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Small shop, big savings Master Sgt. David Miller

Tech. Sgt. Andrew Wahlin attaches an air deflector to an air conditioning unit at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia, Dec. 3, 2013. Wahlin helped create 44 air deflectors which are used to on air conditioners that cool a variety of aircraft. Creating the air deflectors saved production time, time to order and ship, and maintenance dollars. Wahlin is the 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron aircraft flight equipment back shop NCO in charge deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and a Melby, Minn., native. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. David Miller)

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION - During the summer months at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing a properly working air conditioner is a priority for Airmen and for aircraft assigned here supporting decisive combat airpower and 30 percent of U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s daily air tasking order sorties.

Aerospace ground equipment technicians duplicate aircraft systems on the ground and when a critical part of the air conditioners started to fail, a two-person shop worked together to create a solution which saved production time, time to order and ship, and maintenance dollars.

Tech. Sgt. Andrew Wahlin and Staff Sgt. Nickolas Hill make up the 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron aircraft flight equipment back shop. These two airmen took the initiative to replace 44 worn air deflectors for 22 air conditioning units that are valued at nearly $172,000 each.

“We received the technical order and an air deflector and created the same product with material we had on hand,” said Hill, the AFE back shop assistant NCO in charge, who is deployed from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and a Prince George, Va., native.

The deflectors help in the efficiency of the air conditioner and prolong the life of the unit. The air deflectors installed on the units deflect hot exhaust air which is blown up and away from the intake, allowing the intake to pull cooler ambient air in.

For the two Airmen, the process took nearly 40 minutes to complete one air deflector.

“I started out a bit slow on the first one I sewed,” said Hill. “I got faster and more confident in my sewing skills as I made more of the deflectors.”

The 44 flaps the sergeants made saved nearly $17,000, not including shipping costs.

Wahlin, the AFE back shop NCO in charge, deployed from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and a Melby, Minn., native said, “We fabricate items here to repair parachutes and survival equipment for all bases in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility. The air conditioning air deflectors were reverse engineered.”

“Other units know we exist and we have skills that can save time and money,” said Capt. John Bruyere, 379th EOSS aircraft flight equipment officer, deployed from Laughlin AFB, Texas and hails from Houston. “They can come over and get a cheaper alternative that is just as good as the manufacturer’s product.”


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Small shop, big savings, by MSgt David Miller, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:12.06.2013

Date Posted:12.06.2013 04:41

Location:(UNDISCLOSED LOCATION)

Hometown:PRINCE GEORGE, VA, US

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With such robust operations, they depend on a number of maintenance back shops, like the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron hydraulic section, to keep them operating safely. 

“The hydraulic shop here supports theater-wide mishap prevention for mainly KC-135s,” said Senior Master Sgt. Sean Garrison, the 379th EXMS accessories flight chief deployed from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, and a Dallas, Ore., native.

 They specialize in repairing the aircraft’s hydraulic break assemblies, actuators, accumulators, boom nozzles and drogue assemblies.
  • SOUTHWEST ASIA – Twenty- two U.S. military members participated in the Special Operations Command Central Forward Marine Corps Marathon at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Oct. 27.
  • Servicing the largest U.S. Air Force expeditionary wing in the world is no easy task but for the twenty-one Airmen assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron Personnel Support for Contingency Operations team it’s their daily mission. They meet every U.S. military member, coalition partner, Department of Defense contractor and civilian assigned to the base or forward deploying to another location in the U.S. Air Forces Central Command’s area of responsibility.
  • There’s a wise-old saying that, “all good things, must come to an end.” As the climate shifts in the U.S. Air Force’s Central Command area of responsibility, some missions become less essential and are able to return to home station and provide support from abroad. Among them is the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron propeller centralized repair facility here that is closing up shop after providing crucial support to aerial operations throughout the AOR since 2006.

“We repaired all the propellers for C-130 Hercules’ throughout the AOR, servicing the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing and five other forward operating locations,” said Master Sgt. Larry Frady, the 379th EMXS propeller CRF flight chief deployed from Yokota Air Base, Japan, and a Harrisburg, N.C., native. 

This year, the “prop shop” has repaired or refurbished 123 propellers saving the Air Force nearly $20 million in repair costs and thousands in shipping costs.

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