Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)
Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)
U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)
Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)
U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)
An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)
U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)
Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The 23-year-old OH-58 Kiowa helicopter maintainer from Sahuarita, Ariz., grew up with aviation heritage coursing through his veins. His grandfather retired from the Air Force, his father served with the Air Force for five years, and his grandmother worked on Rolls-Royce helicopter engines.
U.S. Army Spc. Wayne Montgomery, Company C “Blue Max”, Task Force Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, TF Falcon, said he followed his family tradition with enthusiasm.
Montgomery said he cannot imagine doing anything but aviation; it was only natural when he began his Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Aeronautical Management Technology at Arizona State University in August 2005.
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph King. From York, Pa., and Montgomery’s platoon sergeant in Company C, reflected on his Soldier’s interest in aviation.
“He wanted to be both (a pilot and mechanic),” said King, “He went to school to become a pilot before joining the military and then took up the wrench (in the Army) to understand certain fundamentals of the field.”
Montgomery said his deep-rooted passion for the aviation field keeps him motivated.
“Just about everyone loves flying,” said Montgomery, “It’s a very rewarding job. Plus, not everyone can say they work on helicopters.”
As he’s turning wrenches on his assigned aircraft, Montgomery said he feels satisfied knowing he is doing everything to standard - providing each pilot with a dependable aircraft.
Montgomery said he enjoys the friendly competition among his fellow mechanics on whose aircraft is the best.
“You wouldn’t send your child to tee-ball and dislike them when they don’t do well,” said Montgomery with a laugh. “You would take pride in them and support them. It’s the same for our aircraft.”
Montgomery’s unit is the only one in the task force that fully supports two airframes. This has provided him an opportunity to learn how to maintain the AH-64 Apache helicopter as well.
“Learning how to work on a different airframe breaks up the monotony,” said Montgomery. “It is also good cross-training.”
King said he knows Montgomery will make a great Army leader in the field of aviation.
“I think that he put it best when he went in front of the promotion board,” said King. “Montgomery was asked by 1st Sgt. Howard, why is it that with his high test scores did he want to come in as a mechanic? Montgomery simply stated that he did it because the best male role models of his life – his father and grandfather - were aircraft mechanics. That told me right there, he (is in the Army) to learn what he can from any and everybody and then to be able to pass it along to those who will be working under him soon - exactly what an NCO should do.”
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