AMC commander visits McChord’s Airmen, dedicates aircraft

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

The commander of Air Mobility Command visited McChord Aug. 31 to speak with Airmen and dedicate a C-17 Globemaster III to a local Medal of Honor recipient.

Team McChord welcomed Gen. Duncan McNabb, a former 62nd Airlift Wing commander, with a standing ovation in Hangar 4 during a Wing All Call.

During the All Call, General McNabb took time to thank Airmen and express his gratitude to their families for enabling them to accomplish all that they do.

"There's no question about this great base and how you go about your mission," General McNabb said. "[McChord] is such a great place to bring the C-17 into and search for new ways to make things better. I can't even put into words how proud I am of you every day."

Based on visits earlier in the day to McChord's Wheel and Tire and One-Stop shops, the general praised McChord's efforts in implementing Air Force Smart Operations 21 measures.

"The most important resource the Air Force has is your time," he said. "Nobody can [cut the waste] better than McChord."

General McNabb also took time to talk about McChord and AMC's role in the Global War on Terror and how Team McChord continues to positively represent the in humanitarian missions.

"It's not just representing ," he said gesturing toward the American flag painted on the tail of the C-17 parked adjacent to the stage. "It is . It's carrying our message of hope -- and you all make that happen."

Later in the day, General McNabb honored Medal of Honor recipient retired Col. Joe Jackson by dedicating one of McChord's C-17s as the Spirit of Col. Joe M. Jackson.

Colonel Jackson expressed his thanks and appreciation for his family sitting in the front row and everyone who made the ceremony possible. He then elaborated on his legacy involved with transport aircraft.

"I flew fighters for 17 years and nobody ever called me a fighter pilot," he said. "I flew reconnaissance airplanes for 3 years and nobody ever called me a reconnaissance pilot. I flew C-123s for one year and I'll forever be known as a transport pilot."

While he likes to make light of his time in the C-123, Colonel Jackson flew nearly 300 combat missions in the aircraft during the Vietnam War. It was during this time that he received the nation's highest award for military valor for a dangerous, impromptu, rescue operation of three American military personnel.

"Joe is a living legend, a hero, a great patriot and when [C-17] 0184 is out there as the Spirit of Joe Jackson, everybody will know what this means," General McNabb said. "It's going to be awesome for all the folks flying on this airplane thinking of this great legacy you trusted them with."