4th MXG Airmen work together to complete TCTO

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 335th Fighter Squadron takes off as a precautionary measure to avoid severe weather associated with Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 6, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. More than 40 F-15E Strike Eagles were repositioned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Shawna L. Keyes)

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 335th Fighter Squadron takes off as a precautionary measure to avoid severe weather associated with Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 6, 2016, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. More than 40 F-15E Strike Eagles were repositioned to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Shawna L. Keyes)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

Airmen from the 4th Maintenance Group worked together to complete a Time Compliance Technical Order. 

A TCTO is a specific task or inspection directed by depot engineers that must be completed on an aircraft within a specific date range. The 4th MXG received the TCTO to complete a one-time inspection of the right and left canopy sill longeron, which is where the canopy rests when it’s sealed, on 26 F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft.

“Our mighty maintainers looked for minute hairline cracks, thousandths of an inch wide, with precision equipment that uses magnetic currents to detect anomalies,” said Lt. Col. George Sherwood, 4th MXG deputy commander.

During the inspection, 21 of the 26 jets identified in the TCTO were grounded until the inspection and repairs, if needed, were complete.

According to Sherwood, nearly a quarter of the 4th FW’s fleet was grounded upon receipt of the TCTO, but maintainers worked through the weekend and identified that only two of the 26 jets were found to have cracks that required repair. Also, the fighter squadrons were still able to meet their scheduled flying hours following the TCTO.

“Our Airmen, along with two engineers from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, made the necessary repairs and returned the aircraft to fully mission capable status,” said Sherwood. “Our Airmen worked diligently from the TCTO receipt straight through the weekend. And their amazing planning and expert execution made it possible for those jets to safely [reposition] to Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, [due to severe weather associated with Hurricane Matthew].”   

Master Sgt. Brian Hilliard, 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent, helped to assemble and orchestrate the maintenance teams that worked through the TCTO. The Team comprised of 16 4th AMXS personnel with support from the 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron and 4th Component Maintenance Squadron.   

“I’m not just proud, I’m wowed by all of our 4th MXG Airmen up and down the chain of command that came together to make it all happen,” said Sherwood.