Members of the 319th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Grand Forks AFB, N.D., have conducted the final periodic isochronal inspection on a KC-135 tanker assigned to the base. KC-135s have operated out of Grand Forks since May 1960 as part of the 319th Air Refueling Wing. But as part of BRAC 2005 changes, Grand Forks is losing its air refueling mission, with the last of the KC-135s scheduled to depart for good later this year. “Due to the inspection interval times, no other KC-135s stationed here will be due for an inspection before being transferred,” said MSgt. Dale Bangert, inspection dock controller with the maintenance squadron. The inspection started July 6; Col. Don Shaffer, 319th ARW commander, reinstalled the final aircraft panel during a ceremony July 20. The base is now home to remotely piloted aircraft operations. (Grand Forks report by A1C Rachel Martinez)
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.