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Airmen continue tradition, earn dedicated crew chief spots

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Twenty-two Airmen from the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 334th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were appointed as dedicated crew chiefs during a ceremony May 12.

According to Tech. Sgt. Christian Suarez, 4th AMXS airframe and power plant general section chief, said the privilege is reserved for those who display the initiative, management and leadership abilities necessary to maintain an aircraft in combat-ready status.

Suarez also added that a DCC’s technical knowledge is above reproach and is relied upon to ensure a fighter wing’s readiness.

The difference between a crew chief and a DCC is a DCC will only maintain the aircraft they are specifically assigned to, said Staff Sgt. Spencer Watson, 4th AMU DCC.

“These outstanding Airmen are accepting responsibility for the maintenance and combat readiness of their aircraft,” Suarez explained. “One of the last people a pilot sees before embarking on a mission is the DCC. The pilots [trust] the DCC with the integrity of the aircraft, and more importantly, their own life.”

During the ceremony, Suarez said each new DCC received custom-made overalls with their aircraft’s tail number and their name and rank embroidered on them. They also received custom 334th Fighting Eagles patches, which incorporates the heritage of the 334th Eagle Squadron dating back to World War II.

To follow a long-standing tradition, Suarez said each DCC will also have their name painted on the side of the F-15E they are now assigned to.

“It’s really inspiring to see your name on the side of an F-15E,” Watson said. “Crew chiefs pride ourselves in our work, and having all of our hard work, dedication and sacrifice recognized by seeing our name on our jet is more than an honor.”

Watson added being a DCC in the 334th AMU gives him an extra sense of pride because of the history the AMU has.

“The 334th has a reputation of providing the commander in chief the most combat ready fighters in the world,” Suarez said. “Our proud tradition has put us at the very tip of the spear. Since World War II, the heart and soul of our organization has rested with the DCCs and their ability to deliver the most lethal asset the Air Force has to offer.”