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173rd Fighter Wing helps neighbors to the south

The Kingsley Field and Fresno units have a history of working together, in late 2013 the California unit brought jets and personnel to Klamath Falls for more than six months as a way to increase student production when they transitioned from the F-16 to the F-15 Eagle. The relationships developed then continues today as both units collaborate, sharing expertise, lessons learned and even tools to keep the fleet airworthy. (Photo by James Haseltine, used with permission)

The Kingsley Field and Fresno units have a history of working together, in late 2013 the California unit brought jets and personnel to Klamath Falls for more than six months as a way to increase student production when they transitioned from the F-16 to the F-15 Eagle. The relationships developed then continues today as both units collaborate, sharing expertise, lessons learned and even tools to keep the fleet airworthy. (Photo by James Haseltine, used with permission)

KINGSLEY FIELD, Ore. --

The 173rd Fighter Wing avionics integrated systems shop is lending assistance to their counterparts at the 144th Fighter Wing in Fresno, Calif.

Over a week in February two Fresno Airmen made the seven-hour drive to Klamath Falls and brought several pieces of equipment with them.

Staff Sgt. Amandeep Singh, 144th AIS technician said, “I brought radar transmitter parts here because our test station back home is broken and waiting on parts so there is a backlog.”

Without the option to bring the parts here his shop would be forced to send the parts out for depot maintenance, which would most likely take weeks to turn them around.

“It is very helpful,” he said. “It saves a lot of money and we are able to produce three good LRUs in three days,” he adds.

Essentially, the Kingsley Airmen provide a test station during both day and swing shift and Singh and his coworker use it to produce parts that help eliminate a bottle neck in their wings’ flying operation. He went on to say that the use of the station is a big help, but that having the 173rd FW’s experienced troops around is possibly more beneficial.

“Their expertise is a bigger support than just being able to use the test station,” he said. “This F-15 airframe is new to us; we are still learning and when we come here we gain a lot of information that is very helpful.” 

Master Sgt. Jesus Rodriguez, the avionics backshop supervisor, says they are primarily loaning a test station to the visitors, but when the need arises they can explain the how’s and why’s of tests and procedures, provide guidance, and essentially do some spot training for the Fresno unit as they make the transition to the F-15 airframe. He’s also quick to point out that this working relationship goes both ways.

“We’ve had to borrow equipment from them before,” said Rodriguez, detailing how the strenuous calibration requirements have sidelined components required to satisfy demands of the flying schedule in the past. “It’s a nice give and take because parts are getting harder to get a hold of and some of the test equipment is getting kind of sparse.”

All the avionics members within earshot nod their agreement to this sentiment.

These members paint a landscape that increasingly relies on collaboration between all of the F-15 flying units to keep operations running smoothly.  The Kingsley Airmen mention that they regularly communicate with 142nd Wing in Portland, Oregon, who fly and maintain Eagles as well.