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New crew chiefs named for F-22s

Dedicated Crew Chief ceremony

Senior Airman Timothy King, 325th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, receives his patch and certificate for his new aircraft during the unit’s dedicated crew chief ceremony May 17 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The F-22 maintenance unit held the ceremony for the first time since moving to Eglin from Tyndall AFB after Hurricane Michael. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jennifer Vollmer)


The 325th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron held its first F-22 Dedicated Crew Chief ceremony at the Air Force Armament Museum May 17, forging a bond between Airman and aircraft.

The DCC ceremony is held to officially assign an Airman to his or her aircraft.  This assignment provides the continuity and accuracy necessary to maintain the aircraft’s combat ready status.

Sometimes Airmen spend anywhere from three to eight years learning about the aircraft before being eligible to be a DCC. Once selected, the Airman’s name is to the aircraft as a display of their dedication.

According to Capt. Sarah Furrer, 325th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron operations officer, only the best maintainers earn the honor of their name on the side of their aircraft.

“They are selected on the basis of initiative, management and leadership ability, and technical knowledge,” she explained.

These 14 new crew chiefs are unique in that they relocated here from Tyndall AFB in October in the wake of Hurricane Michael. They currently share an F-35 hangar with the Navy on the 33rd Fighter Wing section of the base.

“Being an F-22 maintainer is no easy feat,” said Furrer. “We must not forget the men and women who made this happen did so in the midst of repairing life at home and overcoming the emotional event of a Category 5 hurricane. They did both simultaneously.”

The Airmen and aircraft will remain here until at least 2021 when the 43rd Fighter Squadron and supporting units are expected to relocate. The Air Force recently announced Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, as the preferred permanent location for the fighters, with Eglin as the preferred alternative. An environmental impact statement is pending to help establish the best option. Results from the assessment are scheduled to be released in late 2020.