Seattle Nisei Vets (NVC) and NVC Foundation were invited for a visit to I Corps at JBLM (Fort Lewis) and McChord AFB by Lt Gen Leonard J. Lanza, I Corps Commander on 3 Mar 17. It was a short-fused invite so we could muster only nine (9) NVC members to attend. Thanks to Keiro Northwest, we were able to borrow one of their vans for the trip, and the few that went had a very enjoyable trip.
The event started with a personal greeting from Lt Gen Lanza followed by a I Corps Command briefing. Following the briefing and answering all our questions, we were taken to several static displays of combat hardware and support vehicles in an open field. The equipment displayed were manned by operational crewmembers and they explained their mission and demonstrated the operation of the gear. The equipment and the demonstrations were quite impressive and I Corp personnel very informative and displayed competence! And, they all seemed very young! We then went to the joint Mess where we had an enjoyable lunch with a variety of lunch choices. We had very friendly servers and sat right amongst the Ft Lewis troops ... everyone was so hospitable!
After lunch, we drove to McChord AFB to visit their small air museum which we toured for an hour and then proceeded to the flight line where an operational C-17 transport was prepped for our visit by the 62nd Air Transport Wing. We were greeted by the Wing Commander, Col Leonard J. Kosinski who introduced us to the C-17 aircraft commander and his crew members. They showed us this very large transport -- large enough to carry two (2) Army tanks or tremendous amounts of combat gear or fully equipped troops directly (with air refueling) to any destination world-wide! We were guided through the immense cargo bay plus given a thorough tour of the flight deck, sat in the cockpit and given tons of data regarding the aircraft that is our USAF top mobile transport. It is quite an impressive aircraft and workhorse in the USAF air fleet ... though not a 'fighter aircraft', even fighter-guy, Yuzo, was impressed!!
We were escorted back to Fort Lewis and our Nikkei Concerns van, and after thanking our Army escorts, Capt. Cain Claxton and 1st Lt. Rebecca Hyatt from JBLM, we arrived back at the Nikkei Concerns lot by 4:30 pm.
Thank you, Lt Gen Lanza, for a very informative and impressive tour of JBLM and McChord AFB