Tinker Team Fixes Damaged Bone

Technicians at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB, Okla., managed to repair a 28th Bomb Wing B-1B at Ellsworth AFB, S.D. that suffered extensive damage in January when a maintenance stand fell and pierced its fuselage, causing such extensive damage that it was outside the organic capability of Ellsworth aircraft maintainers to repair. At the ALC, they had to fashion manufacturing jigs and formers to shape one-eight-inch-thick aluminum skin sections to serve as replacements for damaged portions of the fuselage. Then the center dispatched an expeditionary depot maintenance flight to make on-site repairs at Ellsworth. “We’ve put about 1,500 man-hours into repairing this B-1” at Ellsworth, said TSgt. Stephen Getten, assistant team chief for the ALC on-sight repair team. Capt. Jake Elsass, a 28th BW maintenance officer, said Ellsworth “would not have been able to repair this B-1” without the Tinker team. According to the Ellsworth report, calling in the depot experts is becoming more frequent with the B-1B’s high use rate for operations in Southwest Asia. (Ellsworth report by A1C Abigail Klein)