Propulsion back shop pushes forward

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Kristine Legate

The 355th Component Maintenance Squadron TF-34 Propulsion back shop at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., has reached a goal not seen in years.

The shop is responsible for maintaining and repairing A-10 Thunderbolt II engines that have sustained damage as well as keep a stock pile of spares. Earlier in 2018 they set a record by producing 10 war-ready engines, but have now surpassed that with 15 spares.

“About a year ago we were roughly at one or two spares,” said Master Sgt. Eric Warwick, 355th propulsion flight section chief. “Going from roughly one or two spares on average to now being at 15 within a 12-15 month period is a huge feat because it takes anywhere from 17 to 30 days to produce a motor. It’s a big deal for us.”

The shop implemented and underwent many changes to get where they are now.

Cody Ethridge, a contractor from the 355th Component Maintenance Squadron, inspects a low pressure turbine case at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 24, 2018. Low pressure turbine cases are inspected prior to installment to ensure each piece is in proper working order.

“We’ve changed our processes and reduced our flow days from about 52 days for full tear down, to now 30 days on average,” Warwick said. “We’ve also gotten a good influx of people helping out, along with our contract team.”

With the help of the 924th Air Force Reserve Command and civilian contractors, the shop is able to reach and maintain its increased product rate.

Not only does the shop provide support to aircraft maintenance units on Davis-Monthan, they also support Whiteman AFB, Mo., and Nellis AFB, Nev.

“Engines needing repair would get shipped to the shop from either Nellis AFB, or Whiteman AFB, and in return the shop would ship out a replacement war-ready engine,” Warwick said.

By maintaining and keeping a stockpile of spares, Davis-Monthan, along with Whiteman AFB and Nellis AFB, are supported with war ready engines for contingency operations and training.

Senior Airman Kevin Fusson, 355th Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion journeyman, and Airman 1st Class Connor Broad, 355th CMS aerospace propulsion apprentice, inspect a combustion liner at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 24, 2018. Combustion liners are inspected prior to installment to ensure it is in proper working order.