McChord Airmen deploy for GWOT

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- While helping their squadrons prepare for the Logistics Standardization and Evaluation Program inspection Monday, many of McChord's maintainers, aerial porters and logistics readiness personnel were also preparing for deployments.
Chief Master Sgt. Daniel McLau-ghlin, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent, said he doesn't foresee the pace of deployments in support of the Global War on Terror slowing down.

"When they can build a plane that doesn't require maintenance we won't deploy," he said.

However until that happens, he said, 20 percent or more of his squadron will be deployed year-round to keep C-17 Globemaster IIIs flying around the world.

By deploying individual maintainers to busy installations such as Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan, the Air Force minimizes its costs since it does not need to send a maintenance team to Manas every time a jet needs to be fixed, said Chief McLaughlin.

However, maintenance personnel aren't the only Airmen who are continually tasked in support of GWOT.

Master Sgt. Brad Woodruff, 62nd Aerial Port Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of APS training, who returned earlier this year from a deployment to U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility, helped establish the aerial port control center at CENTCOM's combined air operations center.

The control center allowed aerial porters from around the AOR to contact the central command location and learn of missions that they needed to prepare for, Sergeant Woodruff said.

Airmen from the 62nd Logistics Readiness Squadron found themselves deploying throughout the year as well.

Senior Airman Charles Bowers, 62nd LRS vehicle maintenance flight journeyman, like many other logistics Airmen, was tasked to support Army operations after U.S. and coalition forces entered Iraq in 2003.

Airman Bowers worked with the Army in both Kuwait and Iraq as a convoy vehicle maintainer, where he said he experienced both a roadside bomb attack and a friendly-fire incident.

"It's definitely something I'll never forget," he said.