Col. Joel Safranek, 436th Airlift Wing commander, A1C Ceasar Ventura, 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron dedicated crew chief, and A1C Mason Gray, 436th AMXS assistant dedicated crew chief, pull off tape during a DCC unveiling ceremony Oct. 4, 2019, at Dover AFB, Del. Air Force photo by SrA. Christopher Quail.
Reversing a policy in place for the past two decades, dedicated crew chiefs can now put their names on Air Mobility Command aircraft, thanks to a push from the 736th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Dover AFB, Del.
As of Sept. 17, AMC is allowing dedicated and assistant dedicated crew chiefs for C-5s, C-17s, C-130s, KC-10s, and KC-135s to paint their names on their aircraft. Prior policy forbade those marks because AMC wanted airframes clear of identifying information when deployed to war zones.
When the 736th AMXS adjusted its dedicated crew chief program last year, squadron commander Maj. Kevin Scholz asked 436th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Joel Safranek why the names could not be painted on aircraft, according to a Dover release. Pilot and crew chief names are routinely painted on other USAF aircraft, such as fighters under Air Combat Command, but not airlifters.
The 736th AMXS then joined with Dover’s C-5 436th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron to request AMC waive the policy. Ten months later, AMC lifted the rule.
Under the new policy, names still need to be removed from aircraft deploying to combat zones. But, if those aircraft are defined as being “transient” and not deployed for a long period of time, they are not subject to the combat deployment sanitization requirement. So, “if an aircraft is in the AOR for less than 14 days, it doesn’t need to be sanitized,” Scholz said in the release.
AMC said in a statement it expects the change “to increase participation in the DCC program, which facilitates pride in ownership among crew chiefs.”
On Oct. 4, at a Dover DCC ceremony, crew chiefs unveiled their names painted on the aircraft.
“I was completely thrilled about this new privilege and responsibility,” said TSgt. Anthony Carter, the DCC program manager with the 436th AMXS, in the release. “The sense of pride I felt when I was assigned to my first aircraft was one of the best experiences of my career and will forever be instilled into my memory. That’s how I believe our Airmen feel when they are assigned to an aircraft and why it was so important to have the authority to place their names on the exterior of the aircraft.”