Students simulate real-world flight line management

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Ashley Hyatt
  • U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center

Twenty-seven students graduated from the Mobility Air Force Maintenance Supervisor and Production Course (MAF MSPC), March 28, 2019, at the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School.

In the lead up to graduation, all the students were required to participate in a capstone training event.

The capstone tested every lesson taught in the MAF MSPC in real-time with the Aircraft Maintenance Production Simulator, which allowed the students to work together and practice managing the flight line in a virtual world. 

Assigned to a squadron and given a position, each student applied what they learned in the course to get aircraft in the air, while communicating over radios and telephones to each other and observing their simulated flight line in action.

“The simulator is a great capstone to let them basically do the stuff they learned throughout the course,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Swain, MAF MSPC instructor, 423rd Mobility Training Squadron. “It basically gives them the decision making tools in the hot seat, so they can practice without being on the flight line.”

The students took turns managing different aircraft and practicing the responsibilities of different duty positions, allowing them hands-on experience with all aspects of the maintenance production superintendent role.

“The training here gives me the tools that I need when I’m deployed to do the job of the production superintendent,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. John Hipple, MAF MSPC student. “It gives you a lot of resources that I would imagine most of us in the room were unaware of.”

The eight-day course taught future maintenance production superintendents the skills they need to become qualified in that duty position. They learned how to run the flight line from managing personnel to getting the aircraft what they need to fly. 

According to the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School Course Catalog, the course focuses on two areas, production management and maintenance supervision.

“During production management, the students learn aircraft and equipment maintenance management, emergency management and safety management,” said Swain, who graduated from this course in 2013. “In maintenance supervision, they learn maintenance training management, manning, personnel scheduling, and expeditionary planning and deployments.”

"This course actually helps somebody not be blindsided,” Swain added. “They're going to receive the proper techniques to get the job done."