Metro-East News

Roger That: Retired Scott fire chief nominated for Hall of Fame

News-Democrat

Air Force veteran Duane Morgan, the retired Scott Air Force Base fire chief, has been nominated for induction into the Military Firefighter Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame for 2015, according to a statement from the 375th Air Mobility Wing’s public affairs office.

Morgan retired from the Air Force 12 years ago after a 44-year careeer. Morgan is one of five exemplary military firefighters under consideration by the Department of Defense Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas for induction into the Hall of Fame.

“I feel honored,” Morgan said. “All of the students go by that every day when they go to class and that means a lot to me to have my name up there.”

Morgan began his military career at the age of 17 as an active-duty firefighter. He worked his way up to fire chief for the Air Mobiity Command, based at Scott, where he spent 19 of his years in the Air Force.

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An estimated 1.5 million U.S. troops face the threat of identity theft or fraud as a result of a historic data breach that some cybersecurity experts are blaming on China, according to the website DefenseOne.

The April hack of the Interior Department and the Office and Personnel Management could put as many as 4 million current and former federal workers at risk of identity theft or fraud 1.5 million uniformed service members, many undoubtedly spanning the security clearance spectrum, according to DefenseOne.

The stolen data include Social Security numbers, job assignments, performance ratings and training information, according to a report in the Washington Post.

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A selfie carelessly taken and posted on social media by a jihadist fighting for the Islamic State recently enabled the U.S. Air Force to identify the headquarters building where the selfie was taken and then destroy it three precision-guided bombs, according to a story Friday on the website The Aviationist.

Airmen belonging to the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, at Hurlburt Field, Florida, were able to geo-locate an ISIS headquarters building thanks to a comment posted on social media by an IS militant, according to the story, which quoted from a statement by Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of the Air Combat Command.

“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command,” Carlisle said in an interview. “And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities... And these guys go: ‘We got an in.’ So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] take that entire building out.”

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The possibility of a military conflict on Earth that escalates into space has led the Air Force to find an extra $5 billion to spend on offensive and defensive systems to protect national security satellites, according to a story on the website National Defense.

“We need to get our heads around the fact that space might not always be a peaceful sanctuary,” Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Space systems are facing “advanced demonstrated and evolving threats,” she said. There is a potential for “hostile actors” in the domain and the service must “have a new mindset when it comes to space,” she added.

The two primary space rivals mentioned most often by officials are China and Russia. Threats may come in the form of GPS or satellite communications jamming, cyber attacks on ground infrastructure or, even more alarming to the military, kinetic weapons such as anti-satellite missiles or killer spacecraft.

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The Air Force announced policy changes Thursday to protect transgender troops from involuntary discharges, a move that mirrors one made in March by the Army. These policy changes move the Pentagon a step closer to allowing transgender people to serve openly, according to an Air Force Times story.

Historically, the U.S. military has automatically discharged from service troops diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify as transgender based on medical reasons. Those decisions have been made by doctors and unit commanders. The new Air Force policy requires those decisions to be reviewed by high-level officials at Air Force headquarters.

Roger That is a regular feature by BND military reporter Mike Fitzgerald. Contact him at mfitzgerald@bnd.com or 618-239-2533.

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