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Around the Air Force: Oct. 4

On this look around the Air Force, senior leaders release a memorandum for diversity initiatives, assignments to Turkey become unaccompanied tours and the Air Force raises awareness for cybersecurity.

From England to France: Swimming the channel

After approximately two years of training and regimented swimming schedules, two Airmen swam the English Channel from Dover, England, to the western coastline of France Sept. 27 and Oct. 3.<br /><br />Majs. Simon Ritchie and Casey Bowen, both dermatologists assigned to the 59th Medical Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, said they viewed the challenging swim as the culminating point for swimmers across the globe.<br /><br />“This is the pinnacle event in swimming,” Bowen said. “It’s been a long-term goal and just a personal challenge that I have been thinking of for a long time. We scheduled a crossing years ago.” <br /><br />After waiting for a few days for the right conditions for the swim, Bowen leaped off the support boat on Sept. 26, into the frigid salt water of the English Channel, swam to Dover shoreline and began his trek to the French coast. Ritchie had to wait a few more days to start his swim, but began Oct. 3. <br /><br />Both Airmen successfully landed on the shoreline of France. Bowen finished with a time of 12 hours and 9 minutes while Ritchie completed the event in 11 hours and 24 minutes. <br /><br />The Airmen said they felt confident in their abilities and dedication to accomplish the task, but also cognizant of the challenges they faced. The duo tackled Mother Nature’s unpredictability with wind, rain, tidal changes and cold temperatures as well as a potential encounter with jellyfish. <br /><br />Aside from the forces of nature, the Airmen coped with physical exhaustion and mental fatigue as they fought through the sea. <br /><br />“I try to lose myself in the moment; you really just have to stay in your own moment,” Ritchie said. “Look at your support boat and put your head back down in the water and keep going.” <br /><br />When they arrived in Dover, the Airmen had the opportunity to speak with several other swimmers from around the world who also completed the solo and relay swims across the channel.<br /><br />“One of my old coaches from the (U.S.) Air Force Academy had emailed me and told me that it was about the endeavor and not about finishing, try to enjoy it,” Bowen said. “So I did.”

Reserve Recruiters reach goal for 16th straight year

Air Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service has met the command’s accession goal for the 16th

Tech Report: Adaptive optics

Space will soon be a contested environment, and the U.S. Air Force is taking steps to ensure it has the best possible observation and information about what is out there. The Air Force Tech Report is a video series that gives viewers a quick look at current technology the Air Force uses to fly, fight and win.

Air Force selects 1,855 for promotion to captain

The Air Force selected 1,855 first lieutenants for promotion to captain during the Calendar Year

AF selects 1,855 for promotion to captain

The Air Force selected 1,855 first lieutenants for promotion to captain during the Calendar Year

AF launches yearlong ‘Cyber Secure’ campaign

The Air Force message is clear -- October may be National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but with the continuous advancement of technology and evolving cyber threats, one month of cybersecurity awareness is no longer enough.<br /> <br /> In a <a href=" target="_self">memorandum</a> sent to Air Force personnel, Lt. Gen. William J. Bender, the Air Force’s chief information officer, said he was establishing the Chief Information Security Office (CISO) and beginning a yearlong Cyber Secure campaign in October to address cybersecurity throughout the service. <br /> <br /> “We must position cyber at the forefront of our thinking, planning, and operations,” Bender said. “Cybersecurity depends on every Airman, regardless of rank or job description. Every time you log onto a system, click on a link, download a file, or plug one device into another, we risk exposing our systems to exploitation.”<br /> <br /> In other words, when it comes to cyberspace, everything is connected. <br /> <br /> “Every Airman who plugs an unauthorized device into a network or circumvents a security control on a maintenance loader needs to understand that he or she is creating vulnerabilities for our enemies to exploit,” Bender said. <br /> <br /> Maj. Gen. Cedric D. George, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for logistics, said it’s important to emphasize at every echelon of command that data and information are primary reasons we must take cybersecurity seriously. <br /> <br /> "Data remains a strategic, operational and tactical asset,” George said. “It’s as important to logisticians as fuel. No Jet Propellant 8, no airpower; no secure and synthesized log data, no airpower -- period. We need every Airman to understand that cybersecurity awareness and the mission systems we connect to are inextricably linked, and we must be cyber secure." <br /> <br /> Air Force leadership also emphasized that the cyber domain is much more than the internet. <br /> <br /> “While the internet is part of cyberspace, it is not all of cyberspace,” Bender said. “Any computer system capable of communicating with other computer systems in some way is part of cyberspace. A desktop computer, an avionics computer on an aircraft, a smart phone, an industrial controller, and the processors on a modern car are all part of cyberspace, although only some of them are routinely connected to the Internet. Most modern military equipment -- from a humble truck to a B-2 (Raider) bomber -- has some form of processor and is thus reliant upon and a part of cyberspace.”<br /> <br /> Bender called on Airmen across the total force to start considering cybersecurity as part of their normal routine in the same way they’re accustomed to thinking about physical safety. <br /> <br /> “It is not just the cyberspace warriors who need to adapt; operators and support personnel who focus on the physical domains also need to practice operating effectively in an environment of constant change where not everything works as expected,” he said. “Everyone in the total force must learn to think of cyberspace as a war-fighting domain. Mission assurance is not something created by technical experts alone.”<br />

Air Force releases 2016 promotion statistics by AFSC

Air Force officials have released the 16E5, 16E6 and 16E7 promotion statistics broken down by Air

AF releases 2016 promotion statistics by AFSC

Air Force officials have released the 2016 staff sergeant, technical sergeant and master sergeant promotion statistics, broken down by Air Force specialty code and promotion recommendation. <br /> <br /> In an effort to provide transparency to Airmen, the data has been posted to the myPers website by five-letter AFSC. AFSCs in which all eligible Airmen received the same promotion recommendation, and were selected for promotion, were not included so that the personal identities and promotion recommendations of selectees cannot be gleaned from the report. Additionally, to protect the privacy interests of Airmen, data for AFSCs with subpopulations have been rolled up and incorporated into the five-letter AFSCs.<br /> <br /> Beginning in 2014, the enlisted evaluation system underwent significant changes with the focus on making duty performance the driving factor in performance evaluations. In the new system, commanders allocate promotion recommendations (do not promote, not ready now, promote, must promote and promote now) to promotion-eligible senior airmen, staff sergeants and technical sergeants. <br /> <br /> The released data encompasses the first round of promotions since the EES overhaul took place. With only one year’s worth of data, the Air Force has a limited ability to analyze any trends thus far in the new program. As the Air Force progresses through the second and third forced distribution cycles, analysis will identify any trends and determine if any changes are required. <br /> <br /> The AFSC lists can be found on myPers from any component’s enlisted promotions landing page. Under Promotion Cycle Information, click Promotion Selects and Statistics and select the CY16 links.<br /> <br /> For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to the <a href=" target="_self">myPers website</a>. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the <a href="" target="_self">Air Force Retirees Services website</a>.

AF leaders announce latest diversity, inclusion initiatives

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe><br /> <strong><br /> WASHINGTON (AFNS) </strong>-- In ongoing efforts to attract and retain the most innovative, skillful and strategically agile force today, Air Force senior leaders released the second memorandum to Airmen relaying new diversity and inclusion initiatives.<br /> <br /> The 13 new initiatives include notable efforts to raise the bar for geographically-separated military spouses, lengthen the early separation decision window for female Airmen having children, establish diverse slates for key military development positions, increase civilian opportunities for participation in professional development programs, and better market career fields to female and minority populations that currently lack diversity.<br /> <br /> In March 2015, the Air Force launched <a href=" target="_self">nine initiatives</a> to help build teams comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and demographics; however, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody acknowledged work remains to ensure continued success.<br /> <br /> “Last year, we launched a set of initiatives designed to promote diversity and inclusion.” Air Force seniors said in the official memo. “These efforts recognized that to remain the world’s best Air Force we must compete for, develop and retain talent, skill and expertise in new and creative ways.”<br /> <br /> The first round of initiatives included implementing the Career Intermission Program, creating the online mentorship tool MyVector, and generating opportunities to grow the female officer candidate pool.<br /> <br /> “While these first initiatives have made progress, we must do more to develop and retain the talent we have today and build the total force of tomorrow,” the senior leaders stated in the memorandum. “To succeed in meeting current and future mission requirements, the Air Force relies on access to the best talent our nation has to offer. To compete for that talent in the future, we must place consistent emphasis on diversity and inclusion in order to attract and retain talent from an increasingly diverse population. Our ongoing initiatives represent another step in that direction.”<br /> <br /> The newly released Air Force diversity and inclusion initiatives, according to the memo, align with Defense Department diversity efforts and recognize that the strength of the force will always be in its people.<br /> <br /> “We will continue to look holistically at our talent management processes for opportunities to ensure our Air Force is an employer of choice for our nation’s best and brightest talent and capitalizes on the unique contributions of all Airmen,” Air Force leadership said.<br /> <br /> Implementation guidance, to include details for each initiative, will be released by Oct. 15.<br /> <em><br /> The memo from Air Force senior leaders is available <a href=" target="_self">here</a>.<br /> <br /> A fact sheet on all the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives is available <a href=" target="_self">here</a>.<br /> <br /> Air Force Diversity and Inclusion podcast is available <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.<br /> <br /> </em>