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Crew Chiefs Maintain Mission Success

(From left) Technical Sgt. Ramiro Pacheco, Airman 1st Class Jenna Booska , Master Sgt.  Marty Corona, Staff Sgt. David Joseph , and Airman 1st Class Kevin Gimenez, 161st Maintenance Group crew chiefs, stand with their KC-135r, Phoenix, October 2011. This aircraft flew 1,070 flight hours during fiscal year 2011; aside from air refueling, missions include transporting passengers and cargo, proving to be a major contributor to mission success. (Air Force photo by A1C Rashaunda Williams/Released)

(From left) Technical Sgt. Ramiro Pacheco, Airman 1st Class Jenna Booska , Master Sgt. Marty Corona, Staff Sgt. David Joseph , and Airman 1st Class Kevin Gimenez, 161st Maintenance Group crew chiefs, stand with their KC-135r, Phoenix, October 2011. This aircraft flew 1,070 flight hours during fiscal year 2011; aside from air refueling, missions include transporting passengers and cargo, proving to be a major contributor to mission success. (Air Force photo by A1C Rashaunda Williams/Released)

(From left) Technical Sgt. Ramiro Pacheco, Airman 1st Class Jenna Booska , Master Sgt.  Marty Corona, Staff Sgt. David Joseph , and Airman 1st Class Kevin Gimenez, 161st Maintenance Group crew chiefs, stand with their KC-135r, Phoenix, October 2011. This aircraft flew 1,070 flight hours during fiscal year 2011; aside from air refueling, missions include transporting passengers and cargo, proving to be a major contributor to mission success. (Air Force photo by A1C Rashaunda Williams/Released)

(From left) Technical Sgt. Ramiro Pacheco, Airman 1st Class Jenna Booska , Master Sgt. Marty Corona, Staff Sgt. David Joseph , and Airman 1st Class Kevin Gimenez, 161st Maintenance Group crew chiefs, stand with their KC-135r, Phoenix, October 2011. This aircraft flew 1,070 flight hours during fiscal year 2011; aside from air refueling, missions include transporting passengers and cargo, proving to be a major contributor to mission success. (Air Force photo by A1C Rashaunda Williams/Released)

Phoenix Sky Harbor Air National Guard Base -- A KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to the 161st Air Refueling Wing's surpassed 1,070 flight hours and 170 sorties, which is 500 more hours than the average aircraft and accounted for a quarter of all the missions during FY11.

The aircraft's missions such as, air refueling, cargo transport, passenger transport, and emergency evacuations would not have been possible without the efforts of the servicemembers of 161st Maintenance Group.

Master Sgt. Marty Corona, a 28-year Crew Chief with the 161st Maintenance Group, leads the crew that maintains the aircraft that set a milestone for the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

Sergeant Corona explains what Crew Chief's go through while assigned to the aircraft. "Wherever the aircraft goes, we go. No matter if it's for two weeks or 60 days, we go with the aircraft that we are assigned." Sergeant Corona was deployed for half of 2011 supporting operations throughout the global engagement. "It's very important work I do, I love doing my part, helping to keep America safe."

"It takes the hard work and dedication of the 161 ARW servicemembers to keep the aircraft flying for so many hours" he said. Sergeant Corona credits his crew, Technical Sergeant Ramiro Pacheco, Staff Sergeant David Joseph, Staff Sergeant Conrad Calderon, Senior Airman Nicole Young, Airman First Class Kevin Gimenez, and Airman First Class Jenna Booska. "We wouldn't have been able to accomplish what we did without the crew that maintains that airplane."

"All the maintenance and coordination that goes into keeping the aircraft flying takes the support of everyone," he said. For nearly 7 years, Sergeant Corona has been the Crew Chief for this aircraft since it arrived from McConnell Air Force Base, K.S.

"It's very important work I do, I love doing my part, helping to keep America safe," said Sergeant Corona.