Innovative thinking leads to first local E-4B wash since flood

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  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

For the first time in a little more than a year, the 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron found a way to wash an E-4B aircraft here April 20, 2020.

The unit’s Allman Maintenance Facility has been without running water since floodwaters ravaged portions of the installation in March 2019, but thanks to some innovative thinking, the 595th AMXS came up with a solution to accomplish this requirement amid COVID-19 restrictions.

“It is great to be back,” said Lt. Col. James Hodges, 595th AMXS commander. “This shows our adversaries that COVID-19 is not stopping us.”

Since the flood, all E-4B aircraft washes have been waived or accomplished off-station. However, with the outbreak of COVID-19, the unit desperately wanted to find a way to accomplish this task here to avoid any unnecessary exposure to their maintainers.

“Prior to this, we were sending 60 Airmen to another base to wash the aircraft,” Hodges said, “and obviously less travel at this time is better.”

The unit’s facility manager coordinated with the 55th Civil Engineering Squadron’s plumbing shop and fire department to see whether the fire hydrants located outside of the Allman Maintenance Facility were operational.

After a few test cases, the 595th AMXS received the green light to proceed with this new process.

“I would like to thank all of the organizations that contributed to bringing this capability back,” Hodges said. “This is a huge win for our unit.”

Being able to accomplish this task here is just one of the many obstacles the unit has had to face since the flood. Through extended TDYs, limited alert facility use and without a fully-operational hangar to support aircraft maintenance, they have continued to ensure the 595th Command & Control Group has accomplished its no-fail mission.

“The 595th AMXS has overcome an incredible amount of challenges over the past year,” said Lt. Col. Derek Ligon, 595th C2G deputy commander. “Their hard work, perseverance and dedication has been impressive. Our critical mission would not have sustained this past year without it.”

The 595th AMXS is one of four squadrons within the 595th C2G, which is a geographically separated unit of Eighth Air Force.