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News in brief for Jan. 22, 2016

Published: 03:38PM January 21st, 2016

Time for the final touches on homebrews for Brewfest 2016

Registration ends Feb. 1 for the 2016 Joint Base Lewis-McChord Brewfest competition for homebrews or microbrews. Commercially brewed beers are ineligible.

This is a beer-only event — ciders and meads will not be judged at this time.

Although judges review samples in a Feb. 6 private tasting, winners will not be announced until the Feb. 26 Brewfest. Each of the 23 categories, plus combined and Best of Show selections, will have first, second and third place awards.

The main event begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Club at McChord Field, located at 700 Barnes Blvd. The Brewfest features entertainment, door prizes, beer tasting and food for ticket-holders. Participating craft brewers get in for free, but must get their own base access.

Tickets for attendees not competing are $15 and include a mug and six beer samples, with a $5 charge for five additional samples.

Registration forms available on the Brewfest page at JBLMmwr.com/Brewfest. If you are a homebrewer, register at wahomebrewers.org/mcchord.

For more information, call 253-967-5776.

Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation

Current and upcoming traffic revisions affecting travel on JBLM

The following is a list of upcoming road construction projects that will hinder travel time on and around Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

• Lewis North, “A” Street is closed from 8th Street to 41st Division Drive for road construction until June 30. Repairs consist of installation of a storm water conveyance and treatment systems, construction of curb, gutter, sidewalks and street lighting, and pavement replacement.

• The City of Lakewood will do street improvements to the I-5 ramp for Bridgeport Way to McChord Field Main Gate in the late fall or early spring which will result in one lane of traffic in each direct. The work is scheduled to begin late February to June 30.

Improvements consist of; minor road widening, installation of a storm water conveyance and treatment systems and water main, construction of curb, gutter, sidewalks and street lighting, a two-inch HMA overlay from I-5 to San Francisco Avenue SW and full depth pavement replacement from San Francisco Avenue SW to McChord Drive SW.

Only one lane of traffic in each direction will be open.

Directorate of Public Works

KC-135 Al Udeid fleet surpass 100,000 combat hours

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar — The KC-135 Stratotanker fleet at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, flew more than 14,700 sorties in 2015 accumulating 103,419 combat hours in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedoms Sentinel.

“We provide refueling to every flying unit in the area of responsibility which is Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Afghanistan and supported 12 coalition nations,” said Lt. Col. James “J.J.” Murray, 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron director of operations. “We support aircraft 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so they can do their mission.”

Murray said more than 60 KC-135 Stratotankers took part in achieving the more than 100,000 combat hours. Each KC-135 crew flies an average of seven hours a day and offloads an average of 50,000 gallons of fuel per mission.

Murray said keeping an operations tempo of this magnitude is herculean.

“Imagine 12 airplanes flying 24 hours a day — it’s incredible,” Murray said. “If we were not out there to give gas to all our receivers, they we would have to fly shorter missions.”

Murray said the KC-135’s combat hour achievement was possible because of active-duty, Reserve and National Guard Airmen.

The combat hour achievement is the result of all of the aviators and support teams of the Stratotanker fleet at Al Udeid.

“If something is broken in our room and we don’t get adequate sleep, that can affect our mission,” Weber said . “We work long hours averaging 7-8 hours a flight and we can work between 12-14 hour days, so you depend on other units out here to help you get the mission done.”

Air Force News Service

Washington State Fair hosts the ‘Oh Say Can You Sing’ contest

PUYALLUP — The iconic Washington State Fair grandstand stage once again welcomes rising stars to perform the national anthem before amazing headliners and rodeo competitors perform. Both individuals and groups who are Washington state residents can savor this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by entering the “Oh Say Can You Sing” contest, with video entries due by Feb. 19.

Both vocal groups, individuals and instrumental entries will be accepted in the contest. Video entries can be uploaded on YouTube or submitted by mail. An outline of the official contest rules and procedures, plus complete lyrics of the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” can be found at: thefair.

com and searching for “Oh Say Can You Sing.” No entry fee is required.

Each winner will perform the national anthem at one of the 2016 Washington State Fair concerts or rodeo performances Sept. 2-25.

Washington State Fair

Exchange now seeking shopper feedback year-round

DALLAS — The Army and Air Force Exchange Service knows that Soldiers, Airmen and their families are the experts on how to best improve the Exchange shopping experience. That’s why the Exchange is inviting shoppers to sound off on their experiences 365 days a year with a new Customer Satisfaction Survey, located at surveymonkey.com/s/MyExchSurvey.

Previously, the Exchange gathered shopper feedback through its twice-yearly, store-level Customer Satisfaction Index, which was administered by an outside company. The new survey is performed in-house, allowing the Exchange team to view responses in real time and respond to areas of concern immediately.

Moving the survey, as well as the Exchange’s internal employee survey, in-house will save the Exchange about $730,000 per year in fees to the former outside service provider.

Army and Air Force Exchange Service