Yokota Airmen send readiness asset to Kadena

Yokota Airmen send readiness asset to Kadena

by Tech. Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen assigned to the 730th Air Mobility Squadron loaded an aircraft engine onto a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to Joint Base Charleston, S.C., May 4, 2021, as part of an effort to support aircraft maintainers at the 733rd AMS, Kadena Air Base, Japan.

The 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing and the Boeing Engine Management Team provided the C-17 engine to the 730th AMS who incorporated it in their readiness efforts; adding a realistic, hands-on asset to their training program.

The transfer of the engine coincided with Nodal Lightning Pacific, an exercise involving each of the 515th AMOW’s six squadrons. The aircraft was in Japan as part of the exercise, allowing the engine to be transferred from Yokota to Kadena earlier than would have otherwise been possible.

The opportunity to send that capability to fellow maintainers at Kadena was a rewarding endeavor for some maintainers in the Yokota-based squadron.

“It’s going to impact them just as much as it impacted us,” said Staff Sgt. Adrian Diaz, 730th AMS aerospace propulsion craftsman. “It’s really rare and definitely not a norm for overseas locations to get a sole engine allocated for training purposes.”

Capt. Kris Haniff, 730th AMS En Route Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge, said having an engine to train with makes completing training tasks more efficient.

“This helps to ensure personnel maintain that muscle memory of how to navigate nomenclature and troubleshoot engine issues,” Haniff said.

Diaz said having an engine to train with gives maintainers the ability to sharpen their skills without the chance of damaging an operational aircraft.

“Sometimes the job guide doesn’t tell you that you might need to twist to the left and then to the right, not just pull straight out to properly remove it without breaking other components around it,” Diaz said. “So we were lucky to have an engine at our disposal to practice removing and reinstalling components.”

Diaz hopes the engine will provide Kadena Airmen the same training successes his team at Yokota was able to have.

“My hope for the Airmen at the 733rd AMS, is that they become more proficient and knowledgeable of the engine overall,” Diaz said. “I noticed while training members of our unit that the trainer engine enabled them to have many ‘Aha’ moments where technical guidance and the hands-on application clicked intrinsically.

“My hope is that this happens for 733rd maintainers as well.”

Staff Sgt. Cody McBee., 733rd AMS Maintenance Operations Center controller, said he’s excited to see how the asset will enhance his unit’s training program.

“Having access to a spare engine is just about the best training opportunity you can get short of having a full aircraft,” McBee said. “It’s very important for us to work with Yokota during training opportunities because the more trained and qualified our people are, the less we have to lean on each other for help. If we ever have a broken aircraft that we don’t have the qualifications to fix, Yokota will be the first people we call for assistance.”

Finding ways to improve training helps increase the readiness and resilience of our force and ensures Pacific Air Forces’ ability to fight and win if needed.

Photo Caption:
Staff Sgt. Michael Freitas, right, 730th Air Mobility Squadron air freight shift supervisor, and Staff Sgt. Adrian Diaz, left, 730th AMS aerospace propulsion craftsman, weigh a C-17 engine prior to loading it onto a C-17 Globemaster III, May 4, 2021, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The 730th AMS gave the engine to Kadena Air Base airmen assigned to the 733rd AMS to enhance their training program, allowing maintainers to navigate nomenclature and troubleshoot engine issues on a real aircraft asset. Finding ways to improve training helps increase the readiness and resilience of our force and ensures Pacific Air Forces’ ability to fight and win if needed.

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