81st vehicle maintenance keeps Keesler rolling
By Senior Airman Holly Mansfield, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 17, 2015
KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- The sound of wrenches turning, engines rumbling and Airmen talking shop are some of the things you might hear when you walk into the 81st Logistics Readiness Squadron's vehicle maintenance flight.
But what does it really take to be part of the crew of more than 40 people who keep Keesler's government vehicles rolling?
For Senior Airman Kenneth Carter, vehicle maintenance technician, all you need is hard work, dedication and little laughter to make each vehicle get back to its home quickly.
"I was stationed in Korea before I came to Keesler and it was so much different there," said Carter. "Everything from simply driving the vehicles to the language barrier; it was all so different."
The vehicle maintenance Airmen have the opportunity to care for different types of vehicles each day. From generator trailers to cranes, no matter the size, these vehicles need to be brought in, repaired and put back into the fleet in a timely and efficient manner.
"We work on trucks, buses, vans, cranes, security forces cars, generator trailers and other types of vehicles," said Carter. "It's nice to have the variety because it helps me outside of work. I get to see the different car issues and put those problem-solving skills toward fixing my own vehicle."
The vehicle maintenance flight manages the fleet of more than 420 vehicles by working together as a team. Utilizing each other's skills helps each Airman learn the proper way of doing any task, whether it's changing the oil in a police cruiser or rebuilding an engine from a truck.
The emphasis on attention to detail required by Keesler vehicle maintenance Airmen helps them become better Airmen, as well as better mechanics. With the recent Air Education and Training Command's Senior Leader Conference, Carter was able to show his superiors how he uses his work ethic to repair vehicles while mentoring other Airmen in the shop.
"Carter's work ethic and willingness to step up and go above and beyond are major factors on why he was recognized by the 2nd Air Force command chief," said Timothy Gray, vehicle maintenance fleet manager. "He worked all the inspections and repairs for the recalled vehicle operations fleet, helping to ensure they had the correct amount of vehicles for their customers."
Using their training and expertise to provide a working, reliable fleet of vehicles, the members of the 81st LRS vehicle maintenance flight make certain that Keesler can continue its mission of training, fighting and winning.