JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —
The upkeep of 40 Joint Base Charleston C-17 Globemasters takes a highly trained team of maintenance professionals to identify and repair problems. This responsibility falls under the 437th Maintenance Flight. The flight has four different work centers which make up home station check and consists of crew chiefs, jet engine mechanics, repair and reclamation and wheel and tire team members.
Every 180 days, HSC coordinators synchronize nine additional work centers to complete an average of 750 inspections on critical items and perform airframe and flight control lubrications. The process takes 96 hours per aircraft on average. These inspections are an important part of the JB Charleston mission and help ensure the aircraft are safe and can go anytime and anywhere around the globe.
“As a leader, my favorite aspect of being the Maintenance Flight commander is spending time with my flight,” said 1st Lt. Chelsea Hazen. “Whether it’s going out doing FOD walks, attending rolls calls, learning about what inspection cards they are doing that day, or just hanging out with them during some down time, I just enjoy being with my team!”
Crew chiefs inspect on the flight line and in the hanger for aircraft maintenance and mission generation inspection items. They also inspect and repair for major flight controls, cargo ramps and doors, as well as landing gear malfunctions which affect safety of flight.
Additionally, they manage the Crash, Damaged, Disabled Aircraft Recovery program. This ensures continuous airfield operations for JB Charleston, Charleston International Airport, and North Field, in the event of an aircraft emergency.
The wheel and tire section breakdowns and builds-up the main and nose landing gear wheels and tires. Besides JB Charleston, they also support Germany, Incirlik Turkey, Pope Air Force Base, AL Udeid, and are back fill for other AMC bases. They service approximately 2,000 wheels and tires annually.
“Currently, my favorite part of this job is being able to take care of the mission and my Airmen,” said Tech. Sgt. Thomas B. Deaton Jr., Wheel and Tire section chief. “I have always had a passion for taking care of my troops, and now I hold a position that has given me the ability to do just that. The Wheel and Tire shop is AMC’s go to shop once they know that no matter what it is they need we can always provide.”
After the inspections and repairs are complete, the aircraft is towed to the wash rack for contractors can clean the engines. The last step is the engine run which ensures all engines are fully operational, once the engine run is complete, the C-17 is given back to the aircraft maintenance squadron and scheduled for its next mission.