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Eielson names first F-35A DCCs, first F-16 DCCs in 4 years

U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Powell, the 354th Maintenance Group commander, awards Tech. Sgt. Theodore Crowely, III, a 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-35A Lightning II dedicated crew chief (DCC), the title of DCC on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 9, 2020. The purpose of the DCC program is to provide continuity and accuracy by assigning ownership of each aircraft to a maintainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Powell, the 354th Maintenance Group commander, awards Tech. Sgt. Theodore Crowely, III, a 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-35A Lightning II dedicated crew chief (DCC), the title of DCC on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 9, 2020. The purpose of the DCC program is to provide continuity and accuracy by assigning ownership of each aircraft to a maintainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan McMurrey, a 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon dedicated crew chief (DCC), salutes Capt. Daniel Thompson, an 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 pilot, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 9, 2020. A DCC is responsible for all maintenance of their aircraft and ensuring it is ready and safe for a pilot to fly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan McMurrey, a 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon dedicated crew chief (DCC), salutes Capt. Daniel Thompson, an 18th Aggressor Squadron F-16 pilot, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 9, 2020. A DCC is responsible for all maintenance of their aircraft and ensuring it is ready and safe for a pilot to fly. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Powell, the 354th Maintenance Group commander, speaks at a Dedicated Crew Chief (DCC) ceremony on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 9, 2020. The ceremony recognized 29 maintenance Airmen for their commitment to their work and awarded the title of DCC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Col. Matthew Powell, the 354th Maintenance Group commander, speaks at a Dedicated Crew Chief (DCC) ceremony on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 9, 2020. The ceremony recognized 29 maintenance Airmen for their commitment to their work and awarded the title of DCC. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

The 354th Maintenance Group awarded the title of Dedicated Crew Chief to 29 maintainers in a ceremony Oct. 9, 2020, on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. 

In the aircraft maintenance world the Dedicated Crew Chief, or DCC, is a title earned not given. Maintainers are selected on the basis of initiative, technical knowledge, management and leadership ability, regardless of how long they have been in the Air Force. 

“Honoring the DCCs is paramount in recognizing that drive to be expert maintainers that our members showcase,” stated Master Sgt. Jhared Hoffman, a 354th AMXS section chief. “They set the example to follow as we execute a culture of safe, reliable maintenance.”

The ceremony marked a first for the F-35As here at Eielson and signified a return of uniformed DCCs to the F-16s. 

“It’s an honor to be one of the first F-35A Dedicated Crew Chiefs on Eielson,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Theodore Crowely, III, a 354th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron DCC. “I treat the maintenance of the aircraft with the utmost seriousness and I do my best to make sure that the aircraft is ready everyday.”

The tradition started during World War II when maintainers were assigned to an individual aircraft and responsible for getting it ready to accomplish the mission. Seventy-five years later, DCCs are still on the front lines providing consistent and accurate maintenance ensuring the safety of pilots and aircrews.

“The DCC and pilot hold a strong camaraderie, which inherently stems from the trust and reliability the DCC is known for,” Hoffman stated. “They hold an incredible amount of responsibility in their hands, and this is not a matter they take lightly.”