Defender, Wingman, Scholar
by Airman Gabrielle Spalding, 11th Wing Public Affairs

Tech. Sgt. Collin Meisel, 811th Security Forces Squadron operations non-commissioned officer, poses for a portrait at Joint Base Andrews, Md., May 11, 2016. After being accepted to Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, Meisel was awarded the McCourt Scholars scholarship, which includes full tuition, health insurance and a $10,000 stipend. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Gabrielle Spalding)

6/1/2016 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Applying to a university can seem daunting without the right support. For Tech. Sgt. Collin Meisel, 811th Security Forces Squadron operations non-commissioned officer here, the encouragement from his peers, as well as the leadership prowess he gained while serving in the Air Force, has helped him appreciate being awarded the McCourt Scholars scholarship to Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.

"Being offered the fellowship completely blew me away," Meisel said. "I feel honored.

" Meisel will be attending McCourt August of 2016 to obtain his Master of Public Policy.

Georgetown, which is home to MSPP and eight other schools, is a prestigious university and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

McCourt welcomes students with a variety of professional backgrounds, including working in the military.

Each year, five in-coming scholars are nominated by a committee, based on the clout of their applications to MSPP and a phone interview, according to the Georgetown website.

Of the five universities he applied to, Georgetown was Meisel's first choice, and to his surprise, the first to accept him.

"Georgetown was a longshot," Meisel said. "I didn't even expect to get in."

Shortly after being accepted to GU, and the interview for the fellowship, he received a phone call.

"It was really exciting," Meisel said. "Especially because I was hauling a bunch of pallets. It wasn't an exciting day at all, so to get that news was pretty sweet."

Meisel had an opportunity to meet one of the professors on the committee who remembered voting for him, and told Meisel that his leadership experience was unmatched due to his frequent travel with the executive aircraft security section at Andrews as a team leader.

Capt. David Nugent, 811th SFS operations officer, who has known Meisel for three years, has experienced firsthand the leadership capabilities of the OPS NCO.

"Meisel is an outstanding leader and critical thinker," Nugent said. "He was responsible for tasking teams of SF members to protect executive aircraft overseas. It was a difficult job to coordinate with so many different agencies, but he always excelled."

Nugent also provided support for Meisel during his application process to GU.

"I had to write two essays as part of the application process," said Meisel. "Nugent reviewed them and also wrote a letter of recommendation. He was a huge mentor and helped me think it was possible.

" Having the mentorship from peers and gaining leadership while in the Air Force, Meisel can aim high for academic mastership.

Each year, the Tinker Air Force Base Asian Pacific-American Heritage (APAH) Committee honors individuals of any ethnicity backgrounds who directly or indirectly promoted the Air Force values and have made significant contributions to the Air Force, Tinker AFB, and/or the APAH community.

This year TSgt Nicole A. Cabrera a AFSFA and Oklahoma Heartland Chapter member earned the Tinker AFB Asian-Pacific American Heritage Award (E-5 and above category).

She currently works as the NCOIC of Reports and Analysis. Her section is Tinker AFB's focal point for crime trend analysis, incident reports, and traffic infractions for 94K personnel spanning 7 MAJCOMS/5 wings and 45 associate units. TSgt Cabrera manages unit personnel and information security programs for 475 assigned to the 72nd Security Forces Squadron and oversees two MICT reviews and corrected 44 discrepancies and resulting in her unit receiving a "Highly Effective" UEI rating.

Her office has processed over 200 incident reports/13.3 security clearances/1.2K citations/8 installation debarment rebuttals/and 22 citation rebuttals. During this period, she led 12 Security Forces members during a NORTHERN EDGE exercise, securing $13.5M in Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, which enabled 1.94K sorties/31.2K munitions/132K cargo drops.

Additionally, she was also the Security Forces lead for 6 personnel during the CHECKERED FLAG exercise, securing $1.08M enabling 10 sorties/60 red air kills/and 63.3 combat training hours. Both exercises took place in Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.

She graduated from American Military University with a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Family Development and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Human Relations and has completed six credit hours with a 4.0 GPA. Additionally, she enrolled in another 15 credit hours.

TSgt Cabrera received an exceptionally well qualified score of 94% on her initial Flight Chief QC and has been trained in the Air Force Green Belt training and is an alternate Continuous Process Improvement monitor for her squadron.

She was the Air Force Assistance Fund squadron Representative/Installation Project Officer aid assisting in weekly collection of funds. The unit exceeded our goal of $6.4K and raised nearly $10K. She has also devoted 60 hours to Destiny Christian Center, assisting with school events and piloted the volunteers for 2015's Police Week, organizing 6 teams and 51 volunteers honoring 114 fallen LE officers.

Finally, she was Team Tinkers Spring 2016 Graduation Chairperson arranging a ceremony for 150 Spring Graduates/20 volunteers and requesting and coordinating the Air University's Command Chief (CMSgt Timothy Horn) as their guest speaker.

Well done TSgt Cabrera …. AFSFA is proud of you and proud to have you as a member!!

By Ollie Reed Jr. / Albuquerque Journal, Staff Writer
May 20th, 2016


Maj. Eric Judd, commander of the 377th Security Support Squadron, and members of the squadron salute Thursday during a memorial retreat ceremony for Air Force and local law enforcement officers who had died in the line of duty since the start of the war on terrorism. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)


They died in Iraq and in Española; in Afghanistan and Albuquerque; in Germany and in Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and the Jemez Mountains.


Some were in the Air Force, special agents or security force officers. Others served with the New Mexico State Police, or with police and sheriff departments throughout this state.


But all of these 44 men and women were police officers killed in the line of duty since the global war on terrorism started more than a dozen years ago.


And on Thursday, they were all honored at a National Police Week memorial retreat ceremony hosted by Kirtland Air Force Base’s 377th Security Forces Group at the Hardin Field Parade Ground on the base.


Col. Richard DeMouy, commander of the 377th, told those gathered at Hardin Field that all of the 44, regardless of what uniform they wore, were part of the thin blue line that separates good from evil and order from chaos.


“The uniforms are different, but each leaves loved ones behind, each had stories to tell and stories that continue to be told,” DeMouy said. “And each, I suspect, could not imagine themselves doing any other job. They run toward dangerous situations others so desperately seek to flee.”


The roll call of those honored on Thursday started with Special Agent Lee Hitchcock, killed on Aug. 8, 2004, in Kirkuk, Iraq; and ended with Tech. Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, killed on Dec. 21, 2015, at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan.


But in between were the names of Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy James McGrane Jr., killed on March 22, 2006, in Bernalillo County; New Mexico Motor Transportation Police officer Robert Potter, who died Aug. 16, 2012, in Vado; Rio Rancho Police Officer Gregg Anthony Benner, killed May 25, 2015, in Rio Rancho; Albuquerque Police Department Officer Daniel Scott Webster, killed Oct. 29, 2015, in Albuquerque; and many more.


Representatives of the Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Estancia, Santa Fe and Bosque Farms police departments and the Sandia National Laboratories Protection Force attended the ceremony, which included a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps and “Amazing Grace” on a bagpipe.


“It is an honor to stand alongside so many distinguished public servants,” DeMouy said to the military men under his command and to guests attending the ceremony. “Action leads to change that makes a difference, and each of us is here to make a difference.”



2016 Police Week closing ceremony, formal retreat, was conducted in front of the USAF Security Forces Museum, Friday 20 May 2016. The 343 TRS (Security Forces Academy) was the host and all JBSA units were represented as were San Antonio Police Department, USMC, USN, foreign services as well as civilians. Attendance was 350.

(photos by Ken Neal)

Veteran’s pension is a cash benefit paid to war-time veterans who have limited or no income. Veterans 65 and older automatically qualify to receive this benefit. Those under 65 years of age must be permanently and totally disabled.

In addition to the cash benefit, veterans who are more seriously disabled may qualify for Aid and Attendance or Household Benefits, paid in addition to their basic pension rates. The most common use for this benefit package includes medical care for veterans in non-combat related injuries, such as a stroke or vehicle accident – leaving them permanently disabled. Benefits may also include compensation for an assisted living facility; a popular option for those who are no longer able to care for themselves.

Veterans and widows of veterans considering a transition to an assisted living facility may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit package. The package, in addition to paying for the cost of the assisted living facility, may also pay a monthly stipend of $1,788 to $2,120 to help with living expenses.

A widow of a war-time veteran may also apply for the Widows Pension with Aid and Attendance benefit package, making them eligible to receive up to $1,149.00 a month. Again, income from any source must be offset by medical expenses, and liquid assets must be lower than $80,000. If one’s income is not totally offset, the benefit package may be pro-rated.

Other medical expenses may also qualify, including medications, in-home support, co-pays and too many others to mention here. Our advice to you is that if you feel you or your family may be eligible for this or any other veterans benefit package, contact our office and ask to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff. Our goal is to help you find the facilities and benefit packages that best meet your needs.

In addition to the resources my office provides, we work closely with the Helping Hands Senior Resource Center in Vacaville. Together we have successfully matched hundreds of veterans with the benefit packages they need, including the Aid and Attendance and Household Benefit programs. Their office can be reached at (707) 451-8742. Ask for Melanie Richardson.

From: Solano Veterans Scene – May 2016

Ted Puntillo is Director of Veteran’s Services for Solano County. Reach him at (707) 784-6590 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Solano County Veteran’s Services Office, 675 Texas St. in Fairfield, is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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35th National Meeting
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17-22 August 2021
Group: AFSFA 35th Nat Mtg

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