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One piece of the maintenance puzzle: the crucial role of E & E

By Airman 1st Class Sydney Campbell 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

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When the B-52 Stratofortress flies, it reaches well over 10,000 feet, soaring through an atmosphere with diminished oxygen levels and deadly atmospheric conditions.

Electrical and environment systems flight (E & E) has an overall mission where they maintain parts of the B-52 to include machines, chemicals and tools used for preserving cabin pressure, breathable air and generators for the B-52.

Airmen with the 2nd Maintenance Squadron E & E keep some of the most life-critical equipment in the B-52 maintained, up to date on inspections and ready for deployments.

“With our team, we have the capability to provide support around the clock,” said Staff Sgt. David Terhune, 2nd MXS E & E craftsman.

E & E also performs mission critical inspections. Each assessment can equate to approximately 600 tasks, but E & E Airmen take the work in stride.

“We do more thorough reviews then what is done on the flight line,” said Airman 1st Class Matthew Zullo, 2nd MXS E & E journeyman. “We cover other various programs too. One program that is pretty critical is maintaining and inspecting liquid oxygen tanks. The ‘lox tanks’ are what keep oxygen breathable in the cockpit of aircrafts.”

Phase inspections are in-depth equipment assessments that occur every 450 and 900 hours. They ensure the most crucial components of the B-52 are maintained.

“With the two sets of examinations, we have a brief inspection of power delivery, power distribution and oxygen distribution systems,” Terhune said. “Then we have a more in-depth check of electrical systems for weapons delivery.”

Daily work can get tedious, but the pride one Airmen gets from deploying motivates his love for the job.

 “We don’t get to see our impact on the Air Force every day,” Terhune said. “We inspect aircraft that are non-operational, meaning it has a few days to be fixed. However, deployment life is way different. While deployed, we work side-by-side on the flight line with crew chiefs and other maintainers.’

“Once we finish fixing an aircraft, we actually get to see it fly away,” Terhune added with a smile. “We examine and fix aircraft moments before it takes off to drop bombs. Actually being able to see the fruits of your labor is so amazing.”

E & E delivers maintenance support at home and down range. They provide the necessary equipment for crews to breathe in flight and the systems used to rain damage on our enemies. They are just one piece of Team Barksdale that helps fulfill the 2nd Bomb Wing mission safely, accurately and on time.