Sunday, March 10, 2019

Grissom Air Base in need of pilots

Bunker Hill, Indiana (March 10, 2019) VRI – An air force base in Indiana is ramping up efforts to recruit pilots as a national shortage has military and commercial airlines struggling to fill positions. Col. Brian Hollis, the 434th Operations Group commander at Grissom Air Reserve Base, seeks to increase their combat pilots by 20 percent. Hollis didn't specify how many pilots the base is looking to recruit, but said they would fly KC-135R Stratotankers, which are mainly used on refueling missions.

First Lt. Steven Bretscher, a pilot in 74th Air Refueling Squadron, said the base is working to highlight the different perks it can offer. “One benefit of being sponsored through Grissom is that members know they will be flying tankers at Grissom, unlike pilots on active duty who can be sent to any base flying whatever air frame they are selected to fly,” he said. “It's a huge stress relief that lets you focus on your training.”

1st Lt. Tim Robertson, 74th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135R Stratotanker pilot, completes final checks before takeoff on a night refueling mission over Kansas at Grissom Air Reserve Base in 2015.

Grissom is also focusing on recruiting non-pilot airmen who already work at the base, Bretscher said. Officials aim to emphasize that reserve pilots can also have a civilian career while flying missions. The Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard have seen major staffing issues since 2013, according to a study the U.S. Government Accountability Office released in June. A large number of retiring Vietnam War veterans who have flown commercial planes for decades has contributed to the national pilot shortage, Hollis said. Aggressive commercial recruitment makes military recruitment even more difficult.

The military has difficulty retaining pilots because of the intensity of the position, the Accountability Office said. Hollis said Grissom is doing better than most military units to address the issue, but pilots still have more work and more deployments. “We're doing pretty well, which is kind of an oddity,” he said. “You have different locations like California where you'd think more people would be flocking to, but we seem to be doing pretty good here.”

SOURCE: The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Made In America 2019

Indianapolis, IN (February 19, 2019) VRI -- MADE IN AMERICA 2019, the first-ever exposition and celebratory event solely focusing on U.S. manufacturing and products made in the USA, will take place at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, October 3-6, 2019. With more than 800 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees expected, this four-day event will bring together the largest-ever network of industrial professionals, keynote speakers and conscious consumers for one common goal: raising awareness for the economic, environmental and community impact of American manufacturing.

"American-made machines and products are the backbone of America's strength," said President and CEO Don Buckner, Sr. "We take great pride in our ability to deliver above and beyond with the goods we produce. While everyone has a part of their own industry's circle, we seldom find the opportunity to celebrate that unique craftsmanship in one place together."

For this monumental event, more than 450,000 square feet of the Indiana Convention Center has been reserved to showcase American-made machines and products by 800 U.S. manufacturers. While all exhibitors will share a commonality in their U.S.-based productions, the variety of represented product categories and industries will be incredibly vast, ranging from aerospace and automobiles to apparel and textiles. This event will truly be the most comprehensive representation of American manufacturing and production ever in its purest form.

The Made in America Kickoff Show will take place on Thursday, October 3, 2019. This night will include live performances by top-selling American billboard artists and keynote speakers. Friday, October 4, will feature the past, present and future of American manufacturing, with speeches by industry leaders and a celebration honoring U.S. military veterans who helped lay the foundation for American manufacturing. The closing evening event on Saturday, October 5, will be the first annual "Made in America Awards" to honor the American manufacturing tradition and to recognize the accomplishments of American production heroes, the heart and soul of homegrown manufacturing.

To learn more about exhibiting your American-made machines or products at this historic event or to join the movement to keep America on track to be the #1 manufacturer in the world, please visit

MADE IN AMERICA 2019 will be the rallying point of people, businesses and organizations from all areas of manufacturing to interact and share the latest innovations and advances in manufacturing, research, product innovation and service delivery. The inaugural event, taking place October 3-6, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, will bring together the largest-ever network of industrial professionals, offering a slate of cutting-edge educational sessions, keynote addresses and panel discussions featuring specialists from key segments of the manufacturing community.

For more information visit


Exhibitor Booth Registration
Show Registration

All inquiries to 1-888-299-7260

SOURCE: Made in America

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fifth Annual Military Veterans’ Legislative Day

Indianapolis, IN (February 12, 2019) VRI —Too many veterans who fought the nation’s battles return home to face new battles. Monday, hundreds of former service members and supporters came to the Statehouse to urge lawmakers to be allies in that fight.

“Our men and women have volunteered their time and they’ve been sent over multiple times now,” said Indiana Veterans of Foreign Wars State Commander Eric Billman. “The government, both at the state and national level, they need to take care of our veterans because we did our part, and now they have to do their part and making sure that the funding is there, the programs are there, and help is there if it’s needed.”

Judy Brown, an Army veteran from Columbus who served in the military from 1986 to '94 and again from 2007 to '12, including a tour of duty in Iraq, said veterans have four legislative priorities this year. They include:

• Remission of fees for disabled veterans’ children attending state schools;

• Property tax exemptions for veterans who are in the VA’s individual unemployability category and the spouses of service members killed in action. Veterans who are 100 percent disabled already received the exemption;

• Electronic gaming terminals in veterans’ service facilities; and

• Appropriating a percentage of lottery ticket revenue to fund state veterans’ programs.

“The best part I can take out of my service is what I’m doing right now,” Brown said. “I love veterans. I was helping them over there and I’m helping them now.”

Monday’s event was the Fifth Annual Military Veterans’ Legislative Day at the Statehouse. Pam Smith, an Army veteran from Indianapolis who served as a dental assistant in Vietnam from 1970 to 1972, has come each year wondering if help was going to be given to vets, whether it be to help them find a job or owning a home.

“I like to talk to legislators and find out what they’re going to do for us. I mean it seems like the government keeps taking away, taking away, taking away and leaving the veterans with nothing,” Smith said. “Some of these people went overseas to Vietnam and come back and can’t get anything.”

Jake Skillett, owner of VonBernd K9 Training Center in Brownsburg, wasn’t enlisted, but was in Iraq training dogs to detect bombs. He said he’d been around veterans for most of his life and could see the problems they face.

“As hard as it was for the Vietnam boys coming home, you can definitely see a huge change in that regards as far as the support,” he said. “As a whole, it’s getting better every day and the support is slowly but surely becoming recognized.”

Billman, the VFW state commander, said the government has to do its part to help veterans adjust when they return home.

“Men and women are put in situations that aren’t normal situations for the general public and they deal with them, but some people deal with them in different ways,” Billman said.

He said that while there are “several great bills” filed by lawmakers this session, he and others want to ensure those don’t get forgotten as the legislature deals with other issues.

“Unfortunately sometimes with the government, things can be buried which is what we are trying to avoid as well, so we can make sure our veterans are taking care of,” Billman said.

SOURCE: Hendricks County Flyer

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

An American hero passes

Terre Haute, IN (January 29, 2019) VRI — Dozens of active military and veterans paid respect to an American hero buried Monday at Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute.

Retired U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. John E. Taylor Jr., 95, lived about seven years in the Terre Haute area when he was stationed at the Indiana Air National Guard base at Hulman Field after World War II.

He met and married wife Barbara Bronson Taylor in Terre Haute, and he stayed connected to the community through the years. His daughter, son and grandson said a final farewell Monday afternoon during a committal service in the chapel at Highland Lawn.

“We’re honored that all of the Air Force people came and we received such a nice honor guard, and my father received the respect we believe he deserves after serving his country for 41 years,” Elaine Greenwood said after the service.

She said her father was interested in auto racing and “anything that goes fast,” so being close to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Terre Haute Action Track was a bonus for him. His nickname “Jet” was more than a reference to his initials or his profession as a pilot.

Taylor’s legacy in Indiana is well known, said Brig. Gen. Kip Clark, commander of the Indiana Air National Guard former commander of the 181st Intelligence Wing at Hulman Field.

“I believe General Taylor epitomizes the Air Force core values,” Clark said, noting Taylor was an especially talented aviator.

Taylor attended flight school and began his Air Force career in 1943 in Honington, Suffolk, England, flying P-51 Mustangs in World War II, according to his biography. The missions ranged from escorting bombers and dive-bombing and strafing targets to area patrol missions across a swath of Europe.

After the war, he also few P-51s in the Indiana Air National Guard. When activated for duty during the Korean War, he flew the P-51, F-84 (Thunderjet) and F-86 (Sabre), completing 250 combat missions.

At the end of the Korean War, he returned to Indiana, eventually transferring to an Air National Guard unit in Ohio to fly F-100 Super Sabres. As a lieutenant colonel, Taylor was appointed commander at Kunsan Air Base in Korea. He also few F-100 combat missions in South Vietnam.

He later transferred to the Air Force Reserve as commander at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, and later was promoted to colonel, serving at Carswell, Tinker and Hill Air Force Bases. He achieved the rank of brigadier general and was later appointed major general.

His medals and awards include Air Force Distinguished Service Award, Silver Star, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak clusters, Airman’s Medal with two silver and three bronze oak leave clusters, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Air Medal with 13 oak leaf clusters.

Taylor retired to his farm in Bluffdale, Texas in 1984. His daughter said he occasionally visited Terre Haute and the grave of his late wife.

Presiding over the committal service was pastor Larry Spear, who recalled his own service as a pilot and an air traffic controller in Vietnam.

“The F-100 pilots were some of the best pilots,” Spear said of Taylor, noting that his dates of service in Vietnam coincided with Taylor, so they may have communicated at some point.

Spear said the number of service members and veterans who answered a community call-out and attended the committal service was large and impressive.

General Clark said the respect paid to Taylor was well-deserved.

“He left quite a legacy,” Clark said