Team McChord aircrews to stay sharp with ASEV inspection

By Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle on March 2, 2012

MCCHORD FIELD, Wash. -- The Aircrew Standard Evaluation Visit is scheduled from June 18 to July 2. However, examiners from Air Mobility Command began "on-the-spot" evaluations, better known as SPOT EVALs, Feb. 19.

The purpose of an ASEV, in this case, is to evaluate how wing aircrew members from the 446th and 62nd Airlift Wings perform their duties and responsibilities on the ground, in-flight and administratively. The examiners make sure the crews accomplish their jobs safely and according to regulatory and flight-manual guidance.

"Basically, we are prepared all the time," said Lt. Col. Pete Buehn, 446th Operations Group chief of standard evaluation. "We look at it like we are having guests in the house. All we need to do is vacuum out the cracks, polish the silver and we are ready to go."

These ASEVs entail SPOT EVALS, to determine proficiency levels and administrative reviews to make sure the correct procedures are being followed, said Senior Master Sgt. Terry Philon, 313th Airlift Squadron chief of standard evaluation. ASEVs also measure the wing's capability of performing its assigned airlift mission.

ASEVs are important because they also give AMC factual data as to the compliance and performance level of its wing-level units, said Buehn.

Based on past performance, the Puyallup resident ensures confidence in the wing's ability to earn high marks during the visit.

"The 446th AW has always done well, which is a reflection of the quality aircrew and support personnel," he said.

Buehn's assurance isn't a shock to Philon.

"This year, 446th AW aircrews are being extremely professional and very good at what they do," said Philon.

As a veteran who's experienced quite a few ASEVs in his time, Philon stresses how crucial they are in keeping his crews' performances at a high level.

"As chief of standardization, along with squadron training, it is my responsibility to reinforce and insure our aircrew knowledge level and crew-duty accomplishments to meet and exceed expectations," said the 34-year Reservist. "It's also my responsibility to insure our administrative processes are in line with regulations. This includes process reviews and self-inspections."

These self-inspections and reinforcements may come in the form of study sessions and study groups with aircrew instructors in a classroom environment or on an aircraft, said Philon, who lives in Graham.

Senior Master Sgt. Derek Bryant, 728th Airlift Squadron chief of standard evaluation, says the ASEV experience has always proven to be a good guideline for the aircrews.

"The 446th has a really good relationship with the ASEV team and mainly because of the communication involved," said the Gig Harbor resident. "Our wing loadmasters get a chance to see firsthand what AMC expects from its enlisted flyers. AMC also gets a good idea of how efficiently we operate and the professionalism of the wing's aircrew members."

Bryant says ASEVs are also a good way of improving aircrew performance.

"Even though we, as a wing, look to ASEVs to help fine tune any discrepancies in our (standard evaluation) shops, we in return have enlightened the ASEV team on our wing's compliance towards flying standards and definitely shared with them our knowledge and management of the SharePoint programs in relations to standardization and evaluations. It has always been a learning experience for both the wing and the ASEV team," he said.

Buehn says in the case of any discrepancies, the examiners may see areas that would need to be bolstered in wing processes or weak areas in the performance realm would be identified.

However, Buehn, who's been with the 446th AW since 1987, reinforces his confidence in the wing's aircrews for the inspection.

"We are expecting nothing less than outstanding results and will continue to polish for such," he said.

PHOTO: Senior Master Sgt. Terry Philon, a Reserve standard evaluation loadmaster with the 313th Airlift Squadron, gives the approach briefing for passangers onboard a C-17 Globemaster III before landing at McChord Field, Wash. As his squadron's chief of standard evaluation, Philon is responsible for ensuring aircrew members are properly prepared the upcoming Aircrew Standard Evaluation Visit from Air Mobility Command in June. The purpose of an ASEV is to evaluate how wing aircrew members perform their duties on the ground, during flight, and administratively. Philon has 34 years of experience with ASEVs. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle)