Getting to know your Group CC: First things first

  • Published
  • By Capt. Carla Gleason
  • 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Far from being one who minces words, Col. Deborah Liddick, 56th Maintenance Group commander, had the focus of her group commander profile defined before the questions even began.

"In maintenance, it's all about the team," she said. "The load crew, crew chiefs, avionics, ammo Airmen - it takes all of them to keep a jet flying, it's never about just one person. Each individual in the MXG has a role, a place, a mission to complete."

As one of the largest maintenance groups in the Air Force, the 56th MXG consists of more than 2,200 members who provide aircraft maintenance for 138 F-16s in the Air Force's only active-duty F-16 training wing.

"It really all boils down to working together to get the job done," said Liddick. "When you are part of a team, you have to bring you're 'A' game every day. It becomes less about you, about the individual, and more about how you can help others - how you can make the team successful."

Successful is the right word for the group which generates more than 25,000 sorties compiling 32,000 flight hours per year. Luke's MXG plays a pivotal role in conducting the safe and efficient training for more than 350 pilots every year; and Liddick is at the forefront of the action.

But she didn't get there by accident.

Some people stumble into a career in the military, some come by it gradually, one year at a time, and some individuals were born to wear the uniform day in and day out. It's just who they are. Liddick is one of the latter.

Much like her passion for teambuilding and mission execution, Liddick believes in setting goals and striving to achieve results. "I've known I wanted to be an Air Force officer for a long time," she said. "I got my commission through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program, and even as a second lieutenant, I would tell people I am going to be an O-6 commander in maintenance one day. That was my goal."

She succeeded in achieving that goal, naturally, by learning how to successfully manage and motivate the maintenance team, a skill she picked up early on in life as a young athlete.

"In high school, I was on both the field hockey and lacrosse teams and we were undefeated state champs all four years," said Liddick. "By the time I reached college, I didn't even know how to react to losing. I had to learn what it felt like to lose a game."

Liddick went on to say, in those two sports, the game is always won through a team effort, never through just one individual.

"We had the drive, as a team, to keep winning and we set that as our goal every time," she said. "That intense winning attitude made us successful. When I look back on that -- how successful we were -- I know it was our teamwork."

And she believes the 56th MXG has reached that stage, a team working together to achieve its goals.

"If I could relay one thing to the Airmen in maintenance it would be how proud I am of them and what they do every day," she said. "You know the feeling you get when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? That's what I feel, that sense of pride when I think about how professional and dedicated they are. I'm so impressed with what they do."

According to Liddick, MXG is one big team, 2,200 teammates, ready to go, all striving for the same mission: providing safe, reliable aircraft, equipment, and munitions to train the world's finest F-16 pilots and crew chiefs.