A team of 30 Airmen from the 103rd Maintenance Group deployed to Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, St. Joseph, Missouri to receive hands-on training in isochronal inspections on the C-130H Hercules aircraft under the watchful eyes of seasoned aircraft maintainers from the 139th Maintenance Group, May 1.
Isochronal inspections involve regularly scheduled aircraft maintenance activities that require teamwork from a full spectrum of diverse maintainers working in concert to address potential aircraft discrepancies, said Maj. Evan Hunt, commander of the 103rd Maintenance Squadron.
“Members of the inspection shop are joined by maintainers from the structural, propulsion, avionics, electro environmental, hydraulics, fuels, flight line and quality assurance shops in an effort to successfully complete isochronal inspections,” said Hunt.
At some point this sort of inspection will be a regular occurrence at the 103rd Airlift Wing, but for now, “we are unable to conduct these inspections here while our facilities are undergoing renovations,” said Hunt. “Meanwhile our developing maintenance capabilities are certainly benefitting from the additional training being conducted by our friends in the Missouri Air National Guard."
While skills are sharpened and required maintenance activities are completed, deployed unit members are also making strong bonds with other members of the C-130 community.
“The 139th maintainers have been absolutely enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and skills with our Airmen during this Isochronal Inspection. The transition from visitors to co-workers has been seamless in all of the shops, and the support from the maintenance group commander Col. Andy Halter to the most junior Airmen has been humbling,” said Master Sgt. Peter Demakis who is assigned to the 103rd Maintenance Squadron as the electronic warfare systems supervisor. “The integration and support has also extended beyond the inspection dock; I can’t thank the Missouri Air National Guard avionics section or their base intel shop enough for their support with critical mission system reprogramming.”
This first isochronal inspection for the Connecticut Air National Guard will pave the way for continued maintenance activities conducted at alternate locations in cooperation with other units while the 103rd Airlift Wing continues to adapt their facilities and capabilities at the Bradley Air National Guard Base.
"We will continue to do off-station inspections and maintenance actions while our facilities are under renovation,” said Hunt. “However it is unlikely that they will be of this scale, as this was a combined maintenance and training event."
Aircrews from the 103rd Operations Group added an important element to the training by flying one of the 103rd Airlift Wing’s own C-130H aircraft to the training site, allowing maintainers from Connecticut the opportunity to work on one of their own aircraft.
“The lessons learned will be invaluable and I look forward to bringing that knowledge back to Bradley and putting it to work,” said Demakis.