May 22, 2007 (by SrA Stefanie Torres) - The 388th Fighter Wing received three F-16s from Cannon Air Force Base's 27th Fighter Wing in April and will receive the next one in May.
In 2005, the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure commission recommendations called for Cannon, located near Clovis, N.M., to distribute its F-16s to seven other bases, including Hill.
Receiving the aircraft will bring benefits to the 388th FW and its Reserve Total Force Integration partner, the 419th FW.
"These jets will help us meet flying schedule demands and manage fleet health to provide combat-ready aircraft to our operators," said Maj. Hall Sebren, who is responsible for the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's flightline maintenance.
The addition of 15 total aircraft from Cannon will allow the three operational fighter squadrons to have the same number of jets and a more even work load.
Before the aircraft can reach Hill, a transfer inspection process has to take place with both 388th members and 27th FW members.
An eight-person team from the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Component Maintenance Squadron, Equipment Maintenance Squadron, and Maintenance Operations Squadron has traveled to New Mexico for 90 days in order to complete the process.
"We have a laundry list of things to inspect before they can come back to the 388th FW," said Chief Master Sgt. Randall Bianchi, 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit assistant superintendent who is overseeing the process. "Everything on the aircraft has to go through an inspection."
A transfer team from Cannon and an acceptance team from Hill were formed to start the process. In the past, the transfer team would inspect and the acceptance team would put in the duplicate effort, explained the chief.
But in the effort to think smarter not harder, both the 388th and 27th inspectors have come together as a team to save time and energy.
"Everything is running smoothly, and we have a great team out here," said Chief Bianchi. "It takes approximately five days to go through an aircraft."
The first three aircraft went to the 421st Aircraft Maintenance Unit. "The 4th and 421st AMUs will both receive three aircraft. The 34th AMU will receive the rest of them, bringing them up from 20 to 29 assigned aircraft." said Major Sebren.
The squadrons will have the jets for about a week before they depart for Common Configuration Improvement Program modification in the Ogden-Air Logistics Center.
"Some will be flown when they first get here, but most will be used for maintenance training and weapons load training before going into the CCIP
modification," said Major Sebren.
The 388th will pick up 12 aircraft by the end of June and the last by September.