Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

Posts made in: January, 2017 (6) Currently Viewing: 1 - 6 of 6

January 5, 2017 at 11:59am

Enlisted nursing programs accepting applications

The Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Programs helps you finish your degree while the Direct Enlisted Commissioning Program is open to enlisted airmen with a nursing degree and license. Photo credit: Airman 1st Class R. Alex Durbin

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas - The Nurse Enlisted and Direct Enlisted Commissioning Programs are accepting applications from active-duty enlisted airmen through Jan. 27, 2017, for the April selection boards.

NECP offers the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing at a college or university with an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment or a college or university with a "cross-town agreement." Applicants are required to attend school year-round in a resident-based program for up to 24 consecutive calendar months, to include summer sessions. Airmen selected by the NECP board will start school in fall 2017.

The DEC program allows airmen to commission into the Nurse Corps if they already possess a nursing degree and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX.

"Qualified, dedicated nurses are critical to the military and civilian communities," said Maj. Karen Jackson, Nurse Education program manager at the Air Force Personnel Center. "Candidates go through rigorous screening to identify those who are ready for the responsibility and highly likely to succeed in the school and career field."

To be considered for the NECP or DEC boards, applicants must be U.S. citizens with rank of senior airman or higher and no more than 10 years total active federal service (12 years for DEC) as of April 30, 2017. In addition, airmen must meet time-on-station and retainability requirements, possess current security clearances, be worldwide qualified and commissioned by age 42.

Upon successful completion of their degrees, airmen who pass the NCLEX and receive their nursing licenses will be commissioned. Both DEC and NECP candidates will then attend Commissioned Officer Training and the Nurse Transition Program, and move to a final assignment location.

For complete application instructions and requirements, visit myPers. Select "Active Duty Enlisted" from the dropdown menu and search "NECP" or "DEC."

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers.

January 12, 2017 at 11:10am

Squadron of the year

Members of the 1st Weather Squadron pose for a group photo Jan. 6, 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Divine Cox

Airmen from the 1st Weather Squadron earned bragging rights after recently being named by the Air Force as the most outstanding weather squadron for 2016.

"I was ecstatic for the airmen here in the squadron," said Lt. Col. Troy Kirk, 1st Weather Squadron commander. "You don't always see the fruit of your labor and we work really hard here at the 1st Weather Squadron. This award is just a combination of all the hard work, dedication and awesomeness that the airmen do every day."

The Air Force Weather Squadron of the Year award recognizes a weather organization each year for excellent support to our nation's defense.

"I believe this is the squadrons first time winning this award," said Kirk. "This award is a hard one to get because there is a lot of awesome weather squadrons throughout the Air Force. We have six detachments in operating locations across the Pacific, Japan, Alaska, and Hawaii. We are all doing great things, so to win is just a great achievement and recognition for our squadron."

Kirk said that he knew the squadron accomplished a lot of great things the past year, so he wrote the AF form 1206 and submitted it to the major command.

The 1st Weather Squadron earned top honors for its continued support to JBLM's 1st Corps and its mission.

The squadron is globally engaged; 121 airmen were deployed in search of 54 contingency and training operations, while deployed, they executed more than 2,000 man days and were awarded 10 Army decorations.

They also oversaw 1st Corps Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise weather support. First WS airmen tailored 207 briefings in search of Republic of Korea operations plans and trained 450 joint forces personnel.

The squadron also guided 30-day support during Exercise Rim of the Pacific, the world's largest biennial maritime exercise conducted out of Hawaii, ultimately strengthening the alliance with 27 joint partners.

"We provide support for the 1st Corps staff whenever they deploy on real-world humanitarian disaster relief missions," said Capt. Nick Prosinski, 1st Corps Weather Team officer in charge. "We do annual exercises with both joint and coalition partners as well as support bi-lateral exercises."

Also, throughout the year, the squadron provided weather support during a joint United States/Australian exercise. During this exercise the squadron developed 38 updates, supported 200 aircraft, enabled joint capabilities, resulting in 33,000 troops certified.

Additionally, the 1st Weather Squadron was the lead support squadron of the U.S. Army Pacific Pathways. While supporting the USARPAC, 11 airmen spread across eight USARPAC, 11 airmen spread across eight nations trained 20,000 allied personnel.

Finally, the 1st WS drove the Denali rescue mission. During the rescue mission, airmen from the squadron identified a six-hour execution window amongst four days of severe weather, saving six lives.

Kirk said these are good times for his squadron.

"Winning this award speaks volumes about the type of airmen we have working here," said Kirk. "We do a lot of good work here. We are supporting the Army in every exercise that they do and our hard work was validated with this award."

January 19, 2017 at 1:44pm

446th Airlift Wing Spouse and Employer of the Year nominations

Photo credit: David L. Yost

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McChord - Nominations for both the 446th Airlift "The Rainier" Wing Spouse of the Year and the 446th AW Employer of the Year are due to the 446th AW/CCE org mailbox by Feb. 11.

The process only requires a simple memo or letter of nomination explaining the great support your spouse or employer has provided to be submitted to your unit commander. Please include details following this criteria:

1. Spouse must be legally married to a member of for the entire reporting period of Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2016. The award recognizes spouses of military members for their significant contributions to the Air Force, their community, and their spouse's career. Spouses who are a military member of any service are not eligible to be nominated for the award.

2. Employer must be associated with their 446th AW reservist for the entire reporting period of Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2016. The award recognizes employers for employment policies and practices that are supportive of their employee's participation in the Reserve.

Unit commanders will ensure that any reservist who submits their spouse or employer for one of these awards meets appropriate eligibility standards, and then forwards the nomination to the wing executive officer at

Both the selected spouse and employer of the year will receive a congratulatory letter from the wing commander inviting them to the 446th AW Annual Awards Banquet. At the banquet they will be presented an award to recognize their support and contributions to their airman and the wing.

Commanders, please encourage your airmen to submit nominations!

January 19, 2017 at 2:18pm

Smith takes command of 62nd Ops Group

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, presents the 62nd Operations Group guidon to Lt. Col. Brian Smith, incoming 62nd OG commander during a ceremony Jan. 6, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Sean Tobin

Lt. Col. Brian Smith took command of the 62nd Operations Group during a Change of Responsibility ceremony Jan. 6, at the McChord Field Theater at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Smith took command from Col. David Owens, the former 62nd OG commander, who is moving on to command the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd AW commander, presided over the ceremony, and explained to attendees why the ceremony was a change of responsibility, rather than the traditional change of command ceremony.

"This was unexpected," said Kosinski. "I knew (Owens) would go into wing command, I just didn't know it would be this soon."

Owens will take command of the 317th AW later this year, but first he will attend training on the C-130 Hercules airframe.  Because of that, the change of responsibility occurred approximately six months earlier than planned.

Kosinski said he couldn't think of anyone better suited than Smith to take command.

"Being in charge of the best operations group in the Air Force is a huge responsibility, and he is everything you could want in a commander," Kosinski said of Smith, who was the 62nd OG deputy commander prior to taking command of the group. "I know we are in good hands."

After the ceremonial passing of the unit guidon, Smith thanked Owens for leading and mentoring him during his time as the deputy commander.

"This has been the best assignment I've ever had working for a leader," said Smith.

Smith also outlined his vision for the unit as they move forward.

"Nothing changes," he told the members in attendance. "Safe mission execution is what we do, and it's what we're going to keep doing."

January 20, 2017 at 12:26pm

Disability Evaluation System rolls out new email notification

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) - A new email notification system rolls out this month for the Air Force's Disability Evaluation System that will enhance customer service and increase overall transparency in the Physical Evaluation Board process.

Instead of airmen calling their Physical Evaluation Board liaison officer or the Air Force Personnel Center, they will get automatic email notifications when their case progresses through the DES process.

"We have heard from our servicemembers that this is a source of frustration for them," said Guy Palumbo, the Air Force Physical Disability division chief. "In response to that, we have improved the process to better serve those who use it."

There are four main phases under DES: the Medical Evaluation Board, the Physical Evaluation Board, the transition and the reintegration. The email notification process begins when the airman's disability case is submitted to AFPC Physical Disability Operations.

The notification emails, sent through myPers to each airman processing through the DES, further explain each particular step in the PEB process.

"We're excited to be able to provide this service," said Gene Dwiggins, the Disability Operations branch chief. "We are committed to ensuring our airmen and their families receive the support they deserve during their service and when they separate."

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following the instructions on the Air Force Retiree Services website.

January 26, 2017 at 11:54am

373rd TRS provide world-class training

Staff Sgt. Kyle Stringer, 373rd Training Squadron field training detachment instructor, teaches a class to students in the 373rd field training detachment building Jan. 19, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Senior Airman Divine Cox

Teaching is something every instructor and supervisor in the 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 12, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, takes very seriously as they provide world-class aircraft maintenance training to meet the evolving expeditionary mission requirements of the C-17 Globemaster III community.

The 373rd TRS is part of the Air Education and Training Command that is geographically separated from the 82nd Training Group at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Stringer, 373rd TRS field training detachment instructor, said the squadron is similar to the technical school airmen go through but with the addition of aircraft-specific and in-depth system training.

"We focus on three different types of aircraft maintenance courses," said Stringer.

The first course the squadron focuses on is the additional training crew chiefs require after completing tech school at Sheppard AFB.

"They start their technical school down at Sheppard, do a four- to five-week course down there, then come here and do the J3 course (pipeline) where they are qualified on the exact aircraft they will be working on," said Stringer. "At Sheppard they learn how to use tools and here they get trained on how to work on the C-17 aircraft."

The second type of training the squadron focuses on is training for prior service.

"Any maintenance personnel that work on aircraft that is stationed here or from other bases can come and get trained on more advanced technology," said Stringer. "They will learn flight controls, how to rig flight controls mechanically and electrically, and what all goes into those systems."

The final type of training the squadron focuses on is training international students.

"We (instructors) get the unique opportunity to train students from other countries," said Stringer. "We get to impart our knowledge skill into international students so that they can continue to maintain their own aircraft."

According to Master Sgt. Bryan Hill, 373rd TRS section chief, more than 600 students, to include internationals, graduate from their courses each year.

"I am very proud to have a full house of subject matter experts that can get really deep into the actual systems," said Hill. "We have thirty-four awesome instructors here that help provide mission-ready airmen to the Air Force."

The satisfaction that comes with teaching has been very humbling for Stringer, who previously worked on the flightline where he was teaching accelerated on-the-job training to new crew chiefs.

Stringer said that he loves teaching and wanted to teach more advance concepts and to have more influence on people and to share his knowledge.

"We have a very important job here at the detachment," said Stringer. "No C-17 will be able to fly without a crew chief. You can have all the specialties that you want but when it comes down to the basic maintenance for the C-17, you have a crew chief for a reason.

"If the planes don't fly, then there are an endless list of missions that will not get accomplished. These planes are critical to the Air Force mission and our job is to keep them in the air by teaching the individuals who are out there working the maintenance missions."

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