Thanks to Pacific Northwest Chapter President, Maj Chris Halbleib, Col Scovill Currin, 62AW commander and all leadership from Joint Base Lewis-McChord for their great support for our Spring Board meeting on Saturday, 9 June 2018.
It is a team effort to put together the details of a board meeting, but a few people stood out in addition to Maj Halbleib. The team who worked hard to make our meeting a success include SrA Amanda Mohlenhoff and Capt Jacqueline Cushing from 62 AW’s protocol shop. Also, Airman Robert Luksis (627 LRS) stuck with us all day as our bus driver getting our group on-time and on-target from start to finish all day on Friday. The transportation plan was all masterminded behind the scenes by SrA Taylor Ormsbee (627 LRS).
I also want to extend a special thanks to A1C Sara Hoerichs (62 AW PA) who volunteered her time on Saturday to take the great pictures in this post.
Without these professionals our meeting would not have happened!
The seven members of the board and our Board of Advisor Chairman started our visit Friday morning, 8 June, by meeting with superstar mobility airmen from different units. They provided great input regarding what they thought about the association, how we can improve to provide better value to all members in general and the convention specifically. We met with Capt’s Josh Bolla, Morgan Talley and MSgt Lindy Mehaffy from the 8th Airlift Squadron; Capt Jonathan Gebo and MSgt Joshua Watson from the 7th Airlift Squadron; Capt Jimmy Cushing and MSgt Heran Pandya from the 4th Airlift Squadron; SMSgt Cole from the Operational Support Squadron; 2nd Lt Alan Walley and MSgt Nicholas Rice from the 62d AMXS; MSgt Tabitha Banks from the 62d Aerial Port Squadron; SMSgt Andrew Earll from the 62d MXS and 2Lt’s Tara Stryder, Oscar Bodden, MSgt Shawn Willis and MSgt Lance Lewis from the 62d Air Base Group. What a great mix of Operators, Maintainers, Loggies, and Support Airmen. Thanks to all of them for taking the time to help us make our association better.
Following this small group meeting the larger group of attendees met at the 8th Airlift Squadron’s Auditorium named in honor of Gen Duane Cassidy, who was the commander of the 8th from 1972-1974. Members of the Operation’s Group and the Maintenance Group attended a leadership panel where Gen McNabb (USAF, ret) and CMSgt Kerver (USAF, ret) addressed questions.
The group then went to the Dining Facility to have lunch with Airmen. This is always a highlight of our trip giving the attendees a chance for some one-on-one time with Mobility Airmen. Several of these Airmen have only been in the Air Force for a short period and on their first assignment and yet most have already deployed or are preparing to deploy. It is inspiring to spend time with them.
Following lunch we met with the Wing leadership. They offered a 62AW mission briefing and a great discussion on the status of operations at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The association’s president, CMSgt (ret) Mike Kerver then presented an A/TA update brief.
The group toured the 62d MXS fabrication shop and received a briefing from 1Lt Josh Fugle and Capt Anthony Hertach on the 62d’s contribution to Air Mobility Command’s innovation effort, Phoenix Spark. The briefing centered on the shop’s 3D printing capability and successes in reducing costs to support the C-17 fleet. They specifically demonstrated how the shop created a bracket out of plastic to hold aircrew member iPad’s significantly reducing damage caused when the iPad dropped on the aircraft’s communication panel, damaging the panel at significant expense.
Our attendees then travelled to the 57 WPS, the home of the C-17 Weapons Instructor Course or WIC. The WIC recently moved to McChord from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Maj Liz Spencer, the school’s Intel officer, met us but Lt Col David “Spoof” Myrick who was participating in the school’s graduation exercise (Joint Forcible Entry 18A) at Nellis AFB briefed us remotely. Even though it was clear the school is still getting settled into it’s new facility it is still fully engaged preparing AMC’s newest crop of Weapon’s Officers.
On Saturday we held our board meeting at McChord’s club. The meeting was busy and productive. We received a Pacific Northwest Chapter Update from Maj Halbleib and a Young Leader report from Maj Steve Chandler and MSgt Paul Garcia. We then received reports from each of the officers, followed by updates on old and new business. This included a 2018 First Quarter Treasurer’s report from Col (ret) John Murphy. But the focus continues to be on preparing for the upcoming 2018 convention. We received a convention planning update from our Vice President of Programs, Ms. Patti Cost. She included a review of the work accomplished by the 50th Anniversary planning committee to make sure the 2018 convention celebrates our heritage. The group also spent time discussing how it could strengthen local chapter participation.
As mentioned above A1C Sara Hoerichs (62 AW PA) took the pictures in this post. She documented the association’s reunion with Col Joe Jackson (Medal of Honor recipient), his wife Rose and their son and daughter Bonnie and Dave. These super pictures also include Mrs. Marion Cannon, the widow of CMSgt William Cannon, former A/TA President and Hall of Fame recipient. As you can tell the pictures are taken at the intersection of Col Joe Jackson and CMSgt William Cannon Blvds. This was a special occasion for everyone who attended.
In summary we had a great board meeting and it was a wonderful opportunity to “strengthen air mobility bonds!”
Well done and thanks Pacific Northwest Chapter!
Our summer board meeting is scheduled for 11 August, at Stewart Air National Guard Base in New York, hope to see you there!
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