At least two of the fabric specialists at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB, Ga., where they do everything from maintaining parachutes and survival kits to sewing on uniform patches and manufacturing engine heat exchangers each have 27 years experience at their jobs. Mark Richey has spent 27 years inspecting and repacking parachutes—as an airman and a civilian. “People say they don’t want that kind of responsibility, but as long as you follow your technical order, this is designed to work every time,” said Richey. Another with 27 years experience in the Fabric Shop is Annette Dentsley, who is one of five technicians who make foam fillers for C-130 and F-15 fuel tanks. Cutting the foam, which helps prevent explosions and stabilizes an aircraft by keeping the fuel from shifting about, is “a challenge to get it cut in the right way,” said Dentsley. Interesting and vital work. (Robins report by Wayne Crenshaw)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.