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News in Brief: Jan. 12, 2018

Published: 02:49PM January 11th, 2018

Joint Base Lewis-McChord has late-night firing over 3 weeks

Four infantry units and two Special Operations units on Joint Base Lewis-McChord will conduct day, evening and nighttime artillery and mortar training over the next three weeks.

• A unit will have 155 mm howitzer training Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• There will be late-night howitzer and mortar firing starting Wednesday at 6 a.m. to Jan. 19 at 4:30 p.m. Training will occur throughout daytime and nighttime hours.

Three units will take part in 120 mm mortar and 155 mm howitzer training on JBLM.

• Mortar training will also take place Jan. 23 at 6:40 a.m. to Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. Training will occur throughout daytime and nighttime hours.

Three different units will take part in 60 mm, 81 mm and 120 mm mortar training on JBLM.

• Mortar training will also take place Jan. 30 at 12:01 a.m. to Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m. Training will occur throughout daytime and nighttime hours.

A unit will take part in 60 mm, 81 mm and 120 mm mortar training on JBLM.

Increased levels of activity will be noticed throughout the training.

This is required training, which allows military members to practice and improve skills necessary during combat. As often as possible, JBLM conducts larger scale artillery firing and demolition training at the Yakima Training Center in an effort to minimize inconvenience for the surrounding communities. However, some training must take place on base.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Affairs

Air Force is no longer requiring Airmen’s first-year evaluations

Air Force officials announced Jan. 4 Enlisted Performance Reports are no longer required for regular Air Force Airmen in the grade of airman first class and below with less than 36 months time-in-service or Air Reserve component Airmen below the grade of senior airman.

This policy change supports Air Force senior leaders’ focus on revitalizing the squadron and saving Airmen time. It is intended to eliminate an unnecessary administrative requirement and empower frontline supervisors, raters and commanders to frequently engage with their Airmen face-to-face, said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, deputy chief of staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services.

Instead, the Air Force has additional means available to document an Airman’s performance and to ensure he or she is meeting the training, developmental and experiential skills required to perform as professional Airmen.”

Performance feedback and Airmen Comprehensive Assessments will still be required. Initial feedback sessions will occur within 60 days of raters taking over as supervisors and then every 180 days until an EPR occurs.

The removal of EPRs prior to promotion to senior airman will allow Airmen more time to learn their primary skills and missions before their performance is documented on an EPR, Grosso said.

All active-duty enlisted Airmen will receive their initial evaluation upon reaching their first March 31 static close-out date after either promotion to senior airman, or after completion of a minimum of 36 months time-in-service, regardless of grade, whichever occurs first.

All Air Force Reserve component enlisted Airmen will receive initial evaluations upon the first March 31 static close-out date as a senior airman.

Commanders still retain the option to complete a Directed By Commander evaluation to document substandard performance for those airmen first class and below any time after an Airman reaches 20 months time-in-service.

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Flight Academy program takes off to address aircrew shortage

Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC has launched a program aimed at potentially putting more pilots in the cockpits of military aircraft to help address the Air Force’s ongoing aircrew shortage.

Beginning in the summer of 2018, select Air Force JROTC cadets, who applied for a new Fight Academy scholarship ,will attend an accredited aviation program at one of six partnering universities to get a private pilot license.

The competitive application process started in fall 2017. The names of the initial 120 scholarship recipients from the more than 800 who applied will be released in early 2018.

The Flight Academy supports the Air Force Aircrew Crisis Task Force. The task force was tasked by the Air Force chief of staff to come up with new and innovative ways to address the service’s shortage of experienced aircrews. The task force is tackling the problem along seven lines of effort: requirements, accessions, production, absorption, retention, sortie production and industry collaboration.

Air Force JROTC leaders plan on collaborating with civilian aviation organizations, industry and others to provide partial funding for future Flight Academy scholarships. The scholarships pay for transportation, room and board, academics and flight hours required to potentially earn a private pilot license. The in-residence training typically lasts about seven to nine weeks.

The Air Force Junior ROTC cadets selected for the summer’s Flight Academy and the 250 planned for 2019 are but a drop in the large commercial and military pilot shortage bucket. Civilian airline industry experts project a demand for 117,000 new commercial pilots over the next 20 years. The Air Force is currently short of at least 1,500 pilots to fulfill its requirements.

Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., Public Affairs

Clover Park School District set to celebrate 90-year anniversary

Clover Park School District will hold a 90th anniversary celebration Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. Festivities will take place at Harrison Preparatory School, 9103 Lakewood Drive SW, in Lakewood.

The event will feature a program from the Lakewood Historical Society highlighting the beginnings of the school district, the district’s early leaders and the expansion and development of the district’s schools. The free event will also feature a variety of historical displays, a photo booth and refreshments.

Clover Park School District serves Joint Base Lewis-McChord. All alumni, current and former employees and Lakewood and JBLM community members are invited to attend.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Ben Miller at 253-583-5040 or bmiller@cloverpark.k12.wa.us.

Clover Park School District