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On the tarmac of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., Bell-Boeing field representatives are called “blue shirters” for the clothes they wear. But to Marines, they are much more than that. The industry team helps maintain MV-22 Ospreys that carry Marines into combat.
“You have these Boeing contractors, many of them served in the U.S. Marines,” said Marine Maj. Christopher Browning, a maintenance officer. “It’s a mentor/mentee thing and these guys are really helping teach these young Marines about some of the tricks of the trade they’ve seen over the years.”
“Day in and day out, we’re interacting with the Marines,” said Boeing lead maintenance instructor Troy Mikko. “We’re taking the knowledge that I have over the years and passing it on to them.”
Climbing onto an MV-22 to work on its tilt-rotor blades, Mikko says he and other Boeing support members have the ability to call back to the Osprey factory in Ridley Township, Pa., and get answers to questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It’s all about quality airplanes in the air, safety of Marines and bringing back passengers and payloads safely.”
“The reach back to the entire Bell-Boeing team is at our fingertips, and our customer knows that,” Mikko added.
Helping to keep the aircraft mission-ready is the job of Boeing field service representatives, contract maintenance support members and logistic support representatives, all of whom consider Marines family. Pilots and crew members feel the same way.
“We know each other as brothers or sisters, not just the guy that we work with or even co-workers,” said Capt. Tom Kershul of Marine Squadron 264.
“It’s all about quality airplanes in the air, safety of Marines and bringing back passengers and payloads safely,” Mikko said while standing in an MV-22 hangar.
This is the second of a two-part series on Boeing field service teams supporting the U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Aviation Wing. The first part can be viewed here.