19th AW Maintainers generate airlift for JPMRC-AK 23-02

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Isabell A. Nutt
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 65 personnel from the 19th Maintenance Squadron, 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 19th Maintenance Group participated in Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center- Alaska 23-02, March 19 through April 5, 2023.

JPMRC-Alaska 23-02 is a joint exercise that focuses on large-scale combat operations and develops situational training and live-fire exercises designed to build cold weather and mountain-proficient forces prepared for employment within the Indo-Pacific region.

The 65 maintenance personnel were comprised of a wide variety of career fields such as crew chiefs, hydraulic systems specialists, communication and navigation systems, metals technicians and integrated flight controls.

The 19th MXS, 19th AMXS and 19th MXG supported the 61st and 41st Airlift Squadrons in several large-scale events and gained first-hand experience on how to adapt with limited personnel and unfamiliar climates. Through these events, many maintainers stepped outside of their career field and embodied the Multi-Capable Airman concept to ensure the 19th Airlift Wing provided world-class airlift and air-drop support to U.S. Army forces.

“We had all of our personnel between mid and day shifts working together to reconfigure the planes and troubleshoot,” said Capt. Ben Van Der Merwe, 19th Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge. “Normally those tasks are left up to the crew chiefs, but we had every specialty out there helping.”

Van Der Merwe also stated that working in the Arctic region gave maintainers insight on how the C-130J Super Hercules and the 19th AW’s equipment will operate in weather conditions that are vastly different than what they experience at home station. Learning how to adapt to unfamiliar conditions will prove useful to the maintainers as they gear up for Air Mobility Command’s large-scale exercise Mobility Guardian 2023 taking place this summer.

“This is the first time we’ve operated in Alaska with a much leaner footprint than what we’re used to working with,” said Van Der Merwe. “We’re getting after how we can sustain an eight-ship operation with this amount of personnel and equipment, which is what will prepare us the most for Mobility Guardian.”

The 19th Airlift Wing is set to participate in the Mobility Guardian 2023 in July. Similar to JPMRC-AK 23-02, Mobility Guardian will test the Wing’s ability to advance warfighting capabilities in an operationally limited environment.