pg01-09.qxd 12/13/2007 11:07 AM Page 1 KEESLER NEWS Keesler Air Force Base Biloxi, Mississippi Volume 68, No. 48 Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007 Deliver the nation’s best trained, highly motivated expeditionary Airmen INSIDE COMMENTARY Being good neighbors, 2 Lighting it up AFSO21 TRAINING AND EDUCATION New CCAF tool, 4 NCO retraining, 6 NEWS AND FEATURES Tricare secure, 8 Dragon of Week, 12 Medical awards, 14 Housing update, 16 Decking the halls, 22 Programs, processes reviewed By Staff Sgt. Julie Weckerlein Air Force Public Affairs SPORTS AND RECREATION Breaking even, 27 SECTIONS 2 Commentary.................2 4 Training, education....4-7 8 News, features........8-26 2 Sports, recreation.......27-28 2 Digest..................29-31 3 Classifieds..............3 2 Photo by Kemberly Groue Keesler on the Web: http://www.keesler.af.mil Tanya Jones, 4, left, and Justin Ramsey, 13, look on as Col. Greg Touhill, 81st Training Wing commander, flips the switch lighting the tree during Christmas in the Park Dec. 6. Tanya’s parents are Tech. Sgts. Tanya and Matthew Jones, 334th and 336th Training Squadrons, respectively. Justin is the son of Capt. Carl and Brenda Ramsey, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron. More photos, Pages 18-19. WASHINGTON — A cross-functional team of senior Air Force leaders is reviewing programs and processes essential to the health and welfare of Airmen using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century problem-solving tools. One of the 10 AFSO 21 key processes, “Caring for People,” was chartered to take on initiatives which enhance the morale and quality of life for Airmen and their families, said Col. Colleen Steel, the “Caring for People” process lead. “The primary goal of this key process is to find ways to relieve frustrating inefficiencies so Airmen can be more focused on their primary duties,” she said. Using the results of a recent total-force questionnaire, the team is looking for process improvement opportunities that better serve Airmen and their families. The questionnaire Please see AFSO21, Page 9 This week in the Triangle Air traffic control tower radar, 9 a.m. today, Cody Hall Aerospace control, warning systems operator, 9:30 a.m. today, Bryan Hall Financial management, comptroller, 9:30 a.m. today, Allee Hall Communication-computer systems control, 10 a.m. today, Thomson Hall Electromagnetic spectrum management, 10 a.m. today, Thomson Hall Ground radio communications, 10 a.m. Monday, Jones Hall Personnel, 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wolfe Hall Financial management, comptroller, 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Allee Hall Weather forecaster, 10 a.m. Wednesday, weather training facility Student numbers Total students — 3,209 Non-prior service — 2,192 Temporary duty — 829 Joint service — 126 Combat controllers — 21 Medical — 41 Non-prior service arrivals — 151 Guard, Reserve— 709 International — 30 FY08 graduates — 3,641 Total since 1942 — 2,269,305 Dragons deployed — 152 pg02.qxd 12/13/2007 11:07 AM Page 1 COMMENTARY As Air Force ambassadors we must be good neighbors By Col. Greg Touhill 81st Training Wing commander ACTION LINE ... By Col. Greg Touhill 81st Training Wing commander 377-4357 Where are you from? I get asked that all the time as I represent the wing at functions on- and off-base. What do you do for a living? I get asked that, too. How would you answer those questions? The best answer is that I’m an Airman from Keesler Air Force Base. We’re all Airmen When asked what they do for a living, most folks cite their occupational specialty, but that’s the wrong answer. We’re Airmen who serve our great country at Keesler. It doesn’t matter whether we’re young students learning a new trade in our world-class 81st Training and Medical Groups, permanent party military members assigned throughout the wing or one of our great civilian employees who provide the vital continuity we need … we’re all Airmen. People outside the gates don’t identify us with an occupational specialty. They identify us as Airmen from Keesler. That’s why it’s important for us — all of us — to remember we’re Air Force ambassadors everywhere we go, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’re fortunate to have such great support on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This is due in part to our strong presence off-base, where our permanent party and civilian personnel are active members in the schools, churches and civic activities. Keesler Airmen are a huge part of the community. we’re still responsible for the image we project. Being an Air Force ambassador means even when we’re at the mall, in a restaurant or standing at a bus stop, we’re saying, as big as any billboard, “I’m the Air Force” to anyone passing by. When you realize this, being a good neighbor is quite a responsibility, requiring us to behave in an exemplary manner at all times. The way to make sure we’re fulfilling our role as good neighbors and Air Force ambassadors in the coast community is to keep in mind everything we do reflects upon our service. Make sure you dress appropriately when off-base — neatly-pressed duds always give a great impression. A pleasant and courteous demeanor is always noticed. Allow only the best So is loud and vulgar language. Don’t tolerate anything but the best from yourselves or your buddies. Refrain from hanging out in front of businesses smoking and carrying on, flicking your used butts into the gutter. I bet your mom wouldn’t be proud of you, and your fellow Americans aren’t either. For goodness sake, don’t litter — nothing gives a worse impression to our civilian neighbors than someone who doesn’t respect public spaces. If you see litter, pick it up and dispose of it properly. Why? Because this is now your community — one you’ve sworn your lives to protect. You’re encouraged to work concerns through your chain of command or contact an appropriate helping agent. For unresolved issues, call the commander’s action line for assistance. Suggestions to help make this a more valuable and useful tool are welcome. Call the commander’s action line at 3774357, write to Commander’s Action Line, 81st TRW/PA, Keesler AFB, MS 39534-2603, e-mail 81st TRW Commander’s Action Line (on-base) or email@example.com (off-base). For personal responses, include your name, address and phone number. Items of general interest Base locator — 377-2890 Base operator — 377-1110 Base taxi (official use) — 377-2430 Career assistance adviser — 377-3697 Central medical appointments — 1-800-700-8603 Child development center — 377-2211 Civil engineering — 377-5561 Civilian personnel — 377-2268 Military personnel flight — 377-2276 Keesler Federal Credit Union — 385-5500 Emergencies — 911 Family campground — 594-0543 Airmen and family readiness center — 377-2179 Finance — 377-4212 81st Communications Squadron help desk — 377-0066 Housing — 377-9741 Identification cards — 377-3203 Inspector general — 377-3010 Legal assistance — 377-3510 Library — 377-2181 Lodging (reservations) — 377- Colonel Touhill may appear in this column. For your convenience, here are Some key customer service phone numbers at Keesler: 9986 Medical center information — 377-6550 Military equal opportunity — 377-2759 Military pay — 377-7272 Pass and registration — 3773844 Pharmacy (refill call-in) — 376-1000 Satellite pharmacy — 377-9791 Public affairs — 377-2783 Red Cross — 377-0732 Sexual assault prevention and response team — 377-8635 Law enforcement desk — 3773040 Shoppette, Class Six — 4322367 Telephone trouble — 377-2130 Traffic management (outbound) — 377-2446 Traffic management (inbound) — 377-7813 Visitor center — 377-2595 Youth center — 377-4116 Practice core values We all know our core values by heart: integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. They’re in place as a compass for our behavior. The practice of our Air Force core values doesn’t stop outside our gates. Our good relations with the community depend on you and me practicing these core values every day, all day. Whether you’re off-base for an afternoon of shopping or on your way home for the holidays, people are watching you, and when they do, you represent the entire Air Force and the best our country has to offer. Make us proud. Being good neighbors However, we garner the most support when volunteers from Keesler are seen lending a hand in whatever needs to be done. Whether it’s debris cleanup, working a booth at a fish fry or providing an honor guard to enhance a ceremony, the sight of our Airmen tells the Mississippi Gulf Coast we’re here as good neighbors, ready to help. The fact that our military members are a very visible part of this community means even when we aren’t involved in helping out, When you give blood, you give the gift of life. pg03.qxd 12/13/2007 11:08 AM Page 1 KEESLER NEWS No. 1 in Air Force, 2004, 1997. No. 1 in AETC, 2004, 1998, 1996; No. 2, 2006, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1991, 1989, 1986; No. 3, 2005, 2002, 1995; honorable mention, 1992. Challenge: Be safe during holidays By Gen. William Looney AETC commander 81st Training Wing commander Col. Greg Touhill Public affairs director Jerry Taranto Editor Perry Jenifer Staff writers Susan Griggs Airman David Salanitri Staff photographer Kemberly Groue Keesler News on Web: http://www.keesler.af.mil The Keesler News office is in Room 201A, Wall Studio, Building 0902. The mailing address: 81TRW/PAIN, Keesler AFB, MS 39534-2120. Phone: 377-4130, 3837, 7340, 9966. Published Thursday. News deadline: noon Monday. Editorial content edited, prepared and provided by the 81st TRW Public Affairs Office in compliance with Air Force journalistic standards. Photos are Air Force photos unless otherwise indicated. The Keesler News is published by Gulf Publishing Co., a private firm in no way connected with the Air Force, under an exclusive written contract with the 81st TRW as an authorized publication for U.S. military service members. Contents aren’t necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by the U.S. government, Department of Defense or Air Force. Advertising doesn’t constitute endorsement by the U.S. government, DOD, Air Force or Gulf Publishing of products or services advertised. Every thing advertised shall be available without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other non-merit factor. As we approach the most joyous time of year when many people travel home to visit family and friends, the mass holiday season exodus exposes our military and civilian members and their families to increased risks. To reduce that risk, I’m asking all members to embrace the Air Education and Training Command holiday and exodus safety challenge. As part of our mishap pre- vention campaign, please take a moment to think about the added risks facing our fellow Airmen during the holidays. AETC has been fortunate over the last three years and not lost any Airmen during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years. This trend must continue. In contrast, the Air Force as a whole hasn’t fared as well, losing nine Airmen throughout last year’s holiday season alone. Operating motor vehicles still reigns as our most dangerous activity. Last holiday season, five lost their lives in motorcycle incidents and automobile mishaps took another three lives. Another sad fact is that Airmen were at fault in all the motorcycle mishaps and two of the automobile mishaps. Driving too fast and loss of control was a common factor. All of these tragic accidents were avoidable if our members practiced personal risk management. We must all focus on safety and risk management over the holiday season. Common sense and personal responsibility go a long way. Supervisors and military training leaders should take special care when reviewing the travel plans of our young Airmen. Emphasize how important their return to duty is to our nation, and ensure all understand we represent the Air Force even when home on leave. The holidays are a time to recharge our batteries as we prepare to meet the challenges and opportunities in the upcoming year. However, do so safely. Have a wonderful holiday season. Applause for Keesler’s Airmen volunteers By Lt. Col. Steve Ramsay 332nd Training Squadron commander What does the average American think when they see Airmen in uniform or in the community volunteering? Hopefully they have positive thoughts and are proud to see such wonderful men and women serving their country in all aspects of their lives. I’ve come to realize it’s not just the young Airmen, fresh out of basic training, but all of us who sell the Air Force every day — making us full-time recruiters. Each of us has the opportunity to promote our great Air Force by our involvement in local communities. Being active in local communities is important because of our core value of service before self, which includes commitment to others’ needs, country or community before self and unselfish devotion. I recently spoke to several groups of volunteers from around the country serv- ing along the Mississippi Gulf Coast who’ve worked with Airmen from Keesler. Every group said the same thing: “What great Airmen you have. We love working with your Airmen.” As their commander, what an honor it is to volunteer alongside them. What a sense of pride I feel that America is seeing what I get to see every day. Then it hits me — these wonderful civilian volunteers from all across America will go home with the same thoughts that their Air Force is made up of great Airmen. They’re right. This feeling is priceless. No amount of advertising money gives the same positive impression in small towns across our country as working with today’s Airmen. I look at brand new Airmen as today’s Air Force, not tomorrow’s. We’re recruiting tomorrow’s Air Force by our actions and involvement every day in our communities. I have a passion for volunteering and I’m trying to instill a culture of giving back in various ways in my Airmen. Volunteering is like most habits; it takes time to develop, but once learned, it’s easy to do without thinking about it. I volunteer with my Airmen to spend time with them, learn about them, talk Air Force with them and give them a positive view of leadership. I challenge other leaders to take the same opportunity to get to know their Airmen, and at the same time, make a difference in our communities. Helen Keller, who understood the power of serving others and did so throughout her life, observed, “Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.” To those who give back every day by coaching soccer, teaching Sunday school, giving blood and so on, I applaud you. pg04.qxd 12/13/2007 11:09 AM Page 1 TRAINING AND EDUCATION New tool links CCAF to relevant specialties By Carl Bergquist Air University Public Affairs MAXWELL Air Force Base, Ala. — Community College of the Air Force officials have launched a new Web-based tool that provides students education and national certification information related to Air Force occupational specialties. The credentialing and education research tool links CCAF degree programs with nationally-recognized professional certifications relevant to specific career fields online. Using the tool, Airmen can find information related to their particular CCAF degree and career progression goals. They can investigate equivalent civilian jobs, professional certifications, professional organizations and Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support testing opportunities. Officials also expect CERT to serve as an important recruiting and career transition tool. In addition to assisting current Airmen, CERT helps prospective Airmen better understand what the Air Force has to offer, said Lt. Col. Ray Staats, CCAF commandant. For example, high school students considering a career in aircraft maintenance can see how Air Force opportunities relate to civilian career alternatives in terms of available professional certifications, he said. The research tool is similar to the Army’s and Navy’s credentialing opportunities on-line program. Development cost of the COOL platform was $895,000 and costs about $300,000 annually to maintain, according to J.R. Breeding, chief of licensure and certification programs for CCAF. He led the in-house CCAF team that developed CERT. In contrast, CERT is online at no cost, having been developed internally by CCAF, and is maintained using existing resources. The CCAF team keeps the site updated with the latest information regarding certifications, degrees, testing and other applicable subjects. “For the more than 345,000 enlisted Airmen, this is a valuable research tool,” Mr. Breeding said. Additionally, it better prepares them for transition to civilian careers. In certain cases, certifications also earn CCAF college credit toward an associate degree. “Air Force members can earn certifications as they progress during their Air Force careers, and then use those credentials toward new successes after they leave the service,” Colonel Staats said. The CERT Web site allows Airmen to access and research certification opportunities at their own pace from home or work computers. pg06.qxd 12/13/2007 11:09 AM Page 1 NCO retraining program enters involuntary phase Air Force Personnel Center RANDOLPH Air Force Base, Texas — Airmen identified as required to retrain must submit a retraining request by Monday or separate under Phase II of the Fiscal 2008 noncommissioned officer retraining program. After meeting the deadline, Phase II-eligible NCOs must next choose an Air Force Specialty Code from a list of available AFSCs and submit a completed retraining application by Jan. 31. Any Airman identified as vulnerable for retraining and who fails to submit the initial retraining application by this date is determined to have officially declined retraining and is separated from the Air Force on his current date of separation. “Airmen selected for retraining who have the necessary retainability cannot decline retraining,” said Chief Master Sgt. Christine Williams, chief of the Air Force Personnel Center enlisted skills manage- ment branch here. “All Airmen identified as being retraining eligible must retrain or face separation under guidelines established for the retraining program.” Vulnerability listings by grade and AFSC are posted and are updated weekly on AFPC’s virtual military personnel flight. Airmen should click on the “Retraining” button to view current information. To date, 1,512 active-duty Airmen have been targeted for involuntary retraining into another AFSC chosen for them by the AFPC enlisted retraining staff. Phase II began Monday and ends when retraining quotas are met, but not later than March 31. “This phase of the retraining program is necessary to help meet the needs of the Air Force by putting Airmen where they are needed most,” said Master Sgt. Catina JohnsonRoscoe, enlisted retraining and reenlistments superintendent. “We will work with those Airmen who are selected for retraining, as we would any retraining case, in order to make the transition as smooth as possible for the Airman and his or her family while still meeting the needs of the Air Force,” Sergeant JohnsonRoscoe said. For more information, contact command support staff personnel, base career assistance advisers or the Air Force Contact Center, 1-800-6655000. Perfection Master Sgt. Terry Grant earned a perfect score in the 336th Training Squadron’s information management course. The five blocks of study took 33 academic days. Sergeant Grant, an air reserve technician, is a client support administrator for the 315th Operations Support Squadron at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. When you give blood, you give the gift of life. pg07.qxd 12/13/2007 11:10 AM Page 1 TRAINING AND EDUCATION NOTES Physician assistants Air Force Personnel Center RANDOLPH Air Force Base, Texas — The Air Force is taking applications from active-duty enlisted Airmen for physician assistant Phase I training classes beginning January, April and August 2009. Completed applications must arrive at HQ AFPC/ DPAMW, 550 C Street West, Suite 27, Randolph AFB TX 78150-4729 no later than Jan. 25. The selection board is scheduled to convene here March 19. For more information, contact local military per- sonnel flights or education offices or go to the AFPC Web site and enter physician assistant training in the search function. AFIT opportunity Air Force Print News afit. edu/en/Admissions/ Default. cfm?l=enl. OTS counseling Officer Training School applicants may schedule appointments with a counselor by calling 377-2323 or visit the education office, second floor, Hangar 2. For more information, visit the Air Force Recruiting home page, http://afrecruiting.com/rsoc/ and the OTS home page, http://www. afoats .af.mil/OTS/BOT/botapply.a sp. RANDOLPH Air Force Base, Texas — Air Force Institute of Technology officials are offering 10 noncommissioned officers the opportunity to pursue an advanced science, engineering or management degree at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Nominations are due to the Air Force Personnel Center here by Jan. 15. Prospective students can review program requirements and nomination procedures on the Enlisted to AFIT Web site, http://www. Student TMO Short sheet briefings at the technical training traffic management office are 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Briefings are held in Room 213, Levitow Training Support Facility in the Triangle. For more information, call 377-3147 or visit Room 211, Levitow Training Support Facility. rolled in college or vocational programs. For more information or applications, call Robin Manson, 377-5149. USM spring term The University of Southern Mississippi Keesler Center’s spring semester starts Jan. 14. Degree programs in psychology, American studies and technical occupational education and classes in administration of justice and computer science are offered. For more information, call Jennifer Williams, 377-2309; visit Room 208, Hangar 2, or visit http://www.usmedu/ gulfcoast/military/index.ph. Work study Part-time employment is available to Chapters 30 and 31 Veterans Affairs people en- pg08.qxd 12/13/2007 11:11 AM Page 1 NEWS AND FEATURES Tricare reassures beneficiaries health care entitlement secure Air Force Print News IN THE N EWS Commander’s calls Tuesday The 81st Training Wing commander’s calls are 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Welch Auditorium. At the morning session, Tech. Sgts. Patrick Key and John Smith, 81st Transportation Squadron, are awarded the Bronze Star medal for meritorious service while deployed earlier this year. FALLS CHURCH, Va. -Tricare Management Activity wants to reassure its beneficiaries none of them are at risk of losing their Tricare coverage, regardless of the cost of their care or other conditions that might affect commercial insurance policies. “I want to remind our beneficiaries that Tricare is an entitlement earned by military service,” said Army Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, Tricare Management Activity deputy director. “They shouldn’t worry as their entitlement to care is statutory. No contractor can simply drop the health care coverage of our beneficiaries.” Beneficiaries may have seen recent news reports alleging that health insurance company Health Net Inc. rewarded its senior analyst in charge of cancellations for exceeding annual targets for revoking policies. Because Health Net Federal Services is one of Tricare’s managed care contractors, Tricare beneficiaries might think they’re also at risk of cancellation or revocation of their Tricare coverage. Tricare leaders said that isn’t true. Health Net Inc. has many divisions. The issue in the news report involves the civilian commercial health insurance portion of Health Net Inc. and isn’t related to the federal services part of the company. Unlike some commercial insurance policies, Tricare benefits aren’t limited by such things as pre-existing conditions or failure to report health information. If a person is entitled to care under the laws established by Congress, they receive that care. “In addition to the best available medical care, we want Tricare to offer one other benefit — peace of mind,” General Granger said. Martin Luther King luncheon The Martin Luther King memorial luncheon is 11 a.m. Jan. 17 at Vandenberg Community Center. It’s the first time the event has been held since Hurricane Katrina, said LaVerne LaSalle-Larry, manager of the black employment program that sponsors the luncheon. The guest speaker is Rev. Luther Fairley, senior pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Gulfport and a 24year employee of Mississippi Coastal Family Health Center. Tickets are $12 and seating is limited. For tickets and more information, call Mrs. Larry, 3764351; Carol Grigsby, 377-2301, or Faith Lee, 376-4350. Beneficiaries, government saving time, money with mail order pharmacy Air Force Print News New family recognition program Starting in January, the airman and family readiness center selects a military family to nominate for the National Military Family Association’s monthly family award. Nominees are eligible from active-duty, reserve component or retiree families as well as families of fallen service members or wounded service members injured in the line of duty within the past three years who’ve been discharged. Nominations, 500-750 words long, stress entire family involvement and demonstrate strength, courage, perseverance, commitment, duty, service or “everyday heroism.” Mail nominations to Airman and Family Readiness Center, 700 Hangar Road, Room 121, Keesler AFB, MS 39534. For more information, call 377-2179. FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Nearly 20,000 Tricare beneficiaries are saving money on their prescriptions after switching to mail order through the new member choice center. After only two months of operation, beneficiaries saved approximately $600,000 on prescriptions by switching from retail to the Tricare Mail Order Pharmacy. In all, individual beneficiary's savings through TMOP could range from $24 a year for each regular formulary generic drug to as much as $176 a year for each non-formulary brand-name drug. The savings increase with each additional prescription. “Beneficiaries are saving time in addition to money,” said Army Maj. Gen. Elder Granger, Tricare Management Activity deputy director. “TMOP offers the convenience of ordering and receiving prescriptions without leaving home.” The Department of Defense is saving money, too, projecting a savings of approximately $6.9 million on the 39,500 prescriptions converted so far from retail to TMOP. DOD could save up to $24 million a year with just a 1 percent shift of prescriptions from retail to mail order. Beneficiaries who don’t have other health insurance and are currently using a retail pharmacy can go now go online to http://www.express-scripts.com/Tricare to complete the registration, without downloading or mailing forms, and request that prescriptions be converted to mail order from retail. TMOP notifies beneficiaries by letter when one of their medications is switching to the third tier, which has the most expensive co-pay. This gives beneficiaries time to ask their doctor to switch them to the formulary drug at a lower co-pay before they need a refill. For more information about the new member choice center and filling prescriptions through the TMOP program, visit the prescription area on the “My Benefit” link of http://www.tricare.mil. Dec. 26, Jan. 2 ‘Family Days’ Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 are Air Education and Training Command “Family Days.” The day off applies to military members only. Civilian employees who normally work Wednesdays must take leave to get the day off. Other family days for 2008 are July 7, Nov. 28 and Dec. 26. Last Keesler News of 2007 By contract, the Keesler News doesn’t publish the weeks in which the Christmas and New Year’s federal holidays fall. The last issue of the base newspaper for 2007 is Dec. 20. The first issue of 2008 is Jan. 10. The newspaper office is closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 in observance of the holidays. Off-limits establishments Off-limits establishments for military members are the Blue Note Lounge, Boulevard Nightclub and Henry Beck Park (except during daylight hours or official events) in Biloxi; Carver Village, Bunksmall Apartments and H&H Hideaway in Pascagoula, and Toni’s Lounge in Moss Point. pg01-09.qxd 12/13/2007 11:12 AM Page 1 AFSO21, from Page 1 was written and administered by the Air Force Inspection Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. It’s a win-win situation for Airmen and the Air Force, said Lt. Gen. John Bradley, the chief of Air Force Reserve and in charge of the team. “We’d like to simplify some things for them, so that the time they have when working for us is better utilized to do real jobs they’re supposed to do, and not waste time doing other things,” he said. The “Caring for People” team reviewed valuable feedback from more than 15,000 Airmen on issues that were most important to them. Their voices have been heard and the team is identifying several high-value initiatives based on this feedback. The opinions varied, depending on whether Airmen were deployed or at home station, General Bradley said. “Medical issues like Tricare were at the top of the list,” he said. “That was a very high emphasis area (for home station Airmen), as were base exchanges, fitness centers and dormitories.” Airmen are concerned about their access to medical care and making appointments at their medical facilities, the general said. It’s an issue that’s under review for ways to improve it. “Airmen are pleased with the care, though,” General Bradley said. “They are pleased with the medical professionals.” In regard to deployed Airmen and their families, he said communication overall seems to be the top concern. “When Airmen are deployed, communication back home is very important,” he said. “They want to be able to get in touch and stay in touch. I think most Airmen want frequent e-mail capability and access to the Internet. Computer connectivity is the big thing. “Also, communication relative to things their units are telling them (is important),” he continued. “They want to stay in touch with their units and they want their units to stay in touch with their families back home. So there are several elements of communication there.” The results will be released to the major command AFSO 21 offices to promote future initiatives that work to solve local Airmen concerns. Air Force civilians safe from layoffs Air Force Print News WASHINGTON — With the Army announcing possibly civilian layoffs this month, Air Force leaders want civilian Air Force members to know they’re monitoring the situation closely. “The Air Force does not view the possibility of civilian workforce furlough as an imminent issue,” said Air Force officials. “While the Air Force continues to be fiscally challenged, the personnel budget is such that it would not become a pressing concern for some months. “Our civilian workforce is essential to mission success, and the Air Force would carefully examine alternative courses of action prior to diminishing the quality of our workforce through a civilian furlough initiative,” officials said. Some Army civilian employees may get layoff notices before Christmas, because $178 billion in emergency funds have not yet been approved to continue the war on terror, a senior Defense Department official said today. President George Bush called on Congress twice publicly this week to pass an emergency funding bill, but has vowed to veto any bill that imposes a mandatory troop withdrawal date. Some members of Congress have responded by saying the Pentagon has funds to continue operations through March, but a Pentagon spokesman said furlough notices for Army employees could start going out the middle of this month. The employees wouldn’t be furloughed until after Christmas, but some con- tracts require a 60-day notice if the furlough will be longer than 60 days, Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman told reporters at the Pentagon. The department is using fiscal 2008 funds — not part of the supplemental funding needed — to keep operations going in the war on terror, he explained. “Anyone who thinks that this is not a serious situation is simply misinformed or is ignoring the facts. We have tried to be as matter of fact as we can on this, but the reality is that we are using our program budget for FY 08 ... to fund our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Mr. Whitman said. DOD is using its readiness funding, or operations and maintenance accounts, which typically pay for training, supplies, and maintenance of weapons and equipment. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates requested to shift $3.7 billion from Navy and Air Force payrolls and an $800 million excess in the working capital fund to Army and Marine Corps operations. If funding continues to be delayed, it could affect as many as 200,000 civilian employees and contractors, DOD officials reported earlier. “In mid-February, the Army will run out of all of their O&M funding for the entire year, because they will have spent it on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. That will require some fairly significant and harsh actions by the department, specifically the Army. And the Marine Corps is only about a month behind them,” Mr. Whitman said. pg10.qxd 12/13/2007 11:13 AM Page 1 P E R S O N N E L N OTES WAPS test schedules Weighted airman promotion system test schedules: Senior master sergeant — through Friday. Master and technical sergeant — Feb. 1 to March 31. Staff sergeant — May 1 to June 15. Members should be prepared to test on the first day of the cycle. For more information, contact unit WAPS monitors. Force shaping Next board in March targets some ‘05 group lieutenants Air Force Personnel Center E-mailing deployed troops Stars and Stripes features “Messages of Support” for deployed service members from family and friends free of charge. E-mail no more than 60 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mailing care packages American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service and Military Postal Service Agency process mail for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information, call 1-800-275-8777 or visit http:// www.usps.com. MyPay item processing For information on processing pay items through myPay, call the 81st Comptroller Squadron, 377-7272 or 4212. For a personal identification number for myPay, e-mail TRAVEL@keesler.af.mil from a government computer. Updating LeaveWeb On the first duty day upon returning from leave, military members are required to update LeaveWeb. For more information, call 81st Mission Support Squadron customer service, 377-5455. One-stop pay, personnel service One-stop customer service for pay and personnel information is available all day, every day by calling toll-free 1-800-6163775 or going online to http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/cst/. Transforming travel processing 81st Comptroller Squadron The Defense Travel System is an electronic travel order and settlement voucher producing system that’s transforming the Defense Department’s current processes into a single, streamlined, paperless system. With DTS, travelers can input travel authorizations, review and pick available flights, make hotel and rental car reservations, electronically fill out travel vouchers, pay Government Travel Card accounts and receive direct deposit reimbursements in about a week. For more information or training needs, call your unit DTS representative or visit http://www.dtstravelcenter.dod.mil/. RANDOLPH Air Force Base, Texas — The next force-shaping board is scheduled to convene March 31 at the Air Force Personnel Center here for some lieutenants in the 2005 year group. The board evaluates active-duty line officers in overage career fields in the 2005 accession year group, except for officers in the intelligence, security forces, civil engineer and public affairs career fields. Retention recommendation forms must be completed for all board-eligible officers with more than two years extended active duty as of March 31, and less than 15 years total active federal service as of Aug. 31. The RRF includes senior rater recommendations to retain or separate, and must be forwarded to AFPC no later than Feb. 4. Board-eligible officers may elect to apply for voluntary separation until March 20. Separation dates are set for no later than Aug. 31, but officers may apply for an earlier date. The board’s objective is to shape the future force by retaining those officers the Air Force needs to develop as its future leaders. The board makes its determination based on information contained in the officers’ central selection record and their retention recommendation form. The central selection record consists of the following: Officer selection brief. Officer performance reports. Decorations. Letter to the board. Board-eligible officers are authorized to submit a letter to the board to provide additional information that’s relevant to the board decision process and that isn’t included in any other documents in the central selection record. Retention recommendation form. The first O-6 or GS-15 in the officer’s chain of command writes a nine-line narrative and makes a recommendation. The senior rater reviews the form and either concurs or nonconcurs with the initial reviewer’s recommendation. The senior rater also provides a mandatory ranking on all officers in their unit by accession year group and Air Force Specialty Code. Eligible permanent change of station students, such as those attending the Air Force Institute of Technology, have a narrativeonly RRF completed by the host wing or AFIT commander outlining the officer’s training program and performance. Two items have been added to the officer selection brief for this year’s board. The preselection brief may show an officer’s language proficiency and also stratified medical assignment limitation code, if applicable. These two items are scheduled for removal before the force-shaping board convenes in March. A voluntary force-shaping program is still in place for interested officers. The following separation options may also include a waiver for recouping education costs: Limited active duty service commitment waivers program allows individuals to separate before the expiration of certain active-duty service commitments. Air Force Reserve Palace Chase. Air National Guard Palace Chase. Army Blue to Green. Airmen may apply and continue to serve their country through federal civilian employment. These voluntary initiatives close to boardeligible officers March 20. For more information about the board and volunteer separation opportunities, visit AFPC’s Force Shaping Web site, http://ask. afpc.randolph.af.mil/forceshape/fsb08.asp, or call the AFPC contact center, 1-800-616-3775, select option 1, 1, 2, or DSN 665-5000. Pre-separation counseling Military members of all branches of military service are required to receive congressionally-mandated pre-separation counseling from the airman and family readiness center no less than 90 calendar days before separating, retiring or outprocessing to go on terminal leave. Briefings are 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Room 122, Hangar 2, for routine separations and 2:30 p.m. for routine retirements. Members receiving medical retirements, less than full honorable discharges or force-shaping transition benefits, call 377-8645 or 8593 to schedule individual briefings. Planning, preparation keys to holiday driving success By Tech. Sgt. Chuck Marsh Keesler Public Affairs With the approach of the holiday season, Keesler safety officials offer these tips for driving success: Plan ahead: — “Traveling in a car should be treated like anything else, make sure someone knows your intended route of travel and the timelines that you expect to meet going point to point,” said Virgil Mitchell, 81st Training Wing chief of safety. “If you’re active duty and under the age of 26, make absolutely sure you’ve completed the Air Education and Training Command Form 29B and follow the route and times that you indicated. “If you’re staying in the local area, remember that not all traffic lights and signals have been replaced or repaired (since Hurricane Katrina),” he said. “With the limited number of shopping areas available, including those on base, traffic can be a nightmare at any given time of day or night.” Mr. Mitchell added that one of the biggest hazards in the three Mississippi Gulf Coast counties are the railroad crossings, some marked and some not marked well, if at all. Allow extra time in your schedule — congested traffic can sometimes be avoided with a little preparation. The heaviest travel occurs the days immediately before and after Christmas and New Year’s Day. Consider traveling on alternate days to avoid the gridlock. Ensure your car is ready to travel — “Make sure that you have completed a safety inspection, being especially SPOTLIGHT ON SAFETY careful to check that the tires are in good condition, wipers are working, lights are working and always be prepared for a breakdown by having emergency survival equipment such as emergency lighting and blankets available,” said Mr. Mitchell. The auto hobby shop offers classes for everyone from novice to expert mechanics on preventative car care. Free vehicle winterizing checklists aee also available. Some of the following tips can be performed as do-ityourself projects; others require a professional mechanic. Engine performance — correct engine drivability problems at a good repair shop. Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Fuel — keeping the gas tank filled helps prevent moisture from forming. Oil — Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your owner’s manual. Cooling system — completely flush and refill as recommended. A 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water is recommended. Windshield wipers — replace old blades. Carry an ice scraper. Heater and defroster — ensure these are in good working condition for passenger comfort and driver visibility. Battery — professional equipment is the only accurate way to detect a weak battery. Lights — inspect all lights and bulbs, replacing as needed. Exhaust system — check for leaks. Exhaust fumes can be deadly. Tires — examine tread wear, uneven wearing and cupping. Check sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressure once a month. Don’t forget the spare and be sure the jack is in good condition. Emergencies — carry gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, sand or kitty litter, tire chains, a flash light and a cell phone. Put a few “high-energy” snacks in the glove box. Think before you drive — be aware of other drivers who may be worried, preoccupied, hurried, distracted and all those states of mind that make them easily agitated and less careful. This means being more vigilant than usual and giving people more distance. Wear seat belts — they help increase your chances of surviving a crash by 60 percent. Don’t drink and drive — avoid other drivers who may have celebrated too much, stay off the roads at high-risk times, such as after nightfall on New Year’s Eve. If you do have a few drinks, have a designated driver, take a taxi or call Airmen Against Drink Driving, 377-7283. DRAGON OF THE WEEK Name — Senior Airman Nancy Rahmaan Unit — 334th Training Squadron Position — air traffic control instructor Time in Air Force — five years Time at Keesler — 18 months Noteworthy — An avid volunteer, she cleaned five miles of hiking trails, reads to children at the child development center and raised and donated $250 worth of clothing for the Salvation Army. She and her squadron booster club served more than 300 Thanksgiving meals. Hometown — Patchogue, N.Y. Why did you join the Air Force? to serve and travel; the educational benefits are great, too. What are your short- and long-term goals? to have a child, complete 7-level training and complete my bachelor’s degree in business Photo by Kemberly Groue administration. What’s your favorite quote? “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." — Martin Luther King, Jr. What are your hobbies? watching football and reading. DIAMOND NOTES Gortex liners are not to be worn as outer garments. Outer garments, such as the field jacket or Gortex field jacket, are worn outdoors only. — Master Sgt. Gordon Comerford, 81st Supply-Transportation Squadron first sergeant Sergeant Comerford pg13TSP.qxd 12/13/2007 11:16 AM Page 1 TSP contribution limit unchanged for 2008 TSP for military members Airmen can contribute any whole percentage of basic pay, as long as the annual total of the tax-deferred investment doesn’t exceed $15,500 for 2008. As long as they contribute from basic pay, Airmen can also invest all or part of their bonuses, special pay or incentive pay. Members may enroll in December; however, requested actions won’t update until Jan. 1. Those serving in tax-free combat zones are allowed up to $46,000 in annual contributions for 2008. The $46,000 total includes tax-exempt combat zone contributions and regular deferred contributions. Military members can enroll or change their regular TSP contribution amount through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Web site at https://mypay.dfas.mil/ mypay.aspx or by filling out a TSP-U-1 Election Form at local military personnel flights and finance offices. Catch-up contributions can also be made at those offices by filling out a Form TSP-U-1-C, TSP Catch-Up Contribution Election. Contribution allocations (how an employee chooses to invest money among the investment funds) can be made by calling the TSP automated ThriftLine, 1-877-968-3778 for employees in the United States, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and Canada. Others can call 1404-233-4400 or log onto the TSP Web site, http://www.tsp.gov/ by using their account access. For general TSP questions, call the Air Force Personnel Center, 1-800-616-3775 (press 1, press 1, press 1, and follow the prompts). Air Force Personnel Center RANDOLPH Air Force Base, Texas — The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has announced 2008’s elective deferral limit for regular TSP contributions is $15,500, the same for 2007. In addition, contributions for the catch-up plan remain at the same $5,000 limit set in 2006 and 2007. “TSP is a long-term retirement savings plan, which everyone should consider,” said Janet Thomas, a human resources specialist at the Air Force Personnel Center here. “It’s a great supplement to military and civilian retirement plans.” TSP gives investors the opportunity to lower their taxes each year they contribute; the taxes are deferred until the employee withdraws from the account after retirement. “Investment money is deposited directly from each paycheck, so you never have to think about it. That makes it easy to ‘pay yourself first’ while only investing what you deem appropriate,” said Ms. Thomas. TSP catch-up contributions are additional tax-deferred contributions and are separate from regular TSP contributions. For those who are eligible, catch-up contributions provide a way for individuals to secure their retirement if they began investing later in their careers. To be eligible for catch-up contributions, civilian and military employees must be age 50 or older in the year in which the first deduction from pay occurs. They must also be in a pay status and be able to certify they’ll make (or have made) the maximum “regular” employee contributions of $15,500 to a TSP or other eligible account by the end of 2008. “Other” eligible accounts include uniformed services TSP accounts or other eligible employer plans, such as 401(k)s. TSP for civilians Civilians can contribute any whole percentage of their basic pay or a whole dollar amount each pay period to a regular TSP account; this amount is subject to the $15,500 annual maximum for 2008. Air Force-serviced civilians may submit regular TSP enrollment elections or changes at any time. Contributions automatically continue into 2008 for those already in TSP, so it isn’t necessary for people to submit an election unless they wish to change the amount of their bi-weekly contributions. The contribution on pay date Jan. 11, 2008, applies towards the 2008 annual maximum. Regular TSP enrollments, changes or catch-up contribution enrollments submitted by Dec. 22 are effective Dec. 23 and reflect on pay date Jan. 11, 2008. Elections submitted between Dec. 23 and Jan. 5 are effective Jan. 6 and reflect on the Jan. 25 pay date. When submitting catch-up contribution elections, employees need to designate a whole-dollar amount to contribute each payday rather than the annual maximum of $5,000. Don’t designate an amount that exceeds net pay or payroll won’t withhold any TSP contributions. To spread catch-up contributions evenly over the year, divide the total contribution (up to $5,000) by the number of pay dates remaining in the year. There are 26 pay dates in 2008 for employees who submit their catch-up contribution election between by Dec. 22. Air Force-serviced civilians enroll or submit regular TSP contribution elections, as well as catch-up contribution elections if eligible, by using the Employee Benefits Information System’s Web application or the Benefits and Entitlements Service Team’s phone system. EBIS is available on the AFPC Web site, https://wwa.afpc.randolph. af.mil/afpcsecure/Default.asp, or through the Air Force Portal. Employees can reach the BEST phone system by dialing 1-800-616-3775. Overseas employees need to dial a tollfree AT&T direct access number for the country they are in, then 1-800- 616-3775. When the phone system answers, press “2” for Air Force-serviced civilians, then “2” again for BEST benefits and entitlements, and follow the prompts. AT&T direct access numbers can be found at http://www.business.att.com/bt/dial_guide.jsp. Additional information about TSP, both regular and catch-up, is available on the TSP Web site, http:// www.tsp.gov/. See summary of the Thrift Savings Plan located under civilian or uniformed services TSP Forms and Publications. For more TSP information, visit the BEST home page, http://ask.afpc.randolph.af.mil/BEST /?prods3=272 (under Thrift Savings Plan). To be eligible, employees can’t be in the six-month noncontribution period following a financial hardship in-service withdrawal. Catch-up contributions automatically stop with the last pay date in the calendar year or when the maximum catchup dollar limit for the year is reached, whichever comes first. Eligible employees must submit a new election for each year they wish to participate. Regular TSP contributions stop when an employee’s contributions reach the annual maximum limit and then automatically resume the next calendar year. Investing in TSP isn’t limited to stocks. People can choose safer government securities or invest in the Lifecycle Funds. pg14-15Medics.qxd 12/13/2007 11:17 AM Page 1 Sergeant Dianala Major Mehrabi Mr. Coon Captain Griffin Lieutenant Lepper Sergeant Gray Keesler claims 17 command medical awards By Steve Pivnick 81st Medical Group Public Affairs The 81st Medical Group garnered 17 Air Education and Training Command medical service team and individual awards for fiscal 2007. The 81st Dental Squadron Dental Clinic earned the outstanding large clinic dental award. The 107-member team commanded by Col. (Dr.) Kenneth Levin exceeded Air Force goals in base Class 1 and Class 1/2 examinations, leading to an “outstanding” rating in the 2007 health services inspection. Keesler was the only AETC base to provide Type-2 exams to students — 600 per month — and completed 92 percent of Class 1/2 exams, No. 1 in the command with a 92 percent completion rate. Among many other achievements, the clinic was able to increase productivity 28 percent over FY05, 7 percent over the AETC goal, despite 64 percent provider manning. The 81st Medical Operations Squadron medical information management flight won the medical information systems team award. The 47-member flight commanded by Maj. Sam Silverthorne relocated primary care managers over a holiday weekend. They installed more than 600 computers and telephones, resulting in zero downtime and avoided more than 400 lost appointments. They also recaptured more than 1,500 clinic appointments and provided a daily cancellation list to appointment services for a 30 percent improvement in patient access. The 81st Medical Operations Squadron mental health flight commanded by Lt. Col. Kevin Blakley received the outstanding behavioral health team award. The 39-person flight earned an “outstanding” HSI rating, doubled the clinic’s availability and consistently provided same-day appointments. Efforts by the alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment program slashed Keesler’s driving-under-the-influence arrests by 50 percent and underage alcohol consumption by 27 percent. The team was also recognized for its traumatic stress response, intervening with 275 Airmen in two squadrons after tragic deaths. Individual winners: Tech. Sgt. John Dianala, 81st Medical Support Squadron, medical information services noncommissioned officer of the year. As NCO in charge of the medical information management flight’s knowledge management sup- Lieutenant Montoya-Ortega Captain Grant Sergeant Alvarez-Costeno Airman Allums port, he led installation of a $49,000 video teleconferencing system while deployed to Southwest Asia, providing the expeditionary medical group classified communication and telemedical and critical specialty care. At Keesler Medical Center, he facilitated a change to the 81st MDG’s cellular contract, executing flat-rate billing, increasing facility coverage and reducing the cost by $12,000. Maj. (Dr.) Mehran Mehrabi, 81st DS oral surgeon, outstanding junior clinical dentist. He was one of two Air Force oral and maxillofacial surgeons deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was part of a six-member head and neck critical trauma team, performing more than 85 complex facial reconstructions with outstanding results in the first two months of his deployment. Patrick Coon, 81st DS dental laboratory technician, civilian outstanding dental award. Mr. Coon delivered products to 15,000 beneficiaries in the tri-state region and was key’to the squadron’s “outstanding” HSI rating. His laboratory’s “flawless” safety program contributed to the 81st Training Wing “excellent” rating in this year’s operational readiness inspection. His leadership and technical skills contributed to the lab’s annual production total surpassing $234,000. Capt. Christy Griffin, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron, perioperative nurse. Captain Griffin, nurse manager of the ophthalmology operating room, was recognized for being in the top 10 percent of all nurses assigned to the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Support Squadron at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The unit treated 8,905 cases in four months. She was the group’s representative, speaker and tour escort for visiting dignitaries. She was selected from among her peers to be the caregiver for a wounded distinguished visitor. First Lt. Jennifer Lepper, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron, outstanding base bioenvironmental engineering company grade officer. Deputy commander of the bioenvironmental engineering flight, her management of the industrial hygiene program was rated “outstanding” during the HSI inspection. A certified mold inspector; her top-tobottom inspection of the medical center prepared the facility for recovery of wounded Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. She was the driving force behind monthly flight proficiency training for weapons-ofmass-destruction equipment, among the top five in AETC. First Lt. Sarah Montoya-Ortega, 81st Medical Operations Squadron, outstanding company grade dietitian. A registered dietitian with the nutritional medicine flight, she provided medical nutrition therapy to 45 inpatients and 250 outpatients, revised education materials and set up clinical dietetics. She also certified four technicians to perform nutrition screening, ensured the flights training program was on track and Please see Awards, Page 15 pg14-15Medics.qxd 12/13/2007 11:17 AM Page 2 Awards, from Page 14 met and enforced The Joint Commission standards. She also counseled more than 100 beneficiaries on medical nutritional therapy to enhance patient comprehension for improved disease conditions. Staff Sgt. Zarai Alvarez-Costeno, 81st MDOS, Harvey S. Cain diet therapy NCO. Sergeant Alvarez-Costeno taught patients food and drug interaction, meeting The Joint Commission’s ideals. She oversaw more than 180 patient meals without errors while performing as supervisor, production and diet clerk. By locating and setting up excess equipment for an alternate facility, she provided smooth transition and expedited inpatient services. She also reorganized an alternate feeding location and developed a patient binder to ensure smooth feeding procedures were followed. Master Sgt. James Gray, 81st MSGS, physical therapy supervisor/ manager, senior NCO category. As surgical services flight chief, Sergeant Gray managed 13,500 patient treatments and 167 preventive health encounters. He restructured the clinic schedule, reducing a 14 percent no-show rate to 6 percent and reclaiming a $4,000 daily loss. By tracking and compiling self-inspections of four elements, he ensured the flight was in total compliance, leading to the 81st MDG’s full accredition by the Joint Commission. He restructured flight operating instructions, combining four elements into one and triggered 12 process improvements. Capt. Carissa Grant, 81st MDSS, outstanding medical logistics company grade officer. As medical logistics flight commander, Captain Grant led a team of 87 Airmen, nine civilians and 15 contractors, directing $70 million in transactions. She oversaw 100 percent accountability of a $56-million equipment inventory with 114 accounts and 6,000 pieces of equipment. She was responsible for a $2.3million budget to ensure plant operations and maintenance of 11 buildings comprising 930,000 square feet and worth $192 million. She obtained $2.9 million for 15 critical projects to keep the medical center recovery on track and on target. Senior Airman Nicole Allums, 81st MDSS, out- Sergeant Maley Sergeant Rubio Ms. Newman Sergeant Tabor standing health plan management airman. A services technician in the Tricare operations and patient administration flight, Airman Allums was a key planner of the 81st MDG’s first collaboration meeting with 54 civilian providers, leading a 10member support team and providing critical interface. She distributed pamphlets at the base exchange and commissary to hundreds of beneficiaries. She individually briefed 20 new commanders on base. Master Sgt. Curtis Maley, 81st MDOS, cardiopulmonary laboratory senior NCO. Sergeant Maley, superintendent of cardiopulmonary services, spearheaded a $1.6-million endoscopy suite renovation at Travis Air Force Base, and served as the 60th MDOS interim first sergeant for 40 days. He also created the group’s critical care air transport team training platform featuring new equipment and training 24 personnel for seven successful deployments. At Keesler, he was the casualty team leader for an 81st TRW mass casualty exercise. Staff Sgt. Queen Rubio, 81st MDOS, John Salustro Award in the NCO category. Sergeant Rubio, a cardiac catheterization laboratory technician, spearheaded the reopening of Keesler Medical Center's catheterization laboratory and managed the ordering of more than $1 million of cardiac catheterization supplies. She screened 1,200 procedure results and developed a streamlined process for high-dollar purchase orders, standardizing the system for the 81st MDG. Jamie Newman, 81st MDOS, Chief Master Sgt. Anton Zembrod diagnostic imaging technologist award, civilian category. Ms. Newman was responsible for all bone-density testing while leading all diagnostic imaging administrative processes. She led the bone density program, performing 515 bone-density tests. Reporting off leave, she relocated an $82,000 bone densitometry unit after a catastrophic room structure failure and reworked the schedule for 77 patients during the move, avoiding $3,000 in referrals with no loss of services. She also facilitated the move of records during a rainstorm and major ceiling leak, saving 300 nuclear medicine records. Master Sgt. Ronnie Tabor, 81st MDOS, Chief Master Sgt. Anton Zembrod diagnostic imaging award, senior NCO category. Sergeant Tabor, NCO in charge of the diagnostic imaging flight, led 42 Airmen utilizing $10 millionworth of computerized tomography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and mammography systems. He wrote a $2 million magnetic resonance imaging contract using new Veterans Administration/Department of Defense incentive funds for a two-year plan to recapture $400,000 in MRI referrals. He ran a disaster recovery plan for Keesler and Wilford Hall medical centers to enable a backup for 17 million images. As project leader for $10 million in reconstruction, five new exposure rooms led to resumption of radiology services. He also oversaw the $3 million installation of DOD's first 3-tesla MRI, the strongest magnet in the pg16.qxd 12/13/2007 11:18 AM Page 1 The first homes under construction in Thrower Park are nearing completion. Housing construction picks up momentum By Susan Griggs Keesler News staff Yates Construction equipment operator Ezra Bennett uses a trackhoe to dig trenches for sewer and drainage lines in Bay Ridge. Signs of progress are evident in Thrower Park, Northwest Falcon Park and Bay Ridge, where the largest military family housing project in Air Force history is gaining steam. The $287.8 million project was launched in March in Thrower Park, which is beginning to look more like a neighborhood and less like a construction site. Thrower Park will be home to 198 junior enlisted families. As of Friday, homes numbered 1-66 have walls up on the first floor and homes 1-57 have walls on the second floor, according to Craig Merkerson, base housing program manager. Shingles are installed in homes 1-30. Sheetrock is in place on the walls and ceilings in homes 1-17. The siding is on or started on homes 1-21. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing lines are roughed in for homes 1-17. “That means the ductwork is installed ready for connection to a grille or air conditioning unit; electrical wiring is pulled to each light, fan, appliance, outlet, and switch box or into the main panel,” Mr. Merkerson explained. “Plumbing is run to each fixture location and valves are installed on water lines and capped from dirt and dust.” The first three homes are near completion, and the first 36 units should be ready for occupancy in late March. Inspection of rough-in and framing is complete for homes 1-17. Curb and gutters are poured for the first construction area of Thrower Park, and forms for curbs are going in for the remaining areas. Initial landscaping and fencing work begins next week, and road asphalt work is scheduled to start in January. Photos by Kemberly Groue Concrete finishers Tobias Acostia, left, Alajondro Bonabadis and Octabio Rodriguez finish a slab in Northwest Falcon Park. “We'll have prototype homes completed first — one for each different floor plan in each housing area,” Mr. Merkerson pointed out. “We'll take a hard look at these homes and point out any problems or changes to the contractor so they can be corrected before work is finished on the rest of the units.” In Northwest Falcon Park, where another 136 junior enlisted units are being built, the road base, sanitary sewer mains, storm drains, gas lines and electrical conduit work is finished and testing is being conducted. Half of the concrete foundations have been poured. Construction in Bay Ridge is being done in two phases. In the first phase, where 200 units are planned for officers and senior noncommissioned officers, site clearing and removal of shallow root vegetation is finished. “Now the contractor is installing sanitary sewer lines, cutting and backfilling roads,” Mr. Merkerson said. “Grading for the first few pads is complete in the northern part of the site. Storm water drainage lines and manholes are also being installed.” In April, work is slated to begin in East and West Falcon, where 364 units for junior enlisted members are planned. Bay Ridge’s second phase of construction, which includes 130 units for chief master sergeants and officers, is expected to start in December 2008. Before blogging, consider ... Reprinted from Roll Call As the Air Force becomes more and more reliant on new technology to conduct day-today missions, it’s only natural this reliance carries over into the personal lives of Airmen. Airmen aren’t prohibited from using blogs or social network sites, but must consider the following before posting information to the public Web: Classified information — this includes information that isn’t available to the public and wouldn’t be released under the Freedom of Information Act. Releasing classified information to the public — intentionally or otherwise — could result in Uniform Code of Military Justice action, or worse, the compromise of national security. Operational security — while certain pieces of information may not be classified, when put together, there can be detrimental results. Writing about current or future operations, locations of personnel or equipment or arrival and departure information are all sensitive details that, if pieced together, could endanger the Air Force mission and the lives of friends and Allies. Illegal acts or incidents under investigation — a blog can be considered as evidence of guilt or personal knowledge of a crime. Illegal acts discussed in blogs could be used as evidence for UCMJ action. Use of government computer systems — personal blogging on government computer systems is strictly prohibited. Government servers are reserved for the conduct of official business, and violations are punishable under the UCMJ. Moreover, personal blogging on government computers places the government’s ability to protect national security at risk. .qxd 12/13/2007 11:20 AM Page 1 Daniel Hale, left, and his brother, David Hale III, tell Santa the gifts they’d like to get for Christmas. Daniel, 4, and David, 6, are the sons of Staff Sgt. David and Linda Hale Jr., Keesler Marine Corps Detachment. Kaylee Ahrens, 7, creates a work of art with spray bottle painting. Her parents are Tech. Sgt. Antonio and Cynthia Archuleta, 336th Training Squadron. Olivia Perry admires the lights during Christmas in the Park, Dec. 6 in marina park. The 4-year-old is the daughter of Capt. Colin and Courtney Perry, 81st Medical Operations Squadron. Christmas in the Park launches holiday season Electra Lancon, 2, makes friends with a snowman. She attended Christmas in the Park with her grandparents, retiree Anthony and Jessica Suddeth of Biloxi. Children from the chapel re-enact the first Christmas as the gospel choir provides the music. Left, Patrick and Ronan Dolan take a ride through the park with Christian Papale and her pony, Gwenie. Patrick, 6, and Ronan, 3, are the sons of Lt. Col. James and Marian Dolan, 81st Surgical Operations Squadron. Christian’s parents are Chris and Marie Papale, 81st Mission Support Group. Photos by Kemberly Groue Carstens Luck, 7-year-old son of Lt. Col. Abbie Luck, 81st Medical Operations Squadron, checks out the illuminated Christmas tree. pg21Tulli.qxd 12/13/2007 11:21 AM Page 1 Major Tuli Medic assumes cancer program liaison position ACS Commission on Cancer Maj. (Dr.) Pamela Tuli, 81st Medical Operations Squadron director of hematologyoncology, has been appointed to a three-year term as liaison physician for Keesler Medical Center’s cancer program. Cancer liaison physicians are an integral part of cancer programs approved by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Major Tuli is among a national network of move than 1,600 volunteer physicians responsible for “providing leadership and direction to establish, maintain and support their facilities’ cancer program,” according to the commission. The major, who has a significant interest in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with malignant diseases, is a member of the multidisciplinary cancer committee at Keesler Medical Center, an its delivery of comprehensive quality care to cancer patients. The liaisons spearhead commission initiatives within their cancer program; collaborate with local agencies and facilitae quality improvement initiatives, using data submitted to the commission’s national cancer database. pg22Dec.qxd 12/13/2007 11:21 AM Page 1 What’s in, out Holiday decorating in housing By Angela Ibarra Keesler Public Affairs intern Decking the halls With Christmas around the corner, base housing residents are decorating their homes with lights, wreaths and other adornments. Base housing officials want everyone to be aware of the rules for holiday decorations to ensure a safe, mishapfree holiday season. Upon arriving at Keesler, base housing residents receive a family housing brochure. This brochure includes the rules for holiday decorating. “Every base has something slightly different, so make sure you check with the housing office before decorating,” said Norma Hays of the housing office. Christmas decorations can be displayed from the day after Thanksgiving until Jan. 6. In order to conserve energy, festive lights must be turned off between midnight and 5 a.m. “Decorations must be tasteful and appropriate for the occasion,” said Ms. Hays. Permanent decorations, such as wreaths, are displayed only on the entry doors of housing units. Holiday music is allowed, as long as it’s tasteful and not too loud. Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Small nails or staples may be used to hang decorations on wood. However, putting holes in vinyl or gutters is prohibited. Lights aren’t permitted on metal. Rooftop decorations are prohibited. Oversized decorations are also prohibited. For more information, call 377-0668. Photo by Kemberly Groue Irma Shaw, a cashier at the D’Iberville Wal-Mart, hangs garland on the staircase railing at Keesler’s Fisher House Dec. 4. Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates decorated the facility and donated $5,000 as part of a national donation to Fisher Houses across the country. Fisher House provides a home away from home for patients and family members hospitalized or receiving treatment at the Keesler and Biloxi Veterans Affairs medical centers. pg23.qxd 12/13/2007 11:23 AM Page 1 81st Services Division Holiday special events calendar 81st Services Division Tuesday Membership holiday victory party — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 18, Katrina Kantina. Free lunch for members includes turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Today Holiday gift workshop — 4:30-7:30 p.m., arts and crafts center. Santa mugs, cookies and cider. Minimal fee. Discount for Airmen. Through Friday Gift wrapping — 6-8 p.m., Vandenberg Community Center. Paper, tape and labels. Nonprior service students only. Dec. 21 Bah-humbug day — 6 p.m. Dec. 21, Vandenberg Community Center. Special showing of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Free popcorn. Nonprior service students only. Friday Teen Friday night Christmas lights — 711 p.m., youth center. Dec. 25 Free golf — 7 a.m. to dusk, Bay Breeze Golf Course. No carts or clubs available. Friday through Dec. 20 League appreciation event — Gaude Lanes. $2 per entry during league play covers all games. Win a Wal-Mart gift card available Dec. 21. One winner per night. Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve party — 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Gaude Lanes, for bowlers and non-bowlers. Adults $25, children $15 including bowling, shoes, party favors, nonalcoholic champagne toast, snacks, late night breakfast, games, prizes, music and dancing. Non-bowling adults $15, children $10. Sponsored by Rex Distributing and USAA. New Year’s Eve party — 8 p.m. to midnight, Vandenberg Community Center for nonprior service students only. Food, hats, horns and entertainment. Sponsored by National Productions, FEB Distributing and Allen Beverages. Saturday Family day — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., arts and crafts center. Holiday ceramic painting, fold Santa napkins, make almond bark candy and dip pretzels. Refreshments served. Small fee. Monday-Wednesday Project Elf Vandy — register at Vandenberg Community Center Monday to 5 p.m. Wednesday. First sergeants and commanders sign up people working after 6 p.m. Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, to receive treat bags. Pick up bags 2-4 p.m. Dec. 24. Sponsored by National Productions and Rex Distributing. Monday through Dec. 21 Christmas camp — youth center for ages 6-12. For more information, call 377-4116. Jan. 1 Free golf — 7 a.m. to dusk, Bay Breeze Golf Course. No carts or club available. HOLIDAY NOTES Toys for Tots The annual Toys for Tots campaign continues through Tuesday. Drop boxes are available at various locations. For more information or to volunteer to assist with the campaign, call Cheryl Moore, 81st Communications Squadron, 377-3900. Online shopping AAFEs News Service DALLAS – The Army and Air Force Exchange Service offeers online holiday shopping through the Exchange Online Store at aafes.com, usmc-mccs.org, navy-nex.com andcgexchange.com. pg24Blues.qxd 12/13/2007 11:23 AM Page 1 ‘Bah, humbug’ Shaking off those holiday season blues By Susan Griggs Keesler News staff Instead of reveling in the sights and sounds of the season, many people mumble, “Bah, humbug!” when the holidays roll around. The holiday season is usually thought of as a time of joy and celebration, but for some people, it can be a season of stress, anxiety and sadness. Mental health experts note that the holiday blues can be caused by a number of factors, including over-commercialization, increased demands of holiday shopping and preparing for parties and celebrations. For military members and their families, separation from family and loved ones can be a significant factor leading to loneliness and depression. Holiday expectations, seasonal deadlines and demands and financial burdens and limitations can create a lot of stress. Tense family relations and long travel periods can take a toll, too. Also, people tend to overextend obligations and commitments during the holiday season. “Remember to place personal safety and health first on your list of gifts and concerns,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Hinton, a psychiatrist and chief of the mental health flight. “Don’t be afraid to reach out to tell others — a friend, family member, co-worker, supervisor or boss — about your problems in hopes of finding options to change your current state or let go of the past.” Symptoms of holiday stress and depression include head-aches, muscle tension, fatigue, use of drugs and alcohol, overeating, overspending, irritability and sleeplessness. “If this period of time is lonesome and depressing, don’t make it worse by becoming drunk or drugged,” Major Hinton emphasized. “Alcohol or drug-induced mood problems can be worse than feeling unhappy in the first place. Avoid alcohol or at least limit your drinking to one drink per hour and no more than three drinks per day for males or two drinks per day for females.” To reduce holiday stress, here are some tips from mental health professionals: Some feelings of sadness, loneliness and melancholy are normal at this time of year. Plan in advance for the holidays — make lists and organize your time. Prioritize your duties and concentrate on the task at hand. Try to limit holiday social activities. Delegate holiday tasks. Avoid spending too much time orchestrating activities for family and friends. Make a gift list within your budget and stick to it. Resources available to help you through it Sometimes the holiday blues can develop into a more serious problem. “Thoughts of harming yourself or others require prompt attention,” said Lt. Col. (Dr.) Mark Hinton, a psychiatrist who heads the mental health flight. “Call a friend, family member, coworker, supervisor or boss for help. Don’t hesitate to call 911 if you have the urge to hurt yourself or someone else.” If military members want anonymous counseling without using health care benefits, call Military OneSource, 1-800-3429647, to arrange six free counseling sessions. The line is open around the clock. For more information, visit http://www. militaryonesource.com. Other resources are the suicide hotline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the domestic violence hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). If the stresses of the season become overwhelming, call the mental health flight, 376-6216. Avoid credit card use. Shop early and avoid peak shopping hours. Plan simple meals with a focus on proper nutrition. Get proper exercise. Take time for relaxation and get plenty of rest to recharge your batteries. Try to maintain your sense of humor and keep expectations realistic. Celebrate the season in accordance with your values and traditions. Instead of dwelling on “the good old days,” which often creates disappointment, celebrate the holidays in new, creative ways, such as volunteering to help others, reaching out to make new friends and taking advantage of free holiday activities. Cooperate and compromise with family members and try to focus on the true meaning of the holidays. Among suggested techniques for reducing the blues are hobbies and recreation, prayer and meditation, balanced diet, regular exercise and practicing personal religious and spiritual beliefs. While the holiday blues may be intense and unsettling, they’re usually short-lived and subside after the holiday season is over and daily routines are resumed. pg25.qxd 12/13/2007 11:24 AM Page 1 KEESLER NOTES Bundles for Babies Bundles for Babies is 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 20 for Air Force members expecting a child. Class participants receive a baby gift package worth $75. For more information, call 377-2179. Larcher Boulevard. Hours Jan 15 — 9–11 a.m. for pay grades E-4 and GS-3 and below, NA-1s and 2s, and NF-1s only; and noon to 3 p.m. for all other identification card holders. Hours Jan 16-18 — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for all authorized buyers. Transactions are first-come, first-served cash and carry, and all items must be removed immediately. For more information, call 377-0002. Humanitarian class project Second Lts. David Bresser, left, and David Smalenberger nail boards in place in a Habitat for Humanity home Saturday in Biloxi. They were among 16 communications officer students at Keesler who took part in the project. The class graduated from the six-week course Tuesday. Photo by Airman David Salanitri Finance closure Finance is closed, 12:30-5 p.m. today for an official function. For emergencies, call 3656630. Excess property sale A nonappropriated fund excess property sale is Jan 1518 in the Keesler Club on Cycle courses For information on motorcycle safety courses, call the safety office, 377-2910. Child care requires licensing By Earlene Smith 81st Services Division People living in base housing who care for children in their homes could be breaking the rules. Air Force Instruction 34-276, which governs day care in onbase quarters, states “any individuals caring for children more than 10 hours a week on a regular basis must get approval.” It states that the “installation commander may revoke the housing privileges of individuals who provide child care but refuse to become licensed or who continue to provide care after their license has been suspended or revoked.” The rule applies whether or not caregivers are compensated for their services. “People living in base housing who regularly care for children without being licensed may be unaware of the regulation,” said Mary Allgood, family child care program coordinator. Licenses are granted by the 81st Mission Support Group commander, usually within 30 days of completion of initial family child care provider training, background screenings and home inspections. Training includes child guidance, play environments, nutrition, ages and stages of development, child abuse and neglect, recordkeeping, business management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. “Family child care providers are professionals trained to give the best possible care to the children left in their charge,” said Ms. Allgood. Once licensed, providers may care for children from 2 weeks through 12 years old. They’re assisted by the FCC staff in setting up their home and have access to an extensive library for toys, equipment and materials to keep costs down. They set up their own hours of operation and fee structure. For more information, call 377-3189, 5934 or 5935, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. pg27.qxd 12/13/2007 11:27 AM Page 1 SPORTS AND RECREATION Lady Dragons set sights on SEMAC playoffs berth By Airman David Salanitri Keesler News staff The Keesler Lady Dragons approach the holidays with a 2-2 record and tied for second place in the Southeastern Military Athletic Conference. “We’re proud of being able to run the court with the best of the teams in the conference,” said Coach Richard Vincent. “What we do in practice is what we like to do in games,” added Vincent, who’s in his 16th season of coaching the women’s varsity team. “When we rebound, avoid turnovers and stay in shape, we are a formidable opponent for any team.” Lady Dragon player Kriziay Chambers said the key to the team’s success is that it’s well-rounded. “Our strong part is our balance, defensively and offensively,” she said. “When we play together as a team, other teams need to watch out.” Although this team is one of the youngest Vincent has coached, he said the players are “growing with each game.” Vincent “The girls are young, but are maturing each time they get on the court,” he added. “We have a good feeling that we’ll be able to do something for the base and make them proud.” The first order of business is winning a seeded position in the SEMAC playoffs. Also thinking that way are Eglin and Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Moody AFB, Ga. and Ft. Benning, Ga. Meanwhile, a greater issue for the Lady Dragons than Chambers their play is the expense of playing on the road. Vincent expressed hope the team can find a sponsor to help with those expenses. “Between meals, lodging and other travel expenses, we can’t expect these young Airmen to be able to pay for all of that,” the coach said. “It would nice to be able to travel to a game the day before and stay the night, allowing the players to be fully rested come game day.” Pg28.qxd 12/13/2007 11:28 AM Page 1 S CORES Basketball AND MORE Jingle all the way Back Bay cruiser — 17-foot vessel for rent. Mississippi boater registration card required. For prices, call 377-3160. Canoe trips — for more information, call 377-3160. Pontoon boat training — to rent a pontoon you must take a test and be certified. Call for information. Resale area — snacks, beverages, fishing and rental equipment, Mis-sissippi hunting and fishing licenses. Recreational vehicle, boat and trailer storage — $15 per month. For more information, call 377-3180. Marina park pavilions — to reserve, call 377-3160. Disk golf — distance, fairway, multi-purpose, putt and approach disks for sale or rent. Varsity home schedule Editor’s note: Home games played at Blake Fitness Center. For more information, call coaches Jesse Harris (men), 228-2577756 or 376-3398, or Richard Vincent (women), 228-343-9951. Jan. 5 — Eglin AFB, Fla., women 2 p.m., men 4 p.m. Feb. 9 — Mayport Naval Air Station, Fla., men only, noon. Bowling League standings Monday Budweiser (as of Dec. 3) Team Won Perry’s Refrigeration 57 Gannon’s Cannons 49.5 3 Steps Forward 47 Old Skool 46 Our Gang 46 Slater’s Shooters 43 Hoops Gang 43 Wayne’s World 40 Man On 40 Pin Heads 40 Endangered Species 37.5 Team 3 35 Ghost Riders 33 Unpredictables 32 Team 2 30 The Corner Pins 13 B-Busters 22 Martini’s 20 Lost 20 27.5 30 31 31 34 34 37 37 37 39.5 42 44 45 47 47 55 57 Lost 26 26 26 32 36 52 68 72 Lost 29 31 32 34 40 37 43 49 50 50 51 57 62 0 Lost 31.5 37 38.5 39.5 40 41 41.5 42 45 46 49 49 50 52 Paintball Photo by Adam Bond Nearly 200 runners turned out for Saturday’s Jingle Bell 5-kilometer run at marina park co-sponsored by the 81st Services Division and Gulf Coast Running Club. For results, see “Running” section of this page. Barb’s Boys Team 2 Team 15 Friends 38.5 38.5 37 33 52.5 52.5 54 58 Lost 24 24 28 35 38 42 46 46 46 46 38 47 48 48 58 82 Logo apparel — wear your college logo clothing on Saturdays and get $1 off shoe rental. Wear Mississippi Sea Wolves apparel anytime and get $1 off shoe rental. Open play on league nights — first come, first served. For lane availability, call 377-2817. Youth special — ages 17 and younger, $1.50 game. Open bowling — for days and times, call 377-2817. Lunch and bowl — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays. Bowl free with purchase of a lunch combo or buffet. Tuesdays — teenagers bowl for $5. Ten lanes available. Nonprior service students special — 5-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, all nonprior service students bowl for $1.50 game including shoe rental. Glow bowling — 9 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Hurricane alley, fundraisers — for more information, call 377-2817. more information, call 377-3308. Shaolin pentjak silat — 7-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, all ages. $65 month. Striking, kicking, grappling, weapons and internal energy; sash ranking system. Pukulan pencak silat tempur — 6-7 p.m. Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays. $65 month. Closequarters combat class; used for personal protection. Mixed martial arts — 8-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays. $65 month; muay thai, western boxing, kung fu, wrestling, judo and jujitsu. Women’s self defense — 6-7 p.m. Wednesdays. $25 month. Mental, physical and tactical training. Paintball course — open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays for recreational play. Group play by reservation only, compressed work schedule Fridays and Sundays. For more information, call 377-3160. Running Female Overall — Lindsay Raybourn, Gulf Coast Running Club, 20 minutes, 35 seconds. Ages 10 and under — Alexandra Raybourn, GCRC, 45:29. 11-17 — Katie Bodin, GCRC, 21:03. 18-29 — Rebecca Miller, GCRC, first, 22:57; Christine Winklejohn, second, 23:15; Jen Lepper, 81st Aerospace Medicine Squadron, third, 25:17. 30-39 — Jennifer Plante, spouse of Nick Plante, public affairs, first, 21:39; Jacqueline Sasaki, spouse of Geoffrey Sasaki, 81st Medical Operations Squadron, second, 23:07; Katie Tyszko, GCRC, third, 23:57. 40-49 — Laura Vganges, GCRC, first, 28:42; Annette Owens, 338th Training Squadron, second, 28:58; Archae Laubmieir, GCRC, 29:06. Thursday Federal Intramural (as of Nov. 22) Team Won 332nd TRS 64 Team 3 64 85th EIS 60 Team 5 53 Team 4 50 Team 14 46 81st TRSS 42 338th TRS 42 403rd Rolling Thunder 42 81st CPTS 42 81st MSS 42 GCCS Squad 41 403rd MXS 40 Misfits 40 Team 10 30 Ghosts 6 Tuesday Hospital Mixed (as of Nov. 27) Team Won Bed Buddies 54 Drug Dealers 54 Radiology Renegades 54 Pediattack 48 Pill Pushers 44 Team 6 28 Team 7 4 Team 8 0 Wednesday Mixed (as of Dec. 5) Team Clyde’s Team Jokers Wild Oceans Eleven Hang Chucky 3DR Ichiban 70s Plus MUDD 2 Old 2 Bowl Neighbors + 1 Misfits Lucky Strikes Team 13 Team 14 (as of Dec. 6) Team 6-Pack Team 16 Team 5 Delema Team 12 Freda’s Kids Team 1 Dummys Dummies 2 Bees & a D The Very Best Amy’s Bunch Team 13 Full Speed Guys and Dolls Won 62 60 59 57 51 47 48 42 41 41 40 34 22 0 Won 59.5 54 52.5 51.5 51 50 49.5 49 46 45 42 42 41 39 Outdoor recreation Big buck contest — during December, bring in a deer head with most points and win a $150 savings bond. Points calculated by placing ring on the antler; if antler supports the ring, it’s considered a point. December fish of month — weigh in largest speckled trout for the month and win $100 savings bond. Wet slip fees — monthly, boats more than 32 feet, $3.75 per foot; less than 32 feet ,$2.50 per foot. Overnight, $5 per boat. Deep sea fishing trips — nonworking Fridays and Sundays aboard the Keesler Dolphin II. $60 per person includes everything you need to fish. Payment due upon reservation. Minimum 10, maximum 22 people. For reservation, call 377-3160. Deep sea fishing private charter — rent Dolphin II, $700 for first six people, $35 each additional person Mondays-Thursdays, $40 weekends and holidays. $350 deposit required. December special — Tuesday through Dec. 20, 10 percent discount on fishing equipment. Back Bay fishing trip — Saturday. $15 per person. Maximum eight people. For more information, call 377-3160. Friday Mixed (as of Nov. 30) Team Lady and the Tramps Team 3 Pin Busters Team 10 Harry’s Team 3 Guys and A Babe Pin Pals Sandbaggers Jax Hax Dreamers Won Lost 55 29 55 29 53 31 53 31 40 44 38 46 37 47 33 51 31 53 25 59 Fitness centers Walk your way through the holidays — continues through December. Participants turn in log books Jan. 2-3. Medal ceremony and 1-mile walk, 11 a.m. Jan. 10, Crotwell Track. Free fitness classes — step aerobics, turbo-core, spin/cycle, slo-robics, boxing workout and fencing at Dragon Fitness Center. For more information, call 377-2907. Male Overall — Kyle Lewis, GCRC, 15:54. 10 and under — Scott Barnes, GCRC, 23:28. 11-17 — Nick Goff, GCRC, 19:56. 18-29 — Jake Rhyner, GCRC, first, 17:15; Jeremy Schlaubach, Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., second, 18:47; Nick Vanni, 81st Security Forces Squadron, third, 19:40. 30-39 — Jeremy Gorline, chapel, first, 17:51; Mike Brown, second, 18:56; Matt Henigin, spouse of Naomi Henigin, 336th TRS, third, 18:56. 40-49 — Dave Orr, 2nd Air Force, first, 19:34; Barry Newman, 81st Training Wing, second, 19:39; Gerald Cross, 335th TRS, third, 20:42. 50 and above — Bill Gasparini, GCRC, GCRC, first, 20:30; Ed Wheeler, GCRC, second, 21:17; Patrick Cavanaugh, 338th TRS, third, 25:55. Thursday Retired Seniors Mixed Other Birthday party package — available 1:30-3 p.m. or 3:30-5 p.m. Saturdays; $8.95 per child includes food package and 1 1/2 hours of bowling including shoes. Birthday child is free and receives a Gaude Lanes T-shirt. Reservations required. January — open 1-7 p.m. Sundays. Registrations accepted starting Jan. 4 for Family Have-aBall League, 2 p.m. Sundays for 12 weeks starting Jan. 27. For more information, call 377-2817. Golf Course open — 7 a.m. to dusk daily. For tee times, call 377-3832. Pro shop — open 7 a.m. to dusk daily. Limited merchandise available. Driving range — 40 balls, $2. Golf lessons — $25 for 30 minutes. For appointment, call 424-0479. Martial arts Editor’s note: Classes at Vandenberg Community Center. For pg29-31.qxd 12/13/2007 11:28 AM Page 1 D IGEST GRADUATIONS First Term Airman Center Class 07-23 81st Medical Operations Squadron — Airman Kyle McGrath; Airman 1st Class Michael Romero. 81st Medical Support Squadron — Airman Basic Anne Bell; Airman 1st Class Kiley Pederson. 81st Mission Support Squadron — Airman Basic Iris Franklin. 81st Security Forces Squadron — Airmen 1st Class Jordan Brown, John Rice, Carla Scott and Stephen Showmaker. 81st Surgical Operations Squadron — Airmen 1st Class Manuel Botero, Tyler Green, Chauntoyia Johnson, Amanda Merrifield 81st Training Wing — Airman Basic Justin Moore. 81st Transportation Squadron — Airman Shacoya Pittman; Airman 1st Class Larico Brownlee. Parsons, Dustin Read, Garrett Rhodes, Adam Rivera, Joel Seda, Nicholas St. Marie, Joseph Stone, Michael Thompson, Jody Winnett and Mark Wojdylo; Senior Airmen Michael Beauman, William Eichenberger, Alexis Galatis, Nicholas Jenks, Joseph Neier, John Tillery and Ronald Wickham; Staff Sgts. Donald Adkins, Ryan Broman, Michael Forte, Michael Furlow, Henry Gatpandan, Zachary Hibbert, Matthew Hull, Donald Jenkins, Sam Maniche, Manuel Sanchez, William Simmons and Robert Wallace; Tech. Sgts. Frankie Acfalle, Brian Achen and Jason Hammonds. SHUTTLE SCHEDULE 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays Minutes after hour :00 :30 :01 :31 :02 :32 :04 :34 :06 :36 :08 :38 :09 :39 :11 :41 :12 :42 :13 :43 :14 :44 :15 :45 :16 :46 :17 :47 :18 :48 :19 :49 :20 :50 :21 :51 :22 :52 Bus stop 332nd TRS, Building 6957 338th TRS, Building 6965 Welch Auditorium AAFES Furniture Store Jones/Bryan/Hewes Hall at gazebo Thomson Hall New Cody Hall Supply, civil engineering Rental store Shaw House Old base exchange McBride Library Credit union, Blake Fitness Center Medical center, Tyer House Sablich Center Dental clinic Allee and Wolfe Halls Base operations Hangar 4 334th TRS Air traffic control operations training flight — Airmen Basic William Bennet, Kevin Brothers, Mariah Chandler, Michael Clay, David Comeford, Lee Davis, Kyle Gibson, Rachel Gifford, Raymond Griffin, Ashley Heidel, Lee McClintic, Charles Quackenbush, Nathan Scheper and Kristina Zacherl; Airmen Ryan Sjurson and Kenneth Wagner; Airmen 1st Class Bryan Bentley, Nathan Day, Joshua Hawthorne, Joshua Mayorga, Alika Parish, Molly Piepenburg, Jacob Rhyner, Garie Routhieaux and Jeremy Sebesta; Senior Airmen Thomas Mickells and Frankie Perez; Staff Sgts. Michael Brody and Bryan Hunt; Capt. Eftichios Charalampakis. Airfield management apprentice course — Airman Basic Ryan Sofranko; Airman Adam Stelmack; Airman 1st Class Nathan Beaudoin; Master Sgts. Brian Rook, Philip Frieh and Brenda Stout; Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Nelson. Command post apprentice course — Airman Basic Brittany Grisham; Airman Darren Adams; Airmen 1st Class Kathryn Abbott, Jonathan Borought, Bret Beeler, Paul Hewitt, Amanda Kelly, Eric Landis and Nicole Nadeau; Senior Airman Joseph Herron; Staff Sgts. Levitica Byington, Michelle Helton, Justin Kelley, William Lovering, Timothy McCray, Neal Strawn and Gary Washburn; Tech. Sgts. Kristie Brown, Rebecca Sepeda and Jason Spradley. HONORS Student honor roll 332nd Training Squadron Electronic principles — Airmen Basic Anthony Acuri, Julia Alarcon, James Alesch, Evan Beck, Jeanine Bell, Corey Benford, Kenneth Chandler, Ashley Conner, Steven Cooper, Jason Davis, Jamie Donelson, John England, Chad Enzenroth, Jacob Epperly, Amy Faiman, Martin Figueroa, Javier Garcia, Andrew Gerdes, Jared Hahn, Matthew Hayes, Lindsay Hilliard, Troy Howard, Alexander Johnson, Andrew Knippenberg, Saqben Lienbaugh, Nathaniel Locke, Robert Morris, Adam Orona, Christopher Rohach, Zachary Rossiter, Dustin Schings, Mario Smith, Marlena Supina, David Thurlow, Kurtis Vallee, Jacob Vickrey, Clayton Wing and Jonathan Zuraff; Airmen Glenn Barnett, Drew Bellah, Richard Bure, Shawn Crowley, Brandon Jennings, Thomas Lenga, Cody McMahan and Erin Miller; Airmen 1st Class Stephen Agnew, Rober Bounthisane, Carrie Boyle, Steve Burks, Escamillio Davis, Samuel Edison, Adam Francis, Timothy Heiden, Caleb Hill, Dylan Hughes, Nicholas McCollum, Joseph Moran, Joseph Narcisse, Justin Technical training route 5:10-5:37 a.m. weekdays Minutes after hour :10 :12 :14 :16 :18 :20 :21 :25 :28 :33 :34 :36 :37 Bus stop Building 5025 Building 5022 Shaw House Muse Manor Tyer House TLQ east side 2000 block TLQ east side of Locker House 332nd TRS Welch Auditorium Thomson/Dolan/Cody Halls McClellan Hall Allee/Wolfe Halls Stennis Hall/Weather 335th TRS Comptroller training flight — Airmen Basic Gregory Hriczo, Valeria Luna, Evan Poster and Ashlyn Ross; Airmen Ymir Eboras, Alison Eredita and Simon Lee; Airmen 1st Class Casey Brockway, Sharon Cross and Matthew Ritchie; Staff Sgt. Megan Mork; Tech. Sgts. Joey Lease and Tamra O’Neal. Personnel apprentice course — Airman Basic Matthew Phillips; Airmen 1st Class Ashley Adams, Andre Bolden, Amanda Kelley, Amber Ruark and Mary Williams; Staff Sgt. Cassie Osborn. Weather training flight — Airmen David Bonnette, David Calderon, Jerry Hinton, Shane Ryan, Joanna Patterson, Jacquelyn Payn and Kayla Schock; Marine Pfc. Blaine Moore; Airmen 1st Class Rudy Belew, Thomas Brainard, Matthew Gates, Zachary Hilton, Shayna Moratt, Stephen Shannon, Joseph Trudel, Lester Washington, Joshua Wargo, Megan Warren, Nathan Wesley and Sarah Woehl; Marine Lance Cpl. Christen Weaver; Marine Sgt. Darryl Matulevich; Staff Sgts. Stacey Huffman, Michael Relyea and Gary Tinkes; Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Montenegro. C HAPEL S ERVICES Editor’s note: For more information, call 377-2520. Prior-service students lodged off base Morning pickup from hotels north of Keesler — 5 a.m., Red Carpet Inn; 5:10, Travel Inn; 5:15, Beaujolais Villas; 5:20, Suburban Inn and Super 8. Afternoon pickup to return to hotels north of Keesler — 3:30 and 5:30 p.m., street side of Hewes Hall for Bryan, Jones, Hewes and Garrard Halls; 3:33 and 5:33, Cody Hall bus stop for Hangar 3, Thomson, Cody and Dolan Halls; 3:36 and 5:36, E Street side of McClelland Hall; 3:38 and 5:38, back side of Allee Hall for 7-level building, weather training center and Allee, Wolfe, and Stennis Halls; 3:41 and 5:41, front of Muse Manor. Wait at the main entrance of hotels for pickup. Allow a five to 10 minute window on arrival time. Traffic in the local area impacts base taxi times. Call 377-2432 for transportation needs for classes starting after 6:30 a.m. or for service to hotels not listed. Editor’s note: Duty passengers have priority over “space available” riders. Schedule may be impacted by increased official operations or severe weather. Those who are physically challenged, have excess baggage, medical appointments at off-base hospitals or clinics or unable to ride the base shuttle, call 377-2432 for the base taxi. For more information, call 377-2430. Until further notice, weekend shuttle service isn’t available. Taxi service is available on an “as needed” basis. Protestant Sunday worship Larcher Chapel traditional service......................8:30 a.m. Triangle Chapel contemporary worship service...10:30 a.m. Triangle Chapel gospel service.....................................Noon Roman Catholic Sunday Mass Triangle Chapel.............................................................9 a.m. Weekday Mass Medical Center chapel....................................................11:15 a.m. 336th TRS Communications-computer systems training flight — Airmen Basic Franklin Ansu, Yelita Crus-Cababa, Anela Forte, Nathanael Mathews, Christopher Reynolds, Steven Roland, Jacob Urbschat-Satterfield, Harmony Williams and Kyle Young; Airmen Courtney Coulson, Brittany Harris, Andrea Olomon and Travis Rich; Airmen 1st Class Justin Burget, Johnny Garnett, Derek Hale, Austin Heller, William Lyon, Melissa Maniace, Nathannel Matthews, Larry Morales, Michael Norton, Taj Preciado, Philip Spadaro, William Swanson, Ellery Terpening, Julia Tovar, Matthew Vandermolen, Katharine Vogel, Christopher Wade and Roy Yeomans; Senior Airmen Ashley Andrew and Jacqueline Lohn; Staff Sgt. Rodney Dixon; Senior Master Sgt. Hahad Al Harbi. Islamic Building 2003 — prayer five times daily; Salaat ulJummah congregational prayer, noon Friday. For more information, call 377-2520 or 0327. Latter-Day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — student group service, 2 p.m. Sundays, Triangle Chapel. For more information, call 396-5274 or 1-616-881-1994. Please see Digest, Page 30 pg29-31.qxd 12/13/2007 11:28 AM Page 2 Digest, from Page 29 Communications and information flight — Airmen Basic Donald Pucciariello, Christopher Randall and Joshua Story; Airmen Saunder Simmonds and Justin Wregglesworth; Airmen 1st Class Mathieu Bargas, Bryan Behr, Daniel Beslick, Cary Steele, Geoffrey Estes, Michael Fowler, Kevin Glynn, Brandon Hamilton, Aaron Lovely, Gregory Lystra, Jason McIntosh, Philip Newquist, Jacob Palmer, Luke Sanders, Andrew Stuhlmiller, James Walker, Ian White and Benjamin Wilkie; Senior Airmen Joshua Bartholomew, Bryant Marzan, Albin Quitoriano, Christina Wolf and Ronald Wood; Staff Sgts. Kendall Bearden, Jason Crossley, James Griffis, Honorio Moya, Damian Scott and Benjamin Willock; Capt. Ahmed Youssef; Maj. Aamir Abro. Private sector resume writing — 1-3:30 p.m. Jan. 7, Room 151, Hangar 2. Bring a classified ad for a job in a career area in which you’re interested. Be prepared to stay for entire class. Open to anyone who has access to Keesler; class size limited to 30. To register, call 377-2179. DINING HALL MENUS Today Lunch — pork chops with mushroom gravy, braised liver with onions, fried fish, hush puppies, rissole potatoes, rice, gravy, broccoli, peas and carrots, corn, fruit salad, potato salad, cream of broccoli soup, chicken chili, cheeseburger soup, buffalo wings and roast beef subs. Dinner — baked chicken, pepper steak, pasta primavera, mashed potatoes, rice, gravy, mixed vegetables, fried okra, green beans, potato salad, fruit salad, cream of broccoli soup, cheeseburger soup, chicken chili, buffalo wings and roast beef subs. Arts and crafts center Multicraft shop Thursday night specials — 4:30-7:30 p.m. Today, airmen discount night, ornaments, Santa mugs, cookies and cider. Minimal fee for projects. Family day — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Holiday ceramic painting, fold Santa napkins, make almond bark candy and dip pretzels. Complimentary cider and hot chocolate. Minimal fee for projects. One-stroke painting with acrylics — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Painting strokes for all decorative materials; technique can be used on furniture to scrapbooks. Karen Ray shares secrets of loading the brush. Class doesn’t require pre-painting experience. $32 including project and paint. Ceramic firing — deadline Saturday for pickup by Dec. 21. Friday Lunch — shrimp scampi, beef stew, turkey, egg noodles, rice, gravy, corn on the cob, cauliflower, collard greens, three-bean salad, chicken and wild rice soup, French onion soup, chili, barbecue pork sandwich and burritos. Dinner — chili macaroni, barbecue chicken, fried catfish, potato wedges, Spanish rice, gravy, fried cabbage, carrots, broccoli, pasta salad, three-bean salad, chicken and wild rice soup, French onion soup, chili, barbecue pork sandwich and burritos. 338th TRS Ground radar flight — Airman Basic David Jewell; Airmen 1st Class Gary Abadian, Clinton Doriocourt, Nathaniel Kearn, Carlos Lopez-Hernandez and Alberto Padilla; Senior Airmen Benjamin Brown and Charles Stoy; Master Sgt. Troy Mitchell. Ground radio flight — Airmen Basic Daniel Vrabel and Alyssa Wetzel; Airmen Jason Jewell, Nelson Miles, Robert Schievelbein and Christopher White; Airmen 1st Class Daniel Balcarcel, Christopher Bell, Richard Bynum, Bradley Childers, Brandon Collado, Michael Diggs, Andrew Hill, Randall Howell, Dustin Jones, Erin Kavulich, Jeffrey Landers, Brett Raynes and Michael Shea; Senior Airmen Michael Boyce, Brandon Hill and Christopher Marx; Staff Sgts. David Alexander, Brian Bennett and Bryan Massey; Tech. Sgts. Michael Lyons and Donald Moore. Wood shop Advanced intarsia — 10 a.m. Saturday. $20 including materials and tool use. A new project each month. Call to register. Folding wood bench project — sign up now for January class. Saturday Lunch — baked chicken, Swedish meatballs, creole shrimp, mashed potatoes, rice, gravy, creamed corn, asparagus, steamed squash, fruit salad, kidney bean salad, clam chowder, chicken chili and chicken nuggets. Dinner — baked fish, knockwurst, Chinese five-spice chicken, potatoes, rice pilaf, gravy, stir-fry vegetables, baked beans, spinach, fruit salad, kidney bean salad, clam chowder, chili and chicken nuggets. Engraving shop Gift suggestions — personalize an assortment of office accessories or put a photo on a travel mug for a special gift. Auto hobby shop Winterize your vehicle — check antifreeze before holiday trips; pick up free checklist. Free auto care briefing — 4:30-6 p.m. Dec. 20. Come with friend, spouse or teen driver. Pick up hints and advice before traveling or prepare for do-it-yourself repairs. Classes — preregister now. Shop — open use. Qualified mechanics — can assist with vehicle maintenance. Oil collection site — for personal vehicles. 24-hour coin-operated car wash — wash, rinse, wax system, towelettes, Armorall and vacuum station. Vehicle resale lot — one block west of Larcher Boulevard on Tingle Street north of the 81st Security Forces Squadron building. Register at multi-craft shop. Registration, license and proof of insurance required. To place a car on the lot, call 377-2821. Sunday Lunch — oven fried fish, spareribs, chicken breast parmesan, macaroni and cheese, O’Brien potatoes, gravy, peas, sweet potatoes, broccoli combo, German coleslaw, tomato salad, chicken tortilla soup, baked potato chowder, chili and cheese pizza. Dinner — stir-fry beef with broccoli, turkey nuggets, pork chop suey, sauteed mushrooms and onions, baked potatoes, rice pilaf, gravy, corn on the cob, green beans, German coleslaw, tomato salad, chicken tortilla soup, baked potato chowder, chili and cheese pizza. CLASSES Airman Leadership School Class 08-1 — graduates today. Class 08-2 — Jan. 4-Feb. 13. Keesler NCO Academy Class 08-2 — Jan. 8-Feb. 15. Monday Lunch — beef pot roast, baked stuffed fish, roast pork loin, potatoes, rice, gravy, cauliflower combo, succotash, green beans, cucumber/onion salad, chicken dumpling soup, minestrone, chili with beans, grilled sausage and steak and cheese subs. Dinner — spaghetti with meat sauce, loin strip steak, turkey, baked potatoes, pea and pepper rice, gravy, squash, carrots, broccoli, sauteed mushrooms and onions, macaroni salad, cucumber/onion salad, chicken dumpling soup, minestrone, chili with beans, grilled sausage and steak and cheese subs. Airman and family readiness center Federal resume writing — 9-11:30 a.m. Dec. 17, Room 151, Hangar 2. Bring federal job announcement for career area in which you’re interested, including qualifications, educational requirements, responsibilities and application procedures. Be prepared to stay for entire class. Open to anyone who has access to Keesler; class size limited to 30. To register, call 377-2179. Chapel All classes are held at the Triangle Chapel Annex through May. For more information, call 377-2520. Catholic religious education — after 9 a.m. Sunday Mass. Protestant Sunday School — 10:30-11:30 a.m. for preschool, elementary, teens and adults. Men’s prayer breakfast — 9 a.m. to noon second Saturday of the month. Women’s prayer breakfast — 10 a.m. to noon first Saturday of the month. Tuesday Bible study — 6-7:30 p.m. at the Haven. COAST AREA TRANSIT Keesler Express — runs between the Triangle and Edgewater Mall. Bus service begins from the base, 5:508:30 p.m. work days, 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. compressed work schedule Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sundays. The route is limited to specific pickup and dropoff points: Minutes after hour, bus stop :30 Hercules Street bus stop :32 Welch Auditorium :45 Pass Road Wal-Mart :54 Arrive Edgewater Mall :00 Depart Edgewater Mall :09 Pass Road Wal-Mart :22 Welch Auditorium :24 Hercules Street bus stop The regular adult fare is $1. An unlimited one-day pass is $5 and one-month pass is $45. For more information, call 896-8080. Tuesday Lunch — teriyaki chicken, veal parmesan, baked fish, rice, parsley buttered potatoes, gravy, fried cabbage, succotash, steamed carrots, macaroni salad, cottage cheese salad, beef pot roast soup, vegetable soup, chicken chili, sloppy joes and roast beef subs. Dinner — country captain chicken, meatloaf, turkey a la king, rice, mashed potatoes, gravy, tempura vegetables, mustard greens, okra tomato gumbo, macaroni salad, cottage cheese salad, beef pot roast soup, vegetable soup, chicken chili, sloppy joes and roast beef subs. McBride Library Fax special — faxes 50 cents a page this month. Free wireless Internet available — check at circulation desk. National tie month — tie display. Data base reference orientations — 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Tours/orientations — call 377-2827. CLUBS AND CENTERS Vandenberg Community Center Editor’s note: All events, except dances, are open to all Keesler personnel. Door decoration contest — judging today; prizes for first, second and third place. Winners announced Friday. Wednesday Lunch — Mexican baked chicken and pork chops, beef fajitas, jalapeno cornbread, refried beans, corn, gravy, pinto beans, peas and carrots, cole slaw, garden cottage cheese salad, pasta fagioli soup, chicken tortilla soup, vegetarian chili, cheese fishwich and cheese pizza. Dinner — lemon-herb chicken, sweet and sour pork, jambalaya, scalloped potatoes, rice, gravy, cauliflower combo, Mexican corn, Mexican coleslaw, frijole salad, chicken noodle soup, cream of potato soup, chili, cheese fishwich and Monte Cristo sandwich. Please see Digest, Page 31 pg29-31.qxd 12/13/2007 11:28 AM Page 3 Digest, from Page 30 Holiday gift wrapping week — through Friday. Wrapping paper, tape and labels. Project Elf Vandy — registration Monday to 5 p.m. Wednesday. Commanders and first sergeants sign up people working after 6 p.m. Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day. Pick up treat bags 2-4 p.m. Dec. 24. Bah Humbug day — Dec. 21. Get into the holiday spirit by viewing the center's decorations; 6 p.m. special showing of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" and free popcorn. Trip to Bellingrath Gardens Christmas of Lights — Dec. 28. Nonprior service students only. Free New Year's Eve party — 8 p.m. to midnight. Nonprior service students only. Football on the big screen — noon Sundays, 6:30 p.m. Mondays. Free popcorn. Karaoke — 6 p.m. Thursdays before working Fridays. Pool tournaments — 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. Movie night — 6 p.m. Wednesdays. New releases, popcorn. Dances — 6 p.m. to midnight Thursdays before compressed work schedule Fridays, and Fridays and Saturdays. $3. TRANSITIONS Workshops, briefings Congressionally-mandated pre-separation briefings — counseling by airman and family readiness center for activeduty military members of any branch of service who’ll receive honorable discharges and no extra transition benefits. Briefings are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. for personnel who are separating and 2:30 p.m. for those who are retiring. Individuals with less than honorable discharges, receiving extra benefits such as second enrollment opportunity in Montgomery GI Bill, Reserve or Guard personnel coming off 180-day deployments or entering the disability system must call 377-2179 for individual counseling appointment. Until the center moves back to Sablich Center, briefings held in Room 151, Hangar 2. Transition assistance program — planned dates, which are subject to change, are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 14-17, Feb. 11-14, March 10-13, April 14-17, May 19-22, June 16-19, July 14-17, Aug. 11-14, Sept. 15-18, Oct. 20-23, Nov. 17-20 and Dec. 8-11. For military personnel who are 12 months or less from separation or 24 months or less from retirement, and Department of Defense civilians; spouses welcome. Military members should complete congressionally-mandated preseparation counseling in advance. Attire is business casual — no uniforms, jeans, shorts or T-shirts. Until the airman and family readiness center moves back to Sablich Center, programs held in Room 151, Hangar 2, room 151. To sign up, call 377-2179. Military retirement benefit seminars — planned dates, subject to change, are 8-10:30 a.m. today, Jan. 10, Feb. 7, March 6, April 3, May 1, June 5, July 10, Aug. 7, Sept. 4, Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4. Tricare, Survivor Benefit Plan, movement and storage of household goods, military and retired pay issues and other topics covered. Spouses encouraged to attend. To sign up, call 377-2179. Until the airman and family readiness center moves back to Sablich Center, briefings held in Room 151, Hangar 2. Transition assistance program workshop — to preregister or for more information, call 377-2179. Retirement briefings — intended for those with less than a year until retirement. For more information, call 377-2179. Southern Region Military and Civilian Job Fair — http://www.mesc.state.ms.us/jobfair. New military spouse career center — http://www.military. com/spouse. Extensive job board including public and private sectors. For more information, call Vince Patton, 703-2690154, or e-mail at email@example.com. Military Connection — online resources database for military family members seeking civilian employment at http:// www.military connection.com. America’s Job Bank — http://www.ajb.dni.us. MEETINGS Editor’s note: To list time, place and contact for organization meetings, call 377-3837 or e-mail KN@keesler.af.mil. African-American Heritage Committee — 3:30 p.m. second Tuesday of the month, Room 109, Taylor Logistics Building. For more information, call Paulette Powell, 377-2270, or Kurt Higgins, 377-1390. Air Force Sergeants Association — 7 a.m. third Tuesday of the month, Live Oak Dining Hall. For more information, call Master Sgt. Kat Hataway, 377-5566, or visit the group’s Web site, http://www.afsa652.org. Air Force Sergeants Association Auxiliary — 6 p.m. third Tuesday of the month. For more information, call Michelle Foster, 273-4591 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Airmen Against Drunk Driving — 3:15 p.m. first Tuesday of the month, Vandenberg Community Center second floor conference room. For more information, call Tech. Sgt. Brian Yelton, 377-0167, or e-mail email@example.com. At Eze Toastmasters Club — 11 a.m. Tuesdays, Building 1101 conference room. For more information, call Dewi Clark, 377-2714 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Fred Blache, 377-1048, or visit http:// www.toastmasters.org. Company grade officers council — meets first Wednesday of the month. For time and location, call Chaplain (Capt.) Michael Howard, 377-4859. Keesler Amateur Radio Club — 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Hangar 3, Room 215. For more information, call Staff Sgt. Justin Meyer, 377-4149 or 324-5806, or e-mail justin.meyer2@ keesler.af.mil. Keesler Christian Home Educators Association — 7-9 p.m. second Tuesday of the month, September-May, Larcher Chapel. For more information, call Heather Melancon, 8318895. Keesler Spouses Club — second Tuesday of the month. For time and place, call Gretchen Gorline, 374-8024, or visit http:// www.KeeslerSpousesClub.com. Native American Heritage Committee — for more information, call R.I. Whiteside, 863-0479, or Capt. Elizabeth Taillon, 377-6242. Retired Enlisted Association Magnolia Chapter 81 — 6:30 p.m. second Thursday of the month, Vandenberg Community Center. For more information, call Larry McKean, 3773252 or 374-5922. Rising VI Association — 3:15 p.m. third Wednesday of the month; location varies. For more information, call Staff Sgt. Toyshaline Young, 377-0591, or Tech. Sgt. Jodi Evans, 3772835. Top III — meeting times and locations vary. For more information, call Master Sgt. Nicole Pearson, 377-6510. Tuskegee Airmen Inc., Col. Lawrence E. Roberts Chapter — 11 a.m. third Wednesday of the month, Katrina Kantina. For more information, call Glenda Mosby, 243-1992, gmosby1 @bellsouth.net, or Charles Bowers, 860-3665. Katrina Kantina Editor’s note: In the marina building overlooking Biloxi’s Back Bay. All ranks invited — open 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays. Snacks, beverages and music. Members only victory party — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. Free holiday lunch. Karaoke night — 5 p.m. Thursdays before compressed work schedule Fridays. Lunch specials — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays. $6 members, $8 nonmembers. Different menu each week. For menu information, call 377-2219. Taco Tuesdays — members get two tacos for $1, nonmembers pay $2. Catering — experts can assist with planning weddings, holidays, birthdays, official functions and other special occasions. Employment opportunities Career focus program for spouses — information on area employment opportunities, job Web sites, human resources contacts, temporary jobs, on-base listings and free training programs. Computer lab available for resume preparation or job search; located in Room 121, Hangar 2 (old Cody Hall). For an appointment, call Ron Bublik at the airman and family readiness center, 377-8592, or e-mail email@example.com. Air Force Reserve opportunities — for members separating within 180 days, call Master Sgt. Neil Sherman, 377-7116; visit Room 229, Hangar 2 or e-mail anthony.sherman@keesler. af.mil. Palace Chase — for information about how to apply for a program to attend college full time and work part time, call Master Sgt. Neil Sherman, 377-7116; visit Room 229, Hangar 2 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Junior ROTC — immediate employment opportunities for retired or retiring Air Force officers and noncommissioned officers. Those who retired within the past 10 years or are six months from retirement may qualify to be an instructor. To apply or for more information, go to http://www.afoats.af.mil and select “AFJROTC” or call Jo Alice Talley, toll free 1-866235-7682, extension 7742; DSN 493-7742, or commercial (334) 953-7742. Youth center Annual membership — $25, ages 9 and older. Discounts on programs, classes and sports. Christmas camp — Monday through Dec. 21, ages 6-12. Pre-registration required. Breakfast, lunch and snacks served. Teen Friday night Christmas lights — 7-11 p.m. Friday. Super Saturday “Christmas skating on ice” — 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Cooking club — 4-7 p.m. Tuesdays, ages 9 and older. Art club — 4-7 p.m. Mondays, ages 9 and older. Learn about arts and complete a project; maximum eight people. Sewing club — 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, ages 9 and older. Learn basic hand stitch and how to sew on buttons and complete a project; maximum six people. FitFactor Club — 4:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, ages 9 and older. Youth work toward prizes in various program. Open recreation — 4-7 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, ages 9 and older. Friday night frenzy — 6:30-11 p.m. ages 13-17. Games, skating, music, snacks. $5 members, $7 nonmembers. Super Saturdays — 1-5 p.m. Saturday, ages 6-12. Assorted activities. Classes — 9 a.m. to noon, Saturdays ballet, tap and jazz, gymnastics and piano. Call for information on karate. Web sites Defense Manpower Data Center — http://www. dmdc.osd.mil/dors or http://www.dmdc.osd.mil/tbb. Air Force Blue to Corporate Gray — http://www.blue togray.com. Air Force Federal Employment Resume and Information — http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/resweb. Civilian job certification and licensing requirements for military personnel and veterans — http://www.dol. gov/dol/vets. Department of Veterans Affairs — http://www.vba.va. gov/efif/index.htm; for members returning from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. MISCELLANEOUS Movies Editor’s note: Movies are at Welch Auditorium. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1.50 for children for regular features, and $2.50 for adults and $1 for children for matinees. For a recording about current features, call 377-6627. Friday — 6:30 p.m., American Gangster (R, 157 minutes). Saturday — 2 p.m., Martian Child (PG, 108 minutes); 6:30 p.m., Bee Movie (PG, 100 minutes). Sunday — 12:30 p.m., Fred Claus (PG, 116 minutes). TICKETS AND TRIPS Discounted tickets — for many attractions including Busch Gardens, Sea World, Universal Studios and Disney World in Florida. For price list, log on to http://www.keeslerservices.us. Information on area and out-of-state attractions — free brochures for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.