Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook

    31st AMXS perform safe, aircraft maintenance anytime, anywhere

    31st AMXS perform safe, expeditionary aircraft maintenance anytime, anywhere

    Photo By Senior Airman Ericka Woolever | U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jonah Schuline, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron...... read more read more



    Story by Senior Airman Ericka Woolever 

    31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    The early morning was still as clouds covered the dark skies. Frost grew over the ground; it was the type of cold that reached into the bones. The only thing they could do was keep moving. A few Airmen forced their breath into their hands and rubbed them together for just a few seconds of heat. 

    Yet the crew chiefs’ faces did not show one ounce of discomfort, instead set with a sense of willingness and dedication. 

    “I always look for the positives in every situation,” said Senior Airman Neil Farbotnik, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 555th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, dedicated crew chief. “It’s easy for me to say that being a maintainer has allowed me to develop and grow as a person.”

    Tactical Aircraft Maintenance specialists, also known as crew chiefs, are responsible for every component of an aircraft. They make sure that the aircraft in their care are ready to fly at a moment's notice so pilots can safely and effectively complete their mission. 

    “One mistake, misjudgment or ounce of laziness can result in loss of life, damage to aircraft, or injury to personnel,” said Farbotnik. “It’s a lot of pressure, and it never gets easier. We just have to get better.”

    Some would consider aircraft maintainers to be a major part of the foundation of the world’s greatest Air Force. 

    “Everything you do as a maintainer has a direct impact on the mission, whether it’s inspecting a small piece of equipment or a 40-million-dollar aircraft,” said Farbotnik. 

    As jets soar into the sky to provide combat airpower, Farbotnik explains how much responsibility maintainers have.

    “Maintainers are the mission,” said Farbotnik. “We control the fate of these aircraft which in turn controls the fate of the pilots and everyone else.”

    Aircraft maintainers are briefed daily about the task and goals of the day. They are then issued a set of tools before making their way to the aircraft they are assigned to, said Farbotnik. 

    “When I get to the spot, I immediately check that the jet is pinned and safe for maintenance,” said Farbotnik.  “Then look over the jet to make sure nothing was missed or out of limits before I begin preparing my jet.”

    Farbotnik explained that he runs through numerous tasks before he can pull the chalks and send the jets off. 

    “Between our three shifts there is always some type of preparation that is required to get the aircraft ready, whether it's inspections, servicing or preparing it,” said Farbotnik.

    The groundwork for the mission never stops, because once the maintainers complete the current task at hand, they are preparing for the next one.

    “The preparation for a new mission or day of flying starts the second that these aircraft shutdown,” said Farbotnik.

    Farbotnik explains that all the dedication to accomplishing the mission is rewarding to see firsthand.

    “Whether it’s raining, snowing, or scorching hot we are out there,” said Farbotnik. “We make missions happen.”



    Date Taken: 02.04.2021
    Date Posted: 02.04.2021 05:31
    Story ID: 388329
    Location: AVIANO AIR BASE, IT 

    Web Views: 54
    Downloads: 1