MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
What started as a routine cargo transport mission
turned into a chance to showcase a feat of teamwork and versatility for the 7th Airlift Squadron from McChord Air Force Base.
McChord Airmen played a vital role in transporting Maj. Jill Metzger
after her recent ordeal, but it wasn't until the last minute that the McChord's 7th AS was part of the mission.
With the C-17 Globemaster III's engines roaring and the cargo bay packed full with 18 pallets, the crew was ready for its normal, scheduled flight.
But things quickly came to a halt as the crew was told to standby while the wing commander and a convoy of base officials made their way out to the aircraft to notify them of the change of plans. Those changes included unloading nine pallets and reconfiguring the aircraft for an aeromedical evacuation mission.
A short time later a convoy emerged with Major Metzger and loaded her onto the aircraft.
The team leaned forward 100 percent to support the very last minute, high-priority tasking, said Col. Joel Reese, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing commander at Manas Air Base,
"Once tasked, the crew was extremely mission oriented and completed extensive coordination with their destination and [
Center ] to ensure the airfield would remain open," Colonel Reese said. "Diplomatic clearances were updated and air refueling support was slipped to accommodate mission changes. Through it all they demonstrated a very professional, can-do attitude."
That ability to expertly tackle any mission proved an incredible Air Force asset, creating a feeling of pride throughout the crew.
"It felt really good to be able to help out," said Capt. Ryan Alvey, one of the mission's pilots. "Anytime we have a chance to do a medevac, it's very rewarding."
Airman 1st Class Marie Gamache, a 7th AS loadmaster on the flight, echoed those sentiments. "It's one of the better parts of our job."