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One team, one fight: Seymour Johnson, Robins AFBs keep Strike Eagles in flight

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Team work between two units located at two separate bases keep the 4th Fighter Wing's F-15E Strike Eagles ready for whatever missions come the wing's way.

Seymour Johnson AFB and Robins AFB, Georgia, demonstrate the meaning of team work through the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex’s programmed depot maintenance on the F-15E Strike Eagle.

“The maintenance depot strengthens mission partnership by allowing both bases to share a common goal,” said Capt. Bryan Hladik, 336th Fighter Squadron flight commander. “By striving to produce a mission-capable F-15E, both the depot personnel as well as the 4th Fighter Wing personnel have to work together over a pretty significant distance.”

Approximately every three years, pilots assigned to Seymour Johnson AFB fly more than 400 miles to Robins AFB to undergo a structural overhaul in the maintenance depot, where the F-15E fleet undergoes a complete revamp at the WR-ALC.

The F-15Es are entirely stripped down, inspected, repaired and modified depending on the aircraft’s condition during their time at the depot. The purpose of stripping the aircraft down is to help replace any malfunctioning pieces of equipment and ensure pilot safety.

“The depot is crucial because it allows major repairs and modifications to be made to the aircraft,” Hladik said. “These changes require a significant amount of time, support, and infrastructure that most bases don't really have room or personnel for.”

The jets are referred to the depot upon reaching 1,200 flying hours; in which time, the aircraft will be prepped and flown out for a facelift. Flying hours are scheduled out so a set number aircraft ready to deploy at a moment’s notice remain at Seymour Johnson AFB.

“The depot allows the overall life of the jets to be extended,” Hladik said. “Our F-15Es were made in the late 1980s and have seen a lot of flying. Sending the jets to the depot helps to accomplish the major inspections as well as major repairs which, in turn, keeps the jets flying longer.”

The depot’s inspections ensure the Strike Eagle is capable of accomplishing the mission by extending the life of the bird to keep it flying longer.

Recently, Col. Christopher Sage, 4th FW commander, flew an F-15E to Robins AFB to personally thank the members of the WR-ALC and help strengthen the partnership between the bases.

“The feedback I received from the 4th FW maintainers is that the relationship is stronger than it has been in years,” Sage said. “Relationships matter, and they take effort. We will continue to put significant effort into strengthening these bonds.”