Fluid mechanics maintain pressure, ensure mission safety
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- No one member of a team is more essential than another; it takes everyone to ensure mission success.
One vital member of the 18th Wing is the 18th Component Maintenance Squadron hydraulic backshop.
The hydraulic backshop overhauls, repairs, adjusts and tests more than 64 hydraulic and/or pneudraulic components that help support the 18th Wing's mission.
The backshop also provides maintenance on electronics for propulsion, avionics and airframe accessory sub-systems for all assigned aircraft on Kadena and maintains the only four-bay engine test facility in Pacific Air Forces.
"We overhaul and carry aircraft parts and we also help the 909th (Air Refueling Squadron) by conducting KC-135 Stratotankers isochronal inspections," said Tech. Sgt. Pete Escobar, 18th Component Maintenance Squadron hydraulic backshop section chief. "We also assist our sister services and temporary duty units by manufacturing and testing their hydraulic hoses for their land mobile ground equipment, vehicles and airborne systems."
"Without the intricate maintenance by the hydraulic backshop, our fighter jets as well as KC-135 Stratotanker boom operators wouldn't be able to execute their mission effectively," added Senior Airman Stefan LaVe, 18th Component Maintenance Squadron hydraulic apprentice.
For 18th CMS hydraulic backshop personnel to do their job successfully, they must be trained and mission ready above all else. Sections chiefs put trust in their Airmen, so they train every chance they get to ensure they can get the job done, Escobar said.
LaVe said, that even though being part of the hydraulic backshop is very stressful and a lot to handle, the 18th CMS Airmen found a way to overcome that obstacle by putting their core values first in order to get mission requirements accomplished.
"We put the (18th Wing's) mission before our own personal life ... service before self," LaVe replied. "We have to be excellent in all we do; we can't let anything shady go unnoticed because we don't want someone's life on our hands."