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4th CMS propulsion flight: keeping Eagles soaring, engines screaming
Senior Airman Russell White, 4th Component Maintenance Squadron propulsion flight journeyman, inspects the augmenter liner of an F-15E Strike Eagle engine, April 10, 2014, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. The propulsion flight is responsible for supplying war-ready engines in support of more than 90 F-15E aircraft by inspecting, tearing down, and building the engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes)
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4th CMS propulsion flight: keeping Eagles soaring, engines screaming

Posted 4/24/2014   Updated 4/24/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Shawna L. Keyes
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/24/2014 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C.  -- With more than 90 F-15E Strike Eagles assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing, aircraft maintenance is a huge undertaking for Team Seymour Airmen.

With Seymour Johnson's four fighter squadrons, and factoring in each of the wing's 90 aircraft has two jet engines, one can see how busy a day in the life of an Airman who specializes in maintaining the F-15E Strike Eagle's turbofan engines can be.

These Airmen are the 4th Component Maintenance Squadron's propulsion flight; they know the Strike Eagle engines inside and out.

"The most rewarding part of our job is knowing our engine is allowing the pilot to put bombs on target," said Master Sgt. Daniel Mozier, 4th CMS propulsion flight assistant chief. "When the guys on the ground need air support or the aircraft needs to provide air superiority, they're going to get it because we did our jobs to the best of our ability."

Boasting the largest propulsion flight in the Air Force in terms of the number of engines maintained by the flight, the 76 Airmen assigned maintain approximately 160 more jet engines than their nearest counter part, totaling more than 200 jet engines.

The mandate of the 4th CMS propulsion flight is to supply war-ready engines in support of the wing's aircraft, conduct aircrew training and support real-world contingency operations.

"Our Airmen must be knowledgeable and proficient due to the critical nature of an engine," said Mozier. "They must be able to follow technical data and use a variety of special tools to ensure the engines are safe and reliable."

The flight has six sections responsible for the inspection, disassembly, assembly, and testing of the engines: Jet Engine Intermediate Maintenance, modular repair, support, secondary power, programs and the test cell.

The JEIM section conducts scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on the engines. Modular repair takes the modules, an engine component that's self-contained and interchangeable, from the JEIM section and repairs and rebuilds the module then sends it back to JEIM. Support completes more than 600 inspections each month on consolidated tool kits, test equipment, support equipment and mobility assets. They support all sections in the propulsion flight as well as the flightline. Secondary power ensures all engine transportation trailers and lift trailers are serviceable and readily accessible. Programs ensures everyone's training is up to date and oversees the building manager, security manager and unit deployment manager for the shop. Test cell is this last line of defense. For every engine JEIM works on, the test cell has to complete a certain series of runs that ensures the engines are fully mission capable.

"Engine maintenance is very complex," said Mozier. "All the different components and modules must function properly, and a majority of the maintenance requires attention to detail due to critical measurements, clearances, and tolerances."

In a typical day, the propulsions flight has seven to 10 engines requiring maintenance, and each section plays an important role in producing a serviceable engine. The JEIM section will typically disassemble, inspect, and reassemble an engine in around 15-workdays.

Whenever possible, the flightline crews of the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron try and fix problems in the aircraft before removing the engine and sending it back to the propulsion flight. If fixing it on the flightline isn't possible, the engine is sent back to the shop where they troubleshoot everything to find the problem.

"One thing we do better than most is work with our 4th AMXS flightline counterparts," said Master Sgt. Robert Spears, 4th CMS JEIM section chief. "It takes a combined effort to keep our aircraft operational. Due to our cooperation, the engines on our jets, on average, stay on the aircraft twice as long as most other bases."

According to Spears, the flying at Seymour Johnson is more intensive than anywhere else he's been.

"These maintainers excel at what they do, and they've met every obstacle head-on," said Spears. "All because of their dedication and no-nonsense work ethic, they help produce safe and reliable engines for the aircraft."



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