Round the Reserve

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Four Bases in Running for Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II Unit

Four bases are in the running to be the home of the first Air Force Reserve-led F-35A Lightning II unit. Air Force officials announced April 12 that Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida; Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas; and Whiteman AFB, Missouri, are the bases up for consideration.

The preferred and reasonable alternative locations are expected to be selected in the fall, and the aircraft are slated to begin arriving at the first Reserve-led F-35A location by the summer of 2023.

At the same time, the Air Force also released basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for two Air National Guard squadrons, which are planned to receive their first aircraft in the summer of 2022.

“The Air Force is committed to a deliberate and open process to address F-35 basing,” said Jennifer A. Miller, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations. “As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect.”

The basing criteria for the ANG bases include mission requirements (weather, airspace and training range availability), capacity (sufficient hanger and ramp space, and facility considerations), environmental requirements and cost factors.

The Air Force will evaluate Guard installations with runways of at least 8,000 feet and operational A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, F-16 Fighting Falcons or F-15 Eagles against the approved criteria to identify candidate bases for the F-35A.

After identifying candidate bases, the Air Combat Command and ANG will conduct site surveys at each location as applicable. Site survey teams will assess each location against operational requirements, potential impacts to existing missions, infrastructure and manpower, and then develop cost estimates to bed down the F-35A.

Based on the results of these efforts, the Air Force plans to identify candidate installations for the ANG locations this summer before selecting the preferred and reasonable alternatives and beginning the environmental impact analysis process later this year. (Secretary of the Air Force public affairs)

Barksdale Reservists Team Up With Active-Duty Airmen on Deployment

Citizen Airmen from the 307th Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, joined their active-duty counterparts from the 2nd BW on a deployment to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in April to support Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Reservists from the 307th Bomb Wing are proud mission partners with the 2nd Bomb Wing,” Col. James Morriss, vice commander of the 307th, said. “Shoulder to shoulder with active-duty Airmen, our Citizen Airmen stand at the ready to project on-time, on-target air power.”

This is not the first time that members of the two units have deployed together as a team. In 2001, they joined forces to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In the first three months of that deployment, the two wings’ B-52 Stratofortress aircraft dropped more than 7,000 tons of munitions in combat missions.

“Currently, total force 307th Bomb Wing (Airmen) are once more deployed, providing immense air power for our nation and allies,” said Col. Bruce Cox, wing commander. “With heritage dating back to groundbreaking long-range missions just after Pearl Harbor, the 307th became known as the Long Rangers. Today, once more fighting for freedom, the Long Rangers ride again!”

The Barksdale Airmen are part of a multi-national coalition that is conducting anti-terrorist missions in the region. (Master Sgt. Dachelle Melville, 307th BW public affairs)

Newport News Honors Reservist for Helping Woman in Distress

City officials in Newport News, Virginia, honored an Air Force Reservist who intervened in a dispute that resulted in the stabbing of a local woman.

In a ceremony May 5, Capt. Erick of the 718th Intelligence Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, received the Newport News Police Department’s Citizen Service Award. (NOTE: Due to security concerns, Citizen Airmen who are directly involved in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions are only identified by rank and first name.)

While on his way home after a unit training assembly on April 12, 2015, Erick saw a man and woman running through traffic. The man, later identified as Michael Andre Warren, grabbed the woman and began punching her head and face.

Upon seeing the assault occurring in the middle of the street, Erick immediately stopped his car, got out and started running toward the two.

“As I closed in on the two individuals, they reached the sidewalk and fell together on the ground,” he wrote in a memorandum that provided details of the incident. When he got within 15 to 20 feet, “the male jumped back up and began to run. I chased after him. While fleeing, the male began removing the shirt he was wearing. In the last 15 feet of the chase, the male attacker fell on the ground from running, and four other males came running from behind me to help catch and secure him.”

Erick said while the four men held the attacker down, he ran back to help the female. When he arrived at her side, two other women had stopped to provide help. When they tried to stand the woman up, the victim fell to the ground. They saw that she was bleeding and realized she had been stabbed in the lower back area. Erick then called 911 to request police assistance and an ambulance. The victim was later transported to a local hospital where she received treatment for life-threatening injuries.

Erick stayed behind and identified the man who police had arrested as the person who attacked the female. He later learned that the man attempted to use the shirt that he removed to dispose of a switchblade knife.

The attacker was later convicted and is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.

In addition to the recognition Erick received from Newport News officials, his unit has submitted an application to award him the Air Force Commendation Medal.

“I couldn’t be prouder for Captain Erick,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Redden, 718th IS commander. “His selfless dedication to a lady in distress demonstrated what it truly means to be a Citizen Airman. By putting his health and well-being on the line, he ultimately saved this woman’s life, and his actions proved that there are good and courageous officers serving in the Air Force Reserve.

“From day one, he has been a mainstay of my officer corps and was also recognized at the Air Force level as the 2015 Reserve Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Company Grade Officer of the Year,” Redden said. “I can’t wait to see what he does next. 718th ... eyes in the sky!” (Air Force Reserve Command public affairs)

Air Control Group Breaks Ground on New Ops Facility

Officials from the 513th Air Control Group at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, participated in a ceremony April 14 to break ground on a new operations facility.

The groundbreaking date coincided with the 68th birthday of the Air Force Reserve.

At the ceremony, Airmen from the 513th ACG discussed the new facility’s role in future Air Force Reserve command and control operations.

“It is meaningful to go from being eliminated two short years ago to being written back into the budget and getting a new building as well,” said Col. David Robertson, commander of the 513th ACG. “It emphasizes the importance and the legacy that the 513th has when it comes to supporting the command and control mission for our country.”

The 32,000-square-foot facility will allow three units — the consolidated air control group headquarters, operations support flight and airborne air control squadron — that are currently physically separated from each other to be located in the same facility. The building is scheduled to be completed by January 2018.

Lt. Col. Ralph Hawkins, 513th ACG executive officer, said combining the units within the 513th under one roof to get them closer to their associated active-duty unit, the 552nd Air Control Wing, is a step in the right direction.

The 513th ACG is an associate Reserve unit, which augments the 552nd with crews and maintenance personnel for the E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft. (Tech. Sgt. Lauren Gleason, 507th Air Refueling Wing public affairs, Tinker AFB)

Free Online College Tutoring Program Available

Full- and part-time Air Force Reservists are eligible for free online college tutoring services through a new pilot program sponsored by the Department of Defense Voluntary Education Program and the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support.

“If a service member is struggling with a college course or simply needs help with a homework assignment, this DOD-funded tool offers a place to go to get answers,” said Jeff Allen, DANTES director.

Allen said the program provides around-the-clock, online tutoring services for active-duty service members, Coast Guard members, and full- and part-time reserve component members. Some family members are also eligible to use the tutoring services.

The program is available online at and provides students with one-on-one tutoring with educators able to help with more than 40 college subjects. The tutors provide help with all types of homework assignments and test preparation.

Tutors and students communicate in a secure online classroom using text chat and by drawing on an interactive whiteboard. There are no webcams or telephones used, and no personal information is shared between the tutor and student.

Students can access the online service using any internet-enabled device, including smartphones and tablets. If it’s just a quick question, tutors are available on-demand. Also, students can schedule tutoring sessions or upload papers for offline review. (Erin Roberts, DANTES public affairs)

Beale Unit Returns to Refueling Mission

The 940th Wing at Beale Air Force Base, California, is returning to a familiar mission with the announcement April 29 that it is officially being re-designated as the 940th Air Refueling Wing.

The wing is changing from the command, control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission to the air refueling mission and will fly the KC-135 Stratotanker, which has provided aerial refueling capability for the Air Force for more than 50 years.

With the unit re-designation and mission change, the 940th will also become part of a different numbered air force, moving from the 10th Air Force, located at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, to 4th Air Force at March Air Reserve Base, California.

The 940th first began flying Stratotankers in 1977 at Mather AFB, California. It moved to McClellan AFB, California, in 1993 and then to Beale AFB in 1998. Both Mather and McClellan have since closed.

An official ceremony to celebrate the mission re-designation was scheduled for June 4. (940th ARW public affairs)

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