McChord Aircraft Maintenance leadership eyes sharper vision

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jake Chappelle
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Crafting an organization's mission and vision statements can be a challenge. The perfect set of words need to concisely address the agency's priorities while reflecting its values.

Chief Master Sgt. Tim Meyer, from Lacey, Wash., has taken the helm of developing these statements for his organization - the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron here. The chief and his core of enlisted leaders have been working methodically to remain at the forefront of C-17 Globemaster III aircraft maintenance units.

"To be competitive, you must continually seek ways to improve," Meyer said. "I felt, for our organization to continue moving forward as a first-class maintenance unit, we needed to define a clear statement of what we do well, and where we want to be in the future."

Mission and vision statements can help the members of an organization unite and collaborate in one accord; Meyer said it's the missing link in squadron perfection.

"Essentially AMXS didn't have a mission or vision statement," he said. "This is needed in order for us to formulate and implement internal strategies that will help us achieve (Air Force) goals more effectively."

In addition to preserving McChord's C-17 fleet, one of those goals is to develop and prepare Reservists for any challenge that comes their way.

"We intend to continuously apply sound, strategic management to most of our processes, with the ultimate goal of always enhancing unit readiness," Meyer said.

The majority of organizations are shaped in order to satisfy a particular need. Like most company executives, the 446th AMXS leadership has to devise and establish their primary principles on paper. But it may be more realistic to use a pencil, because as times change, standards can too.

"The (Air Force) is constantly changing," said Senior Master Sgt. Mark Cherrix, a 446th AMXS Aircraft Maintenance Unit superintendent. "We need to innovate to survive. We need smart ideas that save money and time; then, we can develop our workforce and future leaders. If we have good plans, we can make good decisions and give our Reservists the tools and training they need to get the job done."

Squadron leaders constantly measure unit readiness on a weekly basis, according to Meyer Leadership routinely monitors its on-the-job-training roster to determine each maintainer's upgrade progression. Unit leadership meets one-on-one with full-time Reserve trainers monthly to access their training needs and concerns.

Although the squadron earns major command and Air Force-level awards on a continuous basis, Meyer and his deputies don't let their egos get in the way.

"For AMXS to provide a ready Reservist who will meet the mission requirements, we must always look forward, and determine ways of how we can improve ourselves," he said. "This will ultimately help us mitigate any future risks that could possibly prevent us from meeting those requirements."

The squadron think tank might still be in the development phase of consolidating the unit's values on paper, but they've already thought ahead in ensuring the message reaches, and stays with, their Airmen.

"We'll add it to our Sharepoint page and UTA slides," Cherrix, of Spanaway, Wash., said. "We'll also discuss it in our pre-UTA meetings and UTA roll calls. We can talk about it at our commander's calls, and ask members how they're getting prepared to execute the mission- being prepared to deploy."

Meyer is confident in his agents and his squadron in ensuring every Airman is on the same page in order to move as one.

"I feel we are heading in a direction that is designed to continually assess, and improve, our unit's ability to maximize readiness that will always meet the (Air Force) mission, anytime, anywhere," he said.