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    Task Force Panther conducts routine maintenance

    Task Force Panther conducts routine maintenance

    Photo By Sgt. James Larimer | North Carolina National Guard Soldiers from the 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Carlos Garcia 

    220th Public Affairs Detachment

    NORTH FORT HOOD, Texas – Soldiers from the Alaska, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and North Carolina Army National Guard assigned to Task Force Panther, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, prepared for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel at the Operational Readiness Training Center on post, May 19, 2018.
    A significant portion of TF Panther's mission consists of conducting meticulous inspections and maintenance to ensure the airworthiness of each aircraft.
    “Most of what we do in an aviation unit is maintenance,” said Lt. Col. Benny F. Collins the commander of TF Panther. “We fly some, but we do maintenance a lot.”
    In order for TF Panther to meet training requirements, the 120th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division West located here on post, conducts observer controller/trainer duties and provides support.
    “Although we are in the middle of the culminating training event, we are using this time to conduct the mid-after action review to evaluate what was done right and wrong,” said Collins.
    “We're getting certified as well to make sure that we are doing everything properly,” said Pvt. Bryan Bridge, an aircraft structural repairer, assigned to Delta Company, 1-130th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, TF Panther, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
    “The majority of Soldiers assigned to TF Panther are maintainers comprised of enlisted Soldiers and some warrant officers,” said Collins.
    “There's a lot of daily maintenance, you've got to check to make sure these things [aircraft] are safe to fly,” said Bridge.
    Delta Company is the largest company focusing on heavy maintenance within TF Panther.
    Bond also said, “Our pilots have that sense of trust that our maintainer has done everything within their power to put up a safe and airworthy aircraft.”
    The maintenance unit strives for the highest level of safety for all pilots and crew members by ensuring that “nothing gets left behind and being as prepared as [they] can be,” said Bridge.
    TF Panther maintainers are comprised of many specific mechanic duties ranging from engine specialists to helicopter repairer, said Sgt. Nicolas Myers, an engine mechanic with the 1-130th ARB, with over 15 years of aviation experience.
    Myers also said, “In the civilian world, I'm a technician during the week so this training benefits the newer Soldiers by getting them spooled up and hands-on experience with the equipment that most of us senior mechanics already have.”
    During the deployment, TF Panther will be tasked to provide support using AH-64D Apache Longbow, UH-60 Black Hawk, and CH-47 Chinook throughout Afghanistan.
    Myers said, “the main goal of this upcoming deployment is to support the mission, support the flights and if it breaks fix it.”



    Date Taken: 05.19.2018
    Date Posted: 05.22.2018 23:00
    Story ID: 277951
    Location: NORTH FORT HOOD, TX, US
    Hometown: CREEDMOOR, NC, US
    Hometown: LOUISBURG, NC, US

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