Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: June, 2013 (13) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 13

June 3, 2013 at 9:23am

Why Washington state didn't receive the KC-46A

There's a good chance Washington state isn't below this KC-46A. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

The Air Force has officially announced that the first active-duty led KC-46A main operating base (MOB 1) will be located at McConnell AFB in Kansas.  

According to the results of the Air Force's site surveys, the selection of McConnell AFB will allow for the Special Operations Air Refueling training mission to remain close to its primary customers in the Southeast.

Fairchild AFB, located in Spokane and home to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, was chosen to be one of two alternative bases - a decision that did not sit well with Gov. Jay Inslee given that Boeing built the KC-46A aircraft.

"This is an extremely unfortunate decision by the Air Force. Fairchild Air Force Base has a strong tradition as an integral part of our national defense and is ideally located, particularly as U.S. strategy calls for directing greater attention to the Pacific theater. The Air Force's decision today does not follow that important national policy," Inslee wrote in a public statement.


Filed under: News To Us, U.S. Air Force,

June 3, 2013 at 12:04pm

Photo: 446th Maintenance Group change of command

Photo credit: Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Sax

Col. Alan Lerner, 446th Maintenance Group commander, passed the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron guidon to Lt. Col. Maureen Carroll, former 446th Maintenance Squadron commander on McChord Field June 2. In the same ceremony, Lt. Col. Stephen Oliver assumed command of the 446th MXS from Carroll after serving as the 446th Maintenance Operations Flight commander.

June 4, 2013 at 3:33pm

Sexual assault is a "cancer," Gen. Mark A. Welsh III says

It was a busy morning for the heads of the U.S. armed forces. Staff Sgt. David Salanitri, a journalist with the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, files the report below.

WASHINGTON (AFNS) - The Air Force chief of staff testified in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee along with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and service chiefs from the Army, Navy Marine Corps and Coast Guard on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military June 4.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III re-emphasized to the committee the Air Force's commitment to combating sexual assault within its ranks and improving care for victims when it does occur.

Sexual assault "undermines the mission effectiveness of our great force," he said. "Nothing saddens me more than to know this cancer exists in our ranks."

According to Welsh, preventing sexual assault is every Airman's responsibility.


June 6, 2013 at 12:11pm

Advanced Combat Operations Training at JBLM

A KC-135 Stratotanker from Fairchild Air Force Base refuels a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord during an air refueling above Western United States, May 31. Photo credit: Senior Airman Taylor Curry

Sequestration has cut the Air Force's flying budget, but tanker aircrews are finding new ways get more training and experience out of each minute in the air.

The tactics and employment flight at Fairchild Air Force Base has teamed up with Travis Air Force Base and Joint Base Lewis-McChord to participate in quarterly Advanced Combat Operations Training (ACOT) exercises. The latest exercise occurred May 31, when a Fairchild associated unit from March Air Force Base sent two aircraft and crews that coordinated mission planning in what's called a large formation, consisting of four KC-135 Stratotankers.

These four tankers met large formations of C-17 Globemaster IIIs and KC-10 Extenders in the skies above Western United States to refuel. While this is the task that tanker crews perform every day all over the world, these rendezvous and refuelings were done without radio communication between the refuelers or the receivers.


June 6, 2013 at 2:27pm

Sequestration forces scale down of funerals for retirees

Federal budget cuts are straining honor guard programs across the nation. Today, the U.S. Air Force says it's forced to trim military funeral honors of retirees due to the sequestration. Below is a report filed by Capt. Lindsey Hahn, a journalist with the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs.

Due to the impact sequestration has on resources, Air Force Services is adjusting requirements for military funeral honors of retirees.

Air Force policy will revert to requiring a minimum of two personnel for retiree MFH details, consistent with statute and DoD policy.

The Air Force historically went a step further by providing a seven-member detail for all retiree funerals.


Filed under: Training, Memorial, News To Us,

June 13, 2013 at 12:16pm

Air Force removes 6 career fields from constrained list

As we recently reported, the Air Force recently announced that it would start the first phase of its fiscal 2014 NCO Retraining Program (NCORP), which invites noncommissioned officers to cross-train into undermanned career fields and be reclassified with a new Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). Potentially, those that are currently in overmanned career fields and choose not to participate in NCORP could face forced retraining or, in the worst-case scenario, separation from the Air Force entirely.

Today, the Air Force Personnel Center announced six enlisted career fields will be removed from the career job reservation constrained list, while 17 others will see lower quotas, beginning June 15.


Filed under: U.S. Air Force, News To Us,

June 17, 2013 at 6:04pm

Col. Craig Gaddis commands the 62nd MXG

Col. Craig Gaddis, 62nd Maintenance Group commander, speaks for the first time as the new leader of the 62nd MXG, June 14 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Jason Truskowski

Airmen of the 62nd Maintenance Group saluted their new commander during a change of command ceremony June 14.

Col. Craig Gaddis took command of the 62nd MXG from Col. Thomas Jackson, who will retire after 26 years of honorable service in the Air Force.

"Taking command is an opportunity I don't take lightly," said Gaddis. "I'm humbled to take command of the outstanding Airmen of the 62nd Maintenance Group and confident that we will continue to uphold this group's reputation of excellence."


June 19, 2013 at 8:43pm

Most McChord services to close for training day June 25

The McChord side of Joint Base Lewis-McChord will conduct a mandatory wing training day Tuesday.

Most McChord base services will be affected the entire day by this training.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause and recommend contacting the respective office you want to visit before coming to McChord Field Tuesday.

All Morale, Welfare and Recreation services, the McChord Exchange and its neighboring stores and food court, the commissary, child development centers, on-base banks and Burger King will not be affected by this training day.

For more information, contact the 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at 253.982.5637.

Master Sgt. Todd Wivell is a journalist with 62nd AW Public Affairs.

June 20, 2013 at 1:31pm

Could you be the next AMC Icon?

First Lt. Nicole White, from Scott Air Force Base, accepts her first place award after performing for a crowd of more than 200 at the Scott Air Force Base club Oct. 25, 2012. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

Air Mobility Command is searching for the next AMC Icon.

The AMC Icon program is loosely based around the hit TV program, American Idol.

All AMC installations will conduct base level talent shows during July and August. Local contestants compete for $1,000 in cash prizes. The top finishing Air Force vocalist will then compete for $2,000 in cash prizes at the command level.

This year's Icon will see one substantial change from previous years.

Base finalists will not travel to Headquarters AMC at Scott AFB to compete in a live performance.

Instead, AMC installations will submit a video of their finalist's performance to be judged by our expert panel of celebrity judges.

All videos will also be posted online for all to view. The top three finalists will receive cash awards of $1,000, $600 and $400; respectively.

The AMC Icon program also features a special category for those Air Force members not stationed on or near an AMC host base. AMC affiliate participants can enter by forwarding a music video showcasing their talents. Cash awards are available in this category as well, and the winner will also compete in the command finals.

Interested participants are encouraged to contact their base Force Support Squadron Marketing office for additional information including your base's local competition. Local base shows are open to all ID card holders 18 and older.

June 23, 2013 at 2:45pm

Air Rodeo competition set for 2015

The 19th Airlift Wing Rodeo team boards a C130-J July 17. They will be participating in Air Mobility Command's Rodeo 2009 in a readiness competition at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., July 19-24. U. S. Air Force photo: Senior Airman Jim Araos

Air Mobility Command has started preliminary planning for the next Mobility Air Force's Rodeo readiness competition, targeting July 2015.

Brig. Gen. Scott Goodwin, Air Mobility Command director of operations, said the biennial event is important despite the cancellation of this summer's Rodeo for budgetary reasons.

"We see direct benefits from Rodeo competitions, and those impacts have been felt globally," he said. "Rodeo lets us continue to develop skills of our Airmen and their ability to work with international partners for those unplanned events that happen throughout the world."

U.S. and allied nation teams typically travel to every two years to Washington state for Rodeo to participate in events that challenge the capabilities of airlift and air-refueling aircrews, as well as maintenance, aerial port, and aeromedical evacuation Airmen.

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