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Posted: 5/21/2008 11:20:38 PM EST


Wing maintenance, logistics to merge with operations

5/21/2008 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- On May 12, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley signed the Global Wing Structure Program Action Directive 08-01. PAD 08-01 directs the realignment of fighter, rescue and bomber aircraft maintenance units under flying squadrons.

The Air Force will implement these changes between July 1 and Nov. 30. Major command officials will determine on what specific dates each participating wing will implement these changes.

"I believe the most effective formula is to structure Air Force units by mission and not by function, and aligning maintenance units responsible for sortie generation together with the flying squadrons they support is best for our Air Force," General Moseley said when he made the announcement for such changes Dec. 7. "Aircraft maintenance is a vital element of a flying squadron's mission, and the maintainers who directly support sortie generation belong in that chain of command."

Maj. Gen. Robert H. McMahon, director of maintenance, deputy chief of staff for logistics, installations and mission support, believes these changes will strengthen the relationship between operators and maintainers.

"The difference is comparable to the relationship between neighbors and family," he said. "You know your neighbors, but not as well as you know your family. You have a general idea of what your neighbors are doing, but it's not the same as what you know about your family. By marrying up these units, we will be better connected with each other and better able to understand each other's challenges and strengths."

Aligning aircraft maintenance units responsible for sortie generation together with the flying squadrons they support provides combatant commanders with the most complete and capable fighting squadrons possible, officials said. It also allows the operations group commander to focus on the generation and employment of airpower. In short, it generates the mission generation command chain.

A new materiel group at wing-level will create a new structure that is aligned to better support the logistics enterprise, flying wings and combatant commanders. The logistics readiness squadron, aerial support squadron and the remaining maintenance squadrons form the materiel group and will consolidate traditional logistics functions under a single logistics leader in the wing. The global wing structure also positions the logistics community for future transformation initiatives.

"The squadron is the building block of Air Force organizational structure, and they must be organized for success," General Moseley said. "These initiatives allow us to take advantage of process improvements, pool our resources and reorient our squadrons around our mission."

In the past, the Air Force used an 'objective wing' structure that merged maintainers and operators. However, there are differences between the objective wing structure and the new one. Major transformation initiatives are recasting how the Air Force is organized. Manpower reductions and budget challenges have led to many centralization and consolidation or regionalization initiatives.


This will be the third time in less than 20 years that we have flip-flopped on where maintenance belongs. At least we are returning to the structure that I prefer.
Link Posted: 5/22/2008 3:18:56 AM EST
I never did quite understand how you guys ran maintenance.
Link Posted: 5/22/2008 3:41:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By QUIB:
I never did quite understand how you guys ran maintenance.


In a nutshell: We fix everything, and don't contract all of our hard/complicated/heavy maintenance out to Dynacorps and Arinc.
Link Posted: 5/22/2008 5:43:46 AM EST
Well I guess you would need an understanding of how Army Aviation units operate, and where they perform their maintenance.

We never operated from fixed airfields with hangers and maintenance facilities. We most often performed our maintenance out in the middle of the desert, in the woods ect...ect.

Always working with minimal equipment. Just enough to complete the mission, being self supporting and ready to move to a new location at the drop of a hat.



The woods of Germany during the 80's..........





Below, the average “Scout Platoon”. Yes, that’s a Platoon.








Desert Storm.........

Aerial view of FAA Thompson in Saudi, a few weeks before the Ground War.



This pic below, was my ENTIRE CAV Troop during Desert Strom. You can see from the number of unit members, how small we operate.

















With that said, we had basically three levels of maintenance:

1) AVUM- Aviation Unit Maintenance

The individual units support the day-to-day operation and maintenance required on the aircraft to complete the mission.


2) AVIM- Aviation Intermediate Maintenance

Performed higher level support maintenance or maintenance the unit could not complete due to lack of time, lack of personnel or location. In the field, most often times at a rear location.

Individual units also performed tasks normally assigned to AVIM such as Phase Inspections. AVUM/AVIM tasks sometimes blended. It was not always a hard written rule.

3) Depot Level Maintenance- Usually civilian run. The Army mission simply could not support this type of requirement. Requires a fixed location with specialized equipment.

Now I can speak from both sides of the field. I was a Observation/Scout Helicopter Mechanic in the Army and when I ETS’d I became a civilian contractor. Civilian contractors do not take away from the tasks required of the units, but simply augment them.

But I understand the difference in services and their missions. I was just razzing you.

Plus, it gives me a chance to post some pics.....

Quib





Link Posted: 5/22/2008 5:54:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/22/2008 5:55:02 AM EST by Chairborne]

Originally Posted By QUIB:

With that said, we had basically three levels of maintenance:

1) AVUM- Aviation Unit Maintenance

The individual units support the day-to-day operation and maintenance required on the aircraft to complete the mission.


2) AVIM- Aviation Intermediate Maintenance

Performed higher level support maintenance or maintenance the unit could not complete due to lack of time, lack of personnel or location. In the field, most often times at a rear location.

Individual units also performed tasks normally assigned to AVIM such as Phase Inspections. AVUM/AVIM tasks sometimes blended. It was not always a hard written rule.

3) Depot Level Maintenance- Usually civilian run. The Army mission simply could not support this type of requirement. Requires a fixed location with specialized equipment.

Now I can speak from both sides of the field. I was a Observation/Scout Helicopter Mechanic in the Army and when I ETS’d I became a civilian contractor. Civilian contractors do not take away from the tasks required of the units, but simply augment them.

But I understand the difference in services and their missions. I was just razzing you.

Plus, it gives me a chance to post some pics.....

Quib




No offense brother QUIB, but things have changed since your day. I had the chance to work closely with some Army aviation bubbas at Hohenfels (no doubt you've been there). They were a medivac unit stationed at Landstuhl. We offered to help them fix a generator problem (the UH-60Ls they had are basically the same as our HH-60Gs and used the same GCU). They said thanks but we'll have to wait for daylight, we don't do "flashlight maintenance". We asked them if they did their own phases, no those are contracted out. Did you bring any avionics or powertrain guys, anything up here with you? Nah, just crew chiefs and pilots. They weren't able to fix "anything", heck not even most things, without getting somebody to fly out there and do it. We also have three levels of maintenance, just like every branch of service, though we are slowly getting rid of the second level. Eventually we'll just have 0 level and 2 level, and no 1 level at all.

From what I've seen and the Army aviation guys I've talked to, you've contracted out all but the line level maintenance.
Link Posted: 5/22/2008 6:05:50 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/22/2008 7:51:35 AM EST by QUIB]
Is that so.........

I just got off the phone yesterday with a buddy of mine in Illesheim. From what he tells me the civilian presence has decreased. When I was a contractor in the early 90's, each Battalion had a 6-man civilian support team. Now it seems only the AVIM units have support teams. The Batallion level teams have gone to the way side.

And as far as the Medevac unit at Hohenfels goes, they’re just that MEDEVAC. No where close to being a line CAV unit or Attack Unit. Big difference.

ETA: A typical CAV or Attack unit in the field had full support from Avionics and back shop personnel. And if not directly assigned to that unit, then in the next up AVIM unit.

Now, I’ve been on peace-time missions similar to your Medevac buddies from Hohenfels. Missions where I was alone to support a single aircraft. It might be a VIP mission flying some O-6 around. And in those instances it was basically just two pilots, myself, my tool bag and a few cans of 236niner-niner.

In that situation, if I had a starter/generator shit the bed I would not have had the means to R&R it either. I could trouble shoot it sure. But I’d have to get on the phone and call home for parts. And their situation was probably no different.
Link Posted: 5/22/2008 6:57:03 AM EST
Hohenfels.......Oh yes, quite familiar with Hohenfels. I spent plenty of time there! Spent plenty of time “camping” out behind the tower and the “tent hanger” at the end of the airfield. Lots of time at "Graf" as well.

Hohenfels was actually one of my favorite places to go to the field. Frau Quib’s older sister lived in Schwandorf and they used to come and visit me down the hill behind the control tower on the main road just off post.

"Hey Sgt. Quib where you been?" "How come you smell like “schnitzel und pommes“?" "And you got strudel crumbs all over your flight suit!"













Hey look! Imagine that! A MEDEVAC Blackhawk at Hohenfels! Look familiar?





But I’m glad someone here from the Air Force knows so much about how Army Aviation operates and can put me in my place.

Have a good one buddy.....and thanks for your service.



Link Posted: 5/22/2008 9:09:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By Chairborne:
In a nutshell: We fix everything, and don't contract all of our hard/complicated/heavy maintenance out to Dynacorps and Arinc.


Really? You sure?

I was recently faced with a lay-off from my airline position. (Thread is in the Aviation Forum.) I’ve since then found new work. But since I previously worked .gov contract maintenance I thought that might not be a bad job to get back into.

Guess where I was considering applying:


jobsearch.usajobs.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=64441021&AVSDM=2008%2D05%2D15+13%3A55%3A02&Logo=0&brd=3876&q=aircraft+mechanic&lid=360&FedEmp=Y&sort=rv&vw=d&brd=3876&ss=0&FedPub=Y&caller=/advanced_search.asp&SUBMIT1.x=72&SUBMIT1.y=11
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 5:02:56 PM EST
I really, really wish they would stop this changing shit around every time we get a new CSAF. Do you know how many times I've done this shit since 1981? Anyways, maintenance will now go down the tubes, again. I've worked under both concepts multiple times and the ONLY time it works is when the DCM is in charge of maintenance, not Ops. And I've already heard all the arguments for being under Ops. They don't wash. Anyways, I'll be a good Airman and salute and follow the direction from on high.
Link Posted: 5/26/2008 11:03:23 PM EST
I loved it when we were part of the Fighter Squadrons. The MXS is one of the dumber ideas the AF ever had.
Link Posted: 5/27/2008 2:06:56 AM EST
This sounds like a case of some Army guys wanting to take a break to me. We still organize maintenance the way Quib described it but any crew member is also a mechanic. Usually the best mechanics are the guys who make it to flight platoon. Yes, we use contractors but so does AF.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 6:30:01 PM EST
Just wait till they resurrect McPeak and they f**k up our uniforms again!

I still have BDUs with those stupid Aircrew Style Name Patch (ASNP) velcro rectangles on them.

And who can forget the "airline style" stripes on the sleeves of the officer's service dress jacket? That lasted a whole couple of years - Just like the ASNP did!
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