AMC commander visits McChord Field, delivers new C-17

By Staff Sgt. Frances Kriss/ 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs on February 28, 2012

Gen. Raymond E. Johns, Jr., Air Mobility Command commander, visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord Feb. 24 to deliver McChord Field's newest C-17 Globemaster III aircraft.

During his short visit, Johns also took the opportunity to thank and inspire Airmen during a commander's call.

"First of all, I want to thank you for what you do," he said. "We deliver hope, fuel the fight and saves lives. You do that right here through airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation. You do these missions, and you are the best at it. All of us couldn't be prouder of you."

The general mentioned the missions that McChord Field Airmen have supported up until now including relief efforts in both Haiti and Japan.

"Every time our nation calls, you never hesitate," he said. "You have always said, 'yes' and answered the call."

In addition, he mentioned the Operation Deep Freeze aircrew from the 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings who flew a mission that conducted the first mid-winter medical evacuation, saving a woman's life.

"That's the kind of impact you have around the world," Johns said. "You touch thousands of people because you do whatever we ask."

Johns is no stranger to JBLM and the Puget Sound area. He was previously assigned to then McChord Air Force Base as the 62nd AW commander, from 1998 to 2000.

Because the 62nd AW is so close to his heart, Johns did something new at the commander's call. After his speech, he opened up the floor for Airmen to ask him questions.

Some of the questions asked included topics such as the Air Force inspection system, joint basing, force reductions and budget cuts.

"I was very impressed with the general's speech," said Capt. Dayle Hartung, 62nd AW assistant staff judge advocate. "It is always wonderful to hear the decision-making thought process from senior leaders and his acknowledgement of our Airman and mission's continued excellence. Taking the time to ask us what was on our minds was as genuine as it was informative."

AMC's primary mission out of the three Air Force mission areas of global vigilance, global reach and global power, is global reach. McChord Field's C-17 Globemaster III aircraft provide critical airlift and airdrop with speed and accuracy, able to reach anyone and any place in the world within 18 hours. McChord Field Airmen are simultaneously engaged in supporting operations in Afghanistan and Antarctica.

"You maintain and employ a machine that keeps Soldiers and Marines on the ground in the villages of Afghanistan safe," Johns said. "The speed and accuracy of our precision airdrop mission gets food, water and ammunition to them so they can continue their mission."

Johns departed McChord Field Saturday, continuing his official travels.

PHOTO: Gen. Raymond E. Johns, Jr., Air Mobility Command commander, presents a key to Master Sgt. Eric Burr, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, after delivering McChord Field's newest C-17 Globemaster III aircraft Feb. 24, 2012, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Frances Kriss)