by Senior Airman Jannelle Dickey
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
8/18/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - -- Along
with the other specialists who wait for the B-52 Stratofortress along
the flightline, metals technology technicians are ready 24/7 to perform
orthopedic surgery to fix any structural damage.
The 2nd Maintenance Squadron Fabrication Flight's unique mission would
not be complete without the specialists of the metals technology shop.
Metals tech Airmen are responsible for designing, welding, repairing and
fabricating aircraft and aircraft ground equipment parts.
"The mission could not be achieved without every component of the
flight," said Staff Sgt. Carlos Torres, 2nd MXS metals tech assistant
NCO in-charge. "We may not be on the flightline all the time, but when
it is time for maintenance after the B-52 has landed, we have a huge
role in [getting it back] in the air."
The shop is always up for a technical challenge, whether it's aligning
holes for landing gear, replacing bearings, wielding cracks or
fabricating brackets and other parts.
"We fix what others can't," said Senior Airman Brandon Bradley, 707th
MXS metals tech journeyman. "We keep the parts taken off the aircraft or
from AGE from having to be reproduced, resulting in the Air Force
saving a lot of money."
The B-52 parts inevitably wear down, but metals tech can keep it flying just like new by manufacturing portions of the aircraft.
"The biggest thing we do here is fabricate parts for the aircraft that
are no longer sold," said Torres. "We have blueprints, tools and
machines like the computer numeric control machinery that enable us to
Bradley stated they can create any part out of just a chunk of metal.
"Whatever you can imagine, you can make," Torres agreed. "There is no limit to what you can do in this career field."
Editor's note: This is the final installment of a three-part series
on the mission of the 2nd Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight.
Airmen in the 2nd MXS metals technology shop possess efficient
mechanical skills that are imperative to ensuring the B-52 can continue