931 MXS Struts its Stuff

931st Air Refueling Wing/Public Affairs
Courtesy Story

Date: 02.07.2016
Posted: 12.12.2016 15:52
News ID: 217405
931 MXS Struts its Stuff

Citizen Airmen with the 931st Maintenance Squadron were afforded a unique opportunity here during a Unit Training Assembly Feb. 7, 2016.

It's not often Citizen Airmen can train on the same part needing the same maintenance multiple times in a row, so when the unit discovered a KC-135 Stratotanker's main landing gear truck needed replaced -- which required all wheels and brakes be removed -- they jumped at the chance to improve their Airmen.

"It's a great opportunity for our traditional reservists because they don't get to fix brakes and tires very often," said Staff Sgt. Kyle Kozik, 931st MXS crew chief. "We've got four of brakes and four tires to do, so this is a lot of five-level training we can finish out."

Not only is the unit able to train its Airmen, but it also alleviates the work load for the 22nd Air Refueling Wing.

"If we weren't here, this job would have to be put off until active-duty Airmen can get to it Monday morning," Kozik said. "For them, seven day' worth of work is getting done on a five-day schedule"

The 931st MXS ensures the mission is that much closer to success by picking up where active-duty Airmen leave off.

"It feels good being able to report in contribute to the mission," said Senior Airman Josh Simmons, 931st MXS crew chief. "Depending on where this aircraft if going next, it could save someone's life to get it out the door that much sooner."

Every UTA, a report is generated about how far maintenance progressed over the weekend, and is addressed during the Monday morning meetings with Col. Albert Miller, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Commander.

"We always end up making a lot of progress over the weekend, and the Col. [Michael] Felice thanks me for it," said Col. Mark Larson, 931 Air Refueling Group commander. "I'm always proud when I can say 'that's solely due to my reservists.'"

Larson visited the 931st MXS to present a coin to Simmons for his performance. The commander, being a vehicle enthusiast himself, also spoke with the team about their shared appreciation of mechanics and observed them working fluidly together on the aircraft.

"Looking out at this team and seeing young guys excited to be doing their jobs, I wish I had 200 more guys just like them," Larson said.

Larson said he hopes the passion he sees in the crew carries over into their everyday lives to show their friends and family what kind of a positive experience being a reservist can be.

"Joining the reserves is definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made," Simmons said. "After getting to know the guys I work with and putting my own little touch on everything I work on, it feels like home away from home."