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Practice makes perfect! Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron work hard to improve their skills with medical staging and patient transportation June 9-10 at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, during Pacific Lifeline 2018, a statewide exercise conducted as part of a larger RIMPAC 2018 medical exercise. Building teamwork helps ensure success for the team!
Reserve Citizen Airmen with the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron get some hands-on practice with medical staging and patient transportation June 9-10 at Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii, during Pacific Lifeline 2018, a statewide exercise conducted as part of a larger RIMPAC 2018 medical exercise. This type of training helps improve individual skills and builds teamwork.
Check out what our Reserve Citizen Airmen in the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron have been up to this week! They had the chance to get some hands-on practice with medical staging and patient transportation during Pacific Lifeline 2018, a statewide exercise conducted as part of a larger RIMPAC 2018 medical exercise. This type of training helps improve individual skills and builds teamwork.
The squadron’s professionals provide medical support for the entire 624th RSG, ensuring oversight of individual health and medical readiness. They also support worldwide operations, including exercises, humanitarian relief and disaster response operations. 624th ASTS #ReserveCitizenAirmen working with the 62nd Airlift Wing, 315th Airlift Wing, 446th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve), 452 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and the 943rd Rescue Group.
The latest of what's going on "Around the Air Force" ... July 3 Edition.
Check out the Air Force Week in Photos ... there are a lot of amazing things going on.
Χαίρετε, Aloha, and Bien Binidu to our new Commander ...
Air Force Reserve Members of the 624th Regional Support Group at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony recently.
Col. Athanasia Shinas, who has more than 20 years of Air Force experience in active and reserve components, took command of the 624th RSG, which has units in Hawaii and at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
Col. Shinas is a graduate of Boston University, and completed a National Security Fellowship at Harvard University.
Learn more abou our new Commander and the ceremony at https://go.usa.gov/xUBMA ... #ReserveCitizenAirmen
Aloha kakou, Bien binidu, to the 624th Regional Support Group's newest Commander, Col. Athanasia Shinas! Help us welcome her to our ohana by leaving her a message! A special thanks to Maj. Gen. Randall Ogden, 4th Air Force Headquarters commander, and Command Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White, 4th Air Force Command Chief, for visiting our units and participating in the time honored military tradition of assuming command.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July with your ohana.
A few friendly reminders on how to respectfully display the American flag for your Fourth of July festivities. When we properly display this powerful symbol, we signal our respect for everything it represents. The U.S. flag stands for our nation and the shared history, pride, principles, and commitment of its people.
Check out our members from the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron during their experience at Rainier Medic.
The 446th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve) hosted Rainier Medic, a joint training event meant to bring reserve units from all over the U.S. to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to practice field medical skills essential to mission accomplishment while deployed or responding to a contingency operation. #ReserveCitizenAirmen
Check out this video to hear Maj. Janet Baxa, readiness officer, for the 624th Aeromedical Staging Squadron talk about our Airmen's experience at Rainier Medic.
Rainier Medic, a joint training event, hosted by the 446th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve). The training event brings reserve units from all over the U.S. to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to practice field medical skills essential to mission accomplishment while deployed or responding to a contingency operation.
Members of the Air Force and Navy Reserve used real world assets, which included UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.
The 624th ASTS is comprised of personnel with a wide variety of medical Air Force Specialty Codes. The squadron’s professionals provide medical support for the entire 624th RSG, ensuring oversight of individual health and medical readiness. The 624th ASTS deploys qualified personnel to provide personnel and equipment necessary for patient movement required worldwide. The squadron’s personnel support worldwide operations, including exercises, humanitarian relief and disaster response operations.
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RIMPAC begins today!
Twenty-six nations, 47 surface ships, five submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise scheduled June 27 to Aug. 2, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. #RIMPAC
Quest for acceptance: Show your support for LGBTQ community
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colorado --
For years, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nykita Stoudemire questioned her identity. Her family knew. Still, it wasn’t until age 19 when she admitted the truth aloud. Her friends knew. Still, it wasn’t widely-accepted at the time.
Nykita is a lesbian, but it still took her years to admit this truth to herself.
Although surrounded by those who cared for her, what society found permissible scared her into hiding that aspect of her life – But not forever.
Raised in a military family, she followed in her father’s footsteps and joined the Air Force at the age of 17. It was a confusing period in her life, she said.
During the beginning of her active-duty enlistment, she was subject to the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. For nearly two decades, service members, including Nykita, were not permitted to reveal their sexual orientation if it was anything but heterosexual. The effects of this policy would affect her five-year career and ultimately lead to her decision to end her active-duty commitment and start on a new path.
However, before her career diverged, the period of time she endured hiding who she is wasn’t influenced by societal norms alone – it was also her fear of being kicked out of her service commitment.
It’s been seven years now since its repeal, and Nykita said it’s been seven years now that she can actually breathe without fear of reprisal.
“Times have changed in a literal sense and so have policies, but neither of the two will change the mind of someone who truly disagrees or hates the LGBTQ community,” remarked Nykita. “The change of harsh feeling towards the LGBTQ community begins with education and understanding.
“The LGBTQ community has an original stigma as being deviant and stemming from a mental disorder within the science community,” she added. “Understanding begins with realizing members of the LGBTQ community are human, and respect in that manner is the biggest step one can take.”
Over the past decade, the LGBTQ community has seen many milestones for equality come to pass, but the battle isn’t over.
“They [Americans who led the fight for LGBTQ rights] understood a truth that lies at the heart of this nation: When all Americans are treated equal, we’re all more free,” said former President Barack Obama during the 2016 LGBTQ Pride Reception. “And that’s what should give us hope.
“Despite our differences and our divisions, and the many complicated issues that we grapple with, real change is possible,” he added. “Minds open. Hearts change. America shifts. And if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that people who love their country can change it.”
During Nykita’s career, a mentor once told her, “You’re going to stay ashamed because you’re not comfortable in your own skin.” These words awoke something in Nykita, and she no longer wanted to hide.
“Imagine living your life in a full mask, trapped in a box, inside a dark room forever,” said Nykita. “The most valuable person to you is you. If you are unable to interact with yourself and live the way you need to, you will eventually perish as a person either mentally or physical.
“It really does not matter if a person chooses to be ‘out’ or not, it essentially rests on if the person can accept who they are, for themselves,” she added. “Unfortunately, society has made it a point in creating a bridge between someone being able to accept themselves, based off what is considered ‘the norm.’ It is very important to live your life without shame or embarrassment of who you are and if there is any doubt, remember those who couldn’t and are no longer with us. Too many members of the community have committed suicide for this very reason.”
During her time in Kuwait in 2016, Nykita decided to connect with Marissa, who she described as the most beautiful girl. The pair initially met through Instagram and began speaking constantly, despite the extreme time difference, and learned they had a lot in common.
After she returned, Nykita traveled to Marissa’s hometown in Arkansas where she described their initial meeting as awkward and bashful, but there was a spark there which Nykita was hopeful about. The pair decided to rendezvous in Colorado Springs where they officially became a couple following a date at a smoothie place.
After being together for a month, Nykita knew Marissa was the one she didn’t want to live without.
“She’s something special,” remarked Nykita.
She bought a ring and made a plan: She was going to take Marissa to Manitou Springs, and she was going to propose – Marissa immediately said, “Yes.”
Their time together in Colorado Springs was coming to an end though. Nykita had been accepted for a job in Orlando, Florida. With nothing more than a job lined up, Marissa packed up all her stuff and joined her fiancé on the 27-hour trip southeast. Their adventure was just beginning.
Fast-forward to today, Nykita serves as a reserve assignments technician with the Air Reserve Personnel Center. Marissa, an artist in many ways, is focusing her passion into a degree in art therapy. They have been happily married for over a year and are hopeful on their journey to start a family of their own. As avid travelers, the Stoudemires also plan to embark on a trip to Hawaii and Japan.
For those who wish to celebrate Pride Month, there are ample opportunities for events to attend in the local community.
“Pride month allows the LGBTQ community and its allies to celebrate, remember, and persevere as an undivided family,” remarked Nykita. “Celebrate being free, being out, being open, and all the milestones that have been accomplished. Remember those who have paved the way for the community, those who have lost their lives, and those who are still fighting the fight. Persevere in all future endeavors.”
Photo: U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nykita Stoudemire, left, an Air Reserve Personnel Center reserve assignments technician, poses with her wife, Marissa, in Aurora, Colorado, June 21, 2018. The Stoudemires met during Nykita’s last deployment and have been married for over a year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jazmin Smith)
By Senior Airman Jazmin Smith
460th Space Wing Public Affairs
Help us welcome our newest "Port Dawg" Scott Fukumae who recently joined the Air Force Reserve’s 48th Aerial Port Squadron as an air transportation specialist.
"I love my country," said Fukumae when asked why he decided to join the Reserve. "One of my goals was to join the military by 25 ... now I've met that goal."
Fukumae said he chose to be a "Port Dawg" because of his love of airplanes.
"I love being around airplanes and I'm looking forward to learning more about the logistics and the movement of cargo," said Fukumae.
Fukamae works full time as a contract specialist for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
Learn more about what Fukumae will be learning by clicking on the following link: https://afreserve.com/air-transportation
Our Reserve Citizen Airmen in Guam are doing great things!
Total force integration was put into practice at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, recently when Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 624th Aerospace Medicine Flight helped Air National Guard Airmen from the 254th Air Base Group meet medical requirements.
Guardsmen and Reservists in Guam have built a successful relationship by working together when other resources aren’t available during weekend duty to meet Airmen’s needs.
Check out the full story at https://go.usa.gov/xQzcp.
#TotalForceIntegration #ReserveCitizenAirmen Air Force Reserve Andersen Air Force Base, Guam Joint Region Marianas
Col. Brian McCullagh, 624th Regional Support Group commander, took time to meet with Reserve Citizen Airmen in Guam during a unit training assembly at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. It was an opportunity for Airmen to ask questions and interact with the Commander. #ReserveCitizenAirmen #KnowYourPeople
Our 624th Aerospace Medicine Flight team at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, assisted Reserve Citizen Airmen with individual medical readiness requirements during a unit training assembly. The 624th AMDF, which is part of the 624th Regional Support Group, provides medical support to ensure wartime readiness and deploys qualified medical professionals in support of aerospace expeditionary rotations worldwide. #ReserveCitizenAirmen
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam
‘Port Dawgs’ in Guam welcome new commander
Members of the Air Force Reserve’s 44th Aerial Port Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, welcomed a new commander during an assumption of command ceremony June 2.
Lt. Col. Carla Lugo, who has more than 23 years of military experience, took command of the 44th APS, where the Air Force Reserve’s day begins.
“My top priority is to take care of the squadron’s most valuable resource, our people,” said Lugo. “Making sure our Airmen are well trained, ready and resilient ensures they’re prepared to support aerial port operations globally.”
Col. Brian McCullagh, 624th Regional Support Group commander, officiated the assumption of command. He congratulated Lugo during the ceremony and recognized her commitment to Airmen.
“I’m confidence Lt. Col. Lugo will continue to build on the outstanding reputation the 44th APS has built as an aerial port,” said McCullagh. “Her commitment to our Airmen is evident. Ensuring our Reserve Citizen Airmen are taken care of goes hand in hand with mission accomplishment.”
Lugo brings a wide-range of experience to her first command position. She enlisted in the Air Force in 1995 and commissioned in 2000 as an active-duty officer. In 2005 Lugo joined the Air Force Reserve and served six years as a logistics readiness officer with the 44th APS. Her last assignment was with the 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. Lugo accumulated extensive transportation and logistics experience, and has completed six deployments supporting multiple operations worldwide.
“We’re excited to have Lt. Col. Lugo back with the 44th APS,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jay Perez, 44th APS quality assurance programs superintendent. “It’s great to see one of our own return with such a wide-range of career experience.”
In Lugo’s civilian status, she was a housing privatization contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton. She now works as a nurse at Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.
“My experience from enlisted to officer, deployments, and various civilian opportunities has provide career diversity that I can share as a commander,” said Lugo. “I’m excited to be back at the 44th APS and leverage my experiences to mentor and lead these outstanding Airmen.”
The 44th APS, a squadron assigned to the 624th RSG, deploys qualified personnel to provide air terminal operations worldwide in support of contingency operations, exercises, unit moves, and foreign humanitarian relief or disaster operations.
By Jerry Bynum, 624th Regional Support Group Public Affairs. Visit http://www.624rsg.afrc.af.mil/News/ to see other 624th RSG stories. The Port Dawg Life Andersen Air Force Base, Guam