LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
John Jasper, 47th Maintenance Directorate T-1 Jayhawk division chief, was chosen by wing leadership to be the “XLer” of the week, for the week of May 6, 2019, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
The “XLer” award, presented by Col. Lee Gentile, 47th Flying Training Wing commander, is given to those who consistently make outstanding contributions to their unit and the Laughlin mission.
Jasper, in company with everyone across the T-1 fleet, recently won a three year battle of restoring hail-damaged T-1’s from a storm in February of 2016. The fleet was not only restored, but has propelled Laughlin in front of other bases in 19th Air Force for T-1 operability.
“It feels like everything is coming together at the same time,” he said. “The planes are coming back, and we’re sustaining a more mature and confident workforce. It looks like by this time next year, we’ll be sitting in really good shape.”
As a chief and supervisor during the T-1 restoration, Jasper worked tirelessly to keep his team motivated during the three year project. Mission capable T-1’s from Laughlin soared from 41 percent to 66 percent, one of the highest rates in Air Education and Training Command.
“One of the things we try to do is get the mechanics everything they need, whether that’s equipment or training,” he said. “The guys and gals that are doing the job—they know what they’re missing, so one of the biggest things I focus on is building an environment that’s open and free of retribution, so anybody who has an issue or is missing something can come to me and get what they need.”
Jasper also sought outside help to restore the fleet, utilizing training opportunities with commercial providers and coordinating training with outside agencies L3 Waco and the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.
“This aircraft is a commercial, off-the-shelf aircraft, and the Air Force never provided any type of formal training, so we have to train all our mechanics through on-the-job training,” he said. “Reaching out to other bases and agencies for training and help in order to expedite solutions to issues helps, because the subject matter experts for this airframe are scattered all across the bases.”
For his work in keeping morale high and coordinating training opportunities, all while maintaining his role as a chief during the ensuing T-1 restoration, John Jasper has earned the “XLer of the Week.”