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372nd TRS, Det 15: assist PACAF in performing their mission to fight our nation's wars

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Kenneth Shinn
  • 372nd Training Squadron

Unit: Field Training Detachment 15, 372d Training Squadron

Location: Kadena Air Base, Japan

Mission: To provide the Airmen of the 18th Fighter Wing quality technical training that will assist PACAF in performing their mission to fight our nation’s wars.

Staff: 15 Active Duty

What We Do:

            The instructors within the 372nd TRS’s Detachment 15 are relentless in their dedication to delivering highly trained maintainers to the 18th Fighter Wing, the largest combat wing in the Air Force.  Together they provide Kadena and the Pacific theater with advanced technical training that directly supports the largest F-15 combat wing, the sole active duty KC-135 fleet in the pacific, the HH-60 rescue squadron, ACC’s continuous PACAF reconnaissance deployment, the engine back-shop for A-10 aircraft stationed in Korea, and host PACAF’s sole Ammo instructor.  In addition to serving the needs of the Air Force, the instructors of Det 15 extend their training to our sister service aircraft maintenance personnel from the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army.

 The members of Det 15 pride themselves in giving back to the host unit in any way they can. In their roles as the 18th Fighter Wing’s maintenance subject matter experts they are continuously sought out by the wing leadership for assistance in improving the quality of maintenance.  Recently, one of our F-15 instructors, Tech. Sgt. Tamayo, was called upon to assist an Air Force investigation for a spike in hypoxia/hypercapnia issues.  “It’s been a long going issue with the hypoxia/hypercapnia issues.  I’m glad I was asked to help the host out to get to the root cause of the problem.”  The KC-135 instructors created the 18th Fighter Wing’s first KC-135 Maintenance Improvement team.  Together they have implemented 15 technical data changes that has reduced waste and improved efficiency across the isochronal/flight-line/aero repair spectrums of their career field. 

The instructors at Kadena are always looking to innovate and improve the way Airmen are trained.  Recently Det 15 converted their electronic Technical Order (eTO) program from Toughbooks to iPads which topped out at $18K.  However, this action saved $82K in maintenance costs.  This transition enabled the det to support 46 students and 14 instructors with individual eTOs and increased support for inbound/outbound Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) by providing MTT instructors with eTOs preloaded with instructional guidance/teaching materials.  Tech. Sgt. Evangelista, tech order disto officer, said “With the new iPads, the program, as a whole has been easier to manage and allows us to spread our resources with minimal impact.”  Because of their success in this innovation, the 372nd TRS has adopted this model for the future with Kadena leading the way!

            The members of Det 15 are not one-dimensional by any means as they founded the first Air Force Association chapter in Japan and were able to award over $5,000 in scholarships, created an annual aircraft static display in celebration of the month of the military child, and established the first CyberPatriot league on island.  All the while garnering 6 national awards including the 2015 Arthur Storz Chapter of the Year!  Master Sgt. Reeds, detachment chief, said, “I’m amazed by what these guys do day in and day out.  They all seem to have a good balance between community involvement and getting the mission accomplished.”

            Det 15 uses the host units’ fully-mission-capable aircraft for training but also utilize a Ground Instructional Training Aircraft (GITA) which recoups the 18 FW over 3,000 flying hours annually.  The detachment also employs a fully-operational flight control trainer, weapons system trainer, and engine trainer to maximize real-time, hands-on experience.  The Kadena detachment produces approximately 700 graduates annually.