Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Joint Base Lewis-McChord' (217) Currently Viewing: 101 - 110 of 217

April 12, 2014 at 8:06am

Saturday Morning Joe: Pro-Russian militants, defense civilian layoffs, military caregivers, Twitter causes war, perfect body ...

Easter has all ready hit Mud Bay Coffee in Olympia.


Armed pro-Russian militants raised the Russian flag in an eastern Ukrainian city today, deepening a stand-off with Moscow which, Kiev warned, was dragging Europe closer to a "gas war" that could disrupt supplies across the continent. 

Derek Chollet, assistant secretary of defense for International Security Affairs, told Congress Russia's annexation of Crimea will affect and perhaps even reshape the NATO alliance.

More amphibious forces are needed in the Pacific says the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler.

Defense civilian layoffs won't be pleasant, but they are necessary.

The move from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to Fort Knox is the first step in Cadet Command's overall initiative to transform the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps program of instruction.

Out of fuel, out of time and once chance to land on the aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower.

John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona and former Republican presidential candidate added his voice to the growing chorus of lawmakers seeking to block the Pentagon's plans to retire the A-10 attack plane.

Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Michael Barrett told Congress that marines and sailors care less about pay and benefits than they do about having the best training and tools for the job.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden today announced several new initiatives designed to strengthen support for military caregivers.

Optimizing brain health can have immense benefits for readiness, resiliency and the health of soldiers.

Twitter, Facebook and other types of social media are contributing to global instability.

Video: Gen. Dempsey sings with Bret Michaels during the Military Child of the Year gala.

If only there was a high-tech way to replace your flat, expressionless gaze with a digital approximation of human warmth. Well, search no more. AgencyGlass is here.

Awesome video game will let you fully live your space pilot dreams.

SPRZ NY is a clothing line that features shirts, jackets, pants, dresses, tote bags, bandanas inspired by Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollockand other artists.

Deer Teen Me is a website on which authors pen letters to their teen selves.

Here is the perfect male and female body according to male and females.

April 10, 2014 at 11:11am

JBLM ACAP and Wash. National Guard Career Day and prep workshops

Looking for a new career path? Want to know who is hiring? Interested in getting some helpful tips, tools and resources to find a job?

Find out the answers to all of these questions and more at the upcoming Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) and Washington National Guard Career Day April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the American Lake Conference Center, located at 8085 NCO Beach Road on JBLM. This event is open to service members, veterans, and the National Guard and Reserves, along with their spouses and families. Participants will have access to a number of local and national businesses at the event.

Event organizers have also planned a robust series of Career Day preparation workshops April 29, the day before the event. These workshops are designed to provide participants with tools, resources and feedback to help get them prepared for the main event. Some of the featured workshops include courses on résumé and interviewing tips; maximizing LinkedIn accounts and other social media; how to optimize career searches; and how to work a career fair. The Career Day preparation workshops will also be held at the American Lake Conference Center.

Registration is required for both days of this two-day event. There is no cost to attend the workshops or the events.


April 9, 2014 at 10:24am

Tomorrow is Demolitions Day at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

OK, it's not officially Demolitions Day at Joint Base Lewis-McChord tomorrow. Increased levels of activity will be noticed during the evening hours, and demolitions and C4 firings will be conducted from one range on base.

According to JBLM PAO, "This is normally scheduled and required training, which allows military members to practice and improve skills required during combat. As often as possible, JBLM conducts larger scale demolition training and artillery firing at JBLM Yakima Training Center in an effort to minimize inconvenience for the surrounding communities. However, some training must take place on base."

Queries or comments about noise may be directed to the JBLM Public Affairs Office's External Communication Division hot line at 253.967.0852. Good luck.

April 7, 2014 at 10:41am

School changes at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Kids aren't the only ones with summer break on the brain. The Clover Park School District has announced administrative changes that will go into effect July 1, 2014, including changes at Joint Base Lewis-McChord:  

  • Meghan Eakin, current principal of Beachwood Elementary School, will be the principal of the new Meriwether Elementary School being built on Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM)-Lewis North in the Meriwether Landing housing area.
  • Paula Gayson, current principal of Clarkmoor Elementary School, will move to Beachwood Elementary School, which will be temporarily housed at the former Greenwood Elementary School on JBLM-Lewis Main for the 2014-15 school year.
  • Southgate Elementary principal Charlotte Clouse will be the principal of the new Rainier Elementary School being built on JBLM-Lewis Main.
  • Oakwood Elementary School principal John Mitchell will be the principal at Southgate Elementary School.
  • Michael Vincent, assistant principal at Woodbrook Middle School, will be the supervisor of technology and instruction in the teaching and learning department for the 2014-15 school year.
  • Tillicum Elementary Principal Taj Jensen will be the new principal at Tyee Park Elementary for the 2014-15 school year and will replace current principal Gail Gillis, who is leaving the district.
  • Current assistant principal at Evergreen Elementary, Leila Davis, will be the new principal of Oakwood Elementary for the 2014-15 school year.

April 4, 2014 at 7:17am

Friday Morning Joe: Fort Hood heroism, military wish list, Army in Europe, drone war, Muppet man ...

Paesan Kitchen and Bar serves espresso via the Slayer, a powerful, slick industrial-quality machine.


Army mourning loss of soldiers at Fort Hood.

One of the three soldiers killed in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood died while trying to hold a door shut that would have led the gunman to a room packed with military personnel.

The U.S. military services have sent Congress wish lists that include $36 billion in priority items that were not included in the Pentagon's 2015 budget proposal. But actual passage of the lists seems unlikely.

Without the benefit of a full defense review covering force levels to support national needs, Hagel has left civilian support for the Pentagon largely untouched.

Budget cuts threaten military readiness, officials said.

Hagel said sending another permanent Army brigade to Europe could be a possibility.

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify parts of the panel's controversial 6,200-page report that is harshly critical of the CIA's Bush-era interrogation program.

Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh and Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James on defended plans to scrap the A-10 fleet and retire roughly 40 C-130s.

Army's part in the so-called Pacific Pivot remains in the concept phase.

A new kind of drone war: UCAV vs. UCLASS

Latest Army Virtual Battle Space release adds realism to scenarios, avatars.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Arrowhead soldiers play a part in Operation Alaska Shield.

Nine ingenious urban hacks to make the city smarter.

The best part of Letterman's retirement announcement is that it was revealed by R.E.M.'s Mike Mills.

Bill Murray explains his bucket list on Letterman.

Surreal reversed footage of a man walking backward in Tokyo.

Watch the first seven minutes of FX's Fargo.

The Big Bang Theory will have a special Star Wars Day episode ...

What the Internet looks like as a subway map.


April 3, 2014 at 12:57pm

Operation Cookie Drop a success at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Service members, military spouses, and USONW volunteers take cases of Girl Scout cookies from pallets to be placed in waiting cars. Photo credit: USO Northwest

Karma is complicated. Especially when you apply it to cookies. Baking cookies for neighbors? Good karma. Buying cookies for yourself? Maybe not-so-good karma. Buying other people cookies? Probably pretty-good karma. Throwing cookies at your enemies?  Bad karma. Donating 129,210 boxes of cookies, valued at $574,472 to the men and women at Joint Base Lewis-McChord? Excellent karma.

Girl Scouts of Western Washington has excellent karma right now.

The USO Northwest Shali Center on JBLM was humming with activity Tuesday. While volunteers served those participating in a large military exercise, said 129,210 boxes cookies from the Girl Scouts of Western Washington needed to be unloaded. The event is large enough to be fondly known as Operation Cookie Drop.

USONW has an excellent partnership with Girl Scouts of Western Washington, and it was evident Tuesday as representatives from JBLM, both military and spouses, arrived at the USONW Shali Center early in the morning to load their cars with cases of cookies for their units. More than 2,600 cases were packed into waiting cars.

For the full scoop, read excerpts from the Operation Cookie Drop news release below.


April 1, 2014 at 4:10pm

Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter dominates 2013 AUSA Sixth Region Annual Awards

CPT Meriwether Lewis, CPT Meriwether Lewis, CPT Meriwether Lewis, CPT Meriwether Lewis ...

This title floods the news release announcing the 2013 AUSA Sixth Region Awards. Of the 35 awards giving recognition to chapters, units and individuals, 21 were associated with or nominated by CPT Meriwether Lewis, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord chapter of the Association of the United States Army.


The winners of the AUSA Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter will join the few remaining winners at the Sixth Region Annual Awards Black Tie Banquet Saturday, April 12 in the Shilo Inn & Suites Hotel at the Portland Airport in Ore. The banquet is part of the 2014 Sixth Region Spring Meeting held at the Shilo Inn April 10-13.

AUSA is a private, nonprofit organization that works to advance the interests of the U.S. Army. In addition to being a lobbying organization, volunteers with local AUSA chapters support troops while deployed and at home. The Sixth Region includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Northern and Central California.

Makes the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter even more of a badass, huh?

Let's take a look at all the winners:


March 28, 2014 at 10:05am

Watching 2013 Male Athlete of the Year Maj. Nate Conkey train at JBLM

Maj. Nate Conkey, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is the 2013 Army Male Athlete of the Year. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

What do you do when you meet a man with straight answers and a crooked nose?

You listen.  Carefully.

"Don't settle for someone else's expectations," Maj. Nate Conkey said as he rested between weight repetitions at the Wilson Sports & Fitness Center early yesterday morning.

"Through your efforts you learn what you can achieve.  Through a sense of urgency you can push yourself to be great."

Then he turned and began to do push-ups.

>>>  Maj. Nate Conkey, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, works out at the Wilson Fitness Center. AUSA recently named him the 2013 Army Male Athlete of the Year. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

To that end, Conkey, who is assigned as the executive officer to 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, has worked hard to excel in rugby at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

In his sixth All-Army rugby team appearance in 2013, Conkey helped lead Army to a 19-14 victory over Air Force at the Armed Forces Rugby Sevens Championship.

The expectation and urgency to do well paid off.

Earlier this year, All-Army Sports named Conkey the 2013 Male Athlete of the Year at the Association of the United States Army Winter Symposium in Huntsville, Ala.

Conkey, who rowed on West Point's crew team, first played rugby while stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. He immediately took to the sport.

"It was one of those things I was missing," Conkey said.

"You do PT every day, but there's that extra camaraderie and extra competition of sports; that's what I fell in love with," added the native of Virginia.

He works out five days a week for about 90 minutes. Workouts vary from sprints and anaerobic exercise to weight lifting. Conkey plans on playing in this year's Army Forces Rugby tournament in August.

Conkey is married to Maj. Kate Conkey, who is assigned to the 22nd Military Police Battalion. He added that he is committed to his unit and that he appreciates the All-Army program because it allows him to play a sport he loves.

"So why not be great? Why not pursue your dream now? Why not go to work on what you want right now?

These are good questions from one who gives - and lives - straight answers.

>>> Maj. Nate Conkey, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, makes notes of his workout. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

March 27, 2014 at 6:43am

Sesame Street app helps military children cope with moves

Sesame Street's The Big Moving Adventure: Your young child (ages 2??"5) can create his own muppet friend and help him or her through the moving process.

The Department of the Army's National Center for Telehealth and Technology opened at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in 2010. The mission of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology is to foster, develop, research, and deploy technology solutions for psychological health and traumatic brain injury and deliver relevant, evidence-based applications for our warriors, veterans and their families. Known as T2, the Center also uses innovative ways to help military youth cope with the unique strains of military life. In addition to disruptions from parents deploying to assignments away from home, military children are affected by moving frequently, changing schools and making new friends.

The folks at T2 have created an app to help children cope with military moves. Launched in December, The Big Moving Adventure app lets children create a Muppet friend to help them through the moving process. Yes, the DoD knows the way to Sesame Street. It has partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, on the mobile app, which is available for download from the App Store, Google Play and Amazon for Kindle Fire.

Below are excerpts from the app's news release out of the T2 camp.

"Moving can be stressful, and kids need to express feelings and say goodbye to people and things," said Dr. Kelly Blasko, psychologist at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology here. "The Muppet characters in this app help make the move a fun experience."

Children can use the app to help their Muppet friend make decisions on a variety of move-related issues, such as which toys to pack in a box and which to take along in their backpack. Children watch the Muppet say goodbye to their house, their military base and their classroom and playground friends. At the new house, children help their Muppet unpack, settle into the home and make new friends.

"Sesame Workshop has always been at the forefront of creating resources for families with young children to help address some of life's most difficult issues," said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president for Community and Family Engagement at Sesame Workshop. "The Big Moving Adventure is part of Sesame Workshop's contribution to military families, who face the challenge of helping a child cope with this major transition and help our kids reach their highest potential."

Military parents face unique challenges during a move, and the app helps their young children through the experience. A separate parents section contains additional move-related topics and tips.

The Big Moving Adventure mobile app is the newest addition to a portfolio of multimedia resources developed by Sesame Workshop, in collaboration with the Defense Department, to help military families with deployments and life transitions. While developed specifically for military families with children 3 to 5 years old, it is useful for all families with young children experiencing a move, officials said.

March 24, 2014 at 9:47am

Washington National Guard's test kitchen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Dukes Chowder House Executive Chef Bill Ranniger demonstrates how to prepares Pacific salmon in front of dozens of Washington National Guard and active-duty servicemembers at Joint Base Lewis McChord. Photo credit: Gary Lott

"This is a great event to introduce the culinary art schools, high schools and the individuals in the community to the Washington National Guard and what we do for our entity," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Frank Gibson. "We are a small group of people that do a big job when it comes to feeding our soldiers."

The Washington Army National Guard's (WAARNG) Fiscal Year (FY) 14 Food Service Menu Board review and approval event was held in the 66th Aviation building at Joint Base Lewis-Mcchord this weekend. The purpose of the event was to select the FY14 menu option for the WAARNG throughout the year and specifically during drill weekends.

This event gave dozens of vendors the opportunity to showcase their food, as well as giving service members the opportunity to try the meals that they will be enjoying for the next year.

"This is a chance to see what's available in the marketplace, to get menu ideas and get to experience a lot of different flavors," said Dale Holland of Coastal Marketing Consultants, Inc. "Knowledge is powerful and if they don't know about it, how can they broaden their food knowledge."

>>> A food demonstration showed the proper way to prepare ahi as well as how to conduct large prep for large fish orders. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Along with a plethora of available food selection items such as bacon pancakes, fresh salads and freshly-sliced roast beef, food demonstrations were held, including deconstructing meat, bulk fish prepping, omelet cooking and dessert making.

>>> Culinary students from Heritage High School in Vancouver explain their craft before Washington National Guard judges. One school will be selected to provide menu options for drilling servicemembers in fiscal year 2014. Photo by Gary Lott

A WAARNG Culinary Competition also was held during the weekend. Students from the Northwest Culinary Institute, Steilacoom High School, Heritage High School, Bates Technical College's culinary arts program and the Art Institute of Seattle had two hours to prepare their competing dishes for judging command staff members, who score based on appearance, taste and enhancements.

>>> Students from Bates Technical College Culinary School cooked for the Washington Army National Guard over the weekend. Photo credit: Gary Lott

The food was the star of the show, but that didn't stop the WAARNG from still taking some time to connect with the youth. 1st Lt. Chris Herring (168th) took the high school students on a tour of the flight line on JBLM. 

"It's important to show the kids the many opportunities of the Guard," said Herring.  "They did a great job feeding us so we figured we'd show them a little of what we do."

>>> The Washington Army National Guard dissected many at JBLM over the weekend. Photo credit: Gary Lott

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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