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SEATTLE -- Rob Drake and his pilot instructor, Senior Airman Christy Helgeson, sign the word for "perfect" in the plane he had a solo flight in.  Airman Helgeson taught Mr. Drake, who is deaf, how to fly.  She is a reservist with the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at nearby McChord Air Force Base.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Wendy Beauchaine) Airman teaches deaf man to fly
With planes taking off down the runway behind her, the flight instructor begins talking more loudly while illustrating a point to her student. Then she remembers he cannot hear a word she is saying. He is deaf.Senior Airman Christy Helgeson met Rob Drake at a local flying club, where she is an assistant chief pilot. A week after they met in
0 5/11
2005
RAUTECA, Honduras -- Hundreds of patients line up in the afternoon heat here waiting for a free medical examination from U.S. military medical practitioners. The patients come from miles around to take advantage of a temporary free clinic set up as part of a medical readiness exercise in the town. The 18-person Air Force and Army contingent of pediatricians, dieticians and medical technicians came from the San Antonio area for the eight-day humanitarian exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) Medics provide human touch
Viviana Vigil woke her children early and dressed them. Then they ate a meager breakfast of tortillas and beans. It is all they had.As the sun broke over the mountainside village of La Luna where the family lives, she gathered her children and led them down a trail toward the bigger village of Rauteca.It was an important journey and a big day for
0 5/05
2005
SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- Army Master Sgt. Lorenzo Zamora helps Senior Airman Ben Roundtree prepare for a rappel training exercise here May 3.  As an additional duty, Sergeant Zamora serves as rappel master and noncommissioned officer in charge of the base's search and rescue team.  The team is Army run, but relies heavily on Airmen and Marines to accomplish their mission.  Sergeant Zamora is the Joint Task Force-Bravo Army Forces support platoon leader.  Airman Roundtree is assigned to the base fire department.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) Volunteers provide search and rescue for Central America
Search and rescue operations at this Central American base are not ordinary.Instead of the typical Air Force pararescuemen enveloped in heavy gear, the SAR team here is Army run. It encompasses people from all services, an assortment of career fields and numerous volunteers.“It’s an additional duty,” said Army Master Sgt. Lorenzo Zamora, platoon
0 5/05
2005
SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- Staff Sgt. Karal Schofield (left) and Tech Sgt. Michael McCarthy, transient alert technicians, check a KC-10 Extender from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.  The huge tanker flies the weekly flight from Charleston, which brings in new Airmen here.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) Airmen keep Soto Cano’s runway running
Staff Sgt. Michelle Cox said she hates it when a plan falls apart because when that happens, it can easily end a vital mission. And at this small base in the heart of Central America, all missions are important.Missions can fail because people lack training. Sergeant Cox said that bothers her since she is chief of airfield management training
0 5/05
2005
SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- New buildings going up here will replace the more than 270 wooden structures called "hooches" where Joint Task Force-Bravo troops presently live.  Construction is ongoing for 44 four-unit apartments.  Officials said they also plan to build seven dormitories.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) Soto Cano getting permanent makeover
After decades of living in wooden structures called “hooches,” troops at this small “temporary” base soon will get new homes as part of a military construction project.The new buildings will replace the base’s 270 hooches with 44 four-unit apartment buildings and seven two-story, 72-occupant dormitories, said Capt. Geoffrey McManus, 612th Air Base
0 5/04
2005
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Capt. Cliff Bayne looks for souvenirs in a market off Plaza Morazan, the capital city's main plaza. The captain is serving a four-month tour at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, where he's a logistics officer for Joint Task Force-Bravo.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) For U.S. troops, Tegucigalpa’s good life has its dangers
American servicemembers visiting this capital city from nearby Soto Cano Air Base come to rest, relax and get a taste of the good life.On weekends, they succumb to the pampered lifestyle lavished on them at hotels, restaurants, discotheques, tourist sites and shopping areas. It’s a life many don’t often experience.So it’s easy to understand why
0 5/03
2005
MACARACAS, Panama -- Tech. Sgt. George Lyon (right) instructs Marine Lance Cpl. Leaphy Khim on construction site protocol here.  Both are deployed to Joint Task Force Armadillo, part of New Horizons 2005, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored readiness training humanitarian exercise.  He is a power production craftsman with the 349th Civil Engineer Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) Reservists set example at New Horizons 2005 camp
In a camp tucked away in southwest Panama, two Airmen are leaving a lasting impression on their fellow servicemembers and the local people they meet. Master Sgt. Steve Axie and Tech. Sgt. George Lyon have grown to call it home, but three months ago, the two arrived to build a base camp on a horse pasture provided by Panamanian officials. They were
0 4/28
2005
LLANO DE PIEDRA, Panama -- Capt. Star Longo talks with Bolivar Barria inside the community center the Seabees constructed here.  Captain Longo is the commander of the U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40 (Seabees) attached to Joint Task Force Armadillo.  Task Force Armadillo is part of New Horizions 2005, a U.S. Southern Command sponsored annual training and humanitarian exercise.  Captain Longo is on a two-year exchange program with the Seabees.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lono Kollars) Airman engineers Seabees’ construction in Panama
Capt. Star Longo has reason to smile.After three months of hard work, he and his team of engineers finished building a much-needed community center in this tiny isolated town in southwestern Panama.With his mission done, he can return home and do some surfing again. But the real reason he is smiling was all around him -- the faces of happy
0 4/27
2005
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