MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
Crew chiefs from the 908th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and the 908th Maintenance Squadron played a key role in Auburn Tide, a week-long deployment readiness exercise that took place here in late March.
Auburn Tide served to increase the 908th Airlift Wing’s mission readiness as its members prepare for the largest deployment in the wing’s history.
The main role of a crew chief is to ensure the proper function of the various systems and components that keep the aircraft flight ready and mission capable. They determine what maintenance is required and communicate the necessary repairs to maintenance technicians.
“We get the plane ready for flight,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Marshall, a crew chief with the 908th AMXS. “Before it takes off we inspect it; when it lands we inspect it. We maintain a majority of the systems on the aircraft.”
During Auburn Tide, 908th AMXS crew chiefs worked closely with their counterparts in the 357th Airlift Squadron and the 908th Maintenance Squadron.
“We do our preflight and then the flight engineers will do their own,” said Marshall. “We help them out through all of it. “If we can fix it we will, or we’ll coordinate with a specialist who’s qualified on that system.”
908th AMXS crew chiefs sometimes encounter issues that require a more specialized technician to resolve. In these cases an isochronal, or “ISO” crew chief is called in to help.
“Sometimes instruments or other equipment will malfunction and you really have to troubleshoot,” said Senior Airman Yesenia Vasquez, an ISO crew chief with the 908th MXS. “An experienced crew chief can find the issue and fix it quickly so the aircraft can get in the air and keep the mission moving.”
Crew chiefs play an essential role alongside the rest of the wing’s individual units. Working together throughout the course of Auburn Tide, our crew chiefs helped ensure mission capabilities and deployment readiness as many of its members prepare to take part in the 908th’s largest deployment to date.
Located at Maxwell Air Force Base and operating a fleet of nine C-130H Hercules cargo aircraft, the 908th is Alabama’s only Air Force Reserve wing. The wing has approximately 1,200 Reserve Citizen Airmen, serving in more than 20 career fields, with Air Reserve Technicians, civilian employees and Reservists on active duty tours conducting day-to-day operations. Over the spring and summer of 2021, the 908th will engage in the largest deployment in wing history - sending more than 300 Airmen to locations around the globe.