Maintaining Pease

  • Published
  • By Airman Victoria Nelson

The hard-working Airmen of the 157th Maintenance Shop have a passion for their jobs and helping others.

“We work for everybody,” said Master Sgt. Brian Barber, a shop chief from the 157th Maintenance Group.

When parts break anywhere on base the maintenance shop strives to fix them.

“We’re here for the KC-135,” said Barber. “But we extend our services out to everyone on base.”

Repairing and creating essential aircraft parts is a responsibility of the metal technologists in the maintenance shop here.

“The KC-135 was made in the 50’s so naturally it’s phasing out and a lot of the parts are no longer made by Boeing,” said Barber. “If they can’t make the part then we’ll get engineering approval and we’ll make it.”

While repairing parts for the KC-135 is their primary mission, the maintenance shop personnel also repair tools from around the base.

“It’s not just the jets,” said Tech. Sgt. Don Colcord, a metals technologist from the 157th Maintenance Group. “We’ll fabricate a piece for the motor pool if a part is damaged, or security forces if they need brackets for their vehicles, or air ground equipment if they need things welded; we fix it all.”

The aircraft metal technologists work on metal machining, welding, designing and production challenges. They design, manufacture, and modify special precision tools and fixtures to facilitate metal working operations.

“Everything we do is important,” said Colcord. “If a part comes to us, it means that someone somewhere down the line can’t progress in their job; so they need us to fix it or make something new.”

Colcord explained the general process of repairing a part.

“You figure out the needs of a project, you execute it and the product works out the way you intended it to work and the customer’s happy,” said Colcord. “The most rewarding part of the job is solving problems.”

Barber added, the maintenance shop is able to resurrect almost any part to save it from getting thrown out.

“It gives you a good feeling at the end of the day when you’ve helped someone out,” said Barber. “Here in the shop, you get your satisfaction when you produce a part, it goes out to be used on the airplanes or in another shop, it works and you’ve really helped someone around base.”