Keeping the Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen Aloft! Major Anderson Tuskegee Aviation Maintenance Academy
Jerome Hodges – Founder of MATAMA
On May 5, 2018, a historic event took place in Anne Arundel County, Maryland: The Major Anderson Tuskegee Airmen Maintenance (MATAMA) Academy was launched at the www.avdyne.com aviation maintenance service hangar at the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. This is the first time that an airframe and powerplant training school has opened anywhere in the United States – or the world for that matter – named after member of that heroic contingent of aviators and maintenance crew of World War II known simply as the Tuskegee Airmen. Major Anderson after whom the facility is named, was an airframe maintenance mechanic during to World War II and is one of the few Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen (DOTA’s) left alive. Anderson is a member of the East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen (www.ecctai.org).
MATAMA is the brainchild of Jerome Hodges (M.Sgt., US Airforce, ret.) – a member of the Tuskegee Airmen association. Born in Mars, Georgia in 1957, Hodges graduated from Miami’s Central High School and entered the US Air Force right afterward. Hodges served in the US Air Force for 21 years servicing helicopters, working as a jet engine mechanic, specializing in the maintenance of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. A highly certified expert in airframe and powerplant maintenance science, Hodges is also a pilot and a qualified US Air Force Flight engineer with 10,000 hours flying time. Hodges took the view that a platform by which to train the aviation maintenance personnel of the 21st Century was needed, and that it should bear the name linked to those African American aircrew and groundcrew who served with distinction in freedom’s cause in what was then the US Army Air Corp during World War II.
Apart from being a successful CEO of an aviation maintenance company, Jerome Hodges is a keen civic leader and one who has been committed to the Youth in Aviation Program of the East Coast Chapter Tuskegee Airmen (see here – http://ecctai.org/youth-aviation-program). Hodges relates:
I started off working on F-4Phantom fighter aircraft, then UH-1 helicopters. I trained as a flight engineer, and then became a pilot. Once I formed Avdyne Aviation Services I expanded from BWI airport, to Reagan National Airport in DC and then on to Dulles Airport in Virginia. We service most of the big US carriers as well as European air carriers. We are fully certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to maintain aircraft – both airframe and powerplant. I felt the best thing I could do was to work with my colleagues to form MATAMA to train the next generation of aviation technicians. The FAA estimates that the United States needs 160,000 such mechanics over the next ten years to meet demand; worldwide there is need for another 600,000 aircraft mechanics. Who will train that workforce? Well, here was the opportunity that MATAMA was created to harvest. We intend to provide young people with the requisite training in aircraft maintenance science to meet the needs of the aviation sector locally and globally. Once trained, a graduate of our program can start at annual $45,000.00 in salary and up.
At the May 5, 2018 event representatives of Maryland’s Governor Lawrence Hogan, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah mingled with Avdyne employees, members of the East Coast Chapter Tuskegee Airmen and other invited guests. Attendees were able to glimpse what a mock-up of a hangar classroom would look like, as they examined the various aircraft, aircraft engines and aircraft parts on exhibition tables. In what was an inspirational event, all in attendance proudly hailed this epic effort at education in aviation science and wished the venture much success!
[Jerome Hodges is married to Denise Hodges nee Player; he has three children Terica, Tyrone and Gregory]
Our law office is honored to associate with, and support, the MATAMA project
A video of Avdyne Aviation Service and the MATAMA project can be viewed here – https://www.aviationmx.net/
A Note on Major Anderson
Major Anderson II was born in Jacksonville, Florida on March 5, 1925. He graduated from high school in 1942 and was inducted into the Army Air Corp (later US Air Force) in 1943. Trained as sheet metal worker, he was assigned to support personnel to the Ground Support Group of the 477th Bomber Group based at Goldman Field, Kentucky. His assignment was repairing bullet holes and punctures to the B-25 bomber aircraft. In March 1946 Anderson was honorably discharged. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. majoring in mechanical engineering. Anderson later received a BBA from the University of the District of Columbia. On November 11, 2013 he was awarded with a replica of the Tuskegee Airmen Congressional Gold Medal by Congressional Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton. The MATAMA projects bears the name of Major Anderson and is honors all Tuskegee Airmen.
Law 101The Constitutional Right to a Speedy Trial
In Maryland Law Referred to as the Hicks Rule
The rock upon which a democratic government rests is its constitution–the formal statement of its fundamental obligations, limitations, procedures, and institutions. The constitution of the country is the supreme law of the land, and all citizens, prime ministers to peasants alike, are subject to its provisions.
At a minimum, the constitution, which is usually codified in a single written document, establishes the authority of the national government, provides guarantees for fundamental human rights, and sets forth the government’s basic operating procedures. One of the essential requirements of all constitutions in democratic societies is the right to due process. Due process means that we are all to be judged fairly and under the same rules.
In every society throughout history, those who administer the criminal justice system hold power with the potential for abuse and tyranny. In the name of the state, individuals have been imprisoned, had their property seized, and been tortured, exiled and executed without legal justification–and often without any formal charges ever being brought. No democratic society can tolerate such abuses.
Every state must have the power to maintain order and punish criminal acts, but the rules and procedures by which the state enforces its laws must be public and explicit, not secret, arbitrary, or subject to political manipulation by the state.
A cornerstone of such due process is the right to a speedy trial.
The 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of legal counsel for his defense.
Under the Maryland Constitution the same right to a speedy trial can be found at Article 21:
Art. 21. That in all criminal prosecutions, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him; to have a copy of the Indictment, or charge, in due time (if required) to prepare for his defense; to be allowed counsel; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have process for his witnesses; to examine the witnesses for and against him on oath; and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty.