Welsh: ‘We lose about one AF member a day’

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Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh is reminding airmen this holiday season in a somber – but realistic – message that Air Force casualties affect everyone, and the need to take care of one another has never been greater. In his latest “Airman to Airman” video, Welsh emphasizes the need to stay safe this holiday season by showing a rolodex – one of four on his desk – that holds the names of every airman who’s died since he became chief. “I’ve been the chief for 820 days now, and there are about 818 names in these boxes, so we…

Air Force crowns first BBQ king

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An Air National Guardsman from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia won the service’s first-ever “High Flyin’ BBQ Challenge.” Tech. Sgt. Todd Houghton, an aircraft structural mechanic with the 116th Air Control Wing, told Airman magazine he brought the same quest for perfection to barbecuing as he does to his job. “Growing up, my dad put it simply, ‘Anything that is worth doing, do it well and do it right on the first time,’” Houghton told the magazine in a story posted online this week. “When I go do a job on an aircraft, I ask myself, ‘Would I let my family fly…

Congratulations, Mackay Trophy winners

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Twelve airmen from the 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida, joined the prestigious ranks of Mackay Trophy winners at an awards ceremony this month. The Rooster 73 crew members were recognized for a 2013 rescue mission over wartorn South Sudan where they came under heavy enemy fire. They performed expert aerial maneuvers while simultaneously providing medical care to four critically injured Special Forces passengers on board one of their three CV-22 Ospreys. The mission resulted in the safe evacuation of American citizens from the remote South Sudanese city of Bor. You can read more about the mission in an August Air Force Times story. The airmen — Majors Taylor…

Welsh promotes airman’s best friend

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If this newly-minted major rises through the next three ranks as fast as he did the last three, he’ll pin on his first star next March. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh presided over Goldie’s “commissioning” just eight months ago at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. There, the 4-year-old Golden retriever is a beloved member of the therapy dog program, visiting service members undergoing rehabilitation. On Nov. 12, the general and the dog crossed paths again, this time at the Pentagon, where Welsh promoted Goldie from second lieutenant to major. “It’s a rather fast…

Officer: Don’t drink and climb trees…and stay safe

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This officer may not have been arrested, but he suffered a) a blow to his ego and b) 25 broken bones. 2nd Lt.  Stephen Hunter recently recalled for Air Education and Training Command’s Torch Magazine a misfit move he pulled back in May 2012 when he was an incoming senior at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Hunter woke up to paramedics trying to treat his mangled body. The cadet, who had been drinking rum and Cokes since noon, thought it’d be a good idea to climb nearly 40 feet up a 110-foot cottonwood tree at 2 a.m. Until he fell.…

Veterans Day: the Air Force in action

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Whether it was in your community or on the jumbotron, Air Force members were honored across the country yesterday for Veterans Day. Check out some moments from sporting events, ceremonies, and from ‘The Concert for Valor’ held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.: The Singing Sergeants Choir joins @CarrieUnderwood to perform “Something in the Water.” http://t.co/Nf1n5ki03o — HBO (@HBO) November 12, 2014

A-10 fight to return to Capitol Hill on Thursday

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The battle over the future of the A-10 will return to Capitol Hill tomorrow as a group of lawmakers and Air Force veterans gather to call on the service to end its planned retirement of the jet. Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., will host an event with Reps. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., Vicki Hartzler, R-Mo., and Austin Scott, R-Ga., on Capitol Hill on Thursday. The press conference will come two days after the Air Force said it is discussing a compromise with Congress to just retire some of the…

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