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Fabrication flight Airmen get creative to maintain aircraft, joint equipment

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Amy M. Lovgren
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar – The hum of metal working machines is a welcome sound to the Airmen of the 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Squadron, Fabrication Flight.


Maintaining aircraft and support equipment at Al Udeid Air Base has its own challenges and one of those challenges is receiving new parts in a timely matter so the mission is not affected. Another challenge is the availability of necessary parts to complete the job. This is where Airmen of the 379th EMXS, demonstrate their skills and level of expertise using lathes, abrasive water cutting and computer controlled metal milling machines. 


“We are the last section before they [maintainers] order parts or they will have to ground the aircraft for an extended period of time,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Anwar Simmons, section chief with the 379th EMXS. “They come to us to make parts that don’t exist anymore or repair parts that are hard to obtain.”


The fabrications Airmen have a wide range of manual and CNC machines at their disposal.  With these machines, they can take an ordinary piece of metal and create a part for any aircraft or support equipment. Their service also extends beyond the U.S. Air Force.


“Recently, we just created studs for the U.S. Army. One of the studs doubles the capabilities for loading and unloading equipment,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Walker, a fabrication specialist with the 379th EMXS. 


Creating the stud took the fabrication team just a few hours. In contrast, ordering the part through the supply system would have taken the part a couple of weeks to arrive. The delay would have increased the Soldiers’ work load and decreased their mission effectiveness. 


“Without a doubt, the fabrication shop is one of the most professional and capable [shops] that I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” stated U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Morris, an air and missile defense technician with the Delta Battery 2-43 Air Defense Artillery Brigade, as he reflected on the service he received. “I look forward to our future interactions.”