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Maintenance Production Superintendents conduct the maintenance orchestra

By Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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With more than 1800 maintainers working to keep the B-52H Stratofortress flying, good maintenance leadership is a must, which is why the maintenance production superintendents from the 2nd Maintenance Group help coordinate the team of dedicated maintenance Airmen to repair potential problems that could prevent the aging bomber from completing its mission.

The 2 MXG's "pro-supers" have the daunting task of keeping track of and prioritizing all B-52 maintenance. From stuck screws, phase inspections, routine maintenance and Time Compliance Technical Orders that are currently being worked, these conductors have their toes tapping to the beat of the flightline.

"The pro-supers are key personnel on the flightline they coordinate maintenance with crew-chiefs and other maintenance shops to make sure that inspections and routine maintenance are done," said Lt. Col. Eric Sikes, 20th Bomb Squadron commander. "They work hand-in-hand with the aircraft commanders, crew-chiefs, backshops, and maintenance shops to get the planes in the air. If we have a red-ball (priority maintenance) or anything else that prevents us from taking off, they are the ones that get us what and who we need to get the planes, up and out."

Specialists in their own individual career fields, the pro-supers juggle maintenance needs and mission needs to ensure every maintainer is marching to one beat. Pro-supers go to scheduling meetings and shared resource meetings to make sure the base has everything it needs to inspect and repair the B-52.

"The pro-supers are the hub of maintenance production, without them the group would not have met all of our maintenance metrics this past July," said Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Buxton, 2 MXG chief. "Their job is all about prioritization and orchestration. If an aircraft is scheduled to fly the next day and has to have something done such as being refueled, they do whatever it takes for the aircraft to make the mission sortie."

To achieve their mission pro-supers are in constant communication with all of the shops that support the flightline and the aircraft crew-chiefs. If an ejection seat needs to be removed to for an engine throttle cable inspection, the pro-supers will call in the shops that work on that system. Alternatively, they also help when there is a unique maintenance problem that requires the help of outside agencies such as Air Force engineers.

"With more than 75 maintainers on each shift, they [pro-supers] bring the entire maintenance effort into a one team, one fight," said Chief Master Sgt. DeWayne Colston, 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, superintendent.

Pro-supers are also instrumental in sortie production. They are the single point of contact for ensuring the Barksdale mission is completed in a timely manner, said Colston.

However, pro-supers don't just work from home station--where the aircraft goes, they go. If maintainers are heading to Minot AFB, N.D., then the pro-supers are right beside them conducting the maintenance orchestra with the local base maintenance shops to keep the plane in the air. This means that while on temporary duty assignment if parts or large equipment is needed, such as a crane, Barksdale's pro-supers can coordinate with that base's pro-supers and get the B-52 repaired and back into the air.

"The pro-supers aren't just master sergeants who sit in trucks talking on phones and radios," said Maj. Jerry Davis, 2nd AMXS operations officer. "They are key to the daily success of meeting the base mission."

The maintenance production superintendents of the 2 MXG constantly keep the rhythm of the flightline beating to ensure the B-52 fulfills its mission to provide devastating combat capability anytime and anywhere.