JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD - When Senior Airman Victoria Montgomery joined the 446th Logistics Readiness Flight at McChord Field, she didn't anticipate supporting a mission that led to the initial production lot of the Air Force's newest refueling tanker - the KC-46A Pegasus.
Montgomery integrated with the 62nd Logistics Readiness Squadron here and helped to build and maintain readiness spares packages for refueling demonstrations, which were necessary before the KC-46A Pegasus program received approval to enter into production Aug. 12.
Readiness spares packages, or RSPs, include supplies and parts that are packaged, maintained and ready for rapid global deployment to support aircraft maintenance. Montgomery was part of the team that provided RSP support for the F-16 Fighting Falcons, one of three aircraft that were refueled off the boom by the KC-46A Pegasus. She's been working alongside active-duty counterparts since last November.
Montgomery contributed to two low-rate initial production lots, totaling 19 aircraft and associated spare parts. According to a recent article published by the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, contracts will soon be awarded to Boeing for a "pre-negotiated $2.8 billion combined value.
"The first aircraft deliveries will be to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, and Altus AFB, Oklahoma. A total of eighteen tankers are scheduled to be delivered by early 2018."
As a traditional reservist, Montgomery participated in monthly unit training assemblies, or UTAs, and other annual training requirements with the 446th LRF. Outside of her military commitment, she was a full-time college student seeking a career as a nurse anesthetist. However, when the opportunity arose for Montgomery to gain more experience as an inventory management journeyman, she quickly volunteered to contribute more time to the Air Force.
"My main goal is to become more competent all the way around," she said. "I have been moving from one section to another, but I want to have a higher level of knowledge and be proficient at my job."
Assisting with the KC-46A Pegasus mission wasn't the only total force integration opportunity for Montgomery. She also partnered with the 62nd LRS after graduating from initial skills training in September 2014 as part of the Air Force Reserve Seasoning Training Program.
"I enjoy working with the active-duty," Montgomery said. "I feel like there's a lot that I could learn; I already have learned a lot from them. They treat me just like one of them."
Reservists who participate in the STP volunteer to remain on active-duty to receive on-the-job training. Staff Sgt. Jimmie High, with the 62nd LRS, is the NCO in charge of readiness spares package and played a role in Montgomery's upgrade training.
"If we deploy with reservists and they haven't interacted with active-duty, it's like two worlds meeting," High said. "We're able to bridge that gap, and I think a lot of people don't get that. So it definitely helps with transition."