Base mechanics ‘maintain’ excellence

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Brian Maguire
  • 436th AW Public Affairs
Nearly eight months of preparation resulted in the 436th Maintenance and Mission Support Groups earning an overall 'excellent' during the Logistics Standardization and Evaluation Program.

Now the hard work begins as both groups work to capitalize on their success and maintain the high level of performance achieved for the LSEP.

"We are going to continue our road of excellence and the culture of compliance that was built," said 1st Lt. Jeff Fry, 436th MXG executive officer. "We did a lot of preparation in getting our group to where it is and now the hard part of maintaining it starts."

The difficulty in maintaining the high level of proficiency comes from the heavy workload at Dover Air Force Base, as thousands of tons of cargo process through the Aerial Port and countless missions are launched to support the warfighter.

"Between Operational Training and Evaluation on the C-5M, supporting the C-5 Avionics Modernization Program, C-5 Regional Isochronal Inspection and conducting a war on terror, we are capitalizing on our training and proficiency every day," said Master Sgt. Carl Haynes, 436th Maintenance Squadron lead production supervisor.

In order to maintain the level of proficiency and compliance achieved in the run-up to the inspection, the 436th MXG has increased the Quality Assurance section and built on the groundwork established during LSEP preparations.

"After the inspection ended, we beefed up our QA section," said Lieutenant Fry. "This section is responsible for conducting inspection on our Airmen to ensure they are performing their job safely and correctly."

As part of the LSEP training, the maintenance group went back to basics, creating a maintenance 101 education program to focus on the core tasks of every maintainer, the lieutenant said. "This education helps to lay a good foundation for each of us to carry with us during our career."

The improvements made to QA include the setting of clear guidance, early identification of substandard trends, appropriate training and maintaining a solid inspection program, said Sergeant Haynes.

For the mission support group only two squadrons were inspected, the 436th Logistics Readiness Squadron and the 436th Aerial Port Squadron, both of which had to prepare simultaneously for the LSEP and Unit Compliance Inspection. The focus on LSEP preparations in both squadrons was on performing the job safely.

"Safety is a must in our daily operations," said Senior Master Sgt. Nicole Sheleva, 436th LRS operations and maintenance and MSG LSEP team lead. "Emphasis was put on safety, safety, safety. Safety is a part of our everyday mission. With today's operations temp, we have to do it right the first time."

The results indicate the hard work and preparation that went into the LSEP, as Lt. Gen. Loren Reno, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, came to Dover to congratulate everyone involved on their impressive results in the LSEP, said Lieutenant Fry.

The purpose of the LSEP is to ensure a safe, well-trained force is ready to support the warfighter, so preparing for the LSEP was important because of the critical job that Dover maintainers, porters and logisticians perform everyday.

"We perform our job every day to support the warfighter, and if we are not doing it safely or correctly we cannot continue to support the warfighter," Lieutenant Fry said.

LSEP preparations involved a hands-on look by leadership and logistics professionals because of the nature of the inspection. The LSEP evaluates the performance of the job, so inspectors perform over-the-shoulder inspections to ensure that the proper procedures are followed during the course of a normal workday.

"A lot of effort was put forth [in preparations]," said Sergeant Sheleva. "The LSEP focused on task evaluations while the UCI was running a checklist."

Building on the results from the LSEP, logisticians have continued to work as if another LSEP was coming.

"We continue to perform just as if we were being inspected today and process improvements are always being evaluated and implemented," said Sergeant Sheleva.

The work that went into LSEP preparations built on an already strong culture of compliance and process improvements that existed at Dover. The personnel inspected during the LSEP proudly displayed why Dover is the backbone of the strategic air bridge, delivering cargo and personnel to American forces around the globe.

"As tough as it was to prepare for the LSEP, our personnel have the skills, training and confidence to take on any challenge," said Sergeant Haynes.