Master Sgt. Craig Kuzara named first ever Air National Guard B-2 Dedicated Crew Chief
By Staff Sgt. Meiko Schill, 131st Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 04, 2011
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo -- On May 26, 2011 the 131st Bomb Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's Commander Maj. Kirby Findley congratulated Master Sgt. Craig Kuzara of the 131st Bomb Wing's Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on his upcoming appointment to Dedicated Crew Chief (DCC) of a B-2 Bomber.
Kuzara will be in charge of maintaining the B-2 named, "Spirit of Nebraska." His appointment as a DCC is a "first" for the 131st, but one of many milestones in the continuing Total Force Integration between the 131st Bomb Wing and the active duty 509th Bomb Wing.
To be chosen for this prestigious position, a maintainer must have at least a minimum of six months experience working on their specific aircraft as well as be a staff sergeant (E-5) or above. Kuzara has been stationed at Whiteman since 2009 and underwent training to become a DCC in the fall of 2010. Each DCC has their name printed on their respective aircraft to signify their ownership of it.
A DCC is directly assigned to each aircraft to provide continuity and accuracy of aircraft forms, aircraft status, and scheduled maintenance. DCCs manage and supervise maintenance on their aircraft. They are selected on the basis of initiative, management, and technical knowledge. Leadership skills are also important as DCCs such as Kuzara must impart their experience to maintenance crews to properly "bring up" the next generation of crew chiefs.
Chief Master Sgt. Steven Rowles, Production Branch Chief of 131st's Aircraft Maintenance Squadron says that Kuzara, who has been a crew chief in the Missouri Air National Guard for 20 years, was one of the first crew chiefs to come to Whiteman Air Force Base and make the transition to the B-2 aircraft. "For these Dedicated Crew Chiefs, there is no greater satisfaction or reward than to see their aircraft taxi, out, take-off, and safely return to base after a knuckle busting shift preparing their jet for flight."
Kuzara admits it has taken some time to adjust to the environment the B-2 requires, but says he is "ready for any challenge the State may give us and whatever comes our way."
Senior Master Sgt. Robert Debrecht, Crew Chief Flight Supervisor of the 131st's Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and a former F-15 fighter jet DCC, says that he is pleased with the work the Maintenance Squadron is doing shoulder to shoulder with the 509th, "Our guys bring a wealth of experience to the table and are quickly gaining ground and taking pride in their work."
Findley commented on Kuzara's achievement by saying, "It is awesome to work with the quality of people that define the 131st Bomb Wing. Becoming a Dedicated Crew Chief is a great honor and shows that the wing has great trust in the competency, dependability and initiative of the individuals bestowed such a tremendous responsibility. Master Sgt. Craig Kuzara's character not only meets but exceeds those expectations. Through his dedication and experience, I know that Craig will make the Wing proud in executing his new duty. "
On June 2, Lt. Col. Mark Riselli , the 509th Bomb Wing Aircraft Maintenance Group commander will made the DCC title official for Kuzara during an Induction Ceremony at Whiteman Air Force Base.