Air Force

February 21, 2014

Air Force News – February 21, 2014

Azores

Lajes Field was hit with a low pressure weather system Feb. 13, and strong winds caused damages to base facilities and military family housing. Gusts as high as 100 miles-per-hour were reported on Terceira, the mid-Atlantic Azorean Island where the 65th Air Base Wing is located. The 65th Operations Support Squadron weather flight recorded winds at 89 miles-per-hour.

Israel

The surgeon general of the Air Force and his counterpart in the Israeli Defense Force signed an agreement in Israel to reaffirm their mutual commitment to collaboration between the Air Force Medical Service and the IDF Medical Corps. Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Thomas Travis and Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Yitshak Kreiss signed the Terms of Reference agreement to expand cooperation in areas such as aerospace medicine, mental health, training, academics and medical research.

Guam

More than 1,800 service members and approximately 50 aircraft from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Japan air self-defense force, Royal Australian air force and Republic of Korea air forces came together to kick off the 85th iteration of Pacific Air Forces’ Cope North exercise Feb. 14 on Andersen Air Force Base.

Singapore

U.S. Air Force aircraft are on display as part of the Singapore International Airshow, one of the largest air and trade shows in the Asia-Pacific region at the Changi Exhibition Center. The Airshow is biennial and focuses on building stronger relations between Singapore and other international communities including the U.S.

Training at Tuskegee: Turning dreams into reality

Words from the Air Force’s first African American general catch the attention of visitors to the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, giving them an idea of the pride pilots felt for their flight training, particularly the first time they took the air alone.

“After the last landing, the instructor took his parachute out of the rear cockpit, and told me to take it up alone,” said Gen. Benjamin Davis Jr., then a captain, speaking about his solo flight.

“This was what I had been waiting for. Up until this moment, he had watched my every move, but I had not received any real indication about how I was doing. Now I knew he approved. I took it up and went over some of the maneuvers I had performed under his instruction. It was my airplane.”

Dr. Daniel Haulman is the branch chief for the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., who believes there are four factors the Army considered when choosing Tuskegee as the training site for African-American pilots.

Those factors were the area’s temperate climate, the fact that segregated squadrons would be more accepted in the South, the university’s educational reputation and history, and that it already had a civilian pilot training program.

DOD to mandate documentation for lost, stolen CACs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Later this year, the Defense Department will begin fully enforcing a previously optional policy regarding the reissuance of lost or stolen common access cards, a defense official recently said.

Sam Yousef, a program manager for identity and benefits policy at the Defense Human Resources Activity, discussed an update to the current CAC issuance policy during an interview with American Forces Press Service and the Pentagon Channel.

“Beginning in late March (or) early April of this year, we are going to begin fully enforcing current common access card policy, which will require individuals to bring supporting documentation if they have had their ID cards lost or stolen,” he said. “If you have your card lost or stolen, you should work with your local security office or the individual sponsoring you for that ID card.”

People requesting a replacement card will need to produce a document on component or agency letterhead that explains that the card has been lost or stolen, he added. Yousef noted the document should be signed, and individuals must bring it with them to have a new card issued.

“If the card has been stolen they may also bring in the police report that accounts for that,” he added. “This will not only get the department in full compliance with our policy, but it will also create better accountability for individuals who have had their cards lost or stolen.”

Though this has been a part of the current policy, Yousef noted, it was not mandated at CAC card-issuing locations.

“Previously, in the last couple of years, we have actually updated the system to capture this documentation on an optional basis,” he said. “So what will happen in late March (or) early April is it will be required as part of that reissuance to bring supporting documentation with you.”

The supporting documentation will be scanned and stored in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, he added.

This will affect all common access card-eligible individuals, both military and civilian, Yousef said.

Detecting spice: research continues at the Academy

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — The Navy has a promotional campaign warning against spice, the Army has allowed commanders to order mandatory drug-testing for the first time, and Airmen at the Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory are working to find ways to detect the substance in service members.

Spice is a synthetic compound created in laboratories, it has properties similar to marijuana, and has been shown to be dangerous and deadly. Once sold legally, the drug is now outlawed in 45 states and in all four service branches, the result of users suffering from hallucinations, violence and organ failure.

Spice is reportedly gaining popularity among military personnel, but U.S Air Force Academy’s Chemistry Research Center and the Chemistry Department have teamed-up to solve the problem.

To do this, they must answer two questions: How do they detect a new chemical compound in a routine drug test and how do they detect it for longer periods after a person takes it?

The results of their work have been promising. Last year, research teams discovered a common metabolite used in synthetic cannabinoids like Spice, a generic term used for all types of the synthetic drug mimicking the effects of marijuana.

Former Cadet 1st Class Alexa Gingras, now a second lieutenant, spent the summer of 2012 at the laboratory and discovered strategies to improve the sensitivity of the Air Force’s drug tests and devised a shortened method of preparing urine samples for analysis. For her research, Gingras received the Moore Award, an honor presented to the cadet with the most influential summer research across all academic disciplines.

The Academy’s spice research continues, with chemistry professor Dr. Timm Knoerzer and Cadet 1st Class Jacob Krimbill working to develop extended testing protocols for the drug with the goal of increasing analytical testing of samples.

Krimbill, a senior biochemistry student, first began researching spice in the spring of 2013. He also conducted a summer research project at Air Force Drug Testing Laboratory, where he assisted in devising new protocols to increase the rate at which samples can be tested. His research continued throughout the fall semester and he gave up part of the semester break to continue working on the project.

The pair are trying to find ways to detect spice metabolites even weeks after it’s been used.

“One main component in spice (UR-144) is easily metabolized, but readily degrades either in the body or during the testing protocol,” Krimbill said. “Our intent is to synthesize and test for the degraded metabolite which may ultimately lead to a more precise and sensitive test.”

Getting to this point will take work.




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