News: Tinker senior airman, Reno native, manages maintenance support as E-3 Sentry crew chief in Southwest Asia
Story by Senior Airman Jenifer Calhoun
SOUTHWEST ASIA -- As an E-3 Sentry crew chief, Senior Airman Joshua Kneese has to know "everything" about his plane. He has to manage direction with maintenance specialists and with the aircrew members who fly the plane.
"It's an adventure every day," said Kneese, who is deployed with the 380th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Sentry aircraft maintenance unit at a non-disclosed base in Southwest Asia. "The E-3 is a unique aircraft to work on - it's the only one with a dome."
Kneese is deployed from the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and his hometown is Reno, Nev. An aerospace maintenance journeyman by Air Force specialty, Airman Kneese supports maintenance of the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft deployed with the 965th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron.
He supports the success of AWACS aircraft to fly combat missions in the USCENTCOM area of responsibility providing an airborne command and control capability. To keep the E-3 Sentry flying in the deployed areas, Airmen like Kneese from the 380th EAMXS manage the maintenance of the E-3 -- 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"It feels good to serve my country in this capacity," Kneese said. "I know what we do as maintainers helps mission success and ultimately the troops on the ground in places like Afghanistan. I'm glad to be a part of that."
According to its Air Force fact sheet, the E-3 Sentry is an aircraft with an integrated command and control battle management, or C2BM, surveillance, target detection, and tracking platform. The aircraft provides an "accurate, real-time picture" of the battlespace to the Joint Air Operations Center.
AWACS aircraft provide situational awareness of friendly, neutral and hostile activity, command and control of an area of responsibility, battle management of theater forces, all-altitude and all-weather surveillance of the battle space, and early warning of enemy actions during joint, allied and coalition operations, the fact sheet states.
The official Air Force job description for aerospace maintenance journeyman shows Kneese is trained on advising on problems maintaining, servicing and inspecting aircraft and aerospace support equipment. He also uses technical data to diagnose and solve maintenance problems on aircraft systems and he interprets and advises on maintenance procedures and policies to repair aircraft and support equipment.
Kneese is also trained to test repaired components using mockups and test equipment and to adjust, align, rig and calibrate aircraft systems. He performs engine run-up, accomplishes weight and balance functions, and knows how to jacks, tows and service aircraft. Additionally, he supervises and performs aircraft and component inspections, interprets inspection findings and determines adequacy of corrective actions
The 380th EAMXS is a sub-unit of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing. The wing is home to the KC-10 Extender, U-2 Dragon Lady, E-3 Sentry and RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft. The wing is comprised of four groups and 12 squadrons and the wing's deployed mission includes air refueling, surveillance and reconnaissance in support of overseas contingency operations in Southwest Asia. The 380th AEW supports operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom and the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
This work, Tinker senior airman, Reno native, manages maintenance support as E-3 Sentry crew chief in Southwest Asia, by MSgt Jenifer Calhoun, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.