Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

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December 28, 2010 at 11:28pm

McChord to receive new C-17 integrated training center

According to Air Force Magazine Online, the Air Force has awarded Boeing a $44 million contract to supply C-17 integrated training centers to three Globemaster bases, the company announced.  
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, will receive the first ITC in the first quarter of 2012. McChord Field, which has 54 C-17s, will receive the second system in the third quarter of 2012, and an undisclosed third location will receive the third in early 2013.
"We are proud to add to the Air Force's training capability and support warfighter readiness with these new devices," said Mark McGraw, who oversees Boeing's training systems.
The ITCs consist of a weapon systems trainer, pilot and co-pilot station, loadmaster station, and related courseware and support equipment. The contract could be worth up to $72 million if two options are exercised.   

December 23, 2010 at 9:59am

446th AW hosts Employer Orientation Day

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- The next 446th Airlift Wing Employer Orientation Day is April 2. Reservists from the 446th AW at McChord Field can nomination their immediate supervisor, their human resources specialists, or an executive or owner of the business they work for, to spend the day with the wing. 

Applications, available here in the related links box, should be completed and submitted electronically. 

Participants will learn about the Air Force Reserve, the 446th Airlift Wing and its missions, and how Reservists serve. 

The April 2 employer orientation day will include demonstrations of the deployment processing line, the equipment used by Reservists to protect themselves from chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear attacks, explosive ordnance disposal techniques, and medical requirements. 

The employers and their sponsoring Reservists will also board a C-17 for a two-hour flight, which will include an airdrop demonstration and a combat offload. 

Applications are taken on a first come, first serve basis. Reservists interested in sponsoring their employer for the April 2 employer orientation day need to submit an application to the 446th AW Public Affairs Office by March 1. The application in a .PDF format can be downloaded from the 446th AW public Web site (see related links box accompanying this article).  After downloading the application, fill it out and use the "Submit" button on the top right corner of the form to return the application to public affairs.  If you have questions, contact the 446th AW Public Affairs Office at (253) 982-9135.    

December 14, 2010 at 10:32am

Nurse commissioning program seeks enlisted applicants

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- Air Force officials are seeking active-duty enlisted Airmen to apply for the fall 2011 Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program.

The program offers enlisted members an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree in a high-need academic major. 

Air Force Personnel Center officials will conduct the annual NECP board May 9 to 13 and select up to 50 enlisted members.

NECP students will complete their degree at a college or university with an Air Force ROTC detachment or a college or university with a cross-town agreement. 

Students will commission after passing the National Council Licensure Examination and then attend commissioned officer training and the nurse transition program. Students will attend school year-round for up to 24 consecutive calendar months, including summer sessions.

A cross-town agreement is an agreement between a host school and an ROTC detachment and another school in the local area that contains a clause allowing students to attend a school while tuition and fees are paid by the ROTC detachment.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be active duty, E-4 and above 
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Be commissioned by age 42 
  • Be worldwide qualified 
  • Meet all of the requirements for commissioning 
  • Meet all prerequisites to complete an academic review 

Applicants should have completed 59 semester hours of graded college coursework from a regionally accredited college or university and completed general psychology, nutrition, statistics, anatomy and physiology I and II with labs, microbiology with lab and chemistry I and II with labs.

Interested Airmen must notify AFPC officials of intent to apply no later than Feb. 28. Transcripts for an academic evaluation should be sent no later than March 28, with a final application submitted by April 25.

For more details on application procedures, visit a local base education office.     

December 10, 2010 at 10:05am

446th AES partners with Madigan for exercise


Madigan Healthcare System and 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron recently teamed up to work together in a patient reception team exercise held at McChord Field and at Madigan Army Medical Center, Dec. 7.

As part of the exercise, Reservists from the 446th AES and medical Soldiers from Madigan simulated receiving mass patients from overseas that included providing detailed patient care and transportation from McChord Field to Madigan. The focus of the exercise was to establish a patient reception area as part of the Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense Contingency Hospital System for patient evacuation.

The role of the 446th AES was to provide patient care and conduct the patient hand-off from the aircraft to the Madigan medical personnel.

"It's a great opportunity for joint training," said Col. Jan Moore-Harbert, 446th AES commander. "We do these exercises to get a better understanding of the agencies involved and what everybody's roles are, so everyone can communicate properly and focus on giving patients quality care when faced with these types of scenarios."

The squadron has worked with the Army before, but this exercise put them in a different situation with a shorter time element and fewer assets, resulting in having to do more with less.

"We've conducted joint exercises with the Army on many occasions," said Maj. Peter Jorgensen, 446th AES operations officer. "But this one was shorter in duration and we had limited resources. However, it's good to get reacquainted with our Army counterparts and educate each other on our respective missions."

Major Jorgensen played a major function in the exercise.

"My fundamental responsibility as the aeromedical operations officer was to control the aeromedical evacuation activities such as supervising the execution of the AE process and coordinating AE activities to ensure the Air Force part of the mission was safely and effectively accomplished."

His efforts were greatly recognized by one of the main coordinators of the exercise, Lt. Col. Eric Tobiason, Madigan Healthcare System operations officer.

"Major Jorgensen and his team got involved right from the get go," he said. "The Air Force really embraced this (exercise) from the beginning. Major Jorgensen pretty much formed the mission from the aircraft portion to the hangar. We were tremendous in partnering with the execution and realism of the exercise."

Madigan and the 446th AES taught one another how each service operates in an emergency situation such as a mass casualty exercise. 

"We trained new Army personnel on how to load the aircraft, specifics on carrying litters, and the ins and outs of taking care of different patients and loading them on the ambuses," said Master Sgt. Pamela Higgins, 446th ASTS medical technician.

This training gives the services a better understanding of their respective missions. 

"It's really important to be able to do these exercise and work all the specific elements of training," said Colonel Moore-Harbert. "The Air Force has a better idea of what the Army does in a joint environment and it helps break the culture and language barriers between the branches, so we can work together seamlessly."

Overall, Major Jorgensen marks the exercise a success.

"I'm very pleased with the outcome and I feel all of the individuals involved in the exercise had a good experience and got in some great training experience," he said. "Most of all, it gave us the opportunity to learn from one another and develop processes for future events between the Army and the Air Force."

Those future events will happen as early as August 2011. This exercise is a precursor to a much larger exercise that will be taking place sometime in late summer 2011, said Major Jorgensen. It will involve all three medical squadrons from the 446th Airlift Wing and the medical units from the JBLM Lewis Main.

The Reservists from the 446th AES are ready for that challenge.

"This was a great training opportunity for all involved and I know the 446th AES looks forward to the next opportunity to work with our Army counterparts."    

July 20, 2010 at 10:03am

Restructured Military Spouse Career Program resumes

The DoD sent out this press release today:

The Department of Defense announced today the resumption of a restructured military spouse career advancement account program - MyCAA, following a comprehensive review.  The program will be available to spouses of service members in the pay grades of E1-E5, W1-W2 and O1-O2 beginning October 25 at 8 a.m. EDT.

"The changes announced today reflect a return to the original intent of the program which is to help military spouses, with the greatest need, successfully enter, navigate and advance in portable careers," said Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.  "We fully support the program and are committed to ensuring the program's sustainability.  To that end, we are making several critical operational changes."

Amongst these changes, eligible spouses will receive a total of $4,000 in DoD-funded financial aid, with an annual cap of $2,000 per fiscal year; funding must be used within a three-year time period from the start date of the first class; and must be used to obtain an associates' degree, licensure or certification.  A waiver may be granted when fees for licensure or certification require an up-front fee greater than $2,000 and up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000.

"The MyCAA program popularity grew beyond our expectations and became too expensive to continue.  Therefore, we are returning to the original intent of the program in a way that is attainable and fiscally responsible for the Defense Department," said Stanley. "As we look to the future, we envision a program that is much broader than DoD's financial assistance component.  Military spouses will be guided along a more holistic approach to career planning."

Under the long-term program guidelines, career counselors will continue to work with all military spouses to help develop career and education goals and plans, and assist them in identifying and accessing available federal education benefits toward these goals.

"Families play a crucial role in supporting our men and women on the battlefield.  When service members are confident that their families at home have access to resources and support, they are better able to focus on their mission," said Stanley.  "The Defense Department is committed to investing in military families.  When we invest in the well-being of the family, we invest in the well-being of the force."

More information can be found on the MyCAA Web site:

June 18, 2010 at 11:28am

MyCAA program may be limited to job training

This isn't good news for spouses looking to pursue a four-year degree through the MyCAA program.

Read more here.

Filed under: Dependent, Education,

March 11, 2010 at 12:15pm

ASE certification available at McChord Field

Automotive Service Excellence Exams will be given at JBLM-McChord Field, May 6-11. The registration fee is $36 per individual and covers the entire testing cycle; each exam costs $28.

For more information, click here.   

Filed under: Education, Training,

February 8, 2010 at 10:39am

Family support event for reservists, guardsmen

(446th AW PA) — The 446th Mission Support Squadron's Airman and Family Readiness Center will host its third Yellow Ribbon post-deployment workshop at the Red Lion Inn, in Olympia Feb. 20-21. 

The Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is a Congressional-mandated program that provides military people and their families with information, services, referrals and outreach opportunities available to them, to support their life transitions. 

Reservists with the 446th AW who have deployed for 90 days or more in support of current operations and family members who attend, are eligible to have their expenses reimbursed. Guardsmen and reservists who have not been deployed are ineligible for reimbursement, but are welcome as well. Previous workshop participants are encouraged to attend. 

Topics to be covered at the workshop include financial counseling, effective communication tips, the 'Troops to Teachers' initiative, education programs, veteran service organizations, Tricare and other veteran benefits. 

For more information on eligibility, accommodations, and daycare and registration, contact Master Sgt. Steven Thomas, NCO in charge of the center, at (253) 982-5330. 

To find out more about the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration program and to find workshops,visit    

January 20, 2010 at 5:09pm

Paper airplane contest

The Olympic Flight Museum in Olympia hosts the 10th annual Paper Airplane School & Contest from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13. The event is open to participants of all ages, and will focus on various types of folding and flying paper airplanes - from simple examples to the "cutting edge" in paper airplane technology.

Experts will be on hand to guide participants from construction, first flight and advance maneuvering. A distance and spot landing contest will begin at 2:30 p.m., with prizes awarded in various categories. Admission for flight school participants is $7, which includes professional instruction, all construction materials and a snack. Spectator and general admission is $5. Children 6 and younger are free.  The Olympic Flight Museum is located at the Olympia Regional Airport. 

For more information, visit or call (360) 705-3925.

Filed under: Education, Olympia, History,

November 16, 2009 at 2:10pm

Military children are a strong bunch

On Friday, I had the pleasure of attending a military family support summit at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The summit provided a great forum for educators, community leaders and private agencies to get together and collaborate on ideas and resources to support military families.

The morning panel featured a group of military teens who passed the microphone down the line answering a slew of questions designed to tap into subjects such as what it's like to be a military child, challenges each face when they change schools, how school administrators can better help incoming students and how each deal with their emotions when a parent is deployed.

Although some of the teens clearly weren't used to speaking in large groups(especially growing up in the age of MySpace and Facebook), I was impressed with how each one responded to the different questions.

When asked how she coped with her father's deployment, one teen responded, "I don't see it as coping — I see it as a part of my life and a part of our family."

Another teen said that while her and her older siblings were able to connect with their father on his deployment through letters and e-mails, she said her youngest sister (around age 5) was able to connect better with where her dad was and what he was doing through a gift from the country he sent her.

The panel was also emotional, as another teen said that one the most effective things a teacher can do to see how they are doing during a deployment is to listen.

"It can make our day," he said.

Another girl chimed in: "A hug can go a long way."

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