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less-experienced soldiers in the brigade reap the benefits of being part of the build teams. “We have a lot of young soldiers out here who are relatively new to the Army and they have been doing an outstanding job to this point,” he said. “Everyone is constantly learning and improving their craft.”


One of those young soldiers is Pfc. Abraham Xiong, assigned to Company D, Task Force Lobos, 1st ACB, originally from Minneapolis. Xiong, who is an AH-64D Apache helicopter mechanic, said that he relishes the opportunity to work on different airframes and expand his knowledge about overall aircraft maintenance. “Everyone seems to have a positive attitude out here,” he said. “It’s been great working with different people and learning about the different airframes in our brigade,” he said. As the maintainers conclude their initial tasks, the baton is then passed to the maintenance test pilots, who take to the skies to ensure proper functionality of the aircraft prior to releasing the aircraft back to their assigned line units within the brigade.


Xiong, who is on his first deployment, touched on what he sees as the overall big picture in reference to the work he has done along with his fellow maintainers. “When these aircraft come back from missions, to see what they do…saving lives and taking the fight to the enemy, it feels good to know that we’ll contribute in some form to their overall success,” he said. AM


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