B-1B Maintenance Initiative Gets Nod

The Air Force has approved a new high-velocity maintenance construct designed to improve the B-1B bomber’s availability rates by increasing the frequency of scheduled maintenance, both in depot and in the field, and boosting the amount of man-hours worked during those times. We reported just last week how a high-level service team was dispatched in mid month to Oklahoma Air Logistics Center on the grounds of Tinker AFB, Okla., to discuss the idea with depot officials. According to Oklahoma City officials, this team, which was made up of Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command, and Air Staff representatives, has now given the go-ahead for HVM work to proceed. “The next step is laying out a detailed schedule,” said Maj. Rich Buckley, HVM team leader at Oklahoma City. He said the goals are to validate the HVM processes next spring and transition to full implementation by October 2010. “It’s absolutely worth doing and it’s something everyone is excited about doing,” said Buckley, adding, “It’s definitely executable.” (Tinker report by Howdy Stout)