News>C-130 maintenance training team helps Royal Thai AF counterparts
Tech. Sgt. Micheal Williamson (fore; blue helmet), and Tech. Sgt. Brandon Jackson (in ABU's closest to aircraft), both with the 373rd Training Squadron Field Training Detachment 4 from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., conduct training with the Royal Thai Air Force on a C-130 wing flap installation during February, 2013, at Don Muang Air Base, Thailand. The training was part of a month-long C-130 maintenance mobile training team deployment for the RTAF in Bangkok. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
Members of the 373rd Training Squadron Field Training Detachment 4 from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., pose with their Royal Thai Air Force counterparts from the 601st Airlift Squadron at the conclusion of training March 8, 2013, at Don Muang Air Base, Thailand. The training was part of a month-long C-130 maintenance mobile training team deployment for the Royal Thai Air Force in Bangkok. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)
3/26/2013 - LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. -- A mobile training team from the 373rd Training Squadron's Field Training Detachment 4 returned here March 9 from a month-long deployment to Thailand providing C-130 maintenance training to the Royal Thai Air Force.
Nine members of the field training detachment (FTD) made up the team of instructors who helped provide formal maintenance instruction to the RTAF C-130 community Feb. 6 through March 9.
"We provided training to 101 total students," said Senior Master Sgt. Nathan Lakin, 373rd TRS FTD 4 chief. "It took about four months of planning on our end to put all the pieces in place. It was a great experience for us as a team and the training was worthwhile to the RTAF as well."
Along with Lakin, training instructors on the trip were Tech. Sgts. Justin Solis, Justin Adams, Jacob Hicks, Jeremy Humphries, Michael Williamson and Brandon Jackson, along with Staff Sgts. Curtis Franklin and Clint White.
Five different maintenance specialties were taught during the deployment to Don Muang Air Base, located in Bangkok. The training was some of the first formal C-130 maintenance training in over 20 years for the RTAF.
The maintenance Air Force Specialty Codes trained on included crew chief; engine specialists, flight line and back shop; hydraulic specialists; electrics and environmental specialists; and fuel system specialists.
"The training was a great success," said Capt. Steve Massara, U.S. Air Force C-130 maintenance exchange officer who works in conjunction with the RTAF, via email. "(It) constituted some of the first formal C-130 maintenance training the Royal Thai Air Force has had in over twenty years."
Massara went on to note the team's skill in working through a myriad of different needs based on the location of the training, not to mention the cultural and language differences.
"The instructors conducted themselves with professionalism, cultural sensitivity, demonstrated their technical expertise and breadth of experience, all while adapting to use Thai language interpreters for every hour of instruction," Massara said. "These attributes helped them earn the respect of the Royal Thai Air Force C-130 maintainers, improved maintenance practices and ensured our relationship with this pivotal Southeast Asian nation will remain cordial for years to come."
The 373rd TRS FTD 4 is part of the 982nd Training Group based at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
Col. Peter Markle, 982nd TRG commander, was pleased with the team's results.
"This is what our field training detachments do best," Markle said via email. "Representing the 82nd Training Wing in 'Making Great Maintainers and Communicators Even Better', even in Thailand!"