Air Force

October 11, 2013

This week in history

Tags:
ick Griset
56th Fighter Wing History office

Oct. 1998: Low on parts, no spare engines

F-100-Engine-of-Test-Cell-1024x768px
Fifteen years ago this month, the 56th Component Repair Squadron, later designated the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron, hit a milestone. They had no engine holes in any aircraft and had one spare engine for the first time in five years.

The question is how did they get there?

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the world changed as did the security concerns of the U.S. In 1989, Eastern Europe broke away from the Soviet Union, and the Berlin Wall fell. In February 1990, other Soviet republics parted with the Soviet Union. Operation Desert Shield began Aug. 2, 1990, followed by Operation Desert Storm, which ended Feb. 8, 1991. The next day, Operation Southern Watch began, which placed heavy demands on the Air Forces’ tactical assets. The Soviet Union was officially declared dissolved on Christmas Day that year. The U.S. expected a peace dividend since all of our enemies were defeated, which resulted in reduced budgets, which meant fewer parts for the Air Force.

Before the 1990s there had been three levels of engine maintenance – organizational or flightline, intermediate or CRS, and depot.

The organizational level of maintenance was mostly troubleshooting, and removing and replacing engines.

At the intermediate level, mechanics could tear an engine down and replace worn parts with new ones.
Depot level typically tore an engine completely apart and rebuilt it again with the only common part being the data plate.

Over time, the Air Force decided it could save money by going to two-level maintenance. The depot would do everything except put the accessories and external harnesses on the engine. CRS would put those on and the flightline’s role wouldn’t change.

In 1986, Pratt & Whitney introduced the F100-220 engine which was a major upgrade of the F100-200 engine that originally came in the F-16. It had a control module that self-trimmed the engine, which cut out the majority of flightline engine maintenance time. The Air Force paid to modify the old F100-200 engine to be the same as the F100-220 and was called F100-220E.

Given that Luke was a training base, it was one of the last to receive the modified engines. By Dec. 31, 1993, all of the 58th Fighter Wing’s aircraft flew with modified engines.

Operation Northern Watch began on Jan. 1, 1997. The flying demands of it and Southern Watch were a drain on parts especially the training wings that carried a lower priority than the deployed wings.

By February 1998, as a result of the chronic shortage of parts, the 56th FW had 39 F-16s without engines. That condition led to a massive number of cannibalizations and a lot of extra work for flightline maintenance personnel. The situation got bad enough that month, the wing began to fly on Saturdays just to make programmed fighter training.

The 56th CRS began to receive engine parts again in April 1998. By October, the squadron and wing climbed out of the hole and had one spare engine as a symbol of their success.

Courtesy of R.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke 1 flies first ‘student’ F-35 sortie

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, prepares Wednesday for the first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter training sortie at Luke Air Force Base with Senior Airman Patrick Murph...
 
 

Bring ‘invisible class’ into view

When I was a young boy, my father explained to me that there was dignity in work. He told me to always respect the worker regardless of how thankless or menial their job may appear to be. He said that you never know the burdens a person may be carrying, or the family members that...
 
 

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for success

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ~ Diana Scharf Hunt What personal or professional goals do you want to achieve this year? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to make that next rank? Goal setting is a powerful tool that can turn a vision of the future into reality. Top athletes and...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Club Beyond: Where friends, fun, faith connect

Courtesy photo Charles and Joe compete to see who can attach the most clothespins to their faces Dec. 1, 2014, at Club Five Six. Club Beyond has more than 100 trained staff and hundreds of volunteers at over 40 locations worldw...
 
 

News Briefs March 20, 2015

Finance office hours The 56th Comptroller Squadron finance office will open at noon Monday due to the CSAF All Call and will be closed 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday for an official function. Tuskegee Airmen ceremony The Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day ceremony is 10 a.m. Thursday at Luke Air Force Base Tuskegee Airmen Memorial...
 
 

CSAF All Call — bus pickup points

Gen. Mark Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, all call is 10:30 a.m. Monday at Hangar 999. There will be bus pickups at the points indicated on the map. They begin at 9 a.m. and the last pickup will be at 10 a.m. All personnel must be in place by 10:15 a.m.
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin