Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: July, 2011 (33) Currently Viewing: 31 - 33 of 33

July 28, 2011 at 12:51pm

McChord C-17 named in honor of Medal of Honor recipients

Retired Army Col. Bruce Candrall, a Medal of Honor recipient, was a guest observer as a newly-crafted C-17 Globemaster III is dedicated the “Spirit of the Medal of Honor” July 26 at McChord Field. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Michael Battles)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- A new C-17 Globemaster III was named for all Medal of Honor recipients at a ceremony here July 26, 2011, during Air Mobility Rodeo 2011.
 
The naming ceremony is a time-honored Air Force tradition of dedicating aircraft to significant places, events and people. Previous honorees include prisoners of war and missing in action service members as well as Purple Heart recipients. Gen. Raymond E. Johns Jr, Air Mobility Command commander, officially dedicated the C-17 as the "Spirit of the Medal of Honor." Retired AF Col. Joe Jackson and retired Army Col. Bruce Crandall attended the ceremony.

"The Congressional Medal of Honor serves as a symbol of courage and military heroism in defense of America's freedoms," said Bob Ciesla, Boeing C-17 program manager. "Likewise, whenever this C-17 flying the insignia of the Spirit of the Medal of Honor lands, the spirit of America's bravest will land with it, bringing hope, saving lives and preserving peace." "It's humbling to be here in the presence of America's bravest patriots," Ciesla added.

Johns expressed his gratitude to both service members for what they contributed to our military and country.

They were called upon unexpectedly when it mattered most, said Johns.

And they did it without regards for themselves. During the ceremony Johns and Ciesla, along with Jackson and Crandall, unveiled the new C-17, which will join the fleet at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Ciesla also presented Johns and the MOH recipients with a lithograph from the employees of Boeing as a thank you for the service and sacrifice that they give to their country.

July 29, 2011 at 4:29pm

'Top Shot' competitor hits bullseye at Rodeo

Staff Sgt. George Reinas, a sniper-qualified Airman in the Air Force, practices a scenario on a range on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., on July 27. (Photo by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol)

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCHORD, Wash. - In season two of The History Channel's television show "Top Shot," Staff Sgt. George Reinas was a finalist for the show. He is also one of two certified Air Force snipers who are managing the Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 advanced marksmanship competition.

"I'm more than happy to be here to help bring awareness to the Air Force sniper program and support the competition," he said.

The Top Shot show, which concluded airing in April, is a competition where shooters "have to display mastery of weapons from all eras of human history, from primitive rocks to sophisticated firearms," the shows description on history.com shows. Additionally, contestants employed "some of the biggest munitions ever featured on the series, including the Gatling gun," and they "endured grueling physical tests to stay in the game."

Going into the competition, the Mount Laurel, N.J., native stated on his biography for the show, "I'm big, I'm mean. I'm going to destroy the competition." By the end, he said he made a lot of good friends.

"The show certainly changed my life," Reinas said while out on a shooting range on Joint Base Lewis-McChord where he was leading the advanced marksmanship event while wearing a sniper's "ghillie suit." "Through the show I was able to show the skill set of my career field as an Air Force sniper and highlight the Air Force."

During one of the events of the Top Shot competition, competitors had to complete a 1,000-yard shot with a .50-caliber sniper rifle. Of all the competitors, Reinas was the only one to hit the shot on target with only one bullet. In his career, Reinas said his longest successful shots taken with sniper rifles include a 1,200-yard shot with an M-24 and a 2,500-yard shot with a .50-cal.

"One shot, one kill," Reinas said. "That's how we're trained as a sniper. That was definitely my favorite moment on the show."

For Rodeo 2011, Reinas and fellow sniper Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Brett, also of the 421st CTS, did their own "show" in finding the advanced marksmanship team. The 11 teams competing also had to complete a 1,000-yard shot but it was with an M-24 sniper rifle.

"We wanted to see the teams complete the course of fire we designed so we could truly see who was the best," said Reinas, who is a security forces combat skills instructor for special weapons and tactics at the 421st CTS.

"It was great to see these teams participate as well," he said. "I've also made some new friends."

Since he starred in Top Shot, Reinas has made a lot of friends. He said he gets a lot of "friend requests" via the social media platforms and it seems like he's always on the phone. As a matter of fact, Brett jokingly said he might be the "most photographed" guy around lately.

Regardless, Reinas said he's happy to have been a part of the Top Shot show, and to be at Rodeo 2011 with fellow instructors from the Expeditionary Center.

"We brought a great bunch of people here," Reinas said. "They are the best at what they do."

And Reinas' friends and others might also agree and add that he's a "top shot" at what he does as well.

"George is great at teaching, being an Air Force sniper and being an Airman," Brett said. "He's also pretty good at being on TV."

Reinas joined the Air Force in early 2003 and his first assignment was a one-year tour to Kunsan Air Base, Korea. From March 2004 to February 2010, Reinas was stationed at then-McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., where he worked in a security forces unit. In 2010, he joined the staff at the U.S. Air Expeditionary Center's 421st Combat Training Squadron at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

July 29, 2011 at 5:05pm

62nd, 446th Airlift Wings win three titles apiece at Rodeo 2011

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 competition drew to a close here with the 97th Air Mobility Wing earning the "Best Air Mobility Wing" title during the awards presentation for the air mobility competition July 29.

In the closing ceremonies, the Rodeo commander addressed the thousands of people who had traveled from around the world to the biennial competition.

"We came to learn everything we can and work hard. Today, we hope to have a little fun as well, as we honor the competitors and their efforts," Brig. Gen. Rick Martin said.

In his address during the closing ceremony, the general called Rodeo "an opportunity to get together with our teammates from across the Air Force and around the world - to trade lessons learned and build camaraderie; to increase readiness and improve our military capability."

"We never know where we'll be operating next, whether it's aeromedical evacuation, support after a natural disaster, or delivering cargo, passengers or troops where they're most needed," Martin said. "The more partnerships we can build around the globe, the better we can perform our mission.

"That's what makes Rodeo so important," he added.

The following teams were named the winners at Rodeo 2011:

- Best Air Mobility Wing -- 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Okla.

- The Knucklebuster Award, which recognizes the maintenance team with the highest standards of professionalism, dedication and mutual respect for competitors: 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.

- Best Aerial Port Team -- 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

- Best Security Forces Team -- Team McGuire, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

- Best Contingency Response Operations Team -- 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base MDL

- Best Financial Management -- 375th Air Mobility Wing, Scott AFB, Ill.

- Best Aeromedical Evacuation Team -- 446th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

- Best Aerial Refueling Team -- 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB (Receiver) and 92nd Air Refueling, Fairchild AFB, Wash.

- Best International Team -- Belgium

- Best C-5 Wing -- Team Dover, Dover AFB, Del.

- Best C-130 Wing -- 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, Ark.

- Best C-17 Wing -- 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB

- Best KC-10 Wing -- Team Travis, Travis AFB, Calif.

- Best KC-135 Wing -- 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB

- Best Airland Wing -- Team Dover, Dover AFB

- Best Tanker Wing -- 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB

- Best Airdrop Wing -- 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB

The other award winners are:

Best C-5 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: Team Dover

Best C-17 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: 97th AMW

Best KC-10 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: Team Travis

Best KC-135 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: 121st Air Refueling Wing, Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio

Best C-17 Air Drop Team: Team Alaska

Best C-130 Air Drop Team: 314th AW (C-130H)

Best C-17 Short Field Landing Team: 97th AMW

Best C-130 Short Field Landing Team: 302nd AW, Petersen AFB, Colo.

Best Joint Airdrop Inspection Team: Team Pope

Best C-17 Backing & Combat Offload Team: 15th WG, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii

Best C-130 Backing & Combat Offload Team: 317th Airlift Group, Dyess AFB, Texas

Best C-5 Aircrew: Team Dover

Best C-17 Aircrew: 97th AMW

Best C-130 Aircrew: 314th AW (C-130H)

Best KC-10 Aircrew: Team Travis

Best KC-135 Aircrew: 121st ARW

Best KC-10 Cargo Loading Team: Team McGuire

Best KC-135 Cargo Loading Team: 121st ARW

Best C-5 Preflight Team: Team Dover

Best C-17 Preflight Team: 62nd AW/627th ABG

Best C-130 Preflight Team: 317th AG

Best KC-10 Preflight Team: Team Travis

Best KC-135 Preflight Team: 22nd ARW, McConnell AFB, Kan.

Best C-5 Maintenance Skills Team: Team Dover

Best C-17 Maintenance Skills Team: 437th AW, Joint Base Charleston

Best C-130 Maintenance Skills Team: 314th AW

Best KC-10 Maintenance Skills Team: Team Travis

Best KC-135 Maintenance Skills Team: 97th AMW

Best Maintenance Skills Team: 314th AW

Best C-5 Maintenance Team: Team Dover

Best C-17 Maintenance Team: 437th AW

Best C-130 Maintenance Team: 314th AW

Best KC-10 Maintenance Team: Team Travis

Best KC-135 Maintenance Team: Team MacDill

Best Aerial Port Challenge Course Team: 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany

Best C-5 Engine Running Offload: Team Dover

Best C-17 Engine Running Offload: Dover C-17 ERO Team

Best C-130 Engine Running Offload: 910th AW, Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Squadron, Ohio

Best In-Transit Visibility: 62nd AW/627th ABG

Best Joint Inspection Team: 621st CRW

Best 10K Forklift Operator Team: 521st AMOW

Best 25K Halverson Loader Team: Team Travis

Best Pallet Build-Up Team: 317th AG

Best Advanced Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter: 621st CRW

Best Combat Tactics Team: Team McGuire

Best Combat Weapons Team: 446th AW

Best Combat Endurance Team: Team Alaska

Best Fit-To-Fight Team: Team Ramstein

Best Aeromedical Evacuation Contingency Team: 446th AW

Best Aeromedical Evacuation C-17 Configuration Team: 302nd AW

Best Aeromedical Evacuation KC-135 Configuration Team: 302nd AW

Best Flight Attendant Emergency Egress Team: 99th AS, Joint Base Andrews, Md.

Best Flight Attendant Culinary Team: Team Ramstein

Best Flight Attendant Team: Team Ramstein

Best Contingency Operations ERO Team: 615th CRW, Travis AFB, Calif.

Best Contingency Operations HELAMS Team: 621st CRW

Best Contingency Operations SPICE Team: 621st CRW

Best OSA/VIPSAM Precision Landing Team: Team Ramstein

Best OSA/VIPSAM DV Block in Team: Team Ramstein

Best OSA/VIPSAM Team: Team Ramstein

Best T1 Low Level/Airdrop Team: 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas

Best T1 AR Team: 12th FTW, Randolph AFB, Texas

Best T1 Team: 14th FTW, Columbus AFB, Miss.

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