Walking the Walk: Base takes steps to clean up after tornado
By Jenny Gordon, Robins Public Affairs
/ Published April 08, 2016
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Hundreds of Team Robins members were out in full force Monday morning inspecting the flight line for anything that could cause damage to aircraft following last Friday's tornado and severe thunderstorms.
"We're looking for any kind of loose debris out here - rocks, pebbles, metal objects - things that can get sucked into an aircraft's engines and destroy them," said Tony Larkin, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Quality Assurance chief.
Last weekend, much of the larger debris was already picked up, gathered in piles and disposed of in nearby dumpsters. The storm damaged several base roofs, including Bldg. 81 on the flight line. No injuries were reported on base as a result of the storm.
"While it looks relatively clean out here now due to the large number of people working, over the weekend we found metal screws from the roofs that were blown off during the storm," he added.
In less than an hour, workers conducted a foreign object debris, or FOD, walk, forming a long line from east to west starting at Bldg. 59 and extending toward the functional test area known as Nancy Row, where C-130s and other aircraft are parked awaiting final flight testing and inspections.
Airmen from various Robins squadrons arrived on buses while civilian employees converged from their respective maintenance buildings for the FOD walk. It was a true team effort involving the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, 78th Air Base Wing and 5th Combat Communications Group.
The area from the 'red carpet' location in front of Bldg. 110 is known as a FOD critical area, according to Steve Schwarz, Installation FOD manager. The ground there was littered with pebbles, many hidden in crevices in the concrete.
"Erosion from the concrete and water may have washed them in this direction," said Schwarz. "A lot of aircraft taxi in this direction all the time and park so these FOD walks are critical. Potential FOD can cost thousands to millions of dollars in damages."
According to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Ga., a tornado touched down just northeast of Centerville, initially taking out trees along Sentry Oaks Drive. As it moved toward the east, the tornado briefly reached EF-1 intensity with estimated maximum winds reaching 90 miles per hour at two locations in town, at Napier Avenue and Fisher Street.