Matrons of the maintenance world

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Anika Jones
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

SOUTHWEST ASIA – Some may fear change, but it can encourage the impossible. In a career field typically dominated by males, these six women are breaking the mold and rising to the challenge.

Capt. Katherine Harmon and 1st Lt. Erin Howell from the 5th Expeditionary Air Mobility Squadron, Capt. Christine Harvey, Capt. Grace Miller and 1st Lt. Solveig Listerud from the 386th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and Capt. Shelly Martin from the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron are contributing to the fight through their leadership and making sure maintenance crews are equipped and ready to provide reliable aircraft to support the nation’s warfighters.

“This job is the best! Getting to work with such a hard-working group of people is incredible, what the maintainers get done every day is inspiring,” said Howell, 5 EAMS officer in charge. “I’m challenged in new ways all the time, but I’ve grown stronger and learned more about leading people and the mission than I ever expected!”

Between the three squadrons, they oversee the maintenance for the C-5 Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, C-130J Super Hercules, EC-130H Compass Call, MQ-1 Predator, and MQ-9 Reaper. These officers are leaning forward to ensure that the maintainers have the resources to get the aircraft operational and back into the fight.

“I provide management and oversight to ensure each section is adequately resourced to efficiently execute the mission,” said Listerud, 386 EMXS aircraft maintenance unit officer in charge. “Ultimately I make sure we have the people, parts, and training to put the planes in the air safely and efficiently.”

They are a picture of the Total Force concept, an integration of active Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard forces. They bring their different experiences and backgrounds to add to the mission’s capabilities while taking care of their most important asset, the people.

Approached for mentorship and coaching, it is fun and exciting to hear what our Airman are thinking and where they want to go; and the hope of helping and making them proud to be a part of the Air Force said Harvey, 386 EAMXS assistant maintenance operations officer. 

Harmon, Howell, Harvey, Miller, Martin and Listerud are leaving their marks and aiding to the fight to deliver decisive airpower around the globe without fail.