14th AMU designates 22 new Dedicated Crew Chiefs

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Melanie A. Bulow-Gonterman
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Twenty-two Airmen were recognized as Dedicated Crew Chiefs during a ceremony on the flightline at Misawa Air Base, Japan, July 31.

The ceremonious occasion signifies the culmination of the individual’s hard work, dedication and training, earning them the title of DCC. During the ceremony, crew chiefs took the crew chief oath and received a certificate, coin and patch commemorating the event.

The objective of the program is to directly assign a maintainer to each aircraft to provide continuity and accuracy of aircraft forms, aircraft status, scheduled maintenance, and improve aircraft appearance. The DCC's name is placed on the left side of the jet to show dedication to their designated aircraft.

DCCs spend countless hours assigned to a single aircraft, inspecting and maintaining every square inch of their aircraft, and are ultimately responsible for not only that aircraft, but also the safety of their pilots.

“Being a Dedicated Crew Chief is more than just a title,” said Senior Airman Tyler Bunn, a 14th Aircraft Maintenance Unit DCC. “It’s about taking on new responsibilities that not only improve our abilities as crew chiefs, but also bridge the gap between the maintenance world and pilot world. We form bonds, trusting relationships and are proud to have our names flying next to theirs.”

One could trace the relationship between a pilot and crew chief back to the famous aviator Calbraith Perry Rodgers and the first transcontinental airplane flight. On loan from the Wright Brothers, an aircraft maintenance technician, Charlie Taylor, was assigned to follow the flight via train. Throughout the flight, there were more than seventy stops, both intentional and unintentional, that required Taylor’s attention and expertise.

Without the help of his Dedicated Crew Chief, Rodger’s journey would have never been a success.

“We, as F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots, rely on them to ensure our aircraft and combat systems are ready, enabling us to fly, fight, win and return to our families safely,” said Capt. Amos Bartlow, 14th Fighter Squadron chief of training. “They are the first to greet us when we step and the first welcoming us back after the mission.”

Trust between the flyer and DCC allows the pilot to focus on the mission, knowing the aircraft is ready for the challenge.

Bartlow continued saying the 14th FS/AMU team has an outstanding group of crew chiefs, and Misawa AB’s DCCs represent the best of them all.

The following 14th AMU Dedicated Crew Chiefs were selected based on their initiative, management, leadership ability and technical knowledge:

TSgt Julian Lopes
TSgt Sirshawn Kirby
TSgt Jeg Libed
SSgt Kevin Pyle
SSgt Michael Maxwell
SSgt Jason Manfull
SSgt Barrett Clark
SSgt Matthew Teegarden
SSgt Nathaniel Dotts
SSgt Aaron Martwick
SSgt Taylor Schwarz
SSgt Jovan Bennett
SSgt William Ybarra
SrA Ashley Leigh
SrA Zachery Tate
SrA Thomas Wojtowicz
SrA Tyler Bunn
SrA Henderson Tran
SrA Christian Sanchez
SrA Chad Pledger
SrA David Cook
SrA Kordell Lawrence