service, launch: TA does it all
2nd Lt. Brian Maguire,
AMCNS09 – 15/05/ 2009
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. – Two different squadrons are
responsible for the 18 C-5 Galaxy and 13 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft
assigned here, but only one flight has responsibility for the nearly 3,000
transient aircraft that have transited Dover AFB since May 2008.
The Transient Maintenance Flight, part of the 436th
Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is responsible for recovering, servicing
and launching non-Dover aircraft that arrive at Dover AFB.
service and launch every aircraft that comes into, but is not assigned to,
Dover Air Force Base," said Master Sgt. Jimmy Garlington, 436th AMXS
Transient Maintenance Flight chief.
will include the performers and static displays for the Dover AFB Open
House, scheduled for June 20-21. The Transient Maintenance Flight has been
heavily involved in the planning for the Open House, said Sergeant
coordinating all the recovery, fueling and servicing of all the air show
aircraft, including launching the aerial demonstrations," the sergeant
Transient alert, or
TA as the Transient Maintenance Flight is known, is highly noticeable
because of the "follow-me truck" they drive to guide aircraft on the
"The symbol of the
unit is the follow-me truck," said Charles Squash, 436th AMX Transient
Maintenance Flight superintendent. "That is the main tool, and that is how
we lead non Dover-assigned aircraft to the parking spots."
TA generally does
not use the follow-me truck to guide aircraft assigned to Dover AFB,
because the crews are familiar with the flight line, said Mr. Squash.
Dover crews will request assistance from TA if the situation requires it.
"We also escort the
aircraft in and out based on weather," said Mr. Squash. "If it is low
visibility or snow, the crews will ask us to take them out to the runway
and back in, even base crews."
The follow-me truck
has better visibility because they are closer to the ground than the
aircrew who are taxiing the aircraft, said Mr. Squash.
isn't all that TA does, as they also perform maintenance on transient
aircraft, and provide parking spots for all aircraft coming to Dover AFB,
including the jets that perform the flyover of the Sunday NASCAR race at
"Our main NASCAR
impact is the aircraft for the flyover, and we do that for the spring and
the fall race every year," said Sergeant Garlington.
"We also do
aircraft maintenance, such as engine runs, inspections, component
replacement and other required maintenance," said Mr. Squash.
There is never a
dull moment for the almost 50 people who work in the Transient Maintenance
Flight, who pull three shifts a day, 24 hours a day, every day of the
year. In order to complete their mission, TA relies on assistance from the
rest of the maintenance group, as well as other elements from the 436th
Airlift Wing, to launch the transient aircraft out in a safe and timely
"It is absolutely a
total team effort," said Sergeant Garlington.
"We each have our
own specific mission, but the lines are blurry," said 1st Lt. Justin
Garey, 436th AMXS Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge. "When
someone needs help, we help."