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Los Angeles Air Force Base - El Segundo, CA

 

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Check out this video featuing Director of the Space Rapid Capabilities Office, Col Shahnaz Punjani to see how the SpRCO is already moving out on SMC 2.0! This video highlights the theme of "SPEED" and is produced by the SMC Public Affairs Office. Look for videos over the next few months highlighting the monthly themes of Speed, Enterprise, Innovation, Partnerships and Culture as SMC 2.0 moves forward.

This is the fifth competitive procurement that reintroduces competition for launch services for NSS missions. AFSPC-52 is expected to launch in late Fiscal Year 2020 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Madden is a former GPS director and SMC executive director. He was inducted into the GPS Hall of Fame during this year’s Partnership Council meeting.

AFSPC-11 launched April 14. Directorates from across SMC played a role in making the mission a success.

The recent successful launch of the AFSPC-11 mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, was a team effort directly involving personnel from the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Systems Enterprise (LE), Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM), and Advanced Systems and Development (AD) directorates.

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Michael Sanjume, chief of the Launch Enterprise Acquisition Division at the Space and Missile Systems Center, joined Lt. Col. Peter Garretson, instructor of Joint Warfare from the Air University on a Space Security and Policy panel titled, “What does Industry need from Government?” to discuss support, protection, regulation and business in the growing space arena at the International Space Development Conference .

While many spent their extended four-day weekend relaxing and vacationing, a few hardy souls from SMC joined over 1,250 space advocates, including 77 teachers and nearly 400 students at the LAX Sheraton Gateway Hotel May 24-27 for the 37th annual conference. (U.S. Air Force photos/Jim Spellman)

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Thunderous cheers and loud applause from Airmen and family members hail the entrance of the Air Force's newest Master Sergeants during a Promotion Release Celebration held at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, Calif., May 24. Col. Charles Roberts, 61st Air Base Group commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Scott Myers, Space and Missile Systems Center command chief chief, present certificates to the selectees and congratulated them on their success.

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Karen Austin from SMC's History Office provided a personal-guided tour of the SMC Heritage Center to a dozen International Space Development Conference conference attendees, May 23. The group also toured The Aerospace Corporation located across the street from SMC.

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Willard Strozier and Audrey Campbell from the Space and Missile Systems Center's Office of Small Business Programs are "on the road" representing SMC during Space Tech Expo USA at the Pasadena Convention Center.

The mission of the SMC Office of Small Business Programs is to maximize support to the war fighter by providing dynamic advocacy, training, advice, guidance and innovation strategies creating quality small business solutions for SMC acquisitions. (U.S. Air Force photos/Jim Spellman)

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As we lead into Armed Forces Day Weekend events in nearby Torrance, we wrap up National Peace Officers Memorial Week with this video vignette created by SMC/PA Multimedia Producer Krista Knaus...

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE – EL SEGUNDO, Calif – With black bands over their badges and red roses in their hands, law enforcement officers from the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriffs, Port of Los Angeles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and various South Bay police departments joined the 61st Security Forces Squadron at the 2018 National Police Week’s Day of Remembrance, held May 15 in the Schriever courtyard of the Space and Missile Systems Center.

“Today, we celebrate police officers who have walked the ‘Thin Blue Line’ – those currently serving, and those taken from us too soon,” said Maj. Taylor Reynolds, commander of the 61st Security Forces Squadron at Los Angeles Air Force Base. “In the words of the great general, George Patton, ‘It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived’.”

One by one, police officers came forward to place a red rose into a white memorial wreath, gently positioned by the Port of Los Angeles Police Honor Guard between flags flown at half-staff, and a pair of boots with upended rifle, topped by a Kevlar helmet, signifying a fallen peace officer as a bugler sounded “Taps” near the Schriever Monument and Wall of Honor.

“While the red rose has often been seen as a symbol of love, the Greeks and Romans believe the red rose also represented devotion and sacrifice,” said Anthony Coyle, 61st SFS Antiterrorism Program Manager. “Let the red rose we place here today be in loving memory of the brothers and sisters lost in the line of duty. Let every rose represent both the devotion they show while wearing the badge, and the sacrifice they made in giving their life for it.”

In addition to the wreath laying ceremony honoring seven California police officers, nine Department of Defense officers, 12 Security Forces members and 16 Special Agents who have made the ultimate sacrifice, law enforcement displays of police and tactical vehicles, defensive and assault weapons and gear, K9 detection demonstrations of suspicious packages or illicit contraband and a “Burger burn” were held in the courtyard.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed Public Law 87-726 declaring May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day. Since then, law enforcement officials across the nation gather to pay respect to police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“Four years ago, I was privileged to work in a building named after one of our fallen. For three years, Helton Hall would be my home away from home and I would be reminded every day of the sacrifices paid in blood by 1st Lt. Joseph Helton and many just like him,” said Reynolds.

“During this time, I was lucky enough to have interaction with his family on our yearly remembrance run. It wasn’t until that moment that I fully understood the importance of the families that stand behind the men and women of law enforcement and the impact celebrations just like this one truly have on those that stand by our sides. Every day, a husband, a wife, a parent or a sibling has to watch their family member walk out the door and wonder if they are coming home tonight. Very few professions carry that burden.”

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Los Angeles AFB medical clinic earns Gold Seal of Approval

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE – EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Joint Commission, an independent, non-profit organization that is the nation’s predominant standard-setting and accrediting body in health care, has awarded full accreditation status to the 61st Medical Squadron’s main clinic in El Segundo, and satellite clinic at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro for three years as a result of an unannounced survey conducted last March.

The Commission’s Accreditation Program decision for Ambulatory Health Care and Core Certification Program decision for Primary Care Medical Home are significant milestones for the 61st MDS. In previous years, the medical clinic had been visited by inspection teams from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, a civilian accrediting agency. AAAHC inspects 4,000 ambulatory agencies world-wide, including some Air Force outpatient facilities in the past, checking for their compatibility with civilian health care organizations.

Recent policy changes by the Air Force Medical Service and the Military Health System now requires unannounced inspections of all military treatment facilities by the Joint Commission, which evaluates and accredits more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Since 1951, the Joint Commission has maintained state-of-the-art standards that focus on improving the quality and safety of care provided by health care organizations.

“The Joint Commission was very impressed with the level of health care services provided by our medical staff. We are right in the same ballpark as the other Air Force medical facilities,” said Col. David Hammiel, 61st Medical Squadron commander. “When you consider our unique operations tempo, exercises and deployments as well as the complexity of our organizational challenges and patient load for what’s considered a small medical clinic in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, this survey was very good, and one we should all be proud of.”

The Joint Commission’s comprehensive accreditation process evaluates an organization’s compliance with these standards and other accreditation requirements. Joint Commission accreditation is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

"Most public and private hospitals in the U.S. are Joint Commission-accredited, since this is acknowledged as the gold standard for external validation that patient care services are effectively managed and professionally administered," explained Lt. Col. Ryan Gassman, 61st MDS deputy clinic commander and administrator.

According to Gassman, the Joint Commission's accreditation carries the recognition that the 61st MDS adheres to the same standards in providing safe patient care that other accredited institutions across the United States, such as Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center adhere to. It also communicates to the medical community nationwide that 61st MDS physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, technical and support staffs meet or exceed standards associated with their roles in patient care.

To earn and maintain the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval, an organization must undergo an on-site, unannounced survey by a Joint Commission survey team at least every three years. Laboratories must be surveyed every two years.

The Joint Commission provides the organization's accreditation decision, the date that accreditation was awarded, and any standards that were cited for improvement. Organizations deemed to be in compliance with all or most of the applicable standards are awarded the decision of Accreditation.

The unannounced full survey is a key component of The Joint Commission accreditation process. "Unannounced means the organization does not receive advance notice of its survey date,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) James Senechal, 61st MDS chief of the medical staff. “The Joint Commission began conducting unannounced surveys in January of 2006. Surveys occur 18 to 39 months after the organization's previous unannounced survey.”

Outpatient services that were surveyed and are available at the 61st MDS clinic include Dentistry, Diagnostic Imaging, Family Health, Aerospace Medicine, Public Health, Mental Health, Optometry, Pediatrics, Laboratory, Pharmacy and Physical Therapy.

The 61st MDS’ latest accreditation results are a matter of public record and accessible at the Joint Commission's public site known as Quality Check®, located at: https://www.qualitycheck.org/quality-report/?keyword=90245&bsnid=577688

LA Military Charitable Fund awards scholarships to students

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE – EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – For many local school children, the months of May and June turn to thoughts of vacation time and idle summer days at the beach with friends and family. For a handful of young adults whose parents are in the military or federal civil service, it means planning for college and the associated costs that come with obtaining a higher education.

For this reason, the LA Military Charitable Fund’s scholarship program recently honored 10 local high school, and two post-secondary students during an awards ceremony at the Space and Missile Systems Center. In all, 21 monetary awards totaling $25,750 and varying in range from $500 to $2,500 were handed out.

‘The Fund’s core mission is to provide scholarships to the children of military families and Department of Defense civilians,” said Nancy Hodgkiss, LAMCF president of the non-profit organization. “These young men and women have endured 32 moves, attended 59 schools in 15 different states, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Portugal. Three of them are first-generation college students.”

According to Cindy Horejsi, LAMCF scholarship chair, the Fund has a heritage going back decades to the times of the Fort MacArthur Officer’s Wives’ Club.

“Over the last 50 years, LAMCF and its predecessors have given nearly half a million dollars in scholarships with the income generated from sales by the Thrift Shop located on Los Angeles AFB, as well as donations from our military and local communities, including aerospace-related companies and organizations across the region,” said Horejsi. “What united all these organizations was a belief in the value of education, both for the improvement of individuals as well as for the strength of our nation.”

Serving as special guest speaker was “payback” for Brig. Gen. Philip Garrant, vice commander of SMC.

“My daughter had the honor of sitting in that front row two years ago. I’m happy to report she’s now an academic junior at the University of Denver and on her way to the University of Heidelberg in the fall,” said Garrant. “The scholarship she received from the LA Military Charitable Fund got her started on her journey. As a grateful parent, Thank You.”

Garrant told the audience how SMC and LAMCF’s roots are interconnected to education.

“In 1954, Brig. Gen. Bernard Schriever founded the Western Development Division responsible for building our nation’s first ballistic missiles and national security satellites,” said Garrant. “His first office was in an old church schoolhouse just up the street in Inglewood. His team was known as ‘The Schoolhouse Gang’. There’s a rock by the flagpole in the Schriever Courtyard that came from that original property.”

Garrant went on to present an alternative view on education where more important than knowledge is appreciating that college teaches one how to think and learn, and how to get along with strangers. He also touched upon how to be successful, citing ten simple three-word phrases he’s personally collected over the years, from “Be on Time” to “Shake the Pig” (live a thrifty life), to “Attitude reflects Leadership” and “Help others Succeed.”

“More than thirty years ago, I sat where you are now. It’s tough to make choices as a young adult. If you were to have asked me then if I’d be a senior officer in the United States Air Force, I would have told you that you were crazy,” said Garrant. “I know many of you wonder what your future holds. I don’t know. But I do know that the education you are pursuing will be your roots. Some day you may be teaching children, colonizing Mars, designing flying cars, or curing cancer. My hope for you is the scholarships you receive tonight help you take another step on that journey.”

This year’s 2018 scholarship recipients and their future plans are:

Aja Taylor – Pellissippi State Community College, Tennessee (Nursing)

Chad Francis – University of California, Berkeley (Computer Science)

Daniel Uyematsu – California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Civil Engineering)

Donnell Tinsley – California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Architecture)

Emalie Satti – California State University Fullerton (Kinesiology)

Jonathan Hernandez – University of California, Los Angeles (Chemistry)

Justine Woo – University of California, Irvine (Computer Science)

Marcus Herndon – California State University, Long Beach (Computer Science)

Mary Kate Cooper – Stanford University (Engineering)

Neil Homstad – University of Wisconsin at Madison (Business)

Savannah Robert – Washington State University (Psychology)

Sierra Crane – Utah State University (Mechanical Engineering)

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PHOTO: Brig. Gen. Philip Garrant, vice commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, stands with this year’s recipients of the LA Military Charitable Fund’s scholarship program. From left to right: Daniel Uyematsu, Chad Francis, Mary Kate Cooper, Donnell Tinsley, Justine Woo, Brig. Gen. Garrant, Aja Taylor, Marcus Herndon, Neil Homstad, Emalia Satti, Jonathan Hernandez and Savannah Robert. Not pictured: Sierra Crane (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Spellman)

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A Southern California tradition for 59 years returns to the City of Torrance this weekend (May 18-20) with SMC and Los Angeles Air Force Base actively involved in this year's events.

The legacy of the Torrance Armed Forces Day celebration began under the leadership of Mayor Albert Isen in 1960 and has grown throughout the years to be considered a Southern California tradition. According to Mayor Isen, the parade was to “increase public respect and understanding for military service and promote civic-military relationships.”

Parade starts Saturday, May 19 at 1:30 p.m. at Crenshaw Boulevard and travels one-mile west on Torrance Boulevard to Madrona Avenue. It ends approximately at 3:30 p.m.

Besides the Parade, all South Bay communites can enjoy other festivities, including a 5K run, military exhibits and a free concert by a military band. Military exhibits on display, including aircraft, vehicles, support equipment may be viewed at the Del Amo Fashion Center parking lot just east of the Lifestyle Wing.

For more information about the events scheduled, please visit https://www.torranceca.gov/our-city/armed-forces-day-celebration

While some members from Los Angeles AFB were participating in AIREX 2018 at Long Beach Airport, another contingent were getting the latest info out to base personnel during Motorcycle Safety Day as part of the annual Ground Safety week.

"Keeping our motorcycle riders safe is a number one priority here," said Tech. Sgt. Joseph R. Hernandez, 61st Air Base Group Occupational Safety Officer. "This annual training is a good way to get the latest updates and provide educational guidelines that will ensure riders are aware of the local laws."

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Councilmembers representing three major South Bay cities have been given their Mayors’ authorization to sign memorandums of understanding with Los Angeles Air Force Base leadership in an effort to increase the supply of affordable housing for military personnel assigned here.

The cities of El Segundo, Hawthorne, and Redondo Beach formally signed their MOUs during a brief ceremony Apr. 23 held on base with Col. Charles Roberts, commander of the 61st Air Base Group, as presiding official.

As the host unit for the only military installation in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, the 61st ABG provides medical, civil engineering, communications, chaplain, security, logistics, personnel, readiness, and quality-of-life services to Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center, and many other Department of Defense units in the Los Angeles basin.

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We recognized our Air Force Doctors on March 30 during National Doctor's Day. Now, it's time to do the same for our Air Force Nurses this week...

Military and civilian personnel came out to support and cheer for their children as they paraded around the courtyard of the Schriever Space Complex at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles AFB in El Segundo, Calif. Apr. 26, 2018.
The parade, hosted by the 61st Air Base Group's Child Development center, was a final event of festivities during the Month of the Military Child (MOMC) which is celebrated each April. This awareness month was established to underscore the important role children play in the Armed Forces community.
Military children face unique challenges such as frequent moves, stress of deployments, and family separation, causing them to constantly adjust to distance, unfamiliarity and uncertainty.
SMC leadership recognizes the critical role played by U.S. military children in the armed force community and their unique contribution and sacrifice they make to our nation by understanding and supporting their parents who often work long hours during their mission.

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Los Angeles AFB personnel participate in mass casualty exercise at Long Beach Airport

LONG BEACH, Calif. – At approximately 9:50 a.m. local time on Apr. 20, an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, call sign “Reach 27,” experiences an engine fire and subsequent failure after departure from Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos. The jet transport, carrying 100 service members and four crew members, declares an emergency and diverts to Long Beach Airport, known by its three-letter location identifier code as LGB.

Upon contact with LGB air traffic control, an “Alert III” (large aircraft emergency) call is declared, with intentions to land on Runway 12-30. Unfortunately, the C-17 makes a hard landing on Runway 30, as fire begins to spread from the engine onto the right wing. As smoke fills the cargo compartments inside, passengers unbuckle their safety restraints in anticipation of a quick escape, but some are injured during the hard landing. Additional injuries are caused by the fire, with some victims sustaining smoke inhalation during their evacuation from the aircraft.

Thankfully, none of the above actually happened. No one was hurt or seriously injured in the telling of this story.

However, under the watchful eyes of key personnel from the 61st Air Base Group’s Safety and Emergency Management offices, a simulated scenario, exactly as described above, played out at Long Beach Airport during a mass casualty training exercise known as AIREX 2018.

The Triennial drill is required by the Federal Aviation Administration every three years. It coincidentally occurred as Los Angeles Air Force Base was marking their own Ground Safety Day with a motorcycle safety program held at the Gordon Conference Center in the Schriever Space Complex and Base Exchange parking lot.

The purpose of this ground safety drill is to ensure LGB is ready in the event of an aircraft incident, such as the recent engine failure that left one passenger dead aboard a Southwest Airlines flight on Apr. 18, which weighed heavily on many people’s minds.

"Safety is Job One at Long Beach Airport," said Jess Romo, director of Long Beach Airport. “As I learned from my previous position at LA World Airports, ‘As you practice, so will you execute.’ This important exercise provides us a unique opportunity to work with regional and federal partners, maintain relationships and do everything we can to be as safe as possible.”

AIREX 2018, which took six to eight months to plan, tested the speed and effectiveness of emergency personnel and LGB airport staff in the event of a significant incident – in this case, the emergency landing of a military transport aircraft at a civilian airport with only 10 minutes advance warning. Evaluators from the 61st ABG, the FAA, Transportation Security Administration and other organizations observed the event to provide valuable feedback that will be used to optimize all levels of emergency response at the oldest municipally owned airport in California.

One of the most important aspects of the drill is the interaction among multiple agencies in a high-pressure situation. More than 450 participants were involved in the scenario, including emergency responders, medical, airport, and aviation personnel.

Out of the group, 104 volunteers acted as the air crew and passengers personally affected by the simulated hard landing, some of whom wore makeup as though they were severely burned or injured. A crew of Air Force reservists from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside provided the C-17 transport for the simulation. Triaging and evacuating passengers via ground and air ambulances and extinguishing fires were initial priorities for the emergency workers.

Responses were conducted by the Long Beach Fire Department, Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Search and Rescue, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Long Beach Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications Department. Medical support was provided by the American Red Cross, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Dignity Health, St. Mary’s Medical Center and Liberty Ambulance Services. Additional support was provided by JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, and the U.S. Coast Guard Base Los Angeles/Long Beach in San Pedro.

“This type of training is critical to the continuity of operations should a disaster occur involving a military aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Keith White, deputy commander of the 61st ABG, whose role during AIREX 2018 involved serving as the interim safety board president. In the event a real incident involved a military asset, White and his emergency management team would secure the site and preserve evidence before an Air Force Safety Investigation Board could arrive on scene. “I am impressed by the professionalism and resourcefulness of the LGB staff and emergency personnel who are committed to ensuring they have a premier, stable and secure airport.”

The exercise did not cause any delays or interruptions to normal airport operations, as witnessed by numerous flights arriving and departing from LGB’s main runway throughout the morning.

“The Triennial drill is a vital tool to ensure that our safety personnel and assisting agencies are able to execute a timely and proper response should a significant emergency occur near our base that requires our support,” said Justin Diedolf, emergency management chief with the 61st Civil Engineer and Logistics Squadron. “Since we don’t have an actual airfield, the experience gained from a large-scale simulation such as this is invaluable, as it enables us to continue refining our skills and to update our emergency protocols accordingly.”

Communications staff at LGB, the City of Long Beach and other departments also worked closely together to effectively gather and release information to the community and news media. Responders and airport staff were then scored on their efforts. A “Hot Wash” or after-action discussion uncovered a couple of minor communication issues along the outside perimeter of the airport that will easily be remedied, according to airport officials.

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Some may call them "brats" -- but be sure to think of your military child this month. They serve too!

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Recently unveiled at the 34th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs...

‪ Launch highlights from this past weekend’s successful AFSPC-11 mission.

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