By Senior Airman Mercedes Taylor
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 314th Maintenance Group completed its transition from Airmen to contracted maintenance to sustain the C-130 training mission June 30 at Little Rock Air Force Base.
The 314th MXG began their transformation approximately six months ago to replace the 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron with more than 120 DynCorp International contractors. The temporary transition, set to last for approximately three years, will allow C-130 maintainers to transfer to other bases and begin work with the F-35 program by the end of July 2017.
“Our objective here is to provide the same type of maintenance and standard as the Air Force,” said Timothy Wolard, DynCorp International site lead. “Although we’re replacing the enlisted personnel, we’re keeping the same level of standards and skills.”
Upholding requirements and techniques helped the Airmen and contractors work cohesively throughout the transition.
Airmen and contractors worked together to ensure a seamless transition was completed without an impact to the 314th Airlift Wing’s mission.
“We have worked side-by-side with the contractors since the beginning of the transition,” said Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Lockwood, 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent. “Although they were responsible for creating their own operating procedures, we advised them with what has worked so well with the 314th AMXS for years. Most of the individuals in the top leadership positions have all served with us here at Little Rock and we have a great working relationship.”
Meshing well with the Airmen proved to be beneficial as the contractors began the transition.
“The contract here is very unique because we’re starting from scratch,” Wolard said. “Usually when DynCorp International comes in there’s already a contractor workforce in place. When we got here, we had to establish everything such as training, policies and procedures. We were all really involved to get this thing rolling.”
Although the DynCorp International contractors wear a different uniform than the enlisted workforce, many of them were once military.
“When we hire, we ask applicants to have C-130J model experience,” Wolard said. “We have a lot of former service members here with large skillsets.”
DynCorp’s mission as a U.S. objectives solution provider comes full circle as the 314th MXG’s transition closes by bringing business back to the Central Arkansas region. The transition to an integrated maintenance workforce is a testament to the importance of partnerships which contributes to not just maintenance support’s legacy, but to mission success for the future.