JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash --
The commander of Air Mobility Command visited McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, Jan. 25 and witnessed full-spectrum readiness in action.
According to Gen. Carlton Everhart II, full-spectrum readiness describes the way the Air Force maintains the skills and knowledge required to deploy quickly and operate effectively in a full range of combat environments.
Readiness and enabling warfighter lethality is a primary focus for AMC, and that was on display as Team McChord held operational readiness exercise Winterhook, Jan. 22-26.
“Being fully ready is a perishable skill,” said Everhart. “It’s critically important for Airmen to practice things like loading airplanes and to experience simulated chemical or biologically contaminated environments. Challenging scenarios ensure our Airmen are prepared, confident, and able to generate airplanes and get them out the door in any environment. ”
Everhart said he was impressed by the way the readiness scenarios generated questions from exercise participants. The general stressed the importance of asking if the way they are doing things is the best way, or if there are better ways of completing the task.
Exercises like Winterhook are designed to progressively build up skills to include ability to survive and operate in mission oriented protective posture gear.
"The wing has extremely capable Airmen," said Col. Steve Snelson, 62nd Airlift Wing, vice commander. "Our roadmap to readiness ensures each of them will not only survive in austere environments, but thrive. When a C-17 lands on a far flung airstrip or screams across a remote drop zone, our service members, allies and adversaries alike know that aircraft represents the strength and resolve of the United States."
Because of JBLM’s location and mission, readiness is of particular importance. The C-17 Globemaster III is the aircraft that gives McChord Field its capability.
“When you’ve got a capable platform such as Joint Base Lewis-McChord all you have to do is turn and ask and it gets done,” said Everhart. “That’s a powerful tool for our nation.”
Ready Airmen and joint mission partners operating seamlessly together, leveraging a strategic location in the state of Washington, significantly enhances the rapid global mobility posture.
“You’re talking about a base that’s literally at the epicenter of what can happen if any events occur in the Pacific,” said Everhart. “Power projection comes right out of this base.”
The Pacific, however, isn’t the only location of interest to AMC.
“With all of our mobility bases and with the mobility Air Forces as a whole we know the globe is our area of responsibility,” said Everhart. “That’s why it’s essential to practice our skills constantly; so we continue to be ready to fight tonight. I can tell you, as I see our mobility Airmen like those here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord at work practicing full-spectrum readiness, I don’t worry about our ability to carry out the mobility mission at all.”