Airmen from the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., work together with squadrons across the base to maintain the hydraulics systems for various aircraft systems.
“We work on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft,” said Senior Airman Steven Lohman, 56th CMS hydraulics journeyman. “The parts for these three different airframes come from different bases and can get pretty diverse. We could be working on their brakes, landing gear, actuators, reservoirs, break control valves and more.”
When these types of parts are worn down or need to be inspected they are sent to the hydraulic shop to be repaired.
“There’s really no problem we can’t get past,” said Staff Sgt. Bryan Ellegert, 56th CMS hydraulics craftsman. “With our technical order system, we have access to precise instructions on how to fix just about anything that comes into the shop. We also have multiple Airmen who have the knowledge and experience to train and advise our less experienced Airmen.”
The hydraulic shop runs 24 hour days to be increase effectiveness as the maintenance workload increases.
“As aircraft get older they become more prone to wear and tear,” Ellegert said. “This increases the demand for parts and working hours for the supply chain. Once parts are done being inspected and are approved to go back to the warehouse they don’t necessarily go back to the specific bases they came from. These parts go back into the Air Force Supply system and filter out to the greatest worldwide need.”
By supplying parts for a broader area than Luke, the Hydraulic shop is able to save the Air Force resources and capabilities by helping other bases.
“In the past there wasn’t really a network for individual bases to rely on if they were to lose a hydraulic repair capability,” said Tech. Sgt. Anthony Barnett, 56th CMS Hydraulic centralized repair facility Section Chief. “Repair Network Integration allows us to overcome those obstacles efficiently and reduce the time aircraft are down for repair. By joining teams with our supply chain counterparts we have augmented our ability to preserve and sustain our nation’s airpower.”
By not only maintaining the 56th Fighter Wing aircraft the Airmen of the 56th CMS work around the clock to supply the Air Force with the parts they need to Fly, Fight and Win.