Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: 'Joint Base Lewis-McChord' (23) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 23

July 15, 2013 at 3:16pm

446th Airlift Wing participates in Talisman Saber 2013

A Navy H-60 Seahawk is loaded onto a McChord C-17 July 5 at McChord Field to be airlifted to Australia to be used as part of a U.S. and Australian training exercise called Talisman Saber 2013. Photo credit: Lt. Col. Jon Bowser

Nine Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing flew south of the equator July 5 to Australia to aid in a multinational training exercise called Talisman Saber 2013. The 446th team supported the exercise by airlifting a Navy H-60 Seahawk helicopter and 24 sailors to the event.

According to the Australian Government Department of Defense, the biannual event provides the opportunity for U.S. and Australian forces to train in planning and conducting Combined Task Force operations.


July 15, 2013 at 12:05pm

Swear-in at a fly-in to become a C-17 pilot

Civil Air Patrol Lt. Col. Steven Bass, left, Robert T. Meunier, and Master Sgt. Yvette Larson, July 12, 2013. Photo credit: Capt. Christopher Larsen

Air shows aren't just about cheering aircraft and eating hot dogs. Sometimes Air Force Reserve candidates take oaths during all the hoopla, as was the case for Robert T. Meunier, 26, when he became an officer candidate during the Arlington Fly-in Friday, July 12. Meunier, a native of Issaquah, Wash., will attend Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., before beginning training to become a C-17 Globemaster III pilot. He will be assigned to the 728th Airlift Squadron, 446th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.


July 12, 2013 at 4:39pm

446th Airlift Wing earns Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

Let's all head into the weekend with a big smile on our faces. Our Air Force Reserve wing just earned a major award.

Congratulations 446th Airlift Wing!  Outstanding!

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash.-  Some of the Citizen Airmen who've been here with the 446th Airlift Wing for a while might not have been too surprised to learn the news that the unit recently earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. After all, it's not like it was the first time the unit had earned one.

So, what did the Air Force expect the unit to do with this one? Probably put it on display in the trophy case as another reminder of the wing's minimum standards- and maybe to get it acquainted with the other five AFOUAs the unit had triumphed in years past.

But before the sum 2,200 Reservists of the 446th AW could give each other pats on the back and return to business as usual, leadership expressed gratitude in a recent email:

"I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your service," said Col. Bruce Bowers, 446th AW commander. "It's amazing what you do. You do it in spite of multiple obstacles we place in front of you. You do it without complaining and with a sense of pride and professionalism. I truly stand in awe of each and every one of you. Thank you."

The AFOUA is granted by the secretary of the Air Force to units that showcased exceptional service or achievements, which set the unit above and apart from similar units. The 446th AW earned this one based on its accomplishments from Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2012. Some of the feats that propelled the 446th AW to excellence include:


The 446th AW aircrews flew nearly 40 percent of Air Force C-17 Globemaster III missions in tandem with its active-duty partners from the 62nd Airlift Wing here. About 60 Reservists provided airlift support for the president's Banner Express mission. The wing sent the first C-17 to Benghazi to help evacuate U.S. troops during the Libyan Embassy attacks.

Operation Deep Freeze

In 2012, 446th AW aircrews, and their 62nd AW teammates, helped deliver about 5,200 passengers and more than 6 million pounds of cargo in 74 ODF missions. ODF Season 2012 to 2013 was the fourth year in a row they exceeded previous years' records.

Team McChord aircrews also performed an emergency mid-winter aeroevac, which displayed their night-vision-goggle skills and capabilities. Soon after the patient rescue, the 446th AW aircrews walked away with the 4th Air Force Aircrew Excellence and Aviation Week's Laureate Award for Heroism honors.

Aeromedical Evacuation

The 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron deployed close to 110 medical specialists to Southwest Asia, moving more than 1,200 sick and wounded patients from hostile airfields. These highlights, among others, led the 446th AES in taking home the Air Force Reserve Command Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron of the Year Award.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

The 446th Civil Engineer Squadron's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight received the Stryzak Award as the Best EOD Flight in AFRC due to the heroism displayed by their members.


The wing Safety Office received both the AFRC Safety Office of the Year and the Air Force Flight Safety Award. Having zero reported Class A mishaps in the last five years, not to mention only enduring two in the last 50 years, might have had something to do with that.

Summing up some of the many accolades the Citizen Airmen of the 446th AW accumulated in that timeframe alone, proves "outstanding" is business as usual.

The 446th AW maintains that award time isn't the only time they shine. Day in and day out, year in and year out, they continue to raise the bar in supporting the global airlift mission. 

By the way, it might be appropriate to mention that the 446th AW earned the Airlift/Tanker Association's Sherrard Award in 2011 for the best Mobility Air Force Wing in AFRC.

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

June 30, 2013 at 12:29pm

Meet the new 62nd Airlift Wing technical sergeants

Congratulations to the following staff sergeants who have been selected for promotion to technical sergeant.

Jonathan Abel
David Albertson
Israel Arizpe
Brandon Baimbridge
Alejo Blas Jr.
Daniel Bowman
Andrew Brower


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."


June 23, 2013 at 2:45pm

Air Rodeo competition set for 2015

The 19th Airlift Wing Rodeo team boards a C130-J July 17. They will be participating in Air Mobility Command's Rodeo 2009 in a readiness competition at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., July 19-24. U. S. Air Force photo: Senior Airman Jim Araos

Air Mobility Command has started preliminary planning for the next Mobility Air Force's Rodeo readiness competition, targeting July 2015.

Brig. Gen. Scott Goodwin, Air Mobility Command director of operations, said the biennial event is important despite the cancellation of this summer's Rodeo for budgetary reasons.

"We see direct benefits from Rodeo competitions, and those impacts have been felt globally," he said. "Rodeo lets us continue to develop skills of our Airmen and their ability to work with international partners for those unplanned events that happen throughout the world."

U.S. and allied nation teams typically travel to every two years to Washington state for Rodeo to participate in events that challenge the capabilities of airlift and air-refueling aircrews, as well as maintenance, aerial port, and aeromedical evacuation Airmen.

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 6, 2013 at 12:11pm

Advanced Combat Operations Training at JBLM

A KC-135 Stratotanker from Fairchild Air Force Base refuels a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord during an air refueling above Western United States, May 31. Photo credit: Senior Airman Taylor Curry

Sequestration has cut the Air Force's flying budget, but tanker aircrews are finding new ways get more training and experience out of each minute in the air.

The tactics and employment flight at Fairchild Air Force Base has teamed up with Travis Air Force Base and Joint Base Lewis-McChord to participate in quarterly Advanced Combat Operations Training (ACOT) exercises. The latest exercise occurred May 31, when a Fairchild associated unit from March Air Force Base sent two aircraft and crews that coordinated mission planning in what's called a large formation, consisting of four KC-135 Stratotankers.

These four tankers met large formations of C-17 Globemaster IIIs and KC-10 Extenders in the skies above Western United States to refuel. While this is the task that tanker crews perform every day all over the world, these rendezvous and refuelings were done without radio communication between the refuelers or the receivers.


June 3, 2013 at 12:04pm

Photo: 446th Maintenance Group change of command

Photo credit: Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Sax

Col. Alan Lerner, 446th Maintenance Group commander, passed the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron guidon to Lt. Col. Maureen Carroll, former 446th Maintenance Squadron commander on McChord Field June 2. In the same ceremony, Lt. Col. Stephen Oliver assumed command of the 446th MXS from Carroll after serving as the 446th Maintenance Operations Flight commander.

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