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U.S. Air Force News

  • Full-time Airman, part-time MMA fighter

    Mixed martial arts fighting is not for the faint hearted. It takes effort and full-time dedication to be the best of the best in the octagonal cage. For Senior Airman Mark Wirth, a 819th RED HORSE Squadron structural engineer, he believes he has the motivation and dedication to rise from amateur to

  • Peterson Airman’s tragic loss exemplifies resiliency

    After getting orders to South Korea, Tech. Sgt. Billy Gazzaway was missing his family, as anyone would. Far away from them, he received the horrible news that his 4-year-old son, who had already been diagnosed, treated and was in remission for leukemia, had relapsed.

  • Spirituality holds Airman up

    "It puts things into perspective," said Master Sgt. Wendell Barnes, the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander support staff superintendent. "I love what I do in the military, but it is temporary and my faith is forever."

  • Nellis Airman 'LEAPs' into language program

    Capt. Reni Angelova, the 99th Medical Group practice manager, speaks Russian, Bulgarian and English while possessing master’s degrees in economics, law, business administration as well as international relations. She has worked as a teacher and a border patrol agent at one of the busiest checkpoints

  • Mental strength leads Airman through tough times

    Surviving an unstable upbringing in Pittsburgh, she never expected to be grabbing onto the Eiffel Tower in Paris at age 21. What started as watching scenes of this historic landmark in movies led her to envision a life beyond her childhood confinement. This was it, the height of her bucket list.

  • Hispanic Heritage Month: A wealth of traditions

    Senior Airman Andrea Londoño, from the command support staff for the 4th Manpower Requirement Squadron attached to Air Force Manpower Requirements Determination Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. Her father is from Colombia, while her

  • From Army Air Corps to US Air Force, 70-plus years later

    In 1944, a year before the end of World War II, a 17-year-old Cambridge, Massachusetts, native and recent high school graduate was hired as a clerk-typist by the government to support the war effort -- only after her father signed a letter of permission. Now 71 years later, Maria Bandouveres, the

  • 24-hour journey for heroes, father

    He reached his 5th hour of running alone in the still of a dark, cold night lit only by streetlights surrounding the track -- 25 miles down, 75 more to go.

  • General reflects on Hispanic heritage, credits mentors with success

    Education and mentorship helped a young Hispanic girl who dreamed of going to the U.S. Air Force Academy not only achieve her dreams, but also earn the rank of major general and the position of deputy A2, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance for Air Force Headquarters at the Pentagon.In

  • Dover Airman earns spots on AF pistol team alongside brother

    As a child, Tucker Sears grew up in Graham, Texas, with his three older brothers learning how to shoot BB guns and eventually moving up to .22-caliber rifles. This love of guns led to plenty of hunting trips with his brothers and grandfather. Fast forward 10 years and Sears graduated from the U.S.

  • Airman author brings fictional, real heroes to life

    In stories, the hero is often called upon to accomplish a great task, to take on the weight of a burden they did not anticipate, even though they know that hardships may plague every step of their journey. For storytellers, joy often comes from seeing the hero overcome the many obstacles placed in

  • Tuskegee Airman takes final flight at Academy

    Franklin Macon joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 after the creation of the Tuskegee program allowed African-Americans to fill military pilot positions, which were previously occupied exclusively by whites. On Aug. 26 at the age of 92, Macon sat on the airfield at the U.S. Air Force Academy, waiting

  • Guardsman brings diverse background to Bagram’s mission

    It isn’t every day you come across someone who has been a Soldier, Sailor and Airman, but then again, Tech. Sgt. Russell McLamb isn’t your everyday service member.McLamb’s uniqueness isn’t just that he has served in three different services; but he has also served in all three of the service’s

  • Pilot chases Olympic dreams

    Capt. Daniel Castle, a 349th Air Refueling Squadron pilot, is one of five Airmen selected throughout the Air Force to participate in the World Class Athlete Program, which allows service members of all branches to train as their primary duty.

  • From the Academy gridiron to the courtroom

    Capt. Tyler Weeks, a 460th Space Wing Staff Judge Advocate intern, played football for the U.S. Air Force Academy during his four years there and recently spent time at Buckley Air Force Base’s judge advocate office on his way to becoming a judge advocate general.

  • Motivated by education, opportunity: Airman finds second home with AF

    Many words are used to describe the United States; some call it the land of plenty, freedom or equality, but at least one Airman regards it as the land of opportunity.Airman 1st Class Bin Ma, a 20th Comptroller Squadron financial services technician, departed Wuhan, China, in 2008 to start his

  • Flying high: Strike Eagle pilot reaches elite milestone

    For F-15E Strike Eagle aircrew at the 4th Fighter Wing, flying through the skies is a part of their lifestyle. However, for Lt. Col. Paul Hibbard, a 333rd Fighter Squadron instructor pilot, the clouds are almost like a second home.

  • Kenya native makes best of AF opportunities

    Staff Sgt. Johnson Njenga was born and raised in Kenya and hasn't seen his immediate family in two years. For a family as close-knit as his, this can be heartbreaking, but the opportunities the U.S. provides and his love for the Air Force keep him here, serving as the 21st Medical Squadron Family

  • Quest for perfection: Airman strives for flawless execution

    It’s a sport in which a fraction of an inch could mean the difference between a first place finish or dropping 30 spots. Competitive rifle shooting requires patience, accuracy and control. Lt. Col. Mark Gould started the sport more than 23 years ago and he has been pulling the trigger ever since.

  • Blood brothers

    Airman 1st Class Saul Vasquez, from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, tore his radial artery during a misstep while performing maintenance on an F-15E Strike Eagle April 2, 2015. Thanks to the quick response of his co-workers providing self-aid and buddy care, they were able to keep Vasquez alive

  • Seymour Johnson Airman shines at inter-nation championship

    Her journey was full of unknowns. She was thousands of miles from home and in a very unfamiliar land. As foreign as she felt, there was one 7-foot wide circle that made her feel right at home.For Airman 1st Class Jessica Johnson, a 4th Aerospace Medicine Squadron public health technician, it was the

  • Mental health: To go or not to go

    The clinic buildings themselves aren't scary, but add the words ‘mental health,’ and most people will avoid them like they contain tigers on the loose. That's why the 432nd Wing Human Performance Team was stood up -- to alleviate that stigma, provide help and have easily accessible trained mental

  • Zelda's tower

    For 35 years, Zelda Montoya has stood in her tower, overlooking flightlines around the world and guiding aircraft to and from home. To her, the sky is not made up of fleecy clouds and endless expanses of blue, but rather lines, grids and waypoints.

  • Dr. Chief inspires Airmen toward higher education

    For Chief Master Sgt. Marvin Parker, being a leader meant more than simply checking the minimum requirements. Since 2014, the 36th Mission Support Group superintendent has held a doctorate in business administration, summa cum laude, specializing in global operations of supply chain management --

  • Airman keeps San Antonio, Laughlin safe

    Last year in San Antonio, just a couple of hours down the road from Laughlin Air Force Base, more than 1,600 arrests were made. Of those arrests, more than 580 were gang related and more than 200 firearms were taken off the streets. The credit for pushing gangs off of "military city's" streets goes

  • Airman passes on knowledge to Civil Air Patrol cadets

    As a first lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol on Kadena Air Base, Chance Sheek is an emergency services training officer, communications officer, and he oversees all of the cadet training. But during the weekday, he is a senior airman assigned to the 18th Logistics Readiness Squadron working as a

  • First sergeant serves with pride

    With the repeal of the “don't ask, don't tell” policy, many LGBT Airmen felt like they could finally be open about who they are; this included a first sergeant for the Air Reserve Personnel Center on Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.

  • Airman improves intelligence career field through innovations

    Tech. Sgt. Kevin from Creech Air Force Base, Neveda, has been an innovator for the intelligence career field with for the past decade. One of his creations, called the Squadron Intelligence Reconnaissance Interface, codenamed SIRI, is an application used by remotely piloted aircraft crew members to

  • Living the American Dream

    Senior Airman Vadim Poleanschi, a 386th Expeditionary Logistic Readiness Squadron logistics specialist, felt the burden, whether he understood it or not. Poleanschi was born after the Soviet Union fell apart in a country called the Republic of Moldova, an Eastern European country landlocked between

  • Victim advocate lends a helping hand

    Staff Sgt. Joshua Greene, a 673rd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, has been a victim advocate for the past seven years, and although he hadn't put much thought into it when he signed up, the impact he has made on others has caused him to never look back.

  • Olympic hopeful takes 1st at top US 10K

    In the crisp air and with a stunning view of Colorado’s Front Range, Maj. Benjamin Payne was first to cross the finish line at this year’s Bolder Boulder 10K race. It was just one of many wins he hopes to achieve on his road to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in February 2016 in Los Angeles, but it

  • Surviving 'face-breaking' speed

    For some it's about competition, for others it's an adrenaline rush, but for Derek Hamby, bicycling is about passion. Hamby, an avid bicyclist and manpower and organization chief at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, has been riding for close to 20 years. He takes trips with friends each year, just

  • Frankenphone: Creech Airman improves RPA communications

    n a crowded room of remotely piloted aircraft sensor operators, it would be easy to overlook him, yet his accomplishments scream for attention. His peers have labeled him a 'jack-of-all-trades' and after getting past his quiet first impression, it's easy to see why.

  • Sergeant helps others in India

    Staff Sgt. Alexander Cedillo, a 60th Logistics Readiness Squadron day-shift supervisor at Travis Air Force Base, California, recently visited Kolkata, India, where he found peace and answered a calling. In February, he used 30 days of leave to volunteer at a hospice house and a home for the mentally

  • Airman turns career around after confinement

    Boxed in by cold white bricks and murky blue floors with nothing but a rickety desk separating his twin-size bed from a closet full of rank-less uniforms, in October 2007, Airman Basic Council Jones hit the lowest point of his life.

  • Emerging from the fog: A story of loss, healing, new beginnings

    On the way to the hospital, after nine months of anticipation, Luke and JoAnne Lokowich were getting ready for what's typically the most important moment of a married couple's life. Hours later, the memories and happiness were overtaken by grief and sadness as JoAnne, after giving birth to daughter

  • Building a bond like no other

    Walking through the 366th Security Forces Squadron dog kennel, barking erupts from all directions. Staff Sgt. Benjamin Vanney makes his way to his new military working dog, Rony. He smiles at the sight of Rony jumping around in excitement, ready for a new day of training. Having only been together

  • A day in the life of a dental lab technician

    Dentures, crowns and night guards are just some of the unusual products made at the Peterson Area Dental Lab for personnel worldwide. Senior Airman Jonathon Stambaugh has been a lab technician for the ADL for more than two years, working on crowns along with other projects. He also trains and

  • Elmendorf Airman named Alaska bodybuilding champion

    Airman 1st Class James Jones, a 673rd Communications Squadron cyber systems operator, participated in the 2015 National Physique Committee Alaska State Championships on April 4. He spent more than a year preparing, chiseling at his physique slowly but surely every day. Hundreds of hours in the gym,

  • General’s mentorship leads 2nd Lt. back to AF

    Second Lt. Matthew Ruden didn't always plan to stay in the Air Force, but he plans to stay now. Ruden, an acquisitions manager for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's F-15 Eagle Division, will be promoted to first Lieutenant on May 1. Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello, the Air Force Research

  • Airman aims high for the future

    Since early childhood, Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Kimberly Daugherty has admired service members, especially those who fly. The shiny wings displayed on their uniforms instilled in her a sense of wonder. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she always responded with the same answer:

  • Darkest before dawn

    He can’t recall the details of that fateful afternoon, but Phillip Sisneros, known by most as just “Phil,” was riding his motorcycle in Las Vegas, on his way home from celebrating a coworker’s promotion the night before -- when his life was turned upside down.

  • Child’s dream turned pilot’s reality

    Since he was a child, Capt. Kenneth Jubb has chased a dream to one day fly, and now as a pilot he relives his childhood fantasy every time he takes to the air.

  • Coming to terms: Airman remains resilient through multiple TBIs

    For the tall, quiet Airman, speaking up about his injuries is difficult. His wounds aren't always visible, but they're very real.After two deployments and six bomb blasts, Tech. Sgt. Gabriel Wasnuk, who is assigned to the 775th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Flight, is receiving a Purple Heart

  • AF Assistance Fund supports Dover Airman during tragedy

    Tragedy rarely strikes on a schedule. It doesn't wait for a convenient time, often turning a person's life upside down.Tragedy struck for Tech. Sgt. Shamika Beckley, a 436th Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of unit intelligence, when her sister Raquel Calleja was killed by a drunk driver on

  • Airman helps strengthen bond between US, China

    An Airman assigned to the 15th Operations Support Squadron here, is tapping into a unique set of skills to support the U.S. Pacific Command's priority of strengthening its foreign partnerships. Capt. Joshua Hu, a 15th OSS executive officer, speaks Mandarin Chinese and has used his ability to

  • Former Soldier earns Air Force wings

    First Lt. Kevin Summerbell attended ROTC and commissioned as an officer in the Air Force to be a C-17 Globemaster III pilot, the same aircraft he was flown back on from Iraq after being wounded in combat. He is now assigned to the 15th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina.

  • WWII pilot reunited with P-47

    Sitting in a wheelchair with images of airplanes on his shirt and a U.S. Army Air Corp hat on his head, 92-year-old retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel was reunited with the P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course here Feb. 28.

  • Staff sergeant beats cancer

    For many people, Independence Day is all about celebration, spending time with family and watching fireworks light up the night sky, but on July 4, 2014, there was no celebrating for Staff Sgt. Richard L. Johnson.

  • Riding for the future of cycling

    Following a full day of work developing Air Force models, Maj. Ian Holt, mounts his Felt bicycle and starts pedaling on a three-hour training ride. It's all part of the regimen prescribed by his coach leading up to the sixth Conseil International du Sport Militaire - the international military

  • A chaplain’s story: Legacy, life, love

    As a young boy growing up in West Palm Beach, Florida, Matthew Boyd understood he was destined to serve. With two granddads who served in World War I and a father's return home after World War II, Boyd said he knew he was born to be a warrior.Now a major in the Air Force, he continues the family

  • Buckley Airman 'strikes out' competition

    Some people never get the chance to turn their hobbies into achievements, but one 2nd Space Warning Squadron Airman proved that if you work hard enough, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

  • Evolution of perspective: Airman finds balance after diagnosis

    Senior Master Sgt. Daphne Soto never meets a stranger because each encounter opens a door to a potential new friend, or to someone who just needs to talk, and she'll keep the door open for both. But while she cares for her Airmen at all times, she had to learn that sometimes saying "no" is

  • Female U-2 pilot blazes trail through society and space

    As a child she imagined flying amongst the stars, thousands of miles above the earth’s surface, and today Lt. Col. Merryl Tengesdal is one of eight female pilots to ever fly the U-2 and the only black female pilot during the aircraft's history.

  • ‘Super’ Airman becomes professional bodybuilder

    After a heavy weight workout, Senior Airman Terrence Ruffin walks over to a row of mirrors in the gym posing and flexing his muscles for more than half an hour. This behavior isn't an overabundance of ego or vanity, but a critical part of the training routine for Ruffin, a professional bodybuilder.

  • A dream born from chaos

    In the early hours of Dec. 20, 1989, when most of Panama City was sleeping, a 10-year-old boy and his family were awakened by explosions and helicopters overhead. The family exited their home, only to witness pandemonium: buildings burning down, people running and screaming. War was reality for

  • Behind the iron mask: Airman builds heroic persona to help others

    Beneath every superhero’s mask is an individual who enters society with a mission to leave it better than he or she found it.Iron Man is one of the many superheroes who not only lives in comic books, but also thrives on the big screen, and is seen as a hero to many.Tech. Sgt. Brian Thornton, a 628th

  • Controlling the airspace for three generations

    Children often admire parents and grandparents for doing great things, which can compel them to follow in their families’ footsteps and strive for greatness. For one Airman here, those footsteps from the past were followed almost exactly, leading to three generations of air traffic controllers.

  • Living museum: Airman preserves AF uniforms

    Walking through the 20th Maintenance Group building, it would be appropriate to stop and gaze into the office of one senior leader there. Eyes would be greeted with several mannequins wearing different shades of green and blue, each decorated with metals and ribbons.For most of his life, Lt. Col.

  • Airman continues the family business

    Staff Sgt. Dana Walker is from a family focused on science. Her father and her siblings have careers in different science fields and Walker herself chose to become a meteorologist in the Air Force.

  • Dreams come true for Italian Airman

    Sono un aviatore Americano. When translated, these words represent the bridge between two disparate lives for Dimas Bernacchia -- the life of an Italian immigrant and the life of an American Airman.

  • Eagle flies home: Airman receives a native name

    Capt. Myles Morales, the 336th Recruiting Squadron support flight commander, traveled approximately 1,700 miles to Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota, to receive one of the most distinguished decorations in his Native American culture: a name.

  • Chaplain's 50-year journey to become bishop of Fairbanks diocese

    "I've always had a committed faith and a love for God, but never really thought of becoming a priest until I was enlisted in the Air Force," said Chaplain (Maj.) Chad Zielinski. The Michigan native, who currently serves as the 354th Fighter Wing deputy wing chaplain, was ordained bishop of the

  • An Air Force dynamic duo

    The shop is full of constant howling, bones and bouncy balls scattered on the floor, and a pungent smell. The king of this domain is a four-legged creature that lies on a couch and greets people with a slobbery lick.It's just another day for Staff Sgt. Andre Hernandez, a 7th Security Forces Squadron

  • Airman sells screenplay to Paramount Pictures

    For some, a visit to the dentist feels like a nightmare. But, for Capt. Eric Koenig, the 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron dental flight commander, he hopes that it's his after-hours hobby that really keeps people awake at night.

  • A running bond, connects sisters and father

    For 2nd Lt. Abigail Webber, running became a shared activity within her family, especially between Webber and her father, a retired Air Force colonel who ran a closer pace to Webber than her Boston Marathon-running sister.

  • Airman returns from front lines of fight against Ebola

    Before many volunteers could begin fighting Ebola in West Africa, an Air Force major was on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia, paving the way for safe execution of their mission. As an epidemiologist and international health specialist for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Surgeon

  • Remembering Rosie

    Thrust into the depths of war Dec. 7, 1941, the U.S. employed all its resources to meet the enemy in battle quickly but one resource began to run out -- manpower. There were a lot of things that changed during that time; one change that grew not only out of necessity but also from a sense of duty

  • First sergeant provides health, welfare for warriors

    General health, esprit de corps, discipline, mentoring, well-being, career progression, professional development and recognition of all assigned Airmen and their families is all a part of the mission of an Air Force first sergeant -- taking care of people.

  • A place to belong

    Staff Sgt. Ruta Shibeshi is an Airman in the U.S. Air Force, and what sounds like a job title to most, to Shibeshi has meant family, friends and a place to belong.

  • Warrior Games: Wounded warrior overcomes adversity with archery

    Staff Sgt. Seth Pena, a highly decorated tactical air control party member, noted for calling in coordinated close support air strikes that killed up to 70 Taliban members in one fight, sat down with a crossbow draped across his lap and a target 25 meters in front of him, reminiscing about the night

  • 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.

  • Sudan 'Lost Boy' serves as Kadena NCO

    "At the age of 10, I have seen death; I have buried other kids -- at the age of 10," he said, a sadness moving into his eyes. "But at the same time, I've rebounded. If I have to stay in that hole and think of those horrible situations I've been in, then I would not be here today."Labeled a "Lost Boy

  • Pistol champion shoots to the top

    When at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Jackson is an aircraft metals technology craftsman with the 23d Equipment Maintenance Squadron, but during his off time, he's an avid pistol shooter and member of the Air Force National Pistol Team.

  • Third time’s a charm, a chaplain's journey

    "I had to preach in body armor while everyone was told to stay low, but instead of staying low, I chose to stand and preach because I said to myself, 'If something struck me right now, I know I was doing what I was called to do...

  • Airman, Actor, Nerd

    After hours of shopping, stitching and crafting, a piece of work comes together for former Tech Sgt. Randolph Sena, a civilian Airman and a recreational cosplayer.

  • McChord pilot continues to inspire Airmen

    In 2009, a young Air Force lieutenant in pilot training thought his dreams of flying in the Air Force were crushed following a recreational boating accident that resulted in the loss of his right leg. Despite the accident, Capt. Ryan McGuire, now a 4th Airlift Squadron pilot, became the first Airman

  • Weapons Airman keeps F-22s in the fight

    Airman 1st Class Kyron Abraham worked the day shift during those winter months. He drove to work through the cold night of day to the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and joined his three-man team in relieving the night shift. Then the order came to load

  • Lieutenant beats cancer, selected to pilot Raptors

    For one new Air Force pilot, "living the dream" is much more than a cheap throwaway line. To 1st Lt. Rob Hansen of the 80th Flying Training Wing, "living" means surviving stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma. "The dream" means graduating at the top of his undergraduate pilot training class and earning a slot

  • Combat arms instructor is third generation Air Force cop

    Staff Sgt. William Delphia said he has gained both strength and wisdom from his father, a former Airman. Delphia, a 633rd Security Forces Squadron combat arms training and maintenance instructor at Langley Air Force Base, Va., has spent his enlistment continuing the legacy of his father, Bruce

  • Through Airmen's Eyes: Linguist shoulders seven deployments in five years

    (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)Seven deployments in five years is a feat not many Airmen can claim. Serving as a career enlisted aviator on the RC-135 Rivet Joint, Staff Sgt. Chris has