92nd ARW leaders visit March ARB
By Staff Sgt. Mackenzie Mendez, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 12, 2018
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Leaders from the 92nd Air Refueling Wing visited the 912th Air Refueling Squadron during a site visit to March Air Reserve Base Sept. 4-5, in Riverside County, California.
The 912th ARS is an associate unit at March ARB, sharing responsibility for the KC-135 Stratotanker with their reserve partners, the 452nd Air Mobility Wing.
The 912th is integrated closely with the 336th ARS, 452nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and is operationally tasked by the 452nd Operations Support Squadron; however, they remain under the administrative control of the 92nd ARW.
The site visit gave Col. Derek Salmi, 92nd ARW commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Lee Mills, 92nd ARW command chief, the opportunity to meet with 912th Airmen and learn more about their mission, their experiences with total force integration and the challenges commonly faced by an active duty squadron stationed on a reserve base.
“We can read weekly activity reports and have discussions over the phone, but we will only ever be able to experience so much,” Salmi said. “Through the visit and by immersing ourselves in the culture, we are able to have much needed discussions, meet high quality Airmen and help maximize the efforts of their hard work.”
Active duty associate units bring additional manpower to Air National Guard and Reserve squadrons to increase their operations tempo without the use of additional aircraft.
The squadron is nearly 150 Airmen: 66 percent maintainers, 20 percent aircrew and the remaining 14 percent administrative, communications and medical Airmen.
During the site visit, leaders from the 912th ARS showcased various aspects of their squadron including: intelligence, combat crew communications, quality assurance, plans and scheduling, aircraft ground equipment, aircraft maintenance, wheel and tire maintenance, isochronal inspection and medical.
“This visit was important because it's always better to see firsthand how a squadron operates and talk to the Airmen who are executing the mission,” Mills said. “Being geographically separated from our wing creates some unique challenges for the 912th, so it was an opportunity for us to hear from them and their mission partners about some of their successes and the challenges they face. The end goal is to ensure we are providing them with the best support we can.”
Because the Air Force's active duty finance and personnel systems differ from the Air Force Reserve systems, the squadron relies on assistance from Los Angeles Air Force Base and Edwards AFB in California's Antelope Valley.
In addition to finance and personnel support, the two bases help supplement services that a Reserve base does not have, such as a full-service medical clinic and Airman Leadership School.
Editor’s Note: Megan Just, 452 AMW Public Affairs, contributed to this article.