Dedicated crew chiefs' tradition honored
By Staff Sgt. Damien Taylor, 512th Airlift Wing
/ Published July 19, 2019
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – Three 712th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Reserve Citizen Airmen were recognized as dedicated crew chiefs in a ceremony July 13 on a C-17 Globemaster III at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
During the ceremony, Master Sgts. Rodney Scott and Brinnae Wigley and Tech. Sgt. Joel Griffith, each received a flag to drape inside their dedicated C-17s as visual symbol of their exemplary job performance and ownership of their aircraft.
The Air Force operates thousands of aircraft to complete missions. It’s the responsibility of aircraft maintainers to ensure every component of these aircraft is maintained to the most exacting standards. These experts ensure the aircraft in their care are ready to fly at a moment’s notice so aircrew can safely and effectively complete their mission.
The DCC program is a well-established tradition and privilege afforded to the best maintainers who are responsible for aircraft health. Leadership, initiative and job expertise are must-have qualities for DDC consideration.
“For our dedicated crew chief program, we take the best and brightest folks and assign them to an aircraft,” said Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Sirkis, 712th AMXS superintendent. “We mirror the active-duty program, which selects crew chiefs based on job performance, ability to meet training standards and no quality assurance fails.”
Sirkis’ words speaks to the value of continuity between the 436th Airlift Wing, the Dover AFB host unit, and its mission partner, the 512th AW. Like most programs, the DCC program exhibits a one-team, one-fight mentality and demonstrates the cohesion between the Reserve and active duty when aircraft fly downrange.
Sirkis said the DCCs additionally receive plaques hung in the 712th AMXS’s hall. A DCC of the month is determined by a DCC’s aircraft cleanliness, performance and amount of discrepancies.
He added their dedicated aircraft is also awarded a premium parking space, Whiskey Row, the closest spot on the flight line to the 712th AMXS building.
“We have three DCCs on our books in the unit,” said Sirkis. “It’s great to honor them again. We rely on them as points of contact for their aircraft.”
Scott, who received a blue flag labeled, “The Red Tails”, said he’d been a DCC for his aircraft since 2009 and had been recognized at several ceremonies.
“I know the true ins-and-outs of my aircraft,” said Scott. “As a DCC, I have a more intimate relationship with my aircraft.”
He added he’d never been awarded a flag before, and he considers it a high honor. The recognition had renewed his sense of pride as an expert for his C-17.
Sirkis said the DCC program inspires a sense of ownership in proven maintainers.
“The DCC program has increased care for the aircraft and has resulted in decreased discrepancies,” said Sirkis. “The pride DCCs have when they work on them has brought a better overall appearance to our planes.”