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XLer of the Week: Howard Knoll

Howard Knoll, 47th Maintenance Directorate T-38C Talon Division aircraft maintenance trainer, monitors Francisco Gallegos, 47th MXD flight attendant, inspect a T-38’s landing gear. Knoll, a prior Air Force maintainer, possesses more than 30 years knowledge about the T-38, and he values passing this information on to Laughlin’s maintainers and to local high schools through the “Grow Your Own” program to keep Laughlin pilots safe in the air. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anne McCready)

Howard Knoll, 47th Maintenance Directorate T-38 Talon Division aircraft maintenance trainer, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of Aug. 20, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anne McCready)

Howard Knoll, 47th Maintenance Directorate T-38 Talon Division aircraft maintenance trainer, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of Aug. 20, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Anne McCready)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas—Howard Knoll, 47th Maintenance Directorate T-38C Talon Division aircraft maintenance trainer, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of Aug. 20, 2018, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Charlie Velino, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission.

Knoll’s work stands out to his leadership as flawless, as he remains devoted to evaluating his trainees and keeping them up-to-date on their training business associate tasks. He evaluated more than 793 tasks in order to keep 120 maintainers up to standard.

“Task business associate is an excellent way to [hold] everyone to the same standard for tasks required for the position they are to perform,” Knoll said.

Another of Knoll’s major accomplishments was refocusing back-to-basics maintenance training. Because of his efforts, the squadron had only one uncompleted mission out of 1,091 sorties—an Air Education and Training Command best.

“I take pride in knowing I was a part of training individuals to take us to this level,” Knoll said.

Seen by his superiors as a training champion, Knoll took a two-week basic post flight course, and redesigned it as a three-day course. This allows T-38 Talon trainers to spend more one-on-one time with students, therefore helping them gain a deeper understanding of the equipment they inspect.

Knoll says in the three-day course with one or two students, he can now focus on, monitor and assist his trainees. His efforts resulted in the re-qualification of twelve flight attendants, achieving a high mission capable rate.

Knoll, a prior Air Force maintainer, possesses more than 30 years knowledge about the T-38, and he values passing this information on to Laughlin’s maintainers and to local high schools through the “Grow Your Own” program to keep Laughlin pilots safe in the air.

Knoll earned this week’s XLer through everything from tackling the toughest issues to playing a key part in the success of the T-38 mission and helping pilots graduate safely and on time.