Maintaining the mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Veronica Pierce
  • 374 Airlift Wing Public Affairs
In the United States Air Force some of our duties consist of defending air operations and providing humanitarian aid in time of need, but without aircraft maintainers these missions would not succeed.

At Yokota Air Base the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron provides maintenance support to 14 assigned C-130E/H, 4 UH-1N and 3 C-21 aircraft. They provide mission-ready aircraft to sustain contingency and peacetime missions throughout the Pacific theater to accomplish Department of Defense and Pacific Air Forces taskings.

"I believe what makes us so special is that we provide maintenance support to all our C-130's 24 hours, seven days a week and 365 days a year," said Master Sgt. Roberto Chacon, specialist section chief 374 AMXS. "We do this regardless of the fact that it may be a holiday or during inclement weather, or location, temporary duty or during deployment. Nothing can prevent us from supporting our aircraft."

The 374 AMXS has achieved many accomplishments despite manning shortages. They were nominated for the Air Force Maintenance Effectiveness Award for 2006 and recently achieved an excellent on a Headquarters Pacific Air Force's Initial Response Readiness Inspection.

"I am absolutely amazed and impressed by how much gets done with the limited amount of people that we have," said Sergeant Chacon. "I find it impressive by how much even the youngest Airman understands and realize the manning shortages and how much they've done to step up and fill in the gaps."

The 374 AMXS maintains the oldest C-130's in PACAF, but remains smallest fleet in the Air Force yet they still managed to keep the best mission capable rate for past six months.

Although working long hours outdoors, the Airmen of the 374 AMXS are able to keep a positive attitude while on the job.

"I enjoy this career field, I get to work outdoors instead of sitting behind a desk all day," said Airman 1st Class Dominic Deweese, 374 AMXS aircraft hydraulic apprentice. "I also get an opportunity to travel to places I would have never had the chance to see if I were in any other job outside the Air Force."

"The Airman take the initiative and qualify in cross utilization training in other career fields, like crew chief tasks, to help out as much as they can," said Sergeant Chacon. "They don't complain about late hours, working weekend or daily changes in the missions."

The 374 AMXS encounters many challenges but manages to keep the 374th Airlift Wing and the Air Force mission thriving, through their dedication and hard work.