172nd MXG Airmen are put to the test during Annual Training

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Vanessa Rivera
  • 172nd Airlift Wing

Thirty-three Guard Airmen from the 172nd Maintenance Group, 172nd Airlift Wing, Jackson, Mississippi completed their annual training during a two-week tour to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam.

During this tour, Guard Airmen from six career fields across the Maintenance Group trained by servicing, launching, and receiving C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and other enroute aircraft alongside Airmen from the 734th Air Mobility Squadron, a tenant unit of the 36th Wing at Anderson AFB.

2nd Lt. Barry Bradshaw, maintenance operation officer for the 172nd MXG, led this training mission and spoke about his plan for the trip. “We’re going to be training specifically on C-17 aircraft, but we’re also going to have an opportunity to do some minor maintenance on other airframes.”

Bradshaw also spoke about his goals for the tour, and how he hoped the maintainers from the 172nd MXG would benefit from working alongside maintainers from the 734th AMS.

“We’re seeing how an active-duty aircraft maintenance unit operates,” said Bradshaw. “We don’t have the same structure as an aircraft maintenance unit, so our folks have the opportunity to see how things work here, experience this type of structure, and gain critical experience.”

With Anderson AFB located 7,521 away from Jackson, Bradshaw stated how this annual training mission gave Airmen a small look as to how it may be during a deployment due to some of the challenges that they may face, including adjusting to a different time zone and the tropical climate.

“Our maintainers benefited by acquiring and practicing skills that will be used if we’re deployed to the Pacific theater. When deployed, all maintainers are crew chiefs,” said Senior Master Sgt. Angel Padilla, production superintendent for the 172 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “Most of the experience gained was training our specialists in crew chief tasks, which they normally don’t perform at home station.”

Bradshaw illustrated how his goal is to cultivate an environment that fully embraces the multi-capable Airmen concept within his unit.

“One of the things we want to have moving forward is multi-capable Airmen,” said Bradshaw. “So, what this trip is going to give them is an understanding of different aircraft, and how other units operate, as well as the confidence to go out and help those units in a time of need.”

“The Pacific theater is shaping up to be the military’s next focus point,” said Padilla. “It’s extremely important for us to be trained, prepared to answer our nation’s call, and hit the ground running if we are called.”