Challenges to United States Tactical Air Force Aircraft Maintenance

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  • ADrJ-A246 742 I

    F CHA L LF NG CC UNITED STATES TACTICAL AIR FORCE

    AIRCRAFT XYATNTEN.-\NCE. PERSONNEL:

    P.*,\2, PPF.SFNT AND FLTI;RF

    THFS172

    Barbara L. '-larris. C:,Aptaiiri L'SAF

    AFITO'LY 'LSY'915-28

    DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

    AIR UNIVERSITY ~IIIb i~1AIR FORCE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

    Wright-Potterson Air Force Base, Ohio

    T) 2 2 25,1

  • AFIT/GLM/LSM/91S-28

    CHALLENGES TO UNITED STATES TACTICAL AIR FORCEAIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL:

    PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

    THESIS

    Barbara L. Harris, Captain, USAF

    AFIT/GLM/LSM/91S-28

    Approv4-d for public roleane; distribution unlimited

  • The views expressed in this thesis are those of the authorsand do not reflect the official policy or position of theDepartment of Defense or the U.S. Government.

    Aoeen31on ForNTIS GRAI

    DTIC TABUnnnnouncad C1Juatificatiom_

    DIh labutt on/Aynilabilit7 Codes

    Dist l and/or

  • AFIT/GLM/LSM/9 IS-28

    CHALLENGES TO UNITED STATES TACTICAL AIR FORCE

    AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCF PERSONNEL:

    PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

    r

    THESIS

    Presented to the Faculty of the School of Systems and Logistics

    of the Air Force Institute of Technology

    Air University.

    In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

    Degree of Master of Science in Logistic3 Management

    Barbara L. Harris, B.A.

    Captain, USAF

    September 1991

    Approved for public release; distribution unlimited

  • Preface

    The purpose of this study was to assess the challenges Tactical

    Air Forces (TAF) aircraft maintenance personnel face as a result of

    organizational changes based on fiscal restrictions and dramatic changes

    in the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc nations.

    When the study was originally conceived, it was not designed to

    cover the concepts of two-level aircraft maintenance and TAP Composite

    and Objective Wings and their impact on the maintenance organization.

    However, the TAP's rapid development of these two areas necessitated

    their consideration.

    My success in completing this effort must be shared with several

    individuals. I offer my heartfelt appreciation to my thesis advisor,

    Major Dave Diener. His ability to pull seemingly unrelated ideas

    together was a continuing source of inspiration. I am eternally

    grateful to my reader, Mr. Jerry Peppers. He tactfully prevented me

    from m.-king historical blunders, gently guided me to fill in the blanks,

    and kept me laughing when I really needed to.

    For their assistance in providing me with critical historical

    information I would like to thank Mg. Bea Arthur from the TAC History

    Office; Mr. Paul Ferguson from the AFLC History Office; and Mr. Dave

    Msnard from the Air Force Museum Archives. Each of these fine people

    provided me with the most prompt and courteous service anyone could ever

    hope for.

    I would also like to thank several of my friends for helping me

    get through the hard times. Captain Stev,? (Ike) Eichenbrenner, his wife

    (and my friend) Angela, and their two children, Paula and Chester were

    ii

  • my "family" away from home. They were always there for me and showed me

    just how important family is to success. I must also thank Captain Rui

    Jorge G. Gomes, of the Portuguese Air Force, for putting up with a lot

    more than he got in return.

    My mother, Carole Myers, also deserves a lot of the credit for my

    success. She always reminds me I can do anything I set my mind to and

    always she is right. Thanks Mom.

    Finally, I owe the greatest debt to my husband Captain Richard A.

    Harris, Jr., for his love, tolerance, patience, support, and understand-

    ing. As an active duty officer, Rich was unable to accompany me to this

    school. Instead he had to put up with the long periods of separation,

    endless phone calls, and all the trials of running a home without my

    hlp. He showed me how important we are to each other.

    Barbara L. Harris

    2l

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    Preface ............................ ............................. ii

    List of Figures .................. ........................ ix

    List of Tables ...................... .......................... x

    Abstract .................. ............................. .... xi

    I. Introduction ............... ....................... 1

    Why Today Is Different Prom Yesterday: The End ofthe "Cold War" ........... . ................... 4What Now? . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . 5Specific Problem ............... ................... 6Investigative Questions ..... .................... . . 6Scope and Limitations ............... ................ 7Methodology .................... ..................... 8Preview of the Remaining Chapters ......... .......... 8Chapter Bibliography ............. .................. 8

    II. Beginnings 1900-1920 ................. .................... 10

    The'United States In Perspective ... ........... ....Air Power at the Turn of the Century--NoWar In Sight ............ ..................... .. 11

    The Military Takes Notice ... ........... .. 12The Yirst Mechanic ... ............ ... . . . .. 14

    The Start of an Air Force ....... .............. 14The First Aircraft Mainten-nceTechnical Order ......... ................ 15Organized Aircraft MaintenanceTakes Root ......... ................... .. 16

    Trial By Fire-Unrest On the Mexi.:an Border ..... 18A Short Digression .... ............... 19Deploying the 1st Aero Squadron--The PunitiveExpedition ......... ................... .. 20

    A Prelude To War ......... ................... .. 22The European War Begins ....... ............... 22The Development of Pursuit Aviation .. ......... .. 23The Development of Tactical Air Operations ...... .. 25

    Tests at the Battles of St. Mihieland Meuse-Argonne ....... ............... 26Air Doctrine at the Close of the War ...... .. 27

    Aircraft Maintenance in the European War ......... .. 28Specialized Maintenance Takes Hold ......... .. 28Training ............ .................... .. 28Aircraft Maintenance Organization ....... .. 30

    War Comes To An End ........ ................. 32Aircraft Maintenance Issuas In Suniary .......... .. 33

    iv

  • Page

    Pre-World War I ........ ................ ... 33World-War I ......... ....................... . 34

    Afterword ................ ...................... . 35Chapter Bibliography ........ ................. .. 35

    III. The Interwar Years 1920-1933 ...... ................ .. 37

    The United States In Perspective ........... 37Statuis of the Force ......... . ................ 39

    Aircraft and Manning ...... .............. .. 39Reorganization ............ .............. .. 39

    Pusuit and Attack Aviation Take A Back Seat ..... 41The Pendulum Swings Back--The Crew ChiefSystem Revisited .......... ................... .. 41Technical Training--A Casulty of War ........... .. 42Squadrcn Level Maintenance ...... .............. .. 44Depot Maintenance ........... ........................ 44Aircraft Development andMaintenance Policy .......... ....................... 46Aircraft Mainteuance Issues In Summary .......... .. 47Setting the Stage For War ....... .............. .. 49Chapter Bibliography .............. ................. 50

    IV. From Isolationism To World Power 1939-1945 ........... .. 52

    The United States In Perspective ... ........... .. 52Building the Force .......... .................. .. 55

    Aircraft Status ......... ................ 55.Manpower ............ .................... .. 56

    Pursuit and Attack Aviation ..... ............. .. 57Maintenance Manpower .............. .................. 59

    Training ............ ......................... 59The Specialist System of Mainteuance .. ....... 59

    Aircraft Maintenance Organization ... .......... 61Squadron Level Maintenance In The ContinentalUnited States (CONUS) ..... ............. .. 62

    Aircraft Maintenance Issues In Surmnary .......... .. 65War Comes To An End ......... ................. 67Chapter Bibliography ........ ................. .. 68

    V. A Short Respite: Prom World War IITo Korea 1946-1950 .................... ..................... 70

    The United States In Perspective ... ........... .. 70Status of the Force ......... ................. 72Development of Maintenance Poicy ... ........... .. 73Maintenance Problems. . ............ ................. 75

    Manpower Shortages ...... ............... .. 75Mechanical Problems ..... .............. .. 75The Specialist Sol'!,ion ..... ............ 76

    Organizational Problems ....... ............... .. 78

    v

  • Page

    In-Commission Rate ...... ............... .. 78Dealing with the AOCP Rate ... ........... .. 79In-Commission Rate Rcporting .... ........... .. 80Defining The In-Cormission Rate .. ........ 80Non-Aeronautical Maintenance Workload ..... 82

    Other Maintenance Issues of the Interwar Years .... 83Manpower Discrepancie. ... ............ 83Career Development ...... ............... .. 83Maintenance Manual ...... ............... .. 85Maintenance Facilities. .... ............. .. 86Assignment of Aircraft .... ............. .. 87

    Maintenance As a Priority ...... .............. .. 88Aircraft Maintenance Issues In Su=nary .......... .. 89Setting the Stage For War .... .............. .. 90Chapter Bibliography ........... ............. 91

    VI. The Korean War 1950-1953 .......... .................. .. 92

    The United States In Perspective .. ........... ..... 92Status of the Force ......................... 95

    The Emergence

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