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U.S. Air Force News

  • AFIMSC Chaplain shares his ‘True North’ calling

    In an Air Force where there has been an increase in suicides in recent years, helping people find and appreciate their unique selves is a calling for Chaplain (Capt.) Portmann Werner and the service’s chaplain corps.

  • Gun safes excluded from household goods weight allowance

    As the number of accidental child injuries and deaths continue to rise, more and more incidents are attributed to unsecured, loaded guns. Defense leaders are confident this update will help improve overall gun safety in homes, while also helping to decrease service member suicides.

  • Beer 30 for 30: An ADAPT story

    Staff Sgt. Hersey, a recovering alcoholic, went through the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Treatment program this past year.

  • CMSAF emphasizes human connections at Hanscom all call

    Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright spoke about resilience and leadership topics during a town hall Sept. 6.More than 400 Airmen from Hanscom AFB, as well as other invited Airmen from geographically separated units, listened as Wright touched on those topics and answered questions.

  • Around the Air Force: Resiliency stand down / New GPS satellite

    In today's look around the Air Force Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright, talks about resiliency as the service announces a stand down day for all wings, and Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, completes testing of a new satellite. (Hosted by Staff Sgt. Anastasia Tompkins)

  • Running with faith: an Airman’s journey to redemption

    Six years later, Keel is not only alive, but is in as good of a space, mentally and spiritually, as he’s ever been, he said. Since that dark moment in July 2013, the Reserve Airman has a new outlook on life altogether, and he owes it all to running.

  • Be there, be aware: Help prevent suicide

    When we focus on our health, it’s easy to pay attention to physical health versus mental well-being. Ignoring mental health concerns like anxiety and depression can lead to worsening symptoms and more serious issues. For some people, these issues may include an increased risk of suicide.

  • Suicide Prevention Month: How one person can make a difference

    Thoughts of suicide are not necessarily something people explicitly announce to the world, which means loved ones often have no idea that their friend or family member is contemplating it. But there are signs and risk factors, and while somebody might think they can’t make a difference by

  • TRICARE shines a light on suicide prevention awareness

    Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death for Americans, and military veterans make up 20 percent of suicide deaths each year. TRICARE works with the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, the Department of Defense’s oversight authority to reduce the impact of suicide on Service members and their

  • The sun shines on Ironman

    Staff Sgt. Joshua Hull, the NCO in charge of the Minot Air Force Base Honor Guard here recently accepted the challenge to compete at the IRONMAN Sept. 21, in Lake Tahoe, California.

  • Suicide prevention takes courage, communication, official says

    The Veterans Affairs Department has named September National Suicide Prevention Month, but the Defense Department continues its year-round, comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to address the issue of suicide in the military, a Pentagon official said Aug. 21.

  • Suicide prevention more than a month-long campaign

    All Airmen have a responsibility that last much longer than a one-month campaign. This responsibility extends beyond ourselves and includes our work environment, our families, friends, fellow Airmen and our communities. While Suicide Prevention Month is observed across the United States in

  • Airman reveals personal resiliency amidst force shaping

    It was 1999 and a young weather officer appeared to have everything going for him: a wife, Linda, two handsome teenage sons whom he adored, J.R. and Ryan, and a promising Air Force career for this prior-enlisted officer.

  • Responder demystifies calling military crisis line for help

    When someone is in crisis and feeling despondent, reaching out for help is a stronger step to take than doing nothing, which can lead to a worsening state, a Military Crisis Line responder told American Forces Press Service Sept. 9.

  • Official notes progress in suicide prevention effort

    Making sure people know where to turn for help during a time of crisis is the continuing goal of the Defense Department's suicide prevention program, the Pentagon official in charge of the effort said here Aug. 30.

  • PTSD specialist simplifies stress science

    Tania Glenn, Doctor of Psychology and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, delivered a feelings-free, scientific analysis of the human body's physiological response to high-stress situations to help Air Commandos understand their biological processes downrange during a briefing at the Landing Zone at

  • First Airman Resilience Center opens at Altus AFB

    A new Airman Resilience Center opened its doors during a ribbon cutting ceremony here July 11.The ARC is the first facility of its kind at the base. "The ARC includes five classrooms for training use, a theater room, a game room and an electronic gaming area," said Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Mathe, the

  • TV announcements illustrate signs of suicide risk

    Officials at the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments have produced three public service announcements to help families and friends recognize the signs of potential suicide in veterans and service members.The television announcements have aired since April on the Pentagon Channel and American

  • AF observes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

    At installations around the world Airmen are working together to increase awareness, prevent and care for the victims of sexual assault, with a variety of events underway in observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Air Force Personnel Center officials said.From the commander in chief to the

  • VA issues new report on suicide data

    The Veterans Affairs Department today released a comprehensive report on veterans who die by suicide.In the past, data on veterans who died by suicide was only available for those who had sought VA health care services. Today's report also includes state data for veterans who had not received health

  • SEAC brings inspiration to Scott AFB

    Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Scott Air Force Base, Ill., Oct. 28-Oct. 31.The SEAC, who is the principle advisor to the CJCS and the secretary of defense on all joint and combined total force matters, toured Team

  • Through Airmen's Eyes: Ultimate wingman helps save friend's life

    (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)An Airman here who noticed the suicidal signs of a friend reported the problem and helped save his friend's life.Airman 1st Class Albert Chang, 375th

  • Officials say progress must continue in PTSD treatment

    Great strides have been made in treating service members with post-traumatic stress disorder, but progress must continue, military and medical leaders told an audience here today.The military's three surgeons general and the Army's senior sergeant major spoke at an event to mark the third-annual

  • Information is best weapon against suicide

    In 2010 there were 110, in 2011 there were 122, and halfway through 2012 the number is already 140.These numbers, according to Defense Department officials, refer to suicides committed across the services within the past three years. It shows an upward trend in the number of lives lost despite the

  • Minot AFB officials work to improve Airmen resiliency

    Officials at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., will admit the northern-tier base poses several inherent challenges for the Airmen stationed there. Its high-tempo nuclear mission coupled with the base's isolated location and large population of young Airmen can test the resiliency of every member. Base

  • CMSAF discusses resiliency with civic leaders

    Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy addressed a crowd of civic leaders and Department of Defense personnel on the necessity of promoting a total force culture of resiliency on Capitol Hill April 5. During the presentation, the Air Force's top enlisted leader discussed many issues

  • Former POW shares reintegration tips with reservists, families

    Having spent more than five years in prisoner-of-war camps during the Vietnam War, Lee Ellis knows how difficult it is to reconnect with family and friends after a long military separation. Ellis shared his experiences and tips for reintegration with about 450 Air Force reservists and their family

  • SEAC talks service member issues

    The senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff talked about what it feels like to be the highest ranking enlisted person in the armed services as well as other topics pressing today's military during a visit here recently.During a multi-country USO holiday tour, Sgt. Maj.

  • Panetta 'will not tolerate' bullying, hazing

    Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta added a pointed anti-bullying directive to a holiday message sent Dec. 23 to service members around the world."I cannot be more proud of who you are and what you represent as you serve and sacrifice for our great nation," the message read, in part. "With that honor,

  • White House reverses policy on condolence letters

    President Barack Obama and Defense Department officials will send condolence letters to the families of service members who commit suicide in a war zone.The change is in keeping with administration efforts to remove the stigma of mental health treatment, an administration official said on

  • National Guard leaders talk fiscal constraints, cost-effective solutions

    As part of the total force, the National Guard has successfully transformed into an operational force, the top National Guard leader said here May 11.This transformation would be impossible without the investments made in the Guard and Reserve, said Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, the chief of the

  • Study makes suicide-prevention program recommendations

    A new study commissioned by the Defense Department affirms many of the suicide-prevention efforts being made within DOD and the military services and recommends ways to strengthen them.In preparing "The War Within: Suicide Prevention in the U.S. Military," the Rand National Defense Research

  • McConnell AFB officials focus on suicide prevention

    As deployment rates continue to climb and operations tempo increases, Airmen must maintain their mental health, the Air Force's top enlisted Airman has said."We provide our Airmen the best equipment in the entire world, without a doubt, but ... the Airmen who operate it, ... the Airmen (who)

  • CMSAF discusses need for strengthened resiliency at symposium

    The Air Force's senior enlisted leader discussed the importance of resiliency and its impact to the service Feb. 17 here during the Air Force Association's Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition.Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy spoke candidly about the repercussions of a

  • Global Strike Airmen save lives by employing the wingman concept

    Two Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen employed the wingman concept recently when they alerted base security forces to the suicidal thoughts of their friend and got him the help he needed."A life was saved in our command that day because immediate action was taken by two wingmen who were paying

  • 'Virtual world' helps with post-traumatic stress

    Defense Department officials are using virtual-world interactivity to educate and help warfighters and others who are reluctant to seek more direct care to deal with post-traumatic stress, said an official at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, also known as "T2."During a recent

  • No Airman left behind: Pursued by anxiety

    A young man lifts weights in a crowded gym. All of a sudden, a lion appears in the doorway, locks eyes with the young man and bursts into full pursuit. That surge of adrenaline and panic is what one Airman here felt while performing normal everyday tasks."I'm going through this feeling of a lion

  • Study ties problems to post-traumatic stress

    Service members who suffer mild traumatic brain injuries in combat and then struggle with depression, irritability, alcohol abuse and similar problems after they return home most likely are experiencing post-traumatic stress, rather than brain injury symptoms, according to a new study.The study,

  • Chief Roy visits Kunsan

    The Air Force's top enlisted leader visited members of the 8th Fighter Wing here Dec. 29 and 30 during a year-end tour of Pacific Air Forces bases.During the visit, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy, and his wife, Paula, toured the base, presented stripes to Airmen who were promoted,

  • Families invited to dial into helping webinars

    Officials at the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury have released their monthly webinar series schedule for 2011, and they hope the topics will interest everyone from service members and their families to medical professionals.The webinar series

  • Airman saves wingman from halfway around the world

    Police officials are crediting the quick actions of a security forces Airman here with saving the life of a former Airman living halfway around the world.Senior Airman Jordan Gunterman, a 379th Air Expeditionary Wing fly-away security team leader, led authorities to his the former coworker's Florida

  • Scott AFB hosts suicide prevention field day

    Leaders of the 375th Air Mobility Wing highlighted the importance of the wingman concept to prevent suicides during a day-long Suicide Prevention Field Day Sept. 23.Officials from various base agencies hosted the event and helped Airmen focus on their ability to save another's life simply by being

  • Chief Roy shares what's in store for enlisted force

    The chief master sergeant of the Air Force shared his perspective of where the enlisted force is heading during a presentation at the Air Force Association Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition Sept. 15 at Oxon Hill, Md.Some of the key points Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy

  • Suicide: Never knowing why

    "I know you'll grieve and wish that I was still here. I am here in the memories you hold dear.  Remember how much I love you and know I took your love with me. I do not wish for you to cry nor feel sad." -- excerpt from Kelvin Burford's poem Gone Away, written for Anthony ArlineAirman 1st Class

  • More focus needed to end suicides, Mullens say

    A silent killer is rapidly infiltrating the military, claiming lives at an alarming rate each year.It does not discriminate, taking aim at the young and old, male and female -- from the battle-hardened Soldier to the new recruit."It's an area that can't get enough focus right now," said Navy Adm.

  • Air Force's top uniformed leaders visit Shaw

    Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy met with Airmen from across the installation here during a base visit Sept. 7 and 8.After touring areas and meeting with representatives of the 9th Air Force, Air Forces Central and the 20th Fighter

  • Leaders issue joint Labor Day holiday message

    The Air Force's top leaders remind the entire Air Force family to minimize safety risks this weekend and beyond in a Labor Day message. Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy issued the following

  • Direct communication between Airmen key to suicide prevention

    More than a decade in the making, the culture of the "wingman" approach to suicide prevention is still evolving as risk factors and causes of suicide are becoming more widely understood. The wingman concept should be very familiar to most Airmen. Suicide prevention training has been incorporated

  • Mental health clinic works to help Airmen, families

    Members of the 673rd Medical Group Mental Health Flight here have been working hard to meet the mental healthcare needs of military members and their families.The military life can be a stressful one, said Maj. Alexsa Billups, a member of the 673rd MDG. "It's up to the individual people to come to

  • Leadership key to tackling suicide, Medal of Honor recipient tells guardsmen

    Leadership at all levels is the key to lowering the suicide rate among servicemembers, a Medal of Honor recipient told National Guard members here Aug 8. Retired Army Maj. Drew Dix received the Medal of Honor for his actions in Vietnam. Now, he has been talking with servicemembers about resiliency

  • Suicide solution involves leadership, Mullen says

    While no easy answers exist to a military suicide problem that has reached "crisis level," a big part of the solution is tied to leadership, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Addressing the National Guard Family Program Volunteer Workshop Aug. 2 in New Orleans, Navy Adm. Mike

  • CSAF ends Turkey visit at Incirlik

    Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz capped a multi-day visit to Turkey by meeting with U.S. and Turkish airmen here July 21. The Air Force's top uniformed officer visited with Airmen around the base and addressed issues affecting the Air Force with more than 500 Airmen during an all call

  • Outreach 'essential' to suicide prevention, official says

    Preventing suicide among servicemembers and veterans calls for comprehensive education and communication, the director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury said here July 14.Testifying before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Army Col. Robert

  • Mullens advocate more reserve support

    Military leaders are working hard to create the same kind of support network for the reserve components that exists for active duty servicemembers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said July 1.Adm. Mike Mullen made the comments as part of his regular podcast to troops. Joined by his wife,

  • Air Force takes steps against suicides

    The Air Force vice chief of staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee June 22 to address steps the service is taking to stem the rising suicide numbers. Gen. Carrol H. "Howie" Chandler, in testimony alongside the other service vice chiefs and the assistant commandant of the Marine

  • Services work to learn more about brain ailments, suicides

    Post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and suicides among servicemembers are interrelated problems requiring holistic prevention methods and more scientific study, military leaders told a Senate panel June 22. "The reality is, the study of the brain is an emerging science, and there still is

  • Air Force officials discuss mental health options, confidentiality

    Airmen in need of psychological intervention or counseling have myriad options available through a number of Air Force programs, officials said here June 16.Although psychological screening occurs throughout an Airman's career by way of annual preventive health assessments and post-deployment

  • Survivor shares story to combat troop suicides

    Kim Ruocco hung up the phone with her husband, relieved he had finally agreed to seek help for his increasingly severe bouts of depression.Still, she had a nagging feeling that something wasn't right. She decided to catch a red-eye flight from Massachusetts to California, where her husband's reserve

  • Vietnam combat lessons apply today, Mullen says

    The military's top officer called on Vietnam veterans to stay connected with today's servicemembers, saying their lessons learned, especially with post-traumatic stress disorder, can help veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made

  • Panel discusses post-traumatic stress

    As the frequency and length of military deployments increase, servicemembers and their families are faced with challenges associated with deployment and combat.Building resilience, facilitating recovery and supporting reintegration of returning servicemembers and veterans are important steps in

  • Chaplains discuss suicide prevention

    Air Combat Command chaplains gathered April 27 through 29 to discuss the problem of suicide during a Comprehensive Airman Fitness conference in Newport News, Va. During the conference, Dr. Thomas Joiner, the event's keynote speaker, shared his concern about the pandemic of suicide. "Worldwide, over

  • Air Force chaplains train South Korean air force counterparts

    Republic of Korea Air Force chaplain corps personnel from across the peninsula gathered at Osan recently for Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, or ASIST, facilitated by Air Force chaplains. The occasion marked the first time joint training had been conducted between chaplains of the

  • Wingman Stand Down 2010 in May focuses on Airmen safety, well-being

    For a half day in May, Airmen will learn strategies to prevent suicides and private motor vehicle accidents as part of Wingman Stand Down 2010. The exact date for the stand down will be left to individual units to determine.In a jointly signed letter, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz

  • VA officials strive to prevent veteran suicides

    With more than 6,000 veterans committing suicide every year, and 98 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan taking their own lives during fiscal 2009 alone,  Department of Veterans Affairs officials are redoubling their outreach to veterans and promoting the toll-free suicide-prevention hotline. National

  • Military leads mental health care transformation

    The United States is in the middle of a "cultural transformation" in mental health treatment led by the Defense Department and the military services, the department's top mental health expert told a congressional panel Feb. 24 here. Mental health resilience "is fundamentally underlying everything we

  • Mullen voices concern with military suicide rate

    Suicide is a growing problem in the military community, and its leaders must be committed to reversing that trend, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said here Jan. 13.In an address to an audience of more than 1,000 military and other government agency health-care workers and officials

  • Officials urge collaboration in suicide prevention

    There are no clear-cut answers to suicide prevention, but through collaboration and team work from federal and private institutions, the nation can better address the challenge, Defense and Veterans Affairs department officials said today.In a joint Defense-VA conference, titled "Building Strong and

  • Think about family members if considering suicide

    Thirty years ago today, Dec. 29, my father forever changed my life, as well as the lives of his other family members. He took a shotgun and shot himself in the head. His death certificate reads, "Self-inflicted gunshot wound."I can't tell you how many times I've heard people joke about something

  • Uncertainty about military suicides frustrates services

    The most frustrating part about suicide prevention is the uncertainty about what causes troops to take their lives, top military leaders said here July 29. This near-unanimous chorus was sounded on Capitol Hill when the second-ranking military officers of each service testified about military mental

  • Defense schools work to raise awareness, prevent suicides

    Officials from Defense Department schools are taking on the tough topic of suicide to prevent what is a leading cause of death among teens. Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among 15- to 19-year-olds, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and that makes it an important topic for

  • Suicide prevention message rolls through cities nationwide

    The Department of Veterans Affairs took to the road, literally, when it decided to advertise about its "VA Suicide Prevention Lifeline" on public transportation buses in 124 communities across the country. "We continue to look for new, innovative ways to reach our veterans," said Tammy Duckworth,