Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

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

October 1, 2010 at 10:54am

Joint base at final operational capacity

This from The News Tribune: The merger brings together Pierce County's largest and third-largest employers - the Army and Air Force. In 2008, they had a combined civilian and military payroll of $2.3 billion.

The union is intended to help the Defense Department save money by taking advantage of efficiencies it can achieve by streamlining some services, such as police, fire, security and family support. It's not clear how much, and estimates of those savings have been falling since the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission first recommended joint bases in 2005. Twenty-six Army, Navy and Air Force installations were ordered to merge into joint bases.

October 1, 2010 at 4:34pm

NBA's Miami Heat give Florida airmen a treat

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AP) -- The Miami Heat are hosting 450 guests from the U.S. Air Force for their first full scrimmage of training camp.

A practice unlike perhaps any other in team history, 225 airmen and others will be brought into the relatively small gym at Hurlburt Field for the first half, then replaced by 225 more onlookers for the second 20-minute period. Many of those who received passes to see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat play were lined up long before the scrimmage began.

The national anthem will even play to begin the event, something that doesn't happen before just any regular workout.

The Heat have trained at the Air Force installation on Florida's Panhandle since Tuesday morning. They return to Miami on Sunday.

Filed under: U.S. Air Force,

October 4, 2010 at 10:16am

446th AW vice commander moving on

In her final days as vice commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, Col. Lisa Tank is reflecting on a legacy of leadership, one that is leaving an indelible mark on reservists at McChord Field. 

The colonel has been selected as director of the Joint Operations Center at U.S. Pacific Command, Camp Smith, Hawaii. 

"The hardest part about this is realizing that I'll no longer be a part of this fantastic team," said Colonel Tank. "We simply have the highest quality of reservists here."    

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: 446th Airlift Wing, Honors,

October 6, 2010 at 12:26pm

Reserve aerial port airmen deploy

About 19 reservists from the 86th Aerial Port Squadron deployed in September to support an Air Expeditionary Force rotation to Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq. The reservists are attached to the 321st Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Beyond the 100 plus degree heat, what challenges the aerial porters most is also what gives them the most pride - getting people where they need to go. 

"The biggest thing for us is rest and relaxation passengers," said Master Sgt. Marshall Stokoe, 86th APS. "We make sure we get them out because it's important."

For more on the deployment, click here.    

October 7, 2010 at 11:32am

Defense spending cuts have trickle down effect

Here is an interesting piece from the Los Angeles Times about the future of small aerospace business due to cuts in defense spending. While the story primarily focuses on businesses in the LA area, the same could apply for several other areas across the country.

Here's a quote from the piece: "The golden era of aerospace has passed," said Tom Captain, principal of Deloitte's aerospace and defense consulting practice. "There is now a siren call for businesses to transfer from a hardware-based machine shop to a software-based technologically advanced firm." 

To read the entire story, click here

Filed under: Defense News, Web/Tech,

October 8, 2010 at 11:06am

And the new Air Force motto is ...

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Incorporating extensive inputs from all ranks and career fields in the development effort, Airmen have selected "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win" as the service's motto. 

An enduring statement of Airmen's pride in their service, the motto is a two-part expression -- a call to action, with a response of commitment.

"The call and the response are two sides of the same coin," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "Airmen indicated 'Aim High' and the response 'Fly-Fight-Win' as indicative of their enduring commitment to do just that in defense of our nation." 

When the Air Force motto team embarked on the project, they committed to Airmen buy-in in an inclusive, well-researched effort, rooted in Air Force culture and identity.

"Airmen recognize a motto should represent something enduring," General Schwartz said. "It must be bigger than any single person, something that gives voice to the pride of service of all who've worn this nation's Air Force uniform -- past, present and future." 

"We took the time to try to get this right," General Schwartz said. "A service motto belongs to those who serve, and we've done our best to give voice to how Airmen feel about serving this nation." 

The chief master sergeant of the Air Force, the director of Air Force Public Affairs, the Air Force director of force management policy, and the commander of Air Force Recruiting Service provided the leadership oversight for the motto team research experts.

In early 2010, the motto team engaged in almost nine months of hands-on research that began with extensive face-to-face meetings with nearly 300 total force Airmen from all job specialties and in every major command. Airmen described to the team what they thought it means to be an Airman, to serve and what is unique about the Air Force. 

"The exhaustive research process showed that Airmen share a core set of identity concepts that serve as a basis for an Air Force motto," said Gen. Stephen Lorenz, Air Education and Training Command commander. 

"No matter what career field they serve in, Airmen consistently told us they see themselves, and they see the heritage of the Air Force, as those entrusted by the nation to defend the modern, complex security domains -- first air, then space and now cyberspace," General Lorenz added. "Airmen take this sense of mission very seriously." 

An Air Force-wide survey to validate and quantify input from discussions indicated Airmen have a shared pride in their abilities to adapt to meet any threat, and they feel empowered to bring innovation and excellence to the mission of national defense. 

After understanding the shared identity, the motto team began transforming words and concepts into a unifying, enduring and credible motto, said Lt. Col. Clark Groves, Ph.D., the lead scientist for the project. 

"The research team held more meetings with nearly 250 Airmen on bases in each major command, discussing scores of identifying words and concepts tied to the core Airman identity," he added.

"These discussions, information from Air Force historical archives, and input from total force Airmen, Air Force civilians, retired Airmen, and the public provided the basis for identifying the ideal motto candidates," the colonel said. 

That led to an Air Force-wide survey.

Five potential mottos emerged and were presented at CORONA for final consideration.

"This really was a process grounded in inputs from Airmen," Colonel Groves said. "We went Air Force wide four times, including face-to-face discussions at bases in every major command twice, and in two Air Force-wide surveys." 

"The data provided quality information on everything from accessions and retention, to diversity and broader Air Force cultural initiatives," said Gen Lorenz.

Airmen can expect to gradually hear and see more of the motto as it is included in Air Force presentations, correspondence and products. It will also be introduced in the coming year into basic training, professional military education, Reserve Officer Training Corps and U.S. Air Force Academy courses.

"This motto encompasses what Airmen say about what it means to serve in this great Air Force," said Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy. "'Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win' gives our service a new and lasting tradition for voicing our pride." 

The chief noted an important distinction between slogans and mottos.

"Slogans and ad phrases come and go, but a motto is meant to be passed from one generation of Airmen to another," Chief Roy said. "This is for the hundreds of thousands of Airmen who now serve, who have served and who will serve in the future."    

Filed under: U.S. Air Force,

October 8, 2010 at 11:52am

Not enough JTACs to go around

Air Force Times is reporting that the Air Force is training more NATO troops to call in airstrikes because it can't meet the demand from battlefield commanders without ratcheting up the deployment tempo even more for its own small pool of joint terminal attack controllers.

U.S. Air Forces in Europe expects to train 144 JTACs, twice as many as it did last year, according to the report.

Half of the airmen will be from NATO and coalition countries.

"The total number of JTACs required has always been a mystical, magical number that we have always tried to get our arms around," said Master Sgt. Jay Lemley, chief of standardization and evaluation for JTACs assigned to USAFE. "There never was an answer except, ‘We need more.'"

Repeated deployments for JTACs and the requirements in Afghanistan "have really been a driving factor," Lemley said. "We're in a counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan. It's not a linear battlefield."

For more on the story, click here.

October 11, 2010 at 11:02am

Schwartz supports pay raise for airmen

This from Air Force Times: The Air Force chief of staff stands behind a 1.4 percent pay raise for airmen next year - but says anything more and it will get tougher for the service to do its job.

The service's budget is so stretched that a pay increase bigger than the one requested by President Obama "means we'll do less of something else," Gen. Norton Schwartz told government employees at an Oct. 6 meeting in Washington, D.C.

Read more here.

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

October 12, 2010 at 11:02am

Pay mistakes for airmen on combat deployments

This from Air Force Times: An audit by the Department of Defense Inspector General uncovered the pay problems, which could total $8.6 million. A follow-up review by the Air Force confirmed problems but not to the extent identified by the Pentagon. The lost amount, calculated using the findings by the service, adds up to $1.63 million.

The DoD IG found mistakes with more than half - 54 percent - of the pay stubs it checked; the Air Force review found problems with 29 percent.

If you apply the DoD IG findings to the active-duty 65,000 airmen who deployed between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008, to U.S. Central Command missions, as many as 35,100 airmen received the wrong pay. Even if you use the service's error rate, 18,850 airmen still had the incorrect amount deposited in their accounts.

To read the entire story, click here.

October 15, 2010 at 1:52pm

AF first lieutenants to face selection board

This from Air Force Times: The Air Force is lowering the active-duty promotion rate for captains for the first time in eight years, a move that requires bringing back a selection board for first lieutenants.

The 2011 promotion rate will be 95 percent, down from 100 percent, according to personnel officials; slightly more than half of the 7,100 first lieutenants have one year time-in-grade now and should be close to having two years - the average number for promotion - when the selection board convenes in July.

Captains ready for advancement learned not long ago that they too will have to go before a selection board because the promotion rate for major has been lowered to 90 percent from 95 percent. The board for majors will be in December.

For more on the story, click here.

Filed under: U.S. Air Force,

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