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Submarine USS San Francisco Departs for Six-month Deployment

English: NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (Nov. 1...

English: NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2010) The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS San Francisco (SSN 711) departs for its six-month western Pacific Ocean and Southwest Asia deployment. San Francisco is assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 and homeported in San Diego, Calif. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Shannon Warner/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anthony Walker, Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 Public Affairs

NAVAL BASE POINT LOMA, Calif. (NNS) — USS San Francisco (SSN 711) deployed from Naval Base Point Loma for a scheduled six-month Western Pacific deployment Dec. 18.

The Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarine‘s deployment is in support of the nation’s maritime strategy.

San Francisco’s missions will focus on maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts, which help establish conditions for regional stability.

The deployment is part of an ongoing rotation of deployed forces to support maritime security operations and operations in international waters around the globe, working with other coalition maritime forces. During the past few months, San Francisco has conducted several training exercises off the coast of California and is fully prepared to deploy.

“My entire crew has been hard at work to ensure our ship is fully prepared to execute all tasking and missions during the deployment,” said Cmdr. Eric Severseike, commanding officer of USS San Francisco. “It is certainly a privilege to command such a capable warship. Every crew member looks forward to the challenges of the deployment and to safely returning in the summer and reuniting with our supportive families.”

San Francisco was commissioned April 24, 1981. Displacing more than 6,900 tons, San Francisco has a crew of nearly 140 Sailors. She is one of six Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarines homeported in San Diego.

There have been consistent reports about the violent acts this group has carried out against Christians in Nigeria. These acts have taken place over several years. I encourage all of you to aggressively support Foreign Terrorist Organization designation for Boko Haram !

Faith That Inspires Action

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ — Jubilee Campaign has petitioned the White House to designate the Nigerian Jihadist group Boko Haram as a “foreign terrorist organization.” Boko Haram is responsible for killing an estimated 3,000 Nigerians and citizens of 9 other countries — primarily Christians — in the last three years and has acknowledged it has ties to Somalian terrorist groups and Al Qaeda. The prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague recently found probable cause that the group committed crimes against humanity. The Petition is available on the White House website for any concerned citizen to sign.

“Boko Haram has demonstrated a vigorous commitment to terrorist tactics, killing thousands of innocents in pursuit of their global jihadist ambitions,” said Jubilee Campaign’s Executive Director Ann Buwalda. “It is high time for the State Department to demonstrate an equal commitment to truth, justice and the rule of…

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Lt. Gen. Clarke nominated as Director, Air National Guard

LIEUTENANT GENERAL STANLEY E. CLARKE III

12/12/2012 – ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, commander of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – 1st Air Force, has been nominated by President Obama to be the next director of the Air National Guard.

If confirmed by the Senate, Clarke will replace Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” Wyatt III., who is retiring in January. Wyatt has led the Air National Guard since February 2009.

Wyatt said Clarke, if confirmed, is the right person at the right time.

“Sid is an outstanding leader,” he said. “He has an opportunity to lead the best Air National Guard in our nation’s history; a force that is proven in combat and domestic crises. His wealth of command and staff positions will help shape and guide the Air Guard as we forge ahead to the future.”

As Air Guard Director, Clarke will be responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 106,000 Air Guard members in more than 88 flying wings and 200 geographically separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Clarke is no stranger to key leadership positions. At 1st Air Force, he commanded four direct reporting units, 10 aligned Air National Guard units, and a large number of active air defense alert sites — including aircraft, air defense artillery, and up to 15,000 active duty, National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilian personnel. As the Joint Force Air Component Commander for North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Clarke developed contingency plans and conducted full-spectrum U.S. Air Force air and space operations in the continental United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as over the maritime approaches to the U.S.

Clarke is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flight hours, including more than 100 in combat, in the T-38 Talon, C-26 Metroliner, A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon. He has served as the Deputy Director of the Air National Guard and as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air for the Alabama Air National Guard.

Prior to his NORAD assignment, Clarke served the senior defense official and defense attaché in Turkey. The general was commissioned in 1981 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Georgia. He has served in various operational and staff assignments including duty as an A-10 and F-16 instructor pilot. He also has commanded a squadron, fighter wing and air expeditionary wing.

New program helps develop holdover Airmen at BMT

English: LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air...

English: LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — Airmen participate in a rite of passage shared by all enlisted Airmen — the Basic Military Training graduation parade. The parade of 15 squadrons marked the end of the six-week training period for about 750 of the Air Force’s newest Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Ken Wright) Source: USAF http://www.lackland.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/web/050820-F-4500W-015.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

12/6/2012 – JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) — Airmen placed on hold in the 324th Training Squadron here are benefiting from a new program established earlier this year.

Typically, Airmen in a hold status have already completed basic training and are awaiting orders or assignment to technical school. There may be medical reasons for a hold status according to squadron leaders, but other factors may also result in assignment to the 324th TRS.

The new Holdover Airmen Development Program, focuses on personal and professional development; giving Airmen in a hold status options to further their careers.

The program has already been successful. Airmen interested in broadening their educational goals accumulated more than 1,000 credit hours to date by using their time to study for, and taking, College Level Entrance Program tests.

Several community service projects in and around base were completed by Airmen in the program. Holdover Airmen also organized a drill team with the aim to compete in the quarterly 37th Training Group drill down competition, and established two “rope programs”: the chaplain-based White Ropes and an Airman Leadership program of study.

“We understand when holdover Airmen come to the 324th TRS, this is the last place they want to be,” said Lt. Col. Paul Lips, 324th TRS commander. “We wanted them to utilize their time here to grow and develop as Airmen so they could reach their maximum potential.”

While staying at basic training for an extended period of time may seem to be a daunting proposition for most Airmen, the Squadron staff focusing on using the extra time productively.

“We wanted to develop a sense of belonging and worth for those Airmen,” said Master Sgt. Ricardo Chavez, a 433rd TRS master military training instructor assigned to the 324th TRS, who developed the program. “Our goal was to create an environment (similar to) technical training school, but with the restrictions of being in a BMT squadron, because they do live around trainees.”

In the dormitory, they follow the same guidelines as expected of a basic trainee, Chavez explained, adding that holdover Airmen do have exclusive areas in the dorm, including a day room, lounge, access to personal electronics, and computers for studying.

Since the program simulates a technical school environment, Airmen also earn transitional credits.

“We worked hard to get the transition program established so they would get credit for their time in holdover,” Lips said. “That’s been a huge morale boost for them and we’re getting positive feedback from the tech training schools about the Airmen who have been through our program.”

Senior Master Sgt. David Milne, 324th TRS superintendent, said the program has turned an obstacle into an opportunity for holdover Airmen assigned to the squadron.

“We needed to make them feel like they were Airmen,” Milne said. “They had already marched down the bomb run and graduated from basic training. That’s why we wanted this program to mirror tech training so when they arrived at their tech training squadron, they would be an asset.”

In addition to simulating a technical training environment, Chavez said two military training leaders; Master Sgt. Robert Thurman and Tech. Sgt. Joseph Green; mentor, guide and manage the holdover Airmen.

Green said their roles as MTLs help with the transition from the controlled environment of BMT to a technical-training atmosphere.

He said one charge is to develop the holdover Airmen, who also have weekly professional development briefings with senior leaders, into professional Airmen.

“We’ve instilled tech-training programs and empowered them to run (those) programs alongside NCOs,” Green said. “We get them out of a trainee mentality so they can start thinking like Airmen. They are very hard working and very motivated.”

Airman 1st Class Jenny Duenas was one of the longest-tenured Airmen in the program. An Air Force reserve recruit from Guam, Duenas had been on hold for medical reasons since graduating BMT nearly five months ago.

“I didn’t want to go home until I had tried everything I could to stay in the Air Force,” Duenas said.

She took advantage of her time in the holdover program to work her way through the leadership rope program, earning the top rank of “red rope.”

The leadership program includes the colors green, yellow and red ropes. Earning a red rope signifies Duenas is in a position of leadership for the holdover Airmen.

“I absolutely benefited from the program,” Duenas said. “It enhanced my leadership skills, and I feel like I helped a lot of Airmen who came through here.

“The program definitely makes Airmen better and I think they are more prepared on a professional level. A lot of Airmen I’ve heard from who transitioned from here to tech school are very grateful for they’re time here.”

Lips said the Airmen have taken it upon themselves to raise the standard.

“The motivation and excitement levels of the Airmen are through the roof,” he said. “The Airmen in the program have created a culture of excellence here, and now they bring those new holdover Airmen into that culture.”