USAFEC leadership visits JBLM

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Robert Hicks
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center Public Affairs

Maj. Gen. John Klein, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Courtney Freeman, USAFEC command chief, engaged with the 627th Air Base Group at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to collaborate on the continuing plan to carry out joint combat power anytime, anywhere.

During the visit, the command team met with leadership and Airmen to get an increased understanding on why JBLM is seen as the premier power projection platform that houses, feeds, trains, mobilizes and rapidly deploys the joint force.

“Our focus is to maximize the opportunities that allow us to better understand our sister service while honing our craft,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Chris Hall, 627th ABG commander. “We will need seamless interoperability when it comes to the next fight.”

Additionally, leadership explained how they provide mission essential support and services to more than 350 units, enabling commanders to build and maintain an operationally ready and resilient force.

“We like to think of ourselves as a hybrid,” Hall said. “We’re not a mission support group or a wing, but we have to find a way to ensure mission success. Joint basing is hard and it’s not perfect. There are seams and gaps in everything we do, and it is our responsibility to bridge those gaps and ensure seamless execution.”

Chief Master Sgt. John Marquez, 627th ABG senior enlisted leader, went on to explain how it’s important that Airmen know they are the individuals who are bridging the gap between joint basing.

“It does not matter the service; we are here to bring mission and installation support,” Marquez said. “That’s the culture we are pushing across the group, as well as JBLM. We as one team, one fight will bridge the gap together.”

The USAFEC command team also had the opportunity to learn about special fueling operations and how they were the driving unit behind Air Mobility Command’s initiative related to the C-17 Globemaster.

Special fueling operations are used when on-site ground crews transfer fuel from a mobility aircraft to another expeditionary fuel bladder, fuel truck, or directly to a fighter aircraft.

During a recent exercise, a McChord C-17 airlifted an R-11 refueling truck to Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.  The aircraft fuel from the C-17 wing was offloaded to the truck, which then refueled fighter jets participating in the exercise.

“Typically, at home stations and deployed locations our aircraft park in the same area, which makes it possible for adversaries to monitor our aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. William Harris, 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels apprentice. “With this operation it keeps the ground time at a minimum and we are able to relaunch quickly, making it harder track any tendencies or patterns, while making our force more agile.”