373rd provides world class training at McChord

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash.— --

Teaching is something every instructor and supervisor in the 373rd Training Squadron, Detachment 12, Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash., takes very seriously as they provide world-class aircraft maintenance training to meet the evolving expeditionary mission requirements of the C-17 Globemaster III community.

The 373rd TRS is part of the Air Education and Training Command that is geographically separated from the 82nd Training Group at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Stringer, 373rd TRS field training detachment instructor said the squadron is similar to the technical school Airmen go through but with the addition of aircraft-specific and in-depth system training.

“We focus on three different types of aircraft maintenance courses,”said Stringer.

The first course the squadron focuses on is the additional training crew chiefs require after completing tech school at Sheppard AFB.

“They start their technical school down at Sheppard, do a 4-5 week course down there, then come here and do the J3 course (pipeline) where they are qualified on the exact aircraft they will be working on,” said Stringer. “At Sheppard they learn how to use tools and here they get trained on how to work on the C-17 aircraft.”

The second type of training the squadron focuses on is training for prior service.

“Any maintenance personnel that work on aircraft that is stationed here or from other bases can come and get trained on more advanced technology,” said Stringer. “They will learn flight controls, how to rig flight controls mechanically and electrically, and what all goes into those systems.”

The final type of training the squadron focuses on is training international students.

“We (instructors) get the unique opportunity to train students from other countries,” said Stringer. “We get to impart our knowledge skill into international students so that they can continue to maintain their own aircraft.”

According to Master Sgt. Bryan Hill, 373rd TRS section chief, more than 600, students to include internationals, graduate from their courses each year.

"I am very proud to have a full house of subject matter experts that can get really deep into the actual systems," said Hill. “We have 34 awesome instructors here that help provide mission ready Airmen to the Air Force.”

The satisfaction that comes with teaching has been very humbling for Stringer, who previously worked on the flightline where he was teaching accelerated on the job training to new crew chiefs.

Stringer said that he loves teaching and wanted to teach more advance concepts and to have more influence on people and to share his knowledge.

“We have a very important job here at the detachment,” said Stringer. “No C-17 will be able to fly without a crew chief. You can have all the specialties that you want but when it comes down to the basic maintenance for the C-17, you have a crew chief for a reason.

“If the planes don’t fly, then there are an endless list of missions that will not get accomplished. These planes are critical to the Air Force mission and our job is to keep them in the air by teaching the individuals who are out there working the maintenance missions.”