Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

November 26, 2011 at 3:33am

446th AW welcomes new maintenance commander

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Air Force Reservists change locations almost as much as the active force. They go where they are needed, and where the command can benefit most from their skills and knowledge. Some move across the state, while others move clear across the country.

Col. Alan Lerner joined the 446th Airlift Wing family Oct. 1 as the 446th Maintenance Group commander. He and his wife Catherine relocated to McChord Field from the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base in Del.

Lerner said he has been working in maintenance for 26 years, and enjoys working with and leading maintainers. Throughout his career, his focus has always been taking care of his people.

"My priority is to mirror the active duty as much as we can, and to be strong wingmen," said Lerner. "We have to work within the limits of an eight-hour day, but we will do the best we can. The Reservists here are trained well and are able to provide continuity to the active force."

Chief Master Sgt. Tim Meyer, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent, who has been with the unit for 26 years, said he was impressed with Lerner as soon as he met him and plans to help him get settled in and learn the way of the 446th AW.

"The first thing I noticed about him was his professionalism," said Meyer. "He will fit easily into this associate wing because he brings a lot of command knowledge to the group."

While at Dover, Lerner supervised the maintenance of the C-17 Globemaster III as well as the C-5 Galaxy. He said he prefers working with the C-17.

"The C-17 has better mission capable and home station reliability rate, " he said. "They launch on time to meet the daily schedule. It is a newer aircraft designed with maintenance in mind, and has a quicker turn-around rate. The C-5 was designed to carry heavy loads a long distance. Reliability was not a focus then as it has been in the last 25 years."

Lerner said the AFSO 21 program at the 512th AW is very successful he would like to see various aspects of the program continued here. Since the C-17 is 20 years younger than the C-5, it needs less maintenance, but places like the ISO dock and back shops can still garner great benefits.

Along with the AFSO 21 process, Lerner was actively involved in the training and preparation for the Operational Readiness Inspection with the 512th AW, which prepared him well for next year's ORI here.

"We will participate and I have no doubt we will do well. It was a similar package there, and the same will be expected here."

Lerner has plans to get into the groove of the high ops tempo of the 446th AW. In his down time, he would like to explore the local area, he said.

According to Lerner, the area here is much bigger than the area he lived in near Dover AFB. There was more of a hometown feel there, while here there is a much larger population, with more options and events to take advantage of and enjoy.

"I'm glad to be here," said the new Puyallup, Wash. resident. "My wife lived here before we were married and the opportunity to come back made her very happy. Until I retire, this is home and I plan to enjoy and take full advantage of everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer."

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