Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: 'Family Readiness' (17) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 17

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) 

May 5, 2011 at 2:00pm

Jay Leno to perform at McChord Field

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash.- Emmy Award-winning host of The Tonight Show, Jay Leno will perform Saturday, May 7th in Hangar 4 at McChord Field, as part of the Air Force Reserve's Tour for the Troops. Reserve Generation from the Band of the Air Force Reserve will open the show starting at 7 p.m. performing a variety of popular music. The show is free and open to only military ID holders and their guests.

Military personnel will represent all of the military installations in the Puget Sound area including: Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen from the Reserve, Army and Air National Guard, and active-duty components but not limited to: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Naval Base Kitsap, Camp Murray, and U.S. Coast Guard Base Pier 36 in Seattle.   The performance is a gesture of appreciation for the hard work and sacrifices they make day-in and day-out.

Tour for the Troops is a concert series sponsored by the Air Force Reserve that visits military bases around the world.  This is the second Tour for the Troops for Jay Leno, who performed last year at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Leno joins a list of entertainers including Kid Rock, John Legend and Ludacris who have appeared in past concerts as a way of showing their support for our military service men and women.

April 24, 2011 at 5:08am

Free movie today at McChord

The theater at McChord Field has reopened for free weekend movies. See "Elmo in Grouchland" (G) at 4 p.m. today. For the complete schedule, visit www.JBLMmwr.com.

Filed under: Family Readiness,

July 20, 2010 at 10:03am

Restructured Military Spouse Career Program resumes

The DoD sent out this press release today:

The Department of Defense announced today the resumption of a restructured military spouse career advancement account program - MyCAA, following a comprehensive review.  The program will be available to spouses of service members in the pay grades of E1-E5, W1-W2 and O1-O2 beginning October 25 at 8 a.m. EDT.

"The changes announced today reflect a return to the original intent of the program which is to help military spouses, with the greatest need, successfully enter, navigate and advance in portable careers," said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.  "We fully support the program and are committed to ensuring the program's sustainability.  To that end, we are making several critical operational changes."

Amongst these changes, eligible spouses will receive a total of $4,000 in DoD-funded financial aid, with an annual cap of $2,000 per fiscal year; funding must be used within a three-year time period from the start date of the first class; and must be used to obtain an associates' degree, licensure or certification.  A waiver may be granted when fees for licensure or certification require an up-front fee greater than $2,000 and up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000.

"The MyCAA program popularity grew beyond our expectations and became too expensive to continue.  Therefore, we are returning to the original intent of the program in a way that is attainable and fiscally responsible for the Defense Department," said Stanley. "As we look to the future, we envision a program that is much broader than DoD's financial assistance component.  Military spouses will be guided along a more holistic approach to career planning."

Under the long-term program guidelines, career counselors will continue to work with all military spouses to help develop career and education goals and plans, and assist them in identifying and accessing available federal education benefits toward these goals.

"Families play a crucial role in supporting our men and women on the battlefield.  When service members are confident that their families at home have access to resources and support, they are better able to focus on their mission," said Stanley.  "The Defense Department is committed to investing in military families.  When we invest in the well-being of the family, we invest in the well-being of the force."

More information can be found on the MyCAA Web site: https://www.militaryonesource.com/MOS/FindInformation/Category/MilitarySpouseCareerAdvancementAccounts.aspx.

April 29, 2010 at 4:08pm

Spiderman meet and greet

Marvel Comics superhero Spiderman will visit the McChord BX and Fort Lewis PX Saturday.

He will be at the McChord BX from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and the Fort Lewis PX from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Organizers are asking people to show up early because there are large crowds expected. 

Filed under: Family Readiness,

February 26, 2010 at 9:51am

Smith testifies to support military families

U.S. Congressman Adam Smith, who represents Washington's 9th District, testified Thursday in Washington, D.C. before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity regarding a bill he introduced last July, the Military Family Leave Act of 2009.

Read more about Smith's testimony and view videos of the hearing here.

Filed under: Family Readiness, Dependent,

February 24, 2010 at 3:02pm

Deployed families dinner

The JBLM-McChord Field Chapel Support Center and the USO is teaming up to host a dinner for deployed families from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday (March 1) at the chapel.

The dinner is open to McChord Field families with a spouse on a deployment or temporary duty assignment. 

The dinner will have a "March Madness" basketball and sports theme.

For more information, call the chapel at (253)982-5556.

February 4, 2010 at 9:53am

Operation Purple Camp Family retreat

Applications to attend Operation Purple Family Retreat are now being accepted. The second retreat for winter 2010 will be at the Teton Science School, Jackson Hole, Wyo., from March 19-23. 

Operation Purple Family Retreats give servicemembers and families opportunities to communicate, work as a team and to reconnect after deployment, as they explore and learn about the environment.  

Read more about it here.  

February 2, 2010 at 2:49pm

Free access to caregiver network

Military families now have free access to an online network of caregivers who can assist with everything from babysitting to dog walking.

Sittercity is the nation's largest online source for local babysitters, nannies, elder care providers, dog walkers, housekeepers and tutors, and contains more than 1 million caregiver profiles, officials said. 

The Sittercity Corporate Program, funded by the Defense Department, offers military families, including active-duty, Guard and Reserve members, with a paid membership to the site.

For more on the network, click here.  

Filed under: Dependent, Family Readiness,

January 29, 2010 at 10:30am

AMC commander brings good news, praise

Gen. Raymond Johns Jr., Air Mobility Command commander, visited McChord this week on his first official visit as the new AMC commander. 

Johns was previously assigned to McChord as the 62nd Airlift Wing commander from 1998 to 2000. 

Among meeting with various units on base and flying with an aircrew, Johns also announced during a commander's call that AMC has provided McChord with $675,000 to upgrade the fitness center annex with an indoor running track, larger locker rooms and electric system upgrades. The construction is projected to be completed near Labor Day. 

Johns also recognized retiring long-time federal employee, William "Pappa J" Johnson, 62nd Force Support Squadron athletic director. The Fitness Center upgrade was the last in a long series of Johnson's efforts to improve McChord health and wellness programs and facilities. 

Johns also recognized Cheryl Vollmer, director of the Airman and Family Readiness Center, who retires this week after 22 years at McChord and 32 years of federal service. Vollmer is responsible for growing the Airman and Family Readiness Center from two employees in 1988 to 11 in 2010, initializing the Escape Zone, a family resiliency center for parents and children and building a job placement program for spouses of military members and veterans. 

(Information courtesy 62nd AW PA)  

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