24/7 dedication pays off

Last week I wrote about how amazing it was to witness 12 of our jets taking off in a single day. But, how were those jets able to take off? What went into preparing for that big day?

Only the Airmen who work in maintenance know the answer to that question, because they were the ones who worked days, nights and weekends to make sure everything went smoothly!

Prior to his departure, I had a chance to sit down with 1st Lt. Brian Wyman to learn about the entire preparation process when it came to the jets. He filled me in on a ton of different aspects, too many to write about below – so if those of you in the maintenance field feel I missed any major points, I encourage you to comment below!

Jets have a strict maintenance plan. Each jet comes with its own set of maintenance instructions. These plans/instructions include detailed descriptions of when a part needs to be replaced, when the jet needs to undergo its routine maintenance check, when upgrades need to be made, etc. Every so many hours they are brought into the Hangar, looked over and repaired piece by piece.

This routine maintenance increases the longevity of our aircraft and more importantly, keeps our pilots as safe as possible. So, it was no surprise when Wyman said every single jet had to be prepared for the full deployment. By that, every single upgrade, maintenance check, etc. that may have come up during the deployment, needed to be completed before the jets departed base.

I’d venture to say this quadrupled the work load for our maintenance Airmen.

Better yet, they took on the challenge like champs. They had additional jets ready to go just-in-case, and when the day came – they successfully sent 12 jets to Japan.

That’s how the Airmen at the 115th Fighter Wing roll.

About Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode

Tech. Sgt. Andrea F. Rhode is a photojournalist for the 115th Fighter Wing in Madison, Wisconsin.