Repair facility saves nuclear command $13 million

Airmen assemble a brake for a B-52 Stratofortress at the bomber hydraulic centralized repair facility at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., Oct. 23, 2017. This CRF is rated number one out of five CRFs across the entire Air Force. 

Airman 1st Class Tessa B. Corrick

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. | The nuclear mission cannot be stopped by old or non-functioning aircraft components. The solution to this is a trip to a bomber hydraulic Centralized Repair Facility (CRF) which saves time and money.

The bomber hydro CRF at Barksdale has repaired enough parts from the bomber fleet to save the Air Force over $13 million this year.

“Our CRF is rated number one out of five CRFs across the entire Air Force,” said Tech. Sgt. Joshua Partin, 2nd Maintenance Squadron bomber hydro CRF flight chief. “Having that title means that we are repairing and restoring more parts at a higher rate than anyone else out there.”

They attribute that success to the work of everyone a part of their CRF.

“The Airmen, NCOs, and leadership over our facility work very hard every day to achieve our mission,” said Partin. “That is why we’re are able to be successful enough to be rated number one.”

To start the process, parts are sent in from the flight service center and then disassembled by the CRF. Then they are routed to the fabrication flight for a routine that involves paint removal, a non-destructive inspection and a new paint job. 

“The CRF reassembles, and conducts a function test on the repaired component to ensure it is functioning properly,” said Partin. “If the component passes the test it is turned back into the flight service center to be distributed throughout Air Force Global Strike Command.”

This newly derived unit, which has only been at Barksdale since 2015, is able to accommodate assets from the B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit. This year the repair rate for this CRF is 96 percent.

“Each day we are saving anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 a day,” said Staff Sgt. Nicholas Geiger, 2nd Maintenance Squadron bomber hydro CRF shift lead. “We are making sure that supply has all the parts they need to deliver them to the flightline.”

After the first of the year, the amount of components that Barksdale’s CRF is able to accommodate will be increasing by 40 percent thanks to a new hydraulic test stand.

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“Right now with the test stand we have we can only do certain tasks,” said Geiger. “As soon as we get the new one in it will expand our capabilities to deal with higher pressures and more in depth testing which will allow us to test more assets across the bomber fleet.”

This new stand will also allow them to cut out a trip they would have to take to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, two to three times a year. These trips were taken because the current hydraulic test stand at Barksdale is not capable of testing the B-1 and B-2 parts that they receive.

“Cutting out this trip saves around $70,000 a trip,” said Geiger. “That equates to roughly $210,000 annually.”

The amount of funds and resources that will be spared thanks to the CRF and the new test stand are going to continue to increase, ensuring the Air Force’s nuclear capabilities are mission ready at any time.

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