49th EMS ensures aircraft quality, safety

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Nicholas Paczkowski
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Holloman Air Force Base hosts a wide variety of aircraft that a select group of Airmen must maintain to help provide safe, reliable, and timely repairs.
The 49th Equipment Maintenance Squadron provides intermediate and flightline maintenance on F-16 Vipers, MQ-9 Reapers, and their associated cockpits valued at 2.5 billion dollars.
“We’re what makes the aircraft serviceable and ready for their mission,” said Master Sgt. Robert McKinzie, 49th EMS aircraft structural maintenance section chief. “We make sure the aircraft is armed, and the support equipment within the aircraft function is serviceable.”
From inspecting the aircraft after 400 flight hours, checking the aircraft for cracks with x-ray technology, making the munitions that the aircraft use, and maintaining the weapons system, the 49th EMS plays an integral role in ensuring the aircraft is serviceable.
They also manage Holloman Air Force Base’s munitions stockpile, arming the U.S. Air Force’s largest F-16 and MQ-9 formal training units.
The 49th EMS consists of five flights, each responsible for specialized tasks to ensure the aircraft is ready. Those five flights are aerospace ground equipment, fabrication, maintenance, munitions, and armament.
Each of the five flights is divided into smaller sections. For example, the fabrication flight has nondestructive inspection, aircraft structural maintenance, and metals technology.
With so many different flights and sections, the 49th EMS is one of the most extensive and most diverse squadrons on Holloman Air Force Base
“The 49th EMS is very diverse, considering we have about 11 Air Force Specialty Codes working toward the same function,” said Chief Master Sgt. Scott Richardson, 49th EMS senior enlisted leader. “The diversity and how spread out we are makes us unique. We understand how to work together, and support what the 49th Wing does as a whole.”
It is this diversity and overall experience of the 49th EMS that propels team Holloman to produce operationally ready F-16s and MQ-9s.