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Archive for the ‘MRO’ Category

Airmen Innovate, Ensure HH-60W’s First Deployment

Friday, November 25th, 2022

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) —

In preparation for the Air Force’s newest rescue platform’s first deployment, Airmen from the 41st Rescue and Rescue Generation Squadrons conducted extensive training to learn the intricacies of the new HH-60W Jolly Green II.

As a result of the increase in training, the 41st RQS expended more of the aircraft’s hoist cables than anticipated, lending to a potential shortfall. A team of 41st RGS maintenance Airmen, however, quickly recognized the need to replace these cables and jumped at the chance to accelerate change and make an Air Force-wide impact.

“Our maintenance Airmen have a won’t-fail mentality and are constantly working to make things better not only for the 23rd Maintenance Group but for the entire Air Force,” said Col. Jason Purdy, 23rd MXG commander.

These hoists are critical to the success of combat search and rescue operations. They are used in high-stakes scenarios to rescue individuals in dangerous or remote areas that aren’t accessible by ground transportation, or if the victim is trapped by fire or water.

Recognizing the need to adapt, the Airmen came together and discovered they could circumvent the supply shortage by using the HH-60G Pave Hawk cables in the HH-60W with only slight modifications.

“We used our subject matter expertise to troubleshoot the issue,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Cellini, 41st RGS flying crew chief. “We improvised and adapted to overcome the supply shortage, by using a cable that we know is reliable and the Air Force has plenty of.”

Cellini and his counterparts went to the field training detachment hoist trainer to test and write the operating procedures for converting the HH-60G cables for use in the HH-60W. The process ensured the safe use of the hoist cables by synchronizing the speed in which they extend at the appropriate points of the cable.

The 41st RGS submitted an engineer request and engineers from Warner Robins Air Force Base came to Moody AFB to provide safety checks and approve the process.

With the process approved and implemented, the rescue Airmen ensured the HH-60W was fully mission-capable and ready to deploy by Air Combat Command’s initial operational capability deadline.

“Finding and testing this information and realizing it can work for us is going to make a huge difference knowing there will never be a shortage of cables,” said Master Sgt. Jonathan Holford, 41st RGS production superintendent.

Discovering innovative solutions for unpredictable circumstances is a testament to the Airmen who feel empowered to do so. The Airmen with the 41st RGS said they feel confident in providing creative solutions to these shortfalls thanks to their leadership.

“People say aircraft maintenance is pretty black and white, but some of it’s not,” Cellini said. “Our leadership is open to ideas; as long as it’s safe and we can effectively and efficiently accomplish it, our whole chain of command will back us.”

Holford attributed the success of the organization to this leadership philosophy and the teamwork mentality fostered within the unit.

“We encourage Airmen to solve problems,” Holford said. “We always want to afford them the opportunity to fail, but we fail together; we learn from it and continue to grow on what we learned.”

The mission relies on Airmen’s ingenuity and initiative to succeed, and Moody AFB Airmen have exemplified these traits throughout the transition to the HH-60W.

“I’m very proud of our maintainers for leading the way on the HH-60W fleet,” Purdy said. “Whether it’s been a hoist, a gun system, or a lapse in technical data, our Airmen developed ways to make the entire program better.”

Story Airman 1st Class Deanna Muir, 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Photos by Staff Sergeant Devin Boyer

SOFWERX – Support Truck Prototype Virtual Assessment Event

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

SOFWERX, in collaboration with USSOCOM, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC), the United States Navy, and the Accelerator for Innovative Minds (AIM), will host a Virtual Assessment Event (AE) 03-05 January 2023, leveraging their hybrid accelerator model to develop a proof of concept for an advanced manufacturing mobile workstation. This event will provide opportunities for direct dialogue with Warfighters, and Government Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to lower the barrier to working with the DoD and accelerate disruptive technologies and processing to the field.

The objective is to design, manufacture, and test three mobile workstations that facilitate the transportation of at least four personnel and six server storage racks (42 Rack Units 19”x32”), workbenches, alternate access into the workstation, and provide a climate-controlled workspace with the ability to store and consume meals within the mobile workstation.

The mobile workstation allows teams of four personnel to drive to mission areas with multiple racks of equipment and hardware. The 20’ mobile workstation provides the ability to fabricate and modify aluminum mounting foundations. Additionally, the mobile workstation must supply multiple internal and external 20A 120 VAC power receptacles to power tools and test equipment.

More info here.

To participate, submit NLT 28 November 2022 11:59 PM ET.

Noctis Technologies Awarded Maintenance Contract for Iraqi Night Vision Systems

Monday, October 24th, 2022

Noctis Technologies supplies the United States government and its allies with state-of-the-art night vision systems and components.

With over 70 years of experience in the design, manufacture, maintenance, and operational use of various night vision devices, Noctis Technologies has been a leading/pioneering company and manufacturer of these components on a global scale.

In 2022, Noctis Technologies was awarded a multi-million, multi-year contract to fulfill a military foreign sales requirement on behalf of the security assistance management directorate for the country of Iraq. The requirement is for the life-cycle repair and return of night vision devices. Noctis Technologies has extensive experience in NVD repair and return programs around the world.

TNVC Offering Repairs, Maintenance, and Extended Warranty on Select L3Harris Night Vision Systems

Monday, September 26th, 2022

REDLANDS, Calif., Sep 26, 2022— Tactical Night Vision Company (TNVC) announced today repair and maintenance, and extended warranty support for select L3Harris night vision systems.

Repair and maintenance support will be available for the L3Harris-produced Binocular Night Vision Device (BNVD) product line including the AN/PVS-31, 31A, 31B and 31C, BNVD-1531; the M914A and AN/PVS-14. In addition, all PVS-31, BNVD-1531, and M914A systems purchased through TNVC or one of our dealers will include an in-house five-year extended warranty.

Released for unrestricted commercial sales by TNVC in early-2021, the L3Harris BNVD-family and AN/PVS-14 (M914A) are some of the most popular and proven night vision systems in existence. These high performance L3Harris goggles are identical to those currently in service with USSOCOM and the DoD and provide end-users with critical situational awareness while conducting complex tasks under the cover of darkness. These goggles increase user safety and survivability while reducing liability by enabling end-users to clearly see, identify, and discriminate between potential threats and non-threats.

“At TNVC, we believe in a focus on the end-user and the end-user’s needs, whether they are an armed professional, lawfully-armed citizen, or recreational user. Our commitment to our customers, education, and training does not end when we’ve made a sale. Sustainment is vitally important to any kind of viable operational capability at any level, and we at TNVC are proud to be able to provide full-spectrum support to users of all walks of life,” said Augee Kim, chief operating officer for TNVC.  

Only a small number of organizations possess the training, knowledge, and equipment to properly service and maintain the BNVD. TNVC recently completed training with L3Harris’ field repairs team in Londonderry, New Hampshire on proper repair and maintenance of the BNVD family. Armed with this training and state-of-the-art diagnostic and repair equipment and specialized tools and materials to conduct these repairs, TNVC is prepared to support these systems throughout their lifecycles.

While all factory L3Harris night vision systems carry a one-year warranty, all L3Harris BNVDs (AN/PVS-31A), BNVD-1531s, and M914A MNVDs (AN/PVS-14) purchased direct from TNVC or one of our dealers will be backed by an exclusive, in-house five-year extended warranty through TNVC, retroactive to all night vision systems purchased on or after January 19th, 2021 through TNVC or a TNVC dealer.  

Like our Lifetime Limited Warranty, TNVC’s in-house five-year extended warranty on L3Harris’ finished night vision systems will cover any and all manufacturing or assembly defects, including image intensifier tubes on systems purchased through TNVC or a TNVC Dealer, providing customers with even greater confidence in their equipment and its sustainability.

tnvc.com/shop/category/brands/l3-harris-technologies

TNVC is an L3Harris Factory-Direct Spare Parts Distributor: tnvc.com/shop/category/l3harris-spare-parts

For TNVC’s L3Harris Repair and Maintenance Service inquiries, please contact the Build, Repair, and Maintenance Team at: [email protected]

Airman Accelerates Change Through Persistence, Develops Tool for RPAs

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) —

In 2015, the 3rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit was tasked with reducing cargo taken on an MQ-1 Predator alert package with the goal to decrease the need for two C-17 Globemaster IIIs to only one. Then Tech. Sgt. Bridget Carroll had an idea to help achieve this goal with the creation of a “bird-in-a-box” later known as the Digital Aircraft Link Emulator, or DALE.

Though Carroll created the solution, she was not met with instant success. Her journey took seven years.

Spring 2015 – Need was discovered.

July 2015 – First MQ-1 DALE prototype created.

September 2015 – Airman Powered by Innovation submitted.

Spring 2016 – Space Dynamics Lab at the University of Utah created two DALE MQ-9 Reaper prototypes.

August 2018 – Air Force Special Operations Command 2019 Spark Tank competition submitted.

October 2018 – API disapproval

October 2018 – Notified that MQ-9 DALE had won AFSOC Spark Tank Top 5.

February 2019 – DALE presented at Air Force Association Spark Tank.

Present – DALE Jr. developed and employed.

“If we could mobilize our capability without an actual aircraft then we could get down range and get operational faster,” Carroll said. “I had the idea to put the minimum amount of aircraft parts in a box to still do line-of-sight checks with our control stations after we set up a field site.”

During her planning phase of DALE, the Air Force was retiring the MQ-1, which resulted in a lower risk if the aircraft parts were damaged during the project’s initial stages.

“Once all the parts came in, I took the MQ-1 computer, gutted an electronics case that was awaiting DRMO, spliced cables, drilled mounting brackets, and pieced together the first “bird-in-a-box” prototype,” she said.

Before the existence of DALE, this process would require more than 10 Airmen to accompany the package, set it up and tow the remotely piloted aircraft around the airfield to ensure link connections were made.

Today, the DALE can be unloaded and ready for use with two Airmen in less than an hour. It is used to establish line of sight connections on a remote airfield and can be unloaded, set up and prepared for link checks in a more efficient manner.

Carroll’s idea and her creation of DALE serve as an inspiration for all Airmen to lean into innovation to accelerate change.

“Spark Tank is a chance to celebrate our Air Force risk-takers, idea makers and entrepreneurs who refuse to accept the status quo and have determined their own fate by developing solutions that make it easier for us to bring our very best to the fight,” said Lauren Knausenberger, Spark Tank director.

Innovation competitions like Spark Tank create an avenue for Airmen to think outside of the box and in Carroll’s case, put her idea in a box.

“Don’t give up,” she said. “There’s always people and other avenues out there that will help you.”

Staff Sgt. Chase Ward, 727th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron avionics craftsman, began working alongside Carroll and the DALE jr. prototype last year and has witnessed the impact of her innovation. He said that the final version of DALE is in the process of being manufactured and sent out Air Force wide.

“I appreciate being able to watch this process go full circle,” Ward said. “It is awesome to know that our ideas do matter.”

Carroll’s journey and level of success is a testimony to hard work, dedication and the impact of empowering Airmen with a culture of innovation. She did not allow a hurdle such as not winning a competition prevent her from accomplishing her goals.

Story by TSgt Kaylee Clark

Photos by SSgt Candin Muniz

27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

Airman’s Innovation Saves Time, Money

Sunday, August 28th, 2022

RAF MILDENHALL, United Kingdom (AFNS) —

Thousands of hours are spent each year removing and installing a boom cover on a KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft – hours that could be used elsewhere. One 100th Maintenance Squadron Airman has invented a new boom cover tool that has the potential to save the U.S. Air Force 40,000 man-hours and approximately $1 million per year.

“I noticed as soon as I got to Mildenhall that removing and installing the boom cover was tedious and time consuming,” said Airman 1st Class Jacob Helzer, 100th MXS hydraulics maintenance journeyman. “Removing the cover the conventional way involves calling the Aerospace Ground Equipment backshop for an aircraft stand and requires two Airmen and a substantial amount of time.”

The current conventional method hinders daily operations, whereas the innovative solution Helzer created is easier, takes less time and lessens the impact on the flow of operations.

“One of the maintenance crew chiefs reached out because he knew I enjoy 3D printing and design and believed I could come up with a solution for the boom cover,” Helzer said. “I then came up with a prototype for a tool that could make the process much smoother.”

Tech Sgt. Steven Jakubowski said Helzer is always looking for ways to innovate and constantly asking questions to gain further knowledge. 

“He spent a lot of his free time, outside of work, designing the boom cover tool,” Jakubowski said. 

Helzer, using his skill and knowledge with 3D printing, created a prototype called the “Boom Cover Tool.” The tool was manufactured with Helzer’s 3D printer and resembles a butterfly net on the end of a retractable pole with a hoop mechanism that tightens and loosens the net covering on the opposite end. 

“Once I created the prototype, I brought it to my section and tested it out,” Helzer said. “A 30-minute job became a one-minute job with the Boom Cover Tool.” 

The Boom Cover Tool greatly reduces the number of man-hours needed every time a cover needs to be removed or installed on an aircraft and the cover itself better protects the boom pod during adverse weather conditions. 

Each Boom Cover Tool costs roughly $200 to produce. 

“The projected savings were calculated by him and I while submitting for Spark Tank by using the 2021 comptroller document for wages,” Jakubowski said. 

“I did the math and the projected savings for the Air Force if they utilized the Boom Cover Tool for the entirety of the refueling fleet would be approximately $1 million and potentially 40,000 man-hours annually,” Helzer added. 

In order to meet this goal, Helzer has been collaborating with the MXS fabrication flight to produce the test prototypes for each aircraft here. 

“Once we have everything streamlined, we can move into the beta testing phase, which is roughly six months, then move on to scaling up for the entire KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft fleet,” Helzer said. 

Moving forward, Helzer plans on developing a batch of tools for the local KC-135 fleet to prove the design concept. Helzer would then like to contract the fabrication of a final, more durable prototype and share the Boom Cover Tool throughout the entire fleet and modify the design to be adopted for other variations of refueling aircraft. 

“Helzer has been a go-getter from the moment he arrived on station and is always hungry to learn all aspect of his job, and his critical thinking skills are some of the bests I’ve ever seen,” Jakubowski said. 

Helzer has always been motivated to improve himself and the way things are done at his job, and one example of this is the Boom Cover Tool. 

“This is how change starts, by questioning the way we do things and coming up with a solution that will benefit Airmen at all levels,” Helzer said. “I created the Boom Cover Tool to make the lives of my Wingmen easier and inspire Airmen to devise and implement new ideas to help improve even the simplest tasks.” 

By Airman 1st Class Alvaro Villagomez, 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

109th AW Modernizes LC-130 for Future Fight

Tuesday, April 5th, 2022

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AFNS) —  

LC-130 Hercules aircraft will have a smoother takeoff from Antarctica and Greenland thanks to the 109th Maintenance Squadron. 

Propulsion specialists with the 109th assembled the first Air National Guard-built T56 3.5 turbo engine. The 3.5 modification is part of an Air Force initiative to update C-130 aircraft. 

The 109th’s engine is the first to be assembled in-unit by Airmen. 

This 3.5 engine is the finishing piece to modernizing the 109th’s legacy fleet into a more powerful and eco-friendly force. 

Operating the Defense Department’s only ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules aircraft, the 109th MXS deploys annually to the austere environments of Greenland and Antarctica in support of the National Science Foundation. 

Occasionally, the aircraft have trouble taking off from icy surfaces of these areas of operation due to heavy cargo loads or friction lock under the skis. 

Traditionally, jet-assisted takeoff bottles are used to create extra thrust to get the aircraft off the snow or ice and into the air. JATO production, however, officially stopped in 1991. 

Maj. Jim Roth, 109th MXS commander, explained the increasing challenges using JATO. 

“They are depleting, and every time we use them, we have to shoot eight off at a time, and it begins to present a real logistical concern when it comes to the decreasing supply,” Roth said. 

The new T56-8-15A 3.5 engines, combined with the LC-130H’s NP2000 eight-bladed propellers, are the answer to beginning to shift away from JATO bottles. 

“The updated features allow the aircraft to create the same thrust as JATO bottles but at lower operating temperatures, making them more eco-friendly,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Candido, a propulsion specialist with the 109th. “We’re looking at an efficiency of about 20 percent more fuel efficiency compared to the 3.0 engine.” 

The aircraft will also be able to carry heavier cargo loads to remote polar regions. 

“We are the only heavy airlift able to reach these remote polar camps. These new engines allow for greater range and capacity. We’re advancing the Arctic Strategy that much more,” Roth said. “It’s the expertise and abilities of 109th Airmen like Jason Candido that drive us forward.” 

Candido, who has been at the 109th for more than 10 years, was one of the Airmen who assembled the new engine. 

“This is the exact same engine that we’ve been using for years. Just the internals are different,” Candido said. “The updated engine uses different types of metal in the turbine and compressor that have better heat retention, giving us the same power at lower temperatures.” 

Assembling the 3.5 engine is a two-person job that took approximately a month to complete, he said. 

“This is exactly what the National Guard is all about. It’s about retaining key talent and having an experienced workforce. Bringing that to the table allows us to do this stuff,” Roth said. 

“For me, there’s a lot of pride in putting this engine together,” Candido said. “A lot of people just look at the engine, but I look at my work. It’s like art.” 

The improved engines will also cut down on frequent maintenance and inspection. 

When the LC-130Hs finished the transition from four to eight-bladed propellers in 2018, Candido said there was a noticeable difference in maintenance time. 

“Whenever we had a seal leak in Antarctica, you couldn’t replace that one blade. You had to do the entire process to put a brand new one back on,” Candido said. 

The eight-bladed propellers, however, are designed for a simpler fix in the event of a seal leak. 

“We went from having an engine with a day-and-a-half downtime to maybe two hours, and then it’s flying again,” Candido said. 

The 109th propulsion shop has the approval to assemble the rest of the 3.5 engines, some in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

Members from the 109th MXS will attend a conference at the end of March to discuss a timeline to outfit all LC-130Hs with the 3.5 engines. 

“We are plowing ahead with our own builds to help supplement the force. We are building ours quickly, so we’re ready to go as soon as possible,” Roth said.

By SSgt Madison Daquelente, 109th Air Wing Public Affairs

Cyberlux BrightEye System

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

The BrightEye System by Cyberlux is the Primary Tactical Maintenance & Emergency Lighting System for Army National Guard Aviation and has been used extensively CONUS/OCONUS for readiness, disaster and combat sustainment operations. The National Guard Bureau chose the BrightEye System and it has been distributed via the four Theatre Aviation Sustainment Maintenance Groups (TASMG) to multiple units assigned to the 52 States and Territories within the Army National Guard.

• Super-Bright White and Infrared Solid-State Tactical Lighting System

• Militarized, All-Terrain and Rain Ready / Setup in 2 Minutes

• Over 16+ Hours Run Time On High; AC Powered Option

• Each System delivers 1100 foot-candles at 15ft target, 20X typical lighting

• Directed White & IR Illumination on Target Area over 1000 feet

• Infinite Brightness / Power Consumption Control

• Infinite Beam Range Control 6° to 120°

• Ball Head Mount for 360° Pan 150° Tilt

• Electronic Fuel Gauge Interface Displays Run Time

• Dual and Single Head Systems Available

• Lightweight QuadPod Adjustable Stand to 8ft

• 2CP0170 System Includes:

2 QuadPods, 

2 Light Heads, 

2 UBI Li-Ion Batteries 

Two Single Bay Chargers

Rugged Self-Contained System Case

• Total System & Carrying Case 69lb

• Wireless System Control and Operation / Simultaneous Charge & Run Capability 

Solar power system available

NSNs available on most systems

To learn more about Cyberlux and The ARG Group, check out their latest partner agreement : 

finance.yahoo.com/news/cyberlux-corporation-otc-cybl-arg-203500790

For more info, contact [email protected]