JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- McChord Field's runway officially reopened June 17 after being closed for repairs since February, marking the return of Airmen and C-17 Globemaster IIIs temporarily stationed elsewhere.

At 10 a.m. June 17, the first McChord Field C-17 returned from its temporary duty location and was followed by 17 more bringing the final installment of the equipment and Airmen back to McChord Field.

Despite being geographically separated, Team McChord Airmen were able to provide worldwide airlift support. With the reopening of the runway, they can now continue to complete their mission from their home station.

"This is the world's greatest airlift team and they have crushed the mission while being stationed away from home," said Col. Scovill Currin, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "I am thrilled to have all these Airmen and C-17s back where they belong, and I know they will continue to provide the best airlift support in the Air Force."

Some of the Airmen and C-17s temporarily assigned to other bases returned to Gray Army Airfield prior to the McChord Field runway's reopening.

"It has been a busy last few weeks coordinating the return of our Airmen and aircraft back to McChord," said Col. Mark Fuhrmann, 62nd Operations Group commander. "There are a lot of moving parts, but our Airmen have executed this mission with efficiency, and we are all excited to be working out of one airfield once more."

The new McChord Field runway was completed within its projected time.