Showing posts with label Air National Guardsmen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Air National Guardsmen. Show all posts

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Air Force Suicides broke record in 2019

UPDATE From Dayton Daily News
Photos of military suicide statistics leaked to social media last week have been confirmed by military officials, a national defense industry publication says. The photo on Facebook shows total “Force” suicides of 136 individuals for calender year 2019.“Officials confirmed the number last week after the latest statistics appeared on social media,” a recent story says.

Air Force suicides set a record in 2019

San Antonio Express
Sig Christenson
February 1, 2020
More than 800 trainees paraded during the Air Force Basic Military Training Graduation held at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in this 2019 file photo. Recent data show that the Air Force set a record for suicides last year.Photo: Bob Owen /Staff photographer

The Air Force set a record for suicides in 2019, a stark reminder that a Pentagon all but invincible on the battlefield has struggled to protect its troops from themselves.

There were at least 112 suspected and confirmed suicides among active-duty, reserve and Air National Guard personnel last year. That was a 40 percent jump from the year before and the highest total since the Air Force began tracking suicides in 2003.
read it here

Remind me again why anyone would support raising suicide awareness instead of healing awareness? #BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Monday, July 15, 2019

Maryland Air National Guard soldier stopped attack

Off-duty Air National Guard member kills armed man at Maryland restaurant

By: The Associated Press
July 12, 2019

MILLFORD MILL, Md. — Authorities in Baltimore County say an off-duty member of the Maryland Air National Guard shot and killed an armed man while reportedly breaking up a fight outside a restaurant.

Baltimore County Police say the shooting happened early Friday after the airman saw people arguing outside the restaurant in Windsor Mill.

Authorities initially identified the airman as an off-duty officer. They say he has a gun permit.
read it here

Monday, June 24, 2019

Arrest made after murder of Air National Guard female soldier and children

Arrested boyfriend of slain Staten Island servicewoman had violent past

New York Post
By Tina Moore, Anabel Sosa and Max Jaeger
June 23, 2019

A Staten Island military man was arrested and charged Sunday in the murder of his Air National Guard girlfriend and their two young sons, police announced.
The scene of the alleged murder (left) and Alla Ausheva Richard Harbus; CNP

The arrest came as new details emerged about accused killer Shane Walker’s violent past — and his Russian-born girlfriend’s tragic story of achieving her American dream only for her life to be cut short at 37.

Cops charged Walker, 36, with murder, manslaughter, arson and criminal possession of a weapon for killing US Air National Guard Airman 1st Class Alla Ausheva along with the couple’s sons Ivan, 2, and Elia, 3.

Ausheva was found bludgeoned to death in her home Saturday near the bodies of their children, who appear to have been drowned.
read more here

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Air National Guardsman pretended to be CIA agent to fool woman

New York Air National Guardsman accused of impersonating CIA agent to impress woman

Syracuse Media Group
Published: February 19, 2019

CICERO, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — A New York man who police have accused of impersonating a CIA agent to impress a woman works for the New York Air National Guard as a drone camera operator, according to a New York Air National Guard spokesman and an Air Force website.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Houghtalen, who is currently a sensor operator on the MQ-9 Reaper with the 174th Attack Wing, was charged by New York state police with misdemeanor criminal impersonation for pretending to be a CIA agent. He was arrested Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 and spent a day in jail before being released. VIA LINKEDIN

Staff Sgt. Ryan R. Houghtalen, 25, was charged with second-degree impersonation of a public servant, a misdemeanor, according to court records.

After showing the woman a fake CIA ID, Houghtalen told the woman how he was currently targeted by terrorists.

“He was telling her his job as a CIA agent is very dangerous,” said New York State Police spokesman Jack Keller. “He was hoping to use that information to start a relationship with her.”

Houghtalen told the woman he met at church that, because he was a CIA agent, both he and her were targets of ISIS, according to court documents.
read more here

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Florida Air National Guard Airman saved driver from burning car

Florida Air National Guard Airman Awarded Airman's Medal

Department of Defense

Airman First Class Peejay Jack, a vehicle maintainer assigned to the 290th Joint Communications Support Squadron, Florida Air National Guard, was awarded the Airman's Medal by Major General Lenny Richoux, Commander, Joint Enabling Capabilities Command, during a ceremony on MacDill Air Force Base, Feb. 9, 2019. Airman Jack rescued a trapped motorist from his rapidly burning vehicle during a morning commute.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Georgia Air National Guard, first black female pilot

Georgia Air National Guard prepares to deploy its first black female pilot

Air Force Times
By: Kyle Rempfer
54 minutes ago

The Georgia Air National Guard is about to deploy its first black female pilot, Guard officials announced this week.

1st Lt. Andrea Lewis, an E-8C Joint STARS copilot with the 116th Air Control Wing, is already the first black female pilot in the history of the Georgia ANG.
1st Lt. Andrea Lewis, an E-8C Joint STARS pilot, already serves as the first black female pilot in the history of the Georgia Air National Guard. (Georgia ANG)

Soon, she’ll also be the first to deploy, said 2nd. Lt. Dustin Cole, a Guard spokesman, in a statement provided to Air Force Times.

Joint STARS use side-looking radar to locate and track moving objects behind enemy lines.

It is the Air Force’s only operational airborne platform that can maintain real-time surveillance over a corps-sized area of the battlefield, according to the service. And the 116th Air Control Wing, Lewis’ unit, is the only one that operates the E-8C and the Joint STARS mission.

Cole said he wasn’t able to release where Lewis’ deployment is taking her, due to operational security concerns.
read more here

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

California Air National Guardsman Killed in Ukraine


The Air Force on Wednesday identified the American pilot killed in a crash of a Ukrainian Su-27 aircraft as Lt. Col. Seth “Jethro” Nehring, of the California Air National Guard.

Air Force confirms California guardsman killed in fighter crash in Ukraine

Stars and Stripes
Jennifer H. Svan
October 17, 2018

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – An Air National Guard member from California was killed along with a Ukrainian servicemember in a Ukrainian Su-27UB fighter crash Tuesday evening in Ukraine during a large-scale military aviation exercise, officials with U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa confirmed Wednesday.
A Sukhoi Su-27 takes off from Starokostiantyniv Air Base, Ukraine, Oct. 9, 2018 as part of the Clear Sky 2018 exercise. CHARLES VAUGHN/AIR NATIONAL GUARD
The U.S. airman was a member of the 144th Fighter Wing, California Air National Guard, based in Fresno, Calif. The airman’s name is being withheld for 24 hours pending next of kin notification, USAFE-AFAFRICA officials said in a statement late Wednesday morning. read more here

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Oklahoma welcomes home 350 Air National Guards

350 Oklahoma Airmen return home after deployment to Afghanistan
FOX 25 News
Jessica Remer
August 6, 2018

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Family and friends lined up Monday to welcome home 350 Airmen assigned to the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard.

A sweet homecoming for hundreds of men and women serving our country.

Beneath the stars and stripes a crowd of anxious faces.

All waiting or their loved ones’ return.

Today more than 350 airmen and airwomen coming home from deployment to Afghanistan.
read more here

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Miss America from tiara to tarmac?

Miss America Joins the Air Force
Under The Radar
June 19, 2018

Scanlan is now an Airman First Class in the Air National Guard. She's also a law student at UC Berkley.
Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, speaks to the crew of the Military Sealift Command dry cargo and ammunition ship USNS Charles Drew from the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Cape St. George during a replenishment at sea. (Christopher Johnson/U.S. Navy)

During her term as Miss America, Scanlan participated in USO tours, visited Walter Reed and Bethesda military hospitals and toured several military installations.
read more here

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

At least 5 dead after Air National Guard plane crashed in Gerogia

Deadly military plane crash on Savannah, Georgia, road - live updates
CBS News
May 2, 2018

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- An Air National Guard C-130 cargo plane on a training mission crashed Wednesday along a road near a Georgia airport, killing at least five National Guard members from Puerto Rico, authorities said. Black smoke rose into the sky from a section of the plane that appeared to have crashed into a median on the road.

Firefighters later put out the blaze.

Capt. Jeff Bezore, a spokesman for the Georgia Air National Guard's 165th Air Wing, said the crash killed at least five people. He said he couldn't say how many people in total were on the plane when it crashed around 11:30 a.m.

Bezore said in a statement that the identities of those on the plane would be released upon notification of their next of kin.

The Air Force said the plane belonged to the 156th Air Wing out of Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico National Guard Spokesman Maj. Paul Dahlen told The Associated Press that all those aboard were Puerto Ricans who had recently left the U.S. territory for a mission on the U.S. mainland.
read more here

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Marty Nance Oregon Air National Guardsman's body found

Family searches for answers after missing Oregon Natl. Guardsman found dead
KATU 2 News
Keaton Thomas
April 1, 2018
Veber says her brother's body was found in the river near Waverly Country Club on Wednesday night by fisherman. Deputies do not suspect foul play was involved.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The body of Marty Nance, an Oregon Air National Guardsman reported missing back in January, was found Wednesday in the Willamette River, but family members are still hoping for answers in his disappearance and death.

Lisa Veber, Nance's sister, says a chaplain with the Clackamas County Sheriff's office told her about the discovery Thursday night.
If he had problems, Veber said, "Marty was a fixer, Marty was a doer."

That being said, Veber understands it's possible her brother may have committed suicide.
read more here

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

With Wings and a Prayer, National Guard Couple Wedding Inspires Floridaians Facing Irma

I couldn't post about this when I heard it on the radio the other day, but wow, it did us a world of good to hear this! It wasn't enough this Air National Guard couple were ready to risk their lives for us, but they decided to share their lives by starting their future here and gave us hope!

Hurricane Irma: Air National Guard couple gets married in fatigues

Fox News 
Published September 10, 2017 

Two senior airmen with the Air National Guard deployed to help out with Hurricane Irma efforts were supposed to get married later in September -- so with the storm on Orlando's doorstep, they raced to tie the knot early on Sunday. Lauren Durham, 24, and her fiance, 26-year-old Michael Davis, both wore fatigues for the ceremony.
Lauren Durham, left, and Michael Davis, both members of the Air National Guard, married on Sunday in their fatigues. (AP Photo/Claire Galofaro)
The bride and groom, who had planned a beach wedding, said they were deployed indefinitely and told their out-of-town guests that they’d likely miss their own nuptials. 

 They were eating breakfast with some friends Sunday morning, and one asked the couple why didn’t they get married in the middle of the storm. “It started out as a joke, and it just kind of unfolded,” Davis said. “And it turned out to be really great.” read more here

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Feds Blame Pilot Error, Lack of Oversight in Marine's Death

Feds Blame Pilot Error, Lack of Oversight in Marine's Death
May 25, 2016

FILE - This March 11, 2015 file photo officials check the scene of a T-59 Hawk aircraft crash at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz. In a report released Wednesday,
Federal investigators blame the Marine Corps, the Air Force and the pilot and operator of a privately-owned military jet for the death of a Marine killed last year when the jet crashed into his truck in Arizona.

The National Transportation Safety Board report said the pilot of the BAE Systems Hawk jet took off too early, noting that he lifted off while traveling more than 10 mph below normal takeoff speed on March 11, 2015. The British-built jet flying on a mission for the Air Force wobbled, veered off the left side of the Marine Corps Air Station-Yuma runway and eventually hit a pickup occupied by Lance Cpl. Anthony T. DuBeau. The 23-year-old from Kenosha, Wisconsin, was providing safety oversight for a construction crew working alongside the runway.

The pilot, an active-duty Air National Guard A-10 pilot flying as a contractor for Quincy, Illinois-based Air USA, Inc., told investigators the aircraft's nose "became light" as he approached takeoff speed.
read more here

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rep. Graham Hunt Valor Questioned After Stolen Photo

For a politician to use a photo of real grief in combat in a campaign is terrible. It is reprehensible for one to use it and say it was a photo of his grief.
‘Combat veteran’? Records fail to back state lawmaker’s claims 
Seattle Times
Jim Brunner
January 23, 2016
A doctored war photo and discrepancies about medals have raised questions about state Rep. Graham Hunt’s military background. He served in the Middle East and says he was “wounded in combat,” but has been vague about the details.
A 2014 post on the Facebook page of state Rep. Graham Hunt, R-Orting, displayed a version of a 2003 Associated Press photo with a doctored military insignia on the uniform. The post falsely claimed Hunt was one of the soldiers. Hunt blamed an unnamed campaign volunteer.
A version of this Associated Press photo was shared on Graham Hunt’s Facebook page. The photo shows Sgt. David Borell and Sgt. Maj. Bryan Pacholski, both of Ohio.
In May of 2014, a dramatic Iraq war photo was posted to the Facebook page of state Rep. Graham Hunt, R-Orting, showing two kneeling U.S. soldiers in desert combat uniforms, one man consoling the other.

 “This picture of me was taken after a mortar attack in 2005,” the post said. “Background has been modified, but I think combat camera captured the moment pretty well. I surely have not forgotten that moment.” 

Hunt is a decorated former Arizona Air National Guard member who deployed to the Middle East.

But neither soldier in the picture was him. The image was a doctored version of a 2003 Associated Press photo of two military policemen from Ohio during a deployment near Baghdad. The photo was removed several months later, with Hunt saying a campaign volunteer had posted it without his knowledge. read more here
In 2006 I start to make videos on PTSD using real pictures of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. This was one of the photos I used many times. When I saw it being used by a politician, it damn near broke my heart. Then to read the Facebook post saying it was Hunt, all I wanted to do was find Sgt. David Borell and Sgt. Maj. Bryan Pacholski to let them know this moment of true compassion had been used for political gain. What makes all this even worse is Hunt was a member of Arizona Air National Guard.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Air Force Honors National Guard Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

Two Guardsmen killed in Afghanistan suicide bombing to be named honorary OSI agents
Air Force Times
By Phillip Swarts, Staff writer
December 30, 2015
The six airmen who were killed in a Dec. 21 suicide bomb attack are, clockwise from top left: Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, Staff Sgt. Chester J. McBride, Tech Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub, and Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa. (Photo: Air Force photos)
The two New York Air National Guardsmen who died Dec. 21 in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan have been named honorary special agents for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the agency announced Monday.

Tech Sgt. Joseph Lemm, 45, and Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa, 31, died after their patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle near Bagram Air Base. Both were assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron, Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.

Four OSI Special Agents were also killed in the blast: Maj. Adrianna Vorderbruggen, 36, and Staff Sergeants Michael Cinco, 28, Peter Taub, 30, and Chester McBride, 30.

On Monday, Brig. Gen. Keith Givens, the commander of OSI, announced that the two Guardsmen would be made honorary agents.

“In our command's 67 year history, we have selected less than 60 Honorary OSI Special Agents. None of those have been active-duty Security Forces or Air National Guard members,” Givens said. “That has changed today. After consulting with all of OSI's senior leaders, the following ‘Brothers-in-Arms’ members have been made Honorary AFOSI Special Agents.”
read more here

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Air National Guardsman Killed in Afghanistan was also NYPD Detective

Joseph Lemm, NYPD detective, killed in Afghanistan bombing, NYPD says
News Day
By Zachary R. Dowdy
Updated December 22, 2015 1:51 AM

NYPD Det. Joseph Lemm, also a staff sergeant in the Air National Guard, was killed Monday in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan that claimed the lives of five other U.S. service members. Above, Lemm is shown at his 2013 surprise welcome home party in West Harrison in Westchester County. Photo Credit: News12 Westchester
The NYPD mourned the death of yet another one of its own Monday, this time a 15-year veteran cop pulling double duty in the Air National Guard when he died in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan, police said.

Five other American service members also were killed in the bombing, and two others were wounded, a U.S. official said.

Joseph Lemm, 45, promoted to NYPD detective in January 2014, died after a motorcycle-riding attacker loaded down with explosives, slammed into a patrol unit in a village not far from Bagram Air Field, officials said.
read more here

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Vietnam 50th Celebration in Connecticut, 8,000 Remember

Governor, Veterans Celebrate Vietnam 50th Commemorative Weekend 
Hartford Courant
Kristin Stoller
July 11, 2015
"When you actually got into combat, it was pretty simple," Guenon said. "It wasn't about support or not support, it was about supporting your friends." Vietnam veteran Bill Guenon
Vietnam 50th Celebration Brad Horrigan / Hartford Courant The look inside a C-130 H Hercules cargo aircraft at Connecticut's Vietnam 50th Celebration held at the Connecticut Air National Guard base Saturday.
EAST GRANBY — Vietnam War veteran Edward Mechenbier spent six years as a prisoner of war, and later he went back twice to visit the place he was held captive.

A golf shop was there on the site where one of his cells once stood, he recalled.

"Being a prisoner of war is not a volunteer assignment," Mechenbier said. "We were just the lucky ones who happened to get captured as opposed to killed."

About 8,000 people are expected to visit during each day of the two day event, according to Major Jefferson Heiland, of the 103rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Division of the Connecticut Air National Guard.
read more here

Sunday, February 15, 2015

After 45 Years, Florida National Guardsman Retires

Retiring Guard general sees lean times ahead for Florida units 
Distinguished units
St. Augustine News
By Clifford Davis
February 14, 2015
Master Sgt. Thomas Kielbasa
Adjutant General of Florida Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw Jr. prepares for his final ride in an F-15 Eagle at the 125th Fighter Wing in Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 29, 2015. The 45-minute flight in the back seat of the Florida Air National Guard's tactical jet ended more than four decades in the air for Titshaw, who has been flying military and commercial aircraft since the early '70s. He will retire in March. (Photo by Master Sgt. Thomas Kielbasa)

The U.S. Army faces tough times.

With the end of operations in Iraq and the shrinking number of combat soldiers in Afghanistan, the Army and Army National Guard see increasingly sharp cuts in soldiers and funding.

To Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw, however, this is nothing new.

“I’ve read this book twice already,” he said speaking of the drawdowns after Vietnam and again at the end of the Cold War. “The difference is, this time the threats are still out there.”

In the twilight of a 45-year military career, Titshaw sat at a table in his office at St. Francis Barracks in St. Augustine and shared his thoughts on the future of the citizen soldier.

The Jacksonville native, Ribault alum and former fighter pilot joined the Florida Air National Guard in 1970 and steps down as the state’s adjutant general next month.
The cuts would be salt in the wound to Florida’s National Guard, which, in spite of being among the most disaster-prone states in the country, ranks 53rd out of 54 (50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia) in Guardsman-to-civilian ratio.

“There are a lot of threats possible to Florida: We have three combatant commands, nuclear power plants, a huge tourist industry centered in Orlando,” he said. “If a terrorist wants to do something to make a statement, where are they going to do it?
read more here

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Air National Guard Chaplain Talks About Compassion Fatigue

Veterans and 'The Things They Carry'
Post Courier
Norris Burkes
Air National Guard Chaplain
Nov 2 2014
"From all of that, the VA doctor told me I was likely carrying secondary traumatic stress (STS), more commonly called "compassion fatigue." STS is a condition characterized by the gradual decrease of one's ability to show compassion. It's a common side effect for those who care for the injured and dying; STS takes a lot out of one's psyche and soul, so now there's a name for it."

Note to readers: In writing this column, I'm grateful for the inspiration I received from reading Tim O'Brien's Vietnam memoir, "The Things They Carried."

In May 2009, after serving four months as the chaplain for the Air Force field hospital in Balad, Iraq, I checked five pieces of luggage onto the military charter flight that would carry me home.

The five bags were heavy with my uniforms, mementos and military gear. As we approach another Veteran's Day, however, I'm becoming more aware that I carried some unseen baggage, too.

For instance, I was carrying the weight of a job undone. It felt undone because my four-month chaplain rotation was out of sync with the six-month deployment of the hospital staff. I was returning alone while many remained. There were moments where I felt more like a deserter than a returning vet.

Like most vets, I was worried about friends I left behind. I felt much like the only Marine I saw cry during my deployment; she was sent home with a broken ankle and her tears weren't from physical pain, but from the spiritual pain of leaving her squad.
read more here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Laughlin Air Force Base Pilot Stops Tragedy at Walmart

Air Force Pilot Saves Life during Stand-off
Air Force News
by Joel Langton
October 28, 2014

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- It was just another trip to Wal-Mart for 2nd Lt. Joshua Nelson when he popped in to grab some fish hooks for a family trip to the lake this past Spring. Little did he know that a quick shopping trip would turn into so much more.

The West Virginia Air National Guardsman was walking to the Hunting and Fishing section when he heard a woman say, "Stop, put it down!"

"I could tell she was stressed and she sounded frightened," said Nelson. "I looked into the aisle, and this young man had a knife to a woman's stomach."

According to police reports, the young man was mad at his mother, who he had a knife to, because she wouldn't buy him a gun. Nelson told his wife Brittany to go alert the store manager and call the police. Nelson, who has a concealed weapons permit stepped up beside the woman.

"I put my hand on my pistol where he'd notice, and then I stepped in between them," said Nelson. "I kept demanding he hand me the knife. I wanted him to see only one option. As I was standing beside that lady, I felt like I was responsible for her life. I was going to do whatever I had to do to protect her." Then, according to the police report, Nelson went from trying to stop a murder to trying to stop a suicide when the assailant turned the knife on himself.
read more here