August 25, 2017 (by A1C Donald Hudson) - Different uniforms, different languages, it made no difference as members of the Philippine Air Force and U.S. Air Force learned how to tear down and build up a C-130H Hercules engine during a training course conducted by the 373rd Training Squadron Detachment 15.
A group of aircraft maintenance students from the Philippine Air Force and the USAF work together to remove the turbine from a C-130H Hercules training engine during an aircraft maintenance course on August 23, 2017, at Yokota AB. The course is the first bilateral Philippine U.S. Air Force aircraft maintenance class to be taught at Yokota by the 373rd Training Squadron Detachment 15. [USAF photo by A1C Donald Hudson]
Recently, the first class consisting of students from the Philippine and U.S. Air Force C-130H maintainers was conducted at the 374th Propulsion Flight hanger at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
The advanced training for C-130H Hercules maintainers in the Endo-Asia Pacific Region is done by a few members of the 373 TRS Det. 15. The instructors who teach the classes have different specialties in areas such as propulsion mechanics, avionics and electronics.
“This is the first time we have taught this class with students from the Philippine Air Force,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Angelica Ponce, 373 TRS Det. 15 aerospace propulsion instructor. “Aside from the different uniforms in the seats the class is no different.”
The course is an intermediate maintenance course where students learn how to take apart main engine components and put them back together.
“This is very important because we can get some new ideas with regards to the matters of the build of up of the engine,” said Philippine Air Force Technical Sgt. Eulogio Arong, 220th Airlift Wing maintenance specialist. “It’s quite different from our country so it is good to learn how other military’s complete their mission, and we can strengthen our relationship.”
According to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jacob Carmen, 373 TRS Det. 15 flight chief, a large part of the responsibility the U.S. Pacific Air Forces is to build and maintain a working relationship with the nations in the Pacific Region. This training strengthens bilateral relationships and interoperability between the two forces and sets a foundation for future engagements.
“The best part of this experience is seeing the students work together as a team,” said Ponce. “They work well together, and its great seeing them bond.”
For the students in the course it’s a unique experience.
“I’ve never worked side-by-side with anyone from a different country that’s also in the military. I think it’s awesome to have them here learning and it’s a good relationship builder between our two countries militaries.” said U.S. Airman 1st Class Foster Griffith, 374th Maintenance Squadron, aerospace propulsion apprentice and student. “I think it’s a really cool opportunity and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
The Philippine Air Force students, have learned how to work on the C-130H engine and the various practices used by U.S. Air Force maintainers to ensure minimal error and highest efficiency standards.
“We will be taking what we learn here, the skills, the equipment, the practices and the organization of the shop and giving our supervision recommendations on how we can better our shop back home,” Philippine Air Force Airman 1st Class Alvin General, 220th Airlift Wing maintenance specialist.
According to Carmen through the professionalism and respect between the students to accomplish their common goal, they will be able to build a foundation of cooperation and friendship.