Chief Master Sgt. James McLain: 27 years of meritorious service

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nije Hightower

Chief Master Sgt. James S. McLain, 301st Fighter Wing Maintenance Squadron senior enlisted leader, retired after 27 years of service during a formal retirement ceremony at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas, on June 4.

Col. John M. Nemecek, 301st Fighter Wing, Maintenance Group commander, presided over the ceremony. Col. Nemecek recognized Chief McLain for his service and recognized his wife, Master Sgt. Renee McLain, for her support.

“This retirement is a story of resiliency,” Nemecek expressed. “Both Chief McLain and Master Sgt. McLain have built a reputation of excellence and resiliency in the 301 FW. They are go-tos on issues and they have gone the extra mile to take care of airmen.”

McLain began his military career as an Egress Technician at the 56th Component Repair Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. He served as an active duty airman from 1991 until February of 2000.

In 2003, McLain joined the Air Reserve Technician (ART) program through Luke AFB, Arizona. After four years, McLain transferred to the 301 MXS, where he became the squadron superintendent in 2019.

During this time, Chief McLain managed over 280 personnel in off-aircraft maintenance, back-shop maintenance production, and generation for twenty-six F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft worth over 785 million dollars.

Throughout his military career, McLain has served multiple expeditionary tours in support of Operations Southern Watch, Freedom Sentinel, Iraqi Freedom, Desert Storm, Patriot Mudbug, Patriot Tuna, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Resolute Support and Operation Noble Eagle.

“Chief Master Sgt. McLain is a warrior,” said Nemecek. “He has done six deployments, he’s a leader, and most of all he is a mentor and believer in his Airmen’s potential.”

After the official retirement certificate presentation, leadership from across the wing thanked Chief McLain for his leadership and guidance both professionally and personally.

At the end of the ceremony, McLain reflected on his career at the 301 FW and the impact the people have made on him.

“I’d like to thank everyone for being here, it’s been an emotional and wonderful experience,” said Chief McLain. “You all have a special place in my heart; you all mean so much and have taught me so much thank you.”

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