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Massachusetts News

Air Force mental health programs encourage seeking help

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 28, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

The number of Airmen seeking mental health care has increased over the last five years -- and this is a trend Air Force leaders encourage, according to a lead psychiatrist with the office of the Air Force Surgeon General.

A mental health encounters report issued by the Air Force Medical Operations Agency noted that the number of mental health appointments scheduled by Airmen rose from 18,858 in 2008 to 33,274 in 2013.

"Since 2008, we've seen a gradual rise in the number of mental health visits for active duty, both in the Military Treatment Facilities and in purchased care -- and we consider this positive news," said Col. (Dr.) John Forbes, the director of psychological health, Air Force Medical Support Agency in Falls Church, Virginia. "There are likely many reasons for this increase such as more availability of providers, better access, reduced perception of stigma, acceptability of evidence-based treatments, and need."
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Limiting exposure to mosquitos, ticks is key

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 28, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

Summer is right around the corner and soon more time will be spent outdoors enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. Unfortunately, the arrival of summer also means a greater amount of insects pestering outdoor activities.

For many years, mosquitos were thought of as nothing more than uninvited guests at barbeques. Over the past few years, however, health officials have discovered that mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases.

"West Nile Virus, which originates in birds, is a virus that affects the neurologic system, to include the brain," said Capt. Heidi Hernandez, 66th Medical Squadron Public Health element leader. "Female mosquitos feed on infected birds, contract the virus and then pass it on to the next bird or person that they bite."
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Airman Leadership School Class 14D graduates

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 28, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

Twelve Airmen recently completed the first step of professional military education for enlisted members during a graduation ceremony at the Minuteman Commons, Airman Leadership School officials announced.

The class focuses on developing leadership abilities, the profession of arms and building effective communication.

Senior Airman Elizabeth Antunez
Senior Airman Nanayaw Appiahene, Academic Award Winner
Senior Airman Brian Arahill
Senior Airman Kaitlin Bellows, Commandant Award Winner
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Nurse Advice Line now available

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 28, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

Sometimes it is difficult to know if or when to seek medical assistance for acute health problems, having professional help at a moment's notice can ease that decision. The Military Health System's new Nurse Advice Line, or NAL, for TRICARE beneficiaries can do just that beginning May 30.

The NAL is a team of registered nurses who are available to answer a variety of urgent healthcare questions.

"Registered nurses can help patients decide whether self-care is the best option, or if it is better to see a healthcare provider," said Lt. Col. Kathleen Foulk, 66th Medical Squadron chief nurse. "There will always be a live-person on the line to address a patient's concerns."
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BACN accomplishments ensure warfighter connectivity

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 28, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

Three recent achievements demonstrate how a critical communications capability managed here is continuing to keep warfighters connected.

The Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, or BACN, translates and distributes imagery, video, voice and data, often from disparate elements, improving situational awareness by allowing ground troops to reach back for needed support over mountainous terrain.

BACN can act as a high-altitude relay and has been used for missions such as airdrop and airstrike operations.
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Pulse on force management May 23

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 27, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

This week's force management update focuses on the chief master sergeant retention board, voluntary separation pay, officer reduction in force boards, quality force review board, civilian force management and total force opportunities in a continued effort to bring Airmen the latest, most accurate information concerning the complex and dynamic force management programs.

Three retention boards cancelled
Based on voluntary and other mandatory retirement losses; the Air Force has met the overall end strength goal for chief master sergeant. There is no longer a need to conduct a chief master sergeant retention board this year.
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Missing Home

This post was originally published by Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass - Westover Headlines

May 27, 2014 in Massachusetts, Westover Air Reserves Base by clevine

On any normal day, jovial, outgoing, and energetic are just a few words that describe TSgt. Michael Valentin, but not today.

TSgt. Valentin has been deployed to the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Transit Center, Southwest Asia, since December 2013, as the NCOIC of volunteer operations. Back home, he's the 439th AW Chapel NCOIC and a firefighter in his civilian life. After several months of hard work -which has included processing more than 52,000 servicemembers - the pace had begun to wear on TSgt. Valentin.
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Airmen must revalidate dependents by Dec. 31

This post was originally published by Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass - Westover Headlines

May 27, 2014 in Massachusetts, Westover Air Reserves Base by clevine

By Dec. 31, every Airman will be required to provide their servicing finance office with documentation for all dependents as part of Air Force audit readiness efforts. This one-time, Air Force-wide recertification process will allow the Air Force to validate Airmen's basic allowance for housing entitlements, ensuring every dollar of the $5.4 billion the Air Force spends annually on BAH is fully auditable.
 
"When we say the Air Force is not audit compliant, that doesn't mean that money is missing or being misspent," said Doug Bennett, the deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial operations. Beginning this month and continuing through December, Air Force finance offices will contact Airmen across the total force by email to notify them of their responsibility to provide dependent documentation. Their finance office will tell them exactly which documents are required. Additionally, Airmen who recently provided documentation may not be required to do so
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Photo feature: This week at Hanscom, May 23

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 27, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine


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Air Force leaders issue Memorial Day message

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 23, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force and their families:

On May 30, 1868, the first official Memorial Day observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery to honor and to decorate the graves of those who died during the Civil War. Today, Memorial Day serves as an opportunity to pause and remember the sacrifices of more than one million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives to secure our freedoms.
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Patriot Magazine: June edition online!

This post was originally published by Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass - Westover Headlines

May 22, 2014 in Massachusetts, Westover Air Reserves Base by clevine

The June 2014 edition of the Patriot magazine is online and ready to view! CLICK HERE!

This edition includes:

·Col. Hancock's editorial: "lt's been the opportunity of a lifetime"

·C-5s, Airmen to be cut from Patriot Wing

·CSAF describes Air Force's 'precarious' position

·Westover "Port Dawg" runs Boston Marathon for Martin Richard charity
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HSC awards scholarships

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 22, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

The Hanscom Spouses Club hosted nearly 100 people at the Minuteman Commons to recognize 17 graduating seniors and two military spouses at the 53rd annual HSC Scholarship Awards Night May 14.

HSC officers awarded $35,000 in scholarships to graduates whose transcripts show mostly As and Bs, most of whom have attained honors in various subjects, and many who will major in technically-challenging disciplines in the top colleges and universities this fall.

The top academically achieving student is awarded The Chief of Staff Award of $4,000. This year's recipient is Jason Canavan, who will attend Boston College in the fall.
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AFAF wraps-up 2014 season

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 22, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

Team Hanscom has raised $24,551 in support of Air Force charities during this year's Air Force Assistance Fund campaign.

This year's campaign ran from March 24 through May 16.

"Although we did not meet the suggested base goal, all of the unit project officers worked diligently to make 100 percent contact and reach out to the Hanscom community to give them the opportunity to help a wingman," said Lt. Stephen Surjue, Hanscom AFAF installation project officer.

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CSAF provides ‘initial feedback’ to all commanders

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 22, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

All supervisors are required to provide subordinates with an initial feedback, outlining expectations, standards and goals they can both work together to achieve.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III led the way by introducing the new Air Force Instruction 1-2 "Commander's Responsibilities" May 8 for commanders Air Force-wide.

AFI 1-2 is a six-page document that details the general's priorities and expectations for those officers who hold command positions. Topics range from conduct and responsibilities to Welsh's overall intent.
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AFCEA names Hanscom captain as IT leadership award recipient

This post was originally published by Hanscom Air Force Base - Hanscom Headlines

May 21, 2014 in Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts by clevine

A member of Team Hanscom recently earned high honors in the field of information technology.

Capt. Gary Priest of the Battle Management Division here was awarded the 2014 Joint Officer Information Technology Leadership Award by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., May 15.

"I was deeply honored to receive the award," said Priest. "This means a lot to both me and my wife."

Priest's recognition stemmed from a long list of accomplishments that accumulated during a recent one-year deployment to the U.S. Air Forces Central Command's area of responsibility. His leadership and IT contributions had a direct impact on fellow warfighters and the Operation Enduring Freedom mission.
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