Richard Melson

October 2006

U.S. Air Force News

November 2006


November CCTopics


"This year, we commemorate the 60th Anniversary of our proud Service - born of revolutionary ideas, forged in combat, and proven through decades of progress and achievement. In doing so, we pause to reflect on our remarkable heritage, reaffirm our commitment to today's fight, and resolve to continually expand our reach toward our limitless horizons."

-- From the joint SECAF/CSAF Letter to Airmen: Air Force Heritage

To read the entire Letter to Airmen, go to


Air Force Strategic Plan Released

The Air Force Strategic Plan articulates the Air Force mission and can be viewed at The plan focuses on the three priorities the Air Force has had over the last few years: winning the war on terrorism, developing Airmen, and recapitalizing the aging air fleet.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Cyberspace Dominance, the Information Mosaic and Precision Strike

Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne spoke to the Precision Strike Association Oct. 19 at Johns Hopkins University. During his speech, the secretary addressed the issues of cyberspace dominance, the "information mosaic," and the future of precision strike. Secretary Wynne reflected on the evolution of these issues and posed pointed questions to the audience concerning these issues and their future in military operations.

To read the entire speech, go to


Letter to Airmen highlights Air Force Memorial dedication

In his latest "Letter to Airmen," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley discusses the two-day Air Force Memorial Dedication and the start of the year-long commemoration of the Air Force 60th anniversary.

General Moseley said that the Memorial is a symbol of the people and technologies that have made the U.S. Air Force the world's preeminent air, space and cyberspace force.

He encouraged Airmen to read the speeches given at the dedication ceremony which are attachments to the "Letter to Airmen," released Oct. 20.

View the letter and attachments at

Hate Groups, Gangs Not Acceptable to Air Force

Department of Defense and Air Force policies prohibit active participation in any activity that promotes the objectives of organizations and groups that attempt to illegally discriminate or otherwise deprive individuals of their civil rights. This could include participating in public demonstrations, fund raising, recruiting, organizing, leading or training in support of such organizations.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Reading List Announced

The new Chief of Staff professional reading list encourages Airmen toward pursuing knowledge that grounds them in history, sustains them in today’s flight, and propels them toward our limitless horizon. I encourage you to begin reading books from this list and, as the slogan says, "Read it, learn it, live it!"

For the full story, go to

To access the complete reading list, go to




Reductions Necessary to Recapitalize Today's Service

Reducing the number of Airmen in the service is absolutely necessary to recapitalize today's force. Overall, about 40,000 people will leave the service over the next three years. The money saved will go toward recapitalizing the service's aging aircraft and equipment.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Two New Programs Guide Enlisted Force Shaping

A date of separation rollback and a limited active-duty service commitment waiver, join the current tools of reducing the number of accessions into the enlisted force, career job reservations and the NCO retraining program.

The DOS rollback applies to enlisted Airmen with certain re-enlistment ineligibility codes or assignment availability codes. These individuals will be required to separate from the force by March 15, 2007. The DOS rollback specifically affects Airmen with less than 14 years or more than 20 years of service.

The LADSC Waiver Program allows retirement-eligible master and technical sergeants in overage AFSCs to have all or portions of an extension waived and voluntarily retire by Sept. 1, 2007. Waivers can be granted for extensions due to promotion, PCS, attending professional military education, technical training, Air Force educational leave of absence, and Bootstrap.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at



Newest 'Chief's View' deals with enlisted development plan

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley addresses the newest page on the Air Force Portal Web site, "My Enlisted Development

Plan," in his latest Chief's View video,

The site offers one-stop shopping for enlisted Airmen's education, training, leadership and job experiences.

To visit the website, go to the Air Force Portal, click on "Life and Career," and then on "Learning and Development."

Some Airmen Can Carry Over 'Use or Lose' Leave

Airmen who were recalled from or unable to take annual leave this past year for reasons such as support for contingency operations may be allowed to accumulate more than the normal 60 days after the fiscal year ends. Special leave accrual carry over also applies to Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard members who performed full-time training or other full-time duties for 30 days or more. Airmen who lost leave may carry over the following leave amounts:

-- Up to 120 days for Airmen deployed or assigned to hostile fire/imminent danger pay areas;

-- Up to 120 days for Airmen impacted by significant and unforeseen operational mission requirements as a result of Hurricane Katrina; and

-- Up to 90 days for Airmen who deployed or were assigned to other than hostile fire/imminent danger locations.

Additionally, Airmen who lost leave as a consequence of assignments in support of contingency operations as of Sept. 30, 2006, are authorized restoration of the leave they lost. Those Airmen who meet the criteria for having excess leave should contact their local military personnel flight customer service element for additional guidance, such as eligibility to carry over leave beyond the following fiscal year.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Fall 2006 Quarterly Issue of Airman Available

Read about how basic military training is evolving to create Airmen warriors, discover the meaning behind the Air Force Memorial's design, and tag along with provincial reconstruction teams as they work to restore hope and fight terrorism in Afghanistan.

These features and more highlight the fall quarterly issue of Airman magazine, now available in print and online at

Proactive Airmen Get Jump on Passport Process

The process to get the Department of State-issued document takes three to six weeks because of mailing, screening and coordination through official channels in Washington, D.C. Until completed, it prevents Airmen from deploying to countries that require one.

Airmen can look at the DOD foreign clearance guide at, which lists documents needed for travel to each country. Airmen should look at the passport process as part of their predeployment checklist and start gathering any missing documentation.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Overseas quarterly assignment listing available

The Enlisted Quarterly Assignment Listing for overseas requirements for the July to September 2007 cycle will be available Nov. 3. Airmen need to update their preferences by Nov. 17 and will be notified of their selection by Dec. 15. For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Career Enlisted Aviators Positions Open

The Air Force has immediate openings for in-flight refueling (boom operators), flight engineers, loadmasters, airborne mission systems, airborne battle management, flight attendants, aerial gunners and airborne cryptologic linguists. Interested Airmen are encouraged to visit the Virtual MPF retraining site or the career enlisted aviator Web site for more information.

Defense Department to Review Military Awards Program

In an effort to provide clarity in awards standards across the military services, the Defense Department has begun a comprehensive review of military awards and decorations. This review will result in revision of DOD Instruction 1348.33-M, the Manual of Military Decorations and Awards. The review will focus on several specific areas where discrepancies among the different branches of the military have come to light. These include the criteria for "V" devices and Purple Heart Medals. Another area that will be addressed is the definition of the theater of operations when it comes to expeditionary medals.

A working group consisting of representatives from each service, the Joint Staff and the Institute of Heraldry will form the core of the comprehensive review effort, which is expected to last about six months. If the services achieve a consensus, DOD will be able to move quickly with publication of the new instruction.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at


"Today’s Air Force" will begin to air on the Pentagon Channel and Armed Forces Radio and Television Service the first week in November. This 30-minute weekly broadcast will highlight the efforts of America’s Airmen.


Air Force Reserve Changes Officer Promotion System

Air Force Reserve Command is changing its officer promotion system to meet future total force requirements. In one change, the command will combine Selected Reserve (Categories A and B) and Participating Individual Ready Reserve, or PIRR, (Category E) officers into a single promotion group. Under force shaping actions, the Air Force Reserve will shift some of its member authorizations from paid positions in the Selected Reserve to non-paid status in the PIRR.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

Air Force Reserve to Operate With More Reservists

The fiscal 2007 Defense Appropriations Act funds an end-strength of 74,900 reservists, which is 900 additional reservists from last year. The new legislation also approves 10,214 full-time air reserve technicians and 2,707 full-time active Guard and Reserve members. The defense bill funds a 2.2 percent across-the-board military pay raise for active and Reserve forces as requested in the president's budget earlier this year.

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at


DOD to Resume Anthrax Vaccinations

The Department of Defense announced a resumption of the mandatory Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program for military members, emergency-essential DOD civilians and contractors, based on defined geographic areas or roles. For the most part, mandatory vaccinations are limited to military units designated for homeland bioterrorism defense and to U.S. forces assigned to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and Korea.

For more information on the anthrax vaccination program, visit or

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at

New Tricare Standard Handbook Released

Tricare officials are making a handbook available to all beneficiaries covered under Tricare Standard. Beneficiaries now may ask for copies of the Tricare Standard handbook or the summary of beneficiary costs flyer from their regional contractors or from a local Tricare Service Center, or view the documents on the Tricare Smart Site at Basic information on Tricare Standard is available at

For more information, read the Air Force Print News story at


AAFES Reminds TKS Cell Phone Customers About Contract Termination Provisions

In Germany, TKS customers who opted for a cell phone two-year contract, instead of the prepaid options, were provided a contract obtained by TKS through the off-base German provider, T-Mobile. These two year contracts require a three-month written cancellation notice. When the two-year period is up, T-Mobile will automatically extend the contract in six-month increments. Additionally, if the T-Mobile two year contract is not cancelled and gets extended for the new six-month period, T-Mobile still requires the same three-month written notice to terminate during the six-month extension.

To view recent AAFES press releases, go to

Escaping the Burden of Credit Card Debt

A good rule to follow when looking to purchase anything is that if you don't know when or how you will pay for an item, then you probably can't afford the item and shouldn't "charge it." Here are some tips to help if you are already in debt:

1. Stop spending. The first step is to reduce your use and dependence on credit cards. Cut up all but one card with the best terms

2. Get on a budget. You need to know where your money is going before you know how much you can pay toward your cards.

3. Establish an emergency fund. Establishing $500 to $1,000 in savings will provide a safety net for life's little emergencies.

4. Find the hidden money. Luxuries such as premium cable/satellite, internet and cell phone packages are not necessary for survival.

5. Pay your highest-dollar cards first. List each of your credit cards, their interest rates, and their minimum payments. Pay the minimum balance on the lower interest cards, and then pay the maximum you can afford to the highest interest card.

6. Make two payments a month. Each payday send a payment to the highest rate credit card company.

7. Consider finding extra income. A part-time job can help accelerate your debt repayment. Even just a few hours a week can provide a boost.

8. Seek help. Your base Airman and Family Readiness Centers have certified financial counselors on staff ready and willing to help you.

Read the commentary at

A better way to save: Keep money interest-growing TSP

Saving for retirement is a good idea regardless of age. The Thrift Savings Plan can help. One of the largest benefits to the TSP is that it is a tax-deferred account, meaning all money placed in it is done so before taxes are calculated. TSP gives investors a range of investment options through five basic funds. Another benefit to the TSP is individuals may take out loans from their account while they are in the military.

For more information on the TSP, visit

Read the commentary at


Memorial Dedication Launched 60th Anniversary Observance

The Air Force Memorial officially opened Oct. 14, kicking off the 60th anniversary observance. Located on a three-acre promontory next to Arlington National Cemetery and a short walk from the Pentagon, the memorial is composed of three bold and graceful spires soaring skyward to a height of 270 feet. The memorial honors the millions of men and women who have served in the Air Force and its predecessor organizations.

Visit the Air Force Memorial Foundation at

For the Air Force Print News story, go to

Air Force Link will provide news and stories at


"A good head and a good heart are a formidable combination."

-- Nelson Mandela, recipient of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize and former President of South Africa (1994 – 1999)


Air Force Link

Air Force Crossroads

Air Force One Source

Air Force Personnel Center

Air Reserve Personnel Center

Air Force First Sergeant Link

Base Realignment and Closure 2005

Defense Link


U.S. Government website

Federal Voting Assistance Program


Nov. 2, 1971 -- Titan IIIC rockets launched the first two Defense Satellite Communications System Phase II satellites into synchronous orbits.

Nov. 7, 1907 -- Signal Corps allotted $25,000 to purchase an airplane.

Nov. 8, 1950 -- First all-jet plane aerial combat in history took place over Korea. A U.S. Air Force F–80 Shooting Star, piloted by Lt. Russell J. Brown, downed a North Korean MiG–15.

Nov. 9, 1967 -- Enemy gunners shot down a helicopter piloted by Capt. Gerald O. Young during efforts to rescue an Army reconnaissance team near Khe Sanh, Republic of Vietnam. Captain Young’s bravery earned the Medal of Honor.

Nov. 9, 1967 – January 1968 -- Capt. Lance P. Sijan ejected from his F–4C Phantom over North Vietnam and successfully evaded capture for more than six weeks. The enemy eventually captured him, but he managed to escape. Captain Sijan received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Nov. 17, 1961 -- The first successful launch of a Minuteman ICBM missile from an underground silo took place at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The re-entry vehicle hit the target area 3,000 miles downrange.

Nov. 22, 1952 -- While leading a flight of four F–80 Shooting Star fighters dive-bombing enemy gun positions, Maj. Charles J. Loring crashed his damaged aircraft into enemy emplacements. Major Loring received the Medal of Honor for his sacrifice.

Nov. 25, 1956 -- Tech. Sgt. R.J. Patton made the first successful polar parachute jump.

Nov. 26, 1968 -- Piloting a UH–1F helicopter, 1st Lt. James P. Fleming exposed his aircraft to intense hostile fire while rescuing a special forces reconnaissance patrol, eventually receiving the Medal of Honor for his gallantry.

Nov. 29, 1951 -- Air Force announced development of the XB-52, its first all-jet heavy bomber.

Nov. 29, 1975 -- The first Red Flag exercise began at Nellis AFB, Nev., ushering in a new era of highly realistic air combat training for USAF pilots.

For more information of Air Force history and heritage, visit the Air Force Link history section at

Air Force mission -- The mission of the U.S. Air Force is to deliver sovereign options for the defense of the United States of America and its global interests -- to fly and fight in air, space and cyyberspace.

Air Force core competencies -- Developing Airmen, technology-to-warfighting and integrating operations.

Air Force distinctive capabilities -- Air and space superiority, global attack, rapid global mobility, precision engagement, information superiority and agile combat support.

We are trying a new format for the monthly Commander's Call Topics. 
Attached is a Word document for the November edition. 
If you experience any difficulties receiving or opening the attachment, please send an e-mail to and reference "November CCT" in the subject line.

Air Force core values -- Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.

The Air Force News Agency produces Commander's Call Topics monthly. For questions or comments about this or any other AFNEWS product, send e-mail to

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USAFNEWS November CCTopics

Attachment: CCT2006_Nov.doc (0.14 MB)

Friday, October 27, 2006