Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole was honored and posthumously promoted to the rank of colonel during a Sept. 7 ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston. Cole was the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, a group of 80 Airmen led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle. The Airmen flew 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers from the USS Hornet April 18, 1942, en route to an air raid to attack Tokyo in World War II, after the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. While it only caused minor physical damage to mainland Japan, the mission boosted morale within the U.S. and signaled to Japan that the U.S. was not only ready to fight back, but willing to bring the fight to them if necessary, and strike the Japanese mainland.
Senior Master Sgt. Bartek Bachleda created a boom operator instructor platform design that was installed in a KC-135 at Altus AFB, Okla., in November 2019. Now, it has made it past initial operational capability and been issued a Time Compliance Technical Order by Air Force A4 Logistics to fully integrate its installation in all KC-135 aircraft. The design provides a more ergonomically correct and stable workstation and is scheduled to replace all KC-135 instructor platforms USAF-wide.
Maj. Rashida Brown, 341st Medical Group group-practice manager, recently completed the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program at Cornell University, where she learned more about fostering an inclusive environment and diversity. She is sharing what she learned to foster inclusion on base, as well as in the community, with events highlighting Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Pride Month.
Master Sgt. Steve Brooks was one of 13 additional chaplains and religious affairs Airmen sent to care for AMC Airmen fulfilling the Operation Allies Refuge mission. In the photo above, he shields a three-day-old baby’s eyes from the sun at Ramstein AB, Germany—the baby, born to Afghan evacuee parents at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, received phototherapy for a case of jaundice at the 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing’s Hangar 5 prior to boarding a flight.
Growing up in Egypt as a woman, a religious minority, and poor, Airman 1st Class Helbees Tawadrous didn’t see many options in life. But after moving near Ramstein Air Base in Germany, her Marine Corps veteran husband got a job with Stars and Stripes, and she was introduced to USAF. Seeing women in positions of authority and respect inspired her to enlist. Now, she’s a contracting specialist at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and hopes to become an officer.
Second Lt. Felix Zhang and Senior Airman Emily Hosoya are the only two members of the Air Force Reserve to be “Supra Coders,” having graduated from an intensive three-month course that teaches students to become full stack developers, who can perform front and back-end coding for developing software. The course is followed by a three-month internship with one of the Air Force’s innovation hubs. “All of our warfighting capabilities are reliant on software and communications,” said Zhang.
Master Sgt. Thomas Williams, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons loading noncommissioned officer in charge, received the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in a deployed location on Sept. 1, 2021. During a year-long deployment at Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan, Williams conducted 187 outside-the-wire missions mentoring the Afghan air force munitions squadron commander on munitions safety and personnel management.
Capt. Amber Hansen, commander of Global Activities Squadron Detachment 4 at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and Airman 1st Class Michael Mannozzi, who works in Religious Affairs at the 88th AB Wing Chaplain’s Office, were selected as the Air Force’s 2020 Male and Female Athletes of the Year. Hansen is an internationally ranked powerlifter, having qualified for U.S. Powerlifting Association elite status, while Mannozzi competed in the U.S. Olympic team trials as part of the 20-kilometer race walk.
Nadia Cain, the 16 year old daughter of Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, started a letter- writing campaign to thank Eglin AFB, Fla., veterans who served in Afghanistan. Within two weeks she had some 100 letters from middle schoolers ready for delivery. Cain dropped off the letters and worked with Eglin to distribute them to Airmen. SMSgt. Jeremy Holcomb received one, and said, “It warmed my heart receiving letters from students in our local community.” Cain said she hopes to get her own school involved in another letter-writing campaign.