New repair process offers success

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron perform repairs on an F-16CM Fighting Falcon at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 25, 2016. The repairs are part of an all-encompassing process, the Repair Network Enhancement Program, which is used by the 20th MXG to ensure that aircraft parts meet all specifications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron perform repairs on an F-16CM Fighting Falcon at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 25, 2016. The repairs are part of an all-encompassing process, the Repair Network Enhancement Program, which is used by the 20th MXG to ensure that aircraft parts meet all specifications. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Isaiah English, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer, examines the wiring under an F-16CM Fighting Falcon at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 25, 2017. English examined the wire to ensure that it was within safety regulations and made repairs where needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Isaiah English, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer, examines the wiring under an F-16CM Fighting Falcon at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 25, 2017. English examined the wire to ensure that it was within safety regulations and made repairs where needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cory Thompson, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer, inspects the bottom of an F-16CM Fighting Falcon during a “canning” procedure at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 25, 2017. Canning is a term used to describe the procedure of removing working pieces of equipment from a grounded aircraft and installing them into on another aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Cory Thompson, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tactical aircraft maintainer, inspects the bottom of an F-16CM Fighting Falcon during a “canning” procedure at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Jan. 25, 2017. Canning is a term used to describe the procedure of removing working pieces of equipment from a grounded aircraft and installing them into on another aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- With the mission of the U.S. Air Force constantly evolving, the aircraft which keep that mission alive need to evolve as well.

The F-16CM Fighting Falcons assigned to Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, will reach a point where they will need their parts transplanted or repaired to keep them airborne, and it is the job of the Airmen assigned to the 20th Maintenance Group to troubleshoot and take appropriate maintenance actions.

Since the Air Combat Command initiative was implemented in November 2015, the Repair Network Enhancement Program has allowed 20th MXG Airmen to more efficiently determine whether aircraft parts and equipment are expendable, serviceable or repairable.

Once a part has been filtered into one of the three categories, proper action will be taken to either send item to be discarded, send the part to an ACC maintenance depot for repairs or install it into an aircraft in need.

“The faster the depots can get the equipment back to the maintainers, the faster the maintainers can get the Falcons back in the fight,” said Senior Master Sgt. Yvonne Brown, 20th MXG supply liaison. “Whenever there is a piece of equipment that needs special attention, the 20th MXG sends these parts to another base that can assist with repairs.”

Bases that assist in the process by serving as repair depots include, but are not limited to, Robins AFB, Georgia, and Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. As these depots complete repairs, they send parts out to their respective bases to be reinstalled.

With the assistance of fellow ACC bases, maintenance can be done on repairable items, helping to increase the number of 20th Fighter Wing jets that are mission-ready.

One of the program’s main purposes is to assist in briefing 20th FW leadership about the impact of the RNEP cycle on base assets, said Brown. If the program gets stagnant in any aspect, the aircraft on base will not be able to perform their sorties and accomplish the mission.

Although this process hasn’t had an extensive lifespan, Shaw has implemented it to make an impact on the Falcons on base and aircraft around the Air Force.

“With programs like RNEP and the Air Force Repair Enhancement Program in place,” said Tech. Sgt. Scott Williams 20th Component Maintenance Squadron AFREP manager, “the 20th MXG has saved the base, and the Air Force, over $5 million. It helps let the commander know what the problems are, and what he can do to solve it and increase its impact on the aircraft.”

Because of their adoption of the new process, 20th MXG Airmen ensure grounded jets in need of repair receive a needed transplant, helping keep Shaw’s Fighting Falcons in the fight.