8th CS keeps maintainers in the fight
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Not long ago, 8th Maintenance Group maintainers had to carry around a large binder full of technical data used to fix and maintain aircraft. Now, with technology provided by the 8th Communications Squadron, maintainers no longer have to worry about hundreds of pages worth of information to look through - everything can be found at the touch of a button through the use of an 'e-tool'.
"E-tool is a software program that allows the technician to view technical orders on a computer," said Senior Airman Dante Panicacci, 8th CS client systems technician. "It was necessary to create this software as technicians always need to have the most up to date information needed to maintain the aircraft."
With the E-tool software, maintenance is accomplished in a much more efficiently and timely manner.
"The e-tools are significantly faster to update, not to mention cheaper," said Staff Sgt. Chris Hedrick, 8th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron support technician. "With paper technical orders, any time an update was made it needed to be printed out and shipped to the base's Quality Assurance office, then picked up by the relevant flights and updated individually."
Staff Sgt. Cody McConnell, 8th AMXS weapons load team chief, agrees with the convenience provided by the e-tool.
"It's actually really nice," McConnell said. "Before the e-tool, we would have to check out sets of technical orders, sometimes in excess of 20 or more. With the e-tool, we have every technical order that we will ever need to do our job in one place."
McConnell went on to say that the e-tool is also great because the software is updated nightly.
"Before this software, I used to have to take so much extra time a month to keep these technical orders up to date," said McConnell. "I had to make sure everything matched and there was a lot of extra paperwork to be done than needed now. Overall, e-tool is so much better than chasing papers in the wind - which I literally had to do on the flight line one day."
As with an electronic device, maintenance is needed - this is where 8th CS comes in.
"If there is ever any malfunctioning with the e-tool, we can always count on the communications squadron to come out and fix it right away," said McConnell. "Whenever maintenance is needed, the communications squadron has a dedicated Airman to devote his time completely to ensuring the e-tool is always available to us."
The e-tool, like the maintenance group, directly impacts the mission here at Kunsan.
"I fully believe the e-tool to be one of the main reasons why the Wolf Pack continues to perform the mission without delay - always ready to take the fight North," said McConnell.