TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
As sounds of explosions rang out, members of the 76th Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight scrambled to take cover. They seamlessly affixed their gas masks onto their faces in response and quickly ran to the nearest shelter.
Upon arrival at the shelter, Staff Sgt. Harrison Mishler, Expeditionary Depot Maintenance craftsman, discovered he had been exposed to a “chemical agent.” Without hesitation, Tech. Sgt. Greg Schneider, also a maintenance craftsman, jumped into action. He assessed the situation and treated the described symptoms with self-aid buddy care techniques, demonstrating flawless execution.
Of course, all of this an exercise, however it highlights the Aircraft Battle Damage Repair members’ ability to perform their wartime mission.
EDMX, a flight within the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group, recently conducted its quarterly exercise to evaluate its members’ ability to not only perform rapid repairs, but also their ability to survive and operate in a hostile environment.
Prior to the exercise, axes and sledgehammers were used on the unit’s KC-135 and B-52 trainer assets, located on the training pad at Bldg. 860, to simulate real-world damage. EDMX members are trained to perform a full gambit of repairs, including wire splicing, hydraulic lines, push-pull rods, pulleys, substructure and sheet metal to ensure full spectrum maintenance repair readiness.
“ABDR bolsters a super maintainer mindset that aligns with [Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q.] Brown’s vision of Accelerate Change or Lose with multifaceted Airmen,” Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Taylor, EDMX superintendent, explained. “Exercises give us the chance to continually hone our abilities and evolve to meet current and future wartime requirements.”
The EDMX Flight is responsible for maintaining combat readiness and ensuring that any damage received in battle will not hinder the tanker and bomber fleets. To meet this goal, Airmen simulate a variety of attacks and scenarios, testing their skills and ability to operate in a contested environment.
The 26 members of the unit take this obligation seriously, and their professionalism and proficiency are easily conveyed as they conduct exercises.