Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

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May 6, 2015 at 7:43am

Former McChord commander to be the vice

Former McChord Field commander and Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, was given the nod to be the nation's next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In his Rose Garden announcement of the nomination of Selva and Marine Corps Commandant Joseph Dunford — as chairman of the Joint Chiefs — President Obama highlighted Selva's role earlier in his administration when the Air Force general served as the top military adviser to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In praising Selva, Obama noted his "35 years of military service — as both a pilot and a commander. As leader of Air Mobility Command, he earned a reputation as a force for change and innovation. I understand that when it was time to deliver the final C-17 to the Air Force, Paul went to the cockpit and helped fly it himself."

Currently chief of U.S. Transportation Command, headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Selva "grasps the strategic environment in which our forces operate," Obama said. "He understands our military, as powerful as it is, is one tool that must be used in concert with all of the elements of our national power."

Filed under: 62nd Airlift Wing,

October 1, 2013 at 4:13pm

List of Joint Base Lewis-McChord changes due to government shutdown

Ed. note: Joint Base Lewis-McChord PAO has release a much bigger, more comprehensive list of openings, closures and cancellations here.

The 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs has just release a list of changes at Joint Base Lewis-McChord caused by the government shutdown:

  • All Exchange services will be opened and operating under normal hours.
  • All emergency services will be operating as normal.
  • The Child Development Centers will operate as normal.
  • Youth Services Teen Zone, SKIES, School aged services, Teen Centers will continue with normal operations.
  • Youth Sports Program will continue as planned.
  • The Dining Facilities will remain open and operational.
  • The gyms will be open and operating under normal hours.
  • On-Base housing support through Equity will not be impacted.
  • Alcohol Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) will be operating normally.
  • On and Off-post Elementary, Middle and High Schools are not impacted.
  • Central Issue Facility (CIF) is open and operating under normal times.
  • Most MWR activities will continue under normal hours. These include the Warrior Zone, the American Lake Convention Center, the Cascade Community Center, the Bowling Center as an example.
  • SHARP, Victim Advocates, New Parent Support and Military Family Life Counselors will continue with normal operations.
  • Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) respite care for current enrollees will continue with normal operations.
  • Force Support Squadron functions in building 100 will remain under normal operations except vehicle pass and weapons registration functions.
  • Official Mail will be closed.
  • Off-base housing services are closed.
  • McChord Field Dorm Room assignments and maintenance will be delayed.
  • Education centers will be open for college courses, however no academic counseling will be available.
  • Installation museums are closed.
  • Visual Information Services are closed.
  • Libraries will operate on limited hours. Grandstaff Library's new hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the McChord Library's hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Joint Personal Property Shipping Office (JPPSO) will be open normal operating hours, however delays should be expected.

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER

  • All inpatient and wounded warrior care activities will continue as normal.
  • Patients will still be able to schedule medical appointments for most outpatient services, and none of the scheduled appointments will be canceled.
  • The appointment line (1-800-404-4506) will remain open for beneficiaries to inquire about their appointments and for those in need of urgent "non-emergency" care.
  • Pharmacy services will also remain open at all locations.
  • Non-emergent elective medical and dental surgeries will be curtailed during the government shutdown. Impacted patients will be notified personally of any changes.

See Also

Pres. Obama thanks DoD workforce, encourages budget resolution

Information for soldiers, civilians impacted by government shutdown

July 25, 2013 at 12:52pm

JBLM helps transform Ascension Island into Pres. Obama Island

KC-10 Extenders and C-17 Globemaster IIIs sit on the Ascension Auxiliary Airfield Ramp at Ascension Island in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, June 28, 2013. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Sean Baber

More than 170 mobility Airmen from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., descended on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic aboard four U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, June 14.

This first wave was followed by 92 more C-17 and KC-10 Extender aircraft performing an aggressive 24/7 stage operation over the next 24 days. The normally tranquil island transformed into a major military aircraft hub during the month-long operation moving equipment and passengers to and from Africa in preparation for President Barack Obama's official state visit to the African continent.

During the six-day visit, the president and first lady traveled through Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania, meeting with government and business leaders to promote democracy and reinforce the United States' commitment to expanding economic growth, investment and trade in the African continent.

In addition to the deployed Airmen, the operation was supported by a small but capable team of permanent party military from the 45th Operations Group, Detachment 2. Additionally, a detachment from the Royal Air Force's 1st Air Mobility Wing as well as contractor personnel provided round-the-clock support to ensure mission success. The island's small civilian population was also supportive of the operation, graciously welcoming the influx of deployed troops.

"Ascension Island usually receives three aircraft per week," said Maj. Michael Campbell, Detachment 2 commander. "It took the combined efforts of every agency on Ascension, as well as the deployed Airmen to support the heightened operations tempo and make this mission a success."

A contingency response element consisting of 33 Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing at Travis augmented Ascension's existing airfield infrastructure, providing command and control, communications and aerial port services for the massive operation.

"This has been an incredible opportunity for the CRW to showcase its capability as Air Mobility Command's rapid response force," said Maj. Robert Arnett, mission vice commander.

"In addition, the 24 hour flow of aircraft could not have been sustained had it not been for the dedication of 45 maintainers from JBMDL and JBLM," Arnett said. "These hard working maintainers took fewer than four hours per aircraft to fuel, repair and launch for its next flight. The hard work of this world-class maintenance team set a remarkable on-time departure rate of over 90 percent."

Despite the long hours, deployed Airmen found time to host a tour for the local community, hosting more than 60 children and 30 adults from two elementary schools, a youth group, and Scout troop to for a tour of both a C-17 and a KC-10. Still other Airmen assisted the Ascension Island Conservation Society by maintaining hiking trails on the Green Mountain National Park Zone and helping protect endangered plants and animals.

Overall, this operation set several milestones with more than 4.4 million pounds of cargo, 1,600 passengers and 103 aircraft transiting the island. On average, one military aircraft arrived or departed Ascension's airfield every 3.5 hours for 24 straight days, making the operation the largest movement of military equipment and personnel through Ascension Island since the Falklands War in 1982. At the peak of the operation, the influx of deployed troops increased the island's population by over 25 percent.

"Despite many challenges, we achieved overwhelming success," said Lt. Col. Thad Middleton, mission commander. "I could not be more proud of how well this diverse group came together, completing this high-profile mission safely, swiftly, and with precision."

This report was filed by by Capt. David Bredesen of the 621st Contingency Response Wing.

July 24, 2013 at 4:12pm

10th Airlift Squadron to deploy for overseas contingency

This just in from the 62nd AW Public Affairs Office:

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 10th Airlift Squadron is scheduled to deploy July 28 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

More than 70 Airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing's 10th AS will depart for a 60-day deployment to the Middle East. They will be accompanied by Airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Airmen will take over operations of the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.

Read more...

July 19, 2013 at 12:22pm

JBLM airlift wings join the fun Down Under

U.S. soldiers of 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Richardson, Alaska, parachute out of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Talisman Saber 2011 July 17, 2011.

As you know by now, Talisman Saber 2013 is a bilateral exercise designed to train Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations, in order to improve combat readiness and interoperability. More than 28,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and women are taking to the sea, land and sky in northern Australia as part of the massive exercise. We have mentioned the 446th Airlift Wing's participation in the exercise earlier this week.

Wanting in on the fun, the airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing are Down Under too. The 62nd AW Public Affairs Office reports:

Read more...

July 17, 2013 at 3:03pm

Change of command at 62nd Airlift Wing

Col. David Kumashiro assumed command of the 62nd Airlift Wing in a ceremony Wednesday, July 17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord. Photo credit: Gail Wood

Pledging that it will never be "about me," Col. David Kumashiro talked about the power of teamwork Wednesday when he became the new commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing during an hour-long change of command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

In a brief yet poignant 5-minute acceptance speech, Kumashiro pledged to further the rich tradition of the 62nd Airlift Wing.

"It is with faith, courage, passion, patients and humility that I dedicate myself to this great team," Kumashiro said. "This will never be about me. This will always be about us."

Twenty-one years after graduating from the Air Force Academy, Kumashiro, the son of a colonel, replaces Col. Wyn Elder as the commander at McChord for a two-year assignment.

>>> Col. David Kumashiro addressed the crowd during the 62 AW change of command ceremony. Photo credit: Gail Wood

Kumashiro, who has more than 3,400 flying hours in the C-17, C-5A/B and the Predator, is now in command of 2,300 active duty military and civilian personal, along with 48 C-17s.

Read more...

July 16, 2013 at 6:45pm

Photo: 62nd Airlift Wing commander flies "fini" flight

Col. Wyn Elder's "fini flight" as commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing took place Monday, July 15 at McChord Field. Photo credit: Tech Sgt. Sean Tobin

A C-17 Globemaster III ascends over McChord Field as Mt. Rainier towers in the distance, July 15, 2013, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The C-17, piloted by Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander during his "fini flight," was performing a touch-and-go prior to its final approach.

LINK: A day in Col. Elder's life

July 16, 2013 at 3:21pm

Senior Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

Senior Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron, was named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez

An Airman from the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron here was recently named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

Senior Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 62nd APS air freight superintendent, will travel to Washington later this year be recognized by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at a reception hosted by the Air Force Association.

Read more...

July 10, 2013 at 1:00pm

62nd AW commander Col. Wyn Elder bids farewell to Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Col. Wyn Elder, commander, 62nd Airlift Wing, takes time to jot a few notes to himself before heading to another meeting in December 2012. /J.M. Simpson

As we noted in May, Col. R Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, will relinquish command this summer to incoming Col. David J. Kumashiro, who was previously the 436th Operations Support Squadron commander at Dover Air Force Base, as well as worked with the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell - a part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Below is Elder's farewell to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve as the 62nd Airlift Wing commander over the past two years. The time has gone by remarkably fast, and I can honestly say this has been the best experience of my Air Force career. As I look back at my time at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, I am left with a profound sense of gratitude toward all of you that made this assignment special.

To our community partners, honorary commanders and civic leaders; thank you very much for the support you constantly and selflessly give to the servicemembers stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I was consistently overwhelmed with the generosity you showed by organizing community events, attending unit and base functions and simply being there for our troops and their families. Our jobs often take us far from home, so it is very reassuring to know that our families are surrounded by such a tight-knit community when we are away. There is a reason why this is such a sought after assignment, and it's not just because of the weather. It's because you have made this a very special place for us and our families to live.

I would also like to thank Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, Col. Charles Hodges, Col. Valerie Hasberry and our joint base partners. Your friendship and commitment to the Airmen of Team McChord has been incredible. Patience, cooperation and communication are critical to the success of any joint base, and that is exactly what you provided. I am honored to have commanded alongside you and I am proud of the challenges we overcame. Together, we have made Joint Base Lewis-McChord the model for joint basing throughout the Department of Defense, and for that, I thank you.

To Col. Bruce Bowers and our Reserve partners in the 446th Airlift Wing, it has been an absolute pleasure working with and learning from you. When we go to combat, we go as a team and there's no one I'd rather go with than the 446th! Nearly half of the missions leaving McChord Field are flown by Reservists, and your professionalism and commitment to the mission has been invaluable. Whether it meant coming together during the 2012 Operational Readiness Inspection, working side-by-side during Operation Deep Freeze, or partnering during historic ops surges and flying hour cuts, I believe we have the best relationship between any active duty and Reserve wing in Air Mobility Command, and it's not by accident. You truly embody the one-team, one-fight mantra, and I humbly thank you for your support.

Finally, to the men and women of the 62nd Airlift Wing, it has been an absolute pleasure to serve as your wing commander. Our nation asks so much of you and you always deliver outstanding results. Some of you may remember that at my change of command ceremony back in 2011, I had a simple message: WHAT YOU DO MATTERS. After serving with you for the past 25 months, I firmly believe that message is even more important today than it was when I first said it. It matters every time you help generate or operate a McChord C-17 that airlifts precious cargo and troops to the frontlines in Afghanistan. It matters when you medevac injured Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen from the battlefield to life-saving care. It matters when you provide all the logistical, medical and operational support required to produce combat airlift. It matters when we come together and succeed in inspection after inspection. It matters that we strengthen the credibility of our nation's strategic nuclear deterrence posture. And it matters when you do the right thing, are a good Wingman and watch out for fellow Airmen. I could not be more proud of all of you, and I know that under Col. David Kumashiro's leadership you will continue to answer the call and deliver Airlift Excellence...Right Here, Right Now! - Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander

LINK: We spent the day with Col. Elder

July 1, 2013 at 4:53pm

Julius A. Kolb Airman Leadership School graduates

Photo courtesy of 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office

The following Airmen graduated from Julius A. Kolb Airman Leadership School June 27 at McChord Field.

Senior Airman Audry Akelkok, 62nd Medical Squadron
Senior Airman Scott Bean, 627th Civil Engineer Squadron
Senior Airman Zachary Beyer, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron
Senior Airman Taylor Christian, 1st Weather Squadron
Staff Sgt. Devin Davis-Roberson, 627th CES
Senior Airman Byron Fonseca, 62nd AMXS
Staff Sgt. Derek Haupt, 62nd AMXS

Read more...

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