Tackling C-17 maintenance delays head-on

By Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Moody/446th pao on December 26, 2011

(446th AW PA) - If anyone can come up with a design which could help keep C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in the air, it shouldn't be a surprise when that idea comes from the 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
Reserve maintainers are applying their expertise and a new innovative model to help keep McChord's C-17 fleet in maximum shape, to sustain global strategic airlift missions.
Although a fairly new idea, the targeted maintenance concept has been successful in providing Reservists a sense of value while helping reduce delayed discrepancies in the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings.
"The concept is nothing more than an organized team of maintainers from several AFSCs, led by an air reserve technician, who work with the single focus of reducing an aircraft's delayed discrepancies," said Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Meyer, 446th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron superintendent. "Delayed discrepancies are non-grounding findings that need repaired or replaced, but not urgent enough to be done immediately."
According to Meyer, delayed discrepancies are one of many measuring sticks that reflect a wing's maintenance management, which is monitored by Air Mobility Command. Examples of delayed discrepancies are replacing noncritical aircraft parts such as equipment locker storage nets or resealing an angle of attack.
"In the 446th AMXS, we started a trial test of the TMT concept last year with three teams," said Meyer. "The results were impressive, each team removed approximately 50 DDs from McChord's fleet. The active duty were very receptive to this added source of expert manpower to their equation, so we increased it to 12 TMTs this year."
Tech. Sgt. James Castle, 446th AMXS crew chief here, said he lead a team of 17 Reservists in September, who spent their annual training tour working on about 59 delayed discrepancies on 12 C-17s.
"This training provided the Reservists the opportunity to work systems they haven't seen in awhile and gain experience, while reducing the DD rate," said Castle.
Keeping McChord's fleet in top shape with the benefit of Reservists gaining additional maintenance experience is a win-win for all.
"The targeted maintenance team is a great opportunity for a traditional Reservist to spend their annual tour," said Senior Airman Alex Barley, 446th AMXS crew chief here. "It gives airmen a chance to gain experience working on the aircraft that we normally wouldn't have the time for on a UTA weekend. I believe it works well because we can accomplish tasks and learn how the flightline works in depth."

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