414th Fighter Group trains at the liberty wing
By Airman 1st Class Jessi Monte, 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 04, 2019
ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
U.S. Air Force Reserve Airmen assigned to the 414th Fighter Group at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., participated in their annual training Nov. 9 – 23, 2019 here.
Immersion training between Active and Reserve Airmen serves an important role in backfilling positions and providing a helping hand while units are on deployment. This temporary duty to RAF Lakenheath provided an opportunity for 414th FG members to gain more hands on experience, share knowledge and improve workflow with Liberty Wing Airmen.
“It’s all about efficiency,” said Staff Sgt. Robert McMillian, 48th Component Maintenance Squadron aircraft hydraulic systems craftsman. “Each base has their own best practices and we can trade information and exchange ideas.”
The 414th FG members found themselves with a comfortable advantage working with familiar aircraft, equipment and processes similar to their home station. Making the integration between the two units seamless.
“We hit the ground running on the first day,” said Tech. Sgt. Michael Sumner, 414th Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “We integrated quickly and were ready to get to work.”
Tech. Sgt. Luke Scheffler, a 48th Maintenance Squadron flight line expediter, said the 48th MXS Airmen enjoyed working alongside the reservists as they provided valuable insight into not only the maintenance field, but an understanding of reserve unit capabilities.
“The level of knowledge they possess and their willingness to help was instrumental in completing some complicated and aggressive maintenance,” said Scheffler. “They all had a great attitude when it came to accepting assignments and acclimating to working on a different flight line.”
414th FG Airmen operated together with numerous Liberty Wing Airmen in various work centers including 48th Aerospace Propulsion flight, 48th Aerospace Ground Equipment flight, and 48th Armament Support flight. They also took on crew chief duties for take-offs and recoveries on the flight line.
“We really like going out and adding value to other units in the Air Force,” said Capt. Blake Conley, 414th Maintenance Operations officer. “This was one of the best receptions I have seen yet.”
This is the first time the unit has come to the Liberty Wing, but Conley said they hope to make it a more regular occurrence in the future.
“I believe that it was very beneficial to both units,” said Scheffler. “We would be more than willing to host them again in the future.”
The Air Force Reserves focuses on readiness through training sessions like this to ensure Airmen are combat-ready and able to integrate with active duty components in order to accomplish the Air Force mission.