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U-2 Phase Maintenance

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jullana McCall, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, bolts an N-cap on a U-2 Dragon Lady at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020. An N-Cap is a cover that goes over the elevator to protect the inner mechanisms on the U-2 Dragon Lady. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

Tech. Sgt. Alvin Inthapatha, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, tightens a bolt on a U-2 Dragon Lady’s tail mechanics at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020. The tail end controls the U-2 Dragon Lady's pitch and yaw allowing the plane to ascend, descend and turn left or right. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

Tech. Sgt. Alvin Inthapatha, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, tightens a bolt on a U-2 Dragon Lady’s tail mechanics at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020. The tail end controls the U-2 Dragon Lady's pitch and yaw allowing the plane to ascend, descend and turn left or right. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

Tech. Sgt. Alvin Inthapatha, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, tightens a bolt on a U-2 Dragon Lady’s tail mechanics at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020. The tail end controls the U-2 Dragon Lady's pitch and yaw allowing the plane to ascend, descend and turn left or right. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

Tech. Sgt. Alvin Inthapatha, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, tightens a bolt on a U-2 Dragon Lady’s tail mechanics at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020. The tail end controls the U-2 Dragon Lady's pitch and yaw allowing the plane to ascend, descend and turn left or right. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jullana McCall, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, bolts an N-cap on a U-2 Dragon Lady at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020. An N-Cap is a cover that goes over the elevator to protect the inner mechanisms on the U-2 Dragon Lady. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

U.S. Air Force U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jullana McCall, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, bolts an N-cap on a U-2 Dragon Lady at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020 . The 9th Maintenance Group maintains the fleet of U-2s to deliver high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance globally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, work mon the tail of a U-2 Dragon Lady

U.S. Air Force U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jullana McCall, 9th Maintenance Squadron repair and reclamation craftsman, bolts an N-cap on a U-2 Dragon Lady at Beale Air Force Base, California, April 20, 2020 . The 9th Maintenance Group maintains the fleet of U-2s to deliver high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance globally. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Colville McFee)

Beale Air Force Base, Calif. --

Keeping the mission going is part of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing’s (RW) goals, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U-2 Dragon lady is vital to the mission globally and in order to keep the mission going the plane needs to be maintained, to do that, Airmen from the 9th Maintenance Squadron (MXS) deconstruct the plane during phase maintenance. 

“We know what it takes to get the mission done and we work hard to make sure we are detailed in our work,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jullana McCall, 9th MXS repair and reclamation craftsman. “ In a time like this, where we have to work minimal manning it is tough, but we trust each other to perform our part.”

With the COVID-19, the 9th RW has taken protective measures to ensure Airmen are safe with protective equipment and minimal manning for physical distancing.

“Each part of the plane has different workers who specialize on specific parts and with our leadership taking care of us, we are able to split shifts and not over crowd the area.” said Tech. Sgt. Alvin Inthapatha, 9th MXS repair and reclamation craftsman.

Phase maintenance happens on the aircraft after 1,000 hours of flying. On a normal phase maintenance it takes roughly 12 days to complete, but with minimal manning and physical distancing, it has taken longer.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that our leadership trusts us to complete the mission and that they are looking out for us.” Inthapatha said, “They’ve been taking necessary precautions and being realistic about deadlines and mission requirements in such a hectic unknown time.