ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
What does it take to be a great maintenance professional in the U.S Air Force?
Some say it is a high standard of care and attention to detail while others may say it’s a certain level of technical proficiency. The 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Repair and Reclamation section is the embodiment of both attributes.
The 48th EMS Repair and Reclamation section is just one part of a diverse team that responds to Crash, Damaged, Disabled Aircraft Recovery duties both on and off the flightline.
“The Repair and Reclamation section complete tasks that require special training and qualifications such as the rigging of flight controls and landing gear maintenance,” said Maj. Jessica Williams, 48th EMS commander. “They also prepare wheels and tires to be changed by flightline personnel.”
This team utilizes their skills to ensure fewer aircraft diversions. They also maintain a usable flightline to facilitate optimum sorties and maximize aircrew safety.
This year, the 48th EMS Repair and Reclamation shop, along with the 48th EMS Aircraft Inspection Section, and Wheel and Tire Section and Support, was integral to ensuring the Liberty Wing achieved approximately 8,000 sorties and 13,000 hours of flying. This made the 48th Fighter Wing the leader in the U.S Air Forces in Europe Flying Hour Program through their daily duties and rapid emergency responses.
“The 48th EMS Repair and Reclamation respond to every in-flight emergency and are always on call whenever F-15 Eagles are flying, whether it’s day, night, the weekend or holidays,” Williams said. “They are specially trained to respond and be experts to ensure the safety of air and ground crew, with duties second only to the fire chief in the event of an emergency.”
They are also tasked with safeguarding the U.S. Air force’s greatest asset, the lives of their fellow Airmen.
“We responded to a situation where two Airmen were trapped under a canopy of an aircraft,” said Tech. Sgt Joseph Cook, 48th EMS Repair and Reclamation section chief. “The crash recovery team assessed the situation quickly and got those guys out of there safely without further damage to the aircraft and saving the canopy.”
The team’s level of skill reflect in the accolades and recognitions they have earned for their efforts. The unit has won, or contributed to the achievement of the: the EMS Aviation Maintenance Safety Award, the MXG Citation of Honor Award, the MXG Daedalian Award, the MXG Secretary of Defense Field Level Maintenance Award and the Wing Foreign Object Debris Trophy this year.
“We know how important our job is to today’s mission and the ones to come,” said Senior Airman Jacob Ramsey, 48th EMS Repair and Reclamation journeyman. “This is why we make sure we have the right equipment and the right people to get the job done.”
Equipment like the newly acquired parts washer is one of the shop innovations and serves as a testament to their dedication to completing every task efficiently.
According to Williams, the section fought to attain this parts washer that cut the wheel and tire build process by 200 percent. They coordinated with five different agencies to make this critical upgrade, she said.
Though there is no established recipe for a successful team, the 48th EMS has found that with the combination of great leaders, effective communication and innovative personnel, any feat can be achieved with prosperity.
“I have been blessed to work with these Airmen,” Cook said. “They are the most professional and well-trained Airmen, and it’s evident in the way they continuously work towards a single goal, getting the mission done.”