55th Maintenance Group improves Constant Phoenix deployment capabilities

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing/Public Affairs

The 55th Maintenance Group adds needed aircraft kits to help keep the WC-135R mission in the air. Two WC-135 have arrived on base and the third frame will be here later this year.

The aircraft were missing some some critical parts needed for deployment, so the 55th Maintenance Group started working on a solution. 

“When the WC-135 was upgraded into the WC-135R, they added Big Safari parts but no deployment parts kits,” said Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Baron, 55th Maintenance Group aircraft support flight superintendent. “Without these kits, anytime a part of the mission system failed and needed to be replaced, a part from the home station would have to be shipped to the aircraft’s location.”

It could take up to 14 days to receive a new shipment of what they need.

“The aircraft would most likely be non-mission-capable without them,” said Baron. “Furthermore, the aircraft is one-of-a-kind and its capability does not exist anywhere else.”

After the problem was discovered by another 55th MXG member, Baron worked with members of the 55th Logistic Readiness Squadron, 55th Wing A Staff and subject matter experts from the 55th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron for six months to find a solution.

“I had the team research what parts were needed in the kit, deployment history, part usage history, delivery times, impacts to mission and combined it all into a justification/requirements statement to get them,” Baron said. “While waiting for this process, which continues to this day, we were able to create multiple temporary deployment kits through LRS to keep the real-world missions going.”

The 55th MXG assembled two kits, which cost $2.2 million each. These kits ensure the crew can execute current and future requirements away from home station. This would minimize the issues of having a non-mission capable aircraft and ultimately create a more lethal force while projecting global air dominance.