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Keeping C-5s in prime fighting condition

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jared Duhon
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
All C-5 Galaxies undergo an inspection here ensuring flight components work properly to extend the life of the Air Force's largest airlifter.

Dover Air Force Base's isochronal maintenance dock is run by 436th and 512th Maintenance Group personnel and they conduct the Maintenance Steering Group Three inspection. This inspection is completed every four years, takes up to 46 days and is basically a tune up for the aircraft.

Nine teams work in unison swarming the C-5s like foraging ants doing their job to support the queen, the mission.

The standard MSG-3 inspection teams include electrical and environmental, hydraulics, avionics, aero repair, communication navigation, fuel cell, sheet metal, engines, and non-destructive inspection, said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Dellis, 512th Maintenance Squadron crew chief.
"We have a very big puzzle to work with here and if any piece is broken it all falls apart, so communication is key," she said.

To help all of the teams work together, crew chiefs assist in keeping everyone at the ISO dock on the same page.

"As crew chiefs, we're like overseers", said Staff Sgt. Guy Serman, 436th Maintenance Squadron crew chief. "We manage and disassemble information for each of our aircraft sections as well as prep areas for the other specialties to inspect their components."

Serman is a part of the many crew chiefs supervising and working with teams ensuring the inspections are completed on time and safely with full accountability of people, parts and tools.

"We do three tool inventories a day minimum," said Serman. "If anything is missing we stop everything we are doing and look for it. Because if anything is left in the engine it could shell out the entire engine, damaging it and more importantly injuring or killing someone."

Keeping track of tools is a full time job for some crew chiefs.

"At the composite tool kit or tool crib we calibrate and issue tools and hardware," said Senior Airman Alexander Pranter, 436th Maintenance Squadron crew chief. "We now have vending machines that help out our workload by allowing us to mechanically track and distributes smaller items needed daily."

Pranter had an idea to create an electronic version of a physical board to minimize manpower. He created and implemented the electronic benchstock reference tool, allowing for faster searching and gathering of tools and material.

"This new tool shortens the time needed to acquire hardware, such as bolts and screws," Pranter said. "Before this tool, the tool crib needed to create a physical benchstock reference and glue one of every bolt, screw, and knob to a 10 foot tall panel. This lowers time from needing hardware to getting it."

The many sections of the ISO dock have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, coming together and ensuring all Air Force C-5s stay in prime-fighting shape.