301 FW MXG MOC undergoes overhaul, turns new leaf

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kedesha Pennant
  • 301st Fighter Wing

The 301st Fighter Wing Maintenance Group’s maintenance operations center did a “180°”, to start the new year, after undergoing a tumultuous, high turnover rate.

The wing’s maintenance operations center maintains the status of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet. They’re responsible for providing the number of aircraft available to do any mission.

Master Sgt. Travis Powell, 301 FW MXG maintenance operations center noncommissioned officer in-charge, saw the need for a change, starting with the basics which happened concurrently with a sortie surge during November 2020’s super unit training assembly exercise.

“We were lacking in a lot of areas [including customer service and outdated programs] and once we [had our new group of people], we started to clean the place. We basically re-did the MOC in the middle of an exercise,” Powell said. “It was a challenge, but that’s when [we] started to bond. [Taking apart the old furniture and building our new furniture], built the foundation for where we’re going. We re-established pride in our work area.”

Continuing to shape MOC’s focus, Powell got a whiteboard and assigned projects for him and his Airmen. Fortunately, multiple Airmen were able to occupy full-time orders in to accomplish these tasks.

“We worked our way through the board [and were able to update our programs],” he said. “We also built a better relationship with the production team [by creating a constant presence on the flightline]. [This way we know how we sound over the radio], and what message is being communicated.”

Visually, their office may just be a cypher-locked room with multiple screens, computers and radios; however, there is much more that meets the eye.

 “The MOC is a high tide, low tide kind of job,” he said. “A lot of times, we’re just the voice on the other side of the radio. [Yet], when emergencies kick off, that’s when everything lights up in here.”

Having been a Traditional Reservist for 18 years, Powell has been able to find his “why” and hopes to pour what he’s learned into his Airmen so they can discover where they fit into the mission.

“This job exists so [Airmen] make it home,” Powell said. “We provide supervision, accurate and timely information, regarding assets, so [senior leaders] can make informed decisions on how best to employ those assets to ensure those in harm’s way could make it home.”

Senior Airman Bradly Kent, 24th Fighter Squadron production controller is an Active Duty member assigned to the MOC. He has been a part of the transformation to efficiently combine Active and Reserve components in order to accomplish their mission.

“It has given me a new perspective on the bigger picture of how things work in maintenance,” Kent said. “Interacting with people in different roles and different agencies really put the pieces together. I look forward to coming to work every day and hope to become a bigger part of this office.”

Powell conveyed how proud he was of his shop and plans to keep MOC’s morale going through the roof.

“We have a good team dynamic,” Powell said. “[This way when new people arrive], it’ll be easier to have them assimilate to our culture.”

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