The future of Egress, Air Force

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Destani K. Matheny
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Setting up the world to be better than you found it can be as big as mentoring a young Airman below you, or as small as picking up trash on the ground. Airmen assigned to the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron egress shop have embodied innovation by creating a new shop entirely, for the future of CMS and potentially the entire Air Force.

With the help of innovation cell funding, egress Airmen have designed and built a compact, fully capable and self-contained deployable egress shop.

The 20th CMS egress shop’s mission is to support a combat-ready wing of F-16 Vipers and equipment by maintaining, repairing and rebuilding the egress system, which is the aircraft's system that allows pilots to eject from the jet in case of an emergency.

“Whenever you deploy or go on temporary duty travel, you’re going to have host nation or state reliance,” said Tech Sgt. Christopher Johnston, 20th Maintenance Group quality assurance. “They might not have the available resources for an egress shop to be stood up but with this, it’s guaranteed.”

One of the concepts of Agile Combat Employment is to operate from locations with varying levels of capacity, which requires innovation and scalable supply and equipment packages. Innovation like this contributes to better operations and logistics integration and keeps our pilots safe, improving mission readiness and increasing capabilities in austere environments.

“This supports the ACE concept by being able to provide egress maintenance anywhere, anytime,” said Tech Sgt. Adam Peil, 20th CMS egress systems noncommissioned officer in charge. “We have a reduced footprint, everything we need to do our mission and it can be transported by any military means, whether that be by truck, cargo aircraft or boat.”

The self-contained shop comes with a fully functional eye wash station, fire extinguisher and grounding system, passing all safety regulations and needs for a regular egress shop.

“It contains all the necessary items that would be found inside a regular egress shop, just at about one tenth the size,” said Tech Sgt. Brian Darnell, 20th CMS egress systems. “The weapons safety office did a full inspection on it, loved it and gave it their stamp of approval.”

The 20th Fighter Wing is continuously looking for opportunities to accelerate change and work toward being a more progressive and capable force.

“The innovation showcased today is the best of egress. Our maintainers are taking the ACE concepts and running with them,” said Maj. Evin Greensfelder, 20th CMS commander. “Their idea to ‘kit’ our capabilities is how we need to continue to think to make ourselves more agile and ultimately more lethal.”