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Sailor-turned-Airman aces MAF consolidated course

  • Published
  • By John Ingle
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – A Sailor-turned-Airmen has set the bar high for his Air National Guard career by earning the “ACE” distinction in the Mobility Air Force consolidated course here.

Staff Sgt. Wayne C. Russell, a native of Latham, New York, and a member of the 109th Airlift Wing in Schenectady, finished the 365th Training Squadron's 19-block course with perfect scores on all graded areas of the roughly five-month training program. The MAF consolidated course includes instruction in aircraft communication and navigation, and electronic warfare.

Tasks performed by this career field include operating and maintaining communication, navigation and mission systems; diagnosing malfunctions; inspecting and verifying operational status and configuration of avionics systems and software; and more.

Russell graduated July 27, 2020.


Rank / Name: Staff Sgt. Wayne C. Russell

Unit (gaining): 109th Airlift Wing

Duty title: Avionics Maintenance Technician

Hometown: Latham, New York

Time in Service: 4 years in the Navy as an aviation electronics technician 2nd Class; 1 year in the New York Air National Guard

Why you joined: Travel to Antarctica with the 109th AW, and continue to serve my country after my active duty time was over.

Family: Paul and Nancy Russell, father and mother; Carrie Russell, sister; Matthew Russell, twin brother

Hobbies: Volunteer firefighting, skiing, hiking, kayaking, camping, video games

Favorite aspect of job: Getting to work on and trouble shoot the aircraft, working alongside the men and women of the 109th AW.

Most memorable Air Force experience: Getting to meet my cousin, a major with the 109th who I didn’t know joined.

Most memorable Navy experience: Deployment in 2017 stationed on the USS H.W. Bush, and exercise called “Tiger Cruise”. We picked family up in Wayport, Florida, and they spent three days on the ship while we steamed for homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. My dad is a Navy veteran, and he got to go out to sea one last time, his smile was worth it. On the 2nd day, there was an air show where an F/A-18 broke the sound barrier at flight deck level. The third day, I manned the rails in my dress whites, with my dad and brother standing behind me while we pulled into port. We were greeted by a huge, cheering crowd and applause. Being able to share that experience with my family was the highlight of my time in the Navy.

How do you make responsible choices: Volunteering my time to help others in the community (volunteer fire fighter).

Instructor comments:
“This award is special because it shows the dedication and commitment an Airman needs to secure it. The student can’t miss a single question on a quiz or test, they have to get a 100% GPA through the entire time in the communication/navigation (4 months/14 blocks of instruction) course and the electronic warfare course (22 days/5 blocks of instruction), with no disciplinary issues. 

“Staff Sgt. Russell lives the whole Airman concept. Not only does he help his fellow classmates understand the material when they have issues, he helps members of the community as a volunteer fire fighter. He asks detailed questions in order to understand the systems we teach as they directly relate to his aircraft. Being prior active-duty Navy, he understands the importance of why we need these countermeasure systems, and puts forth his very best every day in class.” – Staff Sgt. Craig Hammond