JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
Thank you for all that you do on a daily basis to make Joint Base Lewis-McChord an incredible place to live and work. It is a total force team that makes JBLM the premier installation that it is today. From our community partners, civic leaders, and honorary commanders who have embraced the Soldiers and Airmen of the joint base with unparalleled support, to our joint partners who enable the 62nd Airlift Wing’s mission to ‘deliver safe and reliable global airlift.’ As I look back on my tenure here at JBLM, it is obvious how special these Team McChord partnerships have become and how vital they are for our continued success.
Dual-hatted as both the commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing and the Air Force Senior Service Component Commander, it has been a true honor to serve all of Team McChord as your advocate for Air Force equities on JBLM. I would like to thank not only Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky [I Corps commanding general] as our partner mission commander and Col. Dan Morgan as the [JBLM] installation commander for their continuous support of the Air Force mission on McChord Field, but also my fellow commanders in Team McChord. It has been a true pleasure to work alongside each of you.
The advancements we have made together over the last two years to advance joint basing are undeniable. Here are just a few of the highlights: In 2016, JBLM hosted the Joint Airshow and Warrior Expo, a first-of-its-kind event designed to highlight the full spectrum of combat capabilities at JBLM and the first airshow at McChord Field since 2012. The Warrior Expo highlighted how JBLM now embraces the tenants of joint basing and opened the doors to share this success with the local community. We continued this progress through the development of the JBLM Standards Book, a collaboration between the services, designed to educate members on the differences between the Services, as well as relay a common vision and purpose for all Airmen and Soldiers stationed here. Through these efforts, JBLM has become a model for the Department of Defense for the benefits of joint basing and collaboration between the services.
Joint training has also become commonplace at JBLM. From the integration of ground liaison officers and air mobility liaison officers, to weekly mission operational trainers and the evolution of Rainier War from a semi-annual airlift exercise to a truly joint event, we have begun to implement the lessons of our current conflicts and truly “train as we fight.” These principles will be on full display later this summer as JBLM prepares to host Exercise Mobility Guardian. As Air Mobility Command’s premier exercise, 3,500 participants from 29 nations will descend upon JBLM to take part in and observe the capstone-training event. Although centered on the air mobility mission, this exercise, like the daily operations of the 62nd Airlift Wing would not be possible without the continuous support of our joint partners.
Finally, to the Airmen of the 62nd Airlift Wing, you are the best at what you do and I am proud to serve with each of you. It has been an honor to be your commander over the last two years and I am continuously impressed by the way that you embody ‘the McChord way: excellence, innovation, respect.’ These principles and the way that you exemplify them in every facet of the mission have made the 62nd Airlift Wing and JBLM a true leader in global airlift. Although these remarks are bittersweet, I know that the wing and Team McChord will be in very good hands with the arrival of Col. Rebecca Sonkiss, and I cannot wait to see where she leads Team McChord in the future.