Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: June, 2011 (25) Currently Viewing: 21 - 25 of 25

June 21, 2011 at 4:48pm

446th getting ready to compete at Rodeo

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Air Mobility Command's Rodeo competition is approaching fast and the Reservists of the 446th Airlift Wing's Rodeo team are ready to fly, fight and win.

AMC's Rodeo is July 23-29 here. Teams from across the United States, active-duty, Reserve, Guard and sister services, and foreign air force teams will assemble at McChord field for the bi-annual competition. Before the competition week, AMC will host an Aeromedical Evacuation and En Route Care Symposium, and an Airdrop Symposium.

Rodeo is a chance to demonstrate Air Force mobility capabilities, test and refine new procedures, tactics and concepts that improve mission results, promote international relations in a friendly, competitive environment and enhance esprit de corps by recognizing crew and unit professionalism and outstanding performance.

The 446th AW will field five teams lead by team chief Lt. Col. Hans Bley: aircrew, aerial port, maintenance, security forces, and aeromedical.

The Rodeo Team (minus the security forces) left today for Moses Lake, Wash., for a week to train for the event.

"All the teams will have full days and will get some great training accomplished," said Colonel Bley. "I am looking forward to getting the team together (away from home station), building some camaraderie and focusing solely on Rodeo."

The aircrew team will consist of Lt. Col. Derek Leckrone, Maj. Kevin Peterson, Capt. Patrick Hancock, and Master Sgt. Robert Bertsch. The team will compete in airdrop (personnel, heavy equipment, container delivery system), assault landings, backing/combat offload, engine running onload/offload, and aerial refueling receiver events.

The aerial port team is made up of Tech Sgts. Kathleen Myhre and Joshua Warbiany, and Senior Airmen Eric Gregory, Christopher Griffen, and Janelle Marshall. This team will participate in seven events: engine running onload/offload, 10K forklift, 25K Halverson, pallet build-up, joint inspection, in transit visibility, and a challenge course.

The aeromedical team is comprised of Capt. Jason Cross, Lt. Catherine Carroll, Staff Sgt. Krystal Reinstadler, and Senior Airmen Dylan Congrove and Marcello Yamaguchi. The team's events are aeromedical contingency flight and aeromedical configurations.

The security forces team will compete in combat tactics, combat challenge course, and combat weapons. The team is Tech. Sgt. Pierce Christopher, Staff Sgts. David Buchanan and Damon Hahn, and Senior Airman Gregory Griffen.

The SFS team has been running each day in preparation for Rodeo, with plans to run further distances as the competition draws near and sharpen their arms skills.

"We have a lot of range time planned and our ongoing motto of 'Aim Small...Miss Small," is going to get us to where we need to be, come competition day," said Sergeant Pierce.

The 2009 446th AW SFS team took home the trophy for Best Security Forces Team.

"The guys are looking forward to finally making it to competition and trying to take another trophy home," said Sergeant Pierce.

The largest team making up the 446th Airlift Wing is the maintenance team. The team will compete in events pre-flight maintenance, post flight maintenance, refueling, and compete for the Knuckle Buster Award. Team members are: Senior Master Sgt. Tungyoga Monroe, Master Sgts. Kurt Ertel, Devin Eierman, John Gan, and Randy Wentz, Tech. Sgts. Heribert Maldonado, Jeffery Reinke, David Timney, Juan Duran, Eric Martin, and Eric Matteson, and Staff Sgt. Kimberly Shadlow.

In over 50 years, Rodeo has never strayed from its core mission: creating training scenarios with concrete operational impact while at the same time developing ever-closer relationships with staunch international allies who continue to help us fight and win. By participating in Rodeo, all aspects of aerial refueling and airlift/airdrop, aeromedical evacuation, and security forces are showcased, capabilities demonstrated, procedures improved, techniques compared, and consistency enhanced for worldwide operations.

June 26, 2011 at 7:34am

Congratulations to McChord Field's newest technical sergeants

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- Congratulations to the following Airmen who have been selected for promotion to technical sergeant.

Staff Sgt. James Chestnut
Staff Sgt. Jeffery Patterson
Staff Sgt. Gabriel Reams
Staff Sgt. William Green
Staff Sgt. Michael Kurta
Staff Sgt. Matthew Mckenna
Staff Sgt. Yuri Miller
Staff Sgt. Qwanzetta Young
Staff Sgt. Walter Beard
Staff Sgt. Joseph Bilger
Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bixel
Staff Sgt. Jason Bolen
Staff Sgt. William Buffington
Staff Sgt. Thomas Cadick
Staff Sgt. Alejandro Castillo
Staff Sgt. Richard Cismowski
Staff Sgt. Wade Claypool
Staff Sgt. Michelle Cosgrove
Staff Sgt. Joshua Crosby
Staff Sgt. Katherine Danks
Staff Sgt. Justin Doud
Staff Sgt. Steven Fraas
Staff Sgt. Harvey Freeman
Staff Sgt. Christina Gibson
Staff Sgt. Courtney Granato
Staff Sgt. Michael Granato
Staff Sgt. Christo Grulkowski
Staff Sgt. Brian Guernsey
Staff Sgt. Brandon Hall
Staff Sgt. Scott Hall
Staff Sgt. John Havens
Staff Sgt. Kyle Hersel
Staff Sgt. Mark Jackson
Staff Sgt. Jennifer Jenkins
Staff Sgt. Jesse Kessler
Staff Sgt. Nathedus Kittles
Staff Sgt. Andrew Kohn
Staff Sgt. Tyler Kost
Staff Sgt. Amber Lawrence
Staff Sgt. Kurt Lewandowski
Staff Sgt. Sean Lyons
Staff Sgt. Daniel Mcquistion
Staff Sgt. Dawn Mertens
Staff Sgt. Michael Mihalyi
Staff Sgt. Darcy Morgan
Staff Sgt. Terra Nelson
Staff Sgt. Jason Norwood
Staff Sgt. Douglas Pack
Staff Sgt. Casey Payne
Staff Sgt. Jeremy Pevehouse
Staff Sgt. William Phelps
Staff Sgt. Matthew Reddick
Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rice
Staff Sgt. Jason Sanders
Staff Sgt. Jaysa Schieble
Staff Sgt. Trace Schreiber
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Sherrill
Staff Sgt. Peter Stein
Staff Sgt. Gregory Stucky
Staff Sgt. Ryan Sullivan
Staff Sgt. Andrew Tishim
Staff Sgt. Lee Paul Ubungen
Staff Sgt. Cory Van Antwerpen
Staff Sgt. Jedediah Venable
Staff Sgt. Richard Wark
Staff Sgt. Christopher Woods
Staff Sgt. Joseph Zupin
Staff Sgt. Jessica Bissell
Staff Sgt. Israel Elizondo
Staff Sgt. Brennen Huff
Staff Sgt. Trenton Lackey
Staff Sgt. David J Mac Andrew
Staff Sgt. Robert Bruce Olson

June 29, 2011 at 6:54am

Past and present come together at 18th Air Force conference

DOVER AFB, Del. - 18th Air Force commanders and command chiefs gather for a Heritage Dinner held at the Air Mobility Command Museum here, June 23. The senior leaders travelled to Dover Air Force Base June 22-24 for the annual 18th Air Force Commanders and

Commanders and enlisted leaders gathered here to discuss principles for dealing with the 18th Air Force's most pressing issues during the command's annual Commanders and Command Chiefs Conference, June 22-24.

The theme of this year's conference was "heritage and resiliency", underscoring the importance of considering the hard-won lessons of past mobility leaders in dealing with modern challenges. In particular, Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice, 18th Air Force Commander, noted that the conference provided a venue for applying those lessons toward create a command staffing structure "that identifies issues, sets priorities, and sets up business rules to produce solutions for all of us."

As a basis for the group discussions and workshops that made up the conference, commanders and command chiefs were asked to read "Over the Hump" by the late Lt. Gen. William Tunner, widely recognized as the Air Force's "outstanding authority" on airlift. As one of the original architects of the Air Force's transport agencies, General Tunner commanded the World War II "Hump" operation and the Berlin and Korean airlifts. In addition to the historical insights derived from General Tunner's book, conference attendees also had the opportunity for firsthand discussion with another mobility pioneer, Col. Earl Young, the 97-year old first commander of the 18th Air Force (1951), who offered his own thoughts on the components of resiliency.

"Resiliency is about energy, incentive, belief, and confidence," Colonel Young said. "You have to have the energy to approach every task with enthusiasm and excitement. You also need the incentive of understanding why what you are doing is important. More than understanding, you also have to believe in what you are doing. And finally, to be truly resilient, you need the support and confidence of your leaders."

Colonel Young was joined by three other former 18th Air Force commanders; Lt. Gen. William Welser III (2003-2005), Maj. Gen. James Hawkins (2005-2008), and Maj. Gen. Winfield W. Scott III (2008-2009), all of whom offered their own unique perspectives on both individual and organizational resiliency.

"Continue to be innovative. Continue to think forward. Don't let the past define you and move forward as a team," said General Welser.

"Prepare, grow, and train your successor because he or she is right there behind you," added General Hawkins. "Put the time and emphasis into it, because that is resiliency."

General Scott reiterated Colonel Young's observations, noting that the command could not be successful if "our wing commanders didn't have the energy, the confidence, and support of leadership." He also emphasized the importance of taking care of oneself "physically and spiritually" adding that it was "most important [to] take care of your family - your Airmen and your personal family."

In addition to group discussion and the opportunity to hear the perspectives of former 18th Air Force commanders, conference attendees also participated in a formal Heritage Dinner at the Air Mobility Command Museum, further embodying the conference's theme. Amidst a variety of displays honoring AMC's heritage, attendees offered toasts recognizing the command's past accomplishments as well as those of its pioneers like Colonel Young.

"The basic issues back then are the basic issues we face today," said Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice, 18th Air Force Commander. "Take care of your people. Set high standards. Get smart, analytical people to figure out what the real problems are. Identify the problems. Look at them from multiple perspectives. Insist on excellence. And know that you are always answering the call and setting the conditions for others to prevail."

June 29, 2011 at 7:11am

Country Music Rewards Reserve Recruiting

Country music singer Tim McGraw performed a pre-show private party at his June 18 concert at the Gorge Ampitheater in George, Wash. Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing attended this private party as part of the Get 1 Now program. (U.S. Air Force photo

The sun is setting over the gorge.  The crowd is on their feet, hands in the air, cheering wildly, as country music icon Tim McGraw bursts into song.

Reservists from the 446th Airlift Wing were rewarded through the Get 1 Now program with free tickets to the Tim McGraw concert held at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash., on June 18.  They were also given passes to a VIP private show with Mr. McGraw before the main show.

The Get 1 Now program is a way to keep the Air Force Reserve strong.  Current members can refer someone to the Reserve, and when their referral turns into an enlistment, they become eligible for awards. 

"The Get 1 Program is awesome!," said Tech. Sgt. Gregory Abel, a member of the 86th Aerial Port Squadron. "If you get someone to sign up, you get cool things such as free tickets to a Tim McGraw concert at the Gorge!  Nothing can compare to standing three feet from him."

"I referred my step-brother to the Air Force Reserve so he can better himself before he goes to college, " said Senior Airman Kyle Knox, a member of the Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron with the 446th Airlift Wing. "This is an excellent experience for me.  Because of my referral I got to come close to Tim McGraw and enjoy a concert."

From last fiscal year October 2009 through June 2010, the wing received 47 new leads through the program.  From October 2010 to present day, there were 143 referrals; an increase of approximately 300%.  

"The reason the program works so well is only a Reservist knows what it's like to be in the Reserve," said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Terpening, chief of recruiting for the 446th Airlift Wing. " They are able to promote the Reserve from their own perspective."

For this event alone, the Air Force Reserve at McChord Field received 43 new leads from 25 Reservists who then had the opportunity to attend the concert on behalf of Air Force Reserve Recruiting and the Tug McGraw Foundation.

According to, The Tug McGraw Foundation was established by former Mets/Phillies pitcher, Tug McGraw, in 2003.  Tug McGraw served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam era. Tim McGraw, Tug's son and a Grammy Award-winning musician, is the McGraw Foundation's Honorary Chairman and a strong supporter of the military and of the military's efforts in brain injury research and patient care. 

Through the Tug McGraw Foundation, Tim McGraw expresses his gratitude to military members for their service to the nation.

For more information about the Get 1 Now program, please visit

June 30, 2011 at 6:35am

Air Force to enhance travel orders for deployment

In an effort to improve customer support and expedite travel voucher payments, Air Force financial management leaders will mandate standardized use of the Defense Travel System for contingency, exercise and deployment travel, officials said here June 28.

The change will be mostly transparent to the traveler, who will still receive a paper CED order from the personnel readiness unit; however, these orders will now be stamped "Certified in DTS," reminding the traveler and the local financial services office to file the settlement voucher in DTS, officials added.

"The FSO will continue to support the traveler throughout the entire process," said Chief Master Sgt. Jesse Stirling, financial management's enlisted career field manager.

Finance management officials said this translates to significant reductions in voucher turnaround time; DTS payments average three days, whereas filing a paper voucher averages 8 days.

"Standardized CED travel operations will provide a consistent practice for all Airmen without regard to deployed location or primary duty station," said Joan Causey, the deputy assistant secretary for financial operations. "Expanding DTS procedures for CED travel to all locations will bring long-range benefits such as increased transparency and timelier travel payments to Airmen."

Chief Stirling said the new process will positively impact Airmen in exercises or downrange, allowing them to focus more on the mission and less on getting mired in the administrative side of filing travel claims.

"For example, scheduled partial payments (or accruals) for the duration of the trip will become automatic after the initial payment is loaded into DTS," Chief Stirling said. "This new procedure will standardize voucher computation across the Air Force and streamline the filing process for the customer."

The program is slated for Air Force-wide use June 30. For more information, contact the base financial services office.


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