Reserve Command repeats as top MAJCOM for maintenance excellence

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Russell P. Petcoff
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
For the second year in a row, the Air Force Reserve Command was named the Gen. Wilbur L. Creech Maintenance Excellence Award winner.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz hosted the 2009 award ceremony in the Pentagon March 11. Receiving the award was Col. T. Glenn Davis, former director of AFRC Logistics (A4).

In presenting the award, General Schwartz highlighted the challenges AFRC logistics readiness and maintenance Airmen face. Reservists fly "nearly every aircraft in the inventory," the general said, "including missions unique to them, like aerial firefighting."

General Schwartz noted that the Creech Award is special because "nobody puts together a glossy awards" package. "It's about the numbers and who performed the best," he said.

General Schwartz said the award is named for General Creech because of the late general's high regard for maintenance. General Creech was known as the motivator who focused on excellence, the chief of staff added.

According to the award citation, AFRC officials improved the logistics support of combat readiness for 38 flying units throughout the command, including support for 385 aircraft and more than 26,500 logistics Airmen.

The "True North" aircraft maintenance and scheduling initiative increased in the number of Reserve aircraft available, from 193 to more than 230 aircraft per day, the citation said. This process resulted in fly-to-fly days dropping from 100 to less than 20 days on legacy C-5 Galaxy inspections. The average fly-to-fly days for C-130 Hercules aircraft fell from an average of more than 40 days to fewer than 25 days with one benchmark producing fly-to-fly under 10 days.

After accepting the award, Colonel Davis recounted a story about meeting General Creech some 26 years ago at Langley Air Force Base, Va., that demonstrated the general's concern for maintenance. The colonel recalled washing his 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass in the driveway of a friend's base housing unit when General Creech approached him. The general complimented him on taking care of the car's exterior but advised taking care of what's under the hood, Colonel Davis said.

Colonel Davis said after that chance meeting with General Creech it was a bit ironic that he then became a maintenance officer, and even more so that he would be receiving the award named for him.

The colonel said he was proud to be receiving the Creech Award on behalf of logisticians from across AFRC. Colonel Davis shared what motivated AFRC logistics readiness and maintenance Airmen.

"We weren't chasing an award," Colonel Davis said. "We were trying to improve our processes to be a dependable and reliable partner for the rest of the Air Force."

General Creech's wife Carol was on hand to participate in the ceremony. She said her husband would be proud of the teamwork that transpired to achieve their accomplishments

"Teamwork was a vital part of (General Creech's) philosophy," she said.

General Creech was the former commander of Tactical Air Command, precursor to today's Air Combat Command, from May 1978 to December 1984. He flew more than 100 combat sorties in the Korea War and more than 170 in the Vietnam War. The former commander of the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, also flew more than 40 different fighter, cargo and reconnaissance aircraft.  Creech Air Force Base, Nev., is named for the general, who died Aug. 26, 2003.