Front and Center: Be a leader people trust and come to with their problems

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Ave I. Young
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Since he started in the 12th Maintenance Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in September of 2016, Dave Duggar has brought experience and innovation to the J-85 propulsion shop.


Duggar, the J-85 propulsion shop supervisor, oversees the engine shop and test cell ensuring T-38 engines are mission ready to conduct daily sorties for the 12th Flying Training Wing.


“My job is important to the 12th FTW because we develop the thrust that keeps the jets flying. Without our engines the mission could not be met,” Duggar said.


With 38 years of experience, Duggar has prior military service with the active duty Air Force and was assigned to the Thunderbirds from 1982-1985, primarily as an engine mechanic. He also served eight years with the Florida Air National Guard and ten years with the Air Force Reserve.


“A lot of people are not aware of what it takes to put the airplanes in the air, but it consists of a lot of engine trouble shooting, replacement of parts, tests and evaluation of the engines at the test cell and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.”


In addition to managing the engine shop and test cell, Duggar is also a black belt with continued process improvement or Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century. The 12th MXG has quarterly leadership development courses where they train all of their white shirt supervisors.


 “We do continuous process improvement to make our workplace a safer, more compliant, and more effective shop and the beauty of that is it all leads toward increased mission efficiency and effectiveness,” said Hamm, Deputy Director, 12th Maintenance Group.


In September last year, Duggar and his team had an opportunity to improve performance that affected the engine and machine shops in the 12th MXG. After his team discovered an oil leak on a J-85 jet engine gear box during a test.


A thorough investigation revealed that a bolt near a hard to reach seal had pulled out. Normally, Duggar said, it’s at this point when his technicians would order a replacement gearbox. That equaled $80 thousand for each engine.


Utilizing CPI methods and thinking outside the box, his team found a $600 installation tool set another shop in the Maintenance Group could use to replace the stud and lock ring for the gearbox pad without the engine leaving Randolph.


“It’s a classic example of a team of professional maintainers who came across a problem and decided that there might be a better way than what they had been doing previously,” said Robert Hamm, Deputy Director, 12th Maintenance Group.


When the engine and machine shop combined their effort the result was increased repair capability that saved money and man hours valued at nearly $90 thousand per engine.


“I hope to lead my technicians in a professional manner so that when I leave or retire this organization that they can follow in my footsteps and have a quality organization for the people that they’re going to be training and supervising in the future,” Duggar said. “I want to be a leader that my people can trust and come to me with their problems.”


(Editor's note: Joint Base San Antonio Front and Center is a series of stories highlighting outstanding members of the community while showcasing their impact on the missions that take place at JBSA.)