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Analyze this: Maintenance Airmen analyze history, identify trends

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

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One office uses history to help the 2nd Maintenance Group keep the B-52H Stratofortress in the air providing strategic deterrence and devastating global combat air power.

Maintenance analysts collect, monitor, audit, evaluate and analyze maintenance management information systems data. This information helps the 2nd MXG and Air Force Global Strike Command leaders anticipate aircraft maintenance issues before they happen, and identify problem areas in the B-52.

"We take the information maintainers enter on the different maintenance systems for the aircraft," said Master Sgt. Steven Rost, 2nd MXG maintenance analyst superintendent. "If there is a reoccurring problem, we can search out that information and see if there were other aircraft with the same problems and how it can be fixed. The information that we compile is also used to anticipate maintenance issues."

This information can be used not only at Barksdale but at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

"Leaders at AFGSC use our information to not only work local maintenance issues," said Tech. Sgt. Gary Boring, AFGSC command analyst. "They are able to take what we use and plan flying missions around that information. From flying hours, phase inspections, depot maintenance and aircraft deployments, headquarters is able to use that information to get the mission accomplished."

Aircraft maintenance is not the only thing that these historians look review. The information they gather also affects manning.

"Information we gather can also decide if we have enough people to do the job," said Rost. "If the mission is slowing down because the maintenance tempo is higher our information will show that. This helps Air Force manpower decide if we need more people or positions."

Research not only identifies what has happened, it can predict what will happen in the future.

"We can use our data to predict upcoming maintenance problems," said Boring. "This can make the decision process faster. If we know what could happen, then we can prepare for it."

Maintenance history or anything that affects the B-52 mission is analyzed by these Airmen.

"Our office also analyzes how parts can affect the mission," said Rost. "Our data can show when a higher number of parts are going to be needed, and we can prepare supply for the higher requests. If there aren't enough parts in supply, that could lead to parts being taken from other aircraft or non-mission capable planes sitting on the flightline."

Unlike forecasting and history analysts are the first stop for aircraft incidents such as dropped objects, engine failures and aircraft crashes.

"When something bad happens to an aircraft such as a crash, we are the first stop for the investigators," said Rost. "We lock down everything that pertains to that aircraft, preserving the history of things done. This helps investigators find out what happened and how to prevent it from happening."

By using information and lessons learned from problems past and present, maintenance analysts pave the way for a faster and better aircraft maintainer and for a more responsive air fleet that is always ready, anytime and anywhere.