The success of egress

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Adrian
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs

The 49th Component Maintenance Squadron Egress section is one of the busiest egress sections in the Air Education Training Command, with only 18 assigned personnel who are responsible for 82 F-16 Vipers.


“We try to do two scheduled aircraft a week but we’ll get bombarded with six to eight unscheduled aircraft,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Brian Holmes, 49th Component Maintenance Squadron Egress section chief. “These guys are super talented and are still able to turn aircraft in time for pilots to meet their scheduled sorties.”


Egress is charged with servicing, inspections and repairs of the escape systems in the aircraft. This means all maintenance requiring those escape systems to be removed or temporarily disabled must be processed through the egress section first.


“The caliber of folks that we have here is incredible just because of the sheer volume of maintenance and experience that people get exposed to,” said Holmes. “It means they’ll run circles around the average Airman.”


On top of regular scheduled and unscheduled maintenance the shop was also one of five Air Force installations selected as a test base for the new hydrophobic canopy coatings, referred to as Luna transparency coatings. The purpose of the coating is to reduce water pooling and corrosion on the aircraft canopy system that can cause visibility issues for pilots.


“We just completed the Luna transparency installs,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Troy Swenson, 49th Component Maintenance Squadron accessories flight chief.  “We were given the largest amount of transparencies to test and the section completed the installs in June… the first base to complete it.”


Although the section has a difficult workload to face almost every day, they persevere by working together and taking care of each other and each other’s families when needed.


“We actually had someone’s child get admitted to the ICU in El Paso this year and one of our other Airmen stepped up to help,” said Holmes. “He took care of their second child by taking her to school, cooking for her and bringing her to and from El Paso for three weeks straight to see her family.”


The work ethic and airmanship of the egress team makes them more capable of higher performance and should serve as an example to the rest of the 49th Wing.