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The making of the pacific mission

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Harzbecker inspects flight controls of a KC-135 Stratotanker, which is deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H., as part of a preflight inspection, Jan. 21, 2015, Andersen AFB, Guam. Harzbecker is deployed as a crew chief to the 506 EARS, in support of the KC-135 mission to refuel Andersen’s current fighters, airlifter, and bombers’ along the Pacific region. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Harzbecker inspects flight controls of a KC-135 Stratotanker, which is deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H., as part of a preflight inspection, Jan. 21, 2015, Andersen AFB, Guam. Harzbecker is deployed as a crew chief to the 506 EARS, in support of the KC-135 mission to refuel Andersen’s current fighters, airlifter, and bombers’ along the Pacific region. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam Carignan inspects flight controls of a KC-135 Stratotanker, which is deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H., as part of a preflight inspection, Jan. 21, 2015, Andersen AFB, Guam. Carignan is deployed as a crew chief to the 506 EARS, in support of the KC-135 mission to refuel Andersen’s current fighters, airlifter, and bombers’ along the Pacific region. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam Carignan inspects flight controls of a KC-135 Stratotanker, which is deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H., as part of a preflight inspection, Jan. 21, 2015, Andersen AFB, Guam. Carignan is deployed as a crew chief to the 506 EARS, in support of the KC-135 mission to refuel Andersen’s current fighters, airlifter, and bombers’ along the Pacific region. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Jermarcus Thedford, a crew chief from the 186th Air Refueling Wing, M.S., waits to begin a preflight inspection for a KC-135 Stratotanker, Jan. 21, 2015, Andersen AFB, Guam. Thedford is assigned to the tanker which is deployed from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H. along with crew chiefs also from the 157 ARW. The tanker is deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Guam, to complete refueling missions for Andersen’s current fighters, airlifter, and bombers’ missions along the Pacific region. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

Airman 1st Class Jermarcus Thedford, a crew chief from the 186th Air Refueling Wing, M.S., waits to begin a preflight inspection for a KC-135 Stratotanker, Jan. 21, 2015, Andersen AFB, Guam. Thedford is assigned to the tanker which is deployed from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H. along with crew chiefs also from the 157 ARW. The tanker is deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Guam, to complete refueling missions for Andersen’s current fighters, airlifter, and bombers’ missions along the Pacific region. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force airmen deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Guam, from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H. and the 186th Air Refueling Wing, M.S. pose for a group photo in-front of a KC-135. The airmen had just completed preflight inspections on the KC-135 Stratotanker, which is deployed from the 157 ARW. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force airmen deployed to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron, Guam, from the 157th Air Refueling Wing, N.H. and the 186th Air Refueling Wing, M.S. pose for a group photo in-front of a KC-135. The airmen had just completed preflight inspections on the KC-135 Stratotanker, which is deployed from the 157 ARW. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Kayla McWalter/RELEASED)

ANDERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- N.H. Air National Guard maintainers from the 157th Air Refueling Wing recently deployed with a KC-135 Stratotanker to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron in support of the base's mission to refuel fighters, airlifters and bombers along the Pacific region.

It takes a group of people with various specialties in order to get a jet off the ground and safely in the air in order to make the mission a success. While the 157 ARW is deployed to the 506 EARS members from those different specialties were able to test their knowledge and receive hands on training experiences.

As traditional guardsman hydraulics specialists, Senior Airman Devon Skerry gets to test his knowledge and learn from other specialists with different levels of knowledge.

"It's hard to know everything you need to know when you're only going in once a month as a traditional, so its trips like this that really help you learn your job," said Skerry. "There's a lot to know on this plane and here, you can really pull from people's expertise, they're a wealth of knowledge and it's nice to deploy with people that really know their job."

Just about everything that moves on the plane is hydraulically driven or hydraulically assisted, from flaps to spoilers to being in charge of the mission essential, boom. Hydraulics specialists also get to do some cable rigging and electrical work and play an important part of ensuring all preflight checks are a success.

"Guam is more constant flying we accomplish the mission over and over again the planes fly as much as possible, specialists like myself, get more flight line experience with the crew chiefs," said Skerry. "One of the best things about this trip is learning different aspects of other career fields."

Skerry has been able to work alongside with crew chiefs also deployed to the 506 EARS from the 157 ARW, such as Airman 1st Class Adam Carignan.

Both Skerry and Carignan participate in preflight checks and a "crew show" for the KC-135 Stratotankers deployed to the 506 EARS.

During the "crew show" members of the flight crew along with the maintenance crew look at the exterior of the plane to ensure sure it's ready to fly. They then continue you on to go through predetermined flight checks to ensure all flight controls are ready.

"We're looking to make sure they have correct operations," said Carignan. "If certain controls don't do what they're supposed to when they put their input into it, the planes not going to function right and it could be a bad accident."
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