Elmendorf Airmen put AFSO 21 to work

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Matthew Rosine
  • Air Force Print News
With the arrival of the F-22 Raptor this summer, Elmendorf Air Force Base Airmen are saying goodbye to the F-15E Strike Eagle.

Before each plane can be transferred to its new home at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, it has to pass a 10-day aircraft transfer inspection, and now, using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century, the inspection takes only three days.

"We went from almost doing a full phase inspection during the transfer to a basic post-flight type of inspection," said Staff Sgt. Nickolas Peterson, a crew chief. 

During the original transfer inspection process, a full team of Airmen from the base gaining the aircraft would travel to the base losing the aircraft.  On the first day of the inspection, the team used a process to tear down the plane and rebuild it, inspecting it as they went, Sergeant Peterson said.

AFSO 21 was used to review this process, and the maintenance community discovered Elmendorf AFB members already had all the needed resources to complete this inspection.

"Before, we would send an entire maintenance crew up to the losing base to do the inspection and all the maintenance, and perform all of those functions. That was a 10-day process," Sergeant Peterson said. "Now what we are doing is sending a minimal crew up here to assist in the inspection and maintenance of the aircraft, and completing that in three days."

This new transfer process is doing more than just making the process run smoother.

"It is very beneficial. It is saving the Air Force a lot of money to do this program in this fashion," Sergeant Peterson said. "That is the basic concept. It's saving the Air Force money, resources and man-hours."

But, the maintainers themselves also are finding the new process has other benefits.

"The best part of this program is that we are getting hands-on maintenance done every day," said Senior Airman Scott Rodrigues, an assistant crew chief. "We are not just doing the inspection. We actually get to get in there and get our hands dirty."

It also is helping improve teamwork.

"I get to use my skill and my knowledge to assist the transfer team that comes up here from Mountain Home instead of having them come up here and do my job for me," Sergeant Peterson said. "This allows us to have better teamwork when we work together."

The transfer inspection program began in January. The F-22s are scheduled to arrive at Elmendorf AFB in August.

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