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F.E. Warren Air Force Base

Man Facing Charges For Trespassing Onto Cheyenne Air Force Base

in News/Crime

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A man is facing two charges in federal court for allegedly trespassing onto the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne last week and getting into an altercation with security personnel.

Kelly Wind Harris, 33, is charged with entering a military base for unlawful reasons and assaulting Air Force security forces. If convicted of both counts, he could serve one year and six months in prison and faces $105,000 in fines.

According to court documents, on Nov. 4, F.E. Warren security forces responded to a report of an unknown person walking through the air base’s housing area, looking through windows.

A staff sergeant made made contact with Harris, who told the officer that he went through a fence to the base as a shortcut to a Cheyenne liquor store.

Harris was escorted inside of a building on the base, where the staff sergeant continued the interview. While talking, Harris said he was going to leave and stood up.

When told to sit down, Harris said “I’m going to [expletive] leave now” and tucked his shoulder down while running toward the sergeant, who was standing in the doorway of the room.

The sergeant braced himself for impact and when Harris hit him, he wrapped his arms around Harris and took him to the ground.

While officers attempted to detain him, Harris resisted, but they eventually got him in handcuffs.

Harris also told officers his name was Kevin Harrison and that his birthdate was Oct. 31, 1988. He reiterated this name and birth date, even after being told it was unlawful to lie to a federal agent.

He ended up giving a different birth date, Oct. 31, 1984, but again, officials could find no record of him.

Harris allegedly became combative again, resisting and throwing himself into the security forces. He had to be held on the ground for the remainder of the investigation.

He finally gave his lawful name and birth date.

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Two F.E. Warren Airmen Killed In Head-On Collision on Wyoming – Colorado Border

in News

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Two airmen stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne were killed in a car accident late last week in northern Colorado, the U.S. Air Force announced.

Senior Airman Yasmin Evans, 790th Missile Security Forces Squadron, and Senior Airman Taylor Ashley, 90th Missile Security Operations Squadron, were killed in an off-duty car accident when an oncoming vehicle collided with the vehicle they were in around 2:30 a.m. Saturday on U.S. 85 in Weld County, near the Wyoming border.

“This is a horrible loss that impacts many members of our team,” said Col. Catherine Barrington, 90th Missile Wing commander. “As a wing, we will focus on mourning, remembering our friends and healing with our teammates.”

Also killed in the crash were Jonathan William Upchurch of Rockford, Ill., and his passenger Zane Lee Schure of Fort Collins, according to the Denver Post.

Upchurch was driving a 2015 Jeep Cherokee when it crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a Honda driven by Evans, according to the Colorado State Patrol. The crash remains under investigation by the state patrol. Investigators suspect that the driver of the Jeep was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

A final manner and cause of the four deaths awaits pending laboratory and autopsy reports. All four were wearing their seatbelts.

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Cheyenne Airman Saves Kidnapped Child, Helps Capture Fugitive

in News/Good news/Crime

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Cheyenne airman has been hailed for her role in the apprehension of a fugitive and the return of a kidnapped child to his mother.

Suzanne Pedro, an installation entry controller at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, was recognized this week for her actions in late June.

According to records of the event, a man drove up to the Air Force base gate and handed Pedro, assigned to defend the gate, an unusual form of identification. The man and a boy in the vehicle refused to make eye contact with the airman, which made her suspect something was amiss.

“I had a feeling something wasn’t right,” said Pedro. “Neither the man or the child looked at me while I scanned the ID. When it flashed red for warrants, my heart began to race.”

Pedro quietly alerted her supervisors and fellow airmen on duty about the situation. She directed the vehicle out of the line of traffic at the gate to keep the man from fleeing.

Airman Frank Shaw relayed information to the base defense operations center, which verified warrants had been issued for the arrest of the man in the car and contacted local law enforcement to inform officers of the situation.

“We were told of a weapon in the car, so my heart was racing, but I wasn’t nervous,” said Pedro. “My main concern was keeping the child distracted and keeping him comfortable and happy.”

Although the investigation is ongoing, the airmen have been told the child had been missing from his biological mother since December.

Pedro and Shaw were recognized by multiple levels of leadership for their actions.

“Airman Pedro exemplifies what it means to be a Defender,” said Maj. Keil Luber, commander of the 90th Security Forces Squadron, which runs the air base. “While not yet qualified on her position, she followed her instincts and training, directly contributing to the capture of a wanted criminal and the recovery of a missing child.”

Pedro expressed excitement about her coming years in the military.

“I’ve wanted to be a police officer as long as I can remember,” said Pedro. “To have only been in the Air Force for 10 months and get this experience that most haven’t gotten in their whole careers – it’s been amazing. I am thankful for everyone on my flight who has helped teach me, and I’m also thankful to my parents for supporting me in my dreams.”

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40th Anniversary of “Stripes” This Week; Could ‘Razzle-Dazzle Scene Actually Happen?

in News/military

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

As movie-goers celebrate the 40th anniversary this week of the Bill Murray classic comedy “Stripes,” some civilians — naively — wonder if any parts of the movie could actually happen in real life.

Like the boot camp graduation scene where perhaps the worst-ever group of soldiers show off the skills they taught themselves after their sergeant was blown up in an unfortunate accident.

The result is a fabulously choreographed dance that the misfits somehow learned overnight. They’re even late to the graduation with their shirts hanging out and loosely buttoned — if buttoned at all — which makes the whole scene more outrageous and memorable.

Is there any chance this could happen in real-life?

The former commander of Cheyenne’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base (or the 90th Wing as it is called) laughed at the notion but was kind enough to address the question.

“Boot camp is hard enough, calling attention to you self is utterly self-destructive, and if you don’t figure that in the first 24 hours, you’re probably going home anyway,” said retired Col. Tucker Fagan.

“However, I’m sure everyone who has gone through boot camp probably had dreams that someone else, not them, would do something crazy,” Fagan said.

The former commander said the soldiers shown in “Stripes” would never get to perform their routine for officers because as soon as something looked askew in the proceedings, the participants would be thrown-out.

“Notice the General and officers are aghast; however every TI (training instructor) on the parade field would be all over them in a second, getting them off the parade field,” he said.

Fagan, however, was impressed with the choreography — although he did note it was unrealistic.

“Notice they all are in step and properly spaced – that takes a lot of training, so they must have practiced; an improbability,” he said.

Fagan said no one would applaud at such a scene for fear of retribution. Further, if the troops actually pulled this off, hell would break loose.

“People there would be like, ‘OMG those guys are in for the worst boot camp you can imagine, the worst will be out of the Army faster than you can turn around,” Fagan said laughing.

The lack of realism — the escapism — is what makes it fun and what makes the movie “Stripes” so endearing to this day.

40 years later, it still holds up.

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Fighter Jets Take Off From Cheyenne Airport

in Photography

You never know what type of aircraft you’ll see on the runway at the Cheyenne Airport.

On Sunday afternoon, cars lined up to watch three fighter jets take off from the airport. Readers told us these were Boeing EA-18G Growlers.

Whatever they were, they were fun to watch and made you feel patriotic. Enjoy the video!

Airmen urge service members to lean on fellow ‘wingmen’ for suicide prevention

in News/military

As the U.S. Air Force reports that suicides among airmen have increased in 2019, two women serving at Cheyenne’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base are urging service members to rely on their “wingmen” for help when they are hurting.

Senior Airman Abbigayle Williams and First Class Airman Aiesha Bass are on a mission to stop service members from taking their own lives. Both encouraged their fellow members of the military to turn to one of their fellow service members for help.

“That wingman concept, it’s a good thing,” Bass said. “Somebody needs somebody to lean on. Whether you’ve got one wingman or you’ve got a whole 15 females in here you’ve never seen a day in your life. But they’re there.”

Bass, a former juvenile supervision officer, said providing help can be as simple as listening.

“If you don’t want me to say anything back, you just want to talk, I’m going to listen to you,” she said.

Williams encouraged troubled service members to approach their fellow airmen.

“Stop me on the road,” she said. “I may not know you, but if you need someone to vent to, if you just want someone to cook you food … then I will definitely cook a meal for any airman or anyone else who needs it. Sometimes, you just need to sit down and talk.”

Encouraging someone to do something to lift their spirits also helps, Bass said.

“If they’re not thinking positive, try to help them think positive,” she said. “Try to come up with something to do, especially if someone just sits in a room and doesn’t get out much, (ask them) ‘You want to get out to eat, you want to go walk in the park, you want to go just do something simple just to get you out of this gloomy mood.’”

Missile systems upgrade could bring billions to SE Wyoming

in Economic development/News/military/Business

If the missiles under control of F.E. Warren Air Force Base are made part of a massive upgrade program, Cheyenne could see challenges in managing the resulting growth, according to the former head of the Wyoming Business Council.

Bob Jensen, now part of Wyoming Entrepreneurs, said F.E. Warren’s involvement in the Ground Based Strategic Missile Upgrade program could generate growth among existing businesses and bring in new businesses as well.

“So this is going to be a big change and managing that change is as big a deal as having the opportunity in the first place,” he said.

Boeing and Northrop Grumman are in competition for a project to upgrade the nation’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, about 400 of which are deployed in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming, at an estimated cost of $90 billion.

Jensen said if the missiles in Wyoming are made part of the project, opportunities for growth would be seen throughout Cheyenne.

“People that are already here will have an opportunity to grow their businesses in relation to this if they want to,” he said. “But there will be new businesses that will come in and new workforce that comes in.”

To take full advantage of the program, Wyoming and Cheyenne will need to be able to look ahead and act on the opportunities it provides, said Eric Trowbridge, the founder of Cheyenne’s Array School of Technology and Design.

“We must have ‘leapfrog’ moments,” he said. “Wyoming does something that no one else has done before. We have to have that courage to be able to say we’re going to do it and leapfrog ahead of all the other states to do it.”

Boeing and Northrop Grumman have been awarded three-year contracts for the preliminary design phase of the upgrade.

An upgrade to Wyoming’s nuclear weapons system could be coming to Cheyenne’s FE Warren Air Force Base — but is Cheyenne ready?

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