News

McChord reservists work through pandemic with hybrid UTAs

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --

Reservists of the 446th Airlift Wing here continue to hold hybrid in-person and virtual Unit Training Assemblies July 11-14 during COVID-19 pandemic.

“As previously mentioned, leaders in all units methodically reviewed all options for the June UTA,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Paul M. Skipworth, commander of the 446th AW. “In the end, they balanced the risks with keeping you healthy, complying with installation and local guidelines related to COVID-19, and keeping you combat-ready.”

Reservists are still required to wear cloth face coverings at appointments and continue strict hygiene practices, such as no hand-shaking, proper hand washing, social distancing, and taking appropriate actions when feeling sick. In Washington state face coverings are required in all public spaces (indoor and outdoor).

Because of the pandemic, no new members have in processed, as such the 446th Airman & Family Readiness will host the first newcomer’s briefing in four months.

“In the interim of not holding our briefing,” said Jill Marconi-Pyclik, director of the 446th A&FR. “I developed a newsletter for the members waiting with specific information about the 446th, COVID-19 restrictions, important POCs they would need to call if they had any questions and a way to reach me.”

Two newcomer’s briefings will be held July UTA on Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. in the wing auditorium in building 1214.

During these difficult times chapel services continued, U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Wilson, the wing chaplain of the 446th AW Chaplain Office, holds his chapel service through Microsoft Teams.

“While I believe there is something special about meeting in-person for encouragement and worship together,” said Wilson about streaming and recording services. “We want every Airman to have the option to participate in religious services and providing services that are in-person, live virtually, or recorded will give Airmen the flexibility they need to accomplish the mission while still caring for their souls.”

Worship services are held live Sundays at 8:00 a.m. during UTAs through Teams.

For those who will participate in the UTA virtually, there are several capabilities for use, such as Desktop Anywhere, Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) and Virtual Private Network (VPN). Your chain of command will provide information on which systems you will use.

“We keep you and your families foremost in our minds,” said Skipworth. “Thank you for staying resilient and flexible with us during this pandemic, we do not know what the future holds but we will get through this together.”