Algerian AF visits Ramstein

2nd Lt. Jhames B. Illanez
86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron

Members of the Algerian air force visited the 86th Maintenance Group
Nov. 7 to 11 to familiarize themselves with different issues related to
maintenance and repair of C-130 aircraft and equipment.

They toured the 86th Maintenance Operations Squadron, the 86th Aircraft
Maintenance Squadron and the 86th Maintenance Squadron to compare their
processes and hopefully take back with them fresh ideas to increase
their efficiency and operation capabilities.

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity to visit Ramstein Air
Base and learn how we can improve our C-130 maintenance,” said 1st Lt.
Mekki Mazouzi, avionics officer in charge and team leader.

The visiting troops seemed impressed by the level of specialization
that goes into the daily maintenance and support of C-130 aircraft and

“In Algeria I am qualified to work on an engine to include hydraulics
and the electrical and environmental system, but I see that those are
independent career fields here,” said Tech. Sgt. Sebti Kouanes,
propulsion technician.

The U.S. Air Force aircraft maintenance field is structured into
several specialties, sometimes overlapping, in order to harness the
most knowledge and experience within one career field.

“We can learn from the Algerians about training our technicians to
accomplish basic tasks from other specialties in order to broaden our
expertise,” said Col. Robert E. Burnett, 86th MXG commander.

The first stop was the 86th MXS where the maintenance operation center,
plans and scheduling and analysis are located. The Algerians got a
glimpse of the type of metrics, statistical analysis and information
available to senior leadership to assist in making timely and accurate

They realized what a daunting task it is to schedule maintenance around a busy and dynamic flying schedule.

At the 86th AMXS, the Algerians witnessed first hand the sense of pride a dedicated crew chief has for their aircraft.

Whether the DCC is performing maintenance or merely putting the final
touches on their aircraft before a flight, his dedication is
unwavering, around the clock and in the most treacherous of German

And Ramstein specialists, from guidance and control to hydraulics, made
the Algerians realize just how much knowledge is required to work on
the highly complex systems found on C-130s.

“I see how young the technicians are on the flightline and am amazed of
how much knowledge they possess,” said 2nd Lt. Abdelouahab Daoudi,
assistant avionics officer.

But it was the 86th MXS that left them surprised.

They were intrigued by the centralized intermediate repair facilities,
ranging from wheel and tire to engine and propeller, which supports
local and external customers such as U.S. Central Command Air Forces.

They agreed that it saves a lot of money and time to service equipment
at Ramstein instead of shipping it back to the United States and
waiting on a turnaround time.

The 86th MXS also highlighted their “lean” initiative, which is the
practice of minimizing waste in a work area, first introduced to
Ramstein by the 86th MXG, as something the Algerians said they will
look into for their operations.

Another stop at the engine test cell “Hush House” provided a glimpse of state-of-the-art sound suppression technology.

“Testing engines and propellers in a sound suppressing facility is a
smart and environmentally friendly method of doing business,” said
Tech. Sgt. Mohamed Hennad, propulsion technician.

“At the end of the visit we had a positive impression and admiration
for the men and women of the 86th Maintenance Group,” said Lieutenant
Two countries were able to learn from each other and further strengthened their bond as allies and friends.