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141st - ANG Maintainers Work on Active Duty KC-135s

Feb 2008 -- The Washington Air National Guard, 141 Air Refueling Wing embarked a new chapter of the historical association with the 92 Air Refueling Wing in January 2008, when guardsmen performed an isochronal inspection on an active duty aircraft.
The inspection began during the January Unit Training Assembly when members of the unit where present to begin work on the aircraft.
"It was a milestone to finally have the opportunity to perform an ISO inspection on a 92nd aircraft," said Chief Ridnour, 141 Maintenance Squadron. Our maintenance staff worked long and hard to inspect, service and repair the aircraft, he said.
"Isochronal inspections are the most intensive inspections that can be preformed by wing maintenance on an operational air force base," said Col. Westbrook, 141 Maintenance Group Commander. This inspection is an in-depth look and repair of airframe components that do not normally get inspected while they are being used throughout the system, he said.
"Our Guardsmen have the high standards, experience, technical knowledge, and passion to provide an exceptionally safe and reliable product for flyers from both wings," said Col Hal Westbrook.
"Our specialist shops initiated a swing shift and many others worked extra hours on scheduled days or came in on their days off to keep the progress moving to insure our scheduled delivery date," said Chief Ridnour. Our quality and quantity of maintenance is and always has been superb and we as a maintenance group will settle for nothing less, he said.
This jet received as much refurbishment as time and budget would allow. The latrine was refurbished, the down lock board was refurbished, the wing to body seal floor strips were hand made and polished to a chrome like finish, then last but not least plenty of good old fashion cleaning and elbow grease, said Chief Ridnour.
"We pride ourselves on the intensive care we put into all our work," said SMSgt Nelson, 141 Maintenance Squadron. "We invest the time required to fix items that may be causing other components to break down, not just replacing the worn items." This saves the need for future extensive maintenance, he said.
All of this above and beyond care was not Technical Order mandated nor was it management directed, it came from the passion for these old jets and our own self imposed "higher" standards of excellence that inspired these workers to give the jet all they could even when much of it was not required, said Chief Ridnour. "Its just who we are and it's just what we do," he said.
This is our career field by choice. Many guardsmen have been doing this job for years, said SMSgt Nelson. "I have been doing ISO's on these (KC-135 aircraft) for 17 years," he said.
In today's world when we are at war, these active duty jets are run hard and ask for little in return, thank goodness they are so forgiving, said Chief Ridnour. The 141 Maintenance Group insists that while these jets are at home station they will receive the extra care that the Guard can give to insure safety, confidence and comfort for any who take to flight, he said.
"We look forward to our next opportunity
ANG Maintainers Work on Active Duty KC-135s
by Capt Larry Kohlman, 141 ARW Public Affairsto work a major inspection with/for the 92nd ARW as I hope they see with this jet, it is not bad to 'Guardize' these old jets, they disserve it," said Chief Ridnour.
Photography by Capt Larry Kohlman
Photography by Capt Larry Kohlman
Electrical/Environmental Specialist Staff Sgt Jason Beach and Technical Sgt John Jeffrey work on repairing the Air Force Cycle Mechine under the KC-135 aircraft.
Crew Chief Staff Sgt Matt Richard removing access panels from the top of the aircraft wing as part of the isochronical inspection.