Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: December, 2011 (25) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 25

December 14, 2011 at 6:37am

McChord's November monthly military justice update

The following information is a summary of non-judicial punishments given by commanders under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice during November 2011. The punishments are determined based on the individual facts and circumstances of each case.

- A staff sergeant from the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron c committed willful dereliction of duty by misusing a government travel card. The staff sergeant received reduction to senior airman, two forfeitures of $1,162 and a reprimand.

- An airman from the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron committed failure to go and made a false official statement. The airman received reduction to airman basic, 30 days of extra duty and a reprimand.

- A master sergeant from the 62nd Maintenance Squadron was caught drinking and driving and reported drunk while on duty. The master sergeant received reduction to technical sergeant and a reprimand.

- A senior airman from the 62nd Maintenance Squadron committed failure to go and made a false official statement. The airman received reduction to airman 1st class, two forfeitures of $100, 7 days of extra duty and a reprimand.


The following information is a summary of involuntary discharges during November 2011.

- An airman 1st class from the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron received a general discharge for minor disciplinary infractions.

- An airman from the 62nd Maintenance Operation Squadron received a general discharge for minor disciplinary infractions.

- An airman from the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron received a general discharge for minor disciplinary infractions.

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December 14, 2011 at 6:43am

Long-term orders end for Reserve aircrews

The end is near in so many ways. It's end of the year, the end of America's substantial military presence in Iraq, and the end to Reserve aircrews serving on long-term orders.

Since Reserve aircrew mobilizations began here in 2003, C-17 aircrews from the 446th Airlift Wing have consistently flown missions around the globe in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. To provide this level of support, the Reservists served on military personnel appropriation orders funded by Air Mobility Command.

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, 446th AW aircrews will no longer be placed on long-term MPA orders, according to Lt. Col. Mark Boyd, 446th Operations Support Flight director of operations.

AMC had those crews on call to go when needed, on an as needed basis, according to Boyd. Now, Reserve aircrews will no longer be readily available whenever a mission pops up.

"We're now focusing on predictable opportunities for our members," said Boyd. "Slowly, but surely we're evolving back to a traditional Reserve construct of support. Although the end of long-term orders will mark a significant change from how we've operated the past several years, we're ready for it. We've been moving in this direction for quite some time."

If a Reserve aircrew from McChord Field wants to participate and is not deploying through the expeditionary airlift squadron, they can fly for a specific mission and be on orders for that specific mission.

In addition, the Reserve wing here will continue to partner with the 62nd AW to fulfill the active-duty wing's commitment to support the expeditionary airlift squadron requirements - one in Turkey and one in Southwest Asia.

"Of the number of crews required to go to the EAS, we have committed to provide a percentage of those crews. So we have eight to 10 people embedded in the EAS deployment to help the 62nd with their commitment," said Boyd.

So in the end, the Reserve wing at McChord Field is back at the beginning, supporting the C-17 global mission as they did before mass mobilizations.

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December 14, 2011 at 6:45am

World famous comedian to bring puppet entourage, laughter to Tacoma in March

The comedian who helped bring back ventriloquism, Jeff Dunham, will bring his team of one-of-a-kind characters to the Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash. for a one-man performance, March 24, 2012 at 8 p.m.

Dunham's "Controlled Chaos" tour is another event for Air Force Reserve Recruiting's "Get 1 Now: Refer a Friend Tour."

"This is a great show with a great meet-and-greet opportunity," said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Terpening, 446th Airlift Wing senior recruiter. "Get 1 tickets will go fast!"

"Get 1 Now" is a referral program aimed at getting Reservists to maintain Air Force Reserve strength by recommending qualified people with whom they wish to serve. When those referrals join the Reserve, the Reservist earns credit for an accession and becomes eligible for an award.

According to Biography.com, Dunham has been one of the world's top-grossing comedians since 2007 and is known for his popular and unique characters such as, grumpy old Walter; and José, the Jalapeño on a Stick, who've inspired praise from his fans.

In 2006, Comedy Central showcased Dunham's "Arguing with Myself", which prompted "Spark of Insanity" and "A Very Special Christmas Special."

His series, "The Jeff Dunham Show", broke Comedy Central records, which propelled him to international fame.

For more information on Jeff Dunham's "Controlled Chaos" tour or to enter your Get 1 referral, go to www.get1now.us/

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December 16, 2011 at 12:32am

Airman sets new squadron record for fitness

Airman 1st Class Francisco Vidal, personnel specialist trainee, 335th Training Squadron, Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., won the Thunderbolt award Nov. 9, attending basic training at the 323rd Training Squadron, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Vidal perfor

Thirty two years may not be old in Sun City, Ariz., but it certainly is in San Antonio. However, that didn't stop an Airman 1st Class who broke his basic training squadron's record for pushups and situps Nov. 9 at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Airman 1st Class Francisco Vidal, a personnel specialist who will be assigned to the 446th Force Support Squadron in January, and is attending technical school at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., won the Thunderbolt award for performing 97 pushups and 85 sit ups during his final fitness assessment.

"It felt great," said Vidal, who hails from Mill Creek, Wash. "I saw a goal and it was exciting to break the record."

Vidal's success came as no surprise to his Reserve recruiter, Master Sgt. Charles Loftland, a line recruiter with the Western Recruiting Squadron.

"Francisco is a great example of the model Airman," said Loftland, who recruits out of Tukwila. "He is committed to success. Before he left for basic military training, he set a goal to be the best he could be while there. We will definitely share Vidal's story with others to help them stay motivated in meeting their challenges."

Vidal went through the training and development flight before heading out to basic training, said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Terpening, Western Recruiting Squadron senior recruiter. He's proof that the program works.

The training and development flight helps new 446th Airlift Wing enlistees develop their Air Force skills and knowledge with a heavy emphasis on physical training and memory work.

For more information on 446th AW recruitment activities and events, contact Terpening at 982-3501.

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December 18, 2011 at 6:52am

Wrestlers’ McChord visit ‘really eye opening’ experience

Senior Master Sgt. Derek Bryant (right), 728th Airlift Squadron senior loadmaster, McChord Field, Wash., dresses Total Nonstop Action wrestler Madison Rayne in aircrew gear on a C-17 Globemaster III, Dec. 6, 2011. Rayne and fellow wrestler Angelina Love v

American professional wrestler Madison Rayne has toured several U.S. military installations to meet and greet servicemembers and sign autographs.

When Rayne visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord with professional wrestler Angelina Love Dec. 6, taking a tour of an aircraft on McChord Field hit home for the celebrity. Rayne married an Airman in February and her husband was deployed to Afghanistan in September.

While touring a C-17 Globemaster III, Rayne learned about all the things she hears her husband talk about.

"Everything they show us and everywhere they take us around here, at first it's cool and neat," Rayne said. "But then I sit back and think as a wife, 'this is what my husband's doing right now.' He's across the world doing these things right now and it's like play time for us."

Rayne and Love were on a two-day promotional tour of JBLM with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. The duo visited an MP station, a fire department, participated in a gun simulation, signed autographs at the Lewis and McChord Exchanges and toured the C-17. The visit was Love's first to a military installation. Her boyfriend, who wrestles as Crimson on TNA, is a former Soldier.

"It's really eye opening because you really don't know until you experience it how hard everyone works and all the training they do and what they go through," Love said.

Aboard the C-17, the wrestlers sat in the cockpit and also worked the levers to lower the ramp of the plane.

Senior Master Sergeant Derek Bryant of the 728th Airlift Squadron, directed the tour and shared with Rayne and Love what his job entails.

"It's always good to show people how we operate," Bryant said. "They're part of the community, too."

Medical technicians of the 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron explained their roles aboard the plane and had the wrestlers load and unload a dummy on a stretcher aboard the aircraft. Just the sight of dummy patients on stretchers caused Rayne to become a little emotional.

"It puts it all in perspective," she said. "It really got to me for a second."

The celebrity wrestlers were an appreciated visit by the Soldiers and Airmen of JBLM, but Rayne and Love left the base with a deeper understanding of those that serve them.

"It gives more appreciation to each individual job," Rayne said. "Now we kind of understand what each branch does and then within each branch, what each division does."

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December 18, 2011 at 6:55am

Five earn eagles at McChord

Five Reservists with the 446th Airlift Wing here have been selected for promotion to colonel.

Congratulations to: Col. James Dignan, 446th Operations Group; Lt. Col. Rick Grayson, 446th OG; Lt. Col. Scott Weichert, 97th Airlift Squadron; Lt. Col. Rob Richardson, 446th Aeromedical Staging Squadron; and Lt. Col. Sam Barringer, 446th ASTS.

Air Reserve Personnel Center officials at Buckley AFB, Colo., announced results for the CY11 USAFR Line and Nonline Colonel Promotion Selection Boards Dec. 9.

The selection boards convened at the center Oct. 17 to determine those officers qualified to assume the next higher grade. This year board members selected 263 of 2,032 officers considered for the colonel selection board.

The colonels board, which is one of the largest boards held at the ARPC, requires ARPC's Total Force workforce of Active Duty, Reserve and Guard members and contractors work together on officer selection records.

The promotion board evolves each year when senior leaders show up at the ARPC headquarters to begin the week-long board to review the records.

"The board consists of 48 senior leaders, who are mixture of active duty and Air Force Reserve senior leaders," said Col. Lisa Yacoub, ARPC Director, Reserve of the Air Force Selection Board Secretariat. "The board members arrive on Monday morning, and spend most of the first day in orientation and training. They also get an opportunity to do sample scoring where they score all records by private ballot and resolve significant disagreements."

The board president, a major general, is a non-voting member, and can be either active duty or Reserve. It is the board president that oversees board operations and out briefs the results of the board to the Secretary of the Air Force.

"The members sit in five-member panels. Each panel has a one-star general and four colonels who all can vote," said Allison Lynch, technical advisor to the selection board secretariat. "The board considers the member's officer selection record, consisting of all officer performance reports and decorations; a one-page summary of data called the officer selection brief; and a letter to the board should the officer decide to write one."

Other information, which can be includes in the OSR, including Articles 15 or letters of reprimand the officer's senior rater decides to file, or any results of courts martial proceedings. The panel members give each record a score from 6 - 10 in half-point increments, based on the whole person concept.

The officers whose records meet the board cannot address the board in person. In fact, the only person who can address the board is the SECAF, who provides the board specific instructions via the memorandum of instructions.

"The scores are combined to make a highest-scoring to lowest-scoring listing of all records that met the board," Lynch said. "Once they have an order of merit, the board members look at the lowest scoring select and determine if that officer is fully qualified to serve in the next higher grade. Once they have selected that officer, that officer and everyone who scored higher than that officer is put on the select list. The board members then sign a board report to the SECAF verifying they completed all board processes and identified all the selects."

Competitive categories considered during these promotion boards are: Air Force Reserve Line, Chaplain, Dental Corps, Line of the Air Force-Judge Advocate, Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, Medical Service Corps and Biomedical Sciences Corps.

DPB supports 10 selection boards, including two additional boards annually. It takes about 10-12 months to complete each board, Yacoub said.?

A complete list of Citizen Airmen selected for promotion is available on the Air Force Personnel Services Web site. For more information, contact the Air Reserve Personnel Center Public Affairs office at 720-847-3030 or DSN 847-3030.

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December 19, 2011 at 7:09am

Guard Airmen recognized for recent deployment

The Washington Air National Guard honored Airmen from the 116th Air Support Operations Squadron during a ceremony Dec. 8 at the squadron's headquarters on Camp Murray.

The Airmen recently returned from one of the largest deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in the squadron's history.

Several emotional and heroic battlefield stories were told as 116th ASOS members received several prestigious awards ranging from certificates of appreciation, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, the Air Force Combat Action Medal, the Air Force and Army Commendation Medal, to the Bronze Star Medal and the fourth highest award for valor, the Silver Star Medal.

"(The) ceremony is extremely important and historic for our Washington National Guard. Most of the Bronze Stars, Sliver Stars, and the Purple Hearts reside in the Air Support Operations Group and they continue to distinguish themselves in combat service year after year," Maj. Gen. Gary T. Magonigle, assistant adjutant general of the Washington Military Department and commander of the Washington Air National Guard said in a release. "To survive and operate under these intense environments, in the midst of firefights for long durations of time, comes through the incredible level of training that they have risen to. My hat is off to them."

The elite Citizen-Airmen of the Guard's Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) of the 116th ASOS act as the furthest extension of Air Force influence the ground battle. JTACs serve as close air support experts to ground commanders and direct the aerial attacks on enemy positions while the U.S. and Afghan soldiers fight to drive out insurgents. Furthermore, because of their intense training in the Law of Armed Conflict and Rules of Engagement, JTACs are the only ones on the battlefield permitted to tell an aircraft, "cleared hot to engage."

"Although we shared several war stories with one another, it was also important for our families and friends to hear about what the 116th ASOS had done for their country," said Capt. Travis Hartzell, an air liaison officer with the 116th ASOS.

Master Sgt. David Glisson, NCOIC of the 116th ASOS, said it's always good to see your friends get acknowledged for the stuff they do every day.

"This is one time we say thanks, but this is just a culmination and a very small piece of what they do all the time," he said.

The re-deployment ceremony also paid tribute to all the unsung heroes, which included parents, wives, children, friends, significant others and all the supporters who stood behind the 116th ASOS during preparations, training and the recent deployment. The unit's Family Readiness Squadron, members within the 194th Regional Support Wing, the 194th Air Support Group and the 194th Medical Group were also recognized for their significant support and outstanding efforts that enabled the 194th ASOS team to meet and excel in their deployment requirements.

The unit is now in the midst of helping its members transition back into life at home.

 "We will take care of you and your families during your reintegration," Magonigle said. "This is a time our leaders need to step up and be ready to help our members during this phase and it's my unwavering commitment that we take care of our families and our members so that reintegration goes smoothly."

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December 22, 2011 at 6:34am

Air Force officials announce additional force management measures

In on-going efforts to continue to size and shape the force to current and future requirements, Air Force officials announced additional force management programs.

The Air Force ended fiscal year 2011 about 1,200 Airmen over endstrength.

For enlisted Airmen, voluntary programs from last year will continue. These include waivers for Active Duty Service Commitments, time-in-grade, and enlistment contracts. Involuntary programs from last year will also continue including: date of separation rollbacks and initial skills training separations.

There will be two new enlisted force management programs effective in fiscal year 2013; effective 30 September 2013 -- adjusted High Year Tenure limits and Career Job Reservation constraints.

HYT limits will be adjusted for senior airman, staff sergeant, and technical sergeant. Specifically, senior airman will be reduced from 10 to eight years, staff sergeant will be reduced from 20 to 15 years, and technical sergeant will be reduced from 22 to 20 years. Staff sergeants with 16 years or more total active federal military service as of Sept. 30, 2013, will be grandfathered and their HYT will remain at 20 years.

Approximately 1,700 Airmen will be affected by the changes to HYT. Airmen will have two additional opportunities to test for promotion before the new HYT takes effect. This implementation timeline provides impacted Airmen 20 months to plan for separation or retirement from active duty should they not be selected for promotion.

CJR constraints will limit the number of first term Airmen who can reenlist based on Air Force Specialty Code career job requirements. The CJR program objective is to prevent surpluses and shortages in the career force. AFPC controls first term reenlistments by maintaining a career job requirement file for each AFSC. Airmen in overmanned career fields eligible for a CJR will be determined by a quality "rank order" process in those constrained AFSCs. The Air Force will announce the expected 15-20 AFSCs to be constrained at a later date.

For officers, voluntary and involuntary programs will continue. Voluntary measures will be offered to officers in certain year groups and overage career fields to allow time-in-grade and ADSC waivers. Likewise, the Expanded PALACE CHASE and the 10 to eight Commission Waiver programs will continue to be offered.

There will be one projected involuntary officer board, a Force Shaping Board, for probationary officers; those officers with less than six years of total active federal commissioned service. The board will consider eligible officers in specified AFSCs and in certain year groups. Details of this board will be announced at a later date.

There are currently no plans for Voluntary Separation Pay, a Reduction in Force board or Selective Early Retirement Boards for FY13. Additionally, some selective continuation limitations, impacting twice deferred Captains and Majors, will remain necessary although potentially less strident than in FY12. As a minimum, the Air Force will consider for selective continuation all officers within 5 years of retirement or those in critical skills.

Air Force leaders are committed to sustaining excellence and meeting fiscal requirements. Today's Airmen should expect continued force management measures until the desired endstrength is met. For information about this, and other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Services website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil .

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December 23, 2011 at 7:20am

Airmen prepare for season during four-day tournament

The ball is tossed into the air and for a moment, everyone holds their breath. Eyes follow the ball as an Airman's hand reaches up to take possession, and the first game of the four-day intramural basketball tournament officially began. A lthough the 627th Security Forces Squadron maintained possession of the ball at the start, when the 373rd Training Squadron Det. 12 finally got the ball, they showed their true dominance winning the game 58-35.

Entering halftime, with the 373rd TRS leading 26-8, teams grouped together, wiped the sweat from their brows, and worked to improve during the next half.

"We've only had one practice before this game," said Sarah Draper, 627th SFS raven. "We need to work on defense and practicing our plays. We'll get it together and be better."

Entering the second half determined to improve, the 627th SFS struggled to establish a clean defensive strategy. The 373rd TRS completed two separate foul shots and began to work together as a team.

"We have a pretty good team this year," said Henry Moultrie, 373rd TRS instructor and intramural participant for the past eight years. "Last year we went 7 and 1, so hopefully we can repeat that and go all the way."

As the final buzzer rang, the 627th SFS attempted one final three-point shot. Teams lined up and shook hands.

"Today's game went really well," said Moultrie after his first victory of the season. "We had some mistakes here and there but overall, I'm happy with our team."

According to Staff Sgt. Dana Wagner, 627th Force Support Squadron fitness center manager, the four-day tournament was comprised of eight McChord Field teams.

The official intramural basketball season is scheduled to begin shortly after the holiday season.

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December 24, 2011 at 7:37am

62nd Airlift Wing commander delivers holiday message

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- As we celebrate the holiday season and the upcoming New Year, it's time to recharge our mental and physical batteries. It's been an incredibly busy year for the 62nd Airlift Wing and I couldn't be more proud of our team.

Chief Master Sgt. Gregory Warren and I look back with appreciation on the outstanding work you've done and thank each and every member of Team McChord for their hard work and sacrifices.

Please remember to keep our deployed brothers and sisters in your thoughts. They are a far from home, away from family and friends, protecting the freedoms we enjoy every day.

This holiday is a time to celebrate and relax with family and friends- you've earned it! But please make safety a priority. Don't let drinking and driving, fatigue, speeding or failure to use seatbelts ruin your celebration. I want to see each of you after the New Year strong and healthy.

It's an honor to be your commander. From the Elder family to yours, please have a joyful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

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