Bagram Flies First

The maintainers deployed to Bagram AB, Afghanistan had the F-15Es under their care back in the air quickly once USAF lifted the grounding order for the E model F-15s. Now the maintainers are using a new 400-hour phase inspection process in place of the one previously required every 200 flying hours. Capt. Michael Meridith reports that the Air Force had intended to implement the new standard for Strike Eagles in early 2008, but Bagram asked for and got the OK to proceed. Maj. Jennifer Hammerstedt, 455th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron commander, said, “We’re at the tip of the spear and we wanted the extra hours to meet our mission demands.” Previously each F-15E underwent a comprehensive five to seven day inspection every 200 hours, but the shift to a 400-hour criteria means the unit employs less manpower and keeps the fighters in the air longer.