First Female Airman Graduates Army's Ranger School

Travis AFB, CA -- 30 August 2019

Story by TSgt Liliana Moreno, 621st Contingency Response Wing Public Affairs

 

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Chelsey Hibsch made history by becoming the first female in the U.S. Air Force to graduate from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School Aug. 30 at Fort Benning, Georgia.


 

First Lt. Chelsey Hibsch, 821st Contingency Response Squadron, receives her Ranger tab after graduating from the U.S. Army Ranger School Aug. 30, 2019, at Fort Benning, Georgia. Hibsch became the first Air Force female in history to graduate the two-month course. (U.S. Army photo by John Tongret)

 

Hibsch is a security forces officer assigned to the 821st Contingency Response Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California.

Becoming a Ranger is no easy task. The two-month grueling course is designed to train military members on small unit tactics and instill combat leadership skills that empower members to make quick decisions in adverse situations.

“Lt. Hibsch represents the very best of our Air Force and Air Mobility Command – determined, innovative, and capable of breaking barriers,” said Col. Doug Jackson, 621st Contingency Response Wing commander. “Moreover, as evidenced by her completion of this rigorous training, she exhibits steadfast commitment to joint teams and partnerships. The entire 621st Contingency Response Wing is proud of Chelsey and her remarkable accomplishment.”

 Hibsch is no stranger to grueling competitions. Last year alone her Pacific Air Forces security forces team won the Advanced Combat Skills Assessment competition and took home the 2018 Air Force Defender Challenge title.

“These are the key tasks and skills we need to have confidence in as security forces members,” Hibsch said during an interview for the ACSA competition. “You’re going to fall back on the level of your training and this just goes to show how good our squadron’s been about training.”

Her dedication, teamwork and Airmanship pushed her to compete in the Ranger Assessment Course at Camp Bullis, Texas, which ultimately led her to enroll in the U.S. Army Ranger School.

According to the U.S. Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence, there are three distinct phases of Ranger School, called the Benning, Mountain and Swamp, which follow the crawl, walk and run training methodology.

In the Benning phase, students are assessed for physical stamina and mental toughness. It also establishes the tactical fundamentals required to become trained on squad operations and focus on ambush and recon missions, patrol base operations, and planning before moving on to platoon operations.

During Mountain phase, students receive instruction on military mountaineering tasks as well as techniques for employing squads and platoons for continuous combat patrol operation in a mountainous environment. The rugged terrain, severe weather, hunger, mental and physical fatigue and the emotional stress that students encounter afford them the opportunity to gauge their capabilities and limitations as well as those of their Ranger buddies.

Lastly, the Swamp phase continues to develop the students’ ability to lead small units on airborne, air assault, small boat, ship-to-shore, and dismounted combat patrol operations in a low intensity combat environment against opposing forces.

Hibsch is now one of the few elite females in the military who get to wear the coveted Ranger tab.

Capt. Alex Covey, 921st Contingency Response Squadron Defense Force commander, praised Hibsch for successfully completing Ranger School and said she will be a significant and positive addition, not only for the squadron, but for the Wing as a whole.

“The firsthand knowledge and tactical experience she is bringing back to her squadron will improve the way Security Forces develops and executes integrated base defense in support of Air Base Openings and Joint Task Force-Port Opening contingency operations,” Covey said. “I believe that Lt Hibsch’s specific training will bring both 821st and 921st Defenders to new heights as we continue to forward posture to deter and defeat future threats involving Contingency Response Airmen.”

Lt. Col. Christina Lee, 821st Contingency Response Squadron commander recognizes the historical milestone Hibsch has achieved as the first Air Force female to graduate Ranger School.

“This is a big moment for Lt Hibsch and her family,” said Lee. “Graduating Ranger School is an accomplishment that stands on its own. In Chelsey’s case, there’s more to the story that we should be unabashed about celebrating. Her place in history as the first Air Force female to graduate marks a positive culture change. She paves the way for what I know will be many more ahead. Our Squadron slogan is “Lead the Rest.” She lives those words in a way that makes all of us humble and proud. We look forward to having her home and back with her team of Contingency Response Airmen.”

“Hey dude, are you okay?”

FighterLine, 301st Fighter Wing PA, NAS Fort Worth, JRB, TX, April 2019

By Col. Mitchell Hanson, 301 FW/CC

Commander’s Corner

Chief Safley and I visited our security forces squadron at the U.S. Air Force Academy two weeks ago while they were conducting their annual tour training. The facilities were great, the backdrop was amazing and the training they accomplished was super. In two weeks, our SFS was able to complete training that would have taken 18 months to normally complete. They endured long days, austere field conditions, cold temperatures, snow, sleep deprivation, long briefs and debriefs, lots of critiques, and physical stress. Yet I still saw smiles on their faces, determination in their actions and motivation to get better. These are a group of men and women that will be defending our bases, kicking down doors, searching villages, rescuing airmen and will definitely be in harm’s way, we owe them a lot of gratitude.

On the day we visited, three fire teams departed their forward operating base with a plan to travel to an “objective” where they would encounter enemy forces (played by other SFS members). After they had begun this particular operation, their cadre injected a new mission--to rescue two pilots whose helicopter had crashed. I was asked to play one of the downed pilots along with SSgt Villanueva (“V-10”). We were dropped off at a site with the real wreckage of a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter, pretty realistic training in my opinion. As V-10 and I waited for the fire teams to find us, we hunkered down in the wreckage knowing that the enemy forces were also nearby and pretending to be injured. As the friendly fire teams approached, chaos ensued. We were surrounded by small and heavy machine gun fire, small arms fire, and smoke… all accompanied by lots of yelling and screaming. As all of this was going on, over my right shoulder someone starting yelling, “Hey dude, are you okay?” At first I didn’t realize he was yelling at me until the third or fourth time hearing it. When I finally realized it was me he was yelling at, I chuckled to myself at the thought of being called “dude” and answered back, “No, we’re hurt and need assistance.” We were eventually rescued and taken back into friendly territory, which marked the successful conclusion of that day’s exercise.

As I was walking back to the camp, I started thinking about what a great experience it was to be with our SFS and the “Hey dude, are you okay?” security forces member. Granted this was only training, but in a real world situation, he would have done the same thing--risk his life for mine. Not because of who I am or the rank I hold, but because I’m a fellow airmen who was in harm’s way. Think about that for a moment. Someone who doesn’t even know me is willing to risk their life for mine. Two of our core values-- Service before self and Excellence in all we do--could not have been more prevalent in that situation. The way that security forces watch out for one another is imperative to their mission; they must watch each other’s back, 24/7, in all conditions or the results could be catastrophic. This is the mindset that everyone in the 301st Fighter Wing should have--to look out for one another and have each other’s back. When a friend, a family member or a co-worker needs your help, you have to drop everything and render assistance. We are always fighting a battle; whether it’s in public or in private, at home, at work or on the battlefield. Watch each other’s back, take care of your co-worker, keep an eye out for one another and don’t forget to ask….”Hey dude, are you okay?”

Col. H

AFSFA Publishes Security Forces History Book Volume III

Watch our YouTube  video -- https://youtu.be/fBVK_wjP2XY

 

Dear Air Police, Security Police, & Security Forces Members:

Due to the continued interest in the Air Force Security Forces history, the Air Force Security Forces Association and M.T.Publishing Company have joined forces to publish a third edition history book for 2019. This third edition will make a perfect companion book for the first two and will contain additional history about the Air Force Security Forces with a section for your stories while serving, as well as a chapter for your personal biography. If your biography was in one of the other editions and you would like it to be in this one, it will be necessary for you to resubmit it along with two photos if possible - one while in the service and a current photo. You may use the same photos that were in the previous editions.

Your experience stories are encouraged for this third edition. These can be provided to the publisher free by simply writing an interesting story while serving as a AP, SP, or SF member in 500 words or less. You may also provide photos to go along with your article. All stories will be reviewed for content, possibly edited and published based on pages available for this chapter.

The volume will be:

• 9˝ x 12˝ Hardbound

• Min. 112 pages

• $84.00 (Leather Edition)

• $52.50 (Standard Edition)

Submitting Your Biography for the Volume III History Book ... by mail or electronically

Write your personal biography in 150 words or less, indicating your name, rank, place and date of birth, when inducted into the service, years served, duties, action while in the service, when discharged, awards/medals received, interesting stories as they relate to the Air Force Security Forces, family data, and what you are doing today. If you stay within the 150-word limit, it will cost nothing to participate. The cost for each word over the 150 limit is 15 cents. If your biography is over the limit, please remit a check for the extra words. Send your biography with two photos, if possible – one when you were in the service and a current photo. Do not send photocopies in place of photos, because they cannot be reproduced for use in the book. Biographies may be submitted without photographs. Please type your bio (double-spaced) on plain white paper or submit electronically in a text document. Do not embed photos into the text. Please send those separately. To ensure that all material is returned after publication, write your name, address and phone number on the back of all material submitted. Please send biographies and photos to M.T. Publishing Company, Inc., P.O. Box 6802, Evansville, IN 47719-6802.

You may also submit your biography on-line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Any digital photos must be scanned at 300 dpi for submission. Low resolution photos cannot be used for the book. If you have questions about scanning or submitting digital files, please contact us at 210-277-0448. In submitting photos, please include a caption on the back of the photo with the date and an explanation of who or what is depicted.  A book order is not required to submit material for possible inclusion in the publication.

See your latest AFSFA Security Forces Magazine for the order form.

VN War Commemoration to Conduct Interviews at AFSFA National Meeting

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration (50th Anniversary) will be conducting oral history interviews at the DoubleTree San Antonio Airport during the week of September 23-27. The mission of the Commemoration is to assist our Nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families, the fallen, those who were held as Prisoners of War, and those still listed as unaccounted for. The collection of video-recorded oral histories, which will be preserved for posterity in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, is a part of that effort. If you are interested in being interviewed by Mr. Joe Galloway, UPI Journalist and co-author of the book, "We Were Soldiers Once and Young," and his associates during this time, please contact Brian Kumnick by phone (703-409-9324) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Air Force Announces the 12 Outstanding Airmen of 2019

By Kat Bailey, AFPC Public Affairs, 23 July 2019

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas – Air Force officials have selected the service’s top enlisted members, naming the 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year for 2019.

An Air Force selection board at the Air Force’s Personnel Center considered 36 nominees who represented major commands, direct reporting units, field operating agencies and Headquarters Air Force. The board selected the 12 Airmen based on superior leadership, job performance and personal achievements.

Twelve Outstanding Airmen of the Year (alphabetically, by command of assignment when selected):

 

Master Sgt. Jahara A. Brown, Air Force Materiel Command, 78 SFS

Duty Title: Plans and Programs Superintendent

Organization: 78th Security Forces Squadron, Robins Air Force Base, GA

Home of Record: Atlanta, GA

Master Sergeant Jahara Brown directs 25 military and civilian personnel in developing and maintaining security plans for the protection of $18.7 billion in assets and 24,000 personnel. His expertise in law enforcement and security proved evident in his leadership of 85 personnel during 64 patrol responses that netted 32 criminals. While deployed as a combat arms program manager, he streamlined the movement of 1,500 weapons in 48-hours, aiding the success of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization air-strikes against Syria. A true wingman, Sergeant Brown sustained injuries during a vehicle rollover where he quickly reacted to save the lives of six other Airmen. Finally, Sergeant Brown mentored 420 Airmen during three TED talks cultivating an environment of ownership versus renter-ship.

◾Staff Sgt. Caryn N. Frederick, Air Force Reserve Command

◾Senior Master Sgt. Sylvetris S. Hlongwane, Pacific Air Forces

◾Senior Airman Gary G. Jeffrey III, Air Education and Training Command

◾Senior Master Sgt. Andrew J. Kehl, Air Combat Command

◾Technical Sgt. Inna A. Lvova, Air Force Space Command

◾Senior Master Sgt. Philip B. McAlpin Jr, Air Force Global Strike Command

◾Technical Sgt. Andrew C. Merrylees, Air National Guard

◾Technical Sgt. Kenneth T. O'Brien, Air Force Special Operations Command

◾Senior Airman Misty A. Richmond, U.S. Air Forces in Europe

◾Senior Airman Justin A. Starks, Air Force District of Washington

◾Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Stuebbe, Air Mobility Command

The winners are authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year Ribbon with the bronze service star device on the ribbon. They are also authorized to wear the Outstanding Airman of the Year badge for one year from the date of formal presentation.

The airmen will be presented with their OAY ribbons during this year’s AFA Air, Space & Cyber Conference, being held Sept. 16-18, in National Harbor, Md. The airmen will be allowed to wear the OAY badge for a year from the day of the award presentation.

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33rd National Meeting
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