(Via Ho’okele News)
Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden
15th Wing Public Affairs
The first operation aircrew orientation took place Oct. 9 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The 735th Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) hosted the half-day information exchange, which gave members of the 535th Airlift Squadron (AS) a look at the squadron’s day-to-day operations.
“This is an opportunity for locally-stationed aircrew members to be educated on how aerial port and maintenance functions in the “en route” environment,” said Maj. Lloyd Richardson, 735th AMS director of operations.
Richardson said the orientation was especially important, considering the unique relationship the squadrons share. Though the 735th AMS often provides service for the aircraft and aircrews from the 535th AS, the two squadrons belong to separate major commands and parent units.
During the tour, aircrew members from the 535th AS were educated on the inner workings of an air mobility squadron, including passenger services, air freight, the air terminal operations center and the air mobility command control center.
Richardson said the purpose of the event was to build relationships and strengthen partnerships, increase cross-organizational job awareness, and reduce mission delays through education.
“We wanted to paint a picture of what the 735th AMS does,” Richardson said.
“We work so closely together every day and we live in the same spot, but I think right now there’s only a loose understanding of the difficulties and successes we share. We are a multifaceted squadron, but a lot of people have trouble understanding the moving parts.”
Richardson said the interactive walking tour was also a chance for the group to put names with faces.
“You have an easier time relating to someone you know. If you don’t know what someone’s job is, your expectations of what they should be doing are made up, but if you understand their role and what they do, you can manage your expectations.”
Richardson, a seasoned C-17 Globemaster III pilot, said the idea for the aircrew orientation began to form when he moved from the 535th AS to the 735th AMS and realized just how little he understood about the organization.
“When I moved into this job from the 535th, I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” he said.
“I realized I didn’t have a firm grasp on the lingo or the challenges the squadron faced or even what all of the functions did.”
“The aerial port and maintenance was always something I took for granted, so the info we wanted to pass on today hopefully equipped the aircrew with the tools they need to better under understand how we operate or why certain decisions are made,” he said.
For Staff Sgt. Daniel Thompson, 535th AS loadmaster, the orientation proved to be just what he needed to see the bigger picture.
“I actually learned a lot today. It’s good to see the way each part of the puzzle fits together,” he said.