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.


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 

 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 
 

Enlisted promotion system changes continue

WASHINGTON — This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion. The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 




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