We Owe Him Everything We’ve Got... and Then Some

(U.S. Air National Guard: story and photo by Staff Sgt. Mercedee Wilds)

124th Fighter Wing, Boise, ID 30 June 2021

124th Security Forces Squadron defenders went above and beyond to assist a 96-year-old World War II veteran.

Retired Capt. William Brand was a P-47 Thunderbolt pilot with the Eighth Air Force in Okinawa, Japan, during WWII. He now lives in Hailey, Idaho, but regularly travels to Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho to stay at the on-base lodging on days that appointments at the Boise VA Medical Center.

On May 6, 2021, 124th SFS defenders received an emergency call to the Gowen Field Lodging Facility. As Brand was checking in for a routine stay at the Gowen Field Lodging Facility he experienced a medical emergency, which left this WWII veteran with special requirements and a limited ability to properly care for himself and coordinate his VA appointments..

124th SFS defenders took it upon themselves to organize hourly shifts to check on the well-being of Brand, which included assisting with tasks of daily-living, providing essential needs and helping to coordinate with the VA for medical attention.

The defenders took on the role of dedicated care-givers, going beyond their typical duty and surpassing their daily requirements. To this group of 124th SFS members, it was an honor to help Brand and learn about his service to our country.

“Helping a veteran isn’t in our book for normal tasks, but it’s a sense of honor to help someone like that, who not only served our country but spent time in a war that we are still benefiting from,” said Staff Sgt. Jonathan Finer, a 124th SFS member.

Finer and the other defenders who helped Brand felt providing help and assistance to him, a brother in arms who dedicated so much of his life to protecting our country, was the least they could do.

“It’s an honor to be able to hear the stories from the direct mouth of someone who has experienced it,” said Finer, “my personal feelings are that we owe him everything we’ve got and then some.”

Benchmark Memo Signings Advance OSI Partnerships

By Wayne Amann, OSI Public Affairs, 25 May 2021

Left to right, Brig. Gen. Rebecca R. Vernon, Director, Military Justice and Discipline, The Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps; Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard, Commander, Office of Special Investigations; and Brig. Gen. Roy W. Collins, Director of Security Forces, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, sign a joint memorandum at OSI Headquarters May 24, 2021, implementing a fully integrated Criminal Investigation and Prosecution (CIP) capability. (U.S. Air Force photo by SA Spencer King)

QUANTICO, Va. --

Teamwork has been a staple for the Office of Special Investigations since its inception in 1948. Now, that foundational concept has progressed significantly on two fronts.

On May 24, 2021, leaders from OSI, Air Force Security Forces (SF) and The Air Force Judge Advocate (JA) General Corps, signed a milestone memorandum at OSI Headquarters here, implementing a fully integrated Criminal Investigation and Prosecution (CIP) capability.

A second major signing that day, between OSI and SF, initiated the formation of Joint Base Enforcement Teams (JBETs).

“Both pertain to how we run and manage investigations,” said OSI Commander, Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard. “As you know, we’re constantly seeking ways to improve our processes, and to ensure that OSI is focused on the types of investigations that only we can tackle.”

The CIP agreement formally commits each organization to improving transparency and consistency within its processes. Collectively, their goal is to leverage respective areas of expertise to deliver professional, timely, and legally sound investigation and adjudication of military justice actions.

“The signing of this memorandum memorializes the long-standing relationship and cooperation between the Judge Advocate and law enforcement communities within the Department of the Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Rebecca R. Vernon, Director, Military Justice and Discipline. “The strengthening of these bonds and our commitment to even greater collaboration is emblematic of the commitment our investigators, judge advocates, Victim and Witness Assistance Program personnel, paralegals and support staff, have to both victim care and the pursuit of justice.”

The CIP memorandum outlines the composition of the CIP team, which includes key OSI, JA, and SF members, and prescribes the notification processes associated with the activation of a CIP team. The memo also hones steps already utilized by OSI special agents working cases.     

Meanwhile, the JBET concept is based largely on feedback received from OSI special agents in the field, which helped identify potential gaps in criminal and fraud investigative coverage for Department of the Air Force wings. OSI and SF agree that creating JBET is the way to optimize their investigative capabilities.  

“Security Forces and the Office of Special Investigations continue to work together to accomplish the mission at home and abroad,” said Brig. Gen. Roy W. Collins, Director of Security Forces, Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection. “The partnership memorandum demonstrates how the Security Forces Squadrons and OSI detachments support each other. Through this effort, Defenders will continue to perform law and order operations, conduct investigations, and keep our installations safe.”

JBETs will initially address two major areas, by capitalizing on SF capability to run certain types of cases.

On Pay and Allowance Matters: OSI will defer to SF, except in cases with senior subjects, or when there is a connection to another OSI investigation. OSI will coordinate closely with SF when an allegation involves large-scale manipulation or a financial management system or process, or when there is potential activity.

On Drug Offenses: SF and OSI will conduct joint interviews of drug violation suspects to determine the lead investigative agency, with OSI focusing on drug distribution and manufacturing.

General Bullard reflected on the signings from OSI’s perspective.

“Our agreements solidify our commitment to operating in lockstep with our closest law enforcement and military justice partners,” said the Commander, “thereby helping to ensure the best possible outcomes for the Department of the Air Force and those we serve.”

Defenders Receive Army Recognition for Civil Unrest Support

By MSgt Jessica Roles, 189th Airlift Wing, 22 January 2021

SMSgt Herbert Bates, 189th Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant, reads the citation as members of the 189th Security Forces Squadron receive Army Commendation and Achievement medals January 9, 2021, at Little Rock Air Force Base, AR. The defenders were awarded eight Army Commendation Medals and 19 Army Achievement Medals between the group for their support and guidance during the civil unrest in Little Rock May 31 - June 8, 2020. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by MSgt Jessica Roles)

Recently, the 189th Security Forces Squadron, Little Rock AFB, AR held a presentation in which 27 defenders received Army achievement and commendation medals. The presentation was held during the January unit training assembly in the Security Forces building for their direct support of the Arkansas National Guard’s Quick Reaction Force during the civil unrest events in downtown Little Rock last summer.

Security Forces Airman Missing While Swimming Body is Found

The body of Elijah Posana was found by his father on the beach on Tuesday, 4 May 2021.

Elijah Posana, a United States Air Force airman, was swimming approximately 100-feet from shore on Surfside Beach near Freeport, Texas when someone reported seeing him being pulled by a rip current. 

"My two younger siblings, they are younger than 15, and they are not very good swimmers. They were both drowning,” Elijah's cousin Ethan Posana said.

Ethan swam over and Elijah turned back to join him. Together they pushed the younger kids to safety.

Ethan said Elijah wasn’t in the rip current at that time.

"He wasn’t in no rip current yet. He came back to help,” he said.

Relatives said Elijah was a good swimmer.

“When we were in the rip tide, everyone else was panicking except Elijah.  He said, ‘To get out of a rip current, don’t swim forward, you have to swim to the sides,’” Ethan said.

Moments later, the Memorial High School graduate vanished. The 22-year-old military Security Forces member was on leave from the 509th Security Forces Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base, MO.

The United States Coast Guard has decided to suspend the search for a man who was last seen swimming at Surfside Beach on Sunday after searching over 100 square miles. "The decision to suspend a search is always an extremely difficult one to make," said Capt. Jason Smith, Sector Houston-Galveston commanding officer. "Every time we run a search and rescue case, we think of the missing as our own and in this case, the missing is a fellow service member which definitely weighs heavily on our hearts. Our deepest condolences go out to the Airman's family and friends."

CSAF Memo to Airmen: Leadership Library
By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, 22 March, 2021, Arlington, VA

In lieu of a traditional reading list, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. presents a new Leadership Library including his recommendations for books, podcasts and documentaries. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Corey Parrish and Travis Burcham)

Airmen,

Today I am launching the CSAF Leadership Library. This is a new way of looking at the traditional reading list – a fluid set of media that I have personally explored – that changes and evolves as novel ideas are published, recorded, and debated. 

I am an avid reader and consumer of information, constantly looking for ways to broaden my perspectives and develop myself as a leader. As a learning leader, I’m in constant search for a range of ideas and perspectives that force me to think more broadly and provide me an opportunity to engage in deeper conversations with regards to leadership and world events. I also work to remain both physically and mentally fit with daily workouts and periods of reflection. I combine my morning workouts with thought-provoking podcasts that I often discuss with my staff.  That is why you will see podcasts and other non-traditional media included in my Leadership Library. 

Like many of you, I spend every day learning. As a leader, I am still learning, even as your 22nd Chief of Staff. I listen to podcasts and constantly read about leadership – I hope you do as well. The Leadership Library is not static and will have periodic additions as I come across media and ideas I’d like to share to generate dialogue. My aim is that this Leadership Library sparks conversations for you with fellow Airmen, with your family, and with your friends.

Part of the reason the United States Air Force is the best in the world is our thirst for knowledge and the way we challenge and question the status quo – no matter what package it comes in. President Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable from each other.” Think deeply about the ideas presented in this Leadership Library, challenge preconceived notions, and find ways to build a better Air Force for today’s Airmen and for those who will follow us. As always, I’m proud to serve alongside you.

Sincerely,

CHARLES Q. BROWN, JR.
General, U.S. Air Force
Chief of Staff

Lincoln on Leadership by Donald T. Phillips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cautionary Tales: Season 1, Ep. 6: How Britain Invented, Then Ignored, Blitzkrieg  

 

  

 

   

 

 

 

The Playbook: A Coach's Rules for Life Netflix Original Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

 

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