June 10, 2009 (by SrA Julius Delos Reyes) - The F-22 Raptor Increment 3.1 Modification Team with the 412th Test Wing recently received the opportunity to represent the Air Force Materiel Command in the Air Force for the Chief of Staff Team Excellence Award.
The award recognizes teams, which used a systematic approach to enhance mission capability, improve operational performance and create sustained results.
"I am thrilled that these fine men and women were recognized for such a significant effort," said Maj. Stephen Grotjohn, 412th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. "Increment 3.1 is the largest upgrade the F-22 has seen to date. It is only fitting that this team would be a major contender for an award in the chief's name considering he has been such an ardent supporter of the program."
The team executed the Department of Defense-directed initiative Increment 3.1 enhanced F-22 weapons system. They completed approximately 90,000 maintenance actions.
In addition, the team spearheaded the BRU-61 and GBU-39 aircraft fit checks to support the modification. They reconfigured the aircraft and tested Joint Direct Attack Munitions Target Management System. The Increment 3.1 team conducted test management and configuration management councils at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Marietta, Ga.
Through their effort, the team modified 149 Raptors and performed 496 Increment 3.1 test points. They accomplished aircraft boom and rib structural upgrade, which extended the test aircraft's life, adding more than 5,000 flight hours. They also implemented tactical data transfer system to enhance Increment 3.1 ground mapping capability. They executed F-22 air-to-ground upgrade, finalizing the Increment 3.1 modification two months early. The team also installed 114 mechanical brackets, 167 wire harness assembly and 418 pounds of replacement introduction package for the aircraft's advanced medium range air-to-air missile vertical ejection launch .
Major Grotjohn said although the the team was small in size, this accomplishment really represents a larger team effort on many levels -- government-contractor, military-civil service and operations-maintenance.
"Their display of teamwork was phenomenal and showcases the best of flight test and Team Edwards," the major said. "Ordinarily, I'd wish them luck at the next level, but in this case, hard work played more of a role than luck. I look forward to Air Force-level results."