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Archives: April 2010


Lewis-McChord gets its 51st C-17 Globemaster

You couldn’t blame airmen at Joint Base Lewis-McChord if they’re happily flapping their wings over this.

McChord Field’s newest C-17 Globemaster III landed this week, fresh from the Boeing factory in Long Beach, Calif.

It brings the McChord fleet of C-17s to 51, according to a news release posted on the 62nd Airlift Wing website.

The C-17 is one of the military’s workhorse aircraft, delivering people and materials worldwide for war operations, humanitarian aid and scientific missions.

It’s the signature aircraft at McChord, flown by members of the 62nd and the 446th Airlift Wing, a reserve unit.


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Tail-sliding jets, aerobatic biplane, narrated dogfight, paratroopers, C-17s and more on Lewis-McChord Air Expo slate July 17-18

You won’t see the Thunderbirds dive and spin in the skies over Tacoma this summer.

For one of the few times in recent memory, the Air Force’s elite flying team isn’t performing at the area’s military air expo.

But you won’t miss them, say Joint Base Lewis-McChord officials, who promise a show bursting with aerobatics, stunts, tail-sliding jets, a narrated dogfight, a pilot who lands his small plane on a moving truck, paratroopers, choppers, McChord’s signature C-17s, vintage aircraft and more.

Oh, and there’ll be a flyover by a Cold War-era U-2 spy plane.

Patriots Jet Team series launch featurette from TopFlightTV on Vimeo.

The two-day JBLM Air Expo is set for July 17 and 18 at McChord Field. It will be the biggest event at the joint base this year.

The free shows, once held annually and now roughly every two years, are highly popular. In 2008, a recorded 377,616 people flooded the base over the two days of the expo.

“You’re going to get an air show like you haven’t seen before at McChord,” said Maj. Ben Jonsson, a C-17 instructor pilot who’s directing this year’s event. “We’ve put a lot of effort into making it something special.”

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Memorial service set Sunday for Tacoma paratrooper killed by bomb blast in Afghanistan

A memorial service for Army Spc. Joseph Thierry Caron is scheduled at 11 a.m. Sunday at Washington High School in Parkland, 12420 Ainsworth Avenue S.

The paratrooper from Tacoma was killed by a bomb blast April 11 while he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan’s Arghandab River Valley. He was 21 years old.

Spc. Joseph T. Caron

Caron, called Joey by his family and friends, was a member of Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne division. He was stationed at

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100 airmen from McChord’s 8th Airlift Squadron get orders for the Middle East

More than 100 airmen from Joint-Base Lewis McChord will soon deploy to the Middle East for missions in and around Iraq, Afghanistan and into Africa, the Air Force said today.

The members of the 8th Airlift Squadron of the 62nd Airlift Wing based at McChord Field will will be gone for about five months, according to a news release on the base website.

No date was given for their departure.

Staff Sgt. Joseph Cimino, 8th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, looks on as a heavy airdrop platform extends from the rear of a C-17 Globemaster III over Moses Lake April 13./Air Force Photo by Abner Guzman)

They’ll take over operations from the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, said the news release from Air Force Capt. Ali Kojak.

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A soldier’s photos

I met Private 1st Class Greg Miller when I was in Iraq a few months ago as an embedded journalist. He took a photo of me in his Stryker vehicle, and we started talking about photography. He told me that he takes his camera with him on missions and wherever he goes. I asked him to keep in touch.

While he was back on leave a few weeks ago,

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Volcanic eruptions affect McChord crews, too

Those eruptions of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano that disrupted air travel across Europe affected Joint Base-Lewis McChord flight crews, too.

But because McChord airmen become part of a larger system of Air Force personnel around the globe once they leave Puget Sound, it’s difficult to tell how their schedules or roles have changed because of the volcano, a McChord Field spokeswoman said Tuesday.

McChord’s 62nd Airlift Wing has 42 crews of about four people each and 26 aircraft “in the system” right now, Capt. Ali Kojak said. Crews from the 446th Airlift Wing, a reserve unit, also fly daily missions around

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Air Expo set at McChord Field July 17-18

Joint Base Lewis-McChord will host an air expo this summer at McChord Field.
The show is set for July 17 and 18. The event will be free and open to the public.
No other details were available this morning.
A notice on the McChord Web site says only, “more information will be available soon.”
The Air Force’s elite flying team, the Thunderbirds, is already booked for a show in Duluth, Minn., that weekend, according to the Thunderbirds website.
The Thunderbirds are scheduled to appear at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane the

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Navy commander in Africa has Tacoma ties

We are finally printing in the newspaper the short version of Scott Fontaine’s interview with Rear Adm. Brian L. Losey, who grew up in Tacoma and now leads Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, based in Djibouti.

We put the full transcript of the interview up on the blog several days ago, but it got buried so here it is again.