JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
As the largest squadron within Air Mobility Command, the Airmen of the 437th Aircraft maintenance Squadron are charged with ensuring the U.S. Air Force’s largest fleet of C-17 Globemaster IIIs is ready anytime, anywhere.
From preflight to postflight, nose to tail, the maintainers of the 437th AMXS are tasked with guaranteeing Joint Base Charleston’s portion of the DOD’s global mobility capabilities at a moment’s notice.
“The thing that sets this unit apart from the rest is the sheer scope of missions we support,” said Tech Sgt. Eric Pearl, a production expeditor assigned to the 437th AMXS, “From aeromedical evacuations to humanitarian relief efforts, we play a large part in making sure those missions are successful.”
The squadron’s impact reaches worldwide. They are responsible for the deployment of their maintainers to ensure AMC’s airlift capabilities in eastablished and austere locations.
“Our C-17s can go anywhere from a large airport to small runways in the middle of nowhere,” said Pearl. “My favorite part of being in the maintenance squadron was working as a flying crew chief, traveling and seeing the full spectrum of what this aircraft is capable of. It was interesting to be part of a mission that started here in Charleston and then progressed all the way to Africa, or Europe, or anywhere in the world really.”
Officially activated December 27, 1965, under the name the 437th Organizational Maintenance Squadron, the squadron has been responsible for maintaining America’s airlift airframes like the C-124 Globemaster II, C-130 Hercules and the C-141A Starlifter since the Veitnam War.
“The C-17 is a relatively easy airframe to maintain,” said Staff Sgt. Brad Matheny, crew chief assigned to the 437th AMXS. “It’s like the manufacturer designed it to be maintainer friendly with an integrated diagnostic system that narrows down any issues we encounter to a pretty specific part of malfunction.”
The squadron has maintained a large part of the DOD’s airlift capabilities for nearly 55 years allowing our aircraft to support major conflicts and several humanitarian relief operations.
“Knowing you touched something, worked on it and it completed an important mission is a rewarding feeling,” said Matheny. “Even during the pandemic, these guys came in and got the mission done safely and were extremely flexible when it came to evacuating the jets prior to the most recent storm Hurricane Isaias.”