Robins’ F-15 FMS enterprise has worldwide reach

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
The F-15 Foreign Military Sales Branch at Robins provides sustainment and logistics support to partner nations across the globe. 

The program currently has five partner nations that include Saudi Arabia, Israel, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. 

It currently provides $4.86 billion worth of sustainment and logistics support to Saudi Arabia - the program's largest customer - with 19 contracts supporting various efforts.

"On behalf of the strategic interests of the United States, Team Robins possesses decades of experience working very closely with the Saudi Arabian government, so we truly have a strong relationship with our partners and their long-term support requirements," said Lt. Col. Jeff Hamblin, F-15 Foreign Military Sales Branch chief.

The program employs civil service liaisons in Saudi Arabia who provide face-to-face expertise to the Royal Saudi Air Force. 

Those team members can work overseas from one to five years, advising on and staying abreast of parts issues, finances and other capabilities, then fielding issues back to Robins. 

"We contract for the repair and return of aircraft, equipment and vehicles, as well as the acquisition, storage and delivery of nearly 17,000 spare parts and consumable items," said Jean McDonald, F-15 FMS Logistics chief. 

"It's great because we have direct contacts there in case we need to provide quick support and FedEx a mission-critical part, for example," she said. "They're a great help ensuring things are on track." 

In what was described as the largest foreign military sales contract in U.S. history, the $29.4 billion FMS agreement signed in December 2011 called for the purchase of 84 F-15SA aircraft to Saudi Arabia. Initial delivery of the first aircraft is slated for 2015. 

Robins benefitted from the sale by adding jobs to its program here - currently 147 personnel - and continuing to manage Saudi legacy aircraft while sustaining the new ones.

"We're mutually supportive because many of the parts we buy for legacy aircraft support the new ones," Hamblin said. 

Along with communicating and meeting regularly with partner nations, Robins manages vehicles, equipment and facility contracts in-country, and is available for partner-country questions. 

For example, should unique software issues arise, they can be addressed locally for answers. The same goes for out-of-the-box supply support, which came up this summer and was assisted by the 402nd Commodities Maintenance Group through parts repair and manufacture. 

That recent success was highlighted through the organic manufacture of three high-priority conformal fuel tank hinges by machinists from the 573rd Commodities Maintenance Squadron. Their quick turn resulted in three RSAF aircraft returning to service with minimal down time.

Another success was the use of night vision goggles, installed and trained for use by RSAF aircraft to combat the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. 

Robins also plays a role in repairing F-15 nose radomes for South Korea and Saudi Arabia, as well as producing partner nation's technical publications. 

Those synergistic efforts allow for our allies to continue to be an effective part of our defense coalition when needed.