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    'Wise Guy' arrives at Tinker

    "Wise Guy" arrives at Tinker: Second B-52 to be regenerated from "Boneyard"

    Photo By Kelly White | Daniel Geyer, Corey Roundtree and Avrome Sullivan, 565th Aircraft Maintenance...... read more read more



    Story by Ron Mullan 

    72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

    “Wise Guy,” B-52H Stratofortress tail number 60-034, arrived at Tinker Air Force Base April 1, 2020, to undergo programmed depot maintenance at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex.

    PDM is the final part of a three-phase process to regenerate the aircraft and deliver rapid, effective, affordable combat power back to active service as a conventional weapons-only long range heavy bomber.
    With more than 17,000 flight hours, “Wise Guy” was slated to spend retirement basking in the desert sun at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, providing parts for other bombers … never to fly again.
    But that all changed in May 2016.

    When a fire destroyed a B-52 during takeoff at Anderson AFB, Guam, the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center was asked to regenerate an aircraft from storage at AMARG to restore the fleet to the Congressional-mandated 76 aircraft.

    “Wise Guy” was selected and some pre-planning and structural inspections began December 2018 in preparations for a formal kick off January 2019. The inspections were completed by the 76th Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Flight, a part of the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group, at OC-ALC, and a contract non-destructive inspection team from Boeing.
    After spending 10 years at AMARG, “Wise Guy” was about to have a second life as part of the lethal and ready force.

    This is only the second time a B-52H bomber has been regenerated to active service from the “Boneyard” at AMARG. The first B-52H bomber, nicknamed “Ghost Rider,” tail number 61-007, was regenerated at Tinker in 2015.

    According to Jeff Base, 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron director, in order to complete the PDM on “Wise Guy,” it will take a team effort from many organizations across the B-52 enterprise working as one team with a common goal — to restore readiness.

    On Jan. 27, 2020, the 76th AMXG Transformation team facilitated an enterprise value-stream mapping event, using Art of the Possible pre-planning processes.

    “From Tinker, we had representatives from Air Force Life Cycle Management Logistics and Engineering, American Federation of Government Employees Local 916, Quality and the 565th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron,” Base said. “The team integrated the additional Time Compliance Technical Orders and modifications with PDM to optimize the schedule. The additional work is approximately 10,000 man hours.”

    Base added that while “Wise Guy” is at depot, most of the 550 members of the squadron will touch the aircraft at some point or support it in some fashion.

    David Strawderman, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center program manager, said formal regeneration efforts began in January 2019 when field level maintainers reported to AMARG to begin work.

    The 76th EDMX sent six maintainers to help get “Wise Guy” ready to fly again, according to Senior Master Sgt. Thomas Taylor, 76th AMXG/EDMX superintendent.

    “We brought in aircraft structural specialists and crew chiefs who performed the initial aircraft structural integrity inspections and then transitioned into providing structural support,” said Taylor.

    In 128 days, the cross-organizational team accomplished 195 parts replacements and repair actions. “Wise Guy” left AMARG May 14, 2019, for Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, with a crew of three who flew the aircraft at low speed and altitude.

    “It is a true testament to everyone who worked on the aircraft,” said Strawderman. “To be able to pull it from storage and get it air-worthy in this short time is nothing short of amazing. True professionals from across the B-52 enterprise made this effort a success.”

    When the aircraft touched down at Barksdale, phase two began, bringing “Wise Guy” up to common fleet standards.

    “For Barksdale, we deployed two teams of four,” said Taylor. “Each team was a joint effort between the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group and the 76th Commodities Maintenance Group and included a combination of aircraft structural, crew chiefs and an avionics specialist.”
    Taylor summed up the feelings his teams had in taking part in regenerating a B-52H bomber back to the fleet.

    “It’s always exciting being part of such a historic project and having the opportunity to showcase the talents of our highly skilled Expeditionary Depot Maintenance members while providing organic depot capabilities to close maintenance gaps,” Taylor said.

    Once restored, “Wise Guy” will return to Minot AFB, North Dakota, where it will re-enter service and restore the fleet to 76 aircraft. The START-converted bomber will be equipped for conventional weapons-only and will continue the B-52H long-range, heavy bomber mission. In a conventional conflict, the jet will perform strategic attack, close-air-support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations.



    Date Taken: 05.01.2020
    Date Posted: 07.24.2020 17:44
    Story ID: 374594

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