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ISO Docks Complete the Last KC-135 Inspection

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

U.S. Air Force members of the 916th Maintenance Squadron and the 916th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron tow a KC-135 Stratotanker on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (SJAFB), North Carolina, Sept. 7, 2019. The KC-135 was towed back to the fuel shop hangar on SJAFB to complete its final isochronal inspection with the 916th Air Refueling Wing.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

During Hurricane Dorian, in the middle of its last isochronal inspection under the 916th Air Refueling Wing, a KC-135 Stratotanker sits on the flightline of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, Sept. 4, 2019.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Marso, Senior Airman Jordan Duncan and Senior Airman Chelsea M. Salinas, all isochronal dock inspectors with the 916th Maintenance Squadron, complete different tasks in the tire pressure check process on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Sept. 7, 2019. Prior to be moving the tires on a KC-135 must be checked with a gage for proper inflation.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chelsea M. Salinas, 916th Maintenance Squadron isochronal dock inspector, marks the tire with the air pressure of the tire and date on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Sept. 7, 2019. Tire pressure markings are valid for 72 hours before they have to be checked again prior to being moved.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

U.S. Air Force members of the 916th Maintenance Squadron and the 916th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron gather to pull tools to complete inspection tasks on the KC-135 Stratotanker on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, Aug. 23. This is the last KC-135 isochronal inspection the members will complete prior to the 916th Air Refueling Wing’s transition to the KC-46A Pegasus.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Chelsea M. Salinas, Senior Airman Jordan Duncan and Senior Airman Ryan Marso, all isochronal dock inspectors with the 916th Maintenance Squadron, walk to check the tire pressure on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, Sept. 7, 2019. Tire pressure is checked before takeoff, after landing and any other time an aircraft is moved.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

The KC-135 Stratotanker docks at the 916th Fuel Shop hangar for its last periodic isochronal inspection required every 24 months per Technical Order 1C-135-6WC-2.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Mary McKnight)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Challen M. Haywood, a 916th Maintenance Squadron aircraft structure maintainer, strips the paint inside the trunnion support area of the right main landing gear on a KC-135 Stratotanker on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, Aug. 22. The paint is stripped so the trunnion area can be inspected for wear and tear in the landing gear area.

Seymour Johnson AFB, NC --

A KC-135 Stratotanker, docked at the 916th Air Refueling Wing fuel shop to begin the last isochronal inspection of a KC-135 for the 916 ARW on Aug. 14 at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

What usually consists of a 30 day process of identifying and fixing or replacing defective, broken or corroded components from wear and tear turned into a 56 day process after delays from Hurricane Dorian began on Sept. 4.

“The ISO (isochronal) aircraft was placed on the flightline as a precaution to protect it from possible damage,” said Senior Master Sgt. Karl Rehkamp, 916th Maintenance Squadron maintenance flight chief. “The hangar it was in leaves the empennage exposed to high winds which could cause more damage because of the close tolerance to the hangar doors.”

Nevertheless the maintenance members were able to successfully close out the 916 ARW’s last inspection of a KC-135 on Oct. 17.

“I am looking forward to doing something that most people spend their entire career not having had the chance to do,” said Staff Sgt. Paul M. Anaruma, 916 MXS isochronal dock inspector. “That being, helping to set up a new aircraft and being a part of the transition process.”

Although it’s been a long time for the 916 ARW, transitioning to the KC-46 Pegasus is not the first aircraft transition this wing has completed. In 1995 the 77th Air Refueling Squadron transitioned from flying the KC-10 Extender to the KC-135.

“I am looking forward to learning something new,” said Master Sgt. Tyrone Faison Jr., 916 MXS isochronal dock coordinator. “Becoming an ISO dock coordinator for the KC-135 has taught me how to manage people, how to manage the process and make the process better overall.”

As the next generation of aerial refueling technology the KC-46 will give the members of the 916 ARW the opportunity to learn something new. It will also afford them the ability to impart their 24 years of knowledge from the KC-135 to the KC-46 in new and innovative ways.