Reservist shows innovation, revitalizes testing capability

  • Published
  • By Jerry Bynum
  • 624th Regional Support Group

For Air Force Reserve members with the 44th Aerial Port Squadron and the 624th Aerospace Medicine Flight here recently Professional Military Education and career field upgrade testing were a significant challenge. Not because of the materials being tested, although debatable with some of the test takers, but because testing facilities were limited.

Senior Airman Jamie Matanane, a Reserve Citizen Airman assigned to the 624th Regional Support Group Knowledge Operations Management, put her hands and mind to work to solve the problem.

Testing is an important part of every Airman’s career. Whether it’s for Professional Military Education or specific career field development and upgrade, it’s necessary to ensure accountability and integrity within the testing system. Critical testing opportunities were limited for Reserve Citizen Airmen in Guam because of the lack of testing resources, specifically testing tables.

“We’ve been very limited with the number of people who can test during drill weekends with our units in Guam due to the lack of testing tables,” said Master Sgt. Josephine Taitague, 624th RSG chief of Education and Training. “This means we have to administer tests individually, with only one tester in the room at a time.”

Typically, the Air Force Reserve Test Control Office in Guam conducts testing during drill weekends. Without proper testing tables, which include computers and monitors, members are required to test one at a time in order to meet credibility and integrity standards within the testing process.

“We might have four people who need to test, but we couldn’t do them together,” said Taitague. “This creates a significant burden on our TCO staff as well as the testers. It limited our ability to get people through testing.”

A potential solution to the problem was found. Testing tables allow multiple members to test in the same room at the same time, increasing the number of individuals who can test at a given time, and reducing the number of testing sessions required.

The KOM and TCO staff brainstormed to find ways the unit could economically address the problem while reusing and restoring currently available materials and equipment. The 624th RSG TCO in Guam acquired outdated testing tables at no cost. Now they needed to be rebuilt in order to meet current testing requirements … that’s where Matanane comes in.

“Our KOM team, especially Senior Airman Matanane, was able to take old testing tables and give them new life,” said Taitague. “It might seem like a small feat, but her innovation and work increased our testing capability by 400 percent. That’s a big deal for our Reserve Citizen Airmen who have professional development and upgrade testing requirements to meet.”

Matanane took five old testing tables that were discarded from another unit at Andersen Air Force Base and rebuilt them with the proper equipment needed to make the testing tables functional. Having this new testing capability improves mission effectiveness by expanding testing availability and scheduling for necessary upgrade and promotion requirements.

“I love doing this type of work because it’s in line with my hobbies,” said Matanane. “I get the opportunity to do something I really enjoy while serving my country … it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Innovation is an important part of every Air Force Reserve unit, and it comes from the diverse experiences Reserve Citizen Airmen bring to the mission from their communities and civilian employment. Matanane was able to use her passion to increase a capability, and restore and revitalize items that would have otherwise been discarded.

In her civilian career, Matanane works at the Naval Hospital Guam as a medical records clerk. She said an Air Force Reserve career provides a diversity of experience that helps build both her civilian and military professions. Matanane said it also provides a chance to learn about electronics, and to build something that has a positive impact on the unit’s mission.

“People usually don’t think about everything that goes into developing a combat-ready Airman,” said Maj. Cliff Harris, 44th APS commander. “From the outside looking in, small tasks might not seem like a big deal, but every task our Airmen perform has a tremendous impact on our effectiveness and readiness. Senior Airman Matanane and others like her use their diverse skillsets and innovation to improve unit work centers and ensure our success.”