Maintenance Citizen Airmen educate Honorary Commanders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Bryan Swink
  • 433rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Ten 433rd Airlift Wing honorary commanders received a comprehensive tour of the 433rd Maintenance Group here July 15.

During the tour, the San Antonio community leaders witnessed the Assumption of Command ceremony for the 433rd MXG, visited a C-5M Super Galaxy on the flight line, the metals technology and sheet metal shops, the propulsion shop and the Maintenance Operations Center.

The purpose of the tour is to give local community leaders a chance to better understand a vital part of the 433rd Airlift Wing’s mission.

The morning began with a daily briefing led by leaders within the 433rd MXG to go over what to expect for the day and to give the honorary commanders an overview of the 433rd AW mission.

Starting off the tour, the group transitioned to the C-5 fuel cell hangar to witness the Assumption of Command ceremony where Lt. Col. Charles Pratt assumed command of the 433rd MXG.

“What a wonderful experience to see such a special occasion routed in so much tradition,” said Robert Imler, 433rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron honorary commander and community and government relations consultant. “With our country and world facing challenging times, the U.S. military is a thread of consistency, and it’s encouraging to see these time-honored traditions carried into the 21st century.”

After the ceremony, the tour moved to a C-5M Super Galaxy to showcase the maintainer’s roles in the upkeep and flying functionality of the Alamo Wing’s flying mission. Master Sgt. Bryan Stroman, 433rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, led the way on the tour of the C-5M showing the honorary commanders the cargo bay and eventually leading them to the flight deck and cockpit.

The tour moved on to the metals technology and fabrication shops to gain an understanding of how many of the C-5M Super Galaxy’s parts are created and manufactured from scratch. Staff Sgt. Ivan Vela, 433rd MXS aircraft structural technician, shared some of his knowledge with the tour guests.

“I feel privileged to work in this career field where we have such an important role in the success of the Alamo Wing’s mission,” said Vela. “It’s an honor to be able to share what we do with members of the local community, so they can see what we do and the type of impact we have on the success of the C-5M.”

The tour moved to the 433rd MXS propulsion shop where the honorary commanders learned about the new engine for the C-5M and its capabilities and then wrapping up at the Maintenance Operations Center. The center provides overall accountability and support for all maintenance operations happening throughout the 433rd AW.

The 433rd AW Honorary Commanders program was developed to encourage an exchange of ideas, share experiences and foster friendships among key members of the local civilian community and the Joint Base San Antonio military community. The program provides a unique opportunity for San Antonio area community leaders to shadow the 433rd AW senior leaders.

For more information about the Alamo Wing's Honorary Commanders program, contact the 433rd AW Public Affairs office at 925-5194.