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Best Practices in Air Force Found in 105th Air Wing Maintenance

STEWART AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, NEWBURGH, N.Y. (readMedia)—The Air Force Chief of Staff recognized excellence in the New York Air National Guard Sep. 22, when the 105th Airlift Wing’s maintenance flight received an Air Force Best Practice Award for the unit’s impact on the C-5 Fleet and the Total Mobility Air Force.

The recognition results from the hard work and achievement of the wing receiving two Air National Guard-level Chief of Staff Team Excellence Awards and five designations from the Air Force and the Air National Guard for Best Practices in C-5 maintenance management.

Last year, the Air National Guard recognized the efforts of the Airlift Wing to develop cost savings and efficiencies as the 105th Airlift Wing applied the commercial aviation inspection system, known as the Major Maintenance Steering Group 3 (MSG-3) system and replace the antiquated Legacy Isochronal program. The results of that initiative are now being applied by the Air Force throughout the fleet.

“Because of its experience and expertise with the C-5, Stewart was asked to play a major role in the C-5 community’s transition to the new ‘Maintenance Steering Group 3’ philosophy of carrying out inspections,” the 105th Maintenance Group Commander, Col. Howard Wagner, said.

The 105th Airlift Wing maintenance team alongside with its other Guard, Reserve, Active Duty and contracting partners proved that a Legacy Isochronal inspection process could be converted to the new MSG-3 program one year ahead of schedule.

The group pioneered a Total Force problem-solving effort that had direct results for the Air Force C-5 fleet. Not only did aircraft availability increase by 2.5 airframes per day, but operational flow time for aircraft in the program improved by 14% and C-5 Mission Capable rates increased between 8-14%, explained Wagner.

The system is a hierarchical method of maintenance inspections—along the lines of the way commercial airlines conduct their inspection cycles. Each inspection builds upon the prior one, creating efficiencies and saving time, manpower and money.

The Air Wing presented the Total Force ideology behind the new MSG-3 program and its potential to General Raymond E. Johns, commander of the Air Force Air Mobility Command, said Capt. Edward DeFalcon, the 105th Maintenance Action Officer for the program.

As part of the new the Enterprise-level Total Force problem solving approach, one of the eight initiatives is being led by the 105th Airlift Wing commander, Brig Gen Verle Johnston. The task was to devise a plan to refurbish/recondition an Air Force C-5M and to come up with a long-term solution for the rest of the fleet. Through a series of Total Force Enterprise-level planning/problem-solving events, all C-5’s will finally get the modernization needed to continue flying with the Total Force for the next 30+ years.

The Dover Air Force Base C-5M aircraft arrives at Stewart the first weekend in October and will undergo refurbishment inside and out. The Wing expects final rollout of the completed aircraft just one month later for the first weekend of November.

“This program takes Total Force Integration to the next level” DeFalcon said.

The 105th Airlift Wing is one of three Air National Guard units in the country with an operational C-5 mission. The unit’s 13 aircraft regularly fly missions around the world in support of America’s armed forces. Stewart Air National Guard Base is located just 70 miles North of New York City. The 105th Airlift Wing recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at Stewart Air National Guard Base and has a 60-year proven track record for answering the call to duty both in New York State and around the globe.

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