Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: September, 2010 (8) Currently Viewing: 1 - 8 of 8

September 2, 2010 at 9:39am

McChord's 8th Airlift Squadron returns home today

More than 120 Airmen from McChord Field's 8th Airlift Squadron will be greeted by family and friends today after a 120-day deployment in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.

The 8th AS airmen were deployed as the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron to an overseas contingency location in the Middle East.

During their deployment, the C-17 squadron flew 2,789 sorties, equaling more than 7,000 hours, moved more than 37,000 passengers and delivered more than 115 million pounds of combat sustainment cargo for U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, the 816th EAS participated in Operation EVEREST. They dropped a record-breaking 837 bundles on 22 drop zones with a combined weight of more than 1.1 million pounds of cargo. The record of 837 bundles is the highest number of bundles dropped in a week ever by a C-17 squadron.

"I've really enjoyed watching this team work -- setting a goal, setting the bar high and watching them achieve it," said Lt. Col. Stephen Ritter, 816th EAS commander. "They came in from day one to do the job right and to help everyone do great things. It just goes to show the great things you can achieve when you build a cohesive, tight, professional team."

September 7, 2010 at 9:59am

C-17 completes flight test with biofuel

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's ongoing alternative fuels certification efforts reached a new milestone Aug. 27 when a C-17 Globemaster III from here flew on all engines using jet fuel blended with a combination of traditional petroleum-based fuel, or JP-8, biofuel derived in part from animal fat, and synthetic fuel derived from coal.

The 418th Flight Test Squadron here conducted the flight tests Aug. 23 to 27.

The flight was a first for any Department of Defense aircraft where a 50 percent mix of JP-8 was blended with 25 percent renewable biofuel and 25 percent fuel derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process, which is essentially liquified coal or natural gas.

It was also the first time an aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base had used fuel derived from beef tallow, which is essentially waste animal fat.

For more on the story, click here.

September 9, 2010 at 10:40am

McChord combat controllers receive medals

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- Seven combat controllers assigned to the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron received several medals Wednesday for their accomplishments while engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan.

Read more here.

September 20, 2010 at 3:31pm

Lesbian seeking return to Air Force testifies

TACOMA, Wash. -- A decorated Air Force Reserve flight nurse discharged for being gay took the witness stand at her federal trial Monday and told the judge it "kills me" not to be able to care for wounded soldiers while the country is at war.

Former Maj. Margaret Witt has sued the Air Force in hopes of being reinstated.

For more on this story, click here.


September 23, 2010 at 9:43am

McChord unit gets new designation

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The Airmen assigned to the 62nd Mission Support Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord got a new unit designation and a more focused mission last week.

In a ceremony Sept. 17 in Hangar 9 at McChord Field, the 62nd MSG inactivated and the 627th Air Base Group was born. Colonel Kenny Weldon returned a ceremonial first salute from the newly activated group he now commands.

The unit reorganized to conform to the Department of Defense's joint-basing architecture by separating from the flying-mission wing and embedding its squadrons in the installation-support focused JBLM garrison. Five squadrons formerly called 62nd now belong to 627th: Civil Engineer, Communications, Security Forces, Force Support and Logistics Readiness. The former 62nd Contracting Squadron inactivated and its civilian personnel were absorbed into the JBLM garrison as Department of the Army civilian employees.

For more on the story, click here.

September 24, 2010 at 2:26pm

Judge rules lesbian nurse should be reinstated in Air Force

This from The News Tribune: Margaret Witt has won her legal battle with the Air Force. The military was not justified in firing the lesbian flight nurse for homosexual conduct, U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton ruled today at the federal courthouse in Tacoma.

Leighton's decision in the closely watched case throws the government's "don't ask, don't" tell policy into even more uncertainty.

Witt was fired for her homosexual conduct in 2004 after 18 years. The highly-decorated flight nurse challenged her dismissal, arguing it infringed on her constitutional rights.

Attorneys for the Air Force argued during the trail that all regulations in the military - including those involving homosexuality - must be enforced uniformly to maintain order and morale.

September 28, 2010 at 2:42pm

Several local bed and breakfasts offer Vets Day discounts

This from the AP: As of Tuesday morning, nearly 400 independently owned inns, including several in Washington, had signed on to offer free rooms Nov. 10, the night before Veterans Day. Most of the establishments are small: The average size of a bed-and-breakfast in the U.S. is five or six rooms, according to an industry group. Some participants can spare just a single room, while The Colonial Inn in Smithville, N.J., is offering 20 of its 24.

A valid military or Veterans Administration ID is required for each reservation.

For a complete list of all the participating inns in our state, click here.

September 30, 2010 at 12:44pm

McChord airmen support 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron

Airman Christina Gillespie and Tech. Sgt. Tim Raymon discuss weight measurements prior to loading a C-17 Globemaster III in Baghdad, Iraq.(U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Katie Gieratz)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Tech. Sgt. Tim Raymon is a loadmaster for a C-17 Globemaster III deployed with the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia.

Raymon is deployed from the 313th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. As a member of the 816th EAS, he supports combat airlift operations for operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

According to his official Air Force job description for the 1A2X1 career field, loadmasters like Raymon accomplish loading and off-loading aircraft functions and perform pre-flight and post-flight of aircraft and aircraft systems. They also perform loadmaster aircrew functions, compute weight and balance and other mission specific qualification duties, and provide for safety and comfort of passengers and troops, and security of cargo, mail and baggage during flight.

Loadmasters like Raymon are skilled in a variety of abilities, the job description states. For example, in determining quantity of cargo and passengers or troops to be loaded and proper placement in aircraft, loadmasters compute load and cargo distribution. They also compute weight and balance, and determines the amount of weight to be placed in each compartment or at each station. To do this they consider factors such as fuel load, aircraft structural limits and emergency equipment required.

C-17 loadmasters also accomplish the initial pre-flight of aircraft according to flight manuals. They pre-flight specific aircraft systems such as restraint rail and airdrop equipment. They also pre-flight aerospace ground equipment and apply external power to the aircraft. Additionally, they perform in-flight and special mission specific duties as required.

When supervising aircraft loading and off-loading, loadmasters like Raymon ensure cargo and passengers are loaded according to load distribution plan. They direct application of restraint devices such as restraint rails, straps, chains and nets to prevent shifting during flight. They also check cargo, passengers and troops against manifests, ensure availability of fleet service equipment and brief passengers and troops on use of seat belts, facilities and border clearance requirements.

In the deployed environment, loadmasters like Raymon are trained to conduct cargo and personnel airdrops according to directives. They are trained to attach extraction parachutes to cargo and platforms and inspect cargo and platforms, extraction systems and connects static lines. They also check tie-downs, parachutes, containers, suspension systems and extraction systems to ensure proper cargo extraction or release.

To do their job while deployed or at home station, loadmasters have to maintain a wide array of mandatory job knowledge, the job description states. They must know the types, capacities and configuration of transport aircraft, emergency equipment and in-flight emergency procedures, personal equipment and oxygen use, communications, current flying directives, interpreting diagrams, loading charts and technical publications, border agency clearance dispensing and preserving food aboard aircraft, and cargo restraint techniques.

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