AirFest 2014 big success!


AirFest 2014 big success!
Vol. 42, No. 13
Thursday, March 27, 2014
AirFest 2014 big success!
Photos by Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchel and Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, United States Special Operations Command paracommando, displays the flag during the national anthem at the opening of MacDill AirFest 2014. AirFest offers the public an opportunity to meet the men and women of the armed forces and see military equipment through the efforts of active duty, guard and reserve service members, as well as civilian employees, retirees and family members.
Congratulations on a job well done
by Col. Scott DeThomas
6th Air Mobility Wing commander
Over the last month we have
asked a lot from you, and you
have performed with incredible
energy and a positive attitude. I
have been inundated with hundreds, if not thousands of positive
comments about your professionalism and can-do spirit.
A month ago, you facilitated
one of the largest and most influential conferences in the Air
Force while hosting 34 general
officers at Corona, and then you
followed that up with a week-long
exercise that tested your ability
to perform the mission. Next, you
flawlessly welcomed the 18th Air
Force commander, who was impressed with your professinalism,
followed closely by a visit from
the governor. Last, but certainly
not least you hosted thousands of
our closest friends from the community at AirFest, and you were
At any other base, any one of
those events would have tested
their fortitude, but here at MacDill we are different. Where others see challenges, we see opportunities.
Recently while being interviewed a reporter asked me, “How
will you face all of these challenges?” I told him that we don’t
see challenges, we see opportunities. We see opportunities to excel
in front of leaders at the highest
level, as well as the entire Tampa
Bay community. Over the last
month you seized these opportunities to its fullest, and I want to
Col. Scott DeThomas, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander, autographs
Tampa Bay AirFest 2014 posters for attendees Saturday at MacDill Air
Force Base.
say “Thank you.” I also want to
thank each of your family members that sacrificed time away
from you while you took advantage of each opportunity to show
that we are the preeminent wing
within Air Mobility Command.
I encourage you to find a little
extra time for your family this
weekend. While we can take pride
in a job well done over the last
month, we must keep our eyes to
the future. Be safe, and take care
of each other!
Photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
MacDill on the web
The Action Line provides two-way communication between the 6th Air
Mobility Wing commander and the MacDill community. A 24-hour recording service is provided so personnel may submit questions, concerns or
comments. Call the Action Line at 828-INFO (4636) or email [email protected].
MacDill Thunderbolt
Publisher: Bill Barker
Editor: Nick Stubbs
The MacDill Thunderbolt is published by Sunbelt Newspapers, Inc., a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Air
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government, the Department of Defense, the Department of
the Air Force or the 6th Air Mobility Wing.
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News items for the MacDill Thunderbolt can be submitted
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Deadline for article submissions is noon, Wednesdays to
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Every article and photograph is edited for accuracy, clarity,
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‘There I was...’
by Staff Sgt. Jieun Yi
6th Force Support Squadron
Some may say being a personnelist isn’t the
most glorious job in the Air Force. It’s not a job
that is praised for being particularly vigorous
or demanding, which is perhaps one of the reasons why our specialty seems obscure to others.
Although our work isn’t always visible to others, we certainly don’t take lightly the reward
that comes with being able to make a difference
in someone’s career. Whether it is through evaluations, assignments, reenlistments, promotions, etc., no matter how minor our influences
may be, we will be ready and willing to assist.
My six-year career as a personnelist, with
deployments to Al Udeid, Qatar, Combined Air
and Space Operations Center, has taught me
more than just the technical understanding of
why we put on our uniforms each day.
More often than not, with knowledge, also
comes cautiousness. This was undeniably accurate for me when it came to deployments. Despite the excitement, I was struck with considerable nervousness each time. As foreign as the
130 degree heat with 100 percent humidity, 12
Courtesy photo
Staff Sgt. Jieun Yi says her specialty is a little obscure to most, but adds that her job as a personnelist is both challenging and rewarding.
hour shifts, and no days off was, I got to experience what our brothers and sisters in all services go through day in and day out, so others
may sleep soundly each night.
I’ve had the honor of being the awards and
decorations technician as well as the evaluations technician for 365 and permanent party
members. Reading their accomplishments and
being able to process their awards and decoraSee ‘THERE I WAS’, Page 6
18th Air Force commander shares leadership perspectives
by Airman 1st Class Schultz
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Team MacDill Airmen were treated to senior leader perspectives on leadership, communication, and the challenges facing the Air
Force firsthand during a March 10-12 visit
by Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force
McDew met with officials of United States
Central Command, Special Operations Command, and 6th Air Mobility Wing Airmen
and families. He also took time during the
visit to hear Airmen’s concerns and share his
thoughts on a variety of key topics during a
base-wide “all call.”
McDew stressed the value of empowerment, communication, and job proficiency,
noting their importance to ensuring a strong
Air Force.
“Many leaders are afraid to step in front
of their Airmen when they don’t have all of
the answers, but many times just getting in
front of them and saying things are going to
be okay will keep the Air Force as strong tomorrow as it is today,” said McDew.
When asked about major obstacles
throughout his career, McDew said, “I have
faced nothing more than many Airmen have
faced; I’ve had supervisors who challenged
me and gave me tools to be better than I
thought I could be.”
In closing, McDew thanked Airmen for
their service to the Nation, noting that they
were well suited to help the Air Force succeed despite the multitude of challenges it
“This is the best Air Force there has ever
been; we have smart, talented, war-hardened
veterans. Our Air Force is going to be great
for years and years, and decades to come,” he
Photo by Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
Lt. Gen. Darren McDew, 18th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Robert Rodewald, 18th Air Force command chief, receive
a brief from Lt. Col. Collin Gilbert, 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, at
MacDill Air Force Base, March 12.The brief
covered renovations vehicle maintenance
has made to improve its work environment.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
The Tampa Bay area community came out in big numbers for MacDill AirFest 2014. Spectators were treated to displays of varied aircraft, aerial
shows with lots of thrills, got to meet pilots and service members, all while enjoying made-to-order weather.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Brandon Shapiro
Photos by Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
(Above) Gen, Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief
of staff, meets with Major Tyler Ellison, pilot #7
for the Thunderibirds and the team’s operations officer. (Right) Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates,
United States Special Operations Command
paracommando, sails in from above with the
American flag during the playing of the national anthem at the opening of AirFest 2014.
Photo by Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
(Top) The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron Thunderbirds form mirror images during an aerial demonstration for
Tampa Bay AirFest 2014 Saturday. (Above) The 1945 F4U-F, “Korean War Hero” and Scott Yoak in his P-51 Mustang ‘Quicksilver” perform in the “Heritage Flight.”
From Page 3
tions was humbling. These members spent an
entire year at a deployed location, performing
duties frequently outside the wire, without the
accessibility to the entities and amenities we
take advantage of in the states. Not only did
I get the chance to assist these members with
all personnel actions, I was able to help ensure
their hard work was property documented and
processed so their time away from their loved
ones in a foreign country did not go unnoticed.
During my most recent deployment, I worked
as the NCO in charge of personnel actions under
the A1 staff, assisting with rest and recovery,
leave, evaluations, and promotions. Our main
purpose was to assist with officer promotion
board packages. Being given this responsibility
and opportunity was intimidating, but it turned
out to be a great learning experience. The efforts
of the members and various aspects that go into
making the officer promotion boards take place
are rather incredible.
Not only was this program out of my comfort
zone, it helped me truly realize that every piece
of our work is a significant turning point in our
career. They become the definition of who we
are as Airmen. It became more apparent to me
the influence each performance report, decoration, and self-improvement have on us. As Airmen, we are constantly encouraged to strive for
the “whole-person concept”. Needless to say, the
months spent deployed, being able to support
these great men and women has taught me the
value and meaning of this concept.
The remarks I get from others regarding my
deployments are often similar: “cupcake deployment.” Especially being a personnelist, where
we’re more than likely sitting in an office all day
long, comments such as this are not atypical.
Granted we’re not placed in imminent danger
with each step we take, nor physically tested to
beat the odds, what I can proudly say, is that
these deployments are undoubtedly some of
my most prized life experiences I am honored
to have been a part of. They have helped me
grow significantly as a person as well as an Airman, and I would go through each of them all
over again in a heartbeat. It’s not always about
where we are laying our heads down at night
or how immense our influences may seem from
the outside. The importance is that we are all
invaluable in our own ways, there to achieve
something greater together, striving to make a
difference for our men and women past, present,
and future.
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Update your e-mail and mailing addresses in DEERS and view eligibility, enrollment information,
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Airmen must revalidate
dependents this year
by Capt. Erika Yepsen
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing
finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force
audit readiness efforts.
This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air
Force to validate Airmen’s basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air Force spends annually on
BAH is fully auditable.
“When we say the Air Force is not audit compliant, that doesn’t mean
that money is missing or being misspent,” said Doug Bennett, the deputy
assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial operations. “Generally,
it means that we lack the required documentation for our spending to
be considered auditable. In the case of BAH, we need Airmen’s marriage
certificates, birth certificates for children and divorce decrees that require
child support properly documented by our finance offices to ensure we can
audit $5.4 billion in Air Force spending.”
1. The Air Force Thunderbirds
demonstration team passes
over the landmark water tower at MacDill Air Force Base
during one of their two performances over the weekend.
AirFest 2014
2. Spectators line up to tour a
Hurricane Hunter aircraft, one
of many static displays set up
for public inspection during
AirFest 2014.
3. The AeroShell Acrobatic
Team performs an aerial demonstration Saturday at MacDill
Air Force Base.
4. One of the AeroShell Acrobatic Team pilots waves at the
crowd following his the aerial
performance Saturday.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
Photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
Photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
5. A jumper from the United
States Special Operations
Command soars above the
crowd for the initial “jump”
during the 2014 AirFest.
6. Jerry “Jive” Kerby steaks
across the blue skies over
MacDill Saturday. The RV-8A,
known affectionately as “Wild
Blue,” is unique in that it’s a
regular on the air show circuit
yet can be built in a general
aviation pilot’s garage.
7. Bob Buckhorn, Tampa
mayor, does an interview with
ABC Action News before his
flight with the Geico Skytypers March 20 at MacDill Air
Force Base.
Photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
Photo by Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell
Photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
Photo by Senior Airman Jenay Randolph
There’s a lot more to the Air Force Thunderbirds than just the pilots. It take a dedicated crew of support members to make the spectacular
demonstrations happen. Here members of the Thunderbirds who work behind the scenes step up for a group photo in front of one of the
team’s F-16 fighters.
From Page 10
Beginning this month and continuing through December, Air Force finance offices will contact Airmen across the total force by email to notify
them of their responsibility to provide dependent documentation. Their
finance office will tell them exactly which documents are required. Additionally, Airmen who recently provided documentation may not be required to do so again. Airmen should wait to be notified by their finance
offices rather than bringing in documentation unsolicited, Bennett said.
Waiting to receive notification will eliminate unnecessary duplication of
effort for some Airmen.
Once notified, Airmen will have 30 days to provide the required documents to their servicing finance office or have their housing allowance
status reduced to single-rate. Deployed Airmen and those on extended
leave or temporary duty will be given special consideration in meeting the
30-day deadline.
The push for revalidation of dependent documentation comes as the
Air Force prepares to meet financial improvement and audit readiness requirements laid out in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. The
Air Force currently retains dependent documentation for six years, which
is insufficient to meet audit readiness requirements. This revalidation
will ensure Air Force compliance with audit requirements, Bennett said.
“America entrusts the Air Force not only to spend taxpayer dollars
wisely and efficiently, but also to account and justify that expenditure,”
said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III in a recent memo.
“Preparation for this important and legislatively-mandated effort rests in
the hands of every Airman, not just the financial community.”
Although revalidation of Airmen’s dependents will be a one-time recertification, Airmen will continue to play a vital role in the Air Force’s audit
readiness. Starting in 2015, independent auditors will visit work stations
for Airmen to review processes, procedures and transactions that impact
the Air Force’s financial statements.
“Ensuring we have the proper documentation to account for every expenditure in a very large budget is a difficult but essential effort,” said
Dr. Jamie Morin, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for Financial
Management and Comptroller. “Becoming audit ready will help us demonstrate to the American public that we are responsible stewards of taxpayer money at a time when we must make every dollar count.”
4-star wingman
Gen. Mark A. Welsh III visits with Tampa Bay Buccaneer wide receiver Vincent Jackson prior
to Jackson going for a ride in an Air Force Thunderbird F-16.
March24th – May2nd
SeaScapes Beach House
Crab Night! 3-8 p.m. The everyday bar menu is also available
from 4 p.m. until close. Buckets
of... •1lb. Snow Crab Legs, 1lb.
Shrimp $17.50 • 1lb. Snow Crab
legs, 1/2lb. Shrimp $13.65 • 1lb.
Snow Crab Legs $9.75 • 1lb.
Shrimp $9.50 • 1/2lb. Shrimp
$6.50 *All portions are served
with Old Bay Potatoes & Corn,
melted butter • Pitchers of Beer
Operation Bayfest
Fishing fun starts at 6 a.m.
and lasts all day! Exclusion Zone
Open. Call 840-6919.
Opening Ceremonies for Youth
9 a.m. at youth baseball fields.
Meet the Tampa Bay Rays!
SeaScapes Beach House
Wednesday BASH from 4-8 p.m.
FREE bar snacks, drink specials,
bar bingo ($2 a card/cash), trivia,
and a DJ. Call 840-1451.
Month of the Military Child
Kick-off ceremony is 9 a.m. in
front of CDC 1 and 3.
Make your reservations today!
Easter Buffet at the Surf ’s Edge
Sunday, April 20 • 11 a.m. - 2:30
p.m. With 2 Seating Times: 11
a.m. & 1 p.m. *RESERVATIONS
REQUIRED* Members: $21.95 •
Spouse: $23.95 • Non-Members:
$25.95 • Children 6-12 yrs: $10.95
• Children 5 yrs & under: FREE.
Reservation Line: (813) 840-2020.
What a show!
Photo by Airman 1st Class Tori Schultz
MacDill Air Force Base put on quite a show over the weekend, drawing thousands from the Tampa Bay
community for AirFest 2014. Spectators couldn’t get enough of the many aircraft displays or the aerial
shows, headlined by the Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team.
Protestant service
Sunday - 11 a.m. - Contemporary Service
Sunday - 9:30 a.m. - FAMCAMP Service
Islamic service
Catholic services
Saturday - 5:30 p.m. - Mass
Sunday - 9:30 a.m. - Mass
Monday-Thursday - 12:10 p.m. Mass
Friday - 1:30 p.m. - Muslim Prayer Service
Call the chapel at 828-3621 for more information or visit the chapel web site
Be sure to visit the official MacDill Air Force
Base web site at
See the thunder!
Photo by Staff Sgt. Brittany Liddon
Visitors to MacDill Air Force Base stand in line to see the A-10 Thunderbolt II during Tampa Bay’s AirFest, Sunday. The A-10 Thunderbolt II has excellent maneuverability at low air speeds and altitude,
and is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform.

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