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Transforming the aircraft inspection process.

Compelling reasons exist to radically change the current inspection process. The Air Force's inventory of aircraft has become more geriatric than ever before, leading to increased downtime due to inspections and age-related maintenance factors. Consequently, operating costs operating costs nplgastos mpl operacionales  for these mature aircraft fleets have soared 83 percent over the last decade.

Because of the projected budget shortfalls, aircraft recapitalization programs will be severely constrained and take 20 years or longer to fully replace their predecessors. As a result, older aircraft will be forced to continue in service to cover the combat capability gaps until the replacement aircraft achieve full strength. Additionally, the cost of replacement weapons systems has become so great that Congress has enacted legislation to prevent the Air Force from retiring aircraft, forcing older aircraft to be flown and be maintained for longer periods to maximize their return on investment.

Overlaid on these factors is the fact that the Air Force has been engaged in combat operations since 1991 and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. The combination of high operations tempo, an aging total fleet, and continual personnel reductions makes it imperative for the Air Force to apply Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century (AFSO AFSO Air Force Smart Operations
AFSO Air Force Special Ops (New Zealand)
AFSO Assistant Facility Security Officer
AFSO Australian Geological Survey Organisation
AFSO Aviation Fluids Services Officer (Canadian Air Force) 
21) concepts to the aircraft inspection process. The threat of terrorism and asymmetric warfare Asymmetric warfare originally referred to war between two or more actors or groups whose relative power differs significantly. Contemporary military thinkers tend to broaden this to include asymmetry of strategy or tactics; today "asymmetric warfare" can describe a military  has forced the Air Force to be continually ready to deploy and fight. The Army's transformation and increasingly joint nature of military operations This is a list of missions, operations, and projects. Missions in support of other missions are not listed independently. World War I
''See also List of military engagements of World War I
  • Albion (1917)
 make it imperative for the Air Force to achieve and sustain the highest levels of aircraft availability possible. With the program budget decision-driven manpower reductions, the Air Force cannot continue to carry out the current manpower-intensive inspection requirements and still sustain today's levels of combat capability. The Maintenance Steering Group-3 approach offers the Air Force an opportunity to fully exploit AFSO21 efficiencies to produce combat-ready aircraft with increased availability, reduced cost, and improved unit control through an iterative it·er·a·tive  
1. Characterized by or involving repetition, recurrence, reiteration, or repetitiousness.

2. Grammar Frequentative.

Noun 1.
 and responsive inspection construct. Transforming the aircraft inspection process is one approach to produce the efficiencies required to better defend the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  and her allies in the global war against terrorism.



To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven; ... a time to break down, and a time to build up; ... a time to keep, and a time to throw away; ... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; ... a time of war, and a time of peace. (1)

--Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The next 5 years promise to bring significant changes to the Air Force's current operating environment In computing, an operating environment is the environment in which users run programs, whether in a command line interface, such as in MS-DOS or the Unix shell, or in a graphical user interface, such as in the Macintosh operating system. . This change is prompted by several budget initiatives to provide funds for vital programs that include recapitalizing the growing inventory of aging aircraft. Some of these initiatives target manpower billets in specific areas across the active, reserve, and National Guard forces with a projected goal of reducing full-time equivalent positions by approximately 40,000. (2) One initiative, released as Programmed Budget Decision (PBD PBD - Programmer Brain Damage ) 716, directs the offsets to be fully executed by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2011 across most Air Force specialty codes (AFSCs) in order to minimize huge losses within a few areas. Within the past year, the period to complete the offsets has been accelerated to the end of FY09. PBD 716's impact on aircraft maintenance is to reduce aircraft inspection manpower by 402 billets--a significant decrease in maintenance capability. (3)

The Air Force's plan to reduce the inspection manpower focuses on regionalizing inspection centers for select aircraft types. Although the depot-level overhaul locations would remain unchanged, this plan would eliminate the base-level inspection docks by flying the aircraft to regional sites for their incremental hourly and periodic maintenance inspections. (4)

In addition to the manpower reductions, the Air Force has begun efforts to improve aircraft availability and decrease cost. Faced with decreasing budgets, Air Force leadership established goals to increase aircraft availability by 20 percent and reduce costs by 10 percent. (5) Known as the Aircraft Availability Improvement Program (AAIP), all levels of aircraft sustainment have been directed to develop efficiency initiatives to achieve the PBD goals. (6)

In order to achieve the projected PBD 716 manpower savings of $23.4M over the Future Year Defense Plan (FYDP FYDP Five-Year Defense Program
FYDP Five-Year Defense Plan
FYDP Fiscal Year Defense Plan
FYDP Future Years Defense Program/Plan
), there appear to be three viable options. The first option would be to yield the manpower positions while retaining the phase and isochronal i·soch·ro·nal   or i·soch·ro·nous
1. Equal in duration.

2. Characterized by or occurring at equal intervals of time.
 inspection docks at their current base-level locations. (7) A second option would be to fully comply with the PBD and regionalize re·gion·al·ize  
tr.v. re·gion·al·ized, re·gion·al·iz·ing, re·gion·al·iz·es
To divide into regions, especially for administrative purposes.

 select inspection activities. The last option would be to develop a hybrid alternative--sending aircraft to the regional facilities for heavy inspections, but performing the light checks or minor inspections at the base.

This article analyzes these three options against the goals to increase aircraft availability by 20 percent, while decreasing cost by 10 percent. Additionally, it examines a third impact of these options on a unit's ability to control its success or destiny with respect to mission requirements. As part of the analysis, this study also investigates the theory of reliability-centered maintenance and analyzes its applicability to the inspection options.

Impetus for Change

The Air Force cannot increase aircraft availability and decrease operating costs without revamping the current inspection process. The first of several reasons for change is that the average age of our aircraft today is almost a quarter of a century (23.5 years) and has grown steadily over the past 3 decades. In 1967, the entire fleet's average age was only 8.5 years. (8) This equates to a 176 percent increase in fleet age over the 40-year period. Although the Air Force has started receiving the F-22, the average age of the Air Force's main fighter fleet is still over 20 years. This fact is not insignificant. Because the fleet has become geriatric, it is now susceptible to the normal problems that begin to surface with older airframes. For example, wiring has become a top driver for the F- 15C/D. The insulation on the Kapton wiring used widely throughout the fighter aircraft has become brittle and cracked, resulting in an increasing number of electrical shorts and fires. The KC-135 has experienced peeling with its internal fuel tank coatings, leading to contaminated fuel systems and filters. (9) These age-related problems will continue to drive additional aircraft inspections, which in turn, will increase the amount of time the aircraft will not be available for flying.


The second drive for change is increased downtime for the aircraft fleets due to the increased inspections and other maintenance-related aging factors. Over the past 15 years, the amount of aircraft downtime per flying hour has increased and is reflected in the Air Force's maintenance man-hour per flying hour (MMH/FH MMH/FH Maintenance Manhours Per Flying Hour
MMH/FH Mean Manhours Per Flight Hour
) ratio metric. For the entire Air Force fleet, this ratio increased 61 percent between FY91 and FY05 (see Figure 1). (10)

This is significant because the Air Force retired some of its oldest fleets of F-4 and F-111 aircraft during this same period without any major impact on the MMH/FH metric. For the aircraft maintenance community, this increase in workload, even with a newer total fleet, is monumental.

Additionally, the size of Air Force budgets has continued to slow at a disconcerting dis·con·cert  
tr.v. dis·con·cert·ed, dis·con·cert·ing, dis·con·certs
1. To upset the self-possession of; ruffle. See Synonyms at embarrass.

 pace over the past several years. Based on current projected budget programs, the FY11 budget will be only 16 percent larger than the FY06 budget--a significant spending departure compared to the previous 6-year period of FY01 to FY06, when the budget grew nearly 44 percent. (11) Due to decreasing budget dollars, the Air Force will be forced to stretch recapitalization plans for replacement aircraft and need to retain older aircraft longer than originally planned to provide the required combat capability.

A fourth impetus for change is the increase in operating costs.

Given the volatility of fuel prices, personnel pay and benefit expenditures, and other operating factors that comprise the Air Force total ownership costs (AFTOC AFTOC Association Française de personnes souffrant de Troubles Obsessionnels et Compulsifs
AFTOC Air Force Total Ownership Cost
), this important sustainment factor promises to rise faster than planned for in the budget requests through FY11. (12) The cost to operate an average aircraft in FY96 was just over $3M. In FY05, the same cost reached nearly $5.5M, an 83 percent increase. (13) This makes the stated AAIP goals even more challenging to achieve.

The last reason for change is the track record of legislative involvement. During the last 4 fiscal years (FY03-FY06), Congress prevented the Air Force from retiring aircraft deemed too costly to operate from the B-52, C-5, C- 130E/H, F-117, and KC-135 fleets. As of October 2005, the number of aircraft congressionally restricted from retirement had grown to a total of 104, creating a burden on critical budget dollars. (14) This well intentioned legislation has forced the Air Force to divert shrinking funds from other vital programs to sustain these geriatric weapons systems.

Analysis Criteria and Inspection Types

The types of inspections discussed in this article are limited to the phase and isochronal inspections. The phase-type inspection is determined strictly by the number of operating or flying hours. If an inspection is due at 200 hour intervals, then the aircraft must be inspected at this point before it can be flown further. Aircraft that begin and end their sorties at the same location--such as fighter aircraft--normally operate on the hourly phase inspection concept. Isochronal inspections are based on a specified number of calendar days. Isochronal is a Greek word that means to occur in regular intervals of time. (15) The isochronal intervals are derived from an average number of flying hours that would be accumulated in the interval without degrading safety. The isochronal inspection concept is ideal for aircraft like tankers or airlifters that may fly multiple sorties away from home station. In conjunction with military representatives, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) determine the inspection type and intervals during the aircraft's initial operational test and evaluation (testing) Initial Operational Test and Evaluation - (IOT&E) The first phase of operational test and evaluation conducted on pre-protectional items, prototypes, or pilot production items and normally completed prior to the first major production decision.  stage. These types and intervals normally serve the aircraft with minimal change up to retirement.

To sufficiently analyze the data, two aircraft will be examined. Due to their significant numbers and the availability of research data, the phase-interval type F-15C/D fighter aircraft and the isochronal-interval type KC-135 tanker aircraft
  • Boeing KC-135
  • Boeing KC-767
  • Airbus A310 MRTT
  • Airbus A330 MRTT
  • Boeing KB-50
  • Boeing KB-29
  • Boeing KC-97
  • Lockheed KC-130
  • Lockheed L1011
  • McDonnell-Douglas KC-10
  • Ilyushin Il-76
  • Tupolev TU-95
  • Transall C-160
  • Vickers VC10
 were selected for this study.

The three proposed options will be evaluated against three criteria: aircraft availability, maintenance operating costs, and unit control. Because having aircraft available for combat and training is a vital prerequisite to enable a unit to accomplish its wartime mission, the Air Force constantly evaluates the aircraft availability of its fleets to identify causes of negative trends. Aircraft availability measures the ratio of time a unit possessed aircraft is mission capable (MC) or mission-ready against the total time of possession by all organizations. (16) The formula used to calculate this rate is as follows:

Availability Rate = (MC Hours/Total Possessed Hours) x 100

An aircraft is considered in possession when it is under its assigned unit's control. For example, if the Air Force had a fleet of 100 aircraft, and in one day 20 aircraft were not MC and 10 aircraft were possessed by depot maintenance That maintenance performed on materiel requiring major overhaul or a complete rebuild of parts, assemblies, subassemblies, and end-items, including the manufacture of parts, modifications, testing, and reclamation as required. , the number of aircraft mission-ready or MC for this 24-hour period would be 70 percent. The calculation would be as shown below:

(70 MC unit possessed aircraft x 24 hours/100 unit and depot possessed aircraft x 24 hours) x 100

Of course, actual aircraft availability calculations are much more complex, as aircraft cycle through only a few of minutes or hours per day of not-mission-capable status before returning to MC status. As stated previously, the Air Force is striving to achieve a 20 percent improvement in availability across all its fleets of aircraft. A major way to impact availability rates would be to decrease the amount of time an aircraft is not mission capable and increase the amount of time an aircraft is unit-possessed and mission capable.

In light of PBD 716's emphasis on cost reduction, the second criterion analyzes the maintenance operating costs across the three options. As stated previously, the AFTOC data base captures the operating expenditures of unit-level consumption, intermediate maintenance, depot maintenance, contractor support, sustaining support, indirect support, and aircraft modifications from program element code (PEC Peć (pĕch), Albanian Peja, town (1991 pop. 68,163), S Serbia, in the Kosovo region. A trade center, it has industries that produce leather goods, foodstuffs, and handicrafts. ) 3400-Operations and Maintenance (O&M), and military and civilian pay from PEC 3500--Pay and Allowances. The aircraft total operating cost is the total annual system costs of the two PECs divided by the total aircraft inventory (TAI). (17) The AFTOC costs most easily influenced at the unit, intermediate (regional), and depot levels are the maintenance and consumables expenditures. Minimizing these costs through a reanalysis of the OEM-developed phase and isochronal inspection construct would directly impact the inspection frequency and workforce size.

The last criterion for judging the effectiveness of the three options is the degree of control a unit retains over its phase and isochronal inspection program. Unit control has always been a foundational building block for maintaining a healthy fleet of aircraft. A flying organization plans and executes its flying hour program with respect to its home station and deployment requirements, exercise and evaluation cycles, contingency rotations, and other local factors, including weather. The integral factor to achieving a successful flying hour program is being able to control the flow and rate at which aircraft are inspected. The inspection process is the banking mechanism for building a savings account Savings Account

A deposit account intended for funds that are expected to stay in for the short term. A savings account offers lower returns than the market rates.

 of flying hour capability. It is commonplace for a unit to surge its inspection program periodically to respond to an externally-driven mission requirement that necessitates phase or isochronal inspection flexibility in order to accomplish the mission. The Chief of Staff of the Air Force (CSAF CSAF Campus Sustainability Assessment Framework
CSAF Chief of Staff, United States Air Force
CSAF Chemical-Specific Adjustment Factor
CSAF Center for the Study of Alternative Futures
CSAF Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation
) recognized the importance of conjoined conjoined /con·joined/ (kon-joind´) joined together; united.


joined together.

conjoined monsters
two deformed fetuses fused together.
 authority and responsibility when searching for a replacement to the objective wing structure that divided maintenance authority and responsibility between two groups. Under organizational structures where the maintenance group commander exercises both authority and responsibility for fleet health, aircraft performance has flourished. (18) Separating the phase and isochronal inspection capability from the direct control of the unit, as called for under PBD 716, partitions the necessary authority and responsibility to maintain fleet health in high tempo environments, especially combat and contingency operations. The most recent guidance in Air Force Instruction (AFI AFI American Film Institute
AFI Awaiting Further Instructions
AFI Armed Forces Insurance
AFI A Fire Inside (band)
AFI Air Force Instruction
AFI Australian Film Institute
AFI Agencia Federal de Investigación
) 21-101 states that "Aircraft should not normally deploy with phase or isochronal inspections or engine time changes due immediately upon AOR AOR

The ISO 4217 currency code for Angolan Reajustado Kwanza.
 (area of responsibility) arrival." (19) A unit' s direct authority over its aircraft inspection program equates to being able to determine its own destiny or success, especially in combat and contingency operations. Pulling the phase or isochronal capability away from the unit has the strong potential to severely limit its flexibility to match flying requirements with fleet health maintenance.

The MSG-3 Inspection Construct

In the 1960s, an airline industry task force known as the Maintenance Steering Group (MSG MSG: see glutamic acid. ) developed a new inspection program, known as MSG-1 (the first report published by the MSG), that produced substantial savings for the Boeing 747 (B747) over the DC-8. (20) Table 1 reflects the savings of the MSG approaches over the traditional approach. (21) In 1970, the Air Transport Association (ATA) led the airline industry in developing a second report (MSG-2). (22) This revised program converted MSG-1 into an inspection logic applicable to aircraft other than the B747. (23)

Interestingly, the preponderance of Air Force aircraft developed during this period utilized the MSG-2 preventive inspection logic. Although these early MSG preventive inspection processes produced huge savings, they were bottom-up approaches that focused on the failures of the individual items versus the effect of failures on the entire system. In addition, these early MSG approaches did not factor in operating performance data as the aircraft matured nor did they establish intervals for the preventive tasks. (24)

To overcome the MSG-1 and MSG-2 shortcomings, the reliability-centered maintenance (RCM RCM Reliability-Centered Maintenance
RCM Royal College of Music
RCM Royal Conservatory of Music
RCM Royal Canadian Mint
RCM Reliability Centered Maintenance
RCM Revenue Cycle Management
RCM Regional Climate Model
RCM Ring-Closing Metathesis
) methodology was developed by United Airlines for the Department of Defense (DoD) in 1978. The ATA incorporated this new preventive maintenance The routine checking of hardware that is performed by a field engineer on a regularly scheduled basis. See remedial maintenance.

preventive maintenance - (PM) To bring down a machine for inspection or test purposes.

See provocative maintenance, scratch monkey.
 program into the revised MSG-3 decision logic published in 1980. (25) The heart of RCM is the failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis (FMECA FMECA Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis ) which targets components and structures from a top-down systems approach. (26) The effectiveness of RCM is achieved through an iterative application of the FMECA throughout the weapons life cycle. (27) Additionally, a predetermined pre·de·ter·mine  
v. pre·de·ter·mined, pre·de·ter·min·ing, pre·de·ter·mines
1. To determine, decide, or establish in advance:
 level of system performance and acceptable degradation are established during the analysis, as shown in Figure 2. (28)


The importance of reaccomplishing the FMECA analysis at appropriate intervals cannot be overstated o·ver·state  
tr.v. o·ver·stat·ed, o·ver·stat·ing, o·ver·states
To state in exaggerated terms. See Synonyms at exaggerate.

; the cost efficiencies are realized by analyzing performance data on a recurring or iterative basis. Although the terms MSG-3 and RCM are often used synonymously, RCM is the methodology to determine failures and preventive maintenance actions. MSG-3 is the governmental- and industry-sanctioned application of RCM by way of a strong, integrated network A network that supports both data and voice and/or different networking protocols. See converged network and new public network.  of Federal Aviation Administration Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), component of the U.S. Department of Transportation that sets standards for the air-worthiness of all civilian aircraft, inspects and licenses them, and regulates civilian and military air traffic through its air traffic control  (FAA), airline operators, and original equipment manufacturer members. The MSG-3 construct allows the operator to adapt and change the inspection program to its particular operating requirements once reviewed and approved by the FAA. (29) The preference to use the MSG-3 term in this article is intentional; MSG-3 connotes responsiveness and receptiveness to change. This is evident in the seven revisions made to MSG3 from 1987 to 2005 to improve safety and preventive maintenance activities. (30)

Unfortunately, when the Secretary of Defense initiated sweeping reforms to the defense acquisition process in 1994, he also rescinded DoD's mandate to use RCM as well as the numerous Military Standards (MIL-STDs) that provided the methodology to accomplish the analysis. In its place, he mandated the services to rely on industry standards and best practices. (31) This action essentially orphaned legacy equipment, whose extended life cycles need the iterative engineering and operating analysis provided by RCM and the MIL-STDs. This statement is not intended to marginalize mar·gin·al·ize  
tr.v. mar·gin·al·ized, mar·gin·al·iz·ing, mar·gin·al·iz·es
To relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing.
 efforts by the weapon systems' engineers to improve the inspection continuum. However, constrained resources within Air Force Materiel Command Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) is a major command of the United States Air Force.  (AFMC AFMC Air Force Materiel Command
AFMC Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care
AFMC Armed Forces Medical College (Pune, India)
AFMC Armed Forces of America Motorcycle Club
AFMC Auxiliary Fuel Management Computer
) have limited improvements to merely administrative-type changes to the OEM's initial inspection framework. (32)

Consequently, the Air Force's older legacy aircraft now operate on an infantile infantile /in·fan·tile/ (in´fin-til) pertaining to an infant or to infancy.

1. Of or relating to infants or infancy.

 preventive maintenance inspection concept primarily developed by the OEMs without having had the benefit of an MSG-3 end-to-end reevaluation of previous decades' systems and structural performance history.

Analysis of Three Options

We must fundamentally change the culture of our Air Force so that all airmen understand their individual roles in improving their daily processes and eliminating things that don't add value to the mission.

--Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force, 7 November 2005

To provide a meaningful analysis of the three options, it is important to examine these alternatives against actual aircraft that are potential candidates for the PBD 716 initiatives. The notional candidate fleets considered for regionalized inspections are the A-10, F-15, F-16, F-22, B-l, B-52, C-130, and KC-135 aircraft. (33) The analysis will be conducted using one aircraft from each inspection construct, the F-15C/D for phase inspections, and the KC-135 for the isochronal construct.

The F-15 inspection construct combines a series of light and medium hourly post flight (HPO HPO

1. hyperbaric (high-pressure) oxygenation.

2. hypertrophic pulmonary osteodystrophy.
) inspections and a major periodic inspection (PE) in a series of 200 flying-hour intervals. For a complete phase inspection cycle, the F-15 undergoes five HPOs and one PE to produce a total of 1,200 flying hours. (34) A complete cycle from the first HPO-1 to the PE entails 3,500 steps, 584 work cards, and 1,001 man-hours. (35) The average time the F15 fleet was not mission capable (NMC NMC Nursing & Midwifery Council (UK)
NMC NSSDC Master Catalog (NASA)
NMC Northwestern Michigan College (Traverse City, Michigan)
NMC National Meteorological Center
) or not available for flying due to scheduled maintenance (phase inspections) per year during FY97 to FY06 was 2,169,296 hours out of 41,281,421 unit possessed hours, or 5.25 percent. (36) This equates to an average NMC time for phase inspections of 450.1 hours per aircraft per year. Additionally, during the same 10-year period, the availability rate averaged 67.0 percent and the total operating costs from the AFTOC data base averaged $3.676M per aircraft. (37)

The KC-135 uses an isochronal or calendar-based inspection cycle that is accomplished in 360 calendar days. The HPOs occur at day 30, 120, 180, 240 and 300. (38) Additionally, critical corrosion inspections occur at day 180 and 300, along with a mid-PE inspection at 600 flying hours and a major PE during the 300-day inspection. (39) Although the work cards do not provide a standardized timeframe to complete the steps, the average number of HPO and PE work cards and steps per year total 197 and 1,638 respectively. The average time the KC- 135 fleet was NMC for scheduled isochronal maintenance during FY97 to FY06 was 2,878,133 hours out of 3,821,265 unit possessed hours, or 75.32 percent. (40) Although this number seems unbelievable, and has been triple checked against the Multi-Echelon Resource and Logistics Information Network (MERLIN) database source, one possible reason for such a high scheduled maintenance rate may be due to the fact that the Air National Guard (ANG ANG

In currencies, this is the abbreviation for the NL Antillian Guilder.

The currency market, also known as the Foreign Exchange market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average volume of over US $1 trillion.
) possesses 196 airframes or nearly 40 percent of the total KC-135 fleet. (41) Since the ANG typically works only one shift per day, the doubled time to complete an inspection would contribute to the high scheduled maintenance rate when compared to the unit's time of possession. The average NMC time for isochronal inspections totaled 543.0 hours per aircraft per year during FY97-FY06 and produced an availability rate of 59.9 percent. (42) Additionally, the total operating costs from the AFTOC database averaged $4.184M per aircraft. (43)

Option 1--Stay the Course

The first option is to continue accomplishing phase and isochronal inspections under the current organizational construct but with a reduction of 402 personnel, as called for in PBD 716. However, instead of the aircraft having its inspection performed at a regional facility, this option calls for completing the inspections at the possessing base. Evenly distributing the 402 manning losses across the Air Force's 73 active duty inspection docks in operation after the projected Base Realignment re·a·lign  
tr.v. re·a·ligned, re·a·lign·ing, re·a·ligns
1. To put back into proper order or alignment.

2. To make new groupings of or working arrangements between.
 and Closure-2005 adjustments equates to a loss of 5.5, or 6 whole personnel per dock. As a result, the average F-15 phase dock would drop from 30 personnel to 24 and the average KC-135 isochronal dock from 35 to 29. This loss of manpower equates to an annual loss per inspection dock of 12,096 man-hours (6 personnel x 8 hours per day x 252 O&M work days per year). While it is difficult to measure the exact decrease in aircraft availability that would result under this option, a loss of 6 inspection personnel per F-15 dock would most likely extend the inspection of each aircraft by 1.5 days for HPO-1s, 2 days for HPO-2s, and 2.5 days for PEs. In a 1-year period, a single F-15 unit with 27 assigned aircraft would fall behind the current inspection production rate by 66 days, totaling 1,584 hours of aircraft nonavailability. (44) For the KC-135, the results would be similar. An annual inspection cycle with 35 personnel requires 40 days. Reducing the inspection dock down to 29 personnel would increase the time to complete the annual cycle to 48 days, causing a 12-aircraft unit to fall 96 days behind per year and lose 2,304 hours of aircraft availability. As is evident, this option would negatively impact aircraft availability due to the unit requiring more days to complete phase or isochronal inspections with less manpower. Consequently, the increase in aircraft nonavailability would drive a proportional decrease in possible sorties as well.

Operating costs would obviously decrease with this option due to the PBD-driven reduction in manpower. As the PBD 716 document states, this reduction would provide an annual savings of $58,209 per person, or $23.4M for all 402 technicians. (45) At the unit level, the loss of 6 technicians would equate to a cost reduction of $349,254, thereby positively impacting the cost criterion. However, all other costs would remain the same.

Unit control for this option, the greatest strength of the current inspection approach, remains unchanged. Although the unit will experience a lower aircraft availability rate, it will possess its assigned aircraft the same amount of days as compared to operations before PBD 716. Therefore, this option is judged as having a positive impact on this criterion.

Option 2--Fully Employ PBD 716 Initiatives: Regionalize Inspections

Fully implementing PBD 716's initiatives, as notionally determined by the Air Staff, would require units within eight aircraft types--A- 10, F- 15, F- 16, F-22, B- 1, B-52, C- 130, and KC-135--to accomplish all of their phase or isochronal inspections at regional inspection facilities while reducing the work force by 402 personnel. The concept calls for 10 regional stateside state·side  
1. Of or in the continental United States.

2. Alaska Of or in the 48 contiguous states of the United States.

adv. Informal
 inspection facilities for the Combat Air Forces and four such facilities for the Mobility Air Forces, as shown in Figures 3 and 4. (46)

For overseas-assigned fleets, bases with similar fleets in the same geographical areas would combine their inspections at a single regional inspection site.

Aircraft availability stands to achieve significant increases under this option. One of the improvements in this plan is to standardize the work cards that direct the inspection activities. Currently, almost all aircraft technical order work cards are organized according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the AFSC-tasked inspection and aircraft zone, but not according to the most efficient flow of the inspection. This has led owning organizations to develop their own inspection flow sequencing based on their own requirements and preferences. This lack of standardization across the entire aircraft fleet causes lost time when inspection personnel are rotated among other bases and must learn the new unit's sequencing. Secondly, the locally-developed procedures are not updated promptly, if at all, to incorporate changes due to systems or structural improvements which represents lost efficiencies. Transitioning to a few regional inspection facilities affords the opportunity to conduct an Air Force Smart Operations 21 (AFSO21) study to mitigate these inefficiencies. AFSO21 is the Air Force's model to harness industry process efficiencies to improve operational support and eliminate nonvalue-added work using efficiency tools such as Lean, Six-Sigma, and Theory of Constraints Theory of Constraints (TOC) is an overall management philosophy that aims to continually achieve more of the goal of a system. If that system is a for-profit business, then the goal is to make more money, both now and in future. . (47) These improvements would sequence the inspection activities for maximum efficiency and standardize the inspections across the entire fleet. Additionally, a robust training program would be developed to ensure maintenance inspectors fully understood their role in the flow sequencing and the rationale behind it. Early estimates proposed that each aircraft fleet's inspection flow time could be reduced by nearly 50 percent by incorporating these efficiencies. (48) Such reductions would enable the F-15 fleet to decrease scheduled maintenance downtime from a 10-year inspection average of 19 days to 12 days per year. (49) This could potentially add 7 additional days of availability per aircraft per year and up to 14 sorties annually. A similar improvement in isochronal inspections with the KC-135 fleet would decrease scheduled inspection downtime from a 10-year average of 23 days to 14 days per year, leading to 9 additional days of availability and potentially 18 sorties per year. (50) For contingency operations, four additional deployable docks, two at each stateside regional site, would provide the capability to perform inspections at deployed sites. Aircraft availability under this second option would improve significantly. The rationale for such a prediction is based on the process efficiencies of restructuring the inspection flow for each aircraft.



Costs for this option would be similar to those of the first option--reduced primarily due to the loss of 402 personnel, providing a savings of $23.4M. However, these savings would be offset by onetime costs, as shown in Table 2. (51) Expenses to relocate the remaining 1,020 of 1,555 inspection personnel to their respective regional inspection centers, as well as fuel and travel costs incurred in ferrying the aircraft to and from the regional inspection facilities, would offset the savings. Achieving maximum benefits through an AFSO21 review would require assistance by experienced consultants. A projected $300K cost to implement the new concept at each of the 27 stateside and overseas regional sites would total approximately $8M; a cost well worth decreasing inspection flows by half. (52) An additional cost of $130K to relocate special equipment, hardware, and other assets other assets

Assets of relatively small value. For financial reporting purposes, firms frequently combine small assets into a single category rather than listing each item separately.
 per fleet would add $1.04M. (53) Despite these costs, a total projected annual savings of nearly $12M would accrue, excluding personnel relocation and aircraft ferry costs.

Unit control under this option would be the factor most significantly decreased. Current inspection operations allow the unit to determine their phase or isochronal production rate to meet internal and external flying requirements. This flexibility provides a critical buffer to balance mission requirements with maintenance capacity. Internally, a unit will increase or decrease the number of inspections based on the flying hour program, sometimes phasing multiple aircraft simultaneously to yield short periods without any aircraft undergoing inspection. This approach has been a critical unit tool to support periods needed to upgrade pilots to four-ship aircraft flight lead prior to deployments or exercises. Additionally, units often preload preload /pre·load/ (pre´lod) the mechanical state of the heart at the end of diastole, the magnitude of the maximal (end-diastolic) ventricular volume or the end-diastolic pressure stretching the ventricles.  their inspections to fly sortie surges. For example, an F-15C fighter squadron recently set a world record for the number of sorties during a 3-day surge--a feat not likely under a regional inspection concept. (54) In addition, external real-world mission requirements, such as short-notice contingency operations and deployments, would also be difficult to execute without being able to change inspection priorities or production rates. Prior to an air and space expeditionary force An armed force organized to accomplish a specific objective in a foreign country.

expeditionary force ncuerpo expedicionario

expeditionary force ncorps m
 (AEF AEF: see World War I. ) rotation overseas, fighter units will typically increase or even surge their inspection production rate to amass enough inspections hours so that the unit doesn't need to accomplish any inspections immediately upon arriving in-theater. This surge enables the unit to have sufficient spare aircraft available with adequate remaining inspection hours.

Weather would also potentially impact the flow of aircraft inspections through a regional facility. Flying units normally attempt to maximize aircraft availability during the good months of summer flying--counterproductive to establishing a smooth fleet flow and maximizing capacity under the regional inspection dock concept. Consequently, during months of poor flying weather, the regional facilities would not have enough capacity to inspect the required number of aircraft. The regional inspection construct would require a highly responsive scheduling function in order to provide the same degree of flexibility. Finally, with inspection docks located miles away rather than just off the flight line, opportunities to cannibalize can·ni·bal·ize  
v. can·ni·bal·ized, can·ni·bal·iz·ing, can·ni·bal·iz·es
1. To remove serviceable parts from (damaged airplanes, for example) for use in the repair of other equipment of the same
 critical parts to generate sorties would be lost.

This option would improve the flow days through an efficiency study, standardized inspection technical orders, efficiently sequenced actions, and a highly skilled and trained work force. These positives would be offset by the other factors that would restrict flexibility at the unit level. The unit's ability to prepare for AEF commitments, sortie surges, and weather-driven issues, as well as respond to no-notice contingency operations, periods of low aircraft availability, time compliance technical orders (TCTO TCTO Time Compliance Technical Order
TCTO Technical Committees in Technical Operations
TCTO Travel Compensatory Time Off
), other preventive maintenance, and pilot-training requirements would be more limited and only serve to defeat mission accomplishment. In a perfect world, this alternative would be an optimal solution; however, equipment, weather, and human requirements demand more flexibility not inherent in this option.

Option 3--Hybrid Solution

Whereas the first and second options are merely administrative changes (improvements within an existing construct), the third option changes the model by employing RCM and MSG-3 concepts to their maximum extent. First, the entire inspection continuum requires a top-to-bottom reevaluation using the analysis developed under MSG-3. Drawing on the operational systems performance data already being collected, engineers could reevaluate the FMECA for each type of aircraft and realign the inspections into intervals based on the new failure projections, establishing preventive tasks as required based on the analysis. The MSG-3 construct facilitates shifting the most time-consuming, major structural inspections to the heavy PE inspections later in the phase or isochronal cycle, which allows the light-to-medium HPO inspections to concentrate on systems reliability. (55) These minor inspections can be packaged into 6-hour segments and completed during nonflying periods of the day or week at the aircraft's assigned base. Therefore, aircraft would only need to be flown to the regional inspection facility for PEs requiring more rigorous repairs or refurbishment not possible at the home station.

By employing MSG-3 on their Boeing 737 (B737) fleet of 447 aircraft, Southwest Airlines This article is about the American airline. For the former Japanese airline, see Japan Transocean Air. For the British airline, see Air Southwest.
Southwest Airlines Co.
 has been able to sustain over 3,050 flights daily with 435 of their aircraft. This equates to 97.3 percent of their fleet dedicated to the daily flying schedule. Southwest Airlines accomplishes all of their light and medium inspections overnight at airports and their heavy inspections at one of three regional locations. Using the MSG-3 model, Southwest Airlines anticipates each B737's 30-year life span will only require 82 days of downtime for scheduled inspections, resulting in a 99.97 percent aircraft availability rate throughout the aircraft's life span. (56) Annually, this downtime averages 2.73 days, or 0.7 percent, per aircraft.

Analyzing this hybrid option against the aircraft availability criterion would produce the greatest benefits by far. While no US military examples of a total conversion to an MSG-3 approach exist, AFMC has begun an MSG-3 conversion study for the C-5 fleet. The realignment of newly developed inspection tasks lengthened the 105-day, 420-day, and 840-day isochronal inspections to 120, 480, and 1460 days, respectively. (57) The net effect is to increase C-5 fleet aircraft availability by 5 aircraft per year, a 4.5 percent increase in aircraft availability. (58)

Applying the MSG-3 construct to the F-15 inspection continuum would allow the preponderance of structural inspections to be accomplished during PE checks. Consequently, HPOs could be limited to systems inspections and packaged into smaller segments that could be accomplished across several days during nonflying periods. For example, currently an F-15 averages 450 hours per year undergoing scheduled phase inspections. (59) The complete F-15 phase cycle takes approximately 5 years to complete, averaging 94 days of scheduled downtime scheduled downtime Informatics A planned, suspension of one or more computer functions to perform maintainance or enhance system operations. Cf Extended downtime.  per aircraft during that period. Because PEs require 10 days out of this entire cycle, the ability to be able to accomplish all HPOs on the ramp would add 84 days of aircraft availability over 5 years, or nearly 17 days per year for each F15. The total extra days of availability across the fleet of 482 aircraft would be the equivalent of gaining 17 additional F-15s per year and equates to a 4.6 percent increase in aircraft availability. (60) For FY06, the availability rate of 68.7 would have increased to 73.3 percent, surpassing the Air Force goal of 68.5 percent. (61) While it is unrealistic to assume that the aircraft would remain mission capable during the HPOs, estimating a 25 percent nonmission capable time during the inspections would still yield an additional 17 aircraft per year and a 3.5 percent increase in availability.

The KC-135 fleet would likewise benefit from an MSG-3 analysis and inspection approach. Over a 10-year period, each KC-135 was unavailable for an average of 23 days a year due to scheduled isochronal inspections. (62) The KC-135 is required to complete an entire isochronal cycle of six inspections within 12 months. (63) Assuming that five of the six light and medium HPOs consume 13 days and the sixth heavy PE accounts for 10 days, the MSG-3 reevaluation would repackage re·pack·age  
tr.v. re·pack·aged, re·pack·ag·ing, re·pack·ag·es
To package again or anew, especially in a more attractive package.

 inspection tasks into 6-hour segments. This would allow the light and medium HPOs to be conducted at the base, while the heavy PEs would occur at a regional inspection facility. Consequently, each KC-135 could be available 13 additional days per year, increasing the fleet availability rate by 3.5 percent. The total extra days of availability across the fleet of 530 aircraft would be the equivalent of gaining nearly 19 additional KC-135s per year, equating to an increase in availability from 61.4 to 64.9 percent for FY06, surpassing the Air Force goal of 61.4 percent. (64) Assuming a similar 25 percent nonmission capability during the minor inspections would still yield 14 additional aircraft and a 2.9 percent availability rate increase.

Of course, this hybrid option is not without significant costs. Conducting the MSG-3 analysis requires a substantial investment in time, resources, and personnel. However, one aviation maintenance expert predicts "conversion to an MSG-3 based maintenance schedule will provide significant and tangible returns [with] as much as a 30 percent reduction in scheduled maintenance costs." (65) For the C-5 fleet, AFMC has invested approximately $7M to date to standardize historical performance data and conduct a complete FMECA evaluation of all the aircraft's systems. (66) This effort began in 2002 with a staff that included engineers, analysts, systems technicians, maintenance overhaul representatives, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) The rebranding of equipment and selling it. The term initially referred to the company that made the products (the "original" manufacturer), but eventually became widely used to refer to the organization that buys the products and  representatives, flight crews, and quality assurance personnel. (67) Their strategic intent was to reduce costs and increase aircraft availability by increasing inspection intervals without compromising safety. (68) These goals have yielded a cost avoidance Cost avoidance is a management accounting term referring to an expense one has avoided incurring. It is commonly used in the field of energy management to describe the energy costs you avoided due to energy management initiatives.  of 32 percent for the C-5As and 5 percent for the C-5B fleet through the interval changes. (69) Although the finalized cost data has not been fully tabulated, the cost avoidances are in the multimillion dollar range due to the inspection interval changes. (70)

Applying a similar percentage based on the C-5's financial gains against the two test case aircraft would most likely yield similar investment costs Those program costs required beyond the development phase to introduce into operational use a new capability; to procure initial, additional, or replacement equipment for operational forces; or to provide for major modifications of an existing capability.  and cost avoidances due to the MSG-3 efforts. If a modest 10 percent cost avoidance factor were applied to the F-15 unit-level consumable A material that is used up and needs continuous replenishment, such as paper and toner. "The low-tech end of the high-tech field!"  costs, the annual savings could amount to $9.46M per year (10 percent of the average costs during FY97-FY06). (71) However, an estimated cost to conduct the MSG-3 study for the F-15 fleet could total as much as $10M. Amortizing the $10M cost of the MSG-3 study across the entire fleet of 482 aircraft would amount to a onetime investment of $20,750 per aircraft. The net savings across the FYDP of 5 years would include the $10M MSG-3 study cost and the $47.3M cost avoidance in unit-level consumables, yielding a net FYDP savings of $37.3M.

If the same modest l0 percent cost avoidance factor were applied to the KC-135 unit-level consumable costs, the annual savings could reach $8.28M (10 percent of the average costs during FY97-FY06). (72) As with the F- 15, accounting for the $10M investment to conduct the MSG-3 study across the fleet of 530 KC-135s would produce a cost per aircraft of $18,870. The net savings across the FYDP would include the $10M MSG-3 study cost and the $41.4M cost avoidance in unit-level consumables, yielding a net FYDP savings of $31.4M.

Moreover, this hybrid option would accrue the $23.4M savings projected from the reduction of 402 personnel due to the PBD 716 manpower cuts. However, rather than moving all remaining 1,555 inspection personnel to regional facilities, only a percentage would be required at the central inspection sites, due to the MSG-3's lengthened intervals for heavy inspections. Therefore, a greater percentage of inspection personnel could remain within their unit to assist with the onsite light and medium inspections. Furthermore, the inspection personnel would be assigned to the sortie generating squadron so that they could form the inspection cadre to accomplish the light and medium checks, train other flight line personnel in these duties, and contribute to sortie generation activities during slack inspection periods. Because of the realignment of inspection tasks and lengthened intervals, fewer aircraft would flow through the regional inspection facilities. Assuming that the heavy PE inspections would account for one-sixth of all current base-level inspections, as is the case with the F-15 and KC-135, then just one-sixth of unit inspection personnel would need to be assigned to the regional facility. Even if 20 percent of the 1,555 inspection personnel were required to perform the heavy PEs, only 311 personnel would need to be relocated to the regional sites--a substantial cost savings compared to Option 2's requirement to move all 1,555.

Finally, unlike under Options 1 and 2, the hybrid alternative maximizes unit control of assigned aircraft. This option enables the unit to conduct its light and medium inspections at the base using the MSG-3 approach. Being able to break inspections into small, 6-hour blocks enables a unit to more readily control the inspection flow to better meet unforecasted requirements, taskings, and AEF deployment demands. Furthermore, the unit still retains the inspection personnel who can deploy with them to the AEF location to ensure that inspections are accomplished during the deployment. These benefits are simply not available under the regionalized concept of Option 2.

Summary and Implementation Considerations

This chapter has examined three options for allowing the Air Force to perform phase and isochronal inspections with 402 fewer personnel. Option 1 retains the current inspection concept of performing the inspections at the base but with 402 fewer personnel. Unfortunately, with less manpower to complete inspection tasks under the current construct, inspection time would increase, causing aircraft availability to decrease. Option 2 sends all aircraft to a regional inspection facility. As compared to Option 1, this option would improve aircraft availability but would require implementation expenditures and significantly degrade a unit's flexibility to accomplish mission requirements and thereby control the health of its fleet.

Option 3 provides a hybrid solution that significantly improves both aircraft availability and unit control. This option requires approximately $10M per aircraft fleet, or $80M across the Air Force' s eight aircraft types, to conduct the failure analysis and to determine the inspection task packaging for the MSG-3 approach. The initial investment is minimal when compared to the gains. When analyzed against the F-15 and KC-135 fleets, the MSG-3 approach offers the equivalent of gaining 31 additional aircraft per year from both fleets. This option packages the minor inspections into 6-hour segments that can be accomplished overnight or between sorties by personnel assigned to the sortie generating unit who can continue the inspection rhythm at home station or deployed to a combat environment. Consequently, the unit to which the aircraft are assigned retains both responsibility and authority for the health of their fleet. Pride of ownership, as General Wilbur Creech demonstrated with the dedicated crew chief program during his tenure as commander of Tactical Air Command Tactical Air Command (TAC) (1946 - 1992) was a Major Command of the United States Air Force (USAF) charged with battlefield-level (tactical) air combat, including light bombardment, close air support of ground troops, interdiction of enemy forces, and air transport of , is not inconsequential for maintaining and improving aircraft readiness levels. Additionally, Option 3's plan to fly the aircraft to a regional inspection facility for the heavy, structure-focused inspections leverages the regional experience and industrial-type test and repair equipment not found at the base level.

Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially
, by fully supporting the most significant Army restructuring in the last 50 years, Option 3 offers significant benefits for Joint operations A general term to describe military actions conducted by joint forces or by Service forces in relationships (e.g., support, coordinating authority) which, of themselves, do not create joint forces. . In keeping with their emphasis on expeditionary ex·pe·di·tion·ar·y  
1. Relating to or constituting an expedition.

2. Sent on or designed for military operations abroad: the French expeditionary force in Indochina.

Adj. 1.
, brigade-sized organizations, the Army is eliminating 36 heavy field artillery units, 10 air defense units, and 19 armor units to build military police, civil affairs Designated Active and Reserve component forces and units organized, trained, and equipped specifically to conduct civil affairs activities and to support civil-military operations. Also called CA. See also civil affairs activities; civil-military operations. , psychological, and biological detection units. (73) As a result, the Army will fully rely on the Air Force and the other Services to provide their artillery fire support through improved precision attack munitions mu·ni·tion  
War materiel, especially weapons and ammunition. Often used in the plural.

tr.v. mu·ni·tioned, mu·ni·tion·ing, mu·ni·tions
To supply with munitions.
. Option 3's opportunities for increased aircraft availability and unit control establish the foundation for the Air Force to better shoulder this Joint fire support responsibility and increase its relevance in the Joint arena. Even though the savings for Option 2 are greater in the short term, Option 3 provides hundreds more airframes across the entire fleet every year; a long term increase in aircraft availability that more than justifies the initial additional investment. In today's environment of Joint interdependency and constrained aircraft recapitalization, the low-risk, high-yield dividends demand serious consideration of Option 3. Table 3 summarizes the key aircraft availability, cost, and unit control data for the F-15 and KC-135 test cases.

To implement a vigorous MSG-3 reevaluation across the eight or more weapon systems candidates, several actions need to be taken. At the Air Staff level, policy and sufficient funding must be established for conducting the MSG-3 review and analyses. The process needs to be formalized for·mal·ize  
tr.v. for·mal·ized, for·mal·iz·ing, for·mal·iz·es
1. To give a definite form or shape to.

a. To make formal.

, with standardized guidance for mandatory participants [Headquarters United States Air Force United States Air Force (USAF)

Major component of the U.S. military organization, with primary responsibility for air warfare, air defense, and military space research. It also provides air services in coordination with the other military branches. U.S.
, major commands (MAJCOM MAJCOM Major Command (USAF) ), system program offices (SPO SPO System(s) Program Office
SPO System(s) Project Office
Spo Schizosaccharomyces Pombe
SPO Srpski Pokret Obnove
), and others] regarding responsibilities, time lines, and funding requirements. A decision and approval process for initiating and conducting subsequent iterative MSG-3 reevaluations needs to be established. The lead MAJCOMs for the candidate aircraft need to partner with the SPOs to standardize the inspections flow for the most efficient sequence, devise user-friendly, industry-standard type work cards to improve technician efficiency, and fund AFSO21 consultants to outline the most efficient way ahead. Additionally, the commands must develop acceptable levels of system degradation and formalize them in a revised minimum essential systems list (MESL MESL Museum Educational Site Licensing
MESL Museum of Eastern Shore Life (Centreville, MD)
MESL Mission Essential Subsystem List
MESL Mission Event Synchronization List
MESL Men's Evangelical Softball League
) to balance mission requirements against sustainment costs. Along with these changes, the new inspection process must be gradually phased in, allowing pilot units to test and refine the new system before employing it across the fleet. Finally, units need to set up training programs for their inspection personnel and employ AFSO21 consultants to assist in transitioning to the new MSG-3 inspection construct. These recommendations would create the type of responsive and predictive inspection environment that would produce improved aircraft availability and reliability with decreased operating costs.


As the author of the Bible verse in Ecclesiastes observed, there is a time for everything, including change. The budgetary decreases across the next several FYDPs mandate that the Air Force reexamine re·ex·am·ine also re-ex·am·ine  
tr.v. re·ex·am·ined, re·ex·am·in·ing, re·ex·am·ines
1. To examine again or anew; review.

2. Law To question (a witness) again after cross-examination.
 all of its current processes. Driven by the manpower cuts dictated in PBD 716 and 720, the time for changing aircraft inspections is now. Increasing aircraft availability while decreasing operating costs without sacrificing combat capability requires more than mere administrative changes to the Air Force's current phase and isochronal inspection processes.

Compelling reasons exist to radically change the current inspection process. The Air Force's inventory of aircraft has become more geriatric than ever before, leading to increased downtime due to inspections and age-related maintenance factors. Consequently, operating costs for these mature aircraft fleets have soared 83 percent over the last decade. (74)

Because of the projected budget shortfalls, aircraft recapitalization programs will be severely constrained and will take 20 years or longer to fully replace their predecessors. As a result, older aircraft will be forced to continue in service to cover the combat capability gaps until the replacement aircraft achieve full strength. Additionally, the cost of replacement weapons systems has become so great that Congress has enacted legislation to prevent the Air Force from retiring aircraft, forcing older aircraft to be flown and be maintained for longer periods to maximize their return on investment.

Overlaid on these factors is the fact that the Air Force has been engaged in combat operations since 1991 and will likely continue to be for the foreseeable future. The combination of high operations tempo, an aging total fleet, and continual personnel reductions makes it imperative for the Air Force to apply AFSO21 concepts to the aircraft inspection process. The threat of terrorism and asymmetric warfare has forced the Air Force to be continually ready to deploy and fight. The Army's transformation and increasingly joint nature of military operations make it imperative for the Air Force to achieve and sustain the highest levels of aircraft availability possible. With the PBD-driven manpower reductions, the Air Force cannot continue to carry out the current manpower-intensive inspection requirements and still sustain today' s levels of combat capability. The MSG-3 approach offers the Air Force an opportunity to fully exploit AFSO21 efficiencies to produce combat-ready aircraft with increased availability, reduced cost, and improved unit control through an iterative and responsive inspection construct. Transforming the aircraft inspection process is one approach to produce the efficiencies required to better defend the United States and her allies in the global war against terrorism.

Donald A. Van Patten The Van Patten family has made a name for themselves in Hollywood as a family of actors and directors.

Members include:
  • Dick Van Patten
  • Joyce Van Patten
  • Vincent Van Patten
  • James Van Patten
  • Nels Van Patten
  • Timothy Van Patten
, Colonel, USAF

For Want of a Spanner

A curious minor logistical mystery of Royal Air Force History in World War II was the shortage of hand tools. This lasted well into 1943, four years after the war began and nine years after rearmament re·arm  
v. re·armed, re·arm·ing, re·arms
1. To arm again.

2. To equip with better weapons.

To arm oneself again.
 started in 1934.

Before wartime expansion, fitters and riggers did their initial course at No. 1 Technical Training School at Habton. They specialized either as engine fitters or as airframe riggers. Upon completion of the course, they were sent to squadrons where in seven years their education was completed.

At the squadron they reported to A, B, or C Flight where they were issued a toolkit. If they were transferred from one flight to another, they had to turn in their toolbox and have the contents accounted for before proceeding across the street to draw another set from their new flight. In biplane biplane, aircraft, typically of early design, having two sets of wings fixed at different levels, especially in a vertical stack with the fuselage included between them. See airplane.  days, a fitter or a rigger assigned to a two seater not only acted as the gunner, but in colonial theaters lashed his toolbox to the wing next to the fuselage in case of a forced landing.

What makes the case of the missing hand tools so intriguing is that the historical documentation concerning the ordering of such necessary items has disappeared (meaning it has either been destroyed or it has been filed with the papers of a successor organization of unlikely title).

The first clue to the problem came from the Operational Record Book (ORB) of a repair and salvage unit (RSU RSU Restricted Stock Unit
RSU Rogers State University (Claremore, Oklahoma)
RSU Rifiuti Solidi Urbani (Italiano)
RSU Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria (Italian Group of Unions) 
) in the Middle East in 1940 which opened by noting that of the RSU's 62 personnel, only 25 had tools. So they were happy to pass on salvaged aircraft to whoever claimed them. What this meant was that in a theater then desperate for serviceable aircraft, many were standing idle because the necessary repairs could not be made for want of a spanner, let alone the necessary spares.

But the matter is important because in 1943 in Burma (South-East Asia South-East Asia nle Sud-Est asiatique

South-East Asia south nSüdostasien nt

South-East Asia n
 Command or SEAC SEAC Student Environmental Action Coalition
SEAC Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
SEAC Southeast Archeological Center (National Park Service)
SEAC South East Asia Command (Allies WWII) 
), the Beaufighters of No. 26 Squadron only sortied once every 18 days due to lack of tools and spares.

The fact that the RAF had insisted on standardized nuts, bolts and other fittings meant that special tools were not needed. Unserviceability was due to the unavailability of regular tools.

Robin Higham, PhD


(1.) Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, The Holy Bible Holy Bible

name for book containing the Christian Scriptures. [Christianity: NCE, 291]

See : Writings, Sacred
, New King James Version
''For other uses of King James Version, see King James Version (disambiguation).

History of the English Bible
Old English translations
Lindisfarne Gospels

Middle English translations
Wyclif's Bible

(2.) Department of Defense, Program Budget Decision (PBD) 720: Air Force Transformation Flight Plan, Washington, DC: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense [Comptroller], 28 December 2005, 11.

(3.) Department of Defense, Program Budget Decision (PBD) 716: Directed Offsets--Air Force, Washington, DC: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense [Comptroller], 20 December 2005, 9.

(4.) Aircraft initially proposed by Headquarters USAF/A4MY in Fall 2005 as potential candidates for regionalized inspections were the active duty A-10, F-15, F-16, F-22, B-I, B-52, C-130, and KC-135 fleets.

(5.) Lt Gen Lt Gen or LtGen
lieutenant general
 Donald Wetekam, DCS/Installations & Logistics, HQ USAF/ A4, and Lt Gen Richard Reynolds, Vice Commander, HQ AFMC to directors of logistics at HQs AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Card) See AdvancedTCA. , AFMC, ACC See adaptive cruise control. , and AFSOC AFSOC Air Force Special Operations Command
AFSOC Air Force special operations component (US DoD) 
, letter, 8 April 2005. This letter directed the 20 percent aircraft availability by FY11. Later, HQ USAF/A4M and HQ AFMC/A4 included the 10 percent cost reduction effort in the August 2006 AAIP.

(6.) Col John Stankowski, Chief, Weapons System Division, HQ USAF/ A4MY, Briefing, subject: eLog21--AAIP, 1 December 2006, slides 3-25. The AAIP was formed in April 2005 to improve depot overhaul efficiency and parts processes for 20 aircraft fleets.

(7.) Department of Defense, Program Budget Decision 716: Directed Offsets--Air Force, 2.

(8.) Lt Gen Steve Wood Steve Wood can refer to:
  • Stephen W. Wood, a Republican assemblyman from North Carolina
  • Steve Wood, an early programmer for Microsoft and technology investor
  • Steve Wood, a swimmer for Australia
, Director of Requirements, Headquarters USAF/ A8, Subject: Blue Horizons, Briefing, 3 August 2006, Slide 22.

(9.) Headquarters USAF/A4MY, subject: What are the Effects of Aging?, 2 February 2006, slide 1.

(10.) Air Force Portal, Applications: Multi-Echelon Resource and Logistics Information Network (MERLIN), Mission Performance, MMH MMH Modern Materials Handling
MMH Monomethyl Hydrazine
MMH Morristown Memorial Hospital (Morristown, New Jersey)
MMH Master of Management in Hospitality
MMH Maintenance Man-Hours
MMH Manchester Memorial Hospital
 per FH for total Air Force inventory, FY91-FY05, [Online] Available:, accessed 18 February 2007.

(11.) Lt Gen Wood, Blue Horizons, slide 23.

(12.) Department of Defense, Operating and Support Cost-Estimating Guide, Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is part of the United States Department of Defense and includes the entire staff of the Secretary of Defense. It is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource  [Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG CAIG Cost Analysis Improvement Group (DOD) )], May 1992, 4-1 to 4-8. The CAIG is an OSD (1) (On-Screen Display) An on-screen control panel for adjusting monitors and TVs. The OSD is used for contrast, brightness, horizontal and vertical positioning and other monitor adjustments.  body that analyzes merged data from the AFTOC, Reliability and Maintainability Information System (REMIS REMIS Real Estate Management Information System
REMIS Reliability & Maintainability Information System
REMIS Risk Evaluation & Management Information System
REMIS Regional Environmental Management Information System
REMIS Regional Emergency Medical Information System
), Multi-Echelon Resource and Logistics Information Network (MERLIN), and Personnel Data System (PDS (1) (Processor Direct Slot) A single expansion slot on certain, early Macintosh models that was used to connect high-speed peripherals as well as additional CPUs. Providing a channel directly to the CPU, the PDS coexisted with NuBus slots on some models. ) systems. There are seven main CAIG-element categories of cost data contained in the AFTOC: mission personnel pay and allowances, unit-level consumption, intermediate maintenance, depot maintenance, contractor support, sustaining support, and indirect support.

(13.) Lt Gen Wood, Blue Horizons, slide 21.

(14.) Maj Gen Maj Gen or MajGen
major general
 Frank Faykes, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget (Financial Management and Comptroller), Headquarters SAF/FMB, subject: FY07 USAF Posture & Acquisition Hearing (HAC-D) briefing, 8 March 2006, slide 10.

(15.) Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. , Unabridged, s.v. "isochronal."

(16.) Air Force Instruction (AFI) 21-101, Aircraft and Equipment Maintenance Management, 29 June 2006, 24-25.

(17.) Col Steve Schumacher, Chief, Weapons System Division, Headquarters USAF/A4MY, subject: "Cost To Sustain & Operate Select Aging Aircraft," briefing, 15 November 2005, slide 5.

(18.) Gen John Jumper, Chief of Staff (CSAF), Headquarters USAF, "Wing Organization Evolution, 1947-2002," briefing, 21 February 2003, slide 37.

(19.) AFI 21-101, Aircraft and Equipment Maintenance Management, 29 June 2006, 381.

(20.) Dave Nakata, "Why Transition to a MSG-3 Based Maintenance Schedule?," EmpowerMX White Paper, [Online] Available:, accessed 12 December 2006.

(21.) F. Stanley Nowlan and Howard F. Heap, Reliability-Centered Maintenance, San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850.
, CA:Dolby Access Press, 1978, 5-6.

(22.) Airline Transport Association (ATA) of America MSG-3, Operator/ Manufacturer Scheduled Maintenance Development, Revision 2003,1,5. The ATA is the principle trade organization of major US airlines, OEMs, and other airline-related businesses.

(23.) Dave Nakata, "Why Transition to a MSG-3 Based Maintenance Schedule?" 1-2.

(24.) Nowlan and Heap, Reliability-Centered Maintenance, vii.

(25.) ATA of America MSG-3, Operator/Manufacturer Scheduled Maintenance Development, 4.

(26.) DoD MIL-STD DOD MIL-STD Department of Defense Military Standard  1629A, Procedures for Performing a Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis, 24 November 1980, iii.

(27.) Ibid.

(28.) Scott Vandersall, Chief Engineer (C-5), 730th Aircraft Sustainment Group (AFMC), "Maintenance Steering Group 3 (MSG-3)," briefing, 17 January 2006, slide 6.

(29.) ATA of America MSG-3, Operator/Manufacturer Scheduled Maintenance Development, 12.

(30.) ATA of America MSG-3, Operator/Manufacturer Scheduled Maintenance Development, 7-8.

(31.) Dr Edward Rogers and Col Robert P. Birmingham, USA, "A Ten-Year Review of the Vision for Transforming the Defense Acquisition System," Defense Acquisition Review Journal, January-April 2004, 38-40, [Online] Available:

(32.) Discussion with Col Steve Schumacher, Chief, Weapons System Division, Headquarters USAF/A4MY, Pentagon, DC, 7 April 2006.

(33.) Colonel Schumacher, "Enterprise View of Aircraft Inspections," briefing, slides 36-37.

(34.) The complete cycle for an F-15 phase inspection requires an HPO-1, HPO-2, HPO-1, HPO-2, HPO-1, and PE to produce 1,200 phase hours. The HPO-1 contains 494 steps in 77 separate work cards, totaling 120 man-hours. The HPO-2 includes the HPO-1 inspection items and comprises 673 steps in 114 work cards and nearly 201 man-hours to complete. The PE includes both HPOs, has 705 steps in 125 work cards, and requires 239.4 man-hours to complete.

(35.) Technical Order (TO) 1F-15A-6WC-5, Workcards: Periodic Inspection, USAF Series F-15A/B/C/D Aircraft, Change 20, 15 August 1999, i to 3-11.

(36.) Scott Finley, Chief Analyst, Headquarters USAF/A4MY; data retrieved from Air Force Portal, Applications: Reliability and Maintainability Information System (REMIS - USAF), Scheduled Maintenance Downtime for F-15 and KC-135 Aircraft, FY1997-FY2006, [Online] Available:, accessed 31 January 2007.

(37.) Air Force Portal, Applications: Multi-Echelon Resource and Logistics Information Network (MERLIN), Mission Performance, Weapon Systems Availability for KC-135, FY97-FY06, [Online] Available: https :// sionPerformance/mission_WSA_unit.asp, accessed 31 January 2007. Larry Klapper, Financial Analyst, Air Force Cost Analysis Agency (AFCAA AFCAA Air Force Cost Analysis Agency ), data retrieved from AFTOC database, CAIG elements for F-15 and KC135 fleets, 6 February 2007.

(38.) TO 1C-135A-6WC-1, All 135 Aircraft: Preflight/Postflight/Hourly Post-Flight Inspection Workcards, Change 10, 1 August 2005, 1-14.

(39.) TO 1C-135A-6WC-2, All -135 Aircraft: Periodic Inspection Workcards, Change 5, 1 August 2005, 1-01.

(40.) Scott Finley, REMIS--USAF, Scheduled Maintenance Downtime for F-15 and KC-135 Aircraft.

(41.) "Major Commands," Air Force Magazine, Journal of the Air Force Association: 2006 USAF Almanac almanac, originally, a calendar with notations of astronomical and other data. Almanacs have been known in simple form almost since the invention of writing, for they served to record religious feasts, seasonal changes, and the like.  89, No 5, [Online] Available:, May 2006, 114-116.

(42.) Scott Finley, REMIS--USAF, Scheduled Maintenance Downtime for F-15 and KC-135 Aircraft, and Air Force Portal, Applications: MERLIN, Mission Performance, Weapons Systems Availability for KC-135, FY97-FY06, 31, accessed January 2007.

(43.) Larry Klapper, AFTOC database, CAIG elements for F-15 and KC135 fleets, 6 February 2007.

(44.) The extra days were derived from the total time an inspection currently requires--the HPO-1 takes 6 days to complete with 30 technicians working 8 hours for 1,440 total man-hours; the HPO-2, 8 days at 1,920 total man-hours; and the PE, 10 days at 2,400 total man-hours. This was compared to the number of days required with 6 less technicians per inspection.

(45.) DOD, PBD 716: Directed Offsets - Air Force, 2.

(46.) Colonel Schumacher, "Enterprise View of Aircraft Inspections," briefing, slides 36-37.

(47.) Brig Gen Brig Gen
brigadier general
 S. Gilbert, Director of Air Force Smart Ops, Headquarters USAF/A3-SO, "AFSO21: Air Force Smart Ops for the 21st Century," 3 January 2007, slide 5.

(48.) Colonel Schumacher, "Enterprise View of Aircraft Inspections," briefing, slide 34.

(49.) Scott Finley, REMIS--USAF, Scheduled Maintenance Downtime for F-15 and KC-135 Aircraft. The 12 days of scheduled maintenance downtime includes 2 days required to deliver the aircraft to and from the regional site.

(50.) Ibid. The 14 days of scheduled maintenance downtime includes 2 days required to deliver the aircraft to and from the regional site.

(51.) Colonel Schumacher, "Enterprise View of Aircraft Inspections," briefing, slide 36.

(52.) Ibid.

(53.) Ibid.

(54.) Author's personal experience while assigned as the squadron maintenance officer, 60th Fighter Squadron (FS), 33rd Fighter Wing (ACC), Eglin AFB AFB
acid-fast bacillus

AFB Acid-fast bacillus, also 1. Aflatoxin B 2. Aorto-femoral bypass
, FL. The 60 FS made Air Force history in 2000 by flying 130 sorties in a single day and 362 over 3 days; eclipsing the world record by 18 sorties for 1-day and 37 sorties for 3-day flying windows.

(55.) Scott Vandersall, "MSG-3," briefing, slide 4.

(56.) Author's discussion with Gregg Brown, Manager, Regulatory Compliance, Southwest Airlines), 23 February 2006.

(57.) Scott Vandersall, "MSG-3," briefing, slide 12.

(58.) Scott Vandersall, "MSG-3," briefing, slide 57.

(59.) Scott Finley, REMIS--USAF, Scheduled Maintenance Downtime for F-15 and KC-135 Aircraft.

(60.) Additional F-15s per year calculated by multiplying fleet of 482 by 17 extra days and dividing by 365 days per year to yield 22.

(61.) Air Force Portal, Applications: MERLIN, Mission Performance, Weapon Systems Availability for F-15A-D, FY97-FY06, 29 January 2007, and MERLIN, Readiness Review, 12 December 06, slide 3, [Online] Available:, both accessed 29 January 2007.

(62.) Scott Finley, REMIS--USAF, Scheduled Maintenance Downtime for F-15 and KC-135 Aircraft.

(63.) TO 1C-135A-6WC-1, All 135 Aircraft: Preflight/Postflight/Hourly Post-Flight Inspection Workcards, 1-14.

(64.) Air Force Portal, Applications: MERLIN, Mission Performance, Weapon Systems Availability for F-15A-D, FY97-FY06, 29 January 2007, and MERLIN, Readiness Review, 12 December 06, slide 3.

(65.) Dave Nakata, "Why Transition to a MSG-3 Based Maintenance Schedule?," 3.

(66.) Author's interview with Scott Vandersall, 22 February 2006.

(67.) Scott Vandersall, MSG-3, slide 21.

(68.) Scott Vandersall, MSG-3, 22.

(69.) Scott Vandersall, MSG-3, 57.

(70.) Ibid.

(71.) Larry Klapper, AFTOC database, CAIG elements for F-15 and KC135 fleets, 6 February 2007.

(72.) Ibid.

(73.) Col Gene Kamena, "US Army Service Employment," briefing Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, 21 November 2006, slide 29.

(74.) Lt Gen Wood, Blue Horizons, slide 21.

Colonel Donald A. Van Patten is a career aircraft maintenance officer. At the time of writing of this article he was a student at the Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. His maintenance assignments have taken him to bases in Air Education and Training Command Air Education and Training Command (AETC) was established July 1, 1993, with the realignment of Air Training Command and Air University. It is one of ten major commands (MAJCOMs), reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force (HQ USAF). , Air Combat Command, and United States Air Forces in Europe The United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) is the U.S. Air Force component of U.S. , sustaining F-16A/B/C/D, F-15 C/D, EF/F-111E and A- I O aircraft, and other joint and NATO NATO: see North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
 in full North Atlantic Treaty Organization

International military alliance created to defend western Europe against a possible Soviet invasion.
 aircraft while assigned to Operations PROVIDE COMFORT and NORTHERN WATCH. He commanded the 33a Logistics Support Squadron and 33d Maintenance Squadron at Eglin AFB, FL, followed by a tour in the Pentagon as Chief of Base Maintenance Policy and Chief of Tanker Aircraft Sustainment in the Chief of Staff Deputate for Installations and Logistics, Headquarters, United States Air Force. Colonel Van Patten holds a bachelor of arts degree from Iowa State University Academics
ISU is best known for its degree programs in science, engineering, and agriculture. ISU is also home of the world's first electronic digital computing device, the Atanasoff–Berry Computer.
, a master of science degree from Golden Gate University, a master of arts Master of Arts

a degree, usually postgraduate in a nonscientific subject, or a person holding this degree

Noun 1. Master of Arts - a master's degree in arts and sciences
Artium Magister, MA, AM
 degree from the Air Command and Staff College The Air Command and Staff College (ACSC) is located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama and is the United States Air Force's intermediate professional military education (PME) school. , Air University, and a master of arts degree from Air War College, Air University. He is currently the Deputy Commander, 57th Maintenance Group, Nellis AFB, Nevada
Table 1. MSG-1 and MSG-2 Savings

Type of Preventive       Traditional Approach    MSG-1 & MSG-2 Approach

Structural inspections   4M man-hours for DC-8   66K man-hours for B747
for 20K flying hours

Overhaul                 339 items for DC-8      7 items for DC-10

Turbine engine           Scheduled               On-condition
overhaul                                         (cut DC-8 shop
                                                 maintenance costs
                                                 50 percent)

* Traditional approach to maintenance held that the more frequently
equipment was inspected and overhauled, the better it was protected
against failure, thus resulting in numerous tasks.

Table 2. Option 2 Notional Implementation Costs

Inspection Dock Calculations

                         Before   After *

A-10, F-15, F-16, F-22     50        29
B-1, B-52                   7         4
KC-135                      6         4
C-130                      10         7
Total                      73        44

* Based on 50 percent inspection flow reduction;
does not take credit for BRAC

Inspection Personnel Calculations

Post-BRAC/Pre-Regional Personnel: 2,033          After

A-10, F-15, F-16,        (30/dock x 29 docks)_   1,050
F-22                     (30/dock x 6 AEF
B-1, B-52                30/dock x 4 docks         120
KC-135                                             140
C-130                                              245
Total                                            1,555

Cost Calculations (in $M)

1st FY = AFS021 training/contractor and reorganization
per MDS site = $0.30M

2nd FY = Regionalization/relocate assets per MDS = $0.13M

Aircraft   Sites   FY07    FY08    FY09    FY10    FY11    Total

F-16          5    $1.50   $0.13                           $1.63
C-130         4    $1.20   $0.13                           $1.33
A-10          4            $1.20   $0.13                   $1.33
KC-135        4            $1.20   $0.13                   $1.33
C-5 **        4                    $0.30   $0.13           $0.43
F-15C/E       6                    $1.80   $0.13           $1.93
B-52          1                    $0.30   $0.13           $0.43
B-1           1                            $0.30   $0.13   $0.43
F-22          2                            $0.60   $0.13   $0.73

Total              $2.70   $2.66   $2.66   $1.29   $0.26   $9.57

Table 3. Comparison of the Three Inspection Options


                            Option 1
                         Stay the Course

                 F-15                    KC-135

Aircraft         Decreases               Decreases
Availability     1,177 days *            4,240 days
(AA)             (Equiv of               (Equiv of
                 4 less                  12 less
                 F-15s/yr;               KC-135s/yr;
                 -0.7%                   -2.2%
                 AA)                     AA)

Operating Cost   No additional savings
                 above $23.4M FYDP
                 Manpower Savings for
                 all Air Force Fleets

Unit Control     Retain in Status Quo

                             Option 2
                      Regionalize Inspections

                 F-15                    KC-135

Aircraft         Increases               Increases
Availability     3,374                   4,770
(AA)             days *                  days *
                 (Equiv of               (Equiv of
                 9 more                  13 more
                 F-15s/yr;               KC-135s/yr;
                 1.9%                    2.7%
                 AA)                     AA)

                 Additional Investment of:

Operating Cost   $1.93M in               $1.33 M in
                 FYDP                    FYDP

Unit Control     Significantly Decreased in
                 Regionalization Approach

                              Option 3
                            Hybrid MSG-3

                 F-15                    KC-135

Aircraft         Increases               Increases
Availability     6,146                   5,167
(AA)             days **                 days **
                 (Equiv of               (Equiv of
                 17 more                 14 more
                 F-15s/yr;               KC-135s/yr
                 +3.5% AA)               2.9%

                 Additional Savings of:

Operating Cost   $37.3M ***              $31.4M ***
                 In FYDP;                In FYDP;
                 $9.46M/FY               $8.28M/FY
                 Thereafter              Thereafter

Unit Control     Retained in MSG-3
                 Approach h

* Increases/decreases are calculated across the entire fleet
of 482 F-15 and 530 KC-135 aircraft.

** Accounts for assumed 25%
nonmission capable status during light and medium inspections.

*** FYDP savings deducts the one-time $10M investment for the MSG-3
study; annual savings; thereafter would be based on 5-year savings
of $47.3M (F-15) and $41.4M (KC-135).
COPYRIGHT 2008 U.S. Air Force, Logistics Management Agency
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
John William Elliott Jr. (Member):  4/29/2010 9:04 AM
I have been an F-15 eagle keeper here at Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Ga. After working in a tool box for 20 years, I got a job inspecting the aircraft. For 8 years I have been in E&I. I have seen the condition of these aircraft coming in from the field units. They are not maintained in a flying condition. If they were we wouldnt be finding as much wrong with the aircraft as we are. So be very careful about contracting out in particular the deopt level inspection/maintenance part of F-15. If interested in any more input, contact me in my office Looking forward to a good discussion

 Reader Opinion




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Title Annotation:21st Century Logistics Challenges
Author:Van Patten, Donald A.
Publication:Air Force Journal of Logistics
Date:Dec 22, 2008
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