Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

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June 29, 2013 at 3:03pm

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response down day marks cultural change at JBLM

Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, explains reporting options for victims of sexual assault June 25 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez

Airmen and civilians across Joint Base Lewis-McChord stood down normal operations June 24 and 25 to emphasize the need to eliminate sexual assault in the Air Force.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response down day is a Department of Defense initiative to reiterate zero tolerance of sexual assault and focus on fostering a climate of dignity and respect.

"If we are going to eliminate sexual assaults, we have to start by improving our culture and climate," said Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "We've got to start now - it's up to you to create a culture in your workplace where you and your co-workers can be comfortable."

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June 19, 2013 at 8:43pm

Most McChord services to close for training day June 25

The McChord side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord will conduct a mandatory wing training day Tuesday.

Most McChord base services will be affected the entire day by this training.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and recommend contacting the respective office you want to visit before coming to McChord Field Tuesday.

All Morale, Welfare and Recreation services, the McChord Exchange and its neighboring stores and food court, the commissary, child development centers, on-base banks and Burger King will not be affected by this training day.

For more information, contact the 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at 253.982.5637.

Master Sgt. Todd Wivell is a journalist with 62nd AW Public Affairs.

June 17, 2013 at 6:04pm

Col. Craig Gaddis commands the 62nd MXG

Col. Craig Gaddis, 62nd Maintenance Group commander, speaks for the first time as the new leader of the 62nd MXG, June 14 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jason Truskowski

Airmen of the 62nd Maintenance Group saluted their new commander during a change of command ceremony June 14.

Col. Craig Gaddis took command of the 62nd MXG from Col. Thomas Jackson, who will retire after 26 years of honorable service in the Air Force.

"Taking command is an opportunity I don't take lightly," said Gaddis. "I'm humbled to take command of the outstanding Airmen of the 62nd Maintenance Group and confident that we will continue to uphold this group's reputation of excellence."

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May 21, 2013 at 4:37pm

Col. David J. Kumashiro to be 62nd AW commander

The 62nd Airlift Wing, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, McChord Field, has confirmed that Col. R Wyn Elder, 62nd AW commander, will relinquish command this summer to incoming Col. David J. Kumashiro. Kumashiro, who was previously the 436th Operations Support Squadron commander at Dover Air Force Base, is currently working with the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell, which is a part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. As of press time, a date and time for Kumashiro's change of command had yet to be scheduled. 

May 16, 2013 at 10:24am

Air Mobility Rodeo tentatively off for 2014

A U.S. airmen marshals in a KC-135 for the 2011 Air Mobility Rodeo, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., July 23. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Dayton Mitchell

As you know Air Mobility Command postponed Air Mobility Rodeo 2013, which was to take place at McChord Field in this summer. Rodeo, sponsored by AMC, is the Mobility Air Force's readiness competition. The competitions are held to train and improve the abilities of U.S. and international partners' air mobility operations skills while building international relationships.

Word just came down from AMC that Rodeo 2014 might not happen either.

"Rodeo 2014 is tentatively off," said a spokesperson from the 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office who contacted AMC. "Rodeo happens every two years. It was scheduled to take place this summer at McChord Field. With the budget sequestration, Rodeo was postponed. According to AMC, it's tentatively not scheduled for the summer of 2014, although official word won't be released until sometime next week."

It looks as if Rodeo won't return to McChord Field until 2015.

This is not the first time Air Mobility Rodeo has been cancelled. The two most recent examples are Rodeo 2003, which was called off because of worldwide commitments for the war on terrorism and humanitarian efforts. In 1988, it was canceled because of budget shortfalls.

April 4, 2012 at 4:50pm

McChord Field introduces new mass notification system

Wouldn't it be nice if you could instantly know of any emergency situation on base? What if you and your family could receive a text message to your personal mobile phones any time there is a threat? With the new emergency mass notification system being fielded at McChord Field this spring, this will become a reality. 

McChord Field's new AtHoc Alerts system can notify Airmen, civilian employees and their dependents within minutes of an emergency event. These notifications range from force protection condition changes and anti-terror warnings to driving conditions, reporting instructions and base disaster responses. 

Several Air Mobility Command bases have already successfully installed AtHoc Alerts. In fact, Joint Base Lewis-McChord's own I Corps 24/7 Watch Office is already using AtHoc Alerts right next door. 

Eventually, all AMC bases and the AMC Command Center will implement this system. The 62nd Airlift Wing Command Post is the McChord Field operator of the system and will send base-wide notifications or alerts and provide reports to the commander as needed. 

For McChord Field, the 62nd AW commander also has the authority to approve any other organization's important alerts on a case-by-case basis through the Command Post. A small "purple globe" icon will appear in the desktop icon tray to let you know the program is available on your computer. In fact, the AtHoc system has already been installed on most of McChord Field's computers. 

In order to begin receiving alerts, all Airmen and those civilians designated as "key" and "Level A and/or B" must update their contact information by using the AtHoc Alerts Self Service module at their work desktop. Just right-click on the purple globe, select "access self service" and update accordingly. 

All Airmen and those civilians designated as "key" and "Level A and/or B" will provide at a minimum: name, organization, duty phone, duty e-mail and an after-hours contact phone number. You can provide additional contact information such as an off-duty email address as well. 

Providing emergency notification information in AtHoc is not mandatory for all other civilian personnel. However, all civilian personnel are encouraged to provide personal contact data in order to receive vital safety and emergency information for themselves and their families in the event of a base incident or a natural disaster. 

During an actual event or a test of the AtHoc system, the alert will include a specific set of instructions. Ensure you read the entire alert and/or listen to the entire message. Then respond accordingly, usually by selecting a numeric response provided in the message.  

(Courtesy Maj. Aaron Torczynski, 62nd Airlift Wing Command Post chief) 

April 4, 2012 at 1:00pm

Mentoring program discusses leadership techniques

Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Goodnight, 627th Force Support Squadron, discusses leadership techniques during a speed mentoring session March 23, 2012, at the McChord Field Chapel Support Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. During monthly speed training sessions, senior noncommissioned officers provide advice concerning topics ranging from enlisted performance reports to fitness evaluations.

(U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Leah Young)    

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.

July 22, 2011 at 12:54pm

Rodeo is serious business for 62nd APS team

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- Mobility Airmen provide rapid, flexible and responsive global air mobility every day of the year. During Rodeo, however, their ability to provide these capabilities are pushed even further. Teams train for months, refining their skills in the pursuit of perfection.

According to the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron Rodeo Team, this competition is taken very seriously.

"Participating in Rodeo is a big undertaking for our Airmen," said Master Sgt. Robert Code, 62nd APS Rodeo Team chief. "Our leadership could not be more focused on this competition, and our team could not be more dedicated."

The team consists of a team chief and seven members. The members were selected at the end of April after a series of challenging tryouts which included both physical ability and job knowledge.

"We had them complete a three-mile run, push-ups and sit-ups," said Sergeant Code. "We also tested their job knowledge and put them through a board which required them to explain why they wanted to be a part of the Rodeo team."

After the five primary and two alternate team members were selected, training began right away.

"We definitely wasted no time," said Sergeant Code. "I wanted them to be a great team overall, both physically and mentally."

The team started off by running an average of 20 miles per week, with strength building workouts in between. Since the beginning of May, they have added a spin class twice a week and swimming to their routine.

"We train as hard as we want to win," said Staff Sgt. Jason Caro, 62nd APS Rodeo team captain. "It takes a toll on your body eventually. Sometimes you just want to quit, but it's all worth it once you look back and see how far you've come."

Along with a physically demanding training routine, the team focused on job knowledge as well.

"Training for the 2009 Rodeo was different," said Sergeant Caro, who was also on the 2009 Rodeo team. "I feel like what we lack in experience this year, we make up for in physical ability and strength. We're definitely training to know our job as much as possible."

Daily training included driving forklifts and K-loaders, cargo build-up, in-transit visibility and joint inspections. During Rodeo, the team will compete in events such as engine running on and offload, challenge course, 10k forklift driving and pallet buildup competitions.

"During our training, my team has definitely become more proficient," said Sergeant Code. "You can't prepare for every single scenario. Who knows what might pop up, but we've done everything possible to be successful in these events."

In 2005, the 62nd APS won Best Aerial Port Squadron. In 2009, they came back with a few individual awards. According to this year's team, they are aiming to win.

"We've come very far and worked very hard to prepare ourselves," said Sergeant Caro. "We're ready to win."

July 19, 2011 at 3:49pm

McChord teams get fired up for Rodeo

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The tents are built, the signs are hung, and with Rainier Ranch construction almost complete, the combined 62nd Airlift Wing and 627th Air Base Group RODEO team is ready for action.

"One of the things we might forget about during RODEO is that we are not only a host, but a competitor as well," said Col. R. Wyn Elder, 62nd AW commander, at a team introduction on July 8. "And our team is ready to win!"

The Air Force held its first RODEO in 1956 to showcase the reliability and capability of cargo planes. The bi-annual competition has grown to encompass all aspects of Air Mobility Command, including aerial port, aeromedical evacuation, maintenance, security forces, and for the first time, financial management.

"We've been practicing Self-Aid and Buddy Care, running through financial scenarios and even some M-16 and M-9 training," said Tech. Sgt. Kerry Robinson, financial management team chief. "Our team is more than ready!"

Each team prepares for different RODEO competitions. The financial management team will compete in performance-based scenarios, small arms and a fitness course. The aerial port team will compete in engine running on and offload, challenge course, 10k forklift driving and pallet buildup competitions. The aircrew team will compete in the airdrop, air refueling and joint airdrop inspection events.

"To prepare for RODEO, we did some off-station training last weekend, which included various low-level flying drills and air drops," said Maj. Scott Huffstetler, aircrew team chief. "My team is prepared and we're looking forward to the competition."

The maintenance team will be competing in daily pre- and post-flight observations and refueling events. The security forces team will be competing in combat tactics, combat weapons and combat endurance events.

"This team represents you and what this installation does every single day," said Colonel Elder. "Thank you for all the hard work you've done while preparing for this event."

The 2009 wing RODEO team brought home five awards. They included the best post-flight team, best aerial port challenge course team, best C-17 Globemaster III team, best airdrop team and, the competition's top award, best air mobility wing. This year, the teams hope to build on those accomplishments and take the lessons they've learned back to hone their skills.

"We are so proud of you," said Colonel Elder to the team at the end of the introductions. "We look forward to bringing home those trophies."

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