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AFLCMC brings Air Battle Damage Repair Engineering to Wright-Patt

Airman Jacob, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, conducts maintenance on an MQ-9 Reaper at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, July 2, 2019.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Rosado)

Airman Jacob, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, conducts maintenance on an MQ-9 Reaper at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, July 2, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Rosado)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Air Battle Damage Repair Engineering (ABDRE) is a crucial Air Force readiness function. It allows deployed engineers to make quick repairs to support assets in field units.

“If a major war were to break out and the Air Force was experiencing a lot of aircraft attrition, we would deploy in an ABDR role,” said 1st Lt. Michael Asselta, Chief of Air Battle Damage Repair Engineering at Hill AFB. “In that capacity we would focus on rapid repairs and our number one goal would be to help restore combat capability for aircraft so they can fly again. Any attrition the Air Force experiences would be mitigated by ABDR trained engineers.”

For the first time, company grade officers across Air Force Materiel Command with engineering degrees will be able to take an Air Battle Damage Repair Engineering course here at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“There’s a need for more ABDR certified engineers in the Air Force, and here at Wright-Patt we have a lot of CGOs that are not certified,” said 1st Lt. Jessica Farris, Chief of Air Battle Damage Repair Engineer at Wright-Patterson AFB.

The two week course is one of four courses needed to get full ABDRE certification, which will allow engineers to serve as liaisons between the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and maintenance teams in the field and at Air Force depots. Certification will also make engineers eligible to deploy in an engineering authority capacity.

“For CGOs that go through the course, they will gain a greater understanding of engineering in an applied aircraft way,” said Asselta. “Getting certified is one of the only options they have to embed with maintenance units and get to see how things work and understand both sides of the coin, which is an experience that a lot of our engineers don’t get.”

As part of their training at Wright-Patt, the engineers will have access to a retired C-130 aircraft which they will be able to punch holes in and repair using the skills they learned during the course.

“The course is exciting,” said Farris. “We have the opportunity to work real problems that directly impact field units.”

Over the next year, AFLCMC will work to bring all of the ABDR required courses to Wright-Patt.

“From a senior engineering perspective, this is exciting to see young engineering talent become an immediate force multiplier,” said Thomas Fischer, Director of Engineering and Technical Management/Services in AFLCMC. “We can improve readiness and increase program office capability by sending our young military engineers through this training.”

For more information about ABDR courses at Wright-Patt contact 1st. Lt. Jessica Farris at jessica.farris.1@us.af.mil.