HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — Bimonthly exercises keep the 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group’s Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Airmen ready to perform aircraft battle damage repair anytime and anywhere.
The exercises strengthen the unit’s capability of deploying a highly trained and flexible mobile force to rapidly assess and repair damaged aircraft to an operational status in sufficient time to contribute to wartime requirements.
“We are 72-hour deployers, which means we are on call all the time. We are the sole source ADBR for F-16s, A-10s and F-22s,” said Master Sgt. Martin Ramirez, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group.
Ingenuity is a key factor in ABDR because aircraft damage and working conditions are unpredictable and training cannot cover all possible scenarios.
“We want to make sure they can perform their ABDR mission under pressure,” Ramirez said.
During the exercises, assessors triage damaged aircraft and manage technicians, and engineers address repairs outside of standard tech data while dealing with ever-changing conditions.
Triage, just like in the medical field, is an important part of successful ABDR and is the reason why we task them with so many repairs right of the bat, said Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Oellien, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group.
An expeditionary depot maintenance team typically includes Airmen with sheet metal, electrical and fuels experience, as well as crew chiefs and specialized engineers.
All team technicians are cross-trained to perform any job required to return a jet to the fight.
Repair crews must be highly mobile and able to provide their own equipment that includes structural repair tools, materials, fasteners, electrical and pneudraulic systems repair equipment.
The training keeps technicians certified, able to adapt and ready to deploy.
The EDMX also provides depot field teams to perform heavy maintenance on F-22 Raptors.