Crew chief instructor starts up newcomers

  • Published
  • By Air Force Staff Sgt. Leslie Keopka
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Engines roar, pilots get situated and loadmasters secure cargo all while maintenance teams are ensuring each and every aircraft are prepped and ready for a safe flight, around-the-clock, day and night.

Tech. Sgt. Roscoe Tamondong, 86th Maintenance Group NCO in-charge instructor element, ensures the brand-new crew chiefs assigned to Ramstein are fully qualified and ready to contribute to the Air Force motto: Fly, Fight and Win.

Being a crew chief instructor for over a year, Tamondong has the opportunity to shape the young Airmen that walk through the 86 MXG hangar bays.

“Within 60 days of arriving to the installation, Airman [out of technical school] from 6 career fields passes through our doors,” said Tamondong. “We qualify them on all their core tasks so when we send them back to the flight line, depending on which [Air Force Specialty Code] they are, each squadron in the maintenance group will get a fully qualified 5-level just awaiting time and [career development course] completion.”

Tamondong has been a crew chief for eight years, but this is his first opportunity to instruct all the Airmen around him. His passion for the Air Force is evident when teaching his students.

“I get to touch the life of every Airmen that performs maintenance on C-130J Super Hercules’ here,” said Tamondong. “With my experience, I can help make them better maintainers. They can create their own maintenance style using my practices along with the skills they learn on the flight line, in the back shop and from their front-line supervisors. With their own skills and personal attributes, they grow to be the most effective maintainer the Air Force can utilize.”

To prepare 18-22 year olds to care for multi-million dollar planes, the Air Force requires a series of tasks and training to be completed. The MXG does this with phase one of the production team maintenance course that is 15 academic days and the students learn and are signed off on 22 tasks for their career field. Phase two directly follows with 28 academic days; this is where they are signed off on all their C-130J Super Hercules core tasks.

When first time maintainers return to their duty sections, they are fully qualified on the aircraft and just wait for the time required to acquire their 5-level skill proficiency. For one brand new Airman, this additional training is invaluable, he said.

“[These courses] give us an extra step of learning, rather than just hitting the ground running at our first base,” said Airman 1st Class Zachary Jackson, 86th Maintenance Squadron crew chief. “The training we get in technical school is good, but this is a great addition.”

The team of instructors not only teach all things crew chief, but they also introduce the students to the whole Airman concept.

“Since [we are] their first taste of the operational Air Force, we help them to complete their CDCs, teach them public speaking techniques,” Tamondong said. “We take time to volunteer, and we also do career days where we invite people from other AFSCs to give the students a chance to see different aspects of the Air Force. Everyone has their part and role in the mission.”

Airmen constantly work as a team to accomplish the mission and Tamondong and his fellow instructors have assisted in grooming four Senior Airman below-the-zone selectees, wing awards and a couple squadron level Airman of the Quarter winners.

“Fellow instructors and I ensure these Airmen are prepared for the rigorous tasks of the work center so they can grow, promote and be the best Airmen they can be,” said Tamondong. “I love my job.”

Passion for their jobs enables Ramstein to continue to be a power projection platform where instructors at the 86 MXG will continue to groom all the new crew chiefs into proficient maintainers and valuable assets to the world’s greatest Air Force.