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News > Aircraft Maintenance Squadron earns top honors
Bulldogs accept delivery of last Raptor
Senior Airman Joshua King marshalls in an F-22 on the flightline May 5. The 525th Fighter Squadron,, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, received the last F-22 Raptor being made from Lockheed Martin and has named it the squadron's flagship. King is the aircraft's assistant dedicated crew chief with the 525th Aircraft Maintenance Unit from Collinsville, Okla. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Cynthia Spalding)
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Aircraft Maintenance Squadron earns top honors

Posted 9/7/2012   Updated 9/7/2012 Email story   Print story


by Air Force Staff Sgt. Robert Barnett
JBER Public Affairs

9/7/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- The 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 3rd Maintenance Group, 3rd Wing, received the Air Force level 2011 Maintenance Effectiveness Award, Medium Category, during their promotion ceremony at the JBER-Elmendorf theater, Aug. 30.

"We've got a squadron on the base that's being recognized at the Secretary of Defense level, which is huge," said Air Force Col. Dirk Smith, 3rd Wing commander. "I've been in the Air Force 24 years and I don't know that I've ever been a part of a unit that's being recognized at that level, so it's a big deal."

The award covers the period of Oct. 1, 2010 to Sept. 30, 2011. According to the award citation, during this time 487 unit maintainers led the total-force integration of active duty and Reserve maintenance, supporting two squadrons of 40 F-22 Raptor aircraft. Members of 3rd AMXS led the Combat Air Force in nine out of 12 maintenance performance indicators, supporting 4,731 combat and training flying hours while maintaining a combined 77.9 percent mission capable rate. That is the highest mission capable rate of any F-22 unit in the Combat Air Force.

The 3rd AMXS also executed more than 65,540 maintenance actions and completed more than 1,258 time-compliance technical orders and one-time inspections while maintaining the Combat Air Force's lowest signature assessment system margin.

"The thing about this award is that maintenance is the backbone of that weapons system," said Command Chief Master Sgt. Eric Light, interim 3rd Wing command chief. "That squadron proved that they can do their job and are able to complete the mission that the Air Force has given them. There are good men and women out there doing this every day and I'm really glad that they got recognition from the Secretary of the Defense; they know what a good job these guys are doing. That's awesome, they're doing a good job and we're proud of them."

The citation also states: "The superior performance of the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was verified during the 2010 Pacific Air Forces' Unit Compliance Inspection and the 2011 Air Combat Command's Logistics Compliance Assessment Program, where the unit garnered the first Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 'excellence' rating in a Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection in the Air Force in the past two years."

Finally, the squadron aced the first F-22 Fighter Alert Force Evaluation, earning a 'mission ready' rating in all areas.

Smith said the award was presented during their promotion ceremony intentionally.

"Every month we do this promotion ceremony," he said. "It's really good to recognize people for their achievement, for making that next promotion, because it takes a lot of hard work to test, do all your education so you can make that next stripe.

"We really want to fill this theater every time," Smith continued. "That was a great thing about getting the chief's promotion up there. We want to continue using this venue to recognize people.

"It's just recognition of what the potential is. In a way, it's a challenge to lead at the next level, to step up. Being a leader isn't about doing huge things all the time, most of the time it's about doing really small things, but doing them all the time, every day, staying persistent and being engaged with your subordinates."

We grow through failure, he said.

"As supervisors, if we are afraid to give our subordinates too much responsibility and let them fail, then really we're limiting their growth," he said. "That's a really important part of developing our leaders and our replacements. Make sure there's a safety net, and then give them a chance to succeed, but also give them a chance to fail."

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