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  • Into the hot zone

    Air Force Airmen are trained to operate in many different environments and combat many different enemies. From the flak riddled skies over Europe during WWII to the subzero temperatures on the frigid ice of Antarctica during the annual Operation Deep Freeze, there really is no place our Airmen cannot triumph over. However, what happens in an austere environment where the enemy is not only deadly, but invisible?
  • Operation Unified Response

    Not only do Team McChord Airmen deploy to the Middle East, they also fly around the globe, transporting cargo and personnel to regions devastated by natural disasters, proving themselves not only a fighting force, but a lifesaving force.
  • A Solemn Promise

    Forty-six years ago a C-141 with McChord crew members touched down at Travis Air Force Base (AFB) in February 1973. On board were American prisoners of war (POWs), finally freed from their Vietnamese captors and eager to see their families. A McChord loadmaster opened the door and then quickly stepped aside so Navy pilot Lt. Everett Alvarez, Jr., who spent eight years in captivity, could exit the plane and step foot on American soil once again. Over the next two months, U.S. Airmen and aircraft, including those from the 62 Airlift Wing (AW), would help repatriate 591 American POWs including Army Col. Floyd James Thompson, the war’s longest held POW, and Navy aviator John McCain. America celebrated the return of their heroes and, for a moment, the pain and controversy of the Vietnam War was washed away and replaced by welcome home banners and balloons. This operation would become known as Operation Homecoming. While some American families rejoiced in the homecoming of their beloved sons and husbands, many families continued to wait and wonder if their heroes would ever come home from North Korea or Vietnam.
  • Humanitarian Airmen

    Our military members know all too well the feeling of watching the news and wondering if they will need to deploy when tensions mount anywhere there are American interests. Air Mobility Command Airmen also watch the news and prepare for a phone call when natural disasters strike anywhere in the world. As units of AMC, the 62nd Airlift Wing and the 446th AW not only bring the fight to the enemy, but also bring much needed aid and support to those in jeopardy.
  • Where it's cold we go

    When we think of U.S. military aircraft working in austere environments, we generally imagine aircraft landing on a dusty airfield somewhere in the Middle East. After all, for the past 20 years, the Air Force has played a major role getting troops and materiel to the fight in the Middle East. What we don’t normally picture is a C-17 Globemaster III landing on a windswept runway made of ice in Antarctica.
  • 18th AF leadership talks spouse employment, license reciprocity

    Some aspects of being in the military can be hard on individuals and families. To gain better insight into the issues Airmen and their families face at McChord Field, Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett, 18th Air Force commander, and his wife, Kelly Barrett, visited Joint Base Lewis-McChord to learn what’s working, what isn’t and where they can help. “The issues that spouses face here are the same, for the most part, across the nation,” Kelly said. “There is education for children, access to health care, employment for spouses and license reciprocity. “Some spouses have careers that require a license to work in a certain state, and, if they PCS to a new one, it can take months and cost hundreds of dollars to become certified in that new state.”
  • Airmen battle ice, snow to ensure readiness

    Low clouds and a light fog shroud the flightline as the Airmen wait indoors for their schedule for the day. It’s a brisk, cold morning promising ice on the aircrafts blanketed in the mist. For aircrews, ice or snow on their jet can prove to be a major hazard, and before they can fly, maintenance Airmen must deice the aircraft four hours before takeoff to help mitigate those hazards.
  • Deployed Airmen discover spiritual fortitude

    Leaving for or returning from a deployment can challenge the resiliency of 62nd Airlift Wing Airmen. They have to say goodbye to their families and friends and be a part from them for a considerable amount time. Then, when they return, they could have undergone times of great stress during their deployment. In order to offer spiritual help to these Airmen, the 62nd AW Chaplain and 62nd Operations Group commander initiated the inclusion of a religious support team (RST) on flights taking Airmen to and from deployed locations. During the quarterly Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (EAS) swap out at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, RSTs have now become an integrated part of the process. The RST consists of two Airmen, a chaplain and a religious affairs specialist. During the final EAS swap out of 2018, the RST was comprised of Chaplain (Capt.) Jammie Bigbey and Staff Sgt. John Nieves Camacho.
  • Joint Base Unique – Airman makes history through Army partners

    The U.S. Air Force’s Security Forces has a long history dating back to World War II. Since 1942, the team we used to identify as the Army Air Forces have evolved to the security forces known today. In 1952, five years after the birth of the Air Force, Airmen began to transition away from Army military occupation codes to Air Force specialty codes. One of the changes implemented over time was commanders of security forces squadrons would no longer be called provost marshal, while our Army counterparts kept provost marshal as an enduring identifier of their commanders. In order to further build cohesion between the Air Force and Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the 627th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) commander, Maj. Michael Holt, has also been named the JBLM deputy provost marshal, making him the first Airman to hold the position in over half a century.
  • 4th AS welcomes newest ‘Pilot for a Day’

    If the proverb is true that laughter is the best medicine, then perhaps a smile could go a long way for a child with a serious or chronic condition. For McChord’s Pilot for a Day program, the hope is to spread a smile across the face of a participating child for the full day they are part of the McChord Field family as an honorary pilot. With a motto stating, “A special day for our special kids,” the McChord Field Air Force Association (AFA) is in charge of the program and is responsible for funding and child nominations. February 20, 10-year-old McKay Neel became the newest honorary pilot in the 4th Airlift Squadron as he, his family and his friends received a tour of a variety of places to experience what it is like on base.
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