ELLSWORTH AIRMAN FACES MURDER CHARGE

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – An airman first class assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing will face a general court-martial scheduled to begin on May 30, 2018.

Airman 1st Class David E. MacDonald is facing one charge in violation of Article 118, of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, for murder. The charge is in relation to the death of his infant son on Nov. 7, 2016. An Article 32, pretrial hearing, occurred at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, Oct. 26, 2017.

The convening authority directed referral of the charge to a general court-martial, after the Article 32 hearing.

Military members under investigation or facing court-martial for any offense, are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The Air Force and the 28th Bomb Wing takes all criminal allegations seriously and pursues appropriate action through the military justice system.

COMBAT RAIDER 18-2 SCHEDULED FOR MAY 15-17 2018

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Combat Raider, a large force exercise involving various military aircraft, is scheduled to begin May 15 in the Powder River Training Complex, and will conclude May 17, 2018.

These LFEs provide joint and coalition training under realistic scenarios that replicate combat operations against modern threats.

During this period, people living under the PRTC military operations areas can expect to see multiple types of aircraft utilizing the areas simultaneously.

There is also potential for loud noises associated with sonic booms. All B-1 supersonic activities will occur above 20,000 feet Mean Sea Level and all transient fighter supersonic activity will occur above 10,000 feet Above Ground Level. Residents living under the following PRTC military operations areas may be affected by these activities:

–       Powder River Two

–       Powder River Three

–       Gap B

A map of the airspace is attached for reference and can be found on the Ellsworth Air Force Base website at http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/Portals/146/documents/AFD-151103-009.pdf.

As a reminder, non-military aircraft should thoroughly review the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notices to Airmen, or NOTAMs, and review flight plans to avoid these areas and altitudes where aircraft will be participating. This can be done by calling

1-800-WXBRIEF, or online at https://sua.faa.gov/ and http://www.1800wxbrief.com.

The NOTAMs for the exercise are the final official notice and will be issued by the FAA 72 hours prior to its start.

Thune Greets South Dakota Veterans at D.C. War Memorials

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today greeted veterans from across the Midwest, including 45 South Dakotans, who were in Washington, D.C., to visit war memorials honoring their service and sacrifice to the nation. The Midwest Honor Flight program coordinated today’s visit to Washington.

“It’s an opportunity for us to be able to say ‘thank you’ to all of these veterans from so many generations for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our country,” said Thune. “They answered the call to duty at that critical moment in history when it was important that people be willing to defend our freedoms, so when these groups come out here – the chance to be able to come down here and express on behalf of a grateful nation our gratitude to them is a really neat opportunity and an honor.

“It’s really special. I have a lot of family connections to service and our country – and my dad, of course, he’s 98 years old, a World War II veteran and still going strong. I remember when we had the chance to bring him out here a few years ago and let him see the World War II Memorial that honors those who served from his generation and sacrificed from that great conflict. So any time we have the chance to recognize our veterans, to say ‘thank you’ to our veterans, we as a society, I believe, owe them a great debt of gratitude, and it’s important for us to do that.”

 

South Dakota Congressional Candidate Neal Tapio Said Terrorist Attack Would Help Him Win Primary

By Kevin Robillard
HuffPost

A GOP candidate running for South Dakota’s lone seat in Congress said last year that a terrorist attack would help him win a contested primary, and also suggested members of the U.S. military are “mercenaries for Saudi Arabia.”

In audio obtained by HuffPost, state Sen. Neal Tapio said in a recorded conversation in the state capitol of Pierre that “there will be one more terrorist attack between now and then and I will be the, just by the Trump effect, I will be the candidate.”

“I can start in a little town like Aberdeen outside of the media glare. I can move it to Watertown, practice a little more, and then by the time I get to Souix Falls, I will have said this thousands of times. And then Dusty is just going to be so far behind, that they won’t even realize we are running for the same race. And then all that has to happen is that there will be one more terrorist attack between now and then and I will be the, just by the Trump effect, I will be the candidate. That’s the way I look at it.”

In another snippet of recorded conversation, Tapio says he wouldn’t let one of his children serve in the military, and implies U.S. military operations in the Middle East are waged for the benefit of Saudi Arabia.

“We both agree that we wouldn’t want our kids to serve in the military even with Trump as president. You just are giving up your life to be mercenaries for Saudi Arabia”

Tapio was the state director for Trump’s presidential bid and is selling “Mt. Trumpmore” T-shirts to support his campaign. He is running against Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and businessman Dusty Johnson, who was chief of staff for former South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, in a three-way primary. The winner of the June 5 primary is expected to win the general election in the heavily Republican state.

Tapio’s comments on the terrorist attack were first reported by KELO, a news radio station. It’s not clear to whom Tapio was speaking. In responses to both KELO and HuffPost, Tapio did not deny the recording was his voice.

In April, Tapio posted a response on his Facebook page to KELO’s questions about the recording. “Terror has something to do with Islam. Nobody dares say this in public. I do,” he wrote.

However, he took issue with a question asking whether he thought a terror attack would help his campaign.

“To suggest I am advocating for a terror attack is a disgusting smear and you should be ashamed of yourself,” he wrote. “Anyone that would even suggest that is a vile and disgusting individual not worthy of being taken seriously.”

In an email to HuffPost, Tapio said his comments on mercenaries were meant to sympathize with U.S. troops, who he said have suffered since the beginnings of the war on terror 17 years ago.

He also said political leaders calling Islam a “religion of peace” meant ceding “the moral high ground of freedom,” and “[u]ntil we face the truth about the root cause of terrorism, we will never win this war.”

“I don’t think it’s controversial to speak the truth about the manipulations and unarticulated objectives of the Obama-Hillary Clinton foreign policy,” he said.

“The result in every conflict in the Bush-Obama era has been regime change that has left the most radicalized and dangerous elements of Muslim leadership in charge of entire nations,” he added.

Here’s Tapio’s full response:

America and the Western world have been fighting an endless war on terror since September 11, 2001. At a cost of nearly $7 trillion, this war has nearly bankrupted our nation. The financial cost fails to account for the heavy long term physical and mental toll on millions of service members and their families.

Shamefully, we don’t even dare call this war by it’s proper name, “the global war against Islamic terrorism.” Failure to properly identify the enemy is a slap in the face to every service member who has served and to all the military families who have sacrificed so much in this endless war. Worse, when our political and religious leaders tell us ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ and ‘terror has nothing to do with Islam,’ America cedes the moral high ground of freedom, and we no longer become a beacon of hope to all those living under a hateful and deadly ideology that punishes or kills them for leaving Islam. Until we face the truth about the root cause of terrorism, we will never win this war.

Many military families are asking, ‘for what purpose are we sacrificing American lives in this war?’ It is our duty as a country to clearly identify the enemy and clearly outline the path to victory. Only then can we ask a service member to place their life in danger.

President Trump is fighting every day to redefine our failed foreign policy of military intervention. He continually battles those who clamor for regime change in the Middle East, including those who want regime change in Syria.

Who is pushing hardest for regime change? I bet a full airing of my conversation would give you a better picture of my thoughts on broader Middle Eastern politics. Here is a brief outline.

For two decades or more, America’s honorable military tradition has been at the beck and call of a policy to rewrite the map of the Middle East, for reasons both evident and secretive.  Interests beyond the disclosure of national security objectives and clear and present danger have placed our nation’s finest young men and women in theaters of battle with objectives that have been concealed from the American public and shielded even from Congressional approval to go to war, as demanded by the Constitution.

I don’t think this is a secret to most Americans to say that our military has faced a rate of deployment and a burden of service that has been unprecedented in our national history.  And I don’t think it’s controversial to speak the truth about the manipulations and unarticulated objectives of the Obama-Hillary Clinton foreign policy.  It’s high time someone spoke the truth about endless wars and the disservice that’s been visited on the finest military tradition and the most effective fighting force in the history of warfare.

Our fighting men and women are always ready and willing to answer the call and to make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  We owe to them as leaders and as citizens that that sacrifice never be demanded on false pretense.  In Iraq it was weapons of mass destruction.  In Libya it was humanitarian intervention.  The result in every conflict in the Bush-Obama era has been regime change that has left the most radicalized and dangerous elements of Muslim leadership in charge of entire nations.  With accelerated chaos, increased bloodshed and fewer rights and freedoms as a result.

I think our nation’s soldiers deserve better political outcomes than to watch patches of sand they fought, bled and died for to be given back to an ever encroaching enemy, and in every case, turned over to people who hate the United States, are openly hostile to democratic ideals and have no respect or reverence for essential liberty or the dignity of human life.  The Middle East is not a military failure.  It is a political travesty and a dishonest expenditure of the most valuable resource we have.  The very best and most dedicated of our young men and women in uniform.

COMBAT RAIDER EXERCISE 18-2 SCHEDULED FOR MAY 15-17

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – Combat Raider, a large force exercise involving various military aircraft, is scheduled to begin May 15 in the Powder River Training Complex, and will conclude May 17, 2018.

These LFEs provide joint and coalition training under realistic scenarios that replicate combat operations against modern threats.

During this period, people living under the PRTC military operations areas can expect to see multiple types of aircraft utilizing the areas simultaneously.

There is also potential for loud noises associated with sonic booms. All B-1 supersonic activities will occur above 20,000 feet Mean Sea Level and all transient fighter supersonic activity will occur above 10,000 feet Above Ground Level. Residents living under the following PRTC military operations areas may be affected by these activities:

–       Powder River Two

–       Powder River Three

–       Gap B

A map of the airspace is attached for reference and can be found on the Ellsworth Air Force Base website at http://www.ellsworth.af.mil/Portals/146/documents/AFD-151103-009.pdf.

As a reminder, non-military aircraft should thoroughly review the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notices to Airmen, or NOTAMs, and review flight plans to avoid these areas and altitudes where aircraft will be participating. This can be done by calling 1-800-WXBRIEF, or online at https://sua.faa.gov/ and http://www.1800wxbrief.com.

The NOTAMs for the exercise are the final official notice and will be issued by the FAA 72 hours prior to its start

THE UNITED STATES, THE GLOBAL COALITION AND PARTNERS ARE LAUNCHING OPERATIONS TO LIBERATE ISIS STRONGHOLDS IN SYRIA

WASHINGTON, DC – The United States, the Global Coalition, and local partners, including the Syrian Democratic Forces, are launching operations to liberate the final ISIS strongholds in Syria. The fighting will be difficult, but we and our partners will prevail. We will defend United States, Coalition, and partner forces if attacked. The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end.

We will work with our NATO ally Turkey and our partners Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon to secure their borders from ISIS. We will seek further fair share contributions in forces, material, and resources from regional partners and allies to stabilize liberated territories. As the President said in remarks with President Emmanuel Macron of France, we will ensure that there is a strong and lasting footprint in Syria such that ISIS cannot return and populations liberated from ISIS are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.

We will reinvigorate the Geneva process under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, and mobilize international resources to address Syria’s urgent humanitarian and stabilization needs. The United States is committed to ensuring a future political settlement that honors the will of all Syrians, including Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, and other minorities.

Heather Nauert 
U.S. State Department Spokesperson

Ellsworth Airmen With The 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron Respond To Use Of Chemical Weapons By Assad in Douma, Syria

By Jim Garamore

WASHINGTON -The Syrian regime killed at least 45 people and sickened hundreds of others in a chemical weapons attack on Douma, Syria, April 7, and on April 13, U.S., British and French service members launched attacks that severely degraded the Syrian chemical arsenal and sent a message to Syrian leader Bashir Assad to stop using chemical weapons against his own people.

A civilian and a Marine stand behind lecterns and take questions from reporters.
Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director of the Joint Staff, discuss operations in Syria during a news briefing at the Pentagon, April 14, 2018. DoD photo by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.

Chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the Joint Staff director, briefed the press today from the Pentagon on the operation saying it was successful and that there were no allied casualties.

White said the attack on innocent civilians in Douma “demanded a response,” and the allies targeted the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons infrastructure. “We launched these strikes to limit Syria’s ability to use chemical weapons in the future,” she said.

Operation Carefully Planned

The operation was carefully orchestrated and methodically planned to lessen chances of civilian casualties, the spokesperson said. The missiles hit targets during the Syrian pre-dawn hours, and planners, weaponeers and aircrew were careful to ensure little collateral damage. “We successfully hit every target,” White said.

Missiles hit three distinct military chemical weapons targets. “The three facilities are – or more appropriately, were – the fundamental components of the regime’s chemical weapons warfare infrastructure,” McKenzie said.

Video Player

VIDEO | 00:15 | Pentagon Spokesperson Denounces Use of Chemical Weapons

One target, the Barzah center, housed the regime’s research, development and production center for chemical and biological weapons. Photos taken after the strike show that where once three buildings stood, there is now nothing but rubble.

Strikes also hit a chemical weapons storage facility and a chemical bunker facility. “We selected these targets carefully to minimize the risk to innocent civilians,” the general said.

“We are still conducting a more detailed damage assessment, but initial indications are that we accomplished our military objectives without material interference. I would use three words to describe the operation: Precise, overwhelming and effective,” he said.

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VIDEO | 00:38 | White Says Airstrikes Support Values of the American People

Allies Fired 105 Weapons

The allies fired 105 weapons at these targets. The missiles came from British, French and American platforms in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean, McKenzie said.

“All weapons hit their targets close to the designated time on target,” he said. The American ships were: the USS Monterrey, the USS Laboon, the USS Higgins and the submarine USS John Warner. Two B-1 Lancer bombers launched joint air-to-surface stand-off missiles. Support aircraft – tankers, fighters, electronic warfare aircraft and more – also participated. B-1B Lancers deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, employed 19 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Munitions as part of the strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities, making this the first-ever operational use of  the JASSM-Extended Range munition.  The B-1Bs are from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, are deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

” We’re very proud of the 28th Bomb Wing Airmen From Ellsworth AFB who flew this mission,” said Col. John Edwards, 28th Bomb Wing Commander. ” They trained hard, were ready and lethal in executing this operation.”
A 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron B-1B Lancer aircraft assigned to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing prepares to depart from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in support of the multinational response to Syria’s chemical weapons use. The B-1B was used as part of a strike on Syria as part of the U.S. response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The B-1B employed 19 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Munitions against Syrian chemical weapons targets, marking the first operational use of the JASSM-ER. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)
Video Player

VIDEO | 00:31 | Joint Staff Director Describes Mission Success

“None of our aircraft or missiles involved in this operation were successfully engaged by Syrian air defenses,” McKenzie said. “We have no indication that Russian air defenses were employed.”

Syrian response was ineffectual as the Syrians launched surface-to-air missiles on a ballistic trajectory. “Most of the launches occurred after our strike was over,” the general said. “When you shoot iron into the air without guidance, it has to come down somewhere.”

Since the strike, U.S. officials have not seen any military response from actors within Syria. “We remain postured to protect our forces and those of the coalition should anything occur,” the general said.

AIR FORCE RELEASES PLANS FOR BOMBER FLEET

ELLSWORTH AFB–Ellsworth Air Force Base will continue to provide strategic bomber support as the Air Force released its plan for the bomber fleet in its Fiscal Year 2019 President’sBudget Request February 12, 2019.

“Based off the Secretary of the Air Force’s vector, those that are bomber bases now should
expect to be bomber bases in the future,” said Col. John Edwards, 28th Bomb Wing commander.
“The Air Force will continue to work the details of fielding the B-21, but we can expect
Ellsworth to be a bomber base in the coming years.”

Noted in the press release from the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, the budget request
detailed the Air Force plan to update the B-52 Stratofortress fleet and continue modifications to
the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fleets while continuing to acquire B-21 Raiders.

“As part of our decisions presented in the FY19 President’s Budget, the Air Force will update the
B-52 bomber fleet and fund development of replacement engines,” said Secretary of the Air
Force Heather A. Wilson. “We will also continue necessary B-1 and B-2 modifications to keep
them relevant until the B-21s come on line.”

Once sufficient B-21 aircraft are operational, the B-1s and B-2s will be incrementally retired.
Delivery and retirement timelines are dependent on the B-21 production and delivery schedules.
“If the force structure we have proposed is supported by the Congress, bases that have bombers
now will have bombers in the future,” Wilson said. “They will be B-52s and B-21s.

The B-21, which the Air Force plans to start fielding in the mid-2020s, will eventually become
the backbone of the U.S. strategic bomber fleet and serve as a visible, flexible deterrent to
adversaries and assure U.S. partners and allies.

“Modernizing and recapitalizing our bomber force is absolutely central to the recently released
National Defense Strategy and the Nuclear Posture Review,” said Chief of Staff of the Air Force
Gen. David L. Goldfein. “Our bomber force allows the commander in chief to hold targets at risk
anywhere on the globe with unparalleled range and our most diverse payloads.”

The decision to maintain the B-52 is based on numerous factors including maintenance and
sustainment metrics, such as aircraft availability, mission capability, supply, maintenance hours
per flying hour and total cost perspectives.

“With an adequate sustainment and modernization focus, including new engines, the B-52 has a
projected service life through 2050, remaining a key part of the bomber enterprise well into the
future,” said Gen. Robin Rand, Air Force Global Strike Command commander.

The Air Force’s bombers are an integral component of the nation’s strategic deterrence and
global strike capabilities. The nation requires that the bomber force remain a potent and decisive
asset throughout the spectrum of conflict in the modern battlespace.

“At the end of Desert Storm in 1991 we had 290 total bombers,” said Rand. “Today that force
has dropped to 157 bombers at five bomb wings and 15 total force bomb squadrons. That’s a 46
percent decrease in our bomber force while we have conducted continuous combat operations
such as Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Odyssey Dawn, Inherent Resolve and
Freedom’s Sentinel, in addition to continuous bomber rotations in the (U.S. Central Command)
and (U.S. Pacific Command) areas of responsibility.”

 

ELLSWORTH IMPACTED BY GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. – The government shutdown requires a furlough for all non-excepted personnel, affecting approximately 500 civilians at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.starting Jan. 20, 2018.

Civilians will report to work on Monday following their normal duty hours and receive guidance from their chain of command.Military personnel on active duty, including reservists on federal service, will continue to report for duty. Personnel on temporary duty status will receive information from their supervisors.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and will update everyone with new information as it arrives,” said Col. John Edwards, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Thank you for your patience,understanding and dedication to the 28th Bomb Wing. We are working hard to minimize the impact to our workforce while ensuring we meet our mission and care for our Airmen and families.”

The Fire Department, Security Forces, Ambulance Services, Child Development Center, Youth Center, Civil Engineer Squadron Snow Operations, Medical Treatment Facility, Dental Clinic,Dining Facility, Lodging, Fitness Center and Military Personnel Flight will remain open.

The Army Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES) will also be open, but the Base Exchange will close early on Wednesday for inventory and the Shoppette will close early on Thursday. The Commissary will remain open through Wednesday and close on Thursday.The Airmen & Family Readiness Center will be open for Air Force Aid requests, Red Cross notifications and Causality Services only. The Bowling Center, Auto Skills Center, Outdoor Recreation, Arts and Crafts and Theater will remain open with minimal degradation.The Library and Education Center will be closed for the duration of the shutdown and the Civilian Personnel Office will close immediately following furlough notification on Monday.

 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation
Delivered 8 December 1941, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.1

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.