Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: December, 2010 (15) Currently Viewing: 11 - 15 of 15

December 20, 2010 at 1:41pm

9-year-old joins airlift squadron

MCCHORD FIELD, JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- After bouncing around from foster home to foster home, Mark Moore Jr. is relieved to be with a loving family during the holiday season. 

The 9-year-old Tacoma, Wash., native was selected by members of the 4th Airlift Squadron to participate in their "Pilot for a Day" program Dec. 17.

Pilot for a Day is an Air Force program that enables challenged youth a chance to visit an Air Force base, becoming part of the team in the process. The participants are usually selected through a partnership with a community hospital or foster program.

"There are so many different agencies and people working to make this day special for one child," said Capt. Chris Kojak, 4th Airlift Squadron Operations flight commander. "We all know how much it means to them. We try as hard as we can to make today perfect."

As a new member of Team McChord, Mark, along with his foster mother, brother and grandfather, took a ride in a fire truck at the McChord fire station. They tested out the emergency evacuation hanging hardness and climbed to the top of the command tower. They also got the chance to visit the 62nd Security Forces Squadron military working dog unit and tour the inside of a C-17 Globemaster III. 

"My favorite part was visiting the military dogs," said Mark. "I want to buy one when I get older. Not a mean one, but a nice one."

Moore's foster mother, Colleen Remaly, expressed his long awaited anticipation and excitement for the day's events. Her son, Jaden, is two years older than Mark, and she says they get along perfectly. 

"Instead of counting down the days until Christmas, they've been counting down for this," said Remaly. "They have not stopped talking about how awesome today is going to be."

After a long day of tours and demonstrations, Mark explained how the Air Force sounds like an appealing career choice. 

"I'm going to be in the Air Force when I grow up," said Mark. "I don't know what I'm going to do. But I really like this uniform. I want to wear it for a long time."    

December 23, 2010 at 9:59am

446th AW hosts Employer Orientation Day

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- The next 446th Airlift Wing Employer Orientation Day is April 2. Reservists from the 446th AW at McChord Field can nomination their immediate supervisor, their human resources specialists, or an executive or owner of the business they work for, to spend the day with the wing. 

Applications, available here in the related links box, should be completed and submitted electronically. 

Participants will learn about the Air Force Reserve, the 446th Airlift Wing and its missions, and how Reservists serve. 

The April 2 employer orientation day will include demonstrations of the deployment processing line, the equipment used by Reservists to protect themselves from chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear attacks, explosive ordnance disposal techniques, and medical requirements. 

The employers and their sponsoring Reservists will also board a C-17 for a two-hour flight, which will include an airdrop demonstration and a combat offload. 

Applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Reservists interested in sponsoring their employer for the April 2 employer orientation day need to submit an application to the 446th AW Public Affairs Office by March 1. The application in a .PDF format can be downloaded from the 446th AW public Web site (see related links box accompanying this article).  After downloading the application, fill it out and use the "Submit" button on the top right corner of the form to return the application to public affairs.  If you have questions, contact the 446th AW Public Affairs Office at (253) 982-9135.    

December 27, 2010 at 9:48am

McChord crew active in Operation Deep Freeze

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zeland (AFNS) -- An Air Force Reserve C-17 Globemaster III from the 728th Airlift Squadron out of McChord Air Force Base, Wash., is supporting Operation Deep Freeze by serving as a bridge for cargo and personnel moving between Christchurch, New Zealand, and McMurdo Air Station, Antarctica. 

The C-17 and its aircrew perform three to four round trips per week between the two locations. During each flight, the crew must navigate through difficult weather before landing on an ice runway at McMurdo. 

"This is probably the most dangerous peace time mission that we do" said Maj. Casey Guerrero, a C-17 pilot who has flown to Antarctica eleven times, "It's just that the weather changes so rapidly in Antarctica."

The ice cold and unpredictable weather is the biggest concern during the flights to Antarctica. The crew takes a number of precautions to ensure the aircraft is serviceable in the austere conditions. They turn on the hydraulic pumps early to make sure the fluid is at a proper temperature, and they cycle the flight controls while the aircraft is on the ground to ensure they stay above forty-five degrees. 

Another major concern is the lack of places to land on the route to McMurdo.
 
"There is nothing between Christchurch and Antarctica" Major Guerrero said, "so we have to watch our cold weather procedures, and if we have any kind of emergency we have to fuel-plan correctly so we can make it back to Christchurch." 

The crew has a predetermined point of safe return during each flight. At this point they check the weather and determine whether to press forward or turn back and return to Christchurch. Although the weather in Antarctica might be good for landing when the C-17 takes off from Christchurch, the rapidly changing weather has forced the crew to turn back a number of times. 

"It all depends on the weather," Major Guerrero said. "It's luck, nothing we can control."

The flights are a part of Operation Deep Freeze, an annual operation that supports the U.S. Antarctic Program and the National Science Foundation's research at sites throughout the Antarctic continent. The Joint Task Force - Support Forces Antarctica operation is led by 13th Air Force and includes strategic inter-theater airlift, tactical deep-field support, aeromedical-evacuation support, search and rescue response, sealift, seaport access, bulk fuel supply, port cargo handling and transportation requirements.    

December 27, 2010 at 10:30am

Local AF veteran restores F-4 Phantom

This from The News Tribune: U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Stroupe III gave up his status as a fighter pilot in 1978, settling into a long career as an airline pilot with a penchant for collecting.

Space memorabilia, movie posters, fossils - you name it, Stroupe has boxes of it at his Federal Way home.

After decades of amassing such items, he last month added the crowning glory to his massive collection.

It's his old flying partner - an F-4 Phantom II jet, one of the most versatile fighters ever built.

"I never dreamed you could own anything like this," said Stroupe, 62. "I like sitting and looking at it. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling."

To read the complete story, click here.

Filed under: History, U.S. Air Force, Tacoma,

December 28, 2010 at 11:28pm

McChord to receive new C-17 integrated training center

According to Air Force Magazine Online, the Air Force has awarded Boeing a $44 million contract to supply C-17 integrated training centers to three Globemaster bases, the company announced.  
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, will receive the first ITC in the first quarter of 2012. McChord Field, which has 54 C-17s, will receive the second system in the third quarter of 2012, and an undisclosed third location will receive the third in early 2013.
"We are proud to add to the Air Force's training capability and support warfighter readiness with these new devices," said Mark McGraw, who oversees Boeing's training systems.
The ITCs consist of a weapon systems trainer, pilot and co-pilot station, loadmaster station, and related courseware and support equipment. The contract could be worth up to $72 million if two options are exercised.   

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