The 56th Maintenance Operations Squadron will inactivate during a ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Monday in Hangar 914.
As a squadron, the MOS is responsible for many aspects of what happens on the flightline. They do maintenance training for the 56th Maintenance Group, analyze maintenance data, do the planning and scheduling of flying hours, oversee quality assurance and own the operations center that controls movement of personnel and vehicles on the flightline.
“Our most visible job is the schedulers who are in charge of the flying-hour program,” said Maj. Melinda Santos, 56th MOS maintenance operations officer. “They build the wing’s flying hours for the week, month and year. They build this in conjunction with the 56th Operations Support Squadron. The OSS tells the schedulers the flying requirements, and then we build the plan.”
All these functions will continue after the squadron is inactivated, when they become part of the MXG staff.
“We will not be losing any of our capabilities,” Santos said. “The only things we lose in the inactivation are our name and our commander’s position.”
The inactivation of all MOS units came as a directive from Headquarters Air Force to help better groom maintenance officers for command positions.
“Under a typical maintenance group there are four squadron command positions: component maintenance squadron, equipment maintenance squadron, aircraft maintenance squadron and MOS,” Santos said. “The inactivation of the MOS units will allow the maintenance officer career field to better prepare officers for command and make the command positions we do have more competitive.”
The 56th MOS has had a long history of service that began in World War II and has been associated with the 56th Fighter Wing for more than 68 years.
The 56th Station Complement Squadron was activated May 20, 1943, at Atterbury Army Air Field, Ind., and on Sept. 15, 1943, joined the war efforts in Europe. The unit was involved in supporting Allied combat operations until it was deactivated after the war in November 1945 at Hitcham, England.
The unit was activated again 46 years later in November 1991 as the 56th Logistics Support Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., under the command of the 56th FW. They moved from MacDill AFB to Luke AFB in 1994 with the rest of the 56th FW. The last change for the unit came in 2002 when they were moved from a logistics squadron to a maintenance squadron, becoming the 56th MOS.
“The squadron has provided superior service to the wing during our time here,” Santos said. “Since we started tracking in 1995 our squadron has scheduled more than 569,000 sorties and planned more than 732,640 hours of flying.
“The squadron’s mission is to plan, monitor, train, manage and adapt through precise scheduling and efficient execution to produce the world’s finest maintainers and fighter pilots.”
They have done that the past 22 years and look to continue to do so in the future as part of the MXG staff, according to Maj. James Schieser, 56th MOS commander.
“Regardless of the type of organizational structure we have as a squadron, group or wing, there is one important ingredient,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s the men and the women of the organization that make the mission happen. It’s not who you’re assigned to or who you serve under, it’s how you get the job done.”