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

Airmen spray an E4B using a fire hose connected to a fire hydrant.

A 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airman uses a fire hose to spray an E-4B during the first was at home station in over a year 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kendra Williams)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

Airman 1st Class Kristina Brady, 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, cleans the front landing gear of the E-4B during the first cleaning in the Allman Maintenance Facility since floodwaters ravaged portions of the installation in March 2019. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

Airman 1st Class Alex Toscano, 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, scrubs the landing gear of E-4B during the first home station cleaning in more than a year April 20, 2020. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

A 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airman uses a fire hose to spray the wing of an E-4B as two Airmen prepare to scrub it during the first was at home station in over a year 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

Staff Sgt. Chad Price, 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, scrubs an E-4B at the Allman Maintenance Facility April 20, 2020, during the first E-4B cleaning here since floodwaters ravaged portions of the installation in March 2019. The 595th AMXS has been without water since the flood and had previously waived or accomplished all washes 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen scrub an E-4B at the Allman Maintenance Facility April 20, 2020, during the first E-4B cleaning here since floodwaters ravaged portions of the installation in March 2019. The 595th AMXS has been without water since the flood and had previously waived or accomplished all washes 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

Staff Sgt. Muncy Stapleton, 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, sprays the landing gear of the E-4B during the aircraft's first home station cleaning in the unit’s Allman Maintenance Facility April 20, 2020. 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. 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kendra Williams)

An airman cleans an E-4B at Offutt Air Force Base

Senior Airman Cordell Sebasto, 595th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, scrubs an E-4B at the Allman Maintenance Facility April 20, 2020, during the first E-4B cleaning here since floodwaters ravaged portions of the installation in March 2019. The 595th AMXS has been without water since the flood and had previously waived or accomplished all washes 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. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. William A. O'Brien)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

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.