Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: November, 2011 (25) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 25

November 13, 2011 at 6:55am

New McChord Field Inspector General outlines purpose

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- As your newly appointed wing Inspector General, I wanted to introduce myself and provide a brief overview of the IG office complaint inquiries function.

The term "Inspector General" has been used historically in various governments and militaries throughout the world to denote an independent agency that ensures combat readiness of subordinate units. The lineage of the United States Air Force IG began with the American Army of 1777 and was established as an official Air Force function in 1948 by Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, the Air Force Chief of Staff at the time.

Vandenberg defined the IG mission as determining the combat and logistic effectiveness of the Air Force, ensuring the maintenance of discipline and security, and investigating matters involving crime and other violations of public trust. Subsequently, the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986 institutionalized the IG for both military and civilians within the Department of Defense.

As McChord Field IG, we manage and execute the Air Force Complaint Resolution and Fraud, Waste and Abuse Programs. We analyze complaints for appropriateness and determine investigative requirements; refer non-IG issues to the appropriate commanders or agencies; coordinate Congressional inquiries and notify senior officials and leadership of issues. We do not determine guilt or innocence, do not take sides, and are not anyone's personal advocate. We are impartial and thorough fact finders working independently to resolve complaints quickly and objectively in order to resume focus on mission performance.

Anyone may submit a complaint to any IG within the Air Force or Department of Defense. However, individuals are encouraged to begin at the lowest level. According to Air Force Instruction 90-301, Inspector General Complaints Resolution, paragraph 2.1.2, "Complainants should attempt to resolve complaints at the lowest possible level (as appropriate for the circumstances) using supervisory channels before addressing them to higher-level command channels or the IG."

The three types of complaints the IG focuses on are reprisals, restrictions and improper mental health evaluations.

- Reprisals are unfavorable personnel actions, including withholding favorable personnel actions, taken or threatened against a member for making or preparing to make a protected communication.

Note: Protected communication is when a member communicates what they reasonably believe to be a violation of law or regulation to any person in the member's chain of command, first sergeant, command chief, chief master sergeant of the Air Force, inspector general, member of Congress, or personnel assigned to DoD audit, inspection, investigation, law enforcement, equal opportunity and family advocacy organizations.

- Restriction refers to efforts made to deny a member from making a protected communication to a member of Congress or an IG.

- Concerning improper mental health evaluations, only the member's commander can direct them to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Serving as your local IG office, we stand ready to provide unbiased and timely complaint resolution. You can reach your McChord Field IG office at (253) 982-3323.

November 14, 2011 at 6:38am

A tribute to several 446th Citizen Airman veterans

Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Harris (center), NCO in charge of the 446th Force Support Squadron Sustainment Services Flight, McChord Field, Wash., ensures his Airmen have everything they need in order to feed the rest of the Reservists during drill weekend

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- It's the time of year when the nation's finest are recognized for their contributions to the security and freedom of the country.

The 446th Airlift Wing here has about 70 Reservists deployed overseas supporting global airlift, performing 44 percent of all C-17 Globemaster III missions leaving McChord Field.

Here are just a few Reservists from the 446th AW who have taken the Air Force Core Values to their limits, most of whom have multiple contingency deployments:

Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Harris, 446th Force Support Squadron, Sustainment Services Flight NCO in charge

Harris comes from a large family of veterans going back to the Korean War. The Bremerton, Wash. resident works as a human resources and leadership trainer at Bangor Naval Base. He's been with the 446th AW for 25 years and served on seven Air Expeditionary Force deployments at the port mortuary, at Dover Air Force Base, Del., the point of entry for the remains of servicemembers who are killed or die overseas.

"I'm proud to serve my country and proud to think about the people who came before me who served and protected this country," said the former Marine. "I'm even more honored to know there are people ready to serve. The great part is this is an all-volunteer force. Volunteers who protect the nation and we will wear that title forever. It's an honor knowing people are picking up the sword and shield to carry on service to this great nation. The country is in good hands."

Senior Master Sgt. Wendy Hutchins, 86th Aerial Port Squadron operations superintendent

This 19-year Reservist has served the nation with five deployments. She lives in Bothell, Wash. and works as a freight train conductor with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. She's set to deploy to Afghanistan in the future.

"I'm proud to serve," said Hutchins. "But I'd like to see more red, white, and blue outside of people's houses. I want to see more patriotism. I think that will help bring us back to being a whole country and move forward together instead of in separate directions."

Master Sgt. Kristy Wellman, 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron

This Tacoma, Wash. resident and fulltime medical technician has been in the Reserve for seven years. She's deployed four times in the last eight years, including her most recent deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq.

"My biggest point is the sacrifices men and women are making to support the country and our well being," said Wellman. "I'd like people to also focus on their families, who also make sacrifices when they deploy. They put the country ahead of themselves. I hope people think about them more than once a year," she added.

Tech. Sgt. Freddie Garza Jr., 446th Security Forces Squadron

When he isn't serving the country on Reserve weekends, Garza resides in Yakima, Wash. He's currently testing for a career in law enforcement at various agencies throughout Washington State. He recently returned from a deployment at Kirkuk Regional Air Base, Iraq, where he distinguished himself by helping to ensure the security for almost 7,500 personnel in direct support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I would like to thank the veterans before me, who paved the way, so we could be here today," said Garza. "I hope to follow those footsteps, even though they're big shoes to fill. They're the reason I serve."

Tech. Sgt. Robin Smith, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 crew chief

Smith has been a Reservist for 17 years and has spent seven with the 446th AW. As a civilian, he's been a functional test team lead with Boeing for 23 years. Last year, he deployed to Kuwait to work on C-17 aircraft.

"It's nice to see all of the support by the local population," said the Eatonville, Wash. resident. "It's always good to see men and women in uniform get a pat on the back as they're walking through the airport. It's a change from when I first enlisted, I'm not worried when I walk around in uniform in an airport or public now."

Tech. Sgt. Johnathan Tucker, 86th Aerial Port Squadron

Tucker hails from Everett, Wash. and works as a logistics supervisor with Philips Electronics in Seattle. The joint airlift inspector, who's been with the 446th AW since 2007, has been deployed three times. His most recent was at Balad Air Base, Iraq in 2009.

"As a society, we've come a long way on how veterans are treated," said Tucker. "That's a great thing to see. You get off of a plane and people are clapping for you. I think they deserve a thank you for recognizing us."

Staff Sgt. Pat Allen, 446th AMXS aerospace propulsion mechanic

All six of Allen's years in the military have been with the 446th AW. Along with being a full-time student at the University of Washington, he's an aircraft mechanic with Horizon Air. Like Smith, he also deployed last year to Kuwait.

"Veterans Day to me is a remembrance of every contingency and war we've had and honoring our vets," said the Seattle native. "This community has a large supportive population, especially being next door to (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Main). The community needs to know that we see and appreciate their support and are very thankful for it."

November 15, 2011 at 10:25am

McChord FTAC helps Airmen adjust to active duty life

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.  -- A year before, and in some cases only months before, they were wide-eyed young people fresh out of high school, while some were twenty-somethings looking for a new start. Some maybe used to slink down in their chairs, and some would speak to their neighbors in class while the instructor spoke. Some cared more about the new text message on their phone than anything else, and some maybe hadn't done many sit ups in their younger days.

Today is different. Fresh from Air Force technical schools across the country, McChord Field's First Term Airmen Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is the "Go" square on the Monopoly board that is their new duty station. Sharp uniforms, crisp haircuts, military bearing and order fill the classroom of Airmen from all points of the map and its here where they get their first tastes of everyday active duty Air Force life.

"FTAC was originally a place where you would send Airmen that were new to a base to be a labor crew," said Tech. Sgt. Monique DuBose, FTAC's noncomissioned officer-in-charge. "They'd come here, maybe see a few things on the base, but would do more of what we called the 'weeds and seeds' type of projects before they reached their units."

The FTAC program, an Air Force-wide initiative, had more of a workforce approach since its inception in 1976, and DuBose said it was one of the service's top enlisted men that changed that in the late 1980's.

"It was Chief (Master Sergeant of the Air Force James) Binnicker, our ninth chief master sergeant of the Air Force, that said 'professional development needs to start now,'" she said, pertaining to the Airmens' first days and weeks at their first duty station. "He felt they needed to hit the ground running and it's evolved quite a bit."

While their orders may read otherwise, for ten days they are F-tackers. Their new shops wait as leadership puts their concerns on the new Airmen as individuals, making sure they have all the tools they need to get started on their careers both at McChord Field and in the Air Force in general.

"You can't just say over the phone 'get here and do this,'" DuBose said of incoming Airmen, especially those new to the Air Force, "you need to see their faces. I'm here because I want to make sure everything is taken care of. When they go back to their units, they're ready to go to work."

Instruction includes personal topics such as understanding their medical benefits and continuing education programs, learning new resiliency tools, as well as checking out the installation's Morale, Welfare and Readiness program.

There's also professional development intended to set the tone for their roles in their new units. Among many other things, FTAC Airmen do physical training together and conduct a mock fitness assessment, and undergo multiple uniform inspections and safety briefings as part of not a transition to active duty life, but simply a continuance. DuBose said the Airmen return to their units with good understanding of where they are and what they need to do.

"We do everything; if they have pay issues, medical issues, before they get back to work, they'll be taken care of," she said. "Some people leave here knowing they'll deploy very soon; we'll do fit tests for chemical protective gear and let them know what to expect on the deployment line. That happens here."

She also said that while the Air Force requires certain blocks of instruction for any FTAC program, there's room for local instructors to shape their students' experiences, a benefit she said she appreciates as a veteran Airman.

"We've been changing some of the curriculum and adding new things; making it the best for them," she said. "Such as the new 'resiliency piece,' back in the day we were told to 'embrace the suck,' these Airmen don't need to do that. They need to know if they're having issues there are places for them to go."

While he may be new to the active duty Air Force, Airman 1st Class Evan Rosenboom, an Airman with the 62nd Operations Support Squadron and a former Air National Guardsman, said in his final day of instruction he appreciated the program because he knew firsthand what it's like to be overwhelmed in a new military situation.

"When I came through with the Guard, I had to find out a lot of stuff myself," the aviation resource manager said, "but here they offer this one place for a lot of information."

Rosenboom, who was part of FTAC class 11-18, and the rest of his class have already checked in at their new shops and are new members of teams across McChord Field. If one Airman's opinion can speak for the class, they and their units are better off thanks to their adjustment time spent with FTAC.

"(The permanent duty station) is a professional setting and this is my job," Airman 1st Class Kierra Harrison, an Airman with the 10th Airlift Squadron, said. "FTAC has helped me ensure that I'm keeping myself on track. It's work time."

November 17, 2011 at 5:58am

Air Force updates doctrine documents

The Air Force updated its two capstone doctrine documents.

In October, the Air Force released Air Force Doctrine Document 1, Air Force Basic Doctrine, Organization, and Command. In early November, a revised AFDD 1-1, Leadership and Force Development, was approved and is expected to be available online later in November.

"Much has transpired in the world since the previous edition of AFDD 1 was published in 2003," writes Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton A. Schwartz in the foreword to AFDD 1. "While we cannot accurately predict where and how we'll next be engaged, doctrine provides a leg up, outlining the basics of organization and command, providing guidance on how to think about and plan for different types of operations and missions. These foundational basics allow us to respond more quickly, freeing commanders and planners to think about larger issues, such as strategy, operational art and objectives."

Maj. Gen. Thomas K. Andersen, the commander of the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, added that AFDD 1 thoroughly discusses the concepts of airpower, airmindedness, and what Airmen provide to the joint force and the nation.

Andersen said the discussion of "airpower" merits special attention.

"Senior leaders discussed whether the overarching construct should be unitary or whether it should explicitly delineate the air, space and cyberspace domains in which the Air Force operates," Andersen said. "We ultimately decided on an inclusive definition of airpower."

That definition defines airpower as "the ability to project military power or influence through the control and exploitation of air, space and cyberspace to achieve strategic, operational or tactical objectives."

AFDD 1 also adds discussions absent in previous versions, such as cyberspace operations, integration of nuclear support, and an expanded discussion of Guard and Reserve integration, especially in a homeland context.

Additionally, AFDD 1 now includes the organizational discussion previously found in AFDD 2, Operations and Organization. AFDD 2 will be rescinded upon publication of a new AFDD 3-0, Operations and Planning, which greatly expands upon AFDD 2's planning discussion.

Other changes to AFDD 1 include distinguishing between traditional and irregular war and the role culture plays in war; replacing the three core competencies and six distinctive capabilities with 12 new core functions; expanding on centralized control/decentralized execution to provide more clarity to the concept; and including an expanded discussion on force presentation that reflects recent experience in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Following closely behind AFDD 1, Schwartz approved AFDD 1-1, the second of the Air Force's capstone doctrine documents. In addition to laying out the Air Force's best practices for creating leaders and applying leadership, Andersen highlighted the expanded definition of "Airman" contained in AFDD 1-1: "When addressing a larger audience within the Service, the term Airman now includes all uniformed members of the Air Force (including active, Reserve and Guard), as well as Department of the Air Force civilians."

AFDDs are available from the Air Force Portal homepage (Doctrine tab) as well as the Air Force's electronic publishing, or e-publishing, website. AFDD 1 can be downloaded at

AFDD 1-1 is expected to be posted to the Air Force e-publishing website later in November.

For the memorandum regarding the new documents from Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, Schwartz and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James Roy, click here.

November 18, 2011 at 7:18am

Raven part of special job in Air Force and at McChord

It's not uncommon in Staff Sgt. Nicholas Quijano's job for him to be greeted in other countries with a hug and a kiss on both cheeks.

It's something he's used to by now.

A Phoenix Raven with the 627th Security Forces Squadron at McChord Field, Quijano travels with aircrews to remote locations all over the world. Thanks to an in-depth knowledge of cross-cultural awareness, the 28-year-old Tacoma native knows just what to expect when he's greeted by a host country's dignitaries.

"We're looked at as ambassadors for the U.S. and the Air Force," said Quijano, who's been a Raven since 2006. "We're representing a bigger cause."

Implemented in 1997, the Phoenix Raven program consists of teams of specially trained security forces personnel dedicated to providing security for Air Mobility Command aircraft transiting high terrorist and criminal threat areas. AMC has more than 200 active-duty Raven-trained security forces members assigned at major AMC bases nationwide.

The Raven program ensures an acceptable level of security for aircraft transiting airfields where security is unknown or additional security is needed to counter local threats, according to AMC officials.

"We're there to protect the jet and the crew," Quijano said.

The Phoenix Raven training course is an intensive two-week, 12-hour-a-day course that covers such subjects as cross-cultural awareness, legal considerations, embassy operations, airfield survey techniques, explosive ordnance awareness, aircraft searches and unarmed self-defense techniques. Students are exposed to dozens of use-of-force scenarios where stress is simulated through the use of role players.

Ravens are also trained to utilize many "art of persuasion" techniques, Quijano said.

"It allows us to de-escalate a situation without having to put our hands on anyone," he said.

Raven candidates are also instructed on anti-hijacking duty in cooperation with the Federal Air Marshal program. Training is designed to provide security forces members with the skills required for their unique mission and builds on the basic security force skills taught at the Security Forces Academy at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The number of Raven graduates now stands at more than 2,000.

The unique job opportunity has enabled Quijano to travel all over the world and visit many different countries. He's flown into many small airfields in Africa on humanitarian missions and gotten a chance to talk with the locals.

"They're just amazed," the staff sergeant said. "A lot of people (in small countries) have never seen a C-17 or C-5 (aircraft)."

Locals are also often appreciative of the humanitarian mission.

"They know we're there for a good cause," Quijano said.

While all the flying - sometimes for 12 to 13 hours straight - can take a toll on Ravens, there is a strong emphasis on physical fitness to help combat the effects all the flying has on the body, the Airman said.

Despite the challenges, Quijano can't see himself doing anything else.

"The experience itself is amazing," he said. "It's so rewarding."

November 20, 2011 at 6:36am

McChord Airmen volunteer to aid heart ward

Airman 1st Class Juliana Guzman (left) and Staff Sgt. Michelle Fedrick pose for a photo with gifts from a Kyrgyz boy at the Children's Heart Ward of the Kyrgyz Scientific Research Institute of Heart Surgery and Organ Transplantation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan - Airmen deployed from Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other locations to the Transit Center at Manas visited the Children's Heart Ward of the Kyrgyz Scientific Research Institute of Heart Surgery and Organ Transplantation Nov. 11.

The Airmen are all members of the Manas Area Benefit Outreach Society, a private organization that provides charitable donations, goods and services to people and organizations in areas surrounding the Transit Center.

It has been about five months since MABOS members last visited the facility. During this visit the new focus group leaders met with the director and professor of surgery to discuss future MABOS assistance.

"I think there is a lot of good we can do here," said Staff Sgt. Jena Taylor, 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron combat crew communications specialist, based out of McChord Field.

The facility currently has about 40 patients awaiting surgery and about another 80 on the waiting list. The hospital is staffed to perform five or six surgeries a day, but limitations only allow them to conduct two a day.

"It is hard for the families because they have to wait here in line for months just because we can't (perform surgeries) fast enough," said Dr. Talgat Abdullaevich, director and professor of surgery in the Institute of Cardiac Surgery and Organ Transplantation.

Taylor became a MABOS heart ward FGL so she could positively impact others during her time at the Transit Center.

"We took a lot of notes and the professor is sending us a list of their biggest needs," Taylor said. "If I can get some of that list completed before I redploy I would be completely happy."

While the FGLs met with the professor, other MABOS members delivered coloring books, crayons and other toys to children in the heart ward.

"It was great seeing the kids laughing," said Staff Sgt. Michelle Fedrick, 817th EAS aviation resource manager also from McChord Field. "I got involved with MABOS to help others. I'm getting my degree in child and family development, since I'm very passionate about children."

Taylor encourages other members of the Transit Center to join MABOS.

"You can help change somebody's life," she said. "The more people who get involved, the more we can do." The group left with plans to assist the facility with the delivery of donated supplies and to purchase needed equipment.

"It is truly an honor to help," said Master Sgt. Joseph Cuthbertson, 376th Expeditionary Mission Support Group first sergeant deployed from Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

"We will gladly take anything offered to us," Abdullaevich said. "I'm very thankful."

November 20, 2011 at 6:43am

Quilts comfort children of deployed parents

Joan Breitinger, left, and Debi Shultz inspects fabric sections that will be sewed together in making quilts for children at the Grandstaff Library Nov. 10, 2011 on JBLM. Jim Bryant/JBLM PAO

In spring of 2002, Marty Alexander started seeing a change at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Grandstaff Library.

"We noticed some of the kids in the children's room acting differently," she said.

A few of the younger patrons were acting out when they normally would have sat quietly with a book ... and the reason for the shift wasn't difficult to figure out. These kids had deployed parents, and Alexander had a way to help.

Starting in April of that year she and a group of volunteers got together to start Quilts for Kids, a one-of-a-kind program at JBLM. The blankets they made weren't full-sized, but they offered those having the most trouble something portable and comforting (and washable) to carry with them wherever they went.

They began distributing them to family readiness groups and Army and Air Force agencies that worked with children to give to kids that needed a little extra help, and they've been doing it ever since.

"This is a great cause and a definite need ... To me it makes me think of hugs," said Debi Shultz, a volunteer quilter that came to help last week.

In the nearly 10 years since Alexander founded the group it's been through a lot. She's retired from her work at the library, volunteers come and go, and they've been in and out of workspaces (currently they bring all their materials into a small workspace at Grandstaff each week).

That hasn't stopped them from creating 1,085 quilts to date, though - that's nearly 150 a year.

"We're all military Families and it's important to us to help our military Families as much as we can," volunteer Joan Breitinger said.

She's been quilting with the group since the very beginning, and the family feel is really what it's all about. She and other members of the groups have brought kids and grandkids to help as they piece together blankets assembly-line style. Each one takes about six hours to complete, and are made in batches of 10 over the course of three weekly meetings.

The quilts are all about the same. Each one has a piece of patriotic fabric in the middle, with bright, interesting squares of fabric around the edges. The blankets are pre-washed before they're given away, and all of them come with a personalized Quilts for Kids label. Most of all, the volunteers regret that there simply aren't enough for all the kids that could use one.

"It's comforting, it's just snuggly and comfy," Alexander said.

In fact, the group is comforting more than just children. Participants are not required to know how to sew before they arrive, so absolutely anyone is welcome to come. For the past few weeks that's included Sylverine Caprietta, whose husband is deployed to Iraq for one year.

"It helps me from grieving ... I just look forward to Thursdays," she said.

She came for a good cause, but fell in love with quilting right away. She knows this is a hobby she can take with her wherever she ends up.

There's also the aspect of companionship. The group of women has all kinds in it, including the occasional active-duty Soldier that comes to sew in uniform. They work together around the table in a borrowed space, teach each other techniques and get to know each other.

It's something Alexander has always appreciated. She prefers to stay behind the scenes when she can, but she's proud of the work she's doing.

"I very much still, after all this time, still look forward to Thursdays," she said.

How to help

Quilts for Kids operates entirely on donations, and is supported by volunteers.

The group meets every Thursday at Grandstaff Memorial Library from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and is always in need of low-loft batting and 100 percent cotton material in bright, juvenile prints.

If you would like to know more about the group, or know of a child that needs a quilt, contact Grandstaff Library at 966-1320.

November 24, 2011 at 10:29am

Airmen beautification project benefits school, Tillicum community

Cold weather and the threat of rain did not stop volunteers from showing up at Tillicum Elementary on Veteran's Day for a project to beautify the school grounds.

Airmen from the 62nd Aerial Port Squadron joined Vietnam veterans, citizens of the community, more than two dozen Target employees and representatives from non-profit organization The Mission Continues at the Lakewood school to improve the look of school grounds.

The Mission Continues is a St. Louis-based organization whose mission is to provide every returning veteran with an opportunity to serve again as a citizen leader "We match each veteran with a certain non-profit, and they can stay with them for seven months," said Lyndsey Hodges, director of Special Projects. "We even give them a stipend for the cost of living." Participating in this unique program allows returning Servicemembers not only to give back to communities, but also to help them transition back to civilian life.

For the Nov. 11 beautification project, The Mission Continues partnered with the Target Corporation. Target gives five percent of its profits to schools and communities in areas that it operates, oftentimes donating upward of $3 million a week. Randy Kroum, one of the district facility managers for Target in the Seattle area, was the logistical brains of the operation. "We really want to start partnering with veterans groups," he said, "and who better than The Mission Continues, and to also volunteer at Tillicum Elementary." Target employees came from various locations, with individuals coming in from the West Seattle stores.

While Tillicum Elementary School principal Taj Jensen considers the school a ‘hidden gem,' he also admits that the school and community needed the boost the project provided. "Everyone takes pride in this school, whether or not they are affiliated with (it)," he said. "Even Soldiers with the medical brigade from Fort Lewis come down to play basketball with the kids." Stressing the importance of this project, students and teachers alike took pride in pitching in:  Students decorated windows for the veterans, and teachers, like Ruth Jones, even bought shrubs on their own.

Though everyone worked well into the early afternoon, the importance of the day was not lost on them. At 11 a.m., they all put down their shovels and rakes to pause for a moment of silence in honor of Veteran's Day.

For more information about The Mission Continues, visit

November 24, 2011 at 10:33am

McChord CGOC cleans up highway

Drivers traveling the stretch of Interstate 5 from State Route 512 to Gravelly Lake Road may see a familiar name on the sign at mile marker 127.

You might even say "Team McChord" owns that stretch of highway.

The McChord Company Grade Officers' Council recently teamed up with the Washington State Department of Transportation's Adopt-A-Highway program. Per the agreement, the CGOC is required to pick up litter on that assigned stretch of highway four times a year for the next four years.

"We're proud owners of that two-miles of I-5," said Capt. Kristina Sawtelle, a logistics officer with the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron at McChord Field and the president of the CGOC. "We're going to keep that two miles as clean as we can."

The CGOC - which is made up of lieutenants and captains - exists to aid in CGOs' professional development, expand their social network and perform community service both on and off base.

The group approved the project unanimously and sent a group of 10 Airmen to the site Nov. 7 to clean it up.

"Everybody was on board with it," Sawtelle said.

The CGOC actually had to turn other junior officers who wanted to come out away because there can only be a select number of people picking up trash for safety reasons.

"We wanted to look for a community service project that we could consistently be able to do," said 2nd Lt. Lana Moore, the CGOC community service chairman. "It's nice to be able to clean up in the communities where we live and where the base is."

CGOC members also liked the fact the sign gives the base and Team McChord Airmen some positive visibility to those passing through, Moore added.

The activity itself of picking up trash on the morning of Nov. 7 also created a great opportunity for Airmen to get together and make new friends.

"There were some of us who didn't know each other," said Moore, an officer in the 627th Force Support Squadron.

As for the activity itself?

"There was a lot of trash out there," Moore said with a laugh. "We found some interesting stuff."

The community service project is just one of the things on the group's agenda. The CGOC is currently preparing to host a professional development conference in Seattle in May.

"It's a huge undertaking," Sawtelle said.

More than 250 CGOs from bases all over the country are set to come to the Northwest for the event, which is titled "Building the Strategic-Minded CGO."

The group will also unveil a new environmental plan, "Green as We Go," on base and locally early next year.

"It's designed to encourage people to pick up trash as they go through their day-to-day business," Moore said.

November 26, 2011 at 6:24am

Reservists get suspended for fitness

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- Never miss a workout again. On duty, off duty or even on the road, Reservists can get fit.

"There are no more excuses," said Capt. Carrianne Culy, 446th Airlift Wing fitness program manager.

Culy, assistant officer in charge, manpower and personnel flight with the 446th Force Support Squadron, was authorized to purchase 100 TRX suspension trainer kits to enhance the wing fitness program and grant Reservists access to fitness any time, any place.

Reservists commonly find it hard to squeeze in time to work out during their civilian jobs or when they are on the road for temporary duties or deployments. Traditional Reservists don't have mandatory physical training sessions during the day, three times a week, like their active-duty counterparts.

"The initial goal is to train as many physical training leaders as possible at first. The PTLs, or anyone who attends the TRX training session, can then share their knowledge among Reservists in their units so they use the kits properly," said the Gig Harbor native.

These "workout in a bag" kits will be distributed to unit PTLs, who will be offered hands on training at the Fitness Annex from certified TRX instructors during the December Reserve training weekend.

According to Culy, the 5-pound bags contain suspension straps, a DVD and military fitness guides, equipped with ideas for strength training workouts on the road, and are a great tool to keep Reservists focused on fitness whenever, wherever.

Reservists can check out the fitness bags for use from their respective unit PTLs.

As a reminder, Culy and other PTLs hold a regularly scheduled fitness class at the base track every Saturday at 3 p.m. during the primary Reserve training weekend. All Reservists are encouraged to attend.

For more information about the wing fitness program or if you are interested in attending the upcoming TRX suspension trainer classes, please contact Culy at 982-1344 or via e-mail at

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