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March 18, 2015 at 1:01pm

446th Airlift Wing names Col. Gerry Signorelli second in command

This just in from the 446th Airlift Wing at McChord Field on Joint Base Lewis-McChord

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- The 446th Airlift Wing, the sole Air Force Reserve flying unit in Washington state has selected Col. Gerry Signorelli to be its vice commander, effective April 6.

Signorelli brings 23 years of all-around experience as a traditional [part-time] Reservist, air reserve technician, active-duty Airman, and individual mobilization augmentee to the wing.

"You can't find a military journal published that doesn't boast about the tremendous global impact of the men and women of this wing," he said. "I'm honored to join this outstanding team."

Signorelli said he's grateful Col. Scott McLaughlin, 446th AW commander, trusts his abilities to be his right-hand man, and make a positive impact on the people in the wing.

McLaughlin and Signorelli share history.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Colonel Signorelli," he said. "[He] is eminently qualified to fill a senior leader position at the 446th and has an impressive history of military excellence."

In his previous assignment as the Senior Joint Operations action officer and service lead at Norfolk Naval Air Station, Virginia since October 2014, Signorelli coordinated with Department of Defense agencies to efficiently position assets that support emerging national security interests.

A resident of Rockwall in East Texas, Signorelli is a first officer, and leadership and aviation risk resource management instructor for Southwest Airlines in his civilian career.

He earned his commission through Norwich University's ROTC program in 1991, and earned the distinguished graduate award. Since then, he's held several operational, staff and leadership positions, and tallied more than 8,500 hours in multiple military and civilian airframes.

As the vice commander, Signorelli will be responsible for assisting the wing commander with organizing, training, and ensuring the readiness of nearly 2,100 Reservists.

Signorelli succeeds Col. Richard Grayson, whose retirement ceremony was March 8 after serving as vice commander since 2012, and nearly three decades in the Air Force.

"There's no replacing Colonel Grayson after 27 years of steadfast dedication to the Airmen and mission of the 446th," Signorelli said. "I will do my best to uphold his incomparable service record."

September 10, 2014 at 8:52am

McChord Field honors National POW/MIA Recognition Day with a week of activities

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 19.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday, Sept. 19, but at Joint Base Lewis-McChord - McChord Field the respects begin Sept. 15 at Memorial Grove and conclude Sept. 19 at The Club at McChord Field Ballroom. The annual recognition is to remember and honor those who have sacrificed so valiantly for their country.

The week of recognition starts at 11 a.m. with a wreath laying ceremony at McChord Field's Memorial Grove - honoring and paying respects to all POW/MIAs, past and present. If bad weather ensues the ceremony will be moved into the adjacent building.

Motorcyclists will gather at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16 at Memorial Grove for their annual ride. Last year this was one of the more popular motorcycle rides in the Northwest. It presents a chance for veterans to meet new friends and renew acquaintances with old ones.

People looking for something more physically energetic can meet at 8 a.m. Sept. 17 for a 24-hour Memorial Run at the McChord Field Track. It's open to all members of the JBLM community. This is a fundraising event. For more information, call 253.982.3339.

The week of events winds up Sept. 19 for a POW/MIA luncheon at The Club at McChord Field Ballroom. RSVP required. For information, call 253.982.7161.

In Viet Nam, 2,338 military personal were originally listed as missing in action. Over the years some bodies have been identified leaving 1,875 military personnel still unaccounted for. It is a tradition for Americans to recover their dead but due to the difficult terrain in Viet Nam, bodies were often challenging to locate. Military personnel just yards apart often disappeared into the jungle and foliage.

Numbers of POWs were relativity small in Viet Nam given the size of the forces employed. The Vietnamese held 766 military personal in captivity, the largest number being pilots and crewmen downed over Hanoi. While in prisons, 114 died of wounds. The small number of captured was more a result of logistics rather than brutality. Guerilla forces, often moving fast and light, had no capacity to take prisoners and captives were often eliminated. 

Remembering MIAs and POWs has become a tradition. JBLM-McChord Field is proud to host the events.

September 8, 2014 at 4:20pm

446th Security Forces Squadron airmen impressive at Subway Beast Mode Challenge

Airman 1st Class Parker Gill (front left) and Senior Airman Kyle Knoblock (front right), both from the 446th Security Forces Squadron, surface from a mud trench during the 2014 Subway Beast Mode Challenge Sept. 6. Photo credit: Master Sgt. Minnette Mason

Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks rugged running back, would have been on his feet, cheering and clapping.

Airman 1st Class Parker Gill, in his own Beast Mode fashion, overcame a strong challenge and a muddy, 3.5-mile obstacle course to win his wave at the Subway Beast Mode Challenge Saturday at Meadowbrook Farm near North Bend.

Senior Airman Kyle Knoblock, who along with Gill is with the 446th Security Forces Squadron, placed a muddy second in their wave. To win, Gill had to get over, under and through 12 football-themed obstacles that included hills, barriers, water, mud and sludge.

Gill, covered with mud from head to toe, held off his friend and strong field to place first. To even finish the muddy course, runners had to draw on their inner Beast Mode.

The muddy race was sponsored by Air Force Reserve recruiting and proceeds from the race went to Fam 1st Foundation, a program started in part by Lynch, the Seahawks hard-hitting running back whose nickname is "Beast Mode". The foundation's mission is to help put inner city youth out of trouble with the law and on a positive path. The foundation's goal is one of "empowerment and education aiming to build self-esteem and academic learning skills in underprivileged youth."

At the 3.5-mile muddy run challenge, the Air force Reserve recruiters were also on hand to answer questions about the Air Force reserves. The obstacles of the race included slides, walls, mud pits and water for runners to survive and get through.

Whether contestants were desk jockeys, taxi moms or average Joes, everyone had to draw on their inner Beast Mode to finish the race. It was an opportunity for contestants to come out and tear up an obstacle course meant to keep them from reaching the end zone. The muddy challenge couldn't stop Gill and Knoblock.

Gill had to rely on his inner Beast Mode so he could move faster, jump higher and survive the muddy course. And that inner strength is something every reservists draws on to get their job done. Every play, every game, Lynch gives it everything he has. And after a game he donates his time and money to raise awareness through his Fam 1st Foundation about the needs of inner city kids.

Lynch, who avoids interviews with sportswriters before and after games, lets his actions on the field speak for itself.

"I ain't never seen no talking win me nothin'," Lynch said.  

Lynch got the nickname Beast Mode because of his smash-mouth, hard-hitting running style he has with the Seattle Seahawks. Lynch was a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2007 and he became the Bills' first rookie in 30 years to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. Lynch graduated from the University of California as the Bears' second all-time leading rusher with 3,230 yards. 

Lynch partnered with Joshua Johnson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' fifth-round draft pick in 2008 and later the backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, to start their foundation.

When asked by an ESPN reporter about why his foundation is important, Lynch said, "My city where the crimes is going on, it seems like the kids are getting younger and younger."

September 6, 2014 at 1:30pm

Armed Forces help Seattle Seahawks kick off the 2014-15 NFL Season

Washington National Guard receives high-fives before unveiling the Seattle Seahawks' new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl banner. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seattle Seahawks are World Champions, and now, in part with the military's help, have the banners up in CenturyLink Field to prove it.

The team made the military an integral part of its NFL Kickoff celebration Thursday as members from each branch took part in the National Anthem and the Super Bowl banner presentation as well as reenlistment and promotion ceremonies.

"The Seahawks and our fans recognize the essential role and amazing service provided by America's military personnel," said Seattle Seahawks Community Relations Vice President Mike Flood. "We're proud to feature service members from all branches as we display the World Championship banner and begin the 2014 NFL season."

The amount of inquiries for support has increased significantly with the Seahawks' super success. However, the organization continues to involve the military throughout the year - even in one of the most popular games of the entire NFL season. In fact, support is increasing.

"That effort will continue every year because it's our opportunity and duty to give back," Flood said. "Our coaches, players and staff have a year-round dedication to partnering (with) service members and supportive causes."

>>> U.S. Navy member LCDR Jay Hyler shows off the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Championship Ring before his on-field promotion ceremony before the NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ballesteros is all smiles during his re-enlistment ceremony on the field of the Seattle Seahawks during their military pre-game celebration Thursday. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Flood and Seahawks Fan Development Assistant Director Armando Mejia lead the critical relationship between the Seahawks organization and the military. They work with bases throughout the Pacific Northwest to create new ideas every year, such as the 80-feet high Super Bowl banner, which was held by members of the Washington National Guard during the Seahawks NFL Kickoff game against the Green Bay Packers Sept. 4.

"It was really neat to see them unfold the Super Bowl banner in rehearsal, and it sent the message that we finally did it," said Spc. Josh Medford, JFHQ, 2-146 Artillery, Washington National Guard, prior to the game. "I've got a pretty critical role in the presentation, as I'm the one who grabs the flag by the top and walks it all the way down to the bottom."

>>> Fireworks burst into the sky as 50 members of the Washington National Guard hold a brand new 80-foot Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy banner during the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl celebration. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>>Pop sensation Ariana Grande joins members of every service branch to sing the National Anthem before the Seattle Seahawks took on the Green Bay Packers. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Along with an on-the-field presence of the military this season, the Seahawks are also implementing a #SeahawksSalute campaign, which will feature photos of deployed service members demonstrating their "12th Man" spirit.

>>> Various members of military branches hold up a camouflage "12s" Flag during various military pre-game ceremonies. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The Seahawks organization is using the popularity of social media to enhance its connection between "12s" and the team, to include the military.

"One of our most recent programs is the Seahawks adopted military unit," Flood explained. "The Army was our first, in 2012, then the Air Force was last year, and now the Coast Guard will carry the football and "12 Flag" for 2014."

The selected unit participates in special team events and carries the "12 Flag" to locales worldwide throughout the season.

During the summer, the Seahawks made it a priority to bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the "Heroes of 12 Tour" to bases across Washington state, to include last year's adopted unit at the 446thAirlift Wing.

"We made it a point to begin the Lombardi Trophy tour at military bases to demonstrate our appreciation for the selfless service they give to America," Flood said. "It was a pleasure for us to see the smiles of thousands of service members at every base on the trophy visit."

A large part of the #SeahawksSalute program success relies on servicemembers.

Medford said the Seahawks Salute is both important and fun. Thursday's game was Medford's first Seahawks event, but he's done similar salute ceremonies for both the Sounders and Mariners.

A variety of military involved events took place throughout the NFL Kickoff game.

"During our break ... we actually got a chance to watch Pharrell during his rehearsal," said Medford.  "He actually came right over and gave us high-fives and posed in several pictures for us."

Entertainment wasn't the only thing taking place on the field before the big game, however.

Now Navy Lt. Comdr. Jay Hyler was promoted directly on the field before the game and even had the honor of having his daughter pin on his new rank.

"It was such an honor to have my daughter alongside of me while I get promoted," Hyler said. "It's her first game ever, and she even got to try on a Super Bowl Ring.  How amazing is that?"

Along with Hyler's promotion, Army Capt. Paul Ballesteros re-enlisted during the pregame ceremonies.

"This is my home state, so it means a lot to me to re-enlist indefinitely," said Ballesteros, who has been a Seahawks fan since wearing a Steve Largent jersey when he was only 5 years old.

"I feel great about this event," he added. "This shows me that the Seahawks work well with the Army by providing amazing opportunities for a homegrown soldier such as myself to do something like this."

It's hard to forget one's first-ever NFL game.  It will be especially hard for Tech Sgt. Matt McKenna, who's stationed on the McChord side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

It was his first Seahawks game, and he found himself standing only a few feet from pop sensation Ariana Grande while she performed the National Anthem.

McKenna recently received a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for his ground combat heroics in Afghanistan in 2012.

"It's incredibly humbling to receive this honor," he said of being awarded the medals. "It's really recognition of the team's work and combined efforts with the Army on one pretty tough day."

Stories such as McKenna's show the importance of supporting, showcasing and allowing the military to be a part of every Seattle Seahawks home game.

"We may not be able to touch everyone through Seahawks programs, but we will do our best to honor those who have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy," Flood said.  "We remain committed to dozens of programs that strive to help military personnel, veterans and their families."

July 15, 2014 at 10:34am

Fun, friends and learning at the 446th Airlift Wing's Family Day

About 3,200 people took part in the day for reservists at Heritage Hill on McChord Field, July 12. Photo credit: Gail Wood

It was a day for having fun, meeting new friends and finding help.

That's the focus of the 446th Airlift Wing's annual Family Day symposium and picnic. With an emphasis on fun, it was a mix of kid's games, a tasty barbeque lunch and a morning of hearing about support programs for families.

"It's one of our ways to say thank you," Lt. Col. Anna Sullivan said. "These families put up with so much."

About 3,200 people, from parents to grandparents to kids, took part in the day for reservists at Heritage Hill on McChord Field, July 12.

There were three pieces to the event. In the morning, there was a spouse flight around Mount Rainier in a C-17. Then there was the education piece in the morning that worked as a conduit, connecting families with helpful programs from health care to counseling to employment.

The free picnic, which was catered by Dickey's Barbecue, and games, which included a bouncy castle, paper airplane throw, ball toss through a hoop, jewelry making, putt-putt golf, ping pong and volleyball, put the fun into the event.

"This is also a good way for all the families to get together," Sullivan said.

There was information on programs that covered airmen and family readiness, military family counseling, fitness and employer support for those in the Reserves. There were symposiums on 13 different programs, which included Air Force Aid Society, Hero 2 Hire and the Wingman Tool Kit.

Another program was Yellow Ribbon, a congressional mandate that has a mission to tell reservists about employment and connect them with potential employers. It's for pre- and post-deployment. To attract families to Yellow Ribbon, an expense-paid trip to Disney World for the reservist's family is offered.

"It's bait," Sullivan said.

The objective is to find employment for the reservists.

"If they work here, they stay here, and we don't have to get other people, that helps keep everyone happy," Sullivan said. "We want them to be happy and employed. Lots of the programs are good to our people."

Representatives from these different programs gave presentations to show the resources available to them.

The day was also about reservists getting a chance to bring their family to the picnic and introduce them to co-workers.

"Typically, we're coming out one weekend a month or coming out on our annual tour," Sgt. Minnette Mason said. "What we do each year is set up an event that is family friendly."

It was mission accomplished. The food and games, which was coupled with a beautiful sunny 90-degree summer day, was certainly crowd-pleasing.

"Today is about the families of our reservists," Mason said. "It gives the airmen a chance to come together and get to know the families. They're the ones who allow us to do our job."

Michelle and Daniel Faust stood in a long line with their children waiting to get a hearty barbeque lunch.

"It's fun, but the lines are a little long," said Daniel, a reservist in the 446th Airlift Wing.

The lines were about 300 people deep. Michelle was among the 40 spouses who took the airplane ride in a C-17 around Rainier in the morning.

"It was a wonderful day," Michelle said. "It's a fun, fun day. It gives you a chance to connect with the other families."

May 5, 2014 at 1:05pm

JBLM: UFC fighters reveal best way to get in shape

Rich Franklin, left and Mike Dolce discuss fitness at Joint Base Lewis McChord, May 2. Photo credit: Gail Wood

So, you've gained weight and you want to get in better shape.

Well, Mike Dolce and Rich Franklin, two famous names in the Ultimate Fighting Championship world, will tell you the remedy for getting in shape, for cutting weight and gaining muscle, isn't found in just going to the gym and working out. It's also about eating right.

Dolce, a MMA coach for over a decade with the UFC, and Franklin, a former three-time UFC world champ, talked Saturday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, sharing insights to becoming a better you.

"It's not just about what you do in the gym," Franklin said. "But it's also about the food you put into your body."

Read more...

March 11, 2014 at 12:14pm

Senior Airman Madelyn McCullough of 446th AW wins media awards

Senior Airman Madelyn McCullough of the 446th Airlift Wing grabbed three awards in the 2013 Air Force Reserve Command Media Contest. The top entries were announced today by Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, AFRC commander. The public affairs competition featured 317 Web, print, graphic, still photo and broadcasting entries from 30 organizations.

McCullough grabbed a first place award for Commentary, second place for Outstanding New Writer and third place for News Article.

McCullough's first place entitles her to advance to the Air Force Media Contest at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

To read a list of all the winners, click here.

See Also

When award winners write about award winners

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