Spangdahlem Airmen innovate, refine weapons system process

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
A three-man team of Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Airmen worked together to refine the programming process of an F-16 Fighting Falcon missile launcher, improving capabilities and saving man hours.

Master Sgt. Gabrial Valenzuela, Staff Sgts. Delrico Harris and Nicholas Chapman, make up the team responsible for the creating an electrical converter custom-built wire harness to run diagnostics on the LAU-118, a guided missile launcher, which provides mechanical and electrical interface between the aircraft and missiles.

“Using the new setup, what we refer to as ‘the Chappi,’ in place of the aircraft to supply power to the LAU-118 launcher,” said Valenzuela, 52nd AMXS weapons section chief. “Before the utilization of ‘the Chappi,’ the process involved coordinating with outside agencies to secure support equipment, now using the electrical converter wire harness, zero logistical support is required from outside agencies.”

“The Chappi” was named for Chapman, 52nd AMXS aircraft weapons systems specialist for his part in creating the wire harness.

According to Chapman, with the setup of “the Chappi,” not only has the 52nd AMXS cut out other base agencies and unnecessary equipment such as tools, aircraft and manning, but they were able to cut the processing time from three hours down to one hour, per unit. This allows manning to be focused on other areas around the AMXS, increasing combat capabilities for other sections.

Using this custom-built wire harness, the 52nd AMXS is reducing man hours, but more importantly increasing combat capabilities in other functional areas, said Harris, 52nd AMXS weapons load crew chief.

“To the Air Force it would mean increasing training and combat capabilities for all F-16 C/D aircraft, Block 40/50 units flying the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses missions and saving on overall maintenance man-hours,” Delrico said.