Misawa propulsion Airmen speed up F-16 engine delivery to PACAF bases
By Airman 1st Class Collette Brooks, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 20, 2019
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- The 35th Maintenance Squadron propulsion centralized repair flight opened a new storage facility that stores all F-16 Fighting Falcons engines for U.S. Pacific Air Forces installations in January 2019, enabling the team to provide engines more rapidly to its sister bases.
The Misawa central repair facility provides PACAF with a convenient option for repairs and overhaul of GE F110 engines in support of all PACAF F-16 bases.
“Having an in-theater CRF drastically reduces the amount of time required to move an engine around PACAF,” explained Capt. Eric Boehm, the 8th Maintenance Squadron maintenance operations officer from Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea. “Should an engine in the peninsula require repair, the turnaround time for Misawa AB versus Hill AB would be weeks faster, which is vital to mission effectiveness.”
With operational efficiency as a top priority, a new building that provides more storage space to Misawa Air Base and counterparts is a huge feat.
“A natural disaster destroyed the original building in 2010,” explained Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Almeria, the 35th MXS propulsion flight chief. “Not only did the previous structure have a large foot print on the environment, but it also had a lot of wasted space due to the layout.”
Almeria stated that innovation was of the upmost importance when creating the new structure.
“This seemingly brand new building is actually not new; it’s recycled,” explained Almeria. “We took four vacant corrugated metal buildings from around base which were not in use and disassembled those structures to make one super extra deluxe warehouse.”
The massive size of the new structure not only allowed of surplus of storage, but the salvaging of materials led to a thrifty construction bill.
Recycling and re-purposing the old buildings made the construction cost-effective,” explained Almeria. “It saved the Air Force money, time and resources since fewer materials were needed to complete this build."
The propulsion flight Airmen previously used a hardened aircraft shelter which was located approximately 10 to 15 minutes away from their unit to store spare parts and materials. Traveling across the flightline to access the temporary storage unit came with added responsibilities such as performing foreign object debris checks and being on high alert for air crafts also utilizing the runway.
The project saves Airmen time in terms of feet versus miles.
“You can compare the distance to having a storage shed in your backyard to having your storage shed in the next neighborhood over,” chuckled Almeria. “We finally have storage in our own backyard. Airmen can now focus and expend their energy on the task at hand of repairing engines versus taking time away to travel for parts."
Although easy access to parts and equipment wasn’t always available to this team, that didn’t slow down their ability to earn a few nominations and awards.
“We are the best in the Air Force as a whole right now with our production of GE F110 motors,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Dustin Jose, the 35th MXS propulsions superintendent. “That feat alone is amazing. Being nominated by 5th Air Force for the General Welsh One Air Force award is a major accomplishment. That recognition paired with winning the Fighter Wing's Team of the Year is truly an honor and testament to our Airmen’s dedication and drive.”