Page 4 - Luke AFB Thunderbolt, February 2020
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4      February 2021                                        Spotlight                                                                 Thunderbolt                                                  News                                       5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      February 2021

   Military tax services available through Military OneSource                                                                                                       From virtual to reality: F-35A, B-2 conduct joint training mission

                                                                                                                                                                                by Staff Sgt.                                                                                        squadron at Luke AFB, which hosts five
                   by                                                                                              may be additional need for that support                FRANKLiN R. RAmoS                                                                                          partner nations for training. This opened
         TeRRi mooN CRoNK                                                                                          online and over the phone,” she said.                                                                                                                             the doorway for taking training with a B-2
                                                                                                                     MilTax availability  runs until  mid-                 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs                                                                          from a virtual environment to reality.
                 DoD News
                                                                                                                   October for service members who need               Ten F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from                                                                         “We’re really the only ones (here) with
     Filing taxes can be a daunting task ev-                                                                       extensions.                                      the 63rd Fighter Squadron “Panthers”                                                                             the ability to integrate with the B-2 in this
   ery year, but the Defense Department has                                                                          “That’s simply because we know that the        participated in a joint capstone training                                                                        capacity,” said Gossner. “One of the biggest
   helpful resources for active-duty service                                                                       tax season usually ends in April, but for our    mission with two B-2 Spirit stealth bombers                                                                      benefits to this are the relationships that
   members and their families, and it’s all free                                                                   military community, sometimes people are         assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing, White-                                                                          we’ve built with the B-2 pilots. We had the
   through Military OneSource.                                                                                     overseas or they are in a combat zone, and,      man Air Force Base, Missouri, Nov. 18, 2020.                                                                     ability to go out to Whiteman Air Force
     Tax services for the military — also                                                                          so, they’re able to file those extensions, and     The Panther Capstone, an offensive                                                                             Base to mission plan with them to under-
   known as MilTax — is DoD’s approved tax-                                                                        (we are) there to help them file their taxes     counter air attack mission, enabled F-35                                                                         stand how they think about threats and
   filing and tax-support service — including                                                                      at a later time,” Smith said.                    and B-2 pilots to operate their aircraft in a                                                                    the tactical problems and then share with
   tax preparation and e-filing software and                                                                         Smith said she is not tracking any signifi-    joint combat environment against multiple                                                                        them how we think about the same issues.”
   personalized support to deal with issues                                                                        cant changes in tax law for the 2020 filing      advanced adversary air and surface-to-air                                                                          Of the 10 F-35 pilots, six were instructors
   such as deployments, combat and training                                                                        year that would affect service members and       missile threats.                                                                            Staff Sgt. Franklin R. Ramos  and four were students who were preparing
   pay, housing and rentals, multistate filings,                                                                   their families.                                    “This was a first-time event for White-  An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 63rd Fighter Squadron takes off, Nov. 18, 2020,   to graduate. According to Gossner, no stu-
   and living overseas.                                                                                              “But the 2020 Social Security tax deferral                                           at Luke Air Force Base. Ten F-35s from Luke AFB participated in a joint exercise with
     “They can connect with a (tax) consultant                                                                     is a big thing at this time,” she noted. “We     man’s B-2s integrating with Luke’s F-35s,”   two B-2 Spirits from Whiteman AFB, Missouri. During the exercise, F-35s pressured   dents who have graduated from Luke AFB
   during the tax season, and even past (it),                                                                      are referring and connecting filers with (the    said Lt. Col. Christopher Diller, 509th BW   enemy air defenses, escorted the bombers to deter enemy aircraft, and dropped   have ever participated in a flight like this
   through October, but in addition to hav-                                                                        Defense Finance Accounting Service) and          program manager and B-2 pilot. “As the   bombs to soften the target areas for the B-2s. The 63rd FS, which trains students to   prior to arriving at their operational unit.
   ing that live support walking through the                                                                       with the IRS regarding questions and con-        number of F-35s increase, the understand-  become F-35 pilots, usually uses simulations to conduct this training, but had the   “Our B-coursers who are graduating are
   filing process and asking questions that                                                          Courtesy graphic  cerns they have outside of the tax deferral.”   ing and interoperability between the vari-  opportunity to train students in a real world environment instead.  going to graduate as fully mission ready
   are specific to the military around taxes,                                                                        Also, MilTax can guide its military filers     ous platforms must increase. What better                                                                         wingmen,” said Gossner. “With this being
   they’re able to access the MilTax software,”   “That’s huge in the military commu-  services every year in high numbers,   who have questions surrounding the eco-  way to facilitate this than at the capstone                                                                   such a core part of our mission, we really
   said Kelly Smith, program analyst with   nity, because our families are (going   which provides continuity and knowledge   nomic stimulus package from 2020.     event at the F-35 schoolhouse?”       to be able to hold targets at risk,” said Capt.   students using real-world assets instead.  wanted to put the emphasis on such a
   the DoD’s Military Community and Fam-  through permanent changes of station)   of the armed forces’ needs.        “I want to ensure that our service mem-          The F-35 is the U.S. Air Force’s latest   Sean Gossner, 63d FS instructor pilot and   “Typically, we train for LO escort by us-  high-end training to prepare our B-course
   ily Policy. MilTax consultants are available   and moving multiple times,” Smith noted.  At this point, this year’s tax deadline   bers and families know they can turn to   fifth-generation fighter designed to provide   flight commander. “We finally got to practice   ing simulated assets that are not actually   graduates for the fights that they are going
   virtually.                             Overall, the MilTax services are de-  for filing 2020 taxes is April 15, although   Military OneSource and the tax service as   the pilot with unsurpassed situational   this with real B-2s for the first time at Luke   airborne with us, which leads to various   to be in and that could be as soon as they
     An advantage to the MilTax software,   signed to be stress-free, Smith said.  last year it was extended to July 15   a trusted source, and (MilTax services) un-  awareness, positive target identification,   Air Force Base with the Panthers.”  training limitations,” said Gossner. “To be   get to their new units.”
   Smith noted, is it’s designed and tailored   “(People) can rest assured that they   because of COVID-19. If there is an ex-  derstand taxes as it relates to the military   and precision strike in all weather condi-  The 63rd FS, known colloquially as the   able to bring together everything with 10 F-  Gossner and Dilller said they hope both
   for the military community.          are working with tax professionals who   tension this year, Smith said MilTax is   community,” Smith said.                  tions.                                Panthers, trains students to become F-35   35s and two B-2s against a robust air threat   units can conduct this training more often,
     E-filing allows service members to file   know and are familiar with military tax   prepared for it.            Call Military One Source at 800-342-             “The F-35 was built to be able to escort   pilots.  They often use virtual simula-  picture and surface-to-air missile threat   ensuring Luke AFB delivers combat-ready
   their federal returns along with up to three   situations,” she said, adding that many   “Our staff and our consultants are   9647, or visit: https://www.militaryone-  low observable (LO) assets like the B-2 into   tions to replicate B-2s for this training,   picture was incredible training for us.”  Airmen to provide a more lethal force
   state returns at no cost.            MilTax consultants return to offer their   positioned to fill in the gaps where there           highly defended territory in order for them   but this mission offered training for    The Panthers are a U.S.-only B-course   around the globe.

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