Col Moss in an earlier blog post laid out the Wing’s Lines of Effort (LOEs) that helps guide our efforts to support the Wing’s Mission, Vision and Priorities (MVPs). What I would like to do is look at one of the LOEs, “Developing World Class Airmen”, and discuss how the 374th Maintenance Group is going to focus on that area to build an A Professional Maintenance Force ready to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Training is the life blood of maintenance and is truly one of the cornerstones of what makes our Air Force the Greatest in the World. Over the next year, training will become the primary mission of the Maintenance Group due to our transition from the C-130H to the C-130J. A fact that may be lost on a lot of folks is how different the aircraft really are even though they look very similar (The J is about 15 ft. longer and has a 6-bladed prop vs. a 4-bladed prop). A simpler understanding of the differences might be better explained by the comparison of trading out your 1974 Ford Pick-up for the new top of the line 2017 Ford F-150 Super duty. Think of all the changes in technology and advances that have been made in the automobile industry from 1974 to 2017 and now apply that same concept to a very capable aircraft.
MXG will build World Class Airmen through focusing on not only the tasks that are inherently different, due to the technical differences of the C-130H and C-130J, but we will also refocus our efforts on the basics of maintenance 101 that occur through every task. The concept of focusing on maintenance 101 is common across all career fields. The premise is to focus on and build positive habits for those things that we have to do during every task, whether it be in the beginning/middle/or end of a task. I liken this to putting on your seatbelt when you get into a car…if you have built the positive habit, it becomes something that just doesn’t feel right when you don’t accomplish it. For maintenance, those tasks become things like reviewing documentation before a task, wearing the proper protective equipment during a task, or doing a tool inventory at the end of a task. If we pay close attention to detail on the basic steps, it is human nature that that same attention to detail will filter into the more difficult, less common tasks, thus making our maintenance effectiveness and safety that much better.
Over the next year if we focus our training regimen on building a C-130J technically proficient force with a focused attention to detail that is sustained by basic fundamental maintenance habits, the Maintenance Group will continue the tradition at Yokota AB of developing World Class Professional Maintainers that are second to none at generating Tactical Airlift in a safe, healthy work environment. Are you ready for the transition?
If It’s in the Air…Maintenance Put it There!!!
Col Sean Robertson, 374th MXG Commander