Bloglikes - Society https://m.bloglikes.com/c/society/archive/2019-08-12 en-US Sat, 25 Jan 2020 04:17:56 +0000 Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 FeedWriter AirVenture Surprises & Snowbird Respect http://www.jetwhine.com/2019/08/airventure-surprises-snowbird-respect/ As it seemed last year, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels low-level fly-by at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year seemed to catch many people by surprise. I don’t mean to shatter your illusions, but nothing at AirVenture happens as a surprise, especially when it involves airplanes. Every flight is carefully planned and coordinated with the AirVenture Air Boss and ATC. And every morning at Press Headquarters, the legendary EAA communication director, Dick Knapinski, spoils the day’s surprises in detail.

On Thursday morning, he told the handful of us in attendance (given the goodies he shares, I’m surprised more members of the media don’t attend) that the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds would, at the start of the air show, make four low-passes during their fly-by appearance as they, like the Blue Angels, traveled from one scheduled performance to the next. But the next item is what caught my attention. Around 2 p.m., a Canadian Forces Snowbird would be arriving in his CT-114 Tutor. And rather than performing, “he’ll be camping in the Vintage area,” Dick said, qualifying his camping spot by noting that his jet was made in 1964.

Certainly, the military forces of different nations can’t be that different. Flying a squadron bird from the Snowbird home base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, on a camping trip to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh would be akin to me using one of the ship’s small boats to go fishing when I was aboard the USS Blue Ridge (LCC-19) in the mid-1970s. My curiosity put a ring through my nose and led me to Vintage to wait.

Right about 2 p.m., the red and white Tutor made a couple of low passes, landed, and taxied to vintage camping. A tug arrived to position it on a finger of pavement next to the grass that would be the pilot’s campsite. The aviator in the red flight suit, with Blake McNaughton embroidered on it, was obviously in command. A captain in the Canadian Forces, he’s the Snowbirds’ flight safety officer. (I didn’t get the name of his squadron mate, who was attired in standard-issue green Nomex.)

Before I could ask the obvious question, the Thunderbirds made their appearance, and McNaughton was clearly more interested in filling out the necessary aircraft paperwork and putting his Tutor safely to bed after the tug driver jockeyed it into position. “Oh, yeah, we camp just like everyone else at Oshkosh.” And when the entire Snowbirds team performed at AirVenture in 2016, a couple of us tent camped.”

But a solo camping trip? “Our chain of command understands that Oshkosh is a cultural icon. [Camping] is what you do when you come here. We don’t take ourselves too seriously; we have a good time. We set up tents and camp. It’s great! We want the full, rich Oshkosh experience.” (With no room in the jet, they made separate travel arrangement for their tents and camping gear.)

Perhaps there are differences in the military attitudes among the national forces. On reflection, a solo camping trip to AirVenture is some genius guerilla PR, a subtle statement that supports the demonstration squadron’s ambassadorial mission. But McNaughton demonstrated an even more forceful example of the character and quality of the Canadian Armed Forces. Kneeling on the wing, digging the wheel chocks out of little compartment behind the cockpit, when he heard the first few notes of America’s national anthem, he sprang to attention. (His squadron mate, clearly sat at attention.) He stood there, in rigid contrast, as the flight line mass of U.S. flagpole patriots fluttered about in self-absorbed oblivion. – Scott Spangler, Editor

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Mon, 12 Aug 2019 09:00:13 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs General Education Airports America Military Aviation Dick Blue Angels U S Navy ATC EAA Oshkosh McNaughton Thunderbirds Tutor Canadian snowbirds U S Air Force Thunderbirds Aviation History EAA AirVenture Oshkosh EAA Airventure Dick Knapinski Moose Jaw Saskatchewan Canada Sport Aviation EAA Oshkosh Airplane Camping AirVenture Air Boss Blake McNaughton Canadian Armed Forces Kneeling
Faces on The Hill https://airman.dodlive.mil/2019/08/12/faces-on-the-hill/ In one wing, there are 435. On the other, there are 100. Luckily, this isn’t referring to a severe weight imbalance detrimental to an aircraft’s flight. These are the number of appointed individuals responsible for making the nation’s laws on Capitol Hill and the people who some Air Force legislative liaisons and fellows engage with to ensure continued legislative support for national security.

The legislative liaison and fellowship programs are designed to provide servicemembers opportunities to improve understanding and knowledge of the functions and operations of the legislative branch and how it impacts the military.

jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var img = $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-5 .aesop-parallax-sc-img') , setHeight = function() { if ($('#aesop-parallax-component-18522-5').height() > img.height()) { $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-5').css('height',img.height()); $('#aesop-parallax-component-18522-5').css('height',img.height()); } } $(window).on('load',function(){ setHeight(); }); $(window).resize(function(){ setHeight(); }); var img = $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-5 .aesop-parallax-sc-img'); img.parallax({speed: 0.5}); }); // end jquery doc ready 190404-F-NA975-0032.jpg Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, checks his statements with Maj. Gen. Steven Basham, director of the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Office, before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. U.S. Air Force photo // Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos

According to Title 5, U.S. Code Section 7102 and Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1034, United States Air Force personnel have the legal right to petition and furnish information to or communicate with Congress.

“It is our responsibility to truly understand the intersection of politics and policy as members of an apolitical organization,” said Maj. Gen. Steven L. Basham, former director for Secretary of the Air Force legislative liaison, who is now the deputy commander of U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa Command. “We are not only the Air Force liaison to Congress, but we are also liaisons for Congress to the rest of the Air Force.”

Basham says that individuals selected to become legislative liaisons are intuitive, broad and flexible thinkers. Despite donning a suit or business attire during their time on the Hill, aspiring liaisons or fellows are required to have exceptional professional bearing and appearance, exceptional organizational skills, performance and knowledge of current events in national security affairs and international relations are also desired.

jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var img = $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-6 .aesop-parallax-sc-img') , setHeight = function() { if ($('#aesop-parallax-component-18522-6').height() > img.height()) { $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-6').css('height',img.height()); $('#aesop-parallax-component-18522-6').css('height',img.height()); } } $(window).on('load',function(){ setHeight(); }); $(window).resize(function(){ setHeight(); }); var img = $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-6 .aesop-parallax-sc-img'); img.parallax({speed: 0.5}); }); // end jquery doc ready 190404-F-NA975-0001.jpg Lt. Col. Joe Wall, deputy chief of the Senate Air Force Liaison Office, salutes a staff vehicle to welcome Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. U.S. Air Force photo // Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos

“We bring phenomenal people into this program,” Basham said. “As a matter of fact, we want individuals who are experts in their career field who have the ability to look across the entire United States Air Force. When we’re working with Congress or a staff member, they don’t see a bomber pilot or a logistician; they see us as a United States Air Force officer or civilian who is an expert across all fields.”

  • Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, looks through his statements before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • U.S. Air Force senior leaders and their team prepare before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • The Russell Senate Office Building is located near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • U.S. Air Force senior leadership and their staff converse before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Maj. Michael Gutierrez, Senate Air Force Liaison Office action officer, and Col. Caroline Miller, chief of the Senate Air Force Liaison Office, corresponds with legislators in preparation for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Maj. Christopher D. Ryan, Senate Air Force Liaison Office action officer, walks the halls of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, speaks to 
Maj. Gen. Steven Basham, director of the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Office, before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Maj. Christopher D. Ryan, Senate Air Force Liaison Office action officer, monitor's his email at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • U.S. Air Force senior leaders and their team take prepare during a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Lt. Col. Joe Wall, deputy chief of the Senate Air Force Liaison Office, salutes a staff vehicle to welcome Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Lt. Col. Joe Wall and Col. Caroline Miller, deputy chief and chief of the Senate Air Force Liaison Office respectively, discuss information on the side during a posture hearing Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Maj. Christopher D. Ryan, Senate Air Force Liaison Office action officer, watches a military hearing at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Maj. Christopher D. Ryan, Senate Air Force Liaison Office action officer, discuss Air Force inforamation with Dan S. Dunham, military legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Deb Fischer from Nebraska, at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Maj. Gen. Steven Basham, director of the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Office, hands a note to Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, during a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, checks his statements with his team before a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, deliver his opening statements during a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
  • Gen. David Goldfein, U.S. Air Force chief of staff, deliver his opening statements during a posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos)
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See more Legislative Liaison photos on Flickr

According to Brig. Gen. Trent H. Edwards, budget operations and personnel director for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, the opportunity to serve as a legislative liaison and then as a legislative fellow to a member of congress provided him valuable experience in understanding how the government and democracy work. His time working at the Hill “left an indelible impression” in his mind.

“As a squadron, group and wing commander, I frequently relied on my understanding of the legislative process to help inform my bosses and teammates on how they could positively affect their mission through the right congressional engagement at the right time,” he said. “I also left the experience with a keen understanding of the importance of relationships, communication and collaboration. Those lessons serve me well today, and I share them with younger officers every chance I get.”

Airmen working on the Hill come from diverse career backgrounds. Historically, the liaison and fellowship programs were only open to officers but have opened to senior noncommissioned officers and civilians in recent years. Typical responsibilities of fellows include assisting with the drafting of legislation, floor debate preparation, planning and analysis of public policy and serving as congressional liaisons to constituents and industry. Fellows are required to come back to serve as legislative liaisons later on in their careers and into positions where they can utilize their acquired knowledge of the legislative process.

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Col. Caroline Miller, chief of the Senate Legislative Liaison Office,said the first step to being a legislative liaison is making sure that the liaison understands the chief of staff and the secretary of the Air Force’s vision and priorities. As members of the Senate legislative liaisons, she and her team work primarily with the Senate Armed Services Committee and its members, as well as any members of the Senate who have Air Force equity. Along with preparing senior leaders for hearings or meetings with legislators, they provide members of Congress and their staff information that helps in their understanding of current Air Force operations and programs.

“I wish I knew what I know now from a legislative perspective when I was a wing commander because I didn’t understand the power of the congressional body back then,” she said. “Every installation has challenges. Every installation has aging infrastructure. Every installation has lots of different things that they’re working through, and I did not engage with my local congressional district as much as I would have if I had I been up here and understood that (our representatives) really do want to help.”

Dan S. Dunham, a military legislative assistant who works for U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, said the legislative liaisons are who they “turn to first” whenever they have Air Force-related questions – may it be on budgets, programs or operations.

jQuery(document).ready(function($){ var img = $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-8 .aesop-parallax-sc-img') , setHeight = function() { if ($('#aesop-parallax-component-18522-8').height() > img.height()) { $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-8').css('height',img.height()); $('#aesop-parallax-component-18522-8').css('height',img.height()); } } $(window).on('load',function(){ setHeight(); }); $(window).resize(function(){ setHeight(); }); var img = $('.aesop-parallax-sc.aesop-parallax-sc-18522-8 .aesop-parallax-sc-img'); img.parallax({speed: 0.5}); }); // end jquery doc ready 190403-F-NA975-0041.jpg Maj. Christopher D. Ryan, Senate Air Force Liaison Office action officer, discuss Air Force inforamation with Dan S. Dunham, military legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Deb Fischer from Nebraska, at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., April 3, 2019. U.S. Air Force photo // Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos

“Air Force and Congress can be a tall order – both sides have different chains of command and different constituencies to which they are answerable,” he said. “That can significantly increase the risk of miscommunication. The legislative liaison fills a critical role in bridging that gap and they are frequently the ones we rely on to be the primary facilitator for getting answers and information for our bosses.”

Along with having constant interaction with the highest echelons of Air Force leadership and the key decision makers, due to the sensitive nature of information exchange at this level, legislative liaisons must be capable of thinking on their feet and making informed decisions.

“We bring individuals in who sometimes have to make the call when talking with the staff on what information they should provide,” Basham said. “I think the level of trust they have for their senior leaders having their back when they make that call is invaluable.”

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Mon, 12 Aug 2019 08:03:41 +0000 BlogLikes - Find Most Popular Blogs Congress Washington Senate Military Nebraska Capitol Hill Air Force Hill U S Air Force United States Air Force Senate Armed Services Committee Basham Heather Wilson Dirksen Senate Office Building Deb Fischer Africa Command U S Air Forces Europe Russell Senate Office Building David Goldfein Caroline Miller Marianique Santos Maj Gen Steven Basham Air Force Legislative Liaison Office U S Code Section 1034 United States Air Force Maj Gen Steven L Basham Col Joe Wall Senate Air Force Liaison Office Col Caroline Miller Steven Basham Dan S Dunham Legislative Liaison Brig Gen Trent H Edwards Air Force for Financial Management Marianique Santos Col Caroline Miller Senate Legislative Liaison Office