Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

December 2, 2016 at 10:12am

Team McChord hosts Hearts Apart dinner

Senior Master Sgt. Jess Houk (left), 62nd Comptroller Squadron superintendent, serves food to airmen and their families during the Hearts Apart dinner Nov. 17 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

The McChord Field chapel staff, the 62nd Comptroller Squadron and Team McChord Leadership hosted a Hearts Apart dinner Nov. 17 at the McChord Chapel located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The dinner was hosted for airmen and their families who are recently, currently or soon to be deployed or assigned to a temporary duty assignment.

Different from previous deployed spouse's dinners, the Hearts Apart dinner was the first of its kind on McChord.

"Why this was called Hearts Apart instead of deployed family dinner was to open it up to encompass all of the airmen and the families that have gone TDY and on short deployments throughout the year," said 1st Lt. Elizabeth Keenan, 62nd Comptroller Squadron financial analysis flight commander and Hearts Apart dinner coordinator. "We want this to be all inclusive."

The dinner was attended by more than 50 airmen and their families who were provided a catered meal by.

"This was less formal than other events and was really just about enjoying your family," said Keenan. "It was as simple as families not having to worry about cooking dinner and spending some extra time with their loved ones."

The dinner kicked off with participants ordering a meal from leadership, who in return delivered meals to their table.

"I've been here ten years and I've never had the opportunity to come to one of these," said Charlene Ybarra, spouse of Tech. Sgt. Brandon Ybarra, 4th Airlift Squadron loadmaster. "This makes me really feel loved and appreciated."

Tailoring to children of different ages, there were a number of games for children to participate in. Games included spin art and other carnival games. Children were also given free cotton candy and popcorn.

"I thought this was great. The kids had a blast," said Ybarra. "There was a lot of activities for them to do and it was nice that they could do it all together."

In addition to games for children, parents were entered into a raffle for a variety of gift packages.

"People really liked the raffle prizes and everyone really enjoyed themselves," said Keenan. "This is really important to show that we care about family members and we know what a big part they play."   

For more information on McChord Field Chapel sponsored events, contact the chapel at 253.982.5556.

December 2, 2016 at 9:59am

Washington Guard in China

As part of the U.S.-China Disaster Management Exchange, Maj. Gen. Gregory Bilton, the deputy commanding general for the U.S. Army Pacific, visited the Dianchi Lake Nov. 14 in Kunming, China. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin

KUNMING, China - Servicemembers and civilians from across the U.S. Army Pacific, including here in Washington state, participated alongside members of the Peoples Liberation Army of the People's Republic of China for the 12th annual U.S.-China Disaster Management Exchange Nov. 13-19 at Kunming, China.

The DME allowed the participants the opportunity to share humanitarian aid/disaster response lessons learned from real-world events to further develop the capacity to cooperate in the Pacific region. With both countries susceptible to major natural disasters, the event was a great opportunity to improve the abilities of both militaries to respond cooperatively.

Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of U.S. Army Pacific, said that he was confident the participants would benefit from the exchange, giving their individual skills and building collective capability.

"This event has evolved through the years to the point where it serves as an inspiration for what we can accomplish if we work together," said Brown. "Since its inception nineteen years ago, this disaster management exchange has made gradual gains that have ultimately helped us get to this point. It remains undeniably clear that when we work side-by-side to solve problems and strengthen our partnership with one another, we assure peace, prosperity and security."

Throughout the exchange, leaders and experts from the PLA, USARPAC, 8th Theater Sustainment Command and 130th Engineer Brigade, visited various agencies involved with disaster management to include the Experimental Base of Seismological Bureau of the Yunnan Province, the Command Center of Civil Affairs Disaster Relief of Yunnan Province, emergency shelters in Baohai Park and the Kunming Reserve Base of Civil Affairs.

During the visits, the personnel held dialogue and exchanged information regarding civil affairs, disaster relief and how they will work together to improve their ability to save lives, protect property and collectively better prepare for the next major disaster in the Asia-Pacific.

"This kind of exchange acts as a bridge to promote relations between the two militaries, and I am sure it will be conducted in an even higher level in the future," said Lt. Gen. Liu Xaiowu, commander of PLA's Southern Theater Command.

The DME consisted of several stages that included an expert academic exchange, a command post exchange and practical field training exchange, all responding to the impacts of a devastating earthquake in a fictitious country.

"Being able to share ideas during the command post exchange and see my soldiers demonstrate some of their skills and equipment capabilities during the practical field exchange were invaluable experiences," said Col. Danielle Ngo, commander of the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

Each stage was strategically designed to foster communications and the sharing of knowledge and skills between soldiers of the PLA and USARPAC.

Representatives from USARPAC, 8th TSC, 130th Engineer Brigade; the Northern Warfare Training Center, 18th Medical Command; and Pacific Ocean Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, worked daily throughout the DME to develop relationships with their Chinese counterparts. Also attending the DME were soldiers and representatives from the 19th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), 141st Civil Engineer Squadron of the Washington Air National Guard, Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Seattle District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Aid and 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).

"If a disaster is large in scope and scale, there is a higher probability that more than one nation's military will be involved," said Ngo. "That is why it is so important to have activities like the DME to strengthen our relationships, improve our ability to save lives and collectively better prepare for the next major disaster in the Asia-Pacific."

Upon completion, the soldiers of both the PLA and USARPAC considered the exchange of skills and information to be a valuable experience in preparation for future natural disasters.

"It has been a very successful exchange of ideas between our two militaries and it will definitely benefit us in the future," said Cpt. Jeremy Reynolds, S4 officer in charge for the 84th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade.

December 2, 2016 at 9:21am

USO's number one volunteer for 2016

Don Linegang, USO Northwest executive director, presents Wayne Jackson, USO Northwest Shali Center volunteer, the USO Northwest Volunteer of the Year Award for his volunteer work at the Shali Center. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

The McChord Field USO Northwest Shali Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord recently recognized a longtime volunteer for outstanding service Nov. 28.

Wayne Jackson, USO Northwest Shali Center volunteer and retired Army staff sergeant, was awarded the USO Northwest Volunteer of the Year Award and a gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his many hours of volunteer service at the JBLM USO on McChord Field.

Jackson was nominated for the Volunteer of the Year award for completing the most amount of volunteer hours in a year.

He was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for completing more than 500 hours of volunteer service in a year.

In total, Jackson has completed more than 2,000 volunteer hours this year at the Shali Center and more than 6,500 hours in total in his 10 years volunteering here.

"I think everybody should give back, whether it be to the military or homeless," said Jackson. "My goal is ten thousand volunteer hours. I will do this until I can't do it anymore."

Jackson said he enjoys volunteering at the USO for the opportunity to work with JBLM servicemembers.

"The most rewarding part of this is to see the smiles on their faces," said Jackson. "I love seeing them joking around and relaxing."

Because the food and services provided by the USO are free, Jackson said he thinks the help he provides makes a difference.

"This really benefits the lower enlisted," said Jackson. "Here they can get a free lunch and this provides a place for them to have a short break from work to socialize and eat."

Andrew Oczkewicz, USO Northwest Shali Center director of operations, said Jackson's contributions to the USO have been indispensable

"He is my early morning go-to guy if someone gets sick," said Oczkewicz. "He never says no and he goes above and beyond what we ask of him."

Jackson said volunteering for the USO is more fun than it is work.

"I get to joke with airmen and soldiers and they enjoy interacting with me," said Jackson. "I've had so many people shake my hand and thank me, it's thrilling. The servicemen and women here appreciate what we do." 

December 1, 2016 at 12:47pm

62nd Airlift Wing commander's call

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, speaks to Team McChord airmen about mission priorities during a commander’s call Nov. 22 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

McChord Field is about a legacy of excellence, innovation and respect," said Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, during his opening remarks at the Nov. 22 62nd AW commander's call conducted at the base theater on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. 

Kosinski talked about the 62nd AW missions and priorities, as well as hosted a question and answer session utilizing a phone application that allowed airmen to text in their questions and receive immediate answers there on the spot.

Expanding on those missions and priorities, Kosinski talked about the 62nd AW mission of delivering safe and reliable global airlift.

He shared a story in which both he and Chief Master Sgt. Tico Mazid, 62nd AW command chief, conducted a recent mission to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, to deliver cargo and switch out a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

Not only were they able to conduct the McChord mission firsthand, but during the mission they received an additional tasking of conducting a dignified transfer of a servicemember's remains.

"It was a sobering reminder of the solemn things we do as a profession of arms," said Kosinski.

He went on to talk about each one of the wing's major priorities.

"Our top priority here, which is the top priority for Air Mobility Command, is the nuclear mission. We are the only unit (in the Air Force) that does this prime nuclear airlift force. There is a small (percentage) of McChord that is hands-on with this mission, but it cannot be done without the entire joint-base efforts."

During their mission to Al Udeid, Kosinski and Mazid had several stops along the way at various bases where they were able to see many other McChord Field airmen carrying out the mission.

"Trusted, responsive worldwide airlift is something we are known for at McChord," said Kosinski. "Flying around we saw a lot of (McChord) tails on the ramps. Our reputation for this is pretty significant."

"When (people) see a McChord tail they know that the aircraft will be in great shape, it will have a great crew and that mission is going to get done. That's something the legacy of the airmen before us have built."  

Kosinski acknowledged the importance of the mission and what really gets the mission accomplished.

"All of our missions are important, but they are not accomplished without developing and taking care of our airmen. That's something that is very important to the entire 62nd AW leadership team," said Kosinski.

The wing commander went on to discuss programs and opportunities available to airmen here at JBLM.

Highlighting the fact that due to the unique environment of JBLM, airmen here have many more opportunities afforded to them than they would at other bases.

"Joint-basing is about building partnerships and it's what we do every day, whether you are living next  to soldiers or you're working with them, these partnerships are made and strengthened every day," said Kosinski.  "Our C-17s were made to take soldiers and equipment into combat and working here in a garrison environment gives us a lot of opportunities for great innovation on how we can that done."

To wrap up his discussion about priorities, Kosinski talked about how airmen should treat each other.

"The bottom line of everything we do is treating everyone with dignity and respect. This is a job I love doing, I love coming to work meeting airmen and I love seeing this dignity and respect at every work station I go to," said Kosinski.

"But, I'm not so naive to think we are perfect. I know there are always going to be some folks out there that don't get it and I appreciate the majority of us who are correcting them and do not tolerate it."

"Whether you are a senior ranking member, a junior ranking member or whether you are a peer, make sure you are keeping that culture of dignity and respect."

The 62nd AW has two upcoming inspections in December and January. Kosinski gave some guidance on how airmen should handle the process.

"For those who have been in a while, we can remember the days when we would have a big inspection and we would prepare for the inspectors," said Kosinski. "We would put on a big show, but now this has changed. It is a much different program and I think a much better program. What matters now is what you have been doing these last two years."

The foot print of the inspectors should be small, but the 62nd AW, the 627th Air Base Group and the 446th AW will all have inspections going on at the same time.

"We shouldn't have to do anything different, just do the mission the best we can."

For the second time at a 62nd AW commander's call, a cell phone application allowed airmen in attendance to text in questions that could be immediately answered by the commander. The program also allowed for real-time results for survey questions proposed by the commander.

Questions ranged from manning at the McChord Field gates, food options on the flight line, the new hours for the McChord Shoppette and how individuals can help with the upcoming inspections.

Kosinski closed the commander's call by thanking the 62nd AW airmen for what they do.

"Thank you for what you have done, what you are currently doing and what you will continue to do in serving our nation."

November 23, 2016 at 11:27am

Farewell RODEO, welcome Exercise Mobility Guardian

The 19th Airlift Wing Rodeo team boards a C130-J July 17, 2009 during Air Mobility Command’s Rodeo at then McChord Air Force Base. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jim Araos

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - For many years Air Mobility Command was proud to host the AMC RODEO - an international competition meant to showcase our collective Mobility Air Force skillsets in an atmosphere of friendly rivalry and esprit d 'corps.  RODEO was always a popular event, and did well to further build relationships and international partnerships while motivating units to hone their skills and bring back honors.  For a variety of reasons, however, AMC has decided to discontinue the old RODEO construct ... and in August 2017 will unveil its replacement: Exercise Mobility Guardian, to be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Whereas RODEO incentivized units to take their best performers from across the Air Force Specialty Code spectrum - operators, maintainers, medical and support airmen - and give them extra "top-off" training to prepare for the competition, Mobility Guardian participants will by design be the "average" airman, who will be tested to employ his or her skills to accomplish the mission laid out in the exercise scenario.  Training time and dollars will therefore be spent developing the broader force instead of focusing those resources on airmen who in many ways need them least.

Mobility Guardian will be AMC's premier exercise, providing an opportunity to "train like we fight" alongside our joint and international partners.  With mission readiness as the ultimate training objective, the exercise is being designed to sharpen our skills in support of Combatant Commander requirements.  The training scenario will include joint forcible entry and airfield seizure ... a joint mission between Air Force airdrop crews and Army Airborne units which will take place at locations across the state.  It will incorporate contingency response and humanitarian relief operations - to include aeromedical evacuation efforts.  It will require air refueling, night vision and low level operations, assault zone landings, air drop and formation flying, and coalition interoperations, concurrently executed under multiple lines of command and control.  Combat Air Forces will participate as well to provide a realistic semi-contested environment, requiring planners and crews to flex their tactics training and coordinate with other friendly assets to locate and avoid enemy threats.  In short, the breadth and scope of Mobility Guardian are large and enable realistic and dynamic training for all participating forces.

This design gives AMC an excellent venue to evaluate how well our training has prepared members to date, while simultaneously providing a training opportunity to improve our ability to plan, command and control, communicate, and execute the mission.  Mobility Guardian will more than quadruple the number of missions flown in typical past RODEOs, increasing both the quantity and quality of training.

Mobility Guardian, like the RODEO of past, will help build partnerships.  To date we have 25 international countries who will attend, 13 of which will participate with forces of their own.  Mobility Guardian, like RODEO, will promote esprit d 'corps as teams work together toward common goals in a challenging environment, planning and executing realistic mobility operations that closely model real-world possibilities.  Finally, Mobility Guardian is already shaping up to be a popular event; interest levels are very high and the number of participants is impressive for this first-of-its-kind event.  Forty U.S. aircraft will be joined by 20 aircraft from our international partners, along with roughly 3,000 airmen, soldiers, marines and Naval aviators who will participate in the exercise.  The coming months will be busy, but will be well worth the effort as JBLM airmen and soldiers prepare to support the next evolution of AMC's showcase MAF event.

November 23, 2016 at 11:23am

AMC takes civics on course immersion

Donna L. Wolfe-Sholes, an AMC civic leader representing Grand Forks Air Force Base, visits with airmen from the 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group on Pope Army Airfield, Nov. 16. Photo credit: Master Sgt. Kristine Dreyer

POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, North Carolina - Air Mobility Command hosted 25 civic leaders from around the command Nov. 15-17, including two representing McChord Field, for an immersion into AMC's mission at Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina, and to provide insight into its prominent role enabling joint mission effects globally.

"Air Mobility Command is a global force, enabling joint effects and positive change on a global scale," said Gen. Carlton Everhart, Air Mobility Command commander. "The demand signal for AMC capability will only increase in the future, requiring airman's ingenuity and agility to meet needs and global security challenges on demand."

Aligning with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force's focus on the Air Force's role and responsibility to enable joint mission success, the visit provided insight into the global operating environment as well as AMC's total force support to joint warfighters.

Here at McChord, the civic program is represented by Carlene Joseph, Harborstone Credit Union; and Ken Swarner, The Ranger and NW Airlifter newspapers.

Civic leaders had the opportunity to walk through the Deployment Readiness Cage with the 82nd Airborne and interact with Army and Air Force riggers at the Heavy Drop Rigging Facility. They received hands-on experience building container delivery system bundles with loadmasters from the 43rd Operations Support Squadron.

"I have been an AMC civic leader for four years, and this was one of the best experiences. I really got to see how AMC's role feeds into other branches," said John Hood, AMC civic leader, representing Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. "Anytime you can show the civilian population how AMC supports the joint warfighter or another branch of service, it gives us the complete picture on how the base we support fits into national security."

Civic leaders like Hood provide a unique level of support to AMC and the Air Force.  Through developing relationships with AMC leadership and learning about the air mobility mission, civic leaders help increase understanding and cooperation between the civilian and military community.

November 23, 2016 at 11:16am

C-17 course relocates to JBLM

A McChord officer wears his U.S. Air Force Weapons Instructor Course patch, Nov. 18, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Divine Cox

Moving the 57th Weapons Squadron and the C-17 Weapons Instructor Course from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to Joint Base Lewis-McChord will allow the Air Force to repurpose flight hours, increase aircraft maintenance capabilities and enhance training effectiveness.

The move also aligns with one of Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James' priorities - making every dollar count.

The weapons course is managed and facilitated by the 57th Weapons Squadron at JBMDL. Two, five-month classes are conducted yearly, producing 12 active-duty and Reserve component weapons officers.

However, the squadron has no dedicated aircraft assigned and each class requires three to four C-17s at a time to conduct training sorties. This results in additional AMC aircraft and maintenance airmen being temporarily assigned to JBMDL 335 days a year.

"The move will allow AMC to repurpose up to 495 flight hours, return up to 3,500 man-days of capability back to the 62nd Maintenance Group and reduce TDY days, allowing more flexible use of C-17 aircraft," said Lt. Col. Nathan Hagerman, Air Mobility Command Combat Operations division deputy chief.

JBLM has supported the course at JBMDL for a number of years by providing aircraft and maintenance.

"McChord was chosen because the base already has airdrop training capability in place, and a sufficient quantity of C-17 aircraft and simulators," Hagerman said.

The relocation plan will require the renovation of an existing operational building into a schoolhouse. The new classroom will provide a variety of learning tools, security upgrades and will cost approximately $800,000.

"Weapons officers must be prepared to plan, brief, debrief and execute in any environment," Hagerman said. "The classroom will be prepared to upgrade to future technologies based on the needs of the students and individual lessons."

The first C-17 WIC training course at JBLM is expected to start in July 2017.

The 57th WPS was activated in 2003. At the time, the three mobility weapons squadrons reported to the Mobility Weapons School. AMC initially intended to co-locate all three mobility schools at JBMDL where the Mobility Weapons School and Mobility Warfare Center, which later became the USAF Expeditionary Center, were headquartered. In 2006, all WICs were realigned under Air Combat Command and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.

November 17, 2016 at 11:55am

62nd Airlift Wing hosts lecture series

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Cary Hatzinger teaches leadership principles at a Lunch and Leadership Lecture Nov. 4 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

The 62nd Airlift Wing commander's action group hosted a Lunch and Leadership Lecture Nov. 4 at the McChord Chapel Support Center. The first training of the series was held to provide relevant informal leadership advice to airmen of all ranks.

"This is an informal environment for anyone interested in leadership or professional development," said Capt. Nick DeFranco, 62nd AW commander's action group deputy chief. "We hope to create an interactive environment that allows members to engage with speakers."

Slated to occur the first Friday of every month, the Lunch and Leadership Lectures allow airmen to attend while on their lunchbreak and eat there.

"We want a place where people can feel comfortable to go and learn," said DeFranco. "We also want to provide a diverse group of speakers - active-duty, civilian and retired military."

The event's speaker was retired Chief Master Sgt. Cary Hatzinger, former 62nd AW command chief. Hatzinger spoke on the importance of effective communication and healthy relationships in today's world.

"Deliberate, thoughtful and purposeful communications delivered by the most appropriate means is key to leadership and great relationships," said Hatzinger. "Match the method with the situation and the objective."

Event attendees agreed the information presented by Hatzinger was useful and applicable.

"I really like how he presented the evolution of technology as it's progressed over time," said Preston Nealy, 62nd AW judge advocate adverse actions NCO in charge. "He presented the information well and showed the difference of how to identify barriers and opportunities."

The focus of the event was to provide relevant and practical professional development content, said DeFranco.   

"The informal environment and the attendees can drive the topics," said DeFranco. "Discussion is very flexible and two-way conversations are highly encouraged."

Open to all Team McChord personnel interested in leadership related topics, Lunch and Leadership Lectures can be helpful to front line supervisors and leaders in all positions, said DeFranco.

"I think this is awesome for NCOs and officers to help us become better leaders," said Nealy. "This is a good investment for all of us to invest in our leadership and build up airmen."

For the first one of its kind, the training was well attended and the feedback received from the airmen who attended was positive, said DeFranco.

"I think this bridged the gap and connected the dots between different generations," said DeFranco. "This provides another avenue for airmen to pursue professional development."  

The next Lunch and Leadership Lecture is Friday, Dec. 2 at the McChord Chapel Support Center. To find out more information about future events call the commanders action group at 253.982.7832. 

November 10, 2016 at 2:22pm

McChord proves mass vaccinations possible

Master Sgt. Petra Nelson, 62nd Medical Squadron dental section chief, administers the flu vaccine to Team McChord airmen Oct. 28, during a point of dispensing exercise at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Tim Chacon

Every year airmen are required to get vaccinated for the flu virus, but not every year do more than 1,200 airmen get vaccinated by one clinic, in one day.

The 62nd Medical Squadron conducted a point of dispensing exercise Oct. 28, at McChord Field to practice providing mass vaccines to the base populace in the event of an outbreak of potentially deadly diseases. Taking advantage of the exercise simulation and the already set up process, the medical squadron took the opportunity to also administer the real-world annual flu vaccine to airmen.

The 62nd MDS did not conduct the exercise because of an actual direct concern for a threat or under the direction of a higher command. They conducted the exercise for readiness preparation for "what if" scenarios.  

"The 62nd MDS does not have an inspection driven obligation to perform this exercise, we do have a moral imperative to remain ready to respond to highly unlikely catastrophic events in order to protect our population, save lives, and prevent suffering," said Lt. Col. Daniel Murray, 62nd MDS commander. "This point of dispensing exercise enables us to do that. Even though they are unlikely, events like this do occur. The only question is ‘will it happen to us?' Since we are unable to answer that question, we must remain prepared and be vigilant in (our) preparation."

The main intent of the exercise was not primarily about the administering of the flu vaccine, but rather proving that large amounts of McChord airmen could be processed through a vaccine line. The addition of the flu vaccine just added to the overall success of the exercise.

"In order to leverage this opportunity to be a ‘win, win, win' we provide the real world flu vaccination," said Murray. "The first win is for the patient who gets protected from a disease that kills more than 36,000 Americans every year. The second win is for the community who is protected from the disease by a high level of vaccination. The third win is for the Air Force, our country and the mission, as readiness rates are significantly improved by providing vaccinations."

The flu, although a routine occurrence, can have a major impact on the Air Force and its members.

"The number one threat that keeps warfighters from being able to execute our nation's defense objectives is disease and non-battle injury," said Murray. "The risk of this is significantly reduced through vaccinations for preventable disease, including influenza."

Attempting to organize, transport, and vaccinate 90% of the base populace is a task that takes multiple units working together and is not easily accomplished by just one unit. Along with the medical portion, a logistical aspect of gas mask inspection was also added to exercise processing line.

"The key to the success of this effort was a spectacular group of people who worked hard as a team; their willingness to collaborate and to work toward the goal," said Murray. "The medical, logistics and communication teams, with the unmitigated support of their commanders, were able to identify issues, develop solutions and create a successful means to achieve the end state of rapid, safe, and efficient vaccination and simulated medical therapy for thousands of patients."

Not only that, but we were further able to leverage the opportunity to ensure yet another readiness item. (It ensured) personnel who have been issued gas masks have current, functional and effective equipment."

Overall the exercise was about readiness, not just for the current flu season, but for any future threats. The airmen of the 62nd MDS and all of McChord train regularly to ensure they are prepared and strive to improve their weakness and identify their strengths.

"The adage goes ‘you play how you practice' so conversely you practice how you play, if we never put this concept to practice we would not know the full limit of our capabilities," said Master Sgt. Kevin Rumph, 62nd MDS operational medical flight chief.  "To establish (our limits) we need max participation because, ultimately the point of this exercise is that it could save lives."

November 10, 2016 at 2:17pm

Maintenance airman delivers airpower

Senior Airman Jamal Agoun, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument and flight control systems apprentice, inspects refuel panel on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft Nov. 3, 2016, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

With little more than a year on station, one Team McChord maintainer has made quite an impression on his leadership.

Senior Airman Jamal Agoun, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron instrument and flight control systems apprentice, has saved the day more than once, allowing aircrews and aircraft to launch on time.

"His enormous intrinsic motivation to help others has strengthened his dedication to service in the Air Force," said Staff Sgt. Amanda Tissue, 62nd AMXS instrument and flight control systems journeyman. "He is outstanding instrument flight control systems apprentice."

Earlier this year, Agoun displayed his expertise and job knowledge when he identified a faulty piece of aircraft equipment on a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

His exceptional system knowledge enabled him to discover a shorted C-17 heads up display assembly control panel, said Tissue. This prevented the replacement of a HUD assembly, saving the Air Force $390,000 and more than 30 man hours of work.

"I try to show attention to detail and I like to do things the right way the first time," Said Agoun. "By overlooking something small like this could cause issues later and a crew to get stuck somewhere."  

Ensuring the success of one flight already, Agoun also recently helped another crew get airborne.

"Senior Airman Agoun was essential when he assisted a specialist with an engine start problem," said Tissue. "His quick actions expedited the replacement of a damaged ignitor plug enabling the airlift of 2 AH-64 Apaches to Baghram Air Base."

Although the engine problem was outside of Agoun's career field, he offered assistance to help get the aircraft operational.

"I've never been trained on engines, I just know about them from talking to people," said Agoun. "This wasn't my job, I just happened to be out there when it happened."

According to Agoun, providing a helping hand was the right thing to do.

"If I was him I would appreciate someone offering to help me," Said Agoun. "The number one priority is to ensure the jets get in the air."

Besides wanting to do what he feels is right, Agoun said he also wants his work to speak for itself.

"My work is a reflection of me," said Agoun. "I like going to work and like seeing people who know me by my work in a good way."

According to Agoun, he is knowledgeable in his job, because of practice.

"I relate my job to football, I used to work hard during practice and games were easy," said Agoun. "When it comes to training I apply myself and stress myself training, so I don't have to when I'm on the job."

Agoun's supervision have taken note of his work ethic, said Tissue.

"Senior Airman Agoun is an extremely well rounded individual," said Tissue. "He arrived on the base ready to be the best at his job, serve in the community, and lead his fellow Airmen and he has done exactly that. I am super excited to see how far he can go and the things that he can achieve."

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