Engine of Change

A hand-selected team of eight F-16 maintainers from the 20th Maintenance Group at Shaw AFB, S.C., recently came together for a week as part of the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century process-improvement initiative. They devised ways to improve the tasks of removing and installing engines on the fighter. The subtle changes that they identified could have a big impact, potentially decreasing an F-16’s downtime by at least 200 hours per year, while improving the quality of maintenance, according to the team. One idea is to incorporate a visually descriptive and easy-to-read reference book to the maintainers’ consolidated tool kit to help junior-level mechanics more quickly inspect the aircraft engine bay. Another is to add cordless drills to the maintainers’ set of hand tools. (Shaw report by 2nd Lt. Jason Martin)