Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Level Success with the Expeditionary Combat Support System
Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
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A commonly used quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus, the only constant is change and change is the only constant can be easily observed in the organizational history of the aircraft maintenance community. In 1958, Major General T. Alan Bennett, the Director of USAF Maintenance Engineering, commented upon the need to focus on the aircraft maintenance field and the drive for change The Maintenance-Engineering functional area currently uses or controls approximately 33 of the total manpower and 40 of the available operating dollars allocated to the USAF to dateindications are that Maintenance-Engineering will play an even more dominant role in future operations with no increase in resources.1 The tactical aircraft maintenance level has undergone a myriad of organizational change since the birth of the U.S. Air Force in 1947. The aircraft maintenance community has centralized and decentralized with the demands placed upon it and the resources available. Through the multitude of centralizations and decentralizations both organizational successes and failures have been discussed at length, as the next series of changes is proposed and implemented. The amount of change endured by the maintenance community has been so high that recent discussions have focused around selecting one organizational type and stopping the organizational turmoil. In todays environment of declining resources limit of military personnel available and a continually declining military budget the Air Force is preparing to implement its most significant changed called the Expeditionary Combat Support System ECSS, centralizing hundreds of databases and management into a singular system in an effort to reduce operational costs and redundancy.