Going Mobile

The 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, Britain, in 2009 acquired mobile maintenance platforms to make the job of performing isochronal inspections on the unit’s KC-135 tankers go more quickly, thereby improving the tankers’ availability. The wing is the first KC-135 outfit in the Air Force to use these platforms—it now has seven—which replaced more cumbersome, fixed stands. Isochronal inspections on a KC-135 used to take 10 days; now, they require only seven. Wing airmen came up with the idea for the mobile platforms, together with a former Mildenhall maintenance group commander, as part of the Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century initiative. Larry Walker, 100th ARW AFSO 21 director, thinks use of the mobile platforms “will skyrocket” once other wings witness them. (Mildenhall report by Karen Abeyasekere) (For more background, read AFSO 21 Progress Report from the archives of Air Force Magazine.)