Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story.

‘Unprecedented’ challenge in countering propaganda

The U.S. is facing an unprecedented challenge in countering the propaganda of adversaries who recruit and easily spread misinformation through the Internet, a top defense official told a House panel Oct. 22.

While there are many benefits to being in a cyber-connected world, there is also a “dark side” that adversaries are taking advantage of, according to Michael Lumpkin, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

“The scope of our current challenge in the informational space is unprecedented,” Lumpkin told the House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee.

Joining Lumpkin at the hearing were Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Haas, the director of the force management and development directorate for U.S. Special Operations Command, and Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Moore Jr., the deputy director for global operations on the Joint Staff.

The military has a critical role to play in countering adversarial messages, Lumpkin said, noting it is a contributor of unique capabilities and a partner to the whole-of-government effort led by the State Department.

AF partners with Army, industry to develop, test vehicle-to-grid tech

The Defense Department’s first all-electric, nontactical vehicle fleet recently completed its final vehicle-to-grid certification testing at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

The test was conducted by the California Independent System Operator and Southern California Edison, and highlights a milestone in the Air Force’s plug-in electric vehicle — the V2G project.

The project determined whether a PEV fleet could be capable of both receiving and providing power to the electrical grid and successfully operate without negatively impacting the Air Force’s mission. The V2G technology works through a PEV’s battery that, when connected to a charging station, uses a bi-directional flow of power to either draw energy from the utility grid, or discharge energy back to the
grid when the utility needs the extra power.

“The test marks a breakthrough in emerging technology because it allows for the PEVs to not only offer a clean-fuel alternative for our vehicle fleet, but also serve as resources to the electrical grid when they’re not being driven,” said Dr. Camron Gorguinpour, the Air Force’s director of transformational innovation and project administrator.

Spirituality holds Airman up

Waking up to three missed calls from his sister was alarming enough, but then he discovered his 10-year-old great-niece, Kyra, had been admitted to the hospital.

At first, Master Sgt. Wendell Barnes, the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander support staff superintendent, assumed Kyra was being treated for her sickle-cell anemia because she was often in and out of the hospital for blood transfusions. But this time was different; the cause was intense head pain.

“It came as a surprise because the pain has only been in her joints and chest, but never in her brain or head,” Barnes said. “What made it worse was that she was screaming ‘help me’ and ‘I can’t take this.’”

Instead of assuming that the cause of her pain was sickle-cell anemia, the doctor ran a number of tests but determined the disease caused the red blood cells to be deficient in carrying oxygen to her head.

“At one point, the doctor asked Kyra to measure her pain on a scale from one to 10, and she said 12,” Barnes said. “They tried to alleviate the pain, but nothing worked.”

Cybersecurity, OPSEC vital to mission success

Every day, Air Force organizations and personnel are reminded of the importance of operations security and cybersecurity, and how integrating them into day-to-day operations helps protect proprietary and sensitive information from disclosure, espionage and exploitation.

Virtually every mission across the range of military operations depends on cybersecurity and every Airman is tasked to defend and protect the domain.

Even at home, OPSEC and cybersecurity together can deter those who strive to exploit information for personal gain.

Twenty-first century warfare has quickly extended beyond the traditional domains of air, space, land and sea,” said Lt. Gen. William Bender, the Air Force’s chief information officer. “Cyberspace has emerged as the latest domain. From fuel pumps on the flightline, GPS link on weapons platforms, to the computer on your desk — every system that operates in and through cyberspace represents a vulnerability to the domain.