Getting it done
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- When any maintainer pours their all into an aircraft every day, the last thing they want to see is a mishap or accident caused by a mistake.
For a mission onboard the 82nd Reconnaissance Squadron’s aircraft, there’s one more prominent concern: the protection of classified and critical information.
It’s for this reason the 82nd RS quality assurance office performs inspections on the maintenance done on the multiple frames of the RC-135 as well as the WC-135 Constant Phoenix.
“Our office serves as our commander’s eyes and ears for our maintenance section,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Morrison, 82nd RS QA chief inspector. “We provide the commander with a snapshot of the quality of maintenance our squadron is performing.”
This maintenance is kept alive by the inspections QA performs. QA’s frequent presence makes the maintainers more aware of the work they are performing.
“It makes me work harder because I know they’re out there and I know they’re looking out for us and our training,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Cruz, 82nd RS aircraft electrical and environmental systems specialist. “If they see a deficiency in the way we do things, they say what we need to do to fix it.”
Rather than just telling maintainers they are wrong, the 82nd RS QA office shows them how they can more effectively do certain tasks.
“What I think is more important is our role as advisors and trainers,” said Morrison. “Helping our maintainers learn to more effectively do safe and reliable maintenance is, to me, our most important function.”
To encourage this safe and reliable maintenance, the 82nd RS QA office uses a reward system for successful inspection results.
“We take pride in rewarding Airmen for the excellent work they do every day on the flightline,” said Morrison. “I know when I worked the line as a young Airman, I always saw QA as the bad guy, the only time they ever came around was to give you a hard time or the only time you ever heard from them was when you were doing something wrong. For me, it’s nice to try and change the perception a little bit.”
Cruz noted even though they are inspected repeatedly, it’s for the benefit of everyone involved with the maintenance, as well as the mission, of the aircraft.
“They play a big key in keeping everything safe and making sure everyone’s in compliance,” said Cruz. “They make sure aircraft are safe.”
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of articles about Kadena’s quality assurance teams.