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Reserve maintainers share expertise

Tennessee Guardsmen ready for C-17 delivery

Photo by Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Moody

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(446th AW PA) - Reservists from the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at McChord Field are sharing their expertise with crew chiefs from the 164th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Tennessee Air National Guard, Memphis, Tenn., who are preparing for a transition from the C-5 Galaxy to the C-17 Globemaster III.

Traveling to the Pacific Northwest for expert C-17 crew training, 12 164th AMXS crew chiefs are tasked with quickly ramping up their skills in preparation for the delivery of eight C-17 in fiscal 2013.

"My vision for the 446 AMXS is to maximize our maintainers' expertise by training fellow maintainers - especially those who are from other units that are new to the C-17," said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Meyer, 446th AMXS superintendent.

Leading the Air Guard team is Master Sgt. Todd Jones, 164th AMXS crew chief, who said his team must learn several hundred tasks from McChord's team to gain crew chief proficiency and certifications for C-17 aircraft systems.

"We have to get certified and proficient to perform hands-on tasks so we can return to our home station and train other crew chiefs on the C-17 systems," Jones said. "As crew chiefs, we have to understand a broad spectrum of aircraft systems. We have to have a basic understanding of how all the systems work and to understand when to bring in assistance from other shops."

Helping meet the Tennessee Air National Guard's Sept. 21 training deadline, the 446th AMXS crew chiefs immediately lend their support.

"Our job as air reserve technicians is to train people, so this is another opportunity to share our aircraft knowledge and lessons learned with another Air Force unit," said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Cherrix, 446th AMXS, Blue Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. "Our goal is to help them reach ‘operational status' and perform real-world missions for the Air Force. We are experts at this and will teach them well. I have no doubt they will leave McChord better equipped to perform their maintenance jobs and provide operational aircraft for the Air Force mission."

Supporting the Tennessee Air National Guard training also enhances the 446th AMXS crew chiefs' skills.

"This opportunity helps us to not only hone our skills in training, but to also build new relationships with our partners who share the same mission," Meyer said.

Photo: Senior Airman Jerrod Pilant, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, with crew chiefs Master Sgt. Jesse Spainhour and Master Sgt. Todd Jones, Tennessee Air National Guard, from left, check radio frequencies on the flight deck of a C-17 Globemaster III Aug. 30 at McChord Field.

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