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97th MXS maintainers service AF-wide C-17, KC-135 fleet through RNI program

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Miyah Gray
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Throughout July, maintainers from the 97th Maintenance Squadron’s hydraulic shop at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, worked with Air Force Materiel Command and Air Education and Training Command bases to help remedy a fleet-wide KC-135 Stratotanker and C-17 Globemaster III parts shortage.

The 97th MXS is part of the Repair Network Integration program, which was established in 2016 to develop fleet-wide equipment repair capabilities and synchronize Air Force supply chains for parts in demand.

Peter Chase, 97th MXS hydraulic section supervisor, said that the shop repairs hydraulic actuators and brakes for the two airframes as part of the RNI program.

“When there’s an asset that’s critical and in short demand, based on our manning and workload capabilities, they’ll send us assets to repair,” he said. “This keeps the fleet at a fully operational capacity.”

 The 97th MXS has received 25 actuators, six of which have already been repaired. They are expecting 25 more by the end of July. Chase said an actuator serves as a control to a plane’s hydraulic components such as the landing gear, flight controls, cargo doors and booms.

The squadron has also repaired 43 landing-gear brakes for the C-17 this year alone.

William Cox, 97th MXS hydraulic systems mechanic, said including the 97th MXS in the RNI program is a logical choice, and that the mechanics in the squadron are up to the task.

“Repairing these parts is beneficial because it saves money and we have a high turnaround,” he said. “Our job is the top mission here and we’re good at what we do.”