Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: 'News To Us' (49) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 49

May 31, 2011 at 11:30pm

MLB pitcher starts AFA scholarship for Air Force ROTC cadets

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Air Force Association is proud to announce the Michael Wilson Scholarship, a new fund that awards scholarships to Air Force ROTC cadets throughout the country.

This remarkable scholarship was established through Brian Wilson, pitcher for Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants, reflecting the honor, commitment to service, and legacy of Brian's father, Michael Wilson. The gift is the largest scholarship given by an individual to be administered by the Air Force Association in its 65 year history.

Two scholarships will be awarded each year for the next five years (2011 to 2015) and is open to any Air Force ROTC cadet in the United States of America.

"The men and women who voluntarily sign-up to protect and defend our country is this nation's greatest asset," said Mike Dunn, President and CEO of AFA. "AFA strives to encourage and assist the academic endeavors and goals of our future Airmen. We thank Brian Wilson on making this significant gift from his newly created foundation and are pleased that he is part of our Air Force family."

AFA encourages the pursuit of education by offering numerous scholarships and grants to Air Force active duty, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve members and their dependents; and awards various educator grants to promote science and math education at the elementary and secondary school level.

More information on the Michael Wilson Scholarship can be found at Information on AFA's other scholarships and grant opportunities can be found on our Awards, Scholarships and Grants site.

Filed under: Dependent, News To Us, Sports,

May 31, 2011 at 11:24pm

Airman proposes to girlfriend at Royals game

Sure you've seen the ballpark marriage proposals on the big screen, but the Kansas City Royals went all out for this Airman who popped the question to his girlfriend. 

Needless to say, he got a standing ovation. 

Yahoo! Sports has the video here

Filed under: News To Us,

May 19, 2011 at 3:18pm

Armed Forces Day free for active military at Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight begins a program of free admission for active military personnel with I.D. and up to five members of their family on Armed Forces Day, May 21. The discounts will continue through Labor Day 2011. Events on May 21 include the 8:30 a.m. opening of a new exhibit of scale models of World War I aircraft, a military flag raising ceremony in recognition of Armed Forces Day at 11 a.m., and a 2 p.m. lecture about the use of Zeppelin airships in war and peace.

8:30 to 10 a.m. - Preview of the Holtgrewe World War I Model Aircraft Collection

Active military and their families are invited to the opening preview of the Dr. Logan Holtgrewe World War I Model Aircraft Collection. Holtgrewe spent seven years meticulously making over 400 scale models representing virtually all of the aircraft flown in World War II. The collection will be on permanent exhibition in the World War I gallery of the Personal Courage Wing.

11 to 11:45 a.m. - Flag Raising Ceremony with Museum President and Military Groups

Armed Forces Day will be recognized with a flag raising ceremony by Museum officials and representatives of U.S. military branches, veteran and POW/MIA. The Museum of Flight President & CEO, Doug King, will introduce representatives from the Air Force Association, Navy League of the United States, Association of the United States Army, and POW/MIAs, who will present new military flags to the Museum, to be flown above the navy fighter jets displayed on the Museum's south lawn. The University of Washington ROTC Honor Guard will present the colors.

2 p.m. - Lecture on The History of Airships in War and Peace

In conjunction with the opening of the Dr. H. Logan Holtgrewe World War I Aircraft Model Collection exhibit, airship historian Dr. Horst Schirmer will give a presentation on the history of Zeppelin dirigibles in war and peace. Schirmer advised Holtgrewe in the making of a 13-foot-long scale model of the World War I L-30 Zeppelin for the new exhibit. Schirmer has nurtured a life-long interest in airship history, and he is possibly the only person still alive who flew on the ill-fated Hindenburg dirigible.

For more information, visit

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 12, 2011 at 12:31pm

Seattle Museum of Flight won't get a space shuttle

SEATTLE - The Museum of Flight won't get to display one of the retiring space shuttles, but Seattle's air and space museum will get a consolation prize of a full-scale training mock-up that looks like the space shuttle without wings.

The museum near Boeing Field was one of 21 museum and science centers around the country hoping to land one of the spaceships. A new $12 million building called the Space Gallery is being prepared for the display.

Of the space shuttles that actually flew in space, the Discovery will be going to the Smithsonian Institution. It will take the place of Enterprise, the shuttle prototype used for tests in the late 1970s. The Enterprise will be going to Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York.

The shuttle Atlantis is going to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Endeavor is going to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Seattle museum visitors will be allowed to climb aboard and try out the full-size training module, which has been used by every astronaut and is the only one of its kind. Visitors won't be allowed to climb aboard the actual shuttles, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire noted in announcing why the consolation prize is a "true win" for the people of Washington.

"It will help inspire young people to the adventure of space and to the excitement of a career in science, technology, engineering and math," the governor added in her written statement.

Filed under: News To Us, Education,

April 5, 2011 at 10:50am

McChord Main Gate construction update

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- The next phase in gate upgrades is coming soon to the McChord Field Main Gate on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and drivers should prepare for more traffic pattern changes beginning the evening of April 13. 

Contractors will begin Phase 2 of the construction project on that date with completion scheduled by May 2. 

The new phase brings new traffic detours and diversions for access to the gate, said McChord Field's Installation Security and Plans Chief David Lenart. Currently, traffic is reduced to one inbound and outbound lane in what was the original lane leading out of McChord prior to construction's start. Phase 2 will shift traffic to the original inbound lanes, allowing contractors to cut across the roadway and lay new electrical wiring. 

Access to the visitor center will change as well. Motorists should pay close attention to signage directing them to entry and exit points. 

The current physical upgrades will improve the power infrastructure at and near the gates, said JBLM Chief of Security and Access Control Mel Austin. That includes improved physical protection features for security personnel, improved information systems connectivity and installing backup power generators and lights. 

One major vehicle restriction is being placed on incoming and outgoing traffic through the McChord Main Gate - no oversized vehicles, Lenart said. Because the road entering McChord Field is narrower than the outbound lane and has a sharp turn around the visitor center, security officials are asking that people driving tractor-trailers, RVs and military vehicles use either the Commercial Gate or Barnes Gate, both located on Perimeter Road. 

No vehicle or vehicle and trailer combination longer than 27 feet should attempt to enter or exit through the Main Gate. 

The Commercial Gate will be open 24 hours daily throughout this phase of construction.

Traffic safety officials are asking everyone in the JBLM community who use the McChord Field Main Gate to continue the level of understanding they have already shown this past month during Phase 1. 

Construction update information will be communicated through the Northwest Guardian, website updates and on readerboards and poster boards located throughout McChord. 

"McChord customers have been very accommodating for the construction," Lenart said.

"Construction is going well and people are following directions well."    

Filed under: News To Us, U.S. Air Force,

April 4, 2011 at 1:55pm

Govt shutdown update: Troops shouldn't worry

This from Air Force Times: The House Armed Services Committee chairman sought Monday to reassure service members who are worried about not being paid if the government shuts down because he believes a fiscal crisis will be averted.

Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., said he doesn't think a government shutdown will happen at the end of the week because he believes lawmakers will agree on a budget.

If there is a shutdown, he doesn't see it lasting more than a few days, which would not affect the April 15 military payday. And, if the military cannot make the April 15 payroll because of a shutdown, service members will not lose any money because they will be fully paid once funding is restored, McKeon said in a meeting with reporters.

"I think we are mature enough to get this fixed," McKeon said of the standoff on the 2011 budget that was supposed to have been approved by the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.

Filed under: Defense News, News To Us,

February 4, 2011 at 12:17pm

Alternate routes available for McChord Field commuters

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Construction at the McChord Field Main Gate begins Feb. 10. Traffic revisions at the gate, accessible from Interstate 5, Exit 125, will impact all travelers entering or leaving the installation at Bridgeport Way until the work is completed.  During the period of construction the traffic lanes in the area of the McChord Field Main Gate and the Visitor Center will be constricted to one lane inbound and one lane outbound.  

To mitigate traffic impact and minimize delays, additional routes will be available for McChord Field commuters and residents:

  • Woodbrook Housing Gate, recently closed for construction, will re-open Feb. 10. Extended hours of operation, from 5 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday - Friday (except federal holidays) will remain in effect until the McChord Main Gate construction is completed. The gate is accessible from Interstate 5, Exit 124.
  • North Gate, recently opened to offset the impact of the Woodbrook Housing gate closure, will remain open during McChord Main Gate construction. Hours of operation will be 5 a.m.-7 p.m., except federal holidays. The gate is located at the north end of McChord Field, and is accessible from Interstate 5, Exit 127 via Highway 512 (at Steele St., proceed southbound to 112 St. S., then turn right - the gate will be ¾ mile ahead, to the left), or via the South Tacoma Way/Interstate 5 overpass (from exit, proceed southbound on South Tacoma Way/Pacific Highway, and turn left to continue east on South Tacoma Way. The gate on east side of the Interstate 5 overpass).

The McChord Main Gate will remain open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, during construction- but traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Commuters are especially encouraged to use alternate routes, when possible.

Starting Feb. 4, the public can obtain additional information about the construction project at: is scheduled for completion in May.

January 28, 2011 at 9:57am

Air Force, NASCAR renew partnership

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Air Force recruiting officials announced Jan. 21 that they are renewing the NASCAR partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 43 car for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 

"This is our tenth season in NASCAR and we look forward to competing and winning with the Richard Petty team," said Brig. Gen. Balan Ayyar, the commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service. "This is a high-performing atmosphere that aligns with the leadership, technology and competitive spirit of our Airmen and Air Force, and we're excited about NASCAR's efforts to reach a broader audience. We certainly intend to go beyond the race track to reach supporters and fans and emphasize the speed, power, precision and teamwork that is common to both NASCAR and the Air Force."

The Air Force is both a primary and associate sponsor of the No. 43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, a 29-year-old driver with two Top 5 finishes and eight Top 10 finishes in the No. 43 car during the 2010 season. The car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in two of 36 NASCAR points races this season. 

Air Force recruiting officials plan on activating the sponsorship both on and off the track with Air Force flyovers, swear-ins of new enlistees, involvement in pre-race activities and school visits with the No. 43 show car. The show car will travel to recruiting events at local high schools, promoting mechanical and technical careers to the nation's highest performing young Americans who may be interested in serving in the United States Air Force. 

"The Air Force is proud of the partnership we have had with Richard Petty Motorsports," said Col. Michael J. Tillema, AFRS chief of strategic marketing and communications. "They are perhaps the most respected team in NASCAR and they have been strong supporters of the Air Force. We share a strong set of core values, hard work, discipline and the desire to win."    

Filed under: News To Us, U.S. Air Force,

January 10, 2011 at 12:35pm

McChord among bases continuing to test alternative jet fuel

This from Air Force Times: An Air Force test to see how military cargo planes perform using commercial jet fuel is going so well, the test has been extended into a second year and will expand to fighters.

The Air Force wants to learn what happens when planes use commercial "Jet A" fuel instead of the Air Force's specialized fuel, "JP-8." If the Air Force switches worldwide to Jet A, the service hopes it will save about $40 million annually.

As of December, the Air Force had pumped 140 million gallons of Jet A - about 6 percent of the service's annual fuel consumption - into planes flying out of four bases: Dover Air Force Base, Del.; Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Minneapolis-St. Paul Air National Guard Station, Minn.

Air and ground crews reported no problems from Jet A, said Andre Kok, a spokesman for the Air Staff's mission support directorate at the Pentagon.

The test continues into 2011, with the goal of adding six bases by the summer and including fighters on the list of planes using Jet A. The bases have not been selected, Kok said.

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