Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: June, 2010 (7) Currently Viewing: 1 - 7 of 7

June 1, 2010 at 4:39pm

Naked ABUs a good thing?

Air Force Times posted an interesting story about the debate on whether or not to allow airmen to put more patches on their airman battle uniforms besides just the name and career field badges. While working over at McChord Field I often heard this argument, with most siding with allowing the patches. What does everyone out there think?

Here is the link to the Air Force Times story.

Filed under: U.S. Air Force,

June 3, 2010 at 3:33pm

McChord Field I- 5 exit closed this weekend

(446th AW PA) — Reservists traveling northbound on Interstate 5 will not be able to take Exit 125 June 5-6 to access McChord Field for the unit training assembly weekend.

Construction planned by the Washington State Department of Transportation calls for the closure of Exit 125 at Bridgeport Way for northbound travelers.

Alternate gates for reservists include the Housing Gate in the morning only both days, and the North Gate for both morning and afternoon commutes.  Security Forces Reservists will be manning both gates. 

Reservists may also check the status of the construction closure at    

June 15, 2010 at 4:48pm

Double-amputee to parachute into ceremony

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. - Staff Sgt. Shaun Meadows, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron, the first Active Duty double amputee in Air Force history to successfully perform a personnel drop, will lead members of his unit's command element as they parachute onto McChord Field as part of the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron change of command ceremony June 16, 10 a.m.

During the 22nd Special Tactics Squadron change of command ceremony Lt. Col. Michael J. Flatten will assume command from Lt. Col. Bryan H. Cannady. Cannady assumed command of the 22nd STS June 2008 and will be reassigned to Joint Staff in Washington, D.C.  Flatten, a Texas A&M graduate comes to JBLM from his most recent assignment with the Headquarters, Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlbert Field, Fla.

Background on SSgt. Shaun Meadows -

Meadows made Air Force history this Monday, as the first active duty Airman and double amputee, by successfully performing a parachute jump as part of a 40 member C-17 personnel drop at JBLM McChord Field.  Monday's jump was a practice exercise for Wednesday's ceremony, and was Meadows' first jump since his injury. Wednesday's jump will be his last jump before he separates from the Air Force.

Meadows lost both of his legs in late July 2008 during a combat reconnaissance patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by an improvised explosive device.

June 18, 2010 at 11:28am

MyCAA program may be limited to job training

This isn't good news for spouses looking to pursue a four-year degree through the MyCAA program.

Read more here.

Filed under: Dependent, Education,

June 22, 2010 at 4:06pm

Mom commissions son from long distance

Perhaps the biggest challenge of any deployment is the separation from family and friends and missing those momentous occasions in life such as a son's first word, a daughter's high school graduation, a 20-year wedding anniversary or family reunion.

While a military member's time downrange can't be cut short so they can attend these milestone events, thanks to modern day conveniences such as wireless Internet and Web cameras, these special moments can at least be seen and heard from afar. 

This was the case for one U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel deployed here and her 22-year old son whom she swore into the U.S. Air Force June 13 during his Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps graduation from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash.

Lt. Col. Maureen Carroll, 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron commander and teary-eyed mother of three, was bursting with pride as she told her eldest son, Alek Krallman, to raise his right hand and repeat after her the commissioning oath of office.

"It was pretty great how it all came together," said Carroll. "I wish I could have been there in person, but this was the next best thing. He has worked really hard to achieve his goals and I am very proud of him."

With Carroll deployed, her son knew it wasn't going to be easy coordinating his mother swearing him in from across the globe, but he couldn't think of anyone he'd rather have administer the oath.

"I wanted my mom to commission me because she's a great example of an excellent leader," said Krallman. "Everyone I talk to who works with or knows her says great things. She also encouraged me the most to become an officer and I knew it would honor her as well because I wouldn't have gone to college if it wasn't for her."

Just before it was time for the lieutenant to take the stage, both mother and son had their laptops up and connected to one another using a software application program known as "Skype", which allows users to video conference through the Internet. Carroll used the base's free wireless Internet service while at the base chapel to watch her son's ceremony - from taking the oath of office to seeing him present parent pins to his father and stepfather.

"I'll present you with yours next time I see you mom," he said into the Web camera at the ceremony.

The colonel said she is very thankful for the modern day conveniences many deployers have these days such as wireless internet.

"It definitely helps," she said. "It's nice to be able to see your family and know that you don't have to miss out on such special moments as this." 

Carroll's son, who will attend pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, this September, said he knew the Air Force was the right choice for him from an early age. 

"I've wanted to fly for as long as I can remember and I knew the Air Force would give me a good chance at doing that," said the lieutenant, who was born at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. "I decided to do ROTC because I wanted to go to Central Washington University and they had a good ROTC program here."

As with any parent, Carroll, while excited that her son chose to follow in her footsteps and join the military, still worries about her son.

"Well, I know my Air Force won't be his Air Force," she said. "It has changed so much since I've been in and I'm sure it will continue to change. My biggest concern is the pace of operations. I see our young folks working so hard to maintain that pace; it throws the rest of life out of balance sometimes. My hope is that he can maintain the balance and be successful. It's a rewarding life in many ways to serve our nation, with opportunities that never cease." 

With a long Air Force career ahead of him, and a mother who already has 30 years (15 years enlisted and 15 years commissioned) of service, the lieutenant said he cherishes any words of wisdom she provides.

"My mom has told me lots of things, the main pieces of advice being to always do my best and work hard; listen to my NCO's as they have more experience and know what needs to be done; and to learn from others," he said.

Krallman remains optimistic as he looks to the future and the journey he is about to embark on in the U.S. Air Force.

"I'm looking forward most to flying, protecting my family and friends, and being with my friends who are also serving," he said. "I have friends who enlisted right out of high school in every branch. They protected me while I was going to school and now it is my turn to allow them the opportunities they have given me." One of his best friends from high school, who had joined the Marine Corps, was there to give Krallman his first salute. 

Carroll has about a month left in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility before redeploying to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. and said she hopes to reunite with her son sometime in the future, before he heads off to pilot training. Until then, instant messaging, phone calls and video conferencing with her son and the rest of her family will get her through her remaining time in the AOR.

"I appreciate the programs we have in place and look forward to every 'Skype' date I have with my family," she said, "especially with my grandson. Young ones grow up so fast."     

June 25, 2010 at 6:06pm

Seahawks to visit McChord Field Monday

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Two high-powered defensive powers, the United States Air Force and the Seattle Seahawks, team up to take to the sky Monday around 12:15 p.m. - sort of. Two defensive specialists for the Seattle Seahawks will fly with the two Air Force C-17 demonstration pilots in the C-17 simulator at McChord Field in preparation for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo 2010 July 17-18.

After they are done flying in the full-motion, state-of-the-art simulator, corner back Josh Wilson and safety Jamar Adams will also visit a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and meet with the airmen responsible for flying and maintaining the Air Force's premier cargo aircraft. Finally, the Seahawk defenders will sign autographs and have their photos taken with the soldiers, airmen and family members of Joint Base Lewis-McChord at the McChord Field Base Exchange.

In the state-of-the-art, motion simulator, the Air Force C-17 demonstration pilots will fly their planned air show profile where they throw the massive cargo plane in tight turns and steep climbs exactly as they plan to fly at the Air Expo just three weeks away. After showing their Seahawks co-pilots how to fly, it will be the Seahawks turn to take the controls. 

June 30, 2010 at 9:09am

AMC working to become more efficient

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. (AFNS) -- Air Mobility Command has the largest fleet of the biggest airframes in the Air Force and they are the Department of Defense's largest aviation fuel customer, consuming 28 percent of DOD's aviation fuel use, but AMC Airmen are leading the charge in making energy a consideration in everything they do. 

During the third annual Air Force Energy Forum in May, Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton stressed the importance of being efficient while being effective.

"With the need to deliver fuel, supplies and warfighting capabilities to remote, austere and landlocked places like Afghanistan, reducing the amount of energy our force requires becomes even more important," Ms. Conaton said. 

"By its very nature, the AMC mission requires a lot of fuel," said Maj. Gen. Brooks L. Bash, the AMC director of operations. "This command provides the strategic airlift, aeromedical evacuation and air refueling to support the warfighter, and we do this while also ensuring we're able to provide aid and support for humanitarian operations whenever disaster strikes."

AMC aircraft fly 66 percent of the missions flown in the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility. Since 9/11, AMC's airlifters have delivered more than 5 million tons of cargo and 14 million passengers; refuelers have offloaded 11 billion pounds of fuel; and aeromedical evacuation experts have conducted more than 151,000 patient movements. 

And they're working around the clock to find ways to become more efficient.

As of June 8, Mobility Air Forces officials have implemented 11 fuel efficiency initiatives with projected yearly fuel consumption reductions of 65.3 million gallons at a cost avoidance of $184.1 million. 

Twelve additional initiatives have been identified, and once implemented, the command will reduce fuel consumption by an additional 51.1 million gallons at a cost avoidance of $144.1 million, for a total yearly reduction of 116.4 million gallons at a cost avoidance of $328.2 million. (Note: The dollar figures are based on the current price of $2.82 per gallon for JP-8 fuel.)

Initiatives already in place include reducing aircraft weight of non-mission essential items and working with foreign countries to fly more fuel efficient routes. 

"(These are all) smart, simple, effective ways to conserve energy," Ms. Conaton said. 

In the last fiscal year, the Air Force spent nearly $8.5 billion on fuel, mostly for aircraft.

"Every dollar we spend on energy is one less dollar that we have to spend on Airmen, their readiness and their weapon systems," Ms. Conaton said. "All of us in government are charged with being good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We need to be able to demonstrate to ourselves, to Congress and to the American people that our energy dollars are being spent in the most effective manner possible."

"AMC will endeavor to reduce our demand for energy by enabling the creativity and good ideas of all Airmen," General Bash said. "We are embracing the Air Force's motto to make energy conservation a consideration in all we do."

"I applaud the AMC Airmen for providing a critical capability to the joint effort while pursuing creative methods to boost fuel efficiency," Ms. Conaton said.    


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