By Jennifer L. King, 405th AFSB Public Affairs OfficerMay 9, 2008
The steady sound of UH-60 Blackhawks performing test flights welcomed 21st Theater Sustainment Command leadership to the Theater Aviation Sustainment Manager-Europe at Coleman Barracks April 30.
Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, 21st TSC commander, and Brig. Gen. Jon Miller, 21st TSC deputy commander, met with Col. Al Evans, TASM-E director, and Col. Bobby Ray Pinkston, commander of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade, to receive an update on TASM-E operations and to visit the recently reorganized maintenance bays and supply facilities.
"Our current focus is on providing quality maintenance in support of the U.S. Army Europe rotary wing assets, and our on order mission focus is preparing to support the reception, staging, onward movement and integration for both the Kosovo Peacekeeping Forces 9 and 10 and working with Joint Task Force-East," said Evans, as he outlined the timelines for the upcoming operations to the generals. "We've already prepared reset turnaround times and schedules in support of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade."
The reset schedules are of utmost importance to units as each unit's aircraft must be reset on a timeline that allows for training schedules and other actions that may impact a unit's need for aircraft. By preparing timelines well ahead of execution and coordinating directly with the units, the TASM-E is able to implement the schedule that best suit's each units needs.
Fontaine emphasized how important proper planning is during reset execution.
"Reset is going well," he said, "but sometimes changes occur with the unit's schedules, and we need to be ready for this to eliminate any problems later. Second and third effects must be considered when putting together a reset plan."
Each aircraft has a different reset timeline due to the varying degrees of maintenance that must be performed. Target reset turnaround times for CH47Ds is 113 days, 83 days for UH60As and 80 days for UH60Ls.
After receiving the detailed briefing of planned mission execution, Fontaine and Miller visited the hangar where multiple aircraft were in the midst of various stages of maintenance and reset.
"We've got a hangar full of helicopters we're working on right now," Evans said, "and we've got more in the sky today that are performing test flights."
Judging by the systematic departures and arrivals of freshly-maintained aircraft from the Coleman Army Airfield and the steady hum of choppers in flight circling above, the TASM-E's maintenance operations are executing their USAREUR core aviation maintenance mission.