Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska --
The 477th Fighter Group Aircraft Maintenance Squadron joined Raptor partners from the Hawaii Air National Guard, 154th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, for their annual tour soaring through two weeks of day to day missions from June 19-July 01, 2017 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
This isn’t the first time these Raptor units have completed successful training missions together, joining forces to gain experience and increase capabilities.
The HIANG welcomed the 477th maintainers, business as usual, including them into their daily flight-line operations immediately.
“My first impression was the first day at the HIANG; aircraft assignments were written on the blackboard with names assigned, ready for the day’s mission,” said Chief Master Sgt. Darren Thews, the 477th Fighter Group AMXS chief. “Just like we have been here forever.”
154 aircraft maintenance squadron has a total of 45 crew chiefs, 25 technicians, 40 specialist and 50 weapons troops, if you add the 75 maintainers from the 477 FG, you can bet something will change.
“The team from the 477th … enabled us to plus up to three shift operations and allowed us to produce 220 sorties at a 17.3 sortie utilization rate while simultaneously raising the mission capability rate from a dismal 40 percent for the first week in June to an unprecedented 81 percent for the last week in June,” said Brigadier General Gregory Woodrow the 154th Wing Commander of the Hawaii Air National Guard. “Additionally, 220 sorties is the second highest monthly total that we have ever produced, and the 17.3 SUTE rate is by far our highest rate ever.”
One objective of a total force temporary duty assignment is to improve team building and unity among Total Force Enterprise partners.
“Building the F-22 community with others is important,” said Staff Sgt. Gabriel Marcial, aircraft crew chief from the 154th. “It makes TDYs easier when they happen because we share the same knowledge about the aircraft.”
“It’s a different environment here in Hawaii,” said Technical Sgt. Russell Mesinas, one of the flight-line expeditors from the 154th. “The HIANG can ‘Show them the Aloha spirit.’ Being in the Air National Guard in charge of the F-22 aircraft here in Hawaii, we have a lot of experience and knowledge … to offer. We all have something to learn from each other.”
“The HIANG made us feel, right at home,” said Staff Sgt. William Flores, 477 FG crew chief. “It is nice to see a different dynamic of F-22 operations with other units.”
“The relationship and community the two units exercised this annual tour is exactly how Total Force Enterprise should be, however, our team togetherness on this TDY seems to be above and beyond the norm,” said Thews.
Unit integration is the standard in these military times--times when we stand next to partners from every work-related military occupation and make missions a reality no matter who is next to you, be it active duty, Guard or Reserve.
Avionics electric and environment technician, Technical Sgt. Jair Guevara from the 477 FG said, “The combined experience that comes to the flight-line on a TDY is invaluable. The different experience helps in both short and long-term solutions with aircraft maintenance.”
“Joint force integration is expected and, in retrospect, to a maintainer, culture is part of us all,” said Master Sgt. Kenneth Lopez, 154th aircraft technician expeditor. “To be a better person overall, it is of high importance to be adaptable to your surroundings. One word--Commitment-- it speaks volumes, helping one another.”
The combined Alaskan Hawaiian Guard TDY is a prime example of how the Total Force Enterprise works.
“The relationships that we are building are a true testament of the collective effort … the big picture for the greater good: producing combat ready Airmen for air dominance and combat capabilities. TFE is not just limited to home-station,” said Maj. Rebecca Daugherty, 477 AMXS Commander. “What an excellent example of not only the 477th mission, but how it perfectly reflects our vision ‘to be an agile, inclusive force, employing our experience within strong partnerships.’”