JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska —
The 3rd Maintenance Group held their quarterly safety training day Aug 21, 2017 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
This specific training day enabled over 1,500 Airmen from all sections of the group to focus on training essential to both achieving and maintaining mission readiness.
For example, the 90th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s, more specifically the Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Section was able to use the day for a scheduled F-22 Raptor engine change while at the same time training and qualifying six new Airmen on the task.
“Most of the jobs we do are extremely time-intensive and time-sensitive,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew D. Miller, TAMS NCO in charge. “There are some harder tasks on the newer planes that the Airmen straight out of technical school don’t have the ability to learn until they get to their first base.”
In addition, the Airmen had more chances to ask questions. The experienced NCO’s were able to go in depth, teaching them the proper procedures associated with the engine swap one at a time. This added another dimension to the hands-on experience, in a more controlled environment.
“We are grappling with large numbers of new Airmen coming into their jobs straight out of technical school. They need opportunities to learn and physically do some tasks with more controlled guidance, in order to become proficient technicians,” said Air Force Lt. Austin Rohlman. “This ensures our Airmen are properly trained and will be ready to perform their mission at all times.”
Both the value of the product and the Airmen’s training are both heavily considered when training day content is decided upon.
“With each engine being worth $12.5 million, it is important during an engine swap that they are pulled safely and efficiently,” Miller said. “We want our Airmen to understand the intricate details that go into a task like this. It takes approximately 12 hours to do the engine change as long as everything goes exactly right on a normal day, this means that there’s not a lot of teaching time available. By doing this particular task on a training day, we were able to take advantage of the time and it was extremely valuable in many ways.”
While ensuring every Airman is properly trained and ready to perform their mission at all times this training day also provided an opportunity for NCO’s to practice leadership skills learned during Airman Leadership School.
“It’s one thing to learn leadership qualities in ALS,” said Rohlman. “It’s another thing to use them in the work center. For an NCO walking a young Airman step-by step, through their first qualification on a bigger task, is a way of keeping their leadership skills strong.”
Time will always be a precious commodity when it comes to the world of maintainers; the 3d MXG met that challenge with effective planning, communication, and execution of their quarterly safety training day.