QA Honor Roll: setting the standard in maintenance

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Danielle Quilla
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
One of the most demanding career fields in the Air Force is Aerospace Maintenance, where Airmen often find themselves enduring long hours while being exposed to the elements. However, to these Airmen the conditions are outweighed by the daily responsibility of ensuring the safety of their fellow wingmen.

Every month, an average of 220 sorties take place at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, with KC- 135 Stratotankers that have been around since the Vietnam War. For this reason, it is vital that the 6th Maintenance Group Airmen do not cut any corners while on the job.

"We do a lot of inspections and there is very little margin for error with lives at risk," said Staff Sgt. Eric Holton, 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion craftsman. "Especially being propulsionists, if we cut corners people can die, an engine could catch fire, and someone could get sucked into a motor if they don't have situational awareness."

With the safety of their fellow wingmen always on their minds, these maintainers wipe the sweat off their brows and strain their eyes to make sure no piece of the aircraft is overlooked during a routine inspection.

Often during these inspections quality assurance personnel evaluate the performance of the Airmen. If an Airman passes multiple inspections with zero defects, they are recognized on the QA Honor Roll.

This is beyond the high school honor roll for good grades though. The QA Honor Roll sets the standard that each maintainer should be striving to achieve every day.

For this quarter, Holton had the honor of sharing the recognition with his Airmen, Airman 1st Class Deandre Morris, 6th MXS propulsion journeyman, who recently enlisted in the Air Force in 2014. 

"This was my first time on the honor roll," expressed Morris with a smile on his face.
Although there is still a lot to learn, Morris said that he looks forward to gaining more experience to be able to take on more technical inspections like his supervisor.

It is because of Airmen like Holton and Morris that the KC-135 pilots and boom operators can perform their job with confidence that the aircraft will return them home safely after a mission.

Even with the long hours, Holton says they take pride in what they do, which is the driving force behind maintainers.