JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — The 15th Maintenance Group intends to qualify 75% of their C-17 Globemaster III Aircraft Maintenance Unit through its new Agile Combat Employment training plan, increasing unit readiness and versatility.
The ACE doctrine concentrates on the ability to fully support mission capabilities within a remote environment with a small amount of personnel and equipment.
“Our program focuses on developing our maintenance personnel to be able to execute essential tasks and jobs in order to launch, recover and maintain our aircraft in austere hub and spoke locations,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph W. Sparlin, 15th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-17 Assistant AMU Superintendent. “We do this by Cross Utilize Training or [by training] maintainers across six different Air Force Specialty Codes.”
Fourteen 15th MXG personnel have been selected to participate in the three-month ACE program to be trained on more than 160 maintenance-specified tasks.
“Our team decided to focus on mirroring out training to our most Multi-Capable Airmen we have in the C-17 community, which is our flying crew chiefs,” said Sparlin. “These personnel fly on the C-17 aircraft to service, inspect, and repair the aircraft in all environments across the world.”
The C-17 maintainers with a 7-level in their primary AFSC were chosen for the program and plan to be qualified to accomplish tasks that are very similar to the flying crew chief’s career field education and training plan, along with some additional on-the-job functions.
A portion of the tasks requires Airmen to don mission-oriented protective posture gear, which is being implemented for all maintainers through a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive task qualification training every 18 months.
“The ability to survive and operate in CBRNE environments is paramount as we continue to face new threats,” said Tech. Sgt. Garrett Arthur, 15th MXG training management element chief. “We must ensure all members are trained and equipped to perform wartime tasks while wearing individual protective equipment.”
The 15th MXG plans to incorporate 15th MXG personnel into the ACE program every three months to meet the C-17 AMU’s training goal.
“Just when we identify a process that may work, we need to already start to think how we may need to change it as the enemy is equally thinking how to combat it,” said Sparlin. “Ultimately, we seek to create a diverse team of qualified maintainers seamlessly generating aircraft anytime, anywhere.”