KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
Maintenance Group Airmen across the Air Force keep thousands of complex weapons systems ready for any mission demand… anywhere, anytime. However, many of these MXG Airmen are behind-the-scenes technicians, and work on projects most people would never see.
One such project is the Air Force Repair Enhancement Program, created to determine repair recommendations for non-repairable parts in the Air Force’s possession.
The AFREP shop at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, is manned by Senior Airman Victory Bezi, 8th MXG AFREP technician and engines and electronics technician, and Tech. Sgt. Charles Denison, 8th MXG AFREP manager and quality assurance inspector.
While small, there’s no question the team makes a large impact.
“[AFREP] saves time and money when there is a need for these assets,” said Master Sgt. Terrance Dove, 8th Maintenance Group quality assurance chief inspector. “[This] benefits Kunsan and the Air Force by having a more readily available stock of components, as well as with potential cost avoidance in that we don’t have to replace all parts with new ones.”
The products they assess for repair can vary from large to small, both in cost and scope.
“We have the ability to not only repair assets from aircraft and support equipment but also the knowledge and skill to repair everyday electronics. While not utilized often, we dabble with microelectronics repair as well,” Denison said. “So far this year, we’ve repaired roughly 60 parts ranging from a variety of system control panels, lighting assemblies and many different types of wiring harnesses.”
To determine if a part can be repaired, the electronics specialists must assess whether they have the capabilities to do so by utilizing their individual expertise, training, and their archive of F-16 Fighting Falcon technical orders, said Denison. Items are analyzed and repaired using a myriad of tools such as multimeters and test leads, wiring repair kits, heat guns and soldering irons.
If the components cannot be fixed in-house, AFREP also operates as the forward authority for contracting repairs.
“Parts we’ve determined are beyond our scope of repair, but can be completed by a major command approved contractor, are collected and managed by us,” Denison said. “Consider us the middle-man of the contracting repair process.”
This fiscal year, AFREP has saved $1.1 million and prevented another $76 thousand from being spent. The money saved can then be redistributed into the MXG, and to other causes in support the Wolf Pack mission, said Dove.
The AFREP section at Kunsan may be small but their importance is out-sized. They’ve generated additional resources for specific unit needs, and dorm repairs; this included recently funding more than 20 Airmen’s expenses for Red Flag Alaska 21-2, a multi-national exercise. The two-man shop works tediously every day so the Wolf Pack remains ready…to fight tonight.