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AFSO 21 changes improve C-17 availability at McChord

by Tyler Hemstreet
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

5/15/2007 - MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFPN) -- Airmen here are using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century to come up with more efficient ways to use available C-17 Globemaster IIIs for training missions during the week.

By shortening the turn time of each aircraft from three hours and 15 minutes to two hours and using an engine running crew change process, by June aircrews hope to use three aircraft instead of four to fly the required training missions each day, said Col. Damon Booth, the 62nd Operations Group commander. 

Airmen around our Air Force are discovering that using AFSO 21 initiatives to make small changes in their processes can make big impacts in productivity. Using AFSO 21, Airmen are finding ways to make their operations safer, more reliable and more productive.

To turn C-17s in two hours, crews from the 62nd Maintenance Group and the 62nd Mission Support Group will already be at the parking ramp when the aircraft pulls up, said Maj. Phil Kase, the 62nd Airlift Wing current operations chief.

"Everyone is waiting at the jet," Major Kase said. "That's the biggest time saver."

Aircrews will also execute an engine running crew change, where the aircraft pulls up near the aircrew launch facility so crews can walk to the jet and load up while the engines continue running, Major Kase said.

In addition to cutting down on travel time for crews, the engine running crew change also cuts down on C-17 maintenance duties, said Lt. Col. James Clavenna, the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander.

"From a support standpoint, our work load as it pertains to that aircraft has been lessened," Colonel Clavenna said. "While that aircraft is undergoing the engine running crew change, we can tend to something else."

Having a quicker turn time and using the engine running crew change will enable base members to extend the flying window for C-17 training from nine hours to 13 hours per aircraft, Colonel Booth said.

This means the wing staff will be able to schedule more training missions during the week and less on the weekend, Major Kase said.

Taking one C-17 out of the training flight rotation will also give the wing a dedicated spare to back up any of the aircraft, Colonel Booth said.

"The whole process is just about making better use of our resources," Colonel Booth said. "The less time the aircraft is on the ground, the more time we have in the air for training."

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