Northwest Military Blogs: McChord Flightline Chatter

April 15, 2012 at 3:45am

Reserve maintainers earn props from AMC

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Air Mobility Command has honored two Reservists from the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here for their outstanding work as associate wing maintainers.

Master Sgt. Jeffrey Daniels and Senior Airman Mailani Akey received the 2012 AMC Outstanding Reserve Associate Maintenance Award, which is given to Reservists from tenant units that carry the AMC mission. Daniels earned his award in the supervisor category, while Akey won hers as a technician.

"I'm very proud of them," said Lt. Col. Luke Upton, 446th AMXS commander. "They're awesome troops. They do a very outstanding job, and it's good to see them finally get recognized. I think it reflects very well on the squadron and also it shows the caliber of the folks we have, here in the 446th AMXS."

Daniels, the 446th Silver Aircraft Maintenance Unit pro-supervisor and night-shift expeditor, gives a shout out to his crew in winning his award.

"I credit the award to all of the technicians who work around me," Daniels said, who came into the Reserve in 1984. "Because if they weren't outstanding maintainers, I wouldn't have received anything."

Daniel's supervisor, Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Steinbacher, 446th Silver AMU section chief, explains what makes Daniels stand out.

"Jeff does a great job," Steinbacher said. "When he's out on the flightline, he expedites for the active duty, Reserve and civilians. The way he works with the active duty makes him stand out. He makes the relationship seamless. This is a true associate award."

Working behind the scenes with AMC's Rodeo last year, Daniels was highly instrumental in making sure the 446th Airlift Wing's Rodeo team and aircraft were prepared, according to Steinbacher. Being the on-scene supervisor during the night shift, he was responsible for all the 446th Silver AMU aircraft on the flightline and assisted the 446th Blue Aircraft Maintenance Unit with aircraft maintenance when needed.

Daniels, reverts back to his technicians in making his job as a supervisor easier.

"Every day, they're launching aircraft for the War on Terror," said the air Reserve technician. "Every day, they're meeting the aircraft flying schedules. They always get the missions out on time. We work hard all night long in preparing the aircraft for the morning flyers."

Speaking of maintenance technicians, Akey embodies the qualities squadron leadership looks for in their Airmen, according to Senior Master Sgt. Cameron Pence, 446th Blue AMU superintendent.

"She has the raw ability to execute the mission and generate results," Pence said. "She also represents the professionalism we want in the unit. Her demeanor and approach to the military couple with her hard work and accomplishments, to make the type of person we look for. Essentially, we try to use the same approach of every nominee. People like her, who are very self contained and competent, possess the high-quality standard we hold in the squadron. In shorthand, she's just an awesome person."

The first-quarter Airman of the Quarter from 2011 credits her former supervisor, Master Sgt. Michael Silva, then the 446th AMXS aircraft electrical and environmental lead technician, with helping shape her into a better maintainer.

"Sergeant Silva was a very tough ART," said Akey, who lives in Gig Harbor. "But I didn't question it because I think he was trying to chisel me into a hardworking Airman- a female who has to compete with all the guys. I thank him for making me a better, stronger maintainer."

Silva explains why Akey stands out.

"Mailani has a great ability to pick things up on the go," said the now, 446th Maintenance Squadron Electrical and Environmental section chief. "She has a great ability to handle high-pressure situations well, which is critical to what we do. She was able to really hit the ground running, which is why she did so well when she deployed to (Southwest Asia)."

Pence doesn't question Silva's efforts either.

"Silva put a tremendous amount of energy in mentoring her," Pence said. "He saw potential in her and was more than willing to take her under his wing and develop her potential."

Silva envisions Akey's future with the squadron.

"I easily see her being a lead role model to her peers and eventually progressing into a senior NCO role," he said. "She's also expressed interest in going the officer route. I can see her easily making that transition as well."

PHOTO: Master Sgt. Jeffrey Daniels and Senior Airman Mailani Akey, both with the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, McChord Field, Wash., go over flightline expeditor logs during the Reserve weekend, April 1, 2012. Both maintainers won the Air Mobility Command Outstanding Reserve Associate Maintenance Award for 2012. Daniels earned his award in the supervisor category and Akey won hers as a technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle)

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