Requisition, Procure, and Issue: Production Control Airmen keep the AGE flight supplied

By Airman 1st Class Andrew Moua 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Day and night, rain or shine, the men and women of the 2nd Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment flight work tirelessly to maintain the equipment and tools that enable B-52H Stratofortress bombers take-off and deliver their deadly payload.

To accomplish their mission, they need the right tools, and the AGE production control section ensures the right tools and equipment are where they need to be.

"You can say we're the heart of the flight," said Staff Sgt. Cameron Cofer, 2 MXS AGE flight production support section. "The total cost of all the tools in the flight amounts to about $200,000, and any tool needed by the other sections we account for and issue out."

While the production control section does little maintenance of its own, it takes charge of the flight's hazardous materials. These materials range from hydraulic fluid, to oil, to grease, gasoline and other chemicals used for the flight's equipment. The chemicals are stored in barrels and must be checked monthly. Any expired chemicals are taken to an area known as the central accumulation point and disposed.

"Making sure these chemicals aren't expired is a huge responsibility and safety issue," Cofer said. "If someone were to use something past its expiration date, it could cause massive damage to the user, and shorten the life of the equipment it was used on."

New Airmen to the career field start in the production control section to learn about the tools and parts they will be using once they move to a different section.

"Airmen fresh from technical school start here to familiarize themselves with the tools they'll need to use once they move on," said Cofer. "Here is where the building blocks of a proficient maintainer are placed. In order to fix equipment, the Airmen must learn the right tools and identify the parts they'll need from us in order to get the job done."

On a daily basis, Airmen from other sections sign out tools for their shift, request parts and go over technical orders.

"My responsibilities cover TOs, and anything that modifies them," said Senior Airman Derek Dearman, AGE flight production control section. "TOs are like a guideline for each piece of equipment. Every time there is maintenance done, TOs are there to serve as a base to ensure Airmen follow every step while fixing a piece of equipment. Any changes to TOs, I make sure they get updated and keep the flight up to speed."

As Airmen reach the end of their tenure within the production control section, they will have learned exactly what is needed to maintain the vital equipment which enables B-52s to take to the air and deliver precision munitions to the battlefield.

"You hear about how we have over 600 pieces of AGE, and we're the guys who are in charge of procuring it," Cofer said.