Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: July, 2010 (15) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 15

July 1, 2010 at 4:06pm

McChord Honor Guard wins AMC award

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The McChord Honor Guard Team has been named the 2009 Air Mobility Command Honor Guard Team of the Year. 

The Honor Guard Team has conducted 624 total funeral honors, to include final escort of 417 war veterans. In addition, they have performed flag folding at 225 retirement ceremonies and have executed 47 Joint Color Guards and parades.

"An average working week for our team includes 30 funerals and more than six color guard events," said Tech. Sgt. Bonnie Longie, 62d Airlift Wing Honor Guard NCOIC. 

Sergeant Longie has been the McChord Honor Guard NCOIC for two years, and she says she has seen vast improvements in the Honor Guard members.

"This team is very impressive," said Sergeant Longie. "They carry a level of pride unlike anything I've ever seen."

The Honor Guard requires a certain number of Airmen from each squadron to fulfill its quota. At any given time, there are 72 members, broken up into three teams of 24. Those teams rotate throughout the year, switching back and forth from stand-by to active status each month. 

"The volunteer rate has significantly increased," said Sergeant Longie. "Last year, we had a 65% volunteer rate. This year, that number is up to about 95%."

This year's AMC Honor Guard Team has not only completed an outstanding number of ceremonies and events, but they've also created a brand new training program that has been benchmarked AMC wide.

"The training program used to be a month long, but we've actually been able to cut that down to two weeks," said Capt. Tammy Ortung, 62d Airlift Wing Honor Guard Commander.

The revolutionized training program still includes the same vital training for funeral procedures, rifle practice, color guard and discipline. The new program has been recognized and adopted by other AMC Honor Guard teams. 

"We are representing the Air Force," said Captain Ortung. "We need to ensure our team is trained and prepared to show the proper respect and honor to these fallen servicemembers."

The men and women serving in the McChord Honor Guard Team continue their highly dedicated and determined attitude towards giving their fellow servicemembers the proper respect they deserve.

"There is a certain pride and professionalism that comes along with being a part of the Honor Guard," said Sergeant Longie. "These Airmen understand what it means to honor fallen servicemembers."     

July 6, 2010 at 12:46pm

Soldier charged with leaking video of airstrike

Pvt. 1st Class Bradley Manning, 22, of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Iraq, was charged Monday in a case involving a video obtained by, a website that posts leaked documents, according to the news release.

Read more from the Los Angeles Times here.   

Filed under: Iraq,

July 7, 2010 at 9:44am

10th Squadron drops troops

B-roll of the U.S Army Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division prepare for their jump off a C-17 from the 10th Airlift Squad, McChord AFB, WA., at Pope AFB in NC. Scenes include The C-17 Loadmasters prep the paratroop doors, Once over the drop zone, the paratroopers jump, however a few do make it in time for the initial pass. The C-17 conducts a second pass over the drop zone, and the remaining paratroopers perform their jump. Produced by Staff Sgt. Burt Traynor.    

Filed under: 62nd Operations Group,

July 9, 2010 at 10:45am

Scholarships for children of fallen servicemembers

WASHINGTON -- The children of military personnel who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001 can apply for an educational scholarship similar to the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. Benefits are retroactive to Aug. 1, 2009.

The scholarship, which is administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs,  is named after Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry, 28, a Texas native who died in Iraq in 2006 while disarming an explosive. He was survived by three young children.

"The Fry scholarship represents this nation's solemn commitment to care for children whose mothers and fathers paid the ultimate price for our country," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

VA is now accepting applications for the Fry scholarship. For more information or assistance applying, call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551), or visit the VA GI Bill Website at

VA estimates nearly 1,500 children will receive benefits under the Fry scholarship  program in 2010. Recipients generally have 15 years to use their benefits, beginning on their 18th birthdays. 

Eligible children attending institutions of higher learning may receive payments to cover their tuition and fees up to the highest amounts charged to public, in-state students at undergraduate institutions in each state. A monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies are also paid under this program. 

VA will begin paying benefits under the Fry scholarships on Aug. 1, 2010. Eligible participants may receive benefits retroactively to August 1, 2009, the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect. 

Eligible children may be married. Recipients are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100-percent level. 

When family members also serve in the military  or are veterans in their own right, eligible for education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill for active duty, the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, then they would relinquish their eligibility under those programs to receive benefits under a Fry scholarship.

(Department of Veterans Affairs release)

Filed under: Dependent, Veterans,

July 13, 2010 at 9:58am

Russian plane idles in Michigan

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about an abandon Ilyushin IL-78 Russian transport plane that's been sitting at a small airport in Michigan for nearly one year.

Read the story here.     

Filed under: News To Us,

July 13, 2010 at 4:31pm

SITE CREEPER: C-17 Pilot Schaefer

We are creeping around the Internet to find JBLM-related folks sharing their lives.  

Meet McChord's Cameron Schaefer: I am from Laramie, WY and recently moved to Tacoma, WA to fly C-17′s at McChord AFB. My wife is Marelize, she's from South Africa. We met in Colorado Springs, CO while I was attending school at the US Air Force Academy majoring in Management. We recently had our first child, a daughter named Malone and have another on the way. It seems our best life is just beginning.        

July 15, 2010 at 1:18pm

Funds for new chapel at McChord

Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that she has been able to steer $10.4 million in federal military construction funding back to Washington state to help build a new chapel for service members and their families at McChord Air Force Base. Currently, chapel activities are conducted in three deteriorated, substandard World War Two-era buildings so close to the McChord flight line that they are exposed to 65-decibel noise levels and airfield odors.

"Our service members deserve better than dilapidated, outdated facilities," said Senator Murray"Especially at a time when the strain and uncertainty of separation is so trying, we need to give service members all the support we can. Second rate facilities won't cut it and we can't wait for bureaucrats in Washington D.C. to finally respond to the needs of service members in our own backyard. I'm proud to fight for a facility that will allow our men and women in uniform to access religious and social services in a setting worthy of their service."

"Spiritual fitness is one of the four pillars of a Comprehensive Airman Fitness Program and critical to the readiness of our Airmen," saidColonel Kevin J. Kilb Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. "These funds help dramatically increase the quality of the spiritual care we not only provide our Airmen, but also their families.  It will truly be a spiritual multiplier for our entire McChord community and we are most appreciative of the continued outstanding support."

The new McChord Chapel Center would enhance the quality of life for many on base by providing a materially improved facility located away from the flight line and closer to the base community center and dormitories.  The Center would provide worship and support services to service members and their families.

The funding, first announced today by Senator Murray, is now included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Military Construction Appropriations Bill. The funding was requested by base leadership and will fully fund construction of the Chapel Center. The funding was passed through the full Senate Military Construction Appropriations Committee today.

July 15, 2010 at 3:48pm

250 Air Force recruits to be sworn in at Air Expo 2010

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - What an exciting way for about 250 men and women to start their Air Force career and for Joint Base Lewis-McChord to start Air Expo 2010. 

About 250 new Air Force recruits will be sworn-in at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning during a record-breaking ceremony at the JBLM Air Expo.

Col. Kevin Kilb, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, will enlist approximately 250 new recruits into the U.S. Air Force Delayed Entry Program.  This enlistment breaks the previous record of 178 DEP recruits swearing-in at the same time.  All of the men and women enlisting have come together through recruiting efforts throughout the Pacific Northwest.

The enlistment will take place on the Air Expo flightline in front of a large military aircraft static display, just before the aerial acts take to the sky at 11 a.m. 

July 15, 2010 at 4:19pm

SITE CREEPER: 446TH Airlift Wing

We are creeping around the Internet to find JBLM-related folks sharing their lives.

Discover the Web site of the 446th Airlift Wing, McChord's Associate Wing.

July 16, 2010 at 2:42pm

McChord reservists continue to help Haiti rebuild

As the U.S. military's mission in Haiti gradually shifts from providing relief aid to supporting the Haitian's efforts to return to managing routine operations in their country, airmen from the 446th Airlift Wing at McChord Field continue to be involved in the process.

Reservists from the wing's aerial port squadron are experiencing this at the ground level.

Read more about it here.

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