In an effort to help increase the efficiency of flightline maintenance operations, the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., opened a Rapid Maintenance Annex in April located near the flight line.
With the addition of the annex, Airmen from the vehicle maintenance flight can expedite minor repairs or services for flight line vehicles ensuring those vehicles rapidly return to duty.
1st Lt. Yamil Jonilonis, flight commander of the 56th LRS Vehicle Maintenance Flight, explained the 56th LRS created the rapid maintenance element to decrease travel and maintenance time for flight line vehicles and personnel while increasing the emphasis on flightline operations.
“The idea is if it takes less than 30-60 minutes to fix or update and the vehicle primarily operates on the flight line, we are here for you,” said David Maytes, flight chief of the 56th LRS Vehicle Maintenance Flight.
With a 517-vehicle inventory, the 56th LRS manages the Air Education and Training Command’s second largest vehicle fleet, and Airmen from the LRS Vehicle Maintenance Flight performed 9,200 repairs last year for 52 organizations. Instead of taking vehicles to the base vehicle maintenance shop for minor maintenance, maintainers can now use the Rapid Maintenance Annex to avoid longer wait times for quick fixes.
“At the [Aerospace Ground Equipment] shop, our vehicles go down for small fixes [often],” said Staff Sgt. Taylor Garcia, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron AGE programs manager. “We could wait anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on the problem and the people available to work the problem with the old system. With the new system, I have turned in a vehicle first thing in the morning and [retrieved] it a few hours later. This has helped our flight immensely and has aided our 24-hour support of the flight line.”
Keeping flightline vehicles on the flightline will save travel time for Airmen who maintain the aircraft.
“I would like to make a comparison to say a flight line kitchen as opposed to the base dining facility,” said Maytes. “The faster and easier we can make it on Airmen making the aircraft fly, the more time they can put hands on the mission.”
The Rapid Maintenance Annex supports the 56th LRS’ ongoing effort to improve their relationship with the 56th Maintenance Group and addresses the needs of maintenance professionals to ensure the success of Luke AFB’s mission to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots and combat-ready Airmen.
“The shop is going to be a great asset for the base and the mission specifically for our partners in the maintenance group,” said Jonilonis. “We are doing so many things to make sure our relationship improves so they can do their jobs and keep the mission going, [and] this rapid maintenance shop is just going to make it better.”