36 OSS completes parachute drying tower project

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jasmine M. Barnes
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – The 36th Operations Support Squadron completed a parachute drying tower project Oct. 4, here.

The renovation project was completed in support of Bomber Task Force which executes Pacific Air Forces’ number one priority of enhancing warfighter advantages.

“Andersen (AFB) is known as the Forward Edge and we are vital to the Department of Defense’s ability to project power across the Indo-Pacific theater through our Bomber Task Force, Tanker Task Force, Agile Combat Employment, and Dynamic Force employment operations,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Edwin Pratt, 36 OSS commander. “Specifically, the reopening of our parachute drying tower marks the return of an in-house capability. Our Bomber Task Force units out of Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base no longer need to be concerned that a pre-mature deployment of their parachute could have the potential of jeopardizing the next mission.”

As the parachutes are deployed upon landing here, they act as an additional braking system on the runway to significantly reduce the amount of damage to a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft or the runway itself.

“Prior to the reopening of the parachute drying tower, the parachutes would have to be manually dried,” said Pratt. “This two-day process involved laying the 90-foot parachutes on the ground and using high-powered fans to remove all the moisture.”

Now, up to 18 parachutes can be hoisted in the tower and warmed with an industrial-sized furnace, cutting drying time down from 48 hours to as little as 12 hours.

Once the tower was completed, contractors who assisted with the renovation provided training on how to properly use it.

“The contractors trained us on how to automatically and manually drop the parachute hooks,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Antony Muhu, the 36 OSS aircrew flight equipment flight chief. “We climbed to the top of the tower, and they showed us some override panels and manual operations that I could use in a worst case scenario such as a power outage. They taught me about inspections, the fan operations of the tower and how to turn on the furnace.”

The $2.4 million restoration project will save the 36 OSS aircrew flight equipment team approximately 3,200 man hours per year moving forward.

“The project was a result of a collaborative effort between the 36th Wing, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command and two contracting companies,” said Pratt. “The reopening of it was another big win for the wing.”