Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: April, 2016 (13) Currently Viewing: 11 - 13 of 13

April 28, 2016 at 11:52am

McChord Spouses Club helps JBLM scholars

McChord Spouses Club scholarship award recipients take part in a group photo at the McChord Spouses Club 4th annual Shoot for the Stars scholarship reception April 24. Photo credit: Senior Airman Jacob Jimenez

The McChord Spouses Club conducted their 4th annual Shoot for the Stars scholarship reception April 24 at the American Lake Conference Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The reception was to honor the 2016 scholarship recipients and also recognize the individuals who had volunteered at the McChord Thrift Shop since June 2015.

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, presented 20 scholarships to JBLM students and spouses. The scholarships awarded were made possible by funds raised through the McChord Spouses Club Thrift Shop program on McChord Field. More than 100 volunteers from the McChord Thrift Shop were also recognized for volunteering a total of 13,608 hours between June 2015 and April 2016.

The 20 individuals awarded scholarships were awarded a total of $35,000 divided among them. The winners were as follows:

  • The Joan Wasserstrom Student Scholarship was awarded to Blake Toney in the amount of $5,000
  • The Outstanding Merit Student Scholarship was awarded to the following recipients:

Dallen James in the amount of $2,000.

Amanda Code in the amount of $2,000.

Cassondra Werner in the amount of $1,700.

Shannon Brindle in the amount of $1,500.

Hannah LaFrazia in the amount of $1,500.

Eleanor Reed in the amount of $1,500.

Nicholas Brown in the amount of $1,000.

Sarah Park in the amount of $750.

  • The Christine Ann Rodgers Memorial Continuing Student Scholarship was awarded to Hannah Knack in the amount of $3,000.
  • The Outstanding Merit Continuing Student Scholarship was awarded to Janay Davis in the amount of $1,500.
  • The Marilyn Bernd Memorial Spouse Scholarship was awarded to Danielle Bradley in the amount of $2,500.
  • The Outstanding Merit Spouse Scholarships were awarded to the following recipients:

Christina Nalsen in the amount of $1,750.

Elizabeth Maeng in the amount of $1,750.

Melanie Morriss in the amount of $1,750.

Sabina Cunningham in the amount of $1,750.

Trisha Mattson in the amount of $1,550.

Tracie Cardenas in the amount of $1,000.

Athena Mabry in the amount of $750.

Charisse Abellard-Knight in the amount of $750.      

For more information about the McChord Spouses Club scholarship program and upcoming events, visit:

April 29, 2016 at 11:18am

WADS Canadian Detachment celebrates the 92nd anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Lt. Col. Brian Bergren, 225th Air Defense Squadron B-Flight commander, sings “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’” to Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Rebstock, 225th Support Squadron superintendent. Photo courtesy Conrad Neumann, II

The 92nd Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) was celebrated by the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) Canadian Detachment's annual RCAF Mess Dinner at the American Lake Conference Center April 15.  The Canadian Detachment has been working side by side with the U.S. in building 852 at McChord Field as part of NORAD since its construction in the mid 1950s.  WADS is a joint, bi-national organization that ensures control over all U.S. airspace, conducts air defense and airborne counter-drug operations.

Mess dinners are common to all military services and are formal occasions filled with pageantry, customs and traditions, according to Warrant Officer Richard Martin, Canadian Unit Warrant Officer. "During a multi-course dinner, toasts are proposed, music played, and speeches, preferably brief, are given."  

The guest speaker, Lt. Gen. Pierre St. Amand, deputy commander for NORAD, upheld the brief speech tradition but did take the time to touch on the long history of the RCAF, and he praised the long standing close relationship the U.S. and Canadian military have shared, specifically in NORAD and at the Western Air Defense Sector.  

One of the long standing traditions of the mess, according to Lt. Col. Matthew Wappler, Canadian Detachment commander, is to "closely guard your seating name card since they are the preferred method of passing notes to the President of the Mess Committee (PMC)."

Unfortunately for Lt. Col. Brian Bergren, 225th Air Defense Squadron B-Flight commander, his name card somehow ended up in the hands of Capt. Stephen Buckley, the PMC.  Buckley announced to the mess that Bergren was requesting to sing a song to Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Rebstock, 225th Support Squadron superintendent.  With great surprise to the mess, Bergren did a great rendition of "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'."

The tables were quickly turned on Buckley when he was unable to keep in his possession the official wooden PMC gavel that gives him the authority to enforce the rules of the mess, within minutes of the mess officially starting.  Col. Kristen Leist, 173rd Medical Group commander, noticed the gavel was not being secured properly, and with the help of other mess attendees - to include her husband, Col. Gregor Leist, WADS commander - she was able to pass the gavel secretively under the table to the Canadian Unit Warrant Officer for safe keeping.  

Instead of using the customary shoe when a PMC loses his official gavel, Buckley was able to use his reserve gavel - a red and blue plastic Fisher Price hammer procured from his children's toy box.   

The final tradition of the night is the "passing of the port."  At the end of a mess dinner, port decanters are passed amongst the attendees so they may pour themselves a small glass for the Loyal Toast (the toast to the reigning monarch), according to Wappler.

The way the port is passed is determined by the military service.  The Canadian Air Force likes to "fly over the table," according to Wappler.

Thus the port passes from hand to hand and the decanter never touches the table until it needs to be refilled or has reached the end of the table.

The Navy drags the decanter across the table like "a ship floating on the sea," commented Martin.

"The passing of the port can definitely become complicated when there are over one hundred attendees representing all branches of the Canadian and U.S. military," added Wappler.

April 29, 2016 at 11:23am

Goldfein nominated as 21st CSAF

Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced April 26 that the President has nominated Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein to be the 21st chief of staff of the Air Force, succeeding Gen. Mark A. Welsh, III, who has served in the position since 2012.

"I'm extremely humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force's twenty-first chief of staff. If confirmed, I pledge to serve our airmen and their families unwaveringly and honor our remarkable heritage and legacy of integrity, service and excellence," Goldfein said. "I also look forward to joining my fellow service chiefs as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Mark and Betty Welsh continue to be exceptional stewards of our service, and Dawn and I are honored to follow in their footsteps."

Goldfein entered the Air Force in June 1983 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has been assigned to numerous operational, command and staff positions. He currently serves as the vice chief of staff, where he presides over the Air Staff and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group.

"I am pleased to support the nomination of General David Goldfein as our next chief of staff," said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. "General Goldfein possesses the experience and vision needed to address dynamic global challenges and increasing military demand. He knows how to build and sustain key partnerships, has important warfighting experience, and will exercise the critical judgement required to balance our manpower and resources as we shape tomorrow's Air Force. There is not a better person to lead our airmen into the next century of airpower dominance."

Prior to his current position, Goldfein was the director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., where he assisted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in fulfilling his responsibilities as the principal military adviser to the President and secretary of defense.

"Dave Goldfein is an airman who epitomizes warrior leadership, and that's exactly what our Air Force deserves," Welsh said. "He connects deeply with airmen, he supports their families relentlessly, and he absolutely recognizes the criticality of our service's mission. Most importantly, he and Dawn understand the remarkable privilege they've been afforded in serving the nation."

Goldfein is a command pilot with more than 4,200 flying hours in the T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon, F-16C/D Fighting Falcon, F-117A Nighthawk, MQ-9 Reaper, and MC-12W. He has flown combat missions in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Allied Force, and Enduring Freedom. Goldfein has received numerous awards for his military service including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor device and oak leaf cluster.

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