Last U-2 Phase Inspection in Southwest Asia

A civilian maintenance team conducted the final phase inspection of a U-2 surveillance aircraft forward deployed to Southwest Asia. U-2s support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing that functions from an undisclosed air base in the region. Since 2004, maintenance teams from contractor Lockheed Martin had been performing the inspections at the wing’s overseas location. These crew chiefs and experts in hydraulic and fuels and avionics and electrics also supported the wing, when needed, by performing heavy maintenance jobs. However, since the Air Force is consolidating the inspections at Beale AFB, Calif., in order to reduce the U-2 fleet’s operating costs, the final phase inspection with the 380th AEW took place in mid September. (380th AEW report by Capt. Gina McKeen)