YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Airmen from the 353rd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (SOAMXS) at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, visited their counterparts at Yokota Air Base, on mainland Japan, to conduct an isochronal inspection on an MC-130J Commando II, from Feb. 22 to March 13.
The inspection involved Yokota and Kadena members from different career fields who helped support maintenance and conduct an in-depth inspection of the MC-130J. Isochronal inspections are done periodically depending on the model, flight hours, and age of an aircraft.
An isochronal inspection is a much more in-depth inspection than what aircraft maintainers do on a daily basis. It’s rare for maintainers in different sections to work alongside one another; however, an ISO inspection is so in-depth that it requires all of the sections to come together at once.
Without the proper equipment, personnel, or facilities, the 353rd SOAMXS needed assistance with accomplishing the inspection. So, with the help of Yokota’s Airmen, it was all hands on deck to complete the job.
“The isochronal inspection is an opportunity to break down parts that don’t really see the daylight,” said Airman 1st Class Erick Ortega, assistant dedicated crew chief for the 353rd SOAMXS at Kadena. “We can inspect those parts and make sure they can complete the mission.”
Depending on the parts requiring repair, isochronal inspections can last several months, which can be stressful for everyone involved. The people who worked on this inspection, however, made the process as efficient and timely as possible.
For Tech. Sgt. Bobby Price, flightline crew chief for the 353rd SOAMXS, this was the smoothest-running isochronal inspection he has ever experienced in his career.
“From my experience, and what we’ve done, it’s been incredible,” said Price. “Everyone here ran 200% smoother in almost every capacity.”
In the end, the 353rd SOAMXS returned home with a fully inspected and improved plane just 20 days after arriving at Yokota, further proving the 374th Airlift Wing capability to support a wide variety of aircraft based in the Indo-Pacific at any time.