Osprey maintainers take pride in vital role
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, Okinawa — Tyler Simon spends his nights assessing risks as a day trader, and he’s pretty good at it. The Marine corporal is even better at his day job, which is all about avoiding risks.
Simon, 30, is one of about 170 aircraft maintainers from Marine Aircraft Group 36. He and the other members of his team from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 — Lance Cpl. Eric Brundy, Pvt. 1st Class Eilis Flaherty and Lance Cpl. Taegen Todd Duncan — have an important yet largely unheralded job maintaining MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Navy ships in the Pacific.
Not only are they responsible for safeguarding the lives of their fellow Marines and their nearly around-the-clock flights, they also hold the political sensitivities of the Japanese people in their calloused hands.
Simon, like every MAG-36 mechanic, knows that just one mistake could mean a loss of life or a surge in protests on the island, where a small-but-vigorous movement has been working to reduce U.S. military presence. He manages the pressure with a positive attitude, leaning on his training and his fellow Marines, and he never becomes complacent.
“I take a lot of pride in what we do,” said Simon, who works on his own and inspects his team’s efforts. “I’m putting my name on what I do with the other Marines.”
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