653rd keeps planes in the fight - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

653rd keeps planes in the fight

^Lt. Col. Boudreaux ^Lt. Col. Boudreaux
^Tech. Sgt. Hickman ^Tech. Sgt. Hickman
^ Jet fighter fuselage ^ Jet fighter fuselage
^ Damaged aircraft ^ Damaged aircraft

April 11, 2003

Warner Robins-- They fix war-torn aircraft and protect troops from biological and chemical warfare. They are a logistics support squadron based in Georgia, and a few of them just returned from the Middle East.

Thousands of wires, and very little time. We are capable of returning a battle-damaged aircraft quickly to the fight," said says Commander Lt. Col. Stacy Boudreaux.

The 653rd Combat Logistics Support Squadron trains at Robins AFB, learning how to patch holes in combat aircraft, and repair wiring to get the planes back into the fight.

An F-15 has a hole shot in it, and it's up to the squad to repair it, and to do it fast, because they could be under fire. "We're trained to work in the most adverse conditions. Our folks are qualified to carry weapons, to protect us in any forward operating location. We can go in under fire if necessary," said Boudreaux.

But it takes teamwork to get the job done. "Maintenance couldn't do it without us," said Tech. Sgt. Stephanie Hickman. " 'You can't fly without Supply' is what we tell them."

Technical Sergeant Hickman just got back from the Middle East as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "We were issuing munitions, and taking up the old suits and issuing the new suits, and accounting for every suit that we issued out," said Hickman.

Her job is to get tools and supplies to the technicians. The supplies include lightweight Chemical Warfare suits. "They protect you from chemical and nuclear agents," she says.

About 380 people are trained to repair the aircraft at Robins, and they repair jets, propeller crafts, and helicopters.

posted at 6:07PM by dave.miller@walb.com