Andersen Air Force Base, Guam- Airman 1st Class Javier Peralta, 69th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit hydraulics maintainer, works on an in-flight refueling receptacle during maintenance on a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft July 19. The 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is currently deployed from Minot Air Force Base, ND to Andersen and works to ensure mission readiness. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Wiseman/Released)
Andersen Air Force Base, Guam—Two Airman from the 69th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit replace an in-flight refueling receptacle during a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft, July 19. The 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron ensures that the B-52 fleet, currently deployed to Andersen, is mission ready 24/7. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Benjamin Wiseman/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
36th Wing Public Affairs
7/24/2012 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The 36th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron have been breaking records and exceeding expectations on Andersen Air Force Base since their arrival from Minot AFB N.D., in April.
The 36 EAMXS has achieved an outstanding maintenance scheduling effectiveness rate of 99 percent, surpassing the standard of 95 percent.
"The maintainers on this rotation have met all the challenges that they have been given and have consistently provided quality maintenance," said Capt. Meghan Bailey, 36 EAMXS officer in charge. "From the feedback we've been getting from permanent party leadership, they couldn't ask for more than the performance that the maintainers have given."
The 36 EAMXS went two consecutive months, May and June, where zero sorties were lost due to maintenance. The 36 EAMXS also contributed to surpassing the standard B-52 Mission Capable Rate at Andersen.
"The small numbers of sorties lost in those months were due to weather, none were due to maintenance," said Captain Bailey. "We made everything we were scheduled to do."
The praises and accolades came after the hard work. The 36 EAMXS constantly face and overcome challenges, such as material availability and manning.
"One of the main challenges has to do with the availability of certain parts," said Tech. Sgt. Roger Phelps, 36 EAMXS aircraft section chief. "Over in Minot there are more assets and tools available. We usually have to wait a number of days to receive the parts coming from the United States."
"Because the B-52 is an old aircraft, there are parts the Air Force doesn't have contracts for anymore," he continued. "For those situations we have to adjust and find the parts and outsource these parts to different vendors. Some materials, like brackets, we locally manufacture with our machines."
In addition to aircraft issues, Sergeant Phelps said the limited manning and 12-hour shifts can sometimes take a toll on the maintainers, but just as they overcome operational obstacles, it's nothing the Airmen can't handle.
"At home its eight-hour shifts and there are a lot more people available," he said. "The 12-hour shifts affect the Airmen after a period of time. Once they get into the routine, the Airmen adjust very well. Recently, we did a shift swap so that a number of people don't have to stay on night shift the entire duration of the deployment."
The 36 EAMXS adaptability and quality performance contributed in the successful accomplishment of the following the exercises and events they have participated in, including 36th Wing Combat Ammunition Production Exercise, U.S. Marine Corps Exercise Geiger Fury, Australia B-52 Air Show Fly Over and Rim of the Pacific 2012.
"Just this month, we are participating in a Rim of the Pacific exercise, a large force exercise that requires us to have B-52s fixed and ready to fly long duration sorties from Guam and back while simultaneously sustaining local sorties," said Captain Bailey.
B-52s are attempting to fly 20 consecutive sorties without a maintenance abort during a deployment. So far, two B-52s have achieved this "Nine-O-Nine" Award; a testament to the hard work and outstanding maintenance the 36 EAMXS have put forth everyday.
"We've had fighter aircraft maintenance fill manning slots in Minot, so we've been getting people who've had years of mechanical experience," said Sergeant Phelps. "Some of the guys brought different perspectives on solving problems. It's a different mentality, but they have done a good job in adapting."
Sergeant Phelps attributes the squadron's success to the diverse background and experience of the 36 EAMXS Airmen. He also said that the recent influx of fighter aircraft maintainers filling in slots in the bomber side also helped the squadron become more resourceful, proficient and expeditious.
A little over half-way through their deployment, the 36 EAMXS have also accumulated a total of four individual and team wing level awards.
"Many of these guys have never been here before," said Captain Bailey. "It's a different working environment and climate. The way they've adjusted and made the mission happen in a short amount of time is remarkable. Our maintainers just come in on their shifts, click on all cylinders, take off and make it look easy."
"They have met everything they were tasked to do," she said. "This is because we always have a plan, we stick to that plan and execute with flying colors."
7/26/2012 1:44:50 AM ET So...what records have they broken The MSE rate is impressive but is that all you got