by Senior Airman Katrina R. Menchaca
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
7/25/2012 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Hand-picked based on their character, performance and pursuit of maintenance excellence from within the 374th Maintenance Group, members of Yokota's Quality Assurance team are the best of the best.
"These people aren't just the best maintainers, they are also the most physically fit, exceeding expectations outside of their work areas as well," said Master Sgt. Alan Malcolm, 374 MXG QA chief inspector. "We only have ten inspectors, and they are all picked based on their expertise in their respective areas. We have evaluators from every aspect of maintenance from aerospace ground equipment to propulsion."
Operating 24/7, the QA flight is responsible for insuring that high quality aircraft maintenance production and equipment reliability are maintained.
"We act as the 'eyes and ears' for Colonel Sanders (374 MXG commander) to help identify deficiencies and efficiencies and report them up the chain of command," said Tech. Sgt. Jason Barefield, 374 MXG QA inspector. "Our job as inspectors is to train, evaluate and report the actions of aircraft maintainers."
Each month, the QA inspectors conduct 225 inspections within the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 374th Maintenance Operations Squadron and the 374th Maintenance Squadron.
Inspections range from verifying the quality of a maintainer's work after a task is completed, to a one-on-one personnel inspection where the inspector follows a maintainer and ensures they're effectively performing tasks based on their current qualifications.
The flight also serves as the primary technical advisory agency in the maintenance organization, assisting maintenance supervision at all levels to resolve quality problems.
"When the tough questions arise, being able to train and pass on knowledge to my fellow maintainers gives me great job satisfaction," said Barefield.
Additionally, they evaluate the quality of maintenance accomplished and perform necessary functions to manage the wing's Maintenance Standardization Evaluation Program.
The MSEP provides an objective sampling of the quality of equipment, the proficiency of maintenance personnel and the compliance of Lead Command and Unit MSEP focus areas, programs and processes.
"We just want to be able to make a difference," said Staff Sgt. David Archer, 374 MXG QA inspector. "The 374 MXG has a great crew of maintainers who always get the job done. Our goal as inspectors is to ensure that the job is done correctly, efficiently and safely."
During a recent Combined Unit Inspection, they received a 100 percent Logistics Compliance Assessment Program inspection rating. Additionally, they were the first MXG QA flight in Pacific Air Forces to receive a 100 percent pass rating in more than a year.
Overall, the 374 MXG received an Excellent rating during the LCAP inspection and were named one of Yokota's outstanding teams in the CUI report, receiving zero deficiencies and having two of their programs highlighted as strengths.