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McConnell maintainers support MacDill mission

KC-135 landing

A KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., taxis to a parking spot after landing at McConnell AFB, Kan., Sept. 7, 2017. Aircraft were evacuated from MacDill AFB as a precaution to protect them from Hurricane Irma. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Erin McClellan)

KC-135

Maintainers work on KC-135 Stratotankers assigned to MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., after landing at McConnell AFB, Kan., Sept. 7, 2017. McConnell is housing the KC-135s to help keep them safe during Hurricane Irma. The aircraft are expected to return to MacDill AFB once weather conditions improve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Alan Ricker)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan.— McConnell maintainers have been providing support to MacDill Air Force Base aircraft since Sept. 7 after they were evacuated from Florida to avoid potential damage from Hurricane Irma.

When MacDill’s KC-135 Stratotankers landed at McConnell, only a handful of maintainers, mainly crew chiefs, were with them. Sixty-year-old aircraft are bound to have some problems, and McConnell Airmen were ready to assist, especially when it came to more specialized areas.

“They had some specialists, but depending on what shift it was, they may not have had anybody on shift to work that particular system,” said Master Sgt. Rachel Lunsford, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production supervisor. “That’s why we came in and worked on a couple of their write-ups.”

The main areas needing support were hydraulics, fuel cell and aircrew ground equipment. Several incidents occurred during their time here, which included small fuel leaks and an engine-pump failure.

“We troubleshot any hydraulics components that failed on their aircraft and then proceeded to tell them what parts needed to be ordered,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Waller, 22nd Maintenance Squadron hydraulics craftsman. “Once they ordered it and we had the part in hand, we’d go out and change it for them.”

Ultimately, with the help of McConnell Airmen, MacDill aircraft were able to complete missions while away from their home station.