Innovative warfighters

by Airman 1st Class Nick Emerick, 18th Wing Public Affairs
Kadena Air Base

KADEN AIR BASE, Japan -- The Air Force Repair Enhancement Program isn’t widely known, even within the maintenance community. If an everyday back shop is incapable of fixing an item, that’s where AFREP comes in. Members of the AFREP shop are trained on micro–soldering, allowing them to work on parts that other shops in the Air Force are unable to fix.

“This year we started reaching out to other AFREP units across the Air Force to see what things they were working on, processes they had in place and what parts we could get our hands on,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Robinson, NCO in charge of AFREP. “That’s one of the primary reasons we were able to see such an increase to profits.”

According to Tech Sgt. Dustin Allen, AFREP technician, most of the aircraft parts the AFREP receives are from the base F-15. Once AFREP receives more aircraft parts from other units on base, they are very likely to see another increase in profits.
“We take in a lot of good parts with potential to be fixed and given back to other units, which is really what allows us to save all this money from what would have been throw-away parts,” said Allen.

According to Robinson, AFREP’s number one priority is impacting the flying mission. If it can help to get an aircraft off the ground, it’s going to be the first thing worked on.

“Last week we were able to fix a cable for one of the F-15 squadrons that allowed them to troubleshoot and eventually repair a jet that had been grounded for over 50 days,” Robinson said.

Robinson explained the amount of money Kadena’s AFREP saved the base has allowed many units see some of the items on their unfunded lists get approved.

“It’s definitely the best job I’ve had in the Air Force, we get to network with outside shops and other maintenance units, and we get to work on all different kinds of parts,” Robinson said. “This is just the success story behind our shop, things are definitely looking up.”

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