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.

Russell Simmons accused of rape by 3 more woman, but ‘vehemently’ denies it

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:10 PM

Music Mogul Russell Simmons speaks at an event on June 24, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  
Jerritt Clark
Music Mogul Russell Simmons speaks at an event on June 24, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jerritt Clark)

Music mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons is “vehemently” denying he raped at least three women dating back to the late 1980s.

>> Read more trending news

The three women have stepped forward, accusing Simmons, 60, of a “pattern of violent sexual behavior,” including rape, between the late 1980s and 2014, according to the New York Times.

The women all spoke on the record and allowed their names to be revealed.

The Times said it confirmed the allegations through friends and associates of the women at the time the incidents occurred.

The women said they decided to come forward and tell their stories after dozens of victims publicly detailed alleged sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of disgraced filmmaker Harvey Weinstein.

Simmons said the accusations are false.

“I vehemently deny all these allegations. These horrific accusations have shocked me to my core and all my relations have been consensual,” the Def Jam Records co-founder told the newspaper.

He also said he has “enormous respect for the women’s movement worldwide and their struggle for respect, dignity, equality and power.”

Simmons stepped down from his business empire last month after sexual misconduct allegations against him first surfaced. 

>> Related: Russell Simmons stepping down from companies after sexual assault allegation

At that time he also denied the allegations, but apologized.

“While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize,” he said.

Trotwood police investigating claim of a shooting at Shell station in Drexel

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 10:41 PM

Trotwood police are investigating a person's claim of being shot and wounded at the Shell station in the 6100 block of West Third Street in Drexel. 

According to Montgomery County Regional Dispatch, Miami Valley Hospital officials notified police about 8:50 p.m. that a person walked into the hospital claiming to have been shot. 

MORE LOCAL NEWS: Teacher accused in sex case seeks insanity plea

When the shooting is believed to have occurred is not certain and there is no information about the gender of the person. 

The vehicle the person was in has been seized at the hospital by police, according to regional dispatch. 

We are working to learn more about this incident. Stay with whio.com for breaking news. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com 

More than 400 DP&L, Duke customers reporting power outages; Winds to blame?

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:04 PM

@ 10:35 p.m., the online DP&L outage map shows:

Preble 141 

Montgomery 135 

Darke 57 

Miami 9 

Greene 2 

Warren 1 

The online Duke Energy map shows: 

Butler 817 (approximately 110 north and west of Middletown, in the area of Kalbfleisch Road. Another 11 east of the city are without power).

We will update this developing report.

Stay with whio.com for breaking news.

Man stuns fellow drivers by stripping naked, jumping on cars

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 6:11 PM

The main terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
The main terminal at Washington Dulles International Airport (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Wild footage taken during a Tuesday afternoon Incident shows a naked man running down a highway and jumping onto vehicles after crashing his own truck — causing the road to close to traffic.

>> Read more trending news

Police responded to a call about an accident near Washington Dulles International Airport and a man possibly fleeing the scene without his clothes on. According to officers, one of the drivers involved in the crash got out of his car and assaulted the other driver. That’s when the suspect reportedly undressed and jumped onto a passing vehicle. After causing damage to the truck, he got off of it and ran away.

The video shows the man trying to climb into a dump truck. At one point, he jumps onto the back of a passing truck, clinging on as the driver attempts to drive away. Theo Garner watched the entire episode from the Herndon office building.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see a ... half-naked guy cross eight lanes of traffic on 28. He then climbs up on the back of the dump truck that a pickup truck had slammed into the back of, disrobes and then proceeds to throw things on 28,” he said. “It’s not something you see every day. I’ve been working there for 17 years and I’ve never seen any shenanigans like that man. That was absolutely insane. But I’ll tell you it did brighten up a boring workday.”

The man was later located on Dulles property, arrested and taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police are reportedly still working to identify the suspect, and charges against him are pending.