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Wing's standardization and evaluation office keeps everyone on the same page

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- A load master from the wing has questions about cargo the aircraft just picked up at Dover Air Force Base, Del., and needs technical advice. Luckily, there's someone on hand he can call that will have the right references to be able to answer his questions. That point of contact can be found here at the 445th Airlift Wing's Operation Group in the aircrew standardization/evaluation office, also known as stan/eval. 

The stan/eval office manages the aircrew standardization/evaluation program. The purpose of the program is to provide commanders with a tool to validate mission readiness and the effectiveness of unit flying, including documentation of aircrew member qualifications and capabilities. The main objectives of the program are assess and document proficiency and capability to accomplish flying duties; ensure standardization of operational procedures for weapon systems; ensure compliance with operational, training, and administrative directives; evaluate and revise operational directives, procedures, and techniques; and recognize trends and recommend/initiate changes to training programs and directives. 

Stan/eval offices vary base-to-base depending on the weapons system in place. The wing's stan/eval office is composed of the following members, called flight examiners, that represent a C-5 aircrew structure; the chief of stan/eval, who oversees all functional areas of the team, pilot, flight nurse, flight engineer, aeromedical technician, and loadmaster. 

"We are resident experts to the crew members on crew positions, Lt. Col. Valorie Jarreau, stan/eval flight nurse, said. "If, for example, a flight engineer has a question while out on a mission about the aircraft, they can call back to our office and reach the stan/eval flight engineer representative who's experienced and well-knowledged in that particular area. That representative can pull out the TOs (technical orders) to answer the question and provide expert guidance," Colonel Jarreau said. "When it comes to questions about flying standards, the aircrew knows they can call back to the stan/eval chief." 

Senior Master Sgt. Allan Blackwell said he helps to make sure that the aircrew has the most updated publications, rules and regulations before they fly. As the stan/eval flight engineer, he helps prepare the airplane for flight, making sure there are no mechanical issues that have been overlooked before a mission. 

"The stan/eval program is a level of check that keeps the crew out of trouble. One key responsibility for us is to make sure the crew members are performing their duties and meeting standards at all times," Sergeant Blackwell said. 

Unit standardization is a key element in the program. By having a standard system in place for each air crew position, a flight engineer, for example, will be able to fill in for another flight engineer on the spur of the moment with no headaches on what needs to be done or how the last person was doing the job. 

Maj. Richard Hartson, 445th Operations Group, said having a standard procedure of doing things for each crew position makes it easy to step in and take over while getting the job done with no questions. 

"Stan/eval makes sure that each crew position is doing the same job the same way. As a pilot, I may go out with a group of pilots on a mission one day and on another day, a different group of pilots. So it helps to be standard in what we do," Major Hartson said.