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Posts made in: 'McChord Field' (23) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 23

April 24, 2015 at 11:07am

Air Mobility Command cancels 2015 Rodeo at McChord Field

Swarner Communications - publisher of the Ranger and Northwest Airlifters newspapers serving Joint Base Lewis-McChord and regional active, reserve and retired military - has always been a big part of McChold Field hosted Air Mobility Rodeos - the biennial, international airlift competition hosted by the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command. We published the daily newspapers serving the Rodeo, sponsored Rodeo events and, of course, covered the event. Unfortunately, this year's Rodeo scheduled at McChord Field has been canceled.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Air Mobility Command announced today that the 2015 Rodeo readiness competition, which was scheduled to take place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in August, has been canceled.

General Darren McDew, AMC commander, decided to cancel the competition largely because of the high current operations tempo for mobility Airmen and budget constraints.

"During these challenging times, we need to be good stewards of our very limited funds and our Airmen's time," McDew said. "It's unfortunate, but given the circumstances, this is the right decision. We're looking forward to the possibilities of tailoring future Rodeo events, to ensure we're getting the most training and international partnership building value from this event."

It is not the first time Rodeo has been canceled for budgetary or operational tempo reasons. In both 1988 and 2013, Rodeo was cancelled due to budgetary shortfalls, and 2003 was canceled because of worldwide commitments for the Global War on Terror and humanitarian efforts. The last Rodeo event was held at JBLM in July 2011.

"An event of this magnitude could not be successfully completed without the strong relationships built together with our community partners and businesses that support Joint Base Lewis-McChord," said Col. David Kumashiro, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "We value and appreciate our continued partnerships and very much look forward to the day when we can bring this event back to JBLM and our surrounding communities."

Rodeo competitions are held to train and improve the abilities of U.S. and international partners' air mobility operations skills while building international relationships.

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."

December 20, 2014 at 2:40pm

Air Mobility Command to inactivate 10th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

This just in from the Air Mobility Command Public Affairs Office. ...

12/20/2014 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Air Mobility Command will inactivate two  C-17 squadrons over the next two years - one at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., and one at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. - based on the President's Defense Budget for FY15.

"In this fiscally constrained environment, we have to balance readiness, capability and capacity," said Major Gen. Michael S. Stough, AMC's Director of Strategic Plans, Requirements and Programs.

"To best preserve this capability, the intent is to fund these aircraft back into primary mission aircraft inventory in future years, and transfer them to the Reserve Component -  and we're working with our Air National Guard partners to do that, perhaps even as early as FY16.  We rely on our Total Force partners to meet our global mobility requirements; we couldn't do the mission without them.   We'll continue to leverage the unique strengths of the active and Reserve components to meet current and future requirements with available resources."

The Air Force plans to make adjustments over the next few years to the active duty, Reserve, and Guard components to ensure successful transitions to a leaner force that remains ready for future operations.

The FY15 President's Budget converts 16 AMC C-17s (eight from each base) from primary mission aircraft inventory to backup aircraft inventory. As a result, AMC will inactivate the 17th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., in FY15; and the 10th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., in FY16.   These inactivations are not new actions, but additional detail on the previously announced budget submission released in March.

Backup aircraft inventory are assigned with no manpower or flying hours. However, they will continue to receive funding needed to support weapon system sustainment. Converting 16 aircraft to BAI removes funding for the personnel and flying hours associated with those aircraft, for a savings of approximately $110M per year.

November 24, 2014 at 3:54pm

Quarantined troops to land at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Nov. 25

The I Corps Public Affair Office has released a statement announcing 16 personnel supporting Operation United Assistance will arrive at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Tuesday. ...

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA - Sixteen personnel supporting Operation United Assistance will arrive on McChord Airfield, Nov. 25, as part of the Department of Defense's 21-day controlled monitoring policy. 

The breakdown of personnel is five Army, eight Air Force, one Marine, one Navy and one civilian.  None of these personnel are assigned to JBLM, and none have presented symptoms consistent with the Ebola Virus Disease.

JBLM is one of five stateside military installations identified by the DOD as a 21-day controlled monitoring area for service members and civilians returning from the EVD outbreak areas in West Africa.

The personnel will be transported to the Lewis North area of JBLM and housed in barracks separate from the rest of the installation. 

DOD civilian employees who are assigned, deployed, or transited through the Ebola outbreak area can volunteer to participate in controlled monitoring.

According to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction, CJCSI 4220.01, dated Nov. 14, 2014, all DOD service members, including active, reserve, and national guard will undergo a 21-day controlled monitoring program upon returning from, deployment to, transitioning through, or having been stationed in the Ebola outbreak area in West Africa as declared by the Centers for Disease Control (to include service personnel assigned to United Nations mission or to U.S. Embassies in the Ebola outbreak area).

November 21, 2014 at 12:16pm

New chief master sergeants of McChord Field

Col. David Kumashiro, left, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, presents Senior Master Sgt. Erik Johnson with his promotion certificate to chief master sergeant Nov. 19 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Sam Coleman

Three senior master sergeants from McChord Field were selected for promotion to chief master sergeant and part of the top one percent of the enlisted force Nov. 19.

The Air Force released the list of 479 senior master sergeants selected for the promotion and the following Airmen are McChord's newest chief master sergeant selects:

  • Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Frese, 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle fleet manager
  • Senior Master Sgt. Erik Johnson, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron blue aircraft maintenance unit assistant superintendent
  • Senior Master Sgt. Jerry Miller, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron passenger services superintendent

The average score for those selected was 671.45, with an average time in grade of 3.21 years and time in service of 21.84 years. The average score for enlisted performance reports was 135. Average decorations score was 24.22, and the average USAF Supervisory Exam score was 69.91. The average board score was 393.84.

Those selected will be promoted according to their promotion sequence number beginning in January of 2015.

September 16, 2014 at 2:55pm

Remembering Our POWs and MIAs: JBLM hosts commemorative ride

Thirty-three bikers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord took part in a ride honoring the 2014 POW/MIA Remembrance Week. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The bikers showed up.

Some rode in individually; others rode in groups of two or three.

All represented Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"It's one team, one fight, right?" commented Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Morain as we stood in a parking lot next to Memorial Grove at McChord Field and watched as the riders gathered.

Morain welcomed the airmen and soldiers as they climbed off their Harleys and Hondas.

"I wanted to do something here at JBLM in honor of POW/MIA Recognition Day, and the opportunity to do so just presented itself," he added.

Traditionally observed across the country on the third Friday of September, it is a time for Americans to remember those who were prisoners of war (POWs) or are still missing in action (MIA) and their family members.

The symbol of the day is the POW/MIA Flag.

Designed in 1971 during the Vietnam War by Newt Heisley to honor POWs and MIAs, he created a simply black and white flag featuring a guard tower, barbed wire and the visage of a gaunt young man.

Other than the American flag, the POW/MIA flag is the only one to ever fly over the White House.

More than 78,000 Americans are unaccounted for from World War II; more than 8,100 are unaccounted for from the Korean War, and over 2,500 are unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

"We gather here today to remember our POWs and MIA individuals," said Senior Master Sgt. Sean Judkins.

"They have displayed the core values of our Armed Forces - loyalty, duty respect selfless service, honor courage, integrity commitment, excellence and devotion to duty."

After a short safety briefing by Judkins, the riders headed out to share hot dogs and stories with veterans at the Washington State Soldiers Home in Orting.

>>> Spc. Benjamin Thibodeau, 551st Medical Logistics Company, prepares for a Remembrance Ride to the Washington State Soldiers home in Orting. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"We ride in their name and honor," said Spc. Benjamin Thibodeau, 551st Medical Logistics Company.

For a schedule of events for POW/MIA Remembrance Week, visit www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/calendar.html.

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.

August 25, 2014 at 6:53pm

Arrowhead soldiers and 62nd Airlift Wing airmen move quick at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Soldiers with 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, load onto a C-17 aircraft during a training exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 21. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Justin Naylor

As they sat inside the troop holding area, you could tell it had been a long two days. Now they were waiting to wrap up the last event to prove that all their practice and hard work had paid off. All they needed to do was load their Stryker vehicles onto C-17 aircraft and it was mission complete.

Soldiers with Company A, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, took part in a combined training exercise with airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Aug. 21-22.

The event was designed to test the readiness and quick response of the soldiers as they paired up with airmen.

The two-day event began with a pre-dawn phone call from leaders to their soldiers informing them that it was time to go. They then assembled and checked their equipment. soldiers who stayed in the barracks closed out their rooms and those with vehicles turned them in to the storage lot.

>>> U.S. Army Sgt. Kierra Ivey, an administrative clerk with 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, takes part in a readiness training exercise at JBLM, Aug. 21. The event was designed to allow a platoon-sized group of Soldiers to practice going through the steps leading up to a short-notice deployment. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Justin Naylor

From there they went through the motions of a short-notification rapid deployment as they readied their gear and moved it to the airfield to be loaded onto an aircraft.

This event was the culmination of months of hard work and rehearsals that began at the ground floor.  

"We started at the basic level," said 2nd Lt. Clayton Shillings, a Houston native and platoon leader with A Co. "Every soldier was qualified on their respective weapon system. After that we went to Yakima (Training Center) for two weeks. We went into team live fire and each team was certified."

The training progressed through squad, platoon and company levels before the soldiers returned to JBLM. They then began their practices for this particular event.

"There was a whole bunch of rehearsals," said Capt. Bradley Goodyear, a York, Pa., native and A Co. commander. "We did rehearsals at the division, brigade, battalion and company levels. We did tabletop exercises; we actually did a terrain model all leading up to this."

The training and drills were all designed to help soldiers and leaders feel confident about the process.

"If the first time you do it is the actual call to go to war, the chances of something happening that you are not prepared for are high, so we do rehearsals to prepare ourselves...to work out any kinks," Goodyear said. "The more and more we do this, the more little things we find that we can tweak to make the whole process more efficient."

The practice beforehand helped the soldiers progress quickly through the two days worth of training events as they continually outperformed set timelines.

"It definitely paid off," Shillings said. "Everything went very smoothly to the point where we had more downtime than we thought we would. What that insures is that every level - including our own - is that we can tell we are ready to go, all our weapons systems will work when we get there, none of our night vision equipment will be broken when we arrive and everything is mission capable and we are able to execute whatever is given to us at the time."

>>> U.S. Army soldiers with 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, and airmen with the 62nd Airlift Wing, load a Stryker vehicle on a C-17 aircraft during a training exercise at JBLM, Aug. 21. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Justin Naylor

Although the training was just a test for the soldiers, it opened their eyes to all the work that goes into getting an infantry unit off the base.

"I've never really been deployed," said Pfc. Erik Kanthak, a Cincinnati native and medic with A Co. "I've been to Yakima a few times and did the (National Training Center) thing. I think it made us more ready, more aware of what we need to do. I think with this training, now we will be able to do it even faster if we need to."

The soldiers weren't the only ones training during the event.

"I think the entire process will go faster now because the civilians and Air Force, those guys had more practice," Shillings said. "They had a lot of hand on training with some news guys that the Air Force was training while we were doing this operation and those guys took a while to get the Strykers tied down exactly right, which was good because they needed the practice, and I think now they've got it down to the point where they can be faster next time and everything will go smoother."

As the soldiers loaded the final Stryker and took their seats on the C-17, they knew that two days of hard work and months of training beforehand had paid off.  They are fast and ready for any mission that comes their way.

Staff Sgt. Justin Naylor is with the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.

>>> A U.S. Air Force airman with the 62nd Airlift Wing guides a Stryker vehicle onto a C-17 aircraft during a training exercise at JBLM. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Justin Naylor

August 1, 2014 at 9:58am

Hiring Heroes Career Fair coming to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

If you're transitioning from the military or are a veteran looking for work, then Sylvia Parker has an event especially for you.

The Hiring Heroes Career Fair is coming to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Parker, a human resource specialist for the Department of Defense coordinating the job fair, said she has 62 employers coming.

"We're excited," she said.

There are career opportunities for wounded, ill, injured and transitioning servicemembers as well as veterans, military spouses and primary caregivers.

Read more...

July 11, 2014 at 1:21pm

Foster Farms recalls chicken products at McChord Commissary at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

California chicken producer Foster Farms is recalling an unspecified amount of its chicken products because the products may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella Heidelberg, according to a Department of Defense All Food and Drug Activity message sent July 9.

The U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture said Thursday it has found evidence directly linking Foster Farms boneless-skinless chicken breast to a case of Salmonella Heidelberg, an antibiotic-resistant strain of the disease that has sickened more than 500 people in the past 16 months and led to pressure from food safety advocates for federal action against the company.

As a result, Foster Farms issued a recall for 170 different chicken products that came from its Fresno facilities in March.

The Defense Commissary Agency has publicized this recall to all its stores. Whenever a commissary has a recalled or withdrawn product in its inventory, the product is immediately removed from store shelves.

Read more...

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