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NEWS | Sept. 22, 2014

Inside the 437th MXS

By Lawrence Strother maintenance operations officer

According to a recent internet research, the term "maverick" refers to something that does not carry a specific brand. The 437th Maintenance Squadron here at Joint Base Charleston fits this name because there is no specific "brand" within our squadron. Led by Maj. Brian Clark, the 437th MXS has 12 different and diverse Air Force Specialty Codes which directly support and impact flightline maintenance on a daily basis. 

Each one of the aircraft specialty shops delivers its own unique mission responsibilities which contribute to the daily flying schedule. The seven flights within the 437th MXS include Munitions, Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratoryk, Avionics, Fabrication, Accessories, Aerospace Ground Equipment, and Maintenance, and all carry the load when it comes to "backshop" maintenance.
The Munitions flight handles every explosive item which comes through the wing and keeps aircraft safe by building up and delivering flares needed for downrange missions. Its support extends to security forces as well as the Naval Weapons Station.  PMEL calibrates and repairs all off-equipment items that require special handling and precise measurements to function correctly. The PMEL technicians have the ability to measure weighted items less than a quarter of an ounce.  Avionics houses only 20 percent of Air Mobility Command's avionic test equipment capabilities, yet provides 50 percent of all equipment repairs AMC-wide.  One of only 11 shops world-wide, it is responsible for repairs on 37 separate line replaceable units on the C-17.  Fabrication consists of metals tech, sheet metal and nondestructive inspection, all of which contribute in their own unique manner.  Metals tech is often on the forefront of wing tours and has one of the best shops in the Air Force. If something is bent, cracked, broken or needs to be made, one of these sections will get the call.

Hydraulics, Fuels, and Electrical/Environmental all reside within the Accessories flight.  Again, each one brings a specific skill to supporting C-17 maintenance both in the backshop and on the flightline.  Items such as brake buildup, fuel leak repair, electronic malfunctions and air conditioning faults are handled by these specialties. Aerospace Ground Equipment provides safe and serviceable maintenance stands and support units required for completing on-aircraft repair actions at the time and place needed. This flight deploys towbars to austere parts of the world and provides power/air condition generators, light carts, high reach units and other equipment necessary for aircraft generation.

Finally, the Maintenance Flight provides a detailed and comprehensive inspection of all aircraft every 120 days.  Maintainers complete visual inspections and repair actions on every portion of the C-17.  Each inspection is carefully documented, and each repair is functionally checked prior to "selling" the aircraft back to the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.  Along with Aero Repair which has crash recovery and disabled aircraft responsibilities, decontamination requirements and tire build up, the flight ensures a reliable and safely inspected aircraft is ready for flight.

None of the 52 assigned C-17's at JB Charleston could make its mission happen without the support of diversely skilled active duty, air reserve technicians and civilian maintainers which make up the 437th MXS.