Workers’ dedication saves Air Force millions Published Feb. 6, 2012 By Kendahl Johnson 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The dedication and determination of workers at Robins has saved the Air Force millions of dollars. After about a year of hard work, Robins will send an F-15E back to the warfighter today. "The actual scope of what we did to this aircraft is tremendous," said Ed Fuller, 561st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron F-15 planner who managed the project. "It was an incredible effort by a lot of people." The F-15E, from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., was damaged during an exercise when a bird struck the left engine, causing a major fire. The fighter was so damaged, it couldn't be flown; it was transported to Robins on a flatbed trailer. Fuller said maintainers had to separate the aircraft in order to install a new aft fuselage. They essentially removed and replaced the rear half of the aircraft. "It was something we'd never done before," Fuller said. "The fact we were successful speaks volumes for the skill of our maintainers and mechanics." He said everyone involved celebrated when the aircraft passed its second functional check flight. "This is something we're extremely proud of, considering all the hard work we did taking it apart and putting it back together," Fuller said. "We saved the Air Force from the loss of an aircraft."