MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
Airmen from the 71st Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU) washed an HC-130J Combat King II, May 7-8, here.
Upon return from a deployment or every 180 days, HC-130’s are thoroughly cleaned and inspected as part of routine upkeep to ensure its respective components are in working condition.
“These washes are crucial because one of the Air Force’s biggest assets are their aircraft,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Rumrill, 71st AMU dedicated crew chief. “Our primary job as maintainers is to ensure that our aircraft are ready to fly and deploy. On top of everyday maintenance we perform, we also make sure that aircraft are kept clean and the individual components of the C-130 are unblemished.”
Typically crews of eight Airmen rotate from the 71st AMU to take turns washing the aircraft, and Airmen usually wash the aircraft that they maintain on their regular shifts.
“It feels great to know that I’m responsible for making sure that the aircraft I work on every day is being washed by someone that’s comfortable with this specific aircraft,” said Airman 1st Class Austin Maddock, 71st AMU integrated flight and control systems journeyman. “These washes are paramount to keeping the C-130’s operational, as well as continuing to complete the Air Force’s mission for years to come.”
The two day process to fully wash, inspect and lubricate an HC-130 includes certain practices such as using a power washer, cleaning the rotors and heavy duty scrubbing on the internal components of the landing gear.
“Every inch of this plane is washed and thoroughly scrutinized before we allow it to go back on the flight line,” Rumrill said. “This is a $66 million dollar aircraft and my team takes a great deal of pride in ensuring that [it] is in mint condition and can deploy at any time.”