Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: February, 2010 (14) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 14

February 1, 2010 at 10:24am

These boots were made for the Air Force

It looks like the Air Force finally has settled on a boot. According to this story, the testing process was quite rigorous. 

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

February 1, 2010 at 3:10pm

Black History Month event at Museum of Flight

A panel of five African-American professional pilots — including two Team McChord airmen — will share their experiences from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 6) in the William M. Allen Theater at the Museum of Flight in Seattle (9404 East Marginal Way S.).

The panel discussion, which is part of the museum's Black History Month commemoration, is free with museum admission.

Tuskegee Airman Bill Holloman will serve as moderator and Lt. Col. Rod Lewis, 4th Airlift Squadron commander; and Lt. Col. Kimberly Scott, an Alaska Airlines pilot and 446th Airlift Wing reservist with the 728th Airlift Squadron, will sit on the panel.  

Books about African American pilots and astronauts, as well as other memorabilia, will be available for purchase in the museum's store.

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,

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 8, 2010 at 10:18am

Maintenance, logistics airmen score award

Airmen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord were acknowledged this week for earning an Air Mobility Command-level award. Read more about it here

February 8, 2010 at 10:39am

Family support event for reservists, guardsmen

(446th AW PA) — The 446th Mission Support Squadron's Airman and Family Readiness Center will host its third Yellow Ribbon post-deployment workshop at the Red Lion Inn, in Olympia Feb. 20-21. 

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a Congressional-mandated program that provides military people and their families with information, services, referrals and outreach opportunities available to them, to support their life transitions. 

Reservists with the 446th AW who have deployed for 90 days or more in support of current operations and family members who attend, are eligible to have their expenses reimbursed. Guardsmen and reservists who have not been deployed are ineligible for reimbursement, but are welcome as well. Previous workshop participants are encouraged to attend. 

Topics to be covered at the workshop include financial counseling, effective communication tips, the 'Troops to Teachers' initiative, education programs, veteran service organizations, Tricare and other veteran benefits. 

For more information on eligibility, accommodations, and daycare and registration, contact Master Sgt. Steven Thomas, NCO in charge of the center, at (253) 982-5330. 

To find out more about the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program and to find workshops,visit    

February 9, 2010 at 9:28am

Security forces airmen return home

Twenty-three security forces reservists recently returned home from a six-month deployment to Iraq.

Members of the squadron were responsible for perimeter security of the air base in northern Iraq, including detecting and stopping any hostile threats from enemy combatants. 

Read more about their deployment here.

February 10, 2010 at 3:06pm

New concept for AF Assistance Fund

This week Air Force officials released details of a plan that would reward bases with a cash prize for earning the top spot within each group based on point values in several categories: percent over goal; donation amount equal to or greater than the previous year's amount; and active duty participation rate. You can read more about the plan here.

I find this plan a weird considering that the representatives that I've talked to each year in the past are hesitant to talk in specifics about monetary goals for how much the base wants to raise. The theme has been 100 percent contact, basically making sure everyone knows about it and how to get involved.

If you read the story on the Air Force's Web site, there are already a few negative comments about the idea. Your thoughts?  

February 11, 2010 at 3:37pm

8th Airlift supports Tacoma charity

Senior Airman Kevin Johnson, left, and Staff Sgt. Jeff Scheire share a laugh while volunteering at the Emergency Food Network in Tacoma Jan. 29. JBLA photo

TACOMA - When Senior Airman Kevin Johnson found out a 14-day stage-mission-supply trip to Europe and the Middle East might interfere with his ability to round up volunteers for the 8th Airlift Squadron's monthly day of community service, he scrambled to find a fellow Airman to help make sure people showed up at the event.

Staff Sergeant Jeff Scheire stepped up to help Johnson and sent out e-mails to the squadron.

On volunteer day last month, Scheire arrived with more than a dozen Airmen at the Emergency Food Network warehouse facility in Tacoma.

Inside the warehouse, several Airmen leaned over apple bins and sorted damaged fruit from the good. Another group stood shoulder-to-shoulder at a long table and separated mountainous piles of frozen green beans into usable portions that would later be distributed to area food banks.

Surprisingly, Johnson was among the group at the bean table.

"I made it home early this morning, so I figured I might as well come out and do what I was supposed to do," he said. Johnson's flight landed at 3 a.m. so, technically, he had the day off.

"I had to slam a coffee this morning, but it's all right," he said as he scooped icy beans into a plastic bag.

Back in December, Col. Stephen Ritter, the squadron commander, encouraged his crews to start volunteering on a monthly basis outside the gates of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

"This is a great opportunity for us to get out and get in touch with the community," he said. "To get outside of ourselves."

Even though work back at the office doesn't get done when the Airmen are volunteering, Ritter said he finds charitable work increases on-the-job productivity.

Scheire agreed.

"You get involved with the local community. This has a direct effect on people's lives, and it feels good," he said.

Johnson grew up in the Lakewood area, so perhaps he had a different motivation in attending the event.

"This has always been my home, so it is nice to help out," he said.

The Emergency Food Network is the area's largest food bank distributor, serving nearly 70 food banks throughout the South Sound.

Stephanie Tucker, the volunteer coordinator at Emergency Food Network, said the food the organization distributed in 2008 provided more than 11 million meals.

"We're very fortunate to have the groups that come out from (Joint Base Lewis-McChord)." she said, and emphasized that they are always looking for volunteers.

For more information on the Emergency Food Network, visit their web site at or contact Stephanie Tucker at (253) 584-1040.

Filed under: 8th Airlift Squadron,

February 16, 2010 at 10:12am

Putting on the miles

The next time you go for a jog in the cool, wet weather of the Puget Sound and complain about the conditions, think first of these two reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing. 

They run nearly every day in the dry, dusty conditions of the desert.

Both are stationed at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq, and have established a running club on base. The pair is approaching the 700 mile mark and hope to reach it before they return home to JBLM-McChord Field next month.

Read their story here.

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