Colombia became the 29th nation to participate in Red Flag exercises at Nellis Air Force Base in July. Despite Nevada’s vastly different terrain, weather and operational environments, the Columbian air force came to participate in the world-class, realistic air combat training that can’t be acquired anywhere else.
The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing held a major accident response exercise to prepare for an emergency that can happen at any time. This particular scenario included a building explosion and focused on the actions of Air Force, coalition and host nation first responders, including fire department, security forces and medical personnel.
F-22A Raptors from the 1st Fighter Wing, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., deployed to Kadena Air Base signify a continued commitment to regional stability and security, while allowing units to train in the Pacific theater. F-22s routinely deploy throughout the U.S. Pacific Command’s area of responsibility.
A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots debuted the Scorpion, a new helmet system that arranges target information on a heads-up display so pilots know where targets are positioned on the ground without ever losing visual contact of these targets.
Air Advisor Academy unveils memorial for fallen Airmen
The Air Advisor Academy hosted a dedication ceremony July 27 for the new Air Advisor Memorial at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
While the memorial honors all air advisors who have made the ultimate sacrifice, the ceremony honored eight Airmen and one contractor who were killed April 27, 2011, in Afghanistan.
More than 100 family members of those air advisors, as well as fellow air advisors and Air Force and community leaders, flew from around the world to attend the ceremony and honor the fallen: Lt. Col. Frank Bryant Jr., Maj. David Brodeur, Maj. Jeffrey Ausborn, Maj. Raymond Estelle II, Maj. Phil Ambard, Maj. Charles Ransom, Capt. Nathan Nylander, Master Sgt. Tara Brown and retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. James McLaughlin.
Linda Ambard, the widow of Major Ambard, said she was humbled when she first heard about the plans for the memorial, especially because her husband was an immigrant to the U.S. He had emigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela when he was 12 years old. Seeing her husband’s military service honored and remembered by his Air Force family made her appreciate that extended family that much more, she said.
“It is really nice to know people still care, people still remember,” Ambard said. “His name stands as a testimony to a life well lived.”
That camaraderie played an important part in completing the memorial, said Col. Olaf Holm, the Air Advisor Academy commandant and the creative force behind the project. The whole thing was built through donations and volunteer labor, and the fact that it was finished in approximately four months is a testament to the ideas of community and family, Holm added.
The idea of having a peaceful, private place where people can remember and reflect on air advisors who have made the ultimate sacrifice is one Holm said he hopes will be embraced by the families of the fallen nine.
“These are really wonderful people who have gone through a tremendous amount,” Holm said. “If in some way this eases their pain and makes them feel better, it’s going be a huge emotional time for me.”