What’s Happening at Holloman


News from Holloman Air Force base.
The 311th AMU conducted high-power engine immersion demonstration.
The 311th Aircraft Maintenance Unit conducted a high-power engine run maintenance immersion exercise on November 16, 2023, at Holloman. 

This demonstration offers an in-depth look for non-F-16 maintainers and non-maintenance personnel from across the base into the high-power maintenance procedures essential for ensuring the F-16 Viper’s operational readiness and peak performance, demonstrating the full capability and power of the aircraft engine.

“A high-power engine run is needed to check the operation of the engine and aircraft systems,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Timothy Holcomb, 311th AMU specialist section chief. “This exercise usually takes place prior to the return of service of an aircraft after maintenance has been completed, troubleshooting pilot-reported discrepancies or during training events. ”

At the heart of the immersion demonstration is the emphasis on the complex nature of F-16 maintenance, highlighting the critical role of skilled maintenance personnel who inspect and repair various components of the aircraft.

“We use this opportunity to showcase what we do and what’s unique to maintenance and our engine troops,” said U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Jenna Kuperberg, 311th AMU assistant officer. “I think it’s awesome that we can bring in other groups and personnel across the base because so often we get very focused on the one job or purpose that we serve towards the bigger mission.”

Testing the engine’s performance at high power setting is important for ensuring the aircraft’s ability to operate effectively in combat situations. It is crucial for verifying the engine’s performance and its ability to provide the necessary power for combat maneuvers therefore maintaining combat readiness and development of its fighter force structure.

“Being able to provide a live demonstration of the engines thrust capabilities gives members from the around base a little more knowledge of what we do here,” said Holcomb. “It brings perspective to our unit as a whole and not only displays Holloman’s mission, but also the big mission across the Air Force.”

AETC Command Chief visits Fightin’ 49ers

S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Chad Bickley, Command Chief of, Air Education and Training Command, was welcomed by the Fightin’ 49ers during an immersion visit at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Nov. 8, 2023.

Bickley, who took his position as the top enlisted Airman in AETC in June, spent his visit speaking with and learning about the Airmen who support and execute the 49th Wing mission.

“The Fightin 49ers do an outstanding job of building combat-ready aircrew to support the Air Force at large,” said Bickley. “The crews Holloman produces will play a vital role in any future conflict. Our nation doesn’t seek conflict, but we must be ready at a moment’s notice to take the fight to the enemy, anytime, anywhere. That training starts in AETC…and we have to get it right. It is very evident Holloman understands what is at stake, and they are crushing it each and everyday.”

Bickley’s intent to understand any challenges faced by the Fightin’ 49ers enabled him to also learn about all of the innovative approaches to problem solving that lead to consistent success across the wing.

“We have challenges in our Air Force that directly impact Holloman, and we’re not getting more money or people. As leaders, how do we play the hand we’re dealt without doing it on the backs of our Airmen and families…that’s the waters we navigate each and every day.” said Bickley. “My position gives me the opportunity to share those challenges at the highest level of our Air Force. We owe our best efforts to our Airmen and their families, and we’ll never stop advocating for them.

During an all-call, Bickley gave a presentation labeled Change of Mindset. The briefing focused on warfighting, and the combat mindset needed to tackle the challenges our Air Force would face in a near peer fight and the leadership skills needed to win.”

“Our Airmen work tirelessly, every day, and it’s always an honor when we get the chance to showcase that hard work to senior leadership,” said U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Jeffrey Martin, 49th Wing command chief. “It’s an honor to highlight our team and show Chief Bickley what we’re all about in the 49th Wing.”

Source: By Airman 1st Class Michelle Ferrari, 49th Wing Public Affairs 

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