HomeNewsArticle Display

23d MXG gets innovative

Photo of Airmen conducting crash recovery training.

Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight conduct crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Photo of Airmen changing out a saw blade.

Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight flip a saw blade during crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Photo of an Airman waiting for his training supervisor.

Senior Airman Pablo Varela, 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight repair and reclamation journeyman, waits for his training supervisor to return during crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Photo of an Airman cutting into an HC-130J.

Senior Airman Jacob Turpin, 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight repair and reclamation journeyman, cuts into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J Combat King II crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Photo of an Airman cutting into an HC-130J.

Airman 1st Class Korey Prince, 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight repair and reclamation apprentice, cuts into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J Combat King II during crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Photo of an Airman cutting into an HC-130J.

Airman 1st Class Korey Prince, 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight repair and reclamation apprentice, cuts into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J during crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J Combat King II wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

Photo of Airmen conducting crash recovery training.

Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight conduct crash recovery training July 20, 2020, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Airmen cut into the auxiliary fuel tank of an HC-130J wing to create a fuel cell trainer for the 23d MXS fuels section, allowing them to have hands-on training without having to perform maintenance on an operational airframe. This also served as training for the Airmen to become more proficient in crash recovery equipment and operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --

It takes an aircraft for maintainers to train, but when they can’t interrupt the flying schedule, Airmen with the 23d Maintenance Group get innovative.

Maintainers with the 23d Maintenance Squadron Maintenance Flight cut an auxiliary fuel tank out of a decommissioned HC-130J Combat King II wing to provide fuel systems maintainers with a tool for real-world training.

“Our maintainers invest many hours training on systems required for currency and upgrade, routinely at the cost of aircraft availability,” said Col. Stephen Harvey, 23d MXG commander. “In order to accomplish training, we historically take aircraft off the flying schedule for hands-on experience, consequently inducing the risk of breaking the plane. We’re always looking for innovative ways of providing more realistic training in a controlled environment while providing our operators more readied assets.

“Our Airmen’s efforts [will] save flightline assets while allowing their peers and new accessions to train in a completely safe environment where they can learn, demonstrate, and observe technicians performing complex repairs,” Harvey added. “This strategy allows us to train exactly as we work to rectify fuels system faults—to include confined spaces. So when we’re faced with these discrepancies both in garrison and deployed, we’ll have experience of resolving challenges in a safe environment. It’s realistic and fantastic training for our Flying Tiger maintainers!”

With this asset, Master Sgt. James Harper, 23d MXS Fuel Systems Maintenance Flight chief, explained how it will expedite training for the Airmen to be fully qualified on the HC-130J by 30%.

“We might see two or three intake jobs in an entire year, so having this trainer will be so valuable because it will allow us the ability to qualify new Airmen on tasks that they would otherwise being doing with technical data,” Harper said. “They’ll be able to get real-world hands-on training on the airframe. So, this will speed up the process, saving us man hours and time, because now the Airmen will be more trained on this, and the Airmen will be more comfortable when tasked to handle repairs of this kind. It’s improving their training by one-third, so we’ll be able to make our new Airmen more capable of doing the actual mission more quickly than we ever have.”