71st Intelligence Squadron change of command

Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 11:01 AM


            The 71st Intelligence Squadron, 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group held a change of command ceremony honoring the outgoing squadron commander, Col. Julie Spears, and the incoming commander, to Lt. Col. Eric Bernkopf, Sept. 23. The 71st IS is one of three 655 ISRG squadrons based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with the group headquarters. (Contributed photo)
The 71st Intelligence Squadron, 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group held a change of command ceremony honoring the outgoing squadron commander, Col. Julie Spears, and the incoming commander, to Lt. Col. Eric Bernkopf, Sept. 23. The 71st IS is one of three 655 ISRG squadrons based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with the group headquarters. (Contributed photo)

The 71st Intelligence Squadron, 655th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group held a change of command ceremony honoring the outgoing squadron commander, Col. Julie Spears, and the incoming commander, to Lt. Col. Eric Bernkopf, Sept. 23.

The 71st IS is one of three 655 ISRG squadrons based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, along with the group headquarters.

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The change of command is rooted in military history dating back to the 18th Century. At that time, organizational flags were developed with color arrangements and symbols unique to each particular unit. The flag served as a rallying point and reminder of their allegiance to their leader during battle. To this flag and the commander, military members dedicated their loyalty and trust. When a change of command took place, the flag was passed to the individual assuming command in the presence of the entire unit. All unit members could witness their new leader assume responsibility and trust associated with the position of commander. He, or she, who possessed the flag also held the unit members’ allegiance.

Since assuming command of the 71 IS on May 11, 2015, Spears led the Air Force Reserve Command’s only geospatial, measurement, and signatures intelligence squadrons from initial operating capability to full operating capability three months ahead of schedule. She also directed an innovative recruiting strategy, nearly doubling squadron personnel, increasing manning to 109 percent.

Col. Spears credited her success to the support she received from her parents, her husband, and all the Airmen of the 71 IS.

“This isn’t the first squadron I’ve commanded,” she said. “It is, however, the best squadron I’ve commanded.”

Additionally, she led 61 squadron analysts in the execution of 42,736 mission hours, increasing active duty engagement hours by 95 percent and providing over 1,800 national-level intelligence products for deployed warfighters and senior Air Force leaders.

Lt. Col. Bernkopf, an Air Force Academy Top Graduate, previously served as Director of Operations, 71st IS where he led over 60 personnel in ensuring the operational integration of trained and ready Reserve personnel into the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Geospatial and Signatures Intelligence Group.

In his acceptance speech, Bernkopf used a football example to illustrate how units should be Introspective and humble in their success.

“On April 16th of 2000, the New England patriots selected Tom Brady in the 6th round,” he said. “In terms of return on investment, it was the greatest pick in NFL history! The Patriots general management didn’t pat themselves on back. Instead, they were disappointed that they missed all of Brady’s intangible assets and waited until the 6th round. In their moment of success, they were humble and introspective enough to find an opportunity to improve.”

Bernkopf urged the 71 IS to follow this example and to closely examine their own processes so they can constantly find ways to improve.

655 ISRG Commander John D. McKaye spoke at the ceremony on the qualities both leaders possess.

“My first impressions of both of them were very similar,” he said. “They both were obviously very intelligent, knowledgeable and hard working. Col. Spears was already a solid leader, and in Lt. Col. Bernkopf I saw a future leader … both have worked together to make the 71st better, stronger and more efficient and effective.

“A change in leadership means an influx of new ideas and perspectives that help us remain the most powerful and respected Air Force in the world. I have no doubt, in fact I know, that the 71st will continue to thrive and grow under the leadership of Lt. Col. Bernkopf.”

The 655 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group is dedicated to serving as the premier and most diverse ISR Group in the United States Air Force, delivering timely, reliable, accurate and actionable intelligence products enabling a decisive advantage over adversaries of the United States. The 655th consists of a headquarters and three tenant squadrons in Ohio, and 11 geographically separated units in California, Texas, Nebraska, Virginia, Florida and Maryland. For exciting and rewarding career opportunities with the 655th ISRG, contact a local Air Force Reserve recruiter or call 937-257-8117.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

>> Related: Argument over dog’s weight turns deadly at Missouri sports bar

With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

>> Related: Shepherd, lab mix found tied to tree with note attached to collar gets adopted

He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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Huber Heights gas leak causes business evacuations

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:11 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:32 AM

Repairs continue after Huber Heights gas leak causes business evacuations

Executive Boulevard lanes in Huber Heights reopened after being closed for several hours following a gas leak Thursday morning.

‘SHS’ school threat believed to have originated in Springfield, police chief says

Crews continued to make repairs to the leaking gas line that evacuated fifteen business along the road around 11 a.m., according to Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth.

Ashworth said a construction crew working in the area struck a 6-inch gas main directly under Executive, which  caused the gas to leak from underground.

Huber Heights gas leak


Executive is one of the city’s most commercial areas and Ashworth said the leak would impact the businesses in the area.

Utility companies, including DP&L and Vectren, worked on scene to isolate their utilities as well.

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Student arrest for making threats at Springfield H.S. charged with a felony

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 8:12 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 9:20 AM

Extra police presence at Springfield High School this morning

UPDATE @ 10:30 p.m: After a Springfield High School student was arrested on Thursday due to viral threats posted on Facebook about a school shooting, Superintendent Dr. Robert Hill released a statement about student safety.

“As I have stated many times and as I will continue to reiterate, student and staff safety is of the utmost importance in our district. Threats, whether written, posted on-line, or verbalized to others, will be thoroughly and immediately investigated. Anyone involved in making threats will face serious disciplinary action and additional consequences to the maximum extent of the law”, said Hill.

Hill also said school will remain in session, but urges students to be diligent in reporting anything that “feels out of place”.

UPDATE @ 3:55 p.m. (Feb. 22):

A Springfield High School student was arrested Thursday after police said she posted a Facebook threat about a school shooting that went viral, causing districts across Clark County and the country to take precautions. 

Authorities declined to name the 16-year-old, a junior, but Clark County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Travis Russell said she was charged with felony inducing panic in juvenile court. 

Police Chief Lee Graf both declined to comment on the motives behind the post. The Facebook post was taken down soon after it was posted, Graf said, but it had already gone viral.

Teachers with guns? Some Ohio districts arm staff, but don’t tell parents or kid

This news outlet was sent the post many times by concerned parents and community members. 

The student was arrested at 10 a.m. Thursday at Springfield High School, Russell said. 

Local authorities taking school threats seriously

The sheriff’s office and Springfield Police Division executed a search warrant at a home on Tibbetts Avenue around the same time, he said, and seized electronics that the student might have used to make the post. 

Anyone who threatens the safety of children in Springfield will face consequences, Graf said.

UPDATE@ 2:05 p.m. (Feb. 22)

The girl arrested for allegedly making threats at Springfield High School is 16 years old, Clark County Sheriff Chief Deputy Travis Russell said during a press conference Thursday afternoon. She is being charged with inducing panic, a  second degree felony, and could face several years in prison if convicted. 

When police got word of the threat they executed a search warrant and searched the school before classes started, officials said. 

“You can’t be dismissive when you get these types of threats,” Russel said.

UPDATE @ 11:45 a.m. (Feb 22) 

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest Thursday in correlation to the ‘S.H.S.’ school threat circulating on social media. 

The FBI and Clark County Deputies were able to obtain information on the location of where the social media post was made. The Springfield Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office then executed a search warrant, seizing a number of electronic devices. Subsequently, the both divisions were able to obtain further information, which resulted in a juvenile being taken into custody. The juvenile in custody is a 17-year-old female student at Springfield High School, according to police.

The teen is facing felony inducing panic charges, authorities.

Authorities report the threat is now considered neutralized, but this case will continue to be investigated by multiple agencies.  

MORE: Teachers with guns? Some Ohio districts arm staff, but don’t tell parents or kids

EARLIER REPORT 

Local law enforcement and school officials are aware and investigating reports on social media of possible threats against a school.

The vague social media post referenced a “SHS” school, which could include any one of many schools in the area that start with the letter “S.”

  • Springfield, Stebbins, Springboro, and others have investigated “SHS” threat
  • Threat deemed not credible by police
  • Police believe post originated in Springfield
  • Extra patrols reported at many schools

MORE: Hundreds of local students walk out, more walkouts planned

RELATED: Vague threats prompt lockdown of Fairborn High School

WALKOUTS: Can students get in trouble for #NeverAgain walkouts?

UPDATE @ 10:14 a.m.:

Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said it appears the “SHS” school threat that spread through social media Wednesday originated in the city of Springfield.

“Through the night we have been following up on leads,” Graf said.  “"We have some suspects that we are looking at...We may be very close to origin of the original post."

Graf said the threat went viral, leading to calls coming in to the department from Mississippi and California regarding the post.

The chief said multiple jurisdictions, including the FBI, have been involved in the investigation.

UPDATE @ 9:20 a.m. 

Bob Hill, Superintendent of Springfield City Schools said class attendance is “light” at Springfield High School, following a generic threat to a “SHS” school. 

RELATED: Extra police at multiple local schools after threats

The threat to the school was determined to be not credible Wednesday night, Hill said. 

RELATED: Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center investigates threat 

“We take threats very seriously,” Hill said Thursday morning. “This affects many schools in Clark County, Springfield, Shawnee High School, Southeastern High School; this has some pretty serious and far-reaching ramifications.” 

“I do know the FBI was involved last night; the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Springfield Police Division also.” 

An FBI spokesman confirmed the agency is investigating the threat, but is working with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Springfield police, who are leading the investigation. 

Hill said another rumor surfaced at the district that a gun was found at the high school Wednesday, but Hill said this report turned out to be false after it was investigated by the school. 

Southeastern Local Schools Superintendent David Shea said leaders in the district are also taking precautions in light of the threats. 

“We have three South Charleston Police officers at our high school and two at Miami View Elementary School today,” Shea said. 

A number of police officers will remain at the school all day, Shea said. 

A number of students stayed home, likely out of fear of the threat, Shea said, and he understood the concerns of parents due to recent school shootings nationwide. 

FIRST REPORT

Lt. Jeff Williams of Springfield police said since Tuesday evening when reports surfaced of an 8-year-old male arrested for an unloaded gun at Simon Kenton Elementary, that many social media posts have surfaced and been shared. 

RELATED: Superintendent: Springfield schools safe, even after gun in backpack

Williams said many “rumors” are being investigated by Springfield police. He said police believe it is “misinformation” circulating around and they do not believe any credible threat exists.

However, Springfield police will have extra patrols at the high school Thursday.

Parents in the Mad River Local Schools — as well as Springboro — were issued one-calls Wednesday evening.

The Mad River call from the superintendent said they are aware of a social media threat against “SHS” and are investigating whether it was directed to Stebbins High School or another school.

“Every school that starts with an “S” has done that,” Williams said of being on alert.

In an email sent to Springboro parents Wednesday night, the district said the school resource officer and administrative team has been in constant contact with the Springboro Police Department. 

Williams said officers spent most of Wednesday tracking down social media posts and speaking with witnesses in Springfield.

Williams said they don’t know who exactly made the post yet but they are in the process of tracking the source of the post.

“We are investigating every possible lead,” Williams said.

He added even the FBI called Springfield to offer assistance — if they need it, but the FBI is not involved at the moment. 

Williams said Springfield police are fielding calls from police agencies in other states with “S” schools. He declined to share which states have made inquiries.

Springfield High School’s website now includes a message on the homepage about this social media threat. School will be in session Thursday.

Springfield City Schools posted this message on its high school website, Feb. 21, 2018.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday evening said they are also investigating these threats.

In Shelby County, the Sidney school district posted to its website that it is aware of the threat. In their post it says law enforcement determined the post was made from outside of Ohio. That district will have increased patrols Thursday.

Toledo police sent a tweet about the threat, saying it’s likely a hoax, but is being taken seriously.

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