HomeNewsArticle Display

Repair enhancement program breeds innovation, ingenuity

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Paul Clark, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician, reviews his process for repairing an LCD screen May 5, 2015 at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Clark trained in miniature and microminiature electronic repair, module test and repair, and electronic signal analysis courses before becoming a certified AFREP technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Shelby Kay-Fantozzi)

Staff Sgt. Paul Clark, a 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group Air Force Repair Enhancement Program technician, reviews his process for repairing an LCD screen May 5, 2015, at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. Clark trained in miniature and microminiature electronic repair, module test and repair, and electronic signal analysis courses before becoming a certified AFREP technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Shelby Kay-Fantozzi)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- A troubleshooter’s mindset, outside-the-box thinking, and raw talent — is what it takes to become a technician in the Air Force Repair Enhancement Program according to Sam Krahn, the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group AFREP manager.

“Essentially, what we do in AFREP is fix the unfixable,” Krahn explained. “We are the second step if an aircraft component can’t be repaired in a maintenance hangar or back shop. Instead of throwing parts away or sending them to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, we can put them back into the supply system.”

Krahn, who has worked in repairs for nearly 20 years, said he takes pride in his work, and especially to work with the four air commandos who make up the AFREP shop at Cannon Air Force Base.

“This is the greatest job in the world. I wake up every day with a smile on my face, and then I get to come to work with some truly talented and bright individuals,” Krahn said. “The Airmen who work here have a certain mindset. They’re tinkerers, troubleshooters, outside-the-box thinkers.”

AFREP technicians are often hand-picked by shop, flight or group chiefs. Only the best and brightest are selected for the high-profile duty.

“When we interview Airmen for this job, we look for them to have the mindset, the skillset and the thought process for this work,” Krahn said. “Once selected, we send them to several courses to get certified to accomplish repairs: a miniature and microminiature electronic repair program at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, (Arizona), a module test and repair course in Seattle, and an electronic signature analysis course in Boston.”

Armed with the skills they need to make intricate repairs, AFREP air commandos return from training and apply a “four-T” principle to each potential repair to evaluate if they have the training, tools, technology and testing capabilities to fix the part.

“We treat each product as an initiative, starting with a cost-benefit analysis,” Krahn said. “We consider a repair worthwhile when it will cost less than 75 percent of the price of replacing the equipment. Often it’s much less than 75 percent, but sometimes we have some close calls. It comes down to that four-T principle; sometimes we have to pay for special tools, training, tech, or a means of testing a part.”

While AFREP technicians’ skills may seem highly specialized, their knowledge of miniature and microminiature electronics has helped them make repairs across the base.

“We are a wing program sponsored by the maintenance group and affiliated with quality assurance,” Krahn said. “Though we do most of our work for maintenance, we’ve also done repairs for the med group, civil engineering, communications, EOD, you name it.”

The soon to retire AC-130H Spectre gunship has provided Cannon AFREPS with a unique opportunity to prove their value.

“Often we make repairs on legacy parts, components that are no longer in production because their vendors have dried up,” said Krahn. “AFREP technicians become subject matter experts on fixing these pieces. For example, on our AC-130H gunship here at Cannon, there are several parts that only our techs know how to fix, so they become a real opportunity for us to shine.”

In fiscal year 2014, AFREP saved the wing $1.1 million in repair and supply costs, restoring mission capability to 10 aircraft.

“There’s a very high potential for job satisfaction here,” Krahn said. “It’s pretty amazing to watch a plane take off and know that you played a part in getting it back off the ground.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: Battling #COVID; a cyber Airman’s story - https://t.co/HsJv6J7r2A #ReserveReady #ReserveResilient #ReadyAF https://t.co/y7…
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: #ReserveCitizenAirman makes life-saving decision - https://t.co/ZPviQZRrEX (Story by the @307BombWing) #ReserveReady #Rese
Twitter
The Impact of Sharing Stories of Recovery and Resiliency Lt Col Katharine McGregor did not know much about the… https://t.co/17VibuxnTc
Twitter
Many search for years to find their true passion in life. For Staff Sgt. Camrin Northrop, a firefighter for both th… https://t.co/QcNrBXPCV0
Twitter
From their homes to yours, check out the @AirNatlGuard Band of the South! #ReadyAF #AimHigh https://t.co/yb7GhZZ5A3
Twitter
Reintegration will be a deliberate & phased approach to protect Airmen & Space Professionals. Learn to maintain rea… https://t.co/egQSAV5uRB
Twitter
The MQ-1B Predator is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft used for i… https://t.co/livZYQyXnH
Twitter
Dr. Quinton Sasnett, a faculty member at Air University, talks about the university's civilian associates degree pr… https://t.co/0BgoCiGCUy
Twitter
Improving mental health through expressive writing. @KadenaAirBase https://t.co/zVoYTQQl5z
Twitter
Medical pros at Kadena Air Base, 3-D printed naso-pharyngeal swabs to test potential #COVID19 patients. The dental… https://t.co/h8q1HgLjRZ
Twitter
The MC-12W is a medium-to low-altitude, twin-engine turboprop aircraft. Its primary mission is providing intelligen… https://t.co/st7WRJLDHB
Twitter
Know what resources, treatments & therapies are available for invisible wounds. https://t.co/H2A7fYb8s3
Twitter
“The Total Force team at Eielson plays a pivotal role that extends throughout Alaska and projects into the Arctic.”… https://t.co/7nSYEtYWHj
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: 🙌🎉 Congrats to the @usairforce's newest pilots as Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 20-18 graduates today at @…
Twitter
.@JointBasePHH Airmen participate in a ramp drop from a C-17 Globemaster III. The 25th Air Support Ops Squadron is… https://t.co/AZVT6Qzmgv
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: It is a pleasure to be in #Alaska to see #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals in action! Whether it’s F-35s & F-22s protectin…
Twitter
RT @EielsonAirForce: When @SecAFOfficial comes to visit, we show off the 'cool stuff' https://t.co/sGCSnVOOXg
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: A career worth a thousand words: Colonel Campbell reflects on career in aviation - https://t.co/atNAeYOoMI (Story by @Dobb
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,252,537
Follow Us