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Mcchord Air Force Base in Tacoma, WA Washington Military Bases
McChord Air Force base in one half of the current much larger Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the Puget Sound area of Washington State. The second half of the base, the Army garrison of Fort Lewis, was merged into McChord Air Force Base in February of 2010 as a result of the 2005 Base Relocation and Closure Commission. The joint base is one of 12 such mergers throughout the United States that were created as a result of the Base Relocation and Closure Commission.
The base is jointly command by the United States Army and Air Force at both the officer and enlisted level, allowing for collaboration and sharing of assets in for training and deployment. The strategic location of the base, within a few miles of three major ports, makes the installation the single power and projection platform of the United States Armed Forces west of the Rocky Mountains.
The base is most widely known amongst the U.S. Air Force as home to the C-17 Globemaster III, the workhorse of the Air Force. The advanced cargo aircraft is used across all branches of the armed services for troop and cargo transport, strategic air drops and medical evacuations.
McChord Air Force Base began life as Tacoma Field in 1930 as an Army Airfield. In 1940 the airfield was renamed to McChord Field in honor of Colonel William Caldwell McChord, a former chief of the Army Air Corps Headquarters. In World War II, prior to US involvement, the base served as an internal security guard for the United States. The bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941 changed the role of McChord Field and the base was equipped with bombardment units to undertake anti-submarine patrols on the west coast. Only a few months after the attacks on Pearl Harbor a bomber from McChord field sank a Japanese submarine with four bombs while on patrol. In the later days of World War II units from McChord Field were deployed to participate in the famed Doolittle Raids over mainland Japan.
In 1947 the Army turned over control of McChord Field to the newly established United States Air Force and the base was renamed McChord Air Force Base.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is home to a large contingent of both the United States Army and Air Force. Primary Air Force units include the 62nd Air Lift Wing, the 446th Air Lift Wing, 627th Air Base Group and Air Force Special Operations Command. The base is also home to tenant organizations of the 1st Air Support Operations Group, 22nd Special Tactics Squadron and 361st Recruiting Squadron.
Units stationed at the installation fill a variety of responsibilities, with many of them being in a regular deployment cycle in support, combat and humanitarian roles.
McChord Air Force Base (Joint Base Lewis-McChord)
Joint Base Lewis-McCord is a training and mobilization center for all services and is the only Army power-projection platform west of the Rockies. Its key geographic location provides rapid access to the deep-water ports of Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle for deploying equipment. Units can be deployed from McChord Field, and individuals and small groups can also use nearby Sea-Tac Airport.
The strategic location of the base provides Air Force units with the ability to conduct combat and humanitarian airlift to any location in the world with the C-17A Globemaster III, the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft in the airlift force
Welcome to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The joint base, which began operation in January 2010 from the consolidation of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base, is one of 12 new joint bases created by the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The new joint base begins service with 93 years of history as the oldest military installation in the Pacific Northwest. Fort Lewis was established in 1917 and McChord Air Force Base was established in 1947, the same year the U.S. Air Force became a separate branch of the armed forces.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a training and mobilization center for all services and is the only Army power-projection base west of the Rocky Mountains. Its geographic location provides rapid access to the deep water ports of Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle for deploying equipment. Units can be deployed from McChord Field, and individuals and small groups can also use nearby Sea-Tac Airport. The strategic location of the base provides Air Force units with the ability to conduct combat and humanitarian airlift with the C-17 Globemaster III.
Joint Base Lewis-McCord is a United States military facility located 9.1 miles (14.6 km) south-southwest of Tacoma, Washington under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Joint Base Garrison, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The facility is an amalgamation of the United States Army Fort Lewis and the United States Air Force McChord Air Force Base which merged on 1 February 2010 into a Joint Base as a result of Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations of 2005.
The Kitsap Airporter offers daily shuttle service between JBLM and Sea-Tac Airport. For rates and schedules, call (360) 876-1737. Reservations can also be made at: www.kitsapairporter.com. AMTRAK ticketing, scheduling and reservations service is available through the bus depot or by calling (800) USA-RAIL, (800) 872-7245.
Pierce Transit offers service on base near the Main Gate on bus route 300 from the base to South Tacoma Way and the Tacoma Mall Transit Center. For information about bus routes, rates, schedules and car/van pools, call (253) 581-8000 or visit www.piercetransit.org.
For Airmen on JBLM on TDY, the base taxi service is available by calling 982-2685.
Taxi services are available in and around JBLM and Lakewood, call Pacific Northwest Dispatch Taxi service at (253) 589-1000, (253) 582-3000. Metered rates (on and off base) are $3.75 on flag drop and $2.25 per mile thereafter for one to five passengers. Wait time is 50 cents per minute.
Military Airlift Command flights are available from McChord Field for active-duty military and eligible Reserve Component military. For recorded information on the next day’s flights, call 982-7268. For more detailed information, call 982-7259.
All officers and enlisted Soldiers must report to the Waller Hall Welcome and Farewell Center, Building 2140, on arrival regardless of unit assignment. If you are not able to report on the required date, call Travelers Assistance at (800) 582-5552 or the Welcome Center at 967-7004 or DSN 357-7004.
You can expect to be with the detachment six days. Once you sign in, you will receive a billeting assignment, bedding and a temporary meal card if you are not on separate rations. If your family arrives with you, the Welcome Center will help make them comfortable during your in-processing. To avoid difficulty with obtaining temporary lodging for your family, make reservations at the Rainier Inn, 964-0211.
You should have all your records with you: personnel, finance, medical and dental. You must be in uniform to in-process. The duty uniform for in-processing is ACU.
Air Force Personnel
All active-duty service members are required to in-process through the customer service office located within the Military Personnel Section upon arrival. At that time, your relocation package will be opened and the customer service office will collect your unit personnel records group (if e-records not established yet) as well as a current SGLI form. You will receive back all other records, such as medical, dental and on-the-job training records. After you receive your medical and dental records, you will take them to the medical and dental clinic at your earliest convenience. You will also be scheduled for the Base Newcomers’ Orientation Program at this time.
At the base newcomers’ orientation, you will attend briefings provided by different base agencies on Joint Base Lewis-McChord and you will accomplish your travel voucher with finance, as well as speak with a representative to set up with TRICARE-West.