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60th Maintenance Group takes page from Delta Air Lines

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ruzel Ditan, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, troubleshoots technical data from the cargo winch on a C-5M Super Galaxy March 18, 2021 Travis Air Force Base, California. Travis Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ruzel Ditan, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, troubleshoots technical data from the cargo winch on a C-5M Super Galaxy March 18, 2021 Travis Air Force Base, California. Travis Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Senior Airman Saajaadeen Jeffries, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, lowers a cargo winch on a C-5M Super Galaxy March 18, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Travis Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Senior Airman Saajaadeen Jeffries, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, lowers a cargo winch on a C-5M Super Galaxy March 18, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Travis Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mario Hernandez, left, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron home station flight chief, speaks with Steve Conley, second right, and Erik Klein, right both senior research associates at Georgia Tech Research Institute, during a home station check inspection development initiative March 18, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Mario Hernandez, left, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron home station flight chief, speaks with Steve Conley, second right, and Erik Klein, right both senior research associates at Georgia Tech Research Institute, during a home station check inspection development initiative March 18, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Sophia Rizzo, right, Headquarters Air Force logistics, chief of sortie generation innovation, speaks with Senior Airman Angel Estevez, left, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-5 crew chief, and Senior Airman Brooklin Billingsley, 60th AMXS propulsion specialist, during a home station check inspection development initiative March 18, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Sophia Rizzo, right, Headquarters Air Force logistics, chief of sortie generation innovation, speaks with Senior Airman Angel Estevez, left, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron C-5 crew chief, and Senior Airman Brooklin Billingsley, 60th AMXS propulsion specialist, during a home station check inspection development initiative March 18, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Senior Airman Angel Estevez, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, inspects the main landing gear of a C-5M Super Galaxy March 19, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Senior Airman Angel Estevez, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, inspects the main landing gear of a C-5M Super Galaxy March 19, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Hall, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron home station check dock controller, points at the wing during a left wing inspection on a C-5M Super Galaxy March 19, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jacob Hall, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron home station check dock controller, points at the wing during a left wing inspection on a C-5M Super Galaxy March 19, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Wyatt, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron home station check lead dock controller, marks areas to be fixed on a C-5M Super Galaxy during an exterior pylon inspection March 19, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joshua Wyatt, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron home station check lead dock controller, marks areas to be fixed on a C-5M Super Galaxy during an exterior pylon inspection March 19, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California. Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.— Airmen from the 60th Maintenance Group here conduct a week-long maintenance experiment modeled after Delta Air Lines to enhance C-5M Super Galaxy readiness, March 11-19, 2021.

Airmen collaborated with the Air Staff Logistics Directorate’s Tesseract team and key partners from the C-5 program office to implement commercial maintenance practices in scheduling and completing maintenance around flying demands.

“We’re seeing significant readiness gains in our C-5 fleet,” said Dale Patterson, 60th Maintenance Group deputy commander and base lead of project. “The flexibility for aircraft utilization rates means we can produce more when the Tanker Airlift Control Center and nation need us most.”

The practice illustrates how breaking down major maintenance inspection packages into smaller-sized segments allows the maintenance group to optimize home station checks while continuously supporting the flying mission. For example, during the C-5’s week-long home station check, the MXG could ground the aircraft on Monday for scheduled maintenance, fly a mission on Tuesday, then ground it again on Wednesday and Thursday for additional maintenance before flying on Friday.

“This method allows us to opportunistically schedule maintenance more like the airlines do and postures us to meet local training goals as well as any demands the combatant commanders have for airlift that only the C-5 can provide,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Chambliss, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent.

This accomplishes all required maintenance, meets local flying demands and frees up an aircraft that would otherwise be unavailable to meet local training demands in order to support world-wide TACC taskings.

"The scheduling methods help us optimize how we plan to do maintenance and make sure we kit all the resources necessary to complete the required work, which provides the extra support we need to be as effective as possible," said Chambliss.

The Air Staff-sponsored innovation pathfinder is officially called the Inspection Development Framework and Kitting and is also being implemented at Dover AFB, Delaware.

“This hasn’t been an easy or short path to get to where we are today, but we believe the results are worth the effort to enhance logistics culture in the Air Force,” said Maj. Kelsey Smith, Air Staff Tesseract lead for the pathfinder and a former Delta Air Lines fellow through the Education with Industry program.

Research and recommendations of Airmen assigned to Delta EWI program from the last three years led to the development of IDF and Kitting.

“We were assigned to Delta to learn and bring back concepts relevant to Air Force goals,” said Smith. “The most fun part of this has been building a team, locking arms and learning with our strategic partners at the Georgia Tech Research Institute and Delta Air Lines. These great institutions have signed up to assist the Air Force in research and advisory roles, and this process would not be possible without their tireless efforts working with Airmen.”

The 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Tesseract and Georgia Tech Research Institute discussed how adopting this new maintenance process can decrease the amount of down time during home station checks.

“The maintenance team is looking forward to working shoulder to shoulder with our Tesseract and Georgia Tech partners to implement this process,” said Lt. Col. Justin Hickey, 60th AMXS commander. “By taking a theoretical concept and making it a reality, it will only enhance our readiness capabilities.”

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