USAF Maintainers Qualify in F-35A Inspections

For the first time, an Air Force maintainer certified other USAF wrench turners assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., in numerous flight-inspection tasks for the F-35A strike fighter. “This first-ever Air Force-to-Air Force on-the-job training event is an important milestone in the beddown and operation of the F-35A at Eglin,” said Lt. Col. Michael Miles, 33rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “The Air Force will now be able to better assist our contract logistics services teammates as flying operations mature.” MSgt. Scott Grabham, 33rd AMXS aircraft section maintenance chief, trained three crew chiefs over the course of two days. Since the F-35A is a sophisticated airplane, these crew chiefs aren’t ready to assume full responsibility for the aircraft yet, but they now have sign-off authority for a handful of inspection tasks, said wing officials. (Eglin report by Maj. Karen Roganov)