Rainier Wing moves mountains in Spain

By Staff Sgt. Madelyn McCullough on March 11, 2016

When teams are assembled in order to accomplish a project or goal, their success can be measured by the chemistry within.

In the Air Force, it's no different. Airmen across the globe collectively achieve its mission by sustaining an integrative, flexible, rapidly mobile force.

Reservists with the 446th Airlift Wing's maintenance and aircraft maintenance squadrons, out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, demonstrated this ability providing maintenance support for the 725th Air Mobility Squadron here Feb. 14-28.

In order to meet annual training requirements, the Rainier Wing's citizen airmen assisted the 725th AMS airmen in their distinctive role of performing en-route maintenance operations for aircraft, which travel to forward operating locations.

Upon their arrival, the reserve maintainers tore off their warmups, and geared up for the game.

"We're providing real global support functioning away from home station," said Senior Master Sgt. Joe Warren, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron team. "This allows us to showcase our skills in a deployed environment, share what we know outside of McChord, and learn from our host (unit). It also gives us the ability to focus on production."

Reserve maintainers don't always get the option to train on the flightline during drill weekends. Some may have to fulfill their commitments at a base field training detachment (where aircraft maintenance students learn about a specific airframe in a university-type of environment), or on a computer. Annual tours, including this give Reserve airmen the chance to apply their skills.

"We get here and do our job, instead of training to do our job," said Tech Sgt. Lebaron Smith, 446th AMXS Instrument Flight Control Systems technician. "We get more experience and get people trained to do things by the book, fast and safe. When the time comes down to it and we need to be (mobilized), we need those skills."

Real-world environments also allow airmen to learn from each other. This is especially the case in maintenance and aircraft maintenance, because of the background variances between the Reserve and regular Air Force units. The 446th AMXS mission is exclusive to the C-17 Globemaster III airframe. However, performing at the en-route base demands general knowledge of multiple aircraft.

"They're a huge help," said Senior Master Sgt. Cameron Leslie, 725th Aircraft Maintenance Unit production superintendent.