The Air Force Sustainment Center’s Civic Leader Program has a goal of building strong bonds between AFSC installations and their surrounding communities.
The group is made up of 14 civilian leaders from AFSC communities near Hill Air Force Base, Robins AFB, Davis-Monthan AFB and Tinker AFB. Part of this initiative includes the group gathering at one of the three AFSC complex installations annually to tour facilities and provide an overall understanding of the AFSC mission as the supporting command for readiness in the Air Force.
The program also creates a two-way exchange of information and ideas between AFSC leadership and civic leaders from each AFSC community.
This year CLP members gathered at Tinker AFB, where they were introduced to various aspects of the mission accomplished at the base, attended briefings and meetings regarding important issues with subject matter experts, as well as participated in social engagements in order to promote relationship building.
The first day of touring began with a briefing from AFSC Commander Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland before the group made their way to the F-135 engine line to get a better understanding of depot production capabilities and receive highlights of back shop activities from Col. Abigail Ruscetta and Michael Opella with the 76th Propulsion Maintenance Group.
“There are 16 engines in the Air Force inventory we’re responsible for,” Ruscetta said.
Ruscetta and Opella went on to explain the capabilities and capacity of the F-135 Heavy Maintenance Center, including being the only Department of Defense repair depot with 5th generation fighter engine expertise, as well as an ongoing expansion project which includes construction of a 15,000 square feet mini-mod facility.
The CLP group also received a briefing from John Estorga with the 564th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron demonstrating the KC-135 Programmed Depot Maintenance line. Estorga explained sustainment operations for service life and capability enhancements, as well as demonstrated Art of the Possible.
“We do heavy structure repairs; we don’t just kick the tires and check the oil on the planes. In the commercial world they would’ve taken these planes out to the desert to cut them up, but we’re working on these airplanes that are 60 years old,” Estorga said.
The 564th Aircraft Maintenance Group is responsible for the PDM of a 396-aircraft fleet. Their projected workload target for Fiscal Year 2019 was 73, with the 564th completing maintenance on 64 aircraft. The CLP group was able to see what that process is like through a time-lapse video of PDM being performed on a KC-135.
Throughout the two days of touring, Tinker CLP members also had the opportunity to tour the B-2 Iron Bird, Base Operations, the Reverse Engineering and Critical Tooling Lab, and the KC-46 Pegasus campus overlook. They were also able to meet with Security Forces to learn more about the rigorous training Tinker’s military working dogs receive, a weapons display, and a baton and Taser demonstration, all while learning more about Tinker and the mission that happens within the installation gates every day.