National Air Guardsman Tapped To Lead MacDill AFB

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Lt. Gen. Samuel Cox, commander of the 18th Air Force, passes the 6th Air Mobility Wing guidon to the incoming commander, Col. April Vogel, during the wing change of command ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., July 8, 2016.
Tech. Sgt. Krystie Martinez / U.S. Air Force

Commanding an Air Force Wing – like the 6th Air Mobility Wing in Tampa – is challenging enough.  Add to that being accountable for the security and daily operations of a high profile military base that is headquarters for U.S. Central Command, and those responsibilities grow “huge.”

That’s why the Air Force selected Col. April Vogel to take command at MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa. Continue reading

Utah National Guard First Batallion Welcomed Home

The approximately 300 Soldiers of the Utah National Guard’s First Battalion, 211th Aviation returned to Utah from their 12-month deployment to Afghanistan in two groups Thursday, Jan. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 20, respectively, at the Utah Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City.The mission of the 1-211th (First of the 211th) in Afghanistan was fly its AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters to conduct aerial route reconnaissance and provide armed escort for U.S. and Coalition aircraft.

Waiting to welcome home the Utah National Guard’s First Battalion, 211th Aviation returned to Utah from their 12-month deployment to Afghanistan.

After a year in Afghanistan, about 300 soldiers of the Utah National Guard’s First Battalion, 211th Aviation returned in two groups Thursday, Jan. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.

The photo is taken at the Utah Air National Guard Base in Salt Lake City.

The mission of the 1-211th (First of the 211th) in Afghanistan was fly its AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters to conduct aerial route reconnaissance and provide armed escort for U.S. and Coalition aircraft.

U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band Goes Viral

When I started this blog, I got a really good piece of advice from a fellow journalist: “You can’t give them broccoli all the time.”

Now I personally like broccoli. But, to put it more bluntly – it was a reminder to take off my hard-news glasses from time to time and view the world through a softer lens.

This video I think qualifies. It has already gone viral with more than 1 million views on You Tube. So, you may have already seen it. I couldn’t help but tap my toe while watching. If your soul needs a lift today, take three minutes and watch:

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson and Sidewinder perform a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” Sidewinder is part of the 571st Air Force Band, 131st Bomb Wing, Air National Guard. They are deployed as the U.S. Air Forces Central Command Band.

Sidewinder is Capt John Arata – officer in charge, keyboards, fiddle; Tech. Sgt. Kevin Maret – NCO in charge, percussion; Tech. Sgt. John Cavanaugh – operations/logistics, bass; Tech. Sgt. Joseph Castilleja – guitar; Staff Sgt. Tobias Callaway – saxophone; Staff Sgt. Ransom Miller – trumpet; Staff Sgt. Devin LaRue – trombone, guitar, keyboards; Staff Sgt. Brian Owens – vocals; Staff Sgt. Angie Johnson – vocals; Staff Sgt. Sean Navarro – Audio, Trombone.

Here’s another of Sidewinder’s You Tube videos where they did a gig for the Night Shift. It has not gone viral, but is equally entertaining.

 

Florida’s National Guard Leader Reappointed

Maj. Gen. Emmet R. "Buddy" Titshaw will stay as leader of the Florida National Guard.

Rick Scott will be sworn in as Florida Governor Tuesday at noon in Tallahassee. But, he is already making his mark selecting his own people to head state agencies like the Department of Corrections and the Division of Emergency Management.

But, there is one Florida leader Scott is keeping, Major General Emmet R. “Buddy” Titshaw, the current Adjutant General of  the Florida National Guard.

Scott cited Titshaw’s leadership as commander of  the Joint Task Force Florida during hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005 and the major general’s nearly four decades experience in the National Guard.

Titshaw took over command of the Florida Guard in June 2010 after being named to the post by Gov. Charlie Crist. Prior to that, his most recent position was as special assistant to the Director of the Air National Guard in Washington D.C.

There are currently about 12,000 National guardsmen in Florida and approximately 500 are deployed overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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