JOINT BASE CHARLESTON –
During his last week as 315th Airlift Wing commander, Col. Steven Chapman, flew his final C-17 flight May 3 out of Joint Base Charleston, S.C.
Colonel Chapman landed with a big smile on his face, as the Globemaster III--sporting his wing commander colonel placard in the window--made its way beneath an arc of water spraying from two Joint Base Charleston fire trucks.
His smile was reflected in the face of his wife Janet as she marshaled his jet to a parking spot in front of Base Operations.
Power was cut to the engines, then a crowd of more than one hundred people cheered and applauded as Colonel Chapman made his way down the stairs to the tarmac. The colonel's shared smile with his wife was abruptly interrupted by Tech. Sgt. Logan Cathcart, a loadmaster assigned to the 317th Airlift Squadron, pouring a barrel cooler of ice water over the commander's head from behind. At the same time, his wife sprayed champagne at her husband while an ear to ear grin graced her face.
After the wing commander was thoroughly soaked and had a moment to regain his composure, a line quickly formed by the onlookers seeking the opportunity to shake his hand and bid him farewell.
Colonel Chapman rides into the sunset toward Robins Air Force Base, Ga. Sunday afternoon. He has been commander of the 315 AW since April 2009.