Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

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February 4, 2011 at 12:17pm

Alternate routes available for McChord Field commuters

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Construction at the McChord Field Main Gate begins Feb. 10. Traffic revisions at the gate, accessible from Interstate 5, Exit 125, will impact all travelers entering or leaving the installation at Bridgeport Way until the work is completed.  During the period of construction the traffic lanes in the area of the McChord Field Main Gate and the Visitor Center will be constricted to one lane inbound and one lane outbound.  

To mitigate traffic impact and minimize delays, additional routes will be available for McChord Field commuters and residents:

  • Woodbrook Housing Gate, recently closed for construction, will re-open Feb. 10. Extended hours of operation, from 5 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday - Friday (except federal holidays) will remain in effect until the McChord Main Gate construction is completed. The gate is accessible from Interstate 5, Exit 124.
  • North Gate, recently opened to offset the impact of the Woodbrook Housing gate closure, will remain open during McChord Main Gate construction. Hours of operation will be 5 a.m.-7 p.m., except federal holidays. The gate is located at the north end of McChord Field, and is accessible from Interstate 5, Exit 127 via Highway 512 (at Steele St., proceed southbound to 112 St. S., then turn right - the gate will be ¾ mile ahead, to the left), or via the South Tacoma Way/Interstate 5 overpass (from exit, proceed southbound on South Tacoma Way/Pacific Highway, and turn left to continue east on South Tacoma Way. The gate on east side of the Interstate 5 overpass).

The McChord Main Gate will remain open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, during construction- but traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Commuters are especially encouraged to use alternate routes, when possible.

Starting Feb. 4, the public can obtain additional information about the construction project at: is scheduled for completion in May.

January 25, 2011 at 4:12pm

Construction on McChord Field gate begins Feb. 10

JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. -- Joint Base Lewis-McChord McChord Field main gate will be undergoing a major facelift starting Feb. 10.

JBLM Directorate of Emergency Services Chief of Installation Access Larry Freeman said everything is in place to begin work on the main gate.

"Starting Feb. 10, the Woodbrook Housing Gate will be back open for business," Mr. Freeman said.

As soon as the housing gate reopens, another gate project is set to begin.

"At the main gate at McChord they are going to start setting up cones, barriers and signage for that construction," Mr. Freeman said. "They'll start setting up late in the afternoon on Feb. 9."

The gate will be open to traffic that day, while crews place signs and cones. 

The traffic revisions that will affect motorists at McChord's main gate will begin Feb. 10, he said, the day the Woodbrook Gate is scheduled to reopen.

"They'll be working on the canopy at the main gate and the guard booths as well as everything that's underneath the canopy," Mr. Freeman said.

The access control point will remain in operation throughout construction, with some lane shifting of the inbound and outbound lanes, he said.

"It will initially close both of the inbound lanes," said Mr. Freeman. "They'll be closed Feb. 9 until April 17."

During that time, the two outbound lanes will exist as one inbound and one outbound lane, he said.

"After motorists get past where the canopy currently is, we're going to route traffic back to the inbound lanes and then we'll have our guards set up to check IDs and screen vehicles before we allow them to enter the installation," Mr. Freeman said. "We won't sacrifice security for convenience."

Alternate routes are designed to minimize delays, he said.

"We're going to extend the hours for the Woodbrook (housing area) Gate," said Mr. Freeman. "For the entire duration of the project, we'll have the gate open from (5 a.m.) to (7 p. m.), Monday through Friday."

The housing gate will continue to be closed on weekends and federal holidays, he said.
North Gate will remain in operation and will mirror the hours of operation of the Woodbrook Gate.

"We're hoping people will use the Woodbrook Gate and North Gate to get on and off McChord," said Mr. Freeman.

If people use the alternate gates and plan for some delay, the traffic flow during construction should be close to normal, he said.

"Phase 2 is where we're going to have to close down the two outbound lanes starting April 18 and lasting until May 2," Mr. Freeman said. "During this phase we will convert the two inbound lanes at the main gate to one inbound lane and one outbound lane." 

Throughout construction the McChord Field Visitor Center will remain in operation, though using other offices for routine transactions is recommended. 

Vehicle registration will not be conducted at the McChord Field Visitor Center during the duty day during construction, Mr. Freeman said. Vehicle registration at the visitor center will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and all day on weekends and federal holidays. During the construction, Building 100 will be the primary location to obtain decals on McChord Field.

Starting Feb. 4, the public can use the following Web address to obtain additional information about the construction project: 

December 9, 2010 at 4:14pm

Reservists save Lakewood resident's life

JOINT BASE LEWIS - MCCHORD, Wash. -- Some quick thinking and vital medical training by two Reservists helped save a man suffering from an apparent cardiac arrest on Dec. 3 in Lakewood, Wash. 

While driving near Farwest Drive and Military Road at about 9 a.m., Senior Master Sgt. Bill Robison, a 446th Aerospace Medicine Squadron medical technician here, saw an unconscious man lying on the side of street with several people standing nearby.
Sergeant Robison, who is also a nursing student at a local university, abruptly stopped his vehicle and stepped directly into action by performing CPR.

"I was on my way to school to take a test," said Sergeant Robison. "I pulled over and got out of my car and people were just standing there." 

Sergeant Robison said one of the bystanders told him the man "just went down" and another individual called 911.

"I checked his pulse and he had no pulse," said Sergeant Robison. "I rolled him onto his back and put my ear on his chest and I didn't hear anything, so I started chest compressions and rescue breathing."

As Sergeant Robison continued to administer critical CPR for the man, he heard the distant sirens signaling arriving help. 

Answering the call for help was yet another Reservist from the 446th Airlift Wing here. Lt. Col. Dennis Woxen, 446th AW Inspector General, also a firefighter and paramedic for the Lakewood, Wash., Fire Department, Station 22 in his civilian job.

"We got toned out to go out on call for cardiac arrest - man down," said Colonel Woxen. "I was the lead medic on call and when we arrived at the scene there were a couple of folks doing CPR on a middle-aged male patient who had no pulse."

After instructing his team to take over CPR, Colonel Woxen said he recognized Sergeant Robison.

"It was good to see another Reservist there," said Colonel Woxen. "Sergeant Robison's skills in emergent care were evident and the extra hands on scene were a great help."

Colonel Woxen said he and his team of medics continued to administer care for the patient until his pulse and breathing resumed, before transporting him to a local hospital. 

"Bill performed extremely well," said Colonel Woxen. "Most folks in the medical field don't know emergent medicine, but out in the field when things go south and somebody needs help, having that extra set of hands that can assist with CPR correctly clearly made a difference in this individual's outcome."

Training for any job is important, but learning life-saving skills like CPR is critical. 

"When you're in the medical field the training component is so important because if we go to battle, we're trained to use the wingman concept to save our partner," said Maj. Cory Myers, 446th AMDS nurse, who works with Sergeant Robison. "It's nice to know that one our own, in or out of uniform, is doing their job and doing it well."     

December 3, 2010 at 10:37am

Woodbrook Gate at McChord closes for construction

MCCHORD FIELD - Joint Base Lewis-McChord will begin a major construction project at the Woodbrook Gate on McChord Field on Monday, December 6.  This construction project will result in a complete closure of the gate until mid-February, 2011.

The Woodbrook Gate is adjacent to Interstate 5 exit 124 and provides access from Gravelly Lake Drive to JBLM McChord Field through the Woodbrook Housing Area. This gate is normally open from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m. Monday - Friday.

To mitigate the impact on traffic that this gate closure will cause, the base will increase manning at the McChord Field Main Gate to increase the numbers of vehicles processing through the gate. Additionally, the base will open the McChord Field North Gate located at the north end of McChord Field to allow for an alternate entry and exit point to the base.  The North Gate will be open from 6-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.

The Woodbrook Gate construction will include the installation of a raised island with a guard booth for security personnel, and the installation of an overhead roof to provide protection from the weather for security personnel as well as customers while checking IDs. The construction will also include improved lighting at the gate.

JBLM officials are working to maintain the same level of service for drivers entering and exiting the base and will provide construction status updates as work progresses. 

Filed under: Lakewood,

July 22, 2010 at 10:31am

Air Expo 2010 numbers are in

The Air Expo 2010 attendance numbers are in, and the results aren't quite as impressive as 2008, but expo officials are pleased nevertheless.

The News Tribune has the story here.

June 3, 2010 at 3:33pm

McChord Field I- 5 exit closed this weekend

(446th AW PA) — Reservists traveling northbound on Interstate 5 will not be able to take Exit 125 June 5-6 to access McChord Field for the unit training assembly weekend.

Construction planned by the Washington State Department of Transportation calls for the closure of Exit 125 at Bridgeport Way for northbound travelers.

Alternate gates for reservists include the Housing Gate in the morning only both days, and the North Gate for both morning and afternoon commutes.  Security Forces Reservists will be manning both gates. 

Reservists may also check the status of the construction closure at    

April 8, 2010 at 12:48pm

Chamber seeks nominees for citizen-soldier awards

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber will recognize the Howard O. Scott Citizens of the Year at its 29th annual presentation May 4.

The chamber is currently seeking nominations for the award.  Guidelines are as follows:

1. A Reservist or National Guard member, any service;

2. A resident of Tacoma or Pierce County;

3. Professional in both military and civilian occupations;

4. An exemplary volunteer in the community

5. Additional consideration given if the nominee is an employee of a Chamber member or owns a business that is a Chamber member.

Nominations should be no longer than two pages (no photos).  While military professionalism is important, this is usually a given standard, according to a letter from Gary Brackett with the chamber.  As such, he recommends the nomination focus on the nominee' s volunteerism in the community.

Selection of the honoree will be made by the Military Affairs Committee of the chamber.  Wing Reservists' nominations should be submitted to Lt. Col. Anna Sullivan, 446th AW Public Affairs, in Bldg. 1214.  Deadline for submitting nominees to public affairs is April 19.

Courtesy 446th AW Public Affairs

January 4, 2010 at 6:43pm

Local author book signing

Steilacoom resident and Air Force spouse Joan Brown will sign copies of her new book, "Move And Other Four-Letter Words," from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 9) at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in the Lakewood Towne Center.

Brown, who's husband spent three years stationed at McChord from 1976 to 1979, details through her own experiences the everyday challenges faced by military wives throughout the world and different branches of the service.

The book is a collection of humorous stories and chronicles the family's more than 20 moves. 

Copies can be purchased here, Barnes and Noble or other local bookstores. 

Filed under: Family Readiness, Lakewood,


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