Altus Maintenance Makes History, Removes First KC-46 Engine
By Airman 1st Class Breanna Klemm, 97 AMW Public Affairs
/ Published July 11, 2019
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The 97th Air Mobility Wing maintenance team made history by removing a KC-46A Pegasus engine for the first time, June 26, 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
The purpose of the engine removal was to help maintainers across the Air Force learn more about the process it takes to remove a KC-46A engine. With an innovative mindset and positive attitude, the Altus AFB maintenance team carefully removed the engine and documented each step along the way for future instructions to repeat the process as needed.
“The entire process is a big learning experience,” said Donnie Obreiter, the KC-46A maintenance flight chief. “There are no issues with any of the engines; that’s why we are conducting the removal now. That way, when the time comes down the road if something might happen, our team is prepared and knows what to do.”
The process for the maintenance team not only serves as a teaching opportunity, but is also a training tool for maintainers across the Air Force and serves as the first task verification of an engine removal. This environment helped create a community of innovators, where their efforts were combined into the documentation of the removal.
“This removal is a huge deal to our team,” said Obreiter. “This is hands-down the biggest task that had not yet been accomplished on the KC-46A, and it was done right here at Altus.”
Altus maintainers were not alone in the engine removal. Maintainers from Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire; McConnell AFB, Kansas; and Tinker AFB, Okla. were on hand to learn and assist with the process.
KC-46A engine subject matter experts from local and national Boeing facilities and Air Force Test and Evaluation Center representatives from Edwards AFB, Calif. also attended the event to observe and document this ground breaking event. Their combined efforts allowed the removal to be a smooth process.
“Training like this is good for everyone here in maintenance,” said Obreiter. “It helps us remain mission ready and pursue the future of refueling of the KC-46A Pegasus.”
The Altus AFB maintenance team continues building strong relationships and synchronizing communications with the community. This helps the maintainers improve skills and knowledge on the KC-46A while keeping them and Aircrew safe, equipped and mission ready.