62nd MXG Airmen ‘Accelerate Change’ with CUT course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zoe Thacker
  • 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Throughout its 74 years of existence, the U.S. Air Force have dominated the air, cyber and space domains alongside its sister services. But warfighting has changed. Adversaries have progressively developed their techniques, training and force; however, our Airmen have done the same.


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., announced his Accelerate Change or Lose initiative at the beginning of this year as an effort to empower Airmen and develop a force that is well-prepared for the future fight. The 62nd Maintenance Group at the 62nd Airlift Wing took this initiative and ran with it.


Maintainers have been the backbone of the U.S. Air Force since the very beginning; providing quality work to ensure aircraft are operationally ready and safe, for pilots to accomplish their mission. But the 62nd MXG didn’t stop at providing quality work the way it has always been done; they were ready to take the next innovative step to ensure we remain the World’s Greatest Air Force with a course designed to train maintainers in more areas of expertise in order to keep the 62nd AW’s C-17 Globemaster III fleet ready to fly.


“A constrained Air Force Specialty Code is when mission demands exceed the support capacity of a career field,” Chief Master Sgt. Damon Yarborough, 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Senior Enlisted Leader. “The 62nd Maintenance Group identified this by asking our Maintenance Group Operations Analysis team to analyze past historical aircraft maintenance workload data and to break down man hours per person per maintenance career field.”


Upon receiving the results from the study, the team confirmed the 62nd AMXS Electrical and Environmental (E&E) section nearly doubled in work hours as opposed to the next closest AFSC, and had less personnel. A separate study was then accomplished to identify high drivers or discrepancies maintainers work most often and thus, the Cross Utilization Training course was born.


“Our team developed a curriculum with a deliberate focus on providing relief in the form of more trained personnel,” said Yarborough. “This course takes topnotch Airmen from separate career fields and puts them in a course that specifically provides E&E System theory of operation training, troubleshooting experience, and hands-on instruction.”


Training Airmen from various maintenance-related career fields and providing them the tools needed to aid undermanned or constrained AFSCs was a way to use already proficiently trained Airmen to be more well-rounded, better equipped and more knowledgeable about all things related to C-17 maintenance.


“Our intent is to create Airmen capable of augmenting more than just their own primary duties to get the mission accomplished, and this readies our personnel to operate in a degraded or deployed environment while also supporting the Agile Combat Employment concept,” Yarborough said. “We are getting after how we can work smarter and how to better effectively utilize manpower and prepare our Airmen to be ready for the next big fight.”


There is a cost, and at times uncomfortable decisions, that come with creating change for the future of our fleet and our force. However, Yarborough and the 62nd MXG as a whole believe this course is the future of creating capable mobility warfighters.


“Pulling qualified personnel from an already critically manned AFSC to teach other AFSCs may hurt in the immediate future but yielding classes of several qualified graduates to help the maintenance effort makes it beneficial,” said Yarborough. “Over time, and as we continue to push members through this newly developed course, we will be able to mold well-rounded Airmen capable of working outside of the constraints of their primary AFSCs.”


These Airmen will then be able to decrease the amount of non-mission capable and partially-mission capable aircraft at the 62nd AW, alongside minimizing manning holds and allowing time for subject matter experts to focus on demanding maintenance tasks.


As warfighting continues to change, it is crucial that Airmen change alongside it. The maintenance Airmen responsible for, and undergoing, the Cross Utilization Course are one step closer to ensuring that the 62nd Airlift Wing is able to fly, flight and win anytime and anywhere.