Thursday, July 28, 2011

TOP STORY > >314th LCAP Inspection

By Airman 1st Class Regina Agoha
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 314th Airlift Wing and the 314th Maintenance Group proved their technical expertise by earning an overall rating of satisfactory during the recently completed Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection.

The LCAP is chartered by Air Education and Training Command Headquarters Director of Logistics, Installations and Mission Support to evaluate command units. This program conducts recurring unit evaluations to ensure logistics technician proficiency, equipment condition and other command-developed focus areas comply with Air Force, major command, local policies and directives.

LCAP is typically a two-year cycle, said Maj. Justin Barry, 314th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander.

In order to prepare for the LCAP, 314th AMXS Airmen did a great deal of work, making sure every “t” was crossed and every “i” was dotted, said Staff Sgt. Aaron Winans, a 314th AMXS electronic warfare lead technician. They made sure every little thing met the regulation, checklist after checklist, he added.

The LCAP team conducted a total of 607 inspections and evaluations.

The assessment team checked the organizational structure of the squadron. That means, having superintendents of the appropriate Air Force Specialty Code and background in accordance with Air Force instruction 21-101, making sure the squadron’s newest Airmen were oriented with their supervisors within thirty days, and properly documenting updates in their training records, said Barry.

“From checking to see if the wing commander is fulfilling all of his responsibilities, to checking if the technician on the flight line is properly performing the task of pumping gas on our aircraft, these are items the assessment team looks for during the inspection,” said Barry.

In a memorandum to the wing, LCAP inspectors said, “Technical proficiency was admirable, as over-the-shoulder personnel evaluations were rated at 95.58 percent.”

“We strive everyday to do it right. Every day we talk about professional maintenance being performed by maintenance professionals. Instilling that pride comes from doing it right and properly,” said Barry.

“As a wing, we received an overall satisfactory [rating]. The 314th AMXS got a satisfactory as well,” said Barry.

The 314th Maintenance Group received a rating of satisfactory and the 314th Maintenance Operations Flight received a rating of excellent during the LCAP.

Winans, who was identified as one out of the twenty outstanding performers, was inspected seven times and passed each inspection. He credits his accomplishment to going out and finding answers on his own, not waiting for someone to show him. Also, taking his time and not rushing when he’s doing his job, is what he does to perform well at work.

“Rushing will cause one to miss something and fail,” he said.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

TOP STORY > >Inspiration from a wrestler

By Chief Master Sgt. Gregg Kollbaum
314th Operations Group superintendent

In March of this year, Arizona State University senior Anthony Robles walked on to the mat to compete in the 125-pound National College Athletic Association wrestling championship match.

Leading up to this event he had a very successful career. He completed two undefeated seasons and won state championship titles while in high school, in addition to, winning three PAC-10 conference championships while in college.

After looking over his record, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him win the championship match that day in March. The gravity of this accomplishment, and all of those that led to this event, is realized when you see that Anthony was born without his right leg - making him the first disabled wrestler in history to win a national college wrestling championship.

So how does a man with only one leg realize that he wants to be a wrestler?

Anthony’s career started when his cousin brought him to a practice hoping to get him interested in wrestling. That day, the lightest wrestler on the team didn’t have a training partner and Anthony reluctantly started training with him. He continued training with the team and struggled the first year, but then he met and started training with a high school state champion, Chris Freije.

Chris taught him the skills needed to be a great wrestler and Anthony diligently practiced to learn the sport he would eventually master.

Though Anthony’s hard work and dedication were a big part of his success, he would not have been there without the help of two people. Anthony’s cousin and Chris Freije influenced him and put him on the path to success. Without influences like them, I would guess Anthony Robles would not be an NCAA champion.

Though Anthony’s accomplishment is an inspiration, the spark needed to start his journey was provided by other people.

The kids and Airmen of today need this type of motivation. They need to be challenged mentally, physically, academically and socially. Like Anthony, they should get out of their comfort zone and experience some difficult things in life.

When they fall, they shouldn’t quit, and the “pain” shouldn’t always be quickly soothed away. The sense of failure, in moderate doses, can propel an individual to success and give them confidence to achieve even bigger feats. Kids and young adults should be provided with the coaching to get them through the rough spots and encouraged to start again. This is a great way to help people reach their ultimate potential.

By leading our young people to experiences and giving them the tools to succeed they will surpass many expectations just like Anthony did in wrestling. If his cousin would have looked at the disability as a disability, Anthony might have lived his life much differently. He would have never met his coach and not reached his ultimate potential. I don’t know what Anthony will do next, but I am sure he has the confidence to do anything that he puts his mind to doing. Parents, bosses and supervisors can use this as an example and give our young people the inspiration to achieve greatness.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

TOP STORY > >Training tomorrow’s crew chiefs today

By Airman 1st Class
Ellora Remington

19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Instructors from the 373rd Training Squadron are helping student crew chiefs put textbook knowledge into practice through advanced hands-on training.

The vision of the squadron is “to provide flexible training worldwide … while promoting the highest standards of quality instruction,” according to Master Sgt. Michael Holty, a 373rd TRS communication navigation instructor.

Students go through six and a half months of academic and hands-on training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, before going to their first duty station.

“I am getting what I need to know to do what I need to do,” said Airman Joshua Mougeot, a 373rd TRS crew chief in training.

These students go through a series of courses for the C-130J including J-model familiarization, J-transition, engine courses and advanced troubleshooting courses. All courses must be completed within five to six months before Airmen can move on to their first duty station.

“For new crew chiefs, we have follow-on training, which is mission ready apprentice,” said Tech. Sgt. Chad Dunham, a 373rd TRS crew chief instructor. Students acquire their three-skill level after training, followed by J-model transition courses, he added.

After academic training and some hands-on training at Sheppard AFB, students come to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., for more hands-on training on the flightline and simulators.

“Applying the book from [tech school] into what we had to do was the hardest part, but once you got to actually do the task, then it was a lot simpler and more straightforward than thetextbook had actually displayed it to be,” said Airman Mougeot.

He said the training gained here is effective thanks to the straightforward teaching approach.

Members from the Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard come to Little Rock to train with the C-130 J model. International students from other countries including Canada, India and Poland also train here.

“Students come back a few months of leaving here to go through J-model familiarization but they learn how to apply power and do maintenance on that aircraft. It constantly changes,” said Sergeant Dunham.

Sergeant Dunham said instructors play a vital role in training.

“[The training here] provides them the skills necessary to report to their first unit and be able to do a variety of test so they are an asset to their unit,” said Sergeant Dunham.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

COMMENTARY>>Four keys to world-class maintenance

By Col. Steven Weld
314th Maintenance Group commander

Next week, Little Rock Air Force Base hosts the Headquarters Air Education and Training Command Logistics Compliance Assessment Program (LCAP) team who will be here to evaluate the key logistic processes of the 314th Airlift Wing.

The team will evaluate the proud professionals who perform or enable quality maintenance in support of training our next generation of combat airlifters. During their inspection, the team will have the opportunity to clearly see four characteristics to our key logistics processes that are fundamental to our continued success – technical compliance, standardization, repeatability and safety.

First, technical compliance is the touchstone of our logistics business. Compliance will be the main focus of the team’s inspection efforts, verifying the quality of the work we perform and the condition of our equipment as compared to guidance in our technical data and directives. Compliance is at the center of the training, our supervision, our quality assurance program, and our management efforts. Also, compliance has earned the 314th AW a reputation for talented, capable technicians and reliable, clean, dependable aircraft and equipment. That commitment to technical compliance also directly supports standardization and repeatability.

Standardization means our processes must conform to the norms established by the Air Force, enabling us to support our global mission efficiently. Standardization allows the use of common equipment, common procedures, common training, and common organizational structures. The mission of the wing is to train our combat airlift aircrew students to standards that enable them to quickly become productive members of an operational unit, and we strive to ensure the same is true for any of our aircraft that or our military members who transfer to other units. As we work toward the transformation of the legacy flying training unit from active duty to the Active Reserve Component, we will rely heavily on Air Force standardization; working closely with Reserve and Guard units both supporting this effort and depending on its success.

The standardization of our processes also enables repeatability in our performance. We are not building up to performing a one-time execution of a capability, but a long term performance that will continue to provide support for the wing’s mission of training combat airlift aircrew, week after week. Repeatable processes reduce variability, improve quality and simplify solving common problems.

Proof that our processes are repeatable and sustainable is that for the last year the wing has consistently met or exceeded all nine logistics indicators, which measure the many logistics processes that provide training capability to the unit for both C-130E/H and C-130J fleets. Furthermore, aircrew student production remains on-time despite extreme weather this spring and aircraft availability issues.

Finally, the success of our mission requires the effective identification and management of risk, which ensures safe execution of the mission. Members must be knowledgeable of and comply with Air Force occupational safety and health standards, technical orders, and Air Force instructions. Safe processes preserve our vital and finite resources and protect our people, enabling successful execution of our mission.

The 314th AW is confident in the unit’s readiness for the LCAP inspection. We will clearly display our professionalism while the team is here while staying focused on our responsibility to perform quality maintenance long after the inspection is over. Members of our wing who daily perform or enable quality maintenance are ready to demonstrate skills and knowledge to the LCAP team, and display the meticulous stewardship of the aircraft and equipment under our care.

TOP STORY > >Herk heats up for new decon test, evaluation

By 2nd Lt. Mallory Glass
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A ground-instructional C-130 on the west end of the flight line is undergoing tests to determine how heat and humidity affect the decontamination process for an aircraft contaminated with a simulated biological agent.

The tests, which run through August, use bacillus thuringiensis, a commercially-available organic insecticide, to simulate a biological agent. Base officials have reviewed the testing procedures and deemed them safe to the flight line and greater Little Rock Air Force Base community.

“We are using a simulant (bacillus thuringiensis) that has similar properties and reacts in the same way the actual agents would; however, here are no live agents,” said 2nd Lt. James Reilly, 19th Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight commander. “The simulant is in no way shape or form harmful to individuals or the environment.”

“By heating the interior of the aircraft from 150 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit in conjunction with a relative humidity at 80 to 90 percent over a period of one to five days, we will gain valuable data on how to destroy biological agents without harming the aircraft,” said Tim Provens, Air Force Research Laboratory project engineer at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio.

The Air Force Research Laboratory, with the aid of several contracted organizations, are testing to see if green technology – heat and humidity– can neutralize the environmentally safe and simulated biological warfare agent. The technology has previously been demonstrated on a commercial aircraft in Orlando, Fla.

“It’s good to see this old Herk continue its service to the nation,” said Col. Mike Minihan, 19th Airlift Wing commander. “We’re excited to be the test location, and I want to reassure everyone that there is no threat from the organic insecticide they’re going to use to simulate a biological agent.”

Currently, the Air Force decontaminates aircraft with hot soapy water, which isn’t practical for the interior of an aircraft and has limited effects on anything that absorbs into the paint on the skin of an aircraft.

Traditional decontamination solutions used for buildings are highly corrosive to thin aircraft panels and sensitive electronic equipment.

U.S. Transportation Command, based at Scott AFB, Ill., is funding the project.

The testing is the result of collaboration between all levels of the Air Force and outside contractors. The Air Force agreed to delay destruction of the already-retired aircraft, USTRANSCOM isfunding the tests and the Air Force Research Laboratory is providing government and subcontracted engineers and scientists. In addition, Air Mobility Command is providing subject matter expertise, and Little Rock AFB is providing electrical and water hookups near the aircraft, arranging for security to allow around-the-clock access to the site, and supplying other on-base resources and personnel.

Once preliminary testing is completed to establish baselines, the entire fuselage will be fully covered with an insulation “blanket.” The insulation will be used to keep the interior at a constant temperature. This is especially important in areas next to the aircraft skin where colder evening temperatures, wind and rain reduce interior skin temperatures by several degrees.

The added heat and humidity will be provided using a specifically designed closed-loop system, provided by a contracted organization. The closed-loop system will force the hot and humid air into the forward and aft escape hatches located on top of the aircraft then return the air via the side escape hatch back into the heater and humidifier located on a flatbed trailer next to the aircraft. To determine the effectiveness of the system, small detection coupon will be coated with the environmentally approved simulated agent and placed throughout the fuselage, and then analyzed on site.