March Newsletter Published March 6, 2011 March 6, 2011 -- Here is the latest information and updates for members of the 146th Airlift Wing and their families, check it out! Welcome all new members of the 146th Airlift Wing: Tess Armstrong- Command Post Aaron Yeaton- Civil Engineering John Sahd- Operations Group William Regan- Operations Group Kimberly Smullen- Medical Group Lisa Paulino- Services Congratulations to all recent graduates from formal schools: Airman 1st Class Emmanuel Corpus -Maintenance Management Production Apprentice Senior Airman Nathaniel Rucker- Aeromedical Evacuation Technician Airman 1st Class Ryan Paris- Knowledge Operations Management Airman 1st Class Jesse Kramer- Air Transportation Apprentice 1st Lieutenant Kelly Khamkongsay- Flight Nurse Farewell to all those retirees and separations: Master Sergeant James Brown - 146th Comptroller Flight Senior Master Sergeant Sofia Bourcier- 146th Force Support Squadron Technical Sergeant Michael Castro- 146th Logistics Readiness Squadron Chief Master Sergeant Kenneth Cedeno- 146th Civil Engineering Squadron Technical Sergeant Richard Olivas- 146th Maintenance Squadron Technical Sergeant Richard Clark- 146th Maintenance Squadron Lieutenant Colonel Michael Hampton-146th Operations Group Staff Sergeant Doug Runyan-146th Maintenance Squadron Master Sergeant Philip Lee-146th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Religious Services: Both services are held on Sunday UTA in the Commanders Conference Room, Bldg 119. Catholic Mass: 1100 Protestant Service: 1230 2010 Tax Statements The Defense Finance and Accounting Service is in the process of preparing and distributing millions of tax statements due to DoD customers. Applicable tax statements will be available on MyPay at https://mypay.dfas.mil/mypay.aspx Free Tax Preparation Resources for Military Personnel Most military installations have a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance office that provides free tax advice, tax preparation, and assistance to military members and their families. If you prefer to do your taxes yourself, there are several options to e-file your taxes online: Military OneSource Tax Program, which provides free access to a customized version of the basic H&R Block at Home electronic tax-filing product; TaxSlayer.com offers free e-file of federal and state returns for active-duty military; TurboTax Freedom Edition and IRS Free File are available to taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $58,000 or less. Spice Illegal for Airmen, Punishable Under UCMJ Spice, the marijuana alternative, due to its similar side effects, has been banned for use by Airmen and is scheduled to soon become illegal for all U.S. citizens. If caught using this substance, disciplinary or other administrative actions will be pursued under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Latest on CNG Educational Assistance Award Program The California National Guard Educational Assistance Award Program has proven beneficial for soldiers and airmen, providing financial support for those pursuing higher education. New applications for the spring term of the 2010-2011 academic year are still being accepted. Please encourage those who have not already applied to do so now. Renewal applications are now being accepted for the California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (EAAP) for the 2011-2012 academic year. New applications for the 2011-2012 academic year will open 15 April 2011. Those interested need to apply for the institution and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2011 - 2012 academic year. To get more information go to www.calguard.ca.gov/education Disney's Armed Forces Salute Continued for 2011 There's great news from Disney; they have renewed their Military Salute discount well into 2011 for BOTH Disneyland and Disneyworld. The Disney Company has just announced a new Military discount offer continuing through 1 October 2011. This offer includes both steeply discounted theme park tickets and outstanding discounts on Disney resorts for both Military Servicemembers and their families. For more information visit: www.militarydisneytips.com/disney-armed-forces-salute.html Cell Phones for Soldiers Cell Phones for Soldiers turns old cell phones into more than 12 million minutes of prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas since 2008. To do so, Cell Phones for Soldiers expects to collect 50,000 cell phones each month through a network of more than 3,000 collection sites across the country. Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwall, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. The foundation gladly accepts cell phones, batteries, chargers, ink cartridges and other cell phone accessories. To donate, contact local POC- Technical Sergeant Lauren Johnson 146AW/SE, ext. 7491 Officials to Issue New Camouflage Uniforms to Deployers Airmen deploying to Afghanistan in 2011 will see a new uniform issued to them as part of their deployment gear beginning in March. While Airmen have been faced with a slew of uniform changes in recent years, this new uniform is not a matter of image or heritage but instead has resulted from a joint initiative that ensures all outside-the-wire deployers in Afghanistan, regardless of branch of service, have the best ground combat uniform in order to enhance combat effectiveness. Air Force leaders collaborated with Army experts to develop a solution to meet evolving camouflage and fire-retardancy demands in theater. The new uniform, called the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern, or OCP, is the same uniform recently fielded in Afghanistan to U.S. Soldiers. The plan is for the OCP uniform to eventually become the only ground-combat uniform worn by Airmen in Afghanistan both inside and outside the wire. This also will minimize the number of bags Airmen will carry into and out of the theater. Read the full article at http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123240205. Air Force 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal Training Detailed Air Force officials will soon begin training Airmen in anticipation of the repeal of the law and policy commonly known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This training will help Airmen understand what is expected in a post-repeal environment. The first tier of training will focus on Air Force experts responsible for implementing policy changes and personnel providing repeal-related services to Airmen. This group includes several functional communities including chaplains, judge advocates and benefit counselors. The second tier will focus on Air Force leaders, and will assist commanders, senior NCOs, and civilian supervisors in preparing for and implementing the repeal. The final tier will train and prepare the broader force while reinforcing expectations of professional and personal conduct through engagement by experts and leaders at all levels. To read more about the slated training please read the information provided at http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123242364. Antivirus Software Can Now Be Downloaded at Home Department of Defense military and civilian personnel can download free antivirus software for their home computers from the DOD Patch Repository website. Note that contractors are excluded from using the software at home or on any other system not belonging to the DOD. Users can first contact their local help desk for a copy of home use antivirus software. If the help desk does not have copies of the anti-virus software for home use, users may download software. Visit the AF Portal for details. A Story Before Bed Give Away! A Story Before Bed is giving away 100,000 free recordings to parents in the U.S. military who are spending time away from their kids, more than 6,000 stories are still available. The team behind A Story Before Bed is dedicated to connecting children with parents, grandparents, and loved ones through reading. And they are especially dedicated to connecting families and loved ones who can't always be together. When parents give up seeing their children for weeks or months at a time in the service of their country, they want to do our small part. Parents who are members of one of the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces who are deploying or already deployed away from their children for any amount of time are eligible to sign up for free recordings from A Story Before Bed. Please go to www.astorybeforebed.com/military to fill out the application. An e-mail will be sent to you confirming your subscription to our newsletter and instructions to redeem your free recordings.