Local maintainers earn Air Force-level awards

  • Published
  • By David Kellogg
  • 62nd AIrlift Wing Public Affairs
The Air Force recently recognized two civilian maintainers with the Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award for their service here during 2005. 

James Fehr, a 62nd Maintenance Squadron ordnance equipment specialist, and Rick Neumeyer, a 62nd MXS aircraft engine mechanic, won the civilian technician category in their respective fields. 

“The [Air Mobility Command] award was nice, but winning at the Air Force level against all the other munitions experts is cool,” said Mr. Fehr. “I’ve gotten lots of e-mails from people I know around the Air Force congratulating me.” 

Mr. Fehr said McChord is often underappreciated as a munitions supplier because the base most visibly supports C-17 cargo jets, not fighters. It turns out, however, that McChord frequently supports fighter units for training, especially Air National Guard units from around the United States. 

Last year was an especially busy year due to the AMC Rodeo Competition and Air Show, which required the use of C-4 explosives, said Mr. Fehr, who tracks and orders McChord’s explosives. 

Both events required McChord to supply explosives outside its typical supply.
“It’s not like you can go buy it downtown,” he said. 

But he and his co-workers of the ordnance team worked hard to get the supplies needed. 

Mr. Fehr said he believes the award is as much a reflection on the entire ordnance staff as on him. 

Mr. Neumeyer, who inspects, troubleshoots and repairs C-17 jet engines also believes his award reflects the hard work of many people. 

Mr. Neumeyer and his co-workers enabled 43 engine changes in 2005, sustaining the McChord fleet through 15,890 sorties, according to his award package. 

“This award reflects greatly on our shop,” he said. “Without the hard work of all the men and women in the propulsion section, I feel this award wouldn’t be possible. A lot of teamwork goes into the accomplishments I have performed. No one can do it alone.”