Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

December 14, 2017 at 11:13am

Heroic cop joins Rainier Wing

Officer Daniel J. Aguirre. Courtesy photo

The desire to serve is strong for many Reserve citizen airmen, and one heroic police officer returned to service after being recognized for his valor during an intense standoff with an armed robber.

Before he signed up to become a member of the 446th Security Forces Squadron in April, Staff Sgt. Daniel Aguirre, 446th SFS fire team leader, was serving as an officer in the Seattle Police Department where he still serves today.

During the course of his duty as a police officer earlier this year in January, Aguirre and his partner became involved in the pursuit of an armed robber that would ultimately result in their award of the highest distinction the SPD has to offer: the Medal of Honor.

Early in the afternoon, police received a report of an armed robbery in the 3300 block of Rainier Avenue South, where the suspect had reportedly brandished a handgun and taken another man's cellphone. The suspect, later identified as notorious robber "Top Notch," pistol-whipped the victim and also fired a shot.

The suspect fled the scene in a stolen Volkswagen Jetta before police could arrive. Aguirre and his partner, Officer Christina Bradley, located the car a short time later in the Central District, having already been present to address nearby community concerns.

While leading police on a brief chase through a residential neighborhood, the suspect collided with an unoccupied parked car. He then exited his own vehicle where he fired one shot at Aguirre and Bradley who quickly proceeded to pursue the suspect on foot.

Aguirre and Bradley called in for support and quickly set up a perimeter and contained the area where the suspect had been hiding. With nowhere to go, the suspect was eventually overwhelmed and apprehended by police.

For their heroic actions during the pursuit and their instrumental roles in apprehending a violent criminal, Aguirre and Bradley were both awarded with the Medal of Honor by the Seattle Police Department, a rarely awarded distinction.

"I think the award really represents the entire unit," said Aguirre, "a lot of people played important roles in this incident and my role in it was small, but I am honored on behalf of everybody who was involved."

In joining the 446th SFS a few months after the incident, Aguirre brings with him a breadth of experience that he can share with his new unit.

"Having known him prior to his joining it was no surprise at all to see the way in which he conducted himself. He really adds to the strength of our unit through his selfless sacrifice," said Maj. Ryan Bradley, 446th SFS commander and former SPD Officer.

Aguirre, who was in the United States Marine Corps for five years prior to becoming a police officer, chose to become a Reserve citizen airman as way of getting back into the military life and serving his country.

"It's the comradery that draws me," said Aguirre, "the opportunity to participate in something bigger than myself."

For Aguirre the accolades and esteem have never been part of the appeal to service.

"Our people are silent professionals," remarked Bradley, "and I want people like him in my unit. It takes a special kind of person to run towards a threat when rounds are flying around, and I know that while he's in this unit he's going to be an asset, he's going to be a leader."

December 14, 2017 at 10:02am

62nd Airlift Wing Airman found deceased

An Airman assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing was found deceased in his on-base dormitory at approximately 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12.

Airman Cody Watt, an aerospace propulsion apprentice assigned to the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, enlisted in the Air Force, Oct. 18, 2016 and arrived on station here, March 13, 2017.

“This loss comes as a shock and is felt deeply,” said Col. Rebecca Sonkiss, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. “We are all grieving alongside Airman Watt’s family and extend our sincere condolences to them during this time of great personal loss."

The cause of death is currently under investigation, but no foul play is suspected at this time. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

December 7, 2017 at 12:30pm

Family Readiness pays it forward

Jill Marconi, Family and Airman Readiness director, speaks to community leaders during the Pierce Military and Business Alliance (PMBA) board in November in Lakewood. Photo credit: Maj. Brooke Davis

The 446th Airlift "Rainier" Wing Family and Airman Readiness is gearing up for the holiday season and is in the highly capable hands of a new director.

As the new Family and Airman Readiness director, Jill Marconi brings an extra special toolbox of skills to enhance the quality of life for military and families here.

With the holiday season ramping up, Jill gives us insight into her background and goals as the Family and Airman Readiness director.

1. Can you describe how your background in Family Readiness gives you the tools to help military members and their families?
I have worked for the government now for over 30 years and have a great toolbox that I have acquired over the years. Some from personal experience of being a military wife and some just from meeting other people and learning new things from them. There's always something that we can do, even if I don't have it in my toolbox, I can certainly go and try to find an answer and then add that source to my toolbox.

2. What was something you experienced early on in Family Readiness that inspires you to serve as the director?
There's a saying of paying it forward ... to me that means as a servant to others. My job is to serve in the capacity of helping others. So in my past, someone helped me out when I needed it and now it is my turn to pay back by paying it forward. My job is to help empower people, give them the tools to go out and be the person they want to be.

3. Can you tell us a particular story that stands out in your mind about how your passion for Family Readiness has helped others?
Sure, what comes to mind is about a young man that believed me when I told him I would help him anytime he needed it. At the time I was working on an active-duty Army base, and I didn't realize how troubled this young man was until he showed up at my doorstep at midnight one night. He told me he was trying to commit suicide, and had failed. He needed help and the only person he thought he could rely on was me. So what I said to him must've really stuck in that young man. He grew up to be a wonderful person and now is a father himself. That just means sincerity, honesty and compassion can mean so much to others.

4. Arriving in the area around the holidays is great timing. Can you describe how it is to work with the local community to help support military families during the holidays?
This was great timing for me; holidays are wonderful. However, some of us may need that extra blessing from family, friends or support agency. Working with the community is easy; I just jumped right in. There's a great legacy here with Team McChord, always ready to jump into action when called. Everybody was very receptive in our community to have me here. Coming from the same type of job, it was easy for me to transition into a new community and one that I am very grateful to have around all of us.

5. Transitioning from Grissom Air Reserve Base to a joint community, can you discuss some advantages of resources available to military members and their families?
Being on a standalone base is great ...  things happen easily because everybody knows everybody and can always assist when needed. However, the advantage of being on an active-duty base for our military members is fabulous. Working with the resources of Team McChord and JBLM resources creates a tremendous resource of helping agencies. There are more resources that our people will be able to take advantage of so it's great to be part of a wonderful team here.

6. What are you looking forward to most about returning to your home state?
The best thing about returning to my home state is that I get to be with my family again. I left when I was very young and it has been numerous years that I have not returned home for long periods of time. So now it's wonderful to be able to spend holidays and birthdays and just any day with my family here.

7. What advice would you have for a military member or their family who might be struggling here with financial issues?
Over the years I've seen numerous people struggle with finances and there's always some form of help out there. Even if it's from budgeting to writing checks to understanding how to stay within a budget or getting some form of aid and assistance. It takes a very strong person to come in and ask for help. For a person to come in here and tell me that they are financially struggling means that they are working very hard in order to pull themselves out of the situation. I'm honored to serve those who are trying and figure out how to help each other. Life is hard sometimes and they just need that extra hand.

8. Can you give us a rundown of your goals as the new Family Readiness director?
My goal is to have events when all the helping agencies that we have are together and being able to share with the family members what we have available for them. Families are curious about what their loved ones do with their time here, and letting them know that we are here for the families as well can bring a better understanding when it comes to deployment separation.  I would really like to see us have a Christmas party for the children each year and perhaps a Wing family day, so that we can come together at least twice a year.

December 7, 2017 at 12:25pm

62nd APS lifts spirits

Airmen assigned to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron load cargo alongside sister servicemembers Oct. 9 on the island of Martinique. Photo credit: 62nd Airlift Wing

During what will likely be remembered as one of the fiercest hurricane seasons in a century, the Caribbean island of Dominica was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in mid-September as a Category 5 hurricane.

In response, the 62nd Airlift Wing deployed members of the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron to support air mobility operations for hurricane relief in neighboring Martinique, managing aerial port operations to and from hurricane stricken areas.

"We traveled to Martinique in support of the island of Dominica," said Tech. Sgt. Henry Achilles, 62nd APS air transportation standardization evaluation program. "Martinique had not been hit badly by Hurricane Maria, while Dominica had been all but destroyed. Nine of every 10 buildings had been leveled there; trees had no leaves or branches, but looked like sticks shooting from the ground. It was unreal."

While in the Caribbean, Achilles and a team of 62nd APS members including Senior Airman Leonel Cardenas-Lopez, Senior Airman Bridger Stampe-Gerstenslager, Airman 1st Class Connor Adams and Airman 1st Class Kyle Knight, were tasked with the responsibility of redeploying the joint task force that had been dispatched to the islands in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

"Our primary mission was to assist with the redeployment of Joint Task Force Leeward Islands' cargo and personnel, as well as transporting any last-minute supplies to this island of Dominica," Achilles explained. "Each day, we met with our Army counterparts in the French military side of the airport which we were allowed to share. From there, we planned the logistical redeployment of all cargo that needed airlift to the United States ensuring it was air worthy and conducting joint inspections."

Proving ‘one team, one fight' is more mentality than simple slogan, airmen worked alongside service men and women from the Army, the Navy and the Marine Corps to bring relief to the people of Dominica.

"It is always interesting to see how other services interact amongst themselves, with sister services and between officer and enlisted ranks," Achilles said. "I have worked joint missions many times before, but in this particular environment you couldn't tell that everyone was from different services. We came together to work hard and get the mission done. That's what being part of a joint task force is all about."

When the 62nd APS headed for home, they were the last crew of United States service members to depart the island. Though their 10-day role in the mission was relatively brief, the temporary duty left a lasting impression on Achilles.

"In spite of the hardships the people of Dominica were facing, they were friendly and welcoming, grateful for whatever supplies we could provide," the technical sergeant said. "It's nice to do the hard work and see the immediate, tangible reward."

In addition to aid rendered to the island of Dominica, Team McChord airmen flew 15 airlift missions in support of hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico including more than 920,000 pounds of cargo and 270 passengers and aeromedical patients airlifted by means of C-17 Globemaster III, a report from the 62nd Airlift Wing detailed.

The 62nd AW also flew the first C-17 into St. Thomas following Hurricane Irma, airlifting 50 Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search and Rescue personnel, ground equipment, and supplies to the badly damaged island.

"I had never been part of a humanitarian aid mission before," Achilles said. "I would love to be part of one again. Seeing conditions on the island headed in the right direction after such devastation was extremely rewarding."

November 30, 2017 at 2:16pm

From puppy to protector

Candy, a military working dog assigned to the 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron, wears an Air Force Commendation medal during her retirement ceremony at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Nov. 9. Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Lane Plummer

Candy is a military working dog with six deployments under her collar, and on Nov. 9, she was finally able to rest her paws when she officially retired from duty during a ceremony here.

Her career, like hundreds of canines before her, serves as a reminder of how powerful a four-legged airman can be.

For most of these working dogs, it all starts across the Atlantic Ocean. The Military Working Dog Buying Program will travel to European kennels to purchase canines for the Defense Department. In some cases, however, MWD's are born and raised at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where training occurs for both canines and their aspiring handlers. The way to tell the difference between foreign and domestic canines is in their name. For example, if their title is "MWD Kkeaton" or "MWD Ttoby," the double consonant will signify they're a dog raised through Lackland's Puppy Program. Names without the double consonant are for all other adopted dogs.

After being adopted, the dogs live with foster families before the initial training regimen begins when they are 18-24 months old. Once they enter the training program, the dogs have 120 days to graduate.

Training Dogs, Handlers

During this training, they learn all the basics. Basic commands such as down, sit and stay are the starting point. Once they learn these commands, the canines begin learning more advanced techniques such as patrol work, detection and more. Successfully completing the four-month program means they'll graduate and be assigned their base.

Simultaneously, aspiring dog handlers are training nearby. It was an experience that, for Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Pethtel, a dog handler with the 27th Special Operations Security Forces, was fun and filled with challenges for both canine and handler.

"It felt hard at times because you didn't know how much work it takes to become (a handler)," Pethtel said. "I remember how nervous we'd be (when) pulling our first working dog."

Before they get to handle their first working dog, the handlers must also learn the basics and proper commands. Not only that, they also must learn how to groom the dogs and keep them fit to fight.

When the newly trained dogs arrive at their first assignments, they will be assigned a handler and begin learning more advanced techniques.

Teamwork

From there, it's all about strengthening the bond between handler and canine. Just like airmen in an office, team chemistry is a vital component for these working dog teams to accomplish the mission. Between base patrols and deployments, the bond only strengthens each time they put their bulletproof armor on.

"When we do convoys, canines lead," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Paul Little, a 27th SOSFS dog handler. "When we're downrange, dog teams lead the way. It's one of the most vital components to any mission they're involved in."

It's an honor that Candy, one of the most experienced and decorated military working dogs in the DoD, had one last time before she traded in those heavy vests for a simple collar and leash. After eight years of service, she received an Air Force Commendation Medal and retired to her new home in Colorado with Air Force Tech. Sgt. Joshua Fehringer, one of her former handlers.

From puppy to airman, the career cycle of these canine servicemembers is long and arduous and requires as much sacrifice as the thousands of human airmen they serve and protect.

November 22, 2017 at 12:07pm

TRICARE Reserve Select policy changes start Jan. 1

A significant change will be made to the Tricare Reserve Select policy regarding re-instatement, beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Those TRS Reserve citizen airmen who lose their TRS coverage and are dis-enrolled for failure to pay monthly premiums due to financial reasons within their control, will no longer have the second option of seeking a new TRS enrollment.

For reinstatement requests received by the contractor beyond 90 days from last paid-through-date/dis-enrollment will be locked out from purchasing new TRS coverage for 12 months.

TRS coverage re-instatements are handled directly by the regional contractor and approved based on the following obligations being met: the request being received by the contractor or postmarked no later than the referenced 90 days, payment of all premiums from the last paid-through-date through the current month, plus the amount for the following two months is included, and information is provided to establish recurring electronic premium payments or electronic funds transfer. Failure to meet any of these three requirements results in coverage not being re-instated for the Reserve citizen airman for 12 months.

When Reserve citizen airmen's premium payment is not made at the beginning of a month, contractors attempt to contact them before the end of the month that the premium payment is due; to inform them their payment was not received. These attempts are made by phone and notification by regular mail and email.  At the end of a month and still no premium payment is received by the contractor, that TRS coverage is dis-enrolled to the last date of the previous month of coverage. Upon a dis-enrollment, notification is sent to the Reserve citizen airman, informing them a change has been made to their TRS coverage and to take immediate action.

Reserve citizen airmen can update their contact information by: Logging into MilConnect at: milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/, calling 1.800.538.9552 (TTY/TDD: 1.866.363.2883) or visiting any RAPIDS site at dmdc.osd.mil/rsl/appj/site.

November 22, 2017 at 12:04pm

McChord airmen support Argentine submarine search effort

A U.S. C-5M Super Galaxy assigned to the 22nd Airlift Squadron takes off from Travis Air Force Base, Nov. 18, to deliver U.S. Navy undersea rescue capabilities to Argentina. Photo credit: Master Sgt. Joey Swafford

Mobility airmen are enabling international assistance through delivering equipment and personnel to aid the government of Argentina in its ongoing search for the A.R.A. San Juan, an Argentine navy submarine.

Air Mobility Command deployed six C-17 Globemaster IIIs and three C-5M Super Galaxies, said Oliver Winter, 618th Air Operations Center Operational Analysis Division project manager. Those aircraft flew 17 sorties, onloaded 76 sailors assigned to the Undersea Rescue Command, and 764,000 pounds of equipment.

The submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic Ocean Nov. 15 and AMC deployed its first aircraft in support of the effort Nov. 18.

Mobility airmen launched a C-17, assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, carrying a tow bar, a Tunner 60K Aircraft Cargo Loader and three members of the 437th Aerial Port Squadron, Nov. 18. While on the ground in Argentina, the team conducted runway assessments prior to other equipment arriving in the country.

One of the C-5s, assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, California, flew to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. From there, they transported the first rescue system, the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and underwater intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, Nov. 19.

The second rescue system, the Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) and supporting equipment, was scheduled to arrive in Argentina, Nov. 20.

"Helping others is in Air Mobility Command's DNA," said Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, AMC commander. "Our airmen recognize the critical nature of the mission, and as requirements expanded, we moved to expedite delivery of increased capability to the U.S. Navy and our Argentine friends."

In addition to the aircraft listed above the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, Delaware, the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and the 176th Wing at Joint Base Elmedorf-Richardson, Alaska, deployed aircraft to support in the effort as well. Additional missions are planned to continue to provide needed equipment, to include Sonar.

The SRC is a McCann rescue chamber designed during World War II and still used today. SRC can rescue up to six people at a time and reach a bottomed submarine at depths of 850 feet. The PRM can submerge up to 2,000 feet for docking and mating with a submarine settled on the ocean floor up to a 45-degree angle in both pitch and roll. The PRM can rescue up to 16 personnel at a time.

November 22, 2017 at 12:00pm

Application window open for 2018 nurse

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program helps airmen finish their degree while the Direct Enlisted Commissioning Program is open to enlisted airmen with a nursing degree and license. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Stefanie Torres

The Air Force's Personnel Center will accept applications from active-duty enlisted airmen for the Nurse Enlisted and Direct Enlisted Commissioning Programs through March 16, 2018, for the April selection boards.

NECP offers the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing at a college or university with an Air Force ROTC detachment or a college or university with a "cross-town agreement." Applicants are required to attend school year-round in a resident-based program for up to 24 consecutive calendar months, to include summer sessions. Airmen selected by the NECP board will start school in fall 2018.

The DECP allows airmen to commission into the Nurse Corps if they already possess a nursing degree and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination.

"Sustainable success comes from an enduring commitment to a diverse force and inclusive culture," said Maj. Rebecca Farmer, Nurse Education Fellow at AFPC. "Generations, technologies and labor markets change. It is our responsibility to ensure the Air Force continues to invest in our airmen and their families and retain our talented airmen while giving them opportunities to broaden their skill sets."

To be considered for the NECP or DECP boards, applicants must be U.S. citizens with rank of senior airman or higher and no more than 10 years total active federal service (12 years for DECP) as of April 30, 2018. In addition, airmen must meet time-on-station and retainability requirements, possess current security clearances, be worldwide qualified and commissioned by age 42.

"This year we have a new process for applications where we ask applicants to send us a two- to three-minute video through MilSuite with answers to specific questions we'll send out at the end of January, instead of the essay requirement from previous years," Farmer said. "The Air Force must support an innovative and agile work environment to maintain a competitive edge and be considered an employer of choice."

Upon successful completion of their degrees, airmen who pass the NCLEX and receive their nursing licenses will be commissioned. Both DECP and NECP candidates will then attend Commissioned Officer Training and the Nurse Transition Program, and move to a final assignment location.

For complete application instructions and requirements, visit myPers from a CAC-enabled computer. Select "Active Duty Enlisted" from the dropdown menu and search "NECP" or "DECP."

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers. 

November 22, 2017 at 11:56am

62nd airman top citizen

Master Sgt. Monique DuBose speaks to members of the Tacoma Rotary Club, fellow servicemembers, veterans, friends and family after being named John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year, Nov. 9. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Whitney Taylor

An airman assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing was named the 39th recipient of the John H. Anderson Military Citizen of the Year Award by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon, Nov. 9 in downtown Tacoma.

Master Sgt. Monique DuBose, 62nd AW Office of the Inspector General superintendent, was honored for outstanding civic contributions during the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8 Veterans Day program.

Prior to presenting DuBose with her award, Jason Lopez, America's Credit Union business development officer, described DuBose as the embodiment of excellence and service before self.

"Master Sergeant DuBose loves people and volunteers hours of her personal time toward community service in Pierce County," Lopez said. "She is a 2014 recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and donated over 400 hours to others as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate. She is a member of the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., President of the Tacoma Chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc., and the director of training and education for Redefining You Foundation and the founder of Beyond Beauty Women's Social Saving Club."

For these and many other reasons, DuBose was chosen to represent Tacoma-Pierce County as the 2017 Military Citizen of the Year.

Though her staggering list of community commitments leaves little room for doubt as to whether DuBose is deserving of the John H. Anderson Award, the master sergeant was surprised and humbled to learn that she rose above other nominees.

"I felt so uncomfortable being recognized," DuBose explained. "My mother encouraged me to embrace it, but even when I arrived at the luncheon I didn't realize I was the guest of honor until they showed me to my seat on stage. However, with the encouragement of my family, I started thinking -- why not me?"

To say DuBose has a busy schedule would be an understatement. In addition to holding prominent positions in a plethora of local philanthropic and social organizations, she is wife to retired U.S. Army staff sergeant, James DuBose; mother to Monee´ DuBose, 12; and a full-time, active-duty airman. When asked why she chooses to take on so much, DuBose offered a genuine explanation.

"It's my legacy," she explained. "I'm always trying to create a medium of contact for my daughter, for all children, that can stimulate growth and leadership development. Through constructive educational, cultural, civic, health, social and local philanthropic programs we can ensure our children become healthy human beings who also give back to society. I do it for them."

As every service man and woman knows, the mission does not get accomplished by one alone. Applying that lesson to all areas of her life, DuBose never takes on a project without backing from her squad.

"My only real gift is knowing people who are smart, who believe in my vision," DuBose said. "They're my stakeholders; the people who invest in me and believe in what I do. When I find a project I'd like to take on, I connect with my stakeholders -- sorority sisters, community partners -- and they create the avenue enabliing me to make it happen. It's a group effort."

Each year, DuBose devises a motto by which to live her life. Throughout 2017, that motto helped her focus on giving.

"This year it is important for us to help restore our community by finding countless ways to give," DuBose said. "As we continue to increase our activity and visibility in our community, we must seek opportunities to lead and educate our youth servant leaders on local philanthropy that will benefit the citizens of Tacoma. Giving of our time and talent is good for all in our community."

Set to retire from the Air Force in summer 2018, DuBose will undoubtedly continue to pursue her passions and invest in, and enrich the lives of those around her.

"I really believe investing in others is my purpose, my calling," DuBose said. "I am a separating servicemember; I am a mother; I am a woman; I can connect with so many and I truly feel that my purpose is to serve."

November 16, 2017 at 2:11pm

JBLM garrison commander receives Immersion tour

Army Col. Nicole Lucas, Joint Base Lewis-McChord garrison commander, listens to a brief about home station check Nov. 6 on the McChord Field flightline. Photo credit: Airman Sara Hoerichs

Army Col. Nicole Lucas, Joint Base Lewis-McChord garrison commander, visited McChord Field, Nov. 6, to gain a better understanding of the way Team McChord contributes to JBLM's overall mission.

Lucas took part in an immersion tour that included parts of nearly every aspect of McChord Field's mission including a prime nuclear airlift forces brief, a visit to a C-17 undergoing a home station check, a 62nd Airlift Wing mission brief and a static display of a C-17 on the flight line.

Lucas spoke with airmen from multiple squadrons during the tour and received briefings about McChord Field capabilities including Operation Deep Freeze, aeromedical evacuation, special operations and Raven teams.

"I was able to get a better understanding of the Team McChord mission by talking with, and getting a firsthand account from the airmen who make the mission possible day in and day out," Lucas said.

Col. Rebecca Sonkiss, 62nd AW commander, said the tour was an opportunity to showcase Team McChord's capabilities.

"We wanted to demonstrate to Col. Lucas the range of missions that team McChord airmen carry out every day," said Sonkiss. "Airmen from Team McChord continue to play a key role in countless operations at home and abroad. Any opportunity to showcase that is time well spent."

The briefings gave Lucas a more detailed understanding of McChord Field's part in the larger mission.

"The missions that you accomplish on a daily basis and the role that we play in maintaining joint force readiness is critical to our nation's ability to project power, fight and win," said Lucas.

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