436th MXS Isochronal Dock minimizes maintenance downtime, increases aircraft availability

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cydney Lee
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 436th Maintenance Squadron Isochronal Maintenance Dock minimizes maintenance downtime and increases aircraft availability by performing Programmed Depot Maintenance-level jobs in-house at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, March 24, 2023.

PDM-level repairs, which consist of heavier maintenance teardowns, repairs, modifications and reclamations, are typically done at Robins AFB, Georgia, as a part of a process that can take a year or longer to complete.

“The older an aircraft gets, the more corrosion structural problems you're going to find,” said John Greim, 436th MXS ISO Dock coordinator. “In order for us to continue to make sure that the C-5 is flying safely and air-worthy, [we need] to do more inspections.”

Doing these repairs at Dover AFB increases efficiency and minimizes downtime by alleviating the amount of maintenance work needed at Robins AFB.

“In order to control downtime for an aircraft, it’s beneficial to perform Programed Depot Maintenance repairs while the aircraft is already in an inspection rather than a couple years later when the damages are beyond our scope of repair in the field,” said Maj. Alexander Barnett, 436th MXS commander.

Most recently, the ISO Dock completed an inspection that included 500 additional PDM repairs in just 80 days, a full 20 days prior to the deadline.

“The number one reason that finishing early was helpful is the fact that we gave back the warfighter a jet that wasn't available to them which helps with the overall footprint for the C-5,” said Greim. “Doing the PDM work kept the aircraft from being grounded and gave [over] another 500 days of flexibility to the C-5 fleet due to the [aircraft’s availability] to fill holes in the mission schedules.”

These preventative maintenance repairs fuel the unique mission set at Dover AFB by increasing aircraft availability, enabling the 436th Airlift Wing to provide rapid global airlift to the United States and partner nations.

“We need aircraft availability to fulfill missions like [dignified transfers, presidential visits] and training for aircrew,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Bemis, 436th MXS Fabrications Flight superintendent. “If we are not [performing these repairs], then aircraft availability suffers.”

Maintenance Airmen work tirelessly through holidays, weekends and late nights to repair aircraft. The success of the mission relies on coordination and effective communication between squadrons within the 436th Mission Generation Group.

“It’s not just the Airmen that work in the hangar that support these types of repairs,” said Barnett. “It’s all of the sections: Sheet Metal, Metals Technology, Non-Destructive Inspections, Avionics, Electrical and Environmental, and Hydraulics. I could not be more proud of all the Airmen we have here and how fast and deliberate they perform repairs.”