Published in the "Prevailing Wind", official newspaper of the 127th Wing, Selfridge ANGB, Michigan (February 2011 public online PDF issue):
From the Chief's Desk
By Chief Master Sgt. Roddy Humphrey
127th Maintenance Group
Currently, Air National Guard units are facing challenging times as never encountered before. High ops tempo and the new commitments arising are quickly reshaping a new "steady state" for the ANG. This new steady state that is being formed places all assets at a premium. ANG units must re-evaluate the way they have conducted business and take into consideration the new challenges. Our work load seems to grow as resources continue to shrink, although dealing with these many problems, a positive "lean forward" attitude prevails throughout our organization this involvement increases ownership and commitment, retains our best performers, and fosters an environment in which people choose to be motivated and contributing.
Our A-10 community is experiencing some of these new difficulties that are becoming more common place within the ANG. These difficulties are placing training opportunities at a premium forcing the 127th maintenance group to develop a high level of compliance that must be maintained at all times. These issues coupled with aircraft transition have most certainly created an environment where goals, once easily achieved, are more difficult to accomplish. We no longer have the luxury of preparation time for AEF deployment and higher headquarters inspections, "Inspection Ready" must now become common place for aircraft maintenance.
In the last year many have had the opportunity to help with the NGB exercise inspection teams giving your time and energy to other units that will in turn help us, this privilege has provided understand, community team building and valuable insight into A-10 units enabling us to prepare the 127th for that "steady state"!
On the last three inspections, 175th 188th and 124th one of the lessons learned that we need to achieve prior to completing our conversion is balance. Sortie product verses requirements to maintain and repair structure discrepancies. Years of extended
deployments alone with the environmental factors are taking a toll on airframes. Daily evaluation attention to detail and in some cases a lack of manpower is driving units into large number delayed write ups.
Maintainers should not wait until phase or extended down time to complete small repairs that if unchecked grow into major structural replacement. Everyone in aircraft maintenance will need to take ownership and look beyond just their daily task in order to be "inspection ready" as we move forward with programs like dent and damage evaluation that is a benchmark for rainbow units, take that extra minute to review and inspect areas that may not receive that second look and apply corrective action as necessary in this way everyone can raise the standard of aircraft maintenance that we are accustom too.
As we grow into our new role as one of the leading A-10 units, combat capable aircraft and personnel require a broader perspective that is dedicated to excellence, how we handle every new challenge the willingness to work together as one team is constantly on display in the air national guard so the 127th maintenance
group must achieve and maintain a steady state of inspection ready.