New repair process aids Shaw F-16 Fighting Falcon success
By Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published January 27, 2017
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- As the mission of the U.S. Air Force constantly evolves, the aircraft which keep that mission alive may need to evolve as well.
The F-16CM Fighting Falcons assigned to Shaw AFB will reach a point where they will need their parts transplanted or repaired to keep them airborne, and it is the job of the Airmen assigned to the 20th Maintenance Group to troubleshoot and take appropriate maintenance actions.
Since the Air Combat Command Repair Network Enhancement Program initiative was implemented in November 2015, it has allowed 20th MXG Airmen to more efficiently determine whether aircraft parts and equipment are expendable, serviceable or repairable.
Once a part has been filtered into one of the three categories, proper action will be taken to either send item to be discarded, send the part to an ACC maintenance depot for repairs or install it into an aircraft in need.
“The faster the depots can get the equipment back to the maintainers, the faster the maintainers can get the Falcons back in the fight,” said Senior Master Sgt. Yvonne Brown, 20th MXG supply liaison. “Whenever there is a piece of equipment that needs special attention, the 20th MXG sends these parts to another base that can assist with repairs.”
Bases that assist in the process by serving as repair depots include, but are not limited to, Robins AFB, Georgia, and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. As these depots complete repairs, they send parts out to their respective bases to be reinstalled.
With the assistance of fellow ACC bases, maintenance can be done on repairable items, helping to increase the number of 20th Fighter Wing jets that are mission-ready.
One of the program’s main purposes is to assist in briefing 20th FW leadership about the impact of the RNEP cycle on base assets, Brown said. If the program gets stagnant in any aspect, the aircraft on base will not be able to perform their sorties and accomplish the mission.
Although this process hasn’t had an extensive lifespan, Shaw has implemented it to make an impact on the Falcons on base and aircraft around the Air Force.
“With programs like RNEP and the Air Force Repair Enhancement Program in place, the 20th MXG has saved the base, and the Air Force, over $5 million," said Tech. Sgt. Scott Williams 20th Component Maintenance Squadron AFREP manager. "It helps let the commander know what the problems are, and what he can do to solve it and increase its impact on the aircraft.”
Because of their adoption of the new process, 20th MXG Airmen ensure grounded jets in need of repair receive what's needed to help keep Shaw’s Fighting Falcons in the fight.