Crew Chief Profiles

 Sgt. Robert Meeker

My profile

Name Sgt. Robert Meeker
Unit 80th Fighter Squadron "Juvats"
Crewing F-16s from 1987 until 1995
Contact rjmeeker3 Send me a private message
My first assignment was to Spangdahlem in the winter of '87 right after a squadron realingment. I showed up at the HQ a month earlier than expected, they literally placed a call to each AMU to assign me to the first unit that showed up. When I reported to the (7)480th, the first thing the Flight Chief said to me was " You were expecting to find F-16's here?, Well we don't got any of those....just F-4's". After four months on the F-4 wash rack It was a happy day when the first factory fresh vipers arrived.

Second assignment was the 310th who were in process of transferring the old block 15's to the guard and receiving new Block 42's. I bounced around as second wipe on most of "A Flights" jets (all even number tails) until crewing both the 12th AF (88412) and then the 310th(87356) flagships. I learned the secret of micro mesh and how to shine titanium. I may not have been the best mechanic, but I was by far the best detailer. I was on the ground at NAS Miramar waiting to catch "451" when it went down because of the piddle pack incident.

Did my year at the "Kun" on 319 in an open air Tab-V. This was the first assignment when I did not have to preen the bird, in fact I would get chewed on if it wasn't dirty enough.

My last assignment was with the 57 FWS, Falcon AMU at Nellis. I finally got to be first wipe on 90-0747. Back then there was a RIF going on so Staff's and Tech's were in short supply. Most of us high-year buck's (remember when three stripes and a star was an NCO?) were getting 7-level waivers for engine runs and red x inspections. I still have fond memories of full burner runs on the trim pad.
I sometimes regret punching out as early as I did, but I was afraid my family life would not survive another tour at the ROK.

Current or Favourite assignment

I don't know how the "Kun" is now, but it was my best "worst tour". The dorm's were so bad the Marines hated staying in them. There was always something in the air, smoke, rain , or bugs. We worked hard and played harder! My motto then was "Never say Never!"

My Jets & Assignments

Unit 480th Fighter Squadron "Warhawks" [History]
Period 1987 - 1989
Washed F-4's for first six months of this assignment. First F-16's didn't arrive until late summer or autumn. Worked on a couple of jets, but cannot find the tail numbers ( I think we had different local numbers on a couple of jets). The first F-16's came from the factory with the high vis Wild Weasel paint scheme, but were eventually repainted with a low vis scheme, not quite as dramatic. . Made the mistake of volunteering for the tool crib (yes, you could!) to avoid what I thought would be rough winters (wash rack nightmares), missed out on some good experiences.
78003 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 310th Fighter Squadron "Tophats" [Unit History]
Period 1989 - 1992
Current: 78003   F-16A Block 1 [scr]
Second wipe under SSgt Parras. Last act on this jet was turning it over to Jayhawks.
88158 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 310th Fighter Squadron "Tophats" [Unit History]
Period -
Current: 88158  USAF 311 FS F-16D Block 42 [act]
Accepted from General Dynamics was second wipe under Phil Cancel
88412 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 310th Fighter Squadron "Tophats" [Unit History]
Period -
Current: 88412  USAF 314 FS F-16C Block 42 [act]
Second wipe under SSgt. Clayton "Ozzy" Osborne (ex T bird CC). 412 was repainted as 12th AF bird for about a year. Anything that could be chrome plated was, The Block 50 wheel we were using where powder coated white, from their usual black. This jet was at least a great static display.
87356 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 310th Fighter Squadron "Tophats" [Unit History]
Period - 1992
Current: 87356  USAF 314 FS F-16C Block 42 [act]
Squadron flagship. Col. John Kimmel was pilot. After 880412 was no longer the 12th Flagship, we transferred all of the flash parts to this jet. There was a "Jet of the Month" award handed out, I had the jet on a black letter for weeks on end (much to the ire of my DCC) trying to get this award. The winner would get a star painted in the tail flash, I think we only got one. Handed my job over to some fresh faced kid named LeMay when I headed for the Kun..
86319 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 80th Fighter Squadron "Juvats" [Unit History]
Period 1992 - 1993
Current: 86319  USAF 93 FS F-16C Block 30 [act]
Good gunship, not so good bomber during my time with her.
90747 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit USAF Fighter Weapons School, Falcon AMU
Period 1993 - 1995
Current: 90747   F-16C Block 42 [act]
This was my first jet as DCC. I had a thing for replacing every screw I could during inspections. I think the jet got painted twice because of all the brass dots always on display.

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