Maintainers learn new aircraft crash kit

Members of the 167th Maintenance Squadron and the Royal Canadian Air Force assemble a tow rope that connects ground equipment to a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during a Crashed, Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery training event at the 167th Airlift Wing, Aug 6. Canadian maintainers travelled to the 167th to gain experience on the new crash kit along with members of several other U.S. Air Force units. (U.S. National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

Members of the 167th Maintenance Squadron and the Royal Canadian Air Force assemble a tow rope that connects ground equipment to a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft during a Crashed, Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery training event at the 167th Airlift Wing, Aug 6. Canadian maintainers travelled to the 167th to gain experience on the new crash kit along with members of several other U.S. Air Force units. (U.S. National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

Maintainers prepare to tow a C-17 during a Crashed, Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery training event at the 167th Airlift Wing, Aug 6. The training event coordinated by the wing's Repair and Reclamation Shop and Boeing representatives. (U.S. National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

Maintainers prepare to tow a C-17 during a Crashed, Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery training event at the 167th Airlift Wing, Aug 6. The training event coordinated by the wing's Repair and Reclamation Shop and Boeing representatives. (U.S. National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Dickson)

MARTINSBRUG, W.Va. -- The 167th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group Repair and Reclamation Shop held its yearly Crashed Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery Training at the 167th Airlift Wing, August 5 and 6.

  The two day training event was separated into a classroom portion that was held on Friday to allow Airmen to acquaint themselves with the new C-17 crash kit, as well as a hands-on, all-day event Saturday that allowed personnel to gain experience properly towing aircraft. 

This year's CDDAR training, which is a yearly requirement for the C-17, required members of the Repair and Reclamation Shop to learn how to use the new crash kit created by the Boeing Company, the makers of the C-17.

Aside from the new kit, this year's training is unique for another reason. More than 10 other units, Active-Duty, Guard and Reserve, traveled to the 167th in order to familiarize themselves with the new crash kit. In addition to the American components that visited the wing, representatives from the Royal Canadian Air Force, a US ally and operator of the C-17, were also present to observe the new kit in action.

According to Tech. Sgt. Matthew Shade, a 167th aircraft mechanic assigned to the Repair and Reclamation Shop, hands-on training is important because it allows Airmen to get real-life practice physically doing a task.

"It is important for us to do any kind of training that allows us to become familiar with new equipment," Shade said. "It lets us become real-world ready for any mishaps and makes us efficient in fixing them. We save the Air Force money by being able to keep the runway running and operational."

While the training itself is important in that it allows Airmen to get hands on experience working with the new kit, for Master Sgt. Terence Cadigan, a 167th aircraft mechanic assigned to the Repair and Reclamation Shop, there is also added value in building relationships with other units and other countries.

"Every scenario in a real-world situation is unique," Cadigan said. "No two people are going to have the exact same experience. So when you get all of these people
together, there is a lot of experience and great ideas that can come out of that."

According to Cadigan, the wing's Boeing representatives had a lot to do with the size and diversity of outside unit attendance. Cadigan and the Boeing representatives had an initial conversation about bringing in outside units to learn the new kit and from there it took on a life of its own spreading to other units and ultimately another country via Boeing's integrated network of representatives that help with logistics technical issues on the C-17.