Photo Information

Clint Christie demonstrates a grinding technique to U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Nathan Peterson during a hole drilling and faster installation course at Bell’s Assembly Center at Amarillo, Texas, Nov. 26, 2018. The course is designed to teach the Marines faster and more efficient ways to drill close tolerance holes and install appropriate fasteners in the MV-22B Osprey. Peterson is a tiltrotor airframe mechanic assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 264. VMM-264 is assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 26, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Christie is a technical trainer at Bell. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Rowe)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Cody Rowe

Marines learn new skills at Bell

28 Nov 2018 | Lance Cpl. Cody Rowe 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

U.S. Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 264 and VMM-162 conduct a hole drilling and fastener installation course at Bell’s Assembly Center in Amarillo, Texas, Nov. 26, 2018.

“The course is designed to teach the Marines faster and more efficient ways to drill close tolerance holes and install appropriate fasteners in the MV-22B Osprey,” said Clint Christie, a technical trainer at Bell, formally known as Bell Helicopter.

Throughout the course, the Marines conduct several projects using different types of drills, tools, fasteners, material and techniques that are used by workers at Bell’s manufacturing facility on a daily basis, said Christie.

Christie pushes attention to detail and precision to the Marines to treat these project as if they’re really working on an aircraft. This mentality will help the Marines take their new knowledge back to their squadrons and apply it to their everyday work.

“I don’t see this project as just a sheet of metal, I see it as a multimillion dollar aircraft,” said Christie. “I want to make sure that when they go back to the fleet, they have a better grasp on Bell’s best manufacturing practices that they can apply to their daily tasks.”

“It’s a lot of fun to pick their brains and see what I can learn from them,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Levi Jenkins, a tiltrotor airframe mechanic with VMM-264. “Hopefully I can get some hands on some of these tools and teach these new skills to other Marines.”

According to U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Matthew Moody, a tiltrotor airframe mechanic with VMM-162, the course has not only introduced new knowledge, but revisited old knowledge that some of the Marines were taught before to make them better mechanics.

 “We’re learning from the ones that put this aircraft together,” said Moody. “The more Marines that learn the information here and pass it on to their peers, the more we can benefit from it in the future.”