JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
There is something about every Air Force base that makes it unique. The 62nd Airlift Wing on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, has a unique culture of professionalism and taking care of each other, which 18th Air Force leadership had the opportunity to see during their visit here Feb. 19-22, 2019.
“I see a strong culture here, keep it going, make it even better,” said Maj. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, during an all-call for 62nd AW Airmen and families.
Everyone in the 62nd AW and Team McChord community contributes to Air Mobility Command’s unrivaled global reach and the mobility superpower that is the United States.
“We can move anything, anywhere, rapidly,” said Barrett.
Excellence starts with taking care of Airmen. They can’t contribute their best if they are not being taken care of and made to feel that they have a purpose and sense of belonging.
“We don’t succeed alone,” said Chief Master Sgt. Chris Simpson, 18th Air Force command chief master sergeant.
“If you believe that you’re part of a team that values you and has your back and you have theirs, and that what you’re doing is really important, there’s nothing more powerful than that,” said Simpson. “That’s how you build resilient Airmen. You take care of people and foster that sense of belonging.”
The leaders from 18th AF emphasized the value and importance of fostering a warrior culture, in which everyone is an important member of a high performing team, to include civilian employees, Total Force Airmen, and their families.
One of the pillars of the Air Force, and a warrior culture, is resiliency.
“Resiliency doesn’t just extend to the battle field, it doesn’t just extend to the workplace, it extends to life as a whole,” said Simpson. “So all the things we do to boost our resiliency, they don’t just make us better Airmen, they make us better people.”
During their visit to the wing, 18th AF leadership witnessed the capabilities of Team McChord Airmen to tackle tasks from operational to support with dedication, commitment, and drive – warrior culture incarnate. Barrett and Simpson recognized several of those Airmen who were selected by their unit leadership as star performers for using innovation to directly support the mission.
“The pride and the passion from the wing commander, to the newest Airman on the yard is evident,” said Simpson. “They all have a clear understanding of why they’re here and what their role in that is.”
Many people join the Air Force to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Airmen here at 62nd experience that and the unique opportunity to be a part of a joint base.
“The biggest thing we gain from the joint-basing experience is a better understanding of how each service contributes to the defense of the nation and the military’s humanitarian efforts,” said Simpson. “McChord has the unique opportunity of serving on a joint base, having a mission set that is directly tied to another service and seeing this day in and day out.”
He also said that at the core, we’re all the same. Everyone - Air Force, Army, civilians, families - contribute, in some shape or form, to the ultimate goal of winning decisively.
Sometimes Airmen can lose sight of the importance of what they’re working toward. That’s when it’s especially important to pay attention to those individuals and support them to remind them of their purpose and belonging in this Air Force.
“I’ve spent my entire life in and around this wonderful Air Force,” said Barrett. “It is my family, which makes all of you my family.”