Nighthawk achieves 100 percent mission capable

HOLLOMAN AFB, N.M. -- The F-117A Nighthawk recently hit its 25th anniversary and is still achieving great accomplishments. 

From Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, the entire F-117A fleet at Holloman was 100 percent mission capable. 

"This is the first time in known history that the F-117A has been mission capable for four consecutive days," said Chief Master Sgt. Wendy Jones, 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. "The Nighthawk has only been 100 percent mission capable for one day maybe two times since its declassification." 

"It is unusual for a fleet of any size to go to 100 percent mission capable," said Col. Gary Bryson, 49th Maintenance Group commander. "The planes fly, the planes break and even at the end of the flying-hour program and fiscal year, we often have hard-broke airplanes that take longer to fix or are awaiting parts for repair." 

Mission capable means the plane is ready to fly, said Colonel Bryson. The aircraft systems are not broken, there are no parts waiting and all the radar absorbent material coatings are within war-ready status. 

Even though 49 AMXS are the actual maintainers of the aircraft, this event was not just because of them, said Colonel Bryson. "The MXS (49th Maintenance Squadron) and MOS (49th Maintenance Operations Squadron) are just as involved." 

"Maintainers throughout the 49 MXG truly performed as a team to meet this feat," said Chief Jones. "The group utilized sound maintenance practices and fixing aircraft with a history of maintenance problems." 

"For all the planets to line up and have both AMUs go 100 percent is something that no one on the F-117A maintenance team has ever seen," said Colonel Bryson.
Even with defense-spending cutbacks and military downsizing, Team Holloman makes it through the challenges. 

"We are amidst a myriad of challenges from people draw downs to budget reductions and a huge mission change from the F-117 to the F-22," said the colonel. "It does not matter what the mission is, Team Holloman will make it happen. That is the nature of working together within the military community and within the local Alamogordo community. That is why we are the Friendliest Place on Earth."