Last F101 engine completes maintenance

  • Published
  • By Ron Mullan
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

It’s the end of an era.

Nearly 50 years after it began maintaining the F101 engine, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex recently completed programmed depot maintenance on the final engine and returned it to the fleet.

Originally, the F101 was first assigned to what was then known as the Oklahoma City Air Materiel Area on August 18, 1972.

The engine that powers the B-1B Bomber has gone through several variations over the years with the last variation begun in 2010.

“Under the current variation,” said Glen Marcatos, 546th Propulsion Maintenance Squadron director, “we produced 586 engines in that time.”

In August of 2016, a new maintenance program known as the Service Life Extension Program, or SLEP, came on the scene and has had an impact on F101 Engine maintenance.

“The SLEP upgrade increases engine reliability and will enable maintainers at the base level to complete all the maintenance required on the engine,” Marcatos said, “thus eliminating the need for overhauls at the depot.”

For some of the maintainers, like Dave Garza, who worked on the F101 engine for 20 years, working on the last engine had special meaning for him.

“Just knowing you’re going to be working on an engine that’s probably going to do a mission that keeps pilots alive, you gotta do the best you can…quality work, quality parts to keep pilots alive,” said Garza, who works in the 546th Propulsion Maintenance Squadron.

With the F101 engine maintenance being transitioned to base level field units, Marcatos said the reduction in workload will be in the near term, but the 546th PMXS will use remaining labor resources to increase production on the TF33 and F108 engine lines.