Moody hosts engineers to enhance HC-130 fleet Air Force-wide

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Leonid Soubbotine
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

The 71st Rescue Generation Squadron hosted engineers from Mercer Engineering Research Center to perform reliability-centered maintenance interviews and inflight refueling hose testing at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, May 20-21, 2024.

Engineers from MERC collaborated with Airmen from various units and back shops to gather data from subject matter experts. Together, they identified common problems, conducted further research, and proposed improvements and fixes at the Air Force level.

“This information will help the fleet and help our efforts for future sustainment of the aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt. Aaron Nazario, 71st RGS crew chief noncommissioned officer in charge. “At the end of the day, we try to have the best aircraft availability that we can and not spend long periods of time trying to fix an issue that is constantly coming up.”

Technicians from metals technology, electrical and environmental systems, avionics, fuels, sheet metal, engines, hydraulics, crew chiefs and other shops were able to interact and demonstrate their efforts on the HC-130J Combat King II aircraft and share their knowledge to further the platform’s development and improvement efforts.

“It is beneficial that we get to voice our opinion,” Nazario said. “It gives the subject matter experts a chance to voice their issues to the engineers, so that they can possibly make their jobs easier. Everyone was very cooperative, available and gave a lot of positive feedback for the engineers to take back.

During the second part of the visit, focus shifted to research and future development for in-flight refueling (IFR) hoses that are critical to the rescue mission. Every 135 days the IFR hoses on the HC-130J Combat King II must be inspected.

“Without those hoses, we can’t do the job at all for rescue because we have to have the fuel for the HH-60W Jolly Green II’s for the long treks that we have to do to save people,” said Staff Sgt. Kamron Houston, 71st RGS aircraft hydraulics systems craftsman.

After a full day of in-depth observing, learning and information gathering with the Moody experts, the engineers were able to collect numerous ideas and data to bring back to MERC for future testing and development purposes, including two failed hoses for further research.

“They were reviewing how we perform in-flight refueling hose and pod inspections and what we can do to remedy the issues we’re having,” Houston said. “We’ve fostered better relationships with the engineers and I believe it’ll allow us to continue to have more events like this to figure out better ways forward.”