Where the mission starts

  • Published
  • By Maj. Chris Hague
  • 22nd Maintenance Operations commander
When you look out at the flightline and see maintainers preparing aircraft for launch, or see an aircraft being repaired in a hangar, you may think that's where the mission starts. I held those views for 22 years, until I had the privilege to become the 22nd Maintenance Operations Squadron Commander.

The mission starts with the smallest squadron in the 22nd Maintenance Group. Training, Mobility, Facilities, Quality Assurance , Analysis, Maintenance Scheduling and the Maintenance Operations Center all reside in the 22nd MOS. Take away any of them and mission stops.

To put this in perspective, in the past 2 years our maintenance instructors have trained more than 300 new Airmen straight from technical school on approximately 50,000 maintenance tasks. Our training managers have scheduled at least 70,000 ancillary training events and more than 800 Field Training Detachment classes.

Our mobility team has processed 1,382 personnel for deployment resulting in 123,000 temporary duty days. Our analyst completed hundreds of metrics updates and special studies for local and Air Mobility Command Headquarters leadership, with a focus on areas for improvement that increased the number of aircraft available for McConnell's global mission.

Maintenance scheduling kept thousands of scheduled maintenance actions and parts time change items on track without a single grounded aircraft, while ensuring operations always had enough aircraft for aircrew training and world-wide taskings.

Our maintenance operations center kept status updates, tracked generation actions for every aircraft and mission at McConnell, while dispatching maintenance recovery teams around the world to repair stranded aircraft. The 22nd MOS Quality Assurance performed at least 18,000 evaluations and kept our flightline safe.

The combined efforts of all of these unique functions ensure that we have ready Airmen, ready aircraft and a safe flightline. Our job is to act as enablers for the the 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 22nd Maintenance Squadron, to ensure their success. It's a job that we do with pride and professionalism every day, often behind the scenes with little recognition.

The next time you see a crew chief launching an aircraft, think about the support team that trained and prepared him for that mission both at home, and at locations around the world.