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Propulsion Airmen maintain Viper powercore

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Without an engine, aircraft are mere devices of lethal airpower.

Ensuring the power source of these aircraft are functioning effectively and efficiently are Airmen assigned to the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron aerospace propulsion flight.

“Our flight is tasked with providing war-ready engines for our three aircraft maintenance units as well as Eglin Air Force Base, Florida,” said Senior Airman Justin Tillman, 20th CMS aerospace propulsion technician. “We perform constant removals, installations and inspections, and we ensure that all engines on Shaw are good to go.”

On average, the flight maintains approximately five engines per month.

The aerospace propulsion flight is divided into five sections: intermediate maintenance, accessories, support, engine test and programs. These sections are tasked with maintaining the engines needed to keep Shaw’s 79 F-16 Vipers in the fight.

"Each section is vital in maintaining and troubleshooting errors on an engine," said Staff Sgt. Jared Erickson, 20th CMS aerospace propulsion accessory section craftsman. "Without our other sections, the engine would not function to the best of its ability."

The flight provides intermediate maintenance for the AMUs, preventing engines from being sent to the manufacturer which, in turn, hinders mission readiness.

These Airmen prevent mistakes by closely following every technical order. TOs are part of the inspection process that reviews each engine component and ensures the safety of the mission by providing a list of procedures for a piece of equipment.

“If we were not here, small things that the flightline can’t fix would be sent back to manufacturer,” said Tillman. “You could have holes on jets for months on end. We are here to supplement that so they can pull an engine and have the jet back in the fight the very next day.”