For the first time in recent memory, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex opened its doors for a Team Hill spouses’ tour.
Brig. Gen. Steven J. Bleymaier, Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander, invited all Team Hill spouses to peek behind the doors and gates May 25 to see what really happens on a typical Ogden ALC workday.
More than 120 spouses accepted the invitation and were given the opportunity to visit three of the Complex’s largest work centers, run by three of the seven different groups within the Complex structure that employs nearly 8,000 total personnel. Non-ALC employee spouses made up two-thirds of the total tour members.
“I know that all employees on this base have a family, and most of them have a spouse,” said Bleymaier. “A lot of times, the spouse never gets the opportunity to see what their spouse does, or their spouse doesn’t work in the depot and they have heard of it and are not sure what we do.”
Bleymaier said, “The tour gave us an opportunity to make a bigger connection to families and spouses to the role that they play in providing support to the entire team over all.”
With the limited amount of time for tours, the spouses were divided onto three buses and had a chance to get a small glimpse of what really happens every day within the Ogden ALC.
The spouses visited the hangar where C-130 Hercules and F-16 Fighting Falcon production lines are manned by workers in the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group.
The hangar has a rich history, dating back to WWII when iconic aircraft like B-17 and B-24 bombers along with P-40 and P-47 fighter aircraft underwent depot maintenance. It was during this time the phrase “Rosie the Riveter” was born, due to the high number of female civilians employed to maintain the aircraft.
Looking closely at the building’s structure, spouses could still see reminders of those days long ago.
In order to understand the complexity of what depot maintenance truly means, spouses also toured the 309th Commodities Maintenance Group Landing Gear facility. In this complex and well-orchestrated hub of activity, spouses were able to witness the start to finish process of disassembly to reassembly of aircraft wheels, brakes and landing gear from all types of Air Force aircraft.
“I’ve gained a true appreciation of what they do here,” said Julie Farr, one of the spouses on the tour. “I had no idea this is the only place in the world that the Air Force fixes and overhauls landing gear.”
Spouses also had the chance to view the demanding mission of 309th Missile Maintenance Group whose employees work on the Minuteman III missile system. The group has responsibility for the transport and support equipment as well as the weapon system itself. The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM, is part of the Department of Defense nuclear enterprise and a top priority of the Air Force’s senior leadership.
Many who attended agreed the tour was a great opportunity and that if it happens again, those who didn’t participate this time should jump at the chance to see this great organization and the people that make it run so smoothly.
“I learned a lot, I had fun and it was definitely worthwhile to take the tour,” Farr said.