Showing posts with label Langley Air Force Base. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Langley Air Force Base. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Veteran Education Benefits Cut Then VA Sends List of Homeless Shelters?

Disabled vet says VA cancelled vocational education rehab plan, sent him list of homeless shelters
ABC 7 Denver
Lance Hernandez
Feb 16, 2015

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Jeremy McVay says he couldn't believe it when the VA in Montgomery Alabama sent him an email suggesting he reach out to homeless shelters in Colorado.

The disabled veteran, who was stationed at Langley Air Force Base during 9/11 as a ground equipment technician, moved to Broomfield in late January after his case worker signed off on a vocational education rehabilitation plan.

He started a gunsmith class last Monday at the Colorado School of Trades in Lakewood.

Shortly afterwards, the VA notified him that his plan had been cancelled.

He said they told him that because his educational plan involved guns, the caseworker’s supervisor needed to sign off on it, but no one told him that before he moved to Colorado and started taking his class.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Drone pilots and PTSD

Combat Stress Felt Far From Front Lines
Mar 11, 2013
Associated Press
by Lolita C. Baldor

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- The gritty combat in Afghanistan is thousands of miles away.

But the analysts in the cavernous room at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia relive the explosions, the carnage and the vivid after-battle assessments of the bombings over and over again. The repeated exposure to death and destruction rolling across their computer screens is taking its own special toll on their lives.

The military has begun to grapple with the mental and emotional strains endured by personnel who may never come face to face with a Taliban insurgent, never dodge a roadside bomb or take fire, but who nevertheless may be responsible for taking human lives or putting their colleagues in mortal danger.

Now, for the first time, an Air Force chaplain and a psychologist are walking the floor of the operations center at Langley, offering counseling and stress relief to the airmen who scrutinize the war from afar.

Sitting at computer banks lining the expansive room, the Air Force analysts watch the video feeds streaming from surveillance drones and other military assets monitoring U.S. forces around the globe. Photos, radar data, full-motion video and electronically gathered intelligence flows across multiple screens. In 15- to 20-minute shifts, the airmen watch and interpret the information.
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Hagel Will Not Reduce Drone Medal's Precedence
Mar 08, 2013
by Bryant Jordan

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will not alter the ranking of the recently announced Distinguished Warfare Medal, intended for drone pilots that has drawn controversy because it takes precedence over the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart.
In a letter to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the first group to come out against the new medal's ranking, Hagel said he is satisfied with the criteria and placement of the new medal. The medal is intended for drone pilots and cyber warfare specialists whose actions have a direct impact on combat operations.
"I have discussed at length the reasoning and process leading up to establishing the DWM with the [service secretaries and chiefs] and accept their judgment that the award is at the appropriate level," Hagel said in his letter.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Air Force hospital error removed "cells" and fetus

Pregnancy lost due to Air Force base hospital error, lawsuit alleges
By Elizabeth Simpson
The Virginian-Pilot
Published: February 17, 2013

Heather Fergurson can't help but replay the mental tape of April 18, 2011, over and over in her head.

The Chesapeake woman had walked into Langley Air Force Base Hospital that day for a prenatal visit. Her husband and son were with her, excited by the idea of a new baby by Christmas.

But within hours, Fergurson was told she might instead have a mass of cancerous cells growing in her uterus. She was sent for a procedure called a suction dilation and curettage - typically done after a miscarriage to remove fetal tissue from the womb, or when there's an unwanted mass that needs to be excised.

Fergurson soldiered through the emotionally wrenching experience, believing the surgeon was removing cells that had gone haywire.

Little did she know the worst was to come two days later. That's when officials from the Langley hospital sat at a conference table and informed her that the tissue a surgeon removed had actually been a healthy fetus, about 11 weeks along.

Fergurson, 32, has been unable to conceive again. She often revisits the moments she spent on the operating table that day. And earlier this month, she filed a $1.7 million lawsuit against the federal government alleging malpractice.

She and her husband, Charles Fergurson, want answers.

"I've been deployed four times in combat zones," said Charles, a 56-year-old sergeant major in the Army. "We die in combat, we know that can happen. We accept that."

But he can't accept that his pregnant wife went into a military hospital for a prenatal exam and had a procedure that destroyed a healthy fetus.
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Langley air show canceled over sequestration threat

Langley air show canceled over sequestration threat
By Jeff Sheler
The Virginian-Pilot
Published: February 16, 2013

Citing budget uncertainties and the threat of sequestration, Joint Base Langley announced Friday it is canceling the Langley air show, which was set for May 3-5. A spokeswoman for Oceana Naval Air Station said it may cancel its show as well.

"The Air Force has to consider the fiscal challenges affecting the Department of Defense and the nation," Col. Korvin Auch, 633rd Air Base Wing commander, said in a statement announcing the cancellation.

"We're taking prudent steps now in order to be good stewards of taxpayer resources while focusing on maintaining readiness."

At Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, spokeswoman Kelley Stirling said that canceling its annual show

"is definitely being considered, but no decision has been made."

If sequestration happens, Stirling said, the Navy is expected to cancel shows by the Blue Angels flight demonstration team for the remainder of the year. Since the Blue Angels are a big part of Oceana's show, she said, "that would mean our show gets canceled regardless."
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Monday, April 28, 2008

Storms leave 200 injured in Virginia, officials say

Storms leave 200 injured in Virginia, officials say
Story Highlights

NEW: Injuries in Suffolk, where a tornado destroyed homes and businesses

A second tornado struck Colonial Heights injuring at least 18, an official said

Video shows roofs torn off, cars flipped, trees snapped in half

An emergency shelter will be open by Monday night, an official says

(CNN) -- At least three tornadoes caused massive damage in Virginia and injured more than 200 people on Monday, officials said.

At least 200 were injured in Suffolk where a twister destroyed several homes and businesses, said Bob Spieldenner of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

The storm hit the 138-bed Sentara Obici Hospital, though Spieldenner said the facility was still operational and accepting patients.

A second tornado struck Colonial Heights -- about 60 miles northwest, near Richmond -- injuring at least 18 people, he said.

A third twister damaged several homes near Lawrenceville, about 70 miles south of Richmond, said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, which confirmed all three tornadoes.

Gov. Tim Kaine declared a Virginia-wide state of emergency as hazardous weather continued through the central part of the state.

The Suffolk twister touched down just before 4 p.m. ET and plowed its way east into Norfolk, damaging scores of homes, stores and cars and downing dozens of trees and power lines, Jackson said.

Video footage from the scene showed roofs torn off homes, cars flipped over, trees snapped in two and a caved-in section of a newly constructed shopping center.

Furniture, fences and mounds of other debris were tossed in streets, parking lots and lawns. Watch the storm's massive destruction from the air »

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Local Headlines

"My Kitchen Window Blew Out"

Suffolk Public Schools Closed Tuesday

UPDATE - Mandatory Neighborhood Evacuation

Tornado Photos From Hampton Roads

More Viewer Storm Pictures

Storm Cloud Photos From Hampton - Langley Air Force Base

Storm Shots In Pungo - See The Pictures

Tornado Damage - Photos Sent In By Viewers

Tornado Pictures Near Obici Hospital in Suffolk

Tornado Spotted Near King's Fork High School

April 23, 2008

Virginia Defense Force- ready to respond in 2008

Courtesy of the Virginia Defense Force

RICHMOND — National Volunteer Week will be celebrated April 27 to May 3. It recognizes the many volunteers in our state that contribute individual time and efforts that benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth. This effort is exemplified by many organizations in communities throughout the state. The Virginia Defense Force is just one of many volunteer organizations involved in support to our citizens.
The Virginia Defense Force is an all volunteer force that is a member of the Virginia Department of Military Affairs. It provides support after disasters, specifically when authorized to assist citizens throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia whenever and wherever relief is needed in support of the Virginia National Guard under the command of Maj. Gen. Robert Newman, the Adjutant General.

The volunteer members are located in over 38 Virginia Army National Guard installations throughout the Commonwealth. They support the Virginia National Guard in performing state missions to provide interoperable communications, less-than-lethal security, emergency medical triage, traffic control, fix-wing aviation flights, and general manpower support as specified by the Governor of Virginia.

The division headquarters is located in Richmond and there are three operational brigades- Lafayette, located in the Tidewater area; Black Horse, located in Northern Virginia; and the High Land in Roanoke. Two new battalions will be activated on the Eastern Shore and in Northern Virginia in this year.

The division currently has a total of over 700 members and in 2007 they contributed over 7,500 mandays of volunteer service. This resulted in a financial contribution to the Commonwealth of over $1,000,000. The future trend is for the VDF to exceed the past year’s mandays for volunteer service to the state based on the increase in new members throughout the Commonwealth. The long term goal is to have 1,200 volunteers in four to five brigades and 12 to 15 battalions.

For more information about the Virginia Defense Force go to; or contact by e-mail at; or call the Division Headquarters in Richmond at 804-228-7018 or 866-791-9164.

Will the National Guard be able to respond?
April 22, 2008

Charlottesville, Leesburg and Woodstock area Va. Guard Soldiers return from Iraq

Soldiers from infantry companies headquartered in Charlottesville, Leesburg and Woodstock assigned to 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team returned to the United States April 20 and 21 after serving in Iraq and Kuwait since September 2007. The Soldiers flew into the demobilization station of Camp Shelby, Miss., and will conduct a number of different administrative activities to transition from active duty back into traditional National Guard status prior to returning back to Virginia. Approximately 150 Soldiers are assigned to each company.

The units will spend four or five days at Camp Shelby, but the exact arrival date for their return back to Virginia has not been determined at this time. The Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office will issue a follow up advisory once the return date has been set.

All three infantry companies were assigned to convoy escort duty in Iraq and had numerous enemy engagements via improvised explosive devices, small arms fire and complex ambushes. A and B Companies operated in Al Anbar Province or Multinational Division West. A Company operated and in some of the most dangerous areas in Iraq to include Fallujah and Ramadi, and B Company operated in hot spots west of the Euphrates River and the far western portions of Iraq near the Syrian border.

C Company provided convoy escort in Multi-National Division North and operated in some of the more recent danger areas around Mosul and Kirkuk. Nine of the 10 Soldiers wounded in action from the battalion were from C Company. The battalion had no fatalities.

In addition to the three infantry companies, the Battalion is made up of approximately 100 Soldiers from the Winchester-based Headquarters Company, approximately 125 Soldiers from Fredericksburg-based D Company and approximately 125 Soldiers from Fredericksburg-based F Company, 429th Brigade Support Battalion. These three units will return to the USA in the coming weeks. Additional information about their return will be provided once the units have landed at their demobilization station.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Combat stress defused at front

Combat stress defused at front
Two Langley Air Force Base officers brought "control" tactics to the battlefields of Iraq last year.
February 3, 2008

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE - There's one Army medic whom Air Force Maj. Melissa O'Neill can't forget.

During the early years of the war in Iraq, the National Guard soldier watched as a homemade bomb exploded, hitting a military truck carrying one of his childhood friends. The medic was the first to try to save his friend from fatal wounds.

When he returned from that first deployment to Iraq, the medic kept secret the pain of not being able to revive his buddy and the struggles of living with survivor's guilt. He used alcohol to help him keep the secret.

Then, last year, he was sent back to Iraq.

"He came to me knowing he had a problem," said O'Neill, commander of the behavioral health unit at Langley Air Force Base. "He came to me wanting to use his time in Iraq to quit drinking."

O'Neill and Air Force Capt. Travis Lunasco, a Langley psychologist, spent about five months last year in Iraq as members of a combat-stress control team.

The teams are the military's way of taking the fight against combat stress — and the threat of that stress escalating into post-traumatic stress disorder when troops return home — to the front lines.

The counselors, psychologists and social workers who make up the teams run mental health clinics, advise commanders on how to help troops balance the stresses of home and the battlefield, and respond when troops survive traumatic events.
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