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Commandant Micka, a French exchange pilot and assistant director of operations for Moody’s 41st Rescue Squadron, actuates switches in a HH-60G Pavehawk, Aug. 2, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Prior to his arrival at the 41st RQS, Micka transitioned from flying the French Air Force’s EC-725 Caracal helicopter to learn the HH-60. Since his childhood, Micka aspired to serve and fly for the French and U.S. military as a rescue pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Nash) “Fight and Save:” French exchange pilot reaches multinational dream
Allured by the distant chopping of helicopter blades, a young French boy diverts his attention from his television screen to watch native pilots rescue stranded hikers in Southeast France. Glancing back at his favorite show, he notices an American pilot navigating a similar airframe, causing him to wonder what it would be like to fly a ‘chopper.’ Through sheer determination, Commandant Micka propelled himself to serve and fly for both nations. As part of the 67th Helicopter Squadron “Pyrenees”, Cazaux Air Base, France, he was proud to “Fight and Save,” fulfilling the French air force helicopter community’s mantra. Now, he’s a part of Moody’s 41st Rescue Squadron to contribute to their motto.
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Airmen move to their next mentor during The Top 3 speed mentoring event, March 23, 2017 at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The event gave NCOs the opportunity to ask for advice and guidance from Senior NCOs in a variety of career fields on base. NCOs were encouraged to bring paperwork or supporting documents to give SNCOs more resources to try to help. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson) Mentorship, a two way street
Professional athletes, actors and actresses, and even musicians often have one thing in common- mentors. Career Airmen that become chiefs, first sergeants, wing commanders and command chiefs are no different; and The Top 3 organization gave Airmen the opportunity to make these connections when they hosted a speed mentoring event where Senior NCOs mentored NCOs, March 23, 2017, here. “Communication is the key to keeping our Air Force running smoothly and mentorship is how we facilitate the transition of our Airmen at all ranks,” said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Brown, 23d Wing Plans flight chief. “Mentorship offers a break from normal operations to take an objective look at where we are and where we are going as individuals and as an Air Force.”
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Retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3, James Turnage Sr., 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit contractor maintenance pilot, left, performs a preflight systems check, March 22, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The 41st HMU is responsible for Moody’s Pave Hawk fleet. Through innovation and preventative maintenance, they ensure each of their 13 Pave Hawks receive the upkeep needed to accomplish the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson) Moody Veterans: Guardians of Pave Hawks
The 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit is responsible for Moody’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter fleet, an airframe that has been flown by the Air Force since 1991. In that 25-year span thousands of Airmen have piloted and maintained the aircraft and many HMUs around the world employ retired Pave Hawk and UH-60 Black Hawk pilots as the final authority on their Pave Hawks flight readiness. The 41st is one of those HMUs. “We’re the last ones that say it’s good for flight,” said retired U.S. Air Force Major, Robert Walker, 41st HMU contractor maintenance pilot. “If it’s not ready we do not release the aircraft. We never sacrifice safety, no matter how bad they need [the aircraft]. We can’t give them something that we know is going to break, in good conscience.”
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Airmen take Humvee out on patrol in response to reports of suspicious activity in a nearby village during a Mission Readiness Exercise, March 7, 2017, at Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla. The MRX took place March 2-13 and ensured the 822d Base Defense Squadron could efficiently deploy anywhere in the world in less than 72 hours. During the two week MRX, the squadron was evaluated on its ability to set-up a bare base, effectively thwart enemy attacks, run a secure Tactical Operation Center and maintain positive relationships with villagers in surrounding areas. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson) AF Global Response Force unit proves combat readiness
An emergency situation is heating up in an undisclosed location, as violence and hostility erupts in a rash of villages, tensions build. The nation has no choice but to ask the U.S. Air Force for assistance. In order to provide that assistance, the Air Force will task a unique squadron with specialized capabilities to deploy to that location and set up a bare base, in less than 72 hours. That’s what it means to be a Global Response Force and that’s what the 822d Base Defense Group validated during their Mission Readiness Exercise March 2-14, at Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla.
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Airmen from the 38th Rescue Squadron pose for a photo with Retired Tech. Sgt. Keary Miller after a presentation, March 3, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Miller shared his story of the Battle of Roberts Ridge during the presentation. His goal was for the 38th RQS Pararescuemen to understand that what they do during their training has an impact down the road and they need to perform at a standard in order to be successful overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Lauren M. Sprunk) Pararescueman to be awarded Air Force Cross
It was his first official mission as a Pararescueman. The blades of the helicopter were spinning as the freezing air of the snowy mountains blew around him. With adrenaline pumping through him, the only thing he could hear were his anxious thoughts of fear and excitement. What he had believed would be a rewarding experience was quickly turning into a nightmare. BOOM! The helicopter was struck by a Rocket Propelled Grenade and the pilots were losing control, forcing an emergency landing at an altitude over 11,000 ft. in several feet of snow. He could see glimpses of daylight as bullets were fired into the side of the helicopter. The team unclipped from their seats, forced to exit the aircraft with nothing but instinct to guide them.
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Airmen drive Humvees back to base after patrolling the surrounding area during a Mission Readiness Exercise, March 11, 2017, at Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla. As the 822d Base Defense Squadron‘s only vehicle maintainer, Staff Sgt. Joel Kirtley, 822d BDS NCO in charge of vehicular equipment, is responsible for anything with a motor, from Humvees to golf carts and generators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janiqua P. Robinson) Vehicle maintainer drives 822d BDS
Five Airmen bump around in the cabin of their Humvee as the tires make tracks in the unpaved dirt road they’re traveling on. Without warning they begin to skid; careening from side-to-side until the driver is able to safely bring the vehicle to a complete stop. What caused the Humvee to act that way? Only one of the more than 125 Airmen in the 822d Base Defense Squadron can answer that question, because he’s the only vehicle maintainer. The 822d BDS completed their Mission Readiness Exercise March 2 to 14, at Avon Park Air Force Range, Fla., where they utilized 26 vehicles and gave him a taste of what a deployment with the 822d BDS could be like.
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An HH-60G Pave Hawk pilot from the 41st Rescue Squadron flies towards an HC-130J Combat King II as part of a refueling demonstration during the 75th Anniversary Flying Tiger Reunion, March 10, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In 1941, President Roosevelt signed an executive order forming the American Volunteer Group. The AVG was organized into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Pursuit Squadrons and later disbanded and replaced by the 23d Fighter Group in 1942. Under the command of Gen. Claire Chennault, the Flying Tigers comprised of the 74th, 75th, and 76th Pursuit Squadrons defended China against the Japanese. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers achieved combat success and flew the US-made Curtiss P-40 Warhawks painted with the shark-mouth design. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan) Flying Tigers celebrate 75 years
Flying Tigers, past and present, descended on Moody, for the Flying Tiger Reunion, here March 9-11, 2017. The reunion marked the 75th anniversary of Claire Chennault’s all volunteer group and gave attendees the opportunity to celebrate their heritage and share war stories among four generations of Flying Tigers.
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Aaron Diver, 55th Helicopter Maintenance Unit HH-60G maintenance journeyman, marshals an HH-60G Pave Hawk for takeoff at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 8, 2017. The 55th HMU is under the 923d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and operates 24/7 to make sure the aircraft are ready to fly for any mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Betty R. Chevalier) 55th RQS: The maintainers that keep HH-60Gs flying
(This story is part of the “55th RQS series” which highlights the different AFSCs associated with the unit.) The 55th Rescue Squadron conducts training missions on a regular basis, but when the HH-60G Pave Hawk is grounded, a completely different crew handles the aircraft.
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Retired Senior Master Sgt. Terry Cooper, left, poses for a photo with Dorothea Clisby 336th Recruiting Squadron secretary, middle and Senior Master Sgt. Josephine Davis-Fogle, 336th RCS production superintendent, during a visit, March 24, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Cooper was the first female squadron superintendent of the 336th RCS. Twenty years later, Davis-Fogle is the only other female to hold that position and works with the same secretary as her predecessor. (Courtesy Photo) Continuing a legacy
Very few things happen by chance and often times, history repeats itself. The June 1997 issue of Recruiter Magazine contained an article entitled “Making History,” written about Terry Cooper. She was a senior master sergeant who was the first-female squadron superintendent of the 336th Recruiting Squadron. Twenty years have passed and there has only been one other female to hold that position.
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Staff Sgt. Eric Fullmer, 563d Operations Support Squadron, scans through a window while acting as an oppositional force member, Feb. 22, 2017, at the Playas Training and Research Center, N.M. OPFOR is a role designed to simulate downrange threats and complicate training objectives with the ultimate goal of creating a realistic training environment for units preparing to deploy. Airmen from the 563d OSS fill this role in support of numerous joint exercises each year utilizing aircraft-threat emittors, vehicle-mounted simulation weapons and waves of ground troops. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan) DM OPFOR bolsters joint training
Insurgents slowly approach a bazaar, hugging a wall as they creep down an empty street. Armed with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s, they are on the hunt for U.S. troops rumored to be in the area. In an adjacent field, an MV-22 Osprey kicks up a thick cloud of dirt as it lands. Excited by the target, the insurgents scale the wall only to be quickly neutralized by a force of waiting Marines.
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