NEWS | Nov. 8, 2011

New FOD policies implemented at JB Charleston

By Master Sgt. Christopher Wilson 437th Maintenance Group, Quality Assurance chief inspector

InN order to avoid aircraft damage at all costs, Airmen at Joint Base Charleston continuously focus on ensuring our fleet of C-17 aircraft is ready to perform our mission every day.

Recently, JB Charleston removed the requirement to perform roll over Foreign Object Damage checks on vehicles entering the flight line at Entry Control Points. Foreign Object Damage checks are only required when a vehicle has left a paved surface. Despite this change, FOD mitigation through comprehensive program management is paramount to JB Charleston and the Air Force. However, after thorough analysis of the operational risk versus potentially critical time saved through quick response to vital flying operations, the FOD check requirement has been waived.

During the past 10 years, there were a mere 32 FOD incidents involving JB Charleston aircraft. Only eight of these were identified on the JB Charleston flight line. Joint Base Charleston has not recorded a chargeable FOD incident since 2001. Similarly, Dover AFB and Joint Base Lewis-McCord waived their FOD check requirement and have reported no increase in FOD chargeable incidents. The success of the JB Charleston FOD program is due largely to weekly Maintenance Group FOD walks, the overall FOD prevention program incorporated into maintenance training and management and daily vehicle FOD checks during prior-to-use inspections.

Air Force Instruction 21-101 grants deputy wing commanders the authority to waive FOD inspections of vehicles and equipment prior to entering the flight line area. The FOD waiver was signed in March 2011, and FOD check signs have been removed from ECPs.
Foreign Object Damage will remain a high interest item of the 437th Airlift Wing and Air Force leadership. All Airmen are responsible for protecting Air Force assets through diligent FOD awareness.