You only have one opportunity to make a first impres-
sion, so don't let your first chance be the last.
Image: The one thing my father would not al-
low was for me or my brothers to disgrace our last
name. As an Airman, I look at the Air Force name
I represent with respect. Time Magazine has twice
named the American Soldier the Person of the Year,
once in 1950, and again in 2003.
The public may not support our political leaders,
SEE VALUES PAGE 4
BRIG. GEN. TOD WOLTERS
325th Fighter Wing commander
The Action Line is your direct line
to me. It is one way to make Tyndall a
better place to work and live.
The goal is to provide you with an
accurate, timely response. You must
leave your name, phone number or
address to receive a response.
Questions or comments of general
interest will be published in this forum.
This avenue should only be used after
coordinating problems or concerns
with supervisors, commanders, first
sergeants or facility managers.
If you're not satisfied with the re-
sponse or you are unable to resolve the
problem, call me at 283-2255.
For fraud, waste and abuse calls,
you should talk to the 325th Fighter
Wing Inspector General's Office,
Calls concerning energy abuse
should be referred to the energy hot
Below are more phone numbers
to help you resolve any issues with a
Pass and Registration 283-4191
Medical and Dental 283-7515
MPF and I.D. 283-2276
SFS Desk Sgt. 283-2254
Wing Safety 283-4231
Civil Engineer 283-4949
Civilian Personnel 283-3203
Base Information 283-1113
Thank you for helping me improve
Tyndall, and I look forward to hearing
* FROM VALUES PAGE 3
but make no mistake, they support the
military. So why must we continue to
snub the support?
Every "GI" has something that
identifies them to the local community
as a military member. It may be a hair
cut, Department of Defense sticker
on the car windshield, an out of state
license plate or the uniform we wear.
Running red lights, throwing trash
out of car windows and weaving in
and out of traffic are a few examples
of behavior that will bring attention to
you. Couple that with the above-men-
tioned items and watch how quickly
the image of our Air Force and your
name can be tarnished.
Accountability: Simply put, if
you make a mistake, own up to it. No
one has ever been raked over the coals
for making an honest mistake. What
gets people in hot water is not telling
WHEN- IN DOUBT, TALK
Y'CYO1 S E C(L__J TF 1AdA&E
the truth. Ifthere was a failure or suc-
cess in the integrity or image area. I
would be reminded for every action
comes an equal or opposite reaction.
Some find it easier to blame others
for their failures, but they take full
credit for the success. This mind-set
needs to be reversed. Own up to fail-
ures and press on.
"Coon Values" made me what I am
today, and I do not feel I could be liv-
ing my dream without the tough love
from my parents.
As the end of my career approaches,
I can not help but wonder where I
would have been if not for the love and
support of my parents. It is difficult for
me to not reference my career without
mentioning my upbringing.
Living and serving my country are
the two things I have ever done the
longest and God willing, I will continue
to do both for many more years.
IT OUT WITH
Dec. 1, 2006
Dec. 1, 2006
Two Tyndall Airmen sentenced in courts martial for cocaine use
CAPT. EZRA GLANZER
Base Legal Office
Two Airmen assigned here pled guilty to
violatingArticle 112aofthe Uniform Code
of Military Justice before a military judge
and admitted to using cocaine in June,
although their cases were unrelated.
Senior Airman William Coe, 325th
Maintenance Squadron, was convicted of
one specification of wrongful use of cocaine
Oct. 17 in a special court-martial held here.
Nov. 7, Staff Sgt. Jason Borrero, 325th
Contacting Squadron, was convicted in a
court martial of the same offense.
"Although these sentences look a lot
different, military judges look at more
than just the charges against Airmen,"
said Capt. Rosemary Gilliam, Base Le-
gal Office assistant staff judge advocate.
"They consider all the evidence in making
a sentencing determination, as opposed to
using a 'cookie cutter' approach. These
Airmen's convictions show that the ran-
dom urinalysis program makes it difficult
to get away with illegal drug use in the
After testing positive in a random
urinalysis test, Airman Coe admitted to
snorting one line of cocaine with a girl he
had met in Panama City. After reviewing
documentary evidence and hearing argu-
ments from both the government and the
defense counsel, the judge returned a sen-
tence of one month confinement, reduc-
tion to E-l, forfeiture of $849 per month
for one month, afine of $250, andto serve
three months additional confinement ifthe
fine is not paid, and a reprimand.
The former Staff Sergeant also tested
positive in a random urinalysis test and
admitted buying three and one-halfgrams
of cocaine from a dealer in Panama City,
then snorting it.
After reviewing documentary evidence,
hearing from a witness and hearing argu-
ments from the government and defense
counsel, the military judge in Sergeant
Borrero's case returned a sentence of
two months confinement, a bad-conduct
discharge, forfeiture of two-thirds pay for
two months and reduction to E-3.
This year, there have been 344 con-
victions in the Air Force for drug use, to
include 89 convictions in Air Education
and Training Command and seven con-
victions at Tyndall.
These numbers illustrate the effective-
ness of the Air Force urinalysis program
and the fact that wrongful drug use will
not be tolerated in the military. Airman
Coe and Sergeant Borrero were the sixth
and seventh individuals at Tyndall to be
convicted and sentenced to jail based on
a positive urinalysis test this year.
Tyndall lease signing
Base residents' lease signing for housing will be Dec. 11 -
the Education Center, building 1230. The housing office has a time
and date schedule based on street names. This schedule will be
posted in next week's GulfDefender.
Residents need to bring a copy of the servicemember's most
recent Leave and Earning Statement. For more information contact
the GMH Community Management Office at 286-1700.
ADAPT Catch a buzz, catch a ride
An information booth will be set up at the Base Ex-
change Dec. 7 and 13 to remind everyone to always
designate a sober driver before each party or event
involving alcohol this holiday season,.
"The holiday season is supposed to be a time for
family, friends, and festive
celebrations, but it is unfor-
tunately also a time when
we see a tragic jump in the
number of alcohol-related
highway fatalities each year
between Thanksgiving and
New Year's" said Staff Sgt.
Ruth Basil, Alcohol and
Drug Abuse Prevention and
Treatment Program NCO in
charge. "That's why we are
out early reminding every-
alcohol-related crash. Hundreds of thousands more
are injured each year.
According to 325th Security Forces Squadron
twenty Driving Under the Influence charges have
been handled by Tyndall so far this year. Twelve
to one drink
and no more
drinks max I
one this holiday season, if you catch a buzz, catch
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, approximately three in every ten
Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related
crash at some point in their lives. Impaired driving is
one ofAmerica's deadliest crimes. Every 30 minutes,
nearly 50 times a day, someone in America dies in an
of those drivers were military.
The numbers are almost half the
2004 and 2005 totals.
"Designating a sober driver
before the party begins is just
one of several, simple steps to
remember to help avoid a tragic
crash or an arrest for impaired
driving," said Sergeant Basil.
Tyndall's Airmen Against
Drunk Driving program already
provided 274 safe rides to mili-
tary members this year. All calls
to the hotline, (850) 867-0220, are kept confidential
ADAPT also provides the following simple re-
minders for a safe holiday season:
Don't even think about getting behind the wheel
of your vehicle if you've been drinking alcohol.
If you are impaired, call a taxi, get a sober friend
SSEE ADAPT PAGE 17
Dec. 1, 2006
I,--- 11 ", I'll, il
I Me Sxrxa3rt
SEADS ends operations, becomes AOC
Colonel David Kriner, left, the 601st Air Operations
Center commander, flips the ceremonial switch
with Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, right, 1st Air Force
commander, and Master Sgt. Judy Butler-McGuire
and Tech. Sgt. James Middleton. The ceremony
marked the closure of operations and its continued
transition to the 601st Air Operations Center.
AFNORTH Public Affairs
After more than 37 years of monitoring
America's airways, the flip of a ceremonial
switch Friday marked the close of operations
here for the Southeast Air Defense Sector.
More than 100 members of the tight-knit
SEADS family looked on as Continental U.S.
Northeast Air Defense Sector Region leaders
marked the passing of the SEADS mission
while celebrating its impending transformation
to the 601st Air Operations Center.
"It's an emotional and historic event," said
Colonel David Kriner, former SEADS, and now
601 AOC, commander. "As we are now actively
re-rolling this mission, closing one chapter and
opening another in supporting this war-fighting
headquarters as an AOC."
SEADS has been responsible for air
defense of the southeastern United States
began since April 1982, following its transfer
SEE SEADS PAGE 17
Dec. 1, 2006
Dec. 1, 2006
Sergeant Taggart receives the Checkertai
Warrior of the Week award from Brig. Gen. T<
ers, 325th Fighter Wing commander, Wedr
Sergeant Taggart, 325th Maintenance Group, re
award as a result of his 100 percent flight line e
pass rate. Staff Sgt. Taggart also propelled the 95t
Maintenance Unit to an overall win in a wing wea
competition with a "perfect" load .
an Glenn Moore
Duty title: Weapons load crew chief
Hometown: Martinsburg, W. Va.
Time on station: Eight months
Time in service: Four years, nine
Hobbies: Fishing and hanging out with
Goals: Make technical sergeant first
time I test and finish my Community
College of the Air Force degree
Favorite thing about Tyndall AFB:
Beaches and fishing
Favorite movie: "Dazed and Con-
Proudest moment in the military:
Winning my first weapons load compe-
The Checkertail Salute is a 325th Fighter Wing
commander program designed to recognize
Tyndall's Warrior of the Week. Supervisors can
nominate individuals via their squadron and
group commanders. Award recipients receive
a certificate, letter from the commander and a
S1.............II II i i
lii11:11* '**1111 .1*....:i~ui r' ..Ii..i...I...111
Staff Sgt. Joey Bryson
Duty title: Deployment support
NCO in charge
Hometown: Klamath Falls, Ore.
Time on station: Three years, three
Time in service: Twelve years
Hobbies: Scuba diving, fishing, hunting
Goals: Earn my Bachelor's degree and
make technical sergeant
Favorite thing about Tyndall AFB:
Working with a great team
Favorite movie: "Broken Arrow"
AlrmanGlennMoore Proudest moment in the military:
Sergeant.Bryson receives the Checkertail Salute Joining the Air Force and making staff
Warrior of the Week award from Brig. Gen. Tod Wolt- sergeant
ers, 325th Fighter Wing commander, Nov. 21.
The Checkertail Salute is a 325th Fighter Wing
Sergeant Bryson, 325th Mission Support Group, received commander program designed to recognize
the award as a result of his logistics processing while de- Tyndall's Warrior of the Week. Supervisors can
played to Balad AB, Iraq from January to May. Sergeant nominate individuals via their squadron and
Bryson also attended a three-day NCO Enhancement Semi- group commanders. Award recipients receive
nar, which helped him develop supervisory skills, a certificate, letter from the commander and a
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Dec. 1, 2006 S SGnI
ABM students reach new training "heights"
W hat was the most chal-
lenging thing to learn in
"Saftey wiring in the tight
spots around the F-15 Eagle."
AIRMAN COLLIN URBANOWICZ
372nd Training Squadron/Detachment 4
Mission Ready Airman
Congratulations to Mission
Ready Airmen graduates of
Classes 2007-005, 2007-
006 and 2007-007 from the
372nd Training Squadron/
TECH. SGT. EDWARD GYOKERES
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Nine members of Air Battle Manager class 07-006
departed direct from their classrooms Nov. 16 for a top-
to-bottom guided tour of the radar approach and control
center and air traffic control tower facilities at the 325th
Operations Support Squadron.
The tour is a part of the training program for all ABM
students, said Capt. Mike Boynton, 325th Air Control
Squadron training flight commander and ABM instructor.
The mission of an ABM working in an E-3 Airborne
Warning and Control System shares a lot of similarities
with the RAPCON controllers working at airports around
the world. Captain Boynton explained that by showing
the ways the RAPCON and tower facilities perform their
daily operations, the students will be able to work more
smoothly with controllers in the future.
During the two-hour tour, students visited the "highest"
office on base, the control tower, saw the dimly lit RAPCON
control center and the multi-million dollar virtual reality
ATC simulator being run through is paces.
"I found it to be very helpful to see the way they work
here," said 1st Lt. Renee Powell, 325th ACS ABM student.
"It gives us a unique perspective on how things get handled
on the ground, versus in the air like we are learning."
The differences between ABMs and RAPCON controllers
are considerable, but they share many of the same tasks
when it comes to controlling airspace whether it is tracking
airliners over the continental U.S. or patrolling the skies
over South Korea, said Captain Boynton.
However, there is a fundamental difference in the missions
of the two careers. Air traffic controllers do everything in
their power to safely pass aircraft through the airspace over
Tyndall. Basically, they do this by making sure two objects
never occupy the same space at the same time.
ABMs are taught to do the opposite. They are trained
to direct U.S. and Coalition warplanes to intercept
courses against unknown or enemy aircraft. If the aircraft
are hostile and ABMs succeed, the preferred result is a
collision between enemy aircraft and our missiles.
lecn ggt ~awara (yoKeres
Airman Meagen Shank, 325th Operations Sup-
port Squadron airtraffic control apprentice, right,
explains tower operations to Air Battle Manager
students, left to right, 1st Lt. Rene Powell, Capt.
Mike Boynton and 1st. Lt. Darin Romain.
"The RAPCON's job is to separate planes. Ours is
to bring them together," said 1st Lt. Jon Quinlan, ABM
student, about the differences between ABM and RAPCON
Knowing exactly how this is done is an important part
of ABM training at Tyndall. For this reason, it is likely
the staff of the 325th OSS will continue to explain their
mission to many more students.
SeniorAirman Jessica Hensley
reviews the Air Force core val-
ues during the enlisted force
structure class taught in Air-
men Leadership School here.
The class is designed to stim-
ulate conversation between
the instructor and students on
the importance of the values in
a supervisory role.
Staff Sgt Stacey Haga
Page 10 Gulf Defender
Staff Sgt Stacey Haga
Thomas Dayton, U.S. Forest Service, sets fire to brush along a gravel bor-
der, which helps control flames during prescribed burning.
lecn. 0o9. Cuwaru uyuoeres
Above: Carl Goodwin, U.S. Forest Service, ignites underbrush and moni-
tors the flames. Below: Terry Walter, Tyndall Natural Resources, assesses
the burned areas as smoke clears. Joe Mclernan, left, and Wes Westphal,
Natural Resources personnel, look on.
Stanr gti tacey naga
lecn. gtr. Eawara uyoKeres
A U.S. Forest Service wildland fire expert monitors a controlled burn. Those witnessing smoke or flames near or on base must be vigilant before making calls to
emergency responders to report fires. Calls reporting controlled burns in areas monitored by Tyndall agencies may interfere with reports of actual emergencies.
Protecting personnel, property one burn at a time
1ST LT. AMANDA FERRELL While fires near developed areas
325th FighterWing PublicAffairs present obvious dangers, many wild-
According to the Florida Division of fires occur naturally promoting eco-
Forestry, 4,539 wildfires have burned logical rejuvenation and reduce the
213,444 acres between Jan. 1 and threat ofunpredicted, uncontrolled and
Oct. 31 in Florida this year. disastrous wildfires.
'The state of Florida
has afire dependant eco-
system," said Terry Wal-
ter, 325th Civil Engi-
neer Squadron wildland
fire program manager.
S'This means many ofthe
plants and animals here
need fire to survive."
Tech. Sgt. Edward Gyokeres
A control bum border runs parallel with the fence line of The 325th Civil
the base firing range. Fire borders are established so Engineer Squadron's
flames do not spread beyond the intended "line of fire." Natural Resources el-
ement, with assistance from the U.S.
Forest Service, ensures Tyndall's un-
developed land remains productive,
environmentally sound and healthy by
conducting controlled bums through
highly vegetated and uninhabited areas
surrounding the base.
'Tyndall has numerous important assets
on base people's lives, buildings, fuels
and ammunition," said Wes Westphal,
chief of Natural Resources. "If fire, either
naturally occurring or unintended, were
to threaten Tyndall's assets, our function
would be to control the fire in a safe timely
manner with no impact to the mission,
personnel or infrastructure."
Controlled bums are prescribed pri-
marily to protect lives, then property, and
finally natural resources, he said.
While the thought of wildfires pro-
moting ecological systems may seem
paradoxical, the controlled burning
mission conducted by the Natural
Resources Element is both an art and
science, and has been tremendously
successful in meeting its objectives.
"Since Tyndall started its controlled
bum program, Bald Eagles have made
their nests in the burned area," said Mr.
Walter. "We have at least four nesting
pairs of Bald Eagles on base."
With Tyndall's 46 federally protected
and endangered plant and animal spe-
cies, controlled burs help maintain
strong reproduction patterns and eco-
logical stability for species that rely on
fire to proliferate.
Natural Resources experts work
closely with Tyndall fire and emergency
personnel to select specific areas to be
burned. Many variables are considered
when the agencies determine ranges
most in need of prescribed burning.
"We look at local ecosystems that need
fire to remain healthy," said Mr. Walter.
"We also look at what the fuel load is, and
when speaking of 'fuel,' we are talking
about the underbrush, trees and anything
in the forest that will bum easily."
The primary variable considered by
Tyndall agencies during the burning
season is weather.
"Weather is the most critical part of
determining where we bum," said Mr.
Walter. "Smoke management is our big-
gest concern. We need to make sure the
smoke does not impact sensitive areas
such as the base, flightline, U.S. High-
way 98, Panama City and surrounding
Natural Resources and fire depart-
ment personnel are concerned that many
local residents, both on and offbase, are
unaware of the specific areas affected
by controlled fires, which are closely
monitored by both agencies.
"Many people see fire as being de-
structive," said Mr. Walter. "As soon
as the general population sees fire on
the ground or in a tree, they use their
cell phones and call the fire department
or law enforcement. When the general
public or base personnel call the Tyndall
fire and emergency services flight or the
law enforcement desk, they are tying up
the phone lines that could delay a real
The fire managers urge those that see
smoke or fire to first scan the area for
fire control personnel prior to initiating
an emergency phone call.
"We do not leave the fire area until
it is safe to do so," Mr. Walter said. "If
the fire is still burning, firefighters will
continuously monitor the area unit it is
There is a fine line between what's
an emergency, and what is not, said Mr.
Walter. We do not suggest personnel
ignore fires in the area in case it's an
actual wildfire. However, we need to
educate all Tyndall personnel and their
families on the purpose and locations
of controlled burning on and around
Tyndall, he said.
If Natural Resource personnel or
vehicles are not on the scene of a
fire, and no signs designate the area
as a monitored sector of prescribed
burning, then call Tyndall 's fire de-
"Natural Resources is planning to
bum about 12,000 acres this year," said
Mr. Walter. "Some of these areas will
be very visible, and folks need to pay
attention to the personnel on scene. If
you see fire control personnel in yellow
shirts and signs posted around areas of
smoke and fire, then the fire is a con-
Natural Resources wildland fire man-
agers and their team of trained experts
encourage Tyndall members and their
families to seek information on the
benefits of controlled bums.
"There are numerous ecological ben-
efits to controlled buying" said Mr. Walter.
"Fire is nature's way of cleansing itself."
Dec. 1, 2006
Airmen's cookie drive
Homemade cookies are needed
for Team Tyndall's Annual Airmen's
Cookie Drive. Cookie donations will
be collected Dec. 11 from 7 9 a.m.
at the loading docks behind the Com-
missary. All cookie donations will be
distributed to Airmen in the dormito-
ries for the holidays.
Annual Golden Age holiday party
Tyndall will be hosting a party for
veterans and their spouses from 1 to
3 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Enlisted Club.
Donations for cookies (sugar-free if
possible) and fruit basket sponsors
are needed. For more informa-
tion, contact Chief Master Sgt.
Sharrell Callaway at 283-8845 or
Chief Master Sgt. Arleen Heath at
283-2037. To donate cookies contact
Master Sgt. Travis Fritts at 283-2222.
To volunteer, contact Senior Master
Sgt. Mike Goetz, 283-8387.
ANG part-time vacancies
The Air National Guard units in
Montgomery, Ala., have part-time
vacancies. Contact Master Sgt.
Vonsetta Love at (334) 394-7190
or 1-800-368-4481 or e-mail her at
For more information, visit www.
The 106th Maintenance Group,
Westhampton Beach, N.Y., has several
full-time and part-time openings. If in-
terested, contact Col. Robert Landsie-
del at (631) 723-7497.
The 325th Communication Squadron
will host a free Technology Expo 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Officers'
Club. All personnel are invited to attend.
Exhibitors will demonstrate the latest in
communication technology. For more
information, contact Keren Bogaczyk
at (888) 603-8899, ext. 239, or via e-
Education Grant Program
The Air Force Aid Society's Gen-
eral Henry H. Arnold Education Grant
Program provides $2,000 grants for
The deadline for 2007-2008 academic
year submissions is March 9, 2007.
Use of funds is limited to tuition,
books, fees, or other curriculum-re-
To apply, visitA&FRC in building 745
or go to www.afas.org. For more informa-
tion, contact the A&FRC at 283-4204.
Registration for Troy University
Term 3 runs through Dec. 29. Classes
start Jan. 2 and end March 11. Stu-
dents may register with an advisor at
any Troy University location or online
by accessing Trojan WebExpress at
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univer-
sity Spring 2007 Term begins Jan. 8.
Registration will be held Dec. 4 15
and Jan. 3 5 in the Education Center,
room 48. Applications are available
on-line under Web registration/forms.
For more information, call 283-4332.
Registration is on-going at the
GCCC Tyndall Center for Spring
classes beginning Jan. 4. Accelerated
eight-week distance education and tra-
ditional courses start that term.
Finance disbursing office
The disbursing office in finance is
open 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday Fri-
day for those needing to pay a debt or
drop off a bank deposit.
Thrift Shop needs new manager
The Thrift Shop is now taking ap-
plications for the manager position.
For more information, stop by or call
the Thrift Shop at 286-5888. Applica-
tions will be accepted until Dec. 15.
The Thrift Shop is open Wednes-
day-Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30
p.m. It will also be open 9 a.m. to
noon Saturday. Winter clothing will
be accepted for consignment through
March 1st. The store will be closed
Dec. 20 29 for the holidays. For
more information, call 286-5888 dur-
ing business hours.
Officers' Spouses' Club
The Tyndall Officers' Spouses' Club
will have a Christmas Social 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 12 at the Officers' Club.
Daily Mass, 11:30 a.m.
Reconciliation, 11 a.m. Friday
or by appointment
Sunday Mass, 9:30 a.m.,
Religious Education, 11 a.m.,
Traditional worship service,
9:30 a.m., Chapel One
Contemporary worship service,
11 a.m., Chapel Two
5 p.m., Chapel Two
(For more information on other
services in the local area, call the
Chaplain's office at 283-2925.)
Airman Glenn Moore
Claudia Lunsford, library technician, assists Iva Painter, customer, with her book purchase. The
library will be hosting a book sale until Saturday. Profits from the book sale will primarily be used
to purchase new books, DVDs and other materials for children.
Dec. 1, 2006
Pig Prog predicts Super Bowl contenders
From the land of resurrection
Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiv-
ing. I know I did. There's nothing like scarfing
down endless leftovers of a great turkey dinner
and watching lots of football.
One game may have been a statement to the
rest of the league.
The Dallas Cowboys have turned their season
around and looked like a Super Bowl contender.
I know just about every team in the mediocre
National Football Conference are contenders,
but Dallas looks like the real deal.
After their 38-10 pounding of Tampa Bay,
new Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has a rat-
ing of 110. Not too bad for a guy who played
college ball at Eastern Illinois and wasn't
even drafted. His five touchdowns against
the Buccaneers tied the franchise record for
touchdown passes in a single game.
Former Dallas and Hall of Fame quarterback
Troy Aikman only threw five touchdowns in
one game once during his career. With the
emergence of a new star, Dallas is playing
good at the right time to make a run at the
Dallas coach, Bill Parcells, must be thankful
during the holiday season to have a quarterback
playing like a star who was an after thought at
the beginning of the season.
For a team who shouldn't be very thank-
ful right about now, we head to Atlanta. The
Falcons have been reeling in recent weeks and
Sunday didn't help.
After Michael Vick's rise to stardom a few
weeks ago, he has fallen hard. Atlanta receiv-
ers haven't helped dropping passes.
I was beginning to wonder if they under-
stood the concept of a wide receiver. The fans
weren't to happy with the game as boos rained
down from the stands. I'm sure Vick's little
gesture at the end of the game showed the fans
how much he appreciates their support. Appar-
ently he thinks they are number one.
Speaking of people who think they'll ac-
tually make it to the top, OSS jumped four
spots in the last two weeks, I was wondering
where they have been getting support with
"I just picked them," said Mark Rivers, OSS
picker. "Not much to it, I just open (the e-mail)
That sounds too simple.
"After doing so well, I hope I get another
good week like last week," said Rivers.
Don't hope too much. Remember football is
90 percent mental and picking winning teams is
also. The other 10 percent is the upset factor.
"I'm probably going to do the exact same
thing this week," said Rivers. "I may go with
the dart method sooner or later."
My suggestion would be to give both ways
of making picks and watch how a true pro
Now let's get out there and watch some
Tigers, Knights take turns winning
The Tyndall Tigers men's var- The Tigers converted clutch free by the Tigers sealed the outcome
sity basketball team split their two throws down the stretch to seal of the game came as Moody
games versus the visiting Moody the victory, extended its lead and hung on to
Knights in Southeastern Military Showers paced the Tigers in take the hard fought victory.
Athletic Conference, SEMAC, scoring with a game high 32 Tigers lost to the Knights,
regular season action. points, followed by Smith, 30, Moody, 91, Tyndall, 85.
During the Nov. 25 game, the Armour, 23, and Jared Austin Showers and Smith paced the
two squads battled back and forth with 13 points. Armour led in Tigers in scoring with 24 and 18
with an end score Tyndall, 114, rebounding with 10 and Smith points respectively, followed by
Moody, 105. led in assists with 6. Clint Wil- Markus Manuel, 12, and Ryan
Moody took atwo-point lead, liams led Moody in scoring with Cunningham with 10 points.
42-40, at the intermission. In the 25 points. Manuel also led the Tigers in
second half, the Tigers caught Curing the Nov. 26 game, the rebounding with 8 and Smith led
fire behind the scoring of Melvin Tigers started out sluggishly, as in assists with 6. Clint Williams
Smith, 19, Anthony Showers, 18, their shots weren't falling as they led Moody in scoring with a
and Marqus Armour, 16, to open had the previous day. Moody game high 28 points.
up a double digit lead that reached took a 49-36 lead into the inter- The Tigers will host the
as many as 18 points, mission. Bandits from Ft. Benning, Ga.,
Moody mounted a furious In the second stanza, Tyndall 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m.
rally, aided by a four-minute battled back to cut the deficit Sunday.
Tyndall scoring drought to come to one-point 81-80 with 2:38 Contact the Fitness Center at
within 7 points with a minute and remaining in the contest. Three 283-2631 for more information.
a half remaining to be played. consecutive empty possessions (Courtesy Tyndall Tigers)
Intramural Sports Standings
Team W L
MSS 82 38
SVS 81 39
MOS 78 42
RED HORSE 78 42
Test 75 45
AFNORTH 1 74 46
SFS 74 46
AFCESA1 70 50
DS2 68 52
CS1 68 52
ACS 1 66 54
83rd FWS 1 64 56
CES 64 56
AMMO 62 58
AFCESA 62 58
Team High Game Scratch
Team High Series Scratch
Team High Game Handicap
Team High Series Handicap
High Male Game Scratch
High Male Series Scratch
High Male Game Handicap
High Male Series Handicap
High Female Game Scratch
High Female Series Scratch
High Female Game Handicap
High Female Series Handicap
843rd AMU 60
AMXS 2 60
83rd FWS 2 58
AFNORTH 3 58
Phase 1 58
AMXS 1 56
AMXS 4 54
ACS 2 48
372nd TRS 46
CS 2 42
Phase 2 36
Pig Prog Scorebox
CONS 110 CES 97
MXS 105 NCOA 96
1st FS 105 ACS 93
Pig Prog 101 28th TES 89
CPTS 100 CS 87
372nd TRS 100 MDOS 86
OSS 98 SVS 82
/ SFS 72
11 Sending holiday cheer to
military overseas, at home
AAFES: Consider priorities when shipping goods abroad
Dec. 1, 2006
DALLAS Nothing brightens the
day of a Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Air-
man more than a care package filled
with special items from home.
Unfortunately, as the holidays approach
and well-meaning Americans step up
military support efforts, many ofthe hand-
written cards and homemade cookies take
longer to reach their destinations.
"Ultimately the boxes of batteries,
toothbrushes and shaving cream can
delay some much needed and requested
items from friends and family," said
Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Eaton, Army
& Air Force Exchange Service's senior
enlisted advisor. "While any and all
support is very much appreciated, those
who choose to 'support our troops'
this holiday season should consider
whether the items they are collecting
and mailing are truly needed."
Today, AAFES operates 53 Post and
Base Exchange facilities throughout
Operations Iraqi and Enduring Free-
dom. The stock assortment found in
these exchanges varies from location
to location, but even the most basic
operation provides access to toiletries,
phone cards and cold drinks.
Any American can provide these and
many more items to deployed troops by
ordering a lightweight "Gift from the
Homefront" gift certificate for less than
it costs to send a one-pound package.
With the PX/BX certificates, avail-
able at aafes.org or (877) 770-4438,
military can pick up all of the toothpaste,
socks or even Burger King Whoppers
they want. "Gifts from the Homefront"
are not only redeemable at exchanges
throughout Iraq and Afghanistan, but
can also be used at any of the 187 name
brand fast food outlets AAFES operates
in the contingency theater.
"Exchange gift certificates provide
an affordable and efficient troop
support option that can mitigate the
impact America's generosity can have
on holiday mail from spouses, parents
and friends," said Eaton. "Speeding
delivery of these critical items is one
of the best possible gifts we can send
troops spending the holidays far from
To send "Gifts from the Homefront,"
log on aafes.org or call (877) 770-4438.
Gift certificates may be sent to an indi-
vidual service member (designated by
the purchaser) or distributed to "any
service member" through the Air Force
Aid Society, American Red Cross,
Coalition to Salute America's Heroes,
Fisher House, Navy-Marine Corps Re-
lief Society, Operation Homefront, Op-
eration Interdependence Soldier &
Family Assistance Center, USA Cares
or United Service Organization.
SeCarePackage goes online
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AFPN) -
Operation Homefront has launched
"eCarePackage," an online service that
allows citizens to send care packages
to deployed troops and their families.
Operation Homefront is part of
CinCHouse.com, a community
for military wives, and is a team
member of America Supports You,
a Department of Defense program
connecting U.S. citizens with mem-
bers of the military.
Servicemembers and families can
register on www.ecarepackage.org,
which protects their identity and lo-
cation, and visitors can "adopt" them
based on common interests. Then
visitors select individual items to
create a customized care package for
their chosen servicemember or family
and include a personal message.
Operation Homefront's team of
volunteers takes the order, boxes
the selected items and ships them
directly to the servicemember or
family -- always protecting their
identity and physical location.
"There's nothing like a care pack-
age to cheer a deployed Soldier or a
lonely military family, especially dur-
ing the holidays," said Amy Palmer,
executive vice president ofoperations
for Operation Homefront. "With
operational security for the troops so
tight, we were concerned that care
packages weren't getting through. So
we built eCarePackage to ensure our
troops and families continue to 'feel
the love' from Americans."
Items available in the eCarePack-
age store range from toiletries and
necessities to games, books and
candy. Most items were donated
from sponsors. Donated items are not
marked up, so eCarePackage visitors
often pay only the cost of handling
The eCarePackage program is an
extension of Operation Homefront's
mission to provide emergency sup-
port and morale to our troops, the
families they leave behind during
deployments, and wounded war-
riors when they return home. Op-
eration Homefront recently signed
a memorandum of understanding
with the Defense Department to
ensure greater collaboration.
(Courtesy of American Forces
Commissary offers special
holiday gift ideas this season
Defense Commissary Agency
FORT LEE, Va. "Gift" is often the
operative word during the holiday season
and Commissary customers have even
more options this year through www.
Whether it's one of about 100 gift
baskets and bakery goods available on the
new Virtual Commissary, or
a Commissary gift certifi-
cate, "food is always awel- ,
come gift for your military
neighbor next door, or for
a military family you know
elsewhere in the world," said
Patrick Nixon, Defense Com-
missary Agency director and
chiefexecutive officer. "We're
excited about our new Virtual
Commissary and the possibilities for the
future," said Mr. Nixon.
Only authorized commissary shoppers
can access Virtual Commissary However,
anyone can purchase or donate the "Gift
of Groceries," but they can only be used
by authorized shoppers. The commissary
gift certificates can be easily purchased in
small denominations at any Commissary
worldwide, or purchased in a variety of
amounts for delivery anywhere in the
world through the link at the Commis-
sary Web site.
Commissary gift certificates are made
possible through a business agreement
with CertifiChecks Inc. There is a small
charge for handling, printing and shipping
the certificates. Donations of gift cer-
tificates through CertifiChecks
Inc. to worldwide charitable
organizations such as the Air
Force Aid Society, Fisher
House Foundation, Operation
Homefront, and the United
Service Organization have
added up to over $200,000.
Many installation holiday food
programs are using Commis-
sary gift certificates as well.
"The gift certificates are very handy to
help families with emergency needs," said
Amy Palmer, executive vice president of
operations for Operation Homefront and
CinCHouse.com. "Opertion Homefront
received about 250 donated certificates last
year, but our local chapters can certainly
put a lot more of them to good use."
m . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .
Golden Bolt Award
On Eagle's wings
Senior Airman Joe Brown, 325th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, takes a close look at
an F-15 Eagle wing panel during a phase inspection. Airman Brown was the Golden Bolt
winner for September after he found the bolt during a daily foreign object damage walk.
Dec. 1, 2006
www.325rhservices.com T Look for the Funshine Review inserted into the Gulf Defender the first of every month. -
Military classified ads are placed in
available basis. Ads must be fora on
and should include a complete des
item being sold. Forms must be tur
publication in the following Friday
forms can be dropped off or maile
Public Affairs Office at 445 Suwann
FL 32403, or faxed to 283-3225. Ads
I Unit/Office Symbol
Item description (0
(30 words or
the Gulf Defender on a space
e-time sale of personal goods
cription. 30 words or less, of
ned in by 2 p.m. Thursday for
's Gulf Defender. Completed
d to the 325th Fighter Wing
ee Rd. Ste. 129, Tyndall AFB.
can also be sent in by e-mail
ne ad per form)
We value your opinion!
Take a couple of minutes to give us your thoughts
on how we can make the Guff Defender better:
Did the front page grab your Yes o No E
Do you feel there is a good mix of Yes O No D
local, command and Air Force-level
Yes 0 No 0
Do the photos encourage you to
read accompanied articles?
Yes No 1
Is the Gulf Defender easy to read
What did you find most interesting
in this week's paper?
If you could change one thing in the
paper, what would it be?
1h- 4- Beacon Beach
r 4-5o 3 31`rt059
foot Z5 5"059
Dec. 1, 2006
Dec. 1, 2006
* FROM ADAPT PAGE 6
or family member to come and
Take the keys and never let
a friend leave your sight if you
think they are about to drive while
Sergeant Basil also said when
hosting a party this holiday season,
offer alcohol-free beverages dur-
ing the event, and make sure all
guests leave with a sober driver.
National Drunk and Drugged
Driving (3D) Prevention Month is
in December to help underscore the
public's commitment to preventing
impaired driving and promote the
use of designated drivers and so-
ber ride programs. The month of
December and the New Year's Eve
holiday are also often highlighted
by significant increases in state
and local law enforcement efforts
to combat impaired driving such
as the use of sobriety checkpoints
and saturation patrols.
"Driving impaired or riding
with someone who is impaired
is simply not worth the risk,"
said Sergeant Basil. "The conse-
quences are serious and real. Not
only do you risk killing yourself
or someone else, but the trauma
and financial costs of a crash or an
arrest for driving while impaired
can be really significant and not
the way you want to spend your
* FROM SEADS PAGE 7
from Duluth, Minn., where it had served as the 23rd
Air Division under the Aerospace Defense Command
since November 1969. In October 1996 SEADS
transitioned completely to the Air National Guard and
became a Geographically Separated Unit assigned
within the Florida Air National Guard.
Since then its responsibility for defense of
approximately 1,000,000 square miles of airspace, and
3,000 miles of coastline from Virginia to Texas, marked
SEADS as the busiest of CONR's three sectors.
That responsibility now rests with CONR's
NORAD in Rome, N.Y, and Western Air Defense
Sector at McChord AFB, Wash.
"This decision was made nearly four years ago
to first modernize the air defense system, and then
consolidate CONR's three air defense sectors into
two as we transitioned into an AOC" said Col.
Kriner. "To facilitate that CONR moved the WADS
responsibilities further to the east, while NEADS area
of responsibility extended further south, all the way
down to the Straits of Florida."
As for the 601st AOC, Colonel Kriner said the next
step in the migration involves training.
"We've got more than 250 full-time Air National
Guardsmen that need to be trained and integrated into
the processes of an AOC in providing air tasking order
and strategy-to-task functions," he said. "We've been
working nearly four years toward this, and everyone's
excited for what they're going to do next, what they're
going to learn, and how we're going to work together
as an AOC and Air Force Forces staff in support of
Brig. Gen. Charles Campbell, AFNORTH vice
commander and Florida Air National Guardsman,
lauded the SEADS team on their accomplishments.
"You know, these days, a lot of people talk about
finishing well. Well I can tell you, this team finished
well," he said. "They held it together while we moved
toward the AOC mission through holidays, hurricanes
and missed time with families it was truly ajob well
Dec. 1, 2006
Ie cyL O UvvWIU 3 yuKeIis
Tech. Sgt. Tricia Bell, 95th Fighter Squadron life support NCO
in charge, right, inflates anti-G-suit harness worn by David Bap-
tiste, the "Pilot of the Day" Nov. 21.
Boneheads train "fighter ace"
"Pilot for a Day" program succeeds again
TECH. SGT. EDWARD GYOKERES
325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Each month, the 95th Fighter
Squadron selects a deserving child with
a serious medical condition to live their
life of a fighter pilot for a day. David
Baptiste, 14, worked for Mr. Bones,
and in doing so, became a "Bonehead"
for life Nov. 21.
The entire squadron from the top
down, went out of its way to make sure
David felt like a true VIP.
The squadron commander. Lt. Col.
Bill Routt, met David and his family
and took them into his office for a
full briefing on the F-15 Eagle and its
weapons systems. It was just the first
stop in busy schedule that included a
tour of the 95th FS flightline, a meal
with all of the pilots and, to top off the
day, a full hour in the F-15 simulator
facility for his entire family.
After meeting the commander, he was
fitted with every piece of gear the 95th FS
life support flight had to offer. A G-suit,
parachute harness, helmet and oxygen
mask were fitted. He was led to the testing
station for a demonstration of the anti-G
suit harness. He was shown how to operate
a pair of night vision goggles.
"To have him suited up and see the
excitement on his face, I could tell he
was truly enjoying his lifelong dream of
becoming a fighter pilot," said David's
father Master Sgt. Hector Baptiste.
David would soon have a chance to
put his goals into action. After a photo
shoot on the flightline and a traditional
pilot portrait, his entire family was
virtually linked together inside the F-15
simulator complex. With his sister in
one jet and his mother in another, David
was ready to challenge them both in the
They didn't stand a chance. With a
small amount of instruction by Capt.
David Christensen, David took off, found
his family and used his skills to repeatedly
challenge them in the air. The harder they
fought back, the faster they died.
David became confident quickly a
bit too quickly one might say.
"I'm coming, you have no chance, I'm
going to get you," he said to his siblings.
He wasn't instigating, he was right.
His mother's, sister's and brother's
virtual jet went down in fireballs to the
sounds of his confident laughter in their
headsets, again and again.
With his simulator time over, David
showed two student pilots, who were
waiting for their turn, how good he really
was. He flew his Eagle home and made a
When David emerged from the
simulator cockpit, the grins from the
crowd outside were almost as large as
the one on his face.
Dec. 1, 2006
Dec. 1, 2006