Wing moving forward with C-17 transition
By Master Sgt. Emily Beightol-Deyerle, 167 AW/PA
/ Published July 11, 2014
Martinsburg, W.Va. -- Although the 167th Airlift Wing has not officially entered into conversion, C-17 aircraft training has begun.
On Thursday morning, F117 PW100 engine familiarization training was presented to Lt. Col. Christian Cunningham, 167th maintenance group deputy commander, and several maintainers in the propulsion element.
Master Sgt.'s Jarrod Plotner and Matthew Gardenhour, both members of the propulsion element, developed the slide show using detailed photographs of the parts and systems of a C-17 engine that is on a 90-day loan to the Wing from Dover Air Force Base. Gardenhour lead the slide show presentation, drawing from his extensive knowledge of the engine garnered while working on C-17's for six years while on active duty.
"We are trying to be proactive and get the guys ahead of the game," said Master Sgt. Clarence Turner, 167th Propulsion Element Supervisor.
The training is designed to give the propulsion specialists a strong knowledge base before they attend their formal C-17 engine training course.
In addition to the familiarization training, Tech. Sgt. James Turner, who also has C-17 experience from his time on active duty, is creating troubleshooting training for the propulsion shop.
"Before you go to a technical school it's always good to have a background, so you're up to speed when you get there. Any preparation before a formalized school is going to help you understand the system better," said Cunningham. "I think what the propulsion shop is doing here is a great thing."
Cunningham also suggested providing the training to the other maintenance commanders so that they have a general understanding of the engines and what kind of maintenance is required.
According to Plotner, four members of the propulsion element will begin their formal training in early August, with three more groups of four scheduled after that.
The propulsion shop isn't the only shop moving forward with C-17 aircraft training.
According to Master Sgt. Daniel Ritenour, maintenance group training manager, 12 crew chiefs are currently attending their transition training, four are at Charleston Air Force Base, SC and eight are at McGuire Air Force Base, NJ.
Four more maintainers are departing for transition training within the next month and 35 more will go before the end of the fiscal year, he said.
"We have 51 folks in our initial cadre who will attend their C-17 transition classes FTD, or at a field training detachment," Ritenour explained. "Once we have the aircraft on base we will bring the instructors here."
Break rooms and training rooms throughout the maintenance complex will be converted to classrooms to accommodate the field training teams who will be teaching classes starting in October.
Major Marc Genaille, the operations group conversion officer, said one pilot has completed C-17 training and more aircrew will begin their training later this summer, starting with four loadmasters departing for school in July.