The Flight Line’s Melting Pot

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

A “Melting Pot” is defined as a process of blending that often results in invigoration or novelty or a place where a variety of individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole.

The 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group maintenance operations center ensures fast and effective ways of communicating everything from flying schedules, weather notifications and aircraft engine status and availability throughout Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates.

The Airmen all span from a vast range of maintenance backgrounds. They are selected for certain periods of time from their primary “2A” Air Force Specialty Codes, which are all aircraft-related careers from crew-chiefs to avionic specialists, to put their minds together using their different experiences.

“We incorporate aircraft experiences from a variety of maintenance career fields and backgrounds while melding them together to effectively accomplish our mission here at ADAB,” said Master Sgt. Kapri Nailor, 380th Expeditionary Maintenance Group MOC superintendent. “Our diverse maintenance experience is what makes us a strong team because we are able to problem solve with different outlooks and ideas. We have individuals who have never worked on the aircraft here and it allows us to think outside the box and reduce convoluted processes.”

While supporting 520 personnel and 24 aircraft, to include additional transient aircraft from other U.S. Armed Forces units and coalition partners, plenty of scenarios can happen all at the same time where the MOC demonstrates that communication is key.

“There are a plethora of factors that can influence how busy MOC is at any given moment, but how efficiently we can process that information is what makes MOC a vital part of the maintenance team,” said Staff Sgt. Tyler Wilson, 380th EXMG MOC controller. “There are times when an aircraft is having an In-Flight Emergency (IFE), three aircraft need fuel, there are two separate [production] superintendents who want to do a board bump - ensuring their information is up to date for the meetings, all whilst in the middle of shift turnover. This is just one scenario that could occur.”

Whether working under extraneous pressure or not, the cohesive nine-man shop works 24/7 to ensure that any and all information regarding aircraft is effectively communicated regarding maintenance.

“You need to be very detail oriented to work in MOC,” said Wilson. “Many people think MOC is a cakewalk, when in reality you need to know your Air Force Instructions very well, be confident in your products, and know how to handle pressure.

“MOC’s constant engagement assists with ensuring our mission is completed safely and reliably,” said Nailor.