The Air Force has activated two maintenance squadrons at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, as part of a new service-wide approach to keeping its aircraft flying.
The 1st Fighter Wing’s new 27th and 94th Fighter Generation Squadrons break up a 700-airman operation into smaller teams. The idea is to build closer relations between the airmen who deploy to maintain and repair planes and their commanders.
It also means the squadrons have control over resources and can set priorities that match what the planes need, said Col. Neal Van Houten, 1st Maintenance Group commander.
“This structure provides many benefits to our airmen,” Van Houten said. “It aligns them with a commander who can become fully immersed in tactical level execution while strategically advocating for their needs.”
The Air Force launched its new “Combat Oriented Maintenance Organization” approach last year, after testing the approach with the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and its F-16s, and the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah, and its F-35As.
“The COMO structure allows fighter wings to prepare for rapid deployments and to disaggregate and reaggregate as needed.” said Maj. Gen. Tom Miller, Air Combat Command’s director of logistics, engineering and force protection, while launching the new approach.
Maj. Ellen Williams took command of the new 94th, after service with Pacific Air Forces, Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Global Strike Command. Maj. Sarah Furrer, who previously served at Headquarter Air Force’s Aircraft Maintenance Division, assumed command of the 27th.