Tech. Sgt. Scott Schlie checks inventory at a new facility that enables aircraft maintainers to repair C-130 Hercules engines and propellers in Southwest Asia. Sergeant Schlie is a C-130 engine manager and is assigned to the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron. He is deployed from Pope Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj. Stephanie Bindemann.)
by Maj. Stephanie Bindemann
386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
5/22/2006 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) -- Maintainers from the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Group now have the capability to repair C-130 Hercules engines and propellers in Southwest Asia.
This new capability has cut down repair time and is key to getting the aircraft back in the air performing the mission.
In the past, if a propeller or jet engine was sent back to a home station for repair, it could take three to four weeks to get a replacement. With the new engine shop, assets are back in serviceable condition in as little as two to three days.
“Recently, our shop was able to repair two propellers, saving about $40,000,” said Tech. Sgt. Scott Schlie, a C-130 engine manager with the 386th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron. “As the shop becomes more efficient, this number will grow a great deal, ensuring our aircraft aren’t grounded because we’re waiting on a replacement prop or jet engine.
“Our unit has gone from having nothing to having our own building," he said, "which houses more than 1,000 different parts to support our mission for backshop propeller and T-56 jet engine repair. We also have obtained and secured more than 100 special equipment tools for propeller and jet engine repair. With this new process, our unit has been able to repair two C-130 propellers, which normally would have been airlifted back to Ramstein (Air Base, Germany) for repair.”
Repairing engines and props in-house has freed up limited pallet space on C-130s and saved the Air Force money.
“We implemented this new process to save money, reduce downtime for props and jets and keep our spare engine and propeller levels up,” said Lt. Col. Dennis Dabney, 386th EMXS commander. “This allows us to decrease management tracking of parts in the area of responsibility.”