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Phase Dock - 173rd Maintenance Squadron “Top Shop”

173rd Phase Dock group

U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 173rd Maintenance Group, Phase Dock, pose for a group photo in front of an F-15 Eagle with their shop logo set as the nose art February 23, 2018 at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The Phase Dock was recognized as the maintenance group "Top Shop" for the second half of 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Jennifer Shirar)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --

The 173rd Phase Dock was recognized as the “2017 Top Shop” for the 173rd Maintenance Squadron.

The “Top Shop” is a biannual, squadron-level award recently developed by 173rd Maintenance Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Michael Kuehni.

“The Chiefs and I saw friendly competition amongst the shops as a potential way to help facilitate team building,” says Kuehni. “We were hoping it would also foster better shop identity, accountability, and Esprit de Corps.”

Kuehni sees this as a benefit for the overall mission. He adds that people who feel as if they are part of a team and enjoy their job will perform better. “Better work performance leads to more effective mission accomplishment!”

Multiple factors are evaluated when including: inspections statistics, fitness performance, and medical readiness. “These serve to give initial indicators to how a shop is performing overall,” he says. “The chiefs and I then look at the impact of the shop in and outside the wing.”

Kuehni says these factors and phase dock’s outstanding performance were why they were selected for this honor. He adds, “Other F-15 units have heard about Kingsley Phase and have since called and/or visited to figure out how to fix their own processes.”

Not only do the winners of the “Top Shop” have bragging rights, their shop emblem is placed as the nose art on an F-15 Eagle for six months, and their name is displayed on the “Top Shop” plaque. Additionally, members of the shop are given “time-off” awards.

 “This recognition is a testament to the pride and professionalism that the entire phase dock internalizes,” says Senior Master Sgt. Israel Mackey, 173rd Inspection Element supervisor. “We are part of the largest squadron on base that has some of the best technicians in the business. The Phase Dock was able to stand out among these highly motivated Airmen. I believe that says more about the members of Phase than I can capture in words.”

The 173rd Phase Dock is responsible for preventative maintenance on the F-15 Eagles. Mackey says they examine the overall health and readiness of the aircraft to ensure it is ready to complete any mission asked of it.

The next “Top Shop” will be announced in June 2018.