Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: 'Air Mobility Command' (46) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 46

September 7, 2010 at 9:59am

C-17 completes flight test with biofuel

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- The Air Force's ongoing alternative fuels certification efforts reached a new milestone Aug. 27 when a C-17 Globemaster III from here flew on all engines using jet fuel blended with a combination of traditional petroleum-based fuel, or JP-8, biofuel derived in part from animal fat, and synthetic fuel derived from coal.

The 418th Flight Test Squadron here conducted the flight tests Aug. 23 to 27.

The flight was a first for any Department of Defense aircraft where a 50 percent mix of JP-8 was blended with 25 percent renewable biofuel and 25 percent fuel derived from the Fischer-Tropsch process, which is essentially liquified coal or natural gas.

It was also the first time an aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base had used fuel derived from beef tallow, which is essentially waste animal fat.

For more on the story, click here.

September 2, 2010 at 9:39am

McChord's 8th Airlift Squadron returns home today

More than 120 Airmen from McChord Field's 8th Airlift Squadron will be greeted by family and friends today after a 120-day deployment in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.

The 8th AS airmen were deployed as the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron to an overseas contingency location in the Middle East.

During their deployment, the C-17 squadron flew 2,789 sorties, equaling more than 7,000 hours, moved more than 37,000 passengers and delivered more than 115 million pounds of combat sustainment cargo for U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, the 816th EAS participated in Operation EVEREST. They dropped a record-breaking 837 bundles on 22 drop zones with a combined weight of more than 1.1 million pounds of cargo. The record of 837 bundles is the highest number of bundles dropped in a week ever by a C-17 squadron.

"I've really enjoyed watching this team work -- setting a goal, setting the bar high and watching them achieve it," said Lt. Col. Stephen Ritter, 816th EAS commander. "They came in from day one to do the job right and to help everyone do great things. It just goes to show the great things you can achieve when you build a cohesive, tight, professional team."

July 30, 2010 at 3:39pm

Military identifies C-17 crew killed in crash

This from the Anchorage Daily News: The military today released the names of the crew members killed Wednesday evening in the crash of a Boeing C-17 cargo jet at Elmendorf Air Force Base.

The crew was:

  • Maj. Michael Freyholtz, a pilot assigned to the Alaska Air National Guard's 249th Airlift Squadron.
  • Maj. Aaron Malone, also a pilot assigned to the 249th Airlift Squadron.
  • Capt. Jeffrey Hill, a pilot assigned to Elmendorf's 517th Airlift Squadron.
  • Master Sgt. Thomas Cicardo, 249th Airlift Squadron loadmaster.

"We come to work with immense sorrow after four of our fellow airmen lost their lives in the C-17 crash at Elmendorf AFB Wednesday," said Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Foster, 176th Wing commander, Alaska Air National Guard.

"They were more than valued Airmen: They were our teammates, friends, family members and fellow Alaskans. We mourn their loss and share the deep sadness of their families."

A board of officers is investigating the accident.

July 29, 2010 at 9:45am

Alaska C-17 crash kills four airmen

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska (AFNS) -- Four airmen were killed when a C-17 Globemaster III crashed here July 28. Three were members of the Alaska Air National Guard and the other was an active duty servicemember here.
 
"Our deepest sympathy and sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of those Airmen killed in this crash. Yesterday, we lost four members of our Arctic Warrior family, and it's a loss felt across our entire joint installation," said Col. John McMullen, the 3rd Wing commander. "Right now, our immediate focus is on providing all possible support to the loved ones of our fallen aviators. We are also engaged in a deliberate investigative process." 

The names of the airmen are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

A board of officers will investigate the accident.

More information will be released as it becomes available.    

July 22, 2010 at 10:31am

Air Expo 2010 numbers are in

The Air Expo 2010 attendance numbers are in, and the results aren't quite as impressive as 2008, but expo officials are pleased nevertheless.

The News Tribune has the story here.

July 1, 2010 at 4:06pm

McChord Honor Guard wins AMC award

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The McChord Honor Guard Team has been named the 2009 Air Mobility Command Honor Guard Team of the Year. 

The Honor Guard Team has conducted 624 total funeral honors, to include final escort of 417 war veterans. In addition, they have performed flag folding at 225 retirement ceremonies and have executed 47 Joint Color Guards and parades.

"An average working week for our team includes 30 funerals and more than six color guard events," said Tech. Sgt. Bonnie Longie, 62d Airlift Wing Honor Guard NCOIC. 

Sergeant Longie has been the McChord Honor Guard NCOIC for two years, and she says she has seen vast improvements in the Honor Guard members.

"This team is very impressive," said Sergeant Longie. "They carry a level of pride unlike anything I've ever seen."

The Honor Guard requires a certain number of Airmen from each squadron to fulfill its quota. At any given time, there are 72 members, broken up into three teams of 24. Those teams rotate throughout the year, switching back and forth from stand-by to active status each month. 

"The volunteer rate has significantly increased," said Sergeant Longie. "Last year, we had a 65% volunteer rate. This year, that number is up to about 95%."

This year's AMC Honor Guard Team has not only completed an outstanding number of ceremonies and events, but they've also created a brand new training program that has been benchmarked AMC wide.

"The training program used to be a month long, but we've actually been able to cut that down to two weeks," said Capt. Tammy Ortung, 62d Airlift Wing Honor Guard Commander.

The revolutionized training program still includes the same vital training for funeral procedures, rifle practice, color guard and discipline. The new program has been recognized and adopted by other AMC Honor Guard teams. 

"We are representing the Air Force," said Captain Ortung. "We need to ensure our team is trained and prepared to show the proper respect and honor to these fallen servicemembers."

The men and women serving in the McChord Honor Guard Team continue their highly dedicated and determined attitude towards giving their fellow servicemembers the proper respect they deserve.

"There is a certain pride and professionalism that comes along with being a part of the Honor Guard," said Sergeant Longie. "These Airmen understand what it means to honor fallen servicemembers."     

June 30, 2010 at 9:09am

AMC working to become more efficient

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Air Mobility Command has the largest fleet of the biggest airframes in the Air Force and they are the Department of Defense's largest aviation fuel customer, consuming 28 percent of DOD's aviation fuel use, but AMC Airmen are leading the charge in making energy a consideration in everything they do. 

During the third annual Air Force Energy Forum in May, Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton stressed the importance of being efficient while being effective.

"With the need to deliver fuel, supplies and warfighting capabilities to remote, austere and landlocked places like Afghanistan, reducing the amount of energy our force requires becomes even more important," Ms. Conaton said. 

"By its very nature, the AMC mission requires a lot of fuel," said Maj. Gen. Brooks L. Bash, the AMC director of operations. "This command provides the strategic airlift, aeromedical evacuation and air refueling to support the warfighter, and we do this while also ensuring we're able to provide aid and support for humanitarian operations whenever disaster strikes."

AMC aircraft fly 66 percent of the missions flown in the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility. Since 9/11, AMC's airlifters have delivered more than 5 million tons of cargo and 14 million passengers; refuelers have offloaded 11 billion pounds of fuel; and aeromedical evacuation experts have conducted more than 151,000 patient movements. 

And they're working around the clock to find ways to become more efficient.

As of June 8, Mobility Air Forces officials have implemented 11 fuel efficiency initiatives with projected yearly fuel consumption reductions of 65.3 million gallons at a cost avoidance of $184.1 million. 

Twelve additional initiatives have been identified, and once implemented, the command will reduce fuel consumption by an additional 51.1 million gallons at a cost avoidance of $144.1 million, for a total yearly reduction of 116.4 million gallons at a cost avoidance of $328.2 million. (Note: The dollar figures are based on the current price of $2.82 per gallon for JP-8 fuel.)

Initiatives already in place include reducing aircraft weight of non-mission essential items and working with foreign countries to fly more fuel efficient routes. 

"(These are all) smart, simple, effective ways to conserve energy," Ms. Conaton said. 

In the last fiscal year, the Air Force spent nearly $8.5 billion on fuel, mostly for aircraft.

"Every dollar we spend on energy is one less dollar that we have to spend on Airmen, their readiness and their weapon systems," Ms. Conaton said. "All of us in government are charged with being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We need to be able to demonstrate to ourselves, to Congress and to the American people that our energy dollars are being spent in the most effective manner possible."

"AMC will endeavor to reduce our demand for energy by enabling the creativity and good ideas of all Airmen," General Bash said. "We are embracing the Air Force's motto to make energy conservation a consideration in all we do."

"I applaud the AMC Airmen for providing a critical capability to the joint effort while pursuing creative methods to boost fuel efficiency," Ms. Conaton said.    

May 11, 2010 at 12:58pm

Boeing C-17 workers in Long Beach strike

Boeing C-17 line workers began a strike just past midnight today at Long Beach's largest private employer, grinding production to a halt on one of the world's leading cargo jets, the Long Beach Press Telegram reported today.

The walkout comes nearly a week after talks broke down on negotiations for a labor contract covering some 1,700 workers responsible for assembly of the jumbo-size airlifter, according to the paper.

For more on the story, click here.

April 26, 2010 at 1:30pm

New base list for C-17s announced

According to a story on the Air Force's Web site, Air Force officials released Friday the candidate basing locations and the criteria they used to determine the candidate basing locations for additional C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

The list of candidate bases was approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force: Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport in Martinsburg, W.V.; Memphis International Airport, Tenn.; and Stewart International Airport, N.Y.

The basing criteria were approved by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force and considered factors such as mission requirements, airspace, facilities and infrastructure, support capacity, environmental impacts and cost. 

Site surveys will be conducted and the formal environmental impact analysis process will begin, allowing communities around each candidate base to participate and provide input. Based on the results of these efforts, officials expect to announce the preferred locations in November 2010. 

Once the environmental impact analysis processes are complete, Air Force officials will announce the final basing decisions. The announcement is anticipated in June 2011.    

February 16, 2010 at 2:18pm

Biodiesel coming to McChord Field?

Last month, Fairchild Air Force Base opened an E85 fuel pump, making it the sixth Air Mobility Command base to offer both biodiesel (B20) and ethanol (E85)-based fuel options for its general purpose sedans and vans that have converted tanks. 

Ethanol is an alternative fuel made primarily of corn, and it releases less carbon dioxide in the environment than traditional gasoline.

This story illustrates part of the effort the Air Force is making as part of its goal of reducing dependence on petroleum-based gas and increasing the use of alternative fuels.

Of the six AMC bases that don't have E85 tanks, four have funded projects slated for this fiscal year, AMC officials said. Travis AFB, Calif. plans to convert an excess tank during FY11, and Pope AFB, N.C. has submitted an E85 project jointly with the Army, slated for FY12.

Could JBLM be next? No word yet from base officials.    

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