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Moody A-10 engine maintainers make history

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Matthew Cohen, 23d Maintenance Group quality assurance inspector, scans the components of a TF-34 jet engine during an inspection, May 24, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. QA inspectors ensure that aviation assets conform to established requirements throughout their life cycle for maximum serviceability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Greg Nash/Released)

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Cohen, 23d Maintenance Group quality assurance (QA) inspector, scans the components of an A-10C Thunderbolt II TF34 engine during a QA inspection, May 24, 2016, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. For the first time, in Aug. 2018, the 23d MXS propulsion flight ensured every TF34 engine in their fleet was repaired to serviceable status with zero required maintenance work. While they normally maintain the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s engines in support of Moody’s close-air support mission, the backshop will now centralize their TF34 repair efforts to assist other bases and Major Commands. This has allowed the flight to play a vital role in helping secure an Air Force-wide 200 percent ‘war-ready’ engine status, the highest in the TF34’s 40-year history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Greg Nash)

Airman 1st Class Christopher Martinez, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) aerospace propulsion technician, repairs a Turbo-Fan (TF)-34 engine, May 16, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The 23d MXS propulsion flight’s mission is to ensure that the A-10C Thunderbolt II TF-34 engine is in satisfactory condition before it’s even installed on the aircraft. This flight is responsible for the overall upkeep and maintenance of all TF-34 engines for the Air Force’s largest operational A-10 fighter group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)

Airman 1st Class Christopher Martinez, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) aerospace propulsion technician, repairs an A-10C Thunderbolt II TF34 engine, May 16, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. For the first time, in Aug. 2018, the 23d MXS propulsion flight ensured every TF34 engine in their fleet was repaired to serviceable status with zero required maintenance work. While they normally maintain the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s engines in support of Moody’s close-air support mission, the backshop will now centralize their TF34 repair efforts to assist other bases and Major Commands. This has allowed the flight to play a vital role in helping secure an Air Force-wide 200 percent ‘war-ready’ engine status, the highest in the TF34’s 40-year history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)

Airman 1st Class Jordan Vasquez, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) aerospace propulsion technician, inspects the fuel lines of a Turbo-Fan (TF)-34 engine, May 16, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. The 23d MXS propulsion flight’s mission is to ensure that the A-10C Thunderbolt II TF-34 engine is in satisfactory condition before it’s even installed on the aircraft. This flight is responsible for the overall upkeep and maintenance of all TF-34 engines for the Air Force’s largest operational A-10 fighter group. (U.S. Air Force Base photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)

Airman 1st Class Jordan Vasquez, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) aerospace propulsion technician, inspects the fuel lines of an A-10C Thunderbolt II TF34 engine, May 16, 2018, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. For the first time, in Aug. 2018, the 23d MXS propulsion flight ensured every TF34 engine in their fleet was repaired to serviceable status with zero required maintenance work. While they normally maintain the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s engines in support of Moody’s close-air support mission, the backshop will now centralize their TF34 repair efforts to assist other bases and Major Commands. This has allowed the flight to play a vital role in helping secure an Air Force-wide 200 percent ‘war-ready’ engine status, the highest in the TF34’s 40-year history. (U.S. Air Force Base photo by Airman 1st Class Eugene Oliver)

Airman 1st Class Teresa Springer, 23d Component Maintenance Squadron propulsion technician, drops nuts and bolts into a plastic baggie while dissembling a TF-34 engine used in A-10C Thunderbolt lls, Jan. 25, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Airmen from the propulsion flight are responsible for breaking down, refurbishing and repairing TF-34 engines to replace ones currently in use in A-10s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

Airman 1st Class Teresa Springer, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) aerospace propulsion technician, stores items in a bag while disassembling an A-10C Thunderbolt II TF34 engine, Jan. 25, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. For the first time, in Aug. 2018, the 23d MXS propulsion flight ensured every TF34 engine in their fleet was repaired to serviceable status with zero required maintenance work. While they normally maintain the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s engines in support of Moody’s close-air support mission, the backshop will now centralize their TF34 repair efforts to assist other bases and Major Commands. This has allowed the flight to play a vital role in helping secure an Air Force-wide 200 percent ‘war-ready’ engine status, the highest in the TF34’s 40-year history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

Airman 1st Class Anthony Guevara, 23d Component Maintenance Squadron propulsion technician, loosens a connection on the underside of a TF-34 engine used in A-10C Thunderbolt lls, Jan. 25, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Airmen from the propulsion flight are responsible for breaking down, refurbishing and repairing TF-34 engines to replace ones currently in use in A-10s. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider)

Airman 1st Class Anthony Guevara, 23d Maintenance Squadron (MXS) aerospace propulsion technician, loosens a connection on the underside of a TF34 engine used in A-10C Thunderbolt lls, Jan. 25, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. For the first time, in Aug. 2018, the 23d MXS propulsion flight ensured every TF34 engine in their fleet was repaired to serviceable status with zero required maintenance work. While they normally maintain the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s engines in support of Moody’s close-air support mission, the backshop will now centralize their TF34 repair efforts to assist other bases and Major Commands. This has allowed the flight to play a vital role in helping secure an Air Force-wide 200 percent ‘war-ready’ engine status, the highest in the TF34’s 40-year history. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Snider)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- For the first time, Moody’s 23d Maintenance Squadron’s (MXS) propulsion flight accomplished an unprecedented feat by ensuring every TF34 engine in their fleet is repaired to serviceable status.  


This readiness level relinquishes the need for the flight to perform maintenance on their current A-10C Thunderbolt II engine assets. While they normally maintain the 74th and 75th Aircraft Maintenance Unit’s engines in support of Moody’s close-air support mission, the backshop will now centralize their TF34 repair efforts to assist other bases and Major Commands to include Reserve and National Guard units. 


This has allowed the 23d MXS to play a vital role in helping secure an Air Force-wide 200 percent ‘war-ready’ engine status, the highest in the TF34’s 40-year history. 


“I’m excited for every member of this team,” said Master Sgt. Cevin Medley, 23d MXS propulsion flight chief. “This is my third base and engine backshop. Repairing an entire TF34 engine fleet to serviceable status (with zero required maintenance) is something I have only “heard” about in my 17 years.


“This (accomplishment) is important because it not only allows us to meet our minimum deployment requirements, but we also can support other operations if every (Moody) A-10 aircraft were to be tasked to deploy,” Medley added.  “Since our ‘war-ready’ engine (WRE) levels have been so high, we have been able to help the rest of the Air Force’s TF34 community with their due engine repairs.”


The 23d MXS propulsion flight manages WREs, which are engines that are ready to be installed on the A-10. Of their entire fleet, 14 are spare WREs, which surpasses Air Combat Command’s required level of five spare WREs. The flight’s 280 percent spare WRE rate has enabled the backshop to currently perform no current maintenance on their assets and have rebuilt seven engines in total from outside Moody.


The road to pursue this challenge wasn’t easy. An innovative process, known as the Continuous Process Improvement, positioned the flight to have a chance at history. In 2017, approximately 20 civilians and Airmen from almost every enlisted rank implemented ideas to help the flight better maintain the TF34 engine.


“(Last year’s) Continuous Process Improvement event allowed us to identify waste in our streamline,” said Medley. “This enabled us to shave an average of 58 work hours off each engine visit. This allowed us to go from six awaiting maintenance engines, which is the amount of engines we didn’t have the manning to work because we were repairing other engines in 2016, to where we are today.”


In order to reach new heights in maintenance proficiency, many small changes were made. The flight refocused training for new Airmen on common problems, began pre-ordering commonly needed engine parts, enhanced cross-unit and internal communication and even added updated photos to technical orders.


For Senior Airman Dakota Gunter, 23d MXS aerospace propulsion technician, these new improvements paid big dividends for the backshop’s operations.


“The Continuous Process Improvement not only helped us (reduce) time on engine rebuilds, it also made the job a lot easier,” said Gunter. “Our processes have gone a lot smoother with everything from checking out tools to (performing) and documenting maintenance. Team work has been key during all of this, with everyone playing a key part to ensure the job is complete.” 


According to Medley, the cohesion and continued support of not only the 23d MXS, but the 23d Maintenance Group supervision proved invaluable. He hopes to sustain their achievements and continue to assist in getting the rest of the Air Force’s TF34 fleet to match Moody’s readiness.