News>Crew chiefs ready for Global Strike Challenge
Tech. Sgt. Michael Bayne, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, looks inside the engine of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20. Bayne is one of five crew chiefs participating in the 2012 Global Strike Challenge. For the crew chiefs' portion of the challenge, Bayne and his team will be evaluated on how they perform their pre-flight routine and knowledge of their job. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier)(RELEASED)
Tech. Sgt. Michael Bayne, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, inspects the tail of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber during a dry run in preparation of the 2012 Global Strike Challenge on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20. The Global Strike Challenge is a command-wide competition designed to enhance readiness, teamwork, esprit de corps, mission pride and a competitive spirit amongst its competitors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier)(RELEASED)
Staff Sgt. Wesley Cantrell, 2nd Maintenance Group quality assurance, inspects an aircraft binder on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug 20. During a dry run in preparation of the 2012 Global Strike Challenge, QA inspected the crew chiefs on how they performed a portion of their pre-flight routine. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier)(RELEASED)
Senior Airman James Lawson, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and Staff Sgt. Wesley Cantrell, 2nd Maintenance Group quality assurance, look over the cockpit of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20. Lawson is one of five crew chiefs chosen to represent the 2nd Bomb Wing in the 2012 Global Strike Challenge. Cantrell gauged Lawson's knowledge of the cockpit and advised him on other aspects he may need to know for the competition. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier)(RELEASED)
Col. Stephen Petters, back right, 2nd Maintenance Group commander, and Col. Paul Fortunato, front right, 2nd Medical Group commander, give words of wisdom to the coaches and members of the crew chief team as they prepare for the 2012 Global Strike Challenge on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Aug. 20. The team consists of two main competitors, three alternates and two coaches. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier)(RELEASED)
by Airman 1st Class Benjamin Gonsier
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
8/21/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- To ensure victory in this year's Global Strike Challenge, crew chiefs from the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron have been training for months perfecting their trade.
Five crew chiefs had their final preparation for the command's annual bomber competition Aug. 20, during a dry run one week before the actual event.
"The crew chiefs who were selected are the best of the best," said Tech. Sgt. Michael Bayne, 2 AMXS.
During the evaluation practice, Bayne and his team of crew chiefs take the inspector through a portion of a pre-flight. The pre-flight includes the necessary maintenance and inspections made to ready an aircraft for takeoff.
"Our job is to show the inspector how we perform a pre-flight by using the methods we have learned throughout technical school and the experience we bring to the field," Bayne said.
During their final practice, the inspector is a Barksdale Airman who knows the crew chief job well.
"My ultimate goal is to make the wing better and give them a fair assessment," said Staff Sgt. Wesley Cantrell, 2nd Maintenance Group quality assurance and crew chief. "We help them improve themselves by getting to the root cause of any problem."
Quality assurance is the closest the wing can get to the actual inspectors, Cantrell added. By giving the crew chiefs a physical evaluation of their performance, QA is able to prepare them for the competition and correct them on how to do their job better.
"The one thing they need to know is the correct way of doing their job," Cantrell said. "They need to know where the information is, how to obtain the information and where the references are."
The Air Force is a well-oiled machine, he added. If someone does not know something off the top of their head, they know the information is out there and easily accessible.
With 15 years of experience working on the B-52H Stratofortress, Bayne knows this well. Throughout his career, he has developed methods that allow him to get the job done quickly and effectively. His experience and seniority has made him the leader of a team that has one thing on their mind.
"Our goal is definitely to win," he said. "Winning shows the rest of the Air Force that just because this aircraft may be a historical portion of America's history, it's still an aircraft that can carry the tip of the sword when it comes to bombing."
While the challenge has command level implications, Bayne realizes there is something more important involved.
"What I've learned from this is where my Airmen are," he said. "It gives me something to gauge off of, knowing what we need to work on more and may need to pay less attention to."
Barksdale crew chiefs are hard at work preparing for this year's Global Strike Challenge, and the 2 MXG is ready to prove to the MAJCOM they are the best of the best.