Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 8, 2022

How it’s Done: Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Communication and Navigation Airmen

By Staff Sgt. Ryan Lackey 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The Airmen of the 374th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMX), the backbone of Yokota’s flying forces, is responsible for keeping the base’s fleet of C-130J Super Hercules airborne.

The C-130J is an advanced military aircraft that only looks like its previous models on the outside. Its insides are packed with advanced guidance, communication, and defense systems keeping U.S. military forces on the cutting edge of mission capability, but those superior systems require dedicated maintenance to remain ready.

That maintenance is broken up into specialty teams of maintainers designated to specialized areas of upkeep for the aircraft.

“We verify the integrity of all the communications, navigation, electronic countermeasures, and mission systems for the C-130J,” said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Jacobs, 374th AMXS communication and navigation NCOIC. “Our shop handles all the systems that deal with things happening outside the aircraft. A radio call or a missile being fired at it, our responsibility is making sure these C-130Js can handle anything on the outside.”

C-130J missions can range from transporting cargo, cargo air drop, deploying paratroopers and close ground support to name a few. Such versatility requires coordination via several radio systems, navigational aids, threat detection and missile defense systems.

“Communication and defense are critical, so we spend a lot of our time going over those systems,” said Tech. Sgt. Branden Griffin, 374th AMXS communication and navigation craftsman. “The C-130J is basically a flying computer shaped like an aircraft, so it’s able to tell you when something is wrong with a radio or the missile warning system. This includes the defensive chaff and flare firing switches, but we train our Airmen to take no chances and manually check for possible power surges, signals, etc., to ensure chaff and flare cartridges are installed safely.”

All maintenance operations begin the same way, by booting up the aircraft’s on-board computer and performing a diagnostic test. If something’s malfunctioning, the system will produce an error code for communication and navigation Airmen to locate a broken part or ensure safe conditions for installing new hardware.

“Troubleshooting the C-130J is like building a puzzle,” said Airman 1st Class Alexis Smith, 374th AMXS C-130 communication and navigation journeyman. “We know how the aircraft is supposed to work, but we can’t just rely on what a manual says when something goes wrong. We lean on our system knowledge and practical experience to figure out the missing piece and get the aircraft up and running again quickly.”

While routine, the training for and practice of safe and quick maintenance is vital in keeping the C-130J ready for any mission demanded of it. Communication and navigation Airmen are part of several 374th AMXS specialties that are dedicated to keeping Yokota’s rapid airlift fleet ready for the fight when called for.
 

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM
Facebook

Like Us
Twitter
324,267
Follow Us

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast Returns Home After 55-day Counter Narcotics Patrol
The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast takes a photograph in Manzanillo, Mexico, with two men they rescued during a deployment in the Eastern Pacific Ocean June 10, 2022. The men were lost at sea for 23 days after their vessel was beset by weather. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Seaman Brad O'Brien)
June 24, 2022 - ASTORIA, Ore. — The United States Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast (WMEC 623) returned to homeport Saturday following a 55-day counter narcotics deployment to the Eastern Pacific Ocean.The 210-foot medium endurance cutter and...

Army Alaska National Guard, HHC 297th Regional Support Group Soldiers Contribute To Role Playing Operations During Khaan Quest 2022
On June 20, 2022, Khan Quest 2022 ended with the official closing ceremony. Over the past two weeks Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) hosted 15 nations in this 18th iteration of the exercise. By participating in Khaan Quest, nations were able to showcase their resolve in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Soldiers, Spc. Hunter Mains and Spc. Kyle Johnson with the Army Alaska National Guard, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 297th Regional Support Group contributed a major role in CPX operations which had them role play in several different scenarios. 

Both Soldiers also participated at the end of the exercise mock press conference. The press conference is designed to prepare peacekeepers and military leaders for questions that may be asked of them during stressful situations. Johnson and Mains roleplayed as journalists asking the questions. 

Pictured here the CPX participants listen to the news conference brief given by the military leadership in a role playing scenerio.
June 23, 2022 - Mongolia -- On June 20, 2022, Khan Quest 2022 ended with the official closing ceremony. Over the past two weeks Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) hosted 15 nations in this 18th iteration of the exercise. By participating in Khaan...

Juneteenth Celebrated by Department of the Air Force Leaders in Pentagon’s First Official Ceremony
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., speaks to a crowd of attendees during a Juneteenth Celebration at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., June 21, 2022. Brown’s message highlighted the importance of promoting an inclusive culture for all Airmen and Guardians to be able to serve to their fullest potential. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Elora J. McCutcheon)
June 22, 2022 - ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- Hundreds gathered to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday through song, dance, poetry and storytelling at the first official Juneteenth ceremony held at the Pentagon June 21.  Attended by...

Pacific Partnership Kicks Off in Vietnam
PHU YEN, VIETNAM (June 20, 2022) – Captain Hank Kim, Pacific Partnership 2022 mission commander, left, delivers remarks during the Pacific Partnership Vietnam opening ceremony. Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brandie Nuzzi)
June 21, 2022 - PHU YEN, Vietnam -- Now in its 17th year, Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. In Vietnam, the Pacific...

SECNAV Visits Innovative Forward Deployed Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 22
U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro greets U.S. Marine Corps Col. Christopher Steele, the commanding officer of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) 22, during a visit with MRF-D 22 at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, June 18, 2022. Secretary Del Toro visited Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 22 and Australian Defence Force personnel as part of the Indo-Pacific battlefield circulation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Emeline Molla)
June 21, 2022 - DARWIN, AUSTRALIA. – The Honorable Carlos Del Toro, the 78th Secretary of the Navy, visited Marines and Sailors with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D) on June 18.As part of a battlefield circulation tour in the...