Those who keep Keesler's planes in great working condition have been exceeding excellence, despite looming job cuts. Maintenance group commander Colonel Anna Schulte has just been reassigned to Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana. She admits she is going to leave behind an incredible maintenance team.
"My maintainers are the heart of the mission. They are the ones that generate the aircraft for support of the three flying squadrons," said Colonel Schulte.
Since 2012, the 403rd Maintenance group has won countless awards for their ability to keep the fleet of C-130s in proper working order.
"I'm very proud of that. It doesn't matter if they're a 403rd member or a 345th, which our active duty partner is. All of them do a good job and it's nice to see them get recognized by our command," said Colonel Schulte.
While these men and women are working tirelessly to maintain these planes, there is still the uncertainty about the future of their jobs.
"The personnel reductions are because of the loss of one of the missions, one of the squadrons, the 815th TAC unit," said Colonel Schulte.
Schulte said the military is taking 10 aircraft, which are C-130Js, and they are going to be moving them to Little Rock, Arkansas. Since those planes are leaving, not as many maintenance personnel will be required. These maintainers are not letting the looming cutbacks lower their morale.
"You can only concentrate on what's within your control, and the rest of it you just have to set aside and do your job. We still have a job to do," said Air Reserve Technician Jamie Sieloff.
The loss of the 815th will most likely result in about 70 job losses.
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