MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
The 35th Maintenance Squadron propulsions centralized repair facility broke the record of engines serviced in a month during the month of June, at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
The centralized repair facility supports the F-16 Fighting Falcon with engine inspections, service and repair. Maintenance begins with a full disassembly of the engine to detect and analyze the concern.
Even with a complete rebuild of the engines and a few unexpected maintenance actions, the CRF was still able to achieve the highest number of engines produced in over 13 years. .
“When you take apart a machine, you run the risk of finding unexpected issues that might need immediate attention,” explained Senior Airman Mark Basaldua, a 35th MXS aerospace propulsion journeyman. “This is why it’s crucial to perform a detailed internal and external inspection on each and every engine received. In addition to providing preventative maintenance, we strive to catch mechanical issues that aren’t completely apparent at first glance.”
With Airmen like Basaldua taking an extra step to be cognitive of those small details makes a big difference, it’s no surprise the shop’s leadership credits the Airmen with the new record.
“Time and time again my Airmen have shown a great amount of dedication and hard work,” expressed Chief Master Sgt. Chris Almeria, the 35th MXS propulsion flight chief. “Not only are they repairing parts rapidly and efficiently, but they do it with a great attitude.”
Almeria continued by describing his Airmen’s work ethic and personality characteristics.
“My team is flexible, sel-less, inspiring and hard working,” he expressed. “They give 120% maximum effort day or night. I have a phenomenal team from top to bottom.”
It was no coincidence the feeling of admiration was shared among the shop.
“My leadership provides the best guidance I’ve ever received in my whole Air Force career,” explained Basaldua. “They focus heavy on efficiency, which led us to breaking this record of engines serviced in a month.”
Continuous process improvement implemented prior to this feat allowed Airmen to maximize their daily operation capabilities.
“The newly-opened storage facility played a huge role in our success,” explained Almeria “Continuous processes improvements such as the movement of the facility to a closer location to our shop on the flightline allowed the Airmen to navigate throughout the shop with more ease and convenience. Maximizing our space while maintaining a relatively small footprint on the environment was the goal, and I believe we achieved that.”
While the storage facility allowed the propulsions CRF to make great strides in productivity, leadership found it crucial to highlight the most valuable players of the shop: the Airmen.
“One might think our job, 'as higher ups', is to fiddle with power point slides, drink coffee all day and brief the bosses,” chuckled Almeria. “But in all seriousness, it’s our duty to provide all the necessary tools and resources for our Airmen to thrive. It’s pretty special to work in a unit that maintains such high morale and drive.”
With camaraderie at an all-time high, Basaldua added why this accomplishment was special to him.
“Being able to support the entire Pacific Air Forces' engines needs is a feat within itself,” he explained. “This recognition has inspired my peers and me to come into work each day and push ourselves to be even better maintainers than we were the day before.”
The Airmen in the shop weren’t the only ones to recognize their increased motivation and dedication.
“We produce top quality products, because we have top quality maintainers,” expressed Almeria. “A wise man once told me ‘you’re only as a good as your last sortie’ so we will not let up on striving to be the best in the Air Force.”