Rainier Wing is postured for a very positive future

  • Published
  • By Col. Scott L. McLaughlin
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

When I assumed command of the 446th Airlift Wing, I remember saying that I was looking forward to working with our Army partners and learning more about the functional relationships between the active duty, reserve, guard and Army components here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

As I wrap up over three years of command at the Rainier Wing, I can honestly say I have learned a tremendous amount about many of the impressive units comprising the Joint Base Lewis-McChord community. Needless to say, I consider this assignment to be the best of my career.

Having the opportunity to represent this wing in the community certainly has been a highlight for me. With many assignments under my belt and having lived in many different parts of the country, I can without a doubt say the local community here is the most supportive I have ever encountered.

With annual events like the operations Turkey Drop and Ham Grenade, the community supports JBLM with a generosity I’ve never witnessed elsewhere.

Although I am transitioning to a new installation and community, I will always remember my time at JBLM positively. Reflecting on all that has happened in the years of my command here, I am most proud of the accomplishments of not just the Rainier Wing, but of all JBLM Airmen and Soldiers as well.

Our Airmen and Soldiers are some of the most professional and dedicated service members in the country, which makes JBLM such an awesome and formidable power projection platform.
I will officially hand over the reins to a new commander Friday, and I’m confident in saying the Rainier Wing is postured for a positive future. In 2016, the wing was rated “Effective” and scored “Highly Effective” for the Major Graded Area of Improving the Unit, which is the highest rating a wing can achieve for any graded area.

Also, the Rainier Wing fostered a culture of innovation through Continuous Process Improvement, performing an Enterprise Value Stream Analysis for each of our 18 units. This endeavor identified 86 wing processes requiring immediate improvement.

Finally, realistic military exercises are the norm for the JBLM community. During my tenure, the wing participated in Air Mobility Command’s Mobility Guardian exercise that challenged our aeromedical evacuation squadron to critical patient stabilization training in an international training environment.

It has been such an honor to serve as a wing commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. I’ve made many friends inside and outside of the installation’s gates, and I know I’ll keep in touch with many of them for the rest of my life.

I never like to say goodbye, so I’ll leave by saying thank you JBLM for the opportunity to grow as an officer and commander and for re-introducing me to the beauty of kindness of my native Pacific Northwest.