Defense

July 11, 2012

Deployed airmen choreograph vital F-16 maintenance

Tags:
by TSgt. Stephen Hudson
Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Stephen Hudson

MSgt. Chris Mood, an electrician with the 451st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, runs tests on the electronic systems on a South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 while the jet is in the phase dock undergoing required maintenance on June 26, 2012.

After 400 flight hours, the F-16s of the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are due for a thorough inspection – and the airmen working in the phase dock here are the ones keeping the jets in the fight.

When an F-16 is towed off the line and into the hangar, the choreographed dance of maintenance personnel moving in and around the aircraft is well scripted. The men and women of the 451st Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron break the jet down from top to bottom and meticulously go over it.

“It looks chaotic, but everyone has their own piece of the pie,” said MSgt. Shannon Mines with the 451st Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron.

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Stephen Hudson

A1C Reginald Brown, a phase dock crew chief with the 451st Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, works on components inside an F-16 while the plane is undergoing a phase inspection on June 26, 2012. A phase inspection, done in the phase dock, is completed every 400 hours of flying time and is a detailed inspection of the aircraft.

If the sequence of events surrounding a phase inspection is an orchestra, then Mines is the conductor. As the dock supervisor Mines, who is on his 10th deployment for the Air Force, is responsible for the activities that go on during a phase inspection.

“A lot of maintenance is getting done here,” Mines said.

In a matter of weeks these F-16s are putting on hours that would take months to accumulate back home at McEntire Joint National Guard Base. While a phase inspection can take up to three weeks at home, here it is compressed into three-and-a-half-days.

Since a phase inspection is done every 400 hours, the crews working on the jets are tackling scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, meaning a jet that leaves phase is good for another 30 days. Since April, this is the 15th jet to come through the phase docks. In May phase dock set a Kandahar Airfield record by completing inspections on eight aircraft.

“It has to be 100 percent,” Mines said of the heavy and intense maintenance. “A pilot doesn’t have to worry if his landing gear is going to work.”

As of June 30, the F-16s from the 157th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron have flown around 1,200 sorties totaling more than 5,000 hours.

“It’s a huge team effort,” said Mines. “Every shop in maintenance has a hand in it, and I am very proud of this group of guys.”

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Stephen Hudson

An F-16 from the South Carolina Air National Guard sits in the phase dock at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, while it undergoes a phase inspection. Personnel are deployed from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 19, 2014

News: McKeon on broader military authorization: Anything can ‘fail or pass’ - Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said if Congress returns after the midterm elections to weigh a broader military authorization for the battle against Islamic State, it might not pass. Defense contractor gets 7 years for giving secrets...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,203 As of Sept. 16, 2014, at least 2,203 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,823 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney, U.S. Air Force complete qualification for F135 engine testing

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. , together with its U.S. Air Force partner at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., celebrated another significant milestone qualification for F135 engine testing at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. OC-ALC which in addition to engine testing is also qualified to perform...
 

 
Navy photograph

Triton has first cross-country flight from Palmdale

Northrop Grumman photograph The MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System takes off from Northrop Grummanís Palmdale, Calif., facility Sept. 17 for its first cross-country flight to Naval Air Station Patuxent, River, Md. PALMDALE,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic

Future of NATO: Adapting to a new security environment

Air Force photograph by Michael J. Pausic Gen. Phillip Breedlove informs the assembled crowd about the results of the recent NATO Summit and the areas of instability that affect Europe that have regional implications. Seated in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

AFRL commander describes Air Force’s technology vision

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello takes a question from an audience member after discussing Air Force Research Laboratory breakthrough technologies during the 2014 Air Force Association’s Air ...
 




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>