Military Notebook: J-STARS wing gets new commander

July 27, 2013 

The 461st Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base has a new commander.

Col. Henry L. Cyr took command in a ceremony held Tuesday at the Museum of Aviation. He is replacing Col. Dean Worley Jr. Worley was the first to command the wing, which was activated in 2011 when the decision was made to split the blended 116th Air Control Wing. Now the 116th is a Georgia Air National Guard Wing, and the 461st is an active duty wing. Together, the two operate the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System.

“It was an honor to serve as the first wing commander of the 461st and continue its legacy both in combat and in the states,” Worley said in a release. “It was a privilege to lead our airmen and work with the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th ACW and other mission partners during the busiest time in Joint STARS history.”

Cyr is a master navigator with more than 4,200 flying hours and served as the 461st’s vice commander.

Worley is going on to work in the Secretary of Defense’s office at the Pentagon.

House votes against furloughs

It’s not law yet, but the House of Representatives has voted to require the Department of Defense to achieve savings in some way other than furloughs.

In a bipartisan voice vote, the House on Tuesday approved an amendment to the defense spending bill for the upcoming fiscal year that would ban civilian furloughs.

Civilians across the Department of Defense, including 15,000 civilians at Robins, have one furlough day per week for an 11-week period this year.

The amendment was authored by Georgia’s 12th District U.S. Rep. John Barrow, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican.

The bill still has to be approved by the Senate and signed by the president.

Also, on Tuesday the House approved an amendment co-sponsored by 8th District U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ashburn, to end furloughs among Working Capital Fund employees. That applies to the aircraft maintenance area at Robins, which makes up the bulk of operations on base.

“The current furloughs of Working Capital Funds workers are not yielding direct savings and will likely lead to future cost overruns due to delayed production, overhead increases and overtime compensation,” Scott said in a release.

ComSouth helps furloughed employees

Cable television provider ComSouth is giving furloughed employees 20 percent off their monthly bills through the furlough period.

To get the discount, new and existing customers should bring their base identification card and the furlough order to any ComSouth office.

The discount will be applied as a credit for July, August and September.

“This doesn’t make up for their loss of income, but ComSouth wants them to know that we value their presence,” Rob Brooks, vice president of ComSouth, said in a release.

B-1 bomber at museum still serving

The Museum of Aviation’s B-1 bomber served a purpose recently in preserving the active fleet.

D-Check Developments Inc. of Milner won a contract to develop a tool that would more quickly and safely remove the landing gear of a B-1 bomber. Since the B-1 at the museum was nearby, two mechanical engineers from the company came to the museum last week to examine the landing gear system, according to a museum release.

The tool will be a modification of a device the company already manufactures for other aircraft.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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