High hopes for new C-17 platform Underwing platform may bring mission, safety enhancements

  • Published
  • By Amanda Creel
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
A new under wing maintenance platform will help Robins' C-17 Globemaster III maintainers continue their mission safer and more effectively.

The advent of the platform was made possible by the combined efforts of the Boeing Company and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.

Brig. Gen. Mark Atkinson, commander of the 402nd Maintenance Wing, said the cooperative effort of both a strong Boeing team and a strong air logistics center team will translate into better support for the warfighter.

"Today's delivery of the robust C-17 maintenance platforms represents a solid commitment to the C-17 Partnership under the Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership contract. These platforms will enhance efficiency of local C-17 maintenance operations and significantly improve safety for the 402nd Maintenance Wing workforce," said Billy Mitchell, deputy director of the C-17 System Sustainment manager, during the ceremony.

The arrival of the platform was celebrated Monday as members of the 562nd Aircraft Sustainment Squadron joined with company and wing leaders to cut the ribbon on a new day in C-17 maintenance and inspection.

"Important C-17 maintenance can now be preformed by aircraft artisans with much easier access to maintenance areas and operating on much safer working surfaces," Mr. Mitchell said. "These platforms permit access to all under wing and flight control areas and safety is enhanced by fall protection for workers."

The platform, which is located in Bldg. 82, Dock 1, will be used to provide access for C-17 mechanics to the under and over wing surfaces, center fuselage panels, winglet and wing flight controls in order to perform aircraft conditional inspections and routine scheduled maintenance.

When asked to compare the old system used to reach these areas of the aircraft, Kenny Bates, C-17 production flight chief said "it would be like finding a new diamond."

"I think its going to be a big help. Before, we were having to use a man lift and drive it back and forth," said Mitch Faraona, a C-17 aircraft mechanic.

He said the platform, which is assembled in sections and joined together to form one working unit, eliminates a lot of the safety concerns for the workers and a lot of the risk of damaging the aircraft during maintenance.

"It's overall going to increase the productivity of all the skills of the workforce," said Doug Smith, pneudraulic work leader.

The platform will be the first of two delivered to the squadron to help the maintainers continue their mission in support of the warfighter.

"We are excited about the tremendous enhancement of capabilities and features provided by these platforms that enable the WR-ALC capabilities to improve service to the warfighter," Mr. Mitchell said.

The platforms come equipped with articulating stairways for easy access to its deck and connects to the current infrastructure of the hangar providing additional lighting, electricity and high-pressure air and utility pneumatic power to the mechanic.

"It shows the dedication management has to providing us with better tools to do the job," Mr. Smith said.