Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

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

March 2, 2010 at 1:12pm

Lowe's expands support for military

Lowe's, the Mooresville, N.C.-based home improvement store chain, recently announced that it will expand its support of the military by offering an all day, every day, 10 percent discount to all military personnel who are active, reserve, retired or disabled veterans and their family members with a valid, government-issued military ID card.    

Filed under: Military Discount,

March 8, 2010 at 8:22am

New housing on McChord opens tomorrow

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Army and Air Force Leaders at Joint

Base Lewis-McChord will celebrate the beginning of privatized housing on

JBLM McChord Field during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Westcott Hills

housing area Tuesday, March 9, at 1 p.m.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will showcase the completion of the first

eight homes of the 32-unit Westcott Hills housing area; the remaining

three and four bedroom field grade officer homes will be completed by

June 2010.

Ground has already been broken at JBLM McChord Field for the 62-unit

Cascade Village housing area, along with the renovation of 268 existing

homes in the Carter Lake housing area. Plans call for an additional 250

new homes to be constructed on JBLM McChord Field.

Privatized housing on JBLM McChord Field is being built and managed by

Equity Residential/Lewis-McChord Communities, LLC, the same company

responsible for building and renovating housing on JBLM Lewis Main and

Lewis North for more than seven years. There have been 729 new homes

built and 2,478 homes renovated on JBLM Lewis Main and Lewis North under

the Residential Communities Initiative to date.

March 8, 2010 at 3:50pm

AAFES going green

Even the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is going green these days. The new Randolph Air Force Base BX is AAFES' first exchange built to the environmental standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Read more about it here.   

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

March 8, 2010 at 5:02pm

WWII female pilots honored in D.C.

According to a blurb on the Los Angeles Times' Web site, nearly 200 women who served as military pilots during World War II as part of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program will be on hand Wednesday to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.

One of these women (although I can't confirm she'll be at the ceremony) attended the McChord Air Expo in 2008.

March 11, 2010 at 12:15pm

ASE certification available at McChord Field

Automotive Service Excellence Exams will be given at JBLM-McChord Field, May 6-11. The registration fee is $36 per individual and covers the entire testing cycle; each exam costs $28.

For more information, click here.   

Filed under: Education, Training,

March 12, 2010 at 12:40pm

McChord airman refurbishes desks for Iraqi kids

Volunteers from the 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron, sand down pieces of wood during assembly of school desks for local Iraqi children March 6, at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq. Out of their goal of 100 desks, 25 of them have already been ass

KIRKUK, Iraq -- Sitting at a well-crafted desk may not seem like a big deal to children in the United States or other more affluent parts of the world, but to the children of Kirkuk's school provinces, it is.

Thanks to several volunteers from the 506th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraqi school children will get to sit in the same style of comfort other children get on a regular basis.

The idea for refurbishing the school desks sprang from a conversation Chief Master Sgt. Tom Pizzi, 506th ECES chief enlisted manager, deployed from McChord AFB, Wash., had with Stacy Barrios, public diplomacy officer, Kirkuk Provincial Reconstruction Team, U.S. Embassy, Iraq.

Originally, the chief wanted to build or paint a school in Kirkuk but learned that security procedures would make that unlikely.

Kirkuk's director of education told Pizzi the desks in the Kirkuk province were in poor shape and could use repairing. The chief also learned from some of the local nationals who work as contractors on base that many of Iraqi school children sit three or four to a small desk.

Initially, the chief and his crew, made up of LN's and CE workers, received 25 desks for repair.

These desks, broken and rusted, were heaped in piles in a field outside one of the local schools. 

One of the LN's picked up the desks and delivered them to the CE compound.

Undeterred by the poor shape of the desks, the crew began welding and sanding the metal frames, cutting and building the wood for the framework and painting and finishing the desks, the chief said.

Tech. Sgt. Douglas Shelton, 506th ECES, deployed from Dover AFB, Del., volunteered his structural expertise to make the desks safer for the children.

"They brought the frame to me and asked my opinion," he said. "I showed them how to round the corners of the desks, so the kids don't hurt themselves." 

The desks are built to seat two children to every desk, but Shelton wanted to add a personal touch.

"I also put dividers in the compartment underneath the desktop so they can feel like they have their own personal space," the sergeant said. "I'd do anything to help the kids. I've seen them at the gates begging for stuff and it just breaks my heart. It's scary seeing kids live like that."

"I don't do it for the glory; I do it because it helps," added Shelton who spent several lunch hours repairing these desks.

To date, 25 of the desks have been assembled and are ready to be delivered to schools in need; however, the chief wants to hit 100 before he leaves next week. 

Pizzi said the new chief enlisted manager for CE agreed to continue the project after he is gone, and several of the crew members from the new rotation have already begun helping out.

"We're building templates for the desks with all the measurements and patterns to make it easy for the next crew to continue the project," said Master Sgt. John Wanner, 506th ECES, deployed from McChord AFB, Wash. "We sent one of the desks downtown to be evaluated, and they [the education director and his staff] were overwhelmed and said they thought it was a brand new desk. That was pretty amazing to hear." 

Pizzi said he has volunteered on many humanitarian efforts before and enjoys making things better for someone else who doesn't have what we have.

"The stuff we have, we take for granted," he said. "If every kid in America could see how these children live, they would appreciate what they have in America."

He also hopes to leave a positive impression on the locals here.

"Those desks are going to live a lot longer in their minds," the chief said. "I hope the fact that the Americans came in and took those beat up, broken down desks and rebuilt them and put them back in the schools will change the mindset of the children and the parents of how they remember the Americans. It's leaving a legacy."    

Filed under: Iraq,

March 16, 2010 at 5:14pm

McChord maintainers depart for competition

This week six 62nd Airlift Wing airmen and one 446th AW reservist will compete at the third annual Aviation Maintenance Technology Society's Aircraft Maintenance Professionals Skills Competition March 16-18 in Las Vegas, Nev.

Read more about the competition and the airmen headed there.

March 18, 2010 at 10:51am

Reservists return

Thirty Reservists with the 446th Civil Engineer Squadron, JBLM McChord Field, returned March 15 from a six-month deployment to Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq.

Forty Reserve Airmen from the 446th CES deployed at the end of August 2009, with some returning earlier.  The 446th CES still has eight firefighters in Iraq who deployed in December.    

March 22, 2010 at 1:45pm

Local WWII female pilots profiled

A pair of local former WWII female pilots were among a select group honored March 10 in Washington, D.C.

Each received the Congressional Gold Medal, the top honor awarded to a civilian.

Here is a link to the story in The News Tribune.

Filed under: Honors,

March 26, 2010 at 3:58pm

446th AW on Facebook

For those of you who are members of the social networking Web site Facebook, the 446th Airlift Wing at JBLM-McChord Field recently started a fan page. It has posted a few items on there already, and includes a discussion question under the discussion tab. The Reserve wing is encouraging people to become fans and let them know what you think.

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