Some six months of planning and developing a new quick-response force to aid humanitarian operation in the US European Command area of responsibility came to fruition last week, when 3rd Air Force successfully demonstrated its response to a simulated 8.7 Richter scale earthquake. Airmen at Ramstein AB, Germany, launched the first of six C-130s, loaded with emergency-response personnel and about 101 tons of supplies, within 16 hours. SMSgt. Hollis Dawson reports that the 100-person response team included airlift controllers, civil engineers, medics, and communications technicians. Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop, 3rd AF commander, said, “With this capability, we are poised to do a great deal of good for a lot of people during the critical early aftermath of a natural disaster.”
Changes are coming this year for Airmen taking professional military education (PME) distance learning courses. Closer interactions with facilitators, a revised capstone course, and more feedback on test performance are meant to improve the overall experience for distance learning students, who often include members of the Air National Guard.