Keeping them flying -- Maintainers train overseas

  • Published
  • By By Capt. Wayne Capps
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy Ramstein Air Base flight line, reserve maintainers train while keeping missions flying in and out of the war zone.

Approximately 40 reservists from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. and Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. are participating in a two-week enroute training mission to Ramstein AB, Germany, augmenting the active duty workforce and receiving valuable training in the process.

"Enroute trips are trips reservists take to go out into the real world to learn and to help train active duty members," said Master Sgt. Hampton Robinson of the 315th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. "Some of our reservists also have extensive knowledge on the C-17 and will be used to train active duty members."

Tech. Sgt. Georgia Wuorio, also with the 315th AMXS, is one of the reservists being used to provide training to personnel at Ramstein AB. "Typically on one of these trips, I end up learning a lot from the people who work here on the flight line, this time I am the experienced one," said Sergeant Wuorio. "I get to teach people who have worked on C-130s their whole career. My active duty counterparts have only been here six months, so I get to stretch my wings and teach some Ramstein people about the C-17."

The versatility of the maintainers is evident while watching them work and learn from each other. Senior Airman Brandon Johnson, also from the 315th AMXS is an Air Reserve Technician trainee who was on the receiving end of the training. "They operate a little differently here, it is more of a transient base so I am learning a lot," said Airman Johnson referring to the sheer number of flights at the base. "It is my first enroute mission so I am learning a lot about how the Air Force operates overseas and a lot about the mission as a whole."

Whether acting as the trainee or as the trainer on this mission, the maintainers are receiving important lessons that will surely be used in their future careers.

"These trips are so valuable," said Sergeant Robinson. "A lot of members from the 315th spend all their time at Charleston and have not been abroad. We get so much from the whole bag and drag experience. It gives our people a bigger view our global mission."

While the training these reservists are receiving is invaluable for professional reasons, it is also significant for personal reasons.
"Nothing gives you a better since of accomplishment than to know the aircraft you are actually working on is about to go on a real world mission," said Robinson.

This sentiment was echoed by Sergeant Wuorio.

"Knowing that when I fix a plane and it immediately goes to where it needs to go, it really helps me feel closer to the mission," said Sergeant Wuorio. "I can take that feeling back home and let everyone know that when you send a jet overseas, you may not see anything onboard now but when it gets there it will be full and it is going to be doing the job."

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