Good to go
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: July 19, 2016
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Aircraft maintainers hold themselves to a high standard when performing their daily duties, because they know one mistake could lead to devastating consequences.
Kadena is home to six different airframes, and a partner unit which hosts two additional airframes for cargo functions, the C-17 Globemaster and the C-5 Galaxy – making quality assurance Airmen so vital to flightline operations.
“You usually have a maintenance section within an AMS,” said Master Sgt. Daniel Hegar, 733rd Air Mobility Squadron quality assurance superintendent. “Since we are a partner unit, we rely on our host base. They provide us with everything we need for what we do for Transportation Command. We’re the preferred method of how TRANSCOM moves equipment and people across the strategic Pacific Air Forces area.”
The 733rd AMS QA office ensures every cargo aircraft is mission-ready at all times by checking the work done by maintainers.
Frequent checks maintain a constant state of readiness for transportation. The 733rd AMS QA office performs a myriad of inspections they carry out monthly in order to accomplish the mission.
“We get in 57 inspections per month,” said Hegar. “It’s what we feel we are able to accomplish based on the requirements by Air Mobility Command maintenance policy, the traffic we have, and the manning we have. We inspect cargo aircraft for the Air Force and civilian (contracted with the military) sector. We have to inspect them before they go, since they are carrying U.S. troops and equipment.”
The QA Airmen’s constant scrutiny ensures the safety of not only the high-value cargo, but also the lives of those entrusted to carry it.
“If we see something wrong, we ensure it is corrected,” said Hegar. “Here, every plane we launch is on a real-world mission. There are no training missions. There’s always real cargo out there going to people who need it. It’s what’s really cool about this job. There’s never a day where it’s pointless.”
The instant gratification Tech. Sgt. Steven Lawrence, 733rd AMS QA chief inspector, receives makes him proud to be a member of the team.
“My favorite part of the job is being able to see your work immediately paying off,” said Lawrence. “I spot things which are not necessarily done often and help train and instruct the flightline guys where they may need refreshment on a task. Training them and seeing it pay off keeps our squadron alive and healthy.”
Both Lawrence and Hegar rest assured, know their contributions guarantee a safe trip and speedy delivery.
“It’s good to know everything you touch has a real-world impact,” said Hegar. “It really gives you a feeling of purpose behind your work. You see things happen in the news where we send aid to someone that’s real world; that’s where you get enthused, like ‘yeah, our unit directly affected that.’”