Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: 'U.S. Air Force' (168) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 168

October 7, 2013 at 9:40am

Most Air Force civilians to return to work Oct. 7

WASHINGTON (AFNS) - In accordance with a memo Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released Oct. 5, the Air Force will recall most of the nearly 104,000 Air Force civilian Airmen placed on emergency furlough due to government shutdown. However, a significant number will not yet be able to return.

In his memo, Hagel stated that immediately after President Barack Obama signed the Pay Our Military Act into law, he directed DOD's Acting General Counsel to determine whether he could reduce the number of civilian personnel furloughed due to the shutdown.

After consulting with attorneys from the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense, the secretary said the Pay our Military Act does not permit a blanket recall of all civilians.

However, he said, DOD and DOJ attorneys concluded that the law does allow the DOD to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members.

Read the full report of the Air Force Reserve Command's website.

July 24, 2013 at 4:12pm

10th Airlift Squadron to deploy for overseas contingency

This just in from the 62nd AW Public Affairs Office:

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - The 10th Airlift Squadron is scheduled to deploy July 28 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

More than 70 Airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing's 10th AS will depart for a 60-day deployment to the Middle East. They will be accompanied by Airmen from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. The Airmen will take over operations of the 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron.

Read more...

July 19, 2013 at 12:22pm

JBLM airlift wings join the fun Down Under

U.S. soldiers of 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Richardson, Alaska, parachute out of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft into the Shoalwater Bay Training Area during Exercise Talisman Saber 2011 July 17, 2011.

As you know by now, Talisman Saber 2013 is a bilateral exercise designed to train Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations, in order to improve combat readiness and interoperability. More than 28,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and women are taking to the sea, land and sky in northern Australia as part of the massive exercise. We have mentioned the 446th Airlift Wing's participation in the exercise earlier this week.

Wanting in on the fun, the airmen from the 62nd Airlift Wing are Down Under too. The 62nd AW Public Affairs Office reports:

Read more...

July 17, 2013 at 3:03pm

Change of command at 62nd Airlift Wing

Col. David Kumashiro assumed command of the 62nd Airlift Wing in a ceremony Wednesday, July 17 at Joint Base Lewis McChord. Photo credit: Gail Wood

Pledging that it will never be "about me," Col. David Kumashiro talked about the power of teamwork Wednesday when he became the new commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing during an hour-long change of command ceremony at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

In a brief yet poignant 5-minute acceptance speech, Kumashiro pledged to further the rich tradition of the 62nd Airlift Wing.

"It is with faith, courage, passion, patients and humility that I dedicate myself to this great team," Kumashiro said. "This will never be about me. This will always be about us."

Twenty-one years after graduating from the Air Force Academy, Kumashiro, the son of a colonel, replaces Col. Wyn Elder as the commander at McChord for a two-year assignment.

>>> Col. David Kumashiro addressed the crowd during the 62 AW change of command ceremony. Photo credit: Gail Wood

Kumashiro, who has more than 3,400 flying hours in the C-17, C-5A/B and the Predator, is now in command of 2,300 active duty military and civilian personal, along with 48 C-17s.

Read more...

July 16, 2013 at 6:45pm

Photo: 62nd Airlift Wing commander flies "fini" flight

Col. Wyn Elder's "fini flight" as commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing took place Monday, July 15 at McChord Field. Photo credit: Tech Sgt. Sean Tobin

A C-17 Globemaster III ascends over McChord Field as Mt. Rainier towers in the distance, July 15, 2013, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The C-17, piloted by Col. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander during his "fini flight," was performing a touch-and-go prior to its final approach.

LINK: A day in Col. Elder's life

July 16, 2013 at 3:21pm

Senior Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year

Senior Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron, was named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year. Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Jacob Jimenez

An Airman from the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron here was recently named one of the Air Force's 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

Senior Master Sgt. Ernesto Rendon, 62nd APS air freight superintendent, will travel to Washington later this year be recognized by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Cody at a reception hosted by the Air Force Association.

Read more...

July 16, 2013 at 2:03pm

On the ground with the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron

Airman First Class William Cole, 5th Air Support Operations Squadron keeps eyes on a target while an Apache helicopter hovers to provide fire support. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

As I stood up and shook out my arms, I noted that Staff Sgt. Kris Harpoon, Airman 1st Class Micah Hancock, Airman 1st Class James Tran, Airman 1st Class William Cole, Airman 1st Class Jacob Stevens, 2nd Lt. Matthew Kinahan and Kreal were doing the same.

These 5th Air Support Operations Squadron airmen had been working hard for the past 80 hours with little food and less sleep. 

From running an obstacle course and sharpening their first aid skills to perfecting vehicle rollover practices and utilizing their land navigation abilities, the eight airmen I joined up with last Friday morning had every right to be tired.

The 5th ASOS is an Air Force asset that is vital to Army operations. Its primary mission is to provide tactical command and control of air power assets during combat operations.

Read my full story in Thursday's Northwest Airlifter. Below are a few photos I snapped Friday morning.

>>> Airmen assigned to the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron protect an injured Airman while an Apache hovers nearby during a training exercise. 

>>> Two High Value Targets, or HVTs, are detained while other members of the 5th ASOS prepare to egress from the objective.

>>> Airman First Class Jacob Stevens adopts a defensive position during a simulated attack.

LINK: 5th ASOS sergeant earns Bronze Star

July 11, 2013 at 6:32pm

Air Mobility Command can save you money

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — Analysts here took the spirit of "Every Dollar Counts" seriously - more than 395 million times over.

Improvements to the way intra-theater airlift is done in Afghanistan are saving taxpayers between $300 million and $398 million a year after a team of air transportation professionals found a way to realize gigantic savings, and fast.

The team of analysts from Air Mobility Command, U.S. Transportation Command and U.S. Central Command found stunning efficiencies by developing better predictive models that reduce the need for commercial aircraft to augment U.S. military planes.

Here's what they were dealing with.

Read more...

July 8, 2013 at 9:30am

Furlough: Air Force leaders say they're sorry

U.S. Air Force graphic/Robin Meredith

Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following furlough message to the Airmen of the United States Air Force:

As you all know, Department of Defense civilian furloughs begin this week. With few exceptions, our civilian Airmen face involuntary furlough one day per week from the pay period starting July 8 through the pay period ending September 21.

Read more...

Filed under: U.S. Air Force, Furlough,

July 3, 2013 at 6:22pm

Boeing begins production on its first KC-46

A KC-46 conducts in-flight refueling on a B-2 bomber in this illustration. The first KC-46 is expected to fly in 2015. (Air Force illustration)

Boeing didn't take an extra day off for the Fourth of July. The aircraft manufacturing company officially began assembling its first KC-46 tanker today. Workers loaded the first wing spar for the plane, a small but important first step towards producing a complete KC-46.

Daryl Mayer, a journalist with the 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs office, has some background.

Boeing's announcement this past week that they have begun assembly of the first KC-46 wing spar is a significant event for the Air Force tanker program. It marks the start of assembly of the first KC-46 Engineering and Manufacturing Development aircraft.

"We are excited and pleased that KC-46 fabrication has begun. The Boeing team continues to make significant progress in the development of the Air Force's next tanker," said Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Program Executive Officer for Tankers at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. "The development effort is on track, detailed test planning is making good progress, and initial beddown, training and sustainment planning is underway."

The Air Force is about a third of the way into the KC-46 tanker development program. The Air Force contracted with Boeing in February 2011 to acquire 179 KC-46 Tankers to begin recapitalizing the more than 50-year-old KC-135 fleet. The initial delivery target is for 18 tankers by 2017. Production will then ramp up to deliver all 179 tankers by 2028.

The aircraft being produced at the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., is a commercial derivative design based on the Boeing 767-200ER passenger aircraft. When the aircraft comes off the Everett production line, it will be a 767-2C Provisioned Freighter that will eventually become a military-configured KC-46 tanker.

The first fully equipped KC-46 is slated to fly in early 2015. 

Filed under: Defense News, U.S. Air Force,

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