Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Joint Base Lewis-McChord' (217) Currently Viewing: 111 - 120 of 217

March 21, 2014 at 4:04pm

62nd Airlift Wing's Master Sgt. Marc R. Sellers named Senior NCO of 2013

Gen. Paul Selva, Air Mobility Command commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Victoria Gamble, AMC command chief, announce the 2013 AMC Outstanding Airmen of the Year at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., March 21. Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Amber R. Kelly-Herard

Gen. Paul Selva, Air Mobility Command commander, announced the 2013 AMC Outstanding Airmen of the Year during a command-wide video teleconference at Scott Air Force Base today. Master Sgt. Marc R. Sellers, of the 62nd Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Lewis McChord, was named Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.

The 2013 AMC Outstanding Airmen of the Year are:

Junior Enlisted Airman of the Year:

Senior Airman Leanne M. Murray, 87th Air Base Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.

Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:

Tech. Sgt. Toyre L. Hudson, 6th Medical Operations Squadron, MacDill AFB, Fla.

Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year:

Master Sgt. Marc R. Sellers, 62nd Maintenance Squadron, JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.

First Sergeant of the Year:

Master Sgt. Richard W. McCorkle, 319th Security Forces Squadron, Grand Forks, AFB, N.D.

Honor Guard Member of the Year:

Senior Airman Jacob Coburn, 89th Communications Squadron, JB Andrews, Md.

Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year:

Master Sgt. Gary Knight, 87th Force Support Squadron, JB MDL, N.J.

Honor Guard Team of the Year:

87th Air Base Wing, JB MDL, N.J.

First Sergeant Council of the Year:

87th Air Base Wing, JB MDL, N.J.

With the exception of Honor Guard Team and First Sergeant Council of the Year, all winners identified above will now compete for the Air Force 12 Outstanding Airmen of the Year.

March 21, 2014 at 2:43pm

16th Combat Aviation Brigade cases colors at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Col. Paul Mele, commander, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, stands before his soldiers after the casing of the unit’s colors. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) is ready to deploy to Afghanistan.

"We are competent, committed to the mission and persons of character," said Col. Paul Mele, the brigade's commander during a deployment ceremony held this morning at Soldiers Field House.

"Why we go to Afghanistan is to support our partners who are still there on the ground," Mele continued.

"They will call for protection, supplies, to carry the wounded and to destroy those who will harm them. We are the right aviation solution for them."

The 16th CAB is scheduled for a nine-month deployment in support of the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan.

The brigade's approximately 1,500 soldiers will provide reconnaissance, close combat attack, troop lift and logistical movement support to Regional Command-South. 

This is the first deployment to Afghanistan in the brigade's history. Earlier deployments include tours to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

>>> Spc. Patrick Kirchgessner holds the colors of the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade prior to their casing for deployment to Afghanistan. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

For the past two years, the brigade has been preparing for this deployment, with training conducted at the National Training Center in California, High Altitude Mountainous Environment Training in Idaho and home station training.

The unit will be the first in the Army to deploy equipped with the upgraded AH-64E Apache "Guardian" attack helicopter.

"You are on a historic journey," Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, commander, 7th Infantry Division, said.

"You are a brigade prepared to go to war."

>>> Lt. Col. John Davis and Command Sgt. Maj. Curtin Stapleton case the 1st Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment's colors during the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade's Deployment Ceremony. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

March 20, 2014 at 2:15pm

42nd Military Police Brigade train to keep JBLM schools safe

A four-person team comprised of soldiers from the 42nd Military Police Brigade prepares to enter a building during a training exercise at McChord Field. Photo credit: J.M. Simspon

The four military police officers snaked down a darkened hallway before stopping in front of room 203.

"JBLM Military Police! Come out with your hands up!"


The four then quickly opened the door and decisively entered the room.

A man with a gun appeared.

Shots were exchanged; the shooter went down.

While one MP kept his weapon trained on the downed man, another MP cautiously approached the downed man, kicked his gun away and began putting handcuffs on him.

The two other MPs checked several other rooms.

"We're good," one MP called out as he and his partner finished checking a closet.  "We'll call for medics for the guy down."

The four MPs had been told that shots had been fired.  Their task was to locate and stop the threat.

They accomplished the mission.

>>> Lt. Rayvaun Smith, directorate of Emergency Services, briefed soldiers, who played the role of "bad guys and gals," before a training scenario. Photo credit: J.M. Simspon

This active shooter scenario conducted at the closed Heartwood Elementary School at McChord Field was designed to add a sense of realism and raise the level of difficulty for the 42nd Military Police Brigade soldiers taking part in the training.

The two-day training conducted at the school is a part of the larger Protector Professional Police Course, a month-long series of learning events coordinated by the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

>>> Moving through dark rooms looking for "shooters" during a training exercise confronted soldiers in the 42nd Military Police Brigade. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"Soldiers learn what to do and what not to do," commented Lt. Rayvaun Smith, an officer attached to Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Directorate of Emergency Services.

"These soldiers are great to work with; they are willing to learn and remember."

One of the key points that Smith continually stressed to the young soldiers was the need to talk to each other as they worked.

"Communication is key," he said repeatedly when he stopped training to make a point. "Talk to one another, and make sure that you always work as a team."

In a quiet, professional and clear manner, Smith took the time to talk through the challenges each training scenario presented.

"Can you tell where I am?" he asked as he walked down a dark hallway and turned off his flashlight.

"No," came back the answer.

"By turning your flashlight on and off like this, you don't give the bad guys an idea as to where you are," Smith pointed out.

Heads nodded; the lesson had been learned.

"This has been outstanding training, the instructor is very good," 2nd Lt. Erin Hilt said. 

"Understanding urban ops and how to move systematically is great for us to know in keeping this community safe."

>>> Soldiers from the 42nd Military Police Brigade subdue a "shooter" during a Protector Professional Police Course, a month-long training exercise. Photo credit: J.M. Simspon

March 19, 2014 at 11:59am

Lakewood City Council approves contract for joint land-use study at JBLM

Monday night the city of Lakewood took a major step in charting the region's future growth and development with Joint Base Lewis-McChord, at least according to the news release.

On Monday night, the Lakewood City Council awarded a contract for professional services to AECOM Technical Services, Inc., to assist the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership (SSMCP) in completing a Joint Land Use Study (JLUS) for JBLM and surrounding communities.

The purpose of the JLUS is to create a long-term planning partnership that balances the protection of the health, safety, quality of life, and economic prosperity of local communities while ensuring the continuation of the military missions of the area. The study will emphasize ways to promote coordination, maintain the positive economic impact of the installations, and preserve critical civilian and Department of Defense investments.

The JLUS is a cooperative process among state, county, and local governments, the public and JBLM. The study examines land use, growth trends, and civilian and military activities in a region that hosts a diverse range of critical military operations, highly urbanized and growing population centers, and uniquely valuable environmental assets. The study area consists of portions of Thurston and Pierce Counties, the cities of Lakewood, Tacoma, University Place, Roy, Yelm, Lacey, DuPont, and Steilacoom, the Nisqually Indian Tribe Reservation, JBLM, and Camp Murray.

The project will officially begin in April 2014 and will include multiple opportunities for public participation and comment. The projected completion date for the study is September 2015.

March 18, 2014 at 1:51pm

Army and Air Force at Joint Base Lewis-McChord teamed up Monday

For the first time since 2006, the Air Force and Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord partnered this week for a joint training on the rapid air deployment of the Stryker.

About 25 Strykers were flown from McChord Field on C-17s to the airport at Moses Lake. The Strykers were then driven to the Yakima Training Center for a three-week exercise.

"The bottom line is this is a great opportunity," Maj. Reed Burggrabe said, a battalion operations officer in the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. "And it can only be done at this location."

With the military's mission focus shifting from the Middle East to the Pacific, JBLM's preparedness for moving an early entry force becomes a focus. That requires being air mobile, a readiness to load and ship armored vehicles.

"To be an early entry means you have to be air mobile," Burggrabe said. "So, we're able to deploy by air to get where we need to go. It gets us in quickly."

It's a concept that hasn't been practiced because the armored vehicles in the Middle East were already in position for use.

"Our focus has been on OIF and OEF for a long period time," Burggrabe said. "Now, we're moving our focus to the Pacific and this is an opportunity to work those roles and build the relationships."

The partnered training Monday and Tuesday at JBLM prepared soldiers and airmen for rapid deployment in support of the Pentagon's shift to the Pacific Theater of Operations.

"This is something we haven't done in a while," Burggrabe said. "Each day we're getting better and better."

The 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the 7th Infantry Division and the 62nd Airlift Wing partnered in this training.

Depending on how much other equipment is loaded, a C-17 can carry two or three Strykers. Since the state DOT requires two Humvees to escort a Stryker on the highways, about 50 Humvees were also transported.

"You can learn it in a classroom," Burggrabe said. "But you can't actually do it until you do it."

March 17, 2014 at 7:30am

Monday Morning Joe: JBLM soldiers to Afghanistan, Navy Seals save the day, Air Force mini-gunship, Navy taps space, awesome soccer goal...

Walkie Talkie blog's homebase Starbucks at 72nd and Lakeview Drive has an ultra-friendly staff.


Hundreds of Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers are heading to Afghanistan this spring.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Kidd and its crew are stepping up search efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean with round-the-clock coverage.

Navy Seals take over oil tanker seized by Libyan rebels.

Ukraine's autonomous Crimea region has voted overwhelmingly to break from Ukraine and join Russia.

Defense attorneys said Sunday that an Army general has agreed to a plea deal that includes the dropping of sexual assault charges against him.

The Navy plans to beam down energy from space.

Republicans target civilian DoD personnel.

Air Force tested a mini-gunship last year.

Chuck Hagel seizes opportunity to chart new direction.

Sweden's government is examining a proposal to boost military spending to defend its own territories and the strategic Baltic Sea area in the face of renewed Russian aggression in Ukraine.

How al Qaeda escaped Afghanistan and lived to fight another day.

Navy launches plans on new amphib design.

After being separated for more than a year and a half, two brothers were reunited while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Despite an ongoing fight about retiring the A-10 and investigations into cheating scandals, perhaps the most contentious moment of a House committee hearing on the Air Force budget on Friday focused on religious freedom.

Earthquake: 4.4 quake strikes Los Angeles, no report of injuries.

Nasa-backed study says humanity is pretty much screwed.

Let the insanity begin: For college basketball fans, this time of year qualifies as a dose of heaven. Sixty-eight teams are ready to duke it out for round ball glory.

Newman lives!

You don't have to be a soccer fan to appreciate this goal-of-the-year candidate.

Nothing to see here. Just your everyday kitten wearing a green hat, while Irish music plays.

March 16, 2014 at 10:36am

Words & Photos: Lewis Community Spouses Club's Roaring '20s benefit

Lewis Community Spouses' Club members and guests dressed the part during the organization's wine and cigar Roaring '20s benefit March 15 at The Manson on Broadway. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

What did it sound and feel like in Tacoma during the Roaring '20s? The Lewis Community Spouses Club and guests discovered last night at The Mansion on Broadway. From flapper costumes to songs from Irving Berlin and Malvin Schonberger, the united organization of enlisted and officer's spouses at Joint Base Lewis-McChord went retro in a big way for its Wine & Cigar tasting event at the historic downtown Tacoma mansion.

It was a time the crowd wanted to return to, it seemed. Smiles and laughter filled the many rooms of the 130-year-old mansion, complete with breathtaking views of Puget Sound, Mt Rainier and the Tacoma skyline - at least from the cigar lounge on the Mansion's back deck.

Maybe the smiles were aim at the cause. The night was a benefit for the Lewis Community Spouses' Club's Welfare and the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund. Weekend cabin stay at White Pass, golf outing at Chambers Bay, top shelf bourbon and cigar baskets, private dinner party hosted by the 2-75th Ranger Battalion and more were auctioned off as guests sipped wine from locals Stottle Winery, Madsen Family cellars and others.

Keep an eye out for future Lewis Community Spouses' Club soirees. The organization knows how to throw a party.

March 15, 2014 at 8:25am

Saturday Morning Joe: 4-2 SBCT deactivates, U.S. back in Somalia, robots are coming, "Game of Thrones" beer...

A woman in a thong served us an Americano at Lady Bug Espresso in Lakewood.


Joint Base Lewis-McChord bids farewell to 4-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

GOP control of Senate could spawn Tea Party resurgence, more defense cuts.

Air Force leaders detailed future force cuts and defended the service's religious accommodation practices after coming under attack from conservative lawmakers at a congressional budget hearing Friday.

The U.S. military is back in Somalia, sorta.

The Pentagon is denying reports by Russian sponsored media companies that a U.S. Army drone crashed while flying an intelligence mission over Crimea.

Poll: 69 percent see Russia as threat to U.S.

DoD extra $26 billion fund a "long shot."

Why Congress may let the Air Force retire the A-10.

When enemies think outside the box.

Inglourious Basterd of WWII deserves Medal of Honor.

The robots are coming.

Some BMX bikers have found themselves the subjects of well-deserved criticism after filming themselves "bunnyhopping" their bikes over what appears to be homeless people.

The latest Game of Thrones brew from Ommegang is bolder than that dude who (spoiler) to (spoiler) in the "Red Wedding" episode.

This picture is not a parrot but a woman in bodypaint posing so she looks exactly like a parrot.

Seeing a cat walk on a treadmill chasing food basically sums up life.

I dig that there's a video for a new Cash song in 2014.

March 13, 2014 at 1:10pm

Hey! I'm the intern at the Weekly Volcano!

Hi! I'm Alex Kling, standing in front of the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters. These people are NUTS!

Hi! My name is Alexandria Kling. I am the "Tacoma School of the Arts Intern of the Year" at the Weekly Volcano!

OK, I'm the only SOTA intern at the Volcano.

I am currently a junior at SOTA. I have been writing for the Volcano for almost two weeks. I have been writing the McChord and Fort Lewis history sections for the Northwest Airlifter and The Ranger, the newspapers covering Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and sister publications of the Volcano.

Fun fact for you: I was born at Madigan Hospital in 1997, so being able to learn more about Fort Lewis, and McChord, is pretty interesting to me.

I have also written some "blurbs" - as Publisher/Editor Pappi Swarner calls them - for the Agenda section of the Volcano. As a student at SOTA, I have been studying music, specifically vocals, songwriting, and music composition, for almost 2 years now. This makes my internship with the Weekly Volcano exceptionally fun, because I enjoy arts and entertainment, especially if it's in Tacoma.

With the Volcano I have also been updating the concert alert, and the nightlife calendar section of the weekly newspaper. This week, after previewing the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee book release event at King's Books, I attended the event Tuesday night. My review will be posted soon here on the Walkie Talkie blog.

Through this internship, I have gained so many skills, and I am glad to be able to continue to grow with the Volcano for another week. Overall, I am not a complex girl. I love music, I love to write and I want to go to college for both.

March 12, 2014 at 2:10pm

JBLM 2-2 Stryker Brigade to partner with 62nd Airlift Wing for rapid deployment

This just in from the 2-2 SBCT Public Affairs Office:

The 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division and the 62nd Airlift Wing will partner to train on rapid deployment of the 2-2 SBCT platform vehicle, the Stryker.

This is the first time since 2006 that Air Force and Army on JBLM will conduct joint training on the deployment of the armored vehicle.

The 62nd Airlift Wing will deploy approximately 25 Stryker vehicles from the McChord Airfield to an area near the Yakima Training Center, March 17-18.

The crews manning the vehicles will conduct ongoing movement to YTC for scheduled training to support an upcoming deployment to the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. later this summer.

The training will help prepare Soldiers and Airmen for rapid deployment in support of the Pentagon's shift to the Pacific Theater of Operations. JBLM plays a pivotal role in the Pacific as the largest military installation on the western seaboard.

About this blog

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

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