Typhoon Ioke’s Aug. 31st damage to Wake Island’s communications infrastructure could have been a lot worse, say airmen from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, who arrived as part of a 53-member assessment and fixit team. Dependent upon satellite communications for its telephone, Internet, and other communications links, Wake Island’s links to the outside world were shredded when the typhoon tore up phone cables and sheared off the SATCOM satellite dish. Most of the team, which includes communications and civil engineering specialists, are senior enlisted airmen. However, one CE airman—A1C Alex Jaime—has just two years in the service, but his boss, team leader SMSgt. Thomas Yereance says he had “no worries” picking him for the job. And, he maintains it was not the 22-year-old’s 5-foot, 2-inch stature that got him the job, even though it helped make work go quicker in some tight spots.
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.