Aircraft Maintenance Units Sweep Inspections With High Honors

Staff Sgt. Uriel Cantu replaces screws in an F 15 panel
SOUTHWEST ASIA Staff Sgt. Uriel Cantu, 335th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, replaces screws in an F-15 panel Wednesday. The 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group and 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron recently underwent a Multi-MAJCOM Staff Assistance Visit. Inspectors found three best practice programs and identified 85 honor roll Airmen.

With three “honorable mention” programs, maintenance and logistics Airmen can hold their heads high as a three-day inspection from a Multi-MAJCOM Staff Assistance Visit team found the programs tops among others in the Air Force.

More than 80 Airmen were recognized as top performers, or “honor roll” Airmen, and three programs were identified as benchmark programs by a team of nearly 20 specialists from Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command during the inspection.

The Multi-MAJCOM SAV teams inspect day and night shift Airmen on operations, processes, tools, timelines and anything else they see fit, said 1st Lt. Phillip Rehmert, 335th Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant OIC.

“They basically come in and do free-reign inspections on anything and everything,” said Lieutenant Rehmert. “Almost everything is fair game when it comes to what they can ask or inspect.”

Although the loggies and maintainers have known for a while that the MMSAV team would be performing an inspection, Airmen never sacrificed the mission to prepare for the inspection.

“All the Airmen were working long hours to accomplish the mission and prepare for the inspection,” said Lieutenant Rehmert. “Without their efforts and continual hard work, none of this would be possible.”

Airman 1st Class Travis Davis speaks to crew members while inspecting an F 15 hydraulic system
SOUTHWEST ASIA Airman 1st Class Travis Davis, 335th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, speaks to crew members while inspecting an F-15 hydraulic system Wednesday.

Continuing the hard work was key, he said. Although some of the Airmen rotate in and out more frequently than 120 days – sometimes as quickly as 45-day rotations – they never ventured far from their goals of maintaining stellar programs. That was crucial to the success of all the programs, operations and processes Airmen follow.

“Every one of these guys works hard to get the mission done and maintain their bearing so nothing gets off track,” said Lieutenant Rehmert. “It’s no surprise to me that so many Airmen were recognized as top performers.”

In addition to the top performers, three programs were lauded as “honorable mention,” or benchmark programs.

1. The 379th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s Appointment Letter Matrix – a software program that: maintains a centrally located appointment letter database for incoming and current aircraft maintenance units; provides hyperlinked access to nine AMUs’ templates on a computer’s shared drive; allows for immediate information updates to the commander’s support staff; showcases a dashboard (snapshot) view of 104 appointment letters; and cuts time routing hard copies of documents and information.

“The matrix really cuts down on the time it takes to get things completed in the maintenance units,” said Lieutenant Rehmert. “It’s really a stellar program.”

2. The 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron’s Aerospace Ground Equipment Corrosion Program – one year after the implementation of the CENTAF audit tasking AUAB AGE flight personnel to refurbish the exterior paint coats of all AGE assets, the flight reported near completion with 484 of 500 units recoated (the flight has since taken in 100 more pieces). The recoating has extended the life of the equipment between three to five years. AGE personnel created an environmentally friendly process to paint 68 oversized pieces that received approval from the host nation. Soon, the AGE corrosion program will take on recoating wheels, gear activators and brake housing on airframes.

Staff Sgt. Jeff Woods takes tape off a liquid oxygen cart
SOUTHWEST ASIA Staff Sgt. Jeff Woods, NCO in charge of the fabrication flight corrosion unit, takes tape off a liquid oxygen cart after painting a poly-urethane topcoat on it. The corrosion program was recently lauded by inspectors as a best practice.

“It’s great to see the hard work from the Airmen pay off,” said Tech. Sgt. David Rivers, a 379th EMXS AGE craftsman and corrosion section lead, of the program he implemented during his rotation here last year. “Every rotation really worked hard to compete the tasking from CENTAF and in only a year, we’ve painted nearly $22 million in AGE assets. Each time the units get recoated, it saves the taxpayers millions (of dollars).”

“Not to mention the amount of sorties we’ll continue to support,” said Staff Sgt. Jeff Woods, NCO in charge of the fabrication flight’s corrosion unit. “We’ve got to keep the equipment on the flightline to launch these aircraft. The acidic components of the sand here are 100 times higher than at Patrick (Air Force Base, Fla.), which has the most corrosive sand in the U.S.”

3. The 379th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Joint Movement Processing Center – Lauded as Southwest Asia’s logistics gateway by the SAV team, the JMPC moved 44,000 passengers to 15 AOR locations while meeting a 98 percent “required delivery date.” JMPC personnel also redeployed 22,000 personnel; standardized 47 critical cargo and passenger yard procedures and 400-plus line items; ensured 23 transient movements; coordinated 200-plus “off hours” transportation and meal support requests with only an average of two hours notification; and scrubbed 5,000 lines of data/deviations which resulted in 43 maximized strategic airlift missions.

The honorable mention is just one aspect of all the hard work the contract civilians and active-duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen from more than 50 bases accomplish everyday, said Lt. Col. Kris O’Brien, 379th ELRS commander.

“The entire ELRS worked together to prepare for the SAV,” said Colonel O’Brien, “to include running Compliance and Standardization Compliance List checklists and tracking open items until closure, quizzing each other and ensuring all work areas were spotless prior to and during the inspection.

“The actual inspection portion of the SAV was almost easy, as it was a great opportunity for everyone to show off how the ELRS supports the wing’s incredible mission everyday,” said Colonel O’Brien. “Everyone takes pride in what we accomplish here, and this pride was evident to the inspectors throughout the inspection. This is truly an amazing group of logistics warriors … supporting the warfighter.”

“With such a large group inspected in this wartime environment, we really set the bar for the rest of the AOR,” said Lieutenant Rehmert.

“I’m proud of all our expeditionary maintainers and logisticians,” said Col. Michael Arnold, 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group commander. “They’re doing an outstanding job in a tough environment and they totally impressed all of the MMSAV team members. And, despite a demanding workload to generate combat sorties every day around the clock, every one had a ‘let us show you what we do’ attitude for the team that was exceptional. I just can’t say enough about their pride and professionalism. It shows in everything they do.”

By Senior Airman Tim Bazar

Military Friends of NewsBlaze originated these stories, sending them directly to us from Iraq, some from Afghanistan and some in the USA.