Little Rock Reserve maintainer is a C-130J lifeline

  • Published
  • By Maj. Ashley Walker
  • 913th Airlift Group

There is a saying “if it’s in the air a maintainer put it there,” which requires a daily Total Force effort to launch the numerous C-130 aircraft across the Air Force enterprise.

Air Force Reserve Senior Amn Edward Hunter is a C-130J crew chief assigned the 913th Maintenance Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. He was recently recognized by the commander of Air Mobility Command during a site visit, Oct. 19, 2020.

He is known as the “go-to” guy to work on major aircraft maintenance issues across the base. His hard work and knowledge shined during his deployment last year. Since his return, he led multiple major repairs on complex issues to include three landing gear repairs and extensive inspections requiring hundreds of man-hours.

Most recently, Hunter volunteered to help the Hurricane Hunters based out of Kessler AFB, Mississippi, to ensure that the aircraft were ready to fly at a moment’s notice carry out the numerous National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration missions this season.

“Airman Hunter worked tirelessly over the month down at Keesler,” said Senior Master Sgt. Michael Jester, 913 MXS superintendent. “Between launching, recovering, and repairing the Hurricane Hunter aircraft, he found time to train newly assigned Airman, which speaks volumes to his dedication.” 

Hunter was interested in joining the military while in High School, but was undecided. After graduation, he worked on his automotive technician training when he found out about the various opportunities in the Air Force Reserve.

“I enjoy working on cars and I find the inner workings of cars and aircraft can be similar,” said Hunter. “Even though there are manuals, sometimes it takes experience to know where to start troubleshooting. I’m fortunate that I was surrounded by experts early in my career who helped develop my skills and knowledge.”

Hunter started work on cars in a civilian capacity and as a traditional reservist crew chief, working one weekend a month, two weeks a year. Then was hired on as a civilian contracted maintainer to work on the C-130J Super Hercules for two years. After gaining experience as a contractor, Hunter earned a full-time position back with the 913 MXS.

“It has to be a team effort to get the aircraft off the ground,” Hunter said. “I try to throw some knowledge to the Airmen when I can. We all have to do what we can to make the mission happen.”