Military News

Friday, May 01, 2015

AFGSC maintainers win 2014 AF-level maintenance award

by Carla Pampe
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs


5/1/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The men and women of Air Force Global Strike Command's logistics, installation and mission support directorate recently earned the 2015 Gen Wilbur L. Creech Maintenance Excellence Award, given to the major command demonstrating the most improved performance in the category of aircraft maintenance and logistics readiness for each fiscal year.

During the time period of Oct. 1, 2013, through Sept. 30, 2014, AFGSC significantly improved the logistics and aircraft maintenance performance for its 56 assigned B-52H bombers, 19 assigned B-2A bombers and 25 assigned UH-1N helicopters.

"The men and women of AFGSC are very excited about winning the 2014 Gen Creech Award and it is a true testament of our Airmen's hard work," Lawrence Kingsley, director of the A4/7 logistics, installation and mission support directorate, said. "Through close relationships with each wing, our staff has and will continue to aggressively work sustainment issues with our partners in Air Force Materiel Command to ensure we are not only meeting today's needs but accurately forecasting tomorrow's requirements."

He added that the metric improvements sited in this award were a culmination of remarkable logistics efforts by the enterprise.

Contributing to the award was an active involvement by the team of A4 and A5 professionals, which highlighted opportunities to improve support at the tactical level, said Col. Carey Tucker, A4/7 deputy director.

"As an example, the B-52 team identified a window shortage and worked directly with the System Program Office Defense Logistics Agency to streamline the inspection requirements," Tucker said. "These actions shaved month's off of estimated deliveries and resolved the shortfall."

In order to determine what improvements needed to be made, monitoring of fleet-wide metrics was done on a daily basis.

"Through daily wing interaction and extensive analysis, our staff is intimately aware of and aggressively works to resolve logistic challenges," Steve Brunts, aircraft maintenance division chief, said. "In addition to working current supply drivers, the enterprise is also focused on attacking tomorrow's supply shortfalls through predictive analysis with the goal of having contracts and stock levels in place to meet future demands."

The AFGSC team had to overcome a number of challenges, which helped contribute to their winning the Creech award.

From March to November 2014, Minot's runway was closed for repair. As a result, the 5th Bomb Wing had to operate from three different locations.

"This created strain on manpower, supply and equipment while continuing to meet AFGSC, PACOM and STRATCOM requirements," Brunts said. "We had to take an unprecedented approach to ensure our nuclear commitment was met. This was accomplished through extraordinary maintenance actions that kept the aircraft in flying condition despite not having an operational runway."

Another challenge was the operational loss of UH-1N helicopters.

"Since 2010, AFGSC has experienced two aircraft mishaps with the most current in 2013. With the efforts of our staff, a fast-track approval to repair a crash damage UH-1N in lieu of disposal was obtained and is scheduled to deliver in November 2015," Brunts said. "Additionally, a replacement aircraft was moved from another command to "fill the gap" until the repaired aircraft is returned."

Kingsley said winning the award is really is a testament to the entire aircraft sustainment enterprise.

"It starts with the exceptional maintenance execution accomplished by the maintainers in the wing with the support of the headquarters staff and the AFMC sustainment team," he said. "This is truly an enterprise accomplishment that embodies a team effort. An award like the General Creech gives us confidence that as a focused team, we're meeting our goals and the mission of the Air Force and this nation."

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